D-Witt flexes the pen of a budding cinematic storyteller

I recently heard about an artist called D-Witt from Rockford, IL.  Illinois is the home of some prestigious sons who have left unforgettable marks on hip-hop’s history. I’m expecting an unfiltered rebel who is unafraid to bare his soul and burn down buildings. A fearless heart is a quality that makes fearless art, and I hope that’s exactly what D-Witt has arrived to present us.  So I press play on the first track called “Enemy”. The sound is open and strong-willed. There’s no doubting that D-Witt has something to say. The amount of care that goes into his lyricism stamps

Mortinus – “Star Chariot (Yellow Odyssey)” and “Oceania” – gently beatific music

As the months pass slowly into years, it becomes increasingly plain to all concerned that Danish electronic music producer, Mortinus is taking his craft very seriously. He has been extraordinarily prolific and has maintained an enviable level of quality in his releases. When approaching his two singles “Star Chariot (Yellow Odyssey)” and “Oceania” the question that arises is how will Mortinus sound fare in the altered musical terrain of 2020? Well the two new singles, are fine examples of some of the best ambient, chillout, downtempo and cinematic instrumental music being made today. Mortinus’ sound is alive and well, and his

Stiff Lauren – “Faith In Me” demands the spotlight!

Fearless and uncompromising, Stiff Lauren is back to deliver a triumphant track about having faith in yourself no matter what. Stiff Lauren is a hip-hop artist who is no stranger to speaking what’s on his mind. Since he hit the scene, he’s never been one to hold his tongue or been one to fear throwing the first punch. Whether or not you’ve followed Stiff from the beginning, one thing has been apparent through the highs and the lows: he’s talented and confident – his latest single “Faith In Me” is a perfect example of that. Stiff Lauren once again takes

Phreckle$ is carving out a music presence with “IDFWP”

Phreckle$ is an independent solo artist out of Los Angeles, California. She writes all her own songs, and produces professional quality artistic music videos. A precocious talent, Phreckle$, played trumpet at 9 years old in the school band, by 12 she was performing at the Carnegie Hall, and a year later she started going to punk shows. At 17 she was playing bass in 3 different punk bands. At the age of 22, she was discovered as a model and is now an internationally signed model working with the top photographers and magazines in the industry, which has put her

“No Mas” oozes with Nancy Diaz’s palatable understated sass

Canadian born Latin pop recording artist Nancy Diaz has been navigating her way through the Canadian music scene since 2011 with her pop single “Summer Addiction” along with official music video. Her sexy and sassy fusion of English/Latin music has led to the release of many well received singles, garnering her critical acclaim and audience satisfaction. Apart from firmly establishing herself among her musical contemporaries and peers, Diaz has also made her mark in the modeling world posing for magazines, fashion labels and fashion photographers such as Cliché Magazine, Deniori Couture and Monarch Photography. Directly involved in quite a few

Cyrus R.O. – “Bones” is still a skillfully crafted song

I think I expected this music to be sterile and methodical. However, to my surprise, Cyrus R.O.’s new single “Bones” from his upcoming debut album “Deconvolution” is blazingly irradiated like bundle of energy that expertly marries the organic and synthetic. Underneath it all, a darker lyrical narrative dealing with “a character struggling with their gender identity, and the fear of social turmoil that comes with that.” Everything just grooves so well together; it’s a blend of sounds that I haven’t heard done this well from any progressive, jazz, or electronic artist in quite some time. It’s a masterful melding of electronic machinery with

Temperature Falls Release The Video For Their Latest Single “1-2-3”

The sound and atmosphere of Temperature Falls is built around somewhat gritty, blended organic-electronic sounding tracks that hearken the listener back to earlier times. Their latest track, ‘1-2-3’, is a seductive track that pulls the listener in with an eerie melody, sultry vocals and an ethereal reverberating atmosphere. Mixed beautifully, this is the perfect example of what to expect from this indie trip-hop/alternative rock duo from Oslo, Norway, made up of vocalist/lyricist Camilla, and multi-instrumentalist Ian J. Ward. ‘1-2-3’ is a gorgeous, melancholic song that is heart wrenchingly beautiful. Temperature Falls is one of those bands that are absolutely necessary

Pop Music Artist DAYVID Releases Music Video for “Same Old Feeling”

This song was released last Fall on his self-titled debut EP. DAYVID explains that “Same Old Feeling” was the last song written for this EP. It reflects on an old love that was like no other. “Same Old Feeling” was co-written by DAYVID and Grammy-Nominated producer Morgan Taylor Reid (Marshmello, Jack & Jack, CHROMEO). “Same Old Feeling” is available on all streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple Music: http://dayvid.lnk.to/SameOldFeeling. The production is simple with piano, vocals, and an 8-member gospel choir providing backgrounds. The lyrics and vocal performance make this song meaningful and powerful. All elements support the soaring voice

Arrows – “After Hours” – Inspired by 80’s synthwave and video game sound tracks

“After Hours” the brand new full length album by Arrows, says all it needs to about the brand of retro nostalgia this kind of music evokes. The project’s sonic palette is especially dense with layer upon layer of synth sounds stacked upon one another and wrapped up in a modern production veneer that makes it bang. Every song delivers big in the keyboard hooks department and the moods are consistently melancholy and wistful throughout. “After Hours” is Arrows hitting their stride; this is what it sounds like when a young band is killing it. Inspired by 80’s synthwave and video

PWJazy – “Heroes” – the mind of an alternative creative

LA-based performer, PWJazy, is an unusual artist. His songwriting is soulful and the arrangements are mind blowing. His voice is a breath of fresh air with all of the nonsense that has been going on for years in the music scene. His singing has a distinctive tone that has not been auto tuned or fixed up in any other manner. “Heroes”, his latest single, is a really intriguing, diverse recording. I didn’t like it when I first heard it, but the uniquely experimental alternative rock sound, the bombastic lead guitars, and the dark, mysterious lyrics somehow fuse together to produce

Van Halen: Next Live Dates

With their 1978 eponymous debut, Van Halen simultaneously rewrote the rules of rock guitar and hard rock in general. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen redefined what electric guitar could do, developing a blindingly fast technique with a variety of self-taught two-handed tapping, hammer-ons, pull-offs, and effects that mimicked the sounds of machines and animals. It was wildly inventive and over the top, equaled only by vocalist David Lee Roth, who brought the role of a metal singer to near-performance art standards. Roth wasn’t blessed with great technique, unlike Eddie, but he had a flair for showmanship that was derived as much from lounge performers as Robert Plant. Together, they made Van Halen into the most popular American rock & roll band of the late ’70s and early ’80s, and in the process set the template for hard rock and heavy metal for the ’80s.

Throughout the ’80s, it was impossible not to hear Van Halen’s instrumental technique on records that ranged from the heaviest metal to soft pop. Furthermore, Roth’s irony-drenched antics were copied by singers who took everything literally. One of these was Sammy Hagar, an arena rock veteran from the ’70s who replaced Roth after the vocalist had a falling out with Van Halen in 1985. Hagar stayed with the band longer than Roth, helping the group top the charts through the late ’80s and early ’90s. However, the group’s sales began to slide in the mid-’90s, just as tensions between Hagar and Eddie began to arise. In one of the most disastrous publicity stunts in rock history, Hagar was fired (or quit) and Roth was brought back on, seemingly as a permanent member, but only for two songs on a greatest-hits album. He was subsequently replaced by Gary Cherone, a former member of Extreme.

Through all the upheaval over lead vocalists, Eddie Van Halen and his prodigious talent remained the core of Van Halen. The son of a Dutch bandleader, Eddie and his family moved from the Netherlands to Pasadena, CA, in 1962, when he was seven years old and his older brother, Alex, was nine. As their father supported the family by playing in wedding bands, Eddie and Alex continued their classical piano training. Soon, both boys were enraptured by rock & roll. Eddie learned how to play drums and Alex took up the guitar, eventually switching instruments. The brothers began a hard rock band called Mammoth and began playing around Pasadena, eventually meeting David Lee Roth. At the time, Roth, who had been raised in a wealthy Californian family, was singing in Redball Jet. Impressed by the Van Halen brothers, he joined forces with the group. Shortly afterward, bassist Michael Anthony, who was singing with Snake, became a member of Mammoth. After discovering that another band had the rights to the name Mammoth, the group decided to call themselves Van Halen in 1974, rejecting the proposed Rat Salade.

For the next three years, Van Halen played throughout Pasadena, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles, playing both clubs and hotel bars. The band’s repertoire covered everything from pop and rock to disco, but they eventually worked in their own original material. Within a few years, they had become the most popular local band in Los Angeles, and Eddie became well known for his groundbreaking technique. In 1977, Kiss’ Gene Simmons financed a demo recording session for Van Halen after seeing them at the Starwood Club. On the strength of Simmons’ recommendation, Mo Ostin and Ted Templeman signed Van Halen to Warner Bros., releasing the band’s debut the following year.

Van Halen became a hit due to strong word of mouth, constant touring, and support from AOR radio. Within three months the album had gone gold, and five months later it went platinum. It would eventually sell over six million copies, thanks to the album rock staples “You Really Got Me,” “Jamie’s Cryin’,” and “Runnin’ With the Devil.” Van Halen II, released in 1979, continued the band’s success, as “Dance the Night Away” became their first Top 20 single. Women and Children First (1980) didn’t have any charting singles, but was a success on the album charts, reaching number six. The band supported the album with their first headlining, international arena tour, and the group was quickly on their way to being superstars. Released in 1981, Fair Warning wasn’t quite as popular as their previous records, yet it still peaked at number six. Diver Down, released in 1982, was a huge hit, spawning a number 12 cover of Roy Orbison’s “(Oh) Pretty Woman” and reaching number three.

While all of their previous albums were successful, Van Halen didn’t become superstars until 1984, when their album 1984 became an across-the-board smash. Released on New Year’s Day, 1984 rocketed to number two on the strength of the number one single “Jump.” Like many songs on the album, “Jump” was driven by Eddie’s new synthesizer, and while Roth was initially reluctant to use electronics, the expansion of the group’s sound was widely praised. Throughout 1984, Van Halen gained steam, as “I’ll Wait” and “Panama” became Top 15 singles and “Hot for Teacher” became a radio and MTV staple.

Despite the band’s breakthrough success, things were not well within the band. During their 1984 tour, each member played separate solo sets and were physically separated on the stage. Roth was unhappy with Eddie’s appearance on Michael Jackson’s 1983 hit “Beat It,” and Eddie grew tired of the comic antics of Roth. In 1985, Roth released a solo EP, Crazy from the Heat, which spawned hit covers of “California Girls” and “Just a Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody.” When Roth delayed the recording of Van Halen’s follow-up to 1984, he was fired from the band. Most observers were taken by surprise when Sammy Hagar was named as Roth’s replacement. The former lead singer of Montrose, Hagar’s solo career had been sporadically successful, highlighted by such arena metal hits as “Three-Lock Box” and “I Can’t Drive 55.”

Though many critics suspected Hagar wouldn’t be able to sustain Van Halen’s remarkable success, his first album with the band, 1986’s 5150, was a huge hit, reaching number one and spawning the hit singles “Why Can’t This Be Love,” “Dreams,” and “Love Walks In.” Released in 1988, OU812 was just as successful, earning stronger reviews than its predecessor and generating the hits “When It’s Love” and “Finish What You Started.” For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, released in 1991, was another number one hit, partially due to the hit MTV video for “Right Now.” Van Halen followed the album with their first live record, the double album Van Halen Live: Right Here, Right Now in 1993.

By the spring 1995 release of Balance, tensions between Eddie Van Halen and Sammy Hagar had grown considerably. Eddie had recently undergone well-publicized treatment for alcoholism, and Hagar was notorious for his party-hearty ways, even writing a paean to Amsterdam’s hash bars with “Amsterdam” on Balance. Furthermore, the band had become subject to criticism that it simply repeated a formula. While Balance was successful, entering the charts at number one and selling two million copies shortly after its release, it stalled quickly afterward. The band wanted to release a greatest-hits collection, but Hagar balked at the idea, escalating tensions even further. Following a skirmish in 1996 over the recording of a song for the Twister soundtrack, Eddie decided to make a change by switching singers. Van Halen began recording new material with Roth without informing Hagar, who went ballistic upon learning of the group’s reunion.

According to Hagar, Eddie fired him shortly afterward; Eddie claimed Hagar quit. Roth proceeded to record two new songs for Van Halen’s Best Of, Vol. 1, and once the reunion became public, the rock media reacted positively to the news; MTV began airing a welcome back commercial days after the announcement. However, the reunion was not to be. Following an appearance at the MTV Music Awards, Eddie Van Halen fired Roth from the band, claiming that he was only on board to record two new songs. Roth said that he was duped into recording the songs, believing that the reunion was permanent. Former Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone was announced as the band’s new lead singer. Though the resulting Best Of, Vol. 1 was a success, Eddie’s reputation as a nice guy was tarnished once the entire affair was over. Cherone’s long-awaited debut with Van Halen, entitled Van Halen III, was finally released in March of 1998. Although the album debuted high on the charts, crashing in at number three, it quickly slipped down the charts, since the reception to the album from fans, critics, and radio was mixed.

After Van Halen III proved to be the worst-selling album of Van Halen’s long and illustrious career (the ensuing world tour was poorly attended as well), Cherone was dismissed from Van Halen in 1999. Immediately, rumors began to swirl once more of an impending David Lee Roth/Van Halen reunion. Things were kept completely hush-hush in the Van Halen camp until early 2001, when David Lee Roth went public on his website with an update, confirming that he had recorded several new songs with the band (tracks that Roth described as amazing, phenomenal, and astonishing), but hadn’t heard back from them since the previous summer.

Only a few days after Roth’s news, Eddie Van Halen admitted to the public that he was battling cancer, but was told by his doctors that chances were good for a complete recovery. In the summer of 2001, Eddie told MTV News that the band’s remaining members had penned a total of three albums’ worth of new material and that they were still unsure of who their next singer would be. Months later, fans were shocked to hear that the band parted ways with Warner Bros., its label since 1979. The bandmembers blamed the label for promoting younger bands, while also admitting that they had not yet found Cherone’s replacement and were no longer considering Roth.

The next three years found various members tending to situations both personal and professional. Eddie and longtime wife Valerie Bertinelli separated, Michael Anthony began making regular appearances with Sammy Hagar’s Warboritas, and in a surprise move, David Lee Roth and Hagar hit the road together for the popular Heavyweight Champs of Rock & Roll Tour. In 2004, the band announced that Hagar would return to the fold for an American tour in support of a new greatest-hits collection, The Best of Both Worlds. The shows were undeniably successful, but tensions were high and Hagar and Anthony returned to the Warboritas the following year. In 2007, Van Halen were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and rumors of a reunion tour with Roth began to circulate again. Those rumors were confirmed on August 17th when the group announced legitimate dates, along with a controversial lineup change that replaced Michael Anthony with Eddie’s son Wolfgang on bass. The tour kicked off in September and went on to gross over 93 million dollars. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Greg Prato, Rovi

  MAR 
24
SAT

Boardwalk HallAtlantic City, NJ
07:30 PM
Van Halen
Details: Van Halen, Kool & the Gang
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  MAR 
24
SAT

Boardwalk HallAtlantic City, NJ
07:30 PM
Van Halen – Official VIP Packages
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  MAR 
26
MON

Canceled
Bryce Jordan CenterUniversity Park, PA
07:30 PM
Van Halen
Details: Van Halen, Kool & the Gang
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currently not on sale
  MAR 
26
MON

Sovereign CenterReading, PA
07:30 PM
Van Halen
Details: Van Halen, Kool & the Gang
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  MAR 
26
MON

Sovereign CenterReading, PA
07:30 PM
Van Halen – Official VIP Packages
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  MAR 
28
WED

Verizon CenterWashington, DC
07:30 PM
Van Halen
Details: Van Halen, Kool & the Gang
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  MAR 
28
WED

Verizon CenterWashington, DC
07:30 PM
Van Halen – Official VIP Packages
Details: Van Halen
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  MAR 
30
FRI

CONSOL Energy CenterPittsburgh, PA
07:30 PM
Van Halen
Details: Van Halen, Kool & the Gang
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  MAR 
30
FRI

CONSOL Energy CenterPittsburgh, PA
07:30 PM
Van Halen – Official VIP Packages
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  APR 
1
SUN

Allstate ArenaRosemont, IL
07:30 PM
Van Halen
Details: Van Halen, Kool & the Gang
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