Rockstar, what a great TV show we had the last two summers? I am sad that it is not on this summer, perhaps next year?
Anyways, what I am thinking about, right now, is all the music I have rediscovered and found through this show.
Season one, Rockstar: INXS… The first time I turned it on, I was like, wow, this isn’t as tacky as I figured! LOL…I had already fallen out of love with American Idol, and was happy to hear, what I considered cooler songs being performed. And, and…I was happy to hear / see folks that weren’t so clueless, that they actaully knew what they were doing on stage…and a band actually playing. Such a great show.
Oh, yeah, and those old boys on the couch…I vaguely remembered them;) So that was INXS nowadays,eh? Sans Michael of course. I still remember flipping through the channels, landing on MTV, that Novemeber in 1997, and hearing Kurt Loder tell us, the charismatic front man of INXS had just died of an apparent suicide. Honestly, INXS was no longer on my radar in 1997, but I remembered them from Highschool/college years. I still have Kick in the old casette collection. I wasn’t quite sure why they had decided to go on TV, now, in 2005, but, whatever, great show.
Something interesting happened that summer. I fell in love with music in a whole new way. The performers kicked ass on stage, performing some of the coolest rock tunes. And, I started listening to INXS again…I was surprised to find, I still really enjoyed their music, moreso, I think I appreciated it more than I ever had back when. I had a few random tracks in my CD collection, and went out to pursue the rest of the collection. It was a combination of nostalgia and discovery, as I heard songs I remembered, and discovered new ones, to me, that I had missed when they had fallen off my radar musically. By the end of the summer, I was suddenly, more concerned that they pick the right person for this job, than just enjoying the awesome performances. I wanted to see them live.
Fast Forward, eighteen months later, and I was pratically their groupie, lol…sixteen live INXS shows later… Their music, if possible, was even way cooler live. Apparently those dudes on the couch, the summer of 2005, could actually really play! Ha ha…And, they had picked the guy, that I had initially thought was a bit of a pretty boy punk…who totally could sing their songs exceedingly well. Well done boys. Great times were had.
(for more Marty Casey / Lovehammer pics click HERE)
Lucky for me, the other guy that I had really liked during the run of the show, beyond just great performances, Marty Casey…INXS had invited his band on tour with them, so I was lucky enough to see him live as well. Saw them a total of 4 times. Such fun. Honestly, while I had loved the show, the performances…refallen in love with INXS, and gotten to see them and the Lovehammers live, the rest of the artists from that season, pretty much fell off my musical radar. I never went to seek out their stuff. Well, I did actually get to hear a couple of tunes from Tara Sloane I liked…I honestly never cared for her on the show, but at least one of her tracks I still listen to…that kind of snuck up on me. I did see Deanna Johnston live in Las Vegas in January 2006, after the INXS show. She is a petite little thing, with a huge ass voice. I have a huge respect for her after seeing her live.
What that summer of 2005, did for me, more than anything, more than INXS…was re-awaken me to music. I mean, I had an Ipod, I listened to music…but I was anything but focused on it before that point. Now, all of the sudden, I had this desire to see music live…had actually seen a single band perform multiple times…inside of a year…nutty for sure. So, what came next is even more interesting. Summer 2006 swung around, faster than we can say G-R-O-U-P-I-E(or J-A-S-O-N if you prefer;), and the new season of Rockstar, was upon us.
This year, the incarnation was dubbed, Rockstar: Supernova. It was to be a supergroup of sorts, gathered in part for the purpose of the show, a Tommy Lee project it seemed. Gilby Clarke and Jason Newsted joined… Hey, I was never huge fans of these guys, certainly didn’t have the memory of their music in my braincells like I had INXS… But, I knew, I had first loved the previous summers show, for the performances, and the music, so I watched. It was a very different season. I think the musicians were more edgy, perhaps because of the band that was seeking this year. I wasn’t sure I loved what I was seeing performance wise on the TV…but, since I was very defintely more interested in new music now, I looked up what these artists had been up to leading up to the show…And oh my god, there was some serious good music to be had! Honestly, it changed how I watched these folks on screen this summer. I had started to get their cd’s and explore who they were as musicians. I really liked their edgier styles too. I think I am really a rock girl at heart, even if I do have alot of kitchy pop sitting as some of my all time favorites…
The first performer from the show, that introduced me to now, one of my favorite bands music, was Phil Ritchie…noodly, bobble headed, loose lipped(apparently) Dirty Phil Ritchie… His band Lennex had 2 indie CD’s out prior to Rockstar, and a new EP out by midsummer(just after he got the boot from the show)…I love, love love their sound. They have such a varied set of music through their CD’s…ska influences, rock, alternative…rythm, catchy melodies…edgy rock. Altogether, I was so pleased to have discovered another band, even if it wasn’t the one hosting the show! A treat, they were for me.
I really loved their sound so much…and since the last year had taken place, I thought nothing of traveling ot see live music that I liked…I popped over to Maryland in September of 2006 to see one of their live shows…they are based out of the Maryland area…It happened to be their CD release party for the EP released that summmer. Oh my god………so good live. Seeing the guy from the show, up in front of his own band, with a crowd that loved them behind me…and music that I had recently discovered…blaring…very cool. They have made a fan of me for life I think. Nearly a year ago now, and I hope I can get to see them again sometime soon.
Just before going to Maryland to see Lennex…I got to attend a Rockstar taping…yes the TV show, live! I had become good friends with some of the local Southern Californians that were regular spoilers/attendees of the show, and they got us passes in. I am so grateful. What a cool experience. What you see on TV is not like what you see live. LIve is always, always, always better. The energy, the off mic commentary, the stuff that end up on the cutting room floor…all of that does not make it through to the TV audiences. At this point in the season, most of my favorites had left. Most recently Ryan Star…the hot (did I mentio HOT) dark brooding ‘dark horse’. I was a bit sad, but had made a pact to see him live eventually. So I figured, I generally admired who was left, and this would be a cool peek in.
Who was left: Magni, Toby Rand, Dilana, Storm Large, and Lukas Rossi. They were all really good. The most fun was probably Toby. The most surprising for me was Lukas–I was surprised his voice really was b
ter live than on TV. But the most stunning…I was shocked. Storm freakin Large. Holy Hell. All six feet of her. I am not a huge fan of female rockstars, I admit, so perhaps I had not given her a fair shake that summer, I don’t know. But that week, when I saw her live, first performing Sufragette City with Dave Navarro, and next her own composition, Ladylike…for the first time ever, I truly got chills, goosebumps almost. It was mid taping, I was like this is cool. But, in my estimation, when Storm took the stage, the room exploded. Ah, now I get it! The chick is balls to the wall engergy, with a stunning voice. I would bet, she could get on stage with anyone and match them. It was that week, that Storm got added to my must see live again list from that season.
So, I had seen a taping, been to see Lennex live…who was next. You guessed it, yes, that enigmatic Dark Horse, the uber hotness that evaded my taping attendance…Mr Ryan Star. Ok, yes he does have big …uhmmm feet(my friend, that was not my first focus–but I do believe the boy is ‘proportional’)…Anyways, I got to see Ryan in San Diego–he almost evaded me again, since his live date here in Seattle was to be while I was out of town, but where there is a will there is a way, and I managed to see him live, in one of the cities I rediscovered last year. During the summer, I had bought his independent CD, Songs from the Eye of the Elephant(long title) and I knew Ryan had a good hand at songwriting.
I mentioned he was super hot, too, right? Yes, I am shallow. He is hot and talented, and that is more than enough to make me want to see for myself. He performed acoustic, a one man show…It was interesting. I would love to see him live with a band. I think he has so much to offer musically, artistically, and just let’s admit, visually. Next to the definition of tall dark and handsome, is a shot of Ryan Star. Yum. His Live Dark Horse CD that he recorded, post show, with the backing of the Rockstar Houseband(amazing), is a great CD. I can put it in and just let it loop. Ryan, besides his already mentioned uber hotness, has this tortured voice that just grabs you, and you know, listening or seeing him live, he feels the music. Very hot.
Did I mention while I was talking about Lennex, that Dirty Phil is super hot too, lol…just thought I should stipulate, to my own shallowness. It should not be overlooked.
Ok, so year in Rockstar post season two, is still going, it is November, who was next… well, get this, the House Band from the show is touring with Paul Stanley…yes, the lead singer of KISS, lol…Sign me up. They are fabulous musicians. I had bought 3 of their CD’s-from Rafael Moiera, Nate Morton, and Jimmy McGorman, while I was down there at the taping, and have since bought another from their bassist’s(Sasha’s) other band Clock. These guys are pure musicians, whether listening to their individual CD’s, or seeing live, or on your TV screen, they are just stunning. They are just superb, some of the best pure musicians in the business that I have ever seen. They are hot too. Just sayin…
But hey, I am not ALL about the hotness…I did say I had become a fan of Storm? She is beautiful granted…I envy her this. She is this magnificent amazon that I wish I could be, lol… I got to see her and her band, Storm and the Balls(SATB) live in November of 2006. She is somewhat local to me, based in Portland, so I knew seeing her was always going to be easy, and after seeing her live at the taping, I knew I would make it to her shows in the northwest. I first attended the one in November in Portland…wow. Way more stunning in person, with her own band, doing her own stylized music. It was ‘her thing’…She is just more than the covers she did on the show. Their music, is a combinations of mashups of covers, new music, and just a crazy good rocked out time. She is bawdy, engergetic, bigger than life. I also got to sit in on an interview with her, and that increased my admiration for her even more. Her and the balls, truly cool cool people. That’s one of the things I had experienced this last 18 months, after having met most of these artists I had gone to see….they are just really cool creative people. I wish I had their talent.
I went to see Toby’s band, Juke Kartel in December. Toby, a fine specimen, no doubt, has a rowdy crew of rocking Aussies (he is Austrailian after all)behind him in this band. They are really good live musicians. Full of energy. I especially like their guitarist, Todd Burhman. He is hairflipping yumminess. I think, they have a rocking good time on stage, and their fans seem to quite enjoy. I am not sure their music, specifically is to my taste, but I wish them well.
I would see Storm each time she has come to Seattle since, in February of this year, and just this last week. Her new EP, Ladylike, side 1, is out, I picked that up. She worked on it with some help from the House Band in LA, has the guitar featured Dave Navarro version of Ladylike on it. A nice set of tracks on this EP.
But it was this other one that I would finally come to see. Just last weekend, I finally saw the winner of the show, Lukas Rossi again – the first time since the taping I had attended. He is currently touring acousitically with one accompanyist. I would estimate that the band from the previous summer’s show seems to be over, but whatever. I was never much of a Lukas fan, unlike his masses…but he makes it to Seattle, just blocks from my house, so I would of course go.
His new music, is pretty darnend good. I picked up the 4song EP. I think he is another of those truly talented songwriters that the show Rockstar, has presented us with. He does wear a bit more make up than anyone I know, male or female, but EVS(tm Toby), lol. I often don’t care for some of what he does with his vocals, but on balance, I think his voice, when just playing/singing, rather than prancing like a crazy person across the stage, is rather lovely. His music, and lyrics though, prove to me, that he is a true talent. He says he is forming a new band with parts from his previous bands. I think I will keep an eye on them.
So what is next? Well, believe it or not, I am commencing another groupie vacation to see my beloved INXS…and who will be in Ottawa the night before we see INXS? Storm and the Balls! LOL…not only is she local, but clearly, she is stalking me! I kid. A whole crew of us are going to hit the SATB show on the 12th. I am excited for all those that have not seen her live yet. Of course the next 3 nights, it is all INXS baby…in freakin Canada. One more time, this tour(I swear) I will see them in Southern California, with my magnificant crew there…much fun will be had, much music will blare, many *doubles* will flow.
I would still like to see my MiZtreZZ, Zayra Alvarez…but alas, I have not heard much from her after the end of last season. I do have her last CD, Ruleta II. It is quite good. I will order whatever else she puts out there.
Here is what I still have on my ipod from the Rockstar performances, season 1 & 2:
Wish You Were Here – Marty Casey
Lithium – Marty Casey
Baby Hit Me One More Time – Marty Casey
With Arms Wide Open – Marty Casey
Don’t Change – Marty Casey
Trees – Marty Casey
Everlong – Marty Casey
Creep – Marty Casey
The Letter – JD Fortune
California Dreamin – JD Fortune
Come As You Are – JD Fortune
Hand In My Pocket – JD Fortune
YOu Can’t Always Get What You Want – JD Fortune
What You Need – JD Fortune
Crazy – JD Fortune
This Time – JD Fortune
As Tears Go By – JD Fortune
Man Who Sold the World – Jordis Unga
Losing My Religion – Suzie McNeil
Smoking Umbrellas – Phil Ritchie
White Rabbit – Phil Ritchie
Jenny (867-5309) – Zayra Alvarez
Razorblade – Zayra Alvarez
Not an Addict – Zayra Alvarez
All the Young Dudes – Zayra Alvarez
Everybody Hurts – Zayra Alvarez
Losing My Religion – Ryan Star
Paint it Black – Ryan Star
Back of Your Car – Ryan Star
In the Air Tonight – Ryan Star
Here are the CDs I have bought from the Rockstar artists:
Ladylike, Side 1 – Storm Large
Hangin with the Balls – Storm and the Balls
Lennex, self titled
For the Sake of Simplicity – Lennex
Part Math, Part Euphoria – Lennex
Songs from the Eye of the Elephant – Ryan Star
Dark Horse, Live – Ryan star
Love & Lust – Lukas Rossi
Ruleta II – Zayra Alvarez
Marty Casey & the Lovehammers, self titled
And of course…
Switch – INXS
Switch, Austrailian Edition (including 4 live tracks) – INXS
Shine Like it Does, Anthology – INXS
All of this said, done, and fun still to be had, I have re/discovered lots of other new music…but Rockstar, the tv show, and these amazing artists, they were the catalysts. They brought me to the joy of live music, and together with friends I have met through on line mediums. Music, is truly a lovely thing.