Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the category “Music”

Stellar Cabaret At The Arden

The cast of Cabaret with John Jarboe as Emcee, Center. Photo by Mark Garvin.

The Arden Theatre is kicking off its 30th anniversary season in a big way – with a scintillating production of Cabaret! The show runs through October 22 and is one that shouldn’t be missed. It’s the 180th production by The Arden Theatre, and this version of the show uses the Roundabout Theatre Company’s 1998 revival script.

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The God Of Thunder Speaks: Catching Up With Gene Simmons

Photo by Mark Weiss.

Within the past year, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to interview Gene Simmons twice! Since we last spoke, he announced The Vault, which is a 150-song box set, chronicling 50 years of unreleased demos and outtakes, housed in a 38-pound safe. Starting in January, Gene is hand-delivering these vaults for $2,000 each to fans across the world. If you spend $25,000 you can be an executive producer of The Vault and spend an hour with Gene in a recording studio. Or, for $50,000 Gene will come to your house for a two-hour party and you can invite up to 25 friends to take part in the festivities. I’m not buying The Vault because it’s way out of my price range and wheeling home one of these behemoths is a surefire way to upset my wife. However, if you’re interested in learning more about The Vault, you can do so at GeneSimmonsVault.com.

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Catching Up With Dionne Warwick

Photo by David Vance.

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with the five-time Grammy award-winning pop icon Dionne Warwick. In addition to having a career that has spanned more than 50 years filled with hit singles and timeless albums, Dionne is the 2017 recipient of the Marian Anderson Award. This prestigious honor is bestowed upon critically acclaimed artists who have impacted society in a positive way, either through their work or their support for an important cause. Dionne has achieved both in myriad ways. I’m thrilled she’s receiving this well-deserved honor, and I look forward to being at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia on November 14 when she receives the Marian Anderson Award.

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Melissa Manchester: The Fellas

Melissa Manchester is one of the greatest female vocalists of all time. Her velvety, soulful voice is unmistakable, and I always look forward to new music from this immensely talented songstress. More than 25 years after Melissa Manchester released Tribute, her 1989 album that honored the great female singers who influenced her, she turns the tables with The Fellas, a radiant encomium to the men, including Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé, Tony Bennett, and Dean Martin, and the iconic songs they made famous. The Fellas is available everywhere on September 8.

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A Conversation With Tony Brock

Photo: Song Seven Photography

Rod Stewart is the first concert I ever attended and I’m a big fan of The Babys, so it was a pleasure to speak with Tony Brock. He is a founding member of The Babys and the band’s drummer, and he spent 12 years drumming for Rod Stewart, starting with the 1981 album Tonight I’m Yours.

The Babys have a new album coming out, Timeless: Anthology II, and you can be a part of it. Check out the band’s Pledge campaign for all of the great reward and benefits you can get by support this effort. It’s going to be a fantastic record, and I highly recommend that all music fans check it out.

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A Conversation With The Dives

Photo by Mark Weiss.

The Dives is a fantastic new, young rock band that recently released its first EP: Everybody’s Talkin’. This album features four great songs, overflowing with pop-rock hooks and riffs that will quickly get stuck in your head. The harmonies are excellent, and the musicianship is top-tier. If you like rock or pop music, you have to pick up a copy of this EP. It’s that good! Speaking of The Dives, I recently interviewed two of the band’s members, lead singer Evan Stanley and bassist Sergio Ortega.

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Movie Review: Hired Gun

Yesterday I watched a fantastic film: Hired Gun. This feature-length documentary has been screened to both critic and audience acclaim at SXSW Festival, Glastonbury Festival, MIFF, Calgary International, and Noise Pop. There was also a special one-night screening of the movie in theaters across the country on June 29. It introduces music fans to some of the world’s unsung heroes of the music industry through exclusive interviews and performances. These artists have played with a variety of music legends, including KISS, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, Billy Joel, P!NK, Ozzy Osbourne, Michael Jackson, Metallica, Bon Jovi, and many more.

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A Conversation With Curt Gooch

Today,  KISS Alive Forever: The Complete Touring History was released as an eBook in Apple’s iBooks store. I recently spoke with one of the book’s authors, Curt Gooch, and he provided insight on creating the book, why it’s being released digitally and his KISS fandom.

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A Bachelor Party For The Ages

When the best man in my wedding, my cousin Chris, asked me what I’d like to do for my bachelor party, I told him I wanted to attend Gene Simmons’ June 2 concert and do a VIP meet and greet with him on June 3 at Wizard World in Philadelphia. It all happened, and it far exceeded my expectations.

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It’s A Miracle!

It took me three years to interview Barry Manilow but I finally did it, and it wound up being a cover story – my first ever! During my 20-minute discussion with Barry, he told me that he’d be happy to meet me at his May 25 show in Nassau. However, a week before the concert it was still up in the air whether or not he’d have time to meet me and my friend that evening. Having not received a confirmation from his team prior to arriving at the box office, I didn’t have high hopes. When I gave the box office my ID and the person behind the window opened an envelope with my name on it, I saw two tickets and two backstage passes fall out on to the counter. I couldn’t believe it! I was going to meet Barry Manilow and have him autograph my cover-story interview with him. Better yet, I was with my friend Craig, who gave me a free front-row meet and greet package with Barry in LA in 2015. So, it was my turn to return the favor.

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