Tech N9ne - Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale - April 16

Categories: Concert Review

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I was taught good guys wear only white. So after the stage lights came on and Tech N9ne stood in front of a packed Culture Room clad in a white gas-station-attendant shirt, matching pants, and a star-shaped mask pasted onto his face, revealing only his eyes, mouth, and the considerable hair on his chinny chin chin, I figured he was dressed as a superhero.

But as the sinister lyrics came out of his mouth coupled with the tongue-wagging gesture that was his go-to facial expression for the night, this man or at least his public persona was that of a villain.

See also: Tech N9ne on "That Fast Flow," Strangeulation, and Being a "Job Creator"

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The Used Calls Walmart "an Evil Corporation"

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Kane Hibberd

It's safe to say that the Used are doing better than they ever have before. Currently, it's co-headlining a U.S. and Canada tour with Taking Back Sunday, and shows are pretty much all sold out. If this success wasn't enough, the band has hit a number one on the Billboard Independent Chart. Yet, the Used seems to only care about their time on the road. "We're not sure about CD sales, which is whatever, but we rather have people feel our music than spend money at Walmart any day," says Jeph Howard, bassist. "It's an evil corporation, they don't help anybody."

Wait, what? There's a band out there that actually cares about the good of people and not for their own publicity? "I'm all for people buying records and supporting bands." Howard continues, "But I'm against supporting the wrong people, like a corporation."

Not that this should be a surprise to anyone. The Used is known to never shy away from addressing wrongdoing in the world, and they openly express that in their music. Their lyrics are the opposite of radio sounds that brag about hoarding money or throwing it at strippers, humping, and Tom Ford.

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Diane Ward and Jim Berry: Two Local Timeless Musicians

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Diane Ward

Music vet and New Times scribe Lee Zimmerman shares observations, insights, and updates relating to South Florida's musical environs. This week, different avenues back to the future.

Music is a transcendent thing, and the process of experiencing it can take both artist and audience into realms where past and present become indistinguishable. I offer as examples two recent releases from a pair of South Florida artists, each very different from the other, but whose grasp of the timelessness of treasured styles shows certain similarities.


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John Legend Performs in Both Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach

Categories: Concert Preview

For a man who started his career doing session work in the shadows, most notably on Lauryn Hill's "Everything Is Everything," Alicia Keys' "You Don't Know My Name," and a gaggle of Kanye West confections, you would think Ohio's John Stephens would have picked a more humble stage name than John Legend. But over the course of the past decade, the R&B singer/songwriter/pianist has lived up to his moniker.

Each of his four solo albums (along with Wake Up!, a 2010 collaboration with the Roots) has garnered massive critical and commercial success. His latest album, Love in the Future, is no exception.

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AC/DC Guitarist Malcolm Young Suffers Stroke; We Can Relate

Categories: News

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Sayre Berman

Yesterday, rumors and speculation flooded the internet regarding the future of AC/DC -- also known as one of the greatest, (mostly) unmolested treasures in rock 'n' roll. It was reported by a well-respected Australian music journalist that the band is preparing to call it quits due to complications surrounding founding member and guitarist Malcolm Young's health. It was confirmed today via the band's website that Young's health concerns will place him on the sidelines for the time being -- though the band will continue without him.

AC/DC had been planning on celebrating its impending 40th anniversary with a new album and major tour; however, Young is said to be recovering from a serious stroke that left a blood clot on his brain and subsequently robbed the legendary axman of his signature ability to knock the living piss out of every last power chord he attacks.

As a guitarist who has suffered a series of small strokes myself, I can attest to the horrors of the experience. The chill instilled by the thought of losing one's ability to create is second only to the reality of death that comes with strokes -- and perhaps even scarier for someone of Young's ilk, who has virtually built a life on the clanking of guitar strings.

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20 Greatest Britpop Bands of All Time

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Ian Witlen

I was only 7 when the Smiths split, was still in diapers (or nappies, as we call them in England) when the Two-Tone Ska revival was in full flow, and was but a twinkle in my father's eye when punk first came around. By the early 1990s, the British charts were dominated by disposable Eurodance (2 Unlimited, anyone?), the angst-ridden drone of patently American grunge, and Phil Collins. Scenes that had threatened the mainstream from the margins, Madchester and Shoegaze, were fizzling out fast.

Madchester leaders the Stone Roses seemed liked false messiahs, stubbornly refusing to come back to their disciples as the follow-up to their 1989 seminal eponymous debut took a biblical age to arrive (when it did, in 1994, it could only be a letdown). As a distinctly awkward teen in the early '90s, there was a sense that popular music didn't really care much about what I was doing, and try as I might, I didn't understand what they were doing. Then came Britpop.


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Springsteen Photographer Chronicles 32 Years of the Boss

Categories: Q&A

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The anticipation surrounding Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's show at the BB&T is brewing like a swollen sky before a thunderstorm. The Boss plays the venue for the first time in more than four years on Tuesday, April 29, as the tour supporting latest release High Hopes bounds on.

The E Street Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by none other than Bruce himself, who gleefully introduced them as a "heart-stopping, pants-dropping, love-making, earth-quaking, Viagra-taking" group. This should be quite a show.

In preparation for his arrival, disciples of the Bard of the Rust Belt should indulge in Debra Rothenberg's stellar photo book Bruce Springsteen in Focus 1980-2012 (Turn the Page Publishing). Rothenberg is an award-winning photographer who shot everything from sports stars to politicians and currently works for the New York Daily News. However, it is in her fellow New Jersey native, Springsteen, that the photographer's passion for her subject separates her from the rest of the photo pit.

See also: Bruce Springsteen Is Coming to South Florida!


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KeroWACKED 3, Beatnik Tribute Festival, at Boynton Beach Arts District

Categories: Around Town

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Monica McGivern

"Hey Jack Kerouac" was all Natalie Merchant had to say, and you had to listen to the song. The Beat Generation's impassioned chronicler, patron saint of the open road and the search for cosmic kicks, his name compels to this day, ringing the allure of bohemia.

It's that energy the Boynton Beach Arts District -- that fervent, funky DIY arts engine -- has seized upon for its annual celebration of the beatnik spirit. It's on its third KeroWACKED, which, as with most BBAD events, is the brainchild of resident sprite/evil genius Rolando Chang Barrero.

See also: Boynton Beach Live: Arts District Bounces Back From Flood Damage


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Tech N9ne on "That Fast Flow," Strangeulation, and Being a "Job Creator"

Categories: Q&A

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How fast is too fast?

Rapper Tech N9ne's supersonic lyrical delivery tests the boundaries of human comprehension. The Kansas City-based MC was bestowed his name thanks to his ability to spit out words with the speed of a TEC-9 semiautomatic weapon. Tech N9ne later gave his handle a double-entendre by stating the "tech" was short for "technique" and with nine completing all digits -- his name signifies his total ability to rhyme like a champ.

The rapper got his start moving from one hip-hop collective to another. In the 1990s, he went from Black Mafia to 57th Street Rogue Dog Villians to Nnutthowze to the Regime. But in 1999, he decided to become independent, not just as a solo artist but by starting his own record label, Strange Music. The name of his current tour, Independent Grind, celebrates his status.

New Times caught up with Tech N9ne a couple of days before his Fort Lauderdale show to discuss the secrets of putting on a great hip-hop show and the importance of clarity over speed.


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18 Signs Your Band Might Suck

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Nickelback knows how to suck in style.

It's been about a year now since you've been plugging away with your garage rock band, sweating in a non-air-conditioned warehouse space, and losing sleep over late-night practices. Mostly it's resulted only in your showing up late for your retail gig at Urban Outfitters. All this time, and you and your group of guys or gals have yet to reap the benefits of all that hard work. What gives? Is there something wrong with your sound? Maybe you just need a bassist with more oomph? Or is it that audiences just don't get what you are going for?

These are all valid questions, but which one is the reason you haven't blown up yet? How many more gigs can you perform for audiences of two or three? It's getting frustrating for sure, but no worries -- County Grind is always here to help. We got together with a few local notable musicians and crafted this nifty checklist to help you find out if it's just that your band sucks.


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