Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “music”

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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A Conversation With Gene Simmons

Photo by Michael Cavacini.

In addition to recently interviewing Barry Manilow and John Oates, I interviewed the God of Thunder: Gene Simmons. I’ve been a KISS fan since September 4, 1996, when I saw the band perform under the Brooklyn Bridge on MTV’s Video Music Awards. So, having the opportunity to speak with Gene Simmons was a surreal one, especially when I answered the phone and he said, “Hi, this is Gene Simmons.” I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did conducting it.

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Dennis DeYoung and Night Ranger Rock Atlantic City

Last Saturday, April 22, I saw a great show featuring two phenomenal bands: Night Ranger and the incomparable Dennis DeYoung. They performed at Harrah’s in Atlantic City and it was one of those rare concerts where I was equally interested in both bands.

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This Is My Town: Songs Of New York by Barry Manilow

On April 21 Barry Manilow releases his new studio album, This Is My Town: Songs Of New York. Last week I interviewed Barry, and I was part of the live studio audience at his QVC performance. Since then, I’ve been listening to his new album and it’s terrific! It’s a blend of different styles – everything from musicals to jazz – and it features original material, as well as Barry’s brilliant interpretations of iconic songs about the Big Apple.

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A Conversation With Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow is my all-time favorite musician. He’s a Grammy, Tony and Emmy award-winning icon who has 50 Top 40 hits, including 12 #1 singles and more than 85 million albums sold worldwide. With credentials like this, it’s no wonder Barry Manilow is the #1 Adult Contemporary Artist of all time, according to Billboard and R&R magazines, and that Rolling Stone referred to him as “the showman of our generation.” Simply put, he’s fantastic, and I’ve wanted to interview him for the past three years. Yesterday, that dream came true. Barry and I discussed his new album, This is My Town: Songs of New York, which is available April 21, his nearly-40-year relationship with his husband Garry Kief and much more. I hope you enjoy reading this interview. And don’t forget to pick up Barry’s new album – it’s spectacular!

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Mano A Mano With John Oates

John Oates was one of the first musicians I interviewed when I started this site several years ago. I had the chance to catch up with him last week about his autobiography, Change of Seasons: A Memoir, which comes out March 28. We covered a lot of ground in this interview, and I hope it whets your appetite for what promises to be an insightful and compelling autobiography.

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A Conversation With Night Ranger’s Brad Gillis

Photo by Ash Newell.

While in Las Vegas last week, I had the opportunity to interview Brad Gillis, the amazing lead guitarist of Night Ranger. We talked about the band’s new album, life on the road with Ozzy Osbourne, Journey’s Neal Schon, and much more.

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Night Ranger: Don’t Let Up

night_ranger_dlu_cover_hiNight Ranger, one of the most underrated melodic rock bands of all time, is set to release its 12th studio album on March 24: Don’t Let Up. As the title suggests, this album doesn’t let up. It’s filled to the brim with hard-rocking songs that are laden with soaring vocals, blistering guitar riffs and more hooks than a fisherman’s tackle box.

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A Conversation With Dennis Woloch: Part 2

fullsizeoutput_1e62Dennis Woloch was the Art Director for 20 of KISS’ albums, including studio, compilation and live records. He worked with the band from their early days all the way through the mid-1980s. I met Dennis at the 2016 NJ KISS Expo and he was kind enough to speak with me for two hours about everything he worked on with KISS. Below is part two of this discussion. Part one can be read here.

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Two Weeks With Apple AirPods

image1For the past two weeks, I’ve been using Apple AirPods every day to listen to music, audiobooks, podcasts, you name it. I pop them into my ears when I walk to work, I wear them at my desk and I’ve even used them to listen to interviews I need to transcribe for this site. What do I think of them? Are they worth the $159 Apple is charging for them? Read on and find out.

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