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Artists and Bands

Five Good Reasons and Silent Opposition are looking for a place to play in the Bay area this Thursday, March 3, 2005

The bands Five Good Reasons and Silent Opposition who are currently on tour are desperately seeking a place to play in the San Francisco Bay area on March 3, 2005 (this Thursday). If you know of any kind of venue that would like to put up the bands for a gig (be it club, record store, house whatever) let Elizabeth Benavidez at Artsy Noise in Seattle know ASAP. Her number is (253) 226-8134. If not, at least check out the bands’ MP3s at their My Space pages and enjoy!
Later.

Categories
Reviews and Suggestions

One Star Hotel- “Good Morning, West Gordon”

Onestar_hotel For some reason, the first time I heard “Good Morning, West Gordon” by One Star Hotel (available through Not Lame) I thought of “Billy Breathes” era Phish. To fans of One Star Hotel that might seem to be a strange comparison but it was Steve Yutzy-Burkey’s wonderfully evocative vocals that got me to thinking about both bands. The more I listened though, the more I thought of Wilco and it is this sort of eclectic Americana that the Philadelphia based band does so well. While the album has a fine mix of indie pop gems and slower, contemplative numbers the album’s big payoff for me was listening to the track “Good Morning, West Gordon” late one night on the headphones. As the wash of sound and vocals enveloped me I was transported to that wonderful space where the music just picks you up and transports you to another place. It doesn’t happen often but this album pulled it off with style. That makes this record is a keeper in my books. Later.

Categories
Reviews and Suggestions

Heap- “On the Cheap”

Heap1 Heap are a great, loud melodic rock and roll band from Brooklyn spearheaded by Tim Heap and their sophomore record “On the Cheap” has been blaring from my home stereo to my car stereo for the last week. Absolutely top notch rock and roll from a band that pumps out such killer cuts as “Backsliding”, “The Sober Life” and the always memorable “Puerto Rican Girl.” To give you a taste check out the full-length MP3 of “Women” live at Arlene’s Grocery on December 10th, 2004 and a bunch of samples from their new CD on their Sounds page. Further samples can be found at their label Rave-on Records. This is great stuff and highly recommended. I like the description of the band on CD Baby “They play and sing about what they know best – friends, girlfriends and girls that will never be girlfriends.” Check ’em out.
Later.

Categories
Artists and Bands

The Gaza Strippers

Gaza_strippers_1 With their particular brand of punk-fueled rock and roll mayhem, the Gaza Strippers initially reminded me of the MC5, especially when listening to the live cuts off of “From the Desk of Dr. Freepill…” Unfortunately it appears that Rick Sims and his cohorts are no longer around in this form but if you are looking for some great rock and roll kicks and a killer cover of Queen’s “Sheer Heart Attack” then check out “From the Desk of Dr. Freepill…” which is available from Nicotine Records. Good stuff.
Later.

Categories
Odds & Sods

Welcome to Band Week!

This week is a bit of an experiment. I have fallen behind in writing about a lot of great bands and the records that they pump out over the last few months so in an attempt to rectify the situation somewhat I will be dedicating this week to nothing but bands. Whether they be CDs that bands and labels have sent me (thank you very much and keep ’em coming!) or MP3s that I have found or been e-mailed, this week will be a bit of a departure as I will try to focus only on bands and their music. One thing I do want you to keep in mind is that my reviewing philosophy is that I only review what I like or what I feel is “significant” for whatever reason. I don’t have the time or inclination to write reviews of music I don’t like so with that in mind, let’s get the first edition of Band Week going. This will most probably be a regular feature so hold on to your hats and open up your ears!
Later.

Categories
Odds & Sods

Who invented the “devil horns” hand signal? Gene Simmons, Ronnie James Dio or John Lennon?

Lennon_horns1 Everybody is pretty much familiar with the infamous “evils horns” hand signal so popular amongst heavy metal fans but accoring to this article from Blabbermouth (which is in fact a reprint from a piece in Ear Candy magazine) it was not Ronnie James Dio or Genne Simmons that invented this method of expression but none other than John Lennon himself. Is there nothing that those Beatles didn’t do first? Have a great weekend everybody!
Later.

Categories
Wanna Be a Rock Star?

TAPCO Supports Independent Artists With The Release Of TAPCO Music Sampler CD Vol. 1

I wrote about the Tapco music sampler in the past but thought I would reprint their press release anouncing the release of Volume 1 in case you may be considering trying to be on the next volume.

(PRESS RELEASE)

Celebrating long, sometimes frustrating, hours of garage rehearsals, dive bar gigs, basement music production and creative penny-pinching tactics for used gear, TAPCO recently released Volume One of the TAPCO Music Sampler CD featuring some of today’s best independent musical artists from around the world.

“It all started with a two-month contest that ended November 30, 2004. We requested demo submissions from un-signed artists of all music genres and offered them the opportunity to promote their music on the first TAPCO Music Sampler CD, as well as the TAPCO website,” stated Ray Tantzen, TAPCO Product Manager. “We received literally hundreds of submissions. The 14 winner earned a place on the CD as well as a pair of TAPCO S.5 Studio Monitors.”

Tantzen continues, “The music styles range from hip-hop and rock, to dance and smoother melodies. This was so successful, we’re looking forward to volume 2 later this year.”

In addition to receiving free TAPCO gear and placement on the CD, the lucky 14 artists are currently featured on the TAPCO website. Their winning submissions can be downloaded from www.tapcogear.com .

“Contests like this really put the focus back on the artists and the creative abilities that truly make each band unique. We are proud to sponsor such an important competition and hope to continue to continue to reach to the independent music community in more creative in the future,” concluded Tantzen.

Categories
Rock Biz

Sonicbids Partners With The Virgin College Mega Tour

(PRESS RELEASE) Sonicbids, the leading online platform enabling musicians to connect with music promoters, was recently selected by the Virgin College Mega Tour to be the exclusive submission platform for bands entering to win a spot on the tour’s daytime "Emerging Artists" stage. The 2005 VCMT, featuring national acts Cake, Gomez, and Robbers on High Street, will visit 20 college campuses this spring. As the exclusive submission partner, bands can submit their music online using their Sonicbids (www.sonicbids.com) Electronic Press Kit (EPK). The tour is scheduled to begin April 5th in Austin, TX and run through May.

"Sonicbids is about giving independent artists access to the hottest events and opportunities in the industry," says Panos Panay, Founder and CEO of Sonicbids. "The Virgin College Mega Tour is one of those events, and we are confident that this process will identify talent that matches the objective and will contribute to the success of the tour."

Categories
Odds & Sods

Checking out the MP3beamer

I was just reading a press release introducing a new piece of software called the MP3beamer which company founder Michael Robertson describes as a digital music recorder or DMR. Essentially the MP3beamer is a footlocker for your MP3 files. You load it up with music that you have on CDs (the software will automatically rip the CDs to 192 kpbs MP3 files), music you purchased form an online store like Robertson’s own MP3 Tunes or eMusic and MP3s that you might have downloaded off the ‘net from all those band and record label sites that you read about on The Rock and Roll Report. Once the the MP3 files are loaded you use MP3beamer to access your music from virtually any device you own with speakers or a headphone jack. It is really an audio server that consolidates all your MP3 files and makes them available to things like your iPod, home stereo, cell phone etc. but there are a few caveats. First off is that you have to run the Linux-based Linspire software on a PC to be able to use MP3beamer as it is Linux based. Another caveat is that you cannot use it with DRM protected music files so all those tunes that you bought from iTunes, Napster MSN Music and Rhapsody will not work with the MP3beamer. It only works with non-DRM protected music files. Another caveat is that it currently does not work with iTunes on a Mac but inexplicably does work with iTunes on a Windows XP machine. Support for the iTunes version of the Mac is apparently forthcoming but for someone who professes to want to make make your music available on virtually any device the absence of support for the Mac version of iTunes from the get go is a bit puzzling. The MP3beamer website has all kinds of screen shots and videos that you can check out for more information but the product for the most part looks interesting. If most of your music is either on CD or MP3 you might want to consider the MP3beamer. At the very least you will be using a rock solid operating system for your general computer needs and that is probably the best part about the whole deal.
Later.

Categories
Live Rock and Roll

Sasquatch! Festival line-up announced

I had never heard of the Sasquatch! Festival of Washington before but they have announced their festival line-up for the Memorial Day weekend and it sounds pretty interesting. The Pixies, Keane, Modest Mouse, Wilco, Arcade Fire, Bloc Party and a bunch of other bands will be rocking out and they have camping too! Sounds like a pretty cool time.
Later.