Blu-ray Review “Rock Dog”

Actors: Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons, Lewis Black, Kenan Thompson
Directors: Ash Brannon
Number of discs: 2
Rated: PG
Studio: LIONSGATE
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Run Time: 90 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

“Rock Dog” is the latest in the cheap animated films that get zero promotion and then slapped with an American cast. This one does actually pack some talent with Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons, Lewis Black, and Kenan Thompson but unfortunately the film is just completely forgettable and not worth your time. Young kids might like the music but parents will tear their hair out.

Official Premise: When a radio falls from the sky into the hands of a wide-eyed Tibetan Mastiff, he leaves home to fulfill his dream of becoming a musician, setting into motion a series of completely unexpected events.

“Rock Dog” comes as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD and Digital HD copy included. The Blu-ray specs are solid. The 1080p transfer is solid for the CG animation and the colors are vibrant though doesn’t make it feel any less cheap. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is a great track for the music in the film and works well.

The special features includes are not as bad as I would have expected. There are four featurettes included. The first “Finding the Fire: The Making of Rock Dog” takes us through the production. “Mic Check: Casting the Voices” looks at the cast. “A Rockin’ New World: Animating Rock Dog” shows how our characters were made. The last “Rock Dog and Roll: Exploring the Music” focus on the tunes in the film. Lastly there is a music video included for the track “Glorious”.

Book Review: “From Cradle to Stage: Stories From the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars” by Virginia Hanlon Grohl

“From Cradle to Stage: Stories From the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars”
Author: Virginia Hanlon Grohl
Da Capo Press
Hardcover 204 pages

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When Virginia Hanlon Grohl first saw her son perform in front of thousands of screaming fans she knew that rock stardom was meant to be for her son. And as Virginia watched her son’s star rise, she often wondered about the other mothers who raised sons and daughters who became rock stars. Were they as surprised as she was about their children’s fame? Did they worry about their children’s livelihood and wellbeing in an industry fraught with drugs and other dangers? Did they encourage their children’s passions despite the odds against success, or attempt to dissuade them from their grandiose dreams? Do they remind their kids to pack a warm coat when they go on tour?

All those answers and more are contained in “From Cradle to Stage: Stories From the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars”. Over the course of the books 204 pages you get a unique behind the scenes look like never before. However not from the stars themselves but from their mothers! Yes that’s right their mothers. Along with author Hanlon Grohl own story of motherhood we hear from other moms including Verna Griffin (Dr. Dre), Janis Winehouse (Amy Winehouse), Hester Diamond (Mike D of the Beastie Boys) and Bettye Moses and Harriette Brown (mother & step mother of Zac Brown) as they recount the years before, during and after their sons and daughters became house hold names. I don’t recall a book like this ever being released which adds to the appeal because who is better to ask about those earlier childhood years than one’s own mom.

The candid firsthand accounts are what really kept me turning page after page. “From Cradle to Stage” is a fun, fast read unlike any biography I have come across before. While the book does a great job showcasing several mothers’ journeys its underlying story about the bond between parents and children is its greatest attribute. Not only is this a great read for parents but also for anyone looking for a different look at some of music’s biggest artists and the moms who impacted their lives.

Rock and Pop Stars Cashing in on Slot Machines

It often surprises many people when they learn just how low the earnings can be for rock and pop stars from selling their CD and from music downloads, for it is often their promotional activities and sponsorship deals that brings in the most cash.

As such you will often see images of bands and individual artists on commercials or see them endorsing all manner of different products many of which they are not at all associated with!

In fact, we recently went to Las Vegas for a well deserved break and was amazed to see just how many slot machines there were which had rock and pop stars as the theme of those slots! We saw some brand new slots and some rather old slot machines which were themed around Kiss, Elvis and even Britney Spears and Cher!

One thing that a recording artist is going to have to agree to is that not only are their images going to be used on those games but also some of their back catalogues of songs too for those songs tend to play out as players are spinning the reels or are playing off a bonus game.

If you are tempted to play some of those slot machines then you will be pleased to learn that you are not going to have to make a trek to Las Vegas or in fact any nearby land based casino for you will find a range of fully themed slot machines can be played online or even on a mobile device.

One of the benefits however of you playing such slots at a mobile casino site is that you are not necessarily going to have to have any money in your bank account or an e-wallet type account to play those games for real money as you can now pay for your deposit simply by having them added onto you next mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid mobile phone account.

If that is something that interests you then we would advise you to pay a visit to the paybymobilecasino.uk website as by doing so you are going to find a range of different mobile casino sites fully listed and reviewed at which you can make deposits into those casino by having them added to your mobile phone bill.

Plus, you will also find a range of exclusive and very high valued bonuses and promotional offers betting showcased on that website all of which will be credited to your casino account instantly the very second you make your first deposit.

If you do decide to play mobile slot games that are themed around any rock and pop stars then make sure you plug in a set of headphones when playing them, as not everyone sat around you or close by you is going to be a fan of Cher, Britney, Elvis or Kiss, but if they are show them the slot machines you are playing!

Members of White Zombie, Queens Of The Stone Age, Primus, Ministry and More Expose Truths in New Tell-All Documentary About 90’s Alternative Rock

UNDERGROUND INC.: The Unsung Story of Alternative Rock
 
Members of White Zombie, Queens Of The Stone Age, Primus, Ministry and More Expose Truths in New Tell-All Documentary About 90’s Alternative Rock
 
Watch the Official Film Trailer Here
 
Make UNDERGROUND INC. a Reality by Supporting via Kickstarter
It was the early 90’s – seemingly out of nowhere, a little grunge band called Nirvana began outselling massive commercial artists like Michael Jackson. This immediately caught the attention of the giant record companies. These small underground bands branded as ‘alternative’ or ‘post-punk’, went from being inconsequential to being potential behemoths in record sales – and the hunt began.
 
Hungrily sweeping for the next Nirvana, a buying frenzy ensued as small indie labels were bought out by the commercial labels on a never before seen scale. A&R execs would see random alt-rock bands perform in a bar and appear after their set offering unheard of financial offers and immediate global exposure. It seemed these band members were set for life – so what happened?
 
Verity is revealed in UNDERGROUND INC.: The Unsung Story of Alternative Rock, an upcoming documentary destined to be the ultimate look at the alternative punk and metal scene in the 90’s, and a must see for serious music lovers. Told by the artists who pioneered a sonic subculture, this feature-length documentary tells the real story of the 90’s – exposing viewers to an amazing catalog of the era’s rarities and buried treasures, while re-living the struggles, triumphs and tragedies, as well as the debauchery. UNDERGROUND INC. will dig beneath the manufactured truth to explore what really happened, exploring a time unlike any other in the music industry!
 
UNDERGROUND INC. features interviews with members of seminal 90’s rock, punk and metal groups such as White Zombie, Queens Of The Stone Age, Primus, Bad Religion, Stone Sour, Clutch, Red Fang, Failure, Ministry, Quicksand, Helmet, Steve Albini, Sepultura and dozens more. Viewers are getting an in-depth, raw look at the scene from musicians who were at the forefront.
 
 
UNDERGROUND INC.‘s original music is composed by Peter Mengede (Helmet), Grammy nominated record producer Alex Newport (The Mars Volta, Bloc Party, Death Cab For Cutie) and Mark Bradridge.
 
In order to get this documentary out of the creation stages and into the homes of music lovers, the creators of UNDERGROUND INC. have launched a Kickstarter campaign. The Kickstarter campaign will run for 32 days, and the project goal is $40,000.
 

Concert Review: “Make America Rock Again Tour”

“Make America Rock Again Tour”

Trapt, Saving Abel, Saliva, Alien Ant Farm, Crazy Town, Tantric, 12 Stones
Friday, September 16th 2016
Tag’s Summer Stage, Big Flats, NY

Our Score: 2 out of 5 Stars

Trapt, Saliva, Saving Abel, Alien Ant Farm, Crazy Town, Tantric and 12 Stones all made their way to the quaint town of Big Flats, NY on September 16th as part of the “Make America Rock” tour. Despite the tour package boasting some of the biggest artist of the early 2000nds the night came up short making for a rather dull concert experience.

 

Taking the stage first was the group 12 Stones. The group probably had one of if not thee toughest spot on the bill as concert goers were still filing into the spacious outdoor venue and also waiting in line for their choice of tasty beverages so, needless to say the attention at this time was focused elsewhere. Despite these obstacles that band still appeared to give their all and should be commended for their efforts. Next up was the group Tantric whose song “Breakdown” dominated the airwaves in 2001 and still receives regular play to this day. The groups set seemed to be plagued by technical difficulties making vocalist Hugo Ferreira hard to hear almost the entire set. Luckily the technical setbacks did little to kill the crowds growing momentum though and the group forged ahead with their 5 song set. Crazy Town would be up next and surprisingly I thought had the best set of the night. Not only did the group display a tremendous amount of energy but they also appeared extremely well rehearsed which made their set undoubtedly my favorite of the night.

 

Alien Ant Farm was next on the bill and put on a performance that sort of had people scratching their heads. The bands front man Dryden Mitchell awkwardly milled about the stage while his band mates remained relatively immobile. Even during the bands hit cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” the band seemed less than interested in being there making their 7 song set list about 7 songs too long. The latest incarnation of Saliva which now consists of Wayne Swinny, Paul Crosby, Bobby Amaru and Brad Stewart would be up next and easily had the second best set of the night. Despite having a soft spot for the bands original line up the current bands configuration did a solid job as they blasted thorough their list of hit songs which included “Always” and of course “Click Click Boom” which closed out the nights set. Mississippi natives Saving Abel would be up next and put on a performance that sort of followed suit with the evening as it came of flat and at times a bit forced. Vocalist Scott Austin’s attempts to be the “crazed front man” were pretty lame and did little to entice the crowd who by this point of the night were running on fumes. However they did come alive briefly for the bands performance of the hit song “Addicted”. Trapt would close out the night this evening which in my mind was a bit questionable however, it was what it was and away the band went with a set that was just as flat as the previous bands performance. Of course the crowd appreciated hearing “Head Strong” but other than that both the band and the remaining crowd seemed to force themselves through the remaining moments of the night.
When a lineup of bands that all had their fair share of hits and exposure join together for a tour after having been away from the public eye for some time you would hope that each of the bands come out swinging and with their best feet forward. Sadly that was not the case for the “Make America Rock Again” tour. Despite solid performances from Crazy Town and Saliva the remaining 5 act seemed to do little for the medium sized audience who ventured to Big Flats making me wonder if everyone had gotten their money’s worth. I can’t say I would be down for checking out another show however if you want to throw caution to the wind and a little cash as well the tour will be out on the road through mid October for you to check out.

Book Review: Keith Morris’s “My Damage: The Story of a True Punk Rock Survivor”

“My Damage: The Story of a True Punk Rock Survivor”
Author: Keith Morris w/ Jim Ruland
Da Capo Press
Hardcover: 309 pages

Our score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Keith Morris is known the world over as the real deal, a seminal figure in hardcore punk, revered by any fan of the genre. As a co-founding member of Black Flag and as the front man for the seminal west coast punk band Circle Jerks “My Damage” is a memoir that covers not only covers Keith’s forty-year history in music but also his struggles with his health and drug use, told straight through the eyes of someone who shared the stage with just about every major figure in the industry.

From page 1 to page 309 “My Damage” keeps the reader’s attention making this a hard book to put down. Through candid accounts of Black Flag/Circle Jerks front man Keith Morris’s early struggles within the Hermosa Beach community to the reincarnation of “FLAG” close to 40 years later the book covers immense ground in an easy to follow format which for readers who may not be as familiar with Morris’s work is a great feature. The books drive matches that of the author as it moves quickly and is unrelenting in details. No matter how edgy or unsettling the story may be Morris pulls no punches and tells the story as it was from his perspective. No phony names or reader friendly versions here folks.

The sheer realness of “My Damage” makes this book appealing to not only punk rock music fans but to readers looking for a candid takes-no prisoners approach to storytelling. Keith cuts out the unneeded drab and quickly gets to the guts of his life and his experiences in the music business. At times over shadowing those story is his struggles with drugs and alcohol which at several points made me question just how the author is still with us and able to recount his journey in detail he does. “My Damage: The Story of a True Punk Rock Survivor” is a must read for biography and music fans.

Concert Review: Freedom To Rock Tour

“Freedom To Rock Tour”

Kiss, The Dead Daisies
Monday, August 29th 2016
Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 Stars

Kiss blasted in to the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY on August 29th as part of their Freedom to Rock 2016 summer tour. Along with the make-up clad Rock and Roll Hall of Famers was veteran rock super group The Dead Daisies. After an 18 year hiatus from the “Flower City” Both bands brought their A game to the near capacity crowd proving their return was long overdue.

Kicking off the night were The Dead Daisies a group whose current roster is made up former Motley Crue vocalist John Corabi, Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich, fellow Whitesnake drummer Brian Tichy, former Ted Nugent/Thin Lizzy bassist Marco Mendoza and Australian guitarist David Lowy. The group seemed to be the perfect opener for the assembled Kiss Army as the band’s sound was the perfect blending of both classic and new rock tones. The hour long set featured original material from the group’s latest album “Make Some Noise” along with a sprinkling of covers which included a beefed up rendition of the Credence Clearwater Revival classic “Fortune Son” along with an in your face version of The Beatles “Helter Skelter” which the fans seemed to really dig. The set was fast paced as singer John Corabi and crew wasted little time addressing the crowd which in my opinion only added to the appeal of the group as they seemed to definitely be all about the music and their performance. After a thirty minute change over Kiss would take the stage where they proceeded to hold court for the next 90 minutes. This tours staging was much more scaled back than that of the previous “Monster” tour however the group performed just the same if not better than in subsequent years. The nights set list included a lot of the group’s staples including “Detroit Rock City” and “Love Gun” but also included lesser played songs like “Flaming Youth” and “Psycho Circus”. Despite a few missed vocal lines by Gene on “Cold Gin” and Paul’s voice starting to show it’s age the New York City natives did a solid job of transporting the crowd back to the groups 1970’s glory days.

From start to finish Kiss’s “Freedom To Rock” tour was a well oiled machine that provided an enjoyable concert experience for people of all ages. For the hardcore Kiss fans there may not have been enough diversion from the bands stock stage/set performance however for the band to still able to pull of this type of show in their 60’s is an impressive feat in its self. If your city is one of the few remaining on this season’s run then do yourself a favor and grab some tickets and get there early as you won’t want to miss either bands performance.

The Dead Daisies Set List:
1.) Whole Lotta Sabbath (Whole Lotta love/War Pigs mashup intro)
2.) Mexico
3.) Make Some Noise
4.) Fortune Son
5.) Lock n’ Load
6.) Long Way to Go
7.) Join Together
8.) The Last Time I Saw the Sun
9.) Devil Out of Time
10.) Helter Skelter

Kiss Set List:
1.) Detroit Rock City
2.) Deuce
3.) Shout it Out Loud
4.) Do You Love Me
5.) I Love It Loud
6.) Flaming Youth
7.) Bass Solo/ God of Thunder
8.) Psycho Circus
9.) Shock Me/Guitar Solo
10.) Cold Gin
11.) Lick It Up
12.) War Machine
13.) Love Gun
14.) Black Diamond
Encore:
15.) Beth
16.) The Star-Spangled Banner
17.) Rock and Roll All Nite

Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider talks about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fames latest exhibit “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics”

Dee Snider is the out spoken, wild hair front man of the heavy metal band Twisted Sister. Dee is currently one of the subjects in a recent exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame titled “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics”. The exhibit showcases some of the most important debates of our country through the lens of rock music. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Dee recently about the exhibit, his thoughts on the country’s current political climate and the Twisted Sisters farewell shows scheduled for this fall.

Adam Lawton: How did you become involved with the current Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit “Louder Than Words”?

Dee Snider: As it turned out my involvement during the 1980’s in Washington was a significant rock and politics moment. They reached out to me to do an interview and afterwards asked if I had any items I could loan them for a display. I ended up donating some of the things I wore the day I testified before congress. After talking with them more I was invited to the opening of the event which evolved into me singing an acoustic version of “Were Not Gonna Take It”. We did that with just piano and vocals and it went real well. This song is so much more important and says so much. It’s a lot more than just a great party song.

AL: Prior to your appearance before congress were politics something you had always been interested in?

DS: I had no interest in politics at that time. I was a young man in rock and roll and you just don’t think about those things. The song was written about my/our oppressors and I was sharing it with our audience who were equally frustrated. Now were older and there are greater concerns. The political climate right now is just awful! The fact that we have probably the most despised person in the history of presidential elections running against the second most despised person. The elections are going to come down to voting for one of those two people. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be so that’s why now more than ever I want “Were Not Gonna Take It” to inspire people. I want people to listen to that song and have it inspire them to try and make a change to get things back to the way our fore fathers intended it to be. People have to vote based on if they like the other guy or girl candidate instead of what issues they stand for. People are viewing this election like a reality television show. We all know reality television is not real but this is! When it comes down to this election we are just boned. I am actually in the process of shooting a new video for “Were Not Gonna Take It” with the guy who shot the original. This time around the video is not going to be funny. It’s going to be a fucking statement! The thing is its too late now but it’s not too late for the future to make something happen.

AL: Initially “Were Not Gonna Take It” was attached to Donald Trump’s campaign. How did that come and about and how did things work when you asked them to stop using it?

DS: I want to make something very clear. Donald Trump is a friend, a great guy and a class act. Unlike most politicians he called me and asked if he could start using the song. Him being my friend I told him he certainly could use it. Now when you are friends with people there is a rule. You don’t talk about three things sports, religion or politics. We never talked about the things he was standing for so when I started to see and read this stuff I thought “Holy Shit!” I called him up and told him I couldn’t stand behind the things he was saying. He said ok and that was it. Donald is a class act because he asked me first to use the song and then stopped using it when I asked him. I still like him as a person but we definitely don’t see eye to eye politically.

AL: Having seen where “Were Not Gonna Take It” has gone what do you think the young Dee Snider would think of all this?

DS: Young Dee Snider would be stunned. That song was written to rile up the masses and scare parents and it did that. Then it leads to me being the poster boy for all things bad about rock music and having to defend my songs and speaking out about censorship. Cut to now and it’s a rock and jock anthem, It’s on kids shows and commercials for women’s pre-menopausal medications. The ultimate irony of all happened a couple of years ago when the “Rock of Ages” film came out. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays a typical esc character fronting a PMRC esc organization who is trying to stop rock and roll. What song do they end up singing? “Were Not Gonna Take It”. You had to be fucking kidding me! That was the ultimate definition of irony. If you told young Dee Snider that thirty or forty years ago he probably would have punched you in the face! (Laughs)

AL: Twisted Sister was recently the topic of a documentary titled “Twisted F****** Sister” which showcased the bands early career. Are there plans to release a second part to that showing the success of the band?

DS: We sort of covered that with the “Behind the Music” special that aired on VH1. That’s the story most people tend to already know. We supported the making of that documentary but it was not something that was instigated by us. There was a documentarian who was intrigued by our story having learned that we were a band for ten years prior to making it big. This was something he was taken with and we welcomed his interest as too many people think that we jumped on the bandwagon of hair metal. We didn’t jump on it we built it! There were no bands like Motley Crue or Poison when we started. I give credit to Hanoi Rocks and Quiet Riot as well for also contributing but there was certainly no wagon to be jumped on. We were carrying the torch for something that record companies were rejecting. This film shows how hard we fought to get noticed and to where we are.

AL: It was recently announced that the band will be playing a handful of farewell shows this year. Can you tell us about those plans and what prompted this decision?

DS: I think this is long overdue. I don’t want anyone to take that the wrong way but I never intended to reunite Twisted Sister and then be together longer than we were when we first got together. I wanted to fix the broken relationships we had with one another and then end on a higher note than the one we ended on when we quietly disbanded in 1987. After a few years of reunion shows we had accomplished what I had wanted. We played the Wacken Festival to seventy five thousand people and it was a perfect show played to a perfect crowd on a perfect night. It also was captured by a dozen or so HD cameras and is available on DVD. That’s how I wanted to end things and I asked the guys if we could stop however the guys voted to keep going. With AJ passing away the sense of who Twisted Sister is and how we wanted to be remembered has become very strong. We know guys have members die and they keep going but we don’t want to be that band. After AJ died it seemed like a logical stopping point for us but with one caveat. AJ was the nice guy in the band however he didn’t have any sort of estate planning set up in the event something happened to him. These shows are going to allow us to say our goodbyes to the fans but also help raise some money for AJ’s estate. Along with our love for AJ and with the help of Mike Portnoy who is one hell of a drummer we did a run of shows last year and will be doing some this year as it will be our 40th anniversary. After these show’s that will be it for us. I don’t think anyone would fault us if we wanted to continue on indefinitely however there are other things we have to take in to account besides the loss of AJ. We perform with a very high energy rate and aggressiveness which has become expected of us. I don’t want to let our fans down. With a lot of work at the age of 61 I am still in great shape but no one beats gravity. I don’t want to go down on stage with a broken hip or something. If I did I don’t think the guys would even know something happened because they have seen my roll around on the floor before. (Laughs) Those guys wouldn’t think anything was really wrong until the EMT’s showed up as they probably would just assume I was milking it.

Concert Review: “Rock N’ Derby” Schaghticoke, NY

Rock N’ Derby
May 20th-May 22nd 2016
Schaghticoke Fairgrounds, Shaghticoke, NY

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Upstate New York came alive on May 20th- 22nd as it hosted the inaugural “Rock N’ Derby” festival in the humble town of Shaghticoke, NY. Despite only being in its infancy the three day event offered a sprawling layout and variety of activities from professional wrestling and demolition derby’s to performances by some of today’s biggest artists including Five Finger Death Punch, Lamb of God, Halestorm, Shinedown and Megadeth.

With more and more multi-day festival popping up around the country it’s hard to figure out which ones are the real deal and which ones are merely just jumping on the band wagon. I am here to tell you that “Rock N’ Derby” is in fact the real deal. Despite being in a rather remote location which require traveling a variety of back roads the 3 day festival was easily one of the most enjoyable concert going experiences I have had. The festival offered plenty of room to move around, ample vendors and facilities including three well placed stages that didn’t require a lot of walking back and forth. To top it off the sound at all three stages was top notch the entire weekend. Though we weren’t able to be on hand for the events first day we talked with plenty of people in attendance who stated that the day’s events were highlighted by some killer performances including those by Lamb of God, Clutch and Five Finger Death Punch. Knowing all of those bands bring incredible live shows I’m sure they set the bar for the rest of the weekend. The main stages for day two of the event kicked off around 2pm with an intense set by the Ohio metal-core band Miss May I. Vocalist Levy Benton and company did an impressive job early in the day setting the standard for those who followed. As we bounced back and forth between the two main stages (the Derby Stage and the Rock Stage) we caught some really great performances by acts such as All That Remains, Chevy Metal featuring Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters and as the day shifted to night Halestorm who put on an impressive set which included a full scale demolition derby taking place in the near fore ground. Closing out the night on the Derby Stage was the always energetic A Day to Remember. The band hit the stage with bursts of giant multi colored confetti and dozens of beach balls which bounced between the stage and crowd. The band sounded great and was very fun to watch as they played to one of the larger crowds of the day. Closing out things on the Rock Stage were thrash legends Anthrax. The NY natives also played before a very large crowd as they shredded through some of their classic back catalog which included songs like “Antisocial”, “Got the Time” before ending the night with “Caught in a Mosh”.

The main stages on the third and final day of the festival started up around 3pm with the hard hitting Trivium commandeering the Derby stage for an hour long set which helped re-energize the crowd from the previous day’s undertakings. Shortly after the opening of the Derby Stage the Rock Stage would be opened by none other than Dokken. Though only Don Dokken and Mick Brown remain from the bands classic eighties line up newer members guitarist Jon Levin and bassist Chris McCarvill handled their duties with ease as the band performed their hour long set. Aside from the days headliners the biggest talk around the grounds on Sunday was the performance of Ghost. The masked Swedish occult themed metal band played an incredible set that not only excited the festival crowd but also conjured up a wind and rain squall that added a different element to the bands theatrical performance. With the weather subsiding shortly after Ghost left the Derby Stage Nikki Sixx and Sixx A.M. got things going on the Rock Stage performing to a slightly dampened crowd. For me the performance matched the poor weather as they were one of the only acts over the three days that didn’t sound good. Sixx’s bass dominated the mix making the rest of the band barely audible and sent us back to the Derby Stage quicker than expected. Coheed and Cambria would take the Derby stage around 7pm putting on a stellar performance. The band was extremely tight making their intricate songs sound as good if not better than the studio recordings. It was great to finally here songs like “The Hardsell” and “A Favor House Atlantic” live as I had up until this day been unable to catch the band live. Needless to say they did not let me down. As the festival slowly started to come to a close Megadeth would be the last artist to take the Rock Stage where despite finding out about the passing of long time band member Nick Menza only a few hours before the group performed like true professionals. Mustain and his crew played a mixture of new and older material including “Hangar 18” and “The Threat is Real” prior to pausing and taking a few somber moments to recognize Nick’s passing. After a heartfelt moment of silence the band closed out the night and the stage with three of their more popular songs “Symphony of Destruction”, “Peace Sells” and “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due”.

While Shinedown was still holding court on the Derby Stage we made our way through the various camping locations and parking lots. Despite the large number of people at the festival things still remained uncluttered and in control. Festival goers moved freely out of the gates as did cars out of the lots. This was something I could greatly appreciate as anyone who has been to a concert of this size knows getting in and out can be one of the worst experiences ever. From our stand point “Rock N’ Derby” was a really fun and well organized event. Great acts, great vendors and a sizeable venue with ample facilities made the entire experience enjoyable and something we hope becomes an annual event.

Festival Line Up:

Friday, May 20th, 2016
Five Finger Death Punch, Lamb of God, Clutch, Parkway Drive, Wolfmother, Pop Evil, Scott Stapp, Corrosion of Conformity,        Red Sun Rising, Wild Throne, Schism

Saturday, May 21st, 2016
A Day To Remember, Halestorm, Anthrax, Chevy Metal, Hollywood Undead, Extreme, State Champs
Sebastian Bach, Bear Tooth, Memphis May Fire, We Came As Romans, All That Remains, Avatar,
Thy Art Is Murder, Stray From The Path, For Today, Cliver, Rings of Saturn

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016
Shinedown, Coheed and Cambria, Megadeth, Sixx A.M., Ghost, Collective Soul, Sevendust, Dokken, Trivium, Enter Shikari,         Born of Osiris, Like A Storm, Currents, Bad Case of Big Mouth

(All photos are Copyrighted and cannot be used without permission)

Peppa Pig Live! Arrives This Weekend at Hard Rock Live Orlando!

Description: Peppa Pig’s Big Splash is an action-packed live show, based on the popular Peppa Pig television series, designed to deliver to preschoolers and young fans an unforgettable first live theater experience. A fully immersive musical production featuring a dozen familiar and original songs, as well as an interactive sing-a-long, the live stage show will have fans laughing, singing, dancing and of course jumping in muddy puddles too – just like Peppa.

“We’re thrilled that even more families all around the country will have the opportunity to spend the day with Peppa and her family and friends,” said Joan Grasso, VP, Licensing – North America, eOne Family. “The live show is a fresh new way for U.S. fans to experience Peppa Pig and the tour promises to be BIG fun for the whole family.”

In Peppa Pig’s Big Splash, the nursery roof is leaking and Peppa and her friends need to fix it quickly. They set up a fair to raise money so Mr. Bull can do the repairs. There’s plenty of fun to be had as Peppa, George, Mummy and Daddy Pig, along with Danny Dog, Pedro Pony and Suzy Sheep work together to organize an exciting day out complete with a Champion Puddle Jumping competition judged by Mr. Potato, where everyone gets wet! An interactive experience full of singing, dancing, games, and muddy puddles, Peppa Pig’s Big Splash is a guaranteed blast for preschoolers and their parents alike!

Hard Rock Live Orlando
Telephone: 407-351-LIVE (5483)
Address: ​ 6050 Universal Boulevard,Orlando, FL 32819

– See more at: http://www.hardrock.com/live/locations/orlando/eventdetails.aspx?locationid=115&eventid=72171#sthash.xdO1ArbN.dpuf

Book Review “Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone”

“Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone”
Author: Marky Ramone w/ Rich Herschlag
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Touchstone

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When punk rock reared its spiky head in the early seventies, Marc Bell had the best seat in the house. From his early days with one of America’s first metal bands Dust to CBGB’s staples Wayne County and Richard Hell and the Voidoids. Marc was there. In 1978 Marc Bell joined The Ramones becoming Marky Ramone and that’s where the real story begins. “Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone” is an honest look inside the world of a punk icon.

Over the course of the books 400 plus pages Marc/Marky takes us on a journey like no other. From his early years growing up on the mean streets of New York City to his countless adventures around the globe with The Ramones it’s all here. Sure there have been several other books from Ramones members recounting their times with the band but for me those stories took more of a back seat as Marky’s tales of getting his first record deal to performing with the transsexual Wayne County during the early seventies when even the mention of transsexual behavior was something that was just not done, were the ones that grabbed my attention and made this book really stand out. T hough I questioned some of the books editing its 15 pages of color photos and the books straight forward approach makes this a must have for not just Ramones fans but for fans of music in general.

Blu-ray Review “Scooby-Doo! And KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery”

Starring: Frank Welker, Mindy Cohn, Grey Griffin, Matthew Lillard, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley
Director: Tony Cervone
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: July 21, 2015
Run Time: 78 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

“Scooby-Doo! And KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery” is one hell of an amazing mash up. It takes two of the greatest things I grew up with “Scooby Doo” and the music of Kiss and brings them together. I literally couldn’t be happier. It also features six classic KISS songs and most importantly an all new original song from the band just for this film. If you love “Scooby Doo!” and KISS, this is a match made in heaven! This is such a blast!

Official Premise: When a ghoul begins to terrorize an amusement park, the Mystery Inc. gang come head to head with the legendary rock group, KISS, who claim they’re also there to solve the mystery. Now the two groups must learn to work together as the clues lead them on a cosmic journey to another dimension.

The voice cast are impressive as well. We see Kiss on board featuring Demon (Gene Simmons), Starchild (Paul Stanley), Catman (Eric Singer), and Spaceman (Tommy Thayer). Guest voice performances include appearances from Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Darius Rucker, Garry Marshall, Penny Marshall, Jennifer Carpenter and Pauley Perrette.

Warner Bros delivers a comob pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Ultraviolet copy. The 1080p transfer is super impressive. The colors are outstanding. The star of the film is easily the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track. The KISS classic tracks, including “Shout It Out Loud,” “I Was Made For Loving You,” and “Detroit Rock City”, all sound AMAZING!

The special features though are a little lacking unfortunately. There are two classic 1978 episodes from the “Scooby-Doo” archives, “To Switch a Witch” and “The Diabolical Disc Demon”. “Are You a Scooby or a Shaggy?” is a super brief chat with voice cast including KISS, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes, and Darius Rucker. Lastly there are some KISS bloopers in “KISS Cut-Ups”. I was really hoping for more features about the involvement of KISS and bringing these two classic pop culture icons together.

Monster Energy’s Welcome to Rockville Announces Tequila World and Onsite Sponsor Activites for Florida’s Biggest Rock Festival April 25 & 26

MONSTER ENERGY WELCOME TO ROCKVILLE:
ONSITE SPONSOR ACTIVITIES,
TEQUILA WORLD DETAILS,
AND INTERACTIVE ART INSTALLATION WITH NOTABLE GRAFFITI ARTIST RISK
ANNOUNCED FOR FLORIDA’S BIGGEST ROCK FESTIVAL
APRIL 25 & 26 AT METROPOLITAN PARK IN JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA
VIP TICKET PRICES INCREASE MARCH 9

Various onsite sponsor activities and an interactive art installation with graffiti artist RISK have been announced for the fifth annual Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville, April 25 & 26 atJacksonville, Florida’s scenic Metropolitan Park along the St. Johns River. In addition, more details have been confirmed for the new Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville Tequila World.

Florida’s biggest rock festival kicks off the World’s Loudest Month festival series and featuresmusic on multiple stages, band autograph signings, interactive experiences, a Monster Energy viewing area with beverage sampling, and a variety of food and beverage options, including local gourmet food trucks and the debut of the new Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville Tequila World.

The new Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville Tequila World, with a Mexican fiesta theme, will feature a wide range of tequilas, extreme margaritas, gourmet tacos, mixologists and more. The expanded list of tequilas that will be offered in the Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville Tequila World is as follows: Cabo Wabo, Corazon, Espolon, El Jimador, Lunazul, Margaritaville, Monte Alban, Pura Vida, Siete Leguas, and more to be announced. Gourmet tacos will be provided by TacoLu Baja Mexicana. Admission to this area is free and open to those 21 and up.

Metalachi–the world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band (www.metalachi.com)–will keep the party rolling with three performances on the Tequila World stage each day. Check out this hilarious behind-the-scenes video clip with Metalachi as they get the news about playing the festival: http://youtu.be/XSWUcaJlD0E.

Also new in 2015 is the RISK interactive graffiti art installation. Kelly Graval, the multi-talented fine artist, illustrator, and graffiti artist known as RISK (www.riskrock.com), will be curating an interactive art exhibit to be displayed on site. The exhibit will showcase multiple live demonstrations by RISK and will allow festival attendees the chance to interact and add to the exhibit. RISK has been synonymous with the Los Angeles art community for decades. With a career spanning 30 years, RISK has solidified his place in the history books as a world-renowned graffiti legend. He has come a long way since he pioneered the painting of freeway overpasses, signs and billboards, dubbed “heavens.” Although RISK loves aerosol art, he sees it as merely just one genre in his life’s work. From his days as a student at the USC School of Fine Arts to gallery and museum showings around the world, RISK has transformed from a street artist to a rising star in the contemporary art world. Check out a video of RISK in action here: http://youtu.be/0St2Rt9xAN4.

Tickets for Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville are available now atwww.WelcomeToRockvilleFestival.com. Those looking for a VIP experience are encouraged tobuy now and save. A limited number of VIP tickets are still available for purchase for the following prices: Weekend VIP: $244.50 + fees; Single Day VIP: $129.50 + fees. On March 9 at Midnight ET, VIP ticket prices will increase to: Weekend VIP: $264.50 + fees; Single Day VIP: $139.50 + fees.

As previously announced, the daily band lineups for Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville are as follows (subject to change; more to be announced):

Saturday, April 25: Korn, Marilyn Manson, Slayer, Ministry, Halestorm, Queensrÿche, Testament, Of Mice & Men, Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts, Hollywood Undead, Suicidal Tendencies, The Devil Wears Prada, Periphery, Nonpoint, Exodus, Fozzy, Beartooth, Upon A Burning Body, Like A Storm, Stars In Stereo, Red Sun Rising, World Gone

Sunday, April 26: Slipknot, Godsmack, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, Breaking Benjamin, Papa Roach, The Pretty Reckless, In This Moment, All That Remains, In Flames, Tremonti, Motionless In White, Hatebreed, Starset, Butcher Babies, Vamps, Young Guns, We Are Harlot, ’68, Islander, From Ashes To New, Sons Of Texas, and more

General Admission and VIP tickets, as well as hotel packages, are on sale now at www.WelcomeToRockvilleFestival.com. Ticket prices will increase in the coming weeks, so fans are encouraged to buy now and save.

VIP tickets include: a VIP entrance to venue; access to VIP lounge area featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food service; viewing of main stage (seated and standing areas); seated area with shade for dining; private restroom facilities; and a VIP guest laminate.

A limited number of tickets are also available at select MetroPCS and Firehouse Subs locations with no service fees.

Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents and anchors the World’s Loudest Month festival series. The World’s Loudest Month features the biggest names in rock music performing in eight distinct concert atmospheres across the country in April and May.

2015 sponsors for Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville include Monster Energy, Bud Light, Jack Daniel’s, Jägermeister, Firehouse Subs, MetroPCS, Crazy Dave’s Music Experience, f.y.e., Zippo Encore, Yamaha, Fxck Cancer, Corona, ReverbNation, Hundred Handed, Matador Beef Jerky, Victory Records, Another Century Records, Wine Decadence, TacoLu, Al Capone Cigars, Roadrunner Records and more.

Website: www.WelcomeToRockvilleFestival.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/welcometorockville

Twitter: @RockvilleFest

Instagram: @welcometorockville

Official Video Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlWzJp7nV0I

About Danny Wimmer Presents: Since 1995, Danny Wimmer has created, developed and produced events from the club level to some of the largest North American festivals. Founded in 2007 by industry veteran Wimmer, DWP produces some of the largest festivals in the rock and alternative landscapes. Never satisfied with the status quo, Danny Wimmer Presents strives to create memorable and fulfilling concert experiences leaving both consumers and partners with lasting and meaningful impressions.

www.DannyWimmerPresents.com

About Monster Energy: Most companies spend their money on ad agencies, TV commercials, radio spots, and billboards to tell you how good their products are. At Monster Energy, we chose none of the above. Instead we support the scene, our bands, our athletes and our fans. We back athletes so they can make a career out of their passion. We promote concert tours, so our favorite bands can visit your hometown. We celebrate with our fans and riders by throwing parties and making the coolest events we can think of a reality.

www.monsterenergy.com; www.facebook.com/monsterenergy

About Metropolitan Park: Metropolitan Park offers a scenic, spacious site for Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville that’s just a few hours drive from cities including Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville, Savannah and Tallahassee, and is easily accessible by plane from around the country. Metropolitan Park is a premier 27-acre recreational facility along the beautiful St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville, Florida at 1410 Gator Bowl Blvd.

The Rods’ Dave “Rock” Feinstein and Carl Canedy talks about new song “Great Big Fake Ones”

Media Mikes had the great pleasure recently to speak to not one but two legendary heavy metal musicians. Dave “Rock” Feinstein and Carl Canedy make up 2/3rds of the band The Rods a band which has been carrying the flag for heavy metal and hard rock since the late 1970’s. Both members have new solo albums out along with a newly released Rods single titled “Great Big Fake Ones” and we spoke with the guys recently about these new releases and their plans for the coming year.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the decision to re-issue “Heavier Than Thou” and
“Hollywood”?
Dave “Rock” Feinstein: “Heavier than Thou”, and the “Hollywood” albums have been albums that wanted by the fans for a long time.  We felt that now was a good time to re-issue them.  They are both slightly different than a traditional RODS album, so I think that’s what makes them so interesting to the fans.
Carl Canedy: We’ve been in the process of re-issuing a lot of our back catalog that we own the rights to. These two CD’s in particular were something the fans had not had a chance own in a re-issued, re-mastered format. Fans have been emailing us for years asking when they’d be available. So like Dave said it simply was time.

AL:  What can you tell us about the newly recorded Rods track “Great Big Fake Ones”?
DF: There are many words that have been used to describe the song, but when Carl brought the song in, the three of us just felt that it was so funny, and just different enough to make the fans want to hear it.  You have to take it for what it is.  It’s not a traditional RODS song, but it is a very catchy tune that should make you laugh.
CC: The guys have been really cool about doing a song this since I initially brought it to them. It’s clearly a “one-off” type of song. The fans who’ve heard love it. I think as long as you realize it’s “tongue-in-cheek” you can enjoy it for what it is. Personally I love it and think it’s quite amusing. I gave it to the guys and when it came time to record it was done quickly. Rock and Garry really nailed the vocals.

AL: You both recently released new solo albums. Can you tell us about those and some of the guests who appear on the albums?
DF:  “Clash of Armor” is my forth solo release now and was done mostly by myself and Nate Horton. On my previous releases I have had quite a few guest performers. In the past guys like John West, Michael Butler, Jeff Howell and Matt Barnes have all come in to help me on various tracks as has Nate. On the song “Bitten By the Beast” from my 3rd solo release I had Carl and Garry come in. I played guitar and Ronnie James Dio did the vocals.
CC: On my CD, I have John Hahn, a Leviathan artist who is a Mike Varney discovery. I’ve known John for quite a few years as I played on his first solo CD in the “90’s. Mark Tornillo has 3 vocals, Joe Comeau has 2 vocals and David Porter has 2 vocals. Chris Caffery came in and did some soloing on 2 tracks as well as several other artists who graciously brought their talent to this project.

AL: With a career spanning multiple decades what do you find these days to be the most rewarding part of being a musician?
DF: It’s rewarding to still be able to create new music.  Of course playing live is the ultimate rush, and to know that there are still fans around the world checking out our music and wanting more.

AL: Are there any plans to perform this new material live and what type of
plans do The Rods have in place for 2015?
DF: I think I can speak for the three of us that we love to perform live, and if a song of ours merits being performed live, then we will do so.  Right now for us we take every request to perform seriously, and try to do as much as we can to make these live appearances happen, For us and for the fans as well.
CC: We do have a few dates in the works that are not yet confirmed and we have confirmed the Defenders of Old Festival in March with Exciter. We’re excited about this show as it’s the first time in years we’ve been to the NY area. Also, I love the band and the guys in Exciter so I’m looking forward to the reunion.

Product Review “Cracker Barrel: Rock O Rama Jukebox”

I remember going to the diner with my family and fighting over who gets to pick the songs on the jukebox. I used to discover tons of great music that way growing up. Today’s kids probably have no idea what a jukebox even is, so I am excited that Cracker Barrel is bringing the jukebox back for my favorite holiday of the year. “Rock O Rama Jukebox” brings the nostalgic back as it delivers the classic holiday records and lights up with LED lights. This jukebox is decorated with green and red and really brings the holiday spirit. This is definitely going to be a favorite decoration for many holidays to come. There are 18 hits by some of music’s greatest artists included here with some of my all-time favorite holiday songs.

Here is the complete tracklist: Brenda Lee “Frost the Snowman”, Smokey Robinson “Deck the Halls”, Harry Simeone Choir “Carol of the Bells”, The Supremes “Little Drummer Boy”, Bing Crosby & The Andrew Sisters “Jingle Bells”, Brenda Lee “This Time of the Year”, Eartha Kitt “Santa Baby”, The Jackson 5 “Up on the Rooftop”, The Supremes “Joy to the World”, Judy Garland “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, Bobby Helms “Jingle Bell Rock”, The Temptations “Silent Night”, The Ronettes “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, Louis Armstrong “Winter Wonderland”, Gene Autry “Here Comes Santa Claus”, Perry Como & The Fontane Sisters “It’s Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas”, Bing Crobsy & The Andrew Sisters “12 Days of Christmas”, Bing Crosby & Carol Richards “Silver Bells”.

The audio quality of the songs are very impressive. These tracks literally transported me back to my childhood and right into the holiday mood. There are audio controls right on the front as well, so it is easy to change a song and change the volume. My only issue was that there are three C batteries required for this and obviously aren’t included. I would have loved them to include the option for an AC adapter as well. Still though, this is a wonderful product and is going to set front and center on your mantle this season. This would also make a great gift but ask quick because I do not see this being on the shelves very long.