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Deadmau5 Pop Up Store on Fairfax A Smart Compliment to DJ’s Shrine Appearance

By DONNA BALANCIA

The success of the Deadmau5 pop-up store on Fairfax proves this ever-more-popular temp sales venue is a smart business model. 

Musicians, celebs and sports figures are making their brand available on the street right to the fans. Kanye West, the Kardashians and many others have done well with the pop-up store.

In case you weren’t able to make it to the Deadmau5 shop, here’s an inside peek.

In a partnership with Fancy, Deadmau5 brought his cool style to LA, with T-shirts, hoodies, key chains, headphones and other cool items.

The shop — located at 346 N. Fairfax Ave. in the Fairfax shopping district between Melrose Ave and Beverly Blvd.– was open to the public from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday to coincide with the DJ’s Shrine appearance.

Also featured in the store were many of Deadmau5’ personal collection of mau5heads on display, including a one-of-a-kind piece by Ron English created at the lots of stuff in a store pop-up in NYC. The head, available now online at www.omaze.com/deadmau5was created for charity with proceeds going to Win, the largest provider of homeless shelter and supportive housing services for women and families in New York.

Deadmau5 played a four-night sold-out run at The Shrine in downtown Los Angeles.  The shows, which feature his new Cube 2.1 live production, are part of his national ‘lots of shows in a row’ U.S. tour with support act Feed Me.

The store carried T-shits and cool tech, and if you had the cash, you could even pick up a pair of specialty speakers for $32,000.

Check it out.

 

 

 

 

 

Kansas Takes It to ‘Point of Know Return’ at 40th Anniversary of ‘Leftoverture’ at The Wiltern Theatre

Ronnie Platt is Golden, Kansas Plugs ‘Prelude Implicit’

By DONNA BALANCIA

It was a resigned era in the 1970s when Kansas the band made it big.  Wedged between the two mini-skirt decades of the 1960s with love-ins and protests, but before the new-wave Devo synth sound, kids were looking for a new style. They wanted to be different.

And Kansas, considered one of the first prog-rock bands of the day, made that transition a lot easier. Like their fans, the band wouldn’t be categorized into a specific niche that came before.

Kansas had a booming sound that sometimes was compared to other big bands of the era, like Boston, but with a violin and songs that border-lined on Jethro Tull, and with all the genius of Frank Zappa’s avant-garde innovation.

Well not much has changed — except band members — but for the most part, Kansas blew away the packed house at The Wiltern last night and gave the fans what they came to see: A real Kansas show.

Kansas is one of the early prog-rock bands and put on a great show at The Wiltern - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Kansas is one of the early prog-rock bands and put on a great show at The Wiltern – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Kansas On Tour

“I’ve always wanted to see them and I never got to so this is going to be fun,” said Bob McGregor of Ventura. “They were always one of my favorites but I never got to see them when I was in high school.”

The band is on a major tour celebrating the 40th anniversary of Leftoverture, an album that set the music world on its ear, mainly for its hit single “Carry On Wayward Son,” written by Kerry Livgren. Livgren, a founding member of the band wasn’t at the Wiltern last night.

Rich Williams and his trademark eye patch has been with the band since 1974 - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Rich Williams and his trademark eye patch has been with the band since 1974 – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Kansas Players

The 70s prog-rock band now consists of founding member and drummer Phil Ehart and early member Rich Williams on guitar, Billy Greer on bass and vocals, fabulous Dave Manion on keys, Dave Ragsdale on violin, Zack Rizvi on guitar and the outstanding Ronnie Platt on lead vocals and keyboards.

It’s not easy filling in the big shoes of Steve Walsh the original frontman, but Platt’s voice is remarkable, hitting the audience like a freight train on the power ballads yet gliding gently through the lighter fare.

The impressive Ronnie Platt, frontman, with guitarist Zak Rizvi - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The impressive Ronnie Platt, frontman, with guitarist Zak Rizvi – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Kansas on TV

Until the collection of songs is heard in one sitting, those who were mere radio listeners to Kansas in the heyday don’t feel the impact of all these hits. Many have been used for commercials, most notably “Carry On Wayward Son” in a Miller Lite spot and “Point Of No Return” for State Farm.

Regardless, the body of work in is significant and the performance at the Wiltern got the crowd to its feet on more than one occasion.

The Kansas crowd was captivated - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Kansas crowd was captivated – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Prelude Implicit

Kansas introduced several of its new tunes off the album The Prelude Implicit, and honored the fallen soldiers in Afghanistan with the song “Section 60” marred slightly by disrespectful people at the back bar who were blabbing loudly throughout. If you’re going to be loud and obnoxious, why do you have to do it inside the venue while the band is playing?

Kansas songs reached a new generation through TV commercials - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Kansas songs reached a new generation through TV commercials – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The New Songs

Also impressive off the new album were the tunes “Refugee” and “Rhythm In The Spirit.”

Most of the audience members came to hear the hits and they got them: “Dust In The Wind,” “Point of Know Return” and of course, “Carry On Wayward Son.”

Kansas continues its great tour, bringing its famous tunes to the world. Did it matter that not all the original guys from the old days were at The Wiltern?  No, because on hand were those beloved  songs, the excellent sound, and the great memories.

Set List

Kansas at the Wiltern, April 26, 2017:

The Coming Dawn (Thanatopsis)
Hold On
Chasing Shadows
Reason to Be
Refugee
Icarus II
Icarus – Borne on Wings of Steel
Point of Know Return
Paradox
Journey From Mariabronn
Lamplight Symphony
Dust in the Wind
Rhythm in the Spirit
The Voyage of Eight Eighteen
Section 60
Carry On Wayward Son
The Wall
What’s on My Mind
Miracles Out of Nowhere
Opus Insert
Questions of My Childhood
Cheyenne Anthem
Magnum Opus
Encore:
Portrait (He Knew)

‘Drama Rock’ by Dreamcar, Roisin Murphy and Lady Gaga, Debuts at Coachella Amid Innovative Acts, Music

By DONNA BALANCIA

Powered by Dreamcar, Roisin Murphy and Lady Gaga, “Drama Rock” made its debut at Coachella this year.

The Davey Havok-fronted band Dreamcar, and the Irish-born Murphy took the blending of music and art to a new level at the annual festival season-opener in the desert.

Tony Kamal and Davey Havok – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The dapper Havok of the new group Dreamcar, sported a slick suit despite the triple-digit heat and he crooned to the audience like a torch singer from the 1940s. The act is very physical as Havok runs the length of the stage, jumps into the audience, high-fives the people and sings with tremendous, in-your-face force.  There seems to be a side of Havok that hasn’t left the hardcore punk behind, despite his tidy outward appearance. Havok has matured in his approach to music and he gives Tony Kanal and the No Doubt core a frontman that can carry the group forward.

Havok is clearly an audience favorite as fans scream for him and adore him — particularly the California contingent — as he’s from Ukiah, Calif.  The band played cuts off the new, self-titled album due May 12.

The many faces of the incredibly talented Roisin Murphy – Photo by Coachella

Roisin Murphy takes costume changes to a new level, as she must have changed either shirt, skirt or facial attachments at least 16 times during her set.  This amazing artist is like a combination of Gloria Gaynor and David Bowie.  It’s avant-garde music but set to the disco beat, which got all the festival attendees in the Gobi Tent up and dancing with each other.

Strictly from her appearance it would seem she is the Irish Bjork, as Murphy’s accessories are very bizarre.  Fuzzy flowers with faces, masks, and offbeat but feminine clothing is the name of the game here. The music, though, carries through the shenanigans and resonates with deep impact despite the visual whirlwind on stage.

Murphy’s a producer and has cut her teeth in the theatre and it’s easy to identify that background.  She was a special treat at Coachella and the festival would be well suited to bring on more performers like Murphy. Her latest album is Take Her Up to Monto.

Blossoms brought the drama among the press that surrounds a band on the rise – Photo courtesy of Coachella

Blossoms didn’t have theatrics to incorporate into their show, but the drama that surrounded the U.K band was noted as their appearance caused a splash with the media. There was a lot about Blossoms that drew the media and the fans around the Outdoor Theatre stage at the early part of the day. The music is upbeat and catchy. U.K. band is comprised of Tom Ogden, Charlie Salt, Josh Dewhurst, Joe Donovan and Myles Kellock.

Ogden made a sure bet that Blossoms is the only band at Coachella in which the band mates were all born in the same hospital. The hospital is back in Stockport, Manchester.

Also making a splash on the hot weekend 2 were Car Seat Headrest, War Paint, Toots and the Maytalls, The Allah Las, Grace Mitchell and Sunday headliner Kendrick Lamar whose Damn is a major hit.

Banks and Steelz had a great afternoon set and they brought Bishop Briggs up to the stage to join in on the song, “Wild Season,” and she held her own. Florence Welch is the featured singer on the song on the Banks and Steelz debut album, Anything But Words.

Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest – Photo courtesy of Coachella

Then there’s the drama that goes with the artist who didn’t want his photo taken. We’re not sure what the purpose is for any musician to not want to be photographed by anyone when they are performing to the people who (sometimes) buy the music.

The artist who didn’t want his photos taken – courtesy of Coachella

Lady Gaga, whose tireless theatrics make people tired just observing, did not fail to impress on weekend 2.  This time, she brought her parents, but still veered little from the week before.  She played the classics as well as her new song, “The Cure.” She said she wanted to find out how many people had been listening to it since the song debuted the week before.  And as if not to be outdone by any of the other acts during weekend two, Gaga punctuated her final Coachella set with a dramatic fireworks display.

Lady Gaga and her men – Photo courtesy of Coachella

Radiohead Plays Perfectly, Interrupters with Tim Armstrong Steal The Second Weekend at Coachella

Highlights from Weekend Two in Indio

By DONNA BALANCIA

INDIO – Radiohead put on one of the strongest shows ever to headline the first night of weekend two at Coachella Music and Arts Festival.

In a near-flawless performance — technically and otherwise — Thom Yorke and crew put a cool touch to a hot second weekend at the Empire Polo Club.

Radiohead got the love from the crowd running through a setlist of old and new favorites, many from their latest album A Moon Shaped Pool.

“Radiohead is not a band, it’s my religion,” said concert-goer Jeff Alcott who came from Fresno to see his deity.

But Friday was highlighted by several outstanding performances earlier in the day.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard played strong at the Outdoor Theatre and The Lemon Twigs put on an outstanding performance at The Gobi stage, proving that brothers actually can get along.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Photo courtesy Coachella

The D’Addario brother-led band, The Lemon Twigs, played to the crowd in a combination of physical prowess and musical throwback. The guys have been working with Todd Rundgren, and it shows. They sound like Todd, perform like Todd and it’s great to see “The Wizard” get some overdue recognition from the younger set.

Tennis, who embark on a North American tour, said they felt they were well-received by the Coachella concert-goers, who ranged in age from teens to post-50s.

What stole the night was the action in the Sonora tent with Shannon and the Clams, Guided By Voices and The Interrupters.

Shannon growls her way through dynamic music and her 50s soda dountain style with music that appeals to all ages and including those old enough to remember the early days of surf-style rock and roll. But it’s clear Shannon and the Clams really get through to the crowds.

Robert Pollard delivered great songs, beer and whiskey – Photo (c) 2017 Donna Balancia

Guided By Voices put on show for the devotees as frontman Robert Pollard shared his beer and whiskey with the crowd.  Except for the people at stage left.

But it was The Interupters whose ska-rock energy and talent took the second Friday. The band is comprised of the raspy-voiced Aimee Interrupter on vocals, Kevin Bivona on guitar, Justin Bivona on Bass and Jesse Bivona on drums. They ran through their songs old and new, and it got especially good when they brought out Tim Armstrong from Rancid. He came on stage as an audience member who was picked to play guitar with the band.

“What’s your name?” they asked.

“Lint,” Armstrong replied.

Tim Armstrong joins The Interrupters – Photo (c) 2017 Donna Balancia

Lady Gaga was set to headline Saturday night and openers on various stages include The Blossoms, Car Seat Headrest, Roisin Murphy and Banks and Steelz.  Stay tuned.

Powerman 5000 and the Radioactive Chicken Heads Draw a New Arts Crowd to Our Favorite Bowling Alley

Powerman 5000, Chicken Heads Come to Lucky Strike

By DONNA BALANCIA

It wasn’t exactly the hoi-polloi, but Powerman 5000 and Radioactive Chicken Heads brought fans of the arts and entertainment to Lucky Strike for a special event, Scratch and Sniff.

Powerman 5000 looks a little different when unplugged - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Powerman 5000 looks a little different when unplugged – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Each band did a stripped down version of their acts with Powerman 5000 playing an impressive acoustic set dressed as The Allman Brothers, and Chicken Heads cutting to their most basic calamitous songs.

Spider One, dressed as Greg Allman performs an acoustic set - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Spider One, dressed as Greg Allman performs an acoustic set – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Powerman 5000 with its flamboyant frontman Spider One, created the art event coincidentally while ASCAP EXPO was going on next door at the Loews Hotel Hollywood. Say what you will about the topics of the pieces painted by Spider One, but the work is excellent and worth the price tag.

Spider One dressed as Greg Allman with a wig of long, white hair, and a bandana, and the rest of the band kept in genre as well.  It was a little odd seeing them in this costume mode, as opposed to their typical metal-style appearance. The evening was put together by Krsy Fox.

Spider One had an art exhibit in the back room, and his works include several robot paintings — from different eras — a James Bond tribute, as well as his renditions of Bela Lugosi and Frankenstein. The artwork is compelling and has a sense of humor to it, but then, would we expect any less from the brother of Rob Zombie?  I hope for the sake of our own further disappointment, that Spider refrains from drinking the foo-foo double lattes preferred by his renowned hard rock, horror-slinging sibling.

Powerman 5000 puts on a good show no matter what style it is, even if it’s with acoustic guitars and a box as was the case Friday night. The sound in Lucky Strike is excellent, so much so that Powerman 5000 recorded a live EP in there that night.  Not a lot of details yet. The proceeds from the album will go to an animal adoption charity.

The Radioactive Chicken Heads wrapped up the night in typical calamity — chasing each other around the stage, singing punk songs and even falling down.  It’s well worth any cost of admission to see this group and it’s entertaining on several levels.

We especially like that the Radioactive Chicken Heads don’t pull any punches. They know they’re punkers and don’t pretend to be anything else.  Their leader, Carrot Top, runs a tight ship and makes sure good conquers evil in the shows.

There’s a bit where a dancing cheese and a Rat Fink-looking Chucky Cheese come out and Carrot Top brings out a knife to — what else? — cut the cheese of course. Then they perform “Pest Control.” We loved El Pollo Diablo, who jabs Carrot Top with his pitchfork.  It is legend that El Pollo Diablo came from a Deviled Egg. They also do a song “I Looked Into The Mirror,” which Carrot Top does and lo and behold his evil twin appears and they do battle.

Anyway, it’s all in good fun. The Radioactive Chicken Heads have been around since the late 1990s and have gotten their fair share of attention in the press and have built a loyal following. Carrot Top’s imagination fueled this band as he said he always had characters in his brain.  He even wrote comic books on his characters.

Richmond Sluts Rock Harvard and Stone, Band Plays New Album, And Leaves for European Tour

Richmond Sluts Promote Catchy ’60 Cycles of Love’

By DONNA BALANCIA

The Richmond Sluts headlined a great Thursday night at Harvard and Stone, part of the Cheap Satisfaction series.

The Richmond Sluts are off to Europe - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Richmond Sluts are off to Europe – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Our best local drummer, John Tyree, booked the night — he got the guys together for a Thursday night gig at Harvard and Stone. Not and easy feat having a band that is comprised of half LA members and half Northern Cal guys. Yes, Richmond, Ca., in case you wondered.

The Richmond Sluts keep rock and roll alive - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Richmond Sluts keep rock and roll alive – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

But when they get together for a gig, wherever it is, it’s pure mayhem. And lots of fun too. The club should be renamed “Echo and Fuzz” after the retro rockers’ performance.

CHECK OUT THE RICHMOND SLUTS ON BANDCAMP

The scene is what lends a certain comeraderie with some of the local notables on hand, Johnny Witmer and Emil Edinger, the better half of promoter Asia Muka.

Frontman Shea Roberts takes over - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Frontman Shea Roberts takes over – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Richmond Sluts took it to new levels as they ramp up for their European tour.

“We’re loved over there,” said keyboardist Justin Lynn. “It’s going to be a great tour.”

Dynamic frontman Shea Roberts said the French label, Beast, is coming along great and having success distributing the Sluts’ records. The new. 10-track LP is 60 Cycles of Love and it’s a winner. One of the songs we like is “Different Tune,” a haunting 1960s-style fuzzy anthem of relationships. Another standout is “Into These Eyes,” a bluesy rock n roll love letter.

The Sluts' new album is 60 Cycles of Love - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Sluts’ new album is 60 Cycles of Love – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

We first caught up with The Richmond Sluts at James Williamson’s “Re-Licked” all-star punk show at The Bootleg back in January of 2015.  The Sluts did a nice job holding the fort as one of the openers.

The Richmond Sluts have certainly progressed in a few short years. There’s a new album and more stage presence.  Shea still does the crouchy dance thing and his voice is an unlikely cross between Elvis Costello and Jim Morrison. We love the surfy punk guitar style.

Hello Shea - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Hello Shea – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The band — John Tyree, Chris Beltran, Justin, Rob Easson, Lee Gallagher, Shea Roberts and Jesse Nichols — put on a tight set and they have a certain fan base that looks forward to their visits.

They’ve put out an LP on Disaster Records in 2001 and touring the US, The Richmond Sluts began to draw attention in the underground garage and rock scene, playing with bands such as The Brian Jones Town Massacre and, remarkably, Sky Saxon and the Seeds.

Check out The Richmond Sluts on Bandcamp. 

See video of The Richmond Sluts from Harvard and Stone:

British Punk’s Prolific Colin Newman: The Band Wire is Not Just Some Heritage Group from The 1970s

The Drill Fest by Wire Packs the Echo

By JOHN NORRIS and DONNA BALANCIA 

Wire held its Drill Fest at The Echo and Echoplex, and it was a rare opportunity to see some of punk’s originators tell it like it is.

Judging by the attendance at the fest, which ran over three days and included performers like Mikal Cronin, Bob Mould and of course headliner Wire, it’s easy to see punk is very much alive today. Or it’s making a “curated” comeback at the very least.

The Pink Flag Guitar Ensemble – a roaring finale – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Drill Fest is not just Wire playing on tour, founder Colin Newman told CaliforniaRocker.com.

“Drill is curated by the bands,” Colin said. “It’s just another aspect of what the band do.

Colin Newman: 'Being influential is a double-edged sword' - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Colin Newman: ‘Being influential is a double-edged sword’ – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Wire: Not Re-Living The Past

“The importance is it’s partly to us,” Colin said. “One of the things about Wire is we’re not doing the heritage circuit. We’re not trying to relive our past. It’s about us making connections to other artists, not necessarily younger artists, but artists of different genres, with different ways of working and in a way it’s putting ourselves in a situation and saying this is what we are, we’re not just some band from the ’70s living off our past.”

Great musicians curated at Drill - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Great musicians curated at Drill – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Newman On Being ‘Influential’

Wire has been so influential to so many bands, but that’s an interesting conundrum, Colin said in typical fashion.

“It’s a double-edged sword, really,” Colin said.

Why?

“Because you don’t like everything that you’ve influenced,” he said. “But everything influences everything else in music. Music is a dialog.”

Musicians and friends - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Musicians and friends – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

That dialog connected this weekend as the crowds at the Echo and Echoplex appreciated the music of many favorites.

Among those who hit the stages were:  Malka Spigel (Minimal Compact), Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips (Luna), Jason Falkner (The Grays, Three O’Clock, Jellyfish), Jessica Lipstate (Noveller), and Jess Labrador, and Shannon Sky Madden (Chasms).

Not just 'Part-Time Punks' The Drill is the real deal - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Not just ‘Part-Time Punks’ The Drill is the real deal – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Other friends and players on hand included Rafe Mandel, Caroline Borolla, Geoffrey Halliday, James Hamblin, Stefan Nelson and Sandy Yang. Wire is Robert Grey, Matthew Simms, Graham Lewis and Colin Newman.

 

 

The Orwells, The Walters and No Parents Take No Prisoners in Physical Sets at The Regent Theater LA

Three Strong Bands Prove Punk Still has Legs

By DONNA BALANCIA

When The Orwells play a show, it’s more like a PE party.

Friends, fans and strong opening bands are the name of the game here and there are no disappointments.  The songs are good, the show is physical and the fans have a great time. The Orwells are touring to support their new album, Terrible Human Beings.

No Parents - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

No Parents – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The show at The Regent Theater last night was no different as punk performances were the order of the night and the fans loved every minute of three solid sets.

The Walters – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

You’ve got everything here — new punk music, fun performances and cute guys — and no shortage of girls on hand in the audience. After getting a load of the guys in the bands it was no suprise there were so many young women.  But The Orwells, The Walters and No Parents didn’t fool around and got straight to work.

 

Check out our review and additional photos at EastCoastRocker.com

 

 

See more at EastCoastRocker.com

Meat Puppets Rip Through Favorites as Show at The Echo With FdMdxFd Becomes a Family Affair

By DONNA BALANCIA

The Meat Puppets won over the crowd of the faithful Wednesday night as they took the stage and held a packed house at the Echo entranced. They didn’t miss a beat and it’s been far too many years since we’ve seen this great American band in action.

The guys, notably the Kirkwood clan — Curt, Cris and Elmo — along with the outstanding Shandon Sahm, ripped through fan favorites and showed the chops that have kept them rolling over the years.

Meat Puppets Fans

There are few bands as pure fun and who need to do so little to elicit the crowds’ adoration as The Meat Puppets.  Some of the players have changed over the years, and there have been breakups and reunions, but things seem to be moving along nicely for the Arizona players.

The drummer for The Meat Puppets, Shandon Sahm, is extraordinary — and not just because of his ripped physique  — his command of the kit is something to behold. He is the son of the legendary Doug Sahm of the Sir Doug Quintet.

Stonefield California Rocker

Stonefield – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Openers Stonefield and Ford Madox Ford brought a new influx of fans to the Echo, some who like young women with shoegazey style, and punkers from the 1980s.  There was profound talent on hand with the impressive Stonefield and Ford Madox Ford.

Dewey Peek and Chip Kinman are kin - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Dewey Peek and Chip Kinman are kin – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Chip Kinman Punk Legacy

As the crowd increased in capacity during the night so did the curiosity about Ford Madox Ford.  Many of the punkers in the audience were not aware the lead vocalist in the band is none other than wildman Chip Kinman, who with his brother Tony created the sound of Rank and File and The Dils.

Family Affair

And as it was a family affair with The Meat Puppets, so it was also with Ford Madox Ford. Along with bassist Matt Littell and drummer S. Scott Aguero, Kinman was accompanied on stage by his son, Dewey Peek.  The group keeps the party rolling with serious rock and roll.  They’re working on a new LP and have a single out, called “Expect It.”  Check out the video for “Expect It” by Ford Madox Ford.

Ford Madox Ford - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ford Madox Ford – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

Chip Kinman – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

Ford Madox Ford – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

The Meat Puppets - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Meat Puppets – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

Brothers Kirkwood - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Brothers Kirkwood – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Chip Kinman and Ford Madox Ford Debut the New Vid for Bluesy Tune ‘Expect It’

By DONNA BALANCIA

Check out the exclusive video from Chip Kinman and Ford Madox Ford, called “Expect It.”  The video makes its debut right here on CaliforniaRocker.com.

Chip Kinman and Fdmdxfd - Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

Ford Madox Ford – Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

A Cool Video

Kinman, the well-known wild SoCal punker who rose to fame with his brother Tony in bands like The Dils and Rank and File, is at it again. This time, Kinman is working with another “kin” of his: His son, Dewey Peek.  On bass is Matt Littel and drummer is S. Scott Aguero. The video was directed by Rez Hat.

‘Collapse and Nothingness’

“The song ‘Expect It’ is about collapse and the complete nothingness that follows,” Kinman told CaliforniaRocker.com. “We had a great time making the video, a lot of beer and tacos, North East Los Angeles, dontcha know. It was filmed with a rare Swedish camera that makes everything look like TV in the Seventies, which is what life should be like anyway.”

Chip Kinman - Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

Chip Kinman – Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

Ford Madox Ford brings a bluesy sensibility to punk and will be taking the great stage at the Echo Wednesday night opening for The Meat Puppets.

Kinman has had his share of innovative bands, predominantly known for The Dils, and Rank and File. As for Ford Madox Ford, Kinman says it’s a fun and new style.

“We’re the only band that plays punk and blues at the same time,” Kinman said.

Check out “Expect It” here. Go to Fdmdxfd Facebook page for more info on the band. Wednesday’s show at the Echo is sold out.

Say 'cheese,' Dewey Peek - Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

Say ‘cheese,’ Dewey Peek – Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

 

Matt Littell - Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

Matt Littell – Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

 

Chip and Scott - Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

Chip and Scott – Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

 

 

At The Drive In To Release First Album in 17 Years, Announces Tour, and New Single, ‘Incurably Innocent’

By DONNA BALANCIA

At The Drive In will release its first studio album in 17 years, called in • ter a • li • a, which is expected to drop May 5.  The high-energy post-punk legends also announced a new tour including stops in San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and a new single, “Incurably Innocent.”

“Incurably Innocent” is the second track to be released in advance of in • ter a • li • a, now available for pre-order via Rise Records.

Cedric Bixler-Zavala performs with ATDI at The Hollywood Palladium - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Cedric Bixler-Zavala performs with ATDI at The Hollywood Palladium – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

“Incurably Innocent,” is described by vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala as “a song about sexual abuse and being able to finally speak out.”

in • ter a • li • a in Latin means “among other things.” At The Drive In is Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Paul Hinojos, Tony Hajjar and Keeley Davis.

Produced by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Rich Costey at Hollywood’s Sound Factory, the 11-song 41-minute in • ter a • li • a picks up where Relationship of Command left off back in 2000 and is anticipated by fans.

Cedric Bixler-Zavala performs with ATDI at The Hollywood Palladium - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Cedric Bixler-Zavala of ATDI, pictured here at The Hollywood Palladium, will tour in support of new album this May – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

in • ter a • li • a‘s release will be supported a series of concerts beginning in El Paso and including headlining dates at the Bill Graham Civic Center in San Francisco, and the Shrine Auditorium.

Cedric Bixler-Zavala performs with ATDI at The Hollywood Palladium - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Cedric Bixler-Zavala performs with ATDI at The Hollywood Palladium – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

 

Cedric Bixler Zavala of At The Drive In - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Cedric Bixler Zavala of At The Drive In – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Le Butcherettes will support on the new dates.

For more information go to At The Drive In’s Facebook page  For updates and tickets, go to www.atthedriveinmusic.com/tour/Check here for ATDI merch

 

Cedric Bixler-Zavala performs with ATDI at The Hollywood Palladium - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

At The Drive In packs the house at The Hollywood Palladium – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

 

At The Drive In puts on a high energy show - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

At The Drive In puts on a high energy show as depicted in this award winning photo – © 2016 Donna Balancia

in • ter a • li • a  Tracklist:

NO WOLF LIKE THE PRESENT

CONTINUUM

TILTING AT THE UNIVENDOR

GOVERNED BY CONTAGIONS

PENDULUM IN A PEASANT DRESS

INCURABLY INNOCENT

CALL BROKEN ARROW

HOLTZCLAW

TORRENTIALLY CUTSHAW

GHOST-TAPE NO.9

HOSTAGE STAMPS

Cedric Bixler-Zavala performs with ATDI at The Hollywood Palladium - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Cedric Bixler-Zavala performs with ATDI at The Hollywood Palladium – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

 

At The Drive In, Live 2017:

3/17/17 – New Orleans, LA – Civic Theatre

3/18/17 – Atlanta, GA – The Tabernacle

3/20/17 – Washington DC – 9:30 Club

3/22/17 – New York, NY – Terminal 5

3/25/17 – Boston, MA – House of Blues

3/27/17 – Detroit, MI — The Fillmore

3/29/17 – Toronto, Canada – Rebel (formerly Sound Academy)

5/6/17 — El Paso TX — County Coliseum                                              

5/8/17 — Phoenix AZ — Marquee Theatre

5/9/17 — San Diego CA — Soma                         

5/12/17 — San Francisco CA — Bill Graham Civic Auditorium 

5/13/17 — Los Angeles CA — Shrine Auditorium

5/17/17 — Mexico City — Pepsi Center WTC

6/7/17 — Austin, TX — Stubb’s

6/9/17 — San Antonio, TX — Aztec Theater

6/10/17 — Houston, TX — Revention Music Center

6/12/17 — Dallas, TX — South Side Ballroom

6/13/17 — Oklahoma City, OK — The Criterion

6/15/17 — Denver, CO — The Fillmore

6/17/17 — St. Paul, MN — Palace Theatre

6/18/17 — Chicago, IL — Aragon Ballroom

6/20/17 — Columbus, OH — Express Live!

6/21/17 — Cleveland, OH — Agora Theatre

8/15-17/17 — St. Pölten, Austria — FM4 Frequency Festival 2017

8/16-19/17 — Paredes De Coura, Portugal — Paredes De Coura Festival 2017

8/16-19/17 — Kiewit, Belgium — Pukkelpop Festival 2017

8/25-27/17 — Weatherby, UK — Leeds Festival 2017

8/25-27/17 — Reading, UK — Reading Festival 2017

At The Drive In - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

At The Drive In – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

 

Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes will open for ATDI - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes will open for ATDI – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

 

Cedric Bixler-Zavala - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Cedric Bixler-Zavala – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The GRAMMY Awards Nominations List Includes Surprises, Young Performers and Music Legends

List of GRAMMY AWARDS NOMINATIONS 2017

In case you forgot which of your favorite performers, producers and musicians are up for GRAMMY Awards this year, here is the nominations list.

The 59th annual GRAMMY Awards will kick off at 5 PM PT, 8 PM ET on Sunday, with red carpet beginning two hours earlier and parties lasting well into the late night.

The 59th annual GRAMMY Awards will be held at the Microsoft Theater LA Live

The 59th annual GRAMMY Awards will be held at the Microsoft Theater LA Live

 

Album of the year:

“25” — Adele

“Lemonade” — Beyoncé

“Purpose” — Justin Bieber

“Views” — Drake

“A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” — Sturgill Simpson

 

Record of the year:

“Hello” — Adele

“Formation” — Beyoncé

“7 Years” — Lukas Graham

“Work” — Rihanna featuring Drake

“Stressed Out” — Twenty One Pilots

 

Song of the year:

“Formation” — Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles & Michael L. Williams II, songwriters (Beyoncé)

“Hello” — Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele)

“I Took a Pill In Ibiza” — Mike Posner, songwriter (Mike Posner)

“Love Yourself” — Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin & Ed Sheeran, songwriters (Justin Bieber)

“7 Years” — Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard & Morten Ristorp, songwriters (Lukas Graham)

 

Best new artist:

Kelsea Ballerini

The Chainsmokers

Chance the Rapper

Maren Morris

Anderson .Paak

 

Best pop vocal album:

“25” — Adele

“Purpose” — Justin Bieber

“Dangerous Woman” — Ariana Grande

“Confident” — Demi Lovato

“This Is Acting” — Sia

 

Best dance/electronic album:

“Skin” — Flume

“Electronica 1: The Time Machine” — Jean-Michel Jarre

“Epoch” — Tycho

“Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future” — Underworld

“Louie Vega Starring…XXVIII” — Louie Vega

 

Best rock album:

“California” — Blink-182

“Tell Me I’m Pretty” — Cage the Elephant

“Magma” — Gojira

“Death of a Bachelor” — Panic! at the Disco

“Weezer” — Weezer

 

Best alternative music album:

“22, a Million” — Bon Iver

“Blackstar” — David Bowie

“The Hope Six Demolition Project” — PJ Harvey

“Post Pop Depression” — Iggy Pop

“A Moon Shaped Pool” — Radiohead

 

Best urban contemporary album:

“Lemonade” — Beyoncé

“Ology” — Gallant

“We Are King” — King

“Malibu” — Anderson .Paak

“Anti” — Rihanna

 

Best rap performance:

“No Problem” — Chance the Rapper featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz

“Panda” — Desiigner

“Pop Style” — Drake Featuring the Throne

“All the Way Up” — Fat Joe & Remy Ma featuring French Montana & Infared

“That Part” — Schoolboy Q featuring Kanye West

 

Best country solo performance:

“Love Can Go to Hell” — Brandy Clark

“Vice” — Miranda Lambert

“My Church” — Maren Morris

“Church Bells” — Carrie Underwood

“Blue Ain’t Your Color” — Keith Urban

 

Best jazz vocal album:

“Sound of Red” — René Marie

“Upward Spiral” — Branford Marsalis Quartet With Special Guest Kurt Elling

“Take Me to the Alley” — Gregory Porter

“Harlem On My Mind” — Catherine Russell

“The Sting Variations” — The Tierney Sutton Band

 

Best gospel album:

“Listen” —Tim Bowman Jr.

“Fill This House” — Shirley Caesar

“A Worshipper’s Heart [Live]” — Todd Dulaney

“Losing My Religion” — Kirk Franklin

“Demonstrate [Live]” — William Murphy

 

Best contemporary Christian music album:

“Poets & Saints” — All Sons & Daughters

“American Prodigal” — Crowder

“Be One” — Natalie Grant

“Youth Revival [Live]” — Hillsong Young & Free

“Love Remains” — Hillary Scott & the Scott Family

 

Best Latin pop album:

“Un Besito Mas” — Jesse & Joy

“Ilusión” — Gaby Moreno

“Similares” — Laura Pausini

“Seguir Latiendo” — Sanalejo

“Buena Vida” — Diego Torres

 

Best American roots performance:

“Ain’t No Man” — The Avett Brothers

“Mother’s Children Have a Hard Time” — Blind Boys of Alabama

“Factory Girl” — Rhiannon Giddens

“House of Mercy” — Sarah Jarosz

“Wreck You” — Lori McKenna

 

Best spoken word album (includes poetry, audio books & storytelling):

“The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo” — Amy Schumer

“In Such Good Company: Eleven Years Of Laughter, Mayhem, And Fun In the Sandbox” — Carol Burnett

“M Train” — Patti Smith

“Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History Of L.A. Punk (John Doe With Tom DeSavia)” — (Various Artists)

“Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink” — Elvis Costello

 

Best song written for visual media:

“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” — Max Martin, Shellback & Justin Timberlake, songwriters (Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel, Walt Dohrn, Ron Funches, Caroline Hjelt, Aino Jawo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse & Kunal Nayyar). Track from: “Trolls”

“Heathens” — Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots). Track from: “Suicide Squad”

“Just Like Fire” — Oscar Holter, Max Martin, P!nk & Shellback, songwriters (P!nk). Track from: “Alice Through the Looking Glass”

“Purple Lamborghini” — Shamann Cooke, Sonny Moore & William Roberts, songwriters (Skrillex & Rick Ross ). Track from: “Suicide Squad”

“Try Everything” — Mikkel S. Eriksen, Sia Furler & Tor Erik Hermansen, songwriters (Shakira) Track from: “Zootopia”

“The Veil” — Peter Gabriel, songwriter (Peter Gabriel). Track from: “Snowden”

 

Best music video:

“Formation” — Beyoncé

“River” — Leon Bridges

“Up & Up” — Coldplay

“Gosh” — Jamie XX

“Upside Down & Inside Out” — OK Go

 

Producer of the year, non-classical:

Benny Blanco

Greg Kurstin

Max Martin

Nineteen85

Ricky Reed

 

Best pop duo/group performance

“Closer” — The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey

“7 Years” — Lukas Graham

“Work” — Rihanna featuring Drake

“Cheap Thrills” — Sia Featuring Sean Paul

“Stressed Out” — Twenty One Pilots

“Culcha Vulcha” — Snarky Puppy

 

Best rock performance

“Joe (Live From Austin City Limits)” — Alabama Shakes

“Don’t Hurt Yourself” — Beyoncé featuring Jack White

“Blackstar” — David Bowie

“The Sound of Silence (Live On Conan)” — Disturbed

“Heathens” — Twenty One Pilots

 

Best metal performance

“Shock Me” — Baroness

“Silvera” — Gojira

“Rotting In Vain” — Korn

“Dystopia” — Megadeth

“The Price Is Wrong” — Periphery

 

Best rock song

“Blackstar” — David Bowie, songwriter (David Bowie)

“Burn the Witch” — Radiohead, songwriters (Radiohead)

“Hardwired” — James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich, songwriters (Metallica)

“Heathens” — Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots)

“My Name Is Human” — Rich Meyer, Ryan Meyer & Johnny Stevens, songwriters (Highly Suspect)

 

Best rock album

“California” — Blink-182

“Tell Me I’m Pretty” — Cage the Elephant

“Magma” — Gojira

“Death of a Bachelor” — Panic! at the Disco

“Weezer” — Weezer

 

Best alternative music album

“22, a Million” — Bon Iver

“Blackstar” — David Bowie

“The Hope Six Demolition Project” — PJ Harvey

“Post Pop Depression” — Iggy Pop

“A Moon Shaped Pool” — Radiohead

 

Best R&B performance

“Turnin’ Me Up” — BJ the Chicago Kid

“Permission” — Ro James

“I Do” — Musiq Soulchild

“Needed Me” — Rihanna

“Cranes In the Sky” — Solange

 

Best traditional R&B performance

“The Three Of Me” — William Bell

“Woman’s World” — BJ the Chicago Kid

“Sleeping With the One I Love” — Fantasia

“Angel” — Lalah Hathaway

“Can’t Wait” — Jill Scott

 

Best R&B song

“Come See Me” — J. Brathwaite, Aubrey Graham & Noah Shebib, songwriters (PartyNextDoor featuring Drake)

“Exchange” — Michael Hernandez & Bryson Tiller, songwriters (Bryson Tiller)

“Kiss It Better” — Jeff Bhasker, Robyn Fenty, John-Nathan Glass & Natalia Noemi, songwriters (Rihanna)

“Lake by the Ocean” — Hod David & Musze, songwriters (Maxwell)

“Luv” — Magnus August Høiberg, Benjamin Levin & Daystar Peterson, songwriters (Tory Lanez)

 

Best urban contemporary album

“Lemonade” — Beyoncé

“Ology” — Gallant

“We Are King” — King

“Malibu” — Anderson .Paak

“Anti” — Rihanna

 

Best R&B album

“In My Mind” — BJ the Chicago Kid

“Lalah Hathaway Live” — Lalah Hathaway

“Velvet Portraits” — Terrace Martin

“Healing Season” — Mint Condition

“Smoove Jones” — Mya

 

Best rap performance

“No Problem” — Chance the Rapper featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz

“Panda” — Desiigner

“Pop Style” — Drake featuring the Throne

“All the Way Up” — Fat Joe & Remy Ma featuring French Montana & Infared

“That Part” — Schoolboy Q featuring Kanye West

 

Best rap/sung performance

“Freedom” — Beyoncé featuring Kendrick Lamar

“Hotline Bling” — Drake

“Broccoli” — D.R.A.M. featuring Lil Yachty

“Ultralight Beam” — Kanye West featuring Chance the Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & the-Dream

“Famous” — Kanye West featuring Rihanna

 

Best rap song

“All the Way Up” — Joseph Cartagena, Edward Davadi, Shandel Green, Karim Kharbouch, Andre Christopher Lyon, Reminisce Mackie & Marcello Valenzano, songwriters (Fat Joe & Remy Ma featuring French Montana & Infared)

“Famous” — Chancelor Bennett, Ross Birchard, Ernest Brown, Andrew Dawson, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Kejuan Muchita, Patrick Reynolds, Kanye West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Kanye West featuring Rihanna)

“Hotline Bling” — Aubrey Graham & Paul Jefferies, songwriters (Drake)

“No Problem” — Chancelor Bennett, Dwayne Carter & Tauheed Epps, songwriters (Chance the Rapper featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz)

“Ultralight Beam” — Chancelor Bennett, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Kirk Franklin, Noah Goldstein, Samuel Griesemer, Terius Nash, Jerome Potter, Kelly Price, Nico “Donnie Trumpet” Segal, Derek Watkins, Kanye West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Kanye West featuring Chance the Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & the-Dream)

 

Best rap album

“Coloring Book” — Chance the Rapper

“And the Anonymous Nobody” — De La Soul

“Major Key” — DJ Khaled

“Views” — Drake

“Blank Face LP” — Schoolboy Q

“The Life of Pablo” — Kanye West

 

Best country solo performance

“Love Can Go to Hell” — Brandy Clark

“Vice” — Miranda Lambert

“My Church” — Maren Morris

“Church Bells” — Carrie Underwood

“Blue Ain’t Your Color” — Keith Urban

 

Best country duo/group performance

“Different For Girls” — Dierks Bentley featuring Elle King

“21 Summer” — Brothers Osborne

“Setting the World On Fire” — Kenny Chesney & P!nk

“Jolene” — Pentatonix featuring Dolly Parton

“Think of You” — Chris Young With Cassadee Pope

 

Best country song

“Blue Ain’t Your Color” — Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey & Steven Lee Olsen, songwriters (Keith Urban)

“Die a Happy Man” — Sean Douglas, Thomas Rhett & Joe Spargur, songwriters (Thomas Rhett)

“Humble and Kind” — Lori McKenna, songwriter (Tim McGraw)

“My Church” — busbee & Maren Morris, songwriters (Maren Morris)

“Vice” — Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)

 

Best country album

“Big Day In a Small Town” — Brandy Clark

“Full Circle” — Loretta Lynn

“Hero” — Maren Morris

“A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” — Sturgill Simpson

“Ripcord” — Keith Urban

 

Best New Age album

“Orogen” — John Burke

“Dark Sky Island” — Enya

“Inner Passion” — Peter Kater & Tina Guo

“Rosetta” — Vangelis

“White Sun II” – White Sun

 

Best improvised jazz solo

“Countdown” — Joey Alexander, soloist

“In Movement” — Ravi Coltrane, soloist

“We See” — Fred Hersch, soloist

“I Concentrate On You” — Brad Mehldau, soloist

“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” — John Scofield, soloist

 

Best jazz vocal album

“Sound of Red” — René Marie

“Upward Spiral” — Branford Marsalis Quartet With Special Guest Kurt Elling

“Take Me to the Alley” — Gregory Porter

“Harlem On My Mind” — Catherine Russell

“The Sting Variations” — The Tierney Sutton Band

 

Best jazz instrumental album

“Book of Intuition” — Kenny Barron Trio

“Dr. Um” — Peter Erskine

“Sunday Night at the Vanguard” — The Fred Hersch Trio

“Nearness” — Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau

“Country For Old Men” — John Scofield

 

Best large jazz ensemble album

“Real Enemies” — Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society

“Presents Monk’estra, Vol. 1” — John Beasley

“Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music of the Beatles” — John Daversa

“All L.A. Band” — Bob Mintzer

“Presidential Suite: Eight Variations On Freedom” — Ted Nash Big Band

 

Best Latin jazz album

“Entre Colegas” — Andy González

“Madera Latino: A Latin Jazz Perspective on the Music of Woody Shaw” — Brian Lynch & Various Artists

“Canto América” — Michael Spiro/Wayne Wallace La Orquesta Sinfonietta

“30” — Trio Da Paz

“Tribute to Irakere: Live In Marciac” — Chucho Valdés

 

Best gospel performance/song

“It’s Alright, It’s OK” — Shirley Caesar featuring Anthony Hamilton

“You’re Bigger [Live]” — Jekalyn Carr

“Made A Way [Live]” — Travis Greene

“God Provides” — Tamela Mann

“Better” — Hezekiah Walker

 

Best contemporary Christian music performance/song

“Trust In You” — Lauren Daigle

“Priceless” — For King & Country

“King of the World” — Natalie Grant

“Thy Will” — Hillary Scott & the Scott Family

“Chain Breaker” — Zach Williams

 

Best gospel album

“Listen” — Tim Bowman Jr.

“Fill This House” — Shirley Caesar

“A Worshipper’s Heart [Live]” — Todd Dulaney

“Losing My Religion” — Kirk Franklin

“Demonstrate [Live]” — William Murphy

 

Best contemporary Christian music album

“Poets & Saints” — All Sons & Daughters

“American Prodigal” — Crowder

“Be One” — Natalie Grant

“Youth Revival [Live]” — Hillsong Young & Free

“Love Remains” — Hillary Scott & the Scott Family

 

Best roots gospel album

“Better Together” — Gaither Vocal Band

“Nature’s Symphony In 432” — The Isaacs

“Hymns” — Joey+Rory

“Hymns and Songs of Inspiration” — Gordon Mote

“God Don’t Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson” — (Various Artists)

 

Best Latin pop album

“Un Besito Mas” — Jesse & Joy

“Ilusión” — Gaby Moreno

“Similares” — Laura Pausini

“Seguir Latiendo” — Sanalejo

“Buena Vida” — Diego Torres

 

Best Latin rock, urban or alternative album

“ilevitable” — ile

“L.H.O.N. (La Humanidad O Nosotros)” — Illya Kuryaki & the Valderamas

“Buenaventura” — La Santa Cecilia

“Los Rakas” — Los Rakas

“Amor Supremo” — Carla Morrison

 

Best regional Mexican music album (including Tejano)

“Raíces” — Banda El Recodo De Cruz Lizárraga

“Hecho A Mano” — Joss Favela

“Un Azteca En El Azteca, Vol. 1 (En Vivo)” — Vicente Fernández

“Generación Maquinaria Est. 2006.” — La Maquinaria Norteña

“Tributo A Joan Sebastian Y Rigoberto Alfaro” — Mariachi Divas De Cindy Shea

 

Best tropical Latin album

“Conexión” — Fonseca

“La Fantasia Homenaje A Juan Formell” — Formell Y Los Van Van

“35 Aniversario” — Grupo Niche

“La Sonora Santanera En Su 60 Aniversario” — La Sonora Santanera

“Donde Están?” — Jose Lugo & Guasábara Combo

 

Best American roots performance

“Ain’t No Man” — The Avett Brothers

“Mother’s Children Have a Hard Time” — Blind Boys of Alabama

“Factory Girl” — Rhiannon Giddens

“House of Mercy” — Sarah Jarosz

“Wreck You” — Lori McKenna

 

American roots music

“Alabama at Night” — Robbie Fulks

“City Lights” — Jack White

“Gulfstream” — Roddie Romero and the Hub City All-Stars

“Kid Sister” — The Time Jumpers

“Wreck You” — Lori McKenna

 

Best Americana album

“True Sadness” — The Avett Brothers

“This Is Where I Live” — William Bell

“The Cedar Creek Sessions” — Kris Kristofferson

“The Bird & the Rifle” — Lori McKenna

“Kid Sister” — The Time Jumpers

 

Best bluegrass album

“Original Traditional” — Blue Highway

“Burden Bearer” — Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

“The Hazel and Alice Sessions” — Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands

“North By South” — Claire Lynch

“Coming Home” — O’Connor Band With Mark O’Connor

 

Best traditional blues album

“Can’t Shake This Feeling” — Lurrie Bell

“Live at the Greek Theatre” — Joe Bonamassa

“Blues & Ballads (A Folksinger’s Songbook: Volumes I & II)” — Luther Dickinson

“The Soul of Jimmie Rodgers” — Vasti Jackson

“Porcupine Meat” — Bobby Rush

 

Best contemporary blues album

“The Last Days of Oakland” — Fantastic Negrito

“Love Wins Again” — Janiva Magness

“Bloodline” — Kenny Neal

“Give It Back to You” — The Record Company

“Everybody Wants a Piece” — Joe Louis Walker

 

Best folk album

“Silver Skies Blue” — Judy Collins & Ari Hest

“Upland Stories” — Robbie Fulks

“Factory Girl” — Rhiannon Giddens

“Weighted Mind” — Sierra Hull

“Undercurrent” — Sarah Jarosz

 

Best regional roots music album

“Broken Promised Land” — Barry Jean Ancelet & Sam Broussard

“It’s a Cree Thing” — Northern Cree

“E Walea” — Kalani Pe’a

“Gulfstream” — Roddie Romero and the Hub City All-Stars

“I Wanna Sing Right: Rediscovering Lomax In the Evangeline Country” —  (Various Artists)

 

Best reggae album

“Sly & Robbie Presents … Reggae For Her” — Devin Di Dakta & J.L

“Rose Petals” — J Boog

“Ziggy Marley” — Ziggy Marley

“Everlasting” — Raging Fyah

“Falling Into Place” — Rebelution

“SOJA: Live In Virginia” — SOJA

 

Best world music album

“Destiny” — Celtic Woman

“Walking In the Footsteps Of Our Fathers” — Ladysmith Black Mambazo

“Sing Me Home” — Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble

“Land Of Gold” — Anoushka Shankar

“Dois Amigos, Um Século De Música: Multishow Live” — Caetano Veloso & Gilberto Gil

 

Best children’s album

“Explorer Of the World” — Frances England

“Infinity Plus One” — Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

“Novelties” — Recess Monkey

“Press Play” — Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could

“Saddle Up” — The Okee Dokee Brothers

 

Best comedy album

“… America … Great …” — David Cross

“American Myth” — Margaret Cho

“Boyish Girl Interrupted” — Tig Notaro

“Live at the Apollo” — Amy Schumer

“Talking For Clapping” — Patton Oswalt

 

Best musical theater album

“Bright Star”

“The Color Purple”

“Fiddler On the Roof”

“Kinky Boots”

“Waitress”

 

Best compilation soundtrack for visual media

“Amy” (Various Artists)

“Miles Ahead” (Miles Davis & Various Artists)

“Straight Outta Compton” (Various Artists)

“Suicide Squad” (Collector’s Edition) (Various Artists)

“Vinyl: The Essentials Season 1″ (Various Artists)

 

Best score soundtrack for visual media

“Bridge of Spies” — Thomas Newman, composer

“Quentin Tarantino’s the Hateful Eight” — Ennio Morricone, composer

“The Revenant” — Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto, composers

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” — John Williams, composer

“Stranger Things Volume 1″ — Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, composers

“Stranger Things Volume 2” — Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, composers

 

Best song written for visual media

“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” — Max Martin, Shellback & Justin Timberlake, songwriters (Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel, Walt Dohrn, Ron Funches, Caroline Hjelt, Aino Jawo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse & Kunal Nayyar)

“Heathens” — Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots)

“Just Like Fire” — Oscar Holter, Max Martin, P!nk & Shellback, songwriters (P!nk)

“Purple Lamborghini” — Shamann Cooke, Sonny Moore & William Roberts, songwriters (Skrillex & Rick Ross)

“Try Everything” — Mikkel S. Eriksen, Sia Furler & Tor Erik Hermansen, songwriters (Shakira)

“The Veil” — Peter Gabriel, songwriter (Peter Gabriel)

 

Best instrumental composition

“Bridge of Spies (End Title)” — Thomas Newman, composer

“The Expensive Train Set (An Epic Sarahnade For Double Big Band)” — Tim Davies, composer

“Flow” — Alan Ferber, composer

“L’Ultima Diligenza Di Red Rock”  Versione Integrale — Ennio Morricone, composer

“Spoken at Midnight” — Ted Nash, composer

 

Best arrangement, instrumental or a cappella

“Ask Me Now” — John Beasley, arranger

“Good Swing Wenceslas” — Sammy Nestico, arranger

“Linus & Lucy” — Christian Jacob, arranger

“Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds” — John Daversa, arranger

“We Three Kings” — Ted Nash, arranger

“You And I” — Jacob Collier, arrange

 

Best arrangement, instruments and vocals

“Do You Hear What I Hear?” — Gordon Goodwin, arranger (Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band Featuring Take 6)

“Do You Want To Know a Secret” — John Daversa, arranger (John Daversa Featuring Renee Olstead)

“Flintstones” — Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier)

“I’m a Fool to Want You” — Alan Broadbent, arranger (Kristin Chenoweth)

“Somewhere (Dirty Blvd)” (Extended Version) — Billy Childs & Larry Klein, arrangers (Lang Lang Featuring Lisa Fischer & Jeffrey Wright )

 

Best recording package

“Anti” (Deluxe Edition) — Ciarra Pardo & Robyn Fenty, art directors (Rihanna)

“Blackstar” — Jonathan Barnbrook, art director (David Bowie)

“Human Performance” — Andrew Savage, art director (Parquet Courts)

“Sunset Motel” — Sarah Dodds & Shauna Dodds, art directors (Reckless Kelly)

“22, A Million” — Eric Timothy Carlson, art director (Bon Iver)

 

Best boxed or special limited edition package

“Edith Piaf 1915-2015” — Gérard Lo Monaco, art director (Edith Piaf)

“401 Days” — Jonathan Dagan & Mathias Høst Normark, art directors (J.Views)

“I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It” (Box Set) — Samuel Burgess-Johnson & Matthew Healy, art directors (The 1975)

“Paper Wheels” (Deluxe Limited Edition) — Matt Taylor, art director (Trey Anastasio)

“Tug of War” (Deluxe Edition) — Simon Earith & James Musgrave, art directors (Paul McCartney)

 

Best album notes

“The Complete Monument & Columbia Albums Collection” — Mikal Gilmore, album notes writer (Kris Kristofferson)

“The Knoxville Sessions, 1929-1930: Knox County Stomp” — Ted Olson & Tony Russell, album notes writers (Various Artists)

“Ork Records: New York, New York” — Rob Sevier & Ken Shipley, album notes writers (Various Artists)

“Sissle and Blake Sing Shuffle Along” — Ken Bloom & Richard Carlin, album notes writers (Eubie Blake & Noble Sissle)

“Waxing the Gospel: Mass Evangelism & the Phonograph, 1890-1900” — Richard Martin, album notes writer (Various Artists)

 

Best historical album

“The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series, Vol.12” (Collector’s Edition) (Bob Dylan)

“Music Of Morocco From the Library of Congress: Recorded By Paul Bowles, 1959” (Various Artists)

“Ork Records: New York, New York” (Various Artists)

“Vladimir Horowitz: The Unreleased Live Recordings 1966-1983” (Vladimir Horowitz)

“Waxing the Gospel: Mass Evangelism & the Phonograph, 1890-1900” (Various Artists)

 

Best engineered album, non-classical

“Are You Serious” — Tchad Blake & David Boucher, engineers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer (Andrew Bird)

“Blackstar” — David Bowie, Tom Elmhirst, Kevin Killen & Tony Visconti, engineers; Joe LaPorta, mastering engineer (David Bowie)

“Dig In Deep” — Ryan Freeland, engineer; Kim Rosen, mastering engineer (Bonnie Raitt)

“Hit N Run Phase Two” — Booker T., Dylan Dresdow, Chris James, Prince & Justin Stanley, engineers; Dylan Dresdow, mastering engineer (Prince)

“Undercurrent” — Shani Gandhi & Gary Paczosa, engineers; Paul Blakemore, mastering engineer (Sarah Jarosz)

 

Producer of the year, non-classical

Benny Blanco

Greg Kurstin

Max Martin

Nineteen85

Ricky Reed

 

Best remixed recording

“Cali Coast” (Psionics Remix) — Josh Williams, remixer (Soul Pacific)

“Heavy Star Movin’” (staRo Remix) — staRo, remixer (The Silver Lake Chorus)

“Nineteen Hundred Eighty-Five” (Timo Maas & James Teej Remix) — Timo Maas & James Teej, remixers (Paul McCartney & Wings)

“Only” (Kaskade x Lipless Remix) — Ryan Raddon, remixer (Ry X)

“Tearing Me Up” (RAC Remix) — André Allen Anjos, remixer (Bob Moses)

“Wide Open” (Joe Goddard Remix) — Joe Goddard, remixer (The Chemical Brothers)

 

Best surround sound album

“Dutilleux: Sur Le Même Accord; Les Citations; Mystère De L’instant & Timbres, Espace, Mouvement” — Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, surround mix engineers; Dmitriy Lipay, surround mastering engineer; Dmitriy Lipay, surround producer (Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony)

“Johnson: Considering Matthew Shepard” — Brad Michel, surround mix engineer; Brad Michel, surround mastering engineer; Robina G. Young, surround producer (Craig Hella Johnson & Conspirare)

“Maja S.K. Ratkje: And Sing …” — Morten Lindberg, surround mix engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround mastering engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround producer (Maja S.K. Ratkje, Cikada & Oslo Sinfonietta)

“Primus & the Chocolate Factory” (5.1 Surround Sound Edition) — Les Claypool, surround mix engineer; Stephen Marcussen, surround mastering engineer; Les Claypool, surround producer (Primus)

“Reflections” — Morten Lindberg, surround mix engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround mastering engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround producer (Øyvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene)

 

Best engineered album, classical

“Corigliano: The Ghosts of Versailles” — Mark Donahue & Fred Vogler, engineers (James Conlon, Guanqun Yu, Joshua Guerrero, Patricia Racette, Christopher Maltman, Lucy Schaufer, Lucas Meachem, LA Opera Chorus & Orchestra)

“Dutilleux: Sur Le Même Accord; Les Citations; Mystère De L’Instant & Timbres, Espace, Mouvement” — Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, engineers (Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony)

“Reflections” — Morten Lindberg, engineer (Øyvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene)

“Shadow of Sirius” — Silas Brown & David Frost, engineers; Silas Brown, mastering engineer (Jerry F. Junkin & the University Of Texas Wind Ensemble)

“Shostakovich: Under Stalin’s Shadow  Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9” — Shawn Murphy & Nick Squire, engineers; Tim Martyn, mastering engineer (Andris Nelsons & Boston Symphony Orchestra)

 

Producer of the year, classical

Blanton Alspaugh

David Frost

Marina A. Ledin, Victor Ledin

Judith Sherman

Robina G. Young

 

Best orchestral performance

“Bates: Works for Orchestra” — Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony)

“Ibert: Orchestral Works” — Neeme Järvi, conductor (Orchestre De La Suisse Romande)

“Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 In B-Flat Major, Op. 100” — Mariss Jansons, conductor (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra)

“Rouse: Odna Zhizn; Symphonies 3 & 4; Prospero’s Rooms” — Alan Gilbert, conductor (New York Philharmonic)

“Shostakovich: Under Stalin’s Shadow – Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9” — Andris Nelsons, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra)

 

Best opera recording

“Corigliano: The Ghosts of Versailles” — James Conlon, conductor; Joshua Guerrero, Christopher Maltman, Lucas Meachem, Patricia Racette, Lucy Schaufer & Guanqun Yu; Blanton Alspaugh, producer (LA Opera Orchestra; LA Opera Chorus)

“Handel: Giulio Cesare” — Giovanni Antonini, conductor; Cecilia Bartoli, Philippe Jaroussky, Andreas Scholl & Anne-Sofie von Otter; Samuel Theis, producer (Il Giardino Armonico)

“Higdon: Cold Mountain” — Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor; Emily Fons, Nathan Gunn, Isabel Leonard & Jay Hunter Morris; Elizabeth Ostrow, producer (The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra; Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program for Singers)

“Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro” — Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; Thomas Hampson, Christiane Karg, Luca Pisaroni & Sonya Yoncheva; Daniel Zalay, producer (Chamber Orchestra of Europe; Vocalensemble Rastatt)

“Szymanowski: Król Roger” — Antonio Pappano, conductor; Georgia Jarman, Mariusz Kwiecień & Saimir Pirgu; Jonathan Allen, producer (Orchestra of the Royal Opera House; Royal Opera Chorus)

 

Best choral performance

“Himmelrand” — Elisabeth Holte, conductor (Marianne Reidarsdatter Eriksen, Ragnfrid Lie & Matilda Sterby; Inger-Lise Ulsrud; Uranienborg Vokalensemble)

“Janáček: Glagolitic Mass” — Edward Gardner, conductor; Håkon Matti Skrede, chorus master (Susan Bickley, Gábor Bretz, Sara Jakubiak & Stuart Skelton; Thomas Trotter; Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Bergen Cathedral Choir, Bergen Philharmonic Choir, Choir of Collegium Musicum & Edvard Grieg Kor)

“Lloyd: Bonhoeffer” — Donald Nally, conductor (Malavika Godbole, John Grecia, Rebecca Harris & Thomas Mesa; the Crossing)

“Penderecki Conducts Penderecki, Volume 1” — Krzysztof Penderecki, conductor; Henryk Wojnarowski, choir director (Nikolay Didenko, Agnieszka Rehlis & Johanna Rusanen; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Warsaw Philharmonic Choir)

“Steinberg: Passion Week” — Steven Fox, conductor (The Clarion Choir)

 

Best chamber music/small ensemble performance

“Fitelberg: Chamber Works” — ARC Ensemble

“Reflections” — Øyvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene

“Serious Business” — Spektral Quartet

“Steve Reich” — Third Coast Percussion

“Trios From Our Homelands” — Lincoln Trio

 

Best classical instrumental solo

“Adams, J.: Scheherazade.2” — Leila Josefowicz; David Robertson, conductor (Chester Englander; St. Louis Symphony)

“Daugherty: Tales of Hemingway” — Zuill Bailey; Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor (Nashville Symphony)

“Dvořák: Violin Concerto & Romance; Suk: Fantasy” — Christian Tetzlaff; John Storgårds, conductor (Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra)

“Mozart: Keyboard Music, Vols. 8 & 9” – Kristian Bezuidenhout

“1930’s Violin Concertos, Vol. 2” – Gil Shaham; Stéphane Denève, conductor (The Knights & Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra)

 

Best classical solo vocal album

“Monteverdi” — Magdalena Kožená; Andrea Marcon, conductor (David Feldman, Michael Feyfar, Jakob Pilgram & Luca Tittoto; La Cetra Barockorchester Basel)

“Mozart: The Weber Sisters” — Sabine Devieilhe; Raphaël Pichon, conductor (Pygmalion)

“Schumann & Berg” — Dorothea Röschmann; Mitsuko Uchida, accompanist

“Shakespeare Songs” — Ian Bostridge; Antonio Pappano, accompanist (Michael Collins, Elizabeth Kenny, Lawrence Power & Adam Walker)

“Verismo” — Anna Netrebko; Antonio Pappano, conductor (Yusif Eyvazov; Coro Dell’Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia; Orchestra Dell’Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia)

 

Best classical compendium

“Daugherty: Tales of Hemingway; American Gothic; Once Upon A Castle” — Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Tim Handley, producer

“Gesualdo” — Tõnu Kaljuste, conductor; Manfred Eicher, producer

“Vaughan Williams: Discoveries” — Martyn Brabbins, conductor; Andrew Walton, producer

“Wolfgang: Passing Through” — Judith Farmer & Gernot Wolfgang, producers; (Various Artists)

“Zappa: 200 Motels – The Suites” — Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor; Frank Filipetti & Gail Zappa, producers

 

Best contemporary classical composition

“Bates: Anthology of Fantastic Zoology” — Mason Bates, composer (Riccardo Muti  & Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

“Daugherty: Tales of Hemingway” — Michael Daugherty, composer (Zuill Bailey, Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony)

“Higdon: Cold Mountain” — Jennifer Higdon, composer; Gene Scheer, librettist (Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Jay Hunter Morris, Emily Fons, Isabel Leonard, Nathan Gunn & the Santa Fe Opera)

“Theofanidis: Bassoon Concerto” — Christopher Theofanidis, composer (Martin Kuuskmann, Barry Jekowsky & Northwest Sinfonia)

“Winger: Conversations With Nijinsky” — C. F. Kip Winger, composer (Martin West & San Francisco Ballet Orchestra)

 

Best music video

“Formation” — (Beyoncé) Melina Matsoukas, video director; Nathan Scherrer, video producer

“River” — (Leon Bridges) Miles Jay, video director; Dennis Beier, Allison Kunzman & Saul Levitz, video producers

“Up & Up” — (Coldplay) Vania Heymann & Gal Muggia, video directors; Juliette Larthe & Natan Schottenfels, video producers

“Gosh” — (Jamie XX) Romain Gavras, video director; Iconoclast, video producers

“Upside Down & Inside Out” — (OK Go) Damian Kulash Jr. & Trish Sie, video directors; Melissa Murphy & John O’Grady, video producers

 

Best music film

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: Steve Aoki — Justin Krook, video director; Brent Almond, Matt Colon, David Gelb, Ryan Kavanaugh, Happy Walters & Matthew Weaver, video producers

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week the Touring Years —  Ron Howard, video director; Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Scott Pascucci & Nigel Sinclair, video producers

Lemonade — Beyoncé Knowles Carter & Kahlil Joseph, video directors; Beyoncé Knowles Carter, video producer

The Music of Strangers — Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble Morgan Neville, video director; Caitrin Rogers, video producer

American Saturday Night: Live From the Grand Ole Opry — George J. Flanigen IV, video director; John Burke & Lindsey Clark, video producers

And Now Here’s a Truly MAJOR Nominee for Outstanding New Artist by the NAACP Image Awards

The California Rocker Q and A with The Musician Known as MAJOR

By DONNA BALANCIA

DB: How does it feel to be recognized as a nominee for Outstanding New Artist by The NAACP Image Awards?

MAJOR: It feels amazing. I’m thankful.

DB: Do you think it takes more than talent to make it in music today? 

MAJOR: Absolutely, it may sound cliche but ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING. The talent may get you there but good character can keep you there.

DB: When did you first know you had what it takes? 

MAJOR: I’ve always believed I had “IT” (not perfect but great) from a young age … I just learned not everyone will get it at the same time – so I kept it excellent and just gave it time. Now more of the world is taking notice and I’m thankful for that.

DB: What role has the church played in your musical growth and inspiration? 

MAJOR: The essence of church is at my core. I learned the power of faith, belief, and unity from the church. Got NOTHING but love for the church. Always will.

DB: Who are your mentors? 

MAJOR: I get inspiration from any one who’s WINNING. I’m always taking notes. But the most recent heroes of my today are Elvin Ross (film composer) and Stevie Wonder (the legend). Mr. Wonder for obvious reasons including his recent public support of my career and Elvin Ross for all of the wisdom he gives me. I’m grateful. Like for real.

DB: What advice would you give a young musician today?

MAJOR: Keep it champion. That means excellent in every way possible. The world won’t be able to deny you.

 

NAACP Image Awards FAQ: The two-hour awards ceremony will be broadcast live from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium at 9 P.M. ET PT tape-delayed on Saturday, Feb. 11 on TV One.  A live 90-minute red carpet pre-show, co-hosted by Terrence J and Nischelle Turner, will begin at 7:30 pm.

LeBron James will be presented with the NAACP Jackie Robinson Sports Award, and Harvard Law professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. will be honored with the NAACP Chairman’s Award.

Other presenters are yet to be announced, as is this year’s NAACP Entertainer of the Year. Reginald Hudlin and Phil Gurin are the executive producers. Co-executive producers are Kimmie H. Kim and Byron Phillips. Tony McCuin is the director and Robin Reinhardt is the talent producer.

 

Going Abstract with Ty Segall: Southern California Rocker Rips in Three Sold Out Nights at Teragram LA

Josh Homme and Pals Support Segall’s Rockin Show

By DONNA BALANCIA

Night Three of Ty Segall at The Teragram Ballroom was even better than the rest as fans and friends crowded into the sold out house to see the master of the abstract do his rockin thing.

Promoting his new album, Drag City, Ty brought on some new tunes as well as some old favorites — he’s the only musician we can think of who puts his set list on tissue paper.

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo of Ty Segall © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty has only gotten better with age and cuts an impressive figure calling to mind all the greats — is there any genre of music this guy can’t play?  If Paul McCartney, Neil Young and The Stooges had a baby it would be Ty.

Ty’s new album Drag City is one for the collection. Check out the single”Break a Guitar.”

Ty Segall and the Signature Blend

His signature blend of avant garde that mixes with punk, garage and the blues — there are even times when Stevie Ray Vaughn comes to mind — blows the crowd away. Crowd surfing and moshing go hand in hand with Ty’s shows.  People even feel comfortable enough to jump on stage with him and announce their birthdays, as is what happened last night.

But there was no time for chit chatting and socializing, except maybe backstage where Josh Homme and his wife were among the music pals who made a visit to their longtime friend.

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty Segall: ‘One of the Best’

“I’ve seen Ty a bunch of times and every time he’s great,” said a fan who drove up from whence Ty hails — the county of Orange. “He’s one of the best out there.”

The fans don’t overexaggerate.  It’s Ty’s sixth session at Teragram Ballroom since it opened, employees estimate, and he’s probably the closest thing to a house band the DTLA music staple has.

The toilet paper set list was punctuated with some standards as well as new tunes, all of which left the crowd of all ages stunned and stammering.

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

We particularly liked his style of dress — sort of a dark Mariachi style resplendent with red flowers adorning the arms, his flying blonde hair and moves like Elvis a stark contrast.   But isn’t the contrast that what it’s all about with Ty?

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty Segall at Teragram Ballroom - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty Segall at Teragram Ballroom – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty Segall tuning - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty Segall tuning – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

PHOTOS: An Evening With the Photographic Greats Richard Young and Chris Cuffaro in West Hollywood

By DONNA BALANCIA

They have captured greatness, these rock photographers, but tonight Richard Young and Chris Cuffaro were the center of attention. Young’s show, “Rebels” was held at the Leica Store in LA and Cuffaro held an exhibit at Gibson’s Tower Records.

© Donna Balancia

From Rebels to Greatest Hits

Ranging from Marvin Gaye to The Sex Pistols, Young’s exhibit showed the inner rebellious spirit of the musicians he shot primarily in the early 1980s.  It was a time of transition for many with music moving into the disco era, as his photographs — taken in the dance clubs of New York City  and beyond showed.

As for Cuffaro, whose event was punctuated with performances by emerging bands and appearances by other photographers notably Henry Diltz, the 1990s was his heyday. In addition to Pearl Jam, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and NXS, Cuffaro captured a range of artists whose legacies continue on.

Sweet Relief was supporting and President Bill Bennett and Executive Director Rob Max were on hand.

For more information on Richard Young, check out his page.  Chris Cuffaro has a website where all his work is displayed as well.

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

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© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

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© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

Ray Goren, Young Blues Guitar Phenom, Talks Technology and Fond Memories of Leon Russell

Goren takes Leon Russell’s Advice — And Their Music — Into the Future

By DONNA BALANCIA

Ray Goren is bringing the blues into the future.

The 16-year-old blues guitar phenom is using technology to deliver his remarkable blues message.

“I will never abandon the blues because it’s in my soul,” said Ray, who will bring his wailing blues guitar sound to Genghis Cohen Feb 18. “The blues is more than a style of music.”

Ray has a talent that few come by naturally. With the support of his family, at his young age he has become something of a blues legend in Southern California and beyond, playing with the best of them. Including the late Leon Russell.

Ray Goren is doing what mentor Leon Russell would want: He's making great music - Photo by Donna Balancia

Ray Goren is doing what mentor Leon Russell would want: He’s making great music – Photo by Donna Balancia

Leon Russell ‘Was Like Family’

Ray’s guitar work is so profound, he caught the ear of the late music legend Leon Russell and became Leon’s protege. Russell died last November at the age of 74.

“Leon became like our own family,” said Ray’s father, David. “Ray and Leon co-wrote and recorded songs and Leon invited Ray to Nashville. I asked him why he took my son under his wing and he said, ‘We have to pass on the traditions.'”

David said Leon and Ray spent a week in Nashville and met every morning in the studio. They would work and write all day. They wrote a few songs together, and they have not been released yet.

Leon started playing music with Ray and they shared emails back and forth. Leon would give his opinion.

Ray has taken his blues guitar work one step further. He’s using looper pedals, electronic keyboards and electronic drums to modernize his craft.

Donna Balancia photo Leon Russell

Leon Russell passed away last November at the age of 74 – Photo © Donna Balancia

 

Ray Goren: Blues with Tech

Ray played a recent show at Genghis Cohen that showed his mastery of looper pedals as well as keyboards and his phenomenal blues guitar work.  He debuted some amazing new songs of love and life that are way beyond the mindset of his young years. He learned some of the tricks of the trade from Leon.

“Leon taught me how to write lyrics,” Ray said. “There’s a lot he taught me about songwriting. He taught me if the song doesn’t come to me, or if I take longer than 10 or 15 minutes, I should move on. Last year around this time we were writing together.”

Ray said he has been struggling without his mentor but he is doing what Leon would want him to do: He’s making great music.

Ray Goren and mentor Leon Russell - Photo Donna Balancia

Ray Goren and mentor Leon Russell – Photo Donna Balancia

‘The Blues Is More than Music’

“Leon was one of the greatest,” Ray said. “He was so humble and he was so giving. He was always working on something for other people. He was a great guy with a great sense of humor.”

But does Ray’s newly discovered love of electronic enhancement give him thoughts to abandon the blues?

“I will never abandon the blues,” he said. “The blues is the roots of rock and and a big part of rythm and blues. The blues is more than a type of music, it’s a feeling, it’s in your soul.”

VIDEO Sneak Peek: Lady Gaga Halftime Rehearsals on The Road to the Super Bowl LI in Houston

 

Pepsi is giving fans the ultimate opportunity to win a once-in-a-lifetime Super Bowl experience.

Pepsi, Lady Gaga and the NFL launched the “Guest of Honor” program, offering fans a chance to stand stage-side at the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl Halftime Show. Fans were able to visit www.pepsihalftime.com to enter for a chance to join Lady Gaga on the field watching her perform at one of the biggest pop culture moments of the year.

The Countdown to Halftime continues…

 

‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Music Spins Off New Album: The Reluctant Apostles Record Nears its PledgeMusic Goal

Katey Sagal Band Holds Successful PledgeMusic Campaign

By DONNA BALANCIA

The tough Sons of Anarchy spinoff band, The Reluctant Apostles, has put together a heartwarming debut record that has reached 75 percent of its PledgeMusic goal.

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The Reluctant Apostles: Phil Shenale, Bob Thiele, Katey Sagal, Dave Faragher and Billy Harvey – Photo 2017 Donna Balancia

The Reluctant Apostles are Bob Thiele and with Davey Faragher on bass, Phil Shenale on keyboards, Billy Harvey on guitar, Michael Urbano on drums and Katey Sagal up front. The band is bringing audiences together all over Southern California.

The music can be described as Americana with an edge, as the band rips through some great classics and adds a modern twist. The guitar work, drums, keyboards and bass all work together, the harmonies are amazing and Katey’s voice is out of this world.

The Reluctant Apostles recently played sold out gigs at Don The Beachcomber and at their regular spot Molly Malone’s. See our continuous exclusive coverage of one of the best bands in LA here.

“We came all the way from Indiana to see them,” said Barbara Renfro who brought her whole family to a recent gig. “We love Katey and the band.”

Check out The Reluctant Apostles PLEDGEMUSIC campaign here.

 

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The Reluctant Apostles play a mix of famous as well as infamous covers and it’s done with style – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The talented musicians have a history of dozens of collaborations, hundreds of albums and thousands of concerts together.

The musicians trace their roots back to Sons of Anarchy band The Forest Rangers. They began recording covers and original songs for the hit series not fully realizing it was the start of something special.

Katey Sagal: Beautiful, talented and makes a fun frontwoman - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Katey Sagal: Beautiful, talented and makes a fun frontwoman – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Reluctant Apostles Perform

The Reluctant Apostles have a good time performing. Their music is upbeat and fun and the covers they perform include “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” “The Candyman,” by The Grateful Dead, “My Love Is Getting Stronger,” and their new one, “Never Ending Love for You.”

With The Reluctant Apostles show you not only get great music, but a lot of conversation that runs the gamut with a lot of joking around thrown in. It’s a good time with talented musicians having fun.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com YouTube Channel for more of The Reluctant Apostles.

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The Reluctant Apostles play a gig at Molly Malone’s on Fairfax – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Talent Times Ten

It’s an impressive group. Faragher plays with Elvis Costello and Richard Thompson; Shenale works with Tori Amos and Jane’s Addiction; Harvey works with Patty Griffin and Charlie Mars, Michael Urbano has graced the stages abroad and in the U.S. with Cracker and Smash Mouth, and Thiele has worked with Bonnie Raitt and Mavis and Pop Staples. Katey has been singing all her life, with a range of musicians ranging from family members to superstars and she has built an incredible acting career.

Dave Way is the producer of The Reluctant Apostles debut album.

EXCLUSIVE: Peter Ascher Tells Musicians ‘Don’t Expect To Make Money Unless You’re Ed Sheeran’

Renowned Music Producer and Manager Says Go Solo

By DONNA BALANCIA

Peter Ascher, famed musician and manager of James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt and who worked with The Beatles, said musicians should not be in it for the money, because there is none.

We asked Ascher the question: How do musicians make money today?

“They don’t,” he told CaliforniaRocker.com in an exclusive interview following his NAMM Show keynote address. “You have to do it because you love it.  You have to be Ed Sheeran. He fills Wembley Stadium and does it all by himself.”

Sheeran is known to appear onstage solo, with a loop pedal and a guitar.

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Bob Lefsetz interviews Peter Ascher – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

‘The Reward is in The Work’

Ascher said the reward is in the work. And his work has been particularly enviable, working with The Beatles’ Apple Records, and managing and producing artists such as Taylor and Ronstadt. Helping them create their albums was a thing of joy, Ascher said.

With Ronstadt, he said, “Linda chose a lot of the songs but she liked folk music.  If the songs were more rock, then I picked them.”

Of his first meeting with Ronstadt, Ascher said, “Kate Taylor told me there was this young girl who sang in short shorts and bare feet, and of course she was incredibly hot. I didn’t sign her on the spot because I was working with Kate Taylor, James’ sister. I helped Linda finish ‘Don’t Cry Now’ then I became her manager.”

Peter Ascher on ‘You’re No Good’

With Ronstadt’s superhit, “You’re No Good,” Ascher said he and Ronstadt both loved the song and they were aware it was a bit hit for Betty Everett.

“We played with the arrangement a lot, and we brought in Andrew Gold and he built the song track by track.”

Sweet Baby James was a superhit album in the late 1970s with great songs. How did the tune, “Suite for 20 G,” which was actually a compilation song, come about?

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Creative producing is the key to having the hit records, Peter Ascher tells Bob Lefsetz – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

‘Sweet Baby James’ and The Rise of James Taylor

“James came to me and said, ‘I haven’t got any more songs, they’re fragments,’ so I told him to string them all together.” Ascher said that’s why you can hear three distinctive parts of the song.  And when the song was finished he got the last 20 Gs he was owed.

Ascher said the rise of James Taylor and the famous album Sweet Baby James was a great accomplishment.

“I had James playing every place I could think of,” Ascher said. “He was becoming popular, ‘Fire and Rain’ was the single that would change our lives.’

How did Ascher manage to do it all?

“I don’t sleep much,” he said.

At the moment, Ascher is working with composer Hanz Zimmer, who’s next big gig will be performing at Coachella. Ascher has also been working as music director on the Steve Martin play Bright Star. The Bright Star album is a contender for Best Musical Theater Album GRAMMY Award.

David Bowie in Mexico City: Photog Fernando Aceves Captures ‘The Chameleon’ in Forest Lawn Exhibit

Bowie in Mexico City By Fernando Aceves

By DONNA BALANCIA

David Bowie loved Mexico City and back in 1997, he spent three days with photographer Fernando Aceves touring the city’s historic museums and the pyramids.

Aceves documented the Bowie tour of Mexico City and brings his remarkable photo gallery, David Bowie: Among The Mexican Masters to Forest Lawn Museum.  The exihibit runs from tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 27, through June 15.

Image of David Bowie © Fernando Aceves - courtesy of Forest Lawn Museum

Image of David Bowie © Fernando Aceves – courtesy of Forest Lawn Museum

Bowie In Mexico City

“David’s personality inspired me,” said Aceves, a well-known rock and roll photographer based in Mexico City. “I was always a fan of David’s growing up in Mexico City, but I was more a familiar with his acting like in The Man Who Fell to Earth.

Bowie played his first and only show in Mexico City on October 23, 1997 at the Foro Sol during the world tour to promote his Earthling album. Aceves got the great opportunity to accompany Bowie when the concert promoter asked Aceves to help make Bowie’s tour of Mexico City a success.

David Bowie in Mexican City Masters is on display at Forest Lawn Museum through June - Photos © Fernando Aceves courtesy of Forest Lawn Museum

David Bowie and The Mexican Masters is on display at Forest Lawn Museum through June – Photos © Fernando Aceves courtesy of Forest Lawn Museum

Observing The Masters

The exhibit is revealing, showing a side of the performer mingling with locals, enjoying his tour and taking in the culture. In the images, Bowie blows a conch shell, tours the pyramids and observes the master painters with reverence.

“This exhibit shows the down-to-earth man who felt strong admiration and respect for other cultures from around the world,” said Ana Pescador, director of Forest Lawn Museum. “With David Bowie as their tour guide, we are excited to take visitors on an inspirational tour of Mexico.”

David Bowie In Mexico City: He interacted with the people and observed the culture' said photographer Fernando Aceves - Photo courtesy of Forest Lawn Museum

‘David interacted with the people and observed the culture’ said photographer Fernando Aceves – Photo courtesy of Forest Lawn Museum

Sharing: Bowie in Mexico City Culture

“This is a great opportunity and part of our mission to share the culture of Mexico,” said Rodolfo Saenz, senior vice president of marketing at Forest Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries. “It’s the 1-year anniversary of David Bowie’s passing and we wanted to celebrate his life and legend.

As the two men toured around Mexico City, David would admire the works of such masters as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo while Aceves would casually document the adventure.

David had a wry sense of humor in his approach - Photo © Fernando Aceves

David had a wry sense of humor in his approach – Photo © Fernando Aceves

David Bowie Fitting In

“He would fit into the paintings while he admired them,” Aceves said. “I was as casual as we could be and I never use a flashbulb. David would say, ‘My man doesn’t need any flash.'”

Bowie was on a mission, Aceves said.

“David had many marks in his Mexico guidebook,” Aceves said. “He wanted to write an article for Modern Painter and wanted to see the works of the masters. I don’t think the article was ever published.

“We went to the pyramids and the Palace of Fine Art,” Aceves said.  “He looked at the paintings with great respect. Mostly he observed in silence. I understand why they called him the chameleon. Like with the Diego Rivera painting, he fit into the painting.”

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David Bowie photo exhibit runs through June at Forest Lawn Museum – All photos © Fernando Aceves

‘Actor In a Movie’

“He called me the ‘smudger’ and he referred to himself in the third person,” Aceves said. “He would say ‘You’re taking David to Mexico City.’ He was aware of the character.”

What is the secret to getting such insightful photos?

“I photographed him as an actor in a movie,” Aceves said. “I had to work as simple as the man.”

On Eve of New Record Release, Doubts Remain about the Peculiar 2003 Death of Elliott Smith

Kill Rock Stars to Release ‘Either/Or: Expanded Version’

By DONNA BALANCIA

Lingering doubts and strange revelations about the death of Elliott Smith persist 14 years after his passing.

The subject of Smith’s untimely death emerges again as Kill Rock Stars releases Either/Or: Expanded Edition, out March 10th on 2LP, 2CD, and MP3. Kill Rock Stars released a live recording of Smith’s “Angeles” today.

Elliott Smith - Photo by Constantina for CaliforniaRocker.com

Elliott Smith – Photo by Constantina for CaliforniaRocker.com

 

Justice for Elliott Smith

There are few people who have put in more effort to try to get justice for Smith than photojournalist Alyson Camus.

She has put together a website called Justice for Elliott Smith, that shares information she has canvassed from the police, investigators and friends. Alyson, who has attended many of Smith’s concerts in Los Angeles, has spent years in pursuit of the truth as to what really happened on the night the influential alt artist died.

Photo by Alexis for California Rocker

Photo by Alexis for California Rocker

 

Cops: Elliott Smith Investigation ‘Still Open’

“None of it makes sense,” Camus told CaliforniaRocker.com. “The supposedly self-inflicted stab wounds, many people believe, could not have been done because of the angles.  I am heartbroken by his death and the fact that they say the investigation is still open.  What is being done?”  Check out her site.

Smith built a fanbase in Portland and rose to mainstream attention when his song “Miss Misery,” which was used in the film Good Will Hunting, received a Best Original Song Oscar nod.

On the new release from Kill Rock Stars, listeners can expect many previously unreleased versions of Elliott’s work.

Check out Either/Or: Expanded Edition

EXCLUSIVE: Stevie Wonder and The Story Behind The Facebook Video That Has More Than 3.4 Million Hits

Music Manager Marcy Kraft Captures Stevie Wonder with Performer in Hotel Lobby

By DONNA BALANCIA

When you’re in the music business you never know who you’ll run into … maybe even Stevie Wonder.

Marcy Kraft, a music manager in Hollywood, was walking a young musician from the band “The Villanovas” around the National Association of Music Merchants convention in Anaheim on Saturday when she had a great stroke of good luck.

While strolling through a hotel on property at the convention, she noticed Stevie Wonder enter the lobby and Marcy asked the young musician she was with if he wanted to try and get a photo with Stevie. At that same moment, she saw the performer in the lobby — Grayson Erhard — who without yet seeing Stevie Wonder coincidentally began singing and strumming “Superstition” on his guitar.

“The performer, Grayson, had no clue his life was about to change,” Marcy said. “The audience alerted Grayson that Stevie was there watching and Grayson turned to him and said, ‘I’m sorry Stevie, but I don’t know the words to the second or third verses.’ Next thing you know, Stevie was heading to the stage.”

Stevie Wonder Video

Marcy was already in place with her phone in her hand.

“It was the perfect coincidence,” Marcy said. “The musician just happened to be playing Superstition when Stevie Wonder was walking through the hotel lobby. Stevie was kind enough to stop and join the young man on stage, and even whispered the lyrics to the unknown verses to Grayson. Stevie Wonder is an amazing talent, a joy and a national treasure in any circumstance. But this was such a powerful moment.”

Marcy Kraft Stevie Wonder video hotel California Rocker

Music manager Marcy Kraft with Julian Lennon, Roger Daltrey and Steven Tyler – Photo courtesy of Marcy Kraft for California Rocker

Marcy is fairly active on social media and posts many similar videos. But this is the first one that’s gotten 3.6 million views. The thing that was different this time, is that she set the post to “public.”

“I was hoping that the young musician on stage would somehow find my video so that he could remember this amazing moment,” Marcy said. She never dreamed that the video would hit more than half a million hits by mid-morning and over a million by the end of the day on Monday. But Wednesday it was up to 3.4 million views.

Stevie Wonder Facebook Video

“I got home Saturday night around midnight and figured,’OK I’ll post this video, it’s cute,’ and then by the morning it exploded and I had requests from news outlets,” she said. “I’m glad that I at least identified the performer and linked my video to his page. Stevie Wonder absolutely changes the energy when he enters the room. He’s a faithful visitor each year to the NAMM convention and it was truly a ‘wonder’ to be in his presence.”

Marcy worked at ICM Partners and Live Nation Entertainment before stepping out on her own to help elevate the careers of young artists.

NAMM 2017 Draws Those Who Love Music, Computer Apps, Rocker Style and The Bright Lights

The Music Merchants’ Show of Shows Still a Hit

By DONNA BALANCIA

As music evolves, so does the annual NAMM Show in Anaheim. But one thing remains the same: The music merchants convention is still a true Rock Show.

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At NAMM, you can find rock and roll stars mingling with retailers as they check out the latest cool stuff in music technology, instruments and recording gear. Over the last few years, synthesized music has emerged as the industry leader but traditional instruments and recording techniques are making a comeback.

“I’m a D.J. and I love coming here to check out the latest tech,” said D.J. Jon from Cleveland, Ohio. “But I’ve noticed a lot of the new effects sound a lot like regular instruments, like strings and drums.”

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That could be both good and bad. Traditional instrument manufacturers are having a challenge putting their products into the hands of young people. And there’s the argument that there’s a more penetrable barrier to entry getting into the EDM world than dealing with the steep learning curve of actually taking up a traditional musical instrument.

At NAMM, the guitar, piano and percussion manufacturers are still out in force, but the biggest spaces taken up at NAMM these days are inhabited by audio equipment, recording companies, truss makers and lighting dealers.

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Regardless, the retailers and the fans turn out in droves, despite the cost to get in, despite the rainy weather that had been prevalent except for Saturday, which was sunny and cool. Food trucks line the main entranceway corridor, offering almost every nationality of food vendor — even a reality show winner, Tasting Spoon.

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And all genres of musicians take the main stage outside while rock stars in the making hang out by  the Convention Center. Some true rock and roll characters pack the inside of the adjacent Anaheim Hilton Hotel, where musicians also perform on an interior stage.

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A big highlight Saturday was the keynote by Peter Asher, who gave good advice and regaled he crowds with fabled stories of his work with James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt and The Beatles.

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In other big events during the show, Ronnie Spector was given the She Rocks award on Friday night and Joe Perry was presented with The Les Paul Award by his pal and Hollywood Vampires bandmate Johnny Depp at the TEC Awards on Saturday night.

So while Rock Is Dead, they say, you wouldn’t know it by the packed attendance at this most anticipated convention that each year turns Anaheim into America’s Rock City.

Ronnie Spector to be Honored as the She Rocks Award Recipient at WIMN Gala During NAMM

Photo by MK FEENEY

Ronnie Spector will be presented the 2017 She Rocks Award at the The Women’s International Music Network gala at the Anaheim Hilton during the NAMM Show.

Ronnie’s award is presented by The NAMM Foundation and The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, in honor of her influence on multiple generations of aspiring musicians.

The live awards event takes place on Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Anaheim Hilton Hotel during the NAMM Show. This year’s event will be live streamed at Parade.com/SheRocks.

Ronnie Spector photo courtesy WIMN

Ronnie Spector photo courtesy WIMN

Spector, who is best known as the founder and lead singer of the pioneering female vocal group The Ronettes in the 1960s, joins the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus at NAMM to help celebrate and launch the non-profits’ 20th Anniversary as the featured performer at their annual Imagine Party on January 21st.

The Ronettes’ chart-topping, timeless hits include “Walking in the Rain,” “The Best Part of Breaking Up,” and the number one hit, “Be My Baby.” As a solo artist, she collaborated with diverse artists, and in 1986 teamed up with Eddie Money on the GRAMMY Award-nominated duet, “Take Me Home Tonight.” In 2007, she and The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For more information about Ronnie Spector, visit her website www.ronniespector.com.

“It’s a privilege to be able to recognize someone who has been influencing and inspiring female musicians since the early days of rock and roll,” said Laura Whitmore. “We are very happy to be honoring Ronnie Spector.”

The She Rocks Awards pays tribute to women who display leadership and stand out within the music industry, and has become a standard at the NAMM Show. This year’s award recipients include female industry leaders such as Lita Ford, Shirley Manson, Lisa Foxx, and many more. The event brings together industry professionals, music icons, artists, fans and media to celebrate women in music.

It is the fifth anniversary of the gala this year.

Find out more and purchase tickets at  www.sherocksawards.com.

The 2017 She Rocks Awards is sponsored by Neumann, Gretsch, Seymour Duncan, Avid, PRS Guitars, Roland, Boss, #SaveAGuitar, Breedlove, Marshall Amplification, The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, Zildjian, Guitar Center, MAC Cosmetics, Casio, 108 Rock Star Guitars, Sabian, Linear Integrated Systems, Schecter Guitars, Gator Cases, Berklee College of Music, Martin Guitar, Fishman, The Music People, Tech 21, Korg, Lee Oskar Harmonicas, Dean Markley, KMC Music, LAWIM, Music Inc., Music & Sound Retailer, Music-News.com, Premier Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player, Keyboard, Bass Player, Electronic Musician, Parade magazine, and more.

Blackstar Amps Opens the NAMM Show With a True Rock and Roll Party at Swing House Studios

Jared James Nichols, Sin Quirin and Gus G Rock the House

By DONNA BALANCIA

NAMM Show 2017 got a wild kickoff at Swing House Studios last night as Blackstar Amplification celebrated its 10th anniversary in purely rock and roll style.

Rudy Parris and the blues - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Rudy Parris and the blues – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Swing House Studios was aglow with talent and a happy crowd of friends and customers, drinks and food kept the party cruising until the musicians took the stage.

Jared James Nichols, Sin Quirin of Ministry, Gus G of Ozzy Osbourne, blues guitarist Rudy Parris and the alt band Grit grabbed center stage and put on a true rock show for friends and customers of the U.K.-based Blackstar Amps.

Grit the band - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Grit the band – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Nichols, whose throwback rock and roll style brings fans to their feet, had the crowd yelling and he played a few new tunes and some favorites.  Nichols flying red mane is only eclipsed by his remarkable talent, as his fingers fly up the frets. Check out his Facebook page here.

Not only was it Blackstar’s 10th anniversary, it was the birthday of Paul Hayhoe, Blackstar UK.  Paul did tell the crowd that he was grateful for the support and was thankful to Swing House for the support and he was grateful to the Blackstar USA representative, Loren Molinare. Loren is a great guitar player in his own right and is in several bands including the DoGs of Detroit and Little Caesar. A cake was brought in and presented by Phil Jaurigui and Nichols.

Sin Quirin, who teaches a master class in guitar when he’s not being an elder statesman of rock and roll, blew up the room with a cover of Robin Trower’s “Bridge of Sighs.” Supported by Nichols and his band you can check out Sin’s work in the video below.

Jared James Nichols - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Jared James Nichols – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The humble Parris, whose blues guitar work would make the masters of the genre proud, showed the diversity of his style jamming with the group and taking lead. He played B.B. King and some of the greats, giving a tip of the hat to all the legends. Check out the Rudy Parris website here.

Blackstar Honchos - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Blackstar Honchos – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Gus G. blew the house away with his amazing licks. The talented player has worked with some of the top musicians in the business. He and Nichols’ band worked some magic in the room.

Gus G: All about Rock and Roll - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Gus G: All about Rock and Roll – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Swing House was packed with all sorts of cool people: Andrew and Sean from the Canadian band Charger; Phil Jaurigui and Alexandra Greenberg of Swing House and MSOPR respectively, Blackstar’s Loren Molinare and his wife Julie, and the UK rainmakers from Blackstar Amps. Check out the Blackstar Amps website here.

VIDEO: Check Out Gonzo From Tribal Seeds Live at The Standing Room in Hermosa Beach

VIDEO by DONNA BALANCIA

Gonzo and his crew took the stage at The Standing Room in Hermosa Beach for a one-off show, apart from his band, Tribal Seeds.

It was a cool vibe with a packed house grooving to reggae tunes performed at the low-key beach establishment. Die-hard fans were on hand and there was a lot of dancing going on by performers and the faithful alike.

Check out the exclusive videos here:

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