Jul 31,2014: The Walter Trout Band and Walter Trout

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Jul 30,2014: Queensryche


Although they were initially grouped in with the legions of pop-metal bands that dominated the American heavy metal scene of the ’80s, Queensrÿche were one of the most distinctive bands of the era. Where their contemporaries built on the legacy of Van Halen, Aerosmith, and Kiss, Queensrÿche constructed a progressive form of heavy metal that drew equally from the guitar pyrotechnics of post-Van Halen metal and ’70s art rock, most notably Pink Floyd and Queen. After releasing a handful of ignored albums, the band began to break into the mainstream with the acclaimed 1988 album Operation: Mindcrime. Its follow-up, Empire, was the group’s biggest success, selling over two million copies due to the hit single “Silent Lucidity.” Queensrÿche never sustained that widespread popularity — like most late-’80s metal bands, their audience disappeared after the emergence of grunge. Nevertheless, they retained a large cult following well into the ensuing decades.

Guitarists Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton formed Queensrÿche in 1981 in the Seattle, WA, suburb of Bellevue. Both guitarists had been playing in heavy metal cover bands and had decided to form a group that would play original material. The duo recruited high-school friends Geoff Tate (vocals) and bassist Eddie Jackson (bass), as well as drummer Scott Rockenfield. Instead of hitting the club circuit, the group rehearsed for two years, eventually recording and releasing a four-song demo tape. The cassette came to the attention of local record store owners Kim and Diana Harris, who offered to manage Queensrÿche. With the help of the Harrises, the tape circulated throughout the Northwest. In May of 1983, Queensrÿche released the EP Queen of the Reich on their own record label, 206 Records. Queen of the Reich sold 20,000 copies and, in the process, earned the band major-label attention. By the end of the year, the band signed to EMI, which released an expanded version of the EP as the Queensrÿche LP later in the year; the record peaked at number 81.

At this stage, Queensrÿche sounded closer to British metal bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Over the next few years, the group continued to refine its sound, opening for hard rock acts as diverse as Bon Jovi and Metallica. Their next two albums — 1984′s The Warning and 1986′s Rage for Order — sold respectably, with the latter reaching number 47 on the U.S. charts. Rage for Order also demonstrated a flowering of progressive rock influences, an idea that would reach its fruition with 1988′s Operation: Mindcrime. Boasting orchestral arrangements from Michael Kamen, the album was Queensrÿche’s most ambitious and focused effort to date, earning both positive reviews and strong sales. Operation: Mindcrime stayed on the American charts for a year, selling over a million copies during its run.

Queensrÿche returned in the fall of 1990 with the equally ambitious Empire. The album proved to be their commercial high watermark, peaking at number seven on the U.S. charts and going double platinum in America; in the U.K., the album also cracked the Top Ten. Empire’s success was instigated by the stately art rock ballad “Silent Lucidity,” which received heavy airplay from MTV and album rock radio. All the exposure eventually sent “Silent Lucidity” to number five on the U.S. singles charts. Following the long Empire tour — which included a spot on the 1991 Monsters of Rock tour — Queensrÿche released the live Operation: LIVEcrime in the fall of 1991. Recorded on the Operation: Mindcrime tour, the album replicated the group’s live performance of the rock opera that comprised their 1988 artistic breakthrough; the package also included a video and a thick book.

In the three years following the release of Operation: LIVEcrime, the band rested and leisurely worked on the follow-up to Empire. Occasionally, they contributed a song to a soundtrack, such as “Real World” for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1993 movie Last Action Hero. Queensrÿche finally delivered their sixth studio album, Promised Land, in 1994. Though the heavy metal audience had changed drastically since Empire, with many fair-weather metal fans switching their allegiance to grunge and alternative rock, the group retained a strong following, as evidenced by Promised Land debuting at number three on the U.S. charts. Promised Land would eventually go platinum and spawn two album rock hits, “I Am I” and “Bridge.”

With 1997′s Hear in the New Frontier, Queensrÿche stripped back their sound to the bare bones, leaving behind the prog rock influences that made them distinctive. Although the album debuted at 19, it received mixed reviews and quickly fell down the charts, leading shortly thereafter to founding guitarist Chris DeGarmo’s exit from the band. (DeGarmo would soon resurface as part of former Alice in Chains’ guitarist Jerry Cantrell’s touring band.) Q2k followed in 1999, as new guitarist Kelly Gray took DeGarmo’s place. Queensrÿche’s first best-of set, Greatest Hits, was released in 2000; the band supported the CD with an opening slot on one of the year’s hottest metal concert tickets — Iron Maiden’s Brave New World reunion tour, which also included former Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford.

In 2001, the band issued the double CD and DVD Live Evolution. Meanwhile, former member DeGarmo was also gearing up to form a new band, said to include former Alice in Chains drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Inez; although he appeared on Jerry Cantrell’s Degradation Trip in 2002, no solo material was forthcoming. Queensrÿche finally returned to the studio and released Tribe in 2003 on Sanctuary. In 2006, Queensrÿche released Operation: Mindcrime II, the long-awaited sequel to their 1988 conceptual smash. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine Greg Prato, All Music Guide



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Jul 26,2014: Hermosa Beach Farmers Market

Market Hours:
Year Round
Friday  12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Location: 11th Street, 1035 Valley Dr., Hermosa Beach, 90254



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Jul 25,2014: Tubby


Hometown: Ashland, Or

Genres: World/Reggae / Ska / Rocksteady

Members: Brian Zach, Clay Baker, T.J. Eilers, Aaron Reed, Thomas Mackay The word synergy means: Forces coming together to be greater in magnitude than the sum of their separate parts. We, the band SYNRGY, try to take this definition into the realm of the music we create, and our relationship with our audience.

We formed in Flagstaff Arizona in Spring of 2007. After becoming one of the most locally recognized bands in the area, we decided to spread our wings into the bigger skies to the West. We relocated to Humboldt County California in Summer of 2008, to embrace the culture that only Northern California had to offer.

In early 2010, we released our first studio album “Live in Love”. Live in Love has 11 original SYNRGY tracks including hits such as: Breaking All The Rules, Good Dog Down, Sincerely Guilty and Tell Me Why.

In spring of 2010, SYNRGY’s Lead Singer, Brian Zach, released an 18 track acoustic album called “Dream On.” Dream On includes songs such as Hypocracy, Bombs Away, Blow Those Clouds Away, and Back To Where I Came.

Live in Love and Dream On are both available for sale on Itunes. Since the albums release, we have been touring aggressively through out the Western United States, enjoying the wonderful friends and family that music has provided.

With a backbone of Reggae, limbs and organs of Funk, Rock, Ska, and Rock-Steady, SYNRGY is a high energy treat for any live music lover. We demand movement from our audiences, which makes our shows an experience few forget. The conscious messages entwined in the songs aspire to inspire the minds of all who can perceive them. With your help, Synrgy is stronger. Join in with SYNRGY.

“Love will grow wherever you shine the light. So shine, we choose to shine. Because we are the strong, We Live in Love.” –(Live in Love lyrics)



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AmericanTown’s Heroes: Dog Scouts Help People Live in Harmony

Did you know there is an organization dedicated to responsible dog ownership? It’s not like the Humane Society or the ASPCA. They don’t shelter dogs or put them up for adoption. The organization is called Dog Scouts of America and their mission is “to improve the lives of dogs, their owners, and society through humane education, positive training, and community involvement.”

Read more Dog Scouts Help People Live in Harmony.



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AmericanTown’s Heroes: The Blue Ocean Society Protects Marine Mammals

You may have heard of Boyan Slat, he’s the young man who came up with an idea that could harvest the plastic swirling in the world’s oceans. It’s an ambitious project that he’s been gaining support for over the past few years. It’s called The Ocean Cleanup and it’s currently in a fundraising stage having completed a feasibility study. Boyan is from Delft in the Netherlands, but he’s not the only one trying to mobilize support for cleaner oceans. Thankfully, there are numerous efforts underway in the United States, like the work of The Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation whose name leaves no mystery about their mission. 

Read more The Blue Ocean Society Protects Marine Mammals.



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Jul 24,2014: Cubensis


Since 1987, Los Angeles-based band Cubensis has carried the torch in celebration of one of America’s most beloved touring bands, the Grateful Dead. Cubensis sets out to re-create the Grateful Dead experience by emulating the sounds of Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, and the rest of the legendary San Francisco jam band. Cubensis plays completely spontaneous shows covering all eras of the Grateful Dead, and no night is ever the same. Cubensis is far more than just your standard cover band as they bring the magic and sounds to those longing for the live vibe that only the Grateful Dead was able to deliver. The group has been acclaimed for giving new life to the Grateful Dead’s material, bringing in new styles, new innovations, and new jam band fans, while at the same time remaining loyal to the original music and the original fans.

CUBENSIS brings the Grateful Dead concert experience back to life. Drawing from all eras of the Dead, the band performs a three-hour set of Grateful Dead and JGB classics that retains all the spontaneous exploratory jamming for which the bands were renown. However, the music produced is uniquely Cubensis.

Here, you won’t find the band wearing wigs and fake beards to re-create the Dead experience, unlike Beatlemania. “We don’t strive to play Dead tunes note-for-note,” explains Cubensis guitarist Craig Marshall. “We use the music as a skeleton, and then we flesh it out with our own improvisations. The Dead did that every time they played, and we find it to be a perfect model for our shows. The fans agree. They love hearing Cubensis-flavored Dead.”

The group is drawing national attention with their true-to-life performances. LA Weekly recently raved, “Cubensis plays with the same laid-back mastery as the real McCoy.” The LA Times declared “As the tribute to one of the ultimate jam bands, their set lists are as free and frollicky as the crowd.” Big Brother skateboard magazine says Cubensis is “the nation’s premiere Dead tribute” and the OC Weekly declared them “the hottest Grateful Dead tribute act going.” OC Register affirmed Cubensis was “the best place to channel Jerry Garcia” and AOL Citybeat stated, “Cubensis is renown for whipping its faithful crowd into a swirling, psychedelic mass for three hours straight.”

Cubensis has been pleased to find their most enthusiastic supporters are those who never got a chance to see the Grateful Dead in person, and wonder what they missed. Seasoned “Deadheads” come out to relive the great shows gone by, and as a result, the band is in great demand, performing over 150 shows a year throughout the Southwest. Cubensis was given specific permission by Jerry Garcia to perform the Dead’s music. Garcia’s only request was “do a good job of it.” Ever since, CUBENSIS has promised authenticity and delivers pure Grateful Dead-inspired music like it was meant to be heard, keeping the Dead alive and re-creating the magic one show at a time. Don’t miss it!



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Rooftops Newsletter: Fighting for a hunger free state

With nearly one in seven seniors in Colorado facing the threat of hunger, services from Hunger Free Colorado provide needed food and nutrition resources to local residents.

“It makes all the difference in the world if I can make it month-to-month without loans and with food I can eat,” said Linda. “I still have to be smart about purchasing food, but I can make it now.”

Michelle Ray
Director of Communications
Hunger Free Colorado

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Top 10 water parks to visit with families

Now that the temperatures are heating up, it’s time to find a place to cool off. With names like Water Country and Wet n’ Wild, it’s no secret we’re slipping and sliding our way across the country to seek out the best places to spend the day getting wet and enjoying it. From quiet coves to extreme body slides, water parks offer something for everyone and you don’t even have to know how to swim to join in the fun.  

1. A Splashin’ Safari in a place called Santa Claus sounds like it might be spa for reindeer, but it’s anything but a laid back experience. Splashin’ Safari is a top-rated water park with rides, slides, shows and events, including holiday-themed attractions for spreading joy year round. Fireworks are a weekly attraction, but what draws the crowds in summer are the giant water coasters. Take the nearly seven story plunge on the Mammoth slide in a six-man boat that traverses the 1/3 mile long course thrilling riders with seven drops in approximately three minutes. Hold on tight, catch your breath and get on line to do it again. 

2. Schlitterbahn shows up on the list of best theme parks for their roller coasters and their water rides. It guarantees indoor and outdoor water fun across a choice of properties in Texas and Kansas and claims to be the world’s first family of water parks. Each property has its own unique features as the backdrop for their activity pools, speed slides, tube chutes and river rides. Heated or refreshingly cold, enjoy a day in the water and when you’re all tuckered out, spread a blanket for a picnic or find a cabin, hotel or vacation home nearby to rent for an extended stay. 

3. Head to Noah’s Ark Water Park in twos (and threes and fours) for a day at the largest water park in the United States. It’s located in Wisconsin Dells a place noted for its scenic beauty and named for the dells along the Wisconsin River. Slip and slide on dozens of rides designed for all age and thrill levels, like the Bermuda Triangle (no one’s disappeared, yet) or the Black Anaconda, which is a combination water slide and roller coaster that whisks riders down the 1/4 mile track at 30 miles per hour. Feeling a little fragile? Hold onto some friends on Group Rides or work your way up to the thrills on the Gentle Rides. You can even duck into their arcade or 4-D theater to reboot before heading back into the water. 

4. The Great Wolf Lodge is called the largest family of water parks because their properties include 12 locations across the United States where you will find fun in and out of the sun for children of all ages and groups of all sizes. Book a stay or go for a day of dipping, dunking, splashing and laughing. Great Wolf Lodge is geared toward kids and they encourage you to explore their activities by age or even plan a party for family and friends. The rides are sure to delight even the most determined thrill seeker, like the Hydro Plunge at the Great Wold Lodge in Cincinnati-Mason, Ohio with a 52-foot vertical drop or fill a raft with friends and take the River Canyon Run for a ride you won’t soon forget. 

5. Water World is only open in the summer and weather permitting, so check the forecast before you pack up the kids and the car. Since opening in 1979 the park has filled out their 64 acres with 46 water attractions and they claim more family-friendly tube rides than any other park in America. The latest innovation to arrive on scene is a magnetic water coaster called the Mile High Flyer with a thrill rating of “high” it propels riders up, down and around the track at high speeds. Back on the ground, lay out your picnic fare or pick up something from the concession stand to get your energy back before you take the Voyage to the Center of the Earth or head over to the Red Line Speed Slide.

6. White Water is part of Silver Dollar City Attractions in Branson, Missouri a place designed specifically to delight visitors and convert them to fans. White Water offers 13 acres of rides and slides and they encourage repeat visits with deals and packages. You can even save by taking advantage of their nighttime special that lets you splash until 10PM on Thursdays–Saturdays in July and August. New this year is the KaPau Plummet, that sends riders free falling at 26 feet per second before dumping them out into the water at the bottom. KaPau!

7. Don’t let the Raging Waters in San Dimas scare you. It’s all been engineered for your water park pleasure with wave pools and water slides for small to tall laid out at California’s largest water park. Choose from 36 slides across 50 acres or spend the day on their sand beach. Take a ride through the Dark Hole on a two-person raft or line up at one of eight lanes to fling your body down a slide to a finish line that ends with a splash. You can even pretend you’re a California surfer on their Flowrider with non-stop wave action. 

8. Wet ‘n Wild is the name of the water park at Emerald Pointe, another in a chain of popular water parks. They have their own set of slides and rides that get your adrenaline pumping, like the Runaway Raft Ride that speeds thrill seekers along a 600-foot flume or Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror where the hi-speed spins happen in the dark. Sound too scary? Stick with the children’s pool at Splash Island or the play area at Happy Harbor for tikes and their guardians.

9. Water Country is a hot spot for a number of reasons, including being close to popular perennial tourist attractions like Colonial Williamsburg as well as Busch Gardens. Sounds like the perfect vacation combination. History and colonial charm combined with water soaked thrills and chills. Water Country advertises 25 state-of-the-art water rides, including the latest called the Colossal Curl, which is a new slide with incredible stats, including being almost two football fields long with a funnel and a wave and promising a weightless experience. Get thee to Water Country for a historically good time. 

10. With a name like Aquatica, you can guess the entertainment won’t be confined to above the water. Aquatica is part of a chain of water parks in California, Florida and Texas operated by SeaWorld. In Orlando the newest thrill ride is the Ihu Breakaway Falls a “drop slide” that’s called one wild ride. In Texas, enjoy a water ride through a unique environment filled with flowers, birds and waterfalls at Roa’s Aviary. San Diego takes the action up a notch with the new Taumata Racer high-speed racing water slide that winds through tunnels and turns on the 375 foot race to the bottom. Take your pick or plan a vacation to see them all. 

Whichever property or water park you choose, remember to tie your suit on tight and remember what your mother used to say about coming out when you’re skin starts to wrinkle.

 

Do you have a favorite place to splash the day away? 



Manhattan Beach California Area Articles

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AmericanTown’s Heroes: Manny Ohonmes Changes Lives With Shoes

Good samaritans are people who do good deeds or get involved to help others. We think of good samaritans as heroes, especially when their actions save lives. Good samaritans are around us all the time responding and reacting and inspiring others, like the simple act of offering a boy a pair of shoes that led to the creation of Samaritan’s Feet, an organization based on the belief that “A pair of shoes can change a life.”

Manny Ohonmes was the boy who received the shoes (he won them in a contest) and years later paid the act forward by starting Samaritan’s Feet

Read more Manny Ohonmes Changes Lives With Shoes.



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