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Mike Mettler Posted: Mar 22, 2017 0 comments
Chilly Gonzales (seated) and Jarvis Cocker. Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon.

Let us now give praise to the power of the almighty song cycle that comprises Room 29, a decidedly thrilling 16-track treatise jointly concocted by vocalist/lyricist Jarvis Cocker (of Pulp fame) and composer/pianist Chilly Gonzales (Feist, Peaches, Daft Punk) in and around a baby grand piano located in the same-numbered room on the second floor of the famed Chateau Marmont Hotel on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. Gonzales called in from his room across the Pond to discuss the sonics of Room 29, his and Cocker’s “reverse” song-cycle writing process, and how (yes) Gilligan’s Island fits into the middle of it all.

Mike Mettler Posted: Mar 17, 2017 1 comments
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If The Band didn’t slow down and get off the road—and get off the road soon—they were going to wind up killing themselves, to a man. “It’s a goddamn impossible way of life,” says Band leader/guitarist/chief songwriter Robbie Robertson of being stuck on the wheel of a crushing, never-ending tour cycle. That urgent “stop the road, I want to get off” mentality was one of the main driving forces behind The Band masterminding a farewell concert for the ages at the Winterland Arena in San Francisco during Thanksgiving 1976, dubbed from the get-go-then-get-gone as The Last Waltz.
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Mike Mettler Posted: Mar 10, 2017 0 comments
Paula Cole has always been an artist with a singular vision, and she’s still on point to this day. In celebration of the recent 20th anniversary of This Fire, Cole re-recorded the majority of the album live on May 1, 2016 at The City Winery in New York, along with revised/new studio versions of “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” and “I Don’t Want to Wait” for release as This Bright Red Feeling on her own label, 675. Cole and I got on the line to discuss her original production goals for the sound of This Fire and its re-recording, working with Peter Gabriel, and her thoughts on streaming.
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Mike Mettler Posted: Feb 10, 2017 2 comments
Neal Morse is a busy man. The former Spock’s Beard vocalist/keyboardist found much great success after embarking on a long and fruitful solo career 15 years ago. Morse also runs his own label, Radiant Records, and he somehow finds the time to front two other sonically adventurous progressive-leaning bands, Transatlantic and Flying Colors. Before venturing across the Pond for an upcoming European tour in March and April, Morse called me from his home studio in Nashville to discuss how the journey of how The Neal Morse Band's new double-disc release The Similitude of a Dream came together, where you can find the album’s special “yacht rock” moment, and why he just can’t get behind the concept of streaming.
Mike Mettler Posted: Feb 10, 2017 0 comments
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The Seattle music scene was devastated. Andrew Wood, the promising and charismatic frontman of Mother Love Bone, was found dead of a heroin overdose in March 1990. His bandmates and close friends were in despair, and the one catharsis they found to deal with their pain in the ensuing year was in making new music together. As a result, out of the wake of Wood’s passing was born a 1991 Seattle supercollective dubbed Temple of the Dog, who became best known for their massive grunge-era alt-rock MTV hit, “Hunger Strike.”
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Mike Mettler Posted: Jan 25, 2017 1 comments
Uriah Heep burst onto the music scene at the dawn of the 1970s, and their heavy-but-melodic sensibilities instantly catapulted them into the hard-hitting Brit-rock fraternity collectively known as The Big Four, placing them right alongside Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple. A full-bore Uriah Heep reissue series is now underway, having commenced late last year with the two-CD set Your Turn to Remember: The Definitive Anthology 1970–1990 (BMG/Sanctuary) and followed by the band’s first two albums — namely, 1970's ...Very ’Eavy ...Very ’Umble and 1971’s Salisbury — with scores of bonus tracks to boot. I got on the horn across the Pond with co-founding Heep guitarist Mick Box to discuss the ins and outs of putting together the Anthology, how the band recorded an actual tea kettle onto the classic 1972 track “The Wizard,” his thoughts on streaming, and the band’s future plans.
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Mike Mettler Posted: Jan 20, 2017 0 comments
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When Prince passed away from an accidental overdose of fentanyl this past April, multiple generations bonded over their mutual appreciation of his one-man empire of sonic creativity, quirky yet influential style, and overall mystique. In the wake of all this new and renewed interest in the Purple One, Warner has remastered his only three starring roles for high-def Blu-ray release via the simply titled Prince Movie Collection.
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Mike Mettler Posted: Jan 11, 2017 0 comments
Glenn Hughes is known as “The Voice of Rock” for good reason. The bassist/vocalist’s long and storied C.V. reads like a playlist that’s been culled from the best British-bred AOR from the ’70s right up to the present day, including the likes of Trapeze, Deep Purple, and Black Country Communion. I called Hughes to discuss the latest twist on his writing process for his new solo album Resonate, how also being the album’s producer enabled him to stretch creatively, and how spinning vinyl and streaming music are very different listening experiences.
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Mike Mettler Posted: Dec 21, 2016 0 comments
Rainbow was looking for a hit, as bandleader/guitarist Richie Blackmore wanted to hear his songs on the radio. After scores of vocal auditions in 1979, they finally hit upon Graham Bonnet, who sang lead on Rainbow's breakout track, “Since You Been Gone.” Bonnet got on the horn to discuss his new solo album The Book, where he likes to hear his vocals in a mix, how he transformed “Since You Been Gone” from a pop song into a rock hit, and coming to grips with living in the streaming universe.
Mike Mettler Posted: Dec 14, 2016 1 comments
Welcome back, my friends… well, you know the rest. That opening line—made famous in “Karn Evil 9 – 1st Impression, Part 2” from 1973’s Brain Salad Surgery—certainly applies to the re-emergence of the remastered catalog for Emerson, Lake & Palmer, the groundbreaking British progressive trio that defined adventurous recording and outrageous live performance during their 1970s heyday. Actually, ELP vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Greg Lake prefers using the word original instead of progressive to describe the band’s signature sound—and the man does have a point.

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