Say what you will about Bret Michaels as a musician. Love him or loathe him you have to admit, dude's charismatic. Michaels has done what few other 80s metal heads have been able to accomplish. He's stayed relevant well into the 2000s, mainly from reality TV. From VH1's "Rock of Love" to his latest show "Rock My RV" on the Travel Chanel, Michaels is a full blown reality celebrity which has no doubt helped revive his music career. The charm that helped make him and Poison so popular in the 1980s is still paying off today. Through TV, radio, and touring Michaels is what few predicted he would be after the death of hair metal: a relevant face in pop culture.
Check out Michaels charming the pants of yet another tour bus visitor, Charter Oosterhouse, on "Celebrity Motor Homes." They talk about his tour bus (the bus parked behind the Mesa Theater and Club today), life on the road, and Miachels' new music on this 8 minute clip. It's clear from the clip that Michaels' life is still nothing but a good time.
If you take a look at the area’s live music venues you’ll notice a discouraging trend.
Of all the venues that consistently host shows, only a few have a vested interest in proper sound equipment. Most “music venues” can hardly stake claim to that title because they don’t even own a simple public address, or PA, system, let alone the essential gear needed to make sure bands sounds good and crowds are happy.
Most venues contract out the work or rely on bands to scrape together the necessary gear, which leads to inconsistent sound and a less ideal experience for fans.
If you’ve had enough of poorly mixed sets and feedbacking mics then try a show at one of these locations: Fruita’s Cavalcade, Mesa Theater & Club and KAFM’s Radio Room. They’ve got the gear and personnel to provide the best live sound experience in the valley.
You’ve probably been to a show at the Mesa Theater, or are at least familiar with its offerings (Bret Michaels this Monday anyone?), but how many of you have checked out Cavalcade or Radio Room? Both venues are small, intimate listening spaces ideal for music fans who don’t want to battle with sloppy drunks and late night debauchery.
The Cavalcade always surprises me with great shows. The venue has hosted some of my favorite shows including last March’s Radiation City, Brainstorm, Social Studies gig.
“With Cavalcade we lucked out,” said Ken Kreie, Cavalcade’s talent booker. “Almost everyone involved in starting and operating Cavalcade is a musician. Our product is the experience of listening and participating. That is what we provide. So [the sound] can’t be mediocre. And our audience and the artists are very thankful for it.”
Next to take advantage of Cavalcade’s pro sound system and crew is Idaho-based indie folk rockers Hollow-Wood. The band opens the Youth Open Mic Night with a 30-minute set July 19.
Deerpeople is a mutant race of ambitious musicians. Sometimes, they rip plain old indie rock guitar licks, but more often than not the band blasts off tuneful music beams aimed straight into the heavens, as if trying to hail down unidentified flying objects.
“Ulysses” is a perfect example of the band’s ambitions. The song is no doubt an auditory journey fitting of the ancient Greek character. The first track on the six-piece psychedelic pop outfit’s latest, and fantastically named, album “Explorgasm” features the usual reverbed guitars and fuzzy bass lines. The track also is heavy with synthy sirens and roaming modulator sounds. It sounds like the result of a sci-fi rock ‘n roll lab experiment gone terribly wrong, yet somehow still right.
It’s a complex sound that needs a proper sound system to flourish.
In many ways Deerpeople mark the start of a new beginning for the Radio Room.
“Occasionally, we get artists wanting to play (the Radio Room) that really stand out and Deerpeople (is) one of those bands,” said Cash Kiser, KAFM’s new event and outreach coordinator.
Both Kiser and KAFM plan to expand the Radio Room’s offerings by bringing in more music with greater diversity.
“The Radio Room really shines as a cozy, intimate venue with great sound quality,” Kiser said. “Our goal is to keep the shows coming for our current listener base and add new shows to attract new and younger demographics.”
With the Mesa Theater continuing to book mainstream performers, and both Cavalcade and Radio Room in a perfect position to attract musicians looking to play a gig-ready room, these venues buck the trend and are worth your attention.
If you want some sound advice, seek out one of their shows. Your ears will thank you.
Grunge guitarist Jason Everman almost made it big, twice. He was a member of both Nirvana and Soundgarden, kicked out shortly before both bands went on to sell 100s of millions or records. He is the Pete Best of grunge rock. He is also a member of the US Special Forces and a war hero.
"The Rock ’n’ Roll Casualty Who Became a War Hero" by Clay Tarver appeared in the New York Times Magazine about a week ago and it is a fascinating read. Anyone who love rock history and 'what could've been' stories will enjoy this. The story follows Everman's life and how he ended up in the Kunar Province, Afghanistan fighting the Talliban.
NPR just posted a link to stream Mayer Hawthorne's new album," Where Does This Door Go" in full. For those unfamiliar with Hawthorne's work, the best way to describe his baby making music is this: he's Motown meets Hall & Oates, with a sprinkle of future sound. He's a bit like Justin Timberlake or Robin Thicke. Mainly Hawthorne is retro soul and extremely accessible.
Check out the fourth full length "Where Does This Door Go," from the contemporary soulster here.
This Friday I'm headed over to Denver for the first night of The Avett Brothers sold out, two night stand at Red Rocks. While I completely lucked out on getting tickets (thank you dumb luck), most fans are left without tickets to either night. If you want to know what's really going on when you try and buy tickets to the hottest shows then read this article.
Leave it to the hard hitting journalists over at the Today show to find out why the average fan can't get a hold of tickets, or when they do, they are stuck in the rafters. (Hint: It's Justin Beiber's fault.)