Fozzy @First Avenue–> 9/8/2018

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—>  Craving some clean fun energy? Charismatic showmanship? A balance of ballads and hard metal riffs? Jackets that light up like fireworks? Well, then Fozzy is the next rock band to check out live.Members include former wrestler + frontman Chris Jericho, guitarists Frank Drake, Billy Grey, and Rich Ward, and drummer Frank Fontsere. Fozzy is currently on their fall tour to support their new album “Judas” released via Century Media Records last year.

—> Favorites include: Painless, Capsized, Burn Me Out, Judas, Elevator, and Drinkin’ with Jesus.

—> Supporting acts included Stone Broken (didn’t get the chance to see), The Stir, and Adelitas Way. Fun fact: I was generous enough to become the chauffeur for Adelitas Super chill, down-to-earth, real, straight-forward, and ones who know their shit. It was an honor dudes! Anytime. Reigning from the city that never sleeps, Las Vegas, Adelitas Way is touring through October and will do UK dates in February 2019. Past albums include: Adelitas Way (2009), Home School Valedictorian (2011), Stuck (2014), Getaway (2016), and Notorious (2017).  The most recent single is “Something More Og” and was released on August 23rd, 2018. My favorite tracks include Bad Reputation, Notorious, Ready For War (Pray for Peace), and Sick. Whether the band does ballads or rocks hard, they’re definitely worth it to check out and support!

—> Originally from Atlanta, GA, The Stir the support on tour for Fozzy this fall. Their tour ends on October 24th. The band is signed with Madison Records and Red Light Management. Their EP has the single “Nightshift.” 

—> As the show concluded, I met up with my friend Jordan and asked him how meeting Chris and the band went earlier that afternoon. He said and I quote “Oh, I was starstruck! Been a fan of Chris since I was a little kid.” Glad to hear that his dream came full circle. Still have it on my bucket list to meet mine. We caught up on how our schedule and plans were going so far and then went our separate ways.

—> Fate had plans that night.  Received an opportunity to meet select band and tour members in the Depot Tavern. Talked of stories of Prince, Minnesota, the business, hometowns, dreams, influences, the list goes on. Played the role of a brief tour guide while describing the weather, weekend activities, and general vibes of Minnesotans. The after-party took place with a few people at sports bar Sneaky Pete’s a few blocks away. Y’all are dope pheebs family (Avery, Ryan, “Whiskey” +Gregory)! Keep it up and I hope to see you on the road someday. 🙂 

Judas Album Tracklist:

  1. Judas
  2. Drinkin’ with Jesus
  3. Painless
  4. Weight of my World
  5. Wordsworth Way
  6. Burn Me Out
  7. Three Days in Jail (feat. Hero the Hero)
  8. Elevator
  9. Runnin’ with the Bulls
  10. Capsized
  11. Wolves at Bay

FOZZY

Website: http://www.fozzyrock.com/fozzy/about/

Social Media:  Instagram- @fozzyrock Twitter-@FOZZYROCK

ADELITAS WAY

Website: http://adelitaswaymusic.com/

Social Media: Instagram- @adelitasway Twitter-@adelitasway

THE STIR

Website: https://www.thestirmusic.com/

Social Media: Instagram- @thestir101 Twitter-@thestir101

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Set It Off–> 8/29/2018

 

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Set It Off played at The Garage in Burnsville, MN on August 29, 2018.  It was the first time ever that I attended an event or concert at The Garage. Few facts about the venue: it is a DRY venue, that means no alcohol whatsoever is allowed on the grounds or inside the building, it is a youth center for all ages, and it is operated by  a non-profit called Twin Cities Catalyst Music. The Garage offers internships, workshops for artists/bands, rehearsal space and recording studios, and can record live studio sessions and post them on the website.  Towards the front of the venue, guests can treat themselves to the mini-café for appetizers and refreshments before a show.

—>  Set It Off is currently touring this fall in support of their recent albums “Duality” and “Upside Down.” Earlier this year, the charismatic band signed with Fearless Records-a division of Concord Music Group. The band has also been on previous Warped Tour lineups. A popular single is “Partners in Crime” feat. New Years Day front woman Ash Costello. On July 24th 2018, the band released their new single “Killer in the Mirror” along with a music video.  Frontman Cody Carson, revealed to the diehard crowd that new music and a future tour are to be promised for sometime in 2019.

—> Touches of hard rock+musical theater+upbeat lyrics+ uhhhh a large blow-up mattress to crowd surf on…. and you get a taste of a Set It Off concert. Engagement was a 10 out of 10 from not only Cody but from all members of the band. An acoustic medley of the band’s biggest hits was an encore. Not your typical encore…. but in a good way. Small touches that a band makes to stand out during a tour… makes all the difference to distinguish fans to spread the word and return for more. 

Album Tracklist-Duality

  1. The Haunting
  2. N.M.E.
  3. Forever Stuck in Our Youth
  4. Why Worry
  5. Ancient History
  6. Bleak December
  7. Duality
  8. Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (feat. William Becket)
  9. Tomorrow (feat. James Lancaster)
  10. Bad Guy
  11. Miss Mysterious

Website: http://setitoffband.com/

Social Media:

Instagram: @setitoff

Twitter: @SetItOff

Final Vans Warped Tour-Shakopee, MN (7/22/2018)

 

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The Final Full Cross Country Vans Warped Tour. One of the largest, nationally known traveling festivals was a music safe haven for 25 years.

Alarms from my iPhone 6s blast into thin air to wake me up at 6 a.m. sharp…. but unfortunately not when “September ends..”

July 22nd, 2018. The final run of the Vans Warped Tour in Shakopee, MN on the grounds of Canterbury Park. Anxiously, I dress myself in full badass gear. Black Craft Cult yoga pants, a black swimsuit top with a black tank over it, black platform shoes, black nail polish, and yes black lipstick to top it for the cherry.  A New Years Day labeled band string backpack carries extra clothes, makeup, cash, a letter and resume (for a possible opportunity work with my favorite band someday), and tickets for entry and the Think Tei Workshop with Chris Cerulli (lead vocalist for Motionless in White).

Arrived to Canterbury at around 11 a.m. on the dot. Parked below the grounds infested with numerous tents, stages, and ragers ready to crowd surf.  Reminisced of a mini-MN State Fair Grounds.  My teenage angst/emo phase would’ve been so proud. Visited the Black Craft table, Fearless Records, Roadrunner Records (for shade), and organizations tied with mental health awareness. There was a white board which attendees could fill out a spot and tell their story anonymously. Shy at first, I contributed and told my story in three-four sentences for Heart Support.

At around 12:30 p.m., I head to the Think Tei tent to wait for Chris Motionless’s workshop. Being first in line (and killing time chatting with other fans), I was able to sit inches from a blue camping chair. The workshop turned into a Q+A session. I started it off by asking Chris, “How did the band name ‘Motionless in White’ come to be?” He answered it graciously. Basically the band name was a spin-off or variation of a song “Motionless AND White.”  The Q+A lasted roughly an hour. At the end, a group picture was taken with Chris and he hugged and greeted every single fan. Patiently, I wanted to be last to gift my letter/card. Fate had other plans… Chris turned towards me out of the blue and thanked me for starting the Q+A. Handed him the letter and briefly explained it. Fingers crossed it would be read 🙂

With a burst of energy, I head over to Motionless’s merch tent and got a t-shirt. Then, shuffled my way over to the Mutant White Lightening Stage for the set time of 3:30 p.m. Thank god for Urban Decay’s “All Nighter” spray and Black Moon’s lip color cause I barely had sweat melting my face off. Head banged the hell out of my neck for “Reincarnate,” “Soft,” “Immaculate Misconception,” and more. Full metal mode baby! Oh yeah… and getting kicked in the head a few times from crowd surfers was super fun.. not!

Trying to recover from screaming lyrics and ringing ears, booked my way to the Vans “Off the Wall” merch tent for their signing. Greeted each band member with a handshake and compliment.  Ryan (guitarist) wanted my earrings (crystal balls with skeleton fingers grasping them), Vinny (drummer) had dope makeup, complimented Ricky’s (guitarist) writing/blog, and said “what’s up” to Chris.. again. Told me he would read my gift/letter, but I’ll see what time will tell.

Later in the evening, I stopped by the Go Radio tent and chatted with a couple of interns.  Other acts I saw were 3Oh!3 (Journey’s Left Foot Stage), Amity Affliction (Red Mutant Dawn Stage), Tonight Alive (Journey’s Right Foot Stage), Ice Nine Kills, Asking Alexandria (had major sound/tech issues), and Falling in Reverse (Journey’s Right Foot Stage). 3Oh!3 asked people about Myspace, FarmersOnly.com, dancing, and asked to see people’s best vape puffs. Haha!! Smelled like cotton candy.

Stopped by a mental health organization (can’t remember the name) and a staff member asked to do a psychic/angel reading for free. Little skeptical, but I accepted. She told me things that no one else would’ve known about me. My insecurities, past and present with anxiety and depression, my hopes & dreams, and more. Tears swelled up my vision because she peered through a hole to my inner being. Nothing like that has happened to me before on a spiritual level. May sound weird or eccentric, but it was the truth! She told me “I guess our paths were meant to cross at a certain point today.” “You’re amazing, you’ve got big things to do, and do not give up. You’re not a mistake.” *balled*

At around 8 or 8:30 p.m., burnt out (socially and literally) from the sun, it was time for me to wrap things up and head home. Walked around the grounds one more time and said a mental goodbye.

Warped Tour had an amazing run of plenty of artists and bands that got their start on the roster of the tour. From Paramore, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Katy Perry, New Years Day, All Time Low, American Authors, Boys Like Girls, Coheed and Cambria, Family Force 5, G-Eazy, Bullet for My Valentine, Green Day, Eminem, Good Charlotte, Jeffree Star, Kid Rock, K Flay, Linkin Park, Papa Roach, Motionless in White, Plain White Tees, The Pretty Reckless, Rise Against, Parkway Drive, Sevendust, Sleeping with Sirens, Staind, Sum 41, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Underoath, Waterparks, Yelawolf, The All American Rejects, Billy Idol, Black Eyed Peas, Black Veil Brides, Chelsea Grin, Echosmith, and so many more artists big and small. Only bigger plans are yet to come for bands that had a platform of Vans Warped Tour to grow.

Would I relive it everyday if I chose to? Absolutely. Not one feeling of sadness crossed my mind. RIP Warped Tour! The festival will be greatly missed ❤

*Note: video clips+photos are on my Instagram (kelly_jean_m).

-Kelly

Dash of Halloween in the Summer (6/30/18)

 

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First Avenue’s 2nd Vampire’s Ball…

Black satin cocktail dress, skeleton earrings and a crystal necklace, black lipstick and red eyeshadow. As the residual energy of wheels spinning in my head from my second job subsides, I’m ready for the gothic ball my 13 year old self would be ecstatic to attend. 

Last year on August 26, 2017, the first Vampire’s Ball was held at First Avenue. The host was Grant Maryland or the “Nightstalker” and presented by Dark Energy. The event was highlighted as a costume dance party dedicated to the goth subculture of the 1980’s. To provide some extra knowledge, a special lecture called “Goth History 101” was conducted by music anthropologist Andi Harriman on how music influenced the goth scene over the decades. 

2018 Featured Performers and Artists:

According to Dark Energy’s bio on the First Avenue page, “Dark Energy is a collective of DJ’s and musicians dedicated to promoting and playing the best in the darker side of dance music, past and present. Expect lots of new wave, dark wave, cold wave, EBM, industrial, Detroit influenced techno/house/electro, goth classics, and much more.”

Multi-talented artist Rachel Girard had a pop-up booth. On her “My Story” page she states: “…Doll making combines every skill I developed both in and out of school as well as my career in cosmetology. This store is all about sharing a part of my collection beyond the doors of my studio while I attend to the continuous work in progress.”

A Conspiracy of Strange Girls is a creative collective of art. According to their “About” page, “Our collective is open to all women, femme-identifying, non-binary, and genderqueer people who create art dealing with the unusual, the queer, the unfamiliar, or the mysterious. With over sixty members across a diverse spectrum of gender and ethnicity, we believe in building community, uplifting marginalized voices, and showcasing all types of creative work, especially practices that have been traditionally overlooked in patriarchal society.”  The group aims to embrace all forms of creativity and to promote “strangeness” within women.

Grimm Bebop provided prizes for the Vampire Costume Contest. From their website, “Grimm Bebop is a different retail experience designed around, not in-spite of, community.  We are the brain child of a husband and wife team, quite literally a mom and pop local business. We strive to give you all of the efficiency and customer service you might expect at a big box store with all of the love and individuality you can only find shopping small. We have a passion for self-expression, catharsis and all things spooky which is why we call ourselves the first art and horror themed music and pipe shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota.”  The retail store also has a blog for more information!

Represented by American Gothic Productions, The Pirate Twins are a duo comprised of Scary Lady Sarah and William Faith. From their First Avenue bio, “Scary Lady Sarah is best known for her event NOCTURNA, an 18+ dark alternative dance night held regularly in Chicago, now in its 29th year. She has also DJ’d all over North America and Europe, being a staple of Whitby Gothic Weekend in the UK, Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Germany and many others as well. William Faith, perhaps best known as half of the seminal dark alternative group Faith And The Muse, has spun all over the U.S., Europe and South America, bringing an eclectic blend of genres together into a mix that is both unique and exciting.”

Devata Daun aka Nikki Pfeifer. Devata is the co-owner of Pytch Records. According to her First Avenue bio, “Devata Daun’s debut release on Pytch Records is called look. It’s a subversive insight to an intellectual phenomenon currently believed to be more than just captured government transmissions, lost shortwave beacons or military Muzak. Through a series of silent meetings, c.Kostra was employed by Devata Daun to help break a variety of intriguing codes. These ‘songs’ are compilations of their findings arranged in harmony.” Fun fact: Devata is fluent in 17 undocumented languages, an amazing photographic memory, and semi-telepathic ability.

Angela Higgins is the co-founder of Open Minds Fusion Studio in Minneapolis. Angela also has other passions with being an aerialist, roller figure skater, and a snake lady!

  • Angelica Ottavia is a DJ reigning from Los Angeles. She is a regular at Dark Energy events at the Kitty Cat Klub. Her DJ sets are a combination of techno, Goth, industrial, house, and experimental. Angelica’s first gig was booked at the First Avenue Record Room for the event “Too Much Love.” The full article about Angelica is from City Pages. (Credit: http://www.citypages.com/music/meet-angelica-ottavia-the-versatile-minneapolis-dj-who-fits-in-just-about-everywhere/474627753).
    • Joy Coy is a burlesque performer, cosplayer, and member of the Vigilantease Collective – Minnesota’s radical crew of fiercely independent queer artivists. A recent transplant to the Twin Cities, Joy got her start in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she founded Unicorn Productions and the Unicorn School of Burlesque and Magic. Joy is also working on a new blog for her site as well! 
    •  Marcel Michelle-Mobama is a GNC/Queer/Trans Artist of Color with a multidisciplinary background interested in subverting conventional notions of eroticism. She is a founding member of Carnivale Revolver, St. Cloud’s premier vaudeville revue. She is also a cast member of Dykes do Drag, Hot Dish Cabaret, and Visions of Sugarplums – The Burlesque Nutcracker. Her work has been featured in Queertopia, Patrick’s Cabaret, and the Minneapolis Burlesque Festival.
      • Instagram: @marcelmichellemobama

For future information regarding a future Vamp. Ball and other cool concerts and events, you can subscribe to First Avenue’s Newsletter. 🙂  http://first-avenue.com/newsletter

Little Dragon Concert @ First Avenue Main Room- 6/6/2018

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Nothin’ but groovy vibes were in store for last Wednesday night at First Avenue! Packed with eager-to-dance and enthusiastic loud fans of Little Dragon in the main room, Little Dragon did not disappoint to bring the heat, beats, drum solos, a colorful entourage/production, and older hits. 

Supporting Act: DJ Lenka Paris-from the Czech Republic. “After relocating to America, a start at Fujiya in Minneapolis quickly led to Friday and Saturday night residency at First Avenue. She’s since played most Minneapolis venues, NYC, Chicago, Las Vegas, D.C., Detroit, Prague. Clients include Prince, Paisley Park Studios (2000 – present), Princess – Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Liebrum, The Revolution, FDeluxe, Puma, MAC Cosmetics, Sisley, MOA, Target, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, D’Amico, Snap Fitness, Yogafit, MN Twins, Starwood Hotels, First Avenue, The Current. Lenka was also among others featured on CBS, FOX, Kare 11, in Star Tribune, City Pages, KDWB, iHeart Radio” (Credit: http://first-avenue.com/performer/lenka-paris)

 Touring in support of their anticipated album titled “Season High.” Contains the track list: “Celebrate-agge,” “High,” “The Pop Life,” “Sweet,” “Butterflies,” “Should I,” “Don’t Cry,” “Strobe Light,” “Push,” and “Gravity.” The album was released via Loma Vista Recordings and Concord Music Group.

An excerpt from First Avenue’s Blog/Website: “Grammy-nominated Little Dragon have announced their long-awaited new album Season High, out now digitally on Loma Vista Records (CD + LP in stores May 5, 2018). This is the first new music from the electro-pop band since they released their acclaimed 2014 album, Nabuma Rubberband. Season High was produced by Little Dragon, with co-production and mixing by James Ford, in their hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Discussing the process behind recording Season High, Yukimi muses, “We have grown through the years but the making of this album has been a struggle. As much as our band is based on a deep friendship we are four strong wills who find it really frustrating to compromise. We have gotten better at that though, but it’s still a real battle. It gets harder and harder for us to make records but we still love it. Sometimes it feels like we have 100% passion and life or death emotions yet there’s a pointlessness with everything. We want to exist in our own bubble where we can stay curious about sounds. The magic feeling that sounds can sprinkle over any boring day is what got us all hooked. That feeling of escapism …maybe because Gothenburg is a grey place for most of the year, our curse and blessing is that we never quite succeed.” (Credit: http://first-avenue.com/performer/little-dragon

IMG_2657

Lead Singer Yukimi Nagano onstage at First Avenue! Photo Credit: Me (Instagram)

Social Media!! Check them out!

Facebook: @littledragonpage (Little Dragon)

Twitter: @littledragon

Instagram: @littledragonflicks

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/LittleDragonVideos/videos

Website: http://little-dragon.net/

Ghost Concert! 6/1/18 @Palace Theatre

 

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I have a question for you… “Are you with us?”  -Swedish metal band Ghost were on their “Rats! On The Road” 2018 tour since the beginning of May and concluded in St. Paul, MN on 6/1/18 at the Palace Theatre. It was the first Ghost show I ever saw. Let me tell you, if you are looking for a band with a “cult” following, a “church-like” production, and heavy metal/rock sound, then Ghost is a unique band for rock fans! Stained glass, faux marble steps and floor, masked musicians with horns, a lead singer with cardinal and priest attire, and beautiful harmonies combine to make up a Ghost concert. Immediately within the first song, I zoned out into the calm, yet preacher-like presence of lead singer Tobias Forge. Donned with four to five church-inspired costume changes of red, white, black, a sparkly logo, a shiny black and silver cane, and completing an eerie stare with a white cosmetic eye contact lens in his left eye.

Rock shows rarely do this, but in the middle of the set, the curtain fell and a deep voice came over the intercom stating “There will now be a 15 minute intermission.” This is smart! Especially for bands to perform at their very best for more than an hour. Touring is tough physically and well as emotionally for some artists. A break saves enough energy to lengthen the duration and quality of the performance. More artists would greatly benefit from an intermission as broadway shows do in theaters. Before the last couple songs of the night, Tobias left the crowd with a couple of sentimental statements: “You are never alone if you have faith or hope” and “This year may be better or worse than ones before, but things change, things are always changing.”

June 1st, 2018 was a special day because Ghost released their new album titled “Prequelle” by record label Loma Vista Recordings. The track list includes:
“Ashes,” “Rats,” “Faith,” “See The Light,” Miasma,” “Dance Macabre,” “Pro Memoria,” “Witch Image,” “Helvetesfönster,” and “Life Eternal.”

According to First Avenue’s blog site: “GHOST lead singer and founder Tobias Forge — who performs as Papa Emeritus — told Revolver about the band’s upcoming album: ‘It is loosely themed around the concept of death and doom. It’s a themed album around medieval times, but it’s definitely clinging onto a lot of very current things. The Black Death [plague] is a great example of a turning point for a whole civilization. Complete villages were annihilated. Most people knew very little, so all of it was God or the Devil — and about their faith being questioned: Why are we being stricken down by this great scourge? It must be because of our not fearing God enough and all this superstitious bullshit.’ ” (Source: http://first-avenue.com/performer/ghost).

*Video clips from the performance in St. Paul are on my Instagram! (kelly_jean_m)

Set List:

Ashes

Rats

Absolution

Ritual

Con Clavi Con Dio

Per Aspera ad Inferi

Devil Church

Cirice

Stand by Him

Miasma

(Papa Nihil on sax solo)

Jigolo Har Megiddo

Pro Memoria

Deus in Absentia

Act II

Masked Ball

Spirit

From the Pinnacle to the Pit

Faith

Year Zero

Spöksonat

He Is

Prime Mover

Mummy Dust

If You Have Ghosts

(Roky Erickson cover)

Dance Macabre

Square Hammer

Encore:

Monstrance Clock

Follow Ghost on Social Media!

Twitter: @thebandghost (Cardinal Copia)

Instagram: @thebandghost (The Band Ghost)

Facebook: @Ghost

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/thebandGhost1/videos  and https://www.youtube.com/user/LomaVistaRecs/playlists (Loma Vista’s YouTube Channel)

Website: http://ghost-official.com/

One of the many possibilities… Loma Vista Recordings

As a college graduate from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and testing the waters of “adult-hood,” I hear questions such as “what would you like to do someday?”, “what are your goals?”, “what are you up to?” and other variations of small talk. Despite short-term goals, one of my aspirations is to someday work in a cool environment that feeds the music nerd within. Among my sea of interests, one of them is Loma Vista Recordings in California. Public relations/press, marketing, artist representation, merchandise, starting a blog for the company, and social media are my major interests, but I’m willing to start anywhere and learn everything. An opportunity to work at a label would pull all of my internships together. I have worked with iHeartMedia, Live Nation, and Go Radio in the past two years. My current internship is with the legendary music venue First Avenue and 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis. To take it to the next level from past internships, would be the dream.

What is Loma Vista? It is an independent sub-label of Concord Music Group. Loma Vista has offices located in Beverly Hills, London, and New York City. Founded in 2012, by Tom Whalley, former chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Records and Executive of A&R at Interscope Records. Originally, it was a joint venture with Republic Records. As of 2014, the strategic partner changed to Concord. 

Innovative artists signed to the roster include: St. Vincent, Ghost, Manchester Orchestra, Marilyn Manson, Denzel Curry, Iggy Pop, Alice Glass, Rhye, DJDs, Health, Sylvan Esso, Show Me The Body, Little Dragon, Local Natives, and Andrew Bird. 

*2018 touring Loma Vista artists include: Ghost (An Evening With Ghost Tour), Marilyn Manson (Twins of Evil Tour with Rob Zombie), St. Vincent (Future Tour), Alice Glass (Snowblood Tour), Manchester Orchestra, Rhye, Little Dragon, Sylvan Esso (Summer Tour 2018), Denzel Curry, The Local Natives, Andrew Bird (Hear + see Echolocations: River on tour), and Iggy Pop (New Album-Post Pop Depression).

Concord Music Group contains other record companies including: The Bicycle Music Company, Concord Jazz, Concord Records, Fearless Records, Craft Recordings, Fantasy, Founder, Musart, Razor and Tie, Stax, Heads Up International, Telarc, and Vanguard.

Keeping updated with major and independent labels is a resourceful way to discover: music videos, tour announcements, learn about new business ventures and the identity of the label, partnerships/collaborations, new merchandise,TV/radio interviews or performances, and other promos from artists. 

For example, I follow Fueled By Ramen, Universal Music Group-Interscope Records, Razor and Tie, Loma Vista Recordings, Century Media Records, Rostrum Records, Warner Music Group, Atlantic Records, Warner/Chappell, Artist Publishing Group, Bicycle Music Group, and many other music companies for EP and LP releases, tour announcements and pre-sale codes for VIP and general tickets, and new merchandise. Email subscriptions is another option to receive newsletters from record labels and artists’ websites.

Marian Hill @ Palace Theatre 5/16/18

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Are you down…d..d..down…d…d..down..d..d..down…down.. down…?” with Marian Hill. It’s been approximately 3 months since my last live concert. My personal life has had a whirlwind of ups and downs the past 3 months, but things are slowly improving. A good friend from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Cat, invited me to attend Marian Hill in her boyfriend’s place. She scored major concert points by saving two spots up front at the barricade! To kill some time, we chatted with two friendly ambitious girls named Carly and Indie.

Marian Hill is an electronic/dance duo from Philadelphia consisting of production artist Jeremy Lloyd and vocalist Samantha Gongol. Both names come from two characters, Marian Paroo and Harold Hill, from the musical “The Music Man.” The duo ended their tour in support of their new album “Unusual” in St. Paul, MN at the Palace Theater. The album was released on May 11, 2018 under Photo Finish Records. Marian Hill is signed to Universal Music Group’s Republic Records.

Some background…..

Marian Hill was formed in 2013. The first song they produced was called “Whisky” and sent to a number of blogs to catch some buzz. Their next EP titled, “Play,” had their next break out single “Lips.” According to Apple Music/iTunes, “… In 2016, they released their full-length debut album, Act One, featuring the single “Down.” Early 2018 saw the release of the punchy single, “Subtle Thing,” followed by an appearance at that year’s Coachella festival.” ~ Paul Simpson (Source: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/unusual/1359228338)

Lead singer, Samantha Gongol, a combination of a beautiful “swan-like” dancer and a feline prancing on stage as she sang effortlessly with electronic beats from Jeremy Lloyd and saxophone from Steve Davit. Funny moment… the audience seemed upset (sarcastically) and would erupt with light “boos” when he would set aside his saxophone. Close to the encore, as “Down” started the fans cheered as if it was a football game. As the set came to a close, Marian Hill deserved a long round of applause and were very thankful to be touring. Jeremy explained that they only dreamed of touring around the states performing and now it has finally come true. Lesson learned: don’t give up on your dreams now matter how big it may sound.

If music fans are looking for new electronic, dance, experimental or sultry music, I highly recommend checking out Marian Hill! More “awesome-sauce” is on the horizon from the duo in the near future.

  • Unusual”Album Tracklist:
    • Subtle Thing
    • Differently
    • All Night Long (ft. Steve Davit)
    • Don’t Miss You
    • Wish You Would
    • Don’t Do It
    • Sideways
    • No Hesitation
    • Listening (ft. Steve Davit)
    • Go Quietly

Social Media Accounts

Twitter: @MarianHillMusic

Instagram: @marianhillmusic

Facebook: Marian Hill or @MarianHillMusic

Website: http://www.marianhillmusic.com/

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8spUGlhjiJYONayCbomUYA/videos?pbjreload=10

Prince “The Purple One” (6/7/1958-4/21/2016)

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  • The “Purple One” is one of Minnesota’s great musical icons. Prince Rogers Nelson was a true rare gem in the music industry, put Minneapolis on the map in the music scene, and was proud to live in his home state. What comes to my mind when I think of Prince is “Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Diamonds and Pearls,” “Sign O’ The Times,” “Darling Nikki,” flamboyant costumes, a petite figure, big doe brown eyes, a strong sense of charisma and stage-presence, the signature “Prince” symbol, electrifying guitar solos, his love for the Twin Cities, his Super Bowl performance in 2007, and so much more.
  • Growing up, my mom introduced me to Prince’s music. At first, I couldn’t fathom that such a huge artist known worldwide at a young age was from my home state. Purple Rain was my first album. As the years went on I listened to older albums and the 1989 soundtrack from Batman. He never restricted his repertoire to one specific genre. Prince is his own custom genre. No limitations to what he could do.
  • The day he passed away took the rug out from under not only me but the entire state of Minnesota and world. It was spring semester of my sophomore year at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and was living in an off-campus apartment with a close friend. The morning went on as usual with an eerie gloomy feel with the sky as if it were to rain. There was about a 30-45 min. break in between two classes. Scrolling through Twitter and other social media after lunch, I noticed a “Prince Dead at 57” and other variations of headlines. In disbelief of it being a hoax I dismissed them. Fifteen minutes later, an article from Billboard pops up on my feed from his publicist confirming his death and the investigation. Immediately, I broke down in complete shock. I texted my mom with the news. She couldn’t believe it… as many other friends did too. As the day went on, numerous radio station hosts throughout the state were playing Prince music all day and night, crying, and talking about his legacy.
  • Whatever force was pulling me to do so, I decided to go for a run in the rain around Dinkytown while listening to his music. I had a strong intuitive feeling the rain was Prince’s way of saying “I’m ok” to his precious city. Later that night, the I-35W bridge along with other skyscrapers and bridges lit up in purple lights for the rest of the week in his honor. Other monuments including the Eiffel Tower, the White House, and other landmarks lit up in purple in his memory. I went down to the bridge at night with large groups students to take pictures and videos and talk about the impact he had on Minneapolis and the music business.     
  • The next day, my mom took me to the historic music venue, First Avenue, downtown to put some flowers by Prince’s gold star. Crowds gathered to talk about him, chalk art was drawn all across the sidewalks, and purple lights lit up everywhere. My dad and I also visited a music bar/restaurant called “Bunkers” downtown off of Washington Ave. I sat in the exact spot where Prince would sit in the corner.
  • Two years later, Prince’s memory and legacy still thrives as much as it did when he was alive. Tours of his Paisley Park estate are currently available. It’s on my “to-do” list.
  • Paisley Park Website: https://officialpaisleypark.com/pages/paisley-park-tours
  • YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/prince/videos
  • Official Website: https://www.officialprincemusic.com/

Steven Tyler: (3/26/1948) My Musical Foundation

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Remember the time you first saw one of your idols? I sure do. 2006. Ten years old. Curious and bored watching Saturday Night Live after a night of doing homework in 5th grade. A re-run episode from 1993 when Aerosmith was the musical guest and Jeff Goldblum was the host. The band consists of Steven Tyler (vocals), Joe Perry (lead guitar), Joey Kramer (drums/percussion), Brad Whitford (rhythm guitar), and Tom Hamilton (bass guitar). Aerosmith played “Cryin’” and “Sweet Emotion.” I was hooked instantly and my “music world” and self-confidence blossomed rapidly. Since 2006, I have seen them three times in concert. A fourth time is yet to come… hopefully sooner than later.

My first concert..ever…was age 10 at the Target Center in December 2006, again in June 2012 when I was 16 (my mom and I were able to be right by the catwalk), and a third time in Denver, CO in August 2014 when I was 18 and shortly before I left for college. Over a course of approximately 12 years, I educated myself on every single album and music video. My favorite records are Toys In The Attic (1975), Rocks (1976), Music From Another Dimension (2012), and Nine Lives (1997). There is no doubt that they are my all-time favorite artist! Looking back at that concert in 2006, a career-interest was born for me. It felt incredibly care-free.

Steven Tyler is known as the “Demon of Screamin’’” yet has a loving hippy vibe to his aura as an active artist for almost 50+ years. I’ve read his 2010 autobiography “Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?” and it is quite the rollercoaster of a story from the 1960’s to the present. Rock and roll certainly has a “no limit” element within the lifestyle.

In 2017, Steven Tyler started his charity called “Janie’s Fund” for abused or neglected girls. The purpose is to provide the resources and safety that are necessary to recover from trauma. There is a hotline number from the Childhelp® National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) listed on the site.

Tyler has four children. Actress Liv Tyler (40), Model, actress, and fashion designer Mia Tyler (39), Model and musician Chelsea Tyler (29) has a musical duo with her husband Jon Foster named Kaneholler (website: https://www.kaneholler.com/), and Taj (27). Three years ago, I had the opportunity of seeing Kaneholler at the Fine Line Music Café. Before and after the show, I was able to chat for about 15-20 min. with Chelsea and her brother Taj about music.

As of now I believe, the band members are doing solo projects and taking time off. Steven Tyler will be touring with his country band Loving Mary Band this summer for a few U.S. and Europe dates. Joe Perry is also a member of the band the Hollywood Vampires with Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp. (Website: http://www.hollywoodvampires.com/).

Website: http://www.aerosmith.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/StevenTylerVEVO  and https://www.youtube.com/user/AerosmithVEVO/videos

Social Media- Instagram and Twitter: @iamstevent and @Aerosmith

Janie’s Fund Website: http://janiesfund.org/

IMDB Site (filmography): http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0878911/