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PIGSHIT by Gary Pig Gold: I Heard It Standing There

On the occasion of Sir Paul McCartney’s 68th (!) birthday, let me take you back, as the song still goes…

It is the frigid winter of 1963/64. Extra cold, in fact, in the Toronto suburbs for an eight year old who has a long holiday, all set to spend: “With The Beatles.”

My best pal Paul Davis’ house is conveniently located just one block over. His mother is a piano teacher, and so music – yes, even rock ‘n’ roll music – is allowed, if sometimes in the case of “the louder stuff” only tolerated, on the family hi-fi system. So it was then that, until the following year when I was offered the choice of one 45-RPM record of my very own in lieu of fifty cents’ allowance each week, I had to visit the Davis place in order to fully avail myself of his older sister’s record collection.

And what a collection it was! Remarkably hip in retrospect especially because alongside all the usual ’63-vintage pin-up pop (as in Elvis on down), the elder Davis sister had a slew of beautifully battered seven-inch singles I was allowed to run hog – or should I say “Pig” wild with, whenever over there, ostensibly visiting Paul.

That is how, right after that initial Kennedy assassination, I came across my very first Beatle disc: an authentic orange-and-yellow-swirling Capitol Records of Canada pressing of “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”

So, onto the Davis console stereo it immediately went.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Pretty Maids “Pandemonium”

Danish heavy metal act Pretty Maids are back with their 13th studio album, “Pandemonium”. Don’t be fooled by the dainty name: these guys will clean house alright – in fact, they may even bring it down. “Pandemonium” is a blast of thunderous rock energy that will rattle your doors as well as your conscious. Lyrically, Pretty Maids tends to aim higher than your average rock band, touching on politically relevant events and inducing you to think about your role in the world. But they are not below cranking out some good natured love song such as the current single, “Little Drops of Heaven”. In fact, it is times likes those that make the band accessible to more than metalheads.

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Artists and Bands

Bikini-clad girls, endless booze, great live music, and a burning couch in a mosh pit – The RockaSkin Outback Camping Music Festival delivered the goods

BAM, BAM, BAM!  I hear the sound and spend my precious few moments awake trying to determine if it’s actually a knock on the window, or just the pounding in my head. I hear the noise again and am finally able to distinguish it from the drum roll happening in my brain, and reach over to unlock the door.  Having passed out drunk in my car, I wasn’t expecting anything less than a shitty morning and a brutal headache, but luckily enough, within seconds of opening my eyes, I had a drink thrust into my hand and was told to wake up and enjoy the show. Less than ten feet from where my hatch opened was a young lady dressed in a leopard skin bikini, complete with matching bunny ears.  If that wasn’t enough, she was rolling, splashing and crawling around in a giant mud puddle. Having been eased gently awake by this amazing spectacle, I slam the rest of my Vodka Red Bull and get ready to start my day. It is 9:00 a.m.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Bulletproof Messenger “Arm Yourself”

It doesn’t always happen immediately that a band’s sound is found; sometimes, the group has to go through several stages to end up with the exact sound that they want. This can describe the situation with the alternative rock band Bulletproof Messenger.

The original lineup for Bulletproof Messenger was a guitarist and a keyboard player/percussionist. This lineup took their influences and created a style that ended up being instrumental. It wasn’t until the perfect vocalist was found and added to the mix that the group started to gel.

After the initial three years of existence, the base members of guitarist Voley Martin, keyboardist and percussionist Matt Litwin and Vocalist Marcus Klavan started adding more and more pieces to the band before the current lineup was in place. Along with Martin, Litwin and Klavan, the rest of the band includes Jesse Downing on bass, Scott Martin on guitar, and Alex Straiter on drums.The current six-member version of Bulletproof Messenger find itself a long way removed from the early duo days of the group. It is this band that released its current album of Arm Yourself in 2008.

The current six-member version of Bulletproof Messenger finds itself a long way removed from the early duo days of the group. This lineup takes the feel of the original duo and expands on the simplicity of just guitar and keys. This results in a sound that is full-bodied and readymade for airplay on any Alternative Rock radio format. It is this version of the band that released its current album of Arm Yourself in 2008.

Arm Yourself by Bulletproof Messenger brings to life the sound and style of music that the band had searched so hard to find. The band’s music falls into the alternative rock genre. The current release by the band offers the listener eleven chances to become familiar with the group’s music.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Malea McGuinness “Close As Air”

Armed with a voice that is as bold as it is graceful, Malea McGuinness has what it takes to be a pop diva. Her new album, “Close As Air”, will get right under you skin, enchanting you with memorable melodies and engaging harmonies. McGuinness is clearly an adult contemporary artist, but has a soft rock edge in some of her tunes that will attract a wider spectrum of music fans.

She recorded her debut album “True Believer” with producer Scott Hackwith (Pete Townshend, Iggy Pop, The Ramones), which she released independently in 2007. The first single, “Deeper,” hit 16 on influential radio tip sheet Friday Morning Quarterback’s AC40 chart, while the follow-up (and first video) “Sweet Light” was Most Added, climbing to 3, with both in rotation on Sirius XM Satellite and Triple A stations across the country. She performed before 7,000 fans at the Summerfest Music Festival in Milwaukee, sharing the bill with B.B. King, Bon Jovi and John Mayer, then opened for Todd Rundgren at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. She also just signed an endorsement deal for her own signature model acoustic and electric guitars with Korea-based Peerless Guitars.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Gaslight Anthem “American Slang”

The latest from The Gaslight Anthem, “American Slang” (SideOneDummy Records), is set for release in the U.S. and Canada on June 15th, and around the world that same week. Produced by Ted Hutt (who produced the band’s acclaimed second album, “The ’59 Sound”, “American Slang” heralds a dramatic leap forward for The Gaslight Anthem.

The Gaslight Anthem is Brian Fallon (vocals/rhythm guitar), Alex Rosamilia (guitar), Ben Horowitz (drums) and Alex Levine (bass). This band from New Brunswick, New Jersey have built a solid fan base already and are poised to breakout worldwide with “American Slang”.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: My Glorious “Home Is Where The Heart Breaks”

What do you do when part of your band wants to call it a day and move on to other things? You try to find other people to fill those voids that now exist. But what happens when those members of the band who are vital to the sound of the group are the ones who want to leave? You either decide to give up completely, or you take a step back and decide to become something else with the musicians who have decided to continue on: A new band, a new sound, a new identity.

While the Vienna, Austria-based band Fresh had been popular over in Vienna and other regions of Europe, some of the members of that band wanted new things. And it was at that point that two band members (including the former lead singer of the group) called it a day, leaving behind three musicians who still wanted to continue on as a band. What may have been a problem for some bands turned into something of an opportunity for the rest of the group: The band’s remaining guitarist (Sami Fisher) took on the responsibility of lead singer for the band, and with the other remaining members of the group [Gregor and Paul Sailor (bass player and drummer, respectively)], he went about creating a new rock outfit by the name of My Glorious.

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Artists and Bands

The Futureheads’ guitarist, Ross Millard, talks Manchester United, inventing privacy, and “The Chaos”

The Futureheads’ newest offering, “The Chaos”, is a truly electric album that doesn’t venture far from the band’s signature sound, but that has a healthy dose of fresh and new takes of what we love most about their music. Some standout tracks include “Struck Dumb,” which features a couple of heavier riffs, but has an overall playful tone, and “I Can Do That,” which has an upbeat feeling that is reminiscent of a Ramones tune. The band’s guitarist, Ross Millard, was kind enough to answer a few questions about The Futureheads’ music making process and their latest album:

Q: What makes your latest album, “The Chaos,” different from the rest? Was the writing / recording process enjoyable?

A: I think this is the first record that we’ve made with “full independence” in mind. I think it’s different because this record has it’s darker, more minor moments. We wanted the album to be a positive, uplifting record, but we wanted to acknowledge our surroundings and our times, so I guess it’s harps of light shafting through the darkness, this time. The process was enjoyable because we gave ourselves more time to make this record and didn’t impose much of a deadline on the finished product. Dave, our drummer, has had a son with his girlfriend and that meant we had to take our foot off the gas to a certain extent, but I think taking more time in the studio has benefitted all of us because the songs start to change and expand the longer you have them kicking around the rehearsal room.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: THE TRADE “Fight Club”

The Trade

The Trade have a captivating and refreshing indie rock sound that uses power along with melodies and harmonies that make them brightly breezy with a solid and sharp edge. The great guitar and vocal style along with those catchy bass and drum lines effervescing away is just perfectly playable. Real get up and go music.

The Trade Bio

The Trade are five young musicians hailing from the sleepy Scottish town of Forfar, who pride themselves on their stomping anthems that are ‘fighting to get out’. The band are made up of Ross Milne on vocals, Bobo Martin on drums, Liam Moir on rhythm guitar, Craig Murray on lead guitar and backing vocals and Drew McLaren on bass and backing vocals. Having been together since 2008 they have established themselves quickly in the Scottish music scene and with extensive gigging they have fine tuned their music. Their sound is not to be missed and their live performances engage their audiences with their sing-along, clap-along anthems, with energy and fire that carries on long after the gig has ended.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Exodus “Exhibit B: The Human Condition”

I could barely contain my excitement when I discovered this album in the review pile.

Exodus were there for the very start of thrash metal in the early 80‘s, helping to mould the genre and influence a mass of bands who have formed in their wake. I have always admired Gary Holt and the rest of the band for constantly delivering the finest, most brutal thrash metal around.

Imagine then, the pant wetting anticipation I had before pressing play.

Is it good then I hear you asking?

Well, that is a bit like asking me if I like a cold beer on a Sunday afternoon.