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items tagged with Redstone Room

“What Else Can I Do?”: Jesse Malin, April 22 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-04-14 11:34:22

Jesse Malin

Over the past few years, Jesse Malin found himself displaced, although not exactly because of the economy.

Now 42, Malin has lived in the (literal) spotlight since he was 13, fronting the hardcore band Heart Attack in the early 1980s and then the glam band D Generation throughout the '90s before going solo. It might have been a midlife crisis, but after three well-received solo albums and seven years of touring behind them, Malin wasn't sure that music was his proper path, he said.

"Somehow, after the third record, I found myself doing a covers record [in 2008], and then going off on some weird tours in the States, and back in New York, and I was kind of confused what the next thing to do was," he said in a phone interview last week. "I was laying around, I was trying to think what else I could do for a living."

Some of this was undoubtedly financial. Although he's been in music for nearly three decades, it's been an album-to-album existence. "I found myself living on my sister's couch, hanging out back down at the Bowery, DJ-ing at a club, taking the bus with old ladies," he said. "Where's this money coming from? The covers record really didn't pay much publishing, because I didn't write on it. I was just starving for something. ... I'm broke, and I've got nothing else to say. What else can I do?"

Malin has found his way back to music -- his vital Love It to Life album with his new band the St. Marks Social will be released April 27, and he'll be performing at the Redstone Room on April 22 -- but over two years he experimented outside of music. He tried his hand at stand-up comedy, DJ-ed some weddings in Las Vegas, conducted interviews for a documentary on Bad Brains, and supervised music for a documentary on the legendary club CBGB. (There's also an unreleased album by ATM, featuring Malin, pal Ryan Adams, and Johnny T. Yerington, who previously, collectively, somewhat secretly released a punk record as The Finger.)

Read More About “What Else Can I Do?”: Jesse Malin, April 22 At The Redstone Room...

Living in These Shoes: Miles Nielsen, April 9 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-04-06 14:09:53

Miles NielsenWhen his band Harmony Riley called it quits in 2004, Miles Nielsen took a yearlong break from songwriting. "I couldn't write anything because I didn't know what I was about," he said in a phone interview last week. "A huge part of my life just ended. I sort of looked at it a little bit like, 'Okay, we sort of failed at the music thing.' I was really trying to figure out what to do. And then once I realized that was all sort of not the case ... it made me focus on writing again."

Nielsen's sense of failure is understandable if misguided: His father is Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen, and when that's the standard by which you judge yourself ... .

Read More About Living In These Shoes: Miles Nielsen, April 9 At The Redstone Room...

A Charmed Path: Regan, March 11 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-03-04 14:13:03

ReganOn the song "Superstar," Regan sings that "I'll pay the price for fame / I'll even change my name" and "I've worked really hard and I've paid my dues."

Regan performs using her middle name, so that's already done. But the senior at Bettendorf's Pleasant Valley High School is (and sounds) 18 years old, which is too young to have paid many dues in the music industry.

Yet the biggest irony is that Regan -- who will perform at the Redstone Room on March 11 -- has had a charmed path in her burgeoning music career. She was selected -- based on songs on her MySpace page -- for the Crash Course to Stardom program in which she spent a week in Los Angeles learning the ropes of the music business; that's the kind of experience and advice that most singers would kill for at the start of their careers. Her debut EP was shaped by established producers and has songs with the hooks and attention to musical detail that would sound right at home on mainstream country or pop radio.

Read More About A Charmed Path: Regan, March 11 At The Redstone Room...

Living It: Traffic’s Dave Mason, October 15 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-10-13 20:39:11

Dave MasonBecause not even classic-rock stations play new music by classic-rock artists, most of Dave Mason's younger fans find him through "a parent or a brother or sister - older - or rummaging around in their parents' stuff, I suppose - old albums," he said.

Those albums might include the first two Traffic records - Mason was a founding member - or the Jimi Hendrix Experience's Electric Ladyland, with Mason singing on "Crosstown Traffic," and memorably contributing the layers of acoustic guitars on "All Along the Watchtower," helping to wrest the song from Dylan and make it Jimi's. He also played bass and sitar on a few songs, although his work didn't make the final cut. "I have no idea whatever happened to those," he said in a recent phone interview, promoting his October 15 show at the Redstone Room. "I don't know where they ever went to."

Or it might be the Rolling Stones' Beggars Banquet, on which he played some drums and, on "Street Fighting Man," added some horn. Or separate albums by Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Or they might discover him from his solo work, including hit songs "Feelin' Alright" and "We Just Disagree."

That sort of introduction suggests that Mason's best days are behind him, and that's not true.

Read More About Living It: Traffic’S Dave Mason, October 15 At The Redstone Room...

Feel Every Word: 500 Miles to Memphis, October 6 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-10-02 19:43:03

500 Miles to Memphis

The opening track of 500 Miles to Memphis' 2007 album Sunshine in a Shot Glass starts with a fiddle and feet stomping and bottles clinking, and then an arena-sized power chord jumps in. While most folks have heard fusions of country and punk for decades, it's a little startling to have them not blended but standing next to each other, their identities clearly intact.

The Cincinnati-based band, playing at the Redstone Room on Tuesday, is led by singer/guitarist/songwriter Ryan Malott, and all aural evidence to the contrary, he didn't grow up with alt-country acts such as Uncle Tupelo and the Old 97's.

He would hear those comparisons and think, "Who the hell are these guys?" he said in an interview this week. "Had I heard those bands before I started 500 Miles to Memphis, it might sound different. ... I might have been more cautious with what I wrote and how I sounded."

Malott's influences were more direct: outlaw country (Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings, for example) and punk. Those opening 10 seconds of Sunshine in a Shot Glass, then, illustrate from where the band came.

Read More About Feel Every Word: 500 Miles To Memphis, October 6 At The Redstone Room...

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