Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Case For 1971 As Rock's Greatest Year

Never a Dull Moment 1971 - the Year That Rock Exploded by David Hepworth
What do Van Morrison's "Domino," the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" and Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On?" have in common? All of them were recorded or became hits in 1971 — the year music journalist David Hepworth insists is the best year in rock 'n' roll history.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bands Tell Us About the Worst Places They've Crashed While Touring

I've interviewed musicians since I was a teenager, and in that time, I've learned two main lessons. The first lesson is that playing in a band is the greatest job in the world. For months at a time you and your friends get to travel from place to place sharing your art and ideas with audiences who are excited to see you play. The second lesson is that playing in a band is the worst job in the world. For months at a time you're away from your family and loved ones, performing songs you poured your heart into for minuscule crowds that are only there for the beer.
There are a lot of highs and lows for touring musicians. Anyone who has spent time on the road can tell you that one of the biggest concerns is figuring out where they're going to spend the night post concert. Recently I sat down with a handful of bands and asked about the worst place they've ever slept.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Converse Made a Sneaker With a Wah Guitar Pedal Built Right In

Converse’s Chuck Taylor All Stars and music have always gone hand and… well, foot and shoe. A good pair of Chucks can last a performer through hundreds of stage shows. Now, Converse has debuted a new type of shoe that not only fits the rock and roll lifestyle, but actually serves a purpose beyond looking fly.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Georgia's Lonesome Country Star

There can be few country music singers quite as lonesome as Shota Adamashvili. He is the only one in Georgia - not the American state, the country which lies on the border of Europe and Asia. With his cowboy hat and boots and pretty convincing Southern accent, many who come to see him play mistake Shota for an American. But he has never been to the U.S.A, and he taught himself English by listening to country music.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Important Anniversary in Music: LP Turns 68

Before June 21, 1948, if you wanted to listen to recorded music that was more than a few minutes long, your only option was the radio. The format of choice back then was the 78-rpm record, which could hold about five minutes per side. This was an improvement over the wax cylinder, which could play for two minutes.

And then, behold, 68 years ago today, Columbia Records announced the LP, or "long-playing record." The 12-inch disc spun at 33 1/3 rpm and could hold more than 20 minutes per side. This was a banner day for classical and jazz lovers, and would prove exceedingly important for concept albums and rock operas a couple of decades later.

Global music industry professionals to share insights on indie music opportunities at 2016 Golden Melody Festival

As the Golden Melody Awards & Festival is just around the corner, music industry professionals are also welcome to join in the festivities as the festival once again invites industry professionals to a three-day conference chock-full of talks on technology, ideas and cross-industry collaboration.
The three days of talks will take place between the 22nd and 24th of June, and will be at Taipei’s Humble House.

One of the talks will be given on opportunities for Independent (Indie) Music, a sector which has been experiencing much change and potential of late.

The festival has brought together five prominent global industry professionals as panelists for this particular talk, including Taiwan’s own Pochang Wu; founder of iNDIEVOX and lead singer of band ECHO who will be leading the proceedings.

Other panelists include global music industry representatives from the America Association of Independent Music (Jennifer Masset), Sounds Australia (Millie Millgate), The Orchard (Priyanka Dewan), and Modern Sky Entertainment (Shen Lihui).

Bringing together professionals who have made prominent contributions to independent music be they from the United States, Australia, Taiwan, China or Singapore, this talk is one you should definitely keep an eye on if you’re attending the festivities this year.

For more information, please visit the official site:

Koh, Jocelle. "Global Music Industry Professionals to Share Insights on Indie Music Opportunities at 2016 Golden Melody Festival." Hello Asia. Accessed June 21, 2016.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Visit the Indie Vinyl Press Where No Order Is Too Small (Like, Even Just One)

The 38-year-old guitarist-turned-lather Wesley Wolfe runs the boutique vinyl pressing company Tangible Formats. His prices for custom jobs are far less than what the record-pressing giants charge. His minimum runs are small too—customers can order ten or five copies of their album, or even just a single record. Wolfe's workspace is small and efficient, and he uses a limited selection of gear to lay digital files to good old reliable wax.
Making vinyl records is complex and labor-intensive. It requires a small army of technicians, a chain of skilled subcontractors, and lots of heavy machinery. The process is neither cheap nor fast. Short runs? Forget it. Record factories have minimum orders. The going rate is 250 LPs for $2,000. And that’s if they can fit you in—typical wait times are around three months.
There is an alternative. Founded by musician Wesley Wolfe, Tangible Formats is a one-man record plant where no order is too small, turnaround time is three weeks, and the prices are indie-friendly. Local bands that peddle hot wax to their fans, international DJs who want to scratch their EDM tracks, juke box collectors who crave rare Blue Note 45s, the lovesick Romeo who wants his marriage proposal recorded after the fade-out on “our song.” This is the small but loyal clientele that Mr. Wolfe’s lathe-to-turntable movement caters to in today’s increasingly fragmented music ecosystem.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The World's First Tattooing Prosthetic Arm!

Twenty two years after losing his lower right arm as a child, French tattoo artist JC Sheitan Tenet has become the first person in the world to be fitted with a modified prosthetic arm that can double as his tattoo gun.

Friday, June 17, 2016

A&R Legend John Kalodner Talks Aerosmith and Why Rock Won't Reach the Masses Again

Legendary A&R man John Kalodner, center, and a few friends. Courtesy John Kalodner
A Whitesnake medallion is the only memento John Kalodner kept from his remarkable A&R career.  He keeps it in front of the desk and computer in his airy Hollywood Hills home, commemorating Whitesnake’s self-titled 1987 album, which featured the band’s epic pop-metal hits “Here I Go Again” and “Still of the Night.” It sold more than 8 million copies. Kalodner did A&R for it, which means he helped develop the band's sound and vision, as he also did for the post-rehab Aerosmith LPs that sold a bazillion copies during the 1980s and '90s. At one time or another, Kalodner also played a major role in the careers of AC/DC, Phil Collins, Cher, Bon Jovi, Peter Gabriel and even Jimmy Page. 

During his own 30-plus year career in the music business, which began in Atlantic Records' publicity department in 1974, Kalodner was awarded a literal pile of platinum and gold records. But he parted ways with those awards. “You know, I have memories of all of them, I have pictures of all of them, and they might do good for somebody so I found a collector in Arizona, and he was willing to pay me, like, six figures,” Kalodner says. He donated funds raised from selling his memorabilia to the City of Hope cancer and research center, he says.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Ultimate 80s Rock Documentary 'Heavy Metal Parking Lot' Will Never Die

We are now exactly as far removed in time from the 1986 release of Heavy Metal Parking Lot as its sleeveless truants and zebra-print daytrippers were from Elvis Presley's gyrations on The Milton Berle Show. In other words, the world's greatest 16-minute documentary about Judas Priest fandom currently stands at the precise midpoint—almost to the day—of the filmed history of rock 'n' roll.
HMPL is one of the VHS era's unassailable cult classics, although it's hard to know what that term means since the creation of YouTube and the evergreen availability of nearly everything. The thrill of discovering a copy in a friend's tape collection or at a rare DC-area screening is gone. That the film continues to reward viewers in its freely available .MP4 incarnation is a testament to its weird goodness, its good weirdness, and the unscripted enthusiasm of its stars: a Chaucerian succession of hilarious caterwauling youths. It's hard to imagine a less cynical group of people. The underage beer-guzzling is as quaint today as the lines of pristine Mustangs and Firebirds or the public displays of devotion to Judas Priest, a devotion that remained unshaken and sincere even after the definitive anti-hagiography that was 1984's This Is Spinal Tap.

Heavy Metal Parking Lot from Jeff Krulik on Vimeo.