rock and roll

If you are a heavy metal fan, Motörhead’s live show is one of those pinnacle “must-haves.” While Lemmy and his cohorts continue to insist that they are nothing more than a rock and roll band, seeing Motörhead live is watching a living oral history of the genesis of heavy metal.

Okay, here’s a brief, inside look at the life of a music reviewer (dare I call myself a music journalist?) You get inundated with music. Positively deluged. So much so that you realize early on you won’t be able to get to it all, even if you have a staff of twenty writers. So, one of the skills you need to develop early on is the ability to discern what projects are worth the time you’re going to spend on them.

Throughout human history, whenever a cultural force rises to prominence, there is inevitably a counter-movement that rises to meet it. The Roman Empire had the numerous Gothic tribes, Persia was met by the Mongols, the British Empire squared off with various revolutionaries over the centuries, and the New England Patriots are seemingly opposed (and thankfully stymied,) by the New York Giants. Such is the irresistible yin and yang of the universe, the powerful but delicate balancing act of nature.

Fame out of nowhere. All-girl rock group Cherri Bomb has gone from the fringe to the main stage through their association with acts like Filter, Rise Against and Billy Corgan. Continuing the trend, the band has attached their single "Shake the Ground" with the biggest movie event in a couple of summers, landing on the soundtrack of Marvel's blockbuster "Avengers." I sat down with Julia Pierce and Miranda Miller to talk about their music, gaining fame early, and being in an all-girl band.

An awful lot of noise. That’s the first gut reaction to “Bloodstreams,” the new full-length album from Australian do-it-all duo DZ Deathrays. For just two people, this is a full-bore effort, ripped from the core of punk’s heart and rock and roll’s soul.

Somewhere between the rock and roll of the White Stripes, the distorted two-beat fuzz of Nine Inch Nails' last album "The Slip," and the cadences of the Gorillaz lies the "No Sleep" EP from upstart Australian power duo DZ Deathrays.
Now, let's not get carried away too early. While the EP contains elements, that doesn't mean it is equal to the sum of all of them. Rather, the DZ Deathrays pick and choose their moments on this five-cut sampling of their talent

Zeroking touts itself as an all-out rock and roll band, but there's more going on here than just that. Based in West Virginia, the band is heavily influenced by the rock and roll ideal of the West Coast, and uses that as a base to launch their curious and devil-may-care mix of rock, piano and brass (or a close facsimile to them,) and down home country twang.

Approximately 11 trillion words have already been written in anticipation of, and response to, Van Halen's new album, "A Different Kind of Truth." Those words have ranged between an instant haranguing under the guise of the album being far too late, and an automatic sterling review as a revival of one of the signature bands of rock and roll's arguably best era.

The dichotomy of Hank Williams III can't be denied. He is both living legacy and self-made musician, an ambitious talent who refuses to be penned in by the conventions of any single genre or idiom. Hank 3 is a man who takes joy in his music, and more than anything else, enjoys sharing it with both his friends and his fans. I had the distinct privilege of getting some time to talk to Hank about music, recording and a host of other subjects.

Travel with me to a place less soaked with entrails and not nearly as dominated by despair. This place is full of legendary legacies and the tenets of breezy, feel-good rock and roll. This latter Elysiam is the easy going land of Ringo Starr.