474theMiX Rock Radio Blog Archive

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Zoë Kissel, Sidewatcher

For me, music is euphoria.

The rush of performing is completely consuming. It starts at my fingertips, with the concrete physicality of wood and metal. The rules of time are nulled as the excitement radiates through my body, leaving my being floating in a sweaty, ethereal space. Forty-five minutes turn into a swaying pattern of blurred faces and frozen frames. It’s like you have pressed pause on reality; for a moment your mind is able to grasp something tangible. Then, like a switch, the welcomed release returns.
Music takes me by the hand and introduces emotions within myself that I did not know existed. I am so much of myself on stage that I become more than myself.
And, I love it.

Music gives us the power to share such fulfilling worlds with the desiring ears and eyes that surround us. Do not just talk about playing music, actually pick up an instrument and create.

- Zoë Kissel, Sidewatcher

Max DuBose: Inspiration

Hi Thank you for contacting me regarding your blog post and news from my band for your followers. I am an old school singer/songwriter and from Louisiana who started out in the shadow of some true music legends. The experience has inspired me as I realize the possibilities if one only dreams big enough.

Music has been my savior and friend through many hard times and although I have sometimes tried to walk away music has always been there for me. In the last 8-10 years I have been able to record six albums and am currently on my seventh. I find myself surrounded once again with inspiring artists and musicians. I enjoy reading the posts on your facebook page and Dave Stuart (among many) has been awesome.

My band Max DuBose and The Scandalous Rogues is getting back into full swing soon as the Summer winds down and the damage from hurricane Irma is overcome here in south Florida. I look forward to hearing from you again and will always remember being Artist of the Month in July 2014.

Best always..
Max DuBose

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Chris Cornell: Another Great Gone Too Soon

On May 18th, 2017, following a Soundgarden concert in Detroit, Michigan, Chris Cornell was found dead. The unofficially official cause of death has been ruled suicide by hanging. The 52 year old musician’s wife and his attorney contend Cornell was under the influence at the time of his death and succumbed to an increase in suicidal thoughts. Friends, family, and fans await a final toxicology report. Regardless of the details of his death, Cornell leaves behind him an impressive career cut too short.

With Cornell’s passing ruled a suicide, he joins a list of tragically deceased artists, most of whom suffered from clinical depression. Cornell’s name will forever come up alongside the likes of INXS frontman Michael Hutchence, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer co-founder Keith Emerson, and various members of the infamous “27 Club” including Janis Jopin, Amy Winehouse. More than a few of these deaths blur the line between intentional and accidental suicide. However, the most interesting ties can be drawn between Cornell and another 1990s grunge trailblazer: Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.  On April 5th, 1994, at the height of fame, Cobain fatally shot himself after a few failed suicide attempts over the course of several previous weeks. The band was also rumored to be parting ways. Cobain was married to Courtney Love and father to two-year old Frances Cobain. Cornell, like Cobain was a happy husband and father.

Chris Cornell’s rise to fame began in 1984 with the forming of the band Soundgarden. On March 8th, 1994, coincidentally just one month prior to Cobain’s suicide, the band released their fourth, and most successful, album: Superunknown. The album contained quintessential 1990s alternative grunge rock hits “Black Hole Sun” and “Spoonman.” Despite breaking up in 1997 due to creative differences, the band’s immortality has been cemented in pop culture right next to names like Pearl Jam and Nirvana. Several of their chart toppers can be found on Viacom’s Guitar Hero video game series, and their monthly listeners rating on Spotify has skyrocketed since Cornell’s passing.
After Soundgarden, Cornell maintained a moderately successful solo career, riding on his 90s grunge fame. In 2001, he formed Audioslave with three former Rage Against the Machine members. The group was commercially successful and even found themselves with several Grammy nominations. Seven years and three studio albums later, Cornell decided to leave the group to pursue other interests after disputes over distribution over publishing rights. In 2010 Soundgarden reunited and released two studio albums. One was a compilation album, and the other was all new music. The compilation album contained previously unreleased track “Black Rain” which would go on to be the band’s first hit since 1997. While they never reached quite the same level of fame they had in the 1990s, Soundgarden was still making some waves. The remainder of their tour has been cancelled, and rumors are swirling around their upcoming album.

The impossibly long list of musicians who committed suicide shows two distinct patterns. First there are those who were young and in the middle of chaos, balancing existing metal illness with incredulous fame. Musicians are certainly not alone in this category. The other pattern is comprised of people who are older and dealing with tragedy not related specifically to fame including health issues, debt, loss. On several occasions the struggle is with an inability of their bodies to continue to perform at the level they once did, the level they would like them to, or the inability to even perform at all. Given these patterns and Cornell’s recent successes in both group and solo careers, his death seems an anomaly. He survived the first dose of fame and was, at least not publicly, struggling with any huge personal tragedy. So why now?  Maybe not even Cornell himself has the answer to that haunting question. RIP, Chris Cornell.

“Black hole sun, won’t you come and wash away the rain?”

Sarah Mueller
474theMiX Rock Radio
Station Promoter/Blogger

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Chris Cornell You Will Be Missed

I have been a huge fan of Audioslave ever since I can remember listening to great music!  On May 18, 2017 we lost a great performer and personal inspiration to many of the 474TheMiX family.  His name is Chris Cornell who joins recently deceased legends Prince and David Bowe to collaborate for one heck of a show in the afterlife. For many of us Cornell provided an outlet and a friend we never knew

It has been apparent that, through much of his life, Cornell struggled through drug addiction and mental illness.  Many sources site Cornell using drugs at the age of 13 and continuing to do so throughout his lifetime.  Mental illness has been a struggle throughout his lifetime until he recently took his life by hanging himself although many sources close to Cornell said that he would never intentionally take his life.  His death is currently under investigation.

For many of us Chris Cornell was a friend who went through a number of struggles with us.  Although he may have not been physically there, his music was something that we could relate to.  His most powerful song with Soundgarden being Black Hole Sun calling for the pain to be washed away but it’s upbeat melody was taken by many to mean something positive.  I relate this song to being sad, it describes many dark pictures of my past when my hope was low and hearing this song brought peace as it was relatable to my pain.

Chris Cornell was a musical influence in the grunge community that many will remember as the years go by.  His name will forever be remembered for his fight against mental illness and substance abuse while producing great music around those concepts.  474 The MiX would like to remind anyone struggling with mental illness that you are loved, you are appreciated and you are not alone.

To Chris Cornell we raise our glasses and simply say, “Thank you.”

Christopher Huss
474theMiX Rock Radio
Station Promoter/Blogger

Monday, May 8, 2017

Why Be Political In Your Music?

Why Be Political In Your Music?

Ok, lets talk about something extremely controversial to many of you here reading this.  If you don’t want any political talk today I have go to say that I’m not sorry disappointing those who want politics pushed aside.  If you choose to keep reading, however, my perspective on why we should get political in our music is based off many people saying that they just want to enjoy the music.  Let us dive into this deeper shall we?

One important reason why we need to get political is because people can relate to a struggle and rally around a common cause.  If you look at “Tiny Hands” by Fiona Apple becoming an anthem for The Women’s March on the Capitol becoming a rallying cry over the misogynistic rhetoric that shadowed the last US Presidential Election and still shadows President Trump today.  Another example was Lenny Kravitz’s  “Back In Vietnam” protesting the Iraq war stating that it makes no sense for us to be over there anyway.

Another important reason for us to be political in our music stems from a historical event that had occurred long before I was born (Sorry Dave).  This even was called “Woodstock.”  During this event hundreds of thousands gathered protesting violence while promoting peace, love and happiness.  There are many more festivals popping up around the nation stating similar causes that need to be addressed in this modern day and age.

The final reason that music should be political is that it creates a deep understanding among people.  Whether it is issues surrounding mental illness or social justice, you have a voice and to use it is a powerful.  We would love to hear what causes you are fighting for and advocate for in your music send us a message on our Facebook page or post it on twitter at 474TheMiX!

Christopher Huss
474theMiX Rock Radio
Station Promoter/Blogger

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

474theMiX is committed to ending the stigma and creating awareness about the effects of mental illness on an individual and their families/friends.  Within the past year we have teamed up with the You Rock Foundation which are a group of rock stars teaming up to share and fight mental illness through music and various events throughout the world.  Here are 3 stigmas or places that have stigmas around mental illness and why we need to end it.

1. In Medical Institutions

I have had heard stories of many people going to the hospital and nurses rolling they’re eyes saying things like, “Why don’t they realize that it’s all in their head?” or “This is the third time they’ve been in this week yet there is nothing medically wrong with them!”  As someone living with mental illness I know that these statements or not true.  Anxiety and depression can take over your whole lively hood and the effects such as not being able to breath or move can be more intense or paralyzing than someone not living with it knows.

2. It’s All In Their Head or It Doesn’t Make Sense So There Must Be A Way To Fix It… Right?

This is one that ticks me off beyond belief because if somebody tells me that it’s all in my head and it doesn’t make sense one more time I’m going to be set off.  My thought process realizes that having anxiety with depression at the same time doesn’t make sense and that it’s not rational.  I go constantly from worrying about what needs to be done and the people that are loved in my life to a feeling of hopelessness that seems to trap me in a state where it doesn’t physically feel that there’s a way out.  We don’t need a lecture during these times but rather someone who will listen to what we are going through so that it can be out in the open.

3.  You Can Physically See Signs Of Mental Illness

This is true in some cases but with most people they seem perfectly fine with no physical tells whatsoever.  Why is this important?  Throughout time many organizations in the entertainment industry have portrayed people struggling with mental illness as insane or criminal when in reality they are everyday people doing everyday things out in the everyday real world.  Over the course of your lifetime you will encounter people with mental illness almost every day and not even realize it so while people may appear to be “fine” it is important to note that they may be struggling with something much deeper.

Every day we come across with someone dealing with mental illness.  The hard fact of life is that this is going to be the case for a long time but the important thing is that we can’t stop fighting.  Now, more than ever we must stand up and rise above adversity so that we may get our brothers and sisters to do the same.  Let’s end the stigma!!!

Christopher Huss
474theMiX Rock Radio
Station Promoter/Blogger

The Evolution of Feminist Punk Rock

  On January 21st several million women in cities all around the world gathered in solidarity for the Women’s Walk on Washington to demand rights and equality. One day after the inauguration these people stood firm against threats of back-sliding in categories including wage disparity and reproductive rights under what could be the most conservative administration this country has ever seen. So on the note of celebrating women, this week I decided to write about strong female singers and settled on the punk rock genre. Punk rock is steeped in stereotypes of hair gel, eyeliner, and fighting the “man” (no gender pun intended here). What better platform for feminism to enter the music world?

Any discussion of the genre would be incomplete without mentioning The Runaways, some of the earliest and most influential punk rockers. This all-girl punk rock band consisted of now legends Joan Jett, Cherie Currie, Lita Ford, Sandy West, and Jackie Fox. Best known for hits like “Cherry Bomb,” a song about rebellious teenage rejection of parental control, the band was never terribly huge in the United States. When the band broke up, though, several of the women went on to have successful solo careers. Joan Jett (and the Blackhearts) are known for “I Love Rock and Roll,” “Bad Reputation,” and “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” Lita Ford had “Kiss Me Deadly,” and “Close My Eyes Forever.” This music encouraged women to take control of their own lives, to push against expectation and tradition, and to not take any lip for doing so. It is all very strong music. Which is why the genre carried on instead of being a passing cultural fad.

In the 80s and 90s, punk rock was much the same as it was in the late 70s. A few newcomers on the scene helped strengthen and expand the genre. Pat Benatar not only matched the sound, but her look, with a short pixie haircut, screamed punk. It’s nearly impossible to list all of her hits, but some of the most notable are “Love is a Battlefield,” “Heartbreaker,” and “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” More songs about strong women making strong choices. However, next to “Cherry Bomb,” probably the greatest feminist punk anthem is “Just a Girl” by No Doubt. Like The Runaway’s hit, “Just a Girl” is from the point of view of a teenage girl who feels trapped by her parents. She is sick of rules like having to hold her parent’s hands and not being allowed to drive late at night because of all the things that could happen to a young girl alone in the dark. It pushes back against the ways young women are raised to be cautious while young men are not under the same restrictions. Gwen Stefani has argued that the song was not written with a feminist agenda, but rather her literally complaining about her father prohibiting her from driving alone at night. Maybe it is this stark honesty that makes the song so good.  

The early 2000s were full of male punk rockers with the same eyeliner and black hair, the only difference was that some of it had spun off into a subgenre known as “emo.” One of the strongest women of the time, Pink, kept the original look, but over time altered the sound by adding a splash of pop. “Sober,” “So What,” “Perfect,” the list goes on. Many of her songs contain themes of being different, like the bucking of tradition and expectation in early punk rock, but the difference is after several generations, these ideas are more normalized. That’s where Pink’s brilliant adjustment to the genre has succeeded, instead of simply creating music that is rebellious, she has written music that is also focused on self-esteem and self-love. It takes the next step forward in giving young listeners confidence and strength. Some other notable punk rock artists include Patti Smith, Pussy Riot, Cat power, The Pretty Reckless, Alanis Morissette, Paramore, Kitten, and Evanescence.

So the real question is this: how will punk rock react to our current political climate. We’ve already seen Green Day’s Revolution Radio, filled with the echoes of American Idiot, but what will the women of the genre come up with? Perhaps the inspiring energy of the Women’s March will be translated into music. After the signing of an executive order immediately removing federal funding from any organizations that ever perform abortions, most notably Planned Parenthood, reproductive healthcare and reproductive rights are on the line. Now more than ever the women of punk rock need to stand up and say we’ve been here, we’re still here, and we aren’t going anywhere.

Sarah Mueller
474theMiX Rock Radio
Station Promoter/Blogger

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Going The Distance

I was recently talking to Isaac Rodriguez (474theMiX Radio photographer) about a band he recently shot on the 28th of January 2017 - Blood Sweat and Tears. We are both big fans of BST, Isaac had mentioned that they had a new lead singer. That got me thinking.... it must be tough for an established band when they are forced to swap out the lead singer for what ever reason. Some times it works for the fans but some times it doesn't.

If the Rolling Stones ever had to replace Mick Jagger? I dont know how that would go over with their fan base. Another example is The Pretenders, 2 original members James Honeyman-Scott (lead guitar, backing vocals, keyboards), Pete Farndon (bass guitar, backing vocals) of The Pretenders overdosed in the early 80's leaving Rockin' guitarist/vocalist Chrissie Hynde and drummer Martin Chambers as the two remaining original members. The lead vocals/lead guitar of Hynde and Chambers' trademark drumming style was able to keep the boat afloat all these years with interchangeable bass and rhythm players.

Of course there are many examples of bands who have successfully replaced their lead singer and went on to enjoy success, bands such as Van Halen, ACDC, Genesis. Black Sabbath and Deep Purple just to name a few. Not to trivialize the importance of a banging bass player and rhythm guitarist in the band but if the Pretenders would have lost their "front wo-man"'s guitar styling and unique vocals back in 1981, Im not sure that they would still be Rockin' today with a new lead vocalist 35+ years later here in 2017.


Dave Stuart
474theMiX Radio

Thursday, January 19, 2017

My Top 8 Albums of 2016: by Sarah Mueller

Hey, y’all. My name is Sarah and I’m new to the 474theMiX Rock Radio family. I look forward to writing for and getting to know all of you. For starters though, what better way to get to know me than to read about my favorites from 2016? The consensus seems to be that 2016 was one of those years that just overstayed its welcome, but even so it was a great year for music. This past year some interesting newcomers made waves like always, but I think some the more exciting releases came from artists who returned after years away. Without any more stalling, here are my top albums of the year:

Number 8: The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance.
In an elaborate stunt, the band that every formerly emo kid born in the 1990s still mourns the loss of teased us all with a video and a release date. Was it a new album? Did MCR really get back together? Do we get a Black Parade Part II? Nope. We got a 10 year anniversary re-release that simultaneously made us feel deceived and old. Regardless, the original album was their best and deserved the attention and a re-release, just maybe without all the hype…

Number 7: California by Blink-182.
This was an album that it’s safe to say no one really saw coming. After 5 years without releasing anything, the band could count its successes: “All the Small Things,” “What’s My Age Again,” “I Miss You.” This album was a game changer. With two singles: “Bored to Death” and “She’s Out of Her Mind” they tried to reclaim their former fame with their former sound. However, much like Green Day, they were just a little out of touch with the millennial youth. Or perhaps their original fans were a little too old to care.

Number 6: A Pentatonix Christmas by Pentatonix.
The band’s annual Christmas album brought us more covers of holiday favorites, but also included more originals than their previous Christmas albums. “Hallelujah,” a cover of Leonard Cohen’s hit quickly went viral before the album’s release. This came right before the artists passing.

Number 5: Joanne by Lady Gaga.
In true Gaga fashion, she shocked everyone with her fifth studio album. The artist, classically trained as a jazz singer and known as a pop superstar, strips off all the glitz and glam and returns to what are apparently her roots. This album is named after her grandmother and is a tribute or perhaps more an exploration of country music. While many of the songs, with lyrics about cowboy boots, hats, line dancing, and drinking, feel like mere caricatures of the genre, a few gems lay hidden in the mess. The title track, not surprisingly, is one I would challenge anyone to listen to and not cry. A perfect blend of sentiment and twang, the song takes a hopeful outlook on life, death, and memory. Single “Perfect Illusion” is the closest to the Gaga that we know, and also the most we get to hear of her incredible singing chops. Another track worth a listen is “Angel Down” written as a chilling tribute to Trayvon Martin and other victims of police brutality. On the whole, the album left a few things to be desired, but is definitely not a wash.  

Number 4: Ladywood by Tove Lo
She’s back! The Swedish artist who had three hits in 2014 and 2015 (“Stay High”, “Heroes”, and “Talking Body”) released her second album in 2016 and it did not disappoint. In Ladywood, the artist once again brings a grunge edge to the pop music genre along with lyrics that do not shy away (the album title itself is a sexual innuendo). Single “Cool Girl” is an upbeat instant hit while other tracks like “Fire Fade” take little slower and more haunting pace. Lo has said herself she sees this album as being two parts and this structure is very similar to her previous album Queen of the Clouds which is a narrative in three parts. Whether or not you’re a fan of her sound, you can count on a listen worthy story in Tove Lo’s music.

Number 3: Revolution Radio by Green Day
The first success since 21st Century Breakdown (we don’t talk about Uno, Dos, Tre) Revolution Radio is a feeble attempt to relive the glory of American Idiot. The two title tracks are even in the same key… That being said, the album still offers some good lyrics. Think of it as American Idiot’s younger, less popular brother. “Revolution Radio” and “Bang Bang,” the best on the album, both look at the world with a cynical lens. At least for Green Day, they seem to have impeccable timing. With all of the political drama and division happening all over the country and the world, and the upcoming presidential inauguration this is the album we need. Most definitely intentionally, Billie Joe has never been shy about his opinions, the songs play off of the frustrations and anxieties that anyone, regardless of political affiliation, can relate to. Questioning the media and our news sources as well as our systems and the people we choose to put in power. They rode the wave all the way to the Billboard chart. Good job, Green Day, and welcome back. We missed you. And your sass.

Number 2: Collage/Bouquet – The Chainsmokers
I know that this is technically two different EPs, but for arguments sake, we’ll put them together. Of the newcomers in 2016, it’s easy to argue that The Chainsmokers made the biggest splash. “Roses,” and “Closer” are the kind of tracks that are victims of radio station overplay, but like many others in this category they become songs we love to hate. Because the sound is just so overwhelming. Afterall, who doesn’t need an electronic induced distraction coma every now and then? Besides the group’s commercial success, they also made headlines when they took on Lady Gaga’s single “Perfect Illusion.” Perhaps more of a publicity stunt than anything else, the incident did little to mar the name of either artist. Proving once and for all that the masses may actually care more about the music of an artist than their opinions? Not a chance. Other tracks worth a listen include “Setting Fires”, and the newest single, “Paris.”

Number 1: Death of a Bachelor by Panic! at the Disco.
 This is an album worth talking about. Although released at the end of 2015, Death of a Bachelor found success in 2016. It is the fifth studio album of the band and despite frontman Brendon Urie being the remaining original member, the group stays afloat by continuing to take on new genres. So far they’ve done everything from alternative, jazz, and folk to electronic, punk, and hard rock which has helped them keep and earn new fans across an ever-evolving sound. Bachelor offers multiple genres just by itself with the title track and “Impossible Year” taking softer, jazz and piano approaches as well as “Halleujah” which combines alternative rock with gospel (something we started to see on Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die). Panic! did not disappoint long-time fans with “Emperor’s New Clothes” a continuation of previous single “This is Gospel” as well as “Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time” which keep their original flavor around. Overall, flexibility timelessness, and dedication to making music earned this group the top spot. Cheers, y’all.

Sarah Mueller
474theMiX Rock Radio
Station Promoter/Blogger

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Is There a New Punk Era On Its Way? (With a Welcome to a New Writer)

The other day I performed a couple of gigs at a church where they read Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.’s letters from a jail in Birmingham.  This really got me thinking about a revolution for civil rights and various musical events that happened throughout history that helped promote Dr. King’s ideal but there was also a huge punk movement throughout the 90’s that was used to voice the concerns and frustrations of the people who were struggling with mental health issues and different struggles in their lives.  In the United States there is an inauguration that will be happening this week with many unhappy people and there is definite angst among the younger generation.  Where might we see these being presented you may ask?  Well continue the read and I shall provide my insight.

Feminism is one of the biggest movements throughout the punk community that has been underrepresented throughout the mainstream industry.  Looking at the local punk scene here in Minneapolis there has been a lot of bands that seem to take after influences such as Hole, Blue Rose and other bands that promote feminist ideals throughout the nation.  The reason to believe that this movement is on the rise is that during this last election cycle there were many misogynistic messages that came across making many people unhappy.  There is also a Women’s March scheduled this Saturday in the US to promote equality for all giving further influence on future feminist punk rockers.

The separation of the middle and low class from the high class is also one topic of discussion that pops up in many conversations, not only in the US, but throughout the world.  When Punk was big here in the US times were hard for many people and most of the bands that made it big were formed people who came from a struggling middle to lower class households making their emotions heard through song.  The reason this is applicable today is because the separation of the upper class from the lower-middle class is even more defined and will very likely be a struggle that many punk artist sing about.

Mental illness is the last point that I’ll make for a new emergence of punk music.  Mental illness is becoming more common throughout the current generation in the US and it is no laughing matter.  My counselor suggested the other day that this election cycle brought about waves of mental health patients that they had never seen before.  Punk music, being about the anger and sadness many experience, is one of the many ways that people chose to express themselves.  With much anger and hurt here throughout the US it is likely suggested that there will be more punk albums made over the next few years.

These are the reasons that punk music may be on the rise over the next few years.  With the inauguration happening this weekend it is not unlikely that there will be other events that influence punk music, but these are the few of many examples in why there might be a new Punk Era on the rise.   We’ll just have to wait and see!

Side Note: The 474theMiX Rock Radio Community would like to welcome Sarah M. to the blog team Sarah is an Augsburg College Graduate and currently resides in the surrounding Twin Cities area!

Christopher Huss
474theMiX Rock Radio
Station Promoter/Blogger

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking Back at the Breaking Benjamin Concert MYTH 2016

Sitting here, drinking my coffee there a certain show that pulls me back to October.  This show was one to be remembered as my buddy was also in attendance waiting for what seemed like years when we got tickets back in August.  We stood in line for a couple hours, about 15 people from us to the door, to get as close to the stage as possible.  It’s about 30 minutes to the show and we’re talking with an ex-security guard of the venue about different bands we’ve seen there.  20 minutes to show time, the backstage crew is waving to us from the top of the roof to amp up the crowd, 10 minutes to show time and people are losing it.! They want to get inside so badly, especially those about 6-10 blocks back.  Suddenly the doors open and we’re ready to go!

The opening act went on and interestingly enough one of the guitar picks thrown out hit my buddy in the neck giving him the opportunity to get a pick from a band called Via which had a great sound but a very awkward stage presence.  With a little work they may be able to rise to stardom but need a better overall stage presence to help their sets move in rhythm.  Once the opening act was off there was a stillness of anticipation and talk of what was to come.

After the guitars where tuned properly Breaking Benjamin came on with their hit So Cold from the record Shallow Bay and the crowd went absolutely nuts!  Everyone was joining in on the song and knew all the words to every single verse.  We were all interconnected there for a moment as they continued to rock the stage with even a surprise or two for us coming up later in the show.  Right out of the gate there was high anticipation and high expectation for what was to come.

As Breaking Benjamin was nearing the middle of the set the band started playing the Imperial March after Benjamin Burnley (lead singer and guitarist) announced that Star Wars was an event that united nerds and geeks alike which meant we were going to send up a tribute to Lord Vader, Kylo Ren and The First Orde!  The Imperial March went into Schism by Tool, which was followed by Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana and concluding with Walk by Pantera.  All songs where performed to the utmost perfection which stunned the crowd ending in thunderous applause making it a great surprise for all of us in attendance.  There’s no way the band could’ve possibly done anything else to make our night better… or so we thought.

The second and final surprise was during Give Me A Sign in which we were asked to take our phones and lighters out to light up the stage.  It was absolutely stunning how the fans could come together as one and emit a glow so great that it lit up the entire venue.  The band told us we can do great things when we unite towards a common goal, that we should remember that but not let it sit as a thought that is idle but act upon that idea every day so we can continue to do great things throughout our lives.  Such a great message to deliver to a crowd of all ages to help us come together as one!

All in all, the performance by Breaking Benjamin touched a lot of people including myself that night.  There were songs that were played brilliantly that helped us once get through some dark times and songs that got us up and moving.  The final review is 5 out of 5 stars for great stage presence, excellence in musical ability and the ability to get the crowd involved in a way, which many bands don’t.  I thoroughly enjoyed their performance and am looking forward to their next album coming out in 2017!

Chris Huss
474theMiX Rock Radio
Station Promoter/Blogger

Monday, December 19, 2016

Minnesota Says Goodbye to 2016, which Took Minneapolis’s Greatest Star

It’s no secret to those that know my music taste that Prince is at the top of my list.  Perhaps, it is because of Minnesota pride that the notion of Prince being one of my favorites came about.  It might be that his music has always gotten people to smile and come together or it could be that through one of the darkest time in my life I heard his song “When Doves Cry” and it helped me keep my sanity, sparking my love for an artist that loved his community and everything about it.

Prince wasn’t just an icon but a revolutionary as he went above and beyond what a man of color was able to do for the music industry at that time period.  For example, one of his first shows opening for The Rolling Stones there was food and other items being thrown at him along with chants to get off the stage but, being a man of strong will, Prince continued to play through it and continued to rock the stages throughout the years which paid off for him when he performed one rainy Super Bowl Halftime Show.  It was pouring rain and the storm was intense but Prince wanted to put on a show for his fans (which he did) and by the end everyone was singing “Purple Rain” whether it was at the stadium or at the homes and bars across the country watching the performance.  Truly a spectacular turnaround from being booed to being risen up as one of the greatest musically gifted individuals of his generation.

Many of us who were big Prince fans can remember many of the events and where we were when hearing that Prince had died on the rainy morning of April 21, 2016.  I was in my apartment excited because Corey Taylor was performing a sold out show that night at First Avenue (made famous by Prince) and I had tickets! There was also excitement because, coincidentally, my roommate and I were going to go see Chase and Ovation the next night, which happens to be the only Prince Tribute Band that Prince himself had endorsed.  The homework and studying couldn’t even bring my spirits down, that is, until there was a break in between sessions.  During this study break, my hands quickly navigated my way to social media finding an article by TMZ that stated “Prince Dies at 57.”  “No,” I thought, “This cannot be so! Maybe TMZ is just yanking our chain.”  My optimism waivered as the day went on as more articles came out announcing the death of the Minnesota legend.  My roommate then walked through the door and my immediate response was to ask if he’d heard the news in which he responded that he had.  We both shared a look of sorrow that made us both understand how important his music was in our lives.

Why was Minnesota so broken up about this?  Prince himself was a very important community figure.  He donated a lot of money to charities and programs that helped Minnesota and those in need.  Someone like this was what we could claim as our own.  Prince wasn’t just a star.  No, he was Minnesota’s star!  Everywhere he went people would recognize him even at shows he went to too support local musicians.  In fact, one of my cousins was playing a show when recalls noticing Prince, in an interview my cousin states, “Haha. It was interesting. I was playing a gig at Bunkers, was packed. And all of a sudden there was a short guy dressed as a pirate and the drummer leaned in and just went, "Yo man, see Prince down there??"  He just was there diggin on the music for a while with his crew. Very warm and receptive to the show. Then they packed up and left.  Never got to see much of him but it was just really cool to have him in the room for a show.”  This was at Bunkers bar, which was the local place that Prince hung out and performed in as he gained recognition and continued to hang out there after he became famous.

What tributes were done after Prince’s death?  Two big ones stick out in my mind both on the night of and the night after Prince’s death.  Earlier I had mentioned going to Corey Taylor’s show downtown which they had a huge block party beforehand because of Prince’s death.  The Corey Taylor show then started at First Ave (which Corey paid homage by playing Purple Rain and Little Red Corvette) followed by the all night dance party in which thousands gathered downtown both inside and outside First Avenue to sing Purple Rain bringing all Minnesota brothers and sisters together bonding over a legacy that will never be forgotten.  The night after Prince’s death, my roommate and I went to the Chase and Ovation show where we bonded with many over Prince’s music.  Chase shared that he had been trained by Prince for a few days and that their family had close ties with him.  So close of ties in fact, that when Chase was young, his uncle died, and his family was trying to figure out how to get to the funeral as a low-income family with few cars they didn’t have the luxury that is until they saw Limousines lining up to take the family to the funeral.  Chase’s response to how he felt about the experience was, “Grateful!”

Why were Prince and his music so important in my life?  There was a time during my adolescent years where my home situation was not a great environment for my mental health.  There was a night where my feelings of hopeless and sadness were at a peak when I was a teen and the song “When Doves Cry “ came onto the radio and all my emotions just burst out of me.  Tears were strolling down my face and my head was sobbing into the pillowcase making it easier to sleep later that night, as my room was already warm.  My hands gripping the sides of the pillow as my frustrations about the situation I was in were just allowed to flow out of me.  This was the first time in a few years that the expression of my emotions was allowed which made me feel much better and that the music of Prince would help me for years to come.  Thank you Prince!

Chris Huss
474theMiX Rock Radio
Station Promoter/Blogger

Saturday, December 17, 2016

What Has The Mainstream Industry Come to?

Perhaps I’m being a bit pretentious here when I ask the question, “Where has the mainstream music industry come to?”  “Oh this music has a good beat!” is one of the frequent responses that seem to blurt out of people’s mouths, which is valid, but is music just meant to get us up and dancing.  Now, don’t get me wrong, everyone knows that I love a great tune to dance to in the car (or bus I don’t care if people stare!) but isn’t music meant to make us think about things or relate to our emotions at least some of the time?

Yeah songs like “Panda” are fun to listen to when you’re trying to get up and dance but what about some real thought provoking stuff such as What Sober Couldn’t Say by Halestorm.  Definitely, an emotional song as the singer/songwriter tells a story about finally being able to get something off of her chest and how she doesn’t like the current situation she’s been putting herself through.  Stone Sour’s Through The Glass is also a song where Corey Taylor is looking at the music industry and saying, “Wow, what have we come to?”  The song has taken on another meaning with fans (including myself) being that you are looking at yourself and shouldn’t judge too harshly.  Either way there are a couple important messages there that should be thought about and we should challenge the norm in today’s music industry.

Are there exceptions to the rule?  Yes, is the answer to that and there are two bands that stick out in my mind to be thought provoking.  My Chemical Romance is a band that has been a Pop Punk band from the beginning and has released many albums with fantastic music, pushing their limits since day 1 and continuing to adapt throughout the years to make themselves a group to remember.  Another Pop artist that I’ve really gotten to know has been Passenger and they have songs that make you feel something with Let Her Go being their most known.  So my faith in the modern popular music industry hasn’t completely gone away but it seems to get more and more difficult to find bands that are thought provoking and meaningful.

My final thoughts on the issue?  Music is a beautiful thing and is subjective to the listener but we as consumers must know what we want out of music and be careful about the music we buy.  If we tend to buy more thought provoking emotional music, more of artist who create this music will be on the rise.  If we buy music that has a good sound but no real substance then those artist will get more and more attention.  Simply know what your buying or listening to and figure out what works for you.

Chris Huss
474theMiX Rock Radio
Station Promoter/Blogger

Friday, December 6, 2013


I recently saw a picture of an aging David Lee Roth having his smoke lit by an all most senior guitar wizard that goes by the name Eddie Van Halen. Above the photo it had Eddie's supposed comment... "I sensed a different guy than the guy I used to work with. Not necessarily humbled, but just normal. We apologized to each other about the childish mudslinging over the years, and we just sat around and bullsh!tted. Nothing to do with music - just life, telling jokes, having fun."

Behind the scenes these 2 are just a couple of humans trying to get by like the rest of us. Then on the other other side of the curtain is the part we all see... the Concerts! the Music!

Remember years ago reading snippets about how the guys in Van Halen are having differences bla bla bla.. its not that we don't care about the humans and their behind the scenes soap opera, but for us as fans its all about the music. It is all about gathering for the live shows, the crowds, the enormous unity thing. People coming together from all walks of life to share their love of something that they all have in common.

...then we hear the band broke up and we are disappointed because the music is gone, not because the soap bubble finally burst. ...and now to see this comment by Eddie? if its true and he did say it... well now its not about the music it is about the humans. Much Respect to both of them. Long Live The Atomic Punk!

Dave Stuart
474theMiX Rock Radio