Categories
Rock News

Sandi Thom Announces Tour Dates & ‘Merchant and Thieves’ Deluxe Edition Release

*NEWS RELEASE*

At 17, Sandi Thom became the youngest ever student to be accepted to the prestigious Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts aka LIPA, dubbed ‘The Fame Academy’ due to the number of industry professionals teaching there and having Sir Paul McCartney as its patron.

It was here that she met her band and producers.

In 2003, Sandi Thom graduated from LIPA with a BA (Hons) in Performing Arts and is the first and only LIPA Graduate to have a number one music album in the charts.

Blues/Rock and roots singer songwriter Sandi Thom’s infamous debut single “I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker” topped the charts in 7 countries with the ensuing album shifting over a million copies worldwide, winning her an Ivor Novello award. She currently holds the record in Australia for 12 consecutive weeks at the top of the charts.

Categories
Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Terrible Things S/T

Terrible Things is a new modern rock supergroup consisting of Fred Mascherino (Taking Back Sunday), Josh Eppard (Coheed and Cambria) and Andy Jackson (Hot Rod Circuit). Their new self-titled album is out now through Universal Motown and the band leaves on tour next week for a month long jaunt with Streetlight Manifesto.

Though the band didn’t initially set out to do a concept album, this is how the debut record took shape.  The song themes are centered on a series of fires that haunted Fred’s former hometown, the depressed Pennsylvania steel-millburgh of Coatesville, PA. A reign of arson terror scorched the more modest neighborhoods of Chester County from 2007-2009. “I was just struck by the helplessness,” says Fred. “Growing up there I remember the decay, but this was such a mindless thing, symptomatic maybe, of pure hopelessness.”

Categories
Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Thomas Nicholas Band “Heroes Are Human”

Before 2007, the majority of the people in the U.S. knew actor Thomas Ian Nicholas from his acting roles in films like Rookie of the Year and as Kevin Myers in the American Pie franchise. But it was in 2007 that people started to discover his talent as a singer-songwriter as well. At that time, Nicholas released his debut CD entitled Without Warning.

While Without Warning is a solid release, the album was written and created by Thomas Ian Nicholas with a lot of help from several talented musicians who helped Nicholas translate his musical ideas into full-fledged songs. And because many different people helped to create those songs, the feelings of the songs change from one track to another as the line-ups change.

Three years later, Thomas Ian Nicholas the musician has returned. This time, Nicholas has a new approach to music as three other musicians who help to complete The Thomas Nicholas Band have joined him. The three musicians who complete the Thomas Nicholas Band are: Rob Leifer on lead guitar, Thai Long Ly on bass and percussion, and Shay Goodwin on drums and percussion, as well as background vocals. Together, this quartet has created a new album entitled Heroes Are Human.

The first track on Heroes Are Human is the title track. “Heroes Are Human” is a song that Nicholas wrote to say that he wouldn’t be where he is if it wasn’t for some special everyday people who have helped him. The track should ring true for many of us, as we all know people who have given us that special push we needed to succeed in life. With the great message and sound to the song, the track is definitely a single for the album.

“Turn Me Off” is the second track. The unique sound to the instrumentation on the song makes it another track that could be used as a single.

The track “Color Outside the Lines” is a song that says that it is okay to be your own person and do your own thing.

Like “Color Outside the Lines,” “Wake Up” is a track about choice. The track is an anthem for today’s youth to take a stand and change the world.

“Bitter Sweet” is a great track about a past relationship that won’t die. The best thing about the track is the e-bow playing by Rob Leifer. The e-bow gives the song a sound that really separates it from the rest of the album.

Playing on the concept of heroes, Thomas Ian Nicholas wrote a song called “Super Girl”. The song is about an everyday girl who turns out to be so much more.

The song “Roo Doot” is a song that really allows the listener to hear what the band can do. The rest of the band joins in as they shout echoes to lyrics sung by Nicholas in the song. It really brings the band together to let the listener know that they are really one in music.

The last track on Heroes Are Human is the song “Lost In My Home”. The track finds Nicholas singing a duet with Sarah Bettens. The song sounds like it should have come off of Nicholas’ previous release of Without Warning in two ways: The track has the same basic feel as songs from that release, and the song sounds like it is an answer to Without Warning’s track “Anybody Home”.

Thomas Ian Nicholas proved he had talent as a singer-songwriter in 2007 when he released Without Warning. With The Thomas Nicholas Band, he has found the perfect group of musicians to help him bring his music to life. And the band’s 2010 release of Heroes Are Human is a solid debut release and a definite step in the right direction.

Categories
Features

PIGSHIT: A Clearer Than Ever Portrait of a True Legend

Most every single time the 20th century’s greatest singer-songwriters find themselves getting lionized or even litanized, it seems one towering figure is strangely, sorrowfully AWOL. Despite this man’s myriad accomplishments both on the stage, behind the scenes, in the control room or, of course, in front of the microphone, his name is all-too-rarely uttered alongside those of Lennon, Smokey, Dylan, Aretha, Holly or even Hank.

Nevertheless, January 22, 2011 would have been Sam Cooke’s 80th birthday and I spent it the only way I knew how: with lights low and relaxed beneath headphones filled with ABKCO Records’ newly-upgraded Sam Cooke: Portrait of a Legend, 1951-1964.

Categories
Artists and Bands

Spotlight: Ellery

Cincinnati-based husband and wife duo of Justin and Tasha Golden have been together for more than half a decade as a duo. Originally called Dividing The Plunder, the two musicians, Tasha on vocals and piano and Justin on guitar, started getting a following. Having met in college, the pair started making music on the side as they completed their studies. Soon, they married. After graduation, Tasha and Justin made the decision to make music their livelihood. A little while later, the two decided to change their name from Dividing The Plunder to Ellery, a name they found in a book.

Categories
Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Wire “Red Barked Tree”

When Wire’s Colin Newman and Graham Lewis unleashed the brunt of their experimental proclivities through Dome in the early ’80s, it came as quite a pleasant surprise. The duo had displayed a fondness for the left-field on 1978?s Chairs Missing and 154 the following year, but never had the abstract been embraced as wholly as it was on said side project. Post-punk was now a vague recollection, a spectral whisper sewn into industrial and ambient fabrics to produce surrealist ikons. Reverie.

Perhaps most impressive during this transition, Dome’s efforts swallowed the light from our rooms without reeling into suspended vagrancy. While certainly recondite, these releases were also remarkably fluid, twisting the roundabout and demanding into transportive ditties gleefully ignorant to the realities of time and space. They were always headed somewhere.

Categories
Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Ducktails “Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics”

When Howard Moskowitz was commissioned to concoct the ideal Diet Pepsi, he felt the wrong approach had been tabled. Aspiring to create the perfect Diet Pepsis was a sounder framework — rather than twiddling their thumbs contemplating the makeup of a nonexistent galvanizing flavor, they ought to have covered their bases and released several distinct, proven flavors to win over the motley palates of soda consumers. They should have shot for the plurality of perfection.

Musicians likely hold an affinity for this vantage point as well, given the preponderance of side projects scattered across today’s sonic landscape. An opportunity to tackle one’s muse from a different angle is tempting to be sure, the day-to-day swapped for a fresh skin, for a perspective unbound by the various hopes and fears of those outside looking in, voicing concerns or merely cogitations inapt under the full-time banner.

Matt Mondanile had the right idea with Ducktails, his ethereal ruminations complementing the drowsy front-porch pop of Real Estate (or vice versa). 2009?s Landscapes conjured woolly memories, which may have never transpired, gently brushing dots on life’s canvas, but never connecting them to reveal a conclusion. A deep-seated longing permeated these synth-laced vistas, a muddled desire to scale the walls of the familiar despite a lack of the faintest inkling of direction.

Categories
Reviews and Suggestions

The Grown-Up Kids: Get Up Kids Turn Comeback Kids with “There Are Rules”

Where were The Get Up Kids at the start of the millennium?  As a listener coming at their latest record, I heard a mash-up of sounds one wouldn’t immediately associate with the band – electro, funk and post-punk are some that spring to mind. Graphically speaking, the cover is sophisticated. The image on the front of the LP is of a woman holding a mirror to her face, where the mirror reflects the ocean to the viewer: a Lacanian articulation of femininity and its evolving self-reflexivity through the play of the gaze. The viewer gazes at the woman, who in return gazes into open space and vast water.

The Get Up Kids came onto the scene in the ’90s wake of Pavement, Weezer and Green Day. After splitting up in 2005, the band reassembled and began touring extensively throughout most of 2008 and 2009, developing an underground community with other bands such as Rocket Fuel is the Key, Coalesce and Braid. Their latest record, There Are Rules, is a departure from Vagrant Records – the album was released on their own label at Quality Hill Records. Mixed by Bob Weston and produced by Ed Rose, the sound retains the band’s early nineties garage aesthetic while adding the liberties of technological editing. When the Get Up Kids graced the ’90s, critics initially referred to them as an “emo band” however, the kids have fought with such branding since their inception. While they were influential to the Midwest emo movement of the early ’90s, they play with genre more than they identify with it.

Categories
Rock News

Joe Bonamassa offers free song from 12th full-lenght album, Dust Bowl

*NEWS RELEASE*

Joe Bonamassa is set to release his 12th full-length solo album, DUST BOWL in the UK on March 21st and in the USA on March 22nd. The album will be promoted on Bonamassa’s forthcoming 2011 Dust Bowl World Tour that will take in America, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia.

To give you a taste of what is to come, Joe is kindly giving away the title track away as a free download, here is the link…

http://jbonamassa.com/dustbowl/

Provogue Records is pleased to announce that a Limited Edition Digibook format of Joe Bonamassa’s forthcoming new album “Dust Bowl” will be released in the UK and Europe on March 21st, alongside the standard CD and vinyl editions of the same album.

Categories
Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Disappears “Guider”

One wouldn’t need to be particularly astute to pick up on Disappears’ fondness for NEU!, from the ’75-copping album cover for last year’s Lux to the motorik march impelling a fair share of the Chicago outfit’s material. Kicking their records into the gear of the 21st century are fuzzy strata swarming the interstices between Brian Case’s vocals and Damon Carruesco’s bass, bundling the forces at work into a scabrous sphere of unadulterated rock ‘n’ roll.

At their best, these tracks scream down desolate highways, toppling the hurdles and haunts which dare offer a veil of resistance. ‘Halo’ and ‘Guider’ bully a path through the murk, knotty guitars, post-punk-ish yawps, and propulsive drums converging in a cryptic, maximal brume gaining in potency as the ride persists — the band’s resolve strengthens in accordance with the mileage it racks up.