For over three years, the Milwaukee quartet Vinyl Theatre have been growing a loyal fan base with frenetic live shows driven by the group's imminently danceable rock. With clear reverence for post-punk sounds of the 80s and earning comparisons to such contemporaries as the Killers and Death Cab for Cutie, Vinyl Theatre released their debut full-length Electrogram on Fueled by Raman in 2014.
The Rock Hall caught up with Vinyl Theatre drummer Nick Cesarz on the eve of his group's live Sonic Sessions concert at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on July 21, 2014.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Can you describe the moment you knew you wanted to make music or play in a band?
Nick Cesarz: I was very young, maybe 8, and I saw the Blue Man Group for the first time. I even got to meet them. After seeing the show, I wanted to try playing drums. When I reached the 5th grade, my name was picked of a hat to play percussion in the school band. I had some good luck that week!
RRHOF: What was the first album you bought with your own money?
NC: Led Zeppelin ...
When Alternative Press was founded in 1985, mainstream music publications just didn't cover music on the fringes – punk, new wave, hardcore. That music had yet to be labeled "alternative," and its fans had few sources for information. Alternative Press set out to change that.
Truly a magazine written by and for diehard music fans, Alternative Press celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2015. The Rock Hall caught up with Alternative Press founder Mike Shea to talk about why he was angry about the Smiths, the earliest days of AP, punk rock clubs, an offer from Madonna and finally saying "screw it."
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Why did you start Alternative Press?
Mike Shea: I started AP because two things: I was bored, and also, I was angry. I was really mad because the Smiths, in 1985, were not coming to Cleveland. They were touring the U.S., and they didn’t have a Cleveland gig, and I was upset about that and I wanted to know why. So, the short of it is… I ...
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Sir Paul McCartney surprised Beatles fans by sharing exclusive, behind-the-scenes footage from the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, where he inducted longtime friend and bandmate Ringo Starr.
The four-minute video, which was shared on McCartney's YouTube channel, begins with McCartney arriving at Cleveland’s Public Hall, later delivering a rousing: “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, baby. Cleveland. Oh yea!”
Several inductees are featured in the video, including Stevie Wonder, who embraces McCartney and congratulates Starr. The two Beatles joke with Wonder, saying: “We’re reforming the group, man. You want to join?” We're sure the world would love to see that happen.
After a quick photo-op with 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, McCartney joins nearly all of the 2015 inductees, performers and presenters onstage to rehearse the Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends,” from their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Then, McCartney, Ringo and Hall of Fame Inductee Joe Walsh run through Starr’s 1971 single, “It Don’t Come Easy.”
After a clip of McCartney and Walsh reliving their glory ...
Since its early days as a pasted-up fanzine in the mid-’80s, Alternative Press has been revered as one of the largest music magazines in the world, all while being independently owned and operated. Renowned internationally as the publication that ultimately broke groups such as Nirvana, Weezer, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Fall Out Boy, Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson and others, it’s no surprise that Alternative Press Magazine is recognized as the #1 youth music magazine in the world.
This month, Alternative Press Magazine celebrates 30 years of bringing fans the hottest artists and cultural trends upfront with their the announcement of a special dedicated exhibit within the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, saluting the incredible story of this wonderful, independently published music magazine.
Alternative Press founder and CEO Mike Shea offers his thoughts on this history of his magazine that he started in his childhood bedroom, and its transition into the great entertainment periodical it has become. “In May of 1985, I had asked a couple of skater kids and a few music fans to whip together a bunch of reviews of new and classic punk records along with a few sentences ...
The 30th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony took place on April 18, 2015 at Cleveland's Public Hall and the exclusive HBO premiere broadcasts Saturday, May 30 at 8 pm ET!
Sneak peek of the HBO premiere:
Bill Withers Sings "Lean On Me" with Stevie Wonder and John Legend
Joan Jett Sings "Crimson and Clover" with Tommy James, Dave Grohl and Miley Cyrus
Double Trouble performs "Pride and Joy" with Jimmie Vaughan, John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr.and Doyle Bramhall II
Green Day performs "American Idiot"
The 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees are (click links for more Hall of Fame stories!):
Special presenters this year include Hall of Fame Inductees Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Steve Cropper and Patti Smith, as well as Peter Wolf, Fall Out Boy and John Mayer.
The star-studded performances this year include Beck, Dave Grohl, Hall of Fame Inductee Joe Walsh, Tom Morello, John Legend, Jimmie Vaughan and more!
2015 special marks the fourth year HBO has presented the Rock and Roll Hall of ...
Testifying on the healing quality of the blues genre he embodied, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee B.B. King once remarked: “I’m trying to get people to see that we are our brother’s keeper. Red, white, black, brown or yellow, rich or poor, we all have the blues.”
On May 14, 2015, the world of music lost a true icon with the passing of King. Among the blues genre’s most recognizable and influential artists, his half-century of success owes much to his hard work as a touring musician who consistently logged between 200 and 300 shows a year. "B.B. King created a new kind of blues, and was a lifelong ambassador for the music," said Rock Hall VP of education Dr. Lauren Onkey. "He played constantly, all over the world, and taught generation after generation the power of the blues. His singing, single note solos and commanding vocal style made you feel every emotion in his songs."
Through it all, he remained faithful to the blues while keeping abreast of contemporary trends and deftly incorporating other favored forms - jazz and pop, for instance - into his musical overview. He managed to change with the changing ...
"Stevie Ray Vaughan is the ultimate guitar hero," proclaimed John Mayer as he inducted Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "[His playing] was as otherworldly as Hendrix, but where Hendrix was coming down from outer space, Stevie came up from below the ground. …Some flowers come up through the ground in full bloom. He was the ultimate guitar hero, and heroes live forever."
“He was a great guitar player,” Vaughan said, accepting the Hall of Fame honor on behalf of brother Stevie. “He could play beautiful, he could play mean and he could play fun. He could drag you along. …But what you heard with Stevie was his enthusiasm for everything. That’s why people love his music. …He loved playing guitar more than anybody I know.”
A who's who of axe slingers took the stage with the original members of Double Trouble to deliver blistering versions of two Stevie Ray Vaughan tracks: "Pride and Joy" and "Texas Flood;" and Jimmie Vaughan's tribute to his brother "Six Strings Down." The set kicked off with "Pride and Joy," as John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr., Doyle Bramhall and Jimmie Vaughan traded licks ...
2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee The Paul Butterfield Blues Band took the world by storm at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, expertly combining American rock and roll and the blues with Butterfield’s inspired harmonica and Mike Bloomfield’s explosive lead guitar. Their self-titled album released in 1965 and its follow-up, East-West in 1966, kicked open a door that brought a defining new edge to rock and roll. Here are my picks for essential Paul Butterfield Blues Band listening.
“Born in Chicago”
This is the opening song on their first album and immediately establishes the group as a part of long history of electric Chicago blues (in the tracks of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf). The song was written by friend and collaborator Nick Gravenites who would go on to pen many classic psychedelic blues tunes in the years to come.
“Our Love is Drifting”
A slow blues burner written by the band’s two guitarists Bloomfield and Bishop. While the solos are enough to knock your socks off don’t ignore the great melodic call and response between the vocal and the guitar in the verses.
While “Work Song” was originally written and recorded ...