Tag Archives: Joan Jett

Rock And Roll Mecca Worth the Trip

Destination Cleveland: The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

I recently decided to escape the sweltering summer heat of Orlando for… well, the sweltering summer heat of Cleveland and made my first pilgrimage to the mecca of rock music, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and Museum. What an amazing journey…

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Fit For Rivals New Single: Freak Machine

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Fit For Rivals New Single: Freak Machine

Philip Snyder

They’re garnering tremendous buzz in the music industry, tearing up youtube, and impressing audiences across the country, and they are from our own backyard.

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Fit For Rivals, a fresh, young band hailing from Jacksonville, released their new single titled “Freak Machine”, the title track for their new album set to be released in early 2015. Vocalist Renee Phoenix’s throaty growl, comparable to the vocal style of the legendary Joan Jett, blends perfectly with strong guitar riffs and a punchy beat bringing a song that could be overly upbeat, almost pop-like, back to a proper rock-n-roll sound.

This song will get into your head in a hurry, and you will find yourself moving to the beat on the first listen, and you will soon find you want a new fix of this sexy song to satisfy the itch it creates as it gets under your skin. You may find that you, as the lyrics say, “can’t shake it off. ”

I could only hope that “Freak Machine” gains much deserved radio play, but until then I know I can grab it on iTunes (Freak Machine – Single) or get a fix on Youtube:

I’m looking forward to the next time that Fit For Rivals finds their way to a billing at an Orlando venue.  In the meantime, fans in the Midwest will get the next opportunity to see them live, as they’ll be touring with Adelitas Way and Framing Hanley this Spring.

Philip Snyder

Joey Ramone’s New Music is the Answer

Sixteen years after parting ways with the godfathers of punk rock, and ten years after losing a long battle with lymphoma, Ramones front man Joey Ramone is again making waves with his latest album, …Ya Know?

Like so many other posthumous releases, I suspected the album would be a pure money grab packed with leftover dregs from earlier projects. I was wrong.  The album is a nice collection of earlier stuff, but with a cool twist. The project started when Ed Stasium and Ramone’s real brother Mickey Leigh obtained the rights to the remaining tapes of Joey’s unreleased vocal tracks, all recorded in the dozen years preceding his passing. From there, they assembled an all-star band to lend their music to the project; folks like Richie Ramone, Steve Van Zandt, Joan Jett, Bun E. Carlos, Mickey Leigh and a slew of other contemporaries from New York City.

The result is an album that’s pretty damn diverse, and a fitting tribute.  You’ll hear a few cuts that hearken back to the Gabba Gaaba Heydays of the Ramones, but you’ll also hear Joey stretching himself in numerous surprising ways throughout the album.

The album kicks off with “Rock ‘N Roll is the Answer,” the first single.  It’s a decent song, but there are plenty of better choices as single releases.  “New York City” is reminiscent of classic Ramones and a hell of a lot of fun.  It’s a straight forward ode to the city where Joey reached legendary status.

A couple of the songs remind me musically of Social Distortion, just with Joey subbing in for Mike Ness.  Check out “What Did I Do to Deserve You” and “Seven Days of Gloom” for a taste.  “Eyes of Green” and “I Couldn’t Sleep” could have been plucked directly from the happy hard-driving regional rock of the late 80’s. “21st Century Girl” is of the same vein, and as a bonus, features Joan Jett on guitar and backing vocals.

“Party Line” is surely a holdover from the Phil Spector days and is the most intriguing track on the album. It comes off as a duet with Holly Beth Vincent, who you may remember from Joey’s “I Got You Babe” cover. The song also features Van Zandt on guitar, and shows Ramone singing in a new range.  It’s addictive stuff.

…’Ya Know? also displays Joey’s tender side on “Make Me Tremble and “Waiting for That Railroad.” Neither will remind you of Ramones, but they’re both interesting peeks into Ramone’s soft side, and the former is a pretty good song. You’ll also get to hear Joey put a nice spin on his previously released Christmas tune “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight).”

The album is a nice surprise and leaves me reminiscing once again about the Godfather of American Punk and wishing we had been given the chance to watch him mature and adapt to the times.  On …’Ya Know? at least we finally get  a glimpse.

Rock On – Cretin

Simply Sick of these Wonderful Christmastunes

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C’mon – I know it has only been 6 weeks, but it feels like six months of the same Christmas songs repeatedly pounded into our aching heads.  In the car, in the office, in the stores, in the can, pumping gas, on television, at the strip clubs (so I am told) – there’s no escape.  It wouldn’t be so bad if they played a few new selections once in awhile or some of the many decent under-played rock songs.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love Christmas and like the concept of Christmas music, but when you start playing them the week after Easter, they kind of lose some appeal by the time Ole St. Nick squeezes through the chimney.

There’s truly a ton of interesting and sometimes even good Christmas songs floating around the digital universe.  But, for some reason we’re subject to the same forty tunes ad nauseum. Hey, Mr. Radio Station Programmer, can we limit Jose Feliciano to once every thirty minutes? Maybe, squeeze in some Joan Jett, Pogues, Alan Mann, Pretenders or God forbid some Alice Cooper? Those bands all have great versions of Christmas classics that remain unplayed. Heck, I’d settle for some of the deeper cuts off the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas trilogy.

Check out our Facebook page for some of the better and less played Christmas tunes available for our battered ears.  You’ll notice that we started sharing them the week before Christmas.  I think that’s about right; one week to sample the offerings, 51 weeks to enjoy all of the other wonderful music available to us.

In closing, I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart…

Rock On – Cretin