CD Review: Michael Schenker Fest “Live” Tokyo

Michael Schenker Fest “Live” Tokyo
Michael Schenker
inakustik
Tracks: 18

Our score: 3 out of 5 stars

Michael Schenker, one of music’s greatest rock guitarists has just released a new live album titled “Michael Schenker Fest “Live” Tokyo”. Recorded at Tokyo’s International Forum on August 24, 2016 via inakustik this historic concert features guest appearances from some of the greatest rock vocalists who have worked with Schenker over the years including M.S.G.’S Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, and Robin McAuley of the McAuley Schenker Group.

For Michael Schenker fans not fortunate enough to have been able to attend the “Michael Schenker Fest” last year in Tokyo, Japan the latest live offering from the prolific guitarist has you covered. Together with inakustik the listen is instantly catapulted front and center for a barrage of riff-tastic goodness courtesy of Schenker and, a bevy special guests from Michael various groups. Tracks like “Attack of the Mad Axeman” featuring Gary Barden, “This Is My Heart” featuring Robin McAuley and probably my favorite track off the release “Doctor Doctor” which features Gary Barden, Graham Bonner and Robin McAuley all side by side with Schenker and his band.

Though I found the albums overall mix to be a touch thin the performances on each of the albums 18 tracks more than made up for any audio short comings as each performance was quite enjoyable. I also liked that the release is available in a variety of formats (CD, DVD, Blu-Ray) allowing you to have two different experiences with the same release. Long time Schenker fans will certainly want to pick this up for their collection.

Track Listing:
CD 1
1.) Intro: Searching For Freedom
2.) Into the Arena
3.) Attack of the Mad Axeman
4.) Victim of Illusion
5.) Cry for the Nations
6.) Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
7.) Armed and Ready
8.) Coast to Coast
9.) Assault Attack
10.) Desert Song
11.) Dancer

CD 2
1.) Captain Nemo
2.) This Is My Heart
3.) Save Yourself
4.) Love Is Not a Game
5.) Shoot Shoot
6.) Rock Bottom
7.) Doctor Doctor

Tribeca Film Festival Review “Slow West”

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Mendelsohn, Caren Pistorious, Rory McCann
Directed By: John Maclean
Running Time: 84 mins
A24/DirecTV

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

There’s a surprising streak of gallows humor coursing through Slow West, available now on DirecTV and having its NY premiere at Tribeca this week. The terrain is merciless and bloody but plenty meet their doom with a darkly ironic twist. Coupled with stunning visuals and a plethora of perfectly cast outlaws, John Maclean’s tale of star crossed lovers in the old west is an unexpectedly quirky entry into the genre.

We meet Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee), an upper class young Scotsman riding through the deep Colorado woods on a mission to find his lost love, Rose (Caren Pistorious). Jay is way out of his depths, bearing with him too much luggage and the old west equivalent of a Frommer’s guide. He narrowly avoids being shot when a lone bounty hunter named Silas intervenes on his behalf. “You need chaperoning,” the rugged Silas says, “and I’m a chaperone.” Naturally Silas has his own agenda regarding Rose, but Jay pegs Silas as a lonely man in need of company and accepts his help.

Naïve Jay is an interesting romantic lead insofar as his flashbacks to his time with Rose in Scotland reveal him to have been ye olde friend-zoned. It puts a nice tragicomic edge on his mission and earnest dealings with Silas. It’s also entertaining to watch the wide-eyed McPhee wear down the gruff Fassbender. The addition of Silas to Jay’s mission comes with its own baggage in the form of Ben Mendelsohn’s Payne. Payne, in an outrageous large furry coat, leads Silas’s old gang each of them looking every inch the old-timey outlaw. They bring with them absinthe and their own absurd tales from the road where Maclean is not afraid to cull some laughs from deadly stories even as Payne’s gang looms ominously over our leads.

Ultimately of course finding Rose is going to come down to a good old fashion shoot out as the west demands. Like the rest of the film, its gorgeously shot (New Zealand subbing for Colorado) and gives all the players a chance to shine before the bullets begin to really fly. It’s a satisfying climax to top off this brief offbeat journey through the west.

 

 

 

Lifehouse and LOVERBOY Headline Downtown Food & Wine Fest at Lake Eola February 21 and 22, 2015

The Ultimate Fest Experience Ticket Now Available

ORLANDO, Fla. (February 2, 2015) The Seventh Annual Downtown Food & Wine Fest is set for Saturday, February 21 and Sunday, February 22, 2015 for more than 30,000 foodies and wine lovers to experience unique local cuisine paired with wines from around the globe.

Located in the heart of downtown Orlando at Lake Eola on Robinson Street, the two-day Fest features mouth-watering dishes from 30 of Orlando¡¦s premier restaurants, 50 domestic and international wines and live, national entertainment by Lifehouse and LOVERBOY.

All appearances and entertainment are subject to change without notice. The complete performance schedule will be updated on www.DowntownFoodandWineFest.com.

Lifehouse
On the heels of the announcement of their much-anticipated new studio album, Out of the Wasteland, available this spring, the multi-platinum alt-rock band Lifehouse takes the Fest stage on Saturday evening, February 21. Out of the Wasteland is the work of a group that has some history. It was 2001 when Los Angeles-based Lifehouse broke through in a big way when Hanging by a Moment, from their debut album No Name Face, spent 20 weeks in the Top Ten and won a Billboard Music Award for Hot 100 Single of the Year. Since then, the band has released five more albums, sold over 15 million records worldwide and spun off such hit singles as You and Me, First Time and Whatever it Takes Lifehouse is one of the most played artists in the history of Hot AC with 1.5 million spins and over 1.4 Billion Pandora Plays to date.

LOVERBOY
For more than 30 years, LOVERBOY has been Working for the Weekend and on weekends, delighting audiences around the world since forming in Calgary, Alberta. The legendary band takes the Fest stage on Sunday evening, February 22.
With their trademark red leather pants, bandannas, big rock sound and high-energy live shows, LOVERBOY has sold more than 10 million albums, earning four multi-platinum plaques, including the four-million-selling Get Luck and a trio of double-platinum releases in their self-titled 1980 debut, 1983’s Keep It Up and 1985’s Lovin Every Minute of It. Still, Working for the Weekend, LOVERBOY’s catalog includes some of arena-rock’s most enduring anthems. LOVERBOY’s reputation as a live act has always been its calling card as the group continues to entertain fans of all ages.

Downtown Food & Wine Fest Tickets
Date / Time: Saturday, February 21, 2015 (noon to 9 p.m.)
Sunday, February 22, 2015 (noon to 7 p.m.)
Location: Located in the heart of downtown Orlando at Lake Eola along Robinson Street
Admission: Admission is $15 per person, per day with advance online purchase. Admission at the door is $20 per person, per day. Admission for children under age 12 is free.
Food and beverage tickets are available at the Fest for $2 each; food and beverage offerings range from one to four tickets.
For all-weekend Fest fans, a two-day ticket is available for $25 per person only with advance online purchase.

A limited number of Wine Tasters Club passes will be available for purchase for $15 per person in addition to general admission only with advance online purchase. Club members will enjoy up to five 2 oz. pours of their choice throughout the Fest and a souvenir lanyard.

Back by popular demand, The Ultimate Fest Experience ticket returns. The Ultimate Fest Experience ticket is $100 per person, per day and includes VIP parking, general admission, Wine Tasters Club, $20 in food and beverage tickets, access to the private stage side pavilion with premium wine selections, access to private restrooms and a commemorative gift. A limited number of VIP tickets are available with advance online purchase.

The Fest is presented and produced by CBS RADIO Orlando, led by Orlando favorites MIX 105.1, 1059 SUNNY FM, and 101.9 AMP Radio in partnership with the Central Florida Chapter of the FRLA. A portion of the proceeds benefit the FRLA Educational Foundation.

The Downtown Food & Wine Fest is one of our Downtown’s signature cultural events, showcasing the best of Orlando¡¦s culinary scene. Events like this continue to expand Downtown’s offerings and bring more and more people to our urban core to celebrate the beauty, diversity, and vibrancy of our community, said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

Dave Robbins, senior vice president and market manager, CBS RADIO Orlando commented, Through the power of radio and the strength of our FRLA restaurants, foodies and fans come together to celebrate an event that truly brings our community together to indulge in the sights, sounds, and tastes of Orlando. Now in its seventh year, the Fest is the perfect combination of divine food, unique wines, and entertainment, said Leigh Doyle, president-elect, Central Florida Chapter of the FRLA.

Orlando has emerged onto the national culinary stage with award-winning restaurants and memorable events to showcase the spirit of the City Beautiful.

Stay Connected
For more information on the Downtown Food & Wine Fest:
Visit www.DowntownFoodAndWineFest.com
Like Downtown Food & Wine Fest on Facebook
Follow @DTFoodWineFest on Twitter Use #DTFoodWineFest
Call the events hotline at 407-919-1048 or eMail DowntownFoodandWineFest@cbsradio.com

New York Film Fest “Birdman” Press Conference

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s reality-bending Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) closed the 52nd New York Film Fest this past Sunday. The film which opens on October 17th stars Michael Keaton as Riggan Thompson an actor trying to distance himself from an iconic superhero film franchise by starring and directing his own broadway production. Keaton’s huge cast of co-stars includes Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Amy Ryan, and Andrea Riseborough, all of whom joined the director at a press conference after the film at AMC Lincoln Center.

Much of the film revolves around Riggan’s struggle with his own identity versus his public image. Specifically he’s faced with a particularly vicious theatre critic whose sole objective is  to destroy Riggan’s show with her pen. Michael Keaton however maintained that he keeps himself in the dark when it comes to critics now. “This is where I’m really a dope” laughed Keaton who looked at reviews in his early days but not so much recently.  “I thought originally…you should be courageous and read everything and I did that a couple of times and I thought ‘well I’m not doing that anymore!’  Although he did add “Admittedly if someone says ‘hey you had a got nice review’ I’ll read it. I’m open to making myself feel better!” Addressing an entire auditorium of NYC critics he concluded “I think I’ve been treated basically fairly, I know I’m the wrong person to ask…There’s probably a lot of you out there going “Oh no you haven’t!”

            British theatre actress Andrea Riseborough, who plays Riggan’s co-star also avoids critical reviews “because [she finds] them debilitating, not because [she doesn’t] respect them” Riseborough added that there’s a certain element of fear when it comes to actors encountering critics, rather than hostility, especially in the world of theatre. “You know, they saw Gambon doing his bit back in the day and now they’re going to come and see me. It makes me just want to shit myself!”
 Zach Galifianakis confidently chimed in “I’ve never had a bad review, so I’m not quite sure what you’re talking about. It sounds familiar. I’ve heard people talk about it. But I’ve never had one” cracking up his cast and the audience.

Naomi Watts compared some of her theatre experience to the unorthodox way Birdman was shot: “I can say, I haven’t done a huge amount of theatre, but just from back in the days when I was studying and you know, doing plays then, a lot of my nightmares revolve around being on the stage; And forgetting my lines, or having the wrong clothes on or no clothes at all. So it is that classic recurring nightmare. A lot in the way this film was shot, with this speed and the high stakes and the technicalities and the dependency on each other and the, also the effects, you know the props and things, the cameras, the lighting and the removing of tables and putting them back, you know all those things sort of created this high level intensity and pressure that felt sort of emblematic sort of how it feels on the stage.”

Soon to be joining Watts in stage experience is Emma Stone, who in November will replace Michelle Williams in the current broadway revival of Cabaret. I asked her how she felt between making this film about a movie star entering Broadway and now actually facing that in reality.
“Well, you know, I did write the character of Sally Bowles and I’m directing the production”  the Amazing Spider-man star laughed, then added  “No, I you know, of course this movie brings up a lot of horrible fears of coming into the broadway community and having a Tabitha [the film’s villainous critic]…it feels very different. But I will say that making this  movie and kind of what we had to contend with, as actors, in making something like this, all of the pieces that Naomi was talking about had to–you know, having the table moving out and needing to rely on each other  the way the company does, I think is incredibly helpful now going into theatre in that way and realizing that you’re you know you operate very much as a unit. We all operate as a unit. And in a lot of films it’s not that way at all. It’s a very separate experience. So yeah, I’m nervous as hell. I’m shitting myself!”

Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu elaborated on the challenge he and DP Emmanuel Lubezki faced in shooting Birdman in mainly long contiunous shots. “Basically all the camerawork, all the blocking and all the lighting was pre-assigned in advance, months in advance. So there was no improvisation everything was precise, meticulously…Without the editing everything has to happen in the flow and then so you have to really get everything together…So the difficulty was the point of view–where this camera would be located to tell the story right. Who has to be in frame or not. Who has to be the listener…The challenge of that was that there was no lights, shooting film lights. Everything was practical lights and sometimes it was 360 degrees in tiny cooridors with guys with microphones. So all that thing that they’re talking about–the things moving and the ‘you have to be behind him’ and then you go under the legs of somebody and then crawl over the other side. It was kind of the kids playing a theatre play and the camera going around with this 17mm lens which is a wideshot. So every bit, every line, every open door has to be performed exactly the same…it has to be right.”

Actress Amy Ryan described this process as causing a “happy accident” whereby Keaton’s character had to be laying on a dressing room counter top in order to accommodate the camera manuevers “That was the only place really that worked best for every moving part in the scene, boom operator and [Lubezki], myself, Michael. And now I can’t think of a better choice for that, that’s exactly where he should be in that moment.”

Of course with a past Hulk, a Gwen Stacy and an iconic Batman in the room, the idea of the Superhero Film had to be raised with the cast and although the film is definitely not that, it doesn’t entirely shy away from some CGI effects. Keaton was pleased with this “When the special effects come in, I mean it’s just outta nowehere! And I totally dig it. I go yeah, there’s a little treat…A little megaplex action superhero movie dose for you right there…”
He and Edward Norton previewed some footage at New York Comic Con the evening before.  “Michael and I went over to New York Comic Con last night to do a little panel there,” said Norton, “and in the dark right before we went on I looked at Michael and said ‘do think this is the ultimate bait and switch?’ Can you imagine if you go to this actually thinking it’s a superhero movie?”

Birdman is now in limited theatrical release.

Eddie Bakshi talks about producing “Last Days of Coney Island” and this year’s Kansas City Film Fest

If you’re a fan of classic animation you surely are a fan of Ralph Bakshi. In his five decade career he has created such seminal animated features as “Fritz the Cat,” “Heavy Traffic,” “Wizards,” “The Lord of the Rings,” “Cool World” and many more. This week at the Kansas City Film Fest a retrospect of his work will be shown, featuring screenings of “Heavy Traffic,” “Coonskin” and “Wizards,” culminating in a Q&A Skype session with the director after Saturday’s screening of “Coonskin.”

Introducing the films this week will be another filmmaking member of the Bakshi family, Ralph’s son, Eddie. Eddie caught the filmmaking bug at a young age and is finishing up his animated producer’s debut, “Last Days of Coney Island.” While waiting for the Fest to begin, Eddie Bakshi spoke with Media Mikes.:

Mike Smith: Can you give the readers a little inside introduction to the upcoming retrospect of your father’s films at the Kansas City Film Fest?
Eddie Bakshi: The festival is presenting screenings of three of his films: “Heavy Traffic,” “Coonskin” and “Wizards.” There will also be samples of the original art – the original animation cells used to make the film. They will be on display and some will also be available to purchase. In addition, he will be Skyping in to the festival after the Saturday evening screening of “Coonskin” for an audience Q & A. The audience will have a chance to ask him a question about any of his films, be it “Coonskin” or his latest film, “Last Days of Coney Island.” He’s currently editing that film right now and will actually be Skyping in on the same computer he’s editing on.

MS: Can you talk a little about “Last Days of Coney Island?”
EB: “Last Days of Coney Island” is a project that we’re both working on. He’s directing and I’m producing. We’re currently in the middle of editing it. It’s an eighteen-minute featurette. When we announced it on Kickstarter we had said it would be a five to seven-minute short but now it’s a bit longer. Actually, we may continue the project and turn it into a full length feature film. If we can get the funding we would like to tell the entire “Coney Island” story, which takes place in the 1960s and involves cops and a whole lot of seedy characters…the inhabitants of Coney Island. It will be a classic Bakshi film in the vein of “Heavy Traffic.” It has a lot of strange characters and they’re all interlinked. He’s very happy with what he has done now but he would love to turn it into a feature. He’s very happy with the story and how it’s going. He’s been very involved the past several months lengthening the story to eighteen-minutes. The art style is very interesting.

MS: You will be offering some of his original art and cells to the public?
EB: Yes. It’s a great way for his fans to own a piece of his work.

MS: Is this retrospect a way to introduce his work to new fans as well as letting old fans know about his newest project?
EB: It’s a new way to promote Bakshi Productions. It’s really the first real chance people will have to ask him about the project directly. There has been a real spike in the increase of interest in his work since the advent of outlets like Twitter and Instagram. Many new fans are being exposed to his work. An outlets like Facebook these fans are finally getting to see the images from his films and it generated a lot of interest in the new film. We’ve been getting offers from all over the country to attend film festivals to not only talk about “Last Days of Coney Island” but to show his older films as well. It’s kind of like a bundle package. Once “Coney Island “ is ready we can take that to festivals, or show a trailer for it with some of the older films.

The Kansas City Film Fest runs through April 13. For more information go to www.kcfilmfest.org

Julie Taymor Talks “Titus” at New York’s First Time Fest


April 7 – Tonight the First Time Fest will be honor director Julie Taymor with the John Huston Award for Achievement in Cinema. This will be her first film award after directing four features: The Tempest, Across the Universe, Frida and first film, Titus.

Made in 1999, Titus is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s violent revenge tragedy, Titus Andronicus. It stars Sir Anthony Hopkins as the titular Roman general whose murder of the sons of an enemy Queen (Jessica Lange as Tamora) leads to the destruction of his entire family. Taymor joined festival goers this week, along with composer Elliot Goldenthal for a screening and discussion of the film. It screened as a part of the fest’s First Exposure series highlighting successful director’s first features.

Even though Taymor had already produced the play “very simply and inexpensively” in a church in 1994, the film version did not come about until after her wildly successful production of The Lion King on Broadway.

“I came off The Lion King and what do you do next?” she told the audience, “I had to go to the opposite end of the spectrum–I mean I know that’s considered Hamlet–but really I think that I just didn’t want to be put into a box of any sort. And also I really wanted to work with the greatest writer in the English language…and I had loved the play when we did it.”

Taymor maintained it was her favorite Shakespeare play despite the popular opinion that it’s not one of Shakespeare’s best works saying it presented “a young man’s anger…before he got refined and self-reflective” and later adding “no contemporary movie compares to the bravado of that play. That you think Titus is going to be the good guy and then he kills his daughter! And then he kills his sons! And then Tamora and she says ‘cruel, irreligious piety’, her sons are taken away–you should understand everything that she does. And then look what she does.”

Along with her passionate discussion of the play itself Taymor offered additional trivia about the film itself including:

  • Al Pacino was in consideration for the lead role before Anthony Hopkins signed on.
  • Taymor initially planned to shoot the film in Las Vegas rather than Rome but after visiting Rome on the advice of production designer Dante Ferretti, changed her mind.
  • Many of the cast members including Jessica Lange, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Laura Fraser had never performed Shakespeare before the film.
  • Anthony Hopkins insisted a scene in which he has one of his hands chopped off be done in one take because, as Taymor recalled him telling her “ I know myself and what I’m gonna do, if i do it again, I will have a heart attack.”

First Time Fest Returns to New York City

FIRST TIME FEST a unique film festival celebrating first-time feature filmmakers, makes it’s triumphant return to the Big Apple next week, running from April 3-7.

 Aimed at discovering and providing exposure for the next generation of great filmmakers from around the world, FTF is a five-day event with a competition section showcasing new and exciting debut films as well as a series of screenings and discussions with now-prominent filmmakers presenting their first films and then mentoring the first-timers.  

In the words of Academy Award winning director Martin Scorsese, who presented Darren Aronofsky with the first John Huston Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinema last year,  FTF  “is very, very important to encourage young filmmakers.”

FTF will present ten Competition Films, which will be judged by a panel of industry luminaries and the FTF audience. All of the films in competition at FTF are the very first feature of the writer, director, producer, editor, cinematographer or composer of each film.  All competition screenings will be followed by “Hot-Seat” discussions between the jury and filmmakers, and all audience members will vote on the films as well. Together, the jury and audience will ultimately select the Grand Prize winner, which is offered theatrical distribution and international sales representation from the renowned American film distributor, Cinema Libre Studio.  And with FTF’s new relationship with Scandinavian Locations – the consortium of Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Danish film commissioners – the winning filmmaker will also receive a trip to Norway and Sweden to spend a week at a writer’s cottage in Northern Sweden to work on their next project.  Scandinavian Locations will also be hosting our Filmmaker Kick-Off event on April 2 at NeueHouse.

FIRST TIME FEST also features a retrospective series called First Exposure which showcases the auspicious and ambitious debuts by artists who went on to become major filmmakers.  These screenings are highlighted by personal appearances by the filmmakers themselves.  This year’s  First Exposure series features the following filmmakers and films: our Opening Night director Jennie Livingston presenting Paris is Burning, Albert Maysles (Salesman), Julie Taymor (Titus), Michael Moore (Roger & Me), Kelly Reichardt (River of Grass), Cinematographer Frederick Elmes (Eraserhead), James Toback (Fingers), and Peter Bogdanovich (Targets).

 This year’s First Exposure program kicked-off on February 24th with an out-of-fest screening of Robert De Niro’s directorial debut, A Bronx Tale, followed by a conversation with Mr. De Niro and FTF Director of Programming David Schwartz. 

The Stand Alone series will feature incredible conversations with Peter Bogdanovich and Michael Moore on April 5 at 3.30pm at the Loews Village VII theatre.

A special panel, entitled Women in Entertainment and Media, is sponsored by the Royal Bank of Canada Wealth Management Group andwill include Brooke Shields, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Carol Alt.

For complete schedule and location of panels, please visit http://www.firsttimefest.com/panels/

Concert Review: “IMatter Fest and The Gate Presents” Phinehas, My Heart to Fear, Alive in the Dark, Praxia, Take Two

“IMatter Fest and The Gate Presents”
Phinehas, My Heart to Fear, Alive in the Dark, Praxia, Take Two
Date: Saturday, August 24th 2013
Venue: The Gate, Horseheads, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Red Chord Records artist Phinehas brought their 2013 summer tour to The Gate located in the upstate NY town of Horseheads, NY on August 24th. The group who hails from Los Angeles is currently out on tour in support of their newest EP release titled “The Bridge Between”. Though the crowd on hand was of the smaller size all the bands who performed that evening gave their all in an effort to put on a great performance.

Take Two would hit the stage first and though the group experienced a few technical difficulties not of their own doing the local 5 piece punk/rock band forged through like professionals and did what all good openers do by priming the crowd for what was to come later in the night. Praxia another local band from the area would follow with their own unique style of metal core which definitely kicked things up a notch. Advent recording artists Alive in the Dark were up next and started off their set as though they were shot out of a cannon. The band certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves especially drummer Michael Guevarez who donned a creepy yet entertaining unicorn mask for a portion of the set.

Next up were Solid State Records artist My Heart to Fear. The band hails from Williamsport, PA an area probably best known for its baseball history however over the last few years have become a breeding ground for up and coming metal-core acts. Vocalist Trevor Pool worked the crowd in between songs which helped keep the excitement going and even though the bands tour van broke down between shows none of the members let that affect their performance which garnered a great response from the crowd.

Closing out the night were tour headliners Phinehas who put on a stellar performance from start to finish.
Each of the bands four members really put everything they had into the extended set which whipped the crowd in to several good sized circle pits. Guitarist Jason Combs and bassist Bryce Kelley made great use of the stage as they bounced and spun back and forth while delivering the bands crushing material. Drummer Lee Humerian was a show in his self dazzling the crowd with a bevy of stick twirling tricks while vocalist Sean McCulloch put the icing on the cake with his shredding vocals and commandeering stage presence.

I really have to give it to the people who handle The Gate. Not only do they provide a safe and fun environment to play and listen to music but they seem to be the only ones in the area that are doing anything for music fans and performers. Without their dedication to the art of music younger bands and listeners would have little to no chance to perform or experience some of the great music that is out there. Definitely keep up the good work!

Pantera’s Phil Anselmo talks about solo album and “Housecore Horror Film and Metal Fest”

Phil Anselmo is no stranger to the music scene after sky rocketing to fame in the mid 90’s with the multi-platinum selling heavy metal group Pantera. Though the group disbanded in 2003 Phil has kept himself busy with several other bands such Super Joint Ritual and Down which also featured former Pantera bassist Rex Brown. Phil’s newest endeavor is a solo album titled “Walk Through the Exits” and is being released under the name Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegal’s. Media Mikes caught up with Phil recently to discuss the band, its new album and the inaugural “Housecore Horror Film and Metal Fest”?

Adam Lawton: Was there any particular reason you chose now to be the time to release a solo album and do you feel there’s more pressure on this release compared to ones you have done with Pantera and Down?
Phil Anselmo: Why not? I had the urge and felt I needed to scratch that particular itch. I base a lot of what I am going to do off the mood I am in at that particular time. As far as more pressure or whatnot I don’t think there is any more than what may normally be there. It’s doesn’t matter who I am up on that stage with because no one is doing the singing for me. I’ve got to get up there and do things regardless so I don’t really feel any more pressure.

AL: How did go about assembling your backing band “The Illegal’s”?
PA: I always knew that Marzi Montazeri was my guy for guitar. This has been a long time coming type of project and I always knew I didn’t want to start a “super group” or anything like that. I could have asked a lot of different people to be involved with this but I wanted to get cats that were under the radar. Marzi was one of those guys. From there I struggled in finding a drummer who could learn all these different time signatures and not rely on speed for the sake of playing fast. The singer from Warbeast offered me their drummer Jose Manuel Gonzales. I asked him if he was up for it and he said “sure”. When we started actually recording the record and it was time for bass we used this guy from New Orleans named Bennett Bartley. He is a really talented guy that plays with a lot of different bands and also holds down a day job. I knew there was always going to be a question of his availability for touring so for that side of things we are going with a guy by the name of Steve Taylor. He has been working with Marzi for a very long time so that made perfect sense.

AL: What was the writing and recording sessions like for the record?
PA: I wrote things the good old fashioned way. When I was inspired I busted out the axe and practice amp and just started writing riffs. I just kept putting everything together and when I finally found I had the basic structure of a song that’s when I would bring the band in. After doing that there is always a lot of trial and practice to see what you have. You can sometimes write a riff that just doesn’t translate to a full blown band type setting. I was pretty lucky this time around and very focused. At the same time I was working on my record I was also producing for others and recording the Down EP. Work on my solo album was sort of a start and stop type situation. We would record or practice for a bit then I would have to take time off from that work on Down or whatever. That happened four or five times.

AL: Do you have a specific preference as to what comes first (music/lyrics) when writing?
PA: I don’t really have a preference especially now. A song can come out of nowhere. For this particular record it seemed as though there would be a cadence that I would catch and then I was able to feel or hear the rhythm. I would then write the lyrics around that section. That opened up a whole new world for me as I normally sing against a riff rather than on top of it. With this album it felt different so there are certain parts where I am singing right on top of a riff and I felt that was the correct thing to do. In the past and normally even if I have written the entire song its riff first then vocals. That sentence structure or cadence was something that was always rearing its head and had a lot to do with how things were done on this record.

AL: Can you tell us your thoughts on releasing the album via your independent label as opposed to going with a major label release?
PA: I don’t really see any worth in major labels anymore. There are just straight up too many rules. That was the reason I started my own label to begin with. I wanted the freedom to be able to do what I wanted, when I wanted to do it. I didn’t want to have to ask for permission or have to pay anyone. These days you don’t have to sign to a major label. You can just do things yourself and be done with it.

AL: What are the bands tour plans in support of the release?
PA: We start things off in Oklahoma and will be traveling through the mid-west as we make our way to the east coast. Possibly in the fall we are looking to do a west-coast run. We will have the bad ass thrashers Warbeast out with us along with Author & Punisher. He is a one man act that makes his own instruments. He is very interesting and makes this sound that is just a wall of sonic poison. I love it!

AL: Can you tell us about the upcoming “House Core Horror Film and Metal Fest”?
PA: Obviously we are going to have films ranging from older black and white films up through the 70’s and early 80’s. There are going to be a lot of cool bands and guest directors coming out as well. One of the more interesting things for me to come out of this opportunity is to review a lot of submission films. Everything from short and mid length films to full feature length films have been coming in from unknown directors. I have no aspirations to become an actor or director but these guys are really pushing the envelope in an effort to make horror less of a paint by numbers thing. It’s going to be a huge kick to be able to turn the audiences on to these new guys. That’s really exciting to me. With this being the first year of the event a lot of it is going to be trial by fire as there are lots of logistics and things to make sure everything runs smooth. I want make sure I don’t use the term “annual” until I get this year’s event under the old gut.

AL: What is it that has made you a horror fan for so long now?
PA: The only answer I can possibly come with for that is that it was born in me. I can remember being just this squirt of a kid who was glued to television set watching everything from “Godzilla” to “The Twilight Zone”. I caught on to things at a very early age and things just stuck. It’s still a mystery to me to a certain degree. I really guess it just caught me young enough and just held.

AL: Has there been a horror film in the past 5/10 years that can compete with the likes of classic horror films?
PA: I don’t know. There have been some movies that I thought were pretty good but as far as a classic I don’t know about that. I thought “In Absentia” was pretty good. “The Bleeding House” was ok. There have been films like “Insidious” and “The Blair Witch Project” that have been so hyped up only to fall flat for me. I have no problem saying “The Blair Witch Project” was a steaming pile of dog shit. I hated that movie. There is just so much that goes in to a classic from the direction and characters to more importantly the story. How it wraps up and how it is shot always is important. These days I think there is a real problem with character development as people just don’t have a care for what they are seeing. People like Steven Spielberg and Toby Hooper know how to build characters that people connect with and care about what happens to them in a story. Things these days seem to be very Hollywood and not very believable. My heart lies with the likes of Boris Karloff and Mario Bava of “Black Sabbath” fame.

AL: Do you have any other projects in the works that you can tell us about?
PA: I have been in the studio with IHATEGOD who are wrapping up a really great studio album but I’m not sure who they are going to release it with. I have been working with their vocalist Mike Williams very tightly. I love those boys and this record is a really tight record. Anyone who is a fan of IHATEGOD is going to be just blown away. Besides that I have just been working hard on the solo project and getting ready to play all sorts of venues and have a good time.

Jackyl’s Jesse James Dupree talks about “Throttle Fest”

Jesse James Dupree is chainsaw wielding front man of the rock group Jackyl who have been terrorizing stages around the world since the early 90’s. Jesse also appears on the popular TruTV series “Full Throttle Saloon” which documents the venues daily operation during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally which is held yearly in the black hills of South Dakota. On August 22-24 “Throttle Fest” which features elements of the television show and live musical acts rolls in to Kansas City for what could be the events biggest show to date. Media Mikes caught up with Jesse recently to discuss all things Throttle.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us an overview of “Throttle Fest” which kicks off on August 22nd?
Jesse James Dupree: We have been taking “Throttle Fest” all over the country. In May we were in Myrtle Beach and then in June we were in Chicago. From there we go to Sturgis and after that wraps up we will be in Kansas City starting August 22nd. I think that show is probably going to be the biggest “Throttle fest” we have ever done. On the entertainment alone for this fest we have a million dollar budget. It’s going to be a huge gathering and in all honestly I think people are going to make a pilgrimage to Kansas City that weekend. I have actually challenged the people of Kansas City to show off and bring all their friends and relatives. You can always count on Kansas City to come out and support an event like this.

AL: How involved are you in the production and logistics of these events?
JJD: I am more hands on with “Throttle Fest” than I am at the place in Sturgis. I kind of take the lead on pulling things together. I sort of pulled Michael and Angie in to this kicking and screaming because Sturgis takes so much out of them. I am able to go up and have fun during Sturgis while they are working 24/7.

AL: Do these live events feature all the things we have seen on the television series?
JJD: You will see everything from the “Globe of Death” to motorcycles being ridden on high wires to the Flaunt girls and the Rockstar bar tenders. Everything you see, smell and touch will be “Full Throttle”. We have been doing events like this even before we had the television show so with the success of that it was a no brainer to start doing more of these so people who couldn’t make it to South Dakota could still get the chance to experience what it’s like to attend one of our events.

AL: Can you give us some background on how the show initial came about?
JJD: I had executive produced other television shows and I was the one who put this package together and brought it to the network. I was the one who told them this needed to be a television show. For every one person that goes to Sturgis there are a thousand at home who go vicariously through the show. It took a couple years to find a network that understood what we were doing but once we put it in the can and the TruTV saw it they got it right away.

AL: Jackyl are on the bill for this show but will you guys be doing any other shows throughout the summer?
JJD: We are out there touring every week. I just got back from Nashville and I will be heading out to Iowa and Indiana. People can check out www.jackyl.com for a full list of dates because we will be everywhere.

AL: Do you find it hard balancing all the different aspects of your career?
JJD: I wake up every day and take a big bite out of life’s ass. I am a blessed guy in that everything I do is energetic and I try not to over think things. These things all come from an organic place and weather your talking to the guy on the television, the stage or the guy holding the bourbon you’re getting the same guy.

AL: Do you have any other plans or projects in the work?
JJD: Jackyl has started working on some new material as that’s something we will always be doing. We start filming for the new season of the television show in a couple of weeks and that will air in November.

Win Daily Admission Passes to this year's Downtown Food & Wine Fest at Lake Eola [ENDED]

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED AND WINNERS HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EACH WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!


Don’t miss out on one of the year’s hottest events with plenty of food and live music at the Downtown Food & Wine Fest at Lake Eola, Media Mikes is happy to giveaway Two Daily Admission passes.   If you would like to win this great prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and tell us what are you looking forward to most at this event. This giveaway will be open until February 8th.  One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

The tradition continues as more than 20,000 foodies and wine lovers experience unique local cuisine paired with wines from around the globe at the Downtown Food & Wine Fest, Saturday, February 23 and Sunday, February 24, 2013. Located in the heart of downtown Orlando at Lake Eola along Robinson Street. The Fifth Annual Downtown Food & Wine Fest (previously known as The Orlando Food and Wine Fest) has established itself as a signature event for Orlando.
Tickets: Admission is $10 per person, per day with advance online purchase beginning January 15, 2013 at www.DowntownFoodAndWineFest.com.  Advance tickets are also available at Mercedes-Benz of Sanford, Mercedes-Benz of Orlando, and Mercedes-Benz of South Orlando.
 
Admission at the door is $15 per person, per day. Admission for children under age 12 is free.  Food tickets are available at the event for $2 each; food and wine offerings range from one to four tickets.  New for 2013, VIP ticket packages include parking, a private pavilion, and additional Fest perks and privileges.   A limited number of VIP tickets are available only at Mercedes-Benz of Sanford, Mercedes-Benz of Orlando, and Mercedes-Benz of South Orlando.
The Fest is presented and produced by CBS RADIO, led by Orlando favorites MIX 105.1, 1059 SUNNY FM, and 102 JAMZ in partnership with the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.  Located in the heart of downtown Orlando at Lake Eola on Robinson Street, the two-day Fest features mouth-watering dishes from 40 of Orlando’s premier restaurants, domestic and international wines, and live entertainment.  A portion of the proceeds benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and the FRLA Educational Foundation.
 
 “The Fest is the perfect combination of divine food, unique wines, and headliner entertainment right in the heart of downtown,” said Nicole Dipietro, participating restaurateur and president, Central Florida Chapter, FRLA.  “Orlando has emerged onto the national culinary stage with award-winning restaurants and memorable events to showcase the spirit of the City Beautiful.” Forty top restaurants are scheduled to present culinary tastings including the return of the 2012 Foodie Award winners as honored by a panel of Orlando elected officials, food writers and reporters, and celebrity chefs.
For more information on the Downtown Food & Wine Fest:
  • Like Downtown Food & Wine Fest on Facebook
  • Follow @DTFoodWineFest on Twitter

 

Atlanta Rhythm Section and The All-American Rejects Headline Downtown Food & Wine Fest


Downtown Food & Wine Fest Pairs Culinary Treats

With Live Entertainment February 23 and 24, 2013
 Produced by MIX 105.1, 1059 SUNNY FM, and 102 JAMZ in partnership with the
Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association
 
ORLANDO, Fla. (January 14, 2013) – The tradition continues as more than 20,000 foodies and wine lovers experience unique local cuisine paired with wines from around the globe at the Downtown Food & Wine Fest, Saturday, February 23 and Sunday, February 24, 2013.
Located in the heart of downtown Orlando at Lake Eola on Robinson Street, the two-day Fest features mouth-watering dishes from 40 of Orlando’s premier restaurants, domestic and international wines, and live entertainment.
Live Entertainment*
* Appearances and entertainment subject to change without notice. 
Performance times to be posted on www.DowntownFoodandWineFest.com.
Saturday, February 23 (noon to 9 p.m.)
Atlanta Rhythm Section 
Kaleigh Baker & NEM
John Smith and Tropical Steel
Road Soda
Sunday, February 24 (noon to 7 p.m.)
The All-American Rejects
Andy Grammar
Matt Hires
Vicci Martinez
CeCe TeNeal
Tickets
Admission is $10 per person, per day with advance online purchase beginning January 15, 2013 atwww.DowntownFoodAndWineFest.com.  Advance tickets are also available at Mercedes-Benz of Sanford, Mercedes-Benz of Orlando, and Mercedes-Benz of South Orlando.
Admission at the door is $15 per person, per day. Admission for children under age 12 is free.  Food tickets are available at the event for $2 each; food and wine offerings range from one to four tickets.  New for 2013, VIP ticket packages include parking, a private pavilion, and additional Fest perks and privileges.   A limited number of VIP tickets are available only at Mercedes-Benz of Sanford, Mercedes-Benz of Orlando, and Mercedes-Benz of South Orlando.
             
Forty top restaurants are scheduled to present culinary tastings including the return of the 2012 Foodie Award winners as honored by a panel of Orlando elected officials, food writers and reporters, and celebrity chefs.
Liquid Lounge
New for 2013, the Liquid Lounge will be the place to remix, relax, and refresh during the Fest on Broadway Street.  Featuring beer, wine, and specialty drinks for purchase, guests will meet and mingle with 102 JAMZ Freaken Weekend On-air Mixers in a sleek and swanky atmosphere to enjoy remixes of today’s hottest hit music while relaxing in a South Beach-style setting.
The Fest is presented and produced by CBS RADIO, led by Orlando favorites MIX 105.1, 1059 SUNNY FM, and 102 JAMZ in partnership with the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.  Located in the heart of downtown Orlando at Lake Eola on Robinson Street, the two-day Fest features mouth-watering dishes from 40 of Orlando’s premier restaurants, domestic and international wines, and live entertainment.  A portion of the proceeds benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and the FRLA Educational Foundation.
Stay Connected
For more information on the Downtown Food & Wine Fest:
 
About CBS RADIO
CBS RADIO, one of the largest major-market operators in the United States with stations covering news, sports, talk, rock, oldies, country, adult contemporary and urban formats, among others, offers audiences an enhanced and customized listening experience through the combination of on-air, online and new media platforms. CBS RADIO operates 127 radio stations throughout the nation’s top 50 markets and broadcasts play-by-play coverage of more than two dozen of the country’s leading professional sports franchises. CBS RADIO also has embraced interactive programming through the use of streaming, HD Radio, podcasts and mobile messaging. CBS RADIO is a division of CBS Corporation. For more information on CBS RADIO, please visitwww.cbsradio.com.
About Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association
FRLA’s mission is to Protect, Educate and Promote Florida’s hospitality industry – which represents a $62.4 billion industry, 20 percent of Florida’s economy, $3.4 billion in sales tax revenue, and more than 900,000 employees, making it Florida’s largest employer. It is Florida’s premier non-profit, hospitality industry trade association. FRLA safeguards the needs of the hospitality industry, improves the business climate, promotes the highest levels of quality and safety for our patrons, provides legislative advocacy, and eases navigation of government regulation. The Association represents and serves more than 10,000 independent and household name members, including theme parks and the largest casual theme restaurant company in the world. Carol Dover serves as President/CEO. For more information, go to www.FRLA.org.