…where the National Anthem might as well be “Talk Dirty To Me.” Where, if ever the American flag goes missing, an Ed Hardeyskull cap is waiting in the wings to replace it. Where The Daily Rind felt downright patriotic, listening to Big John‘s boss and Poison‘s baddest dish out down and dirty rock n roll of premium 80s vintage. From power ballads like the book-writer “Every Rose” and “Something To Believe In,” to glam’d-out goodies like “Fallen Angel” and “Nothin But A Good Time” (ed note: they may, or may not, have played these songs — it’s hard to remember Atlantic City ), Bret Michaels and company were downright captivating at The House of Blues. Or, at the very least, they had a room full of Jersey skirts and Philly push-ups eating out of their hands.
Seriously, though, this dude is an American institution — click on the picture over there for video proof. Remember: apple pie, baseball, Chevrolet and glam metal survivors share an equal footing in our book. Rags to riches to rags to riches, you know? Oh, and when he and his band tore into a cover of Lynyrd Synyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” Bret shaking his rump in pocket-less, skin-grafted denim? Cue the waterworks, in 100% appreciation for the finest pursuit in the biz: to play American rock, to play it loud, and to impress throngs of chicks doing it.
On Saturday, June 14th, The Daily Rind had the opportunity to interview Lauren Harris in Holmdel, NJ, before her killer set opening for Iron Maiden. The daughter of Maiden bassist Steve Harris, Lauren has been playing to larger crowds than most musicians can ever dream of over the last 3 years, and with her debut album having just come out on Demolition Records, she’s proving herself as a strong artist in her own right. We sat down for a chat on an oppressively humid afternoon literally hours before a thunder storm ripped across the tri-state area. Fitting, considering Lauren’s album title:Calm Before the Storm.
DR: So how has the tour been going so far?
LH: It’s been great! I’ve never played [a big tour in] North America before but it’s really been good and everyone’s been really great.
Cool. And is this your first time on the road overall?
No, I’ve been on tour with Maiden for about 18 months or so now, with some breaks in between, and I’ve toured with Within Temptation, Thunder, The Answer… been doing quite a lot for the last few years
That’s great. Have you had a favorite show so far on this tour?
Wow, you know, my favorite show is gonna be probably tomorrow’s show, ‘cause I’ve never played at The Garden, so it’s gonna be amazing, I can’t wait.
Has anything really crazy happened on the tour?
Nothing that I can probably mention, um but yeah, crazy things happen all the time, especially with the guys, they’re the rock ‘n roll stars.
While her releases have always gained critical acclaim, Christine Tobin’s latest album may be set to propel her into the elite of world jazz vocalists. Having been previously described as the “Bjork of Euro Jazz” by leading British newspaper The Guardian, Tobin looks likely to reach new heights with her 6th studio album.
Having kicked off a string of UK tour dates with a headline slot at the legendary Ronnie Scott’s venue in London, Tobin’s new album Secret Life Of A Girlis available now. Her part fantasy, part biographical album tells of journeys from tough urban landscapes to seaside retreats, of tree houses, pebbly beaches and noble steeds. Eclectic and unique, the album has received universal acclaim. Last month, it was described as “a tribute to Tobin’s song writing that there are no weak spots in this excellent collection” by John L. Walters writing for The Guardian.
The recognition goes beyond print media, however. She is rumoured to be on a shortlist of four strong candidates from Babel, the renowned jazz purveyor, for entry to the lucrative Nationwide Mercury Prize. If nominated, it won’t be her only award ceremony this year; the much heralded artist has already received a BBC Jazz Award nomination for the ‘Best Vocalist’ category.
Whatever happens at these awards, 2008 may prove to be the year that Tobin’s secret success is brought to the fore.
Bringing variety to a genre of music that is difficult to understand outside of its own boundaries may seem like an insurmountable task–to most. The exception here seems to be Sizzla, who has managed to bring Jamaican music together with many different styles of modern twang to produce a totally unique form. Out through Greensleeves on June 26th, The Journey is a full-blown mixtape of this single artist.
Imagine Bob Marley with a poppy, more singable, almost “modern” edge, and you’ll be in the ballpark. The chanting styles and musical influences that have affected his entire career to this point (spanning from the early nineties until now) are apparent in this complete and varied compilation. Listening closely, elements of dancehall can be found in “Praise Ye Jah,” while there’s still enough room to incorporate hip hop in “Africa Prepare” and “Give Me a Try.” Not to mention that there’s some jazz, ska, and rock (what?) that are audible too.
Never afraid to experiment, Sizzla has completed two albums with Kingston producer Donovan Bennett (AKA Don Corleon), which are healthily represented on this compilation by “Be Strong,” “Give Me A Try,” “Where Are You Running To,” and “Rise To The Occasion.” Creative, or even compelling to say the least, he’ll be sure to keep listeners guessing well into his efforts.
The husband and wife duo of Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel — also known as Mates of State — have released the second video from their latest LP, Re-Arrange Us. The Lawrence, Kansas-bred indie poppers released their latest long-player on May 20th, 2008, and have received rave reviews from fans, mags, and the online world. The video for the singe “My Only Offer” is only proof of what this talented group is capable of. Check it out above. Directed by the Beta Movement, the video finds Mates Kori and Jason playing mannequins trapped in disply cases filling ever higher with brightly colored balls. Hilarity ensues. (Keep your eyes open for a brief (And we mean BRIEF) cameo by the New Pornographer Carl Newman). Dates after the jump.