Kris Kristofferson Explains How Shaking Johnny Cash's Hand Changed His Life

Categories: Q&A


"It's just me and my guitar," said Kris Kristofferson when I asked him about his upcoming show at Phoenix's Celebrity Theatre on Tuesday, October 14. Songwriter, actor, Army captain, Golden Gloves boxer, helicopter pilot, football player, Rhodes Scholar, and husband, Kristofferson has done multiple things many of us would be happy about if they were our only major accomplishment.

Seriously, though, Kris freaking Kristofferson. A real Renaissance man, a hall of fame writer of hit songs.

I got to spend exactly 10 minutes talking to Kristofferson a few days ago, and at no time during those fleeting seconds did I waste time thinking about the short duration of our chat. I was told, very pleasantly, Mr. Kristofferson could only be interviewed for 10 minutes at a time. For almost any other entertainer, I would have rolled my eyes and thought, "what a diva," but for a true living legend like Kristofferson, a member of the Highwaymen, it was a small concession to make. In reality, I could have chatted with him all day because the guy has literally done it all.

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The Senators Talk New Album, Recorded in Hollywood Studio

Senators Facebook page
The Senators are part of the locals stage at Summer Ends Music Festival this weekend.

Local Americana group The Senators have had an exciting year. The band has recorded a live session album in Paramount Studios in Hollywood, opened for Phillip Phillips in front of 4,000 fans, while also playing the occasional local bit at Sail Inn or Crescent Ballroom. You can catch The Senators on the local stage at Summer Ends Music Festival this Saturday where they will perform foot-stomping heart-warming folk tunes for you to enjoy.

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Copenhagen's Lower Gets "Mistaken for a Punk Band," Causing Inappropriate Moshing

Categories: Q&A


Copenhagen's Lower have been together since 2009 and recently joined up with Matador Records, which just unleashed the band's first full length recording, Seeking Warmer Climes. The four-piece creates edgy punk that is forceful, creating a little pervasive anxiety as its noisy guitars teeter on the edge of explosion while generally remaining contained. The music is topped with brooding vocals that maintain a darkness while also revealing a bit of a lighter, romantic twist. The band has just hit the states for a tour and is playing Friday, September 26, with Merchandise, Rat Columns, and Body of Light at Tempe's 51 West. We got in a quick chat with Lower's drummer, Anton Rothstein.

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Rival Sons' Jay Buchanan Never Wanted to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Frontman

Categories: Q&A, Stoner Rock

Rival Sons
Rival Sons

Nowadays, the revival of bluesy psychedelic rock and soul from the 1960s and '70s has found a strong following -- maybe it's the fuzzy twang of the guitar, the vocals that just drip with angst and passion. Either way, Rival Sons, founded in 2009, introduced its brand in the right place at the right time.

Then again, you may have not heard of the Long Beach act -- even though they've released three albums within three years and played shows with such legends as Judas Priest, KISS, and AC/DC. Fans of the genre always seem to have endless new music to keep up with, whether it's relentless releases by The Black Keys or Jack White, or the countless new bands that emerge each year channeling that Jim Morrison-esque persona.

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Yoga Is Key for Touring Musicians, Says Kopecky Family Band

Categories: Q&A

Courtesy photo

Overnight success can take years. The Kopecky Family Band's buoyant folk-estral sound goes back seven years to Nashville's Belmont University where they all met. The sextet had released three EPs and were about to self-release their full-length debut, Kids Raising Kids, when they inaugurated a co-headlining tour with an equally anonymous Colorado band, the Lumineers. While they didn't emerge from those dates as popular as their tourmates, it did secure them a label deal from ATO. It re-released the album and helped send the singles "Heartbeat" and "Are You Listening" up the Adult Alternative charts.

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Autobot of Flosstradamus: "There's Always Going to Be Haters, No Matter What You Do"

Categories: EDM, Q&A, hip-hop

Courtesy of Biz3
J2K (left) and Autobot of Flosstradamus.
In the 2013 mini-documentary chronicling the rise of the Mad Decent Block Party, über-producer and festival founder Diplo has a bit of advice for anyone who performs at the event: "If you're an act, don't play after Flosstradamus," he says. "That's really hard."

It's a simple edict that illustrates not only the Chicago-based duo's prominence in Mad Decent land (and the realms of both dance music and trap they occupy), but also their abilities as party instigators and performers.

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The Black Moods: "We Want People to be Sad to Our Songs, and Also Have Sex to Our Songs."

Photo by Jeremy Huse
The Black Moods are scheduled to perform Saturday, August 30, at Crescent Ballroom.

Black Moods fans eagerly anticipating the release of the rock band's follow-up to their eclectic self-titled debut album will have to hold their breath a little longer. The Phoenix-based trio is tabling their upcoming album for a short time in an effort to strengthen the material, lengthen the album, and fine-tune the details. The decision came as a request from the band's new management team, Street Smart Marketing, who is working to push the group to the next level in their career.

"In the past year and a half, we've learned a lot about business," Black Moods drummer Danny "Chico" Diaz explains, "and about touring. We decided our goals were to get management, and then get a record label -- we've hit the first goal, and we have management now."

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Nickel Creek's Sara Watkins on How They're "Holding Nothing Back" on Their New Album

Categories: Q&A

Nickel Creek is scheduled to perform on Thursday, August 28, at Mesa Arts Center.
It's been seven years or so since the last time the music world has seen or heard anything from Nickel Creek. But now, in honor of the progressive bluegrass trio's twenty-fifth anniversary, musical siblings Sara and Sean Watkins and their longtime friend Chris Thile have dusted off their respective instruments and resumed playing and touring together, sounding very much like they never left each other.

Earlier this year, the trio of three finger-plucking childhood friends released A Dotted Line, the first Nickel Creek album in nine years, and have embarked on a nationwide tour to show off new songs, old favorites, and reassure fans that the band's "indefinite hiatus" is over with and done.

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Former Queensrÿche Singer Says Band Name Was a Burden

Ron Dukeshire/Rockstar PR
Geoff Tate

Geoff Tate has always been seen as one rock 'n' roll's archetypal frontmen. As singer of Queensrÿche, he sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and sold out shows in dozens of countries. Tate is ranked in the top 20 on Hit Parader's 100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All Time, and comes in second on That Metal Show's top five hard rock '80s vocalists.

When I saw Queensrÿche perform with vocalist Todd La Torre at the National Association of Music Merchants in January, the only talk in the insanely packed crowd before the band went on were conversations and debates about the lineup and Geoff Tate's absence. One argument ended up with two girls getting into fisticuffs. The topic was creating as much buzz as the House of Blues' heavy whiskey pours.

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7 Seconds Shows How Punk Bands Can Age Gracefully

Categories: Q&A, Show Preview

David Robert
7 Seconds

7 Seconds recently released its first album in nearly a decade, and the band is back with a vengeance. The new album Leave a Light on harkens back to the band's signature '80s hardcore punk sound and positive themes.

"It's an everyday process, it's not something that you just pick up and it looks great on a bumper sticker or on your t-shirt," Kevin Seconds says, reflecting on the song "Slogan on a Shirt."

We caught up with Kevin Seconds before he embarked on 7 Seconds' first full U.S. tour in nine years.

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