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3 Reasons You Should See J and the 9s Live


3 Things I'll Miss Most About Warped Tour


3 Reasons You Should See Tragedy: All Metal Tribute to The Bee Gees & Beyond Live

3 Reasons You Should See The Interrupters Live
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

At last year’s Warped Tour I caught the tail end of The Interrupters’ set and immediately regretted not getting to their stage in time to see the whole thing. That’s why this year when I saw The Interrupters on Warped Tour’s lineup I circled their name in pen and made sure I wasn’t going to miss a single minute of the ska/punk band’s time on stage.

This turned out to be the right decision, because during a day that featured 60+ bands, over a dozen of which I managed to see, The Interrupters were a true highlight.

Led by Aimee Interrupter, and featuring a trio of Bivona brothers, The Interrupters are a band that are easy to fall in love with. Here are three reasons why you should see them live.

1. Aimee Interrupter’s voice is truly something special

I’ve long held the opinion that the greatest voices in music aren’t the traditionally perfect ones, rather, they’re the memorable ones. Artists like Bob Dylan, Kurt Cobain, Tom Petty, Janis Joplin, and Stevie Nicks probably wouldn’t have made it past the audition process for most reality singing competitions, but they’re the legends, they’re the ones we remember.

Aimee Interrupter has one of those voices.

Forceful, a bit gravelly, and immediately attention grabbing, yet still warm when required, her voice is truly unique, and unforgettable for all the right reasons.


2. You’re going to have fun

While they have punk elements to their songs, at their core The Interrupters are a ska band, and if you aren’t having fun at a ska show either you’re doing it wrong, or the band is doing it wrong. In The Interrupters’ case, the band isn’t doing it wrong, so you can be sure there are going to be plenty of smiling faces, opportunities to toast with friends, and the chance to do a little skanking in a circle pit if you’re so inclined.

I looked into the crowd a number of times during this particular show and saw a sea of joyful people of all ages.


3. You’ll leave feeling inspired

The Interrupters are masterful at writing and performing songs that make you stand up a little straighter (seriously, this band is great for posture), and make you feel like you can take over the world.

You don’t leave their shows just thinking, “Man, that was a good time,” you also leave with a heightened confidence, and desire to kick ass at life.

Essentially, The Interrupters are a Red Bull for your soul.


To find out when, and where, The Interrupters will be performing next, check out their website for show dates.

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Pop Shots – Travel Plans
Monday, August 13, 2018

Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week Pop Shots is hitting you with thoughts on everything from Ariana Grande’s wild ride, to Lady Gaga’s next destination, to Celine Dion and Katy Perry meeting up down under, and since this is Pop Shots you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.

* Ariana Grande injured her hand while filming an episode of Carpool Karaoke with The Late Late Show host James Corden. This is why you should never get into cars with strangers! Not even if they offer candy, or a taped karaoke segment!

* Britney Spears momentarily forgot where she was while performing at Brighton Pride in Preston Park (East Sussex, England). To her credit, she asked one of her dancers, “Where are we?” to get a reminder, after which she turned to the crowd and shouted, “What’s up, Brighton Pride!” Next time, Britney might want to take a cue from Spinal Tap from when they were on The Simpsons.


* Carrie Underwood – fresh off her comeback from a fall that required 40+ stitches in her face – has announced she’s pregnant with her second child. I had stitches twice last year, and my doctors didn’t prescribe anything like this either time. I guess what I’m trying to say is, yo Carrie, can you give your doc’s number? I want to get on the “Get You Some” recovery plan!

* Lady Gaga will have a two-year residency at the Park Theater in the Park MGM Resort in Las Vegas starting in December. The month of Christmas, you say? No better time for her to break out this classic …


* Ellie Goulding has announced her engagement to Caspar Jopling, who is described in reports as “an art dealer and former British national youth rower.” I use the rowing machine a lot at the gym … is that going to be mentioned in any eventual engagement announcement I’m a part of?

* Demi Lovato was moved to an in-patient rehab facility two weeks after suffering an apparent drug overdose. There’s no joking about this. Here’s hoping she has a full recovery, and gets back to belting out her songs whenever she’s ready to again.

* Celine Dion was in attendance at Katy Perry’s recent concert in Australia, and the two had some fun posing for photographs backstage. In my fan-fiction they then went kangaroo boxing together.


* Kelly Clarkson is filming a pilot for a syndicated daytime talk show. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a network is not yet attached, but the project is being eyed for a fall 2019 debut. Perhaps she could get Regis Philbin to co-host, and they could do it live, and call it Live with Regis and … ah, never mind, that would never work.

* LA’s legendary Viper Room has been sold, and according to reports the venue could be demolished to make way for luxury apartments, or a hotel. It appears as though Rock N Roll Heaven not only has some of our favorite artists, but is also collecting some of our favorite venues.

* The 2006 Plain White T’s hit “Hey There Delilah” is going to be adapted into a scripted TV series. I know what you’re thinking, if they were going to turn a song into a TV series, why didn’t they choose Rebecca Black’s “Friday”?


And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.

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Stacking The Deck with Scott Waldman
Friday, August 10, 2018

Stacking The Deck is a feature exclusive to Adam’s World where I bring packs of 1991 Pro Set Superstars MusiCards to artists, and we discuss who they find in each pack.

Scott Waldman is one of the busiest people in the music industry. Not only is his own band, Lido Beach, making a comeback, a band he manages, Stringer, just finished up a string of dates on Warped Tour, and his podcast, Waldman’s Words, is nearing the 100 episode mark. Did I mention he’s also a Senior A&R at Legend Recordings?

Somehow, even with all that going on, he reportedly finds time to breathe.


I caught up with Waldman during Warped Tour’s date at Jones Beach to open up some packs of MusiCards, and the artists we found sparked conversations about the feat he feels we’ll never see accomplished in music again, a heartfelt remembrance of a friend, and the time he met Bret The Hitman Hart.



Vanilla Ice

Yo Vanilla, kick it one time boyyyyy!

Is this music related, fashion related, or home renovation related?

It’s music.

Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer were definitely important parts of my hip-hop childhood.

I believe Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em and To The Extreme came out when I was eight, or nine – single digits – and I was honestly more into MC Hammer, and that’s not because I’m a self-hating white person, it’s was because I really liked his music. I was just listening to “Pray” the other day, and I’m a Jew, an agnostic Jew.

But this is about Vanilla Ice. He definitely played that funky music, white boy.

His rise and fall was fairly epic, and fast.

Let’s focus on the rise, and here’s the thing, The Beatles didn’t even last that long, if you think about it.

Yeah, we can be negative about all that stuff, but the dude has sold more copies – and I don’t judge success based on sales – of “Ice Ice Baby” than every band on this entire Warped Tour combined.

To The Extreme went diamond.

To The Extreme is a diamond album, and my gauge for diamond is when you’re in like Shania Twain territory.

It just doesn’t happen anymore.

Basically, right now, because people don’t buy records, it will never happen again.

And I don’t count …

Streams. I know.

I’m telling you, I don’t think it will ever happen again, and that’s scary, because I’m also an artist manager. I’m banking on those diamond records for Stringer.


Wow. Insert video here.

Hey, that was pretty good.

Also for Lido Beach, “You Fell Hard,” and also for a band that I’m not with, Tonight Alive, for Underworld. I have no stake in that game.



Bonnie Raitt

I was not expecting you to choose Bonnie Raitt.

She can play. She’s a really good slide (guitar) player.

Is there a country or blues influence for you?

There’s a song that I have with Lido Beach called “Black Jacket Soul,” it’s very bluesy.

What was the inspiration for that song?

{tentatively} My ex-girlfriend.

In a good way, or a bad way?

In a horrible way.

Basically, the new song, “You Fell Hard,” is the only happy song I’ve ever had. It’s about 37 year old me talking to my young self, and being like, “Things are gonna get better,” and for the record, Curtis Douglas, I can’t say his name enough, he killed it producing and helping with a bulk of the writing. He’s amazing.

But “Black Jacket Soul,” the sad story was … you know the band Devo, the guitar player / keyboardist Bob Casale, he passed away. Before he passed away, his daughter Samantha, her favorite band was Lido Beach, so I got to record a bunch of songs with Bob Casale for free, and “Black Jacket Soul” was (one of those songs).


He passed, but his legacy … I got to see Devo a bunch, but he was just such a nice guy.

{pauses}

That got pretty emotional.



C+C Music Factory

Definitely a song that personified my Lindell Elementary School experience, much like “Ice Ice Baby,” but “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” is now the bar mitzvah staple that everyone loves today.

You were in elementary school. When did you eventually find out that the woman in the video wasn’t singing the song?

I don’t remember when I did, but I don’t remember being heartbroken either. I wasn’t even really heartbroken when it happened with Milli Vanilli either.

I was heartbroken watching the Blues Traveler video when the band was playing on the side of the stage. That made me upset, because John Popper is great.



Janet Jackson

Nipple-gate.

Even before then, the Rolling Stone cover.

Yeah, that was, to 12 year old Scott, pretty magical … and to 37 year old Scott, pretty magical.

But “If” is a sick ass song. That’s, I think, her best song, and it’s kind of like {imitates the guitar line}.

It’s one of my favorites, and I feel like for as great as Rhythm Nation was, that Janet album was her really announcing herself. She was no longer just Michael’s little sister.

Not just MJ.

Janet has incredible talent, but I would say of the four of these (cards) the most important to me would have been Vanilla Ice, the most credibility would have been Bonnie Raitt, the song that inspires more dancing at bar mitzvahs is C+C Music Factory, and the sexiest, and probably the best dancer, was Janet.

Janet was an incredible dancer, and really great singer, but it’s kind of like how Britney Spears is better known for being an entertainer and a dancer.

Janet also had a baby at 50. Is there anything that you would want to do later in life …

A bar mitzvah from now?

Yes, a bar mitzvah from now, is there something you’d like to do that might surprise people?

I’d like to log off of Facebook forever when I’m 50.

Do you see my eyes? I would love to not have to use social media anymore. I would love to just use my phone, and talk to people in person. I know that’s a weird goal, but I’d love that.

That’s an admirable goal. As an aside, since we’re talking about Janet, I don’t know about you, but I had a Janet poster on my wall when I was a kid. Did you?

I did not. I had Bret The Hitman Hart. I still have Warped Tour posters from ’98 to 2002, with the lineups. It was Kid Rock, Deftones, Eminem, Blink-182, Pennywise, Bad Religion, NOFX, Rancid, New Found Glory.

This year has some great bands. I love Reel Big Fish. I love Silverstein. I love Stringer.


Maybe 20 years from now people will look at this lineup and think about it the same way we think about the lineups from 20 years ago.

That’s what I say to people who bitch about it.

We’re not the target demo, and the fact that you admit you like Tonight Alive, I like Tonight Alive, but you’re literally 20-something years older, and a different gender than their target fan base, probably.

And I occasionally feel a little weird being in that crowd.

You know what, that’s your call.

You had Warped Tour posters on your wall, and now, 20 years later, you’re performing at one of the final dates of Warped Tour with one of the bands you work with, Stringer (photo above). I guess up next you have to meet Bret The Hitman Hart.

I’ve met him. He signed an autograph for me, him and The Undertaker, and to this day he’s my favorite celebrity I’ve ever met because he wrote “To Scott, stay cool. Bret The Hitman Hart.” So to whoever is reading this, just be nice, especially to that kid who now as a 37 year old worships you still.

For more Scott Waldman follow him on Twitter, and check out Lido Beach, and Waldman’s Words.

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3 Things I’ll Miss Most About Warped Tour
Thursday, August 09, 2018

It’s official, Warped Tour has completed its final run.

For the kids who grew up at Warped Tour, the countless bands whose careers were launched by Kevin Lyman’s annual cross-country punk rock festival, and the many journalists who covered it all since the tour’s inception in 1993, we shed a tear.

Warped Tour’s ‘90s glory is so legendary books have been written about it, so rather than rehash the complete history of the tour, I’d like to focus on some of the most beautiful aspects of it, aspects I feel will resonate with anyone who attended even just one Warped Tour date.

With that in mind, here are the three things I’ll miss most about Warped Tour.

1. The artist discovery



One of my favorite aspects of Warped Tour was that half the bands were relative unknowns who were getting a shot to be on the same stages – or stages adjacent to – the headliners. This was why Kevin Lyman never revealed the set times of the 60+ bands performing each day until the gates opened.

When I spoke with Lyman in 2011 he fully explained his stance on this, saying, “I still think it’s important for kids to come and learn, so we always have to manage it so that kids come early and wander around and run into a band they might like. We want to try to keep some sense of adventure to shows.”

Lyman added, “Back when Blink 182 was a little band, if I had just written a schedule ahead of time, people would have shown up later, and the band would have maybe not gotten seen by five, six thousand kids every day. It’s exciting to open doors at Warped Tour at 11 o’clock and you have 80% of the crowd in line. It kind of kicks the energy up a little bit.”

Personally, I was always there when the gates opened, hoping to catch as many acts as possible. Because of this …

* I remember seeing a very young, barely tattooed, Lights back in 2009, strapped with a keytar and a smile, playing songs off her debut EP.

* In 2012 I found myself enamored with Tonight Alive, who hooked me early with an acoustic set that was so good I skipped seeing New Found Glory and Memphis May Fire just to see Tonight Alive’s fully plugged in set, which rocked hard.

* In 2013 Echosmith and Gin Wigmore were put on my radar as welcome discoveries.

* I remember PVRIS being bumped up the main stage by the end of their run on the tour in 2015.

All of these artists, and countless others became personal favorites, and since I first saw them on those Warped Tour stages I’ve interviewed them numerous times (except for PVRIS. Still working on that one).

2. Watching artists grow



Since I first saw them …

* Lights has seen her star rise with each new release, and was recently a prominent figure at Comic-Con in San Diego, as her most recent album, Skin & Earth, had an accompanying series of comics which will soon be turned into an animated series.

* Tonight Alive has gone from having maybe a hundred kids in the crowd in 2013 to having thousands in the crowd each day during this year’s tour.

I was thrilled to be able to have a quick conversation with Tonight Alive frontwoman Jenna McDougall this year to let her know when the band performed at Webster Hall in NYC a handful of years ago (coincidentally, with Echosmith opening) it was one of my favorite shows of all-time.

* Echosmith has gone from being a side-stage band to being Top 40 radio darlings, and are showing no signs of slowing down (boy am I glad I interviewed them back in 2013!).

The list goes on and on!

3. Seeing the tour cross generations



A more recent phenomenon, due in part to the tour lasting nearly 25 years, was parents attending with their kids, and not just in a “I have to chaperone this” way, but in a “there are bands I want to see, too, and I want to share this with my kids” way.

A buddy of mine went with his teenage daughter this year. They weren’t together the entire time, but they teamed up to check out the artists they mutually enjoyed.

I also saw a father in line with a very young son who looked to be around kindergarten age. The dad was clearly taking the tike to his first major concert festival, knowing that starting ‘em young is the best way to go.

Yes, there were still plenty of parents in the “Parent Day Care” area, looking at their phones while their kids were having a great time, but over the past few years I saw less parents in that area, and more in the crowd. Heck, in 2016 I saw one grey haired dad crowdsurfing to New Found Glory!


These are just three of the many reasons I will miss Warped Tour, but with the final stage having been taken down, the final merch tent having been rolled up, and the final tour bus having been put into drive to make its way home, Warped Tour has given us nearly a quarter century of memories, and will always serve as a reminder that when it comes to concert festivals – it should always be about the music.

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NYC Scene Report – Ian Mellencamp, L’FREAQ, & more
Wednesday, August 08, 2018

This week’s NYC Scene Report features experimental rock artist Ian Mellencamp taking a moment to “Come Clean,” the “Weird Awakenings” of dark synth pop artist L’FREAQ, singer-songwriter Brooke Moriber giving “The Last Goodbye,” and rock duo Washer picking at “The Scab.”

* Brooklyn-based experimental psych-rocker Ian Mellencamp recently released a new single, titled “Come Clean,” and with it he makes it known that he’s an artist who is unafraid to blend genres, break barriers, and create something altogether unique.

Mixing the disparate worlds of the indie rock scene and the dance club scene, “Come Clean” combines rock, pop, and electronic music in a way that is immediately attention grabbing.
 
In a statement, Mellencamp described the content of the song, saying, “It is about utter transparency … It’s the story of a relationship that has reached a pivotal point – the couple could either self-destruct due to a dramatic event, or use the experience to discover more about each other and take the relationship to the next level.”
 
Check out the video for the single, which Mellencamp shot, edited, and produced with Jazmin Grace Grimaldi – who is a singer, actress, and founder of The Jazmin Fund – and “Come Clean” with Ian Mellencamp.


* NYC-based dark synth-pop artist L'FREAQ is fast becoming a favorite here at the NYC Scene Report, and once you check out her latest single, “Weird Awakenings,” you’ll understand why – her music is freakin’ dope!

“Weird Awakenings” is the title track of L’FREAQ’s upcoming EP, which is due out in the fall, and will reportedly feature themes of self-discovery, and concealing oneself from the real world.

Speaking of worlds, the video for “Weird Awakenings” has L’FREAQ wandering through quite the trippy one as she looks for, and finds, love. Check it out, and get your L’FREAQ on.


* NYC-based singer-songwriter Brooke Moriber has performed everywhere from Broadway stages to indie music venues, and her latest single, “The Last Goodbye,” is a fantastic adult-contemporary pop song with soaring, emotional, vocals.

A timeless piano ballad, “The Last Goodbye,” sounds like it was tailor made to be a Top 40 hit in any of the past four decades (not to be confused with being Taylor made, but that’s a “Delicate” subject).

If you’re a frequent reader of this column, this isn’t your first “hello” to Moriber, and after listening to this song, you won’t want to say “goodbye” to her anytime soon.


* As I’ve mentioned in the past, one of the coolest aspects of being an indie band is that your album’s life cycle is exactly as long as you want it to be. There’s no label telling you that if you don’t have a hit single they’ll stop pushing the project, you can push your album for as long as you want. Brooklyn rockers Washer seem to completely understand this, as they just released a video for their song “The Scab,” which is off of their 2017 album All Aboard

The video for “The Scab” combines tour footage with a film project helmed by Washer’s Kieran McShane, who makes up one half of the duo along with Mike Quigley.

Washer is currently recording their third album, which is tentatively scheduled for a late Fall / early Winter release via Exploding In Sound Records, and you can see the video for “The Scab” right here.


For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.

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3 Reasons You Should See J and the 9s Live
Tuesday, August 07, 2018

The first time I saw J and the 9s was at last year’s Warped Tour. Even in that unique setting it was tough not to notice J9, with her blue and purple hair and makeup, and Beatz, shirtless and in his trademark sunglasses.

At the time the band was a trio from NYC. Since then they’ve become a duo, and made the move 3,000 miles West, now calling Southern California home.

A few weeks ago J and the 9s made a return trip to NYC for a show at Otto’s Shrunken Head in the LES. Armed with her flute and pink glitter guitar, J9 and her partner in crime were ready to rock their hometown, and rock it they did.

If you’ve never experienced a J and the 9s show, here are three reasons you should see them live.

1. You’ll hear rad rock n roll flute solos

How often do you hear a rock n roll flute solo? Unless you’re a huge Ian Anderson aficionado, the answer is probably almost never. J and the 9s provide that rarity during their sets as frontwoman J9 works a number of flute solos into the band’s blistering rock songs.

My guess is, one time at band camp she took a flute and melted people’s faces with it.

2. Beatz truly beats up the drums

Beatz is a beast on the drums. With an energy level just short of Animal from The Muppets, he pounds on the drums like Red Bull is flowing through his veins. On this particular night he rocked so hard a cymbal came off during a song. Being a pro, he didn’t miss a beat – literally, or figuratively – and the cymbal was put back together in-between songs.

3. The crowd becomes part of the show

Whether it’s J9 working her way into the crowd to interact with the audience during a song, or her popping open a confetti cannon and showering everyone with shimmering stars and strips of paper, J and the 9s want to make sure everyone knows that while the duo are the ones performing, the audience is also part of the show.

Both J9 and Beatz routinely spend time in the crowd during the other bands’ sets, supporting the acts they’re on the bill with, and giving time to anyone who wants to say hi, take a picture, or get a hug.


To find out when, and where, J and the 9s will be performing next, check out their Facebook page for show dates.

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