CD Review: Gary Clark Jr. “Live North America 2016”

“Live North America 2016”
Gary Clarke Jr.
Warner Bros.
Tracks: 12

Our score: 3 out of 5 stars

To coincide with Gary Clarke’s guest appearances during Eric Clapton’s 50th anniversary shows at Madison Square Garden and at The Forum in Los Angeles in mid March comes the guitarists latest live recording titled “Live North America 2016”. The album is being released via Warner Bros. Records and includes all new and unreleased live recordings from Clark’s 2016 tour which was in support of his acclaimed 2015 release “The Story of Sonny Boy Slim”.

Live recordings can often be hit or miss. Despite the recent advances in digital recording the main brunt of the work still falls on the artists to put forth a worthwhile performance. In the case of the latest Gary Clark Jr. album “Live North America 2016” is mostly all hits. Clark’s performance throughout the albums 12 tracks captures the listener’s attentions and holds it close. Tracks like the soulful “The Healing” and “Down to Ride” showcase Clark’s talents as both a player and vocalist while songs such as “When My Train Pulls In” and “Numb” capture a grittier side of Clark’s musical pallet.

Though I found the albums overall mix to be a touch off at certain points you have to know going in to a live album that there are going to be some audio short comings as there are multiple factors that come in to play with this type of set up some of which are not favorable for recording. However what is consistant across the albums 70 plus minute run time is the musicianship shown by Clark and his band. Each of the twelve performances that make up this album is sure to have something for every listener out there making it worth checking out.

Track Listing:
1.) Grinder
2.) The Healing
3.) Our Love
4.) Cold Blooded
5.) When My Train Pulls In
6.) Down to Ride
7.) You Saved Me
8.) Shake (feat. Leon Bridges with Jeff Dazey)
9.) Church
10.) Honest I Do
11.) My Baby’s Gone
12.) Numb


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New Book Series Ancient Aliens: Marradians and Anunnaki by Acclaimed Authors Ilil Arbel and Gary Morgenstein





NEW YORK – November 10, 2016 – Who were the Marradians? Long forgotten, these ancient aliens profoundly shaped humanity’s evolution through inter-breeding and advanced science and technology. It’s a story that’s been suppressed – until now.

The new book series Ancient Aliens: Marradians and Anunnaki from acclaimed exraterrestrial expert Ilil Arbel, Ph.D, and science fiction writer Gary Morgenstein will, for the very first time, reveal how the Marradians changed the course of mankind‘s history while battling their bitter rivals and cousins, the Anunnaki – with Earth the pawn in this galactic struggle.

Arbel and Morgenstein will use ancient texts and new research to finally bring to life the history, culture, traditions, religion, politics, food, science, technology, songs, sexual practices and customs of this previously obscure alien race, who’ve been misnamed The Grays by global intelligence services to hide the extraterrestrials‘ existence.

The first volume, Extraterrestrial Holidays, will teleport readers inside the worlds of the Marradians and Anunnaki through their holidays, from deity Cimric’s birthday, the Miracle of Egok the Cross-Limbed, the Sh‘ Holidays of Awe, as well as New Year’s and Breeding celebrations..

To blunt any attempts to subvert the truth, the authors are revealing select chapters before the official date of publication. The first selection, Ashar Marrad, about the Marradian day of thanks, will be available on November 15, 2016 at

ILIL ARBEL is the author of numerous fiction and non-fiction books, including factual biographies of alien hybrids (descendants of Anunnaki), as well as extensive research on both the Anunnaki and the Marradians. In addition to biographies, memoirs, novels, mythology/folklore, and metaphysics, Arbel has contributed numerous short stories and articles on the subjects of natural history, personal histories, biography, health, education, social commentaries, and Judaic myths to many publications. Arbel has a Ph.D. in liberal arts and has lived and studied in Tel Aviv, Paris, and New York.

GARY MORGENSTEIN most recently wrote the critically acclaimed off-Broadway sci-fi rock musical The Anthem – Ayn Rand Meets Hunger Games. His plays range from A Tomato Can’t Grow in the Bronx and Right on Target to Ponzi Man, and his novels include Jesse’s Girl, under option to actress Ksenia Solo’s (Orphan Black) production company OnFireFilms, Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman, Take Me Out to the Ballgame and The Man Who Wanted to Play Center Field for the New York Yankees. He is currently completing the first novel in his science fiction trilogy, set on the eve of the 22nd Century after the United States lost World War Three.


The popular sci-fi radio drama series, Mad Mel and the Marradians, is based on the stories of the Marradians and can be heard at and iTunes.

Please visit us at @madmelsaves

For further information contact:

Gary Morgenstein/


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Extreme’s Gary Cherone talks about new album “Retrogrenade” with Hurtsmile

Gary Cherone is best known as the lead singer for the group Extreme who dominated the airwaves in the early 1990’s with their song “More Than Words”. Cherone later went one to front Van Halen for a period of time. In 2007 Gary formed the band Hurtsmile with his brother Markus and the group has just released a new album titled “Retrogrenade”. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Gary recently about the new album along with Extreme’s plans for 2014/15.

Adam Lawton: What can you tell us about the new album “Retrogrenade”?
Gary Cherone: This will be the group’s second release. My brother Mark plays guitar in the group. This album started much like the first one as it was interrupted my tour schedule with Extreme. The first album came out in 2011 and the new one will be out Oct. 6th. I was writing for both projects and also touring with Extreme so because of having to juggle between the various projects this album much like the previous took a bit of time to get done.

AL: Can you tell us about the title and if there is any significance to it?
GC: Naming a record or a band is one of the most difficult things to do. I had a bunch of different titles in mind but this one came in the 11th hour. The album is more in line with the classic rock that I and the other guys in the band grew up with. My manager was on me about naming the record as there were deadlines approaching. I had heard the word retrograde and knew that it had some negative connotations but how I looked at it was I saw the word grenade in it. It ended up being a combination of words as that’s something that I like to do. “Pornograffitti” for example. I emailed the title to the band and it was the first one that everyone liked. That’s what we went with and I think it fits the theme of this record really well.

AL: Did you notice any differences going into the studio this time around as compared to when you recorded the first album?
GC: At this point we are quite comfortable. We did a fair amount of pre-production at mine and Joey’s house. The process was pretty much the same as was the song writing. Mark will bring in a riff and I will scat over it. Joey was a big part of the writing this time around. Everyone really helped with all of the tracks.

AL: Can you describe yours and your brother Marks working relationship?
GC: We don’t throw fists anymore. (Laughs) I probably couldn’t be in a band with all of my brothers but with Mark I could be. When I started my first band he was the little kid in the corner that was always there. He picked up the guitar and went on to become a great player. I think with all these guys we speak the same language. With me and my brother its second nature. We know each other so well.

AL: What sparked your interest in deciding to crowd fund this album?
GC: At first I was a little reluctant. Pat from Extreme was working on a solo project and he was using the site “Pledge”. That was really the first I had heard of this type of thing. Pat was having great success with the program and helped him out by doing a couple videos to promote the project. The last thing I wanted to do however was to dig through my closet for old Van Halen stuff. After talking with my manager we decided to give it a try and it was a lot of fun. I got a lot of cool request to write some handwritten lyrics that weren’t just from songs like “Whole Hearted” or “More Than Words”. We were able to raise enough cash to do the record and a video. I was really happy with the process.

AL: Do you guys have any plans to tour behind the release?
GC: We release this album in October and do some region shows here in the states but then I have to take off for Los Angeles to some things with Extreme. At the top of the year we will be back doing Hurtsmile. We hope to hit some major markets with Pat’s band. I’m really looking forward to getting out there with this group at the earlier part of 2015.

AL: Can you give us an update on Extremes plans for 2014/15?
GC: We are gearing up to head out to Los Angeles to record an album at Nuno’s place. This summer over in Europe we performed “Pornograffitti” in its entirety. There has been a lot of demand for us to do that here in the states so we are working on doing that in early spring which will coincide with the release of the new album. We had a lot of fun playing those songs overseas so we are looking forward to doing the same thing here in the states.

AL: Do you ever find it difficult working with multiple groups?

GC: Extreme is the mother ship. Not to diminish Hurtsmile or anyone else’s projects but Extreme casts the widest net. That band makes it possible for us to do these other projects that we all have. Last year we worked around Nuno’s schedule with Rihanna. We all want to keep busy and everyone supports one another and a number of our projects involve more than one member of Extreme so we all work together.

Gary Owen talks about his new film “Think Like a Man” and his comedy tour

Gary Owen is an actor/comedian who is currently filming the Screen Gems comedy “Think Like A Man” based on Steve Harvey’s best-selling book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”. He is one of the headliners on the upcoming “Shaquille O’Neal All-Star Comedy Jam” which begins this September. He is taping his own one-hour comedy special on Sept. 2nd at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Besides movies and stand-up, Gary also co-stars as “Zach” the barber on Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne” TV series.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Gary about his comedy and also his films.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you give us some background on your current tour?
Gary Owen: I just finished shooting a movie titled “Think Like a Man” with Michael Ealy and Jerry Ferrara, so I have been off the road for about six weeks. I am in Miami this weekend then during the first week in September I will be shooting my hour long special from Mandalay Bay. For the rest of the fall, I am on the “Shaquille O’Neal All-Star Comedy Jam” which puts us in a different city every Friday and Saturday. I will be working through the rest of the year…so it’s good.

MG: What can you tell us about working on “Think Like a Man”?
GO: The film is a romantic comedy about six friends who are all at different stages in their relationships. I play the happily married guy. What happens is the girlfriends/wives of these six guys get a hold of a book title “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”. In the book are all these different tests to put a guy through to find if their guy is the right one for them. One night while hanging out the guys start talking and realize that their ladies are putting them all through the same tests. We find a way to get the book and we jump the gun and start doing what they think they want us to do.  However we aren’t actually doing the things and that’s when chaos ensues. It’s a really funny film and I can’t wait for it to come out.

MG: How did you land the spot as a headliner on “Shaquille O’Neal All-Star Comedy Jam”?
GO: About a year ago I did the Mike Epps comedy special which aired on Showtime. Cole Black who puts on all the “Shaquille O’Neal All-Star Comedy Jam” saw that and put me on the tour. However prior to the tour starting, they have me doing my own hour long special.. then it’s on to the tour. I am very excited!

MG: What can we expect to hear about in your set?
GO: A lot of my comedy is about my life. I am married to a black girl and I married real black! I didn’t go Hillary Banks. My wife is from Oakland and went to public school. I couldn’t break up with her if I wanted to because I am sort of scared of her [laughs]. I said if I was going to this and marry a black woman I was going to be in it to win it.  I wanted one that was inner city black! [laughs]

MG: You are filming the special on Sept. 2 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, do you know when and where it will be airing?
GO: We don’t just yet. I know they are going to be doing some creative cross promotions as they want the special to air about a month before the movie comes. By doing that out it allows them to promote the movie while my special is airing. I can’t say right now but we have received word that one of the networks is interested in buying the special.

MG: How does if feel to be named by Ebony magazine “Black America’s Favorite White Comedian”?
GO: That’s unreal and it was like Dirk Nowitzki in the finals! Who knew? When I first got on television I was on BET and couldn’t get on another network. BET liked me and kept airing me and they were the ones who gave me my first job. Most of the stuff I have been on like “House of Payne” and the films I have appeared in have black lead actors. I love black people and they love me back!

MG: How do you feel doing stand-up differs from when you are acting?
GO: It’s a natural transition. When you’re doing stand-up you hope it leads to doing sitcoms and then onto movies and in the same token with sitcoms and movies you are trying to build you stand-up base. The more people you can reach the better. I am always going to do stand-up. It’s my drug!


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