Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Black Dice’s Eric Copeland goes “late Night Flight proto tekno” on new album

Black Dice member Eric Copeland has announced a new album, Trogg Modal Vol. 2.

Out March 29 on Copeland’s longstanding home of DFA Records, Vol. 2 is the “counterpart” to the artist’s 2018 release Trogg Modal Vol. 1.

The label has described Vol. 2 as being “more laid-back than the first, but still highly danceable.” Copeland refers to the record as “late Night Flight proto tekno.” Listen to “video arcade soundtrack” ‘High Score Zed’ now.

Trogg Modal Vol. 2 is Copeland’s third for the New York label who released early albums by Black Dice, including Beaches & Canyons and Creature Comfort.

Black Dice released their last album Mr. Impossible, in 2012. In 2017, they celebrated their 20th anniversary with a series of shows.


01. ‘Beat It’
02. ‘High Score Zed’
03. ‘United Banana’
04. ‘Pay Off’
05. ‘BS Dropout’
06. ‘Light Fantastic’
07. ‘Blazin’
08. ‘Falo’

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Al Di Meola & Shock Radar at The Space at Westbury, NY February 20

Al Di Meola’s ongoing fascination with complex rhythmic syncopation combined with provocative lyrical melodies and sophisticated harmony has been at the heart of his music throughout a celebrated career that has spanned four decades and earned him critical accolades, three gold albums and more than six million in record sales worldwide. A bona fide guitar hero, perennial poll-winner, and prolific composer, he has amassed over 20 albums as a leader while collaborating on a dozen or so others with the likes of the fusion supergroup Return to Forever (with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White), the celebrated acoustic Guitar Trio featuring fellow virtuosos John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia, and the Rite of Strings trio with bassist Clarke and violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. And while his dazzling technique on both acoustic and electric guitars has afforded him regal status among the hordes of fretboard fanatics who regularly flock to his concerts, the depth of Di Meola’s writing along with the soulfulness and the inherent lyricism of his guitaristic expression have won him legions of fans worldwide beyond the guitar aficionado set. 

A pioneer of blending world music and jazz, going back to early Latin-tinged fusion outings like 1976’s Land of the Midnight Sun, 1977’s Elegant Gypsy and 1978’s Casino, the guitar great continues to explore the rich influence of flamenco, tango, Middle Eastern, Brazilian and African music with his World Sinfonia, an ambitious pan-global group that he formed in 1991. Their exhilarating world music fusion has been documented on such releases as 2000’s The Grande Passion (featuring the Toronto Symphony Orchestra), 2007’s Live in London, 2011’s Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody and the stunning 2012 DVD, Morocco Fantasia (recorded at the Mawazine Festival in Rabat, Morocco and featuring special guests Said Chraibi on oud, Abdellah Meri on violin and Tari Ben Ali on percussion). 

Growing up in Bergenfield, NJ with the music of Elvis Presley, The Ventures and The Beatles, Di Meola naturally gravitated to guitar as a youngster and by his early teens was already an accomplished player. Attaining such impressive skills at such a young age didn’t come easy for Al, but rather was the result of focused dedication and intensive periods of woodshedding between his junior and senior years in high school. “I used to practice the guitar eight to ten hours a day,” he told Down Beat. “And I was trying to find myself, or find the kind of music that suited where I was going with the guitar.” 

His earliest role models in jazz included guitarists Tal Farlow and Kenny Burrell. But when he discovered Larry Coryell, whom Al would later dub “The Godfather of Fusion,” he was taken with the guitarist’s unprecedented blending of jazz, blues and rock into one seamless vocabulary on the instrument. “I used to ride the bus from New Jersey to see him at little clubs in Greenwich Village,” he recalls. “Wherever he was playing, I’d be there.” In 1972, Al enrolled at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and by the second semester there began playing in a fusion quartet led by keyboardist Barry Miles. When a gig tape of that band was later passed on to Chick Corea by a friend of Al’s in 1974, the 19-year-old guitarist was tapped to join Corea’s fusion supergroup Return to Forever as a replacement for guitarist Bill Connors. 

After three landmark recordings with Return to Forever -- 1974’s Where Have I Known You Before, 1975’s Grammy Award winning No Mystery and 1976’s Romantic Warrior -- the group disbanded and Al subsequently started up his career as a solo artist. His 1976 debut as a leader, Land of the Midnight Sun, was a blazing showcase of his signature chops and Latin-tinged compositions that featured a stellar cast including drummers Steve Gadd and Lenny White, bassist Anthony Jackson and Jaco Pastorius, keyboardists Jan Hammer, Barry Miles and Chick Corea and percussionist Mingo Lewis. Over the course of six more albums with Columbia Records – Elegant Gypsy, Casino, Splendido Hotel, Electric Rendezvous, Tour De Force and Scenario – Al established himself as an influential force in contemporary music.

1980 marked the triumph of the acoustic guitar trio with Paco De Lucia and John McLaughlin. Their debut recording on Columbia Records, Friday Night in San Francisco, became a landmark recording that surpassed the four million mark in sales. The following year, 1981, Di Meola was inducted into Guitar Player’s Gallery of Greats after five consecutive wins as Best Jazz Guitarist in the magazine’s Readers Poll and winning best album and acoustic guitarist for a total of a record eleven wins. The three virtuosos in the trio toured together from 1980 through 1983, releasing the studio album Passion, Grace & Fire in 1982. In 1995, they reunited for a third recording, Guitar Trio, follow by another triumphant world tour. 

In early 1996, Di Meola formed a new trio with the violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and RTF bandmate Stanley Clarke called The Rite of Strings. Their self-titled debut was released in 1995. Di Meola subsequently recorded with the likes of opera superstar Luciano Pavarotti, pop stars Paul Simon, classical guitarist Manuel Barrueco, and Italian pop star Pino Daniele. Over the course of his career, he has also worked and recorded with Phil Collins, Carlos Santana, Steve Winwood, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams, Herbie Hancock, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Milton Naciemento, Egberto Gismonti, Stevie Wonder, Les Paul, Jimmy Page, Steve Vai, Frank Zappa and Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba.
Di Meola’s 2013 release All Your Life was an acoustic tour de force that had him revisiting the music of a seminal influence – The Beatles. “I really credit the Beatles for the reason why I play guitar,” he says. “That was a major catalyst for me to want to learn music, so their impact was pretty strong.” A virtual one-man show of virtuosity, it features the guitar great interpreting 14 familiar Beatles tunes in the stripped-down setting of strictly acoustic guitar. 

While currently juggling acoustic tours in Europe and electric tours in the United States, Di Meola arrives at the perfect marriage of the two aesthetics on his latest album, 2015’s Elysium, which finds the guitar great blending the lush tones of his nylon string Conde Hermanos acoustic prototype model and a ’71 Les Paul electric (his Return to Forever and Elegant Gypsy axe) in a collection of songs that are at once invigorating and alluring. “It represents a new composition phase for me, whereby the writing became, in a sense, my therapy during a challenging personal transition in my life," he said. 
Di Meola is currently on tour in Europe and North America. Last summer, he was honored as the 22nd recipient of the Montreal Jazz Festival’s Miles Davis Award, created in 1994 to honor a great international jazz musician for the entire body of his or her work and for that musician’s influence in regenerating the jazz idiom.

During a 40-plus year career marked by hugely influential recordings and worldwide tours, Di Meola has regenerated the jazz idiom three times over while dedicating himself to his art. And at age 62, this guitar hero seems inspired to begin a new chapter in his career with the release of Elysium.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Liverpool’s great lost band, Candy Opera release their first album after 35 years

When Candy Opera release 45 Revolutions Per Minute on February 23rd, it will be a belated introduction to a very special band, sired during Liverpool’s 1980s golden age, which has taken almost thirty years to happen.

Lovingly unearthed and compiled by Firestation Records of Berlin, and available on limited edition 18-track CD and deluxe 16-track vinyl, the result is a lost gem that points to a million what-might- have-beens.

When Candy Opera first appeared on the kaleidoscopic early 1980s Liverpool music scene, by rights they should have changed the world. Here was a classic four-piece, after all, steeped in the symphonic pop of Love’s Forever Changes and The Beach Boys’ Surf’s Up. Taking such influences as a template, alongside contemporaries such as Aztec Camera, The Pale Fountains and Prefab Sprout, Candy Opera were in the throes of crafting a 1980s song-book in their own image, and the band’s 1983 Honeysuckle Rose demo has become something of a holy grail.

By 1985, the band had played alongside the likes of The Pogues, The Go-Betweens and The Redskins, as well as appearing on Granada TV. Reviews in NME, Sounds and Jamming magazine followed.

Forming on the tough Phythian Estate in Liverpool’s Kensington district in 1982 and based around the songwriting of Paul Malone, Candy Opera offered up a nouveau classicist sensibility, which had seen the band listen without prejudice to The Monkees and Karen Carpenter.

“Where I grew up, it was a so-called impoverished area,” says vocalist and song-writer, Paul, “but my childhood was very happy, very insular, the world was within a street. As a kid, I didn’t really feel affected by the poverty. It wasn’t ’til later, when I went to other areas and saw how they lived, that I realised the differences. So, my environment was really the main inspiration for songs.”

With assorted Candy Opera line-ups augmented at various points by baroque flourishes of clarinet, flute or violin, such a sophisticated musical palette went way beyond notions of indie-band purism to create something grander, none of which remotely fitted in with the voguish scene-setters behind shoegaze, baggy and Britpop.

After a decade ploughing their own stubborn furrow in various guises, despite interest from EMI and Go! Discs, Candy Opera called it a day in 1993 with only a fistful of demos to their name. As the mainstream took a glossier turn, Candy Opera somehow got left behind, and for the best part of thirty years have remained a rumour, a whisper and a quietly lost legend that the occasional online leak could only hint at. Until now…

In 2017, the Berlin-based purveyors of indie obscurities behind Firestation Records chanced upon those same demos and it was love at first listen. The label’s Uwe Weigmann tracked down Malone and co, and found a band who hadn’t made music for a very long time. Paul comments, “When the label got in touch, it just all seemed a bit surreal to me; it was a big surprise, especially after 35 years, but I was glad that somebody finally recognised our worth.”

Having unearthed a spate of recordings that span Candy Opera’s entire history, the result is 45 Revolutions Per Minute.

“I first read about the band some years ago, on a forum for The La’s, and from this point on I was very interested to hear the band’s music,” recalls Uwe, Firestation’s founder and label manager. “Then a friend of mine told me that some Candy Opera songs were on YouTube. The first I listened to was What A Way To Travel. A couple of minutes later, I was sure that I wanted to work with the band. 45 Revolutions Per Minute is the perfect pop album, in my opinion.

It is an absolute masterpiece and I would list it next to such classics as Steve McQueen (Prefab Sprout), From Across The Kitchen Table (The Pale Fountains), High Land, Hard Rain (Aztec Camera) or Trapped and Unwrapped (Friends Again).”

Today, the songs that make up this exquisite package, that comes with extensive sleeve notes and archive photographs, sound both of their time and beyond it. On the surface, the arrangements sound simple, but there is depth there too, with Malone’s lyrics wrapped up in a sweetness that recalls a more innocent age.

That was Candy Opera, and this is 45 Revolutions Per Minute. Watch this space…


You can find Candy Opera on Twitter and Facebook. Firestation Records have their own website which can be found here

All Types of Kinds Head to Montreal, QC For The Folk Alliance International Conference Sunday, February 17th

As they continue to further craft their wide-ranging musical talents with shows all over the NY area (including an ongoing residency at NYC’s Rockwood Music Hall) All Types of Kinds is getting ready to head a bit further North this upcoming weekend. The band is set to perform a set at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel (900 René-Lévesque Blvd W, Montreal, QC H3B 4A5, Canada) for the annual Folk Alliance International Conference on Sunday, February 17th at 1:30AM!

The annual February conference draws 2,800 artists and industry (agents, managers, publishers, labels, festival/venue presenters, promoters, and media) from 35 countries to make connections and discover the latest in traditional and contemporary folk music.

ATOK Upcoming Show Schedule:

Thursday, February 14, 8:00 PM @ Out by Ten Showcase - Noho Sound, New York, NY

Sunday, February 17th, 1:30 AM @ Folk Alliance International Conference, Montreal, QC

Saturday, February 23, 6:30 PM @ Blarney’s Twisted Irish Pub, Mechanicsburg, PA

Saturday, March 2, 11:00 PM @ Rockwood Music Hall, New York, NY

Saturday, March 16, 11:00 PM @ Rockwood Music Hall, New York, NY

Saturday, March 23, 9:00 PM @ SingleCut Beersmiths, Astoria, NY

Saturday, March 30, 10:00 PM @ The Bayou Restaurant, Mt. Vernon, NY

All Types Of Kinds is a band that goes through phases. Their distinct harmonies, ear-catching melodies, and unique songwriting create a live show full of surprises. Unbound by convention, ATOK offers tastes of blues, folk, hip-hop, rock, pop, and jazz, seamlessly blurring genre-lines and showcasing each members musical sensibilities.

2018 saw All Types Of Kinds open for Houndmouth, Liz Cooper and The Stampede, and Martin Sexton; showcased at the 2018 NERFA Conference, headline the Martin Guitar Stage at Musikfest, featured on radio stations WFUV and WHPC, and a tour of Southern California.

2019 will see a follow-up to their debut EP “Love Songs (or songs for your ex)”, new music videos, a residency at Rockwood Music Hall, and an opening spot at the Paramount Theater in Long Island.

Now as they get ready to head to Montreal for the 2019 Folk Alliance International Conference on Sunday, February 17th at 1:30AM, All Types of Kinds will bring their music to a whole new platform of like-minded artists and industry pros!

To Purchase All Types of Kind’s “Love Songs (Or Songs For Your Ex)” via iTunes, VISIT:

Find All Types of Kinds on Social Media: 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna, in her own words

Pussy Whipped, the debut LP from Bikini Kill, was an edifying statement-of-intent and incendiary call-to-arms which declared teenage girls be seen and most definitely heard. Over 12 lung-blasting, bile-fuelled hits of feminist punk noise, vocalist and songwriter Kathleen Hanna spat out such hard-boiled lyrics as “when she talks, I hear the revolution / In her hips, there's revolutions” (“Rebel Girl”) with red-faced screams over frantic, heavyset guitars in thrall to hardcore punk, backed by bassist Kathi Wilcox, drummer Tobi Vail and guitarist Billy Karren.

Kathleen Hanna: I don’t want to brag about myself, but I have heard the same phrase so many times, and it’s always, ‘When I was 15 years old, Pussy Whipped saved my life.’ To feel like you were part of a 15-year-old’s survival through high school, which is rough for everyone, makes me feel more successful than any record sales or magazine cover ever could. Because it was pretty harsh being a girl in America in 1993. We were told that feminism didn’t exist any more; that there was no reason for it to exist because women had equality. I lived in a small town and had worked in the domestic-violence shelter, where I saw first-hand that equality for sure did not exist. There were 14 women killed by a guy gunning for feminists in Canada in 1989 and that was a big impetus for me to play music. Those women were my inspiration.

Initial reactions to Pussy Whipped from the underground magazines were that it sucked! By the time we got to the UK in 1993 we were talking a lot about the way the media was portraying us, which was amplified by music weeklies like Melody Maker and the NME, which both had riot grrrl editions. When we met Huggy Bear things really changed, because people really cared about it in the UK. Huggy Bear managed to have fun and still have these really smart gender politics, whereas it had felt like such a fight every day for us to be a band. I think seeing that what we were doing and what we were a part of had gone international gave us a big boost of confidence. We were playing in Scotland and something had happened – maybe a bomb threat – which made us not want to go down to the show. We were just putting on our make-up in the room above and trying to figure out what to do when the girls downstairs spontaneously started singing ‘Rebel Girl’. It was like a scene from a teen movie! We could hear it through the floor so we took the stage and Tobi started playing the beat.

“I don’t want to brag about myself, but I have heard the same phrase so many times, and it’s always, ‘When I was 15 years old, Pussy Whipped saved my life’” – Kathleen Hanna, Bikini Kill

It was just one of those moments, and so beautiful that the girls wanted us to play that badly. During the show I realised why – it’s because there were so many guys there screaming ‘cunts’ or ‘bitches’ every time we stopped a song that it felt like the place could explode at any minute.

So there was this beauty within this amazing, awful intensity. These days, it’s so much more normal being a girl in a band. I just saw Savages on the TV the other night and they were great. But there’s still violence at shows and I still hear about girls being told to shut up when they start talking about issues like gay rights between songs.

I feel most proud that I wrote everyone back who wrote me a letter. I still see some of those people – they come to lectures, events, panels that I do – and they tell me how much it meant to them that I wrote back and that they’re doing great. That always feels like my biggest sense of achievement. But I regret coming off as a leader too much and feel like I should have made better decisions in terms of making sure the movement was more accessible to women of colour who wanted to be involved. That always really bothers me – it’s a massive regret. I wrote the riot grrrl manifesto when I was in my early 20s. There’s this book coming out so I decided to re-read the manifesto the other day – which is weird when you’re 44 – and I started editing it in my head. I was a terrible editor back then! I’d definitely write it better, but the message is still exactly the same.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Royal Trux Share New “White Stuff” Video: Watch

A low-res, VHS-style visual for the title track of their first album in 19 years

Jennifer Herrema in Royal Trux’s “White Stuff,” directed by Brain Drain Industries, effects by KHLOARIS

On March 1, Royal Trux will release White Stuff, their first new record since 2000’s Pound for Pound. After sharing the album’s title track, the band have now shared a low resolution, VHS-style video for that song. It’s directed by Brain Drain Industries and features effects by KHLOARIS. Check it out below.

Royal Trux were recently forced to reschedule a series of 2019 tour dates “due to some unresolved issue arising from a past arrest,” according to a press release. The press release explains: “Jennifer [Herrema] is incredibly grateful that she will not be spending any time in jail, and in her own words, states: ‘Shit could definitely be worse.’” The new dates haven’t been announced.

Eric Schenkman at Rockwood Music Hall, February 1

In addition to his work with the Spin Doctors, nurse guitarist Eric Schenkman has built an impressive musical resume that includes work with his own groups the Chrysalids, which released the album Make A Sound in 1995; Cork (with ex-Mountain drummer Corky Laing and former Jimi Hendrix bassist Noel Redding), which released Speed of Thought in 1998; and High Plains Drifter, with the late Blues Traveler bassist Bobby Sheehan. Schenkman also participated in the all-star Symphonic Works of Jimi Hendrix album and its accompanying tour, alongside Hendrix’s producer Eddie Kramer and Hendrix bandmate Billy Cox, as well as with Corey Glover of Living Colour, Doug Pinnick of King’s X and Dave Abbruzzese of Pearl Jam. He’s also work with Jack Bruce, Roger Daltrey, Natalie Merchant, Carly Simon, legendary jazz drummer Chico Hamilton, jazz composer Kip Hanrahan and Canadian songwriter Jimmy Rankin. He’s also taught blues workshops for the Toronto District School Board with Ontario bluesman Jerome Godboo. Schenkman is currently performing and recording as part of the Canadian rock-folk trio the Openhearts Society, which recently released the album Love In Time (available at

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Eels announce 2019 tour dates

Eels will continue to tour for last year’s The Deconstruction, having just announced North American and European dates for 2019. Those kick off April 21 in Denver and include shows in Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, NYC, Nashville, Dallas, Austin, L.A., San Francisco and many points in between. The NYC stop happens May 1 at Irving Plaza and tickets go on sale Friday, February 1 at 10 AM with presales starting Tuesday (1/29) at 10 AM.

All tour dates are listed, along with a stream of The Deconstruction, below.


April 21—Denver, CO—Gothic Theatre
Apr 23—Minneapolis, MN—First Avenue
Apr 24—Milwaukee, WI—Turner Hall Ballroom
Apr 25—Chicago, IL—Thalia Hall
Apr 26—Detroit, MI—Majestic Theatre
Apr 27—Pittsburgh, PA—Mr. Smalls Theatre
Apr 29—Buffalo, NY—Town Ballroom
Apr 30—Boston, MA—The Wilbur
May 1—New York, NY—Irving Plaza
May 3—Nashville, TN—Cannery Ballroom
May 5—Dallas, TX—Canton Hall
May 6—Austin, TX—Emo’s
May 8—Phoenix, AZ—The Van Buren
May 9—Santa Ana, CA—The Observatory
May 11—San Diego, CA—The Observatory North Park
May 12—Los Angeles, CA—The Theater at Ace Hotel
May 13—San Francisco, CA—The Regency Ballroom
May 14—Sacramento, CA—Crest Theatre
August 14—Zurich, Switzerland—X-TRA
August 15—Le Locle, Switzerland—Rock Altitude Festival
August 19—Nottingham, UK—Rock City
August 20—Southampton, UK—O2 Guildhall
August 21—London, UK—Hammersmith Apollo
August 24— Amsterdam, Netherlands—Once In A Blue Moon Festival
August 27—Copenhagen, Denmark—Grey Hall
August 28—Oslo, Norway—Rockefeller
August 29—Stockholm, Sweden—Debaser Medis
September 2—Milan, Italy—Circolo Magnolia
September 4—Linz, Austria—Posthof
September 6—Barcelona, Spain—Razzmatazz
September 8—Santiago de Compostela, Spain—Auditorio De Galicia
September 10—Lyon, France—Radiant