Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “music”

Starchild Speaks: Paul Stanley on Art, KISS, and Loving Life

Paul Stanley, founding member and lead vocalist for the classic rock group KISS, has an art show at Wentworth Gallery in Short Hills, NJ on April 28. I recently interviewed Paul about his artwork, KISS, and much more.

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A Conversation With “Big” John Harte

“Big” John Harte is the former head of security for KISS. He also worked for Prince, Iron Maiden, and Billy Idol, as well as numerous TV and movie stars. His autobiography comes out this summer, and he has a Pledge Music campaign going on right now that you should check out. John was kind enough to speak with me about his impressive and exciting career.

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The Vault: Great Or Garbage?

What you’re about to read is the most honest review you will find for The Vault by Gene Simmons. A friend of mine who purchased The Vault let me listen to the CDs extensively, for the purpose of this review. Since I didn’t purchase a Gene Simmons Vault Experience for $2,000, $25,000 or $50,000, I have no obligation to rationalize the quality of this product as a way to convince others, or myself, that it’s worth buying.

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A Conversation With Daryl Hall And John Oates

Photo by Kathrin Baumbach.

Daryl Hall and John Oates are two of the greatest musicians of all time. Their music is timeless, influential, and soulful. I had the pleasure of speaking with them both recently. We talked about their solo music, albums they’ve worked on together, the possibility of new music down the road, their summer tour with Train, Hoagie Nation, and more.

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July 23, 2003: My First KISS

On July 23, 2003 I met my favorite rock band, KISS, for the first time. As you can see from the smile on may face in the above photo, I was radiating excitement because I was so happy. Not only was this a free meet and greet with the “Hottest Band in the World,” my cousin, Chris, and I had the opportunity to purchase an autographed copy of the band’s new album, which had just come out, KISS Symphony: Alive IV.

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John Oates Brings Arkansas To Philly

John Oates, one half of the most successful music duo of all time, Hall & Oates, just released a new solo album entitled Arkansas. According to Oates, “It’s like Dixieland, dipped in bluegrass, and salted with Delta blues.” Just a couple days after the Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl, this mustachioed master of music brought his new tunes to the City of Brotherly Love, delivering an impassioned performance that resulted in the majority of the crowd buying copies of Arkansas.

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A Conversation With Kevin Casey

In December 2016, I met Kevin Casey at Little Pete’s diner in Philadelphia, PA, just a few hours prior to seeing a farewell tour performance of the musical Mamma Mia! at the Academy of Music with my parents. He was wearing a Mamma Mia! hoodie, so I approached him and I said, “I’m going to see Mamma Mia! with my family later today. Are you a part of the production?” Kevin told me, “I’m the conductor,” which blew me away. I didn’t expect to meet the man behind the music at the counter at Little Pete’s. I made it a point to say “Hi!” to Kevin at the show and we stayed in touch ever since. He was kind enough to let me interview him and we discussed his musical upbringing, what he studied in school and what led to him working on Mamma Mia! and, now, Kinky Boots.

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Emotional Homecoming For Zelda Symphony Producer

Last week’s performance of The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses in Philadelphia was an emotional one for the show’s producer Jason Michael Paul. It was the first time he’s been back at the venue where he started his career since December 2001, when he was working with Luciano Pavarotti on a performance celebrating the opening of this now iconic arts and culture center. Sixteen years later Jason returned to produce The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, a show that celebrates more than 30 years of timeless music from one of the most enduring video game franchises of all time: The Legend of Zelda.

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Catching Up With Melissa Manchester

I recently had the wonderful pleasure of interviewing Melissa Manchester in-person and in her hotel room. While I’ve interviewed countless people over the past few years, this was a first for me and a surreal experience. Melissa was as lovely and charming as could be, and our conversation exceeded my expectations, covering a wide swath of her impressive career. In my interviews with artists, I try to connect with them in some meaningful way because it establishes an excellent rapport and lets them know that I understand them. Well, Melissa and I connected right from the get-go, and, as a result, my appreciation for her artistry and love for her music has increased ten-fold. If you haven’t bought her new album, The Fellas, you should. And make it a point to see this lovely lady live, as she puts on a show like no other.

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A Very Barry Christmas

Photo by Dana Holland.

For the first time ever, Barry Manilow took his Christmas show on the road. This special concert typically only takes place in Palm Springs, where Manilow resides. But this year he decided to bring it to a handful of locations, including New York. I made it a point to attend Manilow’s New York performance, and it exceeded my expectations.

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