Powered by Blogger.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

How an American musician and an Irish librarian came together to write a book

This looks like a good read. The book is called Hired Guns: Portraits of Women in Alternative Music. The publication, co-written by Naas man Wayne Byrne and American musician Amanda Kramer (keyboardist of The Psychedelic Furs), charts ten notable female musicians who have toured with some acclaimed artists. Among them are Sara Lee (Gang of Four, The B-52's), Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie, Tears for Fears), Joy Askew (Peter Gabriel, Joe Jackson), Caroline Dale (David Gilmour, U2, Sinead O'Connor), and Sue Hadjopolous (Joe Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Simple Minds).

As Byrne's sixth book, it follows five acclaimed books on film history, while Kramer is debuting as a literary author. During the mid-80s, Kramer began her illustrious career as a member of electronic group Information Society, before joining the hugely popular rock band 10,000 Maniacs. She toured and recorded with acts such as World Party, Siouxsie Sioux, Lloyd Cole, Eurythmics, and The Golden Palominos.

“We both loved the idea of celebrating some interesting musicians and examining the cultural, educational, and sociopolitical milieus that they came out of. So, we decided to put it on the page," said Byrne.

The two authors recently inked a publishing contract for a book on film soundtracks, a subject they are passionate about.


Wayne Byrne and Amanda Kramer's Hired Guns: Portraits of Women in Alternative Music is scheduled for release on March 1, 2024.

Friday, February 9, 2024

R.E.M. appears onstage for first time in 17 years at R.E.M. tribute show

A tour to celebrate R.E.M. 's earliest recordings, specifically Murmur, has been led by actor Michael Shannon and guitarist Jason Narducy. R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills joined the duo and their band in Chicago last year. At the 40 Watts Club in Athens, GA, the original members of R.E.M. joined Shannon and Narducy onstage at the end of their set. Mike Mills, Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, and Bill Berry shared the stage for the first time since 2007.

Taken from R.E.M. official Facebook page: "Last night’s Murmur tribute show at the 40 Watt was one of those nights when we’re all blessed to call Athens home. Michael Shannon, Jason Narducy and friends sounded great playing Murmur from start to finish along with all of Chronic Town and select tracks from Reckoning, Fables, Lifes Rich Pageant, Out of Time, and Dead Letter Office.” The band continued, “At various points throughout the night, Bill, Peter, and Mike came on stage and joined in on the fun (highlights were Perfect Circle, Pretty Persuasion, Rockville and Letter Never Sent) and Michael came up at the end of the show to say how thrilled he, Bill, Peter, and Mike were to be there. It was a truly great evening spent seeing old friends and listening to a top notch band pay homage to some of the defining music in the band’s early catalog.”

On his Instagram account, Narducy wryly described the experience as “a completely normal rock concert.” He added, “Huge thanks to the four original members of @rem and their wonderful people…for making us feel so welcome."

Stipe has been working on a solo album while Buck is collaborating with Luke Haines on a new Baseball Project album. As a producer, Buck oversaw Eyelids' 2023 album A Colossal Waste of Light, one of rock's finest cerebral and jangly gems. And Shannon and Narducy's tour wraps up in New York City in just a few days.


R.E.M. tribute concert led by Michael Shannon and Jason Narducy.

R.E.M. on stage at the 40 Watt Club, February 8, 2024.

R.E.M. live at the 40 Watt Club, November 19, 1992.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Joni Mitchell to make debut performance at the 2024 Grammys

For the first time in her legendary career, Joni Mitchell will perform on the Grammy stage at the 2024 awards show. The singer-songwriter is nominated for Best Folk Album for Joni Mitchell at Newport. Mitchell returned to live performing in 2022 after a two-decade absence, making a surprise appearance at the Newport Folk Festival that year, before making her official return at Echoes Through the Canyon in June 2023. She was also a guest at Brandi Carlile's Hollywood Bowl shows, and at a Gershwin Prize concert in her honor.

The iconic Canadian experimental artist, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 and won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys in 2002, is best known for 1970s hits such as “Big Yellow Taxi,” “Blue,” “Amelia” and “Woodstock.”

Previously announced performers for the telecast include U2 (in a remote appearance from Las Vegas’ Sphere), Billy Joel, Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo, Luke Combs, Travis Scott and Burna Boy.

The Grammys will air on CBS live coast-to-coast from L.A.’s Arena on Feb. 4, starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.


I'm also adding this interview Elton John did with Joni Mitchell last year. During the conversation, they talk about the music and stories behind each song, as well as her experience performing at Newport Folk Festival. Enjoy!

Monday, January 29, 2024

No Doubt reuniting for 2024 Coachella + Blur and financial problems in the music industry


No Doubt reuniting after ten years is really cool. What I'm sad about though is that Blur's only U.S. date is at the Coachella festival EVERY YEAR! There are other states, you know, lol... Like 49 of them, or at least play at 10 or 15 other locations in case you are not from the west coast and cannot attend Coachella. Some bands that I listen to don't tour certain countries for various reasons, which I understand. Choosing one festival every year in the same state over and over again is like, "Well..." I understand Coachella is a major three-day festival. The festival is as big as Lollapalooza in Chicago. But, when your band travels from England to Coachella, why wouldn't you want to promote your music in other cities across the country?

Is money a factor? The number of musicians who say, "People think we're rich, but we must tour for a living" will surprise you. It's not success that makes someone rich, but how much money they happen to make overtime. They must watch their spending if they aren't making enough money from touring and record sales. The following is what I copied from

Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear said it best, "People probably have an inflated idea of what we make," Droste told Vulture. "Bands appear so much bigger than they really are now, because no one's buying records. But they'll go to giant shows. Droste's experience isn't unusual considering an indie band's extensive payroll — from ticket companies and venue cuts to management and agent commissions, publishers and lawyers. While he admits no one in his band is "renting private jets," he does claim they're "surviving."

Toni Braxton has earned $170 million in worldwide sales with iconic hits like "Another Sad Love Song," but she has filed for bankruptcy twice. According to the singer, she received a paltry $1,972 in royalties from her first record contract. "What happens is they give you advancement on the next record and then the next record," Braxton explained. "So you kind of stay in debt, in a sense." With her hit "He Wasn't Man Enough" and a brand new record contract, she emerged from bankruptcy in 1998. However, her success was short-lived. Only a few hundred thousand copies of her next three albums were sold. After self-financing a Las Vegas show, she was diagnosed with microvascular angina, a hereditary autoimmune disease. After doctors told her she would never perform again, she had to cancel the dates, which led to financial ruin. During her second bankruptcy in 2010, she claimed to owe $50 million.

In recent years, Braxton has made a comeback with her reality TV show Braxton Family Values. Despite chronic illness, she is performing again (albeit at a slower pace). Toni Braxton's net worth is 10 million.


Damon Albarn's net worth is 45 million.  Blur haven't had any financial issues that keep them from touring the U.S., so it may not be money.  Tour promoters pay bands and artists to perform if they do not self-finance a tour.  Promotors are responsible for many aspects of a concert tour, including contracting musicians to perform a series of concerts.  Rehearsals and audiovisual production are paid for.  Tour promoters also cover travel expenses.  Do tour promoters pay for a band or artist to perform if their recent shows haven't sold out?  That is the question.  Based on what I've read, Blur didn't have a good turnout at some U.S. concerts in 2015.  Thus, some believe they only perform at small venues and festivals.  The band has always sold out venues large and small.  So I understand their disappointment, and their desire to make a full tour of the States has diminished.

I don't understand why Blur would not be selling out Madison Square Garden and other venues. The art they created is something special, and their music is timeless. Anyhow, there will also be performances by Bebe Rexha, Bar Italia, The Deftones, Grimes, Sublime, Jon Batiste, Joplyn, Lana Del Rey, Orbital, Taking Back Sunday, The Last Dinner Party, and many more. If you are on the west coast, make sure you buy a ticket to Coachella and catch these incredible acts.

The full lineup:
Tickets for all three days of the selected weekend start at $499.00.

Ticket prices can be found here:

Monday, January 15, 2024

My Rock 'n' Roll High School film review

My Rock 'n' Roll High School review. Hey! Ho! Let's Go!

Riff Randell, the leader of the students, is a fan of Ramones music. Principal Miss Evelyn Togar, who hates rock music, promises to put an end to the music craze. Miss Togar and a group of parents attempt to burn a pile of rock records, causing the students to take over the Vince Lombardi High School, joined by The Ramones. An explosive finale follows when the police summon the students and demand they evacuate the building.

The plot of this movie is sex, drugs, and rock and roll with the inclusion of The Ramones. It's not a film to be taken seriously. This is not an Oscar-winning film. Under $300,000 was spent on the production and 23 days were shot. Still, it was entertaining! There were some funny moments and great music in this high-spirited show. There was a good fit between the characters and The Ramones. I've seen worse. It was an hour and a half well spent.

P.J. Soles' character reminds me of Margot Robbie's Tonya Harding in I, Tonya. In both films, the characters are totally different, as one is a rebellious high schooler and the other is a popular ice skater. But, their characters kinda look alike; though Margot Robbie's Tonya Harding was not a teenager and she cursed a lot. If such a film were ever remade, I think Margot Robbie could pull it off. P.J. Soles was 28 at the time of filming Rock 'n' Roll High School, and Margot Robbie was 27 when filming I, Tonya. However, Margot Robbie turns 34 this year, and isn't that too old to star in such a film? If you think about it though, Hollywood often casts older talent in younger roles. The reason is the actors are more seasoned. Training and experience allow them to perform at a higher level of maturity. Long hours on set and fame may be easier to handle for older actors.

Dey Young's character, Kate Rambeau, is your typical nerd who enjoys "splitting protons" in her basement. Kate ends up a Ramones-loving punk who uses her chemistry knowledge to blow up the high school in revenge for Principal Miss Evelyn Togar trying to stop her and Riff from attending the Ramones concert. Her character is arguably the focal point of the movie.

Mary Woronov's character, Principal Evelyn Togar, is the main antagonist of the film Rock 'n' Roll High School. The film depicts Miss Togar as an uptight, cruel, and strict woman who hates everything teenagers do. According to her, rock music is the main cause of child rebellion and criminal activity, and students are unlawfully punished for their love of the music. In order to convey her point, Miss Togar commits various crimes based on her hatred for rock music. Fun Fact: this actress started out as a whip dancer for the Velvet Underground in the 1960s.

Others appeared in this film, but some of them had short roles or just smaller parts. There were much bigger roles for the three actors I wrote about.

Cool moments: Concert footage of five songs.  No lip syncing.  You get the real deal with The Ramones.  I also liked the scene where the band plays "I Want You Around" in Riff Randell's bedroom.  P.J. Soles nailed this role.  There is no doubt that she portrays the overly excited teenage Ramones fangirl. Toward the end, The Ramones approached Principal Miss Evelyn Togar. She thinks they are students until Johnny Ramone says, "Hey, we are not students. We are The Ramones." Miss Togar then says, "Ramones?! You're responsible for making that horrible rock and roll music? You turned the whole school against me." Johnny brushes her off, then Principal Miss Evelyn Togar says, "Do your parents know that you're Ramones?" Afterwards, Riff Randell welcomes the band to the school, and all the students trash it.

What's surprising is the ending. In an act of youthful rebellion, the recalcitrant students and The Ramones burn down the school after the police summon them and demand they evacuate the building. I was not expecting an explosion. Perhaps just kids breaking out of the schools' doors and swarming the police; defacing the cop cars and pulling the principal's hair. Something to that effect. To be a low-budget film though, the ending was rather cool.

I was elated to hear Nick Lowe's "So It Goes" in the mix of all the other songs on the soundtrack. Whoever put the soundtrack together combined the right songs. The songs fit each scene perfecly in the film.

Cool clips:

I only disagree with the PG rating. This film contains innuendos and scenes involving sex. Drug scenes are also included in this film. The target audience for this film is more mature, perhaps older teens and up. I wouldn't call this movie rated R, but age 13 seems too young for it. Yet, there are way too many sex and drug references to be considered PG-13. A rating between PG-13 and R films is needed. Other than that, if you love punk rock music and classic cult films, watch this!

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Brenda Lee's 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree' finally hits No. 1 after 65 years

It's been a long time coming, but it is what the blog title says! Nice to see this after such a decorated (pun intended) music career. I also cannot believe she was only THIRTEEN when she sang this!! Her voice sounds so mature. Move over, Mariah! 🎁🎄


Brenda Lee will perform "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" on the upcoming NBC special Christmas at the Opry, which airs Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and will stream the next day on Peacock.

What a pleasant surprise...

Adam Ant with special guest, The English Beat... Count me in! ♪♫

*This Site is affiliated with Monumetric (dba for The Blogger Network, LLC) for the purposes of placing advertising on the Site, and Monumetric will collect and use certain data for advertising purposes. To learn more about Monumetric's data usage, click here: Publisher Advertising Privacy*