The Best Toys of 2013

Modelers, apps and more by Gene Baker As I reflect back on 2013, a few items come to mind that helped me throughout my year. Midway into 2013, I was having trouble with two herniated discs in my lower back that sure made hauling gear a problem. That’s when I found Positive Grid’s JamUp. Amp modeling JamUp is an excellent iPad/iPhone/iPod … [Read more...]

Blacklist Union – Til Death Do Us Part

by Brian McKinny Blacklist Union isn’t really a band so much as it is whatever singer Tony West decides it is. With two previous CDs in the can, and his latest project, “Til Death Do Us Part” just released, Tony has concocted an interesting mix of musicians to round out the roster for this current incarnation of Blacklist Union. The new CD … [Read more...]


Sprung Monkey is an alternative/nu-metal band from San Diego, my own hometown. I grew up there, and have nothing but fond memories of it. I mean, who wouldn’t want to grow up in San Diego? The beaches, the weather, the music, the women … All those things come together to paint a picture of the best place in the world to grow up in. When I think … [Read more...]

Line 6

The King of Virtual Rigs by Gene Baker, editor Line 6 is an interesting company that I feel deserves some attention for a variety of guitarists’ needs. Granted fads come and go, and Line6 came on strong when rack systems were dying miserably. The company knew it needed something new and unique, hence the bean-shaped POD family of amp modeling … [Read more...]


by Brian McKinny EMPHATIC is a band from – of all the places – Omaha, Nebraska. When one thinks of new rock music and its origins, one doesn’t naturally think of Omaha as a burgeoning hotbed of new rock bands or artists that aren’t country bands or singers. The name Omaha conjures up visions of stockyards full of beef cattle and millions of … [Read more...]

2013 Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival

Friday, September 13, 2013 Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Irvine, CA The lineup for this year’s Uproar Festival  featured Alice In Chains, Jane’s Addiction, Coheed and Cambria, and Circa Survive on the main stage.  The Zippo Encore Stage Powered by Ernie Ball had Walking Papers, Danko Jones, Middle Class Rut, and New Politics.  The Coldcock … [Read more...]

Black Sabbath stays hot at an even hotter LA Sports Arena

September 4, 2013 by Ray Rocha, editor Yes, you read that right: Black Sabbath in Concert! Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Ozzy Osbourne, and newcomer, Tommy Clufetos ran through a blistering set of new and classic Black Sabbath tunes. The show started ominously, with Andrew WK doing his best to spin some current and classic metal. The DJ concept … [Read more...]


by Brian McKinny Since they released their last album, War of Angels in 2012, POP EVIL has undergone a couple of serious personnel changes, with the departure of lead guitarist, Tony Greve and drummer, Dylan Allison. The addition of lead guitarist, Nick Fuelling and drummer, Chachi Riot are steps in the right direction for a band that seemed to … [Read more...]


by Brian McKinny Black Sabbath: The juggernaut that was largely responsible for creating the Heavy Metal genre is back with a vengeance with their latest album, ‘13’. What can be said about the band that hasn’t already been said by someone, somewhere? With that acknowledged truth in mind, I will not presume to add to the dialogue regarding their … [Read more...]