DANCING WITH THE STARS Season 14 Recap: Gavin DeGraw kicked off as Jaleel White saved by duel on Week 5

Karina Smirnoff and Gavin DeGraw perform on "Latin Night" on DANCING WITH THE STARS - Season 14 - Week 5 | ©2012 ABC/Adam Taylor

Stars: Gavin DeGraw, Donald Driver, Roshon Fegan, Melissa Gilbert, Katherine Jenkins, Gladys Knight, William Levy, Maria Menounos, Jaleel White Network: ABC, airs Mondays, Tuesdays Original Telecast: April 17th, 2012 Class and graciousness left the building tonight on DANCING WITH THE STARS when Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff were voted out fourth on the show. DeGraw couldn’t have been more gracious and kind with his exit, hugging and thanking each judge with a smile so broad you would have thought he had won the whole darn thing. But, he did not and Smirnoff did not walk away with her second consecutive […]Read On »

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TV Review: DANCING WITH THE STARS – Season 14 – Week 4 – “Latin Night” sizzles

Cheryl Burke and William Levy in DANCING WITH THE STARS - Season 14 | ©2012 ABC/Craig Sjodin

Stars: Gavin DeGraw, Donald Driver, Roshon Fegan, Melissa Gilbert, Katherine Jenkins, Gladys Knight, William Levy, Maria Menounos, Jaleel White Network: ABC, airs Mondays, Tuesdays Original Telecast: April 16th, 2012 It was Latin night on DANCING WITH THE STARS: S14 – Week Five and the couples were heating up the dance floor. After a disappointing Rock Week last week, everyone up’ed their game this time and performed their asses off. Four couples, in particular, came to play tonight – Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas, William Levy & Cheryl Burke, Maria Menounos & Derek Hough and Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd. Others […]Read On »

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DANCING WITH THE STARS Season 14 Recap: Sherri Shepherd Shocker! She’s kicked off in Week 4

Val Chmerkovskiy and Sherri Shepherd perform oN DANCING WITH THE STARS - Season 14 -

Stars: Gavin DeGraw, Donald Driver, Roshon Fegan, Melissa Gilbert, Katherine Jenkins, Gladys Knight, William Levy, Maria Menounos, Sherri Shepherd, Jaleel White Network: ABC, airs Mondays, Tuesdays Original Telecast: April 10th, 2012 Every season has one, a shocking elimination. DANCING WITH THE STARS: Season 14’s shocker may be the much-too-soon elimination of Sherri Shepherd and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy.  She will be missed; her charisma matched only  by Carson Kressley’s two seasons earlier. But that wasn’t the only surprise of the night. Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower, who came in second, were in the bottom two! If that doesn’t scare everyone, […]Read On »

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CD Review: Lady Antebellum – OWN THE NIGHT

Lady Antebellum - OWN THE NIGHT | ©2011 Captiol Records

Distributor: Capitol Records Suggested Retail Price: $9.99 At some point, when pop radio went bland and soulless, country artists started to adapt the hooky stylings that made them appeal to people who missed the good old days. Shania Twain perhaps paved the way with music that was country in labeling only (she was secretly a pop star, even if steel guitars were playing in the background). She even proved that theory with a two-disc set that had the songs mixed for country radio stations AND rock radio. Now, many country artists teeter on that thin line and no more blatant […]Read On »

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CD Review: PAJAMA CLUB – self-titled debut

PAJAMA CLUB | ©2011 Lester Records

Fans of CROWDED HOUSE may be a bit surprised at the new side project by co-founder Neil Finn. The singer-songwriter, who has made a fine career out of expert pop craftsmanship that has evoked the best of the Beatles at times, tries something completely different with Pajama Club. Created with his wife Sharon (who shares vocals with him), the album is more synth heavy and totally alternative in sound and feel than Crowded House. The beautiful melodies and harmonies Finn and Crowded House are known for have been replaced by chunkier musicianship and songs that take a few listens before […]Read On »

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Music Review: Bruce Springsteen – “Gotta Get That Feeling”/“Racing in the Street” 10 inch single (Record Store Day 2011 Exclusive)

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band -"Gotta Get This Feeling"/"Racing in the Street" ('78) | ©2011 Columbia

Distributor: Columbia Records Suggested Retail Price: $6.99 After the exceptional box set THE PROMISE which provided not only a remastered version of DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN, but also through in a bonus disc dubbed THE PROMISE of 21 additional tracks that were shelved in favor of a different approach to what eventually became DARKNESS, now we get a post-script to that side project. Springsteen and his E Street Band are releasing a DVD and Blu-ray on the making of DARKNESS and have culled two live cuts for this special Record Day 2011 exclusive. Eschewing a traditional 7 inch […]Read On »

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Music Review: Over the Rhine – THE LONG SURRENDER

Over the Rhine - LONG SURRENDER | ©2011 Great Speckled Dog

Things have certainly mellowed for the husband wife duo of Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist who write and perform as Over the Rhine. When they started off in the early ‘90s, they provided a perfect blend of alternative angst with Bergquist’s raspy vocals echoing a much smoother sounding Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde. While the band had its followers, they never did fully receive the credit they deserved, but have continued to produce solid efforts over the last 20 years. With THE LONG SURRENDER, the group finds themselves in a much more somber groove with  this smoky set of 13 […]Read On »

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Music Review: R.E.M. – “Mine Smell Like Honey” single

R.E.M. - "Mine Smell Like Honey" single

It’s been some time since I’ve been excited by a new R.E.M. album. Both 2004’s AROUND THE SUN and 2008’s ACCELERATE promised greatness and a return to form, but were uneven, misshapen releases with few memorable moments. With their disc COLLAPSE INTO NOW due out March 8, the band has released its first single from that disc “Mine Smell Like Honey” which just hit iTunes and other online retail outlets. Damn, they’re back. While I’m all for a band exploring new sounds and textures, it felt like the jangly pop roots the band became famous for, gave way to more […]Read On »

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CD Review: Social Distortion – HARD TIMES AND NURSERY RHYMES

Social Distortion - HARD TIMES AND NURSERY RHYMES | ©2011 Epitaph Records

While Social D is closely identified with SoCal’s punk music and have been going strong for nearly 30 years (despite long waits in between albums), HARD TIMES AND NURSERY RHYMES find the group in a particularly rockin’ mood. Some of it feels like the Southern California version of the Southern-fried rock showcased by the Black Crowes and Lynard Skynard (particularly on “California”). There’s even a bit of a Rolling Stones vibe thrown in for good measure as with the track “Can’t Take It With You” with the soulful female vocals chanting in the background.

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The X List: Assignment X’s Best of 2010 – Albums and Singles

Gaslight Anthem - AMERICAN SLANG

10 FAVORITE ALBUMS (in alphabetical order) Daft Punk – TRON: LEGACY soundtrack There were some great soundtracks this year, but damn, these techno boys created the best John Carpenter/Alan Howarth score that the never wrote. The movie may be polarizing, but this soundtrack will make you appreciate being a user. Frightened Rabbit – THE WINTER OF MIXED DRINKS A wonderful, alternative rock find. A group whose music seeps with angst and emotion, while not sounding mainstream. This is everything Arcade Fire’s THE SUBURBS album should have been. Gaslight Anthem – AMERICAN SLANG A Jersey band with a heavy Boss influence, […]Read On »

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