“Behind the Beat: Heartfelt Aggression” The Prozacs – May 30, 2013

“Behind the Beat: Heartfelt Aggression” The Prozacs – May 30, 2013


It’s a Shame About Ray: Doors’ keyboardist Manzarek dies at 74

Finally “breaking on through,” The Doors’ keyboardist Ray Manzarek has joined singer Jim Morrison on the other side. The 74-year-old passed away from bile duct cancer on Monday.

While popularly known as a founding member of the late-‘60s rock group along with Morrison, guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore, Manzarek also possessed a lengthy music career after The Doors’ disbandment in 1973. He produced records by the California punk band X as well as the English group Echo & the Bunnymen, and he continued to perform music live, playing with the band Nite City and even his old band-mate Krieger in Manzarek-Krieger.

Watch Manzarek perform a cover of The Doors’ song “Soul Kitchen” with the band X here:

Outside of music, Manzarek also wrote several books including “Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors,” “The Poet in Exile” and “Snake Moon.”

After hearing about their friend’s death, Krieger and Densmore each commented:

Robby Krieger: “I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today. I’m just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him.

John Densmore: “There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison’s words. Ray, I felt totally in sync with you musically. It was like we were of one mind, holding down the foundation for Robby and Jim to float on top of. I will miss my musical brother.

Manzarek is survived by his wife Dorothy, son Pablo, and grandchildren Noah, Apollo and Camille.

Watch Ray Manzarek and The Doors perform the song “Light My Fire” live here:

For more information on the life and work of Ray Manzarek please visit http://www.raymanzarek.us/.

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Doctor Westchesterson reps Valley Advocate on new track, Chelsea Light Moving premieres Occupy-themed video

Dr. WestchestersonThe “undisputed ruler” of the 413 is back again, and this time Doctor Westchesterson has even seen fit to name drop the Valley Advocate in one of his rhymes.

On his newest track, “Make You Move,” which he dropped on Thursday, Westchesterson mentions a 2012 Advocate cover he shared with Berkshire County politician Bill Shein.

The good doctor raps:

…and then they interviewed me in the pages of the Valley Advocate magazine, yeah it was a cover story, me and politicians share press, press flesh because I’m bigger than all the rest…


And in other Valley music news, Florence resident and former Sonic Youth axe slinger Thurston Moore has premiered the first official video by his new band Chelsea Light Moving.

According to an interview in Rolling Stone Magazine, the video for “Lips” features footage of the band interspersed with clips of “Occupy Wall Street rallies and London riots.”

Watch the official music video for “Lips” by Chelsea Light Moving here:

Moore says, “It was the idea of the director, Eva Prinz. It’s a protest song I wrote for all the Occupy people I know, and she’s very involved with Occupy in a very activist way…Making a video of a song with a chorus of ‘Fuck fuck fuck’ is a little ridiculous. You can’t show the thing. But it was a creative moment.”

For more information on Doctor Westchesterson and Chelsea Light Moving please visit http://www.drwestchesterson.com/ and http://www.chelsealightmoving.com/.

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“Behind the Beat: Risk Takers” Brotherhood of Thieves – May 16, 2013

“Behind the Beat: Risk Takers” Brotherhood of Thieves – May 16, 2013

Kris Kristofferson Wows Calvin Crowd with Mother’s Day Show

Kris Kristofferson (horizontal)

Kris Kristofferson (Photo courtesy of Iron Horse Entertainment Group)

Though the title of his latest album is Feeling Mortal, Kris Kristofferson treated fans (and their moms) to a show filled with life during a special Mother’s Day concert in Northampton Sunday.

As the owner of a music career spanning nearly 50 years and a second occupation as an actor that dates back to 1971’s “The Last Movie,” Kristofferson can hardly be considered an underground artist. And the depth of the singer’s back catalogue was on fine display at the Calvin Theatre as he growled and guffawed his way through an astonishing 35 songs in a tight two-hour performance.

Opening with the “Road Warrior’s Lament” from the 1995 album A Moment of Forever, Kristofferson quickly set the template for the evening’s entertainment – poetic lyrics, off-the-cuff humor, and a wealth of charm to draw listeners into his own private world. Armed only with an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, which frequently reflected the venue’s stage lighting, the former member of the Highwaymen sang of being both a “friend” and a “lover,” while also promising to stay with the crowd “right to the end, until it’s over.”

Several songs later, the playing of “Me and Bobby McGee” was greeted with enthusiastic whoops and hollers from the audience, while the tune itself featured a heartfelt nod to the late Janis Joplin, who took the song to the top of the charts in 1971.

“The Best of All Possible Worlds” also included a short aside from Kristofferson, who joked that honky-tonk artist’s Roger Miller’s version of the track featured scatting at its conclusion, but since he himself couldn’t scat he was “just going to quit,” bringing the number to a quick conclusion.

Also fitting the delicately beautiful “Help Me Make It Through the Night” and somber “Nobody Wins” into the first half of his set, Kristofferson, who quipped during the latter tune that it “Sounds like the evening news doesn’t it?” took a short intermission shortly before 9 p.m.

Returning to the stage a little more than 20 minutes later, the onetime lead of “A Star is Born” turned his focus to some lighter material. Though shortened to less than 30 seconds, “You Show Me Yours (And I’ll Show You Mine)” received a few laughs for its suggestive lyrics, but was soon overshadowed by the more obvious humor of “Sky King,” which was written during Kristofferson’s time in the army and was sung to the tune of the Jimmy Dean cut “Big Bad John.”

Kris Kristofferson (IHEG)Changing course, more ballad-like material followed, including “Jody and the Kid” along with the fan favorite “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” which each showcased Kristofferson’s incredible eye for detail. Whether referring to the “blue jeans rolled up to her knees” or “the Sunday smell of someone fryin’ chicken,” the singer’s delivery stressed the human elements in his songs, lending both tunes an intimacy that earned fervent applause from those in attendance.

Finishing his main set just before 10 p.m. and leaving the stage with a short “God bless you for your spirit,” Kristofferson returned less than a minute later to perform a five song encore. Segueing smoothly from “I Hate Your Ugly Face” to “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends” to “Moment of Forever,” the singer seemed at times to revel in the emotive power of his own lyrics, earning laughs and applause with the way he added inflection to often just a single word. Then with many starting to turn to the exits, Kristofferson decided that the night was still not over.

“I’m going to do something now that I’ve never done before,” he said as some over-eager fans rushed hurriedly back to find their seats.

Bringing out the young singer Samantha Schultz, who Kristofferson met during the Berklee College of Music commencement concert held at Boston University two days prior, the silver-maned star proceeded to play two stirring duets – “Pancho and Lefty” and “Why Me Lord” – alongside the talented vocalist, who easily earned her own share of applause from the appreciative Calvin crowd.

“God bless. Thank you for your spirit,” Kristofferson then finally said to a standing ovation at the conclusion of his night. But for many, the spirit in the building Sunday was obvious. It was older maybe than many remembered, and maybe possessed a little more gravel in its voice. But it still had the power to stir a few souls. And as a fitting close to a cool Mother’s Day in Western Massachusetts, who could ask for anything more?

For more information on Kris Kristofferson or to see future tour dates please visit http://www.kriskristofferson.com/.

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“Behind the Beat: Radical Shift” Tidwell’s Treasure – May 9, 2013

“Behind the Beat: Radical Shift” Tidwell’s Treasure – May 9, 2013

Album review – Brown Bird “Fits of Reason” – May 9, 2013

Album review – Brown Bird “Fits of Reason” – May 9, 2013