Archive for July, 2012

Pete Townsend, Quadrophenia and More!

pete-townshendThere’s new need to play the catchy little word game, because when it comes down to spectacular rock and roll, when we say “Who”, the answer is an immediate “Pete Townsend“.  After releasing their documentary film, “Quadrophenia – Can You See the Real Me?” on July 25th. The Who is scheduled to start the Quadrophenia tour November 1st.  Just a few days out, and already the documentary film is raking in enthusiastic attention.  With never before seen footage, as well as all the smash elements that initially too k the world by storm and had fans screaming for more in the 1970’s, you couldn’t really expect less.

The tour will be Pete Townsend’s first get-together with colossal musician, Roger Daltrey in four years, but don’t think they’ve been twiddling their thumbs in semi-retirement.  Roger Daltrey was recently awarded an honorary degree by Middlesex University.  At the ceremony, he was joined by hundreds of students, many of whom had contributed to the visuals in the making of “Tommy”.  Daltrey’s only wish was that he had the power to pass out honorary degrees to all these talented, supportive students. 

The Who will also be performing at the Olympics’ closing ceremony, along with George Michael.  In a statement to the press, Olympic organizers had said they wanted four major recording artists representing fifty years of Britain’s swinging music, and The Who represented its powerhouse swing at the sixties. 

Pete Townsend has been hitting the news media with his own brand of activism.  Joining Elton John, Robert Plant, Brian May and other top recording artists, he launched a criticism against Google for its role in facilitating file sharing within the United Kingdom.  Saying it’s time for Google to clamp down on illegal sites, Townsend wants his creative property protected.  Considering that property is some of the best all time rock and roll music to grab both the stage and movie theaters, it’s difficult to blame him.  See them.  Hear them.  Get in touch with the real Who.  One of the most unforgettable groups to break the sound barrier, travel to the unimaginable heights as Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey get together to deliver, “Quadrophenia” and more. 

Why the U.S. Men’s Swim Relay Failed


Sometimes you take great risk and great gains are soon to come. And if you can take great risks at the right time and pull them off successfully, you can be a hero. This is what went behind the thinking of the men’s 400 relay swim at the Aquatics Centre in London last night. What we saw in turn though, was what happened when risk goes awry. Everything looks like it’s all going to pan out in the beginning, until it all starts to slowly crumble. Eventually, victory slips right through the cracks. But those to blame for the U.S. defeat in the 400-meter freestyle relay on Sunday weren’t in the water but rather, on the sidelines coaching.

For the men’s U.S. swimming team, Gregg Troy had Nathan Adrian start things off for the great speed and head start that Adrian could give the team. Michael Phelps was next; and after a disappointing showing on Saturday at the 400 IM, it was he who overcame the rumors and performed at the level people know him for.

Jones was third in line, and after having to recover his reputation from a horrible loss at the 2008 Olympics against Beijing. Jones performed extremely well along with the rest of his team, saying afterwards that he was “really happy with my effort. I didn’t do my part in 2008.” Everything looked good for the American team, and then the final swimmer, Ryan Lochte was up. And the sad fact of the matter was, that he shouldn’t have been there. He just wasn’t ready; and Troy shouldn’t have put him in there.

Lochte has swam the 100-meter before, but not much; and he had never performed the part of the anchor before in the 400 freestyle relay during a major national or international event. The Olympic stadium was not the place to do it. The Australian to his

Lochte started off very well, looking like he was actually sprinting through the first fifty yards. But that’s exactly what did him in at the end. “I over-swam the first 50,” Lochte said after the race, “which hurt me in the last 50.”

But while Lochte was putting the blame on himself, coach Gregg Troy was also owning up to some mistakes. “I knew on the first 25 he was in trouble,” Troy said afterwards. “Kind of a coaching error.”

But, Troy was also asked what he would change, should his team be able to swim the same relay. “No,” he admitted. “I think we probably would’ve swam the same relay.”

“Annie’s” Sandy is Saved!


There’s something truly magical happening on Broadway! This time, it’s not so much of a show per se but rather, the dog that is in it. “Annie’s” Sandy, the terrier that takes on the role of an orphan’s best friend, has now been cast. And the way it happened is enough to warm even the chilliest heart.

The dog, whose name is Sunny, was being kept in a shelter in Houston, a city in which so many stray dogs reside that they can only be kept at a shelter for 48 hours before being euthanized. Sunny had already been there for one day and was just hours away from an untimely end. Unbeknownst to anyone, at the same time William Berloni, Broadway animal trainer, was searching shelters throughout the country looking for the next perfect dog to take up the role of Sandy in Broadway’s next production of “Annie.”

Contacting his network of trainers throughout the U.S., Berloni spoke to one in Houston, who found Sunny, sent Berloni a picture and minutes later, adopted the dog for Berloni. Sunny now lives in Connecticut, on a 90-acre ranch-style estate with 22 other dogs, all being trained for the life of showbiz dogs. There’s no doubt that Sunny has a much better life now than before, but it will still take some time before the dog is ready for performances on the Great White Way.

“She came to us with no tricks, so we have to start getting her used to an audience, bright lights, an orchestra,” said Berloni. “When we learn her personality a bit more and get her working with Lilla, we’ll start putting the show together. Really the dog dictates what happens.” Lilla Crawford is the actress that will be performing the starring and title role of the production.

But Sunny isn’t the first dog that Berloni has taken from the hard life of a shelter to the fast-paced world of luxury and glittering lights; he’s done the same for the dog Bruiser from the “Legally Blonde” films, and Toto, from “The Wizard of Oz.” And he started doing so the first time he needed a Sandy for the original Broadway play of “Annie.”

“Someone told me they had cheap dogs at the pound,” Berloni said. “When I saw the conditions they were living in, I was profoundly moved. So I made a promise to myself that I would only get rescue dogs from then on.”

There’s no doubt that the story of a dog moving from a hard-knock life to one of life in the Big Apple bears a very similar resemblance to the life of the little girl in the very same production in which Sunny will be starring.

Pat Benatar Hits the Road with Journey


She was and still remains, America’s favorite bad girl.  Sizzling hot, her unforgettable single, “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” is a featured attraction for the intensely vivid musical, “Rock of Ages”, although it’s been implied, Pat Benatar would like to hit with a few of her more gnarly songs, like “Love is a Battlefield” or “Hell is for Children”. She’ll definitely get the chance as she teams up with Journey for a nationwide tour. 

She isn’t coming alone.  The four time Grammy winner will be accompanied by husband, Neil Geraldo, who will be accompanied by his steaming guitar and his unstoppable talent.  Just in case the fantastic duo and the legendary rock group, Journey, don’t leave their audience screaming in their seats and passing out from over-exposure to raw, unchained music, the air-splitting rock band, Loverboy, will be there to make sure the rafters are blown apart and that temperatures are rising. 

Hailing originally from Calgary, Alberta, Loverboy got a slow start in the United States, but that changed quickly once they signed up with Colombia Records of Canada.  With four platinum albums under their belt and over two hundred shows, appearing with bands such as ZZ Top, Cheap Trick, Kansas, and Def Leppard, the American record labels must be squirming in their sears for not snapping up the group when they could. 

Journey has been revamped and Internationalized over the years, with a number of musicians replacing the various band members, but they still have that awesome golden lead guitar, Neal Schon, alumni of one of the untouchable icon of classic rock music, Santana, as well as the sterling tones of bass/ vocals original member, Ross Valory. 

It will be an extraordinary line-up.  With hit singles like “Everybody’s Working for the Weekend” and “Turn Me Loose”, Loverboy has that snap your fingers, get out there and dance beat of the rolling eighties.  Journey never disappoints with their incredible vocals, and versatile musical arrangements that sometimes verge on hard rock but that always have the soaring overtones of unmistakable classical rock music.  And Pat Benetar?  You decide.  She’s hard.  She’s wicked.  She belts.  She’s rock at its best and she knows it.   

Mary Poppins – A Superfragilistic Experience


One of the most delightful children’s stories of all times was “Mary Poppins“, whose creative  and astonishing ways of looking at the world changed an ordinary home into one filled with magic and exciting adventures.  In fact, Mary Poppins was all about turning the ordinary into the extraordinary as she sweeps into the Banks’ home on an umbrella and her two small charges learn that a nanny isn’t just a nanny, a chimney sweep’s view from the rooftops is filled with enchantment, an old lady selling feed for birds is a better investment than putting your two-pence in a bank, and a spoonful of sugar helps any medicine go down. 

When Walt Disney crafted the book into a movie, with fantastic musical scores, the film was an instant success and “supercalifragilisticexpealidocious” rolled off every tongue easily, and became a household word.  There’s no doubt that the skilled performances of Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke added to the film’s popularity.  With Julie’s incredible voice and Van Dyke’s elastic body electrics, it’s difficult to imagine the show going on without them, but it can!

In 1993, theatrical producer, Cameron Mackintosh met the author of the book, Pamela Travers and acquired the rights to produce a stage musical of the popular book.  Collaborating with Disney Productions for the use of the songs, the new theatrical version hit the stage in 2004.  The musical became an instant international hit, receiving two Oliver Awards, and seven Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical and winning Best Scenic Design.

The theatrical version continues to be a sell-out, with enthusiastic crowds returning for every chance to see once more the Mary Poppins magic.  Don’t kid yourself; this is a performance for children only.  No matter what your age, you’ll fall to the charm of this one-of-a-kind classic.  Reviewers say it’s everything you would expect from a top Broadway play, and so much more.  Spend your evening in the wonderful world of Mary Poppins, where anything is possible, for after all, in her own words, she can’t just keep coming back.  She brought the magic, but some day, we’ll all have to learn her lessons and spread it. 

KISS and Motley Crue Team up for “The Tour”

kiss-motely-crueWant to attend one of “The Ten Hottest Summer Package Tours of 2012,” as proclaimed by Rolling Stone magazine? Then you need to remember what it’s like to curl your tongue, paint your face white, and get ready for some real head-banging! KISS and Motley Crue have just wrapped up their own individual headlining tours to join together onstage and give metal fans what they love. And it all starts this weekend!

The tour, which is being called exactly that — “The Tour” — will kick off this Friday, July 20 in Bristow, Virginia; and from there the two bands will travel around to 43 different states in just over two months, wrapping up the tour in Hartford, Connecticut on September 23, 2012.

KISS has been promoting the tour with three pre-tour dates that have taken place the last few months, while Motley Crue has put on their own pre-tour performances in June and July. Come Friday though, the two will join together to put on a show that’s going to be “like Elvis on steroids,” according to Paul Stanley, the KISS guitarist.

While Motley Crue hasn’t put out a new album since Saints of Los Angeles in 2008, KISS will be releasing their latest studio effort, Monster, in October. All original members of Motley Crue will be there; as well as Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer, and Tommy Thayer for KISS.

The Killers have a New Song, and a New Album


Fans of The Killers can put down their beaten-up copies of Sawdust and Day & Age that they’ve been listening to for the past four years, because the band is finally coming out with a new album! Battle Born, the fifth studio effort for the band is about to be released on September 18; and if any fans were disappointed with the pop sound of Day & Age, they’ll be happy to know that the band has returned to their more original sound.

The first song off the album, “Runaways,” was released last month and the slowed-down melody and poetic lyrics are more reminiscent of “When You Were Young” than it is either “Human” or “Spaceman,” two singles released off their 2008 album, Day & Age. To get the first listen of the new “Runaways” track, you can find it here. The newest album will also reunite the band with producer Stuart Price, who worked extensively with the band on their past two albums, Sawdust and Day & Age.

But a new song and a new album just isn’t enough after four years of silence, and The Killers are aware. It’s for this reason that the band will also embark on a tour to promote Battle Born, although no dates or venues have yet been set. Until then, fans are going to have to appease themselves with the new rocker song “Runaways,” and wait for more singles to be released until the album release date.

Rock of Ages – A Broadway Rock and Roll Celebration

rock-of-agesBroadway can be fun.  In fact, it can be smashing, get down, get gritty and knock your socks off.  They proved it with Rock of Ages, a whimsical story of a country girl taking that midnight express to L.A. with stars in her eyes and a song in her head.  Meeting up with an equally young city boy whose ambitions to rock are as great as her longings to act, wouldn’t you know it; they fall in love. 

Set in the eighties with a steamy nightclub breaking the sound waves on ten different channels, the story is full of big hair, big ambitions and even bigger rock stars.  Go where rock used to be, hard, bright and burning the strings, with the music of Journey, Bon Jovi, Poison, Styx, REO and just about any other rock group to grace those hard hitting years. 

Shades of the future… a pair of developers convince the mayor this rock popular Sunset Strip club is a den for sex, drugs, and of course, rock and roll, and it really needs to get closed down, so the area can clean up and move on.  In the meantime, our young heroine becomes stricken by a hotshot performer after her boyfriend tells her they’re just friends.  The steam comes to a boiling point when the city planner goes on the defense for hot shot and company, belting out, “hit me with your best shot”.

Your best shot is to see this top rated musical performance that blows the roof off with super charged electrical guitar chords bouncing off the walls and shaking you right down to your boots. Far more light hearted than most Broadway musicals, you’ll want to capture all the magic, with actors that remind you that after all they’re only acting, and mix a touch of comedy with their hard rock sounds.

Like a dizzying time machine, you’ll be catapulted back to that remarkable period when life was built on dreams, when music hit the high notes, and everything was just plain more fun.  Let your hair down, spray it purple, shake it loose and don’t be afraid to feel the music. 

Is Breaking the Fourth Wall a Good Thing on Broadway?

broadway-fourth-wallThe “fourth wall” is often a feared thing on Broadway. It’s that invisible wall separating the audience from the performers, and the spectators from the show-stoppers. It’s the one that constantly has producers and directors wondering if they should try to cross it. Doing so could mean putting on a unique experience that audience-goers will never forget. But doing so badly could also mean ruining whatever magic you’re creating on-stage. So, is breaking the fourth wall a good thing on Broadway?

It really does depend on the show, and in how it’s being done. At the beginning of every performance of Once, the underdog show that just scooped up armfuls of Tony Awards, audience members are invited onstage, to order a drink from the bar in which the play is set. It’s at this time theater-goers can also mingle with the cast of the show, asking questions and bringing accolades — and wondering if they’ll get an answer from the actor, or the character. And while this might be the only audience interaction in Once, and even it’s before the play even begins, it’s done remarkably well. It gives audience members the feeling that they’ve just attended an important cocktail party before the show, and it makes them feel included. Which is, after all, the entire point of breaking the wall in the first place.

Another show currently running on Broadway that successfully breaks the wall is One Man, Two Guvnors. In this show, the constantly hungry Francis shouts out to the audience that he wants some food, after asking one of them to help him move a heavy trunk.

But can all plays break the wall in such a brilliant way? Again, it depends. It needs to be done in a way that includes the audience respectfully. And even if some teasing banter occurs from it, included audience members need to still feel as though they’re an important part of the show because of it.  When that happens, those audience members will leave feeling as though they’ve not only just seen a great performance; but one that also shows the true art of improv, and showcases true raw talent.

Bob Dylan Adds More Dates!

bob-dylanAs if Bob Dylan adding more dates to his fall tour this year wasn’t exciting enough, it’s now been announced that Mark Knopfler will also be joining him!

Mark Knopfler first became known for being the lead singer and songwriter for the British band Dire Straits. But after the band broke up in the mid-90s, Knopfler struck out on his own, releasing six solo albums. Now that he’s joined this album with Bob Dylan, he will be performing some of his own songs off of his newest album “Privateering” which is to be released on September 3.

But don’t be fooled. While having Mark Knopfler along for the ride will certainly bring one more exciting element to the show for fans, they’re all there to see Bob Dylan — and it’s no wonder why. Dylan will be performing some of his most famous songs, and fans may even get a chance to hear new material from his 35th studio album, which is rumored to be out later this year. Another new song Dylan is said to be performing on his fall tour has a name that is not yet known to the public, but it’s one that is highly anticipated. The song is 14 minutes long and pertains to the Titanic. The song is also said to be included on his new album that’s to be released this fall.

The tour that Dylan is currently on is appropriately called the “Never Ending Tour” and has been on since June 1988. You can find a full listing of tour dates here.

About Us | Contact Us | Link to Us | Phone: 1.800.985.7882
Copyright © 2007-2011 All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use