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Showing posts from December, 2020

Best of 2020

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Follow MisplacedStraws -  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Insta   Although 2020 has been a bust musically, it is worth looking back at some of the highlights, there were definitely more than you think! Live music may have been non-existent since mid-March (my last show was March 11) and there really haven't been many new bands on the scene this year but there really was a lot of great music released.  To celebrate all that music, this year's list will be the Top 15 of 2020. 1.  Kansas - The Absence of Presence  Sixteen studio records and more than 45 years into their career Kansas created a true masterpiece.  I've always been a Kansas fan but even I was worried about what the band would be once Steve Walsh left, however the first post-Walsh record, 2016's The Prelude Implicit , showed signs of promise with new singer Ronnie Platt and new guitarist Zak Rizvi.  It's the addition now of the brilliant keyboardist/songwriter Tom Brislin (Yes, The Sea Within) that propels this b

New Music Showcase: The Compulsions - Ferocious

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 There are bands that wear their influences on their sleeve.  It takes a special band to combine those influences into a fresh and exciting sound, The Compulsions have done that on their third full-length record, Ferocious .  Frontman Rob Carlyle recently took some time to talk about the record and the story behind this band. Please press the PLAY icon for my conversation with Rob Carlyle - Much like the bands that influenced them (The Rolling Stones and Guns N' Roses), the history of The Compulsions is a long and sorted tale. The original line up of this NYC-based band featured Sami Yaffa (bass) of Hanoi Rocks and New York Dolls and Guns N' Roses members Richard Fortus (guitar) and Frank Ferrer (drums) in addition to Rob Carlyle on vocals.  Carlyle explains that the Yaffa/Fortus/Ferrer lineup began to disintegrate over time, "It didn't happen all at once", says Carlyle, "I think Sami moved first...the relationship (with Fortus) was never awesome to begin wit

My Favorite Christmas Songs - Kansas Keyboardist Tom Brislin

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 Follow MisplacedStraws -  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Insta   As we've seen in each episode of My Favorite Christmas Songs, there are a lot of Christmas songs and records that mean something to people for different reasons.  One of the big themes is the songs we hear as kids tend to stay with us.  That's the case with Kansas keyboardist Tom Brislin.  Tom and I talked about the impact The Ventures' Christmas Album has had on him, his early experiences playing with established performers, a special Kansas show in NYC around Christmastime, and much more! Please press the PLAY icon below to hear  My Favorite Christmas Songs - Tom Brislin: For me, I'm thinking of a specific Christmas album and it's The Ventures' Christmas Album . Anybody who knows me knows that I talked about this album all the time. It's actually a desert-island disk for me year-round. Because you know Christmas memories, it's about childhood, right? So I think about the music that was in the

My Favorite Christmas Songs - Stryper Frontman Michael Sweet

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 Follow MisplacedStraws - Facebook  | Twitter  | Insta It's that time of year again! Here at MisplacedStraws there is an obsession with Christmas music. From the early days of rock right up to brand new releases, there are so many great Christmas songs and records.  Each year we check in with some top artists and see what their favorite Christmas songs are.  Michael Sweet, best known as the singer, guitarist, and songwriter with Stryper, recently took some time to talk about his favorites as well as details on his upcoming Christmas live stream on 12/19! It's a fun conversation! Please press the PLAY icon below to hear My Favorite Christmas Songs - Michael Sweet -  5 - Elvis Presley "I'll Be Home For Christmas"/"Blue Christmas" I grew up listening to those songs, many, many, many times and I grew up being a huge Elvis fan. My dad is probably the biggest Elvis fan on the planet. 4 - Chuck Berry "Run Rudolph Run" A big influence of mine, believ

A Conversation with Trans-Siberian Orchestra Guitarist Al Pitrelli

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Follow MisplacedStraws - Facebook  | Twitter  | Insta For over two decades the Christmas season meant one thing for music fans, the return of Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Much like everything else in 2020, this beloved tradition was in danger of missing a year.  However, it will live on thanks to the saving grace of 2020 - the live stream.  Founding member, guitarist, and musical director Al Pitrelli recently took some time to talk about this event and more. Please press the PLAY icon below for the MisplacedStraws.com Conversation with Al Pitrelli -  On deciding to do a live stream - It took absolutely no convincing once the decision was made by the O'Neill family and our managers. They had to cancel the tour, I would say it was mid-August when we finally had to pull the plug on this thing. We've been kind of holding our breath,  watching the news, listening to what's going on and by August they said, "Listen, this is not going to happen this year".  Needless to say

A Conversation With Devix, Joe Haze and George Lynch of The Banishment

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 There is always excitement when a legend like George Lynch announces a new project, especially one like The Banishment.  Lynch teams up with Devix AKA and Joe Haze to form a new band that combines his trademark guitar with a more industrial sound and an underground art aesthetic.  The band is looking for your help to fund the project through their Indigogo site.  All three members recently took some time to talk about this exciting new venture. Please press the PLAY icon below for the MisplacedStraws Conversation with The Banishment. I apologize in advance for the audio quality, each member was in a different place, including a car: On some of their former bands - Haze - I was in Lords of Acid, I was a guitar player.  I worked with Chris Vrenna from Nine Inch Nails and a lot of that whole world, Pig, Primitive Rage. 2:25 Devix - I got lucky early, I met some guys from a band called Ministry, and I started recording a record with Paul Barker (bass, Ministry).  It never saw the light o

A Conversation with Psychosexual Frontman/Ex-FFDP Drummer Jeremy Spencer

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Follow MisplcedStraws :  Facebook  | Twitter  | Insta Sometimes change can be a good thing.  In 2018 Jeremy Spencer left Five Finger Death Punch, a band he founded in 2005.  He is now back with a new band, Psychosexual, and a new persona, Devil Daddy.  The band's debut, Torch the Faith, was released this summer and they just put out a surprise covers EP called Songs to Stalk You By.  Jeremy recently took some time to talk about the new record. Please press the PLAY icon below for the MisplacedStraws.com Conversation with Jeremy Spencer: On the genesis of Psychosexual - I was writing, I was always working on solo stuff and it was poppier, kind of more like 80's new wave. I actually released some under the name Devil Daddy. It's kind of more 80's influence. I wanted to do a harder, heavier kind of band thing. So that's when it became Psychosexual with Devil Daddy as the singer of Psychosexual. We do heavier, darker music, but the pop solo stuff is a totally separate

A Conversation With Sevendust Drummer Morgan Rose

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Follow MisplacedStraws - Facebook  | Twitter  | Insta Morgan Rose of Sevendust is considered one of the great drummers in the modern rock/metal era.  He recently stepped out from behind the drum kit for his first solo EP called Controlled Chaos .  Recently, Morgan took some time to talk about the record, the band, and much more. Please press the PLAY icon below for the MisplacedStraws Conversation with Morgan Rose: On whether he was planning a solo record - I definitely was not planning on it. The pandemic was the catalyst for this being able to happen, between the pandemic and Clint (Lowery) and my girlfriend.  Those are the three components that made it happen without that, never would have happened this year. :42 On recording the record in a pandemic - Clint would send the guitar stuff to me and then Jason (Christopher, bass). I recorded the record in California. So me and my girlfriend would go into the studio some nights when there was a curfew on here, and we would kind of sne