Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Random Music Quotes: Tankian

"It's time to end this misery, known as the Israeli Occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. Occupied Tears, from my solo record Harakiri, was written about this and the hypocrisy of a people who have gone through the horrible atrocities of the Holocaust now serving as occupiers of another people. John Kerry and the US had been placing a lot of pressure to restart the peace negotiations. Hamas and the Palestinian Authority united to negotiate as one. Netenyahu tried to separate them but couldn't. Eventually the kidnappings served as a political excuse to recapture released Palestinian political prisoners by Israel. Hamas fired rockets in response and Israel got off the hook on having to make permanent peace by invading Gaza and changing the conversation from permanent peace to temporary truce.

(Photo courtesy of Serj Tankian's Facebook Page)

One more thing: calls for anti-semitism should never be used to cloak honest discussion of these issues especially here in the US." -Serj Tankian

Music Releases For September 2nd, 2014

Awesome selection of tunes this week!  I am very stoked to be checking out a wide variety of tunes from some of the industry's top performers.  From Maroon 5 to Johnny Winter; from Counting Crows to The Haunted.  This week's selection will put you on a roller coaster of sound and structure.  And much like every other week, my dilemma will consist of which album gets played first and which one gets played last.  Hell, I'll even take a cup of coffee right now and start orchestrating the Hannibal sound track with my arms right now (you know those moments where you feel like you're the conductor haha).

So the usual reminder folks.  There wouldn't be music if there wasn't fans.  So be a doll and pick up a copy of these album(s) from a local record store, online retailer, or an authorized digital source.  Cheers and have a great week!

(Maroon 5 - V)

The typical knock on Maroon 5 is that all these strengths can also be seen as weaknesses – their versatility can come o ff a little too breezy. Levine's voice is a powerful instrument, yet he sometimes seems like less of an emotional presence in the music than on earlier albums like the band's 2002 debut, Songs About Jane, a collection of breakup songs. The best glimpse into his real life today comes via the Phil Collins-esque "It Was Always You," where the recently married singer radiates happiness about finding Mrs. Right. -Rolling Stone

(Johnny Winter - Step Back)

Nothing doing here however. All glowing comments that follow are positively justified and fully merited. Make no mistake, this is a stonker and up there with the best of his albums from a long and illustrious career.

Other guests pop up throughout, including Joe Bonamassa, Ben Harper, Leslie West, Billy Gibbons and more, but they never offer more than added value embellishments to what is clearly Johnny’s album at all times. Nowhere is this more in evidence that on the sprightly version of Clarence Gatemouth Brown’s instrumental Okie Dokie Stomp. On this, Johnny’s guitar goes charging off on a Texas blues romp only for Brian Setzer’s rockabilly trills to catch up with him and add extra bounce to what is already an enlivening experience. And on the closing track, the New Orleans favourite, Blue Monday, Dr John’s presence as much as his always-splendid piano playing adds a real flavour of the Crescent City musical vibe. -Red Lick

(Counting Crows - Somewhere Under Wonderland)

Over the course of the record’s nine tracks, Counting Crows yet again demonstrate their innate ability to serve as pop-rock’s preeminent chameleons. Case in point is the prog-pop opus that is album opener and lead single Palisades Park – it opens with some gentle piano and muted trumpet and over its 8 minutes and 21 seconds, travels everywhere from earnest, lyrically candid piano balladry to ballsy, ‘70s-radio riff-rock.

From start to finish, it’s plain to see that Counting Crows have been around long enough to have earned their stripes and for as much diverse musical ground as they manage to traverse, they always have their own unmistakable sound. Somewhere Under Wonderland is yet another in a long line of pretty flawless pop-rock records by a band whose sense of instrumental adventurousness is only matched by the raw emotion of their masterful craftsmanship in pop songwriting. -Renowned For Sound

(The Color Morale - Hold On Pain Ends)

The Color Morale has been astonishingly prolific since signing to Rise Records back in 2009 as Hold On Pain Ends marks their fourth full-length, but first since making the jump from Rise to Fearless Records.

Over the past five years, The Color Morale have worked tirelessly to become one of the pillars of the post-hardcore genre. There isn’t a band with a closer, more intimate relationship with their fans, as Hold On Pain Ends was greatly inspired by a countless number of fans who have blessed the band with their stories over the past few years. I’m not sure how the band or their current fan base would respond to a vast expansion in their popularity, but Hold On Pain Ends suggests they better prepare for it. And if there’s a band whose message I wouldn’t mind reaching a much broader audience, it’s The Color Morale’s. -Under The Gun

(The Haunted - Exit Wounds)

With Exit Wounds it seems that we may have got that in the style of a thrash metal beast. A thrash metal beast with a ton of groove that stops it getting boring. The production is top notch, the rhythm section is beyond solid, the guitars are totally killer without and don’t waste a solo and the vocals, oh my, that is the key here. When hearing music like this you need a vocalist who can kill it every single time.

It’s been a while but can we just say to The Haunted…….. Welcome back. -Hit The Floor

(Hammerfall - (r)Evolution)

“(r)Evolution” is an uprising of old and represents a reset for the band that would stylistically fall somewhere between “Legacy of Kings” and “Crimson Thunder.” The material is refreshed and catchy without being overdone and drab. The band’s decision to stick to what it is good at and what made the group famous was a sound decision. Of course, there will be certain fans of Hammerfall that will never be satisfied unless a time machine is built to transport their physical beings to catch up with the late 90’s mentality. I cannot imagine any reason how any longtime fans would be disappointed. HammerFall has given you exactly what you wanted – a return to passionate and glorious cheese so you must “Live Life Loud.” -Metal Underground

(Brian Tyler - The Expendables 3)

After a sustained period of frankly not a great deal, things do wake up with a sudden for the album’s last three cues – “Valet Parking Done Right” is a rip-roaring cue, “Moral Chess Games” then brings back the electronic sound heard earlier in the score and the best cue of all is saved for last, the spectacular six-minute “Armoured Freaking Transport” making great use of the familiar main theme.  The Expandables 3 is an enjoyable album, but it does feature some less interesting passages and (understandably) some of the better parts are very similar to those heard in the previous scores.  It’s all good fun, though perhaps not quite as much as the last ones. -Movie-Wave


(Brian Reitzell - Hannibal Season 1: Volume 1)

(Brian Reitzell - Hannibal Season 1: Volume 2)

This score is crazy it really is. It’s like entering the twisted mind of Hannibal, but I enjoy the heck out of it. There’s nothing better to put on my headphones and listen to this score. It puts myself and my mind at a completely different place and I love it there. Beware though, play this score at your own peril. I don’t know if it’s good for you or not, but you just have to try it. By the way, if you think 2.5 hours of this is crazy, there is apparently 25 hours of score recorded for the first two seasons. This score contains just excerpts. The booklet even says how to listen to the score: “The opening track allows the listener to quickly adjust the peak volume on their playback system. For an optimum listening experience, once set, the volume should remain at this position”. -Soundtrack Geek


(We Came As Romans - Present, Future, and Past)

Present, Future, and Past, which serves as the group’s first full length DVD release, showcases a band far more mature and seasoned than the fresh-faced young men I recall from that concert many years ago. Beginning several seconds before the group hits the stage in front of a sold out crowd at the House Of Blues in Chicago, the film offers an incredibly well produced multi-angle take on WCAR’s live show that has never been offered to fans before. The sound is impeccable, with Stephens and Pavone taking center stage (both literally and metaphorically), and the powerhouse level of strength and talent displayed at the beginning is maintained throughout. There is no pyro or over the top theatrics, but none of that matters because the group’s collective presence is so demanding it’s almost impossible to look away. The lighting is also on point, which is an added plus. -Under The Gun

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Music News and New Music For August 27th, 2014

So of course, when running your own blog it can be tough to keep up with the s**tload of stuff that comes across our ears over a weekend!  Some good, some bad, some not even worth mentioning.  I guess that's how I use AFGM in general.  These articles that I go through everyday from various sites (Blabbermouth, CBC, National Post, AV Club, Google, Wired, Exclaim, Music News, Rolling Stone, etc.) and sort of "filter" some of the nonsense news such as the latest fashion design, who's got beef with who and who ISN'T doing music...still.

These articles brought forth are for a few different reasons:

1. It is relevant music information that pertains to you as a reader, no matter the level of intent or the genre.

2. They are relevant to the music I would be currently listening to or a genre I have put some attention and focus on.

3. I am rather patriotic about my Canadian music, so that always comes as a first for me.  I enjoy music from all parts of the world respectively, but I still have to promote local if I can.  Canadian music rocks!

4. Because it's humorous and we can always use a good laugh.  Rarely will it be at someone's expense...but then again I am just the guy talking about it.  They're the ones causing the comments.

So in closing, I trust you all will not read EVERY single article posted here.  But I hope you find something of use here and keep the conversation going by forwarding it onto someone else.  Click on each article heading for redirection to the full article.  Cheers!

Inside Toronto's largest country music venue (for now):

"The 1,500 capacity indoor/outdoor space looks to capitalize on Toronto's newfound love of all things western, and includes a mechanical bull, a barbecue-heavy menu, and nightly line dancing, much of which is set to live music."

Toronto's Bloor Ossington Folk Festival Reveals 2014 Lineup with Julie Doiron and the Wrong Guys, Brendan Canning, Shotgun Jimmie:

"BOFF was designed as a way to celebrate Toronto's rich music scene while delivering the warm and local feeling of a classic Canadian folk festival.  As the scene flourishes, we will be right there with it, keeping close watch and helping to progress Canadian musical talents." -Kristjan Harris

Drug-testing kits can help prevent deaths at music festivals:

“People die at music festivals. That’s not a thing that we should just accept.  There’s a lot of other drugs that are being created and sold and passed off as other substances. Buying street drugs, you never really know what it is.  If you test it for something and it ends up being something that you didn’t think it was going to be, you can still make an informed decision of whether to toss it or do it anyway." -Lori Kufner

Chuck Berry wins 2014 Polar music prize:

"My heart is in Sweden. I want to thank the king and the royal family for awarding me the Polar Prize. I understand what a great honour it is to be a recipient, and I'm sorry that I'm unable to travel and receive this personally." -Dave Edmunds (who read a speech on Berry's behalf)

I Dream Of Wires:

"Before Moog was a household name, synthesizers were huge machines made up of many smaller modules that could be patched together into nearly infinite configurations. To make a sound, the user had to physically connect oscillators, filters and other signal processors with wires."

Benjamin Booker delivers a Big Easy attitude in his debut album:

"It’s real grainy-throated, wild-thing stuff, with fuzz pedals used as buzz saws and a southern-fried swamp-boogie manner influenced by the diverse likes of Blind Willie Johnson, the Gun Club and, perhaps, his label mates Alabama Shakes."

SoundCloud to Introduce Advertising and Subscription Service:

"Now SoundCloud has decided it is time to grow up. On Thursday, as part of a new licensing deal with entertainment companies, SoundCloud will begin incorporating advertising and for the first time let artists and record labels collect royalties. Eventually, it plans to introduce a paid subscription that will let listeners skip those ads, as they can with Spotify and other licensed services."

Sony’s online gaming & music sites hacked:

"Sony said the hacker tried to overwhelm its system with high artificial traffic, and they’re now working to restore service.

No personal information was accessed and a group called Lizard Squad is claiming responsibility for the attack."

Inside the Magical Room Where the Best Headphones in the World Are Made:

"The Grados have been making audiophile-grade cans in the same building since 1955. What was the family produce mart is now a factory, and through the graffitied doors is the listening room, where company president John Grado uses a special hi-fi stack to tune every headphone his company makes."

Addiction in the orchestra: classical music's drink and drugs problem:

"I was 23 when it dawned on me that I might be an alcoholic. It was a cold February morning and I was in a public lavatory in south London, decanting supermarket-brand vodka into an empty water bottle, so I could carry it undetected in my handbag. My morning routine centred completely on alcohol and had done for two years. If I didn't get it into my system as soon as I woke up, my body would begin to display hideous symptoms of withdrawal. Shakes, cold sweats, crawling skin, stomach cramps and dry heaves, to name a few. I would drink enough to get me to the nearest supermarket, where the vodka was cheapest, and buy more. Again and again, every day, like an unsteady automaton."

Eminem Announces 'Shady XV':

"Yes it's official… #SHADYXV Black Friday."

Mars Volta Offshoot Antemasque Roll Out North American Tour:

10/02 Antwerp, Belgium – Trix
10/03 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
10/04 Dortmund, Germany - Visions Westend Festival
10/06 Berlin, Germany - Bi Nuu
10/07 Hamburg, Germany - Markthalle
10/09 Zurich, Switzerland - Rote Fabrik
10/10 Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland - L'Amalgame
10/11 Paris, France - Gaite Lyrique
10/13 Brighton, England - Concorde 2
10/14 Leeds, England - Brudenell Social Club
10/15 London, England - Electric Ballroom
10/31 Monterrey, Mexico - Pal Norte Rock Festival
11/03 Mexico City, Mexico - Circo Volador
11/05 Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel
11/06 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
11/08 Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Bowl
11/09 New York, NY - The Bowery Ballroom
11/11 Boston, MA - Middle East Downstairs
11/12 Rochester, NY - Water Street Music Hall
11/14 Toronto, ON - Mod Club
11/15 Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
11/16 Chicago, IL - Metro
02/21 Adelaide, Australa - Soundwave Festival
02/22 Melbourne, Australia - Soundwave Festival
02/28 Sydney, Australia - Soundwave Festival
03/01 Brisbane, Australia - Soundwave Festival

Classical music students - the future's bright, just use your imagination:

"In 1977 I won a bet with my brother Andrew. This meant that he finally had to write me the cello piece he had been promising for years. The trouble was that he decided it should be a piece for cello and rock band - and the classical music world was a lot stuffier then than it is now. That was the time when melody, rhythm and harmony were taboo in contemporary classical music and I was warned by friends and colleagues alike that I would literally ruin my career by recording it. But I believed in the piece so I took the chance.

And it didn’t ruin my career."

Prince Announces 'Art Official Age' Album:

"Plectrum Electrum will be released under the band name 3rd Eye Girl.  The album's called 'Art Official Age', and features 13 new songs from Prince.

Art Official Age:

5. U KNOW Prince
9. affirmation I & II
12. TIME
13. affirmation III

Both Art Official Age and Plectrum Electrum will arrive on September 30."

Trapt Stream Acoustic Version Of “Headstrong” From “The Acoustic Collection”:

“The Acoustic Collection” will be released on September 23rd, 2014 via Crash Collide Records.

Beck goofed himself into a career with “Loser”:

"Built on a foundation of a bluesy slide guitar riff, a hip-hop beat, and a simple, sticky sitar line, the track wouldn’t necessarily have made much of a splash. But Beck’s nonsensical, funny lyrics—some would criticize him at the time for just making shit up—sold it."

How to Turn Any Old Speakers Into Wireless Streamers:

"Logitech’s Bluetooth Audio Adapter, priced at a mere $40, is one of the cheapest commercial options we’ve seen. You plug it into your power strip, connect your powered speakers to the adapter with either RCA or 3.5mm inputs, and then pair with your Bluetooth-enabled device. It gets great Amazon reviews, with most folks finding the audio quality to be surprisingly good (as long as the source quality is also good) and setup simple. It transmits over the older Bluetooth 3.0 standard. Note that this tiny adapter (like most others) doesn’t have an amplifier, so you’ll need to connect it to an existing audio amp or a set of powered speakers."

Ryan Adams Expands North American Fall Tour:

09/08 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
09/18 London, UK - Shepherds Bush Empire
09/19 London, UK - Shepherds Bush Empire
09/21 London, UK - Itunes Festival
09/24 Manchester, UK - Albert Hall
09/25 Glasgow, UK - Royal Concert Hall
10/01 Santa Barbara, CA - Arlington Theater
10/05 Portland, OR - Arlene Schnitzer Hall
10/06 Seattle, WA - Paramount Ballroom
10/07 Vancouver, BC - Orpheum Theater
10/09 Edmonton, AB - Francis Winspear Theater
10/10 Calgary, AB - Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
10/12 Winnipeg, MB - Burton Cummings Theater
10/13 Minneapolis, MN - Northrop at the University of Minnesota
10/14 Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theater
10/16 Chicago, IL - Chicago Theater
10/18 Ames, IA - Stephens Auditorium
10/19 St. Louis, MO - Peabody Opera House
10/20 Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theater
10/03 San Francisco, CA - Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
11/06 Indianapolis, IN - Murat Theatre
11/08 Columbus, OH - Palace Theater
11/09 Detroit, MI - The Fillmore
11/11 Cleveland, OH - Playhousesquare
11/12 Toronto, ON - Massey Hall
11/18 Boston, MA - Wang Theatre
11/19 Philadelphia, PA - Tower Theatre

ALICE COOPER: 'Raise The Dead - Live From Wacken' DVD + CD Due In October:

"'Raise The Dead' will be available as DVD + CD digipack. The DVD contains 22 songs from the Wacken Open Air concert on August 3, 2013 and an interview with the man himself as a bonus. The double CD contains the complete concert.

A latent Gin Blossoms single shows just how slow the music industry moved in ’94:

"Though the Gin Blossoms debut, New Miserable Experience, was released in August of 1992, “Found Out About You” wasn’t released as a single until November of 1993. By then the band was already being pegged as a one hit wonder thanks to “Hey Jealousy,” but New Miserable Experience proved a deeper well, allowing for “Found Out About You” to actually chart higher on the modern rock charts than the album’s most identifiable track."

The 5 Most Expensive Music Videos Of All Time:

"Of all the expensive music videos made over time (and there are quite a few), the top five are created by only two artists: Michael Jackson and Madonna. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as those two legends are some of the only ones who would have enough clout to rustle up millions for a four-minute movie."


"Aside from the fact that Google could really use a naming Czar, the rumoured streaming service will mean a dramatic change for YouTube which has, until now, been a great place to find new music, independent artists and generally get stuck in video spirals lasting hours.

YouTube Music Key is forcing users to pay for access to music, which is probably fair enough, assuming that the artists featured on the service get a decent cut of the profits, which for $9.99 a month, seems unlikely."

Why Does Sad Music Make Us Feel Happy?:

"In a new paper published in the journal Psychology of Music, a pair of researchers from Hiroshima University in Japan, Kazuma Mori and Makota Iwanaga, describe an experiment showing that perceiving sadness in music can actually induce pleasant feelings in the listener. Mori and Iwanaga recruited 51 Japanese college students and had them listen to happy-sounding songs with a fast tempo and a major key with lyrics either in Swedish or Spanish—languages the students didn’t understand. These lyrics expressed sad ideas on topics like “adolescent distress and confusion” or “broken hearts and regret.” A few minutes after hearing the upbeat song (with lyrics they didn't understand), the students read Japanese translations of the lyrics. Two weeks later, the researchers brought the students back to the lab and had them listen to songs that again had happy tunes and sad lyrics, but this time, they simultaneously read translations of the lyrics in Japanese. After each presentation, the students registered how they felt on a seven-point scale from zero (“very unpleasant”) to six (“very pleasant”). They also answered questions on their perceptions of the emotion expressed by the material—ranking the intensity of the song’s happiness and sadness on a scale of zero-to-six."

Cassette Store Day 2014 Preps Releases from Julian Casablancas, Karen O, Best Coast, J Dilla, Foxygen:

"The second annual event will feature the latest releases from the Strokes' frontman Julian Casablancas and Yeah Yeah Yeahs leading lady Karen O, as well as limited-edition offerings from Best Coast, J Dilla, Madvillain, Foxygen, Vivian Girls, Cloud Nothings and the Gaslight Anthem. "

Will age classifications for music videos work?:

"According to the powers that be, music videos are now so subversive that they require film-style age certificates. From 1 October, UK-based internet users will be subject to a three-month pilot scheme that will see UK-produced music videos (and attendant hard copy releases of videos via DVDs and CDs) stamped with 12, 15, 18 or R18 certificates. The music video trial is being led by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), working with Google, BPI (the body representing the UK music industry), two major video platforms (Vevo and YouTube) and three major labels: Sony, Warner and Universal."

Comeback Kid’s ‘Rain City Sessions’ Available:

"We did an in studio session Rain City Recorders in Vancouver a couple months ago. Check it out here!!"

1 – Wake The Dead
2 – Should Know Better
3 – All In A Year
4 – Losing Sleep
5 – The Concept Stays
6 – Lower The Line

Sloan Announce North American Tour:

09/09 Toronto, ON - Yonge/Dundas HMV (6 p.m.)
10/07 Sudbury, ON - Townehouse
10/08 Thunder Bay, ON - The Outpost
10/10 St Paul, MN - Turf Club
10/11 Winnipeg, MB - The Pyramid
10/12 Regina, SK - The Lazy Owl
10/14 Saskatoon, SK - O'Briens Event Centre
10/15 Calgary, AB – The Commonwealth Bar
10/16 Edmonton, AB – Dinwoodie Lounge
10/17 Kelowna, BC – Flashbacks
10/18 Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
10/19 Portland, OR – Star Theatre
10/20 Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern
10/22 San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop
10/23 Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Theatre

THE CULT's BILLY DUFFY Thinks Next Album 'Will Be More Guitar Heavy':

"I don't think it will be like [2007's] 'Born Into This'; I think it will be more guitar heavy.  That was a 'guitar-light' album for a lot of reasons that I won't get into, but it seemed a little guitar shy for a CULT album for my ears — but I am biased.

We're not far enough in [the songwriting process for the next CD]; we've got completed songs, but there isn't really enough of a cross section of material to figure out what it's gonna be like yet. I don't see it being a quantum departure; I don't think it's going to be too bonkers. I don't know — for all I know, Ian [Astbury, vocals] wants to make an electro dub dance album." -Duffy

Texas In July Premiere New Song “Sweetest Poison”:

Their new album “Bloodwork“ will be out on September 16th, 2014 via Equal Vision Records.

A Clever App That Lets You Make Music With Shapes:

"The app works like ultra-simple sample-production software, allowing you to create layered beats. But while complex programs will drown you in buttons and knobs, Geometric Music only uses shapes to dictate how something sounds. Every noise you make is translated into one of four shapes (circle, triangle, square or hexagon), and you manipulate those shapes to change the rhythm, speed and volume. Think of it as tapping into a digitally-enabled form of shaped-based synesthesia."

Shadows Fall To Go On Hiatus From Touring, Planning ‘Final’ North American Trek:

"Massachusetts metal band Shadows Fall will embark on their final European tour in less than a week. The “Hell on Earth” tour will begin in Frankfurt, Germany on Aug. 29 and runs until Sept. 14. The tour also features Unearth, The Acacia Strain and War of Ages. The band has been touring non-stop for over a decade and has decided that it’s time to “take a hiatus” from future extensive touring. In addition to this upcoming European run, Shadows Fall are planning a final North American tour and will possibly visit a few other territories some time over the next year. We will post details once everything is locked in. There are many factors that are behind this difficult decision that the band has been dealing with for some time now. In a nutshell it comes down to families, member availability, and finances. Further impacting our decision is the fact that we have two members with young children. Plain and simple, they want to be with their families to watch their kids grow. Touring full time in a band these days has never been more difficult financially. When you have to ensure the future comfort of your family, difficult decisions have to be made. Another reason is the fact that our lead guitarist (Jon Donais) is now in Anthrax, which makes it hard for us to do any extensive touring with our full lineup. Due to his obligations with Anthrax, he will not be able to join us on this European tour. Felipe Roa will once again fill Jon’s position and we are thankful to him for joining us on this run. Also returning for this tour is original bassist Paul Romanko who has sat out from touring for the last two years to raise his son. This has been a real hard decision for all of us to make but we feel at this time this is the right thing to do. We don’t hate each other, we’re not bitter, we in fact still have a really great time together, but the ride has slowed down and it's time for the next chapters in our lives, whatever that may be. We can't thank the fans that have supported Shadows Fall since the beginning enough. Without you, none of this would have been possible. For the past decade and a half, we have been able to create the music we have always wanted to hear and share it with music fans everywhere. That being said, you still may see us at a festival or two over the next few years…if they ask, we will come! In the meantime please check out the dates for the last European go around and we will see you out there!"

Kamelot Putting The Finishing Touches On Songwriting For Next Album:

"Hi Folks, I'm in the Stuttgart area this week working on the final parts of the next Kamelot album with Mr. Palotai. It's going great and we have lots of music and ideas in store. Stay tuned for some more pics and video from the week. Cheers! 

Greetings from the underground!"

Haste The Day Smash Their Crowdfunding Goal For New Album:

"Wow, thank you all so much! We cannot believe the support you've shown us. This record will be incredible! We have some really awesome stretch goals that we will unlock over the next few weeks that will make this project even better!"

Pianos Become The Teeth Sign With Epitaph:

"We couldn't be more excited to announce that our third LP, entitled Keep You, will be released on October 28, 2014 through Epitaph Records. You can stream a song from the record below and pre-order the record here: http://smarturl.it/keepyou.

With such an important and diverse history, it is a huge honor to join the Epitaph family. This album is incredibly special to us and we can't thank you all for your continued support."

Spotify's transfixing map of music twins around the world:

"Right now, you're likely listening to music perfectly in-sync with another person in some other corner of the globe. But who are they? Now, you can find out where they live, at least. A new feature from music-streaming service Spotify displays an online map that shows when people in different cities hit play on the same song at the same time."

RIP Tim “Rawbiz” Williams:

"It’s with complete sadness that we have to announce the passing of bassists Tim “Rawbiz” Williams. Tim played bass for Suicidal Tendencies for almost four years until recently. 

Tim was a monster on bass, running around on stage in the pit, giving his all, even when his body wasn’t at it's best. 

We will always remember him and appreciate all the kind words by those that were touched by his bass playing and him personally."

SLAYER Returns To Studio To Record New Album:

Classic Iron Maiden '80s Vinyl Reissues On The Way:

"Parlophone Records (BMG/INgrooves Music Group for the USA) will follow the 2012/13 IRON MAIDEN vinyl picture disc reissues of the first eight Iron Maiden albums, which spanned the 1980s, with brand new pressings of the albums in heavyweight 180g black vinyl.

In conjunction with these premium album releases, a strictly limited one-off run of the 7” singles from each respective album will be made available. These highly collectable black vinyl singles will be cut from the original analogue master tapes. Released in replica artwork packaging, they are sure to become a must-have item for fans, collectors and anyone who missed out first time round.

The albums will also be cut from the original analogue master tapes and packaged in identical artwork to the initial 1980’s releases. As a bonus, the first batch of album releases (Iron Maiden/Killers/The Number Of The Beast) will also be made available in a Collector’s Box sized to house all 8 albums. This package will be a strictly limited edition and available while stocks last."

30 Years of Music Industry Change

Everybody wants a piece of this pie.  In music, the format of your music is closely watched by music industry professionals trying the gauge what you might purchase next while making sure you still get the best quality of music.  As you are all ware of, our society has jumped between formats in the past few decades.  We have seen a significant shift in format preference from vinyl to cassette to CD to digital audio.  We are all looking for the best music can offer and are willing to pay lots of money for that privilege.  I'm sure that if someone said they are listening to music under a 128kps, they'd think you're nuts!

Check out the GIF pie chart below to simulate the shift in format purchases over the past 30 years.  It's pretty crazy to see how much of one format would monopolize music in general.  I also have the two articles I found this information from.  You can read them here and here.

**US-based recordings.  Data supplied by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA); animation created by Digital Music News.**

So do you think we have hit the plateau for music formats?  Since the discovery of lossless music/FLAC, do you think there is any higher that we can soar?  Do you think that someone's news ideas like PONO could change the game still?  Or did the digital/i-Pod phase put us at top of our game?

Music Releases For August 26th, 2014

A very well rounded music selection this week.  And you bet your ass I included the new O-Town album.  While I have no interest in listening to the new material, I thought it was too amusing to pass up since all these boy bands from the millennium feel the need to get back together and do a new album/tour/cash grab.  Don't worry, I've rounded it out with music that people will likely purchase from a record store, online retailer, or other digital source.

Rustie, Opeth, Avenged Sevenfold, and Thousand Foot Krutch all have highly anticipated albums hitting stores today.  All four have come off some of their biggest albums to date so these follow ups (not including A7X) will have a doozy of a time with their follow ups.  But from the reviews I have gone through so far, none of the albums listed below had much criticism (minus one guy I saw pretty mad about the heavy/prog mix of Opeth).

So kick back, turn on the headphones or speakers and spin some tunes at your work desk or at home.  Cheers!

(Rustie - Green Language)

For his second album, also released on Warp, Rustie indeed slows it down a bit and peels away some layers, but he does so without making any concessions to politeness. Most of these tracks breathe more, due in part to allow room for grime great D Double E, tense duo Gorgeous Children, and a typically foul-mouthed Danny Brown, whose 2013 album Old included a trio of Rustie beats. Dynamic instrumental cuts like "Raptor," "Paradise Stone," and "Tempest," like much of Glass Swords, evoke colorful video game landscapes but are crafted with a little more finesse. -All Music

(O-Town - Lines & Circles)

It’s all too easy to be cynical and see Lines & Circles as a cash-grab by a band trying to ride the current wave of early-2000s nostalgia, but it seems like the remaining members of O-Town have put some serious effort into making a worthwhile album. I certainly can’t fault them for trying and the result certainly isn’t lazy, but it definitely sounds limited. For all the different instruments and styles that feature on this album, the music on display is of inconsistent quality and ultimately the whole album just sounds average. I’ll certainly recommend it to people who want a trendy-sounding pop band that can sound cheerful and lovelorn with equal amounts of sincerity, but those of you who want something with a bit more substance are advised to look elsewhere. -Renowned For Sound

(Cymbals Eat Guitars - Lose)

This is an album you’ll want to play loud anyway, and just soak and bask in the overall vibes that this record provides. You’ll want to hear this over and over again, and you will not tire or get sick of this album on multiple replays – in fact, it may get even stronger which each and every progressive pass through it, as it opens up and reveals itself. This is a thoughtful album that just so happens to rock out in a similar wild abandon to Cloud Nothings. However, there are more nooks and crannies to get lost in here. Simply put, this is a record that should christen Cymbals Eat Guitars as a force to be reckoned with. All I can really say is, for its themes of loss and longing, its wide-eyed sense of wistfulness, for all of its hopefulness in misfortune, Lose ends up being a win. And a major one at that. -Pop Matters

(Thousand Foot Krutch - Oxygen: Inhale)

Canadian rockers Thousand Foot Krutch follow one of the greatest albums of their career with a more somber and devoted set of tracks that strip back all the hype and production and dare to be incredibly exposed and vulnerable. With a more Americana, classic rock, or even a more “raw” rock vibe, Oxygen: Inhale brings ten tracks that are unafraid to explore both brokenness before God and utter dependence on Him. O:I may not be as immediately accepted as 2012′s The End is Where We Begin, however, I argue that there are possibly even deeper waters to be found here. -Indie Vision Music

(Opeth - Pale Communion)

If those fans were hopeful that their next LP would go back to death metal after Mikael Akerfeldt said that the album would be heavier and more sinister than Heritage, they're going to be disappointed. Pale Communion keeps the band firmly in the progressive genre, but those who are disappointed by that turn of events can at least take heart in the fact that the new LP is a more focused, honed effort than Heritage. With their first full experimentation into progressive rock established, the group is able to refine that sound into something greater, leading them to new heights within their genre. -411 Mania

(Avenged Sevenfold - Waking The Fallen Resurrected)

•  Two new songs, including the lead track “Waking The Fallen: Resurrected,” which had been lost to history before it was discovered buried deep within the original multi-track recordings. Originally intended to make the album as a full song, it was ultimately reworked into a vocal free intro. Later the band drew inspiration from this lost song’s piano intro, building it out into their hit song “Beast And The Harlot” off of their next album City Of Evil. This song is a previously unknown link between two major eras in the band’s career.

• Four never before heard demos recorded by Thrice’s Teppei Teranishi including “Chapter Four,” “Remenissions,” “I Won’t See You Tonight Part 1,” “I Won’t See You Tonight Part 2.” These early version demos contain alternate lyrics, melodies, and arrangements giving fans a unique and unprecedented behind the scenes look at the evolution of four of the band’s most popular songs.

• Five live versions recorded in 2004 from some of the band’s earliest shows including “Chapter Four (Live In Ventura),” “Desecrate Through Reverence (Live In Pomona),” “Eternal Rest (Live In Pomona),” “Unholy Confessions (Live In Ventura),” “Second Heartbeat (Live In Ventura).” Very little live material from this era of Avenged Sevenfold’s career has ever seen the light of day.

• A 30 minute documentary featuring brand new interviews from band looking back on the of the lead up, demoing, recording and touring around the Waking The Fallen album. The 30 minute film includes personal behind the scenes home movies and photos from the band’s earliest days.

• The original first cut of the  “Unholy Confessions” music video. -Hopeless Records

Monday, August 25, 2014

MTV Music Video Awards: Best and Worst

Other than you prestigeous Grammy Awards (or Juno Awards In Canada), The MTV Music Video Awards are considered quite an accomplishment in the grand scheme of fans, record labels, and artists.  Many fans look forward to watching their favourite artist (or entertainer) up on stage kicking back in a less stuffy formalities.  I like to think of the MTV Awards as the party cousin of the Grammys.  There's more room for potential conflict, you are still hearing the top 40 tunes you would normally hear, and it seems to just be a more laid back vibe overall to it.

So you are probably wondering why I said potential conflict.  Well, it's not necessarily conflict that arises but more of the highlights of the awards.  The Grammy Awards (I feel) tend to be focused on the nominees and their album highlights.  The MTV Awards seem to be more focused on performances and 'making a splash' if you will.  So when I say conflict, I am referring to the spectacles and outbursts that they are normally sought out for.

So Rolling Stone published an article on August 20th, 2014 with the title "31 Most Outrageous MTV VMAs Moments of All Time" followed by "What's the Best MTV VMAs Performance?" released on August 22nd, 2014.  While looking through both articles, it definitely gave me some throwback moments to when I normally tuned into the program every year.  I remember being 13 years old at the time and looking forward to the advertised performance of Kid Rock.  His collaboration with Run DMC and eventual surprise of Aerosmith was definitely one of the highlights I can remember in my time:

Only 15 years ago, not too bad right?  At least at this point in my life I wasn't being bombarded with horrible black and white suits mixed with skin coloured twerking.  Speaking of antics at the MTV Awards, I feel that Rage Against The Machine takes the icing on the cake for me:

Not because of the level of stupidity or the danger level it posed, but the aftermath that the antic spurred.  According to a few quotes from Tom Morello and Zach De La Rocha, this stunt gave a bad perception of RATM and ultimately lead to the band's break up in 2000.  To me, that was a big issue for a band I grew up listening to since their debut record in 1992.  But prior to that, they had a killer performance of their single "Testify".

So I turn it over to you and ask what your favourite performance/biggest spectacle you've seen on the MTV Video Music Awards?