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Paul Stanley: Jann Wenner embarrassed himself at Rock Hall

Written by Scott Mervis on .

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Paul Stanley of Kiss is on a conference call right now (Tuesday) with the print media. Here's what he has to say about his book, "Face the Music: A Life Exposed," and tour with Def Leppard, which stops at the First Niagara Pavilion on Aug. 24.

Changes for this tour: "I believe this is the greatest and the best stage that we’ve ever had... We call it the spider stage, because the lights are in shape of a spider and legs dangle down to the floor."

Residency in Vegas?: "Time tells all."

On Def Leppard: "Always tried to have great bands on tour with us. We want to make sure people get their money’s worth. A night of great music, songs that you know, that you connect with personally. Huge catalog of hits that all mean something."

Refreshing to be back to that after drama with Rock Hall?: “[Hall of Fame] was not much more than a mosquito buzzing around my ear... no small organization with a big name can call the shots ... Hall of fame is ultimately what the people decide is in the Hall of Fame. It was an interesting divergence of what we do.”

New book - Were you happy about how it turned out: “I would have to be happy about the way it turned out, because I wrote it ... It was great to document something that I believed could inspire other people.”

Loyalty of fans: “You can’t have the kind of dedication we have from fans unless they sense the same dedication [from the band]... We may not always do what makes every fan happy, but we stick to our guns. ... More people than I can count that have Kiss tattoos. That’s like being a lifer in the army... Kiss Army started on the street. No army like a Kiss army.”

Nashville: "I love what Nashville has grown into, which is an embrace of all music."

On the Information Age: "I think that certainly in all walks of life, there’s a certain mystique that is gone ... Not sure Kiss could have accomplished what we did in this time ... We could make sure that photos weren't available ... we could create this mystique which was not unlike the mystique of Hollywood."

Tom Morello: "Saw him about 10 days ago. It was his 50th birthday. Tom was Moses in terms of having us inducted, or indicted. Tom did a stellar job."

Visit Hall of Fame?: "Up until now, I wanted little to do with it. " He said "it was an annex that wanted our memorabilia to [make money]. At this point, I would love to see it."

Fans and band: "We have outlived [the critics] and in essence have taken over."

Military: "Can't say enough about the people who served on our behalf... There's nothing corny about patriotism... You only see people going under the borders to get into this country."

Age ranges: "Source of pride for us that we can have a 6-year-old, a 16-year-old and a 60-year-old."

On loss of anonymity: "You don't complain about taxes if you win the lottery. It never was a source of stress or point of contention, but we in some ways are so much bigger now. Now we are Superman and don't have hide behind Clark Kent."

Kiss songs: "All of these songs as songs of victory, songs that celebrate our winning. That we are are here 40 years later is a source of incredible pride... These are the songs of a battle won."

Arenas vs. Sheds: "We try to be observant of low-flying planes ... It doesn't change anything because what we do comes from the heart. ... Being outside during the summer is a terrific dichotomy/contrast to what we do. We've been doing this for 40 years, the reason why people still buy tickets to see the classic acts is you know we will deliver the goods."

On autotune acts: "You know damn well they will not be able to put on a show.... Don't want to hear this nonsense that it's impossible to dance around and sing. It didn't stop the Temptations, Tina Turner, James Brown."

How big a factor was the spectacle in Hall of Fame induction: "I'm not here to defend what we've done or what we've accomplished, but it is unanimous and resounding ... countless artists were influenced by us, musically, not in terms of a stage show.... [he mentions Jann Wenner having lost his passion for music and his sarcastic intro of Kiss (which was 'From New York, in platform shoes and tight pants, Kiss!'] He's embarrassing himself, the joke's on him ... Nobody will ultimately buy for decades music that isn't good."

Hall of Fame: "It was vindicating for us, and vindicating for the fans. .. for every clueless music exec there are musicians, be it Tom Morello or Joe Perry or a list that literally is a who's who of music, those are the people who got us in.... It was the pencil pushers who wanted us out."

 

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X (and Exene) coming to Altar Bar in August

Written by Scott Mervis on .

XVintage XIt's a great day if you love the '80s.

First, we learn that J Mascis is releasing his new album, "Tied to a Star," on Aug. 26 and playing Club Cafe Oct. 15.

Now, we have an X show coming our way.

The classic LA punk band will take over Altar Bar on Aug. 31, with tickets going on sale Friday at www.thealtarbar.com

The X faithful will probably be able to overlook singer Exene Cervenka's recent crazy tweets about the Santa Barbara shooting being a staged hoax for gun control and get another dose from Billy Zoom and the band, which was in near vintage form playing the Rex in 2008.

Although X regroups to tour on occasion, the last album was 1993's "Hey Zeus," as Exene and John Doe (who were married from 1980-85) have been pursuing solo work. 

The band was on stage at SXSW in March when a man drove his car into a crowd, killing four people outside the club.

 

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J Mascis solo album, Club Cafe show on the way

Written by Scott Mervis on .

mascisThe latest project from J Mascis is going to be a lot easier on the ears -- at least volume-wise.

The Dinosaur Jr will leave the Marshall stacks at home for the tour that will back his new solo album, "Tied to a Star." It will be released on Aug. 26 by Sub Pop, and the singer-guitarist will follow that with a show at Club Cafe on Oct. 15.

"Tied to a Star," recorded and produced by Mascis and mixed by John Agnello at Bisquiteen in Amherst, MA, features appearances from Ken Maiuri (Young@Heart Chorus), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion) and Chan Marshall (Cat Power).

It is available for preorder from Sub Pop Megamart, iTunes, and Amazon now. Preorders from megamart.subpop.com will receive the limited edition "Loser" version on hot pink vinyl and an art print (while supplies last). Pre-order bundles are also available at www.jmascis.com, including limited edition merchandise.

Here is the track listing and a preview of the light acoustic song "Every Morning."

Tied to a Star
1. Me Again
2. Every Morning
3. Heal the Star
4. Wide Awake
5. Stumble
6. And Then
7. Drifter
8. Trailing Off
9. Come Down
10. Better Plane

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Slim Forsythe hits Kickstarter goal for TV pilot

Written by Scott Mervis on .

SlimProfile.largeSlim Forsythe's "Live From Nied's Hotel" pilot is a go.

The honky-tonk singer reached his Kickstarter campaign goal of $10,000 to shoot the pilot at the Lawrenceville club where he lives and performs regularly.

Forsythe will film the first episode of his country music television program on July 19 with house band the Beagle Brothers and guest singer Molly Alphabet.

"My heart is filled with gratitude and joy," he said in a statement.

Working with recording engineer Dino DiStefano (who won a Grammy for his work at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild), they plan to showcase local and national artists with a country/Americana bent.

The plan is to pitch it to local television production teams and push for national syndication.

 

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Tweedy debut 'Sukierae' coming Sept. 16

Written by Scott Mervis on .

tweedy5That Jeff Tweedy solo record you heard about won't be a solo record, after all.

It's now a duo record, titled "Sukierae” (sue-key-ray), with his drummer son Spencer, released under the banner of Tweedy and coming Sept. 16.

Supplying backing vocals will be Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of the Brooklyn-based Lucius, and Scott McCaughey (R.E.M., The Minus Five, The Baseball Project) lends additional keyboard support.

“When I set out to make this record, I imagined it being a solo thing, but not in the sense of one guy strumming an acoustic guitar and singing,” Jeff said in a statement. “Solo to me meant that I would do everything — write the songs, play all the instruments and sing. But Spencer’s been with me from the very beginning demo sessions, playing drums and helping the songs take shape. In that sense, the record is kind of like a solo album performed by a duo.”

He opens the Three Rivers Arts Festival on Friday night with a full band.

You can hear the new single, "I'll Sing It," here

 

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