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THE BLACK MOODS Reveal “Saturday Night” Video Teaser; VIP Upgrade Added for 2/19 Headlining Show @ Talking Stick (Scottsdale)

DT: JANUARY 12, 2022

FM: KELLY WALSH, SRO PR

ARIZONA’S
THE BLACK MOODS
TEASE NEW TRACK “SATURDAY NIGHT”
IN ADVANCE OF VIDEO PREMIERE
@ TALKING STICK RESORT (SCOTTSDALE) SHOW
FEBRUARY 19

LISTEN TO A PREVIEW HERE


VIP TICKET UPGRADES INCLUDING PRIVATE ACOUSTIC PERFORMANCE NOW AVAILABLE
TICKETS & UPGRADES ON-SALE HERE

 

Tempe, AZ modern classic rockers THE BLACK MOODS are excited to hit the stage on Saturday, February 19 for a headlining hometown show at Talking Stick Resort where the band will premiere the music video for their anthemic new track “Saturday Night” in advance of its February 25 digital release. The song is the second sampling of new music from their anticipated third full-length album due out this spring via Wit Hustle / The Orchard / Steelhorse Entertainment following its debut track “She Gets Out” which premiered via Loudwire last November. Listen to a teaser clip of “Saturday NightHERE.

THE BLACK MOODS have also announced a limited run of VIP upgrades for the 2/19 show which are on-sale today and include:

  • A private acoustic performance from the band following soundcheck
  • Invite-only screening of the “Saturday Night” music video with the band
  • Socially distanced meet & greet and photo opp + exclusive VIP laminate
  • An exclusive VIP merch item
  • Priority entry into the venue
  • Early access to merchandise before general admission doors open.

For tickets, please visit: https://www.talkingstickresort.com/phoenix-scottsdale-concerts-entertainment/entertainment-listing/the-showroom/the-black-moods, for VIP upgrades, please visit the band’s website: www.theblackmoods.com.

Vocalist/guitarist Josh Kennedy, drummer Chico Diaz and bassist/backing vocalist Jordan Hoffman have continued to “lead(ing) the charge in bringing back melodic rock here in the 21st Century” (Loudwire) despite the onset of a global pandemic attempting to halt their momentum. The trio released their critically acclaimed sophomore album SUNSHINE in 2020 which saw them grace the cover of their hometown weekly paper Phoenix New Times (May 7, 2020) and achieve radio success with their first-ever Top 20 Billboard Active Rock single, title track “Sunshine,” as well as land four of the records previous singles in the Top 30.

Unable to tour due to the halt of the live entertainment industry, THE BLACK MOODS, kept writing new material and temporarily moved their makeshift home studio from AZ to Kennedy’s hometown of Wheaton, MO (population 690) to remotely record the new songs with Sunshine’s Grammy award-nominated producer Johnny K. (3 Doors Down, Disturbed, Pop Evil). They also enlisted legendary Grammy award-winning producer Eddie Kramer (Led Zeppelin, The Beatles) who worked with the band completely virtually as he was based in Canada using new, state-of-the-art computer technology. Stay tuned for details on the new album in coming weeks.

A picture containing text, person, net Description automatically generatedLineup (l-r): Josh Kennedy, Jordan Hoffman, Chico Diaz
Photo Credit: Jim Louvau

For more information on THE BLACK MOODS, please visit:
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE

SRO PR Assets + Releases: http://sropr.com/portfolio/the-black-moods/

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For press inquiries or review ticket requests, please contact:
SRO PR
Kelly Walsh – kwalsh@sropr.com


Dave Navarro And Billy Morrison Offer Thanks For December Sold-Out “Above Ground” Benefit Concert; Organization Makes $50,000 Donation To Musicares®

DATE: JANUARY 12, 2022

FROM: MITCH SCHNEIDER/MARCEE RONDAN/KELLY WALSH

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DAVE NAVARRO AND BILLY MORRISON
OFFER THANKS FOR DECEMBER sold-out “ABOVE GROUND”
BENEFIT CONCERT; ORGANIZATION MAKES $50,000 DONATION TO MUSICARES®

IN ONGOING EFFORT TO
PROMOTE AWARENESS AND RAISE FUNDS
FOR THE TREATMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH

As Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction) and Billy Morrison (Billy Idol) look forward to the fourth “ABOVE GROUND” benefit concert later this year (date TBA), the guitarists and “ABOVE GROUND” co-founders want to thank the artists who supported the third event last month (December 20) at The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, CA, the fans who attended and the team involved in putting together another successful benefit. Following the sold-out event, ABOVE GROUND made a $50,000 donation to MusiCares® (the leading music charity that acts as a safety net for the music community) in ongoing effort to promote awareness and raise funds for the treatment of mental health. (See full set list below.)

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“When you are fortunate enough to do something you love, and simultaneously spread a positive message and raise much needed funds at the same time, it can never be called work,” Billy Morrison says. “Above Ground has become just such an event for Dave and I. Our third show exceeded all my expectations, both in terms of the incredible musical performances by our core band and all of our guests, and in the amount of love and support we got from our audience, our partners and our sponsors. I’m proud of what Above Ground is achieving in the mental health space and urge us all to keep the dialogue flowing. Roll on Above Ground 4!”

“This year‘s Above Ground event has to have been my favorite so far,” Dave Navarro says. “Not only were we able to create an environment to share our love of music with the people closest to us in our lives but we did it for such an important cause. Spreading awareness and raising funds in support of mental health makes these events so fulfilling for us. On a personal note, I never thought in 1 million years I would share the stage with Perry Farrell and Anthony Kiedis in the same night. A lot of healing took place on that stage as well. None of that would have happened had we not had the honor of participating in this annual event. Being in a position to offer support and help to others while simultaneously walking away enriched and full of gratitude is a very special, magical thing. I will never forget Above Ground 3 and cannot wait for Above Ground 4.”

Hosted by Dr. Drew Pinsky with an art installation by Risk Rock, the evening featured performances of two musically/culturally seismic albums: Lou Reed’s Transformer (1972) and Sex Pistol’s Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols (1977). The all-star line-up–led by Navarro and Morrison–featured special guests (alphabetically) Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction), Corey Taylor (Slipknot), Courtney Taylor-Taylor (The Dandy Warhols), Dave Kushner (Velvet Revolver, Sons Of Anarchy), Dexter Holland (The Offspring), Donovan Leitch, Franky Perez, Jason Aalon Butler (Fever333), Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads), Josh Freese (The Offspring, A Perfect Circle, Danny Elfman), Laura Mace, Mark McGrath, Mickey Avalon, Otep, Perry And Etty Lau Farrell, Piggy D (Rob Zombie) and Steve Stevens (Billy Idol).

The ABOVE GROUND 3 set list is as follows:

Lou Reed’s Transformer
“VICIOUS,” Corey Taylor
“ANDY’S CHEST,” Courtney Taylor-Taylor
“PERFECT DAY,” Billy Morrison
“HANGING AROUND,” Mark McGrath
“WALK ON THE WILD SIDE,” Anthony Kiedis
“MAKE UP,” Mickey Avalon
“WAGON WHEEL,” Laura Mace
“SATELLITE OF LOVE,” Perry and Etty Farrell
“NEW YORK TELEPHONE CONVERSATION,” Donovan Leitch
“I’M SO FREE,” Corey Taylor
“GOODNIGHT LADIES,” Franky Perez
**“SWEET JANE,” Billy Morrison

**Bonus track

Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols
“HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN,” Corey Taylor
“BODIES,” Corey Taylor
“NO FEELINGS,” Mark McGrath
“LIAR,” Jason Aalon Butler
“PROBLEMS,” Billy Morrison
“SEVENTEEN,” Franky Perez
“SUBMISSION,” Jason Aalon Butler
“ANARCHY IN THE U.K.,” Perry and Etty Farrell
“NEW YORK,” Mark McGrath
“GOD SAVE THE QUEEN,” Dexter Holland
“PRETTY VACANT,” Dexter Holland
“EMI,” Billy Morrison/Mark McGrath

Here’s some critical feedback on ABOVE GROUND 3:

It doesn’t take long for the concert to begin when, almost quietly, Dave Navarro calls the first super-guest of the evening to the stage: and it’s none other than Anthony Kiedis. The amazement of the public, but also of us photographers placed at the foot of the stage, is tangible.  No one had any idea that the Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman had been invited to sing ‘Walk on the Wild Side,’ the most iconic track on Lou Reed’s album and career. The presence of Kiedis, the melancholy atmospheres of the song and the soft lights make the moment magnetic, at the end of which Kiedis and Navarro embrace and the latter reaches the microphone to remind everyone that they had not been on stage together for 25 years.

“With the second set the pace is definitely changed. The introspective and minimalist sounds of Transformer give way to the cheeky ones of the Sex Pistols. Corey Taylor is back, and after him also Perry Farrell, the ‘usual’ McGrath and a real stage animal like Jason Butler of Fever 333, who devours that same stage on the notes of ‘Submission.’”

“Nowadays, the mere fact that these kinds of events are still a reality should cheer us up. And all the better if they are linked to an important cause. Maximum support, therefore, to Dave Navarro and Billy Morrison. The world of rock needs people who believe in it. People like them.”

Rolling Stone Italy, 12/22/21

Navarro and Morrison took turns introducing vocalists for each of the songs throughout the evening. Corey Taylor led the evening off as he covered Lou Reed’s ‘Vicious.’ The next highlight and first surprise of the night came during ‘Walk On The Wild Side’ as Navarro welcomed Anthony Kiedis, the Red Hot Chili Pepper frontman and former bandmate. After giving Navarro a big hug, he brought life to the classic song that was easily the biggest hit off this iconic album. Perry Farrell and his wife Etty later joined the party on ‘Satellite Of Love.’”

“A confetti blast kicked off the second half of the show with Corey Taylor again on-stage, this time representing the Sex Pistols 1977 release, Never Mind The Bollocks. The punk rock vibe was alive and well as Mark McGrath, Jason Butler, Billy Morrison and Franky Perez all took turns covering songs from the album.”

“Together Navarro and Morrison have created a solid platform and great annual tradition.  Partnering with MusiCares, this benefit show has quickly proven itself and continues to improve with each iteration.”

Live Music Today , 12/22/21

“Billy Morrison blew the crowd away with his beautiful rendition of ‘Perfect Day,’ and we couldn’t have been happier as it is a favorite among Lou Reed fans.”

“Singer Franky Perez was the album closer and was dressed in his late-night crooner attire with fitted suit pants, button-up shirt, and undone tie. Perez sang “Goodnight, Ladies” and left the crowd and other musicians in utter shock of his immeasurable voice.”

“To bring it all home, Morrison invited all the musicians that had been on stage that night to join Mark McGrath in singing ‘EMI.’ It was a lovely evening, all in the name f helping others and knowing you and the people onstage were joining together to do good things and help people struggling with mental wellness.

Sometimes, big events don’t live up to the hype. On December 20th, Above Ground definitely lived up to all expectations. It was an event we won’t forget any time soon.”

OC MUSIC NEWS, 12/25/21

ABOUT ABOVE GROUND
Founded in 2018, by Dave Navarro, Billy Morrison and manager Rick Canny, Above Ground is a registered 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to raising funds for and awareness to the issues of mental health.

ABOUT MUSICARES
MusiCares helps the humans behind music because music gives so much to the world. Offering preventive, emergency, and recovery programs, MusiCares is a safety net supporting the health and welfare of the music community. Founded by the Recording Academy in 1989 as a U.S. based 501(c)(3) charity, MusiCares safeguards the well-being of all music people through direct financial grant programs, networks of support resources, and tailored crisis relief efforts. For more information please visit: https://www.musicares.org/

For ABOVE GROUND press inquiries, please contact SRO PR:
Marcee Rondan, marcee@msopr.com
Mitch Schneider, mschneider@msopr.com
Kelly Walsh, kwalsh@msopr.com

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Watch Kaskade And Chandler Kimball Foundation’s Founder Jason Kimball Talk About This Month’s “Life’s Big Win” Benefit Concert For Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Awareness

DATE: JANUARY 11, 2022

FROM: MARCEE RONDAN

KASKADE AND
CHANDLER KIMBALL FOUNDATION’S FOUNDER
JASON KIMBALL
TALK ABOUT
THE SATURDAY, JANUARY 15
“LIFE’S BIG WIN”
BENEFIT CONCERT FOR
CHRONIC TRAUMATIC ENCEPHALOPATHY (CTE) AWARENESS
AT TEMPE, ARIZONA’S SUNBAR

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Multi-Grammy Award-nominated musician, DJ and record producer Kaskade is the confirmed headliner for “Life’s Big Win” benefit for the Chandler Kimball Foundation for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Awareness. He recently sat down to talk about the event–taking place this Saturday, January 15 at Tempe, Arizona’s Sunbar–with Chandler Kimball Foundation’s Founder Jason Kimball. Watch the clip here.

The event will also include performances from chart-topping reggae band The Expendables and live electronic artist Bardz, along with appearances from the renowned forensic pathologist and neurologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu (the subject of Sony Pictures’ 2015 film Concussion), who will be speaking about youth tackle football and the risks of developing CTE, and former Arizona Cardinal and 12-year NFL veteran, Eric Hill.

The Chandler Kimball Foundation was founded in honor of Arizona native Chandler Kimball to raise awareness of (CTE), a brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head including concussive and sub-concussive hits. Kimball, who played tackle football from the age of nine, began to develop CTE symptoms in his early twenties and as his condition began to rapidly decline, his family sought treatment with therapists and specialists. Despite these efforts, Chandler succumbed to this preventable disease and took his own life on January 15, 2019. Read more here.

Tickets are on sale here. All of the event’s net proceeds will go directly to the Chandler Kimball Foundation to help educate and inform parents about CTE, and to provide family members tools and guidance they can utilize to support their decision to find alternative and safer sports for their children.

Website
Facebook
Instagram

About the Chandler Kimball Foundation

The Chandler Kimball Foundation was founded in 2021 with a mission to raise awareness of CTE and share medical evidence and personal stories of families devastated by Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) caused by youth tackle football. Chandler Kimball, a talented Arizona athlete loved all sports, but his passion was football–exclusively playing tackle football at an elite level since the age of nine and winning the Arizona State Championships at the Pop Warner and High School levels. Kimball graduated from Arizona State University in 2017. Minor symptoms of CTE began manifesting in Kimball around the age of 22 and continued to gradually worsen over the next three years. Kimball succumbed to this preventable disease and took his own life on January 15, 2019. The Chandler Kimball Foundation aims to educate and inform parents about scientific studies showing that enrolling their child in youth tackle football significantly increases the risk that their child may eventually develop CTE, and to provide family members tools and guidance they can utilize to support their decision to find alternative and safer sports for their children.

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Nashville Singer-Songwriter MACKENZIE GRANT Shares Video for Motivational Country Track “Putting Down Some Things”

DT: JANUARY 6, 2022

FM: KELLY WALSH, MITCH SCHNEIDER/ SRO PR

MACKENZIE GRANT
–NASHVILLE SINGER, SONGWRITER AND MUSICIAN–
RETURNS AFTER 15 YEARS WITH NEW ALBUM
‘WONDER WORLD’
DUE MARCH 18 VIA
BLACKBIRD RECORD LABEL

SHARES VIDEO TODAY FOR THE ALBUM’S MOTIVATIONAL FIRST SINGLE
“PUTTING DOWN SOME THINGS”
OUT THIS FRIDAY, JANUARY 7

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

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Photo Credit: Ashley Hylbert

Nashville-based singer, songwriter and classically trained pianist MACKENZIE GRANT has returned to music after a 15-year break with the upcoming release of her sophomore full-length album WONDER WORLD due March 18 via BlackBird Record Label. Produced and engineered by Phil Dubnick, the album was inspired by GRANT’s time away from music working as a school counserlor in a high-poverty and high-trauma preschool covering themes suchs as self-reckoning, feminine empowerment and overcoming negative mindsets.

WONDER WORLD features songs written by MACKENZIE plus a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Borderline.” The album’s first single is “Putting Down Some Things,” the video for which was premiered yesterday by Americana Highways. Beautifully written and sung by MACKENZIE, the song is a moving and infectious country song about self-renewal which Americana Highways praised, stating that “Grant’s songwriting is informed by witnessing a wave of these elements of the human experience, and the gentle easiness of her vocals helps to soothe the soul.” Watch the music video streaming below or HERE.

Putting Down Some Things” will be released digitally this Friday, January 7 and can be pre-saved at this link: https://linktr.ee/mackenziegrantmusic.

As a former counselor, I worked with children affected by poverty, marginalization, domestic violence, generational trauma–all things that were not their fault or theirs to carry as innocents,” shares GRANT. “I tried to foster resilience and self-compassion in them. When I took a break from this work, I found I was crippled by many of the mindsets they lived with on a daily basis: shame, self-blame, fear, criticism, etc. I knew I had to give the same allowance and self-compassion to myself that I had encouraged in them.”

She continues to share the meaning behind the track, stating that “‘Putting Down Some Things’ is born of the idea that the way so many of us treat ourselves, the mental self-degradation, is ultimately just our brain trying to stay safe and protected. But that’s the big lie; that we have to beat ourselves up in order to find motivation and growth. I had to start putting down that self-criticism because it no longer worked. We’re all connected in our suffering and with the events of the past couple of years, we’ve experienced it exponentially. But for most of us it’s our own inner voice doing the most damage. It’s accepting ourselves and giving our suffering compassion that is needed to heal us, individually and collectively.”

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As a naturally gifted musician, GRANT has been writing and singing for as long as she can remember. A native of Syracuse, New York, and the daughter of two classically trained musicians, she effortlessly blends the clarity of her singing voice with the raw emotion in her lyrics. After three years at the University of Michigan, she transferred to Berklee in Boston, where she received positive feedback on her songwriting from her professors and peers alike. GRANT relocated to Nashville in 2000 after visiting the city with friends on spring break and discovering that it immediately felt like home.

Just before moving, she’d made an independent album that attracted the attention of a hit songwriter in Nashville, who invited her to write and record together if she ever came to town. That connection helped open the doors to the city’s songwriting community, as she developed an audience through playing writers rounds and releasing the 2006 album, The Laundry Room Glamour Hour. Around this same time, she also married and started a family, but gradually she became disillusioned with the music industry and her first marriage ended.

Now remarried and raising three children (a high schooler, a middle schooler, and a preschooler), she is once again using music as a way to connect with others and herself.

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For more information on MacKenzie Grant, please visit:
WEBSITE | IG | FB | TWITTER

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For press inquiries, please contact:
SRO PR
Kelly Walsh – kwalsh@sropr.com
Mitch Schneider – mschneider@sropr.com


Multi-Colored Nights At The Golden Tiki

If I didn’t already live in Las Vegas, I’d move here for The Golden Tiki alone. Arguably the best bar on planet Earth, it’s a dazzling multi-colored tropical kitsch paradise shot through with owner Branden Powers’ punk rock sensibility, right down to its priceless display of shrunken heads of geniuses like Charles Bukowski, John Waters, Divine + more. And then you have the smart + fun DJ Professor Rex Dart who masterfully hopscotches across multiple genres + eras while giving you a valuable musical lesson. Rana Bendixen and I got to experience all this last night with visiting New York journalist Darren Paltrowitz, whom I met for the very first time after many years of working with him, and his beautiful wife Melissa Paltrowitz. We slid into the Tiki (in Chinatown) for three hours of tropical drinks + laughs after dinner down the street at Xiao Long Dumplings, whose melt-in-your-mouth soup dumplings are a beautiful thing.  A perfect night out in Vegas!


Kaskade Set As Headliner For CHANDLER KIMBALL FOUNDATION’S “LIFE’S BIG WIN” Benefit Concert For Arizona-Based Nonprofit That Raises Awareness Of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) In Youth

DATE: DECEMBER 22, 2021

FROM: MARCEE RONDAN

KASKADE–
MULTI-GRAMMY AWARD-NOMINATED MUSICIAN,
DJ AND RECORD PRODUCER–
SET AS HEADLINER FOR
CHANDLER KIMBALL FOUNDATION’S
“LIFE’S BIG WIN”
BENEFIT CONCERT
AT TEMPE, ARIZONA’S SUNBAR ON
SATURDAY, JANUARY 15

PROFITS WILL GO TO ARIZONA-BASED
NONPROFIT THAT RAISES AWARENESS OF
CHRONIC TRAUMATIC ENCEPHALOPATHY (CTE) IN YOUTH

LINE-UP FOR THE EVENT
TO ALSO INCLUDE PERFORMANCES
FROM THE EXPENDABLES AND BARDZ,
ALONG WITH APPEARANCES FROM DR. BENNET OMALU
AND FORMER ARIZONA CARDINAL ERIC HILL

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Multi-Grammy Award-nominated musician, DJ and record producer Kaskade has been confirmed as the headliner for “Life’s Big Win,” a Saturday, January 15, 2022 benefit for the Chandler Kimball Foundation for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Awareness. The event at Tempe, Arizona’s Sunbar will also include performances from chart-topping reggae band The Expendables and live electronic artisty Bardz, along with appearances from renowned forensic pathologist and neurologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu (the subject of Sony Pictures’ 2015 film Concussion) who will be speaking about youth tackle football and the risks of developing CTE and former Arizona Cardinal and 12-year NFL veteran, Eric Hill.

The Chandler Kimball Foundation was founded in honor of Arizona native Chandler Kimball to raise awareness of (CTE), a brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head including concussive and sub-concussive hits. Kimball, who played tackle football from the age of nine began to develop CTE symptoms in his early twenties and as his condition began to rapidly decline, his family sought treatment with therapists and specialists. Despite these efforts, Chandler succumbed to this preventable disease and took his own life on January 15, 2019.

From winning a Pop Warner state championship in 2005 with the Scottsdale Apaches to leading the Gilbert Lonestars to an undefeated regular season and appearance in the 2006 Pop Warner state championship game, Kimball continued on to excel in high school football for the Desert Vista Thunder where he started at strong safety and won the 2011 Arizona Football State Championship. In the years that followed, his parents saw drastic changes in the young athlete.

After the loss of their son, his family wanted answers and enlisted the help of renowned forensic pathologist and neurologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu, who confirmed that Chandler suffered from CTE. Upon the confirmation of Chandler’s CTE, his father Jason Kimball founded the Chandler Kimball Foundation to raise awareness of CTE and the inherent risks of youth tackle football. Research has shown that enrolling children in youth tackle football significantly increases the risk they may eventually develop CTE. A study by the Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus found “significant and surprising amount of CTE in males who had participated in amateur contact sports in their youth.”

“We are incredibly grateful to Kaskade for headlining the first annual Life’s Big Win event and for helping us to raise awareness of CTE and the dangers of youth tackle football,” Jason Kimball said. “Chandler was a big Kaskade fan and saw his shows and met him multiple times. Chandler’s love for music and his connection to Kaskade make this a perfect fit for this event and our cause.”

Tickets are on sale here. All of the event’s net proceeds will go directly to the Chandler Kimball Foundation to help educate and inform parents about CTE, and to provide family members tools and guidance they can utilize to support their decision to find alternative and safer sports for their children.

Website
Facebook
Instagram

About the Chandler Kimball Foundation

The Chandler Kimball Foundation was founded in 2021 with a mission to raise awareness of CTE and share medical evidence and personal stories of families devastated by Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) caused by youth tackle football. Chandler Kimball, a talented Arizona athlete loved all sports, but his passion was football–exclusively playing tackle football at an elite level since the age of nine and winning the Arizona State Championships at the Pop Warner and High School levels. Kimball graduated from Arizona State University in 2017. Minor symptoms of CTE began manifesting in Kimball around the age of 22 and continued to gradually worsen over the next three years. Kimball succumbed to this preventable disease and took his own life on January 15, 2019. The Chandler Kimball Foundation aims to educate and inform parents about scientific studies showing that enrolling their child in youth tackle football significantly increases the risk that their child may eventually develop CTE, and to provide family members tools and guidance they can utilize to support their decision to find alternative and safer sports for their children.

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Chris Isaak at the Wynn’s Encore Theatre

Checked into the “Blue Hotel” last night with Chris Isaak for the first of his two weekend shows at the Wynn’s Encore Theatre as part of his Holiday 2021 Tour. The “San Francisco Days” singer + songwriter remains suave + romantically tortured, not unlike Bryan Ferry, and can still reel you in with his rich, deep voice, and haunting  “Wicked Game” and “Somebody’s Crying” falsetto.  An adoring audience cheered Isaak’s gems + smart holiday-themed covers like Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” and Willie Nelson’s “Pretty Paper.” A masterful performer with his longtime dexterous band, Isaak kept the fun going with excellent covers of Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman” and James Brown’s “I’ll Go Crazy,” plus his priceless comedic stage patter. And couldn’t take my eyes off his sparkling + embroidered black suit that he designed. 👀


Volcanic Double Bill at Backstage Bar & Billiards in Downtown Las Vegas: Trail of Dead + Valley Girls

Still buzzed from this week’s volcanic Trail of Dead/Death Valley Girls show at Backstage Bar & Billiards, the terrific venue in downtown Vegas which is connected to the larger Fremont Country Club. Been following the psych rock of So Cal’s Death Valley Girls ever since hearing their 2018 Stooges-inspired song “Disaster (Is What We’re After),” the video for which stars Iggy Pop. Fronted by charismatic vocalist and guitarist/keyboardist Bonnie Bloomgarden, DVG are three gals + one guy—they’re both menacing + playful onstage, a combo that definitely works. Also really dug the long-running …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead from Austin, with their transfixing wall-of-sound three guitar army like a modern Lynyrd Skynyrd. Long live inspired noise!

Above: Death Valley Girls

Above: Trail of Dead


Superfrico—at the The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

The new Superfrico—at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas—definitely makes good on its “Italian American  Psychedelic” branding. It’s an imaginative + creative fun house—an excellent Italian restaurant-bar-meets-art gallery meets-performance art space, with theatrical stage lighting throughout, roving surrealist performers and a DJ (Kat Matutina, aka DJ Pickpocket) spinning lots of throwback dance music like Evelyn “Champagne” King and the SOS Band. Everything was a home run—the Chicken Parm, the Sicilian Salad, the Branzino Piccata—including the let’s-live-now desserts. We went all-in for the Tiramisu (coffee, mascarpone, lemon, espresso crumble) + Banana Walnut Tartufo (miso caramel, torched meringue).  It was an elevated experience—one of our best nights in Vegas.


Rincon De Buenos Aires in Vegas’ massive Chinatown

There are many restaurant gems—one after another—here in Vegas’ massive Chinatown which covers three miles. Like Rincon De Buenos Aires, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary. It’s a warm and intimate Argentinian restaurant + Italian deli, located in the Cathay Hills Plaza, with transcendent baked spinach empanadas, lemon-rich chicken piccata (pictured), pizza, flan and tiramisu…all under one welcoming bi-ethnic roof. Had my eye on the Pizza Napoletano, with ham, tomato slices, red  peppers + olives, which was staring back at me from a nearby table. Next time!


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