Countdown to Sunset Junction

In paying tribute to the eastside’s biggest block party — Sunset Junction — officials are rolling-out their “30 Day Countdown to Sunset Junction Trivia Contest.” 
Get the 4-1-1 about the two-day concert Aug. 21 & 22 at 
Each day a new Trivia question will be placed on the website that touches on the history and legacy of the fair. 
The first person who gets the correct answer wins the prize. The contest will also feature bonus questions in certain instances for multiple prize winners. Some of these questions can really test one’s knowledge. 

Continue reading “Countdown to Sunset Junction” »

Audiotistic Music Festival story

While television news crews converged on the Audiotistic Music Festival Saturday night to focus on the controversy of rave-like music events, thousands of fans inside the concert appeared to pay little attention.
Hesperia residents Joel Fox, 19 and Brittney Buell, 20, happily climbed up a massive slide at the National Orange Show and raced each other down on towels. 
Buell bragged after she defeated Fox and each discussed what was the craziest thing they had seen at the festival at 12:10 a.m. Sunday.
“Girls with different types of underwear,” Fox said with a laugh. Added Buell: “I got caught stealing a whole water bottle” but she didn’t agree with it because the item was selling for $4. 
The Audiotistic Music Festival, which started at 6 p.m. Saturday, and concluded at 4 a.m. Sunday and tens of thousands of people attended the event.
Insomniac Events, which puts on the Audiotistic festival, put together the Electric Daisy Carnival in Los Angeles where a 15-year-old teen girl died of a drug overdose after attending the event, which drew about 185,000 people, according to media reports. 
There also was 120 people who required transport to local hospitals, mostly for drug intoxication. In response to the carnival event, tickets for the Audiotistic festival could only be purchased by those age 18 and older.
Cynthia Castro, 18, of Palmdale said she felt horrible for the teen’s family but “if you take drugs you have to take responsibility” for your actions. 
Castro, who also attended the daisy carnival, said the Los Angeles event “should not be cause for cancelation or become a reason to make big changes” in similar events. “It’s different from going to the clubs,” Castro said. “People are more friendly.” 
She added that out of the 100,000 people who attended the carnival, only a small percentage actually were involved in the drug related incidents.
Castro added she liked the temporary 18 and over provision introduced for Audiotistic.
Numerous young women like Castro wore “fuzzy boots,” or boots with material hanging from them, and skimpy bikini outfits that left little to the imagination dressed up with as many colorful accessories as possible. 
Many of the males wore neon colored tank tops, skinny jeans and stylish sneakers. 
The audience appeared to be primarily youths in their late teens and early 20s with many wearing as little clothing as possible. 
Featured acts included Kid Cudi, Bassnectar, Talib Kweli & DJ Hi-Tek, N.A.S.A., The Cool Kids, A-Trak, Marco V and Rusko. 
N.A.S.A., who performed inside The Boombox tent, gave an entertaining show from start to finish complete with women dancers painted silver who wore only wore bikini bottoms and pasties, dancers dressed as stuffed animals and guest artists including Fat Lip from the hip-hop group the Pharcyde. 
Kid Cudi, who ended his Sunday morning set with his hit “Pursuit of Happiness,” was entertaining but not flawless as he only performed one verse of his biggest hit “Day and Night” and was clearly off key when he tried to sing but his audience didn’t seem to mind.
Parking was $20 at the venue while tickets were $65 on the day of the show.
Vendors at the show sold sausages, teriyaki chicken, pepperoni pizza, burritos and more. 
Food vendor Kelli Boyle, 19, of Long Beach said water and the occasional sausage sell were her most popular items Saturday night.
“They seem to come in groups,” Boyle said of her customers, adding she originally was skeptical people would even eat at the event because they would consume too many drugs. 
“I hope they keep on dancing and will want to eat later.” 
Boyle, who attended the daisy carnival as a fan, said she thought there was too much attention paid to that event’s negativity. She thought increasing the age to 18 and over for Audiotistic solved the problem but added she felt bad for the teen’s parents. 
When asked, Boyle said the craziest thing she saw at the festival Saturday night was a “guy on a stretcher. He was strapped down just laying there.” 
Internet mattress salesman Saman Saman, who ran for San Bernardino’s 4th Ward City Council seat in 2009, sold ice cream at the event, with chocolate tacos among the biggest selling item.
Saman said the event was good for all businesses in the immediate area including hotels, fast food restaurants, convenience stores, taxi cabs and tow trucks.
“It’s good for San Bernardino,” Saman said, adding that concertgoers could “come and express their freedom.

Audiotistic comments on Bassnectar, A-Trak and more

The multiple music genre DJ artist Bassnectar, like hip-hop artist Kid Cudi, really drew a large crowd to his energetic set at the Audiotistic Music Festival at 11:35 p.m. Saturday. 

I wasn’t able to catch a lot of his set but he incorporates so many different sounds and styles into his set that kept his audience dancing the entire time. Bassnectar mixed Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirt” with a thunderous bassline that had what appeared to be the crowd throw up their hands and cheer. 
A-Trak, who started at 1:30 a.m. Sunday and went until 2:45 a.m., also kept his audience entertained using a variety of tricks and musical skill spinning everything from Justice to Luther Campbell of the 2 Live Crew. While he performed, two large screens to his left and right displayed multi-colored images and lights while behind him an even larger screen displayed the same visuals. 
During A-Trak’s performance, the silver painted female dancers in pasties and bikini bottoms from N.A.S.A.’s set all came out to dance during the set and when they left another set of dancers, male and female, came out wearing flashing lights and silver skin tight clothing. 
After the flashing lights dancers left, a group of women dancers, with red gas masks on, then appeared with large sticks of fire and danced to the music. 
Unfortunately, I missed UK dubstep artist Rusko but audience members I interviewed said he had a tremendous set. 
I briefly caught international DJ artist Marco V, whose techno infused set was packed with people and appeared to be the largest, or at least close to the largest, around the 3 a.m. Sunday hour when people started leaving. The Speaker Temple venue he was in featured a lot of spotlights, sweaty bodies dancing around me and people who liked to perform hand dances with fingernail coverings full of flashing lights. 
I was also able to catch drum and bass artist TC and from what I saw he put on a great show inside the Bass Frequency room around 3 a.m. and his crowd was definitely into the set but I had to try and get stats on arrests or hospital type incidents so I was unable to stay very long. 

Audiotistic thoughts on Kid Cudi, N.A.S.A. and Reflection Eternal

Hip-hop artist Kid Cudi appeared to draw the largest crowd at the Audiotistic Music Festival in San Bernardino on Sunday morning. 

Cudi started singing “Already Home,” his duet with Jay-Z, and then he went through many of his hits that the audience loudly rapped or sang along to including “Up Up & Away,” “Soundtrack 2 My Life” and “Day and Night.” 
Unfortunately, Cudi only performed one verse of “Day and Night” despite the audience losing their mind before he cut it off, which disappointed some fans, and immediately went into his closing song “Pursuit of Happiness” which sent the audience home happy. 
My only complaint was he was off key during the performance and cutting “Day and Night” short but the audience was actually louder than Cudi at times when he started to sing his parts. The mix of “Day and Night” was split between the slowed down album version and the sped up Crookers remix version which probably made it better he cut it off quickly. 
N.A.S.A., who like Cudi performed inside The Boombox tent, started around 8:50 p.m. Saturday and featured women dancers painted silver who wore only wore bikini bottoms and pasties, dancers dressed as stuffed animals and guest artists including Fat Lip from the hip-hop group the Pharcyde. 
Their set was one gigantic party with an explosive mix of up-tempo instrumentals and vocal pieces from songs like Eric B. and Rakim’s “Juice,” the Wu-Tang Clan’s “C.R.E.A.M.”  and much, much more. 
Reflection Eternal, Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek, were also very good and were immediately after N.A.S.A. and started their set with the familiar drum kick and horn sounds of “Move Somethin'” from their first album “Train of Thought” to get the crowd worked up. 
Kweli then went into “Down for the Count” and multiple women with white hair came out and went to the front stage area with disco balls to help energize the crowd. I left to report on the event when Kweli went into “I Try,” his Kanye West produced song from his solo album “The Beautiful Struggle.”

Glass House schedule includes Drop Dead Gorgeous, Warped Tour battle, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, Asking Alexandria, Neon Trees, School of Rock, Faded Paper Figures

Drop Dead Gorgeous
Thursday, July 22
Doors: 5 pm
$13 adv / $15 dos

Warped Tour
Skinne Magazine & 
Ernie Ball Music Mall
Present 5th Annual Battle for Warped Tour 2010
Calling All Bands!
Battle for the Warped Tour in here again! For 5 years in a row we have been able to send some amazing bands to the stage on the Warped Tour! Prelims will be held at The Glass House so give us a call to get on stage now!

To Enter Contact: 
Eric Dill

Garrett Carrol

Friday, July 23
Doors: 7 pm

Scream the Prayer Tour
Saturday, July 24
Doors: 4 pm
$15 adv / $17 dos

Thrash and Burn
Sunday, July 25
Doors: 2 pm
$18 adv / $20 dos

Paper Tongues
Wednesday, July 28
Doors: 7 pm
$10 adv / $12 dos

School of Rock All Stars
School of Rock Presents:
Live Aid Remade
School of Rock 
All Stars

25th Anniversary of Live Aid

music for relief.

Friday, July 30
Doors: 1:30 pm
$15 GA / $12 Students


Faded Paper Figures
Friday, July 30
Doors: 8 pm

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival review

By Joe Nelson
When it comes to music, I love all things hard and heavy.
Sure, like any old fogey, my tastes have matured somewhat over the years, and I have since added John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme,” Sonny Rollins’ “Saxophone Colossus” and Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” to what is now considered my antiquated CD collection. 
They’re tucked right beside my Germs anthology and Iron Maiden and Slayer collections.
Although my tastes have refined over the years, I’ll never, as the clich goes, forget my roots. 
Even in these middle-age years, I still find myself popping in a Black Flag, Venom or X CD to “get it all out,” and I still enjoy attending concerts with bands sporting names like “Five Finger Death Punch,” “Rob Zombie,” “Winds of Plague” and “Lamb of God,” as was the case Saturday at the third annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in Devore.
The only difference nowadays is that I tend to tow along my 15-year-old son, who has inherited his old man’s musical tastes and keeps him abreast of all the latest music and trends, like the “core” suffix genres in speed-metal music (deathcore, grindcore, mathcore) and what they all mean. Being an aspiring drummer himself, my son has this vernacular down.
And when such as event features dancing Oompa Loompas, how the heck can you go wrong?
Saturday’s all-day Mayhem Festival lived up to its name –  a full afternoon of  fast, loud and angry music in sweltering heat and roaring motorcycles as the Metal Mulisha freestyle motocross team dazzled concertgoers with their high-flying aerial acrobatics. 
The Inland Empire’s own Winds of Plague and Sangre banged it out on the Silver Stage and Jagermeister Stage, respectively, followed by a slew of some of the hardest bands touring the circuit today: Atreyu, Hatebreed, 3 Inches of Blood, Shadows Fall, Chimaira and In This Moment.
As the sun descended behind the hills and temperatures began to cool, the fireworks began, literally, as the main stage acts – Five Finger Death Punch, Lamb of God, Rob Zombie and Korn – belted it out. 
On the lawn, the skyrockets started shooting off and the bonfires started blazing during Lamb of God’s 30-minute set. Plumes of tawny, acrid smoke, likely from burning plastic bottles, poured over the seated concertgoers, so much so that some were forced to pull their shirt collars over their mouths and noses for temporary relief.
The three or four bonfires emitted an orange glow that illuminated throngs of revelers circling about them in their self-formed “pits,” while smoke and ash swirled to the sky and hung over the audience for the duration of the show. 
Unfortunately, the smoky disruption was a situation that security and firefighters couldn’t seem to get their arms around. It seemed for every fire that was quelled, another would erupt on the other side of the lawn.
Despite the smokey disruption, the music and sheer energy of the crowd made it all worth  it.
Between sets, the crowd was treated to some very politically incorrect stand-up comedy by Big Jay Oakerson. No four-letter word is absent from this man’s vocabulary. 
Between Lamb of God’s and Rob Zombie’s sets, the green-haired Oompa Loompas from Beacher’s Madhouse in Los Angeles showed off their dancing prowess during a laugh-a-minute performance. The little ones even took time during the day to pose for pictures with concertgoers.
One of the returning bands to the festival this year was Five Finger Death Punch, who performed on the side stage during the inaugural Mayhem Festival in 2008 and was promoted to the main stage this year. The band’s word-of-mouth rise in popularity and a new, more mature and polished sophomore effort, “War is the Answer,” has established the band as a promising up and comer with staying power.
“It’s definitely a more mature and well-rounded album. Everybody had more input on this one,” said Five Finger Death Punch drummer Jeremy Spencer, who took some time backstage Saturday to discuss the band’s latest album, newest guitarist Jason Hook and touring the Mayhem Festival.
Hook joined the group in 2008, bringing to the band his machine-gun-style chops and flair for melodic solos.
Spencer said he has known Hook about 16 years, and the two often worked on projects together over the years, noting that Hook’s ear for commercial music and mature playing style has filled a gap in the band and taken the band to whole new level.
“I knew what he (Hook) could bring to the table,” Spencer said.
Spencer said he’s surprised by the level of success the band has achieved in just five short years. The band’s 2006 debut album, “The Way of the Fist,” sold 400,000 copies worldwide, yielded three Top 10 radio hits in the U.S., a top five MTV metal video, and a Kerrang Best new band award. It’s sophomore album, “Way of the Fist,” released in September, has sold 150,000 copies in the U.S. alone.
“It has seemed rather fast,” Spencer said of the band’s success. He attributes that success to a very loyal fan base and having the good fortune of having radio on its side.
In a way, Mayhem feels like family to Five Finger Death Punch. The band toured with Korn during Korn’s Family Values tour in 2007, and has also toured with some of the other bands on this year’s Mayhem roster including Lamb of God and In This Moment.
“It’s a great package as far as summer tours. This is the one to be at,” Spencer said.

Rockstar Mayhem Festival 2010 story

Note: This is a general assignment story, not a review, that I submitted to the newspaper on an early deadline.

DEVORE – Upland band Winds of Plague started off the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival 2010 in style with their aggressive yet melodic deathcore sound to the cheers of thousands in attendance.
“It far surpassed my expectations,” said lead vocalist Jonathan “Johnny Plague” Cooke with a smile after he left the stage shirtless and sweaty with fans greeting him backstage. “My voice is shot on day one–good times,” he said with a laugh, adding the audience really responded to their song “Decimate the Weak.” from their 2008 album titled “Decimate the Weak.”
Fans afterward said they agreed with Cooke’s pick.
“‘Decimate the Weak’–that’s what I wanted,” said Dixie Lynn, 22, of Palm Springs. Lynn said the band was one of her favorites on the tour. “My boyfriend turned me on to them. It sounds like the new hardcore … more like black metal.”
Michael Witthans, 22, of Yucaipa said he didn’t enjoy Winds of Plague but admitted “I have kind of a hard time telling these bands apart.” He said he was more into bands like Atreyu and groups on the Ozzfest tour like Slipknot.
Audience members Saturday wore plenty of black and many had tattoos that ranged from the interesting to the questionable.
“I see a lot of bad tattoos,” said Bryan “Big B” Warner, 26, of Huntington Beach, in between shooting people with a squirt gun while selling merchandise at the Hatebreed merchandise booth. He said he had shot 20 people with his squirt gun early in the afternoon.

“Mainly chicks,” Warner said, and then he sprayed two women who walked up to his booth.

Every band had a different approach to entertaining audiences but all were able to start massive mosh pits with their aggressive music.
Redlands metal band band Sangre actually threw out tortillas to their crowd on the Jager stage. Later, Shadows Fall lead singer Brian Fair was able to get his audience to yell a profanity laced call and response chant of “Shadows Fall” and swing the microphone over his head.
Not everyone had to watch music. Fans could watch motorcycle riders perform flips and stunts at the Metal Mulisha area or watch radio controlled cars jump on ramps in a special area near the side stages.
Will Williams, 22, of Twentynine Palms, acted surprised when he realized he had spent 15 minutes watching the radio controlled vehicles jump and crash on Saturday.
“I lost track of time,” Williams said and added he was waiting to see Atreyu and main stage performers Lamb of God and Rob Zombie. He described the cars as “pretty sweet” and enjoyed watching them jump and crash.
When asked if there was anything he would change about the festival, Williams said he wished the main stage was closer to the side stage because he recently “ripped a disc in his back” and was forced to use a cane to get around the venue.
Many people wore T-shirts with phrases like “Kill Your Children” or “I hate everyone” and others wore acts scheduled to perform such as headliners like Korn, Lamb of God, and Rob Zombie.
Andrew Kiss, 16, of Hemet and Daniel Kain, 16, also of Hemet both had Mohawk hair designs and Five Finger Death Punch band shirts and said they were at the festival to watch the band perform.
Vendors sold everything from Mexican food to T-shirts that said “F*** Cancer.”
Cesar Delgadillo, of Murrieta, said his Baja Grill was steady but not great early Saturday because people were drinking but not eating yet he was hopeful business would pick-up late Saturday when people got hungry.
“It’s really hard,” Delgadillo said outside of his vendor booth near the Jager stage. “This year has kind of been the worst” with the economy, he said.
Cat Cameron, 26, of Toledo, Ohio was at the “F*** Cancer” booth, a non-profit clothing vendor that sent 100 percent of its profits from selling clothing o help women afford cancer treatment that has a web address of, she said.
“It’s so personal. I’m as much of a therapist as anything,” Cameron said, when asked about selling the shirts to people and the reactions she gets. She said everybody talks to her about losing someone because of cancer, which she has experienced with a friend dying of liver cancer.
Cameron said, like Delgadillo, business was steady but not great mainly because her location was near the main stage, which did not have acts perform until Saturday night.
The festival started at 1:50 p.m. Saturday at the San Manuel Amphitheater, formerly the Glen Helen Pavilion with thousands of fans in attendance.

Officials at the first-aid area at the amphitheater said there were two people who became overheated but recovered sufficiently enough to head back to the festival. One man was seen led outside of the amphitheater in handcuffs.
The traveling festival continues today with a stop in Mountain View and ends in Oklahoma City, Ok. on Aug. 14.

Sunset Junction lineup announced

Listen up music junkies, organizers of Sunset Junction have announced their lineup and it includes local acts like commercial-friendly Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and locals Fitz and Tantrums.

Visit the site for more information:

Sunset Junction lineup


Saturday, 21st 2010

Bad Brains * Ghostland Observatory * The Ohio Players * Shiny Toy Guns – HybriDigital * Miles Davis/ Bitches Brew Re-Mix feat. J.Rocc. * Fishbone *Evelyn Champagne King * Medusa * Orgone * Saint Motel * White Apple Tree * Rhythm Root Allstars * Balandugu Kan * B-side Players * Maleco Collective * Big Daddy Kane * Party Crash Feat, Dj Ruckus & Cory Enemy * Speakers Junkies * Dj Eric cubeechee * DJ Brent Bolthouse * Hyphy Crunk * Dj Jeremy Sole * Dj Pelau * Jimie & Moral Groove * Chief * Eastern Conference Champions * Andy Clockwise * Pollyn * Sweaters * Moses Capmbell * The Silver Lake Chorus

More TBA…


Sunday, 22nd 2010

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros * The Whispers *  Lee Scratch Perry  * Mayer Hawthorne * Meshell Ndegeocello * Division Minuscula * Permanent Ability * Ray Ricky Rivera * Spellbound * Palenke Soul Tribe * Bobo Meets Rhettamatu * Insite * Girl in a Coma * Raheen Cohen * Aurum *  Doc- Martin * Fitz & The Tantrums * Rolling Radio * DJ Caroline D’ Amore * DJ Splyce * DJ Dexterous * DJ gusto * DJ Carlos Nino * DJ Eric Neutron * Crystal Antlers * Sam Sparro * Infinity (the female fronted tribute to Journey) * Christopher Yates * C.C. Sheffield * The Deadly Syndrome * Red Cortez * Leslie and the Badgers * Wheelhouse * The Janks * Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang * Freddie Poole 

CGU professor’s recording featuring Boston Pops Orchestra and Robert De Niro available to buy

Claremont Graduate University professor Peter Boyer‘s “The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers,” which features the Boston Pops Orchestra and actor Robert De Niro, is available for purchase on mp3 and CD here:

It can also be found on iTunes and Amazon. Conductor Keith Lockhart leads the pops orchestra. 
The recording, which the pops orchestra commissioned and premiered, was created to celebrate the pops’ 125th anniversary. 

Also featured on the recording is the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, has De Niro reading John F. Kennedy’s words, Ed Harris reading Robert F. Kennedy, Morgan Freeman reading Ted Kennedy and Cherry Jones reading Lynn Ahrens. 

The CGU news release can be found here: