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Music (328)

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 12:44

When Particles Collide better music through chemistry

Written by Mike Dow

'This is one smoking band,' I thought to myself while taking in one of the final performances of 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' at Penobscot Theatre in downtown Bangor in early May 2010. I didn't realize then that I was watching the genesis of a new band; one that would soon become one of the most active groups in the area.

Guitarist and vocalist Sasha Alcott and drummer Chris Viner are When Particles Collide, a dynamic rock duo based in Bangor and actively garnering new fans and friends around the country. Since January 2011, they have maintained a very active gig schedule at home and on the road including shows in NYC, North Carolina, Boston, Pittsburgh and Kentucky.

When Particles Collide creates high-energy, melodic, unpretentious and well crafted punk-pop with influences that are felt but not obvious. For Sasha: The Pixies, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, MiniBoone, Foo Fighters, The Clash, The Jam and David Bowie are among her faves. For Chris: Green Day is his all-time favorite but he also loves the Dave Matthews Band, especially drummer Carter Beauford. In Viner's formative years, Dream Theatre, Rage Against the Machine and Presidents of the United States loomed large.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 12:36

Cleveland's Rock Hall welcomes new class

Written by Tom Withers (AP)

CLEVELAND - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony didn't miss Axl Rose at all.

The rowdy celebration, which in past years has included awkward moments, touching tributes and unforgettable performances, rocked on without Rose, the Guns N' Roses frontman who may one day regret skipping a night when 6,000 fans, 1,400 guests and many of music's biggest stars partied in Public Hall with the class of 2012.

Hard rockers Guns N' Roses minus Rose headlined this year's eclectic group of inductees. Others being enshrined are the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Beastie Boys, folk icon Donovan, late singer-songwriter Laura Nyro and British bands the Small Faces and Faces.

Before the ceremony started with a blistering performance by Green Day, Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis said it was strange to be enshrined while on tour.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012 14:29

Willie Wisely Trio get back a true reunion

Written by Mike Dow

From the opening chords of 'Kiss Her and Make it Right' on 'True,' their first album in 18 years, you're drawn into the wonderful world of managed chaos that is the Willie Wisely Trio a fierce foursome that are as comfortable cooking grooves wrapped in pure melody as they are tapping into an area they call 'no time' music or 'rocks and logs' music without a beat. Pure Pop for Wow People.

Formed in the late '80s with Wisely on guitar and vocals, James Voss on upright and electric bass, Peter Anderson on drums and Greg Wold on trombone, each member of the Minneapolis-based band arrived with a different influence.

Classic rock, jazz, pop, gospel and punk to comedy and theatrics The Trio stirred it up while traveling the country in a rust-colored van playing roughly 400 shows in five years. Word of mouth helped build an adoring fan base who relished the fact that no two Trio experiences were alike. Shows by The Willie Wisely Trio were equal parts raucous, hilarious, tender and dangerous, and at this moment, there is probably someone, somewhere, telling a story about one of those shows with the capper, 'Man, ya shoulda been there.'

Wednesday, 04 April 2012 14:35

From Korn to Jesus

Written by Mike Dow
Brian 'Head' Welch is back with new band, Love and Death

In 2005, after 15 years and more than 30 million albums sold, Korn, one of the most popular metal bands in the world, was about to sign a new deal with Virgin Records worth $25 million. Their lead guitarist, Brian 'Head' Welch, says he was living his dream, but inside, he was dying.

Welch says he started drinking on weekends when he was 15, and once Korn was firmly established, alcohol became a daily escape from the band's punishing tour schedule. After Korn signed to Epic Records in 1994, hard drugs entered Brian's life, leading to an all-consuming addiction to crystal meth that took his family (his wife was addicted as well; Brian later gained custody of his daughter, Jennea) and nearly cost him his life.

Welch says he used methamphetamines every day for two years before finally staggering to a hotel and checking in for a body, mind and soul rehab with Jesus. There, he sat and prayed for hours. 'I said, 'God, I'm weak. I'm going to die if I keep this up,'' Welch told me. ''Please be strong for me. Be real. Send people to help me. Get me out of this.'

'What I found was that God is real and all I had to do was ask Christ to help me,' Welch said. 'When I did that, everything bad that I didn't want fell out of my life.' Welch says he ran from Korn in February, 2005 and began a walk with Jesus that is even stronger today. His 2007 memoir 'Save Me From Myself' (also the title of his 2008 debut solo album) became a New York Times bestseller and led to two further books.

Thursday, 29 March 2012 07:26

Capture the Sun

Written by Katy England
Local band releases album

ORONO Local band Capture the Sun recently released their debut album with 13 tracks available for free.

'It has 70 minutes of music and it took us a long time [to write and record],' said Kyle Hussey, 22, of Vassalboro. 'We started writing when we first started the band. It's been a two-and-a-half-year project. We're all busy with different things And only able to record on some weekends or when we had a free afternoon.'

Capture the Sun is composed of Kyle Hussey, guitar; James Hadley, guitar; Justin Hadley, drums; and Tony Babb, bass. Hussey describes the band's sound as instrumental progressive metal.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012 11:55

The Zambonis

Written by Mike Dow
Hockey Rock masters score hat trick on new LP

What started as a fun 'what if?' proposition has evolved into a joyous and celebrated institution. More than 20 years after forming, The Zambonis, the world's foremost purveyors of Hockey Rock, have returned with their best album to date, 'Five Minute Major (in D Minor).'

Hockey fans are as passionate about the sport as rock fans are about the music, and The Zambonis have offered the best of both worlds over seven hockey-themed albums.

'Five Minute Major' faces off with 'Brass Bonanza' the theme for the band's beloved Hartford Whalers for more than 20 years. The Zambonis' version combines surf guitar and drums, horns and even an electric sitar to form the definitive rendition of the happy, catchy tune which continues to be played during games in the band's home state of Connecticut.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012 14:07

Mellow endeavor - acoustic jam trio makes bold moves

Written by Mike Dow

When Jason Howe of Houlton heard the news that he was going to be a father of twins, he took care of the necessary preparations and formed a band with a childhood friend at the same time. This 'rock dad' likes to keep busy.

Howe, of popular acoustic jam-rock band Mellow Endeavor, spoke with me last week after putting his boys down for a nap. In addition to the babies, age 11 months, Howe and his girlfriend Danielle also have a 5-year old. Jason told me that he loves being a stay-at-home dad while continuing to work on Mellow Endeavor business. 'It's a full time job with twins and a five year old,' he said 'But I still manage to put about 30 hours a week into the band making contacts, answering email and booking shows.'

Since forming in 2010, Mellow Endeavor has become one of the hardest working bands in Maine. 'Originally, we were thinking we would be doing one show a month. We had no idea how quickly things were going to take off,' Howe said. In finest jam-band tradition, word of mouth has been their best advertising.

Monday, 12 March 2012 08:33

Zac Brown Band to play Bangor Waterfront

Written by Wire Reports

BANGOR - After an eventful year on the charts, the Grammy-Award winning Zac Brown Band is hitting the road once again this summer. They will visit the Bangor Waterfront Pavilion on Saturday June 2. 

Zac Brown Band's second major label studio album 'You Get What You Give' (Atlantic/Southern Ground Artists, Inc.) was released on September 21, 2010 and debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album features guest appearances by Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett.

"It's a defining record...Every step of it's done the right way and I expect people are really going to love this record and see the depth of our musicianship, we're always growing,' said Brown to the Associated Press. 'Not that we've arrived at any grand finale or anything, but the progress from this last record to this one, it's tremendous and I'm proud of it."


Wednesday, 07 March 2012 19:52

Why The Monkees were a big deal

Written by Mike Dow

When news broke last week that Davy Jones of The Monkees had died suddenly of a heart attack at age 66, tributes began pouring in on social networking sites. Some comments on Davy's passing from a few of my Facebook friends

'I feel like a piece of my childhood has just died.'

'Remembering Saturday mornings with Davy Jones. Those were the days my friend.'

'So simple, so true. Going to miss him most of all.'

'No drugs, nothing to sensationalize. Just a wholesome kid from the 60s. What a loss. Another big piece of my life has changed forever.'

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 12:46

New Bruce - Boring in the U.S.A.

Written by Mike Dow
The marriage of music and politics is tricky. For each instance where it works, (Neil Young's 'Rocking in the Free World' - as good as it gets), you could cite 10 where it doesn't (including Neil Young's 'Living With War' - ugh). On Tuesday, March 6, Bruce Springsteen will issue his 17th studio album, 'Wrecking Ball' - a collection of mostly angry songs with Springsteen assuming the role of various characters who feel betrayed by the promise of the American Dream. After I listened to 'Wrecking Ball,' I felt betrayed by the promise of a good Springsteen album. It hurts to admit that - I'm a fan and I sometimes wonder if I'm the only one who feels let down by most everything Bruce has issued over the past 20 years.

Over the last 40 years, Bruce Springsteen has delivered some of the most vital, joyous, engaging and thoughtful songs in rock. Now that I think of it, most of those songs appeared during his first 20 years of recording.

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