All posts tagged: feature

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 …


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 …

Jimi Jamison

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 …

Great Big Sea XX

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 …


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 …

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Susanna Hoffs and Andrew Brassell: Someday Tour Surprises

Rain is the predominant metaphor on Susanna Hoffs’ stellar 2012 album, Someday, so it was only fitting that Seattle welcomed the Bangles star and her band with the year’s biggest downpour. Seattle’s luxurious Triple Door nightclub was the final destination on the singer’s all too brief solo tour, one that also saw her hustle up the East Coast in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The last time we spoke with Hoffs, on the eve of Someday’s release earlier this summer, she took POPDOSE readers behind the scenes of the baroque pop album’s creation while also discussing rarities in her audio archives (read that interview here). Last night, minutes before they took the stage, her songwriting partner and lead guitarist, Andrew Brassell, told us more about the tour and the duo’s future plans. POPDOSE: Tonight is your final scheduled stop on the Someday tour; does the Space Needle mark the end of the road? ANDREW BRASSELL: We’re probably gonna do some more shows next year but I’m not sure, we don’t have anything planned. The tour has …


Keep It to Yourself: Just Desserts?

  I scream, you scream, we all scream for hardcore pornography! Hippie royalty Ben & Jerry were not amused when L.A. smut merchants Caballero Video released a series of dirty DVDs with names and packaging mimicking their wholesome family treats.  The naughty flicks have titles like ‘Boston Cream Thighs, ‘New York Super Fat and Chunky’ and ‘Hairy Garcia.’  [Cue my teenage daughter: ‘Ewww!’]  The line of adult features is promoted under the name “Ben and Cherry’s XXX Ice Cream” (‘Porno’s Finest’) and looks like this: A lawsuit ensued.  I hear my smart, attentive and attractive readers collectively breathing, “So what?  Isn’t this just garden variety parody?”  Answer: NO.  Let’s briefly talk about trademark dilution, specifically tarnishment. Ahem.  Trademark dilution is “the lessening of the capacity of a famous mark to identify and distinguish goods or services, regardless of the presence or absence of (1) competition between the owner of the famous mark and other parties, or (2) likelihood of confusion, mistake, or deception.”  In plain English, dilution law protects a trademarked product when someone makes a …


The 100 Greatest Holiday Songs of All Time – Nominations

We’re making a list.  Help us check it twice! About eighteen months ago, we put together a list of (in our collective opinion) the 100 Greatest Cover Songs of All Time.  It has generated more discussion than any other post we’ve published on this site, and the most common objection folks have is “How could you leave off _______ by _______?”  We were voting from a huge list of more than 800 songs, and chances are, if the song didn’t make the cut, it was because not enough of us voted for it, or that the few who did failed to rank it highly enough.  But there were a few select examples where a song that probably would have secured a spot on the countdown didn’t make the top 100 list because nobody happened to think of it during the nomination process. This year, as part of the always-festive holiday season at Popdose, we’re going to be presenting you with the 100 Greatest Holiday Songs of All Time.  And to make sure that nobody misses the …

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The Popdose Interview: Caro Emerald

Caro Emerald is the latest European superstar to have her way with the American songbook, giving 1920’s – 40’s salsa, jazz and mambo a sparkling dance floor makeover. The end result is the Holland native’s absolutely gorgeous debut, Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor. The album has already racked up more than a million in sales, topping charts across Europe and Asia. While plenty of albums pad a few solid singles with filler, Deleted Scenes is spellbinding from start to finish. Every track could be a hit single, yet when woven together, they sweep you away on a journey across continents and through generations. Imagine if Woody Allen’s heroines Vicky and Christina continued their romantic adventures from Barcelona to Greece, Milan, Amsterdam, New York and Paris, stepping through decades with each new dancefloor and balcony party — this would be the perfect soundtrack. If you’re hosting a soiree anytime soon, this is the best album to set the mood since Brazilian Girls self-titled debut. The secret here is Caro’s heavenly vocals atop a bed of roses: loops created from …

Debbie Gibson

The Popdose Interview: Debbie Gibson

If you want to feel inspired, spend a few minutes talking with Debbie Gibson. Certainly, you’re probably aware of the chart success that Gibson enjoyed in the ‘80s, beginning with her first single “Only in My Dreams” in 1987, the first of five Top 40 singles that she would notch from her debut album Out Of The Blue. The first three singles from Out Of The Blue charted Top 5 and with her fourth single “Foolish Beat,” Gibson would become the youngest artist (at age 17) to ever write, produce and perform a Billboard #1 single, an accomplishment that remains unbeaten more than two decades later. Gibson faced challenges while working for the chance to record and release that first album and single, but she fought hard and the story of how Gibson stuck with the songs that she believed in — those very same songs that would be massive chart hits only a few years later, is a good one.