Monday, July 18, 2016

ORDER IN THE COURT: Florida Musicians Band Together for Local Judicial Candidate

Florida Musicians Band Together
for Local Judicial Candidate
(Photos courtesy of Chelsea Sauerland)

The lazy and crazy, hot and
sticky dog days of summer
melted into a sizzling night
— celebration in which
Florida musicians, singers,
songwriters, family and
friends all came together
for one particular purpose.

The room was buzzing with excitement and booming with the sounds of live music when Melbourne, Florida's go-to nightspot, Open Mike's, played host to a unique, fun-filled concert production on July 10th. But tonight's event was about more than just a SRO crowd chillin' in a swanky club, diggin' on homegrown tunes — it was about the community coming together for a cause, getting involved in a process, and showing support for a popular local candidate currently running for a prominent, non-partisan, public position.

I was honored to have been invited
to host the festivities at Open Mike's.
Despite the entertainment factor,
one of the event's primary objectives
was to facilitate voter registration.
The premise of the party made sense, as the guest of honor, Florida attorney Bob Moletteire, is known throughout the Space Coast for possessing a personal passion for the performing arts. As a result, Moletteire reached out to many of his favorite area performers when putting together what was billed as an, All-Night FUN-Raiser, — artists that included singer / songwriters Tina Eno and Jay DiBella, the award-winning rock band, Katty Shack, and Billy Payne and Terry Lynch from the popular vocal group, The Hemingways.

Singer / songwriter Jay DiBella (L)
joined Moletteire (R) in a rousing
version of the classic "Stand by Me."
What's a party without bagpipes?
An acclaimed singer, musician and actor in his own right, Moletteire graduated from Cumberland Law School in 1983 and has been practicing successfully in the Brevard County private sector since 1984. Over the last 32 years he's represented and counseled thousands of clients, and has tried more than 100 civil and criminal jury trials, as well as non-jury trials throughout Florida. Seen by many as the most experienced and qualified candidate vying for the 18th Judicial Circuit Court position, Moletteire is also Board Certified by the Florida Bar and has been considered an expert in Civil Trial law since 1990.

Bob Moletteire with singer
and actress, Katty Pleasant.
Moletteire (L) schooling political
radio talk show host, Ed Dean (R).
With the August 30th primary approaching quickly, Moletteire and his team have been working diligently to spread the word throughout the long recent "dog days." Hence, there was enormous value (for staff and supporters) in staging a casual, fun-filled (and air-conditioned) meet-and-greet celebration.

Katty Shack's high-energy headline
set packed plenty-o-punch!
A fabulous photo finish for
Bob Moletteire and his
hometown music scene friends.
Given the amount of oxygen being consumed by national races during the current campaign season, equally important local races can often be overlooked. Fortunately, for Florida voters, there's a candidate — a family man with integrity and experience who's breathing life and enthusiasm into one particular Brevard County contest... Bob Moletteire for Circuit Judge!

-Christopher Long
(July 2016)




C'MON! -

Friday, July 8, 2016

CONCERT REVIEW: Vans Warped Tour (2016)

Vans Warped Tour
Tinker Field / Orlando, FL
(July 2, 2016)

There I was  tank loaded-up,
and car loaded-down (with my
favorite peeps) — out on the ol'
open highway, heading for the
biggest concert event of 2016!

As an old guy who just refuses to die, I cherish untold warm and fuzzy memories from those "good ol' days." I was blessed to grow up with Evel Knievel action figures, 8-Tracks and the ORIGINAL Planet of the Apes film series. I can even still remember my family being the first on the block to get color T.V. back in '67. I've also enjoyed near-countless experiences over the last 20-some years attending the annual Vans Warped Tour.

Ryan Key and Sean Mackin of Yellowcard
(Photo: Jen Cray /
Although I yearn for those steamy, sweat-soaked days when authentic, song-based skate-punk bands ruled the traveling festival, I still look forward each summer to sifting through the tour's current glut of (now) corporate screamo sound-alikes and look-alikes, in hopes of discovering at least a couple of new musical treasures. In 2015, those gems included such acts as Candy HeartsKoo Koo Kangaroo, and arguably the greatest band on earth, Jule Vera. And just last week, I was delighted to stumble across several other noteworthy new acts, as Vans Warped Tour 2016 rolled on to Tinker Field in Orlando, Florida.

Francheska Pastor of Bad Seed Rising
With no less than 70 acts appearing on this year's seven outdoor stages, anybody could have understandably gotten hung up watching one "must see" band performing at one end of the enormous property and inadvertently missed another performing at the opposite end. Hence, I was bummed to have missed Tonight Alive, Waterparks and New Found Glory — three of the bands that I'd been looking forward to seeing most. However, I did get to catch Yellowcard, Knuckle Puck, Issues and Sum 41 — which kinda made up for my many 2016 oversights and missteps.

My "bestie," Liam, was (clearly) super-
hyped about hanging out with me all
day at this year's Vans Warped Tour.
Last summer, my primary Warped Tour residence was at the Kevin Says stage. This year, I found several hot new acts exploding on the similar, Full Sail stage. And that's where I discovered the Baltimore, Maryland-based band, Bad Seed Rising. Touring in support of their most-recent Roadrunner Records release, A Place Called Home, this hard-hitting, four-piece combo relied more on traditional-sounding power-rock vocals than on mere screaming — although there was PLENTY of the latter. I was particularly impressed by frontchick, Francheska Pastor's ability to connect with the crowd, as she jumped from the stage, across the security barricade and into the pit, more than once during her band's 25-minute set — a set that concluded with Pastor leaping back into the crowd and leading her entire flock of ever-faithful followers directly from the stage and immediately to the band's merch table. Confidence and balls, indeed — BRAVO!

Luke Rockets of With Confidence
But before my equilibrium could re-adjust, after being thwacked by BSR, I was drawn immediately back to the Full Sail stage by the gloriously catchy pop-punk crunch of With Confidence. Simply put, this Australian export is an amazing rock band with amazing rock songs. Bassist Jayden Seeley proved to be an engaging frontman, while guitarist Luke Rockets commanded the stage like a bona fide rock star. And for a guy like me, who still clings to the crisp songwriting craftsmanship of such bands as Good Charlotte and Taking Back Sunday, these kids were exactly what the the doctor ordered. If you get a chance, I highly recommend checking out their just-released Hopeless Records debut, Better Weather.

Less Than Jake
Despite being hyped over the exciting new bands that I discovered, I was equally thrilled to reconnect with a few of the established acts on this year's tour. And in my world, few bands can capture the old school Warped Tour flavor quite like Less Than Jake. Borrowing a familiar slogan from the current US presidential campaign, the iconic Gainesville, Florida band promised to "Make Warped Tour Great Again," as they arrived on the Journeys (Left Foot) stage at 1pm  dressed to impress, and ready to delight their disciples (once again) with their unique brand of authentic ska / punk. Definitely one of  the absolute highlights of 2016!

Palaye Royale
By 4:15, my crew was becoming somewhat overwhelmed by the full Warped Tour "experience" factor. Hot, sun-scorched, tired and thirsty, we endeavored to find to a shady locale in which to rest momentarily. However, as we passed by the Full Sail stage one last time, I was stopped dead in my tracks by a nearly-forgotten, yet vaguely familiar sound. "Hey  wait just one gosh-darn minute," I said to myself. "I know that sound. That's ROCK music!" And as I looked back over my shoulder, there they were  beautiful young white boys wearing make-up and fabulous-looking, form-fitting fashions with vintage low-strung guitars. Yes, rock and roll poster boys, Palaye Royale, was NOW live — and in front of God and everybody!

(After-show chillin' with Palaye Royale)
I was hooked instantly, and reeled-in completely right up to the front of the stage. Combining the classic cred of The Stones and The Who (circa '65), with the unabashed cock-rock swagger of Electric Angels and London Quireboys (circa '90), the Las Vegas-based brigade breathed welcomed fresh life into my nicotine-clogged lungs like I'd not known in a very long time. Featuring tracks from their just-released Sumerian Records debut, Boom Boom Room, the hot and dirty 25-minute set also included a rather appropriate cover of the My Chemical Romance classic, "Teenagers."

In sum, Palaye Royale was THE golden, secret prize, lurking at the bottom of this year's Warped Tour "Cracker Jack box." And by 4:45, I was ready for a well-deserved, post-"encounter" smoke, and also ready to head back home, as Palaye Royale had left me (and even my "bestie," Liam) feeling COMPLETELY "satisfied!"

-Christopher Long
(July 2016)



C'MON! -

Thursday, July 7, 2016

"MY GLOW IN THE DARK HEART" by Bryce Willey (Guest Post)

by Bryce Willey
(Guest Post)

My "Guest Contributors" forum
provides a platform in which
writers can share their work
quickly and easily with global
readers. And to celebrate his
first anniversary as one of the
most prolific Show Biz Guru
"Guests," Florida storyteller
 and poet, Bryce Willey, returns
to offer his best feature to-date.


The right side of the moon. I look up at it every night. It seems to never notice me, either. It doesn’t wanna talk, or I need new glasses. I feel like running today, but I’m not going to. I’m too embarrassed of my body to actually do it. Isn’t it strange how we can be embarrassed of our own body? It's not like we can change our body like an outfit and choose another one.

My glow in the dark heart tells me I’m smart and beautiful. Now, I know what you’re wondering "Hey Bryce! What’s a glow in the dark heart?"

I’m glad you asked! A glow in the dark heart is a soul that spends way to much time in the dark, but for the life of them, they tell you they're FINE and not depressed. You’re not fooling anyone, we can see the problem.

The snow globe of depression you're in is breakable. Nothing is bullet proof. If you keep shooting words with the trigger in your pen, you'll make it out alive. You might come out with scars, but they are nothing but reminders that you can overcome anything thrown at you! So keep shooting light a candle with the matches under your pillow, put the knife hidden in your closet back in the kitchen. Tell your parents you love them your brother, your sister, your friends who are scared that their friend won't make it 'til the morning sunrise to see them graduate, get married… grow.

Either you're sad or you're addicted to being sad. You crave the attention you get when you show up to school with new cuts. I don’t blame you, though you don’t even know you're doing it. So, I guess all we can do is snap you out of it!

Your silent scream was louder than you think.
I love you. We love you. Please turn on the lights to see that we’re in the hall behind the door, waiting with open arms to hug our friend.

-Bryce Willey
(July 2016)
Do you have something to say, something to get off your chest or an amazing story to share? From pop culture views and reviews to political commentary to messages of faith, my blog is a great platform for writers to showcase their work. There are very limited criteria for submitting a post. Your views don't even have to be in line with mine — just create and contribute a compelling, well-written story. Interested? Send me and email.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

RECORD REVIEW: Motörhead "Clean Your Clock"

Clean Your Clock
(UDR Music)

Simply put, the highly-
anticipated latest record
from Motörhead serves
as a powerfully authentic,
yet bittersweet tribute.

On the dry and often barren landscape of modern-day, popular music, Motörhead stood alone — far from the disposable flock. In fact, to say that the band and its founding frontman, bassist Lemmy Kilmister, are / were mere pioneers and innovators, would be to diminish the full impact that they've had on rock roll for the last 40 years. As a result, Lemmy's untimely death in December 2015, was not only shocking and tragic, the loss has left such a void that it won't likely be filled — ever.

Lemmy - 2015
Motörhead's uncompromising integrity and impeccable reputation was established and maintained where it counts — onstage. And given the band's unparalleled reputation from decades of relentless touring, it's only fitting that the first release following Lemmy's death is a career-spanning live set. Captured last November 20th and 21st at Munich, Germany's Zenith, Clean Your Clock is culled from the last two Motörhead shows to ever be recorded — resulting in a collection that's been called, "a celebration and an epitaph."

Motörhead was always, if nothing else, 100% real. So, while this blistering 16-song set showcases the band's musical "burn" factor searing hotter than ever, Lemmy's voice does possess the authentic frailness of an ailing artist. For him to have been captured at that point in his life, and then presented any differently on this record would have been dishonest. And Lemmy was always 100% honest —  and so is the record. 

Phil Campbell (top)
Mikkey Dee (bottom)
As a near-lifelong die hard, the words "honesty," "integrity" and "authenticty" come to mind repeatedly with each listen. When Lemmy dedicates "Doctor Rock" to Motörhead's founding drummer, the late Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, it's a heartfelt tribute. And when he refers to longtime current drummer, Mikkey Dee, as "the best drummer in the world," the sentiment feels equally from-the-heart. It's also quite a spot-on observation, as Dee delivers a rib-cracking performance throughout  including a superb, stand-out solo on the aforementioned, "Doctor Rock." For his part, veteran guitarist, Phil Campbell, proves why he'd been Lemmy's musical "right hand man" for more than three decades. 

Motörhead - Clean Your Clock
Available NOW in various
formats and configurations.
While the record sizzles from start to finish  oozing such ferocious classics as 1979's "Stay Clean" and "Metropolis," newer tracks, including 2015's "When the Sky Comes Looking for You" and 2013's "Lost Woman Blues" pack equal punch. However, for my money, some of the angriest nuggets on the record are 1979's "Over the Top," 1987's "Just 'Cos You Got the Power" and the amazing, 1979 set-closing standard, "Overkill." Oh yeah, that little "Ace of Spades" tune ain't half bad either.

I think that Lemmy himself actually describes this record best with his signature concert introduction   "We're Motörhead — and we play rock and roll." Freaking perfect!

-Christopher Long
(July 2016)

Read Christopher Long's
2015 personal tribute to
Lemmy Kilmister HERE.



C'MON! -

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

GEEZER "VOL. II" - Frontman Unveils New Album Details

Frontman Unveils
New Album Details

I had the unique privilege
of receiving a recent phone
call from Harvey Geezer 
the outspoken frontman
for Miami's #1 super-crunk,
pop-punk sensation, Geezër.
And he was eager to offer
me full disclosure regarding
his band's new set, VOL. II.

"The new Geezër record is going to crush kids' skulls," 83-year-old Harvey Geezer commented with considerable confidence at the very beginning of our hour-long conversation. "When our first record, Geezër, dropped last year, all of the young people were straight-up buggin'," the frontman recalled. "But our latest, VOL. II, is SO super-crunk, it's going to bury our debut  right in the cemetery, next to my late wife, Bernice.

Geezer in the studio with producer
Brendon Keith Paredes (left).
But it can be said that one "skull-crushing" track does not a "super-crunk" record make. So I asked Harvey about other album highlights. "ALL of the songs are highlights — all eight of them," he shot back with rapid-fire reflexes. "'Smile, Sara Smile' is really fun and punchy," he continued. "It's about a young, real-life gal named Sara who serves me coffee every morning at my local Starbucks. 'Boom Chicka Pop' is also pretty snappy — it's our latest song, and it's about my new bae, Gladys. I like that one because Gladys is super-foxy, and because I think that it sounds a lot like the Metallicats." Our guitar player, Leonard Geezer, likes 'Feelin' Freakie' so much that his wife, Gertie, posted it on the SoundCloud, so that teenagers can hear it before the album is released on August 13th.

Geezër with a "special friend"at
an after-show party in May 2016.
Given that their 2015 debut album was such a "team" effort, I asked Harvey who Geezër brought on board to help out with their latest. "Mr. Brendon (Paredes) is a very nice young man," Harvey confessed. "He makes our songs sound very loud. And since he made our first record so bangin', we asked him to also produce this new record. The young people all liked Miss Sarah Jean Balarezo's pretty back-up singing on Geezër, so we asked her to come back too for VOL. II. We also had the pleasure of working with two new additional back-up singers  Miss Katty Pleasant and Miss Stormy White. They all did lovely jobs."

Geezër 2016
Since first forming, one year ago, Geezër has become known for performing and recording some rather unexpected cover tunes. So I asked Harvey about his band's choices of eclectic remakes. "It's simple," he replied. "We love Motörhead and Cheap Trick, so we've done a couple of their tunes. We also really love The Ramones and The Osmonds — so we've recorded a couple of theirs, too. But on the new album, we've got a crazy-clutch version of Katy Perry's #1 hit, "I Kissed a Girl." The kids are really flippin' out over that one. It's gonna be our first official single from VOL. II, and we'll be shooting the video at the end of July.


Feelin' Freakie
I Kissed a Girl
Smile, Sara Smile
Boom Chicka Pop

She's the One
Me-Me, No-No
Sad Banana
(We Are) The Road Crew

At one point near the end of our conversation, Harvey detoured from the topic of the new album and spoke openly and at great length about Geezër's relationship with their passionate, die hard teenage fans. "We have THE best fans in the world," he declared. "One of our fans is a 13-year-old artist named Liam. In fact, he's SO talented, that when we saw his work, we asked him to design the album cover for VOL. II. Another one of our teenage fans is a guitarist named Vance. We were so impressed with his mad guitar skills that we invited him to the studio to play on the song, 'She's the One' which is pretty cool 'cuz it turned out to be one of the best tracks on the album."

Harvey Geezer, chillin' with teenage
fans at a 2016 Geezer meet-and-greet.
So, what does the long range future look like for Geezer? Well, Harvey has a pretty good idea. "Being rock stars is a full-time job," he began. "We're spending this summer prepping for the new album recording sessions, photo shoots, video shoots and press interviews. Then, after the record is released on August 13th, we'll do a few warm-up dates in the fall, and hopefully be out on tour in early 2017. Heck, we've got a few tracks in the can already for another album — so be looking for GEEZER III to be released next spring. At our age, we don't got time to sit around, shootin' Maalox. We gotta keep kicking maximum ass for the people — while we still can!"

-Christopher Long
(July 2016)


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C'MON! -