All posts tagged: feature

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Orianthi Finds Heaven at the Gates of Hell: The Popdose Interview

Most people only know axe shredder Orianthi for the company she keeps: Carrie Underwood on the 2009 Grammys, Michael Jackson’s doomed This Is It tour and Alice Cooper’s current jaunt around the world. Still, a feverish fanbase shares one of the best worst-kept-secrets in popular music: the blonde bombshell from Australia has also headlined two the best rock records of the past decade: Violet Journey and Believe Vol. #1 and #2. The blistering guitar-powered trilogy concludes when her Dave Stewart-produced third album, Heaven in this Hell, drops March 12. Popdose caught up with Orianthi — Ms. Panagaris if you Wiki — to discuss her new album, the horrors of touring with Alice Cooper and a musical dalliance she once had with Prince and Sheila E. POPDOSE: Thanks for taking the time to talk to POPDOSE. Are you calling in from Australia? ORIANTHI: Oh no. I live in Los Angeles. Though I am leaving for Las Vegas tomorrow. I’m playing a TV special with Michael Bolton. It’s a Motown special that also stars Smokey Robinson and Kelly …

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The Popdose Interview: David Lowery

Hearing the stories behind how the new Camper Van Beethoven album came together, we’re not surprised to find out that God is a CVB fan. And as you listen to La Costa Perdita, the new Camper album which landed in stores on January 22nd via the fine folks at 429 Records, it’s a safe bet that He has a permanent spot on the guest list whenever the band comes to town. David Lowery and the members of Camper Van Beethoven were set to play a show at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur in June of 2011 when rain — an unusual visitor for that particular time of the season — forced the band to postpone. With the unexpected opening on their schedule, the band decided to seize the opportunity to launch into the writing process for what would become their first album of new Camper material since New Roman Times in 2004. The moments of collaboration were fruitful, birthing enough material for an album and then some. There’s a distinctive Northern California tint …

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The Ultimate Power Pop Roundup: 10 Essential Bands and FREE MP3s

Big hooks. Singalong choruses. Earworm melodies. Guitars. Handclaps. When these stars align, I think Power Pop. So, what bands will become the next Cheap Trick, Posies, Material Issue or Big Star? POPDOSE traveled around the world to find the very best. Now the purists might debate me on what qualifies as Power Pop in this list and what does not — because purists will happily debate anything — but let’s not get caught up in semantics. Let’s rock! Here are some of the best damn rock songs to cross my desk since I started at POPDOSE. Pack your bags, it’s time to hit the road. HIGH ON STRESS — Minneapolis High On Stress – Bite Your Tongue In a city as ass-smackingly cold as MPLS, good food, great sex and hot bands keep the locals alive. Prince, Husker Du and The Replacements all hail from there, and in their footprints walks High on Stress. The band served as Slim Dunlap’s backing band prior to his stroke — and here’s hoping they all hit the stage again someday. …

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The Popdose Interview: Lisa Loeb

With the renewed popularity of female-fronted alternative rock, New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert saw a window of opportunity to bring ‘90s alt-rocker Lisa Loeb, a noted influence for many of those same artists, back around to file a new chapter in her own discography of work. Gilbert, a longtime fan of Loeb’s music, knew exactly the kind of album that fellow fans would want to hear from Lisa and he also knew that fans had been waiting for quite a while. Loeb had been wrapped up in a variety of projects which had carried her away from making the “adult” music that brought her name recognition, starting in 1994 with “Stay,” the  #1 Grammy-nominated hit which served as her musical moment of introduction to the outside world. Having developed a healthy career of his own outside of New Found Glory as a producer, Gilbert had the right resume and experience to tackle the job and he was bold in his approach. He emailed Loeb to say “I know you do these kids books, but …

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Soul Disciple Gedeon Luke Makes His Move

Gedeon Luke’s debut EP, Perfect Ain’t Perfect, strutted onto my “Best of 2012” list after only a few spins — ironically enough sharing the bill with the original Disciples of Soul. Since then, Luke’s short stax of trax have been on near constant iPod repeat play. I’ve been damn near giddy about it because the emotional experience of discovering a new favorite record hits many of the same beats as falling in love: euphoria, enlightenment and plenty of electricity. My gravitation to the record may have as much to do with what Luke is throwing down as it does what everyone else is throwing out. Ask yourself, how long has it been since Prince released anything worthy of his potential? I hear great things about the upcoming D’Angelo record, but the waiting is the hardest part. These days, Lenny Kravitz spends more time hanging out with Katniss than he does in a recording studio. With Perfect Ain’t Perfect, Luke and producer Marc Swersky have crafted an uplifting, raw, soulful and timeless mini-masterpiece. It could have …

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On The Road With Crushed Out… includes free travel music

The easiest way to get your ass handed to you in a bar is to tell a dude you have a crush on his wife. Unless that dude is Frank Hoier, singer/guitarist for the rock duo Crushed Out, and your crush is of the rock star variety. How could he blame me? His wife, Moselle Spiller, is a smoking hot percussion combustion engine that keeps their blistering crazy train club anthems on the rails. So then technically I am crushed out on them both. Listen loud and you will be too. Blues-soaked rock and roll axe shredder with brunette drummer/wife? We’ve seen this species before in the White Stripes and Black Keys — but since Meg got out of the kitchen, someone had to step in and start cooking again. Moselle is Meg White and Alison Mosshart rolled into one — a drummer with frontwoman swagger and total command of the stage. Frank sings like he plays guitar — hair raising, goose bumping shred and squeal offset by daydream smoothness. Their new album, Want to …

Robert Carradine

The Popdose Interview: Robert Carradine

You might think that Robert Carradine, an actor whose filmography is far more formidable than the average moviegoer would ever imagine (keep reading and find yourself astonished by at least one or two of his past co-stars), would view a motion picture like Revenge of the Nerds as an albatross, one of those projects that you can’t make people forget no matter how hard you try. Carradine, however, views the role of Lewis Skolnick in the 1984 comedy – and its sequels, lest we forget – as more of a godsend, something that became far bigger than anyone ever could have anticipated. Plus, c’mon, who would’ve thought 29 years ago that nerds would end up being so hip as to warrant a prime-time television series? Or, as is the case now, a reality-competition series on TBS? That’s right: get ready for King of the Nerds. Popdose spoke with Carradine about this project, along with some of the other projects he’s worked on over the years, including – true story – Django Unchained. Popdose: The most …

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Download Now: James Levy and the Blood Red Rose (Interview and Free Songs)

James Levy is a gifted New York coffee house singer who clearly has friends in high places. Guy Berryman of Coldplay produced his fantastic album with duet partner Allison Pierce of the Pierces. Tim Wheeler of 90’s Irish alt rock heroes, Ash, produced Levy’s other project, Reputante. The Berryman/Pierce project Pray to be Free, officially by James Levy & the Blood Red Rose, topped year-end “best of” lists in every language around the world, including POPDOSE. James Levy And The Blood Red Rose – Give Me Happiness Since the Pierces is one of my favorite bands, I briefly wondered if my passion for Pray To Be Free was just spillover from my passion for the Pierces’ trilogy of four and five star albums Light of the Moon, Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge and You & I. So I consulted some second opinions: Andy Fyfe of Q magazine said, “With Allison Pierce as his Nancy Sinatra, (Levy) cooks up some of the greatest countrified orchestral pop this side of the randy old goats’ heydays.” …said goats …

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The Popdose Interview: Brooke White (free holiday MP3)

Brooke White is one of the sharpest, most prolific singer/songwriters in pop music today — her natural beauty, charm and style are simply sprinkles, whip cream and Cap’n Crunch atop an already perfect sundae. Sure a certain TV juggernaut catapulted her to international fame in 2008, but of the 120 American Idol Top 10’ers to date, she’s one of the few who still has bankable name brand recognition more than a season later. You can read all about my beef with the show here — but in a nutshell, what is now a popularity contest used to be about talent, and talent is something White has in spades. I drank the Brooke White Lemonade long before Idol. I bought her self-released debut CD, Songs From The Attic, at a rousing club show in LA two years before she went face to face with Simon, Randy and Paula. Attic steadily became one of my favorite pop albums of the decade; it is packed with powerful, exquisitely produced, full band originals that would have sounded as good …

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The Popdose Interview: Jimi Jamison of Survivor

In more than four decades in the music business, Jimi Jamison has worn quite a few different hats. While perhaps best known for his work with Chicago-based AOR rockers Survivor, his trademark vocals also helped to power albums by ZZ Top (take a fresh listen to “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” for example), George Thorogood and Joe Walsh, among others. When he stepped into the lead vocalist slot for Survivor in the mid-’80s, following the departure of original vocalist Dave Bickler, it was an important addition that would bring the band a second lease on life and add an extra five Top 20 hits (four of them went Top 10) to their resume. The road-worn huskiness of Jamison’s vocals helped make him one of the most distinctive vocalists of the decade, instantly identifiable on a crowded radio dial, where sounding different was the key, especially considering the hefty amount of competition that he was up against. Never Too Late, the new solo album from Jamison, plays out like a lost chapter from the Survivor discography and …

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Bob Hallett of Great Big Sea: The Popdose Interview

Popdose talked to Bob Hallett from Great Big Sea about frozen horses, the music industry (or what’s left of it), the songwriting process, Christmas music, asking fans to buy a $400 box set, and how the band compares to Rage Against the Machine. “You can’t tweet your way to rock stardom” – Bob Hallett, Great Big Sea. Such is the life of up-and-coming bands trying to make it in the music business. But it’s also true for bands trying to stay relevant. Bands like Great Big Sea got their start long before the internet sucked the life out of the industry. But trying to survive and make a career out of being in a band is becoming increasingly difficult. We talk to Bob about all of that. But first, let’s talk about Rage Against the Machine. Both yourself and Rage Against the Machine are releasing 20-year retrospectives called XX this fall. What are the similarities between the two bands? (Laughter) 20 years old, and that would be about it. And I can’t imagine actually a …

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My Worst Gig: Jonathan Rundman

Every band has one: the story of a completely disastrous train wreck of a show. Sometimes it’s the venue, sometimes it’s the audience, and sometimes, it’s the venue’s inability to control the audience. In this installment, Finnish-American singer-songwriter Jonathan Rundman shares a story of audience participation gone horribly awry. It’s a rite of passage for young musicians to learn to endure and/or deal with aggressive audience members, hecklers, and obnoxious dudes shouting “You suck!” during shows. Certainly these can be challenging situations for bands, but those of us who perform solo have our vulnerabilities magnified. As I look back on my past decade as a touring singer/songwriter, one of these awkward moments goes down in history as My Worst Gig. About ten years ago I was on tour as the opening act for Beki Hemingway. We were doing a run through the Midwest and Southeast, and early on in the trip we had a show at a club called The Rudyard Kipling in Louisville, KY. The venue had a barroom up front, with an adjoining …