Posts Tagged hollywood

Camp Freddy Live at the Roxy and Gearing Up for the West of Memphis Soundtrack

Dave Navarro interviewing author Damien Echols

Dave Navarro interviewing author Damien Echols

Apparently his week-long run performing as the titular character in the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Roxy in November was not enough for Donovan Leitch.  This Thursday, the 20th, Donovan returns to the famous Hollywood club as Camp Freddy begin their sixth annual holiday residency.  As expected the three consecutive nights sold out as fans eagerly await not only the band, but also the unexpected guests who join them.  Given that Camp Freddy’s members are the aforementioned actor / singer Donovan Leitch, Billy Morrison (The Cult, Billy Idol band), Matt Sorum (Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver, The Cult, Neurotic Outsiders), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) and Jane’s Addiction’s Dave Navarro and Chris Chaney, it is not a surprise that there are many friends of the band that join them to perform.  Considering that guests have included Billy Idol, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols (who was also Sorum’s band mate in Neurotic Outsiders), Slash, Kid Rock, Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Macy Grey, there is no telling who will show up to join the band on stage.

For those of us who were unable to get tickets for the show, we can get through the season knowing that we can purchase the soundtrack for West of Memphis which will include Camp Freddy’s cover of David Bowie’s “The Jean Genie.”  The documentary film, directed by Amy J. Berg (the Academy Award nominated Deliver Us from Evil), follows the case of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr., collectively known as the “West Memphis Three.”  Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley, Jr. were arrested and convicted as teenagers for the murders of three children in West Memphis, AR in the mid-nineties.  Although DNA evidence collected ultimately exonerated the trio, they spent 18 years in jail, with Echols serving a death sentence, while Baldwin and Misskelley received life imprisonment sentences. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the soundtrack will be used to raise funds for the exoneration of Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley, Jr.

Damien Echols, one of the producers of West of Memphis, released his critically acclaimed autobiography, Life After Death, earlier this year.

West of Memphis will be in selected theaters on Tuesday, December 25th.  The soundtrack will be released through Sony Legacy on January 15, 2013.

Here’s a look back at some previous Camp Freddy shows to get you pumped up for this weekend’s Christmas residency at the Roxy. If you make it to the shows, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below. Or post a link to your photos and videos of the Camp Freddy shows!

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The Jonas Brothers Announce South American Tour Dates

I feel remiss in the fact that I never completed my review of the Jonas Brothers concerts that took place at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre just after Thanksgiving. However, anytime seems like a good time to discuss the former Disney darlings doesn’t it? Before I pontificate on the merits and possibly demerits of the Jonas Brothers, let me disclose that one of the many, many hats I wear in life is that of a parent to a nearly twelve-year-old daughter who adores the Jonas Brothers.  So while I have covered their events in the past as a member of the media, I am pretty much always looking at them from a dual perspective – photographing and/or reviewing their live performances or latest CD while simultaneously watching the experience through the eyes of my daughter.

Let’s get down to business then, the Jonas Brothers are back! It’s been more than three years since their last studio album, 2009’s Lines, Vines and Trying Times. The Brothers have been hard at work in the studio on their as yet untitled fifth studio album scheduled for release in early 2013. Individually the brothers have been busy during the past 3 years with Nick releasing his solo effort, Who I Am as Nick Jonas and the Administration, testing out the waters in the theater world with performances in Les Misérables, Hairspray and Broadway’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Joe Jonas  released his solo effort, Fastlife. Both brothers did some touring with their solo releases while older brother Kevin got married to longtime girlfriend Danielle Deleasa and enjoyed life with his new bride. Eventually they brought their newlywed adventures to a TV screen near you in E!’s reality show Married to Jonas which has just been picked up for a 2nd season.

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The boys that ruled the Disney airwaves grew into young men, and parted ways with Disney during their hiatus from being a band while Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and One Direction took over the world of teen angst in their place.  2012 saw the Jonas Brothers return to the touring world, offering fans just a smattering of tour dates around the globe including places like Moscow, Russia, New York City, the Philippines and finally a stretch of sold out shows at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, CA along with an appearance at KIIS FM‘s annual Jingle Ball.

The question that comes to mind – do the Jonas Brothers still have what it takes? Fickle teen hearts moved on to worship Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber and One Direction. Would they return to the fold to see what Kevin, Joe and Nick have to offer now? Will they still dance to those “old” songs? Will they embrace the news songs debuted at these live shows – “Wedding Bells”, an ode to ex-flame Miley Cyrus penned by the younger Jonas, Nick. A track called “First Time” which Joe joked was about “the first time, you, uh, eat food” at the Pantages show. The answer so far is yes, for the most part, the fans have flocked back to the trio of brothers and the shrieks still threaten to break the sound barrier as the screen goes up to start their show.

The thought that has bounced around in my head though is the age-old game teenagers play with their peers. Why is it that teenagers must “hate” on each others musical tastes? Does it stem from the lack of confidence, struggle to fit in, the need to be popular or some sort of jealousy? I have friends who grew up in the 1960’s and described to me how it was either the Beatles or the Stones, you were an oddball if you liked both. I experienced it as a teenager in the 1980’s when the kids at school teased you for loving Duran Duran or Depeche Mode because those bands sucked in their opinion. How long does it take for one to mature enough to simply respect their friend’s choice in music? Personally, I’m happy that so far my daughter doesn’t change her mind on which bands she likes to listen to with the day of the week. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this teenage phenomenon in the comments below.

In conclusion, for those that do enjoy seeing the Jonas Brothers live in concert (which we certainly do), they have just announced the first of their 2013 tour dates – a trek through Latin America that kicks off in February. Fan club tickets and VIP packages are available now via the Jonas Brothers website with public on sales to follow through Ticketmaster. Here are the dates:

February 24, 2013: Simon Bolivar University USB, Caracas, VE
February 26, 2013: Vina Del Mar Festival, Vina Del Mar, CL
February 28, 2013: Movistar Arena, Santiago, CL
March 2, 2013: Carlos Paz Summer Event, Cordoba, AR (free concert!)
March 3, 2013: Estadio Ferrocarri Oeste/Atlanta, Buenos Aires, AR
March 5, 2013: Estadio Tahuichi Aguilera, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, BO
March 10, 2013: Credicard Hall, Sao Paulo, BR
March 12, 2013: Citibank Hall, Rio De Janeiro, BR
March 14, 2013: Pepsi on Stage, Porto Alegre, BR
March 17, 2013: Yacht Club Del Paraguay, Asuncion, PY
March 19, 2013: Velodrome, Montevideo, UY
March 21, 2013: Paseo Cayala, Guatemala City, GT

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Robert Downey Jr., Gene Simmons, Sean Penn and Jodie Foster Join Forces for Charity

The spirit of holiday giving is going full swing in Hollywood. Golden Globe winner & Academy Award nominee Robert Downey Jr., GRAMMY winner Gene Simmons of KISS,  along with Academy Award winners Sean Penn, Mel Gibson, and Jodie Foster join forces to support Mending Kids International next Saturday, December 1st as they take part in the Four Kings & An Ace poker tournament at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, CA.

A limited number of tickets to play poker with the celebrity guests as well as spectator tickets are still available. Event tickets can be purchased here. The tournament will take place inside the Gordon Ramsay restaurant at the London West Hollywood.

The evening proceeds benefit children worldwide who are in need of life-changing surgical care. Over the years, thousands of children have received corrective, transformational surgeries that have given them a chance at longer, healthier and happier lives. Most of the surgeries performed are to correct congenital heart defects, orthopedic abnormalities, severe scoliosis, and significant cranial facial deformities.

Robert Downey Jr has just wrapped filming on MARVEL’s Iron Man 3, due in theaters May 2013 while Sean Penn stars in the upcoming Gangster Squad, due in theaters January 11, 2013.

Sponsors of the evening include Variety, the London West Hollywood, Morgan’s Jeweler’s, Gibson’s ICON films and more.

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John Taylor In the Pleasure Groove

Bass Player Live! 2012 hosted Duran Duran‘s John Taylor in an interview with journalist Tom Sykes followed by a reading, Q and A session and book signing in support of his just released autobiography, In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran at SIR Studios over the weekend in Hollywood, CA.

From Dutton, “With Duran Duran, John Taylor has created some of the greatest music of our time. From the disco dazzle of debut single ‘Planet Earth’ right up to their latest number one album, All You Need is Now, Duran Duran has always had the power to sweep the world onto its feet.

It’s been a ride – and for John in particular, the ride has been wild, thrilling… and dangerous. Now, for the first time, he tells his incredible story. A tale of dreams fulfilled, lessons learned and demons conquered.

A shy only child, Nigel John Taylor wasn’t an obvious candidate for pop stardom and frenzied girl panic. But when he ditched his first name and picked up a bass guitar, everything changed. John Formed Duran Duran with his friend Nick Rhodes in the summer of 1978, and they were soon joined by Roger Taylor, then Andy Taylor and finally Simon Le Bon. Together they were an immediate, massive global success story, their pictures on millions of walls, every single a worldwide hit.

In his frank, compelling autobiography, John recounts the highs –hanging out with icons like Bowie, Warhol and even James Bond; dating Vogue models and driving fast cars – all the while playing hard with the band he loved. But there were tough battles ahead – troubles that brought him to the brink of self-destruction – before turning his life around.

Told with humor, honesty and hard-won wisdom, and packed with exclusive pictures, In the Pleasure Groove is a fascinating, irresistible portrait of a man who danced into the fire… and came through the other side”

Below is a selection of images from the event.

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The book is available now via Amazon in hard cover, paperback and Kindle versions. Barnes & Noble also offers an e-book for Nook and of course Apple offers it for every “i” device known to Duran kind – iTunes, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch. Don’t forget the independent book sellers in your city either! I grabbed my copy from the historic Hollywood book seller, Book Soup. Why not pick a few copies for friends and start crossing items off the Christmas list?

John Taylor continues his promotional tour for the book this week in Los Angeles with additional stops listed below. Don’t miss your chance to have this tale of rock & roll signed by the author himself!

10/24- Los Angeles, CA @ Book Soup at Cinespace (Book Signing, Interview and Audience Q&A, with book co-author Tom Sykes)
10/25- San Francisco, CA @ San Francisco Art Institute (Book Signing, Interview and Audience Q&A)
10/26- Austin, TX @ The Scottish Rite Theater (Book Signing, Interview and Audience Q&A)
10/29- Toronto, ON, CAN @ Indigo Bookstore (Book Signing, Interview and Audience Q&A)
10/30- Chicago, IL @ City Winery Chicago (Book Signing, Interview and Audience Q&A)

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Soundgarden Fans Rejoice

by Jade Robledo

Soundgarden fans rejoice!

The first recording from the rock band in 15 years has now been made available as a free download on iTunes.  “Live to Rise” is the first single to be released from the upcoming soundtrack to MARVEL’s the Avengers, which will be titled Avengers Assemble and scheduled to be released on May 1st via Hollywood Records.  Also available as part of the free download of the single is an exclusive clip from the film due May 4th.

The band is known for being a seminal band of the Seattle / “grunge” era of rock in the early 90s.  Their greatest success came with the release of their album Superunknown, which debuted at number 1 on the Billboard charts in 1994.  The release featured “Black Hole Sun” and “Spoonman,” both of which won Grammys for Best Hard Rock Performance and Best Metal Performance in 1995 respectively.

In 1997 Soundgarden broke up due to creative differences.  Lead singer Chris Cornell recorded three solo albums, Euphoria Morning, Carry On, and Scream.  Cornell also recorded three albums with Audioslave, which also featured then-former Rage Against the Machine band members Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk.  Known for the singles “Cochise,” “Like a Stone” and “Show Me How to Live,” Audioslave also cited creative differences when they broke up in 2007.

Guitarist Kim Thayil played on tracks for Steve Fisk and Dave Grohl’s side-project Probot.  Ben Shepherd played bass on releases by Tony Iommi and Mark Lanegan.

Matt Cameron continued to drum in his side-project Wellwater Conspiracy that he began in 1993, a project that included a 1997 release featuring lead vocals by Ben Shepherd.  He also contributed drums on “For Martha” on the Smashing Pumpkins’ 1998 album Adore before accepting the invitation from Pearl Jam to fill in for Jack Irons on their US tour.  He has since joined the band as an official member.

In 2010 the band announced via Twitter that they were reuniting for live shows.  In 2011 Cornell confirmed that they would be heading into the studio to record a new album.  “Live to Rise” marks the first release since the reformation.

Soundgarden will hit the road in late May to join the European summer festival circuit including Donington’s Download Festival in June. Additional tour dates and more information can be found on Soundgarden’s web site.

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Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth launch the Avengers in Hollywood

by Cindy Robinson

Actors Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth launched MARVEL’s the Avengers in Hollywood Wednesday night. This May, Marvel Studios brings to life the super hero team up of a lifetime featuring iconic Marvel super heroes with Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins to assemble the ultimate super hero team.

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The star-studded premiere brought out the cast of the Avengers along with Clark Gregg and Jennifer Grey, director Joss Whedon, producer Kevin Feige, Jon Favreau, Dancing With the Stars cast members Karina Smirnoff and Chelsie Hightower, LOST and Lord of the Rings star Dominic Monaghan, Alexander Skarsgård, Harry Dean Stanton, Aisha Tyler, Seth Green,  Chris Cornell and Soundgarden who wrote the original song for the movie “Live to Rise”.

Directed by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963. Look for this blockbuster by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures to break box office records on May 4th.

For more information on the Avengers please visit Marvel’s the Avengers to view trailers, grab exclusive downloads and buy your movie tickets.

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2011 in Photos – A Look Back at Bruno Mars, Duran Duran, INXS and U2

by Cindy Robinson

Here we are at the end of the first week of 2012 and I wanted to do a post on my favorite photos of 2011 from the various rock & roll events I attended last year. While the list was small in comparison to years past, I still had the opportunity to see some great live bands.

I feel like I’ve conquered the technology mountain to get to this little post I want to share with the world. Laptop software issues continue to plague me as do the internet connectivity issues (do we hear a New Year’s resolution here?? Solve the tech issues in 2012!) and when I finally made it over these hurdles, I learned that WordPress blogs typically don’t support embedding slide shows from Picnik. Say what? I battled computer issues, stayed up until wee hours working on my slide show and my blog won’t host it?

Thankfully the information superhighway quickly led me to information that allowed me to solve this issue. I discovered Vodpod which allows you to embed your Picnik slide show into your WordPress blog. Shazam! It isn’t perfect, it’s much smaller in scale than the original so I feel some detail is lacking but I’m happy I was able to embed it and share with readers.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Let’s get down to the subject at hand – 2011 in photos. Wow, narrowing down a plethora of images shot over the past year turned out to be a daunting task. I intended to pull just one image from each event but soon found that impossible as image after image drew me in. So I grabbed my favorites and went from there.

For me, 2011  included live shows from the likes of  My Chemical Romance, Bruno Mars, Brian Setzer, Duran Duran, Honor Society (a band my daughter really enjoys who rose to fame as the opening band on the Jonas Brothers tour in 2009),   INXS , a book signing by Guns n’ Roses Duff McKagan and the long postponed U2 at Angels Stadium show finally came to fruition!

My Chemical Romance were incredible as their live show is always an intense throbbing mass of music loving people. This was our first time seeing Bruno Mars and it definitely won’t be our last. His live show was amazing, just non-stop energy from start to finish. The audience was also amazing – a complete mash-up of every type, size and age of concert goer imaginable. Brian Setzer always puts on a great live show too!

Duran Duran are my favorite band so my opinion of them will always be biased and I always enjoy seeing them live! Their Unstaged performance directed by David Lynch at the Mayan Theatre in Los Angeles in early 2011 really kicked it up a notch though when they added a list of special guests for their show that included Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, Beth Ditto of the Gossip and super producer Mark Ronson.

INXS breezed through the USA for a short summer tour before singer J.D. Fortune departed the band for a second time. INXS look to be back on track for 2012 though with their new Irish singer, Ciaran Gribbin. Youtube footage shows his performances to be of a more mellow variety with awkward dance moves but I’ll wait to fully assess the new line up until I see it for myself. He’s got big shoes to fill and it takes time to grow into a role of that magnitude.

Then there was U2! I think there are few people who would dispute the awesome spectacle that is a live U2 show. This show seemed especially sweet to me as I had originally purchased my tickets in November 2009 and the show ended up being postponed due to Bono’s emergency back surgery and subsequent recovery. Finally, in June of 2011, they rolled back into town and blew us all away. U2 with Lenny Kravitz were worth the wait!

It’s always hard to narrow down the list of favorite shows, to choose just one for the top spot. Even though my list was much shorter than normal for 2011 (darn bad economy!) it didn’t make things any easier. I know I can cross My Chemical Romance off the contenders list because their record release show at the House of Blues in Hollywood in November of 2010 was their best to date that I have seen.

After thinking long and hard about it, I narrowed down my top choices to U2 and Bruno Mars. U2 live is so much more than just a rock & roll concert but ultimately I’d have to award the top slot to singer Bruno Mars. It was refreshing to see an artist I hadn’t seen before and to be thoroughly excited and energized by the set.

What were some of your favorite shows you saw in 2011? Who are you looking forward to seeing live in 2012? Are we all jazzed for the return of Van Halen in 2012? 80’s icon Adam Ant is due to tour the USA for the first time in 15 years! Preliminary tour buzz shows his fans are coming out of the woodwork like crazy. INXS are set to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their iconic Kick album. 2011 breakout band, Foster the People are scheduled to hit the road hard during 2012 moving up to larger venues as they trek across America. And it’s almost time for the big Coachella announcement! Who will they get for 2012?

2011 in Photos, posted with vodpod

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Camp Freddy Gears Up for Christmas 2010 Residency

by Cindy Robinson

Camp Freddy is gearing up for their annual Christmas residency, a series of club shows in Los Angeles that always feature a diverse rock & roll lineup with an equally eclectic audience packed in to see their performances.

The band, consisting of guitarist Billy Morrison (Billy Idol band, the Cult), Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction, Rockstar: INXS), Matt Sorum (Guns & Roses, Velvet Revolver), Donovan Leitch and Chris Chaney have released their teaser, showing highlights from 2009’s Christmas residency at the Roxy.

The Christmas 2010 dates will be released soon so keep an eye on what Dave Navarro and Billy Morrison have to say! Previous guests have included Steve Stevens, Chester Bennington, Macy Gray, Steve Jones, Travis Barker, Chrissie Hynde, Cypress Hill, Billy Idol, Steven Tyler, Joan Jett and the list goes on and on. You never know who will show up to these shows! They are almost guaranteed to sell out so be sure to grab a ticket quickly.

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Billy Idol Rocks the Palladium

Photos & story by Cindy Robinson

Here’s a link to the Billy Idol show we covered recently. Please pardon our dust as we get set up in a shiny new home, with a new name but the same great coverage and more to come!

Billy Idol

Billy Idol

Billy Morrison

Billy Morrison

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