AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: JULIANA HATFIELD/SINGS THE POLICE!

Juliana Hatfield has remained an unpredictable artist during her 30+ year career. Since the formation of Blake Babies in the late ‘80s, straight through her most recent solo work, she has surprised critics and fans with her many musical projects. Since Blake Babies’ original demise in 1991, she’s formed her own band Juliana Hatfield Three as well as getting involved in many other projects including Minor Alps (with Matthew Caws of Nada Surf), The I Don’t Cares (with Paul Westerberg), The Lemonheads, and more. Along the way, she’s been involved in a few Blake Babies reunions while continually movie forward as an artist. […]

By | November 15th, 2019|Categories: News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BAD WOLVES/N.A.T.I.O.N.

Bad Wolves is a supergroup of sorts. Vocalist Tommy Vext spent time in bands like Divine Heresy, Snot, and Westfield Massacre before the formation of Bad Wolves. Drummer John Boecklin was previously a member of DevilDriver, lead guitarist Doc Coyle once rocked with God Forbid, rhythm guitarist Chris Cain treaded the boards with both Bury Your Dead and For the Fallen Dreams, and bassist Kyle Konkiel has laid down the bottom end for In This Moment, Scar the Martyr, and Vimic. If you count their manager as an auxiliary band member, then it must be said that Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory – Bad Wolves’ manager – kicks the ‘supergroup’ claim up another notch. […]

By | October 28th, 2019|Categories: News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BAD WOLVES/N.A.T.I.O.N.

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: WATERPARKS/FANDOM

Celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year, California-based label Hopeless Records has been at the forefront of the modern Punk movement since their inception in 1994. With a host of Pop Punk, Hardcore, and Post-Punk acts on their roster, the label has been one of the most influential on the scene. With releases by All Time Low, Sum 41, Neck Deep, Avenged Sevenfold, Thrice, Yellowcard, Anarbor, Taking Back Sunday, Silverstein, We Are The In Crowd, Bayside, The Used, The Wonder Years, The Human Abstract and Enter Shikari, Hopeless has always embraced the energy of modern Punk and releasing albums that have helped shape the genre. Through it all, the label has earned the respect of the Punk Pop/Emo kids and that is what is most important. […]

By | October 11th, 2019|Categories: News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: WATERPARKS/FANDOM

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BRUCE COCKBURN/CROWING IGNITES

Artists and their art evolve. The youngster that strummed their first chord into a four-track recorder decades ago has matured in so many ways since then – physically, emotionally, and artistically. However, without realizing it, their audience refuses to let the artist grow – they want them to stay the same as when they first connected with them. While we all know better now, there was a time when teens all over the world were dismayed when The Beatles grew facial hair and served up “Strawberry Fields Forever” to the masses in 1967. The kids wanted the same band that Ed Sullivan introduced them to three years earlier. Thankfully, audiences quickly adapted to the Fabs’ growth as a band. The same can’t be said for so many other artists over the years. Audiences can be so fickle sometimes… […]

By | September 20th, 2019|Categories: News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BRUCE COCKBURN/CROWING IGNITES

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|Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: KXM/CIRCLE OF DOLLS

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|Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BAT FOR LASHES/LOST GIRLS

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