AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: KXM/CIRCLE OF DOLLS

For decades, Rock supergroups have been embraced by music fans and derided by critics. In general, the whole idea of a supergroup has been misunderstood.  Sure, there are those that come together strictly because it makes financial sense for each of the band members… and their management team. However, there are still plenty of supergroups that do it for the right reasons – artistic expression. Just because musicians are in successful bands doesn’t mean that they are always able to funnel all their ideas and energy onto their main band’s records. Sometimes, they have to turn to solo or side projects in order to release creative steam. In the process, they call on their musician friends and, before they realize it, they are a supergroup. This phenomenon has been going on for decades – including legendary jams by The Dirty Mac (John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Mitch Mitchell) and commercially successful bands like Asia and The Traveling Wilburys. You can add KXM – featuring Dug Pinnick, Ray Luzier, and George Lynch – to that list… […]

By | September 13th, 2019|Categories: News|0 Comments

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BAT FOR LASHES/LOST GIRLS

Before the collapse of print media, every kid in the UK followed music rags like NME and monthly magazines like Q and Record Collector. However, British music critics took great pleasure in building an artist up before pulling the stool out from under their feet and watching them fall from grace. It seemed to happen almost monthly – a band’s debut single was voted ‘best song of the year’ and by the time their first album was released, the critics would savage it before moving on to the next victim. Thankfully, by 2006, their critical power wasn’t as strong because the internet was giving the audience more choice and more power. It was then that both critics and music lovers became enamored by Bat For Lashes, a new artist that appeared – fully formed – seemingly out of nowhere. For once, everyone seemed to agree that this artist was something unique and special. […]

By | September 6th, 2019|Categories: News|0 Comments

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BON IVER/I,I

Sometimes, an artist’s career trajectory is carefully planned. From label contracts and recording budgets to marketing strategies and touring schedules, the build up to a debut album is often less about music and more about business. However, there are always exceptions to every rule and singer/songwriter Justin Vernon is one of those exceptions. The origins of his band, Bon Iver, and their 2007 debut album started almost by accident and the subsequent commercial success of the band has always been about the music and nothing else. Sure, critical success and two Grammy Awards are always good for ‘business’ but for Vernon, it has always been about the music. And to think that it all started in a cabin in Wisconsin… […]

By | August 30th, 2019|Categories: News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BON IVER/I,I

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: REDD KROSS/BEYOND THE DOOR

We are so very lucky that Redd Kross exists. Formed by brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald in 1978, the band has gone through numerous line-up shuffles – plus a few name changes (from The Tourists to Red Cross to Redd Kross) – over the decades. However, the band’s love of classic Pop, Punk and Rock ‘n’ Roll and their fascination with everything pop culture has made them one of the most beloved bands by anyone ‘in the know’. Better yet, they appeal to a wide spectrum of fans – from Punk to Power Pop. Redd Kross fans might be the same ones you’ll see at a Black Flag show or a Cheap Trick gig. And more than likely, the band’s fans own records by Annette Funicello, adore Peter Sellers movies, and prefer Quisp over Quake cereal. Redd Kross represent the fun side of life. There might still be heartbreak and sorrow in Redd Kross’ universe but nothing that a Buzzcocks 7” single can’t cure! […]

By | August 23rd, 2019|Categories: News|Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: REDD KROSS/BEYOND THE DOOR

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: OH SEES/FACE STABBER

Musicians, by and large, carve their own paths. They take their influences, fuse them together, and create their own noise. Some of those musicians absorb more influences and make adjustments to their own sound along the way. While some of them might be distracted by the bright lights of YouTube viral videos and social media sycophants, we are still left with those that make music because they want/need/have to. Success might be their ultimate goal but how do you measure success anyway? Is a ‘one hit wonder’ like Starbuck more successful than artists like R. Stevie Moore or Daniel Johnston, two enormously creative artists that have built up devoted fanbases without even the slightest hint of massive commercial success? Some say that the hitmakers win out, but in all actuality, the winners are the fans who can enjoy the commercial Top 40 cheese while also enjoying those artists that inspire us to take chances, to move forward, and to be ourselves… […]

By | August 16th, 2019|Categories: News|Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: OH SEES/FACE STABBER

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: SMOOTH HOUND SMITH/DOG IN A MANGER

Smooth Hound Smith has come a long way since they formed in Southern California. Yes, you read that right –  Smooth Hound Smith is a they, not a he or a she. Comprised of multi-instrumentalist Zack Smith and his wife, vocalist/percussionist Caitlin Doyle-Smith, the duo formed in Southern California back in 2012. Caitlin was performing with her band Dustbowl Revival and Zack sat in on one of their sets. Without even realizing it, the seeds of their future were planted at that very moment. Caitlin would eventually add percussion and vocals to Zack’s ‘one man band’ performances.  Marriage would soon follow. Eventually, Zack’s ‘one man band’ concept was cast aside, replaced with the introduction of Smooth Hound Smith as a duo. Along the way, Zack and Caitlin left the comforts of Southern California, eventually settling in East Nashville, Tennessee. […]

By | August 9th, 2019|Categories: News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: SMOOTH HOUND SMITH/DOG IN A MANGER

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BERLIN/TRANSENDANCE

The history of Synth/Electro Pop band Berlin spans four decades and includes a healthy handful of hit singles, a few musical detours, a break-up, some reunions, and a legacy that refused to die. The roots of the band were planted in 1978 when John Crawford formed his first band, The Toys. Within a year, the band had changed their name to Berlin and the core line-up featured vocalist Terri Nunn, keyboardist/guitarist David Diamond, and bassist Crawford. Nunn left after the release of their debut album and the band soldiered on with a new vocalist before briefly calling it a day. With band members pursuing other projects, Crawford decided to revive Berlin for an EP side-project. He reached out to Nunn, who agreed to rejoin. When PLEASURE VICTIM was released in 1982, its success surprised everyone. Armed with three classic radio hits – “Sex (I’m A…)”, “The Metro”, and “Masquerade” – PLEASURE VICTIM was a smash and paved the way for even more success. […]

By | August 2nd, 2019|Categories: News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BERLIN/TRANSENDANCE

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: PARTICLE KID/WINDOW ROCK

It all started way back in 1956 when singer/songwriter Willie Nelson first started making a name for himself as a Country Music songwriter. Willie was a hugely successful songwriter but his solo career limped along until the ‘70s, when he finally became a superstar. Country Music has morphed and changed over the years, making it more difficult for Willie to score a hit in the charts today. However, Willie is still a superstar and will forever remain so. In between the hits – both on the charts and on the bong – Willie has built up a family, which includes seven children. As expected, his kids learned a thing or two from their pops and have ventured into the music business to make their mark… […]

By | July 26th, 2019|Categories: News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: PARTICLE KID/WINDOW ROCK

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: ELLEFSON/SLEEPING GIANTS

David Ellefson is a Heavy Metal icon. Alongside band leader Dave Mustaine, Ellefson was a founding member of legendary Metal band Megadeth. From 1983 until their temporary dissolution in 2002, Ellefson was the anchor in the band, standing by Mustaine’s side through several line-up changes. When Mustaine reformed the band in 2004, Ellefson was not part of the then-new line-up. For the next six years, Megadeth soldiered on without him. Once some issues had been resolved between Mustaine and Ellefson, David rejoined Megadeth in 2010 and remains a member of the band to this day. […]

By | July 23rd, 2019|Categories: News|Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: ELLEFSON/SLEEPING GIANTS

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: IMPERIAL TEEN/NOW WE ARE TIMELESS

Imperial Teen is a proper Pop band. Imperial Teen is a proper Indie Rock band. Imperial Teen is a proper Retro Pop band. Imperial Teen is a proper Post-Punk band. Imperial Teen is a proper (insert your favorite genre here) band. […]

By | July 12th, 2019|Categories: News|Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: IMPERIAL TEEN/NOW WE ARE TIMELESS