Tag Archives: Rock Bands

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

It’s Music Monday!NewMusicMondayLogo

 

First of all, wishing all my readers all over a world a lovely holiday Monday if, indeed, it is a holiday with you. It’s certainly a Bank Holiday in the UK and it’s Memorial Day in the US…so if you are enjoying a long weekend, I hope it’s a fab one. And if you’re not: have a rocking day anyway!

Today I’m posting a classic, timeless song that’s seen me through many a decision, albeit in a roundabout way! To me, this is the celebration of indecision and uncertainty, and it’s absolutely priceless if you are facing a personal crossroads. It gives you a great sense of not being alone with a difficult decision, PLUS you get to rock out while you ponder. On a few memorable occasions, this very song has swayed me towards the ‘go’ option (like…leaving Germany, leaving a boyfriend, leaving a terrible flat). Then again, in different circumstances, I’ve come out on the side of ‘stay’ (Stay on a course, stay with a boyfriend, stay in a flat…). Life goes in circles, but that takes me onto a different song for a different time.

Today, I’m probably going off to the seaside with the family, and as the afternoon draws to a close and the promised rain clouds brew up, the song will take on a very… practical dimension indeed. So here goes:

 

So, what about you? Have you ever faced this conundrum? And which way did you turn ~ did you stay or did you go? I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Who Will You Run To?

It’s Music Monday!

NewMusicMondayLogo

Do you ever randomly go through your CD collection (if you happen to have one, these days) and suddenly stumble across an album that you used to have on continuous play but that you haven’t listened to in absolute aeons?

Well, I did, over the weekend, and here’s what I found. I’m absolutely enchanted all over again. In fact, I had a really hard time deciding whether I wanted to bring you the album opener or another of my favourites, but this has a certain… relevance to my books (and my life, LOL, but that’s a different story), so here it is.

Now tell me: what’s your long-forgotten favourite?

Enter Sandman

It’s Music Monday!

NewMusicMondayLogo

Last week, I promised you a series of classic rock song posts to mark the countdown to the launch of Sophie’s Run on 7 Feb. You know I keep my promises! Today, I have a rocking choice for you. Talk about one of the greatest opening riffs of all times! (Well, it’s in my top 10 at least).

Dum-dumm-dum-dum-duuuummmm-dum-dumm-dum-dum-duuuuuuum…. *Plays air guitar* Oh yes, I can see Darren and Dan play something like this (of their own, of course!) live on stage with Tuscq. Rock on, and enjoy.

What’s your favourite rock song opening? Or you could share your fave book opening line ~ I’m intrigued!

THANK YOU!

Thank you very much indeed,
one and all.

Once again, words seem hardly adequate to convey what I wish to say to you all today, but a humble “Thank you” will have to do for the amazing party that was the launch of Sophie’s Turn right here on this blog yesterday.

Thank you to everyone who visited, commented, and partied along. You are amazing.

We had the launch party of all launch parties for Sophie’s Turn!

Everywhere I looked yesterday during the launch day celebrations, there were tweets flying around, comments posted on Facebooks, visitors to the first blogstops of my massive launch blogtour. You created a buzz that was tangible and audible all over the place and all the way down to my little office in this small village in Lincolnshire.

For that, I am truly grateful. This launch went on stage rocking and rolling and I personally will certainly never forget the day. All thanks to you. So stand up proud and take a bow for my roll call of honour!

AL Jackson

Ali Bacon

Amanda Egan

Amy Lichtenhan

Anneli Purchase

Beth Art from the Heart

Bonnie Trachtenberg

Carol Kinsey

Carol E Wyer

Chris Longmuir

Dana Mason

Darlene Jones

Deborah Smith

Dorothy Dreyer

Elizabeth Arroyo

Emma Calin

Evelyn Chong

Jaimie Admans

Janice Horton

Jennifer Tucker

Jessie Dalrymple

Joanna Gawn

Jojokitten

Kate Verrier

Katie Henson

Katie Mettner

Leisa Hook

Linn B. Halton

Loveahappyending.com

Lynne

Mandy Baggot

Melanie Robertson King

Miriam Wakerly

Nancy S Thompson

Nika Wegner

Richard Holmes

Sharon Goodwin

Sheryl Browne

Stephanie Keyes

Sue Fortin

Susan Livingston

The Romaniacs

Yasmin Selena Butt

An extra special thank you has to go to my special guests, the THE HUSH BAND. I was terribly excited when they announced they were coming to the party, ready to play a song. I was not prepared for the Twitter storm and Facebook fest that followed! Moreover, THE HUSH also supplied us with generous amounts of bubbly. A box of champagne to begin with,  a special edition Coppola called Sofia, and then Bellinis, too. I am completely bowled over by your support. You seriously rock!

Post-Script

My head is somewhat heavy this morning, and my brain is not functioning terribly well. If, by any terrible happenstance, I have forgotten to thank you, please don’t take the omission personally; rest assured, I didn’t mean to! And please don’t sit there quietly in a sulk and a grumble: let me know, and I’ll fix the situation post haste. Promise!

Happy Reading of Sophie’s Turn! Did you enjoy the launch party?

Russians

It’s Music Monday here on Nicky’s blog and today I’m bringing you a real classic.  I’m posting no other than the first single I ever bought! It was a proper single, for those of you who remember the shiny black vinyl 45rpm plastic disks you used to get in traditional style record shops.

The motivation: a crush
I was thirteen and I bought it the day after a party at a friend’s house, where I had been asked to dance to (yes, you guessed it) just this song by the boy on whom I had a big crush.  It was a heavenly moment, and I tried to prolong the exprience by obtaining the music the very next day.  I wasn’t really into music then; I was just awakening to it, shall we say.  So I didn’t have a clue what or who I was looking for, and I had been too embarrassed the previous night to show up my complete ignorance and ask.

Instead, I opted for making a bit of an idiot out of myself in front of a complete stranger in the record shop.  I sang bits of the song to him.  Luckily it was very high in the charts, so he recognised it despite my subpar performance.

The fascination: the story in the lyrics!
Having got it home, I put in on play non-stop for something like three weeks.  Why’s that, you ask?  Well, it wasn’t just to do with having shared a dance with my crush.  The lyrics drew me in and didn’t let me go.  This is where it all started, my obsession with lyrics!  Anyway, here it is… I hope you enjoy.  The sentiment of the song is eternal, I feel, even though the actual historical circumstances have (thankfully) changed dramatically.

The insight: rock meets classic
Last but not least, I frequently rant on about how rock music and classical music aren’t actually a million miles apart. I often cite Verdi’s Requiem as a case in point, but consider this! Russians uses the Romance theme from the Lieutenant Kijé Suite by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev! Just for the love it, I attach a link for the theme as well… and you can see how amazingly skilfully Sting used this music in his own work. Rock on!

Russians by Sting

In Europe and America, there’s a growing feeling of hysteria
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets
Mr. Krushchev said we will bury you
I don’t subscribe to this point of view
It would be such an ignorant thing to do
If the Russians love their children too

How can I save my little boy from Oppenheimer’s deadly toy
There is no monopoly in common sense
On either side of the political fence
We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

There is no historical precedent
To put the words in the mouth of the President
There’s no such thing as a winnable war
It’s a lie we don’t believe anymore
Mr. Reagan says we will protect you
I don’t subscribe to this point of view
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us, me, and you
Is if the Russians love their children too

PS: I feel I ought to say “thank you” to Sting here for teaching me invaluable phrases. You would not believe the surprise on my English teacher’s face when, challenged during a class discussion, I offered a nonchalant, “Well, I don’t subscribe to this point of view.” :-)

Here’s the vid:

 

And here’s the Romance theme from the Lieutenant Lieutenant Kijé Suite by Prokofiev. It’s very quiet, so listen carefully… :-)

So, hand on heart: what do you feel when you hear this song? Does it give you goosebumps?

Nicky Reviews Rock presents: THE HUSH Video Debut

Only a few short weeks ago, it was my tremendous pleasure to introduce you to THE HUSH right here on Nicky Reviews Rock.  You may recall that there was talk of an upcoming video for a new song…  Well, here it is in all its splendid glory!!  Hope you enjoy, and let me know what you think! Rock on :-) xx

 

Nicky Reviews Rock Proudly Presents: THE HUSH

Welcome to the fifth edition of Nicky Reviews Rock, bringing you interviews and album reviews from rock bands around the world… with an extra special place for new and emerging talent.  Rock On!

Today, it is my great pleasure to welcome THE HUSH. If you’re looking for rock with a difference, something unique and amazing, look no further. In this feature, find an introduction to THE HUSH, kindly provided by the band itself; an album review written by yours truly (me!); and an interview. Grab a cuppa or something stronger, sit back, and enjoy. And for the really authentic experience, check out those links and have a listen while you read!


MEET THE HUSH

Original, fresh, infectious and in-charge, THE HUSH is a five piece rock band delivering pop sensibility combined with musical artistry and thought provoking lyrics filled with plenty of attitude.  Lead singer Jazmine Giovanni embodies rock & roll by commanding the stage with seductive allure while slicing the air with her astounding range and powerhouse voice.  Their music is bonafide hard rock yet doesn’t neglect dynamics.  “Our style has landed us in a unique spot,” explains Lee Landrum, lead guitarist and founder of the band. “Full of surprises, some of our songs start out with melodic innocence then, suddenly, full-blown energy takes over.”

THE HUSH was born in 2009 and immediately were off and running, throwing themselves into writing/ recording/debuting their EP, Scene of the Crime, while playing acclaimed Los Angeles venues such as The Viper Room, Troubadour, House of Blues and more.  With each show came more and more followers and buzz.

Individually the members of THE HUSH have been performing/writing/recording for years with notable artists including Gwen Stefani, KISS and Miley Cyrus.  Playing with various artists throughout the Country, they have also performed on The Tonight Show, The View, Good Morning America and at Coachella and SXSW.  While each member of THE HUSH stands on their own, together they are a force of nature.

Give it a minute. With more to come, THE HUSH tells Nicky Reviews Rock that the band is about to get louder:

***’Tip of the Tongue’, new single, now on iTunes. Link available at www.THEHUSHrockband.com

***’Hold You Down’, new single, to be released early March.

***’Hold You Down’ video release event scheduled for March 30 at Key Club in Hollywood. Details about the show available soon at www.THEHUSHrockband.com

THE HUSH ALBUM REVIEW: SCENE OF THE CRIME

When I downloaded this album, the first thing that struck me was the unusual cover.  No black background here, no ‘traditional’ rock images.  Instead, a soft-edged, white-and-grey picture of a woman’s face and hand, making the classic ‘hush’ gesture:  finger on lips.  It’s a very impactful image, universally recognised, and aptly captures the name of the band.  But what about the album title:  ‘Scene of the Crime’?  That would suggest violence, something bad that happened.  Why must we be quiet (Hush!) about it?  What kind of crime was being committed?

I rarely find myself quite so intrigued by an album cover, and with all the seeming contradictions going on, I wasn’t sure quite what to expect.  Well, what I got was strong, engaging rock with haunting melodies and tantalising beats.  Success!

The opening track, ‘So Hollywood’, instantly had me grooving.  After a powerful intro come clear, carrying vocals.  The instruments pull back a little to give me the full impact of that voice, but by the chorus, the band is rocking with strong riffs and a good beat.  The overall effect is… unexpected, distinctive and unique.  I like the way in which the vocals and guitar work together, echoing each other, continuing each other’s themes.  The next track, ‘Touch and Go’ has a gritty feel to it, and I mean that in a good way.  There are strong guitars and a powerful rhythm, and always that juxtaposition between an all-out chorus and the slightly gentler verses, where the emphasis is on the melody and the voice.  And so it continues; I am hooked!  ‘Queen of Sheba’ starts off hard and fast with instant sing-along value:  Kiss!  Kiss!  Kiss!  Half-way through, we are treated to another slower, seductive, lyrical moment with a beautiful melody.  This is my kind of music!  If you’re looking for a fantastic guitar intro, check out ‘Fire Lights the Way.’  My favourite track is possibly ‘See God Tonight’.  It has a lovely, rolling drum rhythm and a slightly bluesy undertone, but it’s particularly the lyrics that capture my attention here.

So let’s talk about lyrics.  Lyrics matter to me, greatly.  If I can’t connect to the lyrics, I can’t connect to the music.  In this regard, THE HUSH has two fabulous things going for it.  First of all, the vocals are clear and the lyrics can mostly be easily understood.  This is an instant winner for me.  And secondly, there are the lyrics themselves.  In my humble opinion, THE HUSH is tackling some slightly unusual subjects and each song tells a story.  There’s the lady of the night who has started to care about one particular man; but does he give a damn (Touch and Go)?  And there’s the unsure believer who’d like some certainty (See God Tonight).  These are lyrics that draw you in and get you thinking, and they’re married extremely well with the music that delivers and supports them.

THE HUSH, ‘Scene of the Crime’:  A distinctive, unique and engaging rock album featuring powerful vocals, great instrumentals and beautiful lyrics.  I thoroughly recommend listening!

But why not listen for yourself?  Follow these links to listen to SEE GOD TONIGHT or TOUCH AND GO.  Enjoy!

AND HERE COMES… THE BIG INTERVIEW WITH THE HUSH!!!

It is with tremendous delight that I introduce today my very special guest, THE HUSH!  Welcome to Nicky Reviews Rock!  I stumbled across you on Twitter and am delighted to meet you ‘in depth’ today.  As always, I’d love to find out about the people behind the music as well as the music itself.  You guys have very kindly offered to answer a few questions this here new fan has for you, so here goes… 

NRR:  First of all, I love the band history you sent me; that’s an impressive story!  I am wondering whether you might tell me a little bit more about how you met and how THE HUSH band was born? 

LL: I worked with Andrew, Blake and Greg on another project a few years back.  We always had a good vibe so when that project concluded (Dec. 08) we decided to continue together.   We played around with some new ideas and, after a couple months, started looking for a singer.  Blake brought in Jazmine one day and that was it.  We knew she was the perfect match.  The five of us have been running fast ever since.

NRR:  Congratulations on a fantastic album, ‘Scene of the Crime’.  Tell me a little about the dynamics behind making this album… is there a chief songwriter? 

JG: I write all the melodies and lyrics.  How I come to both of those varies from song to song.  Sometimes Lee will bring in a riff or a chord progression and the boys will mold it and arrange it into a byte that I can take home and write around.  Other times I have my ideas pretty well set and they write around them.  But the songs as a whole are really a group effort, each member contributing quite of bit creatively.

NRR:  Unusally, there is no title track as such… Yet ‘Scene of the Crime’ is picked up in ‘Fire Lights the Way’.  Would you like to tell us more about your album title, and the connection between the song and the album title (if there is one)? 

JG: You are right.  Scene of the Crime is a lyric in ‘Fire Lights the Way’, which was the first song we wrote as a band.  It was very fitting, this LP being the origin of our path together as a band, that it be named for a lyric in our first song.  Sort of “it started here.”

NRR:  Who did you all listen to (still listen to, perhaps) when you’re not making your own music?  Any particular influences or idols? 

LL:  If you asked every member is the band this question there would be a list of influences a mile long.  Music is our life, when not creating our own we listen to others, go to concerts and clubs – basically soak it in.  For me personally, any great guitar player in the zone is an inspiration.  I’ll leave it at that and let Jazmine share her specific favourites.

JG:  I grew up in a varied musical scene.  My dad was a jazz drummer and I spent 10 years in the Opera as a child so my taste and influences cover the spectrum; Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Puccini, George Michael, Freddie Mercury, Prince, Whitney, NIN, Def Leppard, Dream Theater, Chaka Khan, Marvin Gaye all had a significant impact.  Right now I’m listening to Mutemath, Jane’s Addiction, Bon Iver, Scissor Sisters.

NRR:  As you might know from previous editions of NRR, lyrics matter to me.  Greatly!  Your lyrics are thoughtful and thought-provoking, and deal with quite different subject matters than one might perhaps expect of hard rock.  I’m thinking “Touch and Go”, I’m thinking “Queen of Sheba”.  Who’s in charge of lyrics?  And:  what comes first, the lyrics, or the music? 

JG:  I’m glad you are enjoying them.  It’s interesting—when I write alone, the music and lyrics seem to present themselves together, as though already married.  With the boys, they give me something musically to work with and I write to the vibe; what the chords are suggesting and what it seems to want to say.

NRR:  Why ‘The HUSH’?  Your music is anything but… is it that juxtaposition that intrigued you?  What’s the story here? 

JG:  I love the story of our name and I find that because it’s a total juxtaposition, I love it even more.  I come from a theatrical background.  Every show has a life of its own and a different personality.  But there is always a commonality to each performance.  As the house lights dim and the audience begins to settle in right before the start of the show, there is a moment of hush.  It’s a quiet shared by the audience and the players on stage that only lasts a second, but that is THE HUSH.  We thought it was apropos.

NRR: I daresay that ‘HUSH’ of anticipation is present even in a rock concert when the house lights go down… blink and you’ll miss it, but it is there, before the cheers erupt. Thanks for sharing, this is fascinating!

NRR:  What’s the most musically complex song you’ve ever made?  Do you all have a favourite song—and if so, which one and why?

LL:  ‘When the Night Comes’ is probably most complex.  The chords in the verse are a combination of both guitars and the bass—meaning, the three of us playing different lines to make up one chord progression.  My personal favourite is ‘See God’ because it reminds me of the experience of night surfing alone.  Right before paddling out, everything in the water and the air has a mysterious feel, just like the verse.  When catching the wave there is a powerful burst of energy, like the chorus.  The haunting drum beat is much like the adrenaline pumping through my heart.  That song is in my head almost every time I paddle out in the dark.

NRR:  Where do you see yourself going next?  Do you have plans for more albums?  Any plans for going global?

LL:  We really want to get out on the road.  Global, absolutely.  Since coming together we’ve been writing, recording and, with Hollywood in our backyard, playing local shows at the same time.  We are so lucky that ‘local’ includes great clubs like The Viper Room, House of Blues, The Troubadour, The Roxy—some of the greatest places to play on Earth.  We will always continue to write so, yes, more albums on the way.  We just released a single, ‘Tip of the Tongue;, and have two more coming in the next couple months—‘Hold You Down’ in March and ‘Hanging by a Thread’ in April.  We are putting the finishing touches on the video for ‘Hold You Down; and are going to debut that March 30 at Key Club in Hollywood.  This is our first video, big milestone to celebrate so we are really looking forward to this show.

NRR:  And finally!  In my rock star romance, Sophie’s Turn, rock singer Dan reassures Sophie that ‘what goes on tour, stays on tour.’  Would you mind sharing the weirdest, funniest, scariest or most bizarre thing that ever happened to THE HUSH on tour or during a show? 

JG:  I think Dan has it right.  Why break the code?

LL:  Agree, what happens on tour stays on tour.

NRR:  I guess I asked for that… :-) But now I really wonder what you guys get up to! XX

Thanks so much to Jazmine and Lee for your time and for sharing such fascinating insights.  I love the whole idea of ‘The Hush’ and you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be listening out for it—and the band—and pointing it—and the band—out to anyone who cares to listen.  I wish you every success with your song launches, video launch party (how I wish I could be there) and future album.  And when you go global, I look forward to seeing you in the UK!! “Rock on…”

Visit THE HUSH on their website, follow THE HUSH on Twitter or on Facebook. Find sample tracks and more information about THE HUSH on Reverbnation.  And last but not least, you can get your copy of “Scene of the Crime” and all the new tracks on iTunes and CD baby.

A spot of housekeeping:  all information, photos and links used with artist’s permission.