Ballyhoo!'s Howi Spangler Says, "We Just Get Out There and Crush It!"


The all-knowing internet defines "ballyhoo" as "a buildup, hoopla, fanfare." And no title more aptly describes the musical output produced by the Aberdeen, Maryland, reggae/rock/punk fusion quartet known by that handle. Add an exclamation point to the end -- Ballyhoo! -- and one can already imagine the level of merriment set forth by this lively troupe before even pressing play.

The group has been on the grind since 1995 but only recently started making inroads in the music business. A successful jaunt across the country during the Vans Warped Tour in 2012 and an impressive showing on the Billboard charts for its self-released album, Pineapple Grenade, in 2013 helped them gain real traction.

It's been a long time coming for Ballyhoo!'s lead singer, Howi Spangler, who, as a Green Day- and Goldfinger-obsessed teenager, began writing his own pop-punk and ska creations. He hoped to separate himself from the hip-hop and mainstream rock environment that dominated his suburban Baltimore confines.

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Toto's Steve Lukather Says the Band "Loved" Its South Park Cameo

Categories: Concert Preview

Photo by Daniele Dalledonne via Flickr cc
It's rare to get a rock star on the phone at 9 a.m. on a Saturday. It's even rarer when it's actually an hour earlier where he is. Yet the phone rings, and there's Toto's veteran guitarist, singer, and songwriter Steve Lukather himself on the line, eager to dispel any notion that there's a groggy, hungover hedonist reticent to chat at this early hour.

"Oh man, I get up early every day," he insists, sounding remarkably chipper though it's not even midmorning. "I've been up for an hour and a half already. I go to bed, I work, I play, and I'm in bed again by midnight. Listen man, the days of being a fool and staying up all night are way behind me. Besides, I'm also used to it. I've got two little kids at home."

We've caught up with one of Toto's prime principals in Oklahoma, where the band's just played a sold-out show the night before. Lukather -- or Luke, as his friends call him -- has been out on the road with the band for the past couple of weeks, following a tour he did earlier this year with Ringo's All Starr Band. Toto will continue on the road for another month or so, and then in October, Lukather will rejoin Ringo for another round of shows that should take him into the new year.

While it seems like a heavy schedule, Lukather -- an acclaimed and highly celebrated player in his own right -- claims he hasn't tired of the road yet, even after 35 years of playing ever-ready radio hits with Toto, serving as one of Ringo's regulars, participating in the G3 tour with pals Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, and occasionally even on his own.

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Kings of Leon Cancel August Tour Dates, but West Palm Beach Show Will Go On

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Some would say the Kings of Leon never went away; others would argue they are just coming back and now some fans are simply crying in a corner. Yesterday it was announced that the Nashville-based radio-friendly rockers are canceling two weeks of shows so drummer Nathan Followill can recover from an accident that took place over the weekend. After a gig in Boston, the band's tour bus had to stop short to avoid a pedestrian, and that left Nathan with a broken rib.

There's some backlash and outcry on the internet about the canceled shows, mostly because this isn't the first time the band hasn't followed through. While we hope Nathan has a speedy recover and gets the rest he needs, we gotta say, way to luck out, West Palm Beach. If all goes according to plan, the Kings of Leon will still be gracing the Cruzan Amphitheater stage on September 6. And perhaps that show will be as cool as Questlove filling in for Nathan on the Tonight Show last night with Jimmy Fallon (check that out after the jump too).

See Also: Kings of Leon Cancel U.S. Tour; Gatorade Not Blamed

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Offspring, Bad Religion, and Pennywise Head to Cruzan Amphitheatre

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Jessica Daly

Punk was once underground. Bands played in grungy, rat-infested clubs, and forget hearing the music on the radio. Twenty years ago, that all changed. The Offspring, Bad Religion, and Pennywise are three Southern California bands signed to the same Epitaph record label that helped bring this subversive sound to the masses.

It's only fitting they're touring enormous venues together this summer, even if they took completely different routes to get to this level of success.

The Offspring is a group of Huntington Beach natives who, along with Green Day, pushed punk to heavy rotation on MTV. Videos for "Come Out and Play," "Self Esteem," and "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" are a major reason why piercings and dyed hair spread like an aggressive rash throughout suburbia.

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Michael McDonald and Toto Will Bring Soul and "Africa" to Hard Rock Live

Categories: Concert Preview


Blue-eyed soul veteran Michael McDonald sure likes to hang out with the rich and famous. The St. Louis, Missouri, native got his start playing keyboards and singing backing vocals for Steely Dan, including on their classic 1977 album, Aja.

When Doobie Brothers' singer Tom Johnston got sick, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees called McDonald to replace him. They liked his bellowing baritone so much, he became a permanent member of the group. In 2003, McDonald founded record label Ramp Records with the Big Lebowski himself, actor Jeff Bridges.

Over the years, McDonald has also written songs or played music with Bonnie Raitt, Kenny Loggins, Carly Simon, and many others. But according to a recent interview with Minneapolis' City Pages, McDonald said he isn't starstruck in the slightest by his big-name collaborators and finds a lot of joy in working with other big shots.

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Electric Cabo Carnival This Saturday: DJ Supreme 1 Says, "I Will Play Whatever Makes the Ladies Dance"

Categories: Concert Preview


Billing itself as the first ever EDM festival in Palm Beach Gardens, Electric Cabo Carnival is raving out on Saturday night at Cabo Flats. It's all free and sponsored by big booze names like Ketel One, Budweiser, Don Julio, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, and even Monster energy drink to amp it up to the next level.

The all-night affair boasts seven DJs including DJ Robert Petroni, Zhantra, DJ Jayr, Mister Grey, Reflex, and Baybes. Co-headliner of the fest, DJ Supreme 1 was more than excited about the upcoming event when New Times caught up with him. "We're going to have some great EDM, but what I still refer to as house music," he clarified. "We have a really good amount of DJs and dancers."

The sonic mixologist recounted how he first found himself attracted to electronic music after enlisting in the Navy. "I was in a submarine. House music was all I listened to, and it kept me going for the five years I was at sea. When I got out, I came to Florida and hit the scene hard."

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We Like Linkin Park, and We Will Not Apologize

Categories: Concert Preview

Ian Witlen

Chester Bennington is kind of a genius. Maybe you don't agree, but back in 1999, when Linkin Park emerged on the scene, you put your hat on backward and jammed to this nu-metal rap shit. The California-based band's rap-rock tunes were part of your real emotional life.

Hybrid Theory landed this band on the map with hits like "One Step Closer," "Crawling," and "In the End," which blew up car radios around the country and became the anthem of every angry teenager in the U.S. The combination of rock, courtesy of Bennington's vocals, and rap, by Mike Shonda, to the music of Rob Bourdon, Brad Delson, Phoenix, and Joe Hahn offered a blend of genres that caught fire and brought the band tons of fans, mainstream success, and a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance.

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Candy Hearts Sounds "Like If Taylor Swift Was in the Lemonheads" Plus Green Day


Mariel Loveland wants you to know she plays in a band. She doesn't date the band.

Loveland sings and plays guitar for the indie pop-punk group Candy Hearts. The band will be in South Florida this Thursday. And while the trio is here, you probably shouldn't ask if she's the merch girl or spooning her drummer, or she might just write about you.

Her essay for Vice, "How to Survive Being the Only Girl in a Band," tells, among other things, how to"squat and pee" or shower in a bathroom sink backstage.

She told New Times, just this summer on Warped Tour, "There was this band there who asked how I got this great gig being the merch girl, and if I was dating anyone in the band. That kind of stuff happens all the time."

See also: Candy Hearts' Mariel Loveland on Touring with New Found Glory, "It's a Dream Come True."

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Yes to Perform at Hard Rock Live Hollywood This Friday

Categories: Concert Preview


There's nothing quite so admirable as a group that not only survives, but thrives. So credit Yes with the wherewithal to continue building its brand some 45 years after it first formed.

Indeed, Yes' progressive profile remains as prominent as ever. Its new album, Heaven & Earth, deserves placement alongside Fragile, Close to the Edge, and any of the other releases that not only followed, but are still performed in their entirety as part of its current concert repertoire.

Even the loss of former frontman Jon Anderson hasn't weakened the band's resolve. His successor, Jon Davison, not only sings with the same choirboy precision, but even boasts a similar name.

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Down North Is Bringing Seattle "Soul Punk" to South Florida

People think of funk and dirty rock and roll as being from down south. The Seattle four-piece Down North is trying to contradict that geographic stereotype one gig at a time. The band is currently on its first tour that stretches all the way to the Atlantic. The extensive itinerary includes three total South Florida dates at BB King's and the Funky Buddha. Shows that have been long in the planning according to singer Anthony Briscoe, "I've been trying to get us to the East Coast for three years."

The group has completely transformed since its beginnings. "Down North was originally seven white guys who played funky music," Briscoe explains.

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