Ella Eyre – Comeback

London soul songstress Ella Eyre’s rapid rise continues with ‘Comeback’, a thrilling, horn-led smash new tune with a whole heap of attitude. The song is based on a break-up Ella experienced at 17, but is written from the point of view of speaking to a troubled best friend. ‘We’ve all been played, we’ve . . . → Read More: Ella Eyre – Comeback

Sonia Rao – Let’s Hate LA Together

“Let’s Hate LA Together” makes fun of the quirks of Los Angeles living — red carpets, selfies, and self-involvement — and tells the story of Sonia Rao moving to LA and navigating this world. The message in the end is that most of us find these things strange, so let’s hate it together . . . → Read More: Sonia Rao – Let’s Hate LA Together

Traditional Marriage: Eighth Century Frankish Style

“As a novelist, I don’t judge the marriage traditions of another society. My responsibility is to accurately depict my characters’ reality and their reactions to it. But examining customs in another time teaches us that the definition of marriage–who is eligible, who gets to decide, why one gets married–has indeed changed.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Kim . . . → Read More: Traditional Marriage: Eighth Century Frankish Style

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones Make A Long Awaited Return to Seattle, by Holly Homan

On a hot steamy Tuesday night, Seattle’s Neptune hosted the legendary Mighty Mighty Bosstones. It’s been more than a decade since the Bosstones played this area, but like a good wine, they’ve aged well and this eight-piece from Boston was in top form. They came on stage all wearing matching read coats and black . . . → Read More: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones Make A Long Awaited Return to Seattle, by Holly Homan

Jo Mersa – Sunshine

Rising reggae artist Jo Mersa, the son of Stephen “Ragga” Marley and grandson of Bob Marley, unveils his intimate side on the brand new video for “Sunshine,” the first single off his debut EP Comfortable (out now on Ghetto Youths International).

So where’s the big funky spliff? This vid shows a Rastaman in exile, . . . → Read More: Jo Mersa – Sunshine

The Temple of NASCAR, by Chuck Strom

Earnhardt’s #3

When I tell people that I visited the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC, they often say, “I didn’t know you were a fan.” Sometimes, they ask why I went there at all. Part of their skepticism, perhaps, comes from knowing that I don’t follow NASCAR, and I usually care little . . . → Read More: The Temple of NASCAR, by Chuck Strom

Dave’s hell sauce delivers psychedelic trips, gastric turbulence

By RANDY RENDFELD

I love spicy hot food, but I’m not a masochist. Peppers should add flavor and not just heat. But that’s apparently not the culinary criteria for 510 reviewers of Dave’s Ghost Pepper Naga Jolokia Hot Sauce on Amazon.com. These reviewers like the near-death experiences this nuclear hell sauce delivers. As I . . . → Read More: Dave’s hell sauce delivers psychedelic trips, gastric turbulence

The Kinks – God’s Children, by Tom Fredrickson

Used to be that I’d find my summer songs on a jukebox (Queen, “Killer Queen,” 1974; Chicago, “Old Days,” 1975) or AM radio (Andrew Gold, “Lonely Boy,” 1977). But now I find them on whatever media happens to be in the car while I’m on vacation. This year the song that has me hitting . . . → Read More: The Kinks – God’s Children, by Tom Fredrickson

The Short, Happy Life of Francis McFly

Microfiction by Knute Rimkus

They lived in a white microhouse. It was a shoebox, for baby shoes, in the Varane neighborhood. Their neighbors lived in shoeboxes too. This misery did not love company.

They ate dinner quickly. She thought the steak was too red and only ate half. She drank water. Murdoch drank a . . . → Read More: The Short, Happy Life of Francis McFly

LA Punks X Play An Acoustic Show To A Standing Room Only Crowd, by Holly Homan

Thursday night in Seattle the Triple Door hosted LA punkers X for an acoustic show. Interestingly, they were playing under the name X and not their acoustic alter egos, The Knitters. Whatever the name, X never disappoint whether they’re acoustic or hard punking.

Exene Cervenka can still do her charming little dances while . . . → Read More: LA Punks X Play An Acoustic Show To A Standing Room Only Crowd, by Holly Homan

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Gets an A, by Knute Rimkus

I went to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes last night and found it highly enjoyable. In addition to all the amazing CGI stuff, they manage to create a very compelling drama with a lot of biblical and Shakespearean themes that are quite thoughtful. This film is closest to the original Planet of . . . → Read More: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Gets an A, by Knute Rimkus

The Biggest House in America, by Chuck Strom

Biltmore Front View

If you like HGTV or just can’t get enough of seeing how other people live, the Biltmore Estate is an essential place to include in your lifetime travels. Completed in 1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt II near Asheville NC, it has 250 rooms and 178,926 square feet of floor space. It . . . → Read More: The Biggest House in America, by Chuck Strom

From Church Pew to Daley Plaza, the Tragic Descent of Chicago’s Troubled “Sign Guy” by Mark Erickson

This is a sad story about life and mental illness in the great city of Chicago.

Approximately 15 years ago, Pastor Arthur A. R. Nelson invited an Iranian immigrant, Khoiee-Abbasi, to worship at North Park Covenant Church, located in Chicago, Illinois. Farhad, an engineer by training, became a Christian and an active church member. . . . → Read More: From Church Pew to Daley Plaza, the Tragic Descent of Chicago’s Troubled “Sign Guy” by Mark Erickson

A Sold Out Crowd Braves A Sweaty Night To See Andrew Jackson Jihad, by Holly Homan

It’s Friday July 25th. It’s stifling hot and El Corazon has no ventilation. But Arizona’s Andrew Jackson Jihad are playing to a packed crowd and are not to be missed. AJJ is the only band I know of who combine melodic folk songs combined with a harder edged punk drive. To add to this, . . . → Read More: A Sold Out Crowd Braves A Sweaty Night To See Andrew Jackson Jihad, by Holly Homan

A Triple A Baseball Team, A Major League Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

Charlotte, NC has the triple-A baseball farm team for the Chicago White Sox, the Charlotte Knights. This year they opened BB&T Ballpark, and it was one of the priority items on my list to visit on my tour of the East Coast. Rather than explain too much, I will let my pictures speak for . . . → Read More: A Triple A Baseball Team, A Major League Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

The Magik Markers/Elisa Ambrogio!‏ by Tom Kipp

Recently I saw one of the very few bands/artists whom I’ve come to love during the past (largely desultory) musical decade, Hartford CT’s The Magik Markers, who played a headlining show at Seattle’s Chop Suey.

I first saw their lead singer/noise guitarist/front person, Elisa Ambrogio, in November 2008, entirely by accident, as she . . . → Read More: The Magik Markers/Elisa Ambrogio!‏ by Tom Kipp

Six Hours In Charleston, by Chuck Strom

Prioleau House

This summer, my brother Roger and I spent six hours in Charleston, SC as part of a two-week vacation on the East Coast. Having scheduled visits to the Civil War battlefields of Gettysburg and Antietam, it seemed right to squeeze in a tour of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor where the conflict . . . → Read More: Six Hours In Charleston, by Chuck Strom

The Aquabats Make Their Long Awaited Return To Seattle With Quirky Ska and Sci-fi, by Holly Homan

It’s Saturday morning and I’m still on a high from Thursday night when I ventured to Seattle’s Showbox to witness the glorious, long-awaited return of the Aquabats. Like the Phenomenauts, they infuse elements of ska, punk rock and corny kids’ science fiction into one fun filled show. Celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band, . . . → Read More: The Aquabats Make Their Long Awaited Return To Seattle With Quirky Ska and Sci-fi, by Holly Homan

Reflections on a Hard Night and Weeping Strings, by Todd Johnson

This year marks the Golden Anniversary of many events and milestones of the Woodstock generation. LBJ’s “War on Poverty,” King’s “Dream Speech” and the Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night to name a few. And anyone tracking the news in any media will be hard pressed to avoid this long look into our cultural rear view . . . → Read More: Reflections on a Hard Night and Weeping Strings, by Todd Johnson

A Visit With Frank, by Chuck Strom

A few weeks ago I happened to be in Palm Springs, CA with a couple of spare hours, so I paid Frank Sinatra a visit. For those unfamiliar with his life, he made Palm Springs his permanent home in the 1950s, so far as it was possible for someone whose career required a nomadic . . . → Read More: A Visit With Frank, by Chuck Strom