Memorable TV Performances: Deftones, Incubus & Adam Sandler- Be Quiet and Drive

Way back in the past, there was this network called MTV where all they did was play music videos 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That was when it first started. Then over time they introduced other programming while still being music centric. Nowadays MTV resembles nothing that it once was. The past of MTV though did leave us some lasting memories and great music videos and memorable performances. Some of those performances were quite out of left field at times but, during the moment they were quite intriguing. One such performance that has always stuck in my head was during the promotion of the Adam Sandler movie, Little Nicky. This happened back in the year 2000, Adam Sandler was hosting a special that highlighted his movie and the soundtrack and during this members of Deftones and Incubus (both bands appear on the soundtrack. Incubus has “Pardon Me” on it and Deftones have “Change (In The House Of Flies)” and an acoustic version of “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” on it) joined Adam on the couch for an acoustic version of Deftones’ song “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” from my personal favorite Deftones album, Around The Fur. Side Note, “Be Quiet and Drive” is my all time favorite Deftones song as well. This performance is one of those interesting ones but also memorable. Take a moment and check this out and let me know what you thought of it!

Adam Sandler, Deftones & Incubus- Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away):

New Release: Bush- More Than Machines

Bush is back with a pretty rockin new track from their upcoming album, The Art Of Survival. The first song released “More Than Machines” is a solid rocker from start to finish. It continues off of the band’s previous album The Kingdom, which saw the band step up the heaviness a bit and I’d throw in a little bit of Gavin’s post Bush band in the mid 00’s Insitutue to the fold too. This track Gavin said “This is an action-packed song with three really big topics. Off the bat, I don’t understand how anyone has the audacity to get involved or assume responsibility for women’s bodies. I wanted to reference that because it’s important to discuss. As much as the song is about the destruction of women’s rights, it’s about the destruction of the planet and the move for A.I. and a world of robots to replace us. It’s a topic we’ve heard since the fifties. I’m not here to teach anything though; my job is medieval like a town crier. I come into town with my elixirs and sing about it, so it hopefully goes out into the universe.” “More Than Machines” is a track that will leave Bush fans excited and happy till the new album comes out October 7.


Bush- More Than Machines:

Bush- More Than Machines (Live):

Anticipated Albums: Spirit In The Room- Flamingo

One of my the releases I’ve anticipated most in 2022 is FINALLY almost here. I’ve long been a fan of this band. I’ve said numerous times they are the best live band in Los Angeles and I stand by that! Throughout their career so far, Spirit In The Room have been conquering venues, slaying audiences and making rock music feel dangerous again. Now, the wait is over as Spirit In The Room is about to unleash their new EP, Flamingo on August 26 via Housecore Records. For those of you that don’t know, Spirit In The Room comes from the vision of Louisiana-born and Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Dennis R. Sanders. Joining him on this journey through this crazy world is Kevin Sepriano (Guitar) and Phillip Bailey (Drums/Percussion). Spirit In The Room is the type of band that is unpredictable in a great way. The intensity that radiates from Dennis is infectious and a bit unsettling but, that’s part of the charm that makes this band great. The first song released from Flamingo is “The Bird Of Paradise Alights Only Upon The Hand That Does Not Grasp” is one hell of a way to introduce this release. It’s a song that has a groove that gets under you and the next thing you know, your head is in a particular mind space and the music is in you. Personally, I can’t wait for this release. Its been a long time coming but, it will be worth the wait!

Spirit In The Room- The Bird Of Paradise Alights Only Upon The Hand That Does Not Grasp:

PRE ORDER FLAMINGO HERE- https://spiritintheroom.bandcamp.com/album/flamingo

Live Review: Billy Howerdel & VOWWS

There is something to be said about putting certain bands together on tour. When you put the right bands together, the end result tends to be something that leaves those in attendance in a state of WOW and inspired. Well that happened with this tour having VOWWS as the opener for Billy Howerdel’s solo album tour behind his new album What Normal Was. The combination of VOWWS and Billy Howerdel is a perfect match. The way their sounds play off each other and sets the tone for the other is pretty special.

VOWWS is one of my favorite synth driven bands. Ever since I heard them a couple years back I’ve been hooked. They have this distinctive sound to them that is part post-punk, part synth driven, and I’d even put in a little dreamgaze in there as well. Put that all together and you’ve got a recipe for a band that delivers great songs but a vibe that really sets the night on fire. The fact that they are a two piece band makes it all the more interesting. Being able to deliver the sheer force and magnitude they do is something a lot of bands in their genre could learn from. Having VOWWS open for what Billy’s solo album is was the perfect choice. I’m very intrigued to see where VOWWS goes next and what’s in store for them.

The main event for the night was Billy Howerdel. Being a fan of his work in A Perfect Circle and Ashes Divide made this a very exciting night. His new solo album, What Normal Was, is an album I’m hooked on. It’s got this very cool Depeche Mode/New Wave vibe to it but not in a way that it seems contrived but instead inspired. Listening to the album and reading about the mindset of where Billy was at the time makes this album even more special as it’s the album he truly wanted to make. The band he assembled for these shows is superb. Plus having the one and only Danny Lohner out there on stage playing guitar just warms my heart even more. Danny if you don’t know worked with Billy on his new solo album but also in Ashes Divide and in A Perfect Circle. As Billy’s set ripped through his new album, I couldn’t help but notice how these songs translate from album to live and the way that you get a different feeling from those songs. For example a songs like “Ani” “Follower” and “Selfish Heart” had a bit of a heavier delivery than the album and it made it more impactful. Other tracks like “Beautiful Mistake,” “Bring Honor Back Home” “Poison Flowers” and “Free and Weightless” were others that really stood out during the set. Also the addition of the Ashes Divide song “Forever Can Be” was a nice surprise and sounded great with this arrangement. You could tell from watching each member on stage that this was fun and exciting for them. Billy and the band sounded just as good as the album if not better live.

Seeing a show like this that leaves your inspired is a wonderful feeling. And then when you add bands and that really deliver the goods but also believe in what they are doing is contagious. The pairing of VOWWS and Billy Howerdel is/was a match made in musical bliss. I walked out of that show feeling glad I went and now I want more. It was a truly great evening, the bands played great, the people in attendance were all into it, and the other little surprises along the way just made it a perfect Sunday night for a show.

MORE PHOTOS:

VOWWS:

BILLY HOWERDEL:

REVIEW & PHOTOS BY: BRIAN LACY

New Release: Centershift- From Where We Are

There comes a time in every bands career where they find their stride and sound. Thankfully with Centershift, we didn’t have to wait too long for that moment to come. Their first EP, A Different Shade was an introduction to the band and their first offering to the musical world to get things started. This new single “From Where We Are” from their upcoming second EP, is the sound of a band that has grown by leaps and bounds in a short time but, has also dialed in on something that resonates not only on a listener level but on a different musical level all together. The soaring melodies, driving rhythms and deep/profound lyrics on “From Where We Are” make this beyond a stand out track. The way the imagery of the words hits as the guitars, bass and drums create this swell, makes you feel as though you are in the middle of the wave as it goes over you. Centershift is on to something with their melodic heavy rock and it stands out among all the generic and tackiness that is on the airwaves most of the time. This song and upcoming EP is next level for Centershift. I hope you are along for the ride.


Centershift- From Where We Are:

And On All Other Streaming Platforms:

New Release: Muse- Kill Or Be Killed

It’s been a long time since I heard a Muse song that I liked. Probably have to go back to the album Black Holes and Revelations for that. Anyways, recently I heard another new Muse song that brought back their actual guitar playing and today they dropped this new single “Kill Or Be Killed” that is pretty damn good. It’s nice to hear Muse going back to the days of playing rock music and moving away from the dreadful electronic almost Imagine Dragons-esque crap they were putting out!

Muse- Kill Or Be Killed:

Anticipated Albums: Thoughtcrimes- Altered Pasts

In today’s world of heavy music, it takes a lot to get my blood pumping. There are so many generic boring wannabe type metal bands out there but, in the end, they really just don’t get it. Thankfully, some bands in heavy music do get it and the end result for those are aces above the rest. A while back I heard of a new band/project that peaked my interest and now their full length album is upon us. Allow me to introduce you to Thoughtcrimes. This band is absolutely badass. Their sound is a bit of hardcore mixed with metal (but not “metalcore”), a bit of groove and just the right tinge of melody to give it that extra bit of oomph to capture you. Produced by Mike Watts, the 11-song album is an unrelenting kick to your face while at the same time daring to challenge you. The three songs released so far including “Panopticon,” “The Drowning Man,” the most recent “Keyhole Romance” are superb, with the latter being one of the more ambitious songs the band has written yet. Throughout the album (yes I’ve heard it and I will save a full review till closer to release day), you find yourself more and more immersed in what is happening. The bits of ambience are seductive, then the pummeling of riffs and rhythms take you on a whirlwind. Thoughtcrimes is one of the bands of today that not only should be one of your favorite heavy bands but those “other bands” I mentioned at the beginning should be taking notes from these guys on how to do it right!

PRE-ORDER THE ALBUM HERE!!!!!

Keyhole Romance:

Panopticon:

The Drowning Man:

Anticipated Albums: Dead Cross- Dead Cross II

The long awaited second album from Mike Patton, Justin Pearson, Dave Lombardo and Michael Crain aka Dead Cross is just about here. On October 28th (via Ipecac Recordings), Dead Cross returns with an abrasive and socio-political 9 song record that will leave you in shambles. The album, while both a ravenous hardcore collection, and at times, a politically-charged opus, has its roots in friendship, with the band rallying together after Crain received a surprise cancer diagnosis. “Words can’t even begin to describe how much this album means to me. It’s birthed of pain and uncertainty,” explains Crain. “The slow, excruciatingly painful, and nauseating recovery from cancer treatments were the catalyst for every riff and note on this album. However, my will to live and be with my brothers Justin, Dave, Mike, and co-producer Ross Robinson, got me out of bed and running into the studio every day to get it all on tape.” And that couldn’t be more true. This album although only 9 songs is unrelenting and what you’d want in a follow up to the band’s 2017 debut.

The first song releases “Reign Of Error” has an interesting backstory to it. “’Reign of Error’ was recorded almost as quickly as it was written and I believe there’s a very good explanation for it,” adds Crain. “I haven’t told anybody this before, least of all the rest of the band or Ross, but I honestly felt a strong presence in the studio that day. Those riffs flew out of me and when Dave sat down at his kit it was almost as if we’d played that song a thousand times before. It literally just happened so fast. Bam! One take. I’m not trying to paint a dark or fantasy-like story either. Having just escaped death and still healing from my cancer treatments I was incredibly sensitive to energy and the other side. There was someone else there. Not evil but benevolent and inspiring. I honestly believe it was Dave’s old bandmate and friend Jeff. I think he just wanted to jam with his friend again and perhaps did so through me. There I said it. Whether people believe it or not I really don’t care. I’m just grateful that I had that experience.”

Personally, I’ve been very excited for this new release from Dead Cross. I throughly enjoyed the debut and am stoked on this one for sure. October 28th can’t come soon enough. Now, lets just hope they tour it!!!


Dead Cross- Reign Of Error:

Classic Soundtracks: Reality Bites

Remember the 1994 movie Reality Bites? It starred Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garafalo, Steve Zahn and Ben Stiller (who also directed the fiim). The film was one of those at the time that tried to capture the Generation X movement and highlight the issues of each individual. It’s one of those movies that over time has achieved cult status and has started to be studied in a way as to the correlation between differing eras and how times change so rapidly these days, not to mention the capitalistic/corporate nature of our world and how it’s all but taken the individual aspects of culture and commerce away. But enough of me going off on a tangent about that (I will save that for another day and topic). The soundtrack to this film though is one that stands out. Not only in the songs/bands picked, how they were used in the film. There is a bit of an interesting history to the soundtrack as well. RCA met with the film’s music supervisor Karyn Rachtman, and Stiller, three weeks into filming, to discuss the soundtrack album. They finalized a deal and the label opened its roster to the director, who picked only one band: Me Phi Me. RCA aggressively marketed the album and had five tracks on rotation on radio and MTV. The video for Crowded House’s “Locked Out” was updated to include footage from the film. In addition, the video for “Spin the Bottle” by the Juliana Hatfield Three was directed by Stiller and featured clips from the film as well. The soundtrack sold 1.2 million units and reached #13 on the Billboard 200. The album also earned a No. 1 single with Lisa Loeb’s “Stay (I Missed You)”. In the US the album went 2X Platinum as well. What’s most interesting about this soundtrack is that it tells a story just like an album would. That is something quite rare in soundtracks these days. The 90’s really had a knack for putting together the right soundtracks and it took the film to a whole level, just like in Reality Bites. By the way, if you haven’t seen this movie, I recommend it. It’s a great watch especially when you look at the world today and realize how doomed we all are!


Reality Bites Soundtrack:

New Release: The Cult- Give Me Mercy

I remember when I was a little kid watching MTV and there was a band that I saw their video for and I became very intrigued by them. The first song I heard and video of their’s was “She Sells Sanctuary.” There was something about it that clicked. Then fast forward a little bit and then the release of their album Sonic Temple came out and “Fire Woman” was all over MTV and I couldn’t get enough. From that point, I became a fan of The Cult. Throughout the years, I’ve still followed them and they still bring it each time. Their most recent albums have been really, really good (check out the albums Choice Of Weapon and Hidden City, soooooo good!). Anyways, today The Cult announced their next album and released a killer single to go along with the news. THE CULT will release its new album, “Under The Midnight Sun”, on October 7 via Black Hill Records. The LP was produced by Tom Dalgety (PIXIES, GHOST, ROYAL BLOOD) the first single, “Give Me Mercy”, is classic Cult with a bit more of an etherial twist. Speaking on the song, singer Ian Astbury said “I was absolutely enamored with this piece of music Billy Duffy (note: he’s a very underrated guitarist and songwriter) had written, and it perfectly fit these thoughts I’d been having about our culture’s need to move past assumptions of duality. We need new language because words can’t express where we’re going.” With Billy adding “Give Me Mercy’ has all the hallmarks of the new classic CULT to my ears … fresh yet familiar.” That couldn’t be more true. The Cult have a signature sound and that is heard on the song but, there is something new to it that gives it the fresh feel!

The Cult- Give Me Mercy: