Holiday gifts for the rock n’ rollers in your life

We are not always the easiest animal to please some say, but really we are as simple to figure out as microwave popcorn.  The rock n’ rollers in your life consume all things that have anything to do with music and the lifestyle.  The hardest thing about us is that we usually go out and get what we want so fast you never have a chance to get it for us.  So, unless you are going to creep on our Amazon Wishlist and hope we don’t snap up some of those goodies before the Holidays hit, may Pittsburgh Music Magazine suggest some easy as one, two, three gifts that the music maniac in your life didn’t know that they wanted but will absolutely love:

1.  Off the beaten path box sets:

I love quirky box sets that not only have cool tunes, but some extras thrown in that a consumer would not expect.  Jack White’s Third Man Record’s is offering The Paramount Records Wonder Cabinet Available at  ‘The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records 1917-1932,’ “an epic, two-volume omnibus of art, words and music housed in a limited-edition, hand-sculpted cabinet-of-wonder” features 800 newly-remastered digital tracks, representing 172 artists, 200+ fully-restored original 1920s ads and images, 6x 180g vinyl LPs pressed on burled chestnut colored vinyl w/ hand-engraved, blind-embossed gold-leaf labels, housed in a laser-etched white birch LP folio, 250 page deluxe large-format clothbound hardcover art book , 360 page encyclopedia-style softcover field guide containing artist portraits and full Paramount discography, a handcrafted quarter-sawn oak cabinet with lush sage velvet upholstery and custom-forged metal hardware, and a first-of-its-kind music and image player app, allowing user mgmt of all tracks and ads, housed on custom-designed USB drive.  Cool stuff, but It’s a bit pricey at $400.  If you have a metalhead in the fam, like yours truly, head on over to The Metal Blade Store and check out the amazing prices they have on box sets up to 60% of As I Lay Dying, Amon Amarth, Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse, and much more.


2.  Alcohol…need I say more

Now unless your rocker has had to swear off (no shame in that my friends), a sure fire way to many a bleeding rebels heart is through his or her throat.  You could go the boring route and buy the case of beer you know they like or the bottle of liquor they always drink or you could go high class.  Recently, one of my best friend turned me onto Tequila.  I’m not talking about ‘To-Kill-Ya’ that we all have had some ‘nights best left forgotten’ drinking.  These are high quality tequilas that taste and go down like nothing you have ever had before.  Let me recommend the best-o-the best: Dobel Tequila is a blend of Reposado, Anejo and Extra Anejo tequilas which have been gently filtered and give the tequila an incredible Diamond Clarity and crispness that is unlike anything that has crossed my palate.  It’s the purity combined with the complexity derived from the aged tequilas makes Reserva del Maestro Dobel a completely unique experience.  I would have never believed it had it not been for my buddie’s Tequila Bar in his establishment and a unique taste test experience.  This is a small batch tequila that is hand crafted, aged in oak casks, and then get this…hand labeled and numbered.  We wrote the company and they were kind enough to offer our readers a FREE recipe book at this link.  Trust me on this one it’s a sure fire winner…and make sure they crack it open with you!


3. Something from “their band”

We all have our favorite bands.  Some of us have one and some of us have so many we can’t count.  The thing is whomever you are into, these days there a plethora of off the wall memorabilia and collector items that can be found relatively easily all depending on how much you want to search.  Luckily the internet is truly your friend here.  First, check the band’s website because they often have the cool stuff right under your nose.  Also, check Amazon because they have some pretty cool stuff as well.  But pages like Etsy, EBay, Rockabilia, and Rock N Roll Action Figures to name a few have some hidden gems within them that are sure to please.

Regardless, Happy Holiday, be safe, and I hope my wife is reading this (hints, hints!!!)






6th Annual Event Saluting Independent Music Retail Features Exclusive Releases From Top-Selling Artists


Record Store Day has become well-known as an event where true music fans gather at their local independent record stores to pick up exclusive releases by their favorite artists. To commemorate Record Store Day 2013, taking place this Saturday, April 20th, there will be big releases such as a live EP (on CD & vinyl) by Mumford & Sons and 7″ singles by Phoenix andTrey Anastasio. There will also be RSD exclusive releases from All That RemainsBilly BraggLamb of GodPorno for Pyros and Say Anything, among others.

In addition, participating record stores will be carrying the new issue of SMACK magazine, which contains 2013 Record Store Day ambassador Jack White on the cover. Inside the magazine, Jack writes his Record Store Day manifesto, and there is also a three page feature on Jack’s ties to the event.

Of course, Jack White‘s Third Man label will be represented on Record Store Day as well, most notably with the release of The White Stripes’ classic album Elephant on vinyl. Jack’s Third Man Nashville location will also be hosting live performances on Record Store Day by Karen Elson and Mark Watrous and selling limited edition colored vinyl copies of the White Stripes Elephant to celebrate Record Store Day at its Nashville location. For those who are unable to make the trek out to Nashville, Third Man is also hosting a pop-up shop and live performances at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, CA. as part of their 10-day Desert Gold event.

In addition to all the great Jack White news, this month’s issue of SMACK features a  sweepstakes where you can win exclusive Record Store Day vinyl and merchandise. You can enter the sweepstakes via SMACK‘s Facebook page.

This prize pack includes 16 vinyl records featuring artists ranging from Michael Jackson toBullet For My Valentine. It also includes an RSD tote bag, hoodie and toy.


Here are just a few of the great Record Store Day releases that will be available at your local independent record store this Saturday, April 20th.


All That Remains/Fall of Ideals (LP)

Between the Buried and Me/Parallax (3-LP set)

Dio/Magica (Limited Edition Picture Disc-LP)

Dream Theater/Images and Words (LP)

Lamb of God/New American Gospel (LP)

Mumford & Sons/Live at Bull Moose (CD & LP)

Phoenix/Entertainment (7″ Single)

Porno for Pyros/Porno for Pyros (LP)

Trey Anastasio/Trey Anastasio 7″ picture disc

The White Stripes/Elephant (LP)


You can get the full list of Record Store Day releases here.

You can follow SMACK Guide on Facebook here.

Instagram users! Use #whatsthesmack as a hashtag in the photos you take and your picture might run in an upcoming issue of SMACK!

PMM Names Top 5 Alt Rock Records Of 2012

PMM-December 28th 2012
Here they are folks. My Top 5 Releases of 2012. I’ve included links to other critic reviews and big hitter reviews. Be mindful that these are my specific keepers and they don’t represent my fellow PMMer’s (Alan, Kait and Fritz) opinions.
1) Dr. John – Locked Down – with the help of Dan Auerbach Dr. John releases his grooviest record in years. 

Dr. John

2) Jack White – Blunderbuss – A heart-wrenching rocker. Jack delivers on all fronts.


3) Frank Ocean – Channel Orange– Outside the box neo-psychedelic soul with street cred. If this is hip-hop then Frank Ocean has changed the channel.


4) Divine Fits – A Thing Called the Divine Fits – This record is killer…..42 and 1/2 minutes of such topics as “the death of true love, hitchhiking, cocoa butter, emotional distance, what happens when the curtain drops, and Minneapolis, MN”. Fronted by Spoon’s Britt Daniels.


5) Deep Sea Diver – History Speaks– read our full review here:


Honorable Mentions:

Bob Dylan – Tempest

Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill

Gary Clark Jr. – Blak & Blu

Tame Impala – Lonerism

Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls

Grizzly Bear – Shields

Bill Fay – Life Is People

The Lumineers – The Lumineers

The Shins – Port of Morrow

Dr. Dog – Be The Void


PMM- Editor/Photographer – Rob Eldridge

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Steelesque Band Rehearsals- Sonic Planet Studios

Local Pittsburgh band Steelesque are gearing up for playing live around town in support of ‘Johnny On The Spot’. Look for them to play in February with New York’s The End Men. Steelesque frontman and PMM contributer Ian Eldge invited us to one of their rehearsals and we have to say they are sounding pretty hot. If you dig blues driven Rock n’ Roll in the style of Black Keys, Jack White, Alabama Shakes, or Band of Skulls then Steelesque is right up your alley- go check them out at

Steelesque Band Rehearsals-Photos by PMM’s Alan Welding


Photos by Alan Welding- Pittsburgh Music Mag

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Jack White Teams up with Gary Oldman for Amex UNSTAGED

Tune-In to American Express UNSTAGED featuring Jack White directed by film legend Gary Oldman. Watch the livestream event 4/27 9PM ET/ 6PM PT in partnership with VEVO and YouTube.