Album Review: Rival Sons "Head Down"

(PCM) I was recently able to check out the latest album release from Long Beach, CA quartet Rival Sons titled “Head Down”. The album was like a breath of fresh air with it’s vintage, almost blusey-tinged rock n’ roll vibe and soaring melodies. It was hard for me to believe that the album only took the band twenty days to write, record, and mix, which is certainly an incredible feat for even the most accomplished of bands.

The Rival Sons masterfully blend the nostalgia of the classic rock era together with a modern edge that is very much their own, creating an album that is sonically pleasing to both an old and new generation of rock fans. The superb guitar work of Scott Holiday paired with the soulful vocals from Jay Buchannan take the listener on a journey back to a time when music actually spoke to the audience and was actually able to invoke emotions, imagine that!

The band is receiving many comparisons to the likes of both Led Zeppelin and The Doors, so while I agree that Rival Sons do wear these influences on their sleeve, they still have put together an album and a sound that belongs to no one but themselves and it works. Stand-out tracks on the album include the first single “Keep Swinging”, the hard-hitting “Three Fingers”, and the hypnotic track “Jordan” to get a taste of this band.

For the latest information about Rival Sons please visit: http://www.rivalsons.com/

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Concert Review: Aerosmith Tear Up The Stage At Revel in Atlantic City, NJ

(PCM) Legendary rockers Aerosmith are currently out on the second leg of “The Global Warming” tour and promoting the release of their latest album “Music From Another Dimension” out now on Columbia Records. “Music From Another Dimension” is Aerosmith’s fifteenth studio album and the first album of all new material in eleven years.

When Aerosmith comes to town they own the stage like no other. The band recently performed an amazing show at Revel’s Ovation Hall in Atlantic City, NJ and from the opening notes of “Mama Kin” to the closing bombast of “Train Kept A-Rollin’ ” they keep things moving from beginning to end.

Aerosmith are a band that knows exactly how to deliver in the live setting. Their nearly two hour show spanned the band’s extensive catalog of hits, with some new tracks perfectly timed into the set. Front-man Steven Tyler is an absolutely amazing performer and has showed no signs of slowing down as he sashayed and gyrated his way all across the stage, using his microphone as a prop in a way that only he can. Guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford appeared refreshed and solid as they slammed out many of the evenings soaring guitar riffs and solos much to the delight of the audience in attendance and the drum skills of Joey Kramer and bass notes of Tom Hamilton are without a doubt some of the best in current rock n’ roll.

What was especially striking about watching Aerosmith perform was, despite the rumors to the contrary, the warmth and camaraderie that exuded from the members on stage. They appeared to be very comfortable and relaxed with one another without any tension, which is always an amazing thing to behold for a band that has been through as many ups and downs over the years as this one. Aerosmith have proved and will continue to prove that they are force to be reckoned with, within the musical landscape and it is quite apparent from witnessing the band perform that they are going to continue to play their hearts out for many more  years to come.

All in all it was truly an amazing show and Aerosmith’s performance was top-notch! If you have a chance definitely get out to a show and show your support for these ‘legendary children’ of rock n’ roll, as Aerosmith surely will not disappoint.

For the latest Aerosmith information please visit: http://www.aerosmith.com/

The show was opened by the amazing Illinois rockers Cheap Trick, who played a solid set consisting of their top hits such as “Hello There”, “Dream Police” “I Want You To Want Me” and of course “Surrender”. Vocalist Robin Zander was decked out in his usual finery and the band sounded very tight and polished from beginning to end.

 Aerosmith Revel Ovation Hall Set list:
Mama Kin – Love In An Elevator – Jaded – Oh Yeah- Livin’ On The Edge -Movin’ Out – Walkin’ The Dog -Last Child -Rag Doll- Boogie Man – Combination -Love Her Alot – What It Takes -No More No More – Come Together -Dude (Looks Like A Lady) -Walk This Way
Encore: Dream On- Sweet Emotion – Train Kept A-Rollin’

Cheap Trick Revel Ovation Hall Set List:
Hello There – Hot Love- California Man -On Top Of The World – Ain’t That A Shame -I Know What I Want -Need Your Love -If You Want Me Love-Sick Man Of Europe -The Flame – I Want You To Want Me -Dream Police – Surrender

All photos credit: Ken Schuler /www.kenschulerphotography.com

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Interview: L2 Talks Music And More With PCM!

(PCM) Meet L2! Consisting of sisters Melissa, 22 and J

essica, 19 Labbadia, L2 have co-written and recorded more than 60 songs, and their latest single “Insomnia” reaching #17 on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play Chart. Not to mention, the official music video for “Insomnia” directed by Matt Alonzo (Far East Movement’s “Like A G6″) was released exclusively through Just Jared Jr. http://justjaredjr.buzznet.com/2012/02/07/l2-insomnia-video-premiere-exclusive/. This isn’t the first time L2 has had a single on the charts. “Insomnia” is a follow up to L2’s TOP 10 Billboard Dance/Club Play Hit “Boys Or Girls.

The NYC locals have recently signed non-exclusive music licensing deals with Dish Nation (Fox TV), DMX, MTV/VHI and Bunim Murray for exclusive music licensing. Many of their songs have been playing on “Keeping Up With The Kardashian’s ” including 7 placements for “Kim’s Fairytale Wedding” episode, as well as song placements on “Tough Love ” & “The Real World : San Diego.” Their strong connection as sisters shines through in their music. Their songs display their unique vocal blend and harmonies, incredible lyrics with a life lesson in every verse, along with the hooks that stay in your head for days to come.

Kristyn Clarke of PopCultureMadness.com had a chance to catch up with the ladies of L2 for an interview, check it out below:

1. Your hit single “Insomnia” hit #16 on the Billboard Hot Dance/Club charts and held steady for awhile earlier this year, can you share with us a little bit about what has been going on in the world of L2 since then?

The success with “Insomnia” on the Billboard Dance/Club Charts this year was amazing! We feel truly thankful and blessed. Since then, we’ve been in the studio writing and recording a bunch of new music! We’re getting ready to release a follow up single to “Insomnia” within the next few months, and hopefully a Music Video as well. In the meantime we released a free download of one of our favorite new songs called “Limitless”, which is available on our website www.L2OfficialMusic.com. We’ve also had a number of our songs featured on various TV Shows such as “Married To Jonas,” “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” “The Real L Word,” “Bad Girls Club,” “The Real World,” and “Gallery Girls.” In May we were asked to sing the National Anthem and God Bless America at the New York Mets Game, which was such a surreal experience. We also recently had the opportunity to open up for Midnight Red at The Gramercy Theatre in NYC last month, which was awesome!

2. How did you first become interested in music and performing?

We’ve always known we wanted to be singers, we basically came out of the womb singing! haha. We started doing Musical Theatre when we were in 2nd Grade. We would sing together in Cabaret Shows and other performances, which made us realize how much we loved singing together. When Jessica was 12 and Melissa was 15 we formed our duo and wrote and recorded our first original song. We fell in love with creating music and have been doing it ever since!

3. How would you best describe you music to a first time listener?

Our music is Pop/Dance with an edge. We like to describe our music as Katy Perry meets Kelly Clarkson meets Rihanna. We co-write all of our songs and they’re all based on our life experiences. Our music is fun, edgy, and makes you wanna dance!

4. Your songs have been featured in various TV shows, such as Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Real World. What was it like when you first heard your music on a TV program?

Our first big placement was on Kendall Jenner’s Sweet 16 Special of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”. Our song “Beautiful” was featured during her Slideshow. It was so surreal to hear one of our songs on one of our favorite shows! Melissa was outside walking our dog Cocoa and Jess heard it and ran outside saying “our song is on!” We usually don’t know when our music is going to be on, so it’s always a pleasant surprise. We’re so happy that so many shows have been using our music, it’s really awesome!

5. Who are some of your top musical influences?

Our top musical influences right now are Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, and Rihanna. We’re also influenced by 80s artists such as Pat Benatar, Heart, and Paula Abdul. We like to listen to Madonna’s 80s hits as well. We get a lot of inspiration from 80s music, we love it!

6. What has been a pivotal music moment in your life that made you decide you wanted to pursue music for a career?

We’ve always wanted to be Recording Artists. It was never really a question of whether we wanted to pursue this or not, it really just happened naturally. This has been our dream ever since we were little girls. The moment that we truly felt like dreams could become a reality was after our first Concert/CD Release. Performing our original songs and seeing a crowded audience of people there for us was a feeling like no other. That night was the start of our journey together towards our dreams.

7. Do you have any upcoming live performances coming up? What do you enjoy the most about performing in the live setting?

Yes, we do have a show coming up in LA next month on November 3rd. L2 is performing at “POP Explosion” with Midnight Red, IM5, and Downtown Drive to name a few. It’s going to be a killer show! Performing live is one of our favorite things about being an artist. Since we grew up doing Musical Theatre, the stage is our second home. We really can’t describe the feeling of performing live, it’s such a rush and unique experience each time. We love feeding off the energy of the crowd!

8. Do you have plans to release a full-length album? I’m sure you are quite happy with the success of your singles, including the current single “Limitless”!

We’re so grateful for the success of our singles! We’re extremely happy that they’ve been received so well. It’s incredible to have had two consecutive TOP 20 Billboard Dance Chart hits with our singles “Boys Or Girls” (#10) and “Insomnia” (#16). “Limitless” has also been doing very well, it’s currently being played on AOL Radio’s New Pop First Channel. We have a bunch of killer new music and are definitely working towards releasing a full-length album, which will hopefully be under a Major Label!

9. You are both incredibly fashion savvy, when did you develop an interest in fashion? Also, fill us in about your fashion blog?

We have always loved fashion! We love using fashion to express ourselves creatively. We like to describe our style as the Girl Next Door with an edge, we love the Glam/Rock look. We’re very hands on with our image and styling. We work very closely with our Creative Director when it comes to Photo Shoots, Music Videos, and live performances. We actually just started our Fashion Blog which also includes tips on Make-Up. We had a lot of people asking where we shop and where we got certain pieces, so we decided to start on a blog. You can check out our blog at www.L2perfectharmony.tumblr.com

10. I read that all of your songs are based on real life experiences, how important is it to keep that honesty present in your music? Is it ever difficult to put so much of yourselves out there?

We think that it’s vital to keep an honest connection with our fans and the experiences we’ve been through. We hope to help our fans through the difficult times and also help them celebrate the good times with our music. To some people it may be frightening putting so much of your feelings out to the public but at the end of the day we feel if you’re being true to yourself that’s all that matters. Our music is an extension of who we are and we use our music to express ourselves. We feel that in a way it’s sometimes easier to tell someone how you feel through a song than through words. It’s really important to us to write our own music because we can really connect with our songs and we feel that that translates to the listeners.

11. What is the writing process like for you? Who brings what to the table creatively?

The writing process is different every time, it really depends on the producer we’re working with. Usually we’ll come up with a concept first and go from there, while other times we’ll start with a track and get inspiration from the music and build from there. We really love being involved in the whole process from start to finish. We like to be there when creating the track as well so we can give our input on what we want the L2 sound to be. Creatively we both bring something different to the table. Jessica has more of the musical ear and Melissa’s strong point is lyrics and melodies. Together we make a great team!

12. What is the best way for us to keep up to date with all things L2?

The best way to keep up to date with L2 is through our website www.L2OfficialMusic.com, Twitter www.Twitter.com/L2Official, and Facebook www.Facebook.com/L2OfficialMusic. We update our Twitter and Facebook every day, so make sure you “follow” us and “Like” our page! We also have a YouTube Channel www.YouTube.com/L2Official, where you can check out our Music Videos, Covers, and Video Updates.

 

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Interview: Stars In Stereo Talks Upcoming Album Release And More With PCM!

(PCM) Los Angeles based band Star

s In Stereo have recently released their self-titled album preview, that features the first single “The Broken” along with the accompanying music video. The band recently wrapped up a string of tour dates with Blue October.

Kristyn Clarke of PopCultureMadness.com had a chance to catch up with Jordan McGraw of Stars In Stereo to discuss the direction of the band’s upcoming full-length debut, life on the road, early influences and more! Listen below:

Listen to PCM’s Interview With Jordan of Stars In Stereo Here!
For More Music News visit PopCultureMadness.com !

We had a chance to witness Stars In Stereo in action and their live show was utterly fantastic. We can’t not wait to see what 2013 will hold in store for this band, they are certainly one to keep a close eye on this coming year.

Stars in Stereo are Bec Hollcraft on vocals/guitar, Jordan McGraw and Ryan “Frogs” McCormack on guitar, Justin Siegel on bass, and Drew Langan on Drums. The 5 came together with a mutual desire to compose music that is meant to create unity amongst individuality.

Visit their official site, Facebook, and Twitter to keep up-to-date.

“The Broken” is available now at iTunes.

All photos credit: Ken Schuler /www.kenschulerphotography.com

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Line-Up For Ozzfest Japan 2013 Has Been Revealed!

(PCM) The absolutely stellar line-up for Ozzfest Japan 2013 has been released and it looks like fans are in-store for one pretty amazing show. Tool, Slash, Deftones and Stone Sour join previously announced headliners Black Sabbath and Slipknot. OZZFEST JAPAN is set for Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12, 2013 at the Makuhari Messe arena just outside of Tokyo and is  a collaboration between Sharon Osbourne, in partnership with Japanese promoter Hayashi International Promotion (H.I.P.)

“We’ve assembled an amazing lineup for the first-ever Ozzfest Japan. Black Sabbath, Slipknot, Tool, Slash, what more could you ask for?” says Sharon Osbourne “And we still have plenty of surprises to come. The Ozzfest Japan line-up will rival any of our previous festivals.”

“It took a long time for Ozzfest to come to Japan but I know the fans here are going to feel it was worth the wait,” Massy Hayashi says. “Of course, any time you have living legends like Black Sabbath onstage you know it is going to be a memorable event.”

Tickets pre-reservation started on November 25 and ticket prices are as follows: single-day tickets are JPY 14,000, weekend passes are JPY 27,000, weekend passes including an official festival t-shirt are JPY 30,000. All prices include consumption tax, box office commission and ticket printing fees. The latest information on OZZFEST JAPAN can be found at www.ozzfestjapan.com.

 

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Stone Sour Reach #1 At Active Rock Radio!

(PCM) Big congratulations for Grammy-nominated rock band Stone Sour who have the number one Active Rock track in the country with “Absolute Zero” which Billboard Magazine calls “A ruthless hard rocker, the track pummels the listener in the gut…” RollingStone.com premiered the video for the song on November 14, 2012. Stone Sour released House of Gold & Bones Part 1, the first installment of their two album series, House of Gold & Bones, on Roadrunner Records, October 22, 2012; it debuted in the Top 10 on the Billboard Top 200 album charts. House of Gold & Bones Part 2 will be released spring 2013.

Recorded at Sound Farm Studios just outside of the band’s native Des Moines, Iowa with producer David Bottrill (Tool, Muse) at the helm, the album has met with early rave reviews worldwide.

See PCM’s “House Of Gold & Bones Part 1″ Review Here!

Singer, songwriter and lyricist Corey Taylor, himself a bestselling author courtesy of last year’s Seven Deadly Sins, wrote the lyrics for the 23 tracks that make up House of Gold & Bones which follows the compelling story of a character created by Taylor. Music is just one of the mediums used to tell the story; Corey Taylor recently revealed details of the new project with Dark Horse Comics, House of Gold & Bones which follows, and expands on, the story contained within the albums. With stunning covers from Jason Shawn Alexander (Empty Zone, Batman, Abe Sapien), this limited four-issue series marks Corey Taylor’s debut in the comics genre.

Stone Sour confirmed the first leg of a massive global tour push to support House of Gold & Bones, playing shows on five continents so far, with many more to come including a U.S. tour beginning January 2013 which will be announced soon.


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