France, BLOW, and Bourbon

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By Mark Simpson

It’s not every day that you get to interview a group who primary speaks French and has a sound that will “BLOW” your mind. The Electro-Pop band “BLOW” is a relatively new band based in Paris who is yet to set foot in the United States. The French group has plans to come over soon with the help of their label DDM and, I’m predicting that many Americans will enjoy what I would call a dark, almost Depeche Mode like sound. The group is very appreciative about the attention they are getting from the United States and even went on to say:

“It’s a pleasure to see that American’s like our music.”

It has always amazed me that their are bands like “BLOW”, who with all their talent, are often found by an individual spending a night on YouTube. After seeing the french group perform on KEXP I was amazed by their sound, my favorite song being “The Devil Reminds Me”. The song is about a man fighting his compulsions to kill a young women, all the while dealing with with his own mental instability. Here is a video of the group performing the song on one of my favorite radio stations, KEXP.

It’s a bit of surprise to find out that Singer Quentin Guglielmi is influenced by many American greats like Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan, as well as paying tribute to fellow country men like Serge Gainsburg. As I listen to other songs like “You Killed Me on the Moon” I can see the similarities in the creative writing style of someone like Morrison. When asked about how Quentin goes about writing songs he replied:

“I write about scenes I see when I focus on the music I’m working on. It’s a kind of automatic writing. I don’t tell myself “I’m gonna write about politics, or about ecology”. Words come naturally, the music dictates it to me, sends me images.”
– Quentin Guglielmi

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When asked about the recording process and their luck with What I like to call, “Studio Magic”, the group pointed to tracks like “Zephyr” which was completely changed in the studio last minute to give the song a more favorable tempo and a memorable looping guitar.

When watching the group, I found it impossible not to enjoy the talent of their man who controls everything “Bass”, Thomas Clairice. Thomas is literally a man obsessed with low-frequency instruments and over the years has developed the talent to play the upright bass, cello, baritone sax, and the Moog Synth.

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As a band who enjoys every song they write, the group is focusing on writing some new material for their newest album which is set to be released within the upcoming months. The “I” EP is a personal favorite of mine, and I really enjoy the track “Call the Youth” as it has a guitar riffs that is eerie similar to something you would hear David Gilmour play in a Pink Fl0yd song.

As I wonder what it might be like to share a shot of “Bourbon”, the Bands favorite, I am reminded of the large pond that separates us from such amazing music. This as one of the more interesting articles I have gotten to do, and I hope that you all will take the time to like the groups pages. I appreciate the group’s time, and would love to see them perform in the States really soon. Sante!

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https://www.facebook.com/blowofficialbandpage

https://www.instagram.com/blow_band_/

Castle Pines, Adversity, and a Few Sips of Beer

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By Mark Simpson

Castle Pines story starts with four guys in their youth that are trying to figure out their place in a world. Faced with the loss of their home on Castle Pines Parkway, and an estranged relationship with family, the group was formed. Leandro Barriento, lead singer of the group, gives a voice to the adversity the group faced in their youth with my personal favorite track “Derailed”. When asked about the track the group said that:

“Derailed is about the reality of life, the things that happen to us and how we interpret them.”


“Summer Blood”, which was released in the summer of 2014, is a direct reflection of the groups experiences growing up in Southern California in the 90’s and what turned out to be turbulent times for the group. Many of the members experienced some major hardships during those times, like loosing their home to their parents best efforts to fight rising debt. Rather then feeling sorry for themselves and letting the pressures of life take the joy from their world the group found solace in the escape that playing music offers them.
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Through this experience the independent group has done its best to master the art of navigating the “shark tank” known as the music business. Singer Leandro even enrolled in the music program at Cal Poly so that he may better understand the Music business to plan for his future. As a DIY artists the group has plans to release a new album very soon and does many amazing benefit shows including the one that they did for the families of the victims killed in the San Bernardino school shooting in 2015. The group was so effected by what was going on around them that they wrote their song titled “Hollow Cause” which is a play on the word Holocaust, and is according to Leandro is a reflection of:

“ The shooting, the aftermath, the Syrian Crisis, the Civil unrest in the black community in cities around America, they all kind of culminated into this song.”

When asked about their latest album “Bless This House”, and what the groups favorite track was, they gave a really interesting tune called “Moonshine”. The tune features some serious ghosting on the snare by drummer Sterling Fairfeild along with a silky smooth baseline by bassist Jesse Briseno as can be heard below. The group was able to strike some serious “Studio Magic” on the album, as a few tracks were actually written and recorded while in the studio. One track that exemplifies this example is the the easy listening fan favorite song “Black Star Canyon”, which features great tone and a mesmerizing solo from guitarist Ricky Garvey.

As a group, the guys from Corona, California really want to offer their fans their very best and as a result, they rarely get drunk on stage. Its not uncommon to see the band members with their favorite beer on stage, but unlike you and me, they enjoy sipping that beer during their set. This is not to say that you can’t catch your favorite brew with the group after their set, as they seem to be the kind of rock stars that enjoy hanging out with their fans and sharing a brew.

As I finished my interview with Castle Pines, I found that the group was much like a family. Every group has some kind of diversity but, to me the mark of success is how you handle diversity. Castle Pines is one of those groups, that unlike many in our scene, I believe will stand the test of time. As I thanked the group for their time, I asked for their last words for our Ticket2Ride readers and this is what they had to say:

“We are so humbled and blessed to have wonderful people like you that are listening and supporting us after all these years and we are truly thankful . We want to tell all of you reading out there that we are diligently working on a new album for a release this year. Thank you so much and remember #CPporVida”

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Website – http://cpporvida.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/CastlePinesMusic

Spotify – https://play.spotify.com/artist/08g4IM7nKcGPfgyaJ4aBzq?play=true&utm_source=open.spotify.com&utm_medium=open

BTS of The Rezinators music video “Get Me Down”

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This past Easter Sunday, SoCal hip-hop group The Rezinators announced the release of their new music video and song “Get Me Down.”  I was fortunate enough to be invited to the making of the music video.

The music video was Produced by Apollo V and Directed by Cannanvision. It was a small cast and crew and definitely a group effort. Despite a few hiccups, the production went well. A plus was that no one was hit by a car during the production (see BTS video).  The song itself has kind of a Warren G feel to it. So if you’re a fan of Warren G, you’ll probably be a fan of The Rezinators too. I personally dig this song. Check out the BTS and full music video below.

BTS Photos

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BTS Video

Full “Get Me Down” music video Produced by Apollo V and Directed by Cannanvision

To keep up to date about The Rezinators, please visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/theRezinators760

Follow our FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/ticket2ridepromotions

-Mo

Ghosts in Pocket, Banana Daiquiris, and the “Barberton” Mountains

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By Mark Simpson

Barberton is the name of a unique and small town located in South Africa. The town was a gold mining town in the 1800’s and is surrounded by some of the oldest exposed mountains in the world. This improbable town also provides the name for the newest album by local Inland Empire indie rock band Ghost in Pocket. “Barberton” is the five-track stroke of genius that, with the help of kick starter and their fans, Ghosts in Pocket gave birth to on October 9th, 2015.

” It was important to us that we try to make “Barberton” feel like progress, because that’s also what the songs strive to do musically and lyrically.” – Keith

The album was produced, mixed, and mastered with the help of up-and-comer John Kunkel, who is a Los Angeles Native who owns Division 87 Records and performs with the group New Division. With influences such as Burt Reynolds and Carrot Top laying heavy on the band’s mind, they could go into the studio and lay down what may be, in my opinion, the best sounding local album I have heard in the last 5 years. The first track on the album is the title track “Barberton” which has an amazing video that gives you a look at the band and the lengthy recording process that goes with releasing an album.

From bandannas, to Nick cutting a good rug, to empty Rolling Rock on the floor, you can get a sense of how much this album met to the group. As someone who has found myself in padded room for hours on end listening to the same song over and over, I can tell you that the studio process, though amazing, can be quite lengthy.

“I think I speak for the group in saying it took us a lot longer to finish this project than we would have hoped. I suppose it’s all a part of the learning process.” – Zach

The group’s song that is a personal favorite of mine is “Make it Break” which shows off Chris’ unique drumming style. As a fellow drummer, I love that the song consistently keeps it’s energy and drive while Keith sings moving lyrics that, by the end of the track, have us all saying “Lovers, Lovers, Lovers”. When asked about the track Keith gave us some interesting perspective on what makes it such a hit with fans:

“My music interest has always been guided by meaningful and intentional lyrics, regardless of genre or style, and so, especially with the EP, I wanted the songs to resonate with a theme. I think the song that does it best is “Make It Break,” which I also think is one of the more basic songs structurally.” – Keith

I pictured myself sitting with the group listening to “Make it Break” and sipping on a Banana Daiquiri a favorite of my main man Nick… you read that right, a Banana Daiquiri. As I listened, I couldn’t help but wonder about the group that got its start from playing a pancake dinner for elementary children. As Keith put it, the song has a mood to it that is quite hypnotic and, as you can see from the video, the song may have a darker meaning than one might expect.

As I listened to moving songs like “Separated by Ice” I got a feeling that this album is much darker than their first album Shadowbox. I could see where a bit of studio magic had happened on the track; originally the track was slated to be electric but at the last-minute John Kunkel asked Keith if he might try it with the acoustic. As Nick put it, he is forever grateful for John’s quick decision and went on to say that, to this day, the track still gives him chills.

“Keep the Heat Coming” may be something of a dark horse on the album as it fits in perfect with the album but, on it’s own, shows a much different side of the group. It is a song that shows the most pressing of steady, high energy and ends with Zach playing a very powerful solo while the group seems to explode in different directions that work together simultaneously.

The album comes to close with what may be their most powerful song to date, “Statues Pulse,” which features a cool assortment of horns courtesy of Zach’s good friend Sean Portanova. The band, who gets their name from the haunting work of Dave Eggers, really shows their strengths in this song as singer Keith lays down one of my favorite lyrical lines:

” There’s nothing to prescribe I’ll trade my nerves to help you feel alive.”

As I finished the album, I could see why the group has been so successful and able to open for groups like We are Scientists. It is, to me, the way that the group can write such moving music while staying objective about their art. The group is a tight-knit group who can be a lot of fun to hang out with. They are bit witty and comical, but when they take the stage, much like Shaq when he hits the court, they rise to the occasion. If you would like to see these guys rock the desert make sure to come out to their show at Frogee’s on April 14th. As a closing, for this album review Id like to leave you with some information on the group as well as Nick’s 3 things that will help you conquer the world. Cheers!

“First, chip clips are poor substitutes for nipple clamps. Second, a tri-tip should rest for at least 10 minutes after you pull it off the grill. And finally, if California marijuana farmers aren’t called “ganjapreneuers,” they should be.” – Nick

Buy an Album $5 right Here –> https://ghostsinpocket.bandcamp.com/album/barberton-ep

Website: https://www.ghostsinpocket.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ticket2ridepromotions

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Catch their next show at Frogee’s Apple Valley with Rustic Wild and Heavy Door on Friday, April 14th 2017 at 8pm.

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Twenty $ Dollar Prophets new music video “Shadows”

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On March 25th 2017, SoCal Urban Reggae band Twenty $ Dollar Prophets hosted an event at Gators in Apple Valley to announced the release of their new music video “Shadows.”

It was a packed venue with Epic! Radio in the house to MC the event. Supporting bands who performed were Dubious Distinction, The Lillies, Muppet Hunters, Dubsiders and The Rezinators. The sounds were a good mixture of Reggae, rock and rap. Patrons danced, mingled and chilled as they sipped their drinks while one of high desert’s favorite bartenders, Skylar, served up the drinks. It was a puff of a good time.

Here’s a video clip from that night:

The “Shadows” music video is a contrast between night and day.  The daytime and exterior of a building appears to representing a current, brighter situation, while the dark interior of the building along with the haunting characters appear to represent a haunting past of one that is lurking in the “Shadows.”

Watch the video below and let us know your thoughts!

Like the Twenty $ Dollar Profits Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TwentyDollarProphets

And keep updated on what’s happening at Gators Apple Valley at https://www.facebook.com/gators.applevalley

Check out Epic! Radio http://epicradio2.wixsite.com/epic-radio

 

-Mo

Delta Shade, Mojito’s, and A Hell of A Journey

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“Our biggest goal is really just to sound like ourselves. We don’t strive to imitate another band or artist because we don’t see the point in that – it’s already been done.”

By Mark Simpson

Delta Shade is a group that you might have seen rocking in the desert and thought man these guys are great but I wanted to know what makes these guys tick. Turns out that Delta shade is a group, that much like their name may suggest, enjoys listening to the blues.

“We have a deep appreciation for the blues and that was something we bonded over from the beginning.” – Travis

With the band sighting influences like Gary Clark Jr. and Gillian Welch you can tell that these are not guys who will be listening to alternative radio anytime soon. This is a group that is looking to go against the grain and after releasing their new album they have people as far as England wearing Delta Shade T-Shirts and bumping their new self title album. After packing out the religious rock and roll hangout and local watering hole conveniently named Frogee’s I wanted to know what the group thought about their big release show.

“We were so happy to see so many friends and family out there supporting us. It was such a good vibe all-around. Definitely a night we won’t forget.”

I think the one thing that I immediately liked and noticed about this group in my time hanging out with them at various shows is the fact that considering the groups talent they haven’t turned into that group that we all hate in the desert. We all know the type, its the group that shows up late and leaves early while all the while plays the longest set of the night. The group is slowly branching out of the desert with plans to do a short tour soon and currently has a gig scheduled in West Hollywood at the State Social House on Thursday March 30th . As an old Los Angeles Native I can tell you that this gig is one to attend as its just steps outside the famous clubs of the Sunset Strip and offers the coolest small room to groove to your favorite band.

With the group being only a few short miles from where the old Tower Records use to sit I wanted to know if these guys had their own turntable and if so what records they might be playing late after a gig while sipping a beer.

“ Rage Against The Machine’s self-titled. I love the riffs and attitude on that album – Andy

I found this to be interesting choice as it explains why Andy plays with the drums with a sense of urgency and as a drummer myself I love the choice of album. Chad on the other hand is someone who loves to sit down and trance out with one of the greatest song writers of our generation in Conor Oberst who is best known for fronting the talented group Bright Eyes.

As I learned more about each member in this interview I could see how each member had their own unique flavor. This was not three guys working in perfect motion as it may seem but instead three musicians pushing each other to bring out the best in each member. As I closed my interview with this uniquely interesting group and said my usual Cheers sipping on a Mojito (The Groups Favorite Drink) I wondered what the future may hold for this group. I can tell you I have no clue and I don’t think they do right now either but the great thing about uncertainty is that it makes for a hell of a journey. As a closing for this article Id like to leave you with some information on the group as well as their message for all that have support their amazing talents. Cheers!

“We’d like to thank all our family and friends for their support. It’s been a really fun ride so far and it’s been amazing to see the response to our music. It really fills us with gratitude to know and play shows with so many great people.”

Saying Good Bye is Never Easy, R.I.P. YellowCard

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By Mark Simpson

On Saturday March 25th 2017 Yellowcard decided after 20 Years of playing the music they loved to retire the name Yellowcard once and for all. The group choose to do so at the House of Blues in Anaheim where Ryan Key stated that the groups first ever sold out show took place at the near by Chain Reaction in Anaheim. As Fans from all over the world lined up early in the morning to get as close to the stage as possible me and my wife made the trip to see the group one last time.

My wife Sara had been a fan for over 15 years and decided to dawn one of her oldest Yellowcard shirts as her memories with the group were so precious that she could barely grasp the idea that the group would never do another show again. When we arrived we decided to eat at the Cheesecake Factory where by complete luck we were seated directly in front of Ryan Key who was having his last meal of such before making his final sound check.

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As Ryan finished his meal he stood up stretched his arms into the sky and with a bit of nerves said to his dinning companion “Last sound check”. As a smirk went across his face me and my wife finished the last of our mojito and Daiquiri and headed to what would be known as maybe the most powerful performances to ever grace the House of Blues Anaheim.

The night was Started off by former Bass Player and fellow childhood friend of Ryan Key’s Sean O’ Donnell who played an awesome acoustic set that made many in the crowd nostalgic as they remembered how he helped the group putt together hits like “Hang you Up” when he was part of Yellowcard from 2010 to 2012.

Yellowcard started their set off on a clear mission to blow the roof of the House of Blues when they opened up with powerhouse song “Way Away” while continuing to not let up by following it with “For You, and Your Denial” and “Lights and Sounds”. The fans loved every moment and made sure to make the most of the moment by singing along threw out the whole set as if they were trying to help wheel Ryan and the rest of the group threw out their final Set. As the group rocked you could feel the floors rumble beneath your feet as parts of the ceiling fell like snow to the floor filled to capacity. Here is a clip to give you an idea:

There were so many moments that pulled at mine and others heart strings but seeing Sean Mackin do his back flip one more time and thank his mother for pushing him to keep playing the violin was my favorite moment. I once too played the Violin and personally could relate to his mother pushing him to stick with the instrument. Mackin who has been with the group since its start is a favorite of mine and as Yellowcard closed out their set with their final song “Ocean Avenue” you could see his daughter on the left of the stage dancing as she watched her dad rock the violin for the last time with his Rock and Roll group.

As the group made their final bow and waved to the crowd it felt as if it was an end of an era. The Pop- Punk groups of the 90’s are slowly disappearing but to me there will always be only one group who was able to connect at the highest level with their fans and make them feel like family. As I watched them leave the stage I looked at my wife who I married in October and smiled because at the end of the day your never ready to say good bye to those you love.

Thank you for the Memories Yellowcard!

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Back on our Feet Live at Frogee’s Apple Valley “Melancholy March”

Back on our Feet played at Frogee’s Apple Valley on March 17th 2017.  Below is video footage of their song “Melancholy March” from that night.

“Melancholy March” is dedicated to the bands friend who passed away on March 20th 2012. May he R.I.P.

You may find more from Back on our Feet at the following links:

https://soundcloud.com/backonourfeet
https://www.facebook.com/backonourfeet
https://twitter.com/backonourfeet
https://www.instagram.com/backonourfeet

Frogee’s Apple Valley – https://www.facebook.com/FrogeesCocktail

 

Red Relic announcement and EP review

Red Relic is an alternative rock band residing in Victorville, CA that popped up in 2015. They quickly became a favorite among the high desert locals playing at popular venues in the area such as Frogees, Hilltop Tavern and the Desert Rocks Film and Music Event festival located in Hesperia, CA. We are sad, however, to announce we were recently notified of the bands departure. The band members have moved on to pursue their own life passions. We will update our readers as we are notified of new bands the members may join. Derek McEntire has joined the local Inland Empire punk metal band, Dead Reckoning.

With the departure comes Red Relic’s first EP release available for listening for free on SoundCloud. It brings you a mid-nineties alternative punk sound along with today’s alternative rock vibe. Their main single release, “Pump Up The Volume” makes you want to jump up and down while wearing your vans sneakers in a MTV Spring Break video in hopes they might be playing with Green Day. It’s a fun EP to get people moving at any event. I personally enjoy it and enjoyed watching them live. Their tunes will be missed. Please check their Red Relic SoundCloud profile to listen to their EP and past songs.
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