Muse Concert Video/Light Show Highlights - Milwaukee's Bradley Center Oc...

This was a mindblowing video and light show. I've never seen anything like it.

Joshua James Interview by Allison Rizk

Allison Rizk asks some great questions to one of my favorites, Joshua James. Check out the intro here at

Presidents of the United States of America

I shot this on my VADO at The Intersection in Grand Rapids, MI, on September 23, 2010. This was the headliner for the first night of the Prospect Music Festival.

Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights

I saw these guys open for Heart back in 2007 (I think?) at Nokia in Dallas. I can safely say they are the only opening act on which I, to this day, have not wished a quick and immediate death (Heart is my favorite band and I don't like to have to wait for my girls!). I remember having some sympathy for them when they took the stage and Jonathan began to play then stopped and said, "Whoa... we've never played in a place this big before. It sounds cool!" Adorable.

Atlantic has finally signed them and their first real record comes out tomorrow entitled "Pardon Me". I imagine you will be able to find it most places online (Amazon, iTunes, etc) as well as in a few CD stores near you, I hope. As someone who has been following them for years I can tell you this album is exactly who they are: Pure. Raw. Rock. I have seen these guys at least 20x in concert and if humanly possible they sound even better live.

It's been gratifying to watch them go from playing small clubs and bars to opening for bands like Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top (with whom they are now on tour!). These are the nicest guys and fiercely talented so please check them out. It's no shock to rock fans that the popularity of REAL rock-n-roll (not talking about Hinder or Halestorm here :p ) has taken a backseat to tween pop and Lady Gaga style theatrics. It's sad that a RnR group this solid in sound and writing had to wait so long to be signed.

Fitting that their first single is "Pardon Me" which is about rock n roll itself: "Baby, it's been too long since rock n roll turned you on." WORD. Luckily, these guys (and Mo Brown!) are here to fix that.

They performed the single on Jimmy Kimmel a few weeks back for their first national TV appearance and I was watching with nauseating excitement like a proud mama bear hoping they'd kill it. And they did.

Hope you guys will check them out!
Get PARDON ME on iTunes

2nd Annual Fantasy Football Wraps Up!

Congratulations to our second annual The Sixty One Fantasy Football champion Clancy490!
At #4, she was the lowest seed in the playoffs, clancy490 orchestrated a come-from-behind victory to capture the crown.
This is the second time in t61 fantasy football history that the lowest seed claims the victory.

Clancy490 impressively defeated Eloqu3nt in the championship, winning 120 to 88. Liquidtrailz placed third for the second year in a row.

The following players participated in this season of fantasy football:

If you are interested in partaking in t61 fantasy football please let me know!

Congrats to all and see you next year!

Review: Shael Riley and the Double Ice Backfire, Songs from the Pit

Rating (out of five stars) ****

Eight songs, one hundred cassettes, thousands of hearts.

So go the statistics for Shael Riley and the Double Ice Backfire's album Songs from the Pit. An album of eight songs, released in a limited-edition set of a hundred cassettes, and put up in digital form on where the songs reached a few thousand hearts--each.

"Hold on," you're saying, "am I reading this right? They released an album, in the year 2009, as a cassette?"

Sure--why not? The original explanation I heard was that chiptune music sounds best on tape, and the band wanted the novelty of a unique format. I can't remember the last time I bought an actual cassette tape before this (if ever), but it has a distinct, very real feel to it. It's not just sounds and pictures in your iPod; it's something tangible. Also, my car has no CD player, so it works well enough there.

When I first decided to review the album, I didn't know the first thing about nerdcore. And, well, I still don't. I am in no way an expert in video games, as my experience with them started to get hazy after 1996 or so. (Tetris is still popular, right? Right?) But I first stumbled upon Shael Riley through his project The Grammar Club, and though the musical style has shifted a bit this time arouns, he and his band don't disappoint.

This is an attitude-driven album of love, video games, and kicky melodies. Perhaps the one thing you should keep in mind is that chiptune is woven into the soundtrack, and for those not in the know, that means it sounds a bit like an old NES video game. The album is peppered with references to movies, video games, and general pop culture. It's sassy and irreverent and epic, as it should be.

The first track, the incredibly energetic "Publishing Rights," featuring Schaffer the Darklord, sets the tone right away: this band means business. But it leads into the softer song "The Other Side of Memphis," which is sweet and rather elegant. "How to Fire a Gun" may well be the star of the album, and most of us can identify with the speaker: he longs for independence, and maybe the ability to leave a mark on the world.

"Asian Kids Have all the Best Moves" is a rather fun and touching tale about friendship and trying to assimilate another's (much cooler) culture. "Hipster Hoax" revolves around the catchy hook "It's just a joke, it's a ... hipster hoax that I'm not cool enough to understand," while "Chinese Ninja Warrior" is a cover of The Immortals' theme song for a character for Mortal Kombat. (Yes, I had to Google that.) But the power chords make this song pretty awesome, and the chiptune is trippy.

As for catchy tunes, it doesn't get better than "tip eht fo mottob," a rockin' song that also references Mortal Kombat. The album's outro is a solo piano-backed reprise of "Asian Kids Have All The Best Moves." It's quite pretty, and the stripped-down format lets the lyrics ring out.

Altogether, it makes for a great and intruiging listening experience. The cassette album is currently sold out, but many of the songs are available for listening and purchase on