Music

Music

Thu
21
Nov

Toto Still Shines Bright as the Sun

Toto Forty Tours Around the Sun

Toto has long been one of those bands that I could just put an album on (yes I said album) and listen to it from start to finish. Their music always sounded polished and complete, meaning they never had me saying to myself, “I wish they would play a little more this, or a little less like that.”

On “40 Tours Around The Sun” they have proven to me that they not only play as well as they ever did, but in some ways they are even more polished and consummate now.

This 2-disc set from Eagle Rock Music captures the band in great form, and the recording is first-rate (as I have come to expect no less from Eagle Entertainment). Recorded last March, Eagle Rock wasted little time bringing this set to light, so that the music you hear on this set will be as fresh as if you were to go see them tomorrow.

But don’t think of this as some sort of a rush job to cash in; nay, nay, Eagle Rock knocks it out of the park again.

Sat
19
Oct

Escape to Margaritaville by Way of St. Louis

Escape to Margaritaville

The national tour of Escape to Margaritaville has arrived at the Fabulous Fox Theatre for an all too brief weekend run, October 18-20, 2019. If you're a true Parrothead, as Jimmy Buffett fans are known, you probably already have tickets. If you don't, or you're on the fence about it, I strongly recommend giving it a try. The show is quite fun and you'll surely know at least one of the songs by heart. 

Mon
07
Oct

Dream Theatre Rocks The Stifel With DISTANCE OVER TIME Tour

Dream Theatre at the Stifel Theatre, St. Louis, Oct 2, 2019. Photo Credit: The Stifel Theatre

Ever heard of progressive metal? Think of a progressive rock band such as Rush or Yes with soaring vocals and prominent bass, keyboards and synthesizers, and then toss liberally with heavy metal guitar and drums ala Metallica. That’s how an associate of mine described the sub-genre for which Dream Theatre and Queensrÿche are the best known examples. They played the Stifel Theatre in St. Louis on October 2, 2019, right next door to the home opener for the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the St. Louis Blues. Even against such a crowd next door, Dream Theatre’s “Distance Over Time Tour” filled the venue reasonably well.

Mon
26
Aug

Rocketman Gloriously Magical, Brutally Real

Rocketman Bluray

In terms of sheer visual spectacle, ROCKETMAN is without peer. Brilliantly mixing magical metaphor with raw reality, this film straddles the boundaries between musical and biopic.

From the very first scene and the very first note, ROCKETMAN is riveting. The film opens with the adult Elton John (played superbly by TARON EGERTON) strutting into an addiction support group in full sequined regalia. It doesn't feel like it could be real, and it's the most subtle part of the film, as it's used as a storytelling device throughout the movie. As we progress, we return to this device, each time with more of the costuming stripped away--a metaphor for deconstructing the mythical Elton John and getting down to the man himself.

Wed
24
Jul

The Muny Cuts Loose with Footloose

Footloose Muny 101

The 80s anthem, FOOTLOOSE, defined a generation that wanted--nay, needed!--to blow off steam through music and motion. It was a time when we wanted to get physical, to dance in the streets and dance in the sheets, and nothing was going to stop us now.

The classic show became a musical in 1998, and tonight the cast at The Muny delivered the penultimate performance of the show's St. Louis run.

The musical adaptation takes a few liberties with the script, of course, sometimes for time considerations, and sometimes for simplicity of stage direction. Instead of Ren McCormack (MASON REEVES) working at a grain mill, he waits tables at a burger joint. And preacher's daughter Ariel Moore (McKENZIE KURTZ) has her daredevil urges tamed down so that she's screaming at trains instead of in front of them.

Tue
18
Jun

Megadeth Frontman Dave Mustaine Diagnosed with Throat Cancer

Lead singer and guitarist Dave Mustaine announced on the Megadeth website (then shared to twitter) that he was diagnosed with throat cancer.

While he states that his doctors have developed a treatment plan that will have a 90% success rate, it's still a very real and scary thing for someone whose career thrived off his unique vocal talents. You can read his official statement here.

Naturally, most of the shows on their current tour will need to be canceled, however, the 2019 Megacruise will happen and the band will still be a part of it in some form. It doesn't appear that the diagnosis will stop them from releasing a follow-up album to "Dystopia" so it's possible the vocals for that have already been recorded.

Fri
07
Jun

On Heels of LUCIFER Exposure, Serena Foster Drops "I <3 CA" Single

Getting your music placed on a television show is a major career achievement. That recently happened for music phenom Serena Foster when her single "Oh Oh Oh" found its way onto the Netflix series, Lucifer. Having had past experience with the #SaveLucifer campaign when it was dropped from traditional network, I can speak to the size of the audience Foster reached with that little number.

Striking while the iron is hot, Foster has dropped her newest single. "I <3 CA" is an up tempo, playful melody with light and cheery lyrics. And, as one might surmise from the title, it's a bit of a love song to the coastal state, and could quite likely find its way into one of those California Department of Tourism ads you see on television.

So pop on your headphones, and maybe a pair of designer shades for effect, and take a listen to your newest earworm. You're welcome.

Mon
27
May

Country Faith Hymns Volume 2

Country Faith Hymns Volume 2

Perhaps one of the things that sets country artists apart from pop ones beyond just the style of their genre is that country artists will almost invariably -- and comfortably -- cross over into the gospel genre. In the past, some pop stars would release an album or two, most notably Elvis Presley, and it was common for R&B singers to have some gospel in their repertoire. But by and large it's the country artists who find church music in their roots and carry it forward into their own music.

Fri
22
Feb

2CELLOS String Together Another Memorable Performance

2CELLOS play beautiful songs. They are very romantic.

My third time seeing 2CELLOS, aka Stjepan Hauser and Luka Šulić, at the Fabulous Fox Theatre was every bit as exciting as my first time. The Croatian sensations took the internet by storm back in 2011 with their GQ model looks, unassuming charm, and their virtuosity with their instruments. They attack the strings with reckless abandon, welding classical and pop/metal into an unforgettable sonic experience.

Seeing 2CELLOS live is even better than watching them on YouTube. Šulić and Hauser playfully interact with the audience between songs, whipping the ladies into a frenzy with their sexy European accents. The guys in the audience don’t mind because once the lads start playing AC/DC covers the men have no choice but to headbang and air jam in their seats. It’s genetic. Trust me.

Thu
20
Dec

Straight No Chaser's "One Shot" Tour Is A Holiday Tradition In St. Louis

Straight No Chaser on the "One Shot Tour" played the Fox Theatre  on December 18, 2018. Photo Credit: The Fabulous Fox

Who doesn’t love the tradition of the holidays? Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, crazy lines at department stores, Charlie Brown, the Grinch, Rudolph and Frosty…and live a cappella music to delight the mind and warm the heart. For as many years as Straight No Chaser has been coming to the Fabulous Fox Theatre to perform around the holidays, I’ve had the privilege to attend and review their show. It’s always a fun evening of new and classic pop songs and holiday favorites.   This year, Straight No Chaser is on tour to promote their seventh full length album, One Shot.

Tue
20
Nov

A Breath of Fresh Old-School Country Air: TJ Hernandez, "Who I Am"

TJ Hernandez Who I Am

It’s amazing to me how modern country music has lost its differentiation from other forms of modern music, like it sold its soul to rock and roll. Today it all seems like just rock music with just a touch of country added, no doubt to stay more mainstream and modern.

What a breath of fresh air it was, then, for me to listen to WHO I AM from TJ Hernandez.

Immediately upon clicking on the first track in my player, I realized I wasn’t listening to mainstream country pop music. (Huzzah!) I was listening to old school country--in voice, lyrics and musicianship, this was country music as it was when it was known as Country and Western!

The songs are lyrical stories, with the first song, “Corporate Man,” being a well-constructed song. Just by reading the lyrics you would say, “This is a Country & Western song.” And with its pedal steel and twangy guitar, it completes the picture.

Mon
19
Nov

Compelling Songs of the Human Condition Form Sevi Ettinger's EP, Salty Water

Sevi Ettinger Salty Water

Sevi Ettinger is a 15 year old with a heart for her fellow human being’s suffering. And while there are many songs written about the ravages of war, few are written about the suffering of all the refugees on this world, as humans flee for their lives and the lives of their children to start a better life, only to find themselves still living in harsh conditions and unable to fulfill their dreams.

SALTY WATER is an EP album of 4 songs filled and expressed with the long suffering that Sevi has felt for these refugees. The title song, “Salty Water,” was written by her while living in Shanghai, with the aid of an app on her phone as she was moved by the plight of the Syrian refugees.

Thu
25
Oct

Can’t Say No to This YES 50th Anniversary Release

Yes 50th at the Apollo

This new release from Eagle Rock Entertainment captures a 50th Anniversary concert of the classic Prog-Rock band YES, held in Manchester, England’s famed Apollo Theater.

As you can imagine, over a 50 year spread there have been several personnel changes to the band’s line-up. This current one is billed as “YES Featuring Jon Anderson-Trevor Rabin-Rick Wakeman." Jon, one of the originals, formed the band in 1968. Rick Wakeman first joined in 1971, and Trevor Rabin back in 1983. Performing with them for this concert is Lee Pomeroy on bass and Lou Molino III on drums.

Wed
24
Oct

Blood and Stardust Finds KISS Enlisted in a Supernatural Battle

They're the world's most iconic rockers. With their black-and-white facepaint and their over-the-top stage presence, KISS is on top of the world.

And then they were dead. Killed through the machinations of the mother of demons, all so that she could recruit them to fight a greater evil that existed beyond her grasp.

It seems there's another rock star on the rise in the mortal plane, and he's anything but mortal. He's a vampire, and he's got the protection of a group of occultists keeping him safe from Lillith. In exchange, they tell him who he needs to kill. And Lillith wants him dead, even though she created him.

Wed
10
Oct

Best New Artists of 2018

New Artists of 2018

Each year, new names emerge in the music industry. Some of these new names soon become household names while others will scatter into oblivion after just one hit song. While we don’t know what the future holds for each and every one of the following artists, all we know at this point is that these are the best new artists of 2018. If you encounter an artist you haven’t heard of on this list, then you can simply visit cresus casino to play profitable games and earn that extra cash to purchase their songs online.

Bassette

Thu
09
Aug

Tommy Shaw and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra: "Sing for the Day!"

Tommy Shaw and CYO Sing for the Day

Jaw dropping on every level!

Fri
06
Jul

The Cowboys Ain't Gone Yet: Paul Bogart, "Leather"

Paul Bogart, "Leather"

It's bee a truism for a while now that Country and Pop have blended together so much that there's not much of the old school Country left. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as it's produced a lot of great music. But it's also come at the cost of the original sounds -- the steel guitars and the honky tonk piano -- that you maybe didn't realize you'd been missing until you hear it.

Fortunately, there are still country artists who still walk the walk, and draw inspiration from their music from the lived life.

A prime example: Paul Bogart, whose just released his latest single, George Jonesin', off his CD, LEATHER. If you've even a passing reference with the genre, you get the reference, and Bogart deftly encapsulates the zeitgeist of the Silver Fox with this story-song of lost love and drowned sorrow lyrically and melodically.

Mon
14
May

Murphy's Ford Drops My Bar First (Video)

My Bar First - Murphy's Ford

In a time when country music almost never sounds like country music, it's refreshing to hear a song with rhythm, twang, and quintessential country feeling.

My Bar First from rising stars Murphy's Ford hits every not perfectly -- not just the musical ones, but the cultural ones as well. Sure, big city people can and do love country music, but it's the places with populations that don't exceed the triple digits that most often embody the heart and soul of country songs--towns with one grocery store, a single barber shop, a church with a steeple that makes it the tallest building in town, and, of course, the bar. Having grown up in such a place in southern Illinois, this song immediately struck a chord with this reviewer, and the video release is so real you can almost smell the cigarettes and spilled beer.

Thu
10
May

You Need Kendall Gary's "Your Love" (VIDEO)

Kendal Gary Your Love

We first introduced you to country music ingenue Kendall Gary a few months back with the release of her video, Head Held High.

Hot on the heels of that, and in advance of her summer album release, the Lewisville, Texas singer -- who began her training in opera before settling into country -- is ready to melt hearts with her new single, Your Love.

Mon
30
Apr

Reinventing Pink Floyd Packed with Enough Info to Leave You Comfortably Numb

Reinventing Pink Floyd

REINVENTING PINK FLOYD, published by Roman & Littlefield, is written by Bill Kopp, who, as the book denotes, is a lifelong music enthusiast, musician, collector and, since the 90s, a music journalist. The book covers the Pink Floyd's history from the time founding member Syd Barrett left the band in 1968 through the release of the album DARK SIDE OF THE MOON in 1973, detailing how the band members interacted, grew, and evolved along the way.

For those only familiar with Pink Floyd from DSotM, it may be hard to grasp why someone would write a book concerning such a narrow, though important, time frame, when everything they did since kind of went along the same path. But as you dig into early Floyd and listen to the music from that time period, you realize the music was indeed very different pre-DSotM, as with THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN, A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS, ATOM HEART MOTHER, and others, highlighting the eccentricities of the group's leader, Syd Barrett.

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