Over the course of the last 20 years, Ric Ocasek has been one of alternative rock’s most revered pioneers. His work with the Cars, the various side and solo projects, and even his poetry have kept him front and center in the music world–even when he’s not writing or producing. He’s had enormous triumphs as well as a few falls. If he has an opinion on a particular subject, he speaks his mind freely, directing pointed barbs at any detractors, rarely apologizing for anything.

Categories: Conversations, Features

Although 311 have become both mainstream and commercial in their appeal, they have managed to maintain, with the utmost care, the integrity and power of their message. Although they operate in the “commercial” arena of the alternative movement, that doesn’t mean they should be taken less seriously. Hailing from the midwest, the five guys of 311 are as close as we get in America to a “voice of the people.” Whether you like their music, you should listen up, for 311′s attitude runs the full gamut of their sound. It’s about noise, volume, speed and the sheer intensity of the music. It can make you want to jump around and act stupid or it can make you think and want to change your life. Hopefully, you’ll want to do a little of both.

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Back almost eight years ago, inspired by some of the greatest groups of the early punk-rock movement, (i.e. Sex Pistols, The Clash, Ramones and the Buzzcocks), 311 formed in the heart of middle America–Omaha, Nebraska. Through three self-produced indie albums and an exhaustive touring schedule that has helped them cultivate one of the most intense (and biggest) “grassroots” fan bases around, the band has managed to maintain their straight-up, melodic hard-core style.

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Various Rock Format Song Reviews - Paul Rodgers, INXS, Sexpod

Categories: Music Reviews

Is there an archetypal locale in this great country of ours from which hardcore rock bands are formed? First responses might be Los Angeles, New York, Detroit or maybe even Washington D.C. But wherever this mecca of aggressive rock may lie, the humble and quaint surroundings of San Francisco, most probably don’t pop up very often in hard-edged comparisons. After all, the bay area is the home of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Journey to name a few. Although most of the members are involved in various side projects, a team sense of pride is deeply rooted within the band. It is a fierce energy that has bonded these men together for a career that has spanned fifteen years and seven albums to date. But this is not a happy band. The members of Faith No More feel they have not fully realized their potential nor have they received the attention they deserve.

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From seemingly out of nowhere, Seattle, WA punk/popsters, The Presidents Of The United States Of America (now that’s more than a mouthful) seem poised to once again capture the imaginations of America’s youth. Although no bet is entirely safe, in this instance, the best way to endear one’s self to the mainstream is to completely cut across it; to turn one’s back to the establishment and create your own musical vein. That is exactly what The Presidents have done. Fresh from their 1995 Grammy nomination for “Best Alternative Music Performance,” and a certified double platinum debut release, the (other) boys from Seattle are ready for another term, with their sophomore release II; after all, this is an election year!

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What’s in a name? Well, for starters, a name gives you identity. It describes who you are. And for some, it even gives a glimpse at what’s inside. For recording artists, a name not only represents who you are as a group, but also as musicians. A name can either be so intriguing that you immediately want to hear more of what the band has to offer or it can completely turn you off. In the case of Los Angeles rockers Egodog, there’s a lot in name!

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Various Rock Format Song Reviews - Queensrÿche, Hair Of The Dog, Our Lady Peace, Type O Negative

Categories: Music Reviews

Reading through the history of INXS, one of Australia’s most prolific bands can be rather time consuming. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version: Over 20 million records sold, tens of thousands of concerts, numerous hit songs, MTV awards, Brit awards and several Grammy nominations – all by the same six men over the last seventeen years!

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Snowboarding has become winter’s equivalent to extreme warm weather sports like in-line skating and skate boarding. Since 1989, snowboarding has experienced an unprecedented boom in the United States and across the world. During its early stages, there were less then 75,000 snowboarders across the U.S. As an initial estimate this number may seem significant, but it hardly compares to the predicted 12 million at the end of 1996. This group is not entirely made of men either, as females help make up a major part of this growth in participants. In 1989, the ratio was close to 9:1, males to females where as today it is closer to 3:2. There was also a period of time where the ski resorts were worried about the decline in guests and ski-related activities. Things have changed! Snowboarding has been credited with bringing the young and old alike back to the mountains in overwhelming numbers.

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