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Quick: Caption This Photo

Seriously, no words. This is one epic band photo. The band is Freedom Call from Germany.



Temple Of The Dog Proves Remixes Are Generally Stupid

When Temple of the Dog released their self-titled album 25 years ago, it contained a brilliant and career-making track in "Hunger Strike." Raw talent and great song writing came together and members - comprised of guys from other grunge bands - all became insanely famous. Their collective careers were set.

Temple of the Dog is marking its 25th anniversary with a special tour and rarities package. To help goose sales, the band remixed the brilliant "Hunger Strike."  The song was basically perfect as is and now the remixed version feels cold, hollow and even stilted. You have to listen close to notice, but the richness of the bass and guitar is gone, and  Chris Cornell's vocals are front and center, but they overpower the track. I will say that I think Eddie Vedder's vocals sound better on this remixed version. "Fuller" might be the word I'd use to describe his parts.

By and large, most remixes are stupid - this one is no different.


New Interview: Vixen Bassist Share Ross

Vixen will play near Dayton over this upcoming Labor Day weekend. I interviewed Share Ross in advance of the show for The Dayton City Paper. Ross is a very interesting and charming individual. The original interview appears on the Dayton City Paper website and was published Tuesday, August 30. 

Vixen may or may not be a household name depending on your music world view. If you’re not familiar with the quartet, you should know that Vixen was the only all-female band in the ’80s to sell over a million albums and have four songs in the Billboard Top 100. The band went on hiatus for several years, underwent several lineup changes, and is now back with its founding members, with one exception: veteran guitarist Gina Stile. Founding band member and guitarist Jan Kuehnemund died from cancer in 2013. After her death, original members Janet Gardner, Roxy Petrucci, and Share Ross decided to forge ahead in Kuehnemund’s memory and invited Stile to join the band. Their ups and downs and long hiatus mean Vixen hasn’t played in a lot of states for a very long time.

“It’s been a really long time since Vixen has played Ohio,” Vixen bass player Share Ross tells the Dayton City Paper. In fact, it’s been so long the rocker couldn’t even remember the last show the band did in the Buckeye state. All that will change when Vixen headlines a special ’80s rock-themed night at BMI Speedway in Versailles. Fellow glam rockers Faster Pussycat and comedian Don Jamieson will provide support.

“We’re old friends with the guys in Faster Pussycat,” Ross adds. “We’ve played lots of shows with them.”

Vixen typically plays larger festival events like M3, Rocklahoma, or the Monsters of Rock Cruise. Later in the year, the band will play the Hair Nation Festival in Los Angeles. This means the Versailles show is a rare chance to see Vixen play a much longer set.  Ross is looking forward to the show – but experience dictates that she keeps her emotions and expectations in check:

“I find if I have expectations, it’s always different than what I expected. Each gig is different and the people are different. The energy of the crowd is always unique. It seems like we’ve got a lot of really cool people coming to this gig, so I’m excited about it.”

Rock and roll, playing bass, and being a star in Vixen is certainly a big part of Ross’s life, but that isn’t all she’s about. In fact, it’s really just a small part of her identity.

“We’re so much more than what we have in our bank accounts and what our relationship is to any one person at any time in space,” Ross explains. “I think identity is something we get wrapped up in, and if I say, ‘I’m a musician,’ I’m putting a limitation on myself by doing that. I prefer to go to a deeper place and my identity is just being.”

As a motivational speaker, Ross helps coach individuals toward finding their true selves – going beyond what they do for a living. She also spends a lot of time working with holistic health, including essential oils. In the last few months, she launched an essential oil business and travels to learn more about the industry.

“I’ve known a lot of musicians who do essential oils,” Ross explains. “I think there’s a growing interest in finding natural solutions for our health, such as finding ways to get healthy, stay healthy, build up our immune systems. This has to be addressed for real… not with Band-Aids.”

Back in rock land, Ross admits it’s been a long time since Vixen has released any new music. In fact, the band’s last album was the 2006 release Live & Learn. The band is now actively working on new music, but time and geography are challenges. Fighting space and time, Ross says the band is committed to releasing a complete album of new material at one time, if nothing more than a “thank you” to their fans who have waited so long for new material.

Still, the allure of releasing a single at a time is hard to ignore when there’s no real barrier to releasing music these days. The members of Vixen will likely share production duties and also hire some help to get their yet unnamed album launched.

If you’re on the fence about seeing Vixen over Labor Day weekend, Ross has some advice for you: “I think it’s important for us to be open to new experiences. That’s what makes life exciting!”

Vixen performs Sunday, Sept. 4 at BMI Speedway, 769 E. Main St. in Versailles. Doors open at 5 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door for all ages. To buy tickets, please visit For more information, please visit


RIP Kingdom Come

Today we are lucky enough to have another post from our friend HIM. 

I really, really hoped that a full-fledged reunion was going to bring Kingdom Come back to my area so I could finally see them. The clips from the Monsters of Rock cruise earlier this year were enough to get me excited about the idea:


Dear Kingdom Come soldiers, fans and friends! 

The Kingdom Come ship has reached its final destination, at least during my visit on our planet earth. 

My decision is mainly caused by experiences I made throughout the last 3 years, during which the fun factor disappeared more and more, and our energy and hopes have repeatedly been crushed by people and circumstances beyond our control. Some folks out there may not believe it, but it’s NOT all about money. I realized that chasing something which seems is not meant to be, trying to force things, would never lead to something good. Therefore it’s time to let go. 

Allow me to give you a brief insight into my modest self. 

I’m happy about every camera NOT pointing at me. I’m happy about every email or Face---- message I’m NOT receiving. I’m a rather private dude, who enjoys cruising through life without much noise, among true friends. Public recognition means nothing to me. It’s a sweet momentary kick, which helped me persuade the girls in my former wild days, but in the end it means nothing, and did not get me to a higher spiritual level. So I decided I'd rather sit on my boat and watch the birds shit on my head, NOT trying to figure out the sense of live. For reference revisit my song “Inhaling the Silence”. Only took me 50 years to figure that out. ;-) 

It was a nice and overdue experience to share the stage with my old time Kingdom Come fellows, Johnny B Frank and Danny Stag one more time, which we finally came around to on our Florida cruise 2016. I never thought I would enjoy being locked up with so many people on a boat, but it was a great experience and a good way to organize my mind. That’s what the ocean can do for you! ;-) 

It’s been a fantastic 30 year long musical ride, for which I can only be VERY grateful. Having gone through good and bad times, in the end it was an exceptional way to explore our planet, having met countless wonderful people around the globe and building up memories that can not be taken away from me, or you. 

I’m not saying that I will never write a song again, or never again enter a stage, but the chapter called “Kingdom Come” is now closed. One day I may revisit the music scene with a new band called "Iron Banana", but until then, it is what it is. 

I hope the Kingdom Come songs have given many of you energy, joy and strength, as they did for me. The Kingdom Come songs will live on, long after we all have turned to dust, and will hopefully do the same for many generations to come, unless of course, we have blown up our planet before then. 

Not every decision I made was of glamorous choice, but hey, I’m only human. Before ending this note, I would like to express my personal gratitude to the following people who have held up the Kingdom Come flag in good, or bad times.
Well, that sounds pretty darn definitive if you ask me. And while it wasn’t going to be a full-fledged reunion (Kottack did enough jabbing to make sure that wouldn’t happen even if he wasn’t in the Scorpions), that really didn’t matter to me.
After all, this was Wolf’s baby from jump. And it increasingly became only his baby as the years went on. Still, I dug Kingdom Come quite a bit. I found the Kingdom Clone slams a bit disingenuous, even when it came from people who were in and/or related to Zep (Page, please meet Coverdale; Page and Plant, please forget you knew Jones; Bonham, don’t disregard timekeeping). Simply put, they did imitation really well. The songs kicked. No wonder some people thought it was Zep when it first came out. And if Wolf’s Dokken-esque foot often ended up in his high-falutin mouth, that sounds like a lot of other singers of the era. Bottom-line: Wolf, and by extension the band, were gifted at what they did.
But I also liked Kingdom Come when it really became Wolf’s baby. 1991’s Hands of Time actually showed off Wolf’s talents for something beyond appreciative mimicry. Take, for instance, the lead track “I’ve Been Trying”:

That is no simple knock-off Zep song. It has texture. It is pompous (the fake fluke?). It is overwrought (the slow build-up). But it sticks with you. And so it went as I, admittedly, became less and less interested in the Wolf project while always retaining a love for those first three—Kingdom ComeIn Your Face, and Hands of Time—albums.  I’d check in every now and again. I’d listen to a track or two from the new releases. Then I would hurry back to those albums (or tapes), all the while hoping that Wolf would bring something back to the States.

So I am bummed that I won’t get to see a concert that features those albums (the first two really, as no one is clamoring for Hands of Time or for Wolf to play Ain’t Crying for the Moonfrom start to finish).  I have no problem admitting my love for Kingdom Come. Nor do I have any problem say this: thanks, Lenny. You made some slamming music (critics be damned).



SIXX: AM Release Lyric Video For 'Prayers For The Damned'

A few days ago, SIXX: AM released the lyric video for the track "Prayers For The Damned." The song is pretty good, probably the strongest on the album of the same name. Everything SIXX: AM produces is so dark... I swear I think Nikki Sixx made a pact with himself to not create any fun music again since he's done with Motley Crue. This isn't to say SIXX: AM isn't good. On the contrary, I like them quite a lot, but I can't just listen to their stuff over and over and I have to be in the right mood.

SIXX:AM is going on a North American tour with Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown. Here's the dates:

Sep 09: Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre, BC
Sep 10: Penticton South Okanagan Events Centre, BC
Sep 11: Calgary Grey Eagle Resort & Casino, AB
Sep 13: Lethbridge Enmax Centre, AB
Sep 14: Regina Brandt Centre, SK
Sep 16: Medicine Hat Canalta Centre, AB
Sep 17: Edmonton Rexall Place, AB
Sep 18: Saskatoon SaskTel Centre, SK
Sep 20: Winnipeg MTS Centre, MB
Sep 23: Oshawa GM Centre, ON
Sep 24: London Budweiser Gardens, ON
Sep 26: Quebec Centre Videotron, QC
Sep 27: Moncton Coliseum, NB
Sep 28: Halifax Scotia Bank Centre, NS
Oct 09: Tokyo Loud Park Festival, Japan
Oct 18: North Little Rock Verizon Arena, AR
Oct 19: Grand Prairie Verizon Theatre, TX
Oct 21: Oklahoma City Chesapeake Energy Arena, OK
Oct 22: Wichita Intrust Bank Arena, KS
Oct 23: Denver Pepsi Center, CO
Oct 25: West Valley City Maverik Center, UT
Oct 27: Phoenix Talking Stick Resort Arena, AZ
Oct 28: Las Vegas T-Mobile Arena, NV
Oct 29: Anaheim Honda Center, CA
Oct 31: San Jose SAP Center, CA
Nov 02: Portland Moda Center, OR
Nov 03: Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, WA
Nov 05: Tacoma Dome, WA
Nov 07: Boise Taco Bell Arena, ID
Nov 09: Billings Metra Park, MT
Nov 11: Bismarck Civic Center, ND
Nov 12: Sioux Falls Denny Sanford Premier Center, SD
Nov 13: La Crosse Center, WI
Nov 15: Madison Coliseum, WI
Nov 17: Cincinnati US Bank Arena, OH
Nov 18: Louisville KFC Yumi Center, KY
Nov 19: Peoria Civic Center, IL
Nov 21: Toledo Huntington Center, OH
Nov 22: Rochester Blue Cross Arena, NY
Nov 25: Worcester DCU Center, MA
Nov 26: Newark Prudential Center, NJ
Nov 27: Portland Cross Insurance Arena, ME
Nov 29: Syracuse War Memorial, NY
Dec 01: Philadelphia Wells Fargo Center, PA
Dec 02: Hershey Giant Center, PA
Dec 03: Huntington Big Sandy Superstore Arena, WV
Dec 05: Greenville Bon Secours Wellness Arena, SC
Dec 06: North Charleston Coliseum, SC
Dec 08: Orlando Amway Arena, FL
Dec 09: Tampa Amalia Arena, FL
Dec 10: Duluth Infinite Energy Center, GA


'Hardwired' Doesn’t . . . Well, You Know

Today's post is from our friend HIM. 

Here’s the bits:


So, what do you think?
My take? This is the closest you will get to Master of Puppets. It isn’t St. Anger. It sure isn’t Load. A band that once sounded dangerous now seems to sound content with sounding like they are still edgy.
Others say it feels “forced.” Some say the lyrics are “juvenile.” I say: Het’ ain’t yodeling. Lars doesn’t sound like he is slapping a salmon against a garbage can. I can’t see a lot of crab-walking. Newsted is now acoustic? So the sound of a bass must feel like a blast of cold air for those fans who feel their love has been "Trapped Under Ice" for years. Where was this attempt to emulate years ago?  Orion, as a festival, might be gone. But, for losers like me, the attempts at branching out felt like stabs at being more than they should be. So this is a peace-offering: do no harm, reinvent no rules, and go through the motions that we wanted for years.
This isn’t Burton-era ‘Tallica. But this sorta’ sounds like Metallica. So I, with a lot of misgivings going into listening to this, am going to give them a shout out. Good job.
I lost a lot of respect for them a lot of years ago, even as I admired their (Lithgow runs the show) business acumen. But this feels like a stab at being young while we know they aren’t. And, to be fair, neither are we. 
So let’s give them a pass. No. Let’s give them credit. They are going through the motions and finally delivering what fanboys have wanted. Not sure they heard us. But we hear them.

Brilliant Idea: Concert Mats

I wish I had thought of this: door mats made from old concert tickets. You can mail or scan your old ticket stubs to Lakeside Photo Works and suddenly your favorite concert is now an awesome door mat for your place. These start at $34, which is cheap for a nice door mat.

My problem is that I don't keep concert stubs. I never had anywhere to display them, so I just pitch 'em after the show. I really wish I had an Aerosmith stub to turn in to a mat. Since the band is supposed to tour next year, I'll definitely keep my stub and then order one of these for my front door. Too cool! Hat Tip: Sixx Sense.


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