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Rocker's Ramblings is where I will be posting about site updates, as well as general music-related comments.

There are 49 Journal Items in 5 pages and your are on page number 2

And This Weekend's Theme... Concerts
You may have noticed those outdated tour dates from James La Brie (Dream Theater) are finally gone. This weekend I decided to make the tour dates on the site database driven. Now on the band pages tour dates for that band will appear, and on non-band pages the dates coming up soonest for all bands will appear. And since it goes by current date automatically there won't be any more outdated shows here.

I entered and posted live over 500 dates by various bands last night, and today I've added another 200 dates for additional bands. In the future when new tour dates are announced I will be adding them to the database, so they will be available on the page for that band.

Since concerts seems to be the theme for the week, I also finished the long-awaited Europe concert review, so here it is:

Europe - House of Blues Sunset Strip, April 24, 2005

On April 24th my roommate and I went to see Europe at the House of Blues Sunset Strip here in Hollywood. It turned out to be an enjoyable night, and definitely full of surprises! It started off frustrating after we got through the line caused by the heavy security (I don't think I've ever had to go through a metal detector to get to a concert before!). I paid $30 for a T-shirt (3x the price of a ticket at the 2 for 1 rate I got them for) and when we sat down on a chair for a minute a security guard came over and wanted $25 just to sit down (those seats did stay empty throughout the show, as you might guess, although security kept busy coming over any time anyone tried sitting there). And some people (mainly the RIAA) think the music industry is losing money because of downloading? They seem to be more than making up any supposed loss in other areas! Even the music played between bands was an obvious advertisement, since it was a Sirius radio 80's metal station playing, which identified itself as such several times. I have to admit they played some damn good music, though!

Once the bands started things definitely got better! I hadn't heard anything about any opening acts, and it being a Sunday night and me having class the next day I admit I was pretty much hoping there wouldn't be any. When I saw T-shirts for a band called Stuart Smith's Heaven and Earth that I had never heard of I wasn't expecting much, but I was in for a really pleasant surprise! I figured out pretty fast that this wasn't some no-name new band the record company had stuck them with. They were way too professional sounding for that! I started to suspect this was some kind of supergroup-like project, and I was very impressed with the singer (there was something very familiar about him too!). After a few songs I really enjoyed I went over to the merchandise table (where I bought their cd, which you can buy here if you're interested) and asked the woman at the table who that was singing. It turned out that I did know him! It was Kelly Hansen from the band Hurricane (a really good 80s-style metal band. If you haven't heard them I definitely recommend checking them out! It was also just announced recently that he is the new lead singer of Foreigner.). The cd also listed appearances by Joe Lynn Turner, Glenn Hughes, Howard Leese from Heart (who appeared with them at the show), and others you might have heard of.

After that I thought for sure Europe would be on next, but after a while with no announcement the curtain came up to 3 guys in astronaut suits who started playing. I was wondering who they were, and a couple of minutes into the first song it dawned on me just where I'd seen astronauts suits like that before! Yes, Paul Gilbert, who I previously posted tour news about was doing a one night appearance. If I hadn't been too busy with classes to go hunting for news over the couple of weeks before the show I would have seen the announcement on his web page. As it was it took several songs to figure it out for sure (the Racer X song he played was a strong hint) but by the time he announced it during his last song I'd figured it out. He played a few cover songs and songs from his upcoming solo cd Space Ship One. I didn't hear anything from Mr. Big, though, and there were no drills involved (I'm pretty sure he played guitar with one when I saw Mr. Big opening for Rush on the Presto tour). I didn't enjoy the music quite as much as the first act (I think part of it was the vocals, since he's really more of a guitarist than a singer. It's not that he's a bad singer, but he doesn't have the voice of a Kelly Hansen or Joey Tempest, and being a singer myself vocals can make or break music for me) but it was still cool to be able to see him.

Finally, Europe themselves came on the stage. They put on a great show, with a good mix of old and new music. Hearing the new songs from their latest CD "Start From The Dark" mixed in with the old songs made me realize just how much Europe have grown musically. Every new song they played was as good as if not better than the best of their old songs. I have to say I think this is their strongest album yet! The heavy keyboards you might remember from "The Final Countdown" are gone from the new songs, but you could still hear that live in the older songs.

There is one part of the show I really have to mention here. I moved out here from New York about 6 years ago, and most of the time I feel perfectly at home here in L.A., but every once in a while something happens to remind me I'm not in N.Y. anymore. Concerts seem to be one of those times. When the band first left the stage, the lights stayed off, and since the band had not played "The Final Countdown" it was pretty damn obvious they were coming back for an encore. At that point I became embarrassed for the entire audience, because there were probably about 4 or 5 of us yelling for the band to come back, and the rest of the audience was obviously more interested in their conversations. The murmur of conversation was almost as loud as the yelling for the band, and at least one person was spotted reaching for a cell phone.

What is it with people in L.A.? Have they never heard of encores??? In NY there was ALWAYS an encore. I've seen Zebra come back for THREE encores there because the fans wouldn't stop calling them back for more! But here in just about every show I've been to people are in such a hurry to leave they don't seem to even want the encores. I really don't understand it. It makes you wonder how much they really care about the music they've come to see. Well, Europe finally did come back out that night, and they played a new song, followed by "Cherokee" and finally finishing the show with "The Final Countdown." It was a great ending to the show!

All in all, it was a fun night, with some great music!
Posted by Sharan Volin on Sunday, May 22, 2005 at 23:14

Finals are over and big updates are here!
Well, finals finally ended on Tuesday and I officially made it through my first year at USC. To celebrate the fact that I'm back to just working full time, I spent this weekend updating the site. Now all artists have been moved to the new layout. The next step is to set the database up the way I want it, and then I can start moving artists over, cleaning up bad listings and adding new ones as I go!

I've also added a new featured artist, Symphony X, along with some big news they just announced today! Now that classes are over I plan to get back to updating the news regularly. I also added a new poll so you can decide who the next featured artist will be. Keep in mind that I'm limited by artists that either I or someone I know photographed, but I'm open to photo submissions for the future as long as you yourself took the picture or it's a publicity photo that's free to use, since I don't want to get into any problems over copyright.

I was hoping to finish my half-written review of the Europe show I went to a couple of weeks ago and post that, but updating all the artists took a while. Hopefully I'll get that done and posted in a few days.
Posted by Sharan Volin on Sunday, May 15, 2005 at 23:43

More big updates!
You may have noticed some major changes around here this week! I spent all last weekend working on the site, and Sunday night over 80 artists went live in the new layoutt! I added a few more tonight (it's close to 100 now), and slowly but surely I plan on moving everyone into the new layout. This is a transitional stage, so I am copying the html as is into the database (in case you were wondering why this site wasn't getting updated too often, part of the problem is it was never database driven. I had to maintain over 200 individual HTML pages!). Once everything has been moved over I will start setting up everything in the database for real, and when I enter the data then I will be checking for bad links and trying to add more.

Bear with me for the next 2-3 weeks, though. Next week is the last week of classes at USC and finals week starts the week after that, so I'm not going to have much time to work on things until that is over with! After that I suspect "just" working full time is going to seem easy in comparison to going to school full time and working part time, so I expect to have a lot more time to work on the site!

I will be going to see Europe this Sunday night at the House of Blues Sunset Strip, so if I get a chance I'll try to post a review of the show!
Posted by Sharan Volin on Friday, April 22, 2005 at 00:23

Update after a week, and a couple of quick reviews
Well, the new site has been live for almost a week now, and I hope you like it! We also now have an RSS feed for music news syndicated on LiveJournal. I've been trying to spend a little time every day adding music news, although it hasn't been easy since I had 3 midterms this week (I'm just glad that's over with!).

Rockers Online was entered into the USC Webfest, but it unfortunately didn't win (although I noticed a heavy bias toward USC-related or educational sites among the winners). Oh, well. It was still the incentive I needed to finally get this site moving again!

To celebrate surviving the week I just added a quick new feature: you can now browse the complete list of artists (there are over 200 of them so it's a LOOONG page). Just scroll to the bottom of the alphabet on the dropdown menu, or there's a new "Browse All Artists" link on the bottom of every page!

Also, since I want to start posting more music-related news I just thought I'd post a few quick comments on a couple of the cds I've been listening to lately:

AdrianGale - Crunch

This is one of the ones I find myself listening to the most. These guys sound so familiar I found myself trying to figure out who they remind me of, but I can't quite place them as any one band. It's 80's-style melodic rock/metal, very similar to Def Leppard at times. they also remind me of Nelson, Warrant, Bryan Adams (think Cuts Like A Knife, not Heaven), and other similar bands all rolled up in one. There are some really catchy songs in there. I picked them up when I saw them listed on's best of 2004 list and I'm glad I did.

Crystal Blue - Detour

After seeing this one compared to Europe I took the chance and ordered the Japanese version with 1 bonus track on Ebay, and it looks like I got a good deal since I've been listening to this one a lot too! It definitely does remind me a lot of Europe, especially since the singer sounds a lot like Joey Tempest. I might post more on these guys later after I've had a chance to listen to this cd some more. But it's definitely good if you like melodic rock/metal.

I don't know how this compares to the actual new Europe CD Start From The Dark since the copy I ordered isn't here yet (I just hope it makes it before their House of Blues - Sunset Strip show 4/24!). Once it gets here and I've had a chance to listen to it maybe I'll review them both.

Well, that's enough for now. I'll try to post more soon!
Posted by Sharan Volin on Saturday, April 2, 2005 at 01:45

The big day!
Well, I apologize for the delay but I got hit by a ton of homework all due this week. The site is still not fully done. The artist pages are not database driven yet, so I'm leaving the HTML pages for now and will be gradually transferring them all over to the new format and brand new asp urls, so if you have any links to the current site you will need to change those eventually. I will try to put up redirect pages to help with the transition. There are also several other parts that are still under construction (particularly search) so please bear with me.

I've also renamed this section to "Rocker's Ramblings" since I'm going to use it not only to post site updates, but to post random commentary on music-related issues (like I recently picked up a bunch of melodic rock/aor cds and hope to eventually post commentary on them). There's some great music out there, and this is a good way to let you know about it! I'll also probably post concert reviews (I missed the Naked Eyes show, but I already got tickets to see Europe at House of Blues next month).

Well, I hope you all like the new site design! I have 3 midterms this coming week so there may not be any updates for a few days, but after I get through that I'll get back to working on cleaning up the rest of the site and posting regular updates!
Posted by Sharan Volin on Saturday, March 26, 2005 at 22:52

Almost there...
Well, the big redesign is taking a little longer than expected (and I did have to do homework at some point) but it's going well and I expect to have the main design up within the next couple of days (the 23rd at the latest). Meanwhile, I've added several new news items and made updates/additions to several artist pages (and changed the featured artists to a few of them) when I found broken links or new official sites while hunting for news items. So have fun searching the site!
Posted by Sharan Volin on Sunday, March 20, 2005 at 23:16

Site redesign
I just wanted to let people know the big redesign is underway, and the new design is looking great! I'm hoping to get the site uploaded with the new design and at least partially database driven by sometime this weekend, so make sure to check back soon! I've also posted a couple of news items to this site I thought people might be interested in.
Posted by Sharan Volin on Thursday, March 17, 2005 at 22:16

Big Changes Coming
I just wanted to let people know that there are big changes in store for Rockers Online. I've decided I really need to start making updating Rockers Online a bigger priority. Rockers Online has a new logo, and a new web design is in the process of being chosen. At the same time, I plan on finally making Rockers Online database driven, so the site will finally be easier to update!.

Please bear with me, though, since in September I went back to school full time at USC for a second bachelors in Computer Science, and I am still working part time at the same place as a web developer. So as you can imagine, my life is insanely busy and updating the site will take a while. I am hoping to spend an hour a week on this, though, so keep checking in over the next few months for a brand new Rockers Online!
Posted by Sharan Volin on Saturday, January 29, 2005 at 13:41

Problem Fixed
Well, I finally managed to find a fix for the problem, no thanks to my web hosts utterly useless tech support who insisted it was because I was using global variables. So the links above are working again!
Posted by Sharan Volin on Sunday, March 14, 2004 at 00:52

PHP Problem
Unfortunately something seems to have changed with the php on my server which completely broke things so the alphabetical links above aren't working. I'm really sorry about that, but I have a tech support ticket in to my web host to find out what they changed that broke things, and if I can't get that fixed I may just have to switch over to ASP sooner than I'd planned on. Meanwhile, you can still use the search page, since those links DO work fine.
Posted by Sharan Volin on Sunday, February 29, 2004 at 00:52

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