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:

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?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Music Video Round Up For August 21st, 2014

Going through my playlist at the end of a work week is like the toast to the weekend.  YouTube playlists and subscriptions coming out my ears so sometimes it's rather hard to follow each upload unless doing a round up such as this.  I hope this will make the starting of your weekend energetic, whether you are going into work or escaping from it.

Apologies in advance for those who loathe my video articles but there are just too many great clips out there to ignore.  So if you do not have the bandwidth to watch this video, then too bad!  Hahaha just kidding.

So for the slower connections just load the article, go for a coffee/glass of water, return, play and enjoy!  This will surely be one of my playlists for the end of the work day and hopefully doesn't keep your eyes glued to the screen for too long.  Cheers and happy Thursday!

The Wild Feathers - Left My Woman:

The self-titled debut release dropped on August 13th, 2013 via Warner Bros Records.

Flying Colors - Mask Machine:

The sophomore album "Second Nature" will be released in Europe on September 29th, 2014 via Mascot Label Group.

Nickelback - Edge of A Revolution (Lyric Video):

The group's new album will be announced for sometime in the fall of 2014 via Republic Records.

Alice In Chains - Check My Brain (Live From Guitar Center Sessions):

Guitar Center is the world's largest retailer of musical instruments and has many bands featured on their YouTube channel.

Red Fang - The Meadows:

“The Meadows” is featured on Red Fang's recent free EP via Scion A/V.  You can download a copy of the EP here. (

The Offspring - Dividing by Zero/Slim Pickens Does the Right Thing and Rides the Bomb to Hell:

"Days Go By" was released on June 26th, 2012 via Columbia Records.

Buckcherry - F**k It:

Buckcherry's new EP "F**k" was released on August 19th, 2014.

Beartooth - The Lines:

"The Lines" is taken from Beartooth's debut LP titled "Disgusting", which was released on June 10th, 2014 via Red Bull Records.

Lacuna Coil - Nothing Stands In Our Way:

"Nothing Stands In Our Way" is taken from Lacuna Coil's latest album "Broken Crown Halo" which was released on April 1st, 2014 via Century Media Records.

Korn - Hater:

"The Paradigm Shift" was released on October 8th, 2013 via Prospect Park.

Sirens & Sailors - The Chosen One:

"Skeletons" was released on October 29th, 2013 via Artery Recordings/Razor & Tie.

Five Finger Death Punch - Wrong Side of Heaven:

"Wrong Side of Heaven" is taken from the band's forth studio album "The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1", which was released on July 30th, 2014 via Prospect Park.

Obey The Brave - Raise Your Voice:

Their new album “Salvation" will be released on September 16th, 2014 via Epitaph Records.

Chelsea Grin - Playing with Fire:

"Ashes To Ashes" is the latest album from Chelsea Grin and was released on July 8th, 2014 via Artery/Razor & Tie Records.

Darkest Hour - Rapture In Exile (Rehearsal Video):

"Do you have the new album yet! Well here is something special for you all. A little rehearsal video taken from when we were working on the album. We wrote this thing like a band and a family. 5 bad ass dudes doing there best to make a masterpiece! PICK UP THE ALBUM THIS WEEK, and HELP THE DUDES OUT!"

We Came As Romans - To Plant A Seed (Live):

The “Present, Future And Past” live DVD will be released on September 2nd, 2014 via Equal Vision Records.

The Francesco Artusato Project - Gates Of Reason (Visual):

“Our Dying Sun” will be released on October 7th, 2014 via Sumerian Records.

Music News and New Music For August 21st, 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!

"Sonic Highways" Trailer Lands Online:

"Sonic Highways" shares its title with the Dave Grohl-directed eight-episode HBO series.  The album will be released on November 10th, 2014 while the HBO series will be premiering Friday, October 17 at 11 p.m.

Guitars for Glory Connects Communities Through Music:

“We’ve seen it firsthand.  We've seen how people are inspired by receiving guitar how now this new ability to play music they can give to other people in their community. One guitar helps more than just one person." -Ben Werzinger

Bush To Release 'Man On The Run' Album In October Via Crowd Funding:

"Hello and welcome, everyone—Gavin here. This site is where you can pre-order BUSH’s brand new record (and a lot of other things). Your support has always meant everything to us, and we’re incredibly excited to bring you this music in a direct and unique way here on PledgeMusic.

By ordering anything here, you’ll get the new album digitally the moment it’s released – in fact, you’ll be the first to know all about it.

And by joining us here, you’ll also have access to videos, previously unreleased music, exclusive photos, and the chance to have some amazing experiences and interactions with Chris, Robin, Corey and me. It’s an exciting way for us to share the process of releasing our new music.

Thanks always for the continued support. We couldn’t do this new thing without you.
Big love.


The future of new music is at risk if we continue to undervalue composers:

"• 66% of the 466 composers who responded stated they do not find commissions to be a significant proportion of their income. Given that the respondents had an average of 2.65 commissions in 2013 with an average fee per commission of £1,392 it’s easy to see why.

• 74% of composers received the same amount or more commissions in 2013 than in 2012 but only 15% earned more income. We also discovered that those who had been undertaking commissions for more than five years were likely to win more commissions but get paid less per commission.

• There are significant variances in income: the best paid 1% of composers received over 25% of all commission income captured by our survey. Once we excluded them from our sample, average annual commission income fell from £3,689 to £2,717.

• 49% of composers feel there is less rehearsal/preparation time for new works."

Thurston Moore Details 'Thrashing, Blissful' New Solo LP 'The Best Day':

Thurston Moore's "The Best Day" will be released on October 21st, 2014 via Matador Records.

Van Morrison Collects His Lyrics for 'Lit Up Inside' Book:

"We are delighted to present a very special evening with Van Morrison. This will take place on Monday 17th November 2014 at London's Lyric Theatre, for one night only, Van will be reading, discussing and performing his work.

This event will celebrate the launch of his selected lyrics "Lit up Inside" published by Faber & Faber.

Speaking about the book Van said 'The lyrics in this book span 50 years of writing and as such are representative of my creative journey.'

During the show Van will be joined by Eamonn Hughes, Ian Rankin, Michael Longley, Edna O'Brien and others, creating a night that will be unique for any fan of the man and his work."

Duran Duran Team Up with Mark Ronson, Nile Rodgers and John Frusciante for New Album:

"We were holding this exciting news because we were hoping to give you full details when we announced, but as word has leaked out, catching us rather off guard, we wanted to confirm… yes it’s true, the extraordinarily talented John Frusciante has indeed been doing some work from his home base in California on our new album. The tracks have been going back and forth via the internet, and we are thrilled with the results. We are all such big fans of John’s work and are honoured to have him adding his magic to the record! There are no current plans for John to tour with us, but his guitars sound incredible on the tracks.

Hoping to have more news for you soon." -Simon, John, Nick & Roger

Followed by:

"In writing a Duran today I said, 'Let's change one chord to a G-7b6' and Nick played it instantly! *proud*" - Nile Rodgers — with Nikola Stankovic" -Druan Duran

From segregation to Save The Music:

"I'm teaching now because I want to, not because I have to.  The kids I teach can't afford great things, but they learn how to succeed in the environment they are growing up in." -Willie Pyfrom

Spotify launches in Canada as music streaming revenue jumps:

"Spotify allows users to build playlists populated from its database of some 20 million songs. Users can also listen to specialty playlists based on certain themes or genres. A free version of the service features banner ads. A premium service has no ads but costs $10 a month.

Unlike some other streaming music sites, Spotify allows all users, including those who don’t pay for the premium product, to play songs as often as they’d like – most Internet radio stations, as part of licensing deals with music providers, give users only limited control of what individual songs they can listen to by, for example, allowing users to skip past only a pre-set number of songs."

350,000 attend Irish music festival the Fleadh Cheoil in Sligo:

"Dedicated Irish music and dance lovers from as far away as South Korea, Australia and the US gathered in the western town for the annual lollapalooza of Irish music.

It is estimated that ten percent of the crowds came from outside Ireland."

ULI JON ROTH To Release 'Scorpions Revisited - Volume 1' Double Album:

"The idea was to stay truthful to the original spirit of the music, while also putting a new slant on it whenever it felt like the right thing to do. I feel we succeeded in this. It was a intense journey into the past and I think we really managed to bring the songs back to life with a vengeance. They seem to have a timeless quality and it was easy to revisit this music and fill the old songs with new life. For me, personally, it was very inspirational and I hope that some of that translates towards you, dear friends. I really learned a lot from the whole experience." -Roth

Tech N9ne Announces "Strangeulation Canadian Tour":

09/10 Chilliwack, BC - Tzeachten Hall
09/11 Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
09/12 Victoria, BC - Sugar Nightclub
09/14 Kelowna, BC- Sapphire Nite Club
09/15 Vernon, BC - Monashee's Bar & Grill
09/16 Calgary, AB - Marquee Beer Market & Stage
09/17 Red Deer, AB - Memorial Centre Auditorium
09/18 Edmonton, AB - Union Hall Event Centre
09/19 Saskatoon, SK - The Odeon Events Centre
09/19 Winnipeg, MB - Whiskey Dix
09/21 Thunder Bay, ON - Crocks
09/24 London, ON - London Music Hall
09/25 Montreal, QC - Le Petit Olympia
09/26 Toronto, ON - Rockpile West
09/27 Toronto, ON - Rockpile East
09/28 Halifax, NS - Cunard Centre Halifax
09/29 Moncton, NB - The Old Cosmo Complex
09/30 St. John's, NL - Allure on George
10/01 St. John's, NL - Allure on George

Tour features labelmate Krizz Kaliko and BC-based group Animal Nation.

Taking a trip to a different kind of music festival, for safety’s sake:

"There are no provincial or national guidelines that say what the minimum standard of care should be.  The evidence base for best practice at large gatherings is really thin." -Dr. Lund

Local guitarist, 17, earns music scholarship in New York:

“Music is complicated but when you introduce the recording process, it really gets complicated. We saw all the tricks, crazy things you can do in the studio.

Everyone has their own approach.  You find a way to where the song wants to go. Let it lead itself.

I think growing up with music is the seed for most musicians.  Then there’s the hard work that’s required in music. That’s what I wanted to know most from guys like Steve and Guthrie, how they practise and their practice schedule.” -Vegh

Revised music royalty rules could hurt Apple's Beats Music, iTunes Radio:

"Upward pressure on streaming costs could be a negative for Apple's newly acquired Beats Music unit.  Typically, attempting to pass this sort of cost increase through to customers after the low price Genie is out of the bottle is tough in a competitive environment." -Rod Hall (of J.P. Morgan)

Billy Corgan to Revisit His Pre-Smashing Pumpkins Work with Massive Demos Project:

"Also, my next planned release will be the start of a multi-volume collection of home demos from 1985-1990, which, if those who work for me can be believed, has over 800 titles to consider. But a word of caution, as these ‘works’ are all over the place in terms of quality, etc, as I was just a kid of 18 when I started making my own recordings; and not only do my influences show a little too hard in places, but so do my inadequacies as a sound engineer. To help avoid confusion then over what would be on the records, short sound clips of every release will be made avail; as many are instrumental or ‘vibey’ in nature and may not appeal to everyone (I didn’t really start singing my own songs until I was 19). Comments from those that have heard them though are kind and positive, such as (and I’m paraphrasing) those from Jeff Schroeder of SP, who told me that ‘it’s cool to hear you piece together what would eventually become the band’s sound, even at such a young age.’ And pieces these are!"

Paul McCartney Helps Score 'Destiny' Videogame:

"Mr. McCartney decided to sweeten his part of the collaboration by contributing a theme song for the game. In keeping with the rest of the soundtrack music, the song – the title has been kept under wraps – is fully orchestrated, and was recorded at Abbey Road with a 120-piece ensemble directed by Giles Martin. The sessions for the song were produced by Mark Stent, who has worked with Madonna, Bjork, Lady Gaga and U2, among others. The song is said to be about hope."

'Swing' music - We ask people what song would play as they walk up to bat:

"When did baseball and music become joined at the hip hop?

St. Louis Cardinals organist Ernie Hays played the theme from “Shaft” for Lou Brock in the 1970s and songs from “The Wizard of Oz” for Ozzie Smith in the 1980s. Chicago White Sox organist Nancy Foust began playing state songs for each player in the 1970s."

Sony gets you discounted music with Album of the Day app:

"We know that music fans today consume their music in a myriad of ways.  Sony Music remains committed to making the consumer experience as easy and enjoyable as possible for them, wherever and whenever they choose. The Album of the Day App offers a great new deal on a featured album every day by well known artists, giving fans the opportunity to download their favourite music directly from the app.” -Phil Savill (VP Marketing Sony Music Commercial Group)

Obey the Brave Announce "Salvation":

“You know how you go on blogs and all sorts of people talk shit and they wish you were dead? I remember being younger and going on message boards and reading all the negative comments in regards to me or my previous bands and it would get to me. Now I’m at another level now where I really don’t care anymore and it’s kind of funny. Sometimes I go on blogs and I’m like, ‘Wow, you guys are actually nice today.’ Now people can say whatever they want and my only enemy is indifference. ‘I will remain undefeated’–that’s how it goes. But truthfully now when I read a negative comment, I don’t care anymore. It’s very empowering, actually. So ‘Raise Your Voice’ is saying what’s on your mind regardless of what people think.”

"Salvation" will be release on September 16th, 2014 via Epitaph Records.


"If people want to hear SUPERJOINT jam a badass set, then we're all for giving the people what they want! You wanna hear it? Then bring your asses to Austin, Texas, this October 23-26!" -Anselmo

Unearth Announce "Watchers of Rule":

"Watchers of Rule" will be released on October 28th, 2014.  No further details given yet.

Century Media Records founder launches new label Another Century:

"Twenty five years after starting Century Media the excitement to do another version of the label could not be any larger. My undying love for rock has driven the formation of this label ANOTHER CENTURY. Over the years great bands like Otherwise and In This Moment have been released on Century Media but sometimes got lost or felt ill mixed among some of the heavier CM bands. Another Century now has a clear path and mission statement: To develop and break the best bands in rock to come!!!" -Robert Kampf

Adrenaline Mob Recruit Bassist Erik Leonhardt:

"We'd like to welcome bassist Erik Leonhardt (formerly of Tantric ) to the @AdrenalineMob family!!!
We hope to see you all out on tour in September!!"

Glenn Danzig Working On EP of Elvis Presley Covers:

"So strange how things happen.Working in studio all this week on 'Danzig sings Elvis' ep & tonight is anniversary of day Elvis died." -Danzig

SCORPIONS To Celebrate 50th Anniversary In 2015 With New Studio Album, Tour:

"When you start a three-year farewell tour, you know you've got a long time ahead of you.  But that long period went by much faster than we imagined. The closer we got to the goal — Munich in December 2012 — the stronger the feeling was that we hadn't come to the end at all. There were so many images in our minds and so many emotions in our hearts. Everything we experienced between 2010 and 2012, the 200 concerts — it was all so powerful. You stand on stage, look down and see so many fans — including the younger generation, who are really getting into it and saying: 'Guys, this is so cool. We're seeing you for the first time. When will you be back?' It's so motivating and inspiring to play for three generations. We're all having too much fun to put down the guitars." -Klaus Meine


"Yeah, man. He has always been my right-hand man. He's been the back I look at when I'm writing songs and the sounding board for my ideas. When everything went sideways, it was like losing a great friend. I was filled with fear and I had mixed emotions. At first, I was like, Goddamn, I don't know if I'm ever gonna be able to do this without him. We all still talk. I'm not ready to put a headstone on anything yet." -Gray

Between The Buried And Me Set Release For “Future Sequence: Live At The Fidelitorium”:

The in-studio full album performance of “The Parallax II: Future Sequence” will be released on September 30th, 2014 via Metal Blade Records.

GWAR To Embark On 'Eternal Tour' In The Fall:

"Dark clouds of war and ill omen have gathered around GWAR. In our hour of greatest peril, Oderus has left us and our enemies stand poised, ready to strike while they sense weakness. But we shall no longer cower in our Antarctic stronghold, awaiting destiny's final blow. This fall GWAR sets out on the most trying quest of our career. We shall scour our leader's favorite stomping ground, North America, leaving no city unsearched, no venue unraised, and no sheep unmolested. GWAR will venture to the depths of Hell or to the very end of time itself, and though I fear what we may encounter out there, I know that we can never return home until we have the answer we seek: 'Where is Oderus Urungus?'"

Sep. 12 - Chicago, IL - Riot Fest


Oct. 15 - Norfolk, VA - The Norva
Oct. 16 - Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom
Oct. 17 - Stroudsburg, PA - Sherman Theater
Oct. 18 - Worcester, MA - The Palladium - "Rock and Shock Festival"
Oct. 19 - Buffalo, NY - The Town Ballroom
Oct. 21 - Louisville, KY - Expo Five
Oct. 22 - Memphis, TN - New Daisy Theater
Oct. 23 - Dallas, TX - Gas Monkey Live
Oct. 24 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
Oct. 25 - Austin, TX - Emo's - "Housecore Horror Film Festival*
Oct. 26 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
Oct. 28 - Oklahoma City, OK - Diamond Ballroom
Oct. 29 - Sauget, IL - Pop's Nightclub
Oct. 30 - Lawrence, KS - Granada Theater
Oct. 31 - Denver, CO - The Summit Music Hall**
Nov. 01 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater
Nov. 02 - Tempe, AZ - The Marquee
Nov. 03 - Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory
Nov. 04 - Reno, NV - Knitting Factory Concert House
Nov. 05 - San Francisco, CA - The Regency Ballroom
Nov. 06 - Hollywood, CA - House of Blues
Nov. 07 - Las Vegas, NV - Hard Rock Live
Nov. 08 - Magna, UT - The Great Salt Air
Nov. 10 - Boise, ID - Knitting Factory Concert House
Nov. 11 - Portland, OR - Roseland Theater
Nov. 12 - Seattle, WA - Showbox SODO


Nov. 14 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom


Nov. 15 - Spokane, WA - Knitting Factory Concert House
Nov. 16 - Calgary, AB - MacEwan Hall Ballroom
Nov. 17 - Edmonton, AB - Union Hall
Nov. 19 - Fargo, ND - The Venue
Nov. 20 - Minneapolis, MN - Skyway Theater
Nov. 21 - Milwaukee, WI - The Rave
Nov. 22 - Detroit, MI - Harpo's
Nov. 23 - Grand Rapids, MI - The Intersection
Nov. 25 - Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue
Nov. 26 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
Nov. 28 - Charlotte, NC - Tremont Music Hall
Nov. 29 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
Nov. 30 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
Dec. 02 - Nashville, TN - Exit/In
Dec. 03 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel
Dec. 04 - Pensacola, FL - Vinyl Music Hall
Dec. 05 - Orlando, FL - Firestone Live
Dec. 06 - Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade
Dec. 07 - Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall
Dec. 08 - Millvale, PA - Mr. Smalls Theater
Dec. 09 - Toronto, ON - Opera House
Dec. 10 - Montreal, QC - Virgin Mobile Corona Theater
Dec. 11 - Clifton Park, NY - Upstate Concert Hall
Dec. 12 - New Haven, CT - Toad's Place
Dec. 13 - Baltimore, MD - Baltimore Sound Stage

** HAVOK plays on this show

Former MEGADETH Guitarist GLEN DROVER Collaborates With QUEENSRĊ¸CHE Singer TODD LA TORRE:

"We are both very happy and proud of how this song turned out, and believe me, I'm EXTREMELY picky of anything I do!" -Drover

Breaking Benjamin Returns In 2014

With a following of 6 million+ fans on Facebook, and almost 200,000 on Twitter, it's safe to say that most of the world has heard Breaking Benjamin at one time or another.  That fine blend between hard rock and heavy metal always has Benjamin Burnley playing the fine line of radio play boundaries and blending of metal screams with hard rock melodies.

So a new video pops up on their Facebook on August 19th, letting the masses know that Breaking Benjamin was back and kicking!

So with a new lineup, we see Breaking Benjamin (2.0) with drummer Shaun Foist, bassist Aaron Bruch, (former Red guitarist) Jasen Rauch and (ex-Adelitas Way guitarist) Keith Wallen.  Looking forward to the coming months for new tunes, tours and ultimately a new album!

Music Releases For August 19th, 2014

You can see why it took me a little longer to go through all the reviews this week for new music.  Trying to find the best description that AFGM believes is the best rounded vibe of each album can sometimes have you sifting through 10+ reviews of just one album.  Mind you, listening to each album and making your own points can be even longer.  And referring back to the quantity of this week, it would take me much longer to reach that goal.

Either way, there are some great releases happening today and even some new ones for myself!  Artists like Dirty Loops, Shovels & Rope, Benjamin Booker, King 810, Halcyon Way, Sleeping Giant, and Darkness Divided are all new to AFGM and will def look forward to spinning them this week/weekend.  Others such as Buckcherry, Dragonforce, Ace Frehley, Trioscapes, and Imogen Heap are already good sign offs in my book.  They have a great amount of consistency with the music and should not expect anything out of the ordinary.  And to further that, be sure to check out my write ups on both Trioscapes and King 810 for further info about their groups.

Whether big band or small, they all need support.  So go and buy the album from your local record storeonline retailer, or an authorized digital source.  Cheers and have a great listening week!

*Side note: Very much looking forward to checking out the Motley Crue tribute album and see how country attempts to cover one of rock n roll's greatest.*

(Trioscapes - Digital Dream Sequence)

Equally known for bringing great live energy, you can definitely see how that translates from the very first song, an upbeat and totally eccentric mixture of styles. The layers and bold elements on the title track are intense and, put simply, it only gets better from there.

‘Digital Dream Sequence’ is a unique album in a fundamental sense. Layers of bass, electronics, flutes and saxophone combine to make one colossal, crazy and utterly intriguing masterpiece. Trioscapes have managed to capture their great live presence and turn it into a record. -Kill Your Stereo

(Dirty Loops - Loopified)

Although YouTube is home to a vast number of musicians of note, few bands have demonstrated YouTube’s marketing power as efficiently as Dirty Loops. A Swedish power trio whose fusion-flavoured take on Lady Gaga’s mega-hit Just Dance catapulted them into the online eye, Dirty Loops’ YouTube channel has attracted over 100,000 subscribers and 15.5m views while being home to just ten videos. Not bad for a group known as much for their collective technical abilities as their song-related skills.

...beyond Dirty Loops there are some seriously exciting new sounds bubbling away in the underground. From more established up-and-comers like Project RnL to grassroots acts like Maxi Curnow and Signals, fusion-pop / math-pop / prog-pop (or whatever you want to call it) is a real breath of fresh air in a business better known for retromanic recycling binges. With sufficient support, Loopified will pave the way for a wave of new musicians guaranteed to break pop fans free of the repetitive restraints of old. -The Musical Melting Pot

(Imogen Heap - Sparks)

The collection of 14 sonic pieces (er, songs) is an abstract compilation of the English performer’s aural technological art, previously released one track at a time and brought together here with surprising cohesion considering the circumstances.

Heap dispenses a transcendent kind of improbable mysticism throughout “Sparks,” concluding with the quasi-stream-of-consciousness flow of closer “Propeller Seeds,” where she sings about growing roots through her toes and leaves from her fingertips and wonders, “What does this story hold for us?” -Knox News

(Smokey Robinson - Smokey & Friends)

Smokey Robinson remains one of the smoothest movers in music. The silky-voiced septuagenarian decided to round up some of his famous friends — from newcomers like Jessie J to old pals like Elton John — to help reimagine a clutch of the classic songs he either performed himself with the Miracles or penned for others in his Motown family. While the new versions have little chance of replacing the originals seared into our collective brains, both Smokey and his buddies certainly sound like they’re having a good time revisiting Hitsville. John gets the party started with a version of “Tracks of My Tears” lightly brushed with smoky organ and Southern accents. Steven Tyler and Nicole Scherzinger lean into the lite rock swagger of “You Really Got a Hold on Me.” A dreamy take on “My Girl” features a blend of different vocal textures as Miguel, Aloe Blacc, and JC Chasez of ’N Sync offer warm harmonies. John Legend comes closest to putting a truly personal stamp on the sultry ballad “Quiet Storm.” But it is Robinson’s ambling, bluesy romp through “Ain’t That Peculiar” with a game James Taylor that helps make the album swing. -Boston Globe

(VA - Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute To Motley Crue)

Country artists have long paid tribute to rock acts compatible with country music, from the Eagles to Buddy Holly to country-loving British acts the Beatles and Rolling Stones. But a heavy metal act like Motley Crue? For anyone listening to the arena-rock crunch in country music in recent years, country covering the Crue isn't a surprise at all.

What may be surprise, though, is how ferociously some of country's more mild-mannered acts rise to the occasion. Rascal Flatts has never come close to rocking as hard as on its version of "Kickstart My Heart," which rightly opens the album and sets the bar for others to match. -Times Colonist

(Shovels & Rope - Swimmin' Time)

While influences from Jack White to Tom Waits are evident throughout the record, Swimmin' Time is uniquely Hearst and Trent through and through. Full of raw energy, homegrown spirit, and rock 'n' roll magic, this whole album sublimely balances the bright with the bleak. Every note leaves us baffled as to how these two miraculously found each other, but we're awfully glad they did. -Charleston City Paper

(Brian Tyler - Into The Storm OST)

Overall, this is a cracking score without any filler cues. It’s not all 5 star cues though, but even the 4 star cues have their role. I feel that this is an evolved and classy action score that perhaps could have used some more themes or used the themes that’s already present a bit more. I think Brian Tyler month started great and can’t wait to dig into Tyler’s whole catalogue of scores. -Soundtrack Geek

(Benjamin Booker - Benjamin Booker)

There are some poignant moments on this record that words can’t really do justice, because to look at him, you’d think Benjamin Booker was someone that’s studied the tapes of those that have walked the line before. The two-piece setup, the fuzz pedal, the love of blues, bla bla bla. The you come across tracks like ‘Slow Coming’ that could bring a stadium to silence, especially with the raspy howl of “the future is slow…the future is slow” coming out,before an all too brief fuzz/tremolo double attack literally bursts out the track, penetrating any heightened sense of emotion, only to end and bring you back a few seconds to that very moment before it’s abrupt (but equally excellent) musical tantrum. -Alt Sounds

(Jars of Clay - 20)

Specifically, Jars of Clay plans to record a fan-funded collection of their 20 most-loved songs in acoustic fashion—and fans will have a say on the final tracklist. When fans pledge their financial support via crowdfunding platform PledgeMusic, they not only will get the digital album of the 20 songs, but they also will get access to vote on which songs make it onto the record. The top two songs per album from the band's 10 studio albums will then make up the 20 songs. -New Release Tuesday

(Ace Frehley - Space Invader)

2014 sees a new deal with eOne Music and a new album in ‘Space Invader’ and the best thing you realise listening to the title track which opens is that this could well be a track from Frehley’s legendary 1978 solo album. Despite or maybe because of all the space-age technology available, Ace you see is still stuck in a time warp, and if I’m honest that’s the best thing about this album. ‘Gimme A Feelin’’ that follows has that trademark bombastic riff, a rough but charming vocal and slightly awkward lyrics that were always a huge part of Frehley’s boyish charm. When you add to that a ‘could only be Ace’ solo it’s a track that’s ‘perfectly imperfect’ like all of Ace’s best numbers. -The Rock Pit

(Accept - Blind Rage)

If there's any old-school metal band worthier of resurrection than ACCEPT, let them make their stand now. ACCEPT 2.0 with Mark Tornillo fronting them has been exemplary proof there's life after death and that you can buck the naysayers by believing in what you're doing and going full force regardless of who follows or not. Now laying down their third album within the five years since their re-launch, ACCEPT shows once again on "Blind Rage" they're masters of their trade, no matter who holds the mike. -Blabbermouth

(King 810 - Memoirs of a Murderer)

Granted, Memoirs of a Murderer may not be everybody’s cup of tea. There’s only so much blood-curdling screaming that one can take, and yes, 16 tracks do seem a little excessive. But you can’t deny that it’s raw and angry power, all derived from first hand experience. Look out for the breaks in between songs where Gunn narrates his turmoil in a low whisper, heightening that horror-movie atmosphere and the memoir theme. King 810 have a knack for expressing their personal angst through music art form. It’s a strong and  emotional debut, and while it may not relate to everyone, at least they got something off their chest. -Renowned For Sound

(Dragonforce - Maximum Overload)

Maximum Overload is self-explanatory in that it's the overload of one specific, tired sound. This is a record for fans and fans only, not someone who is looking for a band that has evolved or has even taken something from their sound and tweaked it a bit to switch things up. I didn't want to write up a bad review of a Dragonforce album. I wanted to come back after all this time and find a band that has really learned a thing or two and put out an album that would prove naysayers wrong.

I came back after eight years and found the exact same thing I left, just more of it. -Metal Injection

(Deadlock - The Re-Arrival)

In total the album comes with 30 songs. This is really value for money. The record reflects the Lifeforce Records years of the band. The known tracks are re-arranged/re-produced and sound a bit better than the original version, eventhough the difference in my opinion is minor. An interesting fact is the cooperation with Markus Bischoff from Heaven Shall Burn for "Code of honor". His vocal contribution gives the track a real metalcore expression. Nice experiment.

"The re-arrival" is a perfect record for everybody who missed releases from the band so far. It gives a good overview on the discography and the history of the band. You can catch up easily. And due to the extras the album is also interesting for every fans and metalheads. -Markus' Heavy Music Blog

(He Is Legend - Heavy Fruit)

Having since revived their alliance and spent some years on the live circuit to reconnect, the group finally return with “Heavy Fruit“. That heavy appears in the title almost says it all. That very adjective aptly describes the wrenchingly bittersweet rock ‘n’ roll they have cultivated here.

The weight of life’s decisions feels like everything to these tracks. Given the bands history one could almost envision their music as being the fruit and themselves being the proverbial tree. Despite all the nurturing and joy their craft brought, the burdens and battle scars that came with it eventually snapped the branches. -The PRP

(Halcyon Way - Conquer)

There is much more to the concept of “Conquer” than the underlying message. Where there has always been great maturity and strength in the songwriting, the band has incorporated some of the most muscular riffs in its history, making this release by far its heaviest material recorded to date. Melody mongers need not fret, as the soulful whims of a hard rock band lurk deep inside the madness. The best way to describe the performance on “Conquer” is “armor-plated Saigon Kick with industrial tentacles.” Knowing much of the influences that each member brings into the fold, I can easily envision a death match where the old hard rock roots being pummeled and distorted by the modern meat mallets of Monster Magnet and Samael. -Metal Underground

(Darkness Divided - Written In Blood)

Having already amassed a roster reeking of heavy metal bands, Victory Records saw fit to add San Antonio’s, Darkness Divided, to their ranks. With only EP, ‘Chronicles,’ to their name, the Christian metalcore quartet are set to release their debut full length, ‘Written In Blood.’

‘Written In Blood’ is the sound of a band full of promise and unwilling to compromise when it comes to the bog standard metalcore rulebook. Sure, it does have its generic moments but these kids are still learning their trade and to all those looking to emulate should take a leaf out of their book. -Hit The Floor

(Sleeping Giant - Finished People)

It’s highly enjoyable, to be sure, but there are fairly few compositions on Finished People that are designed to be surprising. Instead, the passion of the lyrics fuels the music, resulting in fairly powerful stuff, even when it feels like the band relies too heavily on breakdowns.

Overall, Finished People is probably not as objectively solid as this review paints it, but the passion easily flows through the speakers. Surely this music will sound better in a live setting than on earbuds, but everyone needs a little head-banging in their lives, right?  Plus, how many albums nearly demand that you hug another human being? -New Noise Magazine


(Buckcherry - F**k)

Buckcherry‘s new EP is definitely not for the faint hearted. Now, we’re no expert but we’re guessing this bite-sized five track EP is a strong contender for the record number of times the word “f**k” is uttered in a musical release. In ways it almost seems like the whole thing is a tribute to four-letter word. The EP is even being released through Buckcherry‘s very own record label F-Bomb Records. Punch after punch, it’s an EP full of attitude.

With the amount of times “f**k” is mentioned in this EP, you kind of learn not to take it too seriously because you can tell that Buckcherry are just having a good time and translating fun into their songs. Needless to say, we’re having fun listening to it, because these songs are downright kick ass. -Hit The Floor

Box Sets:

(The Offspring - Smash 20th Anniversary Edition)

The Smash 20th Anniversary Edition will include the following:

- LP version containing the original 14 album tracks newly remastered on 180-gram vinyl
- CD version containing the original 14 album tracks from the most recent remastering
- Restyled album package artwork in a deluxe custom die-cut LP box
- Large format 24 page booklet featuring never before seen archive photos by Lisa Johnson
- Firsthand recollections and quotes from the band and others telling the story of that historic time

"Smash" has sold over six million copies in the United States alone – certified 6x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Selling 11 million copies worldwide, Smash is the best-selling independent label album of all time. -Innocent Words