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

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BILLY BRANCH & THE SONS OF BLUES: ROOTS AND BRANCHES

The harmonica has long been a neglected instrument in Rock music.  In a musical environment ruled by guitars, drums, keyboards, and vocals (including harmonies), the harmonica – AKA mouth organ – is often used as a novelty… and even then, very rarely. There are those artists who have managed to fit the harmonica into their hits – Billy Joel, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, etc. – but by and large, there aren’t many Rock musicians who proclaim themselves as first and foremost a harmonica player. However, if you’re talking about the Blues, that is a completely different story. Blues musicians known chiefly as harmonica players include James Cotton, Sonny Boy Williamson, Charlie Musselwhite, Junior Wells, Kim Wilson (Fabulous Thunderbirds), Paul Butterfield, Mark Feltham (Nine Below Zero), and many others. […]

By | July 5th, 2019|Categories: News, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BILLY BRANCH & THE SONS OF BLUES: ROOTS AND BRANCHES

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: MINDI ABAIR AND THE BONESHAKERS/NO GOOD DEED

The Blues genre may have spent the last century travelling around the world, but it has remained America’s music. Born from the crust of the earth, the Blues came to life when it was introduced to the sweat of humanity and the darkness buried deep in the hearts of America’s downtrodden. While Blues Music had been around for decades, Robert Johnson’s deal with the Devil helped to propel the genre forward. In the 80 years since that deal went down at the Crossroads, Blues has remained the music of the people. It is also the foundation of practically every genre that has come since – from Folk to Country to Jazz to Rock. The Blues is part of us and we are part of the Blues. […]

By | June 28th, 2019|Categories: News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: MINDI ABAIR AND THE BONESHAKERS/NO GOOD DEED

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB/FALSE ALARM

Since the early ‘60s when The Beatles kicked open the doors, there’s been a constant flow of bands making their way from the UK, Scotland and Ireland to America. Every 10 years or so, there will be chatter and hype about a ‘new British Invasion’, but music fans are well-aware that great music has been landing on these shores for decades, and there doesn’t seem to be any signs of it stopping. For every band that achieves enormous commercial success (Beatles, The Clash, Depeche Mode, Blur, Oasis), there are dozens of other bands with that are just as worthy of your attention and hard-earned dollars. One of those bands is Ireland’s very own Two Door Cinema Club.  […]

By | June 21st, 2019|Categories: News|Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB/FALSE ALARM

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: MIKE ADAMS AT HIS HONEST WEIGHT/THERE IS NO FEELING BETTER

Up through the ‘80s, the term ‘Pop Music’ was not a derogatory term. Technically, it is shorthand for ‘Popular Music’ and didn’t refer to one particular genre. , Pop Music could refer to a Rock band that played songs with substance and melody. The Beatles are a perfect example of what one used to refer to as Pop Music makers. That term could also be applied to the teen idols and the one hit wonders like Frankie Avalon, Edison Lighthouse, and other artists known for a catchy chorus we all remember decades later. None of those artists sounded alike but they easily fell into the Pop Music category. In more recent times, Pop Music has been used to define the current state of the Top 40 – manufactured, paint-by-numbers music written by committee and enhanced by Auto-Tune. Well, I’m here to take the term ‘Pop Music’ back and apply it to artists that best exemplify what Pop Music was, is, and shall always be. […]

By | June 17th, 2019|Categories: News|Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: MIKE ADAMS AT HIS HONEST WEIGHT/THERE IS NO FEELING BETTER

MINDI ABAIR & THE BONESHAKERS: An EXCLUSIVE Q&A!

STEPHEN SPAZ SCHNEE: Your 2018 album NO GOOD DEED is just about to be released. How are you feeling about the way the album turned out and the reaction to it so far? MINDI ABAIR: This album is deep to me. It feels like the band has gelled … we complete each other’s sentences musically and play together so effortlessly at this point. We joined forces as Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers at the beginning of 2015, but I had played with Randy Jacobs for 20 years before that, and Rodney Lee has been in my band for 17 years. Third Richardson is from my hometown. I hear the camaraderie and the friendship and the sheer abandon we have playing together, and I love it. We chose songs we loved, whether we wrote them or someone else did, and we played them like only we would. […]

By | June 14th, 2019|Categories: News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on MINDI ABAIR & THE BONESHAKERS: An EXCLUSIVE Q&A!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: AURORA/A DIFFERENT KIND OF HUMAN (STEP 2)

Norway isn’t just the hotbed of Black Metal, you know. While that genre has kept a handful of Norwegian musicians gainfully employed, the country has also given us some artists who remain popular throughout the rest of the world. Mentioning Classical composer Edvard Grieg is a given, but many other influential artists hail from Norway including a-Ha, Jan Garbarek, Royksopp, Terje Rypdal, Jaga Jazzist, production team Stargate, and Anni-Frid ‘Frida’ Lyngstad, one of the two A’s in ABBA. With each passing year, Norwegian artists make their presence known outside their homeland and Aurora Laura Aksnes, who releases music under the name Aurora, is now making waves as she dances on the cup of international stardom. […]

By | June 7th, 2019|Categories: News, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: AURORA/A DIFFERENT KIND OF HUMAN (STEP 2)

MICHAEL NESMITH/SONGS (12CDs) review: SPAZ explores the musical universe of Michael Nesmith!

THE LONG REVIEW: Fifty-three years after he stepped into the limelight with the release of The Monkees’ debut single in August of 1966, Michael Nesmith remains a musical enigma. The story of The Monkees has been told so many times – perhaps TOO many times – so I’ll respectfully skip over most of the details. One thing I will mention is how Nesmith seemed slightly out of step with the Pop charts yet completely in step and confident of his own musical vision. While Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones handled the bulk of the lead vocals for The Monkees’ glorious hits, Nesmith added a sophisticated depth to the album tracks he wrote and/or produced. Although the most naturally gifted as a songwriter in the band, his lead vocals were not featured on a Monkees A-side until 1969, the year he graced the topside of two singles in a row! […]

By | June 6th, 2019|Categories: News, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on MICHAEL NESMITH/SONGS (12CDs) review: SPAZ explores the musical universe of Michael Nesmith!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: APEX MANOR/HEARTBREAK CITY

It has been eight years since Southern California-based Apex Manor released their last album. Eight years is a long time between albums. In that same span of time, The Beatles wrote and recorded their entire catalog (not to mention making movies and touring). Fleetwood Mac was able to knock out everything from their 1975 self-titled release to their 1982 album TANGO IN THE NIGHT in just under eight years. Popular children’s music band The Wiggles issued nine studio albums, toured the world, and filmed a TV series within their first eight years of their existence. Wait… did I just mention The Wiggles? Oh, dear.  Let’s circle back to Apex Manor and the eight-year stretch between albums… […]

By | May 31st, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: APEX MANOR/HEARTBREAK CITY

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: DIPLO/EUROPA!

Born Thomas Pentz, Jr., DJ and producer Diplo is a Grammy-winning man-about-town. Not only has he released music under his own name, he’s also a member of Major Lazer, LSD (with Sia and Labrinth), Silk City (with Mark Ronson), and Jack Ü (with producer and DJ Skrillex). He’s also known for his work with M.I.A., Gwen Stefani, Die Antwoord, Britney Spears, Madonna, Shakira, Beyoncé, No Doubt, Justin Bieber, Usher, Snoop Dogg, Trippie Redd, Chris Brown, CL, G-Dragon, Bad Bunny, MØ, Poppy, and Bausa. To say that Diplo is a prolific artist would most certainly be an understatement. […]

By | May 24th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: DIPLO/EUROPA!