Selasa, 18 Maret 2008

Top 5 UK Concert Venues

It's a mystery why certain venues become more synonymous with great gigs than others. Much of the time it depends on what one may be looking to get for the price of their ticket; great acoustics, fun lighting, an exciting atmosphere - but one thing for certain is some venues contribute more to a making a live performance special than others.

Here, five top UK venues are put under the microscope in an attempts to explain why this phenomenon might happen, so the next time you buy your concert tickets, you might consider improving on the experience by attending it at one of these top locations.

Top of most people's list, certainly if you ask the acts that have ever played it, is the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow (

Recently voted the second best small venue in Europe (it has a capacity of 1900); it is located at the bottom end of the Gallowgate, resplendent with a large rainbow fa├žade. It has seen almost every band in recent history gracing its famous stage, from the Arctic Monkeys to All About Eve, and The Who to Robbie Williams. All of them have come away from gigs at 'The Barras' raving about the atmosphere it generates.

But what is it that makes this wooden-floored, sweaty 60's throwback so appealing?

The answer is simplicity; the stage is the perfect height and distance from the crowd (in your face all the time), and the sound is condensed within the four walls creating a totally awesome live music experience that sweeps everyone into a frenzy.

Glasgow audiences are amongst the toughest to please but the most rewarding when you do, and when this happens in The Barrowland the result is electric.

At number two there is no doubt the Brixton Academy ( is as good a venue for a gig as you will get anywhere in the world. A favourite for Ian Dury and more recently, Madonna, this jewel in London's crown creates an explosive and urban atmosphere, so that people continue to snap tickets up for gigs there faster than Linford Christie does 100m.

The venue, run by Carling, has spread into other cities too, with replicas of the interior being constructed to capitalise on the successful layout the building affords. It's a simple philosophy; create a classic look but with modern facilities, and slope the crowd as far as they can go towards the stage.

In third place is a pub backroom that tops all small venues, purely because of its history and openness to introduce new acts to the music scene: The Dublin Castle (

Found in Camden Town's Parkway, this pub is perhaps most famous for being the home of Madness, but it has also been the heart of a Camden musical enterprise that has seen the likes of Oasis and Blur stake a claim.

The Dublin Castle stage is small, but its impact on the British music scene proves it has punched over its weight for many years. Catch a gig there if you can some night - a single ticket will get you at least three bands for under a tenner, and the beer is half bad either.

From the smallest to the largest now, and the title of best arena venue in the UK goes to the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle ( Highly adaptable and with superb facilities, this arena is a must-play venue to the hottest live music acts on the go, as well as sporting occasions and stand-up comedy acts.

It always guarantees an energetic and enthusiastic crowd of up to 10,000 people, with superb views and sound quality, whether standing, seated, in the expensive boxes, or the rear balcony. It's as good a venue on this scale for performing acts as it is for the paying public.

Last but not least on the list of top five best UK concert venues goes to a much forgotten centre of musical and artistic excellence - another Camden classic - The Roundhouse (

Built in 1846, this legendary and recently refurbished Grade II listed building is as steeped in British music history as you can get. Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley have all graced its famous stage, and it's a pleasure to see it revitalize its fortunes as a going concern. Since a period of degeneration and regeneration, it now plays host to some of the best top and wide-ranging acts the music and theatre scenes have to offer.

Jumat, 16 November 2007

Korn vocalist Jonathan Davis is currently embarking on his first solo tour. Davis and his band will be touring through mid-December, and fans that come to check out the show might be surprised.

Davis is playing re-worked Korn songs, covers and songs from the movie he scored, Queen of The Damned. Davis talked about what his favorites are live and what the vibe of the shows has been like.

""Queen Of The Damned" songs I love. There are Korn songs that I really like, 'Hey Daddy,' and 'Kick The P.A.' because they're so fun. They're super funky. Some of the shows there's chicks dancing in the aisles and people are dancing and head bobbing. It's a totally completely different thing than what Korn would be doing you know ours would be huge crowds of people mosh pits and just people beating the sh-t out of each other. It's just really crazy. This is more laid back, people having a good time, dancing. But this still has that dark vibe to it. It's weird, it's hard to explain."

So how do his Korn mates feel about Davis branching off solo?

Davis notes that for collectors and those that have a new-found appreciation for Davis and his solo stuff, there's both a CD and DVD already available for purchase at the shows.

"Yeah I did... The day before we left for our first show I did a special show at Richard Gibb's house, the woodshed, and we did a DVD and a CD that we've got here that we're selling. It's amazing, the DVD is amazing, all the extras. Richard talking about the band, all the band members, me talking about the making of this whole project, the engineer talking about recording it and putting it all together. It was done in a crazy amount of time. We recorded it, filmed it, and had the product in my hand three days later."

Davis said Korn will undergo a much needed rest, and then get into the studio late in 2008. The band recently released their self-titled album earlier this year.
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Kamis, 25 Oktober 2007

Manson Sells Up After Death Threats

Goth-rocker Marilyn Manson is selling the Chatsworth, California retreat he bought in a bid to escape Hollywood after receiving death threats following the Columbine High School massacre.

The 'Antichrist Superstar' hitmaker decided it was time to seek a hideaway when people started blaming his music for the 1999 high school killings in Colorado.

Manson, real name Brian Warner, lived in the Mediterranean mansion with his ex-wife Dita Von Teese, and, until recently, his new girlfriend Evan Rachel Wood.
The five-bedroom property is on the market for $1.1m.

The gated home, which was built in 1937 and once owned by Hollywood greats Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor, comes with a pool, a library and a recording studio space in the garage.

Selasa, 02 Oktober 2007


The Rancid Punx have a streak. It's been brought to my attention that since 2000, Rancid or members of , have put out a record every year.
Here's a break down of the past six years. In 2000 there was RANCID V.
In 2001, the release of Lars' solo record, LARS FREDERIKSEN AND THE BASTARDS. 2002, the Transplants dropped our first album.
Rancid's INDESTRUCTIBLE was put out in 2003. Lars' second solo record, THE VIKING, was released in 2004. Travis, Rob, and I went back into the studio to work on the Transplants' 2nd album, HAUNTED CITIES, which dropped in 2005. And for 2007, Rancid will have out our seventh record.

This year 2006, we're going to keep the streak going. I've been in the studio, recording songs and decided to put them out as a solo record.
This album is going to be different from the rest, mainly because we're going to give it away for free on the internet. It's our way of saying thanks to everyone, for all the support over the years.

The next record I'll be working on is Rancid's seventh album. We're recording it as soon as we get off the road in December. Our plan is to jump into the studio right after tour, that's when our playing and singing is the strongest.

In the upcoming years, I hope to make another Transplants album. I love recording with those guys. We're not sure if we're going to make another Bastards record. But you never know because the last one came about kind of organically after the Rancid Japan 2004 tour. Lars and I went into a studio in Tokyo, and demoed a handful of songs that ended up becoming the VIKING.

The first song and video off my solo record is called Hold On. It was recorded with the Aggrolites in Los Angeles. This track has an old school sound. We put one mic on the drums and everything was played live, keeping it real raw. The video was shot in one night wth a group of friends. Lars even flew down from SF to hang out and be in it. In the months to come I plan on dropping the rest of the record for free on the internet, one track at a time.
Thamks for :
Image from :

Jumat, 14 September 2007

Instant Karma on The Leak - The Leak: Various Artists 'Instant Karma'

Launched Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

Beyond his well-documented contributions to the musical canon, in life and death, John Lennon remains a symbol of peace. It is apt then that a selection of some of his greatest songs are the basis for Instant Karma: The Campaign to Save Darfur, a compilation being released June 12 to support Amnesty International's campaign to focus attention and mobilize activism around the crisis in the Sudan: genocide at the hands of the Janjaweed militias -- bands of fighters backed by the Sudanese government -- a campaign of violence that began in February 2003.

The album was led by Green Day's interpretation of Lennon's "Working Class Hero," the Samuel Bayer-directed video for which premiered exclusively on MTV.

"We wanted to do 'Working Class Hero' because its themes of alienation, class, and social status really resonated with us," says Green Day singer-guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong on Amnesty International's site. "It's such a raw, aggressive song... we felt we could really sink our teeth into it. I hope we've done him justice.

The set also includes U2's cover of "Instant Karma," Christina Aguilera's spin on "Mother," R.E.M.'s rendition of "#9 Dream," the Cure tackling "Love," Snow Patrol doing "Isolation" and "Power to the People" performed by the Black Eyed Peas.

Rounding out Instant Karma: The Campaign to Save Darfur are Lennon covers by the likes of Aerosmith (with The Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars), Lenny Kravitz, Los Lonely Boys, Corinne Bailey Rae, Jakob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Avril Lavigne, Big & Rich, Youssou N'Dour, Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Matisyahu, Postal Service, Jaguares, Flaming Lips, Jack's Mannequin (featuring Mick Fleetwood) and Regina Spektor.

In addition to spreading awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, the project also encourages individuals to take a stand by putting their name to Amnesty International's global petition, which declares, "as a citizen of the world, I demand and end to the killing and mass atrocities in Darfur, Sudan."

Instant Karma: The Campaign to Save Darfur is available for purchase June 12, but can be heard here on "The Leak" on for a full week prior to its release. While listening to some of the most profound music by one of the 20th Century's most revered artists covered by a selection of superstars and up-and-coming artists, visit mtvU's comprehensive Darfur Web site, to learn more about the crisis and what you can do.
Thank's to

Selasa, 11 September 2007

Sum 41's Deryck Whibley Talks 'Underclass Hero'

For Sum 41 lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Deryck Whibley, the making of his band's latest album, "Underclass Hero," was a frightening experience.

On the album, he sings to his father he has never met ("Dear Father"), opens up about his love life, and tells his mother he doesn't miss her ("Walking Disaster"). Whibley, who is married to fellow Canadian pop star Avril Lavigne, said it was extremely difficult for him to open up for the album.

"It was hard to even think about a lot of the things," Whibley said in a recent phone interview. "It was the scariest record I've ever made, by far. It's the scariest thing I've ever done in music."

Ironically, that fear proved to be a strong inspiration for the album, he said.

"I found the things that were the hardest to say and thought about the things that were the scariest, and pushed myself to do all these things that were hard to do and frightening. That became exciting, in time."

"Underclass Hero" is Sum 41's fifth studio album and the group's first without guitarist Dave Baksh, who exited to concentrate on another act, Brown Brigade.

Sum 41 - which also includes drummer Steve Jocz and bassist Cone McCaslin - formed on the 41st day of one summer in the late 1990s in Canada. In the band's home country, each of its albums has gone at least platinum, spawning hits such as "Fat Lip" and "In Too Deep." (In Canada, sales of 100,000 is deemed platinum, whereas in the United States it constitutes sales of 1 million or more.)

Whibley thinks the album title "Underclass Hero" adequately captures the making of the new collection. It is also the name of a song on the album.

"At the time, we really started at the lowest point we can possibly be at, where we almost weren't sure if we were going to continue as a band," he said. "There was a lot of doubt and negativity in front of us from everybody around us. We decided to push through all the bulls--- that was in front of us and do something we felt was the best thing we've ever done.

"We've achieved that. It just made sense that when we started looking at what this record was and what it meant, that title represented it the most."

Whibley, who now lives in the United States with Lavigne and recently received his permanent resident card, said Sum 41's future had been in jeopardy because of his feelings toward the band.

"For me, personally and creatively, I didn't know what the purpose was anymore," he said. "I don't ever really do anything in life at all unless it's something that I believe in 100 percent. I didn't want to just go do another record just for the sake of doing a record. It had to be something that was the most exciting thing musically that I could possibly do. To get to that point took a long time."

Whibley explained that, when he finished the tour supporting 2004's "Chuck," he took a break from the music industry. After six months of being away from Sum 41, he felt as if he was no longer in the band. Despite that, suddenly the song ideas started to flow.

"I started seeing it though an outside perspective, and it all of a sudden became exciting again," he said.

The catalyst for the new songs came from Whibley's fond memories of Sum 41, who will tour Canada with Finger Eleven on the cleverly named "Strength in Numbers Tour."

"I remember thinking about all these things of the past and the things we've done and thinking, 'We're actually a really f---ing great band and we did some cool s---.' I really started being proud of everything we've done for the first time in a long time," Whibley said.

"Not that I was ever ashamed or not proud of it. I never really thought of it in that kind of way. I started thinking, ‘Wait, there's all these things I still never got to do or never got to say or never did in music with Sum 41.' I started having all these ideas and it started growing naturally. Then I started talking to the other guys and seeing how they felt. It was a process of figuring things out."

Find more info, including the tour dates, at

Muse Storm Madison Square Garden

Teignmouth trio Muse stormed into New York City to put on a stellar performance at Madison Square Garden August 6.

During an epic 100-minute set filled with flares, lasers, balloons and intense light shows, the band played material spanning all four of their albums and even threw in a couple of impromptus jams for good measure.

Openers Cold War Kids impressed the sold-out crowd and appeared typically humble to have been given an opportunity to grace the world-famous MSG stage.

Meanwhile, Muse arrived on stage fresh from their appearance at Lollapalooza over the weekend to the sound of a pro-libertarian speech before blasting into opener 'Knights Of Cydonia'. The theme of freedom continued during 'Invincible' during which violent images of protest rallies and riots were projected on to the screens behind the band.

Singer Matt Bellamy appeared to have trouble remembering how to play early single 'Sunburn' and whilst familiarising himself with its piano intro, fondly recalled one of the band's earliest American gigs in 1999 at the city's tiny Mercury Lounge.

The full set was:

01. Knights Of Cydonia
02. Map Of The Problematique
03. Hysteria
04. Supermassive Black Hole
05. City Of Delusion
06. Butterflies And Hurricanes
07. Hoodoo
08. Apocalypse Please
09. Feeling Good
10. Sunburn
11. Invincible
12. Starlight
13. Time Is Running Out
14. New Born
15. Plug In Baby
16. Soldier's Poem
17. Unintended
18. Stockholm Syndrome
19. Take A Bow

Credits for the info to