# CCXXXV…”Flash” of Brilliance…

I rarely highlight the younger people on the birthday list but today’s post is about up-and-coming actress Danielle Panabaker, who (aside from being in movies like Sky High and 2009’s Friday the 13th) will be portraying Dr. Caitlin Snow on the upcoming series, The Flash, born on this date in 1987.  She has already appeared in Arrow and I, like most of the internet-savvy readers, have seen the pilot episode…looking forward to this neophyte’s work in the future (especially if the comic book universe provides her upgrade).

Today is also the birthday of former MLB star Duke Snider (1926-2011), 60s Batman (and “mayor” of Quahog of “Family Guy”) Adam West was born in 1928, actor David McCallum (NCIS) was born in 1933, singer Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers turns 74 today (1940), the late, rotund Cass Elliot (The Mamas and the Papas) was born in 1941 (1941-1974), former MLB star turned broadcaster Joe Morgan (1943), and actor Jeremy Irons was born in 1948.

Also, the voice of Pumbaa in The Lion King, actor Ernie Sabella was born in 1949, former The Runaways guitarist and solo icon Lita Ford (1958), chef Mario Batali (1960), country legendary diva Trisha Yearwood (1964), and talk show icon Jimmy Fallon celebrates his 40th today (1974).

Until Monday’s monumental 200th (this is Dal’s 199th)…

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

 

# CCXXXIV…Feeding My Daughter’s Obsessions…

Today is a date that I can truly say fits one of my youngest daughter’s likes:  it is the 49th birthday of the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, Mr. Yuji Naka, born on this date in 1965.  He is also credited with the creation of the Phantasy Star video game series as well as being a programmer for the classic game Ghouls & Ghosts.  He has been in the industry since 1983 and I (as well as my daughter) wish him nothing but continued success.

Also on the menu of today’s “twins” are country music legend Hank Williams, Sr. (1923-1953), Planet of the Apes (the original) star Roddy McDowall (1928-1998), legendary actress Anne Bancroft (1931-2005), The Jeffersons‘ Mr. Bentley, actor Paul Benedict (1938-2008), and basketball coach of legend, Mr. Phil Jackson was born in 1945.

Late comedian John Ritter (1948-2003), comedienne Rita Rudner (1953), puppeteer pariah Kevin Clash (played Elmo, among others) was born in 1960, King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor (1961), and former Red Ranger Austin St. John was born in 1974.

Be back soon…and…

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# CCXXXIII…Hometown Excursion, Abridged…

Due to the fact that I’m doing this from my phone, I would just like to convey my utmost thanks to all the friends and family that I was privileged to hang with this past weekend in Jersey City. I saw a lot of old friends (Jadi, Timmy, Rob and Denise, and Mikey) as well as new ones (mostly their children) and handed out a lot of cards (for networking this blog).

Also, a lot has changed in my hometown…mostly business relocations and empty lots but it’s still my hometown.

Hanging with both of my kids at my ex-wife’s house (thank you, Jo) was the pinnacle of the weekend and I cannot wait to do it all again (though I don’t know when that will be, exactly)…

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# CCXXXI…An Unmistakable Voice…

The title of this post refers to the 39th birthday of the latest “crooner” to grace the airwaves; Mr. Michael Buble.  His music, although I don’t have Number One fan status (that belongs to a former female co-worker who turned his name on to me), is reminiscent of the good old days, with voices like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and others.  His unique voice is a key component when backed by a big band type musical accompaniment that most women (like with the previously mentioned acts) melt in his presence.  Although I haven’t seen him perform, I am aware of his “live” performances and the man deserves his kudos because, aside from being a brilliant singer, he is also a great entertainer, due to the fact that, most of the time, he interacts with the crowd on unseen levels.

In addition, my eldest daughter’s elder sister is celebrating her twenty-fifth birthday, which really scares me, as I watched her grow from a little mischievous individual to the mother and major mischievous person that she is today.  Another friend from my past as we’ll is celebrating her birthday today (sorry, mostly out of touch with the second so no details)…confirming the fact of this “small universe”…

Today’s major names also include Super Bowl XVII winning QB, former Washington Redskins slinger Joe Theismann (1949), The Dukes of Hazzard co-star Tom Wopat (as Luke Duke) was born in 1951, The Eurythmics’ David A. Stewart was born in 1952, actor Hugh Grant was born in 1960, comedian Chip Esten (from the smash hit Whose Line Is It Anyway?) joined this planet in 1965, and ubiquitous comedian Adam Sandler celebrates his 48th birthday today (1966).

Thank you all for listening and, as always…

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# CCXXX…Sonata Arctica/Delain/Xandria/Syntilla, 9-4-14…

[AUTHOR'S NOTE:  Major apologies in advance to Sonata Arctica, as due to time constraints, I was unable to witness their performance.  As a fan of their music, I would have loved to have seen them but a concert mid-week, with work the next day, was not in my favor but I am asking for a rain check, if they see this!]

As an unpaid writer in this crazy world known as rock-n-roll, most of the time it comes down to stating how appreciative I am (as a fan) to witness greatness.  That has never been more evident than the show on Thursday, where I was witness to three bands that you, my reader, know nothing about (unless you’ve been HERE before).  The venue, Stage48 in Manhattan, was the site of my first-ever, pre-concert “meet-and-greet”, which is why the above disclaimer has been posted.

Upon arrival at the site, before the concert, I had the honor and privilege of meeting the headlining act, Sonata Arctica, five guys from Finland who have really blown the roof off the musical industry with their latest release, “Pariah’s Child” (Post # CCII, Saturday Spotlight # 21 for my review of said album).  All five members of the band were very gracious with all of the VIPs who paid the extra money to have the chance to have the photo-ops and autographs that were provided.

Personally, it was a humbling experience for me, as upon getting to them, I proceeded to further network by informing them PERSONALLY of my review of the album, which was followed by handing ALL of them my card (which they graciously accepted and mentioned they would check it out) before my dear friend, Brian (who sent me the info about the show months before, allowing me the opportunity to obtain VIP ticket) took the photo; that photo, although not posted here, is available to peruse on my Facebook page and is a memory I will cherish forever!

As far as the show itself, which started at about 7:00 PM, the lineup was a blast of progressive/symphonic metal bliss; a rookie band making their debut appearance named Syntilla (who, despite having a female lead vocalist also making HER debut, acted like they had done this for years), symphonic metal icons Xandria and Delain, as well as the aforementioned headliners Sonata Arctica.

Syntilla was the opening act and, as I just mentioned, they really rocked the early crowd (sorry, no set lists) and all five members of this up-and-coming band performed so well together that you would never have guessed that it was their debut.  On an interesting side note, the one song that they mentioned the title of, called “Breathless as You Die”, was a brilliant composition, as far as sounds are concerned.  They also blew me away during their sound check, as they performed an entire cover of Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper”, which told me right there that they belonged in the scene.  Hopefully, the sky will be the limit for these neophytes and I wish them the best in their endeavors.

Xandria, the second act, is touring in promotion with their latest release, “Sacrificium”, and this female-fronted symphonic metal quintet was nothing short of spectacular.  Vocalist Dianne van Giersbergen was very attuned to the crowd and really performed like a diva should and was a beautiful operatic voice which complimented the band perfectly.  Performing their classics like “Blood on My Hands” and “Forevermore” (from their release, “Neverworld’s End”), they were a brilliant prelude to the final act of the night.

The third act of the night, who have previously been mentioned on this blog, was the awesome symphonic metal juggernauts known as Delain, who were promoting their latest release, “The Human Contradiction” (reviewed here as Saturday Spotlight Vol. XX).  This Dutch quintet really showed why they have an almost ten year career in the industry, performing their classic hits such as “Electricity” (which is one of my personal favs), “Mother Machine” and the title track from their album “We Are The Others”, as well as two tracks from their latest; “Army of Dolls” and “Stardust” (which was the first video from the newest release).  Vocalist Charlotte Wessels’ angelic voice was, as usual, right on point and we hope to see much more from these giants in the future.

Now, for another apology to the headliners, with the combination of having work the next day AND the fact that I had to make arrangements to head to my hometown of Jersey City across the river, I regretfully had to make my way to said location for work yesterday.  In doing so, I did not witness the main act, Sonata Arctica, who were their promoting the previously mentioned “Pariah’s Child”.

On a final note, meeting Sonata Arctica was a blast and I do wholeheartedly wish that an opportunity arises to witness this Finnish quintet perform, as they have an almost twenty year career in the genre.

OVERALL:  Syntilla **** / Xandria ***** / Delain ***** / Sonata Arctica N/A

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# CCXXIX…Southpaw Birthday Greetings…

Today, September 3, is the birthday of a prominent member of the Southpaw Nation; King’s X lead singer/bassist Doug Pinnick, who was born on this date in 1950.  This 64 year old phenom is not only responsible for King’s X’s success since the late 80s but he’s also a very accomplished musician who has also fronted multiple side projects and guest vocal appearances, most recently a group called Grinder Blues…check him out.

Today’s birthday list also includes Glen Bell (1923-2010), who founded Taco Bell, MAD Magazine artist Mort Drucker (1923), former MTV veejay (and host of the original Headbanger’s Ball) Adam Curry was born in 1964, actor/comedian Charlie Sheen (1965), and snowboarding mogul Shawn White was born in 1986.

Also, since I don’t do this very often, it is also the thirteenth year since the original Yellow Ranger, Thuy Trang, was killed in a car crash in 2001.  I only mention it because she was very prominent in the scene when I was growing up and hadn’t remembered the event…RIP Thuy Trang, 12/14/73 – 09/03/01.

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

PS:  Tomorrow’s concert will more than likely be spoken about on Saturday…Sonata Arctica/Delain/Xandria/Scintilla should be awesome!!!!