Exit BlackBranch MC, Enter MickChrysalis

Exit BlackBranch MC, Enter MickChrysalis

As of today, my new Twitter handle is @mickchrysalis. This puts the final nail in the Black Branch Moonlight/BlackBranchMC social media casket I’ve been using for years. I stopped feeling it long ago and kept with it out of habit, waiting to redo it with something that fit…better I suppose.

So where did this one come from?

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The MC News Repository [Dec ’17]

The MC News Repository [Dec ’17]

Want to know why end of year lists and holiday gift guides are so popular? It’s because there is typically nothing of note going on around this time. That said, I managed to eek out some pieces for The Daily Times (gift guides mostly) and Ultimate Classic Rock.

Links after the jump.

Continue reading “The MC News Repository [Dec ’17]”

The MC News Repository [Nov. ’17]

The MC News Repository [Nov. ’17]

November ended up being a fairly light month, mainly because I spent half of it in Iceland. My annual trip there begins with the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival, coverage of which can be found after the jump. There were also some anniversary pieces for both Diffuser and Loudwire.

Getting right down to it…

Continue reading “The MC News Repository [Nov. ’17]”

The MC News Repository [Oct. ’17]

The MC News Repository [Oct. ’17]

Getting to this a bit late as the annual jaunt to Iceland bugged up the end of October going into November. We’ll be back on schedule – hopefully – come the end of this month. But who knows!

Between the horrific shooting in Las Vegas and the death of Tom Petty, it hasn’t been a pleasant several weeks for music. Moving forward though, I managed to nail down some record reviews, reasons why Judas Priest should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame among other things.

There’s a lot to get to after the jump…let’s get started.

Continue reading “The MC News Repository [Oct. ’17]”

The MC News Repository [Sept. ’17]

The MC News Repository [Sept. ’17]

September allegedly kicks off the fall around these parts, so I decided to deliver my first “MC News Repository.” This is where I’ll provide links to articles of note for each particular month. It’ll be a good place to catch up on what I’ve been working on for a variety of publications.

This was a pretty busy one, talked to the singer from Kasabian, found a new band to dig into with Nothing More, revisited the 2007 Van Halen reunion with David Lee Roth and finally finished up a long gestating ranking of Depeche Mode’s catalog.

There’s much, much more after the jump.

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Part of Me: Chris Cornell Calls It a Day, My Heart Breaks

It’s been two weeks since the death of Chris Cornell and still I’m not settled over getting my thoughts about it out. When John Lennon died, I was too young to grasp the…not importance, because I somehow knew it was a big deal that my favorite band ever (as a child and until now) was truly done, but the pain of those congregating outside the Dakota where the ex-Beatle lived and died was something I wasn’t mature enough to comprehend. I saw the tears in everyone’s eyes, but couldn’t join them in mourning.

Kurt Cobain was next, who retroactively got labeled the spokesman – and “John Lennon” – for my generation, but like the Dallas Cowboys being tagged “America’s Team,” that  wasn’t something which everyone agreed. I know I didn’t. Few people remember, in fact, that Nirvana’s then fresh release In Utero was polarizing at the time, and the band’s popularity was waning while Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins were blowing up. Jump ahead past to the not-so-shocking deaths of Alice in Chains’ Layne Staley in 2002 and Scott Weiland in 2015, while also realizing Bowie had been sick and Prince was on another level of stardom, Chris Cornell hit differently. Harder. Like, this was my John Lennon if there had to be a simple, tied-in-a-bow descriptive.

Soundgarden, however, had been around longer than any of those acts, were signed to a major label before them, and bridged the gap between 70s and 90s hard rock for both incoming grunge fans and leftover lovers of cock-rock. Cornell was a shirtless, lion-maned rock God without coming across as cheesy, and the guys could drop metal riffs and Beatles-esque melodies with equal effortlessness. Lyrically, Cornell’s words resonated not just because of their authenticity, but because anyone who ever went through the doldrums could identify with them. Nothing was bright and sunny; hell, the most popular song of theirs is titled “Black Hole Sun.”

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Elegia: Haunted by New Order

I’ve long been into by New Order, mainly because they have two things I find attractive in a band; they make engrossing music which happens to span and combine wildly different genres (at the time of their release), and they have a fascinating backstory.

new_order_press_picture

The incredibly abbreviated history is: Three guys who were in a Manchester, UK band and poised to break in a major way had their singer die by suicide on the eve of their inaugural tour of North America. Left to their own devices, they decide to forge ahead under a new moniker with the guitarist ultimately taking on vocals, enlisting the drummer’s then-girlfriend for additional guitar parts as well as keyboards and then go on to single-handedly create a new form of music by melding aspects of rock, punk and electronic.

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