Van Halen return to Philly

Van Halen is back with a new record, a new tour and a whole new setlist. Eight dates in, the SoCal foursome came to Philadelphia. How did they fare? Read on...

Making the Case for Vinyl

Vinyl has experienced a resurgence in recent years. It's not just collectors either - stores like Urban Outfitters, Hot Topic and even local bookstores have been stocking records again. Part one of a two part series.

Iceland Airwaves 2011

It's a remote wonderland of Nordic mystery and sparsely populated enchantment...but Iceland is also the site of one of the premier music festivals on the planet. And we were there.

The Art of the Cover Song

Covering a song is always an iffy proposition. It can be different, exciting and putting a new spin on things, or it can be completely tepid and boring as all hell. Here are some of the best.

Macho Man's Music Madness

Wrestling fans mourned the death of legendary wrestler Randy 'Macho Man' Savage this week, but were you aware that he a once attempted a career as a rap artist?

03 March 2014

3 Doors Dumb: Musicians are doing some real stupid shit lately, with no sign of slowing down

Let’s face it: in recent years, there have been some musicians who’ve proven themselves to be pretty awful people. Lostprophets singer and admitted child sex offender Ian Watkins immediately comes to mind. Before him there was ex-Murderdolls, ex-Dope, ex-Static-X guitarist Tripp Eisen who, in less than one month’s time, was charged in coast-to-coast incidents where he had sex with different underage girls — even kidnapping one of them. Earlier this week, As I Lay Dying singer Tim Lambesis pled guilty to attempting to hire an undercover agent to murder his wife. 

What happened to musicians getting popped for simple — even cool — infractions like Keith Richards’ reckless driving, the Who trashing hotel rooms, Ozzy pissing on the Alamo, or Izzy draining the lizard down the aisle of a domestic airlines flight? Hell even drug busts used to be so much cooler back in the day — check out Mick and Keef on the courthouse steps looking rock and roll as ever after pleading guilty to the infamous Redlands raid in 1967. 
Christmas Eve 1967...Leaving court for the holidays
Nowadays, artists are getting jailed for some of the dumbest shit imaginable. Remember a couple summers back when then Coheed and Cambria bassist Michael Todd got busted en route to the band’s gig opening for Soundgarden at the Comcast Center? Dude not only used the old, “I’ve got a bomb if you don’t give me all your Oxycontin” at an Attleboro Walgreens, but in his not-so-thought-out escape plan, he flagged down a passing taxi to use as the getaway vehicle. What about Creed singer Scott Stapp? Not for musical crimes against humanity. And not for that time he got into the most un-rock and roll fight ever when he brawled with 311 in a Baltimore hotel bar on Thanksgiving... 

Read the full article at Vanyaland.

14 February 2014

Don't Put These Songs on Your V-Day Mix

For all the lovebirds out there, it's extra special when Valentine's Day falls on a Friday or Saturday; you can plan a weekend getaway, go to dinner then out dancing and not have to worry about getting up for work the next day. And no matter what you do, there is going to be music involved. Maybe a special mix for your sweetie? Pretty simple, just find a song with the word “love” in the title and you're all set! 

Good thing Rock Music Menu is here to put a halt to that line of thinking. There are plenty of sappy songs to use in professing one's love for another, but beware of the trappings of throwing something together based on titles alone. Here are ten songs that have the "L" word in the title but are the worst to spin this evening because of anti-love meanings or due to being just plain cringe-worthy.

R.E.M. - "The One I Love" 
Ah, the ever sensitive and poetic musings of the college rock poster boys of the mid 80s and early 90s. Except this, while it goes out to the one frontman Michael Stipe loves, but has “left behind.” It’s a kiss off in the most brutal way, one where he even confesses that the loved was merely a “simple prop to occupy my time.” Ouch.

Van Halen - Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
It might seem obvious to stay away from a song that explicitly states in its title that love is what it "ain't" about, but not everyone gets it. Look no further than the first line where David Lee Roth spits out the line, "I heard the news baby/all about your disease." That sounds like someone you don't want to get involved with, because love shouldn't be synonymous with a visit to the clinic.

Roy Orbison – “Bye Bye Love”
Good ol’ Roy isn’t saying goodbye to his baby while he’s walking out the door to go to work for the day. He’s flat out despondent over his girl being through with him. When he croons during the first chorus, “Bye Bye happiness/Hello loneliness/I think I’m gonna cry” it’s like, aww, not so bad; dude will be fine. Yeah, that goes up in smoke by the second chorus when he changes it up to, “Bye bye sweet caress/Hello emptiness/I feel like I could die,” it’s a punch straight to the gut.

27 December 2013

The Top 13 of 2013...Vanyaland Edition

My Top 13 tracks of 2013 have been posted over at the Award-Winning Vanyaland. It's been an incredible year for music, and narrowing it down was pretty damn hard - and that's a good thing.

Below is the non-annotated list, along with link to listen on Spotify:

13. Caveman - "Pricey"
12. Walking Papers - "Already Dead"
11. MS MR - "Hurricane"
10. Bad Religion - "Fuck You"
09. White Lies - "Getting Even"
08. Bloody Hammers - "What's Haunting You"
07. New Order - "I'll Stay with You"
06. Local H - "Terrible Love"
05. Alice in Chains - "Phantom Limb"
04. Stereophonics - "Indian Summer"
03. Haerts - "Wings"
02. Jagwar Ma - "Man I Need"
01. Rhye - "Open"

Listen to the Spotify Playlist HERE

04 November 2013

Vanyaland nominated for Boston Music Award

While The Chronicles of MC is kicking it over in Reykjav√≠k for the annual Iceland Airwaves music festival, it was beyond thrilling to get the news from Boston that Vanyaland  - which has been up and running just six short months - has been nominated for a Boston Music Award for Best Music Site.

Having been named Managing Editor for Vanyaland in late September, the nomination feels extra special. Kudos to the entire staff and Editor in Chief Michael Marotta; we are killing it nationally and locally and it's going to just keep getting better from here on out.

20 August 2013

Did singer for The Calling fake abduction?

That's the question which has been circulating around the Internet ever since The Calling frontman said he was abducted in small town Michigan and left for dead over the weekend. Many are saying it's too convenient that it happened just days after Alex Band announced he was reforming the group who had a hit in 2001 with "Wherever You Will Go." He's the only original member of the reconfigured outfit, and the reconvening didn't even cross the industry did he make up such a crazy story in hopes of some press?

If so, it's worked - and over at Vanyaland, I've come up with some pretty interesting coincidences in Band's claims and those of another former pop star who just happens to be represented by the same publicity team.

Alex Band of The Calling...phoning in a story?

05 April 2013

Stones will close out tour in Philly

One week after billboards went up around the country featuring The Rolling Stones’ iconic tongue logo, accompanied by lyrics or song titles like “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” “Satisfaction” and “She Comes in Colors,” the legendary rockers finally announced the U.S. leg of their “50 and Counting…” tour Wednesday. As predicted, at just nine, it’s only a handful of dates — but we got ‘em.

Tuesday, June 18, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts will roll into the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia for what is — so far — the final date in the States, which is pretty cool for a city that has been the site of a couple tour launches by the lads in the past.

An on-sale date has yet to be announced, but predictably, it ain’t gonna be cheap. At press time, only prices for the Oakland, Calif., show have been revealed, with the “cheap” seats going for $142.75 and the most expensive tickets topping out at $571.50, and that’s before all of those pesky fees get piled on.

Read the rest of my story on the Stones coming to Philly at The Daily Times site.

25 March 2013

Exclusive Q&A with Scott Lucas

Nearly all of the March tour dates - mainly in the Northeast - for Local H have been canceled due to an assault and robbery in Russia late last month that did severe damage to one of his vocal cords.  Read my full interview with frontman Scott Lucas at the recently relaunched Vanyaland.

Scott Lucas: assaulted, robbed and injured in Moscow.