Happy little slaves to minimum wage, smash the control machine

One of Eric Clapton’s Defining Albums Marks its 40th Anniversary on March 29th With Deluxe Multi-format Edition Featuring New and Long-Unavailable Music and Never-Seen Photos

SANTA MONICA, Calif.— In the world of rock there are recordings that truly resonate in historical importance and continue to cast an enduring shadow of influence. Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs is one of the most steadfastly revered musical treasures of its era. Its famous title track is still hailed as an essential rock guitar anthem, a signature tune of rock’s leading guitar hero, Eric Clapton.

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Jackson, Michigan’s Tim Corser is dedicated to bringing Rock to south-central Michigan

With a wind chill factor registering almost 20 below it may have been one of the coldest nights in six years for the Jackson, Michigan area, but for the residents of south-central Michigan, particularly those who like hard and driving rock, the five bands that provided talent at the Michigan Theater tonight raised temps as they really cooked on stage.

This bill featuring Michigan bands Neon Escape, Lifeline Revolution, Under The Vine, Fifth Way, and the headlining Pop Evil was organized by Tim Corser, head of Kings of Rock Entertainment.

Corser, 28, has been promoting rock bands in and around the Jackson area for the past eight years. Last year during the depths of Michigan’s deepest recession, at a time when even the biggest promoters were taking a hit, he promoted 30 bands on three stages at what was called Rockapalooza.

He is all too aware that roller coaster effect that the music business has experienced over the past couple of years and speaks with an authority on this matter perhaps belying his age. Despite this, he is intrepid rock devotee and is determined to produce the best shows for the dollar, something much needed and surely appreciated in the Jackson area.

Tonight’s show was such a show. Opening with Neon Escape (formerly Effigy), a Detroit based band quickly making a name for themselves, the curtain parted with vocalist, Cameron Glass, standing poised upon a speaker in the front center of the stage. Dressed in what appeared to be a black military waistcoat with gold epaulets, he wowed the audience who was standing in the mosh pit pressed against the stage. Best described as having a late 70s-early 80s sound, reminiscent of Rush, the band delivered and Glass’ voice was suited to this sound. They capped their performance off with a cover of Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll. Although a cover they put their personal spin on this nugget.

Lifeline Revolution followed. Whereas all but the lead guitarist from Neon Escape appeared almost too clean to be rock, they almost looked like members of a boy-band, Lifeline Revolution was more hard-core, with the vocalist and a guitarist/vocalist having shoulder length hair. Their sound was hard-driven metal rock, with heavy drum, soaring guitars and a bass that delivered like a blow to the heart. What was disconcerting was the vocalist’s references to Pop Evil. They needn’t. They had a strong, stand-alone sound that defied comparison to the preceding band, or for that matter the bands that followed.

Under the Vine left much to be desired. The vocalist, Cory Myers, sounded strained and monotonous with little range. But what was distracting was the number of times the bassist, Rudy Monsivaes, changed places on stage, sometimes seemingly playing both sides of the stage at the same time, to play to the audience; and the number of times guitarists, Chris Sparklin and Dustin Bovee almost collided into each other.

Kicking it up a decibel or two, Fifth Way was a solid rock band. Whereas neither Lifeline Revolution and Under the Vine introduced themselves, leaving one to ask “Who were they?” Fifth Way’s vocalist, Tim Gossman left no doubt as to who you were listening to. Their sound was a throw back to the ’90s. With powerful lead vocals, potent guitar riffs, fueled by a full throttle rhythm section, there was no doubt as to who their influences were. From Detroit, Fifth Way is a five piece band with Adam Trahan and Zak Stelmaszek on guitars
Nicholas Cole-Klaes on bass and Chris Castro on drums. After the first three numbers of heavy rock, Gossman grabbed an acoustic guitar and slowed things down. They then kicked things into overdrive and really rocked. Rocked solid.

Then the band that everyone was waiting for prepared to take stage. As Pop Evil readied everything on stage, they played with the curtains, testing amps, mics and lights exciting the audience. Scheduled to start at 11:45 they proved real professional. Just as the clock struck, the curtains parted and the sound rocked the walls of the historic Michigan Theater, causing the plaster of the aged ceiling to shake. Although stage lighting was so dark that all you could make out were silhouettes, Pop Evil rocked the house.

In leaving, when Tim Corser was asked whether he had broken even, he gave a solid thumbs up. This is part and parcel of being a promoter. Creating events that people will appreciate, and showing a profit to boot.

Even on the coldest night.

Santa Monica, CA–429 Records is set to release a spectacular live concert by celebrated songstress Joan Armatrading.
JOAN ARMATRADING LIVE AT ROYAL ALBERT HALL was filmed and recorded live during the artist’s triumphant appearance at the UK’s most prestigious venue last spring. The incredible evening was a highlight of Armatrading’s world tour promoting the release of her new album “THIS CHARMING LIFE.”

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Alex Kirst, a former drummer for Iggy Pop, has been killed in a hit-and-run accident in Cathedral City, California, according to The Desert Sun newspaper. Kirst was 47.

Reports indicate that the drummer was hit by a white truck while he was out walking on January 13. Kirst’s brother Wiley, who played guitar for Pop, said Alex “just went to the store to get a pack of cigarettes,” before he was killed.

Kirst played on two of Pop’s recent solo albums, 2001’s Beat ’Em Up and 2003’s Skull Ring. He was also a member of alt-rockers The Nymphs from 1985-92.

New York, NY–You’ve watched teasers for every song over the last few weeks, now go here for the full Times of Grace album stream exclusively at Artist Direct. The Hymn of a Broken Man is released next week on January 18th. The band’s first tour kicks off in less than three weeks. Get dates and tickets here.

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Atlanta, GA — Zoom is pleased to announce the addition of guitarist and lead vocalist Dave Mustaine of the iconic band Megadeth to our family of artists. Mustaine has been a mainstay in the metal community for over 25 years, having formed Megadeth in 1983. Internationally acclaimed as one of the greatest metal guitarists in the world, Mustaine is also an accomplished producer.

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