Kyle Bloom

The Last Bison Live In Philadelphia

October 20th, 2014 at 12:26 pm by under THRS Live Music

microphoneMy weekend are usually reserved for family time and time spent to re-energize from the work week – so this weekend I packed the family into the SUV and drove up Rt. 13 up to The City Of Brotherly Love.  Philadelphia is special to me because I lived there for several years in my youth and my love for many things came from that city – sports, music, attitude and soft pretzels – so I couldn’t think of a better city to see one of our favorite bands in.

The Last Bison are in the midst of a tour around the country in support of their new album, “VA” (Virginia), and after spending the last two nights in NYC and Conn., they made the trek down I-95 to Philadelphia’s World Cafe Live.  The cafe is two venues in one; a larger club setting downstairs and a more intimate cafe setting upstairs – where The Last Bison was to perform.

After dinner with the family at Nodding Head Brewery, I walked down Chestnut and across the Schuylkill River to 3025 Walnut St.  I was warmly greeted by Ben as soon as I walked in and he was excited about this evening’s show.  There were only 20 tickets remaining and they were all gone by the time they started.  Norwegian singer Monica Heldal opened the show with accompanying guitarist Oyvind Blomstorm  and set the tone for the night with her sweet bluesy voice and a great harmonic sound between hers and Oyvind’s guitar.

thelastbisonphillyAfter a 15 minute break, The Last Bison hit the stage.  The Philly crowd were eagerly awaiting this moment as it’s been a year since they last met.  The band didn’t disappoint and played 90 minute set consisting of a great mix of VA, Inheritance and Quill.  They even treated us to a couple of tunes that didn’t make ‘VA’ but said they would be on a future release “real soon”.  The ended their set with Every Time and with a healthy crowd participation of the “Ohh Whoa Ohh Whoa Ohh” after the chorus.  As they band exited stage left – the crowd filled the room with that chant to bring them back for an encore.  They closed out the evening with their Switzerland and it just left everyone wanting more.  Simply a fantastic show.

If you’ve never seen them before live then you must make it a priority to see them and if you have seen them before, then you must see them again.  Their sound is more refined then before especially with the added full drum kit and the addition of Amos playing an electric bass.

They will end this leg of the tour in at the NorVa for their annual Gathering Saturday, November 29.  Mark it on you calendar and make sure you get out there.


The sale of The NorVa

October 8th, 2014 at 12:18 pm by under THRS Live Music

microphoneThe big music news making the rounds yesterday was the sale of The NorVa to entertainment giant AEG Live.  The application of sale was submitted by Rising Tide Holdings and Mid-Atlantic Propco LLC – whose parent company is AEG Live – on August 7 to the City of Norfolk and the sale was approved September 25.  The adjacent FM Restaurant was also included in the sale.

So what does this mean for the future of the venue?  AEG Live owns 345 clubs/theaters around the world including Club Nokia and The El Rey Theater in LA, Hammersmith Apollo in London, Royal Oak Theater in Detroit and The Joint at The Hard Rock in Las Vegas – so they are no strangers to running major concert facilities.  Yes, the NorVa will stay as a concert venue – I’ve heard a lot of rumblings that they might not keep it as that but several people I’ve talked to who are in the know have stated that The NorVa will remain a concert venue.

The ability of local bands playing the venue might change with the change of ownership.  With AEG coming to town, they plan on filling the calendar with more national touring acts which will leave open dates for local showcases sparse but they are big supporters of locals musicians as opening support.  Royal Oak Theater in Detroit regularly offers an additional support slot for local acts.

As I mentioned above, the big thing I see happening with this new ownership is the increase of national acts coming down 64.  AEG is also a big concert promoter that book their touring acts to AEG-owned venues.  The National will benefit from this at a much great capacity since they are right off of I-95 (touring acts like to book cities along major interstates) but I do anticipate a heavier lineup for The NorVa.

More details will emerge as the transition moves forward, so I’ll keep my eye on all of the latest developments.


2014 Artistree Festival

September 25th, 2014 at 12:13 pm by under THRS Live Music

Formerly known as Localpalooza, Artistree will takeover downtown Norfolk October 23 -25.  Hosted at several downtown venues including The NorVa, Granby Theater, The Plot, FM Restaurant, The Parlor on Granby, The Naro and many more, Artistree will feature more than a hundred local, national and regional musician and artists.

Many Live Music Friday alums will take part including Bria Kelly, RastaMiles, Corbin Dallas, The Dahus, The Wet Boys, SicMan of VA, The Muckrakes and Traprock Misfit.  Headliners include Biz Markie and Darkest Hour and the much-anticipated reunion of Left Wing Fascists.

Music will not be the only thing you can see and hear – you can check out the several independent films that will be screened and take part in education panels that will cover music industry-related topics.  Panelist include Dave Ravikoff of Warner Brothers Records, Bill Reid of The NorVa and Nick Chappell of 96X.

The Festival will also be working with Music 4 More to raise funds and collect instruments to school and community music programs.  Chesterfield Elementary, Blair Middle School and Granby High School will benefit from this year’s donations.

Click here for more information, full lineup and how to get tickets to Artistree Festival.


A Conversation with The Raskins

August 22nd, 2014 at 12:04 pm by under THRS Live Music

theraskinsIt’s not everyday you meet a band that truly understands the passion and work ethic it takes to make it in this crazy business.  It’s not everyday that you meet a band that has a true connection with their fans, that take the time to talk, hangout and listen to every single fan.  Today was a day that I met that band – The Raskins.

Comprised of twin New York born and raised brothers, Logan and Roger Raskin were born in this business.  Their father, Tony Raskin, was a Broadway actor starring in feature roles in South Pacific, Oklahoma, and Damn Yankees just to name a few and their mother, Judy Lee Raskin, an accomplished jazz singer.  “Watching my dad perform and watching the audience react to him – that’s what grabbed me into the entertainment business” said Roger Raskin (guitar), who as a kid would sit at the high end of the piano playing while brother Logan (lead vocals) would sit at the low end playing.  “We didn’t have any TVs in the house but we didn’t need that, music filled the house.”  Influenced not just from their parents but also from the NYC rock scene with Blondie, The Ramones, and the New York Dolls, the brothers knew this is exactly what they wanted to do.  And they have certainly done it well.

This past May, The Raskins released their debut album and it’s good – really good (click here for my review) but it’s not just the music itself that makes it good, it’s the passion in it that you hear past the chords that really makes this record special.  “This records is ours, we recorded, we mixed it – it wasn’t easy but it’s our”.  Roger and Logan played all the instruments, recorded it themselves and mixed the record themselves – and that’s not an easy task to tackle.  “We wanted to do it our way”.  The record is raw and organic – no autotune, no funky modulating effects – just pure rock ‘n’ roll.  Plug and play.  They took what they did in the studio and applied it to their live show.

Backed by an incredible team of musicians (Johnny Martin – bass, Jet Lopez – guitar, Troy Patrick Farrell – drums), The Raskins are in the midst of touring the country opening up for Motley Crue’s Farewell tour.  They are gaining new fans by the thousands at every show they open and it’s not just from the live performance but the interaction and relationships they have with their fans.  After their set, they go out and meet everyone at their merch booth and spend the rest of the show signing autographs taking pictures and, more importantly, taking to them.  Roger: “We understand the importance the connection between the band and the audience is.”  Logan: “We answer every email, every tweet and fans know that they can reach us and that is what it is about.”

That really is what it is about – connecting with the fans.  The Raskins are truly great band and even better people.  They have a work ethic that’s like no other and they put 110% on that stage every night.  Do yourself a favor and see The Raskins perform as soon as possible and buy their record now.  They have a long and successful future ahead of them.

Follow The Raskins on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Check out their exclusive acoustic performance of On The Radio and Reach:


The Music Of ECSC 2014

August 21st, 2014 at 8:38 am by under THRS Live Music

ecsc2014It’s one of my favorite events of the summer and it’s happening this weekend, the 52nd annual East Coast Surfing Championship.  Professional surfers from all over the world converge on the Oceanfront to take on our swells and their competitors but there’s a lot more than the great surfing at ECSC – there’s skating, BMX, a 5K (your truly will be running), flag football, volleyball, the famous Miss ECSC swimsuit pageant and, of course, the music.

This year’s lineup is one of the best ECSC has ever had, with a great mix of local and national artists including several Live Music Friday alums.  They will all be performing on a newly constructed massive beach stage on 4th Street.  The music kicks off tonight at 5:30p with the great Brian Grilli, who will be playing songs from his album ‘A Damn Good Day’ and Natalie Stovall and the Drive.  Below is the rest of the lineup for the weekend, so make sure you get out there and checkout all of the great acts – oh, did I mention that all of the concerts are FREE!

Thursday

Brian Grilli – 5:30-6:45p
Natalie Stovall and the Drive – 7:05-8:30p

Friday

Cheap Thrills – 4:30-5:40p
Karnivale – 6:00-7:05p
The Deloreans – 7:15-8:25p
Bria Kelly – 8:45-10:00p

Saturday

Freedom Hawk – 3:30-4:30p
Seth Stainback and Roosterfoot – 6:00p-7:00p
Jesse Chong Band – 7:20p-8:20p
Vans Presents: Plain White T’s – 8:45-10:00p

Sunday

Nature’s Child – 2:30-3:45p
MOcean – 5:20-6:30p
The Hawk – 6:50-8:30p

 

 


The 7:57 on 96X

July 31st, 2014 at 11:25 am by under THRS Live Music

It’s been a little over a year since The Local Music Show on 96X was cancelled.  That news stunned the local music community as it was their only outlet to get their music played on the airwaves.  Well, I have a bit of good news for you.  Starting Monday August 4, The 7:57 with Crizti Walsh will debut on 96X at, you guess it, 7:57pm and the best part is that the show will be on 5 days a week, Monday-Friday

So you’re asking, “How do I get my songs played?”.  Easy, just send your tracks to the757@96x.fm.  This is exciting news as our community is rich in original talent and all of it deserves to be played on the airwaves.

The 7:57 – Your Daily Dose Of Local starting Monday, August 4 at 7:57PM on 96.1 FM or 96.5 FM

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The Last Bison – VA

July 31st, 2014 at 11:11 am by under THRS Live Music

newlastbisonMark September 30, 2014 down on your calendar with two simple letters: “VA”.  That date is the day The Last Bison releases their much-anticipated follow-up to their epic Inheritance.  The new album is titled VA as in Virginia.  Recorded over the span of a few weeks, the band decided to approach a more independent-style of recording much like they did with their first release, Quill.  The self-produced recordings were captured in their make shift recording studio called The Wigwam.  11 tunes will comprise VA and they will support it by hitting the road in the fall for a 15 city venture.  Dates are below and a majority of them are on-sale now, just check with the venues.  I will be hitting a few of the dates to see how the rest of country embraces are hometown band, so stayed tuned to this spot for that.

The Last Bison Fall Tour 2014

Sept. 26      Richmond, VA          The Camel
Sept. 30      Pittsburgh, PA         Hard Rock Cafe
Oct. 01        Bloomington, IN     The Bishop
Oct. 02        Chicago, IL                Schubas
Oct. 03        Minneapolis, MN    7th Street Entry
Oct. 04        Rock Island, IL        Rozz Tox
Oct. 16        New York, NY           Mercury Lounge
Oct. 17        Fairfield, CT               Stage One
Oct. 18        Philadelphia, PA      World Cafe
Oct. 22        Durham, NC              Motorco
Oct. 23        Atlanta, GA               Vinyl
Oct. 24        Athens, GA                New Earth
Oct. 25        Charlotte, NC           Visulite Theater
Nov. 6          Vienna, VA               Jammin’ Java
Nov. 7         Charlottesville        The Southern


The LMF Album Review: The Raskins

July 29th, 2014 at 11:46 am by under THRS Live Music

microphoneIt’s not everyday that you pop in a new CD (or hit play on your iPod) and are immediately hooked on this music your ears have never heard before.  Usually you groove into the first run through and then rinse and repeat a few times before you really love it – That is not the case with The Raskins.  The first moments I heard the guitar on the opening track, We Had It All, I was hooked – immediately hooked.  NY born and raised twin brothers, Roger and Logan Raskin have crafted a gem of a record.  An adult orientated rock album that you just don’t hear anymore.

In this day in age of $.99 singles, there really isn’t a priority from a lot of bands to make a complete record.  For the most part, you get a bunch of songs thrown together that just make an album – not a complete album – just an album.  The songs on this self-titled record blend really well together and never missing a beat from one power driven guitar riff to another.

A great mix of pure rock tunes like We Had It All and Save Me Now to the pop rock sound of On The Radio to the deep punch of Lost In The Dark – every one of the 13 songs on the record tell a different story but blend extremely well together to make this a complete record.  This is a record that every needs in their life.

You will be able to see The Raskins perform these great songs live on August 20 at Farm Bureau Live in Virginia Beach as they open up for Motley Crue’s Final Tour.  I will also interview the guys earlier in the day and give you a behind the scenes look at their set.  You can pick up this CD at the show or download it on iTunes and other digital outlets.

The Raskins *****

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Virginia Home Grown Roots Series

July 28th, 2014 at 11:11 am by under THRS Live Music

microphoneThe sounds of the islands will be coming to the Oceanfront this Friday at the Jewish Mother.  What will soon become a regular series, The Virginia Home Grown Roots Series will feature the best reggae and rhythm artists in the 757 as well as a handful of national and world artists.

Friday will feature the St. Croix sounds of Ras Attitude as well as Jah T with the Session Rockers and Live Music Friday alum, Greg Gutty.  More artists are being added to the lineup daily, so click this link to keep up-to-date with the ever-growing lineup.

Tickets are going fast, so get yours here.  Doors open at 8p with the performances starting at 9p sharp.  In case you missed it, check out Greg Gutty’s performance from The Hampton Roads Show from January 31:

 


The Last Bison at The Parlor

July 10th, 2014 at 11:29 am by under THRS Live Music

microphoneOur good friends, The Last Bison, have been busy the last few months recording their follow-up to last year’s Inheritance.  The new album is due in September but they just couldn’t wait that long to share the new tunes with you.

This Saturday they will be holding a special pre-release party at The Parlor on Granby, a new restaurant and live venue in Downtown Norfolk.  The venue is small and intimate – so intimate that there were only 135 tickets available.  As I’m writing this, there were very few left and it might be possible sold out by the time you read this.  Click this link here to get your tickets if you’re so lucky.   Tickets are $25 and the show starts at 8:30p and I’m sure it is going to be a great night!

lastbisonparlor

If you didn’t get a ticket to this show, you can still have a great night of great music in Downtown Norfolk.  Head across the street to The NorVa for a Night Of Rock ‘N’ Soul.  Revery will be releasing their much-anticipated CD, Adora De Phonic, – produced by yours truly and The Fuzz Band, Ghost Of April and Augustine will be along for the ride.  Tickets are still available for $12.50 and you can grab them at The NorVa or by clicking this link.  

I will talk about this show more tomorrow as The Fuzz Band will be our Live Music Friday featured artist on The Hampton Roads Show.