East Coast Rocker

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EXCLUSIVE SONG PREVIEW: Check Out Flamin’ Groovies ‘Cryin’ Shame’ off New Album, ‘Fantastic Plastic’

By DONNA BALANCIA

Check out a song premiere released exclusively on EastCoastRocker.com and CaliforniaRocker.com by the Flamin’ Groovies, called “Cryin’ Shame.”

The new album is the first time in 38 years the guitarists and songwriters Cyril Jordan and Chris Wilson reunite in the studio. They’re promoting the album with an East Coast tour.

Check out “Cryin’ Shame,” off the soon-to-be-released album, Fantastic Plastic.

‘Fantastic Plastic’

The Flamin’ Groovies have put together an upbeat and intricate punk-pop record with Fantastic Plastic and the record will bow on Sept. 22.

“It was 33 years that we hadn’t seen each other — we’re talking three decades,” Jordan said. “But when we got back together and I started showing him the musical ideas I had for [the new song] ‘End of the World,’ he immediately came up with the second verse. It was as if time and space hadn’t affected us. It was the same as it was back in 1979 when we were writing the songs for ‘Jumpin’ in the Night.’ We went back and locked into that. It’s really amazing.”

In addition to the music, Jordan also contributed the album’s cover illustration: An  homage to Mad magazine veteran Jack Davis’ artwork for the 1959 novelty album Monster Rally.

“I met Jack Davis a couple of years before he died,” Jordan recalled. “I told him, ‘I’ve got a band, I know you’ve done a couple of album covers, and I’d love to have you draw a cover.’ Anyway, Jack died, and I thought, ‘To hell with it, I’ll do Jack.’ You know, I used to work for Walt Disney, doing Mickey Mouse comics back in the ‘80s.”

The Flamin Groovies’ East Coast Gigs

EAST COAST:
Tues., Aug 22  WORCESTER, MA  Ralph’s Diner

Wed., Aug 23  NEW HAVEN, CT  Cafe Nine
Thurs., Aug 24  PHILADELPHIA, PA  Johnny Brenda’s
Fri., Aug 25  BROOKLYN, NY  Rough Trade
Sat., Aug 26  WASHINGTON DC  Hill Country Live
 
EUROPE:
Thurs., Aug. 31  MALMO (SWE)  Moriska Paviljongen
Sat., Sept. 2  ROSKILDE (DK)  Gutter City Festival
Mon., Sept. 4  LA CORUNA (SP)  Garufa Club
Wed., Sept. 6  AVILES (SP)  Niemayer
Thurs., Sept. 7  BILBAO (SP)  Cafe Antzokia
Fri., Sept. 8  MADRID (SP)  Sala Caracol
Sat., Sept. 9  SAIT BOIX (SP)  Festival Altaveu
Tues., Sept. 12  TOULOUSE (FR)  Connexion
Wed., Sept. 14  PARIS (FR)  La Maroquinerie
Fri., Sept. 15  NANCY (FR)  Chez Paulette
Sat., Sept. 16  MONTBELIARD (FR)  Atelier Des Moles
Tues., Sept. 19  MANCHESTER (UK)  Ruby Lounge
Wed., Sept. 20  BRISTOL (UK)  The Fleece
Thurs., Sept. 21  LONDON (UK)  Under the Bridge
Fri., Sept. 22  AMSTERDAM (NL) Q-Factory
Sat., Sept. 23 GRONINGEN (NL) Vera
MIDWEST: 
Thurs., Oct. 19  CHICAGO, IL  S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston
Fri., Oct. 20   NEWPORT, KY  Southgate House Revival
Sat., Oct. 21  CLEVELAND, OH  Beachland Ballroom
Wed., Oct 24  NASHVILLE, TN  Basement East
Thurs., Oct 25  ST. LOUIS, MO  Ready Room
Fri., Oct 26  KANSAS CITY, MO  Knuckleheads
Check out the Flamin’ Groovies playing “Teenage Head” in Los Angeles last year:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7J58BwxaKc

Beloved Classic Rocker Paul Young Tours With Album, ‘Good Thing,’ And Lives in the Present

By DONNA BALANCIA

With all the talk about classic rock these days, we thought we’d post a video or two by one of our favorite “classics,” the heartthrob British performer Paul Young.  He’s a beloved singer who had success in the 1980s but he’s always looking to the future.

In the 1980s is was simple for Paul Young: Which girl to choose - Photo courtesy Paul Young for EastCoastRocker.com

In the ’80s it was simple for Paul Young: Which girl does he choose? – Photo courtesy Paul Young for EastCoastRocker.com

While here in the U.S., everyone has been paying attention to legacy rockers like The Who, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan, Paul Young has been quietly doing his own thing and doing it well.

 

He’s got a great TexMex band called Los Pacaminos, with whom he tours all around Europe, and his latest  album, Good Thing, really is a good thing. Check out Good Thing on iTunes.  Paul is headlining the 80s Invasion Tour in Birmingham, England.

And while Paul has fond memories, he told the Express and Star he’s always wanted to get past being typecast into one era.

“I wasn’t (pleased about that) through the ’90s because I felt like that I was still doing creative stuff,” he said.  “I was moving into different styles, so I thought I was still being creative. But now nearly four decades later it doesn’t seem that bad, I have kind of accepted it.”

 

'Good Thing' is Paul Young's latest work - Photo courtesy Paul Young for EastCoastRocker.com

‘Good Thing’ is Paul Young’s latest work – Photo courtesy Paul Young for EastCoastRocker.com

Good Thing is filled with great songs and like a fine wine, Young’s appearance and voice have matured and grown more full and are still appealing as ever. Check out Paul Young’s website.

 

The song “Stay,” and the immensely successful hit he had with his cover of Hall and Oates’ “Every Time You Go Away,” are indellibly inked in the pages of classic pop-rock history.

We were fortunate to catch him when we stumbled into a Paul Young show in NYC in 1984. And in those days he was more like this:

Paul Young has been a favorite performer with whom to share a stage. He has worked with everyone from David Bowie to Elton John and George Michael. And while he may have gone dark in the states, he’s been quietly making a good living as a musician in the U.K. Here’s to hoping he’ll come stateside soon.

Life of Lemmy Kilmister Celebrated with Statue at Rainbow and Concert at Whisky on Sunset Strip

Would Lemmy Have Loved The Honors on Sunset Strip?

Lemmy Statue

Lemmy Statue takes its permanent home at Rainbow Bar and Grill – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA

SUNSET STRIP – If Lemmy Kilmister were alive, would he have been overwhelmed by events held in his honor on the most famous road in Rock N Roll?

— On Wednesday night hundreds gathered to see the unveiling of a statue created in Lemmy’s image that has a permanent residence at The Rainbow Bar and Grill.

— The night before, Ultimate Jam Night at Whisky A Go Go had a Lemmy Tribute, complete with the regular jam musicians and a few special guests including Tracii Guns and Dug Pinnick of King’s X.

Fan Love for Lemmy

All the festivities were probably more for the fans than for the outrageous Motorhead frontman, but in any event, Lemmy is immortalized now on his beloved Sunset Strip.

“I’m here because I loved Lemmy’s music,” said Debby Cincianella who came from New York City for the unveiling. “Lemmy meant a lot to a lot of people and we want to honor him.”

John Hammer drove all the way from Bakersfield to get the event in time for the presentation.

“I drove like crazy to get here,” he said. “I had to see this.”

READ MORE and SEE MORE PHOTOS at CALIFORNIAROCKER.COM[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”12″ gal_title=”Lemmy”]

‘New York Is Music’ Group Applauds the Empire State Music Production Tax Credit

New York is Music, a coalition of more than 200 music-related organizations, applauds the passage of the Empire State Music Production Tax Credit.

In recent weeks, the group rallied in support of the tax credit, dubbed  A10083A/S7485A, by holding several events.  Among event locations were GCR Audio in Buffalo; Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Rochester; Big Blue North Recording Studio in Utica, and at the Capitol in Albany.

The Albany event brought together musicians, sound engineers, recording studios, and other New York music industry employees.

“New York has always been a global center for music and with this tax credit in place, our state’s music industry will only grow stronger,” said Justin Kalifowitz, co-founder of New York is Music and CEO of Downtown Music Publishing. “Whether it’s a local recording studio in Buffalo or an upstart entrepreneur in Utica, more than 100,000 New Yorkers who work in music will benefit from this important credit.”

New York Music

The Pretty Reckless are among the hot New York bands - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Pretty Reckless are among the hot New York bands – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

“Today is a day for celebration, not just for those of us who have recorded music in New York for decades, but also for the next generation of musicians and engineers. The creative force behind our great music industry – who now have a brighter future ahead,” said Ben Allison, President of The Recording Academy New York Chapter, bassist, producer, and recording artist.

“This tax credit is a win for local economies all across the state that won’t be handicapped anymore in competing for music jobs.”

The credit, sponsored by Senator Martin Golden and Assembly Member Joseph Lentol breaks credits down regionally.

The break provides a 25 percent tax credit for eligible production-related costs for downstate music businesses and a 35 percent tax credit for production-related costs for upstate music businesses, similar to the state’s film tax credit.

To be eligible, costs must be related to job creation, including studio rental fees; instrument and equipment rental fees; production session fees for musicians, programmers, engineers, and technicians; mixing and mastering services; local transportation; expenditures directly related to music production and provided at or to the site for the production of music videos. The program is capped at $25 million per year.

 

The Who Hits 50! Tour Continues Going Strong Throughout East Coast

The Who Hits 50! Tour East Coast Rocker

The Who Hits 50! Tour makes 20 stops in the East – logo provided by AEG Live

By DONNA BALANCIA – The Who celebrate “The Big Five O” with a North American Tour that kicked off April 15 in Tampa and hits 20 locations in the East. 

The Who’s West Coast swing of The Who Hits 50! tour will return to the U.S. on May 15 in Seattle when the band returns from Canada dates.

Tickets are available at www.thewho.com.  The tour is presented by AEG Live.

Special VIP packages are available. As the show is sponsored by Citi, Citicard members can buy tickets. For more information on Citicard, go to www.citiprivatepass.com.

The Who released a greatest hits album collection, The Who Hits 50!,  through Geffen-Universal Music Enterprises.  The recording includes tunes from The Who’s early days, when the band was called The High Numbers, through today.

The Who has sold more than 100 million records since the band was formed in 1964.  Two of the original band members, Keith Moon and John Entwistle passed away.

The Who Hits 50! Tour:

The Who

Martha Davis And The Motels Take The East Coast

By DONNA BALANCIA

Martha Davis And The Motels are playing dates on the East Coast, so there’s no excuse not to see this great band.

MARTHA DAVIS AND THE MOTELS TOUR DATES

The group, comprised of younger as well as more veteran artists, puts on a show with range that gives the audience laughs, good vibes, reminiscences, and new sounds.

Martha’s voice is strong, her performance is passionate and the sound is sincere.  When speaking to visitors backstage, she talks about her band members with respect.

It’s clear she cherishes them, in particular her longtime friend Marty Jourard, who’s been with her since the days of LA’s Madame Wong’s in the late 1970s.

The Motels includes Jourard on sax and piano; Nicholas Johns on keyboards; Brady Wills on bass; Clint Walsh on lead guitar and Eric Gardner on drums.

Martha Davis and The Motels Tour

Martha’s connections to musicians in the towns where she plays, also makes for some fun special appearances.

At a recent show in Los Angeles, Martha invited Cars keyboardist Greg Hawkes, on stage, where he sat in for some tunes, and brought out the Ukelele for a performance of “Call Me” with Martha and Marty.

But the lady is still the star of the show.  She’s looking slim and she’s enjoying herself.

Martha’s voice is unwavering and strong, her performance is passionate, and the sound is sincere.  When speaking to visitors backstage, she talks about her bandmembers with respect.

The Motels includes Jourard on sax and piano; Nicholas Johns on keyboards; Brady Wills on bass; Clint Walsh on lead guitar and Eric Gardner on drums. Seeing Martha Davis And The Motels is one of those presents to give yourself that will start the year off on many good notes.

The group plays New York and Connecticut dates through mid-April, then they’re off to Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

For more information, or for tickets go to Martha Davis And The Motels website.

## #MarthaDavis ###

Richard Hell to host Filmmaker Kelly Reichardt at Symphony Space

Richard Hell by East Coast Rocker

Richard Hell photo by Inez and Vinhood

NEW YORK CITY — Richard Hell hosts filmmaker Kelly Reichardt at the Thalia on Dec. 4 for a screening of her film Meek’s Cutoff, a story of betrayal and survival set in 1845 on the Oregon frontier.  The film stars Michelle Williams.

In reviewing the film, Hell writes: “Kelly Reichardt is brave and stubborn.  Like the characters in her film, she’s determined to find her way to beautiful, sustaining new territories and she knows she can only rely on her own instincts and judgement to figure out, moment by moment, how to get there.”

For more information go to Symphony Space.

 

 

PREVIOUS

Richard Hell on Lydia Loveless: ‘Her Music Makes Me Cry’

By DONNA BALANCIA — Richard Hell has never been one to shy away from raw emotion.

But the punk rock icon and current-day writer says the music of young Lydia Loveless makes him — well, wistful.

“Lydia is the only current singer-songwriter the power of whose music and voice consistently makes me cry,” Hell said of Loveless who performs at the Symphony Space Thalia theater tomorrow night.

Richard Hell’s Thalia Series

Hell curates a performance series called “Night Out with Richard Hell” for Symphony Space in New York City.

Lydia Loveless has managed to impress Hell because of her words and genuine approach to the music.  A native of Columbus, Ohio, the modern country performer and her band are making waves in the music scene.

She is among several young artists Hell interviews during his ongoing series at Symphony Space.

Hell’s series of interviews and performances take place in an intimate setting at Thalia.  His upcoming shows in the series include:

Ariana Reines, Friday, Nov. 14

Filmmaker Kelly Reichart, Thursday, Dec. 4

Musician Donald Cummning, Feb. 12, 2015

“I’m curating and hosting a series of events at Symphony Space for which I’ve dragooned one youngish artist per evening to sit still to be interviewed on stage by me before he or she performs,” Hell said.  “The interviews will be 25-30 minutes and the performances 45-50 minutes.”

Hell said he selected the Thalia theater for the cozy setting, as the theater has 168 seats.

“The main thing though is that all these people are interesting and talented and this is a unique chance to see them so intimately,” Hell said.

Since Hell retired from music in 1984, he has written two books and a series of articles for a range of magazines and media outlets.

For additional information on Richard Hell or any of the artists he interviews through the Symphony Space series click here.

 

 

 

California Rocker gets ‘Best Blog’ Nom by LA Press

California Rocker wins nomination by LA Press Club

California Rocker, the sister publication of East Coast Rocker tabs LA Press Club nom. Logo © by Donna Balancia

LOS ANGELES — California Rocker, the West Coast-based sister publication of East Coast Rocker, has been nominated for Best Entertainment Blog by the Los Angeles Press Club, it was announced Friday night.

Produced by Donna Balancia, California Rocker covers emerging musicians and established rockers in the Golden State.

“It’s a challenging era in which to be a journalist, as it is to be a musician,” said Donna, who also produces East Coast Rocker.  “The nomination to Best Entertainment Blog in our first year of operation means a lot, especially coming from such an illustrious panel of editors.”

California Rocker serves the need of underserved musicians, who today more than ever, need the support of publications and music publicity.

“Musicians give their all to their audiences and receive nothing in return, especially in the early years,” said Donna.  “Some musicians don’t receive recognition until late in the game.  If you have music we should hear, please contact California Rocker.”

The Los Angeles Press Club holds its annual awards ceremony on Nov. 23 at The Biltmore in downtown Los Angeles.  For more information go to the Los Angeles Press Club website.

Replacements Tour Hits New York, Tempe and Austin

Replacements Tour returns to New York

Photo courtesy of Replacements website

NEW YORK CITY — If you missed The Replacements Tour 20 years ago, your worries are over.

The band considered one of the first “alternative” groups, is returning to New York this Friday after some triumphant gigs.

The Replacements Tour

The Replacements played their home state of Minnesota and gave a knockout appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon the other night.

After the New York concert at Forest Hills, The Replacements tour will play Summer Ends Music Festival on Sept. 27 in Tempe, Ariz. and two weekends of the Austin City Limits Festival on Oct. 5 and Oct. 12 in Austin.

The Replacements were first formed in 1978 as the band Dog’s Breath.  The original band was comprised of guitarists Paul and Tom Stinson, lead singer Paul Westerberg and drummer Chris Mars. The band’s first album was Sorry Ma I Forgot To Take Out the Trash, released in 1981 and the band embarked on its first U.S. Tour in 1983.  The Replacements broke up in 1991, but reunited for a Replacements tour in 2012.

For tickets and more information on The Replacements, check out their website. 

 

The East Coast Rocker Interview: Johnny Winter a Humble Blues Innovator

Johnny Winter is a Grammy-nominated producer and blues historian

Johnny Winter is a Grammy-nominated producer and blues historian – Graphic courtesy of Johnny Winter

 By DONNA BALANCIA

Guitar Great is ‘Just having fun again.’

Johnny Winter has learned to become a great teacher — and a student — of time’s lessons.

In an interview originally published last fall, Johnny Winter told editor Donna Balancia all about his likes and dislikes and his climb back to the top of the Rock N Roll charts.

“I never knew my career would last this long, but I sure hoped for it,” said Winter, who at the age of 69, has survived a finicky musical landscape to emerge as one of history’s most well-respected blues artists.

Sporting his signature long white hair, cowboy hat, and characteristically cool demeanor, Winter sat down with EAST COAST ROCKER to chat about his career.

Winter, a Blues Foundation Hall of Fame inductee, is a Grammy-nominated producer, known for his work with blues greats like Muddy Waters.  The famously fair-haired, Texas-bred blues buff and older brother to rocker Edgar Winter, has come through dark times to reach the light-heartedness that now marks his personal life and his musical career.

His relationships have been an important factor to get him and keep him healthy, in particular his friendship with guitarist Paul Nelson, who has been one of the most significant people in his life.

Check out Johnny Winter on Late Night

Check out Johnny Winter on Late Night

“Johnny’s a blues historian,” said Nelson, Winter’s bandmate and manager. “He’s not the kind of guy who’s going to listen to Pavarotti. He’s cemented to the blues.  He not only plays it, he knows the blues.”

Nelson has helped Winter instill a healthy lifestyle to keep touring and recording.

“It’s been a long road, but he’s sober now, he’s smiling now and his vocals are clear,” Nelson said. “There was a time that there was so much that came so fast, like in the 1970s, it was when he went from blues to rock. Then through the 1990s he had a rough time.

“I met Johnny in 2000, he had been a recluse,” Nelson said. “His management was not up to date.  I firmly believe that when you’re young you need older management, when you’re older you need young management.”

Winter has become a new man since turning the corner and quitting drinking and partying.

“No, I don’t do any of that anymore,” Winter said. “I’m not drinking or doing drugs. If I didn’t quit, I wouldn’t be alive today.  This was my choice.  I’ve been clean for 10 years.”

Winter lives in Connecticut, but has fond memories of his home town of Beaumont, Texas, where as a kid he did a lot of fishing, he said.

“There are some really great parts of Texas,” Winter said. “My folks aren’t alive, so I don’t have much cause to go back there too much these days.”

The Screamin' Demon is at it again

The Screamin’ Demon is at it again

His business and personal interests have diversified over the years.  He’s even come out with his own signature hot sauce called “Screamin’ Demon Hot Sauce.”

While he said he is encouraged that young people today are getting into the blues, for the most part, he said, he’s not too fond of the “sound of today.”

“I hate the new music,” he said. “I just do.”

His touring keeps him busy, and promoting his album, “Roots,” has been a labor of love, Winter said.  It’s through his touring and promoting the blues that he stays in touch with the fun in life.

“These are the songs I heard when I was first getting into my music,” he said. “It’s just real good music.”

Back in the day, the average age of fans at a Johnny Winter concert was 20, today the average age is 55. He is appreciative of his fan support.

“When my fans come talk to me they always say things like, ‘I’ve been listening to your music for 40 years,'” he said. “And let me tell you, that’s a pretty good feeling.”

Glastonbury Loves Dolly

Dolly PartonDolly Parton’s arrival to the Glastonbury stage sends festival-goers into a musical frenzy. Even the local newspaper couldn’t resist the temptation to have a little fun with the Tennessee-born songwriter-performer-actress. Dolly will always be a powerhouse in the music industry and in our lives.

Chrissie Hynde and John McEnroe Take to the Airwaves

By DONNA BALANCIA — Chrissie Hynde and John McEnroe love to have fun, and the two pals hosted BBC6 Music Sunday. While Hynde waxed philosophical about musicians and their histories, McEnroe won over the audience with his well-known self-deprecating humor.

The topic?  Hits and Misses in Music.

Among the Hits?

– Oasis –  “But I think they could have been a lot bigger,” McEnroe said.

“They didn’t tour America, they always had  a fight and came home, shades of the Kinks,” Hynde said. “They’re just one of those great bands that didn’t quite get to where they could have been,” McEnroe said.

 – Morrissey –  “… a guy who actually left his band, well, the band split up and he went to on to become more magnificent and successful, ” said Hynde.

“You don’t think The Smiths could have been bigger had Morrissey stayed in the band …” asked McEnroe. “They could have been bigger, definitely,” Hynde agreed.

The misses came mostly by virtue of McEnroe’s social blunders, he said.

On meeting a living legend:  “…He asked me two questions,” McEnroe said. “He said to me ‘I hear you’re a good guitar player…’  But I had to tell the truth, ‘No I’m not good.’  The other thing he said is, ‘I hear you’re a great basketball player, you can dunk a basketball…’ and I had to again tell Bob Dylan that in fact I couldn’t dunk a basketball and he walked away in disgust and he’s never spoken to me since.”

Another time that was a miss involved a faux pas he recalled to Hynde:

“…That time you brought me back, the only people in the room were you, George Harrison and George Harrison’s son Donnie, Bob Dylan and there was one other person who I didn’t recognize at first… God I wish I didn’t say  ‘I’m John McEnroe, who are you?’ and he said ‘I’m Bozo the Clown’ and it was Van Morrison.  And on that note we’re gonna  play ‘Tangled Up in Blue’ because that’s how I felt, ‘Tangled Up in Blue,’ after screwing that up.”

Hynde and McEnroe seemed to disagree on the influence the Velvet Underground had on music.

“What good band wasn’t influenced by the Velvet Underground? I saw the Velvet Underground,”  said Hynde.

“I met Lou,” said McEnroe of the late Lou Reed, “He was a New York icon and we talked about doing a radio show.”

Hynde said: “He was more of an intellectual than you.”

“He made me seem like a nice guy, he was a little irritable,” McEnroe said.

 

 

Tom DiCillo and The Black and Blue Orkestre Build Bridges with New Album

Tom DiCillo Black and Blue Orkestre East Coast Rocker Interview

—Tom DiCillo: Music plays a leading role in all his work — All photos courtesy of Tom DiCillo

With Bandmates Will Crewdson and Grog Rox, Trio Collaborates on Trans-Atlantic Recording

NEW YORK CITY — It’s been a few years since we’ve spoken to Tom DiCillo, writer and director of such films as Johnny Suede, Living in Oblivion, and the compelling 2009 documentary about The Doors, When You’re Strange. But paths always cross again and we sat down for a Q and A with the director, an East Coast Rocker in his own right.

Fresh off the release of his unique album Hurt Me Tender, recorded with his band The Black and Blue Orkestre, DiCillo shares his opinion on music, film, and on life, as told by one of the few truly independent filmmakers and artists around.  This is Part One of a three-part series.

Hurt Me Tender  is a complex and reflective collection of songs DiCillo  created with his band mates Grog Rox and Will Crewdson. The threesome is known as The Black & Blue Orkestre.

DiCillo sat down to talk with ECR Editor Donna Balancia.

ECR: Tom, I’m extremely happy to catch up with you. In reviewing your work, it’s obvious that you love and respect music. You’ve written and directed films about aspiring musicians, accomplished musicians, and you’ve even collaborated with established musicians.  Now you have an album of your own. How have your Hollywood experiences influenced your music, in particular the Black and Blue Orkestre’s album Hurt Me Tender?

TD: I’ve actually had very few Hollywood experiences. But I do know this;  Hollywood is about power and the perception of power. People telling you what to do, and when you can do it. So, picking up the guitar every now and then is a salvation. It’s a direct connection to something creative.  And you can do it whenever you want to.

Black and Blue Orkestre Tom DiCillo Donna Balancia

Trans-Atlantic Trio: Will Crewdson, Grog Rox, Tom DiCillo

ECR: The Black and Blue Orkestre is a really unique ensemble — and the assembly of the music when all three partners in the band don’t live anywhere near each other is extremely compelling.  How did this happen?

TD: Hurt Me Tender came out of a 5-year collaboration that started with me and UK guitarist Will Crewdson. We connected when my film Delirious was opening in the UK and Will sent me an email saying how much he liked the film. He mentioned his musical tastes and somehow that prompted me to send him the first song I’d ever really sung, my version of “16 Tons.” Will liked my voice and laid down some amazing guitar tracks.

This began our electronic trans-Atlantic collaboration. Eventually I sent him some songs that I had written and again Will added greatly to them with his guitar. Up until that time all the bass and drums were programmed by me. It was Will’s idea to bring in Grog, bass player and lead vocalist for her own group Die So Fluid. I would sketch out a mix with my vocal, Will’s guitar and a basic drum track and send it to Grog in LA. She composed and recorded a bass track and sent it back. Soon, this was how we were doing all our songs.

Will Crewdson was inspired by the films of Tom DiCillo - East Coast Rocker Interview

Will Crewdson

Finally, we had about 12 originals and I just said ‘Let’s see if we can at least get them out there as some sort of album.’ I didn’t have the time to try and get a label interested. But, I thought that all that work should at least be gathered together as some kind of finished product. So, the whole effort became finishing the songs we’d been working on for five years and making them sound like they’d all come from the same musical moment of inspiration. And finally, at the end of 2013, we got them all mastered and released them via Ditto Music.

As of this date we have never performed live together in the same room, city, country or continent.

Frozen Sunset Video by Tom DiCillo and Black and Blue Orkestre

Grog Rox in Frozen Sunset Video

ECR: I love “Shoe Shine Shuffle,” “Frozen Heartache,” “Whiskey Promise” and of course, “Hurt Me Tender.” There is such a sense of longing and adventure at the same time. Can you describe the storylines behind each of these great songs?  What inspired each of them?

TD: There is a vein of something personal in each of the songs. I find I can’t write music (or a film) that doesn’t have some deeper connection for me. All the songs originated out of some simple musical idea. With “Shoe Shine Shuffle” it was a guitar lick that the lyrics, “There’s a word for it,” attached themselves to. As the song developed it took on the idea that all of us have at times prostituted ourselves. It is the way of the world. Some of us do it by choice, most of us are forced into it by circumstance. But, to judge someone for this is idiotic–almost as idiotic as thinking that only “bad” people do this. In some form or another, everybody’s done it. It is especially true in the film business.

Shoe Shine Shuffle BBO East Coast Rocker

Shoe Shine Shuffle by the Black and Blue Orkestre

TD: Great songs are like really good short films to me; the music conveys something that brings both visual and emotional layers. I like words and phrases that also create a distinct emotional world. “Frozen Heartache” is about a woman who is obsessed with a man who could care less about her and she keeps telling another guy all about her torment. She’s so consumed by her obsession she never sees that this other guy is in love with her. I’ve been there. It was Grog’s idea to add her voice on the chorus, “Everybody knows” and I think it adds a spooky, kind of gothic 50’s touch.

Frozen Heartache Black and Blue Orkestre

Frozen Heartache by Black and Blue Orkestre on Soundcloud

“Hurt Me Tender” is the last song I wrote for the album. It started as a kind of latin/gypsy chord progression; something Elvis may have done in the early 60’s, like “It’s Now Or Never.” The title is actually a reference to Elvis, but bent slightly into the psychological realm approaching the masochistic. It’s about a guy who is drawn to a woman whose joy and beauty cover a fear of the world that renders her helpless–and at times exceedingly cruel. I’ve found this combination to be a powerful aphrodisiac for people, especially men.

TD: Your words “longing and adventure” about these songs are very interesting. They imply a certain say, sadness or melancholy at the same time some kind of unexpected drama. I think that’s a good description of what we tried to do with the album. The songs are about people that have come up against some of the shoves and collisions in life. And like all of us, they have the bruises to show for it. That’s one of the reasons the group is called The Black & Blue Orkestre.

ECR: You are attracted to the music of Link Wray, who has a credit on your first film, Johnny Suede.  Is Link Wray a big influence for the BBO?

TD: Yes. I’ve always been impressed by what he brought to the amplified guitar. I like anybody who is genuinely trying something. And somehow, you can always feel it when it’s real.

 

END TOM DiCILLO #BlackandBlueOrkestre PART ONE

Hartley Peavey to Retailers: Get Passionate

‘Know your product, service the customer, improve the sales experience’

Hartley Peavey, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Peavey Electronic Corp. said sales expertise, customer service and product knowledge are critical to survival of the music retailer today.

How should retailers proceed going into the future? Should the music retailers lobby congress?

“If you’re waiting for the government to come to the rescue forget it,” Peavey advised.  “It’s insane to expect that you’re going to get help from on high. We’ve been spectacularly unsuccessful.”

Hartley Peavey, East Coast Rocker Donna Balancia

Hartley Peavey has an educated opinion. You can ask for it. – photos courtesy of Peavey

Peavey’s stern comments came during a panel discussion at the 2014 NAMM Show.  East Coast Rocker editor Donna Balancia was in the front row.

“I talk to dealers every day, but I want to spend a minute talking about survival for the retail music dealer.

“I went to my first NAMM show in 1954.  I like to ask questions. ‘Mr. Dealer in this value chain what is it that you do? What do you add to the formula? What is your reason for being?’ (He’ll respond) ‘I have trained people,’ which is a lie 98 percent of the time.

“They ignore retailing 101. We’re all consumers. Every day we make decisions where to spend money. When you distill it down, what (the music retailers are) telling you is they’re delivery boys.  The best damn delivery boys are the guys driving those big brown trucks if you compete with them, you will lose.

“So the answers are within you but only if you ask questions. By the way that’s the way you learn stuff, you ask questions. Every one of you retailers . What do you add to the value chain?

“I’m a big believer in education, we started our education program 30 years ago. You go in most retail music dealers they don’t know what the hell they’re selling. How are you going to sell things the customer knows more about than you?

“Your salvation is not with some congressional body, the answer to your future is within you. You’ve got to be willing to rise to the occasion. Music is one of the few things people will fight you over. If you happen to be a country music fan, and the guy sitting next to you is saying bad things about country music you want to give him a knuckle sandwich.

“You’ve got to make the experience of coming into your store a pleasant one.

“One of the things that’s wrong is we want to be everything to everybody. There is no way in hell you can know the features advantages and benefits of more than three or four products.  Are you demo-ing your products that way?

“The internet is not going to go away. It’s here and it’s going to get more pervasive.  Decide now what you’re going to do.

“Selling is not a noun. Retail is not a noun, it’s a verb. The government is not going to save your butt, they’ll kick it if you give them half a chance.

“Education on the retail music sales floor today, it’s at the lowest point ever. If we don’t do something to change that, I don’t know what’s going to happen.

“You’ve got to ask questions.  As a music industry we have done a lousy ass job of promoting ourselves. We’ve gotta ask the important questions to allow us to survive.  You better get back involved in selling with passion. We help people realize their dreams.

“A good salesman helps people realize their goals, objectives and their dreams. We’re in the dream business whether we realize it or not.

“Do things you can’t do by mail. Do installations. Do service. But here he is, in your store. He’s in your store.”

Donna Balancia is editor of East Coast Rocker and California Rocker.  Email her at editor@eastcoastrocker.com

2014 Glastonbury Fest Live Updates

An eclectic mix of performers hit the stage at the 2014 Glastonbury Festival and check here for live updates.

Blondie, Arcade Fire, Dolly Parton and Robert Plant are among the performers at the annual event.

For more information go to the Glastonbury website.

Slash, Vince Neil, Alice Cooper Rock and Raise $525 G for MSA Research

Slash, Vince Neil, Alice Cooper, East Coast Rocker, Photo with permission by Truscello

Slash, Vince Neil and Alice Cooper were among rockers at the Kerry Simon benefit in Vegas – Truscello/Wire Image

By DONNA BALANCIA — LAS VEGAS — Slash, Vince Neil and Alice Cooper were among top names from the music world who gathered this past week in Las Vegas to help raise money for MSA Research.

The Keep Memory Alive benefit was held on behalf of chef Kerry Simon, who has been battling the effects of the debilitating affliction Multiple System Atrophy since his diagnosis last year.

About 450 guests attended, raising nearly $525,000 towards MSA clinical care and research.

Others on hand were Sammy Hagar, Bill Murray, Todd Rundgren, Matt Sorum, J.D. Fortune, Lisa Loeb and Billy Duffy, all backed by the Las Vegas band, Sin City Sinners.

END EAST COAST ROCKER SLASH ALICE COOPER STORY

Bob Ezrin: ‘The Future of Music Depends on the Quality of Music’

Ezrin has worked with the heavy hitters of the music world including Alice Cooper, Lou Reed and Peter Gabriel.

Ezrin has worked with the heavy hitters of the music world including Alice Cooper, Lou Reed and Peter Gabriel.

Industry must call music ‘art.’  After all, Ezrin says, ‘A rose by any other name would NOT smell as sweet’ — 

By DONNA BALANCIA – ANAHEIM – Legendary producer Bob Ezrin told music retailers Thursday that the industry must continue to build its talent pool in order to thrive.

Prior to his keynote address to kick off the 2014 National Association of Music Merchants Show in Anaheim, Ezrin told East Coast Rocker that the more time the industry wastes worrying about ancillary issues, the less time it will spend on its most critical function:  To inspire and educate.

“If we spend time worrying about things like how to get the music out, the less time we will have to make insanely good music,” Ezrin told East Coast Rocker prior to delivering his speech at the annual event that draws thousands of industry members from around the world.

His morning keynote speech drew an audience of several hundred music retailers, many of whom forged through rough winter weather to attend the conference in sunny Southern California.

Using cool-sounding words doesn’t cut it for Canadian-born Ezrin, whose experience with “cool” is vast, having worked with hundreds of top musicians since the 1970s.

“When we talk about the future of making music, we have to watch the language we use,” Ezrin said.  “Someone said to me, ‘It’s about the ‘content.‘  No it’s not. ‘Content’ is for cereal boxes, not the art. If it’s called ‘content,’ you diminish the value down to breakfast cereal…When you talk about it with mist in your eyes …Now you’re talking about music.”

Ezrin spends much of his time in philanthropy.  He is co-founder with Garth Richardson and Kevin Williams of Nimbus School of Recording Arts in Vancouver.

Ezrin implores the music industry to use terminology carefully.

Ezrin implores the music industry to use terminology carefully.

Another word Ezrin can’t stand: “Monetization.”

“I don’t want to talk about business models, or the ‘monetization’ of anything, that’s a dirty word.  Unless what we make is great, nobody’s going to pay for it. ”

How will the industry make money?

“The best thing we can be doing is insure a march to excellence, to empower, inspire, to promote people who are straining to do something unique,” Ezrin said. “And to encourage them. Music is the very special creation of very special people whose entire lives and everything they’ve ever done, seen, felt or touched goes into what they do. That process is magical.”

Ezrin said: “There is a certain amount of technique involved. So how do we become insanely great? One of the things to do, whenever you set out on a journey, you need to make a list of things Not to Do, and a list of things To Do.  One of the things to do is to make a ‘Not to do’ list.”

Ezrin warned not to “Get caught up in toys, tricks, technology, packaging, positioning or any of those things before you have something to market,” he said.

Our society is perhaps too caught up in “chasing cool,” or “the latest” in tech and that viral or other song phenomena will happen without that tech factor most of the time, he said. Using the success of the catchy “Who Let The Dogs Out,” as an example, Ezrin said, “I’m sure that person was not sitting at a computer screen or at a conference like this.”

Ezrin, a prolific producer, devotes much of his time now to music philanthropy.

Ezrin devotes much of his time now to music philanthropy. Photo courtesy of Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Ezrin said: “At the end of the day when somebody like Psy comes around, it travels around the world.” He said, the market is “extremely rational. The stuff of real value does get supported and earns something for somebody. And the stuff that’s not so good, typically doesn’t.”

He said formulas don’t count, unless you’re making a widget and what happened before won’t predict the future.

“Art is only something artists can manage,” said Ezrin. “A craftsman is someone who can create and build code .. And an artist is someone who creates something that is different.

He said: “A rose by any other name would not  smell as sweet. If you called roses ‘kumquats’ it would not be the same.”

The music, and not the “content” or the calling it of such, is the key.

“It’s not technology or modality of delivery, it is the special creation of special people that especially touches the hearts of others,” that should be the concern of the industry.

The first line of offense in inspiring youths of today to take up an instrument is to put down the smart phone, Ezrin said.

“Kids, they hear things and kids are incredibly curious, thoughtful about what they see, even with their heads down things get in,” he said. “You need to inspire and educate.  Take them to a concert.  They may be on (the smart phone) but they internalize and maybe they’ll say, ‘I want to do that.”

On Todd Rundgren’s Les Paul Award: ‘We’ve Been Waiting So Long’

Todd Rundgren in 1981 - Photo courtesy Eric Gardner

Todd Rundgren in 1981 – Photo courtesy Eric Gardner

By DONNA BALANCIA — Todd Rundgren will receive the Les Paul Award at the National Association of Music Merchants Show, and fans say it’s been a long time coming.

Todd will be presented with the award at the 29th annual Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards during NAMM for his several decades performing and writing music, his producing skills, and continued experimentation in electronic music.

The award recognizes outstanding achievement in professional audio technology and production and will be presented Friday, Jan. 24 at the Anaheim Hilton.

Todd’s recordings ranging from “Hello It’s Me,” and “Can We Still be Friends,” to the Boomer vacation theme “Bang The Drum All Day,” are known to the masses.  His consistently interesting and artistic live performances may be known to fewer.

But how is it that this prolific musician and producer of such talents as Rick Derringer, Hall and Oates, Patti Smith, Grand Funk Railroad and Meat Loaf could go all these years without a nod from his colleagues?

Maybe, we’re told, Todd just didn’t clap loud enough at the right times. Or for the right people.

Utopia: Todd Rundgren, Willie Wilcox, Roger Powell and Kasim Sultan

Utopia: Todd Rundgren, Willie Wilcox, Roger Powell and Kasim Sultan

Besides, Todd doesn’t have time to deal with professional politics, because he’s too busy giving back.

Like the time he and his band Utopia performed during the benefit at South Street Seaport in New York City to raise money after Derringer’s instruments had been stolen. Even robotic Roger Powell stiffly glanced up from his keyboard through wrap-around shades to blurt into the microphone in his monotone voice: “It’s a beautiful thing.”

Over the years Todd’s shows have always included some kind of suprise: New wave jumpsuits, a cool new version of a classic like Debussy’s “Bolero,”  or a techie treat.

One year we saw Todd play a San Diego stage all alone with two projection screens on either side that simultaneously broadcast his unplugged session.  It appeared as if he did all the adjustments and fine-tuning himself, and, it sure didn’t sound like he was up on stage by himself.  The audience was enraptured – the guy sitting next to me admitted his admiration and love for Todd, and alternated between swooning and weeping during the show.

Innovative tech sounds can be heard on Todd’s recordings. But technology infrastructure is something that made him a standout. Todd licensed an I-Pad-like slate to Apple years prior to anything similar, and he established a distribution model based on “interactivity” — long  before the word became the mantra of Northern California’s Silicon Valley.

But sometimes, Todd’s adventures in technology are misunderstood.

Todd Rundgren: Trying technology and more.

Todd Rundgren: Trying technology and more.

As Bugs Bunny once remarked, “They laughed at the guy who discovered Penicillin,” and there may have similarly been a giggle when Todd held a press conference for last spring’s release, STATE, via an online Google Hangout session, sporting some fancy glasses.

But it is an evolving era as Todd says, and he’s been happy with his laptop and software.  But now his new music innovation will come through a different type of interactivity.

He and Michele are investing time and efforts into their latest mission: Spirit of Harmony Foundation.

“The purpose is to provide support and funding to school programs and other sorts of organizations who are trying to bring music to people who don’t have it,” said Todd, “Especially in terms of learning how to play instruments, learning how to understand what music is all about and having the opportunity to express yourself through that medium.”

UPDATE:  Check out the newly created website for the Spirit of Harmony Foundation

Heard on the Red Carpet at the 56th annual Grammy Awards:

News and Notes from Music’s biggest week: For a complete list of winners go to www.grammy.com

Taylor Swift, whose appearance on the music scene is important to everyone in the music industry, accepts her first Grammy Award.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis discuss how overwhelmed they are to perform at Grammy Awards

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis discuss how overwhelmed they are to perform at Grammy Awards – photo courtesy Grammy.com

Metallica’s Lars Ulrich tells Macklemore & Ryan Lewis — who will perform for the first time at the Grammys — to “Look at everybody, make eye contact” in order not to be nervous. “I don’t think you guys will have any issues.”—

Macklemore made a point to Grammy interviewers: “I am grateful to the Grammys for giving us the opportunity to promote against homophobia and be allies to people loving whoever they want to love.”

Ryan Lewis said, ” I remember when we made that song imaging how impactful it could be, I never imagined it would end up on this stage.”

Dave Grohl and Paul McCartney - photo courtesy of Grammy.com

Dave Grohl and Paul McCartney – photo courtesy of Grammy.com

Grohl: “Pick up a Guitar”

Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, a supporter of music education, tells red carpet interviewers the best way to get involved in music is to “Pick up a guitar and just play.”  It doesn’t matter if it’s expensive or not and, in fact, he said, the sound doesn’t have to be perfect either. “Just play,” he said.

Getting Music into the Schools

Getting music into the schools was the theme of the National Association of Music Merchants 2014 NAMM Show, with a range of artists, managers and music merchants discussing the evolution — and the challenges — of music education.

“We have to break the barriers and get the music to the populations can benefit the most from it,” said Robin Walenta, CEO of West Music and the first woman to sit on the executive committee of NAMM.

Walenta recalled during her many years on the NAMM floor, she was often the only female and one of the few women who weren’t  “…posing as incentives” to lure customers.

The Beatles won a Lifetime Achievement Grammy this week.

The Beatles won a Lifetime Achievement Grammy this week. – Photo courtesy Grammy.com

 

Ringo Starr was honored with the Lifetime of Peace and Love Award from the David Lynch Foundation leading up the Grammy Awards on Sunday.

The David Lynch Foundation provides scholarships to inner city and disadvantaged youths, domestic violence victims and veterans to learn transcendental mediation.

Ringo was a Grammy winner in a special Saturday pre-Grammy event as well — one of many Grammy Awards in his collection.

Stevie Wonder stopped by NAMM - Photo by Donna Balancia

Stevie Wonder stopped by NAMM – Photo by Donna Balancia

Stevie Wonder, like many other rock stars, stopped by NAMM, hitting the keyboards in the piano section of the Anaheim Convention Center Saturday.  Fans swarmed Wonder as he said hellos and spread the love around.

—-

Smokey Robinson accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award from NAMM in saying “It has been a real real real real blessing to do something that you love to do.

“The fans think they’re coming to see me, but I’m coming to see them.”

Todd Rundgren, Luminaries sweep NAMM Awards – with VIDEO

Todd Rundgren performs at TEC Awards @NAMM

Todd Rundgren performs at TEC Awards @NAMM Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for @NAMM

ANAHEIM — Todd Rundgren was presented with the Les Paul Award during an evening that paid tribute to some of the music industry’s finest.

Meyer Sound co-founder John Meyer, and famed session drummer Hal Blaine were inducted into the 29th annual TEC Hall of Fame at the 2014 NAMM.

RUNDGREN PERFORMANCE VIDEO BY CHRIS EPTING – “Hello It’s Me”

“I SAW THE LIGHT” PERFORMANCE AT NAMM VIDEO BY CHRIS EPTING

SEE RUNDGREN VIDEO

Hosted by producer-songwriter BT, the NAMM TEC Awards presentation was an enjoyable night celebrating the achievements of those behind the scenes who make the music industry successful.

Details Click Here

Everclear’s Art Alexakis named to LA College of Music Post

Photo by Donna Balancia

Photo by Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA — ANAHEIM — Art Alexakis of Everclear has been named the chair of the songwriting department at the newly renamed Los Angeles College of Music in Pasadena.

The announcement was made during media day at the 2014 NAMM Show in Anaheim. Alexakis played his hit “Santa Monica.”

LACM representatives and Alexakis also discussed the importance of bringing music education into the schools and are working with Lennon Bus

Jason Mraz and Friends ‘Feed The Soul’

Bushwalla and Jason Mraz EAST COAST ROCKER

Bushwalla and Jason Mraz – Photo by Donna Balancia

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Jason Mraz and buddies Bushwalla and Raining Janes perform to support the Support Feeding the Soul Foundation.

Read the review at Left Coast Rocker

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE FOUNDATION CLICK HERE

 

Joan Jett: Social Media Might Have Finished The Runaways

Joan Jett discusses the impact social media has on musicians

Joan Jett discusses the impact social media has on musicians

Joan Jett: Candid about Cyrus, social media:

Read the interview at CaliforniaRocker.com

Some of the Winners from the 56th annual Grammy Awards

Some of the Winners from the 56th annual Grammy Awards:
— Traditional pop vocal album: “To Be Loved,” Michael Buble.

— Rap performance: “Thrift Shop,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz.

— Rap song: “Thrift Shop,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz.

— Rap album: “The Heist,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

— R&B performance: “Something,” Snarky Puppy with Lalah Hathaway.

— Traditional R&B performance: “Please Come Home,” Gary Clark Jr.

— R&B song: “Pusher Love Girl,” James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley and Justin Timberlake.

— R&B album: “Girl on Fire,” Alicia Keys.

— Urban contemporary album: “Unapologetic,” Rihanna.

— Rock performance: “Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons.

— Rock album: “Celebration Day,” Led Zeppelin.

— Hard rock/metal performance: “God is Dead,” Black Sabbath.

— Alternative music album: “Modern Vampires of the City,” Vampire Weekend.

— Dance recording: “Clarity,” Zedd featuring Foxes.

— Dance/electronica album: “Random Access Memories,” Daft Punk.

— Producer of the year, non-classical: Pharrell Williams.

— Latin pop album: “Vida,” Draco Rosa

— Latin rock, urban or alternative album: “Treinta Dias,” La Santa Cecilia.

— Latin jazz album: “Song for Maura,” Paquito D’Rivera and Trio Corrente.

— Tropical Latin album: “Pacific Mambo Orchestra,” Pacific Mambo Orchestra.

— Country solo performance: “Wagon Wheel,” Darius Rucker.

— Country duo/group performance: “From This Valley,” The Civil Wars.

— Country song: “Merry Go ‘Round,” Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally and Josh Osbourne.

— Gospel song: “If He Did It Before … Same God (Live),” Tye Tribbett

— Gospel album: “Greater Than (Live),” Tye Tribbettlatin

— Blues album: “Get Up!,” Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite.

— Folk album: “My Favorite Picture of You,” Guy Clark.

— Americana album: “Old Yellow Moon,” Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell.

— Bluegrass album: “The Streets of Baltimore,” Del McCoury Band.

— Reggae album: “Ziggy Marley in Concert,” Ziggy Marley.

— World music album: “Live: Singing for Peace Around the World,” Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and “Savor Flamenco,” Gypsy Kings (tie).

— Children’s album: “Throw a Penny in the Wishing Well,” Jennifer Gasoi.

— Spoken word album: “America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t,” Stephen Colbert.

— Comedy album: “Calm Down Gurrl,” Kathy Griffin.

— New age album: “Love’s River,” Laura Sullivan.

— Jazz vocal album: “Liquid Spirit,” Gregory Porter.

— Jazz instrumental album: “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue,” Terri Lyne Carrington.

— Large jazz ensemble album: “Night in Calisia,” Randy Brecker, Wlodek Pawlik Trio and Kalisz Philharmonic.

— Pop instrumental album: “Steppin’ Out,” Herb Alpert.

— Compilation soundtrack album: “Sound City: Real to Reel,” Dave Grohl and various artists, Butch Vig.

— Score soundtrack album: “Skyfall,” Thomas Newman, composer.

— Song written for visual media: “Skyfall,” Adele and Paul Epworth.

— Musical theater album: “Kinky Boots,” Cyndi Lauper, Billy Porter, Stark Sands, Sammy James Jr., Stephen Oremus and William Wittman.

— Producer of the year, classical: David Frost.

— Instrumental composition: “Pensamientos for Solo Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orechestra,” Clare Fischer.

— Orchestral performance: “Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4,” Osmo Vanska, conductor.

— Opera recording: “Ades: The Tempest,” Thomas Ades, Simon Keenlyside, Isabel Leonard, Audrey Luna, Alan Oke, Jay David Saks.

— Choral performance: “Part: Adam’s Lament,” Tonu Kaljuste, conductor.

— Short-form music video: “Suit & Tie,” Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z, David Fincher, Timory King.

— Long-form music video: “Live Kisses,” Paul McCartney, Jonas Akerlund, Violaine Etienne, Aron Levin and Scott Rodger.

— Historical album: “The Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums” of Bill Withers, Leo Sacks, Joseph M. Palmaccio, Tom Ruff and Mark Wilder, and “Charlie is My Darling,” Teri Landi, Andrew Loog Oldham, Steve Rosenthal and Bob Ludwig.

Daft Punk to Perform at GRAMMYs on CBS

Daft Punk will perform at the GRAMMYs for the first time since 2008.

Daft Punk will perform at the GRAMMYs for the first time since 2008.

Daft Punk will perform at the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Jan. 26 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.  The annual presentation will be broadcast on CBS Television Network from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, P!nk and Nate Ruess (of FUN.) will also take the stage.  There will also be a special  “GRAMMY Moment” featuring Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Blake Shelton.  Two-time GRAMMY winner LL COOL J returns as host of Music’s Biggest Night.

Imagine Dragon's "clues" campaign

Imagine Dragon’s “secrets” campaign

“Radioactive” is the hit song for Imagine Dragons.  Daft Punk’s YouTube video “Lose Yourself to Dance” has more than 14 million views.

The show also will be supported on radio worldwide via Westwood One, and covered online at GRAMMY.com and CBS.com.

Blondie to Play Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve

Blondie will play Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin Eve with Ryan Seacrest

Blondie will play Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve with Ryan Seacrest

Iconic Rockers to Hit Times Square

Blondie put out via YouTube the announcement that for the first time since 1979, the influential group will play Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

Check out the link HERE

The latest single can be downloaded HERE

Cheezy and the Crackers Announce NorthEast Dates

Cheezy and the Crackers - EAST COAST ROCKER PHOTO

A Cheezy and the Crackers Weekend. – Photo by DONNA BALANCIA

ORLANDO – Cheezy and the Crackers announced new dates in the Northeast, hitting Old Vineland Tavern in Millville, N.J.; Woodman of the World in Fairplay, Md.; and Riptide Pool Bar in Ocean City, Md.

The band got down in downtown Melbourne, Fla. during Memorial Day weekend — the New Jersey-based band loves the Sunshine State.

The music is all original and the group has delighted fans for years and is a staple of the Garden State.

Some of their tunes include “All Night Long,” “Just a Lil Something,” and “Crackers Anthem.”

Cheeezy has 22,417 fans on www.reverbnation/cheezyandthecrackers where you can check for upcoming shows.

Cheezy plays Old Vineland Tavern in Millville, N.J., on Friday, June 14; Woodman of the World in Fairplay, Md. on Friday, June 21; and Riptide Pool Bar in Ocean City, Md. on Sunday, June 23.