TEN BEST RECORDS OF 2012
I have compiled for you the ten best records of 2012 and it is ten records that you should own, or at least give a listen to because you will end up buying them, or you can just trust me and go buy them.
There is no order, no rhyme nor reason as to the order they are in on here. They appear in this order because this is how I put them down…simple as that. Now, enjoy then go buy em.
By Izzy Presley
February 7th, 2012
The record Van Halen fans have been waiting for since 1984’s 1984. It is the record that nobody ever thought would happen. It is the record that featured the full length return of David Lee Roth (Roth appeared on 1996’s Greatest Hits Volume 1 on two new tracks called “Can’t Get This Stuff No More” and “Me Wise Magic”).
The album is filled with unused material from the early Halen days but still sounds fresh. It is classic Van Halen at it’s finest but was scarred by horrible choice of a lead single that sounds like nothing else on the record.
When the single “Tattoo” hit on January 10th of 2012, response was iffy if best. Unfortunately the single turned many off on the record and many people had no interest in the long awaited release. Though the song is not that bad and tends to grab you after a couple listens, it sounds like more of a Dave solo offering rather than a classic Van Halen sound.
By the time the second single “She’s The Woman” hit on February 28th, any momentum that the anticipation may have created was lost.
Up to this point, it has sold nearly 400,000 copies, which is still pretty good in this day and age of sparse record sales and was sixth best selling rock release for the first half of 2012.
This record should be in your collection.
Foxy Shazam: The Church of Rock & Roll
January 24th, 2012
The Foxy Shazam party is one that I can openly admit that I was late for and will openly admit that I should be ashamed at myself for not checking them out sooner.
Many people discovered them when they were on tour with The Darkness and if I would have been at the Minneapolis show, I would have been hooked then.
The Church of Rock & Roll is the fourth offering form the band that sweats the 70’s and it comes through in their music. Rock based with a taste of 70s funk, Foxy Shazam is a breath of fresh air in this day and age of crap that is shoved down your throat.
The lead single, “I Like It” gives a poppy Zeppelin feel with the Foxy Flavor.
The record is deeper than the single and is something, like every record on this list is one you can put on and not touch; unless you have it on vinyl and have to get up to flip the record.
The Darkness: Hot Cakes
August 20th, 2012
Wind Up Records
Another record that nobody thought they would ever see is a new offering from UK’s The Darkness. The band broke up in 2006 when lead singer Justin Hawkins left to go to rehab for alcohol and cocaine dependency which in turn was his full blown departure from the band who wanted to continue without him.
The band reunited in 2011 and was firing on all cylinders, and in the summer of 2012, Hot Cakes was released. It is their first album since 2005’s One Way Ticket To Hell…and back.
The record captures the classic sound of the band which is pretty basic…loud guitars, Justin’s vocals, and great freaking rock and roll songs.
The first two tracks on the record “Every Inch of You” and “Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us” were also the first two promo tracks for the album and kick it off nicely.
Tracking through Hot Cakes in it’s entirety, like you should be able to do with any record and can do with any record on this list, you find a strait forward pop rock record and one that should not be ignored.
Lisa Marie Presley: Storm and Grace
May 15th, 2012
Threw you a curveball with this one, didn’t I? Well, if you read my review of her show at the Fine Line Music Café from this summer, this should not be a shock to you.
The one musician in the world that is living under the biggest musical shadow that has ever been casted, the daughter of the king of rock & roll, Lisa Marie Presley, put out one of the strongest records of the year.
Storm and Grace is a mature and eclectic record from Presley that honestly surprised me. Imagine a Chris Isaak record featuring Hope Sandoval from Mazzy Star on vocals…got that sound in your head? That is what you can expect from Storm and Grace.
The album features eleven songs with a collection of co-writers, but one glimmer of hope in the cookie cutter world of “here, this is what you are going to sing today, pop music”, Presley is credited on every single song.
From top to bottom, front to back, and side to side, Storm and Grace is a very solid record and should not be overlooked by any music fan.
Ian Hunter & The Rant Band: When I’m President
September 4th, 2012
Ian Hunter. What more can be said about the career that this rock legend has had? Nothing, he is an icon. He is an icon that has put out another iconic record in 2012.
When I’m President was released in September of 2012 and I would have not even known of it if it wasn’t for local Minnesota Icon D.B. Curtis. I have learned very quickly to no argue with this mans ear. Back to the record…
I’m President is what one could easily call a mature rock record that should not scare any younger readers off. Catchy and simple, yet distinguishable, every cut on the album brings it’s own unique flavor, while sticking close to the formula.
The 73 year old Hunter proves with this record that good music is timeless and age will not stop good songs. In this case, it won’t stop an icon from putting out a timeless record.
July 17th, 2012
Spine Farm Records
From the elderly with Ian Hunter, now to the young blokes filled with piss and vinegar The Treatment. The raunchiness and rawness of rock and roll is packed into this upbeat, hard rock record.
This Might Hurtis filled with guitar riff after guitar riff after guitar riff with a healthy amount of bass and drums topped off with screaming vocals. These young Britts breath a breath of fresh air to the hard rock ranks that have been missing strait up new rock & roll.
The opening cut on the record called “Departed” has a real Skid Row “Slave to the Grind” feel, and the testosterone flies all through the track list. “Drink, Fuck, Fight”, “I want Love”, “The Doctor”, “I Fear Nothing”, and the powerful “Just Tell Me Why” are just a few of the many, many highlights.
Matt Jones has a real Jeff Keith vibe to his voice and it works over the Les Pauls & JCM 800s.
They continuously stole the show on their summer tour opening for KISS & Mötley Crüe. If you have been dying to get a fix of new rock with that 80s vibe, check out this record from The Treatment.
April 6th, 2012
Reunited in 2009 after a 4 year hiatus, the German, metal icons, Accept returned in 2012 with their second offering featuring their new lead singer Mark Tornillo. Stalingrad is the follow up to 2010’s debut with Tornillo Blood of the Nations.
Front to back, this record is what you would expect it to be. Heavy and melodic with great solos and powerful vocals…an Accept record.
Even though original singer Udo Dirkschneider is absent from this record, like it’s predecessor, his shoes have been filled nicely by Tornillo. It is always tough replacing a lead vocalist who has been the voice of a band since it broke, but there are instances when the original/classic is not missed as much as one would think. This is one of those instances.
“Flash to Bang Time”, “Twist of Fate”, and the title track “Stalingrad” all stand out on a solid effort from them. Not too heavy yet not to light, Stalingrad is a must own for any hard rock/metal fan.
The Oddfathers: Double Live 45 RPM
November 20th, 2012
Rock Steady Records
The title says it all. This is literally a gatefold album with two 45s in it with one song per side.
Fronted by former FLIPP guitarist/vocalist Brynn Arens, The Oddfathers show their Minneapolis roots. The tracks have a very “Replacementsy” feel to them with Arens’s flavor, which is definitely all his own.
He is joined by former Samantha 7 bass player Kryss Barrato, Casey Gooby, and Tom Cook on this amazing little compilation.
They recorded roughly seventeen tracks live in the studio, and I mean live – vocals and all, on 2 inch tape, and put out this EP as a taste of what is to come. It’s analog and glorious.
Side one, track one, is a song with a real Rolling Stones “Bitch” feel called “Another Tear Goes Dry” and really sets the tone for the rest of the songs on the record. “Whisper in my Ear” is another stand out in the four strong tracks.
If you don’t have a record player, don’t fret, because the record comes with a free digital copy. Trust me, you want this record. This is another must own.
T&N: Slave to the Empire
October 31st, 2012
Rat Pak Records
The demise of the ill fated Dokken reunion that never got out of the talking stages brought to us one amazing thing, T&N.
Jeff Pilson, George Lynch, and “Wild” Mick Brown, along with Brian Tichy joined forces to bring one of the strongest hard rock records of 2012 to light.
Pilson and Lynch got together to write songs for a new Lynch Mob record when the Dokken reunion talks slipped out and then went away so they called Mick & Brian and T&N was born.
They recorded Dokken songs with Mick Brown on drums and guest vocalists: Dug Pinnick (Kings’ X), Sebastian Bach, Robert Mason (Warrant/former Lynch Mob), and Tim “Ripper” Owens while recording original material with Tichy on drums and Pilson on vocals. The album Slave To The Empire was born.
The Dokken covers (“Tooth & Nail” – Pinnick, “Kiss of Death”- Owens, “Into The Fire” – Pilson, “It’s Not Love” – Mason, “Alone Again” – Bach) brought the songs to new life with new twists on the songs via the vocals and new flavors here and there in the arrangements. Bach on “Alone Again” will give you chills.
The original T&N material is strait forward rock. Lyrically there is a little political flavor in the songs, but it works without being preachy or sounding like Geoff Tate wrote them. “Slave to the Empire”, “Mind Control”, and “Rhythm of the Soul” stand out on a completely solid record.
April 20th, 2012
With their first release of all new material since 1992’s Hear!, Trixter came back strong with their 2012 release New Audio Machine. Trixter disbanded in the mid nineties when the glam rock boat crashed and burned for a smelly pile of flannel to reunite in 2008 and have never looked back.
New Audio Machine is jam packed with twelve tracks including the single “Tattoos & Misery” and gives you what you would expect.. a Trixter record. Fun and poppy rock songs with great riffs and catchy lyrics that capture the classic Trixter sound.
Now you can quit your internal dialog that is probably complaining about the relevance of Trixter in this day and age, but the bottom line is that a good record is a good record. If you are afraid to check this record out, then you are a bigger music snob than I, but if you like rock and roll, bands that can play their instruments, and singers who can sing without the crutch of autotune, check out the latest and long awaited installment from Trixter.
There you go, my ten best records of 2012. Now you can go out to your local record store, you know the one that someone in your town owns, and buy these records. If they don’t have them they will be happy to order them for you.
*Honorable Mentions: L.A. Guns – Hollywood Forever; Aerosmith – Music From Another Dimension; Lynch Mob – Sound Mountain Music; John Corabi – Unplugged; Slash – Apocalyptic Love
The Oddfathers – Pioneer Place Theater – November 20th, 2012
INTERNATIONAL ELVIS TRIBUTE ARTIST ANTHONY SHORE ADDS NEW DATES
By Izzy Presley
Sept 24, 2012
International ETA Anthony Shore has added new dates in the St. Cloud and Minneapolis area. He will not only be doing solo shows but dates with his All-Star band
The full band theater shows that have been added are Thursday November 8that The Parkway Theater in Minneapolis. Showtime is 7pm and tickets are $15 per single seat, or special Love Seat seating at $40 which includes 2 tickets.
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of “Aloha From Hawaii: Via Satellite”, Anthony will be returning to the Pioneer Place theater for 2 nights in January. January 4th and 5th are sure to be killer productions as he will be doing one set of Elvis classics along with one set in celebration of “Aloha” along with his All-Star band. Tickets are $24 in advance and available soon at www.ppfive.com.
Anthony’s solo performances will include a return performance at Mountain Mudd in New Hope and his debut at The Fraternal Order of Eagles Club #34 in Minneapolis.
For more information on shows, please visit www.facebook.com/AnthonyShore ETA and www.elvismn.com.
For booking and information please contact Izzy@izzypresleyproductions.com
ROCKSTAR BOB STABS HIMSELF IN FOOT, WILL NOT MISS ANYMORE DATES
On Friday, September 21st during the beginning of the Hairball show in Eau Claire, WI, Rockstar Bob was on stage in his Gene Simmons get up and everything was going as planned. Bob spit fire and threw down the flaming sword as he always does into a wooden box on stage after spitting the fire.
This time it didn’t go as planned. He missed the box and the sword went into this foot.
Bob was taken to the hospital in Eau Claire where he received stitches to close the wound. The sword missed the bones in his foot, luckily, so the only damage was the cut.
“It’s the danger of rock n’ roll that I find sexy”, Bob said. “The blood is the life! Rock n’ Roll is in my blood and you can find it on the Stage.
He missed the rest of the show on Friday night and took Saturday night off leaving the vocal duties in the capable hands of Kris Vox and Joe Dandy.
Bob reassured me that he will not miss any more dates and will be back in form for this weekends show in Sauk Rapids at the Benton Station tent party and Saturday at Memorial Hall in Racine, WI.
For ticket information on these shows and the rest of the dates on the calander, please visit www.hairballonline.com
Izzy Presley Productions (Public Relations)
DISGRUNTLED & EXCITED ALL AT THE SAME TIME: KISS, Crüe, AND THE TREATMENT
By Izzy Presley
The Minnesota State Fair once again welcomed KISS and Mötley Crüe and this time on the same bill with a brand new band called The Treatment out of the UK. I will get to the masked marauders the trashiest band in the land in just a bit, but first we must talk about these kids from the homeland.
The Treatment is a breath of fresh air in the ever changing sound of rock and roll. Their hard driving sounds take us back to a time when hard rock was hard rock. Not this sterilized crap we are subjected to on a daily basis thanks to a bunch of Canadians. No influence of rap or industrial music infesting our glorious rock and roll. It’s just a bunch of British kids playing Les Pauls through Marshall amps and singing about partying, girls, and rock music.
Their debut record is called This Might Hurt and they are on their first US tour along with KISS and Mötley Crüe.
They blazed through their set as the Grand Stand filled up with the masses waiting for the two big names, and won over nearly each and every one of them with their brand of the rock and roll that we know and love while looking like a rock band should look. No Faux hawks or cookie cutter boy cuts with these guys…long hair like it should be.
They played a nice mix of tunes off of their record and they pull it off live as good as it sounds on your stereo. From one of their singles “The Doctor” to the anthem-esque “Departed”, there was not a disappointed soul in the seats for the slot that usually drives beer sales.
NOW, on to the dual headliners.
Mötley Crüe did what the Crüe does; beautifully sleazy set of their best songs with a flashy Tommy Lee drum solo and lots of F’bombs between said songs…can’t forget the gals they have on stage that look like they work in Vince’s strip club. Giggidy.
Vince sounded as good as Vince can sound. It’s no secret that he is not known for being the best live vocalist, but this was as good as you could expect him to be.
Then KISS came on…ummmm. Let me first say that I am a card carrying member of the KISS Army and will be for life. I may not agree with the state of the band, what they are doing, and how they go about it and tend to side with former members rather than the money machine Gene is driving, but I still live in the records and the history of the band.
With that said, I was very disappointed. Between tuning down a step to help out a Paul Stanley who clearly cannot do it anymore and a drummer who is trying so much to play like Peter Criss that it is effecting his hard driving style, I left a fan praying for retirement. Not to mention having Tommy Thayer do “Shock Me” practically sent me over the edge.
It is one thing to have Tommy in Ace Frehley’s make up, but to have him singing the song that was Ace’s staple AND that he wrote, is down right blasphemy.
I understand that Gene and Paul can do what they want with the make up since they own the trademarks, but it is a slap in the face to the fans who have been there since the 70’s.
They pulled out all of the bells and whistles that makes a KISS show a KISS show with the fire breathing, the blood, the smashed guitars, and the stage show that set the standard for stage shows, and had a good list of songs, but the performance itself…ugh.
At least they don’t have Eric singing “Beth”…yet.
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Happy From Hairball in FM Spotlight Magazine
Check out the interview with Happy from Hairball in FM Spotlight Magazine!
LISA MARIE PRESLEY CAPTIVATES THE FINE LINE
By Izzy Presley
Living under the musical shadow of a successful parent is not easy due to three things; expectations, expectations, and expectations. Now, imagine said parent being The King of Rock and Roll.
Lisa Marie Presley has returned with a new record called Storm and Grace and is now on a tour taking her across the United States, and that tour stopped in Minneapolis on June 19th.
Lisa Marie and her band fought through some technical difficulties to put on a great set at the Fine Line Music Café. She plowed through a laid back set of music that was all her own (with the exception of one cover song during her encore) and a show that was all her own.
The music had the overtones of a Chris Isaak record featuring Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star on lead vocals. Slow and melodic with a lot of tasty steel guitar beneath Presley’s low key vocals made for a nice change of pace for a guy who is used to Les Pauls through Marshalls on eleven.
Not a single mention of her father or his music during the set made for a night that was all about her, which it should have been. Only her resemblance, some mannerisms, and a single “thank you, thanks a lot” (which sounded like she caught her self saying “thank you, thank you very much”) were the only Elvis overtones of the night.
The song Lisa Marie and her band covered for the encore? Tom Petty’s “I Need To Know”, which they rocked out nicely.
Storm and Grace is available now featuring the first single “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” and my personal favorite on the record, “Over Me”.
While the King will always live on in our hearts and record players, it is now the Princess’s time to shine.
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Izzy Presley Productions is a public relations and artist representation company specializing in the entertainment industry.
Our current client roster includes Adam Muskiewicz, Anthony Shore, Shannon McDonough, Greg Sain and Hairball.
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