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by Amy Harris 10.06.2011
Posted In: Interview, Live Music at 10:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Q&A with Gavin Rossdale of Bush

Bush was the peak of Alternative music success in the mid and late ’90s. After an eight year break, the band reformed with as fresh a sound as they ever have provided. From its first No. 1 album, Razorblade Suitcase, Bush was an unstoppable force until its split in 2002. In 2010, lead singer Gavin Rossdale put the band back together and Bush recently released its fifth studio album, The Sea of Memories. CityBeat caught up with Rossdale to preview the band’s concert with Chevelle and Filter this Friday at Riverbend's PNC Pavilion. We discussed the process of putting the band back together, the current tour. R.E.M.'s breakup and how his turbulent upbringing impacts his songwriting.

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by Amy Harris 07.24.2012
Posted In: Interview, Live Music at 10:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Q&A with Motorhead's Phil Campbell

Motörhead are Metal gods. They’ve been rocking arenas and stadiums for 37 years and are currently out on the Mayhem Tour with Anthrax and other major acts of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock. They’ve released 21 albums and have played in front of millions across the world with the loyal support of their super-fans, the Motörheadbangers.

CityBeat spoke with guitar player Phil Campbell to preview their set today Riverbend. They spoke about how life in the band continues to thrive on the road after so many years and his impressive collection of guitars. Mayhem Fest will rock Cincinnati Tuesday and will also feature Anthrax, Slayer, Slipknot and The Devil Wears Prada.

CityBeat: What has been the craziest story from Mayhem so far for you guys?

Phil Campbell: We had a good party the other night. It was a costume party. All our band and crew went dressed pretty strange. There were quite a few strange costumes there. I think Lemmy and his assistant went as the Blues Brothers. I dressed as a clown. Mickey dressed as a frog. One of our crew dressed as Larry King. That was pretty good. It was a good party anyway. We are just too busy to get wild at the moment. 

CB: You guys are famous for your pranks on the road. Have you played any pranks on any of the other bands yet?

PC: No not yet. We leave that for the end.

CB: What is the best and worst part of being out on the road now? You guys have been touring for 30 years. 

PC: You are home for three weeks and then you are ready to come on the road for two months. You are dying get back home. We are not really complainers. One of the worst parts obviously is not having your family there, home comforts and your dogs and things like that. The food can be tough because you really don’t have much choice. That’s not particularly good. The best part is you don’t have to get up early in the morning anymore. We sleep in until really late so that’s very cool.

CB: What is your favorite guitar to play?

PC: My favorite guitar? I just bought a 1957 Les Paul a couple weeks ago so that is probably my favorite now.

CB: I know you have over 260. Do you rotate them in during the shows or do you pretty much stick with the same ones for the live performances?

PC: No I have about 12 on the road at any given time, so sometimes I rotate a couple. Some of the real amazing ones I don’t really want to take on the road. They are safer in different storage locations, but I have plenty to choose from.

CB: Any regrets through the years?

PC: No, not really, none. It has been pretty good. It has been a privilege to be able to play music for people who enjoy our music. No, no major regrets, no.

CB: Supergroups are very popular right now with bands like Chickenfoot and musicians doing side projects. If you could put together a dream supergroup who would you want to play with from any band?

PC: Elton John, Adam Jones from Tool, David Bato on the drums and Victor Wooten on bass.

CB: That’s pretty good. I know your children are also in bands. Have you thought about recording with them anytime in the future?

PC: Yeah, they are doing really good. I have some children in a band called Straight Lines. They have their second album out and they are doing lots of shows. They have great reviews in all the magazines and everything. Hopefully they will be doing the Warped Tour next summer. Another is in a band called Inside the Trees but they changed their name to The People’s Poet and they are recording their new album now, as we speak. It’s a quite different kind of music. They have their own sound as well. They are all doing really well.

CB: Do you ever play with them?

PC: I used to when they were younger but they won’t let me play anymore. I’m not good enough. 

CB: They tell me you are a Lord. How did that process come about to become Lord Axesmith? 

PC: I applied. The title goes back 500 years, Lord of Axesmith. It’s on my credit cards now and everything. I am an honorary member of the Knight’s Templar of Brittannia. It is a bit of fun when the crew has to call me “My Lord.”

CB: I was going to ask you what the best part is of being a Lord but that’s probably it, people have to address you as Lord. 

PC: When we are at restaurants and they ask for the name of the party, if you say Lord Axesmith then you know they will give you a good table. Even before I became Lord Axesmith, I was told it did the trick. 

CB: What can the fans look forward to from the Motörhead show in Cincinnati on Tuesday?

PC: Just another killer Motörhead show. It is only going to be about 50 minutes long because we have to have all the other bands on. So it will be loud and nobody will be disappointed.

 
 
by Mike Breen 05.31.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 01:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Music Tonight: Chris Webby, Kofi Baker and More

Up-and-coming underground rapper Chris Webby performs tonight at downtown club Play. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $20 at the door. The show is open to all ages. Guests include GMB, Nynewest and hosts DJ Scholar and DJ Drowsy.

Webby is a Connecticut native (he has it tattooed on his chest; I'd move to Ohio if I were going to do that) who started rapping before high school and began to draw crowds at freestyle battles and with his popular mixtapes releases. Webby's built huge buzz in independent Hip Hop circles and has so far resisted signing a record deal. Click here to check out his mixtapes and other releases.

Webby recently tweeted that he's just recently boarded his plane to Cincy. "PLAY in Cincinnati is about to get real weird tonight," he added.



• Utah rockers The Used blast into Bogart's tonight. The 7:30 p.m. show is all ages and includes openers Stars In Stereo. Tickets are $25.

The Used's energized Post Hardcore style is sparked by vocalist Bert McCracken, whose stage antics are an unpredictable throwback to Rock & Roll's more dangerous frontmen (Iggy, etc.). The Used's latest album, Vulnerable, came out earlier this spring on Hopeless Records. The album hit No. 1 on the Top Independent Albums chart when released and made it to No. 8 on the Billboard 200.

Here's the video for The Used's single "I Come Alive."



• The song of legendary drummer Ginger Baker, Kofi, is bringing his Cream tribute band to Covington tonight for an 8 p.m., all-ages show at the Madison Theater. Kofi Baker formed Kofi Baker's Cream Experience after catching the Cream reunion in 2005 and deciding he'd like to pick up where the originals left off. In the Clapton role is Tony Spinner, a Rock/Blues singer and guitarist who was a member of Toto in the ’00s. Playing bass is another talented musician, Ric Fierabracci, who has performed with the likes of Chick Corea, Shakira and Yanni.

Kofi made his first live appearance when he was 6, playing with his pops on BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test in 1975. Here he is rocking with the Cream Experience in more recent years.



MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine has a free show tonight headlined by Canadian Electro Pop group Parallels. Showtime is 10 p.m. and like-minded locals Skeleton Hands also perform.

Parallels has drawn comparisons to New Order and singer Holly Dodson has been likened to singer Kate Bush and Madonna. The band was formed in 2008 by Dodson and Cameron Findlay, the former drummers for popular electronicists Crystal Castles.

Parallels sophomore full-length, XII, is due out June 26. Here's a clip for the band's song "Ultralight."



Click her for more music events around town tonight.

 
 
by Mike Breen 04.05.2012
Posted In: Local Music, Music News, Live Music at 12:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
 
 
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Former Southgate House Location Announces May Shows

The Thompson House books The Agrrolites and Smile Empty Soul

It looks like the Thompson House, the venue that is taking the place of the much-beloved Southgate House in Newport, will be open by May. Ticketweb has advanced tickets on sale now for a May 18 concert by trad Ska/Soul revivalists The Aggrolites and Punk Bluegrass band Old Man Markley, as well as a May 27 booking featuring "post Grunge" group Smile Empty Soul. Former Avail singer Tim Barry also has a May 12 booking in the "Parlour" listed on his website.

A lot of Southgate House diehards have made it clear they won't be attending anything at the "new" venue, staying loyal to the former owners and management, who promised a new "Southgate House" would be reopened by the first quarter of 2012. (For those not so good at math, the first quarter of 2012 ended this past Saturday.) Photos emerged online of some of the interior redesign going on in preparation for the Thompson House opening and it's been a bit of a gut-punch for those who loved the old House, with a gaudy purple and gold color scheme and a lot of the vintage appeal (and woodworking) stripped away. (Check out some pics on the Facebook of former SGH bartendress Kristen Kreft, also a local musician with the band The Perfect Children.)

So what say you? If the Thompson House books a show you really want to see, will you attend?
 
 
by Mike Breen 08.20.2012
 
 
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Jack White's Rolling Record Store Coming to MidPoint

Third Man Records traveling record shop to hit CMJ, Muddy Roots Festival and MPMF

One of the more popular features at this year's MidPoint Music Festival isn't a band or singer/songwriter — it's a truck. The "Rolling Record Store" used by (and stocked with releases from) Jack White's Third Man Records will be at MPMF Sept. 28 and 29, between visits to the Muddy Roots Festival and New York City's CMJ conference/fest.

An extension of White's tiny Third Man record store in Nashville (connected to his label's HQ), the record truck stocks all kinds of Third Man releases, including limited edition vinyl, as well as various Third Man merch. There is also reportedly a DJ station so visitors can spin tunes and a sound system was installed so that bands/musicians can plug in and play. White himself has performed a few times along the Rolling Store's travels (but it's not a guarantee).

The Third Man Records Rolling Record store — which debuted last year at South By Southwest in Austin, Tex. — will make a great addition to the growing MidPoint Midway, the outdoor area featuring vendors, a side-stage, poster exhibitions and other cool "pop up" projects. The bright-yellow truck even has local ties — it was built by Erlanger, Ky.'s C. Cook Enterprises, a car restoration and metal fabrication shop.

I visited White's Third Man headquarters in Nashville a few weeks ago and got to check out the cool merchandise on sale in that closet-sized shop. The Rolling Record Store was parked in the parking lot. I didn't get a tour, but even from the outside, it's a pretty striking vehicle (and I took a few photos, like the one above). Can't wait to see inside at the end of next month!

Here's White playing a "B show" (side gigs on his current solo tour) next to the truck during the recent Outside Lands Festival.

 
 
by Mike Breen 04.11.2013
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video, Music News at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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LISTEN: The National's First Two New Album Tracks (UPDATED)

Band releases "Demons," "Don't Swallow the Cap" from forthcoming 'Trouble Will Find Me'

The Cincinnati-born, Brooklyn-based members of Indie Rock sensations The National recently announced details about their first new album since 2010's High Violet, Trouble WIll Find Me. The album is due in the U.S. on May 21 on the 4AD label. (Click here for the album cover, track listing and more National news.)

Today, The National unleashed the first song from Trouble, the warm, crawling "Demons." Check the tune and a video for it below.


UPDATE: Today (April 11), The National released audio of the first single from Trouble Will Find Me, "Don't Swallow the Cap." Check it out:


The National perform a homecoming show on July 14, headlining the final night of the three-day Bunbury Music Festival at Sawyer Point Park. For tickets and more info, click here.

The National has been previewing the new album on its current global tour. Here are a handful of new songs from the LP performed live in Berlin last week.

 
 
by Amy Harris 08.19.2011
Posted In: Interview, Live Music at 10:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Q&A with Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks has truly enhanced and defined the role of women in Rock & Roll. She is the gold standard by which female lead singers in Rock bands will forever be measured against.  The defining voice behind Fleetwood Mac since the mid ’70s, she has also been able to separate and create a wonderful solo career, recently releasing her seventh album, In Your Dreams, which launched with great success, debuting in the Top 10 of the Billboard album chart. Nicks is currently on the road to promote her latest record and she comes through Cincinnati on Saturday night for a show at Riverbend's PNC Pavilion. We caught up with Stevie via email this week to discuss her upcoming tour stop in Cincinnati, the inspirations for her new album and what a typical day looks like for an iconic Rock star.

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by Amy Harris 07.23.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Interview at 10:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Q&A with Anthrax's Scott Ian

Anthrax has shaped the heavy metal movement in America. The band recently released its 10th studio album, Worship Music, which brings back the band’s early sound with the re-emergence of lead vocalist Joey Belladonna. I love heavy metal guitars, so it was a privilege to speak to one of the all time metal guitar greats, Scott Ian, to preview their performance at Mayhem Fest Tuesday at Riverbend Music Center.

CityBeat caught up with Ian to discuss the highlights of Mayhem so far and how being a father has changed his perspective on life and music.

CityBeat: What has been the highlight of Mayhem Fest so far for you?

Scott Ian: For me personally it is just the overall vibe. This is the first time we have done a U.S. festival traveling tour in the summer. We kind of knew what to expect since we are friends with Slayer, Slipknot and Motorhead, but it has been so much fun to hang with our friends. The crew and everyone who works with Mayhem have been great and it really is a big family vibe out here. It is a really great place to show up for work.

CB: What has it been like having Joey back the past few tours with the band?

SI: It’s been like two and a half years already. Hopefully that answers the question. It is obviously been going great. We couldn’t be happier with the record we made. We couldn’t be happier with the way shows have been going. I think this is by far the best version of Anthrax that we have ever had. 

CB: You became a father last year for the first time. Has this changed your perspective on writing music or life in general?

SI: I haven’t really written yet since he was born because we have been in touring mode. One way that my perspective overall has changed is now having this person in my life that I love beyond anything I can comprehend. It makes me hate the human race even more because of all the pressure that comes with raising a child and wanting to protect him. People ask what do you have to be angry about and there is plenty to be pissed off about now. Look at what happened in Colorado last night with the guy shooting people in a movie theater. It sickens me to the pit of my stomach for a million reasons. What if that was my child in the movie theater?

CB: It is terrible and it is beyond my comprehension how that can happen.

SI: Up until he was born, I had my wife and close family but they are adults and are responsible for themselves. Now we have this person that is 100 percent helpless and relies on us to take care of him, so there is this protective instinct that showed up as soon as he was born. I think that will have a big impact on my writing in the future when the time comes.

CB: Do they come visit you on the road?

SI: Yes they are here right now and have been with me for 10 days.

CB: What is the longest you have gone without playing guitar?

SI: Probably way back in 1977 when I broke my wrist at a skateboard park and I couldn’t play guitar for two months because I had a cast on. I was so bummed that I couldn’t play guitar that I pretty much gave up any type of fancy skateboarding on ramps or pools. The guitar was definitely more of a priority. 

CB: What is the biggest difference for you touring versus in the 1980s?

SI: Sometimes we sit around and talk about how did we ever get anything done before we had cell phones and laptops? In the ’80s no one even knew what a cell phone was. I remember the first time a tour manager had that big briefcase thing with a phone in it and it was something like $18 a minute to use it. The idea that we were able to do stuff back then and everything got done is amazing. I try to think about how it got done and I have no idea how we made it through one day let alone a whole tour without the technology.

CB: What habit would you like to break?

SI: I don’t know. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink excessively. My wife is saying talking with my mouth full so I guess I will go with that as a born and bred New Yorker.

CB: What adjectives do you hope describe you at 75?

SI: I hope when I am 75 no one has anything to say about me. I hope the only thing they say is “What ever happened to that guy?” because I am so far off the grid by that point.

CB: I doubt that will happen.

SI: No, we will probably still be playing music and people will say “I can’t believe he is still banging his head.”

CB: What has been your craziest fan story over the past few years?

SI: The craziest audiences in the world are in South America in Chile with the craziest fans overall. We do a signing every day at the Rockstar Energy Drink tent and we get to meet a lot of fans every day on this tour. Anyone who would get anything Anthrax related tattooed on their body is amazing to me. I can’t really call it too crazy because I have Gene Simmons and Angus from AC/DC tattooed on me. I understand that point of view of being such a fan that you would be willing to make that commitment but being the guy in Anthrax and seeing an Anthrax-related tattoo makes you feel great because I know the commitment and I know how much Anthrax must mean to them. 

CB: What is the best guitar solo of all time?

SI: Eddie Van Halen “Eruption.”

Anthrax performs July 24 at Mayhem Fest at Riverbend Music Center. More information: rockstarmayhemfest.com.

 
 
by Mike Breen 08.02.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music at 10:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
southpark_buffett

Rewind: Why Parrotheads Hate Me

Celebrating the 12th anniversary of the CityBeat/Jimmy Buffett shitstorm

A dozen years ago, I was asked to come up with something for CityBeat's annual summer preview "Hot Issue." At the time, easy-groovin' singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett was the king of Cincinnati's summer concert scene, selling out his shows in minutes and routinely winning the "Best Concert" award in CityBeat's "Best of Cincinnati" readers' poll. So I figured that, five years into CityBeat's existence, it was time to weigh in on the Parrothead phenomenon.

I've told the story of the backlash a few times in the past (apologies if you've heard it before). After the article was published, I received the most hate mail I've ever seen for a story appearing in the paper. My colleagues printed out the emails and wallpapered the area around my desk; it covered a good quarter of that room in the old CityBeat building on Seventh Street.

I expected some of it (and probably deserved some of it, too; as a young punk-ass writer, I was an even bigger dick then). But the sheer amount of correspondence was kind of a shock. I soon discovered it was the result of a cheap Buffett fan website that literally told its members to attack.

In the vein of anti-abortion activists publishing the names and home addresses of doctors who dare provide abortion services, the site ran Mike Breen's home address.

I probably would have filed a police report were it not for the fact that the site ran the wrong Mike Breen's home address. Some other poor Mike Breen in Cincinnati probably received a few house-eggings and tree-TPings (hopefully nothing worse).

I sent the site owner a polite note advising them that they had the wrong Mike Breen's address and invited them to publish CityBeat's business address for anyone who'd like to chime in with a letter. (They already had our email up there.) Eventually, they removed the innocent man's address.

Out of the 300 or so emails of protest sent, about 10% simply suggested that Buffett concerts are just good fun and I shouldn't criticize how people get their ya-yas out (fair enough). About 5% were supportive of my comments. Around 2% said they were indeed Parrotheads, but found my article amusing and felt the pilers-on were being stupid and taking it all too seriously (my favorites).

The rest of the emails were the opposite of Jimmy's good-time, laid-back vibe. Most just called me rude names (totally fine).
Some wished death on me (not cool!). The only one I remember with any kind of clarity was the note that said, "I hope your children are raped by drug dealers in Over-the-Rhine and get AIDS and die" (come near my family and I WILL cut your balls off).

Included in many of the death-wishes and "Fuck you, asshole!" comments were a few people who trumpeted Jimmy's great contributions to charity. I applaud that, as well as the efforts of the
Cincinnati Parrot Head Club, who also work good deeds into their good times. Buffett and I also share a lot of the same political/cultural/social views (I can find no evidence, but I'd be willing to wager that Jimmy's NOT anti-gay marriage and he is definitely a Democrat). I also thought it was kind of funny/cool that Jimmy got booted from an NBA game for passionately (and good-naturedly) sticking up to the refs that were giving his team (the pre-LeBron Miami Heat) the shaft.

I also thought it was really cool that Jimmy found Bill Paxton's fairly scathing parody of him (as "Coconut Pete") in the Broken Lizard film Club Dread to be hysterical. (On the DVD commentary track, the filmmakers say Buffett asked for permission to perform some of the parody songs on tour.)

Here's Paxton doing Coconut Pete's hit "Pina Coladaburg":


I'm unsure how Jimmy feels about South Park's much rougher treatment in the show's own parody (pictured above). (For the record, I think the spreading of quotes from and footage of Buffett fans being bigoted is really unfair, in a Breitbart kind of way.)

So, as I've matured, I've found at least five things I like about Buffett. If I drank, I bet he'd be fun to have a beer with and talk politics and sports. (Drop me a line, Mr. Buffett; I'll be designated driver!)

There are still tickets available for tonight's Buffett concert at Riverbend, which would have been impossible to imagine 12 years ago. When the Radiohead concert earlier this summer was announced, I had a chat with our publisher about how fast it would sell out. When it didn't, we bemoaned the fact that Buffett's show would still sell out in minutes. It didn't.

Is the Parrothead era over in Cincinnati?

Here, from the May 25, 2000 edition of CityBeat, are the "Ten Things I Hate About Buffett." Feel free to chime in with your Buffett support and call me a few names if you'd like. (But threats will be taken seriously this time around and if you come near my family … well, see above.)

I sincerely hope that, if you're going, you have a great time. Just be safe! I have to imagine that cops see Buffett visits as a good chance to make a few extra DUI arrests.
Like death, taxes, Who reunion tours and Wolfen sequels, one certainty every year in Cincinnati is a local summer appearance by the master of mediocrity, Jimmy Buffett. If you live here, it's as inevitable as the changing of the season: Buffett brings his plastic palm tree and awful music to Riverbend, and thousands of morons flock to see him.

We've resisted writing about this "phenomenon" in the past. It's kind of like making fun of Kathie Lee Gifford or Kenny G -- it's just too cheap and easy. Of course, CityBeat is nothing if not cheap and easy.

So, here, we bring you the only press you will ever read about Jimmy Buffett in this publication. Unless, of course, there's a shooting spree in the middle of the concert or Riverbend sinks into the river.

10) His music It's sorta tropical, sometimes Country-ish, sometimes "silly," and always boring. It's music for people who don't like music: background, laid-back fluff. It's easy listening for Boomers.

9) His lyrics

"Blew out my flip flop/Stepped on a pop top/Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home."

"So he took her to this movie called Body Heat/She said, 'The Junior Mints were mushy and the sex was neat.' "

"Fruitcakes in the kitchen/Fruitcakes on the street/Struttin' naked through the cross walk/In the middle of the week."

"Evolution can be mean/There's no 'dumb-ass vaccine.' "

Apparently not.

8) His album titles A White Sport Coat & A Pink Crustacean. Last Mango in Paris. Off to See the Lizard. This guy makes "Weird Al" look like Oscar Wilde.

7) He recorded a cover of "Purple People Eater" "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" is bound to be next.

6) He likes to sue aspiring restaurateurs Buffett's lawyers have gone after entrepreneurs for calling their new bistros things like "Margaritaville" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise." Hey, if they're that stupid ...

5) He was a fratboy No doubt. At the University of Southern Mississippi. Shocker!

4) He wrote and staged a musical (Don't Stop the Carnival) Rock stars shouldn't do that.

3) He tricked Brian Wilson into recording one of his songs "South American" on Wilson's Imagination record. Hasn't this man been taken advantage of enough?

2) His CDs don't even make good coasters I proudly own one Jimmy Buffett CD -- 1999's Beach House on the Moon, which I use on my desk to set my drink on. Damn things keep slippin' off.

1) Parrotheads Fans of Buffett use his summer concerts for an excuse to get completely obliterated and "partay." It's like Mardi Gras with tasteless people in stupid hats and Hawaiian shirts. Not so amazingly, his strongest cult is here in Cincinnati. Like we need some other cultural crisis to be embarrassed about.
 
 
by Mike Breen 12.14.2011
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 01:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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New Maurice Mattei & The Tempers Music Video

Recently, local singer/songwriter Maurice Mattei and his band, The Tempers, celebrated the release of a live album recorded last December at a Christmas show at Covington's Madison Theater. While The Tempers Christmas Show does include a few holiday classics (Lieber & Stoller's "Santa Claus is Back in Town" and Chuck Berry's "Run Rudolph Run"), the bulk of songs are Mattei originals and not exactly of the "Christmas" variety. (Listen to the whole release here.) Still, it's a great release, as the band takes advantage of the live-recording format — the songs exude a palpable, occasionally Punk-like energy. Check out one of those non-holiday tracks, "Made a Mess of It," in music video form below. (Maybe the "Vixen" in the line "Listen to the vixen in the ol' hoosegow/Funny that's the only kinda milk cow" is "Vixen" from Santa's slave-reindeer team?)

The song — which originally appeared on the release The Tempers Perform The Best of Maurice Mattei Volume 3 — was made into a video by Dave Miller from Southern Californian design/illustration company Deluxerider, who has done several clips for Mattei songs, including the Chuck Berry X-mas tune (posted below, as well).

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