The Comedy Connection to Throw “Chuck and Brad’s Halloween Spook-Tacular” Comedy Show

Local comedians Brad Rohrer and Chuck Staton have a podcast, “Agreeing to Disagree: The Chuck and Brad Podcast,” and their unique stage show is being completely transformed into a Halloween show on Wednesday, October 25, at the Comedy Connection in East Providence, R.I.

“We feel like there’s a lack of true Halloween events for adults,” host Chuck Staton said. “Going to a club dressed as Jason Voorhees can be fun. But do decorations and themed-drinks really make it feel like Halloween?”

Chuck and Brad are doing an entire night of comedy dedicated to celebrating Halloween. “It will be for fans of something like the Simpsons’ ‘Treehouse of Horror’ episodes. It’s stand-up comedy, sketch, audience participation, pranks – all the different types of comedy we normally do, but we’re making it all based around celebrating Halloween” said host Brad Rohrer.

The event will feature Chuck and Brad on-stage for most of the night, with stand-up sets by Liz Moniz, Derek Furtado, and Ray Harrington.

The show will end with the debut of a Halloween prank on Brad Rohrer from classic prank artist Chuck Staton. Is Brad nervous about this? “I’m a mouse of a man!” said Rohrer.

For more information, click HERE and check out their promotional video. For tickets, please contact Chuck at chuckandbrad@gmail.com.

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The Cassette Chronicles – Vixen’s ‘Vixen’

BY JAY ROBERTS (SPECIAL TO LIMELIGHT MAGAZINE)

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s that I have acquired through Purchase Street Records in New Bedford, MA.

The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from the 1980’s through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums.

These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

VIXEN – VIXEN (1988)

I had a different album in mind for this week’s article, but as sometimes happens when dealing with cassettes of a certain vintage, the player ate the tape. I struggled for a few days to pick a new album to feature and finally thought of some of the new CDs I had reviewed so far this year. I ended up thinking of the Janet Gardner solo CD and remembered that I had a copy of this self-titled debut album from the band she fronted both then and now. It was a pretty easy decision from that point forward.

Now I know the band isn’t exactly seen as being up there in the hall of great 80’s bands, but I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t enjoy them at the time and place they occupied back then. Hell, after their second album I even joined their official fan club. Remember those? Send away to join and get a packet of stuff in the mail. I choose to believe the band was in the midst of breaking up already but it was a bit odd that I received my packet about a week or so before the news broke they’d broken up back in 1991. I swear it wasn’t my fault! At least my membership fee got refunded though.

While the album suffers from an over produced sound that was at least partly a sign of the times, there are some gems here that I’d forgotten about alongside their two best known songs.

As was the case for a lot of bands, the album’s big single led off the track list. And I don’t care what anyone says, I really love “Edge Of A Broken Heart”. While it was written by pop singer Richard Marx and Fee Waybill from The Tubes, the band does sell it as if they were the originators of the track.

The first side of the album is where the strength of the album lies. While the song title for “I Want You To Rock Me” is pretty much a cliche that sums up a lot of the songs from the 80’s metal movement, it is fueled by a strong drum backing that gives it a heavy sound than you might expect.

The band’s second single was “Cryin'” and it manages to straddle the line between ballad type lyrics and a faster musical pace throughout. I’m not sure if that technically falls under the heading of power ballad or not but however you define it, I enjoy the song. The same can be said for Vixen’s performance of the Jon Butcher song “American Dream”. I don’t know what Butcher’s fans might have to say about it but I don’t rightly care all that much either. I liked the track as is, though I do plan to seek out and hear the original Butcher recording for comparison’s sake.

The closing song on Side 1 is “Desperate” and it sums up the feeling I got about the song as it completely falls flat.

As for the second half of the album, it gets off to a very rocky start with “One Night Alone” and “Hell Raisers”. The songs may drop the hammer as far as pacing goes but they also drop the ball in regards to having songs that stand the test of time. For the latter of the two songs, I need someone to explain how it took seven credited songwriters to come up with a song that was just so pedestrian and run of the mill.

In fact, the songwriting credits might be a big factor in the band being seen as a little bit of a packaged product. Of the 11 songs on the album, the band is credited with four co-writes (including as a band on “Hell Raisers”) and the song “Waiting” is credited as a collaboration between singer Gardner and guitarist Jan Kuehnemund. Everything else is written by outside writers. I don’t know if it meant anything then but looking back I wonder if the fact that all the outside writers were men was a factor at all.

The song “Love Made Me” is the best of the six tracks on Side 2 even though found the chorus to be a bit too high pitched for my own personal tastes. Oh, and I should mention that I liked “Cruisin'” as well.

Overall, Vixen isn’t a half bad album. It might not set your heart aflutter throughout but it is nice to pull out of the collection and give it a listen once in a while and remind yourself of that late 80’s sound you loved back then.

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Notes of Interest: Guitarist Jan Kuehnemund died of cancer in October 2013. The remaining three members (Gardner, drummer Roxy Petrucci and bassist Share Pedersen) continue the band to this day with current guitarist Britt Lightning.

Spencer Proffer co-wrote and produced the song “Hell Raisers”. He also produced the songs “One Night Alone” and “American Dream”. For those that don’t remember, he was the producer of Quiet Riot’s smash hit album Metal Health, the first heavy metal album to hit the #1 spot on the charts.

Current Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell is thanked in the liner notes for the album for the guitar duet on “Desperate”. Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big), Jeff Pilson (Dokken), Carmine Appice and Kevin Dubrow (Quiet Riot) also get name dropped in the thanks section.

The Cassette Chronicles – Night Ranger’s ‘7 Wishes’

BY JAY ROBERTS (SPECIAL TO LIMELIGHT MAGAZINE)

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s that I have acquired through Purchase Street Records in New Bedford, MA.

The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from the 1980’s through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums.

These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

NIGHT RANGER – 7 WISHES (1985)

The second and final of Night Ranger’s platinum selling albums (the band’s third studio release overall), 7 Wishes, showcases the band still at the heights of their commercial peak. The album contains three hit songs that have become staples for any kind of best of collection that might be put together for the band.

The biggest thing I discovered about this album while listening to it is that beyond the hit singles, I never actually listened to this album. I figured that out because I have no memory of the rest of the album’s track listing. So, while I was a huge fan of the hits and their previous smash hit album Midnight Madness, I guess I had kind of already started tuning out the band or something.

Speaking of those hits, they are all really good in their own right. I did notice that when I listened to “Sentimental Street” that it didn’t quite have the same grip it did when it was a charting song. Luckily, both “Four In The Morning” and “Goodbye” remained as strong as always in my mind. The latter song is still perhaps my favorite power ballad from Night Ranger outside of “Sister Christian.” Hell, at times I might even find myself preferring it instead.

Despite those noteworthy tracks, the album is chock full of interesting music. The opening song is the title track (though it is spelled “Seven Wishes”). It gets the album off to a charged pace and the song has an instantly gratifying sound.

I didn’t care for how the opening of “Faces” was constructed but once you get into the song, things get a lot better. In the case of “I Need A Woman,” the song was hit and miss throughout. It had some good moments throughout but it never really got all tied together well enough to be a song that resonates well.

Side two opens with the killer rocker “This Boy Needs To Rock.” I can’t remember ever hearing this song so it was a little bit of a new discovery for me. I shouldn’t be all that surprised that this is probably the most aggressive sounding song on the album given that Brad Gillis co-wrote it. Meanwhile, the track “Interstate Love Affair” unintentionally made me think instead of the Stone Temple Pilots song “Interstate Love Song.”

I found myself enjoying the album a whole lot. Jack Blades displayed a strong touch in the songwriting on this album as he either wrote or co-wrote each of the 10 tracks. The melodies were strong and when the band cut loose and rocked out they really had the chops to do it right.

As I listened to this cassette, I found myself thinking back to when this album would’ve been released. I was 14 years old and really still in my rock and roll fandom infancy. It was a nice reminder of my own musical roots while at the same time revisiting the band’s heights. I know each generation has their own perfect musical era, but for my money nothing is ever going to top the 1980’s, whether rock, pop or metal the decade had a little bit of everything for everyone and Night Ranger spent a few years right there in the middle of it all.

The best thing is that each time I listen to a Night Ranger album that I missed out on the first time around, it makes me like the band even more while simultaneously cursing myself for missing out on the release originally.

Note of Interest: Motley Crue’s Vince Neil and Tommy Lee are listed as providing background vocals on the song “Night Machine.”

Scenes from the ‘Bowie by Mick Rock’ exhibit

On September 2, 2017, Limelight Magazine visited the Bowie by Mick Rock exhibit at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, WA. This exhibit featured 65 of Rock’s photographs that captured David Bowie’s creativity and charisma, from dressing room shots of his transformation into Ziggy Stardust and live performances to private moments between gigs. Here are some photos taken by Limelight Magazine at the event.

The Cassette Chronicles – The Pretenders ‘Learning To Crawl”

BY JAY ROBERTS (SPECIAL TO LIMELIGHT MAGAZINE)

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s that I have acquired through Purchase Street Records in New Bedford, MA.

The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from the 1980’s through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums.

These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

THE PRETENDERS – LEARNING TO CRAWL (1984)

I don’t know about anyone else, but there are groups I tend to refer to as my “radio bands.” By that I mean, I love hearing them on the radio but haven’t really felt moved to actually buy their albums, or perhaps I might own a greatest hits compilation at best. Pink Floyd and Rush are probably the two bands that fall into this classification. Despite the fact that I always liked to hear Chrissie Hynde when she appeared on radio interview shows like Rockline because she seemed like a pretty captivating personality, you can also add The Pretenders to that list. Well, until now anyway.

I’ve heard the group’s stuff on the radio for years, from their first album hit “Brass In Pocket” to the five songs on Learning To Crawl that have become classic rock radio standards over the 33 years since the album was originally released. But I just never got up the desire to purchase any of the albums. It also left me a bit ignorant about the origins of at least a couple of the songs.

After the first two albums from the band, they suffered the losses of bassist Pete Farndon (fired in 1982 over his growing drug abuse, he died in 1983 after an overdose) and guitarist Jim Honeyman-Scott (died from drugs two days after Farndon’s firing). This left the remaining original members, vocalist Chrissie Hynde and drummer Martin Chambers a bit adrift. They released some singles after the lineup changes but it was two years before a full album was released.
As I said, there are five songs on Learning To Crawl that are rock radio staples nowadays. Sadly, the rest of the songs on the album mostly did nothing for me. I did find that I liked the country tinged aspect of the song “Thumbelina” but that was about it.

But when you have songs like “Middle of the Road”, “Back On The Chain Gang”, “Show Me”, “My City Was Gone” and “2000 Miles” on the same album, you’ve done pretty well for yourself. “Middle of the Road” is probably the most rocking song of the bunch, fast paced with an edge that should come as no surprise to those that are long term Pretenders fans. I think “Show Me” is a bit underrated despite it being one of the band’s better known songs.

While “My City Was Gone” was originally released as the B-side to “Back On The Chain Gang” in 1982, both songs on the album here ensured they got more of a look-see on their own merits. It goes to show how either stupid or memory challenged I am because I have gone a long time thinking the song was called “Back To Ohio.” Yes, stupid and a bit embarrassing to admit.

In researching the album online for this article, I also learned, after all this time, that “2000 Miles” which has always seemed like a Christmas song given its lyrics (and the fact that it gets played a lot on the radio during the holiday season), is instead a song about the death of Honeyman-Scott. Written by Chrissie Hynde, it was released originally as a single in 1983, the year after the guitarist’s death. Being new information to me, it gives a new spin on the song.

I don’t know that finally taking the plunge and listening to a full album from The Pretenders will make me run out and buy their entire discography but it has changed my outlook on the band as a whole. While I can’t say much in the way for the lesser known material on the album, Learning To Crawl’s five hits went a long ways towards cementing the band’s place in rock and roll history. It has also peaked my interest for what else I might’ve missed out on from the band.

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Notes of Interest: The album was reissued in 2007 with seven bonus tracks comprised of live tracks and demos.

The cover of the Persuaders song “Thin Line Between Love And Hate” featured singer Paul Carrack on both vocals and piano. Carrack has played with Squeeze, Roger Waters and has his own solo career. He’s perhaps best known as the singer for Mike & The Mechanics where he sang lead on their two biggest hits “Silent Running (On Deadly Ground)” and “The Living Years.”

Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy to rock the Narrows Center in Fall River

FALL RIVER – Legendary drummer Carl Palmer, a founding member of progressive rock groups Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) and Asia, will bring his power trio to the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Mass., this Wednesday, October 4th. Purchase tickets HERE.

The tour will pay tribute to ELP’s late keyboardist, Keith Emerson, and vocalist/bassist, Greg Lake. It will showcase some of ELP’s finest pieces of music and is expected to feature “Tarkus,” “Fanfare for the Common Man,” “Hoedown,” and “Pictures At An Exhibition,” among others.

For nearly four decades, Palmer has thrilled listeners and audiences alike with some of music’s most memorable bands including Atomic Rooster, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Asia. Along the way, his dazzling speed and mastery of the drums, combined with his infectious stage personality, have secured for him a respected place in history as one of Rock and Roll’s greatest drummers. Joining Palmer onstage will once again be guitarist Paul Bielatowicz and bassist Simon Fitzpatrick.

For this intimate concert, Palmer will meet fans after the show, doing autograph signings at the venue.

The Narrows Center for the Arts is located at 16 Anawan Street in Fall River. To purchase tickets to the show, click HERE or call the box office at 508-324-1926. Tickets will also be available at the venue on the day of the show.

The Cassette Chronicles – Leatherwolf’s ‘Street Ready’

BY JAY ROBERTS (SPECIAL TO LIMELIGHT MAGAZINE)

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s that I have acquired through Purchase Street Records in New Bedford, MA.

The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from the 1980’s through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums.

These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

LEATHERWOLF – STREET READY (1989)

I’m not quite sure what the cause was behind the dismal failure of this album when it was released back in 1989. Whether it was a lack of label support, a simple case of falling between the cracks or a metal music fan base that didn’t know what was good for itself, Leatherwolf’s Street Ready, the band’s third album disappeared with nary a trace and led almost directly to the band’s breakup in 1990.

What amazes me most is that this album really had everything that should’ve made it a monster hit back in 1989, when metal’s reign atop the musical mountain top was still at full peak. If you wanted monster riffs and crackling musical runs, you could check out songs like “Wicked Ways”, the title track or even the instrumental “Black Knight”. For me to single out the latter track back in the day was a big thing because I really didn’t have much in the way of appreciation for instrumental music then. But that cut was outstanding.

The band also had a grasp on the notion of combining outstanding melodic hooks with the charged balls out rocking music. The song “Hideaway” (which was the band’s first single and video for radio/MTV) was a sort of power ballad that did the song genre proud. Side two of the album led off with another strong melodic heavy rocker in “Thunder”. It also should’ve been a big hit for the band.

There was also then a novelty of having three guitar players in the band (singer Michael Olivieri, Gary Gayer and Carey Howe all had guitars in hand and on the album). It might not mean much nowadays but it was intriguing to the sound back then.

I had this album from the time of release. I remember buying it from my Columbia House music club. I played it a lot and over the years I would always remember to rotate the album into the mix of the stuff I brought to work. But when my cassette finally wore out, I was able to track down an affordable CD though it wasn’t easy. Ironically, it was just a couple weeks after getting the CD that the album came back to me as a cassette with the purchase of the 100 cassettes from Purchase Street Records. Thus, a new Cassette Chronicles entry was born.

It might be more interesting to find something…anything…to complain about this album but in truth there is absolutely nothing wrong with this album. Every one of the 10 tracks is outstanding, not a single not of filler is to be found here. Street Ready should’ve given the band a huge profile all over the world. It really does have it all. The songwriting is strong, the vocals grab you immediately and for me, there’s an authenticity to it all that might’ve been in short supply by bands that came after them before grunge took over the musical landscape.

This is one of the more underrated metal albums from the 80’s, which I think is still a bit of an understatement. Do yourself a favor and check this one out, I think you’ll find that you’ll agree.

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Notes of Interest – Though the band broke up in 1990, they reunited in 1999 and have been a going concern since then (with a bevy of lineup changes over the years). However, they have not released a new studio album since 2007’s New World Asylum.

While original singer Michael Olivieri has been the longest serving vocalist, when he was out of the band, Racer X’s Jeff Martin and Wade Black (ex-Crimson Glory) stepped into the role. Black recorded the album World Asylum with the band in 2006 before it was reissued the following year with Olivieri’s vocals in place of Black’s.

Music and entertainment coverage since October 2006!