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Former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer dies in car crash

Published: Saturday, April 04, 2015 @ 8:30 AM
Updated: Saturday, April 04, 2015 @ 12:12 PM

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Georgia State Patrol has confirmed Robert Lewis Burns Jr., 64, died in a single-car crash.

Around 11:56 p.m. Friday, Burns' vehicle went off the road while approaching a curve.

Burns' vehicle hit a mailbox and a tree.

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Police say Burns was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Burns was a member of the original lineup of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Burns helped form the band in 1964 and left the band in 1974.

Fans took to social media to pay their respects.

9 things every Dayton music fan should be excited about

Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Middletown native Mick Blankenship releases his solo debut, “Crown of Apathy,” at Bogart’s in Cincinnati on February 24. CONTRIBUTED
Middletown native Mick Blankenship releases his solo debut, “Crown of Apathy,” at Bogart’s in Cincinnati on February 24. CONTRIBUTED

This calendar year promises hot new releases from national acts like The Breeders, Guided By Voices and Hawthorne Heights and underground favorites like the Raging Natives, Brooks Daugherty and Charlie Jackson.

Here are a few items to expect in 2018:

Dayton rock band Funeral Moon celebrates the release of its debut EP, “Dazed and Abused,” at Rockstar Pro Arena in Dayton on Saturday, Jan. 20. Special guests Vehemian, Retreat Hell and Close the Hatch will also perform.

Josh Goldman’s Rad Girlfriend Records has released dozens of 7-inch and 12-inch vinyl records from local and national acts. Occasionally, he’s slips in a release from one of his bands like the Raging Nathans. The Dayton-based label releases the punk group’s LP, “Cheap Fame,” at Blind Bob’s in Dayton on Feb. 2.

>> 5 modern Dayton rock bands who’ve gone international

Middletown native Mick Blankenship releases his solo debut, “Crown of Apathy,” at Bogart’s in Cincinnati on February 24. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

On Feb. 24, Mick Blankenship releases his solo debut, “Crown of Apathy,” at Bogart’s in Cincinnati. The Middletown native, who was lead vocalist for War of Change from 2011 to 2016, was recently the frontman for the Stone Temple Pilots tribute band STP2.

The Breeders, (left to right) Jim Macpherson, Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Kim Deal, currently features the same lineup that made the smash 1993 album, Last Splash. CONTRIBUTED(HANDOUT)

After more than two decades, The Breeders lineup behind the landmark 1993 album, “Last Splash,” was back in action in 2017. Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim MacPherson played live and recorded the follow-up to the band’s 2008 album, “Mountain Battles.” The new single, “Wait in the Car,” was released in October. The full-length will be released in 2018.

>> Breeders to play at new Cincinnati festival

Nashville-based Brooks Daugherty returns home to celebrate his new EP, “The Dakota Hill,” which gets its official release at Hannah’s in Dayton on March 9. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

Brooks Daugherty has been living in Nashville for several years but he hasn’t forgotten his Dayton roots. The Americana artist’s new EP, “The Dakota Hill,” was recorded with a rhythm section of fellow southern transplants. It gets its official release at Hannah’s in Dayton on March 9.

The latest version of Guided By Voices (clockwise from bottom left) Robert Pollard, Mark Shue, Kevin March, Bobby Bare Jr. and Doug Gillard, are doing shows this spring in support of the band s recently released double album, August By Cake. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

In December, Guided By Voices released the limited edition 7-inch single “Space Gun.” The song is the lead track from the band’s forthcoming album of the same name, which is scheduled for release on March 23.

>> The last time Guided By Voices came to town

Charlie Jackson and the Heartland Railway, (left to right) Ricky Terrell, Denny Cottle, Charlie Jackson and Brad Bowling, releases its debut full-length the first week of March. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

Charlie Jackson and the Heartland Railway is releasing a pair of singles in early 2018, “Days of Wine and Roses” and “Two Ships.” The band’s full-length will be available the first week of March.

Hawthorne Heights, (left to right) Matt Ridenour, Poppy Popadak, JT Woodruff and Mark McMillon, circa 2015. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

Top-selling rockers Hawthorne Heights took time off the road at the end of the year to record new material. Not much information is available on the group’s sixth full-length album but release announcements should be made soon.

This Pine Box, which is playing at South By Southwest in March, recorded its new album with at Ultrasuede Studio in Cincinnati. It will be released by Old Flame Records in May.

Kendrick Lamar performs new ‘Black Panther’ song during national championship halftime show

Published: Monday, January 08, 2018 @ 11:33 PM

Kendrick Lamar Performs at the College Football National Championship Halftime Show

While the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide battled for college football supremacy under the closed roof of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, rap luminary Kendrick Lamar combated damp, chilly weather at nearby Centennial Olympic Park.

Expectations were high for Lamar’s appearance, which will be footnoted as the first-ever halftime performance at the College Football Playoff National Championship. The musical showcase aired live on ESPN, but not inside the stadium, where the university bands received the spotlight. 

The 30-year-old native of Compton, Calif., took to the massive stage and catwalk as the game tilted in Georgia’s favor with a 13-0 lead. 

A few thousand fans led a chant of “Ken-drick La-mar” until the cerebral rapper was illuminated in white light, crouched at the back of the stage. 

Pops of pyro and a haze of smoke blanketed the background as Lamar, clad in a black coat with fur-ringed hood and gloves, blasted through favorites including “DNA” and “Humble.” 

The vivacious audience sang along heartily and pumped their fists to the choruses as Lamar stalked the stage alone

Lamar nimbly spit his rhymes, leading the crowd in a hand bounce, but kept the focus solely on his music. 

With his nine-minute performance completed, he strode to each end of the stage, saluting the audience, which waved its smartphones (despite the pre-performance announcement that phones were not permitted) in a desperate attempt to coax him into one more song. 

Lamar’s presence was a notable draw. A few minutes before kickoff, music and football devotees filled about half of half of the park – most of them crowded toward the massive video screen broadcasting the game, with many others hanging back, clearly not interested in anything to do with pigskin. 

“Chappie” Chapman was waiting with a beer in her hand and one at her feet for Lamar’s performance. When asked if she had any interest in the game, she smiled. 

“Not. At. All,” she said. 

Chapman lives near the park and said when she heard at work today that Lamar was playing, she knew how her night would be spent. 

“When you have Kendrick Lamar for free…,” she said, her voice implying the “no-brainer”-ness of the opportunity.

Likewise 19-year-old Decatur resident Branden Smith, who came to the park with his football fan brother. Smith, however, was only there for the halftime show. 

“I’ve never seen (Lamar) live, and I like his music,” Smith said, citing “Damn” as a favorite. 

Lamar, who performed in Atlanta last summer with a sold-out show at Infinite Energy Arena, is poised to have a big night at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards on Jan. 28 in New York. 

He is nominated for seven awards, including album of the year and best rap album for “Damn” and record of the year for “Humble.” He’s already received seven Grammy awards in his career

Lamar’s prestige factor also received a boost last week with the announcement that he and his Top Dawg Entertainment record label chief Anthony Tiffith will curate and produce the soundtrack to Marvel’s “Black Panther.” 

The film arrives Feb. 16; the soundtrack will feature the newly released Lamar single with labelmate SZA, “All the Stars.”

Top local musical releases of 2017

Published: Tuesday, January 02, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

            Local rockers the Zygotes, (left to right) Alvaro Linares, Zade Walters and Simon Kingston, released its third album, Circles, in May.
Local rockers the Zygotes, (left to right) Alvaro Linares, Zade Walters and Simon Kingston, released its third album, Circles, in May.

I’ve been covering Dayton music for more than two decades but I’m always pleasantly surprised at the end of each year when I reflect back on the quality of music created by area musicians in the past 12 months.

And 2017 was no exception.

In fact, there was so much new music coming out that I wrote a piece in late June looking back at the first half of the year, which included standout releases such as R.Ring’s “Ignite the Rest,” “Time Killer” by Lioness, the Zygotes’ “Circles,” “Mystery Head” from Salvadore Ross and Company Man’s “Endless Growth.”

It was another big year for Robert Pollard. In February, he released “Laughs Last,” the 14th and final Circus Devils album. Two months later, the Dayton-based rocker marked an incredible milestone with the release of his 100th album, “August By Cake,” from Guided By Voices. The band also released the follow-up, “How Do You Spell Heaven,” in August.

Other stand-out releases from January to June 2017 include EPs such as “The Knights of the Morning After” from the Pullouts, “Art Will Not Fix This” from Plasteroid and “The Florals are Dead” from the Florals and full-lengths such as “Loom” from Subterranean, New Regrets’ “Confrontation,” “Toxic Schlock” from SKRT and Bribing Senators’ “Songs from a Disappearing Class.”

If you pay attention to Dayton’s original rock scene, you won’t be surprised the second half of 2017 was equally as fruitful musically. A couple of the best hometown albums of the year came from young-but-established acts like Manray, who released “Two Kinds of Worry,” and Speaking Suns, who released the double vinyl “Range.”

Buffalo Killers dropped its sixth album, “Alive and Well in Ohio,” in October. The psych-rock ripper is the first one recorded and produced by the band members in bass player Zach Gabbard’s Howler Hills Farm Studio. Buffalo Killer’s guitarist Andy Gabbard also released the solo album “Plenum Castle,” another blast of intoxicating pop rock.

It was a boom year for local Americana fans. Some of the best releases in that category include Mack McKenzie’s “Consciousness” EP, “Rustbelt Renaissance” from the Typical Johnsons, Jamie Suttle’s “Country Music Revival” and the solo EP “Cheaper Than Therapy” from David Payne of the New Old-Fashioned.

Other notable releases from the second half of 2017 include Novagold’s “A Pretty Burn,” “Mosh Pits & Mai Tais: The Ultimate Punk Rock Lounge Party” from Jimmy Psycho, Mike Bankhead’s “Echo in the Crevices,” a remix CD from electronic duo Hexadiode and the new EP “Finally Home” from Stailer 2.0.

Contact contributing arts and music writer Don Thrasher at

Bono thinks music has ‘gotten very girly’

Published: Thursday, December 28, 2017 @ 3:16 PM

1. Paul "Bono" David Hewson is a 57-year-old Irish singer-songwriter. 2. Bono has won 22 Grammys and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 3. Bono is known for his charitable work, especially in Africa. 4. He has highly sensitive eyes and almost never seen without sunglasses. 5. His Christian faith is important to him, often a theme in his music.

Teenage boys out there who are looking to channel their anger somewhere productive but can’t because the music industry is just so feminine, Bono feels your pain.

The U2 frontman shared some insight into the state of music with Rolling Stone, and explained that he believes a revolution may soon be on the horizon because boys need somewhere to put their rage.

» U2 makes post-concert stop at Whataburger in Houston

“I think music has gotten very girly. And there are some good things about that, but hip-hop is the only place for young male anger at the moment — and that’s not good,” he said.

Bono — who said the idea of a rock ‘n’ roll revolution was first suggested by his son, Elijah — added that music helped him escape his own rage as a kid.

“When I was 16, I had a lot of anger in me. You need to find a place for it and for guitars, whether it is with a drum machine — I don’t care. The moment something becomes preserved, it is f — king over,” he said. “You might as well put it in formaldehyde. In the end, what is rock & roll? Rage is at the heart of it.”

» George W. Bush poses with Bono at Texas ranch

The Irish rocker, 57, also alluded to a near-death experience, though he chose not to elaborate, instead simply calling it an “extinction event.”

“People have these extinction events in their lives; it could be psychological or it could be physical. And, yes, it was physical for me, but I think I have spared myself all that soap opera,” he said.