Jen's Den

  • New Jimmy Page Book Compiles Interviews With Led Zeppelin Ledgend

    Posted by Jennifer Taylor

    Jimmy Page
    Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

    Throughout his career, rock legend Jimmy Page has never been much for publicity. However, journalist Brad Tolinski has been fortunate enough to interview the guitar god many times over the past 20 years and has compiled those chats into a new book, ‘Light & Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page.’

    Tolinski, editorial director of Guitar World, Revolver and Guitar Aficionado, sorted through more than 50 hours of interviews for ‘Light & Shade.’ The book takes the reader on a journey through Page’s career, first as a session guitarist working with the likes of the Who and the Kinks, then as a member of the Yardbirds to rock mega-stardom with Led Zeppelin and beyond.  Along the way, Page gives his thoughts on many of Zep’s most famous songs, his infamous dabbling in the occult, his fellow guitar legends and meeting Elvis Presley.

    “This is the most comprehensive and compelling collection of interviews, insights and historical anecdotes of one of rock and roll’s premier guitarists, songwriters and producers ever compiled,” Slash wrote in a blurb for the book. “A fascinating must-have for Jimmy Page fans like myself.”

    ‘Light & Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page’ will be available Oct. 23.

    by: Dave Lifton

  • Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind, Papa Roach, Adelitas Way Tuesday, August 21st in Grand Rapids

    Posted by Jennifer Taylor

    Come over to Grand Rapids this Tuesday, August 21, 2012 for Rock The Rapids. I will be haning out and watching Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind, Papa Roach and Adelitas Way. For Ticket info








    Papa Roach

    Papa Roach

    Adelitas Way

    Adelitas Way


    Shinedown Unity Live

    Godsmack Straight Out Of Line Live

    Staind Tangled Up In You Live

    Papa Roach She Loves Me Not Live

    Adelitas Way The Collapse Live

  • The Other "F" Word

    Posted by Jennifer Taylor

    Check out this incredible documentary about Punk Rockers becoming Fathers that I watched last night. Enjoy ~Jen


  • This reminds me how lucky we are to live in America!

    Posted by Jennifer Taylor

    Russian Punk Band Pussy Riot Sentenced to Two Years for Putin Protest

    Maria Alekhina, Ekaterina Samucevich, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova in a glass-walled cage

    Photo by Getty Images


    Riot grrrl-influenced band found guilty for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred"; sentence includes time served

    Three members of Russian band Pussy Riot are guilty and must serve two years in prison, including time served, a Moscow judge has ruled, according to the Guardian. Judge Marina Syrova found the riot grrl-influenced group guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" over an impromptu concert in a cathedral, which led to their arrest more than five months ago. Though Pussy Riot's Maria Alekhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Ekaterina Samucevich faced up to seven years of prison time for this medieval idea of a crime, the judge sentenced them to two years apiece beginning from the date of the arrest.

    As the Guardian reports, the three women laughed after the judge announced their sentence, and a cry of "shame" ran through the courtroom. The judge cited the women's lack of previous crimes, the fact that two of them have children, and their other positive characteristics as extenuating factors, but found that "there are no exclusive circumstances" to reduce the charges against the band. "The defendants violated the common rules of behavior in the cathedral," the judge is quoted as saying.

    Pussy Riot's crime — essentially, protesting Russian leader Vladimir Putin the day before his election — has drawn increasing support from Western musicians. Beastie Boys' Ad-Rock recently DJed a Pussy Riot benefit, and artists from Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna to Billy Bragg and even Paul McCartney have spoken out on the women's behalf. By putting Pussy Riot in prison, even for less than the maximum sentence, Putin's government may have only made them an international cause celebre.

    by Marc Hogan

  • Amy Lee Of Evanescence Weighs In On Touring With Halestorm & Becoming An Underground Act

    Posted by Jennifer Taylor

    Amy Lee

    Mary Ouellette,

    Evanescence rose to mainstream success early in their career, but with their release of their latest self-titled disc, founding member Amy Lee considers her band more of an underground success. As the band kicks off the Carnival of Madness tour, Lee sat down with Fuse to talk about touring with Halestorm, her writing process and why she thinks Evanescence never fit in.

    When asked where her band fits in, Lee was quick to respond, saying emphatically, “I don’t think we fit in. I don’t think we’ve ever really fit in, and I like that.” She went on to talk about the ever-changing landscape of rock music, explaining, “Rock’s becoming more of the underground again in a lot of ways. There’s a lot of things that are awesome that people are listening to that are underground just because of the way things work and the internet, it’s all about finding that specific thing you love.” However, she is thankful for her band’s early success, admitting, “I’m glad that we are at this point now after we had the crazy mainstream success that we had and developed that fanbase because they’re with us, but it’s like we have this secret. Like it’s like this underground community that’s bigger than you would probably think.”

    When it comes to sharing the Carnival of Madness stage with Halestorm and Lzzy Hale, Lee couldn’t be happier. “We played with Halestorm, I went on the side of the stage just to hear her sing and she sounded incredible, unreal, like one of those old classic rock voices and I was like ‘Wow, she’s great,’” said Lee. Of course, that’s not the only reason. “It’s cool to have another female on the road,” Lee said. “Not just because it inspires me musically – because it does – it makes me feel this sort of pride and ‘yeah, go get’em’ when I see a chick rocking. Also, she’s really down to earth. I’m looking forward to hanging out and getting some girl time in.”

    Lee also dove into the writing process for Evanescence saying that her favorite part of it is finishing a song. “That moment,” she explains, “The bridge is done, the chorus rules, the choruses are groovy, you just know. It’s the best feeling ever. I can’t’ really describe it, it’s like something that didn’t exist the night before that you become so obsessed with you can’t imagine living without.”      by: Mary Ouellette

    I'll be at this one, will you? Look for me, Jen

    Catch Amy Lee and Evanescence along with Halestorm, Cavo, Chevelle, and New Medicine out on the Carnival of Madness tour

    Thursday, August 23, Grand Rapids, MI at Rock The Rapids

    Gates Open: 6:30 pm

    Show Time: 7:30 pm


    Evanescence Your Star Live

    Halestorm Bet U Wish U Had Me Back Live

    Cavo Champagne Live Acoustic

    Chevelle The Red Live

    New Medicine Race To The Bottom

  • Did A Bad Hot Dog Inspire Eddie Van Halen To Write "Jump"?

    Posted by Jennifer Taylor

    Eddie Van Halen

    Ebet Roberts, Getty Images

    Getting Eddie Van Halen to talk about the inspiration behind any of his songwriting efforts is rather difficult, in part because he refuses to take much credit for his work. “I’ve said plenty of times, I can’t claim to ever have really written anything. Because I don’t really feel like I’m responsible, it comes through me.”

    Still, the legendary rocker took a shot at explaining the origins of the band’s only No. 1 single — 1984′s keyboard-heavy ‘Jump’ — alongside his bandmates for a Japanese TV special entitled ‘Song to Soul.’ The group’s irrepressible lead singer, David Lee Roth, nailed the appeal of the song’s opening riff quite nicely by declaring, “‘Jump’ sounds both happy and sad to me — (it’s) like ragtime, the initial riff. You can’t tell. It’s bittersweet.”

    So was there in fact a bittersweet moment in Van Halen’s life that revealed itself in the song? Probably, but the actual event is as much of a mystery to the guitar (and sometimes keyboard) hero as it is to the rest of us. “I just happened to be very much into playing keyboards at the time,” Van Halen explains modestly. “So, because I was playing so much piano and keyboard, somehow a keyboard song came through me. Where it came from? Some experience. I don’t remember if it was getting my ass kicked down the street, or a girlfriend breaking up with me, or a bad hot dog or what. We’re all filters, you know? Or sponges. You soak stuff up, you squeeze it out, (and) whatever comes out, well.. it was ‘Jump,’ that time.”

    One thing he’s not shy about is admitting the impact his first major entrance into the world of keyboard-dominated rock had on the rest of the music world. “That (keyboard) sound actually did not exist. We made that sound popular. Then all the synthesizers after ‘Jump’ came out came with that sound (built) into (them.)”

    by: Matthew Wilkening

    Watch Van Halen on ‘Song to Soul’

  • Johnny Depp Joins Aerosmith To Play "Train Kept A-Rollin' In Los Angeles

    Posted by Jennifer Taylor

    Aerosmith with Johnny Dep

    Johnny Depp proved he’s more than just a living room, MTV wannabe during a performance with Aerosmith on Monday night. The actor had a number of opportunities to blaze through solos as the band played the blues standard ‘Train Kept A-Rollin” at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

    Depp blended into the onstage landscape as naturally as Joe Perry, as Steven Tyler hopped around and thrust his hips toward Captain Jack Sparrow. Depp’s singing wasn’t as memorable as his ax-work … it’s good to know he has limitations isn’t it?

    Afterward, Depp joined the legendary rockers for a pretty great afterparty, caught on tape by TMZ reporters. The entourage went to the Pink Taco, where they may have talked about his performance on one of the tracks from Aerosmith’s upcoming album. As previously reported, Depp sings backup vocals to ‘Freedom Fighter.’ However Perry says the politically charged rocker may not make the cut. It may be included in an outtake or on a deluxe edition.

    ‘Music From Another Dimension’ will hit stores on Nov. 6.

    Watch Johnny Depp and Aerosmith Play ‘Train Kept A-Rollin”

  • Searching For Sugar Man

    Posted by Jennifer Taylor

    My cousin Jason (Poo-Poo to those that know him) was telling me about an article he read about this Detroit musician from the 70's that was bigger than Elvis in South Africa, helped to start a revolution and did not even know it. Now they have made a movie about his life. See the article below and don't forget to check out his music, its amazing late 60's-70's Dylan like.

    Keep Rockin' My Brothers & Sisters


    P.S. I can not stop listening to this soundtrack, its amazing!

    Searching for Sugar Man

    (Hal Wilson/Sony Pictures Classics)
    He poured lighter fluid on himself and burned to death on stage. He put a gun to his head in front of adoring fans. These are a couple of the myths surrounding the disappearance of the artist known as Rodriguez. A second-generation Mexican by way of Detroit, Sixto Rodriguez released a pair of folk-rock albums on Sussex, a subsidiary of A&M records, in the early 70s. Then he vanished. Or so the story goes. The music world is filled with mythological artists who rise and fall in epic tales—soul man Howard Tate made a classic album, fell out of sight for decades, then returned in the early aughts to a second career. But the story of Rodriguez is like no other. Director Malik Bendjelloul’s documentary Searching for Sugar Mansets up a fascinating mystery, and whether or not you know what finally happened to the film’s subject, the reality is as rewarding as the myth.

    Bendjelloul tells the story of "Sugar Man" with evocative images, using not just his camera but pencil drawings and animated sequences. He gives us shots of Detroit decay, of an empty bar that recalls Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, of steam rising up from mean streets a la Taxi Driver, with full moons and smoke-filled bars and a singer-songwriter who’s nothing more than a silhouette, playing with his back to the audience.

    All this myth-making would be all smoke and mirrors if the music wasn’t any good. Studio guitarist Dennis Coffey, who had his own hit with the funky instrumental “Scorpio,“ called Rodriguez “the next Dylan,” a charge laid at dozens of singer-songwriters over the years. He isn’t exactly that. Rodriguez’ cadence recalls Dylan and Leonard Cohen, his gentle voice reminiscent of Nils Lofgren as well as Sussex labelmate Bill Withers (himself the subject of an excellent documentary, Still Bill), and his album’s production values—folk rock with strings—owes a debt to Love’s 1967 classic Forever Changes, which can be seen on the shelves in an interview with record store owner Stephen “Sugar Man” Segerman, one of Rodriguez’ champions in South Africa.


    (Sony Pictures Classics)
    Rodriguez's music may not transcend its influences for everyone, but it ended up inspiring a nation — just not the United States. The unlikely story of Rodriguez’ success far from home drives the story. The movie’s first scenes shuttle between Cape Town and the Motor City, but the director builds the mystery by withholding key information. Rodriguez’s albums sank without a trace in the States, but he found a huge fanbase in South Africa, of all places. His signature track “Sugar man,” became an anthem among young Afrikaners during the emerging anti-Apartheid movement. The South African government of the time was so repressive that ambiguous drug references in the lyrics of “Sugar man” got it banned. Censors scratched deep gouges across that track on every copy of the album sent to South African DJ’s, insuring it would not be played on air. But as any marketer knows, banning something only makes it forbidden fruit — that much more desirable.

    Rodriguez’ two albums ended up selling by the millions in South Africa, but where did the money go? The producer of a CD reissue of Coming from Reality wrote in his liner notes a call to any musicologists who might know how to find out what really happened to him. A website called The Great Rodriguez Hunt (don't follow the link if you want to go into the movie cold) put the singer’s sunglassed visage on a milk carton, which makes this a story of how music connected in a far land before the internet, and how the internet solved the mystery.

    ‘Did it make any money?” a producer asks. The record was often bootlegged, but did the proceeds benefit Rodriguez or his kin? The movie mentions the four-letter word piracy in passing, a subject for further discussion, but the movie isn't about the money. This is as much as I’m going to tell you about the movie, but if you don’t mind a spoiler, you might want to follow this link.

    Searching for Sugar Man takes a fascinating story and tells it with great vigor and skill: in everyman interviews that sound like poetry, in simple sound effects, in a gentle crane shot timed just perfectly to descend on a Cape Town record shop. If Melody Records still existed I would have run from the screening to look for the albums, but it was not to be. Sugar Man opens a window on a musical past you never knew, and it’s sure to make you reflect on the musical past you know.

    Rodriguez Sugar Man


    Searching for Sugar Man Trailer