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Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Dick Cavett

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Just a few weeks ago I got the chance to meet Dick Cavett on the 2016 TCM Classic Cruise. There were onboard interviews with him, he introduced several movies, and he also told amazing stories of Hollywood that spanned the decades. Recently, the Decades network started replaying his old talk shows from the sixties, seventies, and eighties, so even today’s generation may have heard of this fantastic interviewer, writer, and talk show host. If you’re hip to the man, there are a lot of gifts you might want to give or get this holiday. Meet me after the jump for… Dick Cavett!

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What Blues Now? Ultra-Rare Stones Doc Screens at TIFF

So Justin Bieber’s partying with Brazilian call-girls and Lady Gaga sleeps with her bandmates. It’s all a bit… *yawn*, ya know? Each era has its debauched poster-children, from Pete Doherty and the sad late Amy Winehouse to the brothers Gallagher and their band Blowasis to Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan OD-ing on heroin and then there’s pretty much everyone in the 80s. But if you want the pinnacle of rock’n’roll excess, you have to reach even further back, to the substance-spanning depravity of the 70s when bands like Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones ruled the roost. In 1972, the Stones let director Robert Frank capture their Exile on Main Street tour. The resulting film was so gritty and authentic, they immediately banned it from release. Said Mick Jagger, “If it shows in America we’ll never be allowed in the country again.” Instead it stayed underground, suppressed, vividly  legendary. This Friday, January 17th, TIFF springs open the vault, giving a rare opportunity to catch this bracingly graphic rock-doc, called Cocksucker Blues. Read the rest of this entry

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Celebrate Musical Memories With The Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead DVDS

It’s been a pretty big year for classic rock fans when it comes to anniversaries. In this edition of our Holiday Gift Guide, we take a look at two that capture some momentous musical moments from 2013.

Print2013 saw the Rolling Stones hit the road for their 50 Years and Counting tour, celebrating the band’s anniversary. The Queen and I had the chance to see them in Toronto and, honestly, it was perhaps my favoueite performance I’d ever witnessed by the band (which have ranged from stadium shows to a 1000 person club gig). The set list was solid, having guest Mick Taylor for three songs was a treat, and the band were simplyplaying in fine form. With Ronnie Wood sober, he was handling more of the lead guitar parts again, while Keith Richards showed why he’s one of the best rhythm players in the history of rock and roll. At 71, Charlie Watts kept the show going without tiring, while Mick Jagger proved once again that, even as he was about to turn 70 years old, he is simply the best front man in rock and roll.

You can see what I’m talking about in the new Blu-ray/DVD/CD Sweet Summer Sun, which captures the band before more than 100,000 fans at London’s Hyde Park, where the band had last performed some 40 years earlier. At this point, the Stones were even more finely tuned, and had the massive crowd in the palm of their hand. Who would have thought songs such as Start Me Up, Midnight Rambler, and You Got The Silver would be played with such life and energy and sincerity so many years later. The Rolling Stones are one of rock’s greatest stories, one that still doesn’t seem to be winding down.
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Heads Up! Marie Gilbert Review The Series Premier of Sleepy Hollow

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My friends and I were excited to watch tonight’s premiere of “Sleepy Hollow” on the Fox Network. “Sleepy Hollow” is a mystery adventure based on the Washington Irving short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Created by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, this retelling of the 1820 tale begins with Ichabod Crane and the headless horseman summoned to the 21rst century. How does a colonial gentleman survive in a technological era? Let’s find out together to the music of the Rolling Stones and Sympathy for the Devil. Read the rest of this entry

Are You In The Club? How Some Rock n Roll Fan Clubs Reward Fan Loyalty

Last week’s new releases left me feeling completely uninspired, so instead I decided to take a look at the lengths some bands will go to make their fans feel special.

The notion of a fan club is nothing new.  Elvis’ manager, Col. Tom Parker, may have invented the pop star fan club back in the 50’s and The Beatles, with the help of business guru Brian Epstein, certainly monetized their fans’ insatiable appetite for all things Beatles.  The Liverpudlians merchandised everything from t-shirts and badges to plastic instruments, lunchboxes and mop-top wigs.

As today’s music business struggles to figure out how to make more money, bands have turned to selling loyalty rather than selling music.  The tunes themselves are often secondary marketing tools as artists and their management put together fan club membership packages, concert tour experiences and even one-of-a-kind/once-in-a-lifetime merchandise and meet ‘n’ greet opportunities.
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Nickelback, Chris Cornell and The Rolling Stones Bring A Rockin’ End To Perry Schwartz’s November

Lots of new music out there this week as artists attempt to make their way on to everyone’s holiday wish list.  Two releases that caught my eye (and ears) were solo/acoustic live records by Chris Cornell, lead singer of 90’s grunge pioneers Soundgarden and super group AudioSlave, and Rhett Miller, lead singer of alt-country veterans Old 97’s.  Cornell’s album is a collection of his greatest hits performed acoustically with a few choice covers thrown in, while Miller’s album is all cover material.  Other than that, both albums couldn’t be more different in terms of energy and impact.

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