Saturday, June 25, 2016

Star Wars Kanan review

Next up is a Star Wars, Kanan, The Last Padawn graphic novel review for Artvoice...and Queen City Bookstore. All of these books can be purchased from Queen City Bookstore.
Here's a link directly to Graphic Traffic column.

After that review a review of Dark Knight Returns The Last Crusade is in order...

...after that is a Neil Gaiman book which I am looking forward to reading and reviewing How To Talk To Girls At Parties.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Scenics - Toronto, CA

The Scenics // Toronto Proto Punk // Friday, July 8th // 8 PM
@ Mohawk Place // Buffalo, NY // Only $5 Cover @ The Door

The Scenics
w/ The Barksdales, Twin Lions, The Card Cheats, & The Rifts
Friday, July 8th // Doors @ 8 PM // Ages 18+
@ Mohawk Place // 47 E Mohawk St // Buffalo, NY
Only $5.00 Cover @ The Door!

“If a band makes an album and nobody hears it, does it still rock? It sure does. Three decades after the fact, recently reunited Toronto punks The Scenics have finally issued a sophomore disc — this long-lost batch of wiry Television guitars, black Velvets art-rock, Pere Ubu yelping and the freakiest Tommy James cover you’ve ever heard." Daryl Sterdan the Winnipeg Sun

“It wasn't so much that The Scenics were ahead of their time in 1977, it's more that almost everybody else didn't even know what time it was. The Scenics were on top of it though, grabbing the freedom promised by punk's first blush... New York had Talking Heads, and England was blessed with XTC, but here was their equal in Toronto and they never got the necessary push and support. It's fabulous we finally have the evidence, but it's a drag we haven't been able to enjoy it the past 30 years.”
Bob Mersereau, author of the "the Top 100 Canadian Albums"

“Largely unappreciated when they originally existed between 1976-81, these underground icons merged Television’s guitar work, Big Star’s pop prowess, Pere Ubu’s dementia, & the Ramones’ urgency.” Montreal Mirror

"Brainy crackpot art-pop with an ear for off-kilter melody, a headful of magic and twitchy grooves to burn. It's a sin the Scenics have left such a faint mark on punk-rock history... but now we can start to make things right: the reborn cult starts here.” Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Music Videos:
Do The Wait
Dark Cave
I Killed Marx

Red Francis - Chicago, IL

Red Francis by Red Francis CD review
Song A kicks off this CD with a high energy instrumental jam that sounds like alternative surf rock.
Youtube link
Song B has a slow and steady groove that is carried along very nicely by a killer sounding bass track. The beat is contagious and will have you pounding something along with it by the end of the song. Bassically this song is my fave on Red Francis. Youtube link
Media Feeding Frenzy seems to be a commentary on the state of today's TV media. A well crafted rock song that is further enhanced during the chorus by some sultry female vocals and a well-blown trumpet.  Check out the fantastic video
Step Into The Moment is another well composed rock song with a strong melodic sense and a crafty chorus further enhanced with a great sounding keyboard track.
Youtube link
The next track has a rather odd title (7:04 Singer) that I'm sure has some kind of hidden meaning. The instrumental track starts slow and serene but soon the energy picks up as the band begins to rock out.
Youtube link
Beauty in the Grey is a groove heavy track that flows along very nicely until it ends very abruptly. I would have liked to hear some kind of solo somewhere along the line.
Youtube link
John the Fool follows along in the same vein as the rest of the songs until the song is punctuated with a well played solo from Jack Kerwin. The energy of the music is lifted up into a urgent crescendo during the solo until the song ends on a high note.
Youtube link
Curbstomp roars into the ears with unbridled aggression and power. This song is a refreshing change of pace from the rest of the music on the CD. Really enjoyed this track.
Check it out on Youtube
Star A War is the clever title for this rockin' song. The intro features the cool sounds of a distorted bass guitar and a edgy guitar keeps the spacy groove goin' strong. One of the best on Red Francis.
Youtube link which lists' the title as Start A War, either way this song rocks
Welcome To The Prime is driven by a melodic call and return guitar and vocal line. The bass takes over during the chorus becoming a bit busier.
Youtube link
Anxious and Mortified immediately reminded of a college radio song. This prime mover is one of my favorites on Red Francis. Youtube link
Seemingly saving the best for last, Nos Saevire (We Rage), is a 6 1/2 minute opus of rock goodness. Starting off like much of the rest of the CD, a awesome sounding distorted bass carries the song into the first couple of verses'. The song then slows down into a heavier, grinding, guitar driven jam. Once again I would have liked to hear a guitar or bass solo punctuating the music but the song still sounds great with plenty of psychedelic rock aggression and noise. Nos Saevire takes this great CD out in style. Youtube link

Red Francis bandcamp CD liner notes
Music by Michael Glader, Alex Fishback and Brett Fishback. Lyrics by Michael Glader. Engineered, recorded and mixed by Barrett Guzaldo. Music recorded and mixed at Treehouse Records. Mastered by Doug McBride. Mastered at Gravity Studios.

All songs written and produced by Red Francis except for "John The Fool," written by Bo Blodgett and Michael Glader. Background vocals provided by the lovely Viv McConnell and trumpet provided by Mike Jones. Guitar solo in "John the Fool" preformed by Jack Kerwin. All songs mixed and recorded onto tape at Treehouse Records via Barrett Guzaldo. Thank you to Treehouse Records, all of our beautiful friends, our awesome families and our incredibly supportive fans. Thank you all!
Soulful blues rock n roll from Chicago

Red Francis is a rock n' roll group out of Chicago. They've played the Midwest, the West Coast and are checking out the East Coast right on a 3 week tour right now. Red Francis have put out three albums so far and will be recording their fourth studio full-length right when they return to Chicago. Stay updated on everything at

Thank You, Red Francis!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Flatbed - Buffalo, NY

It’s time for your monthly dose of Flatbed, this Friday the 10th from 5:30-8:30 @ Sportsmen’s Tavern. We’ve got more new/old favorites for this month. We’re taking July off from our regularly-scheduled Happy Hour shows at Sportsmen’s so come on down to stock up on enough Americana/Twang/Rock/Whatever to get you through until August.

Upcoming Shows:
-Tuesday, July 26
LARKIN SQUARE  •  Buffalo, NY  •  5:00pm
-Friday, August 12
SPORTSMEN'S TAVERN  •  Buffalo, NY  •  5:00pm
-Sunday, September 25
POLLYWOGG HOLLER ECO-RESORT  •  Belmont, NY  •  1:00pm

This flyer is supercool cuz it shows a historic piece of Buffalo, the Haunted Central Terminal!

The Vincent James Explosion - Buffalo NY


The Vincent James Explosion - VJXIV CD Review 

Left to right Vince, Jim and Jerry

The Vincent James Explosion is comprised of three of the most talented and versatile musicians currently performing on the Buffalo, NY music scene. The current members of VJX are Vincent James Mastrantonio: (Guitar) guitar teacher, producer, composer and entrepreneur, Jim Linsner: (Drums) published author and drum teacher and Jerry Sampson: (Bass), Jerry has won several Buffalo Music Awards for his outstanding bass playing. All three members of VJX are in several other high profile bands and they all are in demand as fill-in players. 

VJXIV is the fourth release from The Vincent James Explosion and it is the best to date from the band. The Vincent James Explosion plays jazz/fusion, instrumental music. 
The music also contains elements of funk, rock and avant-garde jazz. All of the performances on VJXIV are outstanding. The guitar playing is innovative and highlights Vince's versatility on his instrument of choice. VJXIV also contains Vincent James singing debut on "Madness".

VJXIV starts off with "Fanfare for a New Man". This track sounds like a celebration of music and sound.  The solo guitar and keyboards sound huge and powerful. I can hear this song opening or closing out a movie. This song would also work well opening a major sporting event. I can also hear it playing when a team first arrives at the big game. Great opening track. 

"Trial Exhibits" is a prime example of VJX doing what they do best. Rocking out on a jazz/fusion, guitar based groove. The unique sound of the opening rhythm guitar chords immediately caught my ear. The song breaks down into a bass groove which brings in the sharp and blazing guitar solo. The sound of the solo guitar is reminiscent of Joe Satriani/Steve Vai at times and Vince throws in some sweeping guitar techniques for good measure. 

"Kinky B" features a couple of effects-driven and passionately played guitar tracks. The song starts with a jazzy sounding, chord riff but then a dissonant, distorted guitar chimes in and adds a completely different element to the song. The chords continue the dissonant sound of the track. Vince plays an absolutely blazing solo which leads into an off meter turn for the band. This song could be called a avant-garde, jazz/rock fusion all out jam. Vince at his best! One of my faves on VJXIV.  

Next up is Vince's lead vocal debut on "Madness". I've heard this song develop over the years and this is the best version I've heard to date. "Madness" lyrics describe city violence and the end result which is pain and death. This song is a balls out rocker and once again Vince rips his way through an outstanding rock guitar solo. "Madness" is one of the best songs on VJXIV.

In stark contrast to "Madness",  "Jimmy Mack" is a brief jazz/fusion track, with more emphasis on jazz than fusion. Clean jazz guitar accompanies a a single note melody which sounds like it could be a sonically effected, bended guitar or keyboard note. Cool soundz!

"The Truth" features jazzy guitar and blazing rock guitar solos but bassist Jerry Sampson gets a turn showing some solid and melodic chops on a 70 second solo during this track.

"Deep Blue" features Vince playing some great, bluesy acoustic guitar. Unaccompanied except for a rather spacy sounding backing track Vince displays his exceptional technique on the acoustic guitar.

 The 7th song, "Carina" is "dedicated to my Carina" as Vince so eloquently says in the liner notes. Jim Runfola blows some killer soprano sax on this great instrumental.

The last song is VJX's take on the classic "Mission Impossible". The entire band tears it up and once again, Vince blazes through a melodic and polished guitar solo.

CD Review by Joey Tell (Joseph Militello)

Here's a recent picture of Vincent James from the Buffalo News performing with Caitlin Koch and the Jamie Moses band.

Thank you Vince and Carina!!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Burn Halo - Orange County, LA

Just Announced!!! // BURN HALO // Wednesday, July 20th // 6 PM
@ Evening Star Concert Hall // $13 Presale Tickets NOW on sale!

Burn Halo
w/ special guests: Inertia, Breath of the Valkyrie, & more!
Wed, July 20th // Doors @ 6:00 PM // Ages 18+
@ Evening Star Concert Hall
8810 Niagara Falls Blvd  // Niagara Falls, NY
Tickets NOW on sale for only $13.00 each!
Order at:

Burn Halo is a mainstream hard rock band led by former Eighteen Visions lead singer James Hart that made its album debut in 2009. Based in Orange County, CA, the band was founded in 2007 by Hart after the dissolution of his former band, Eighteen Visions, an alternative metal act found in 1995 that had a brush with mainstream success with its final album, Eighteen Visions (2006). Intending to craft a straightforward mainstream hard rock album with commercial potential, Hart collaborated extensively with songwriter/producer Zac Maloy (formerly of the Nixons) on a full-length batch of songs recorded with hired studio hands such as Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Synyster Gates. A band lineup was also assembled: Joey Cunha (guitar), Allen Wheeler (guitar), Aaron Baylor (bass), and Ryan Folden (2009), in addition to Hart (vocals). Burn Halo made its eponymous full-length album debut in 2009 on the label Rawkhead Rekords in association with distributor Warner Music Group. The single "Dirty Little Girl," featuring Gates on guitar, was a mainstream rock radio hit. The band joined the 2009 SnoCore Tour in support of the album.

"Orange County's Burn Halo know how to make clear-cut, mainstream rock tracks with a bite. Fronted by former Eighteen Visions singer James Hart, the group’s latest album, ‘Up from the Ashes,’ is strong and show the chaps have a place alongside hard rock heavyweights such as Drowning Pool and Papa Roach." ~

Music Videos:
F*ck You
Dirty Little Girl
Tear It Down