More About Allyson
Archive and Search




(Repost) Vixen: Live in Sweden

Originally published on October 30, 2007, this little article about Vixen got a tepid response. Most lamented that they couldn't get into the band. Now that more than a decade has passed, I'd be curious to know if anyone's opinions have changed on the all-girl rockers.

Vixen - Vixen

Love it or hate it, the fact remains that Vixen are one of the most successful all-female rock bands in history. The glam band started humbly enough in Minnesota before founding guitarist (and only remaining original member) Jan Kuehnemund packed up and moved to California for the bright lights of the Sunset Strip.

By the late 1980s, Vixen was formed and the quartet found themselves on MTV in heavy rotation. They also played some big shows, including a run with Bon Jovi. Then reality set in, the girls bickered and Vixen disbanded. Fast forward several years and the band makes a lot of false starts with various members. Then, just two years ago, Kuehnemund put together the current Vixen line-up and started touring Europe. This European vacation eventually landed the women a spot on the roster of the 2005 Sweden Rock Festival. The band recorded the performance, simply called Vixen: Live in Sweden. In all, the album is both a raw and exciting listen.

Vixen: Live in Sweden opens with the title track to the band’s second album Rev It Up. The crowd response is good, and helps get the momentum going for “Streets in Paradise,” also originally recorded for Rev It Up. In 2006, Vixen released an album of all-new material called Live and Learn. Many of the songs for the album were either written or recorded by the time Vixen took the Sweden Rock stage. It’s not surprising that some of those songs made their way into the set-list. “Anyway” is one of these tracks. An upbeat rocker with Vixen’s trademark melody makes the track more than listenable. What’s more the crowd seems to love the song, even if it is unfamiliar.

Vixen’s most famous songs, “Cryin’” and “Edge of a Broken Heart” are buried deep in the set, as expected. Moreover, you can hear thousands of voices singing right along as the band plays both tracks. To the band’s credit, the production on the effort is exceptionally high. It’s very easy to hear the crowd, but the fans don’t overpower the band. Ironically, the last song on Vixen: Live in Sweden is “Bad Reputation.” Vixen dedicates the song to Vince Neil of Motley Crue. The kings of Sunset Strip Metal also played the 2005 Sweden Rock Festival. In all, “Bad Reputation” is a more than fitting encore for all the glam bands at the massive event.


(Repost) This Is The Coolest Tour Opener Ever

Today's post was originally published on February 26, 2016. This little clip got a ton of comments! Since Iron Maiden is out on the road right now, I thought it only made sense to share again.

Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls

Iron Maiden is back and on the road. The Book Of Souls world tour kicked off Wednesday night in Florida. Iron Maiden is a band I've still never seen live. Maybe someday. For now, check out this amazing show opening video. This must have cost a fortune.


(Repost) Tragic City Symphony: The Bring Back Glam! Review

We're taking a little break around these parts for a few days. Over the next two weeks or so, I'll be posting some BBG! classic posts. Maybe you'll discover something new as a result!

Today's post was originally published on August 10, 2008. Think about how long ago that was - I mean, I talk about Myspace here!

Lynam's fifth studio album Tragic City Symphony (New Ocean Media) officially hits stores on August 26, but the album is already available for purchase through the band's official website. As I predicted months ago, this album is fantastic. The track list looks like this:


Lynam - Thank You Good Night!

  1. Is This A Heartbreak Or A Loaded Gun?
  2. Enemy
  3. Lindsay Says
  4. Just Say Anything
  5. Save My Soul
  6. Porn Star
  7. Can’t Do Anything
  8. If You Leave
  9. Make It Alright
  10. White Trash Superstar
  11. A Million Ways
  12. Suffer


Ok, I'll admit "Is This A Heartbreak Or A Loaded Gun?" sounds emo, but that's just the title. Once the chorus kicks in, it's hard to tell if you're listening to Lynam of Def Leppard - back when DL were actually good. You know, in the 80s. Not hard to believe, "Is This A Heartbreak Or A Loaded Gun?" is one of my favorite songs on Tragic City Symphony. Plus, I think the song title would look hot on a T-shirt.

"Enemy" is a big deal for Lynam. This track features slide guitar by Tom Keifer of Cinderella. It also features gang vocals by Hinder. Now, I do not like Hinder, but their input on this song isn't too pervasive and they don't muck it up. Quite frankly, lead singer Jacob Lynam doesn't need any help in the vocal department.

"Lindsay Says" is a song that's been on Lynam's Myspace for a few months now. I've listened to this track several times over the past few weeks, getting ready for this new CD. This song sounds very modern, but somehow Lynam never lose their Glam influences. "Lindsay Says" has a nice, big chorus - just what we all need to get out of bad mood. Songs like "Lindsay Says" are the main reason why I love Lynam. It takes more than image to be a great band: you have to know how to write lyrics and play and have emotion. 

Truth be told, I doubt Lynam consider themselves a Glam band. After all, Lynam is a trio - very rare in the Glam genre. They don't make over-the-top videos, or have stage shows with dancing girls and pyro. Still, this is one band that knows how to make a power ballad. Tragic City Symphony features a few nice ballads, including "Just Say Anything,"  "If You Leave" and "A Million Ways."  The latter reminds me of Warrant, with the acoustic guitar and dreamy lyrics. Think "Heaven" meets 2008 - yeah, it's that good. The lyrics to "If You Leave" are actually painful - deeply moving. That's the power of music.

The first single supporting Tragic City Symphony is "Save My Soul" and for good reason: the song is a sonic powerhouse. The guitar tone is so rich here, "Save My Soul" is a production masterpiece for my money. It also reminds me why I listen to rock music. Quite frankly, it takes a lot to impress me these days. I receive a lot of albums and watch a lot of bands - and most start to run together. When a band produces a song as good as "Save My Soul" they stand out.

The song that surprised me the most on Tragic City Symphony? That's easy: "White Trash Superstar." I suppose my boys in Lynam are paying tribute to their Alabama heritage with the banjo picking (Lynam's first album is also called White Trash Superstar). Still, the song is damn catchy and has - yet again - a huge chorus. Here, the lyrics are easy and there's a nice electric guitar solo to compete with the banjo. Ah, I love ironic juxtaposition.

Tragic City Symphony  is now in the running as my favorite album of 2008!



And There You Have It

Don't count on a Cinderella reunion anytime soon. Tom Keifer isn't interested and that means it won't happen until he is... and that may never happen at this point. Tom is focused on his solo career. I suppose he looks at a Cinderella reunion as going backward. Thankfully we still have all those Cinderella albums to relive the glory days!

Stream 'Night Songs' Here!


The Black Album Turns 28

I can't believe it has been 28 years since Metallica released the "black" album. I still remember like it was yesterday: MTV and radio went nuts! Everyone owned this album and "Enter Sandman" was just huge - for better or worse! Revolver magazine did a nice feature on the album with some tidbits you might not know.

Stream or Buy Metallica - self-titled


Watch Aerosmith Perform Without Joey Kramer

Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer twisted his ankle and missed two of the band's shows over the weekend. Aerosmith is currently on their "east coast" run of their Las Vegas residency. His drum tech John Douglas filled in on both shows.

Stories like this scare me - I'm so worried I'll never see all the members of Aerosmith perform together again. Here's hoping Joey gets well soon.

Buy or Stream Aerosmith 'Rocks' Here!


Jetboy Releases 'Old Dog New Tricks' Video

Jetboy released Born To Fly back in January. Now the band has a video for the song "Old Dog New Tricks." I don't have this album but maybe I should give it another look.

Check out Jetboy - 'Born To Fly' Here!