Regina Spektor: Singer, Songwriter, Storyteller, Soviet Kitsch

Regina Spektor is a name I grew up with. Her popularity peaked at the time I was just starting to dive headfirst into the theatre, art, and music scenes. To me, her music encapsulated all of the things I was interested in, especially her work on Begin to Hope. Songwriting ability like hers was completely unrepresented at the time and the content of her art was saturated in dramatic but brash metaphor yet somehow audaciously earnest. She found a way to show off her vocal chops like the best pop stars, but steered clear of the meaningless content that her contemporaries were happily propagating.

She was uniquely herself… And that was the most endearing thing about her.

Regina enters the stage at Express LIVE

Since the days of Begin to Hope, Spektor has had a niche, but successful career. The latest release of hers, titled Remember Us to Life, features the same sweeping sentimentality Spektor has become known for with songs like “Eet” and “Fidelity” but demonstrates a much more retrospective and solemn tone throughout.

The latest tour, which I was fortunate enough to catch, is in support of this album. On her stop into Columbus, she managed to perform Remember Us to Life in it’s entirety, sans one song. Sorry to any “Black and White” fans that were in attendance. You will just have to get lucky and catch her at another stop on the tour.

Regina Spektor performing at Express LIVE

The set opened with “On The Radio”, an old, but perfect introduction to Spektor’s style of music. The song is beautifully dynamic, upbeat, and eclectic. She quickly transitioned into the new album, performing “Grand Hotel” and “Bleeding Heart” next. About midway through the set, Spektor got candid with the crowd, expressing how grateful she felt to have been able to come to the United States as a child and a refugee.

For those unaware, Regina Ilyinichna Spektor was born in the Soviet Union under oppression by the Iron Curtain. She was fortunate enough to later immigrate to the United States with her family. She reflected on the current state of politics, the importance of acceptance, and after a roar of applause, the first notes of “Ballad of a Politician” echoed throughout the venue. It was an incredibly moving and inspirational moment.

Regina Spektor playing piano

Between each song Spektor turned to greet the audience, cracked the most honest smile, bowed to the fans in the front and thanked those in the back.  She treated the crowd to favorites like “The Call”, “Samson”, “Fidelity” and “Hotel Song”. The crowd returned the favor by swaying and singing loudly to each tune…except Mary Anne. She’s a Bitch.

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Catching Up With Trance Legends Cosmic Gate

The legendary trance dance duo Cosmic Gate stopped by and had a chat with NID Magazine before taking the stage at Dahlia in Columbus recently. Here is what they had to say…

Cosmic Gate - Dahlia

How are you guys liking Columbus so far?

We love it. It is our fourth time in Columbus actually, but it’s always a really good crowd here. We are building on a history, but we always have a really good time when we come here. We started playing at Sway when we first came to town, but this will be our second time now at Dahlia.

It goes without saying that you guys have been around the block quite a few times. How long exactly have you been making music together?

As far as we go, we have been doing Cosmic Gate for 20 years now. It’s unbelievable. That is 20 years of straight touring. We will have a couple weekends off here and there, but [touring] is pretty much a constant thing … And maybe we are weird, but we love it.

It never crosses our mind to take time off. We are so used to playing every weekend. One weekend off is good … but any longer, we start itching to play again. Some people start to get homesick, but this is our home.

Cosmic Gate performing at Dahlia in Columbus

20 years is a long time … I don’t think a lot of the U.S. audience has even been around that long. Electronic music has been popular for a long time overseas. But, how do the U.S. and European scenes differ? It took us a few years to catch on over here, but it really exploded, has that been felt across the world?

As soon as the U.S. scene grew large enough, its influence was felt around the world, both in good and bad ways, in our opinion. The U.S. commercialized the scene pretty fast. The development of EDM and trap, for example, are a result of it. DJs that are more entertainers than real DJs came along with it as well. Enough about the negative sides, though.

Cosmic Gate - Dahlia

On the other hand of course, with the power and size of the U.S. market, the wave has gone all over the world. Dance music, if we want to call it that, got a second wave after obviously reaching its peak in Europe … It seems the U.S. market is now diversifying more.

The market is cleaning itself up a bit after the bubble turned maybe too big. This is good, though. Things will hopefully go back to real clubbing for real music lovers.

Can’t argue there. Well, thanks for the insight. Have a good show and catch you guys next time!

Cosmic Gate performing at Dahlia in Columbus

And just as they predicted, it was indeed a “really incredible crowd.”

NID danced for hours as Nic and Bossi filled Dahlia with positive energy and brain-tingling trance.

This was another example of how true professionals, who are promulgating their life’s work, have an immeasurable effect upon the scene.

Cosmic Gate has fostered the respect of the past while clearly outlining a pathway toward the future.

Moving forward, there is more to come, and certainly more to experience from Cosmic Gate.

Stay tuned.

 

Ben Goldfarb and Breck Hapner contributed to this article.

Arnold Sports Festival – The World’s Largest Multi-Sport Fitness Weekend

The Arnold Sports Festival (ASF) was actually born in 1970, when the young Austrian bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger won the Mr. World competition in Columbus, Ohio, vowing to one day return and promote the sport of bodybuilding in the city that awarded him his first major win.

Arnold Sports Festival - Mr. World

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sergio Oliva on stage at the Columbus, Ohio Mr. World, 1970.

Schwarzenegger went on to win Mr. Olympia every year between 1970-1975. Between 1976 and 1986, Jim Lorimer and Arnold promoted the Mr. Olympia contest in Columbus six times before founding the Arnold Classic in 1989.

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Mix & Shake: An Evening at the North Market

The North Market, Columbus’ historic indoor multi-vendor marketplace, recently hosted their second annual Mix & Shake event.

The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.
— Humphrey Bogart

In partnership with the Ohio Distiller’s Guild, the North Market Mix & Shake featured a well mixed cocktail of local distilleries, all of which brought out new and signature drink specials for the occasion.

Middle West Spirits at Mix & Shake at the North Market

Admission included four drink tickets, and one $10 food voucher.

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Midwest Rockers MONA Debut New EP In Columbus

Coming off of the high of being picked up by Mercury Records, the boys of MONA have released their latest and greatest EP “In The Middle“.

NID was present to catch MONA performing live, supporting their new recording at Columbus’ Rumba Cafe.

The Extended Play features the bands’ signature retro-rock, anthemic sound, but incorporates a much more contemporary rock styling.

This is most notable in the vocals as well as in the arrangement of the drums. There is a bit more grit in Nick Brown’s vocals, and variability throughout the band’s instrumentation.

Mona at Rumba Cafe

They delivered a rockstar performance at Rumba Cafe, and we were lucky enough to be in attendance.

Mona at Rumba Cafe

MONA treated the audience to a majority of the new EP, but spliced in interludes from their self titled album as well as a few hits from Torches and Pitchforks.

As they proceeded to deliver every last emotional verse and anthemic chorus, the energy of the performance continued to build, finally erupting as singer Nick Brown took to the venues’ bartop.

Mona at Rumba CafeSuspended by swinging incandescents, he belted into the crowd from overhead.

Brown remarked on being back in his home state, and then returned to the stage to close out the set.

The interesting thing is MONA delivers an impact, no matter when, where, and how. When putting together this review, MONA was playing on my computer, and the assistant editor said:

“Who is that? Those guys shred!”

Case in point. A very satisfied crowd departed the Rumba Cafe that evening, fully satiated.

Do yourself a favor, check out MONA.

Late Night Service With Black Tiger Sex Machine

Black Tiger Sex Machine, BTSM for short, made yet another triumphant return to Columbus, filling Skully’s, this time bringing labelmates Kai Wachi and Dabin for support.

Brought by Chad Attak Smith of IGNYTE Events, this BTSM show was a borderline religious experience for all that attended, and we at NID were also there for the late night service.

Black Tiger Sex Machine at Skully's

For the un-indoctrinated few, Black Tiger Sex Machine is the electronic music brain child of Marc Chagnon, Julien Maranda, and Patrick Barry.

The trio not only produces their own tracks, but are the label heads of Kannibalen Records, the label responsible for bringing us Snails, LeKtriQue, and Apashe, among other heavy-hitting industry standards.

While BTSM’s studio produced tracks fall more in the electro, bass house genres, their live show is a whole other beast. A full spectrum of sound was on display including high pitched synth stabs and bass growls so loud and low that they actually seemed to crack a speaker midway through the night.

Black Tiger Sex Machine Kai Wachi at Skully's

Kai Wachi was one of the first artists I ever heard mix trap and dubstep stylings in such an explosive way. In fact, the first song of his that I ever heard, which coincidentally introduced me to another one of my favorite artists, Squnto, was Brain Splat.

This song exemplifies his style pretty well as it takes the heavy kicks and hip hop elements of trap and combines them with the varied rhythms and dark bass popular in dubstep.

The tightness and intricacies of his sounds and production have only gotten better – and heavier – if that is even possible.

Up next in the night was Dabin, who was strikingly good. The incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist played keys and electric guitar whilst also mixing. And as if that was not impressive enough, he managed to somehow take on Queen’s classic “We Will Rock You” and not ruin it.

His guitar solo embellishment to the crowd-pleasing hit would have either made Freddie roll over in his grave or come back to life dancing. I can’t speak for the legendary singer, but I have a feeling it would be the latter.

It was nearing 12:30 a.m. and the venue was completely packed by the time Black Tiger Sex Machine took to the stage.

Black Tiger Sex Machine at Skully's02

LED infused tiger helmets donned, the trio started off strong, and was relentless. They melded between genres seamlessly, and their visual production teetered between brilliance and insanity.

Danceable house beats blended into headbanging bass. I honestly can’t pick out a single moment that stood out to me, as the entirety of their set blended together into one incredibly fluid experience. It was dark and gritty when it needed to be, and beautifully happy and energetic the next.

Truly a moving, late night service.

Black Tiger Sex Machine at Skully's03

NYC Fashion Week Features Local Designer, NID Models

NYC Fashion Week is under way, beginning today and running through Feb. 16, featuring Ohio designer Lea “Queen” Gardner, and NID Magazine models Gigi Click, Carly Norris, and Natalie Cooper.

NYC Fashion Week Gigi Click

NID model Gigi Click by Gary Mitchell

In addition to NID, Gardner was invited to New York Fashion Week to showcase her latest collection from 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 10 during “Runways on Fire”, showing at 440 W. 57th St.

NYC Fashion Week Runways on Fire

And from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 11 during the “Beautiful You Fashion Tour” at the Skyline Hotel, 725 10th Ave.

NYC Fashion Week Beautiful You

Through rigorous casting calls, Gardner selected models, hair and makeup artists, and media relations, mainly from Ohio, to assist in presenting her collection.

NYC Fashion Week Carly Norris

NID model Carly Norris by Ian C. Powell

Inspiring to women of all races, shapes and sizes,  Gardner is the founder of a fashion and beauty business, as well as a talent management and production company.

NYC Fashion Week Natalie Cooper

NID model Natalie Cooper by Ian C. Powell

Besides her fashion glam line, Gardner will debut a plus-size fashion line during April in New York City, as well as showcasing her collections during October in Paris.

NYC Fashion Week logo

NID Magazine Fashion and Model Director Christine Caruso is currently on-site during NYC Fashion Week, so stay tuned for further reports.

Featured image courtesy Casey Kelbaugh/The New York Times

 

Blondie and Garbage to Co-Headline North American Tour

Blondie and Garbage today announced a co-headline the North American tour Rage and Rapture, that will kick off on July 5 in Saratoga, CA and wrap on Aug. 12 in Dallas, TX.

John Doe & Exene Cervenka will provide support on the first leg of the Blondie and Garbage tour, and Deap Vally for the second leg.

For the last four decades, Blondie has become and still remains a true national treasure; one whose influence both shaped and continues to inform the worlds of music, fashion and art. From an irreverent Lower East Side punk outfit to bona fide international ambassadors of New York cool, Blondie will forever be synonymous with that punk spirit that lives somewhere in all of us.

Blondie band shot on roof

Comprised of singer-songwriter Debbie Harry, guitarist and co-writer Chris Stein, powerhouse drummer Clem Burke, and long-time band members bassist Leigh Foxx, guitarist Tommy Kessler and keyboardist Matt Katz-Bohen, Blondie’s chart-topping success, fearless spirit and rare longevity led to an induction into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, a NME Godlike Genius Award in 2014, a Q Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music in 2016, and more than 40 million albums sold worldwide to date.

Debbie’s persona and the band’s boundary-pushing pop have shaped the look and sound of many chart-topping female artists who followed in the last three decades. And their newest album, Pollinator (out May 5 via BMG), delves even deeper into this idea: inspiration from Blondie’s action-packed, cross-pollinating past shaping the sound of our collective future.

Listen to “Fun”, the first song off this release, and pre-order Pollinator, which features songwriting from Sia, Blood Orange frontman Dev Hynes, British singer Charli XCX, Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio), Nick Valensi (The Strokes), Johnny Marr (The Smiths) and more.

Garbage is Shirley Manson, Duke Erikson, Steve Marker and Butch Vig. After forming in Madison, WI, Garbage released their self-titled debut album in 1995.

The band’s unique sound and provocative visual aesthetic, inspired massive worldwide attention and success.

garbage band shot

Their follow up album, Version 2.0, released in 1998, topped charts all over the world and garnered multiple Grammy Award nominations including Album Of The Year. Garbage went on to release two more albums: 2001’s Beautiful Garbage and 2005’s Bleed Like Me, the latter of which earned the band its highest chart position with a No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart.

After a 7-year hiatus, the band released their fifth studio album Not Your Kind of People in 2012 on their independent record label, STUNVOLUME. The album was named one of Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 50 Albums of 2012 and was hailed as the “alternative to everything,” by Pitchfork.

Garbage has sold over 15 million albums worldwide and performed in over thirty-five countries. In 2015, the band celebrated its 20th anniversary with their sold out 20 Years Queer world tour and the release of a special 20th anniversary edition of their debut album, re-mastered and featuring previously unreleased material.

Last year, Garbage released Strange Little Birds, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums and Alternative Albums chart, and arrived at No. 14 overall on the Billboard 200 chart.

This summer, Garbage will be releasing an autobiographical coffee table book, This Is The Noise That Keeps Me Awake, currently available for preorder here.

DATES for BLONDIE AND GARBAGE:

July 5 – The Mountain Winery, Saratoga, CA*
July 7 – Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara, CA*
July 8 – The Pearl Concert Theater, Las Vegas NV*
July 12 – Edgefield, Troutdale, OR*
July 14 – Idaho Center Amphitheatre, Nampa, ID*
July 16 – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, Englewood, CO*
July 18 – Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, MO*
July 19 – Harrah’s Council Bluffs Hotel & Casino, Council Bluffs, IA*
July 21 – Mystic Lake Casino-Mystic Showroom, Prior Lake, MN*
July 22 – Ravinia Festival, Highland Park, IL*
July 25 – Artpark, Lewiston, NY**
July 26 – Sony Centre For Performing Arts, Toronto, ON**
July 28 – Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, NJ**
July 29 – Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY**
July 30 – Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, Boston, MA**
August 1 – Beacon Theatre, New York, NY**
August 2 – Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia, PA**
August 5 – The Red Hat Amphitheater, Raleigh, NC**
August 8 – Seminole Hard Rock Live Arena, Hollywood, FL**
August 9 – Hard Rock Live, Orlando, FL**
August 11 – ACL Live, Austin, TX **
August 12 – Southside Ballroom, Dallas, TX**

MORE DATES TO BE ADDED SOON
* w/ John Doe & Exene Cervenka
** w/ Deap Vally

Rock on the Range already sold out

Tickets for the 11th annual Rock On The Range have sold out in record time, just over one month after going on sale. This marks the fifth consecutive advance sell-out for Rock On The Range, May 19, 20 and 21 at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, OH.

Rock

So you wanted to see Metallica? Good luck finding tickets!

Rock legends Metallica, Soundgarden and Korn will each headline one night of America’s largest and most-acclaimed rock festival. +LIVE+, featuring the group’s original lineup of Ed Kowalczyk (vocals, guitar), Chad Taylor (guitar, backing vocals), Patrick Dahlheimer (bass) and Chad Gracey (drums, percussion) has just been added to Rock On The Range, along with Of Mice & Men.

The unprecedented Rock On The Range music lineup includes: Metallica, Soundgarden, Korn, The Offspring, Volbeat, Primus, Bush, +LIVE+, Chevelle, Papa Roach, Seether, Coheed and Cambria, Alter Bridge, The Pretty Reckless, Taking Back Sunday, Of Mice & Men, Thrice, Amon Amarth, Pierce The Veil, Sum 41, Skillet, Dillinger Escape Plan, In Flames, Gojira, Biffy Clyro, Motionless In White, Nothing More, Beartooth, Starset, Every Time I Die, The Story So Far, Deafheaven, Zakk Sabbath, Rival Sons, The Amity Affliction, Attila, Norma Jean, Suicide Silence, Whitechapel, I Prevail, Turnstile, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Red Fang, Dorothy, Kyng, Radkey, As Lions, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Sylar, Fire From The Gods, Badflower, Wage War, Goodbye June, Cover Your Tracks, DED, Bleeker, Royal Republic, Mother Feather, Aeges and One Less Reason.

The ROTR Rolling Rock Comedy Tent will feature sets from nationally known comedians plus Columbus’s top comedy talent. The full comedy lineup will be announced in the coming weeks.

Rock On The Range celebrated its 10th year in 2016 – and after a decade of setting the standard for American rock festivals, the crown jewel of the World’s Loudest Month showed no signs of slowing down, with 120,000 “Rangers” from around the globe descending on MAPFRE Stadium. Last year, the festival received awards of recognition from both Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and the City Council, as well as a resolution from the Franklin County Board of Commissioners acknowledging more than $140 million in economic impact that the festival has contributed to the city over its 10-year existence.

Rock On The Range is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, AEG Live, and MAPFRE Stadium.

It’s Chill, But Never Cold in Miami

I’m still living in Miami. Let’s face it, Ohio is not the ideal place to spend the winter. Between seasonal affective disorder, and our shitty drivers, it’s just an awful place to be during the colder months.

So we at NID decided we had to get out of town for an extended holiday before the winter blues swallowed us.

Okay, maybe this trip wasn’t as premeditated as all of that, but in retrospect, that would have been a perfect excuse for our adventure in Miami. In reality, it was 3 a.m. when we decided to skip town.

As we stumbled into the terminal, we could tell that the ticketing agent working the check-in counter was not excited to be dealing with our drunken antics at such an early hour.

By 6:30 a.m. we were on a plane headed to Florida.

Miami Beach - plane interior

The plane ride was simple enough, as we hadn’t yet slept — so we all went lights out during the flight.

When we arrived in Miami, we were groggy to say the least. No one said a word on our Uber to the hotel. I was in awe at the magnificent street imagery that seemed to be everywhere.

Our hotel, The Delano, was a work of art. The magnificent, art-deco building exuded elegance.

Our rooms weren’t quite ready for us upon arrival, so we went to the back patio for brunch. Once we finished, our accommodations were available, and we had a decision to make— sleep or party on.

I’d like to think you can guess which option we chose, but for all you people who aren’t familiar with the way we do things, I’ll clue you in.

As VIPs, we kept the party going.

The view from our South Beach hotel suite, overlooking the pool, beach, and ocean was just too enticing to allow any form of unconsciousness.

Miami Beach

We did not take it easy for dinner, because why would we? We had to celebrate our impulsive decisions, right?

Caviar, lobster claws, and steak graced our palates, complimented by fine wine and champagne. After dinner, it was time to find the party.

Rumor had it that Columbus native Alan Epstein was manning the decks at Do Not Sit On The Furniture, so we figured we’d check it out.

We rolled in around midnight, and hit the bar to the sound of some delicious techno.

Miami Beach - Alan Epstein

We hung out for about an hour before deciding to find yet another party. We collected ourselves at the poolside bar at the Delano, and made a few friends to take on our adventure.

Miami Beach - NID friends

We closed the night in ridiculous fashion at the Broken Shaker, arriving five minutes before close. We bought beers and then got asked politely to leave.

It wasn’t far from the Delano, so we took our beers and walked back, pausing at regular intervals to cause a ruckus. The night was warm, and the hotel pool beckoned invitingly as we reveled.

Miami Beach - Delano pool

The next morning we rose early, ready to kick it yet again.

We took to the streets to find a nice spot to watch some football, ending up at the Clevelander. As luck would have it, we ran into another old Columbus friend, Silas N. Brown, and proceeded to tear that place up.

By the end of the game, the better portion of our posse was lucky to still be standing.

The outdoor bar at the Clevelander was a god damned circus.

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The DJ was already playing when we got there, and the MC started at noon. They brought out dancers to gyrate on the stage and the roof.

And then came the body paint.

To say the least, I found it difficult to pay any attention to the football game at all.

The rest of the night was composed of one excruciatingly delightful encounter after another, even running into former NID Magazine Creative Director Shane Levine.

Miami Beach - Silas N. Brown, Shane Levine

We took it easy on Sunday. I’m extremely glad we did, because had we not, we would have come back from this spontaneous trip in worse shape than when we left.

All in all, this was one for the ages.

We should have waited a week to catch Art Basel, but hey, you can’t always control your exploratory aspirations — you can only follow them, ready to take on the unexpected while creating the reality of your journey.

Farewell for now, Miami Beach.

It’s too cold here in Columbus.

We’ll be flying again, soon.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inducts YES

Today, it was announced that multi-Grammy award nominated and winning progressive rock band YES will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on April 7, 2017 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Among the eight members being inducted are band co-founder/frontman/ singer/songwriter Jon Anderson, guitarist/singer/songwriter Trevor Rabin, and virtuoso keyboardist Rick Wakeman.

Anderson co-founded the band with Chris Squire in 1968, with Wakeman joining in 1971, followed by Rabin in 1983.

Of the upcoming induction, Rabin says, “Feeling very grateful about the news of YES getting inducted into the hall of fame. YES is a band that pioneered a genre, and has always been eclectic in nature, and we’ve been so lucky to have such amazing and supportive fans that have championed YES music in all its forms. It is with incredible pride that we accept this honor.”

The most successful progressive rock group of all time, YES took the genre from a small audience of aficionados to radio airwaves and football stadiums all over America.

They went on to sell millions of units with releases such as “Fragile,” “Close To The Edge,” “Tales From Topographic Oceans,” “Going For The One,” and “90125,” as well as embarking on several record-breaking world tours.

In 2016, Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman regrouped to form ARW. The band is currently in the middle of a highly successful and critically acclaimed worldwide tour, An Evening of YES Music and More. After completing the two-month US leg (which was extended due to public demand) at the start of December, 2017 will see them performing in the UK, Japan and Israel, amongst other territories.

Jon Anderson is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable voices in progressive rock. He was the author and major creative influence behind the groundbreaking album “Fragile,” as well as a series of epic, complex pieces such as “Awaken,” “Gates of Delirium,” and especially “Close To The Edge,” which were central to the band’s success.

Outside of YES, he recorded four celebrated albums with Oscar winning Vangelis, each of which sold over a million copies worldwide. He has collaborated with several other artists, including Mike Oldfield, Kitaro, former YES bandmate Rick Wakeman, Jean-Luc Ponty and Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings).

For further information, please visit: www.jonanderson.com.

Yes - group shot

Originally finding fame in rock band Rabbitt in his native South Africa, Trevor Rabin moved first to London in 1978, producing the likes of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, and releasing his own solo albums, and then to Los Angeles, where at the request of Chris Squire, he joined a new incarnation of YES.

Their album “90125”became the biggest-selling of the group’s career and secured them a Grammy, while “Owner Of A Lonely Heart,” written primarily by Rabin, gave them their only No. 1 single. For the last 18 years, Rabinhas been enjoying a highly successful career as a film composer, scoring over forty feature films and winning numerous awards, including 11 BMI Awards.

Classically trained keyboardist Rick Wakeman joined YES in 1971 and has been in and out of the band quite a few times. A talented performer, songwriter, raconteur, television and radio presenter and author, he has sold more than 50,000,000 albums, both as a member of YES and in his own right.

In 2014, he won the Prog Music Awards Live Event of the Year for live performances of his classic “Journey To The Centre Of The Earth” album and more recently, he headlined the first Stone Free festival at London’s O2 Arena in June 2016, performing his work “The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.”

For more information on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, click here.

Run the Jewels to Blaze Through Columbus

The doors open at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 16 for rap super-group Run the Jewels, who will bring their brash and critically acclaimed brand of hip hop to Express Live! Tickets are $25, and we would suggest getting them ahead of time, as we have a feeling the show is going to sell out.

This is Run The Jewels first appearance in Columbus, and we’re beyond excited to have one of the rap games biggest and best acts play in our city.

Run the Jewels logo

Their newest and third full length, aptly titled Run the Jewels 3, is to be released Jan. 13, featuring heavy hitters like underground-rapper-turned-mainstream-darling Danny Brown (whose 2016 release, Atrocity Exhibition, was a cross over hit and given almost universal acclaim), contemporary jazz guru Kamasi Washington (who reached break-through success by contributing instrumentals to Kendrick Lamar’s 2016 success, To Pimp a Butterfly), and indie rocker Tunde Adebimpe from the band TV On the Radio.

Over the last two months, Run the Jewels (or RTJ as they are affectionately known by fans) have released three singles from the album already, “Talk to Me” and “2100,” which were released back in November, and “Legend Has It,” which came out a few weeks ago, all of which kick ass and take plenty of names.

It’s nice to see RTJ continuing to take no prisoners by mixing their own, distinct brand of cutting-edge production and braggadocious lyrics.

Run the Jewels is made up of rapper/producer El-P and rapper Killer Mike, both of whom have been making and producing boundary-pushing hip-hop and rap music since the 90s.

Each artist has a rather lengthy resume leading up to forming Run the Jewels in 2013 – El-P is CEO and co-founder of Definitive Jux record label, and is a DJ and producer in addition to rapping, having produced work by Aesop Rock, DJ Shadow, Beck, Nine Inch Nails, and many others.

Run the Jewels group shot

Born and raised in Brooklyn, El-P AKA Jaime Meline is mostly known for his dense and allusion-heavy lyrics that draw references to science fiction.

Killer Mike AKA Michael Render burst onto the scene in 2000 with a guest verse on OutKast’s seminal LP Stankonia, and has since released five full-length albums as a solo artist.

No stranger to controversy, Killer Mike is a known political activist, and often raps about police brutality and systemic racism.

The two musicians got together when El-P produced the entirety of Killer Mike’s 2012 incredible album R.A.P. Music.

By 2013 the two larger than life personalities formed Run the Jewels, and released their self-titled debut in June of the same year.

We’re anxiously awaiting the new album to drop, and to see what the rap-duo has in store for us on the Express Live! stage.