Exclusive Interview With Marshall Crenshaw!

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(PCM) Kristyn Clarke of PopCultureMadness.com recently had a chance to catch up with high entertaining and engaging performer Marshall Crenshaw at his recent performance opening up for Fountains of Wayne at The World Cafe Live at The Queen in Wilmington, DE.

Crenshaw has recently helped pioneer a new music distribution model with new EP subscription vinyl/download series. The subscription service, which the Platinum, Gold, and Silver award-winning, Grammy and Golden Globe nominated songwriter and recording artist recently launched via a successful Kickstarter funding campaign, will provide fans with a steady stream of new Marshall Crenshaw music via a series of exclusive three-song 10-inch, 45 RPM vinyl EPs on Addie-Ville Records, six of which the artist plans to release over a two-year period. In addition to the vinyl discs, subscribers will also receive a download card for digital versions of the EP tracks. These recordings are available from Crenshaw’s web site: http://marshallcrenshaw.com

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Not only did Crenshaw develop the subscription-based EP series via Kickstarter but actually surpassed his Kickstarter goal. The subscription series has already proven a success: Half of its entire print run has been committed to distribution through Thinkindie Distribution for Record Store Day’s Back to Black Friday (November 23) — arguably the most important day of the year for vinyl connoisseurs. Add to that the loyal Marshall Crenshaw fans who have invested in the project on Kickstarter and received their early copy of the official January 23, 2013 release date for the debut EP, I Don’t See You Laughing Now.

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Each EP consists entirely of newly recorded, never-before-released material, encompassing a new original Crenshaw composition, a classic cover tune, and a new reworking of a time-honored favorite.

Photography by: Ken Schuler

Check out the full interview with Marshall Crenshaw below:

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Interview with Pop Sensation and American Idol Judge Nicki Minaj

nicki(PCM) From her humble beginnings in Jamaica to her humble upbringing in Queens New York to her spotlight alongside high profile judges on the panel of American Idol (including her infamous feuding with Mariah Carey.) Nicki Minaj came to conquer, to win, and she did. Nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award in the category of Best New Artist, Minaj’s rapping technique has been hailed by critics for its use of alter-egos, accents (notably, British) and rapid-fire pace. Equally well-known for her unique sense of style, her use of colorful wigs and outlandish costumes ranks her as one of the world’s leading fashion icons. Minaj is in the midst of her Pink Friday: RELOADED Tour.

We recently had a chance to speak with Nicki Minaj about American Idol, her judging style, and more!  Check out the interview below:

Q:What have been your best and worst moments on American Idol?

NICKI MINAJ: My best and worst IDOL moments, I don’t have a worst IDOL moment.  I’ve been spectacular.  Yes, I’m going to toot my own horn.  And then, my best moment is every single moment, I’ll toot it again.

Q:In your opinion who do you see right now as the front runner for Season 12?

NM: I would say Kree and Angie I think are our front runners.  I mean Kree, Angie, and Candice.

Q: Any reason for those three?

NM: I think that outside of their voices they’ve just sort of won people over already, which I think is evident in just what I see on Twitter with my fans.  You know those three singers have really, really made an impact not only with just a great voice that sounds like it should already be making albums but for some reason their personality seems to … a lot of fans.

Q: How do you feel about the fact that a lot of people have said you know, “When I started watching IDOL with Nicki Minaj I wasn’t really familiar with who she was or maybe I had some idea about her but now I think she’s the best thing that ever happened to this show.  I love her judging style.”  How do you feel about winning new fans over just by being on the show like that?

NM: I think God is good.  I feel like my entire career and life I’ve been judged by people who really did not know me, but I don’t think that they—I definitely think that they probably were right to assume what they had assumed about me because there was such little to go on, you know, out there.  If you only see videos and me being crazy and hearing little things here and there then obviously you’re not going to have any idea who I really am.

I’m just happy that IDOL producers gave me a shot on the show for me to be able to show who I really was because I feel like I’m every single women.  I really, really don’t think outside of maybe some pink wigs that there’s anything that separates me from every other women in America, so I’m just happy that I was given the opportunity.  Some people don’t get an opportunity to show the world who they really are.  Some people come out and put an album out and people just never talk about them again, but I was given an opportunity to show who I was as a human being and I really appreciate that.

Q: One of the things that you always seem to focus on with the constantans is not just their performance but their whole look, their package, their clothing right down to their belt or their lipstick.  Do you feel in this day and age that is just as important as the performance?

NM: I think so.  I mean I don’t think that ultimately it will have anything to do with them winning IDOL because I feel like the IDOL viewer is really not bias when it comes to the look.  But I think that when you go out in to the real world as an artist you may want to think about it.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with thinking about how you want to look, how you want to present yourself to the world.

I also think that they need to hear criticism on their look on the show because that’s what they’re going to be criticized on in the real world.  They’re going to go on … every single day and see themselves on the worst dressed list or best dressed list or saying they look bad or whatever so they need to start getting an idea of the real world.

Q: If you were asked to return to AMERICAN IDOL next season would you do so? 

NM: Would I come back next season?  I think people would rather be surprised.  I like to save the mystery and the drama.  I never give that away, but you know what I always say this and I mean this from the bottom of my heart that just the people behind the scenes at IDOL have been just like a dream to work with and I really, really honestly mean that.  Mike Darnell took a chance on me.  Nobody else understood it.  They were like, “Nicki who?” and he took a chance on me.  He believed in me.  His daughter and his wife believed in me and so I’m just super grateful to have been given the opportunity.

Q: You’re kind of a polarizing person on that judging panel.  How do you feel about that as an image and are you just being you and people are just reacting to you?

NM: I am absolutely just being me.  I didn’t know what to expect going in to the show.  I was so nervous.  I had a lot of anxiety.  I felt like, “Okay.  I know everybody’s just going to hate me.  Oh well.”  There were moments in the audition process that I would say to the producers, “I can’t do this anymore because if everyone is going to give good critic and I’m going to be the only one being honest then America is going to hate me.  I’m going to be seen as mean.”  And the producers said, “Nicki, trust me America is going to appreciate the honesty” and that’s all I had to go on.

I had Mike Darnell, Trish and Nigel telling me that, you know, take their work and that’s what I did.  I took their word, and I came in every day and I was myself.   What people see me doing with the constants is exactly what I do with my fans.  Well, I don’t critic my fans but I definitely play with my fans and speak to my fans as if they’re my friends, and that’s why I started giving the contestants nicknames.

When I’m laughing on the show I’m genuinely laughing.  I can’t come up there and pretend.  I just can’t do it.  I can’t be someone I’m not.  I can’t sit there with a phony smile on my face; I can’t do it.  I’m happy that people are responding well to it.  I mean if I’m polarizing I’m polarizing.  I don’t know, but I definitely didn’t have a preconceived notion of who I was going to be on that panel.

Q:So has the reality of it been what you thought it would be going in?

NM: I didn’t have a real idea because it was so farfetched from my reality.  Like I’ve never done anything even remotely close to this so I had no idea, and I think that’s why I was so afraid.  I didn’t know what to expect.  I really didn’t.  I just didn’t know but I’m happy about the way it ended up turning out because it’s a fun thing.  It’s a once in a lifetime experience, and, again, I feel like people have gotten to know the real me and that’s all I can ask for.  Whether they like it or not at least they’re getting to know who I really am.

nicki2Q: Is there anything in particular that you’ve been surprised to learn about yourself as a person through judging a show like AMERICAN IDOL?

NM: I’ve been more surprised about the way people have reacted to me like because it almost seems like people weren’t expecting artists to come up there as judges and be completely real, and that’s the only thing that puzzled me.  I just thought, “Hmm isn’t that what we should be doing?  Why is that so shocking to people?”

I mean I guess the other thing was I didn’t realize that maybe I am a bit strange because like the way people react to what I say to the contestants it’s like that’s really how I act but people think it’s kind of strange.  Like when I asked Kree to marry me I didn’t think that was strange but I guess looking back at it now maybe no IDOL judge has ever asked a contestant to marry them on live TV.  I don’t know.  I guess in general I’m just surprised at the way people react to things that I see as very normal.

Q: You seem very emotionally connected to the contestants.  Is it hard for you with that connection when someone is eliminated?

NM: Yeah.  I mean I was like gutted when Curtis left because I feel like Curtis—his voice—I mean I feel like Curtis has the best male voice for the entire season, and he was exciting.  I couldn’t wait to see him perform, and looking back now I wish we would have given him the save.  I really do.

Q: How is your experience being a judge on AMERICAN IDOL compare to how you thought it might be?

NM: Well, I definitely did not have an idea of what it would be because I had never done anything close to AMERICAN IDOL I’ve never had to sit in front of you know 15 million to 18 million people every week and speak so I did not have an idea of what it would be.  I think one of the things that I probably was shocked about was how interested the world is in AMERICAN IDOL and how people, you know writers they write about IDOL all the time.  I guess I didn’t expect that; maybe that was the only thing but for the most part I just didn’t have any idea on what to expect.

Q: So you have loved giving a lot of the contestants like little nicknames that have been really fun.  If you had the opportunity to give yourself a nickname what would you call yourself?

NM: Young Hold

Q: Any explanation behind that?

NM: I don’t know it’s just Young Hold meaning like the young—well, no I don’t want to explain it.  Either you understand it or you don’t and if you don’t understand it it makes it even weirder.

Q: Out of the contestants that you’ve had on this show, who would you most likely, if ever, collaborate with and why?

NM: That’s a great question.  I would love to collaborate with probably Burnell.  He has a genre legend thing that I could definitely see myself collaborating with.

Q: Fans love you because you’re being honest as well as nurturing.  How do you make that balance in making sure that you’re being yourself and you’re giving the contestants honest advice without perhaps upsetting them?

NM: I don’t really think about balancing anything.  I just react on my real emotion.  This last week I felt like you know I sympathized with Lazaro and that’s just where my heart went.  With Paul Jolley I felt like you’re time is up.  But you know even when I’m saying, “Your time is up” or “That was a bad performance” I still care about these people.  I mean these people are sweet.  They’re loving.  They’re chasing their dream.  Their families are there.  I’m always in my heart carrying about them.  I never try to hurt them at all, but I just say what I really, really feel.

I have been finding lately that I’ve been probably—since we’re down to the very best of the best I’ve definitely been trying to say things in a way that won’t discourage them because I want them to continue shining.  I mean I know this is their moment and that one of these people will be the next AMERICAN IDOL so whereas maybe in the beginning I would say it in a blunt way, sometimes now because we’ve gotten so close to them I say it in a way that I just want them to fix it for next week so that they can actually stay in the competition and get votes you know as opposed to me speaking to them as if I’m writing them off and I have 100 more people to see, if that makes sense.

AMERICAN IDOL airs Wednesdays from 8:00 to 10:00 PM on FOX.  AMERICAN IDOL will celebrate it’s 450th episode this Thursday, 3/28, where another contestant will be eliminated.

For more information please visit: www.americanidol.com

Interview with Pop Sensation and American Idol Judge Nicki Minaj also appeard on Television News.

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Interview With Architects (UK)

(PCM) Brighton’s ARCHITECTS (UK) refuse to sit still and rest on their laurels. While it takes other bands years to even write a record, in a very short time ARCHITECTS (UK) released The Here And Now, wrote Daybreaker, toured the globe with their friends in Bring Me The Horizon (Europe, UK, North America) and Parkway Drive (UK, North America), headlined the UK twice (December ‘11 and April ‘12) and played countless high profile European festivals (Reading/Leeds, Rock am Ring/im Park, Nova Rock, Hellfest, and Sonisphere to name a few).  Right after wrapping up the recording of Daybreaker they hopped right back on the tour bus, this time playing direct support for Rise Against in front of up to 10,000+ people a night. Even though the acclaimed The Here And Now got them daytime radio and TV rotation in their native UK, the band felt it was time to shed their collective skins and reinvent themselves with an amalgamation of their very best trademark. They felt it was time to make a bold statement.

The band recently wrapped up a string of tour dates opening up for Enter Shikari and you will be able to catch them all summer long on this year’s Vans Warped Tour 2013. PCM’s Kristyn Clarke had chance to catch up with ARCHITECTS (UK) at their recent tour stop at the TLA in Philadelphia, PA!

Check out the full interview below:

ARCHITECTS online:

www.architectsofficial.com

www.facebook.com/architectsuk

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Concert Review: Garbage With IO Echo In Philadelphia, PA

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(PCM) I recently had the opportunity to check out the recent Garbage and IO Echo tour stop at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA and it was without a doubt a highly entertaining evening. Opening band IO Echo hit the stage early and used a ton of strobe effects to create  a wonderful ambiance on the stage and certainly got things started off on a high note. The band played a great, although a bit short, 20 minute set with a gorgeous blend of sound that is both a little bit ethereal and a little bit industrial, in fact, the music of IO Echo is one that is truly hard to definite, but totally worth checking out! They reminded me a bit of a female-fronted version of The Smiths and the audiences really seemed to be enjoying their hauntingly beautiful performance.

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The show was turned up a notch when Garbage took to the stage and put on one of the best performances I have seen so far this  year. Garbage are always completely enthralling to watch in the live atmosphere, and there was an almost magic in the air of the venue, so much so that even Garbage vocalist Shirley Manson commented “This crowd it literally giving me chills” while motioning to the goosebumps on her arms and then went on to say that “such a thing doesn’t happen all the time”, so it was truly a magical vibe in the air that night. Opening up their set with “Bad Boyfriend” and “Queer” the band’s set with high octane from beginning to end.

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Also, throughout the night it was very evident just how appreciative the members of Garbage are to the fans that have stuck by them through all the years. The band took a seven year break before making a huge comeback last year and Manson made a humorous remark about them being “ancient old weirdos” but feeling incredibly grateful for the fan support over the years. Garbage then dedicated what they called their greatest love song “Milk” to all of the fans, which was a truly touching moment. The band also offered up a chance to let the fans vote on the evenings set list replacing the previously planned song “Coffee” with “The Trick Is To Keep Breathing” when definitely received quite a few more votes.

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Garbage did a fantastic job of mixing up their set-list with a healthy blend of both old and new songs and it was definitely a thrill to hear some of my favorite tracks such as “#1 Crush”, “I Think I’m Paranoid”, “Stupid Girl”, and of course the super-hit “Only Happy When It Rains”. The band ended the night with a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”.  If you have a chance to check out Garbage on the road, definitely get out to show, trust me it is an investment you won’t regret!

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For more information about Garbage, please visit:

http://garbage.com/

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Remaining tour dates:

March

26: Boston, MA, House of Blues
27: Montreal, QC, Metropolis
28: Toronto, ON, The Sound Academy
30: Detroit, MI, Majestic Theater
31: Cleveland, OH, House of Blues

April

02: Columbus, OH, LC Pavilion
03: Chicago, IL, Riviera Theater
05: Minneapolis, MN, Mill City Nights
06: Milwaukee, WI, Eagles Ballroom
07: Madison, WI, Orpheum Theater
09: St. Louis, MO, The Pageant
10: North Kansas City, MO, Harrah’s
12: Las Vegas, NV, The Pearl Concert Theater
16: Monterrey, Mexico, Arena Monterrey
18: Mexico City, Mexico, Arena Ciudad de Mexico

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Review by: Kristyn Clarke
Photography credit: Mike Sievila

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Exclusive Premiere Of Owl's "Mouse" Off The Forthcoming Album "The Right Thing"

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(PCM) Los Angeles-based rock band Owl – Chris Wyse (vocals/bass), Dan Dinsmore (drums), Jason Achilles Mezilis (guitar/vocals) – is set to unleash its new album, The Right Thing, on April 9th via Overit Records.

After releasing their self-titled debut in 2009, Owl captivated audiences alongside the likes of Helmet, Jet and Hollywood all-star rock collective Camp Freddy. Between touring and recording commitments with Wyse’s other gig – playing bass in The Cult – Owl began writing what would become the band’s self-produced The Right Thing in early 2011.

Approaching timeless rock structures through a healthy amount of experimentation and instrumental intricacy, Owl takes flight locked and loaded with unforgettable hooks and impressive delivery on The Right Thing. It’s a combination that instantly impacts and takes up residence inside your head as all great hard rock should.

PCM is pleased to bring you the exclusive premiere of “Mouse” , a new track off of Owl’s forthcoming new album The Right Thing! Listen below and be sure to let us know what you think!

Do the right thing: Check out Owl’s electrifying new album, available everywhere April 9th!!

For more information about Owl, please visit:

www.owltheband.net

www.facebook.com/thebandowl

www.twitter.com/owltheband

www.youtube.com/user/owltheband

Photo credit: Carl Mahoney

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Rex Brown Talks New Book, Pantera, Dimebag, Vinnie Paul and More In Recent Interview!

(PCM) Our friend Keith Lovett of  TheGauntlet.com caught up with former Pantera bassist and current Kill Devil Hill bassist Rex Brown to chat about his new book “Official Truth: 101 Proof”. PCM’s Kristyn Clarke was on-hand for the interview as well and without a doubt it was certainly one of the most memorable of her career. Memories can be both full of joy and full of pain and witnessing Rex Brown relive a lot of the extremely emotional memories that surround with the death of his former bandmate Dimebag Darrell was a truly touching experience.

Check out the full interview below:

“Official Truth: 101 Proof” is available now and is a must read!  Rex’s does a fantastic job of telling his story and sharing some amazing insights into what was going on under the surface of Pantera, who are perhaps one of the most influential rock/metal bands of our generation. Rex provides a no holds barred account of the many demons faced by the band and himself along the crazy ride of the rock n’ roll experience and he definitely sheds some light into the areas where fans still had many unanswered questions about the band. “Official Truth: 101 Proof” is one of those books that was impossible to put down and certainly will keep you turning the pages well into the night.

You can purchase “Official Truth: 101 Proof” here and at book retailers everywhere!

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Concert Review: P!nk Pulls Out No Stops On Her The Truth About Love Tour 2013!

Pink2(PCM) As I made my way into the Wells Fargo Center for P!nk’s The Truth About Love Tour in Philadelphia, PA I could not help but notice the amazing diversity within the crowd. As far as the eye could see it was people of all ages and races proving once again the true uniting powers of music. While some activities such as the Cover Girl manicure station bordered on the girlie side of the spectrum it was still pretty cool to have some activities available for fans prior to the start of the show! My nails look awesome by the way!!

Opening band City and Colour got the show off to a start with a gorgeous blend of alt-folk rock that definitely is appealing to the masses. City and Colour is the solo project for Alexisonfire vocalist and guitarist Dallas Austin and the music is absolutely captivating. Later in the evening, Pink even shared her own little tid-bit of information about City and Colour letting the audience know that her daughter Willow was conceived while listening to some City and Colour tunes!

The time that everyone had been anxiously anticipating arrived once P!nk descended upon the stage. She has got to be one of most highly entertaining and engaging live performers, and  to see this true ring mistress in hometown habitat was certainly a sight to behold! Pinks performance is no holds barred and she pulls out no stops giving the audience one of the best shows of their lifetime. I have certainly seen some spectacular stunts performed by artists on stage over the year, however nothing was as visually astonishing as witnessing Pink literally soar through the air encircling the entire arena hooked up only to a metal ring around her waist and a several cables while performing her hit “So What”. It was truly a sight to behold as she flipped and flew her way above the audience, at some points even reaching the upper levels of the arena.

Pink1Seeing Pink live is equatable to watching both a spectacular concert and attending Cirque du Soleil as it includes elements of both which are executed flawlessly. All of Pinks’ songs sounded fantastic and vocally she was right on point even as she was spinning and acrobatically flipping through their air on various apparatus all throughout the evening. That is a true statement of Pink’s skill and magnitude as a performer, as I am sure it is no easy feat to belt out a song will being swung upside by your ankles hanging 50 feet in the air over the stage. The premise of the show was that of a game show titled after Pink’s stellar latest album release “The Truth About Love”, and featured a hilarious game show host character that provided comic relief during the nearly 20 different set change/costume change interludes throughout the nearly two hour set.

There were a lot  songs performed off of Pink’s “The Truth About Love” album, however she did throw in a few surprise treats with a gorgeous cover version of the Chris Issak classic “Wicked Game” and a medley of her classic songs that included hits from her debut album such as “There You Go” and “You Make Me Sick” much to the delight of the crowd. From opening the show with “Raise Your Glass” performed swinging  and bouncing high above the stage on a trapeze to the closing with “Glitter In The Air” swaddled in a cloth trapeze while being dropped down into water and then spinning out over the crowd the entire production was just visually spectacular and absolutely hypnotic to watch.

There were quite a few emotional moments throughout the show as well! A few that stand-out in particular were her beautiful song “Family Portrait” that was performed with only Pink and and pianist on-stage amidst the singers own family portraits flashing on the screen and an acoustic version of “Who Knew” which Pink says is about the loss of a dear friend. Yet another moment occurred, which has since gone viral thanks to the help of fans videoing in the crowd,  when Pink noticed a little girl crying in the crowd after a fight broke out amongst the adults in her area of the venue and she stopped mid-song to reprimand the adults who were fighting and then offered the little girl an adorable stuffed frog and a Rice Krispie treat saying “they fix everything”!  It was a truly touching moment and prove once again that Pink is not only beautiful on the outside, but on the inside as a person as well.  See the video below:

It is always amazing to witness an artist that is not afraid to interact with their fans and there were many times throughout the night when Pink was reaching out to touch their hands and engage with the audience. There was definitely none of the elitist attitude that can be present with some pop superstars coming from Pink and it was without a doubt refreshing to witness.

Pink urged the sold-out crowd that everyone wants to have fun, including herself, and I can say with certainty that attending Pinks’ The Truth About Love show was probably the most fun I have had at a concert in quite a long time!

There is also the good news that the fun won’t be stopping anytime soon!  Due to over-whelming demand P!nk will extend her highly-acclaimed and sold out, THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE TOUR presented by COVERGIRL, to a total of 60 shows. Tickets go on sale to the public on Saturday, March 30th on LiveNation.com. American Express® Cardmembers can purchase advance tickets beginning on Monday, March 25th at 10 AM local time – Friday, March 29th at 10 PM local time.

The second leg of newly announced dates will begin on October 10th at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California and will make 34 stops as it works its way to the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on December 14, 2013.

Join the discussion at #TruthAboutLoveTour or visit:

TheTruthAboutLoveTour.com and LiveNation.com.

For additional information on P!nk, visit: PinksPage.com.

 

 

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Concert Review: Excision, Paper Diamond and Vaski @ the Electric Factory

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(PCM) Tonight Canadian dubstep king pin Excision with Paper Diamond and Vaski brought their sold out “Execution” tour to The Electric Factory in Philadelphia.  As a fan of most music for me dubstep joins the lines of rock, reggae, dance, hip hop and just about everything else in between. I do not hold an allegiance for many artists but I can honestly say I have been a fan of Excision for a while now and with the promise of 100,000 watts of bass I knew I had to be there.

Upon entering the venue I noticed that tonight’s show would be an 18+ show. I credit the venue and Excision for maturing up the audience for tonight’s event. I don’t mind underage shows most of the time but this one needed to be an 18+ event.

The best part of a show like this is that the artists keep a party type atmosphere. For this even with the cold and rain would not stop the 3000+ capacity crowd from filling the Electric Factory. As one would expect from an event like this the party started early. As we were all let into the venue almost immediately a DJ took the stage and played music for about 45 minutes getting the crowd warmed up.

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Surrounded by some of the sexiest woman I have ever seen. The first 45 minutes for me were spent watching them kiss, dance and rub over each other. Let’s just say I might be doing less metal shows in the future. It was at this time I realized that this was more of an event then a concert. With neon light bead’s in full effect Vaski took the stage. Like everyone else in the line-up Vaski’s music consisted of electric house mixed with elements of dubstep. Vaski knew how to work the crowd and drop the dub right at the perfect time to get the packed crowd moving. Amazing lights and his crowd interaction left an impression on me.

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Next came Paper Diamond. By this time the floor was packed. With his first track he had the whole factory moving, myself included. There is something empowering about dancing with 3000+ people at the same time.   I could not help myself from enjoying the night like everyone else. With each beat deeper than the other Paper Diamond killed it. The music was amazing, the lights were perfect and the sound was incredible.  Paper Diamond played a 45 minute set that included some remixes and songs off his 2011 release “Levitate”. The highlight of the set came when he played his new track “they can’t tell me nothing” off his upcoming EP “Paragon”.

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Up next came headliner Excision. As the excitement built the cover off of his stage production which he calls “The Executioner” was revealed. “The Executioner” uses video-mapping and detailed 3-D projector technology to produce animations that sync with audio to produces a visual experience like none other.

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As his set started the time came that I had waited three weeks for. That was to finally feel what 100,000 watts of bass feels like. Excision started his set with a brief animation and background bass. It felt like Excision was getting you ready for what was to come by building up the moment. As the animation ended the “The Executioner” turned into a space ship with four round windows opening up like gun turrets that shot red beams out of them in sync with audio that made you feel like you were in a star wars movie. Though his stage production doesn’t move the video projecting on to it is incredible. It tricks you into thinking that it’s moving.

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As Excision went into his first song the experience is like one I have never had at a live event. For me recognizing his songs and knowing where the dubstep beats drop made the experience that much more incredible. The sound was amazing and the 100,000 watts shook my body like an earthquake. Combined with an amazing light show Excision kept the crowd moving for over an hour. Earplugs are highly recommended and allowed me to enjoy the highs and mid’s along with the bass. Playing songs off his “Shambhala 2012” mix as well as others from his previous releases Excision brings Dubstep and the live experience to another level. I plead with you to check out Excision on this tour it will be an experience you will never forget.

Words and photography by: Keith Lovett

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Concert Review: Coheed And Cambria's Sold-Out Show In Philadelphia, PA

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(PCM) Coheed and Cambria “sold out!” read the marquee at Philadelphia’s Electric factory!

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The night started with Chicago’s Russian Circles taking the stage. Russian Circles has been playing music since 2004 but tonight was the first time that I would be able to hear them. Not knowing what to expect I have to say this band gave me the highlight of the night. Not because they did something that would lock into my memory but because of their sound. It was something that I have been craving musically for a long time. Russian Circles is a 3 piece instrumental band that plays a sound that I would like to describe as doom-like with experimental and blues influences that reminded me of a young Black Sabbath. The experience of seeing this band live was like going on a journey into somewhere deep. With a thick electric bass tone and a defined drum beat these guys played through their 25 minute set with an amazing richness and quality that I hope to see again very soon.

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Up next came North Carolina’s “Between the buried and me”. After seeing this band in the past I knew what to expect and was not disappointed at all. My last time seeing this band I left feeling worn out and like I had been taken somewhere outside of myself. It was no different this time. When BTBM took the stage the crowd was treated to some amazing music. Opening with songs off their new record “The Parallax II: Future Sequence” and working their way through their seven album discography. BTBM played about an hour long set that I would only describe as “brilliant”. A highlight of their live show is the dot light panel that runs through light animations as the band plays. From rainbow dots falling to different patterns and designs the light show really locks you into what the band is doing on stage.

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Known for the sound which has been described as technical-progressive metal, BTBM also bring elements of death metal, blues and even country into their sound. It’s easy to see why this band headlines world tours but also have toured with just about every great metal band out there. The way keyboard/vocalist Tommy Giles Rogers attacks the stage shows how musically in control this band is. BTBM is supported by a cast of amazing musicians which include guitarists Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring, bassist Dan Briggs and drummer Blake Richardson. An amazing crisp tight sound is what BTBM brings to the table every night. Whether in support or a headline spot this band is a must see.

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As the stage set up was displayed I noticed one of the cooler stages that I had seen in a long time. Utilizing the entire stage the stand out was the large round glass tanks on each side of the stage that contained five white painted full size naked mannequins in various poses. That combined with a really nice light set up it was time for Coheed and Cambria to take the stage to the 3000+ capacity crowd at Philadelphia’s, Electric Factory.

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As the band took the stage the lights went dim. With ukulele in hand Claudio Sanchez and band stepped to the stage. Opening with “Pretelethal” the first track off of their newest album “The Afterman: Descension”. The soft start gave everyone in attendance the opportunity to see why this band are so beloved with Claudio’s soft vocal tone as it was the appetizer in what would be a 15 song meal. With the spotlight shining down on Claudio Sanchez you sort of forget that Coheed was a metal band but that didn’t last long.

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Following with the metal riffed “Sentry the Defiant”, Coheed and Cambria was ready to take on this sold out crowd. Made up of songs from all their previous releases which included tracks like “Juggernaut”, “Vic the Butcher” and “Domino the Destitute”. Coheed and Cambria played an hour plus set with precision that shows why they are headliners. Closing with “Welcome home” the capacity crowd got what they came for. Check out Coheed and Cambria on tour now and at: www.coheedandcambria.com.

Words and photography by: Keith Lovett

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Concert Review: Deftones Rock Montclair, NJ!

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(PCM) I recently attended the Deftones sold out show at the gorgeous Wellmont Theater in Montclair, NJ. This show was beyond my wildest expectations. It was everything one would expect from a killer rock show and more. The Deftones are currently touring behind their current album “Koi No Yokan” which debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard Top 200 chart.

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The Deftones took to the stage in amazing fashion blasting out the gate with hits such as “Be Quite And Drive (Far Away)”, “Lotion”, and “My Own Summer (Shove It)”. The energy pouring forth from the stage was infectious and the glorious mayhem that erupted throughout the venue continued from the beginning of their performance to the closing notes of their encore song “Roots”.  I think the band did a fantastic job of balancing out their set with the perfect blend of older and newer material with tracks off “Koi No Yokan” such as the albums first single “Tempest”, “Poltergeist”, and “Entombed” not coming in to about half way into their set.

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The music and stage presence of the Deftones has an almost hypnotic appeal and my eyes never left the stage even for a moment. Singer Chino Moreno does an absolutely fantastic job at engaging with the crowd and keeping the momentum building up throughout the entire show. A definite stand out moment to me is when Moreno leapt down from the stage and climbed up on the barricade to get up close and personal with the fans in attendance. It is always wonderful to witness an band that is not afraid to get down and dirty and rock out with their fan base on  face to face level.

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The music of Deftones has always been one that is hard to classify however at the end of the day they are an absolutely solid rock band who know how to put on a completely entertaining performance. The band appear to be in great shape and are doing a fantastic job at continuing to grow their fan base with each and every album release, which is no small feat for a band that has been around for as long as Deftones. Deftones flawlessly blend together incredible musicianship with a highly engaging live performance creating the complete package for one killer rock show from an absolutely killer rock band! Do yourself a favor and get out to a show, trust me you won’t regret it!

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Deftones have also recently announced the upcoming release of Live: Volume 1 – Selections from Adrenaline on Saturday, April 20th, exclusively in honor of Record Store Day. The songs, all taken from the band’s platinum-selling 1995 debut album, Adrenaline, were hand-selected by the band from a set recorded live at Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, NY, on October 13th, 1996. The audio has been mastered for vinyl by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering Studios from the original live analog sources and pressed on both 120- and 180-gram, highest-quality vinyl at Record Technology Inc. Live: Volume 1 is the first in a series of seven upcoming vinyl-exclusive releases planned by Deftones that feature live performances from the band’s discography. This is certainly a release that will be a must own for Deftones fans! Below find a list of remaining tour dates:

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3/15 Charlotte, NC Fillmore Charlotte

3/16 Myrtle Beach, SC House of Blues

3/17 Atlanta, GA The Tabernacle

3/19 Miami, FL Fillmore Miami Beach

3/21 St. Petersburg, FL Jannus Live!

3/22 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live

3/23 Mobile, AL Soul Kitchen

3/25 Baton Rouge, LA The Varsity Theatre

3/26 Corpus Christi, TX Concrete Street Amphitheater

3/27 Pharr, TX Pharr Entertainment Center

3/29 Austin, TX ACL Live at the Moody Theater

3/30 Houston, TX Bayou Music Center

For more Deftones information please visit:

http://www.deftones.com

http://www.oneloveforchi.com

Words by: Kristyn Clarke
Photography by: Mike Sievila

 

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