Review: The Sally Zito Project at Highland Grounds

Singer-songwriter Sally Zito recently brought her strong storytelling skills and literate lyric writing to an overflowing audience at Hollywood’s Highland Grounds. Much of her material touches on the various struggles that often accompany the search for love and acceptance in a complicated world. And a tight band–including husband-and-wife team Brady and Tricia Steel on upright bass and congas, Zito herself on keyboards, and her famous baseball-playing brother Barry contributing his guitar-playing talents–really helped to make the material come alive. By the end of the show, the appreciative, standing-room-only audience made it clear that Zito had definitely hit one out of the park! (W. C. Moriarity)

Review: Live at Coachella

Let’s just start off by saying, two days too much! The Coachella Music and Art Festival in Indio, IN A DESERT! Despite getting deep fried, dehydrated, and experiencing near-death by exhaustion from running across a 10 mile stretch of grass from one great gig to the next, the music was amazing… what else can I say with headlining bands like Iggy and the Stooges, Beastie Boys, Queens of the Stone Age, Sonic Youth, the White Stripes, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers? Not to mention the talented and upcoming bands Coachella-goers we so priviledged to witness before those bands fullfill their rock star destiny.

IMA Robot, Interpol, the Music, the Libertines, Hot Hot Heat, the Polyphonic Spree– bands like these are going to bring rock back to where it oughta be… in your face! I’d have to say Interpol and Queens of the Stone Age were by far the most shockingly good bands to experience, seeing them both for the first time. Primal Scream rocked the festival like they do and Blur bandmembers looked like they themselves were “blurred” on stage. Very unlike them if you hadn’t seen Blur before Coachella.

Heat exhaustion? No. Just Brits in a desert… but then again the Hives were pretty damn pumped and where are they from again? Cold rainy Sweden? In fact, there were so many good bands on at the same time, I don’t even see the point of anyone who really loves music going to Coachella. Save your money and see each and every band on the roster when they come to your hood. Back when the festival was only one day in all was just the right amount of time anyone can deal with so much good music, so much excitement, so much beer, and so much heat! (Stephanie Fitch)

Music: Letter from The Sex Pistols

The Sex Pistols just made the above announcement on February 24, 2006. They are not going to the ceremony. After 8 or so nominations to be inducted, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame anonymous “decision makers” finally decided that the Sex Pistols should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with Black Sabbath, Blondie, Miles Davis, Lynard Skynyrd and Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss. With tickets going at a mind-boggling $1,500 per person for balcony seats and $2,500 for floor seating, who can afford to attend this celebrated event besides music industry professionals? Certainly not the fans that supported and made these bands what they are today. Performances are usually provided by the inductees, and one wonders if Ozzy will perform with his “Ozzy Osbourne” solo non-inductee back up players or the original Black Sabbath inductees? What about Blondie? They’ve been on the road with a hired guitarist filling in for original guitarist and inductee, Frank Infante and a hired bassist filling in for original bassist and inductee, Nigel Harrison (who replaced first bassist, and inductee, Gary Valentine). Will the public get the real deal playing on stage or some fabricated “let’s-see-if-anyone-notices-that-these-aren’t-the-original -members-who-were-just-inducted-playing” deal that corporate music management and artist ‘s over-exploded egos put together to shove down listener’s throats? The ideal performance by the bands being inducted would be by the inductees in attendance, for each band. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen with Creedence Clearwater Revival when they were inducted. The Hall of Fame anonymous “decision makers” allowed one member of that band to perform without the rest of the inducted bandmembers who were in attendance, who were forced to sit in the audience while that one member played. (those bandmembers got up and left when the set started). A music industry corporate move. Time will tell if the original inductees of the bands will play and hopefully the fans won’t be dissapointed by the politics or any personal grudges getting into the way of what the fans originally signed up for. Maybe the corporate music industry will not prevail this time? Right on Sex Pistols.

Interview: A Chat with skin pounder “Skinny” of Mushroomhead

“…an eight-piece, rave-metal freak show ” – Metal Edge

“…darkly erotic – in the most insane kind of way.” – Album Network

Interview by Cindy Pop
Photos by Therese McKeon

We caught up with Skinny on his cellphone in Hartford, Conn. He was on his way into Guitar Center.

Cindy – Hey Skinny? what are you buying?
Skinny – Just supplies, stuff we need for the band for the tour.

Cindy – I love the cd, I was surprised, I got the press kit, and said oh no, a metal band that wears masks, yikes, and I put on the cd and loved it.
Skinny – It’s that never judge a book by cover thing.

Skinny1
Skinny1

Cindy – The music is great, so dark and yet beautiful and dramatic, very surreal…
Skinny – and dark and creepy…

Cindy – I love creepy…
Skinny – well, that’s us…

Cindy – Describe your band and it’s music?
Skinny – With 8 members it keeps a wide variety happening, very aggressive, aggressive like a rollercoaster, it’s up and down like real life, we are trying to represent all of the elements and emotions instead of just one.

Cindy – Is it cool being in a band with your brother?
Skinny – Yea, Gravy, we’ve been in a lot of bands together, we got another band, which we still do, he wasn’t the original guitarist for Mushroomhead, he joined us about a year ago.

Cindy – What does the world need to know about your band?
Skinny – They need to know what they’re missing, they need to know what they don’t know, they need to come and see us.

Cindy – A quick band history?
Skinny – Formed in 92, played first show in 93, first cd in 95, recorded, mixed, mastered and issued independently, got picked up by Universal.

Cindy – They reissued the original “XX” (Double X) one you put out ?
Skinny – Yea, but they wanted to remix it.

Cindy – Is it a lot different from your original, better quality?
Skinny – Quality is a matter of opinion, it is different, some of the songs I like them redone, some I still like our originals better, some our guys like it and some don’t, its hard to redo something after a year, you get use to it being the way it was, it was a good experience though.

Cindy – Do you feel like you are still true to yourselves?
Skinny – Yea, after 8 years and 3 albums before Universal we have a pretty fair idea what we want to do and I will always still be doing the producing.

Cindy – You have a song on the Scorpion King soundtrack, have you seen the movie?
Skinny – It’s a brand new song, its not on this release, I haven’t seen it, some of the guys have seen it.

Skinny2
Skinny2

Cindy – What’s your opinion of the music industry?
Skinny – It’s a crazy world, I don’t know if I do it again if I had the choice (chuckles), its really cool, music right now is really strange to me, theres some real heavy bands out there, and then theres some other bands coming out of leftfield that I don’t get at all, but that’s okay, if I liked everything, it would be boring.

Cindy – What does the music industry need more or less of?
Skinny – More variety, I think people need to do more of their own thing, and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing, or how everyone else is going to feel about what they’re presenting, a lot of bands to me, sound much to much alike.

Cindy – To much of the same formula?
Skinny – Same formula, as far as writing songs, same tuning of guitars, same vocal style, a lot of labels and bands think oh, it worked for those guys, lets do that again, oh, sure , it may work but it doesn’t come across as genuine.

Cindy – What makes your band different (laughs), although I think I know? I love the masks, theres one guy not wearing one?
Skinny – Yea, we got two singers and they both wear makeup on stage, in the photos though one of the vocalists is wearing a mask.

Cindy – You’re touring alot right now? Any memorable moments?
Skinny – We are, alot, Its kinda a blur as your doing it, so it’s hard to think of moments, but when youre done and you stop and look back and its like wow, we just did a thousands of mles across the United States.

Cindy – Any fav town you’ve played?
Skinny – Where we are at right now has been great, Hartford, Conn area, and Massechussets, it has been great shows, crowd response, even radio support.

Cindy – Anything cool coming up for the band?
Skinny – We are looking forward to the fall, we got a lot of cool stuff we are doing in the summer, we got Local Bazooka and Ozzfest, but in the fall we are going to do our own headling Halloween tour during the month of October.

Cindy – Cool. Is the Halloween tour coming to LA?
Skinny – I believe so, we roll through LA on the Ozzfest to, not sure where or what venue?

Cindy – Anything to add for online fans?
Skinny – Thanks for the support, everyone has been great, check out the websites so you can stay informed, Check us at Ozzfest, Local Bazooka, pick up the record, we will be back.

Cindy – Hey, I’ll go see you on the Halloween tour! Thanks, Skinny!
Skinny – Take care, thanks for the support!