Sunday, November 23, 2014

Amy Grant Gives to the American Cancer Society

Amy Grant’s new song – WELCOME YOURSELF – is now available here:

All net proceeds from every purchase will go directly to the American Cancer Society – that’s 80% of the purchase price. Help us spread the word. Help find a cure!
- Read the full story at

Lorie Morgan Opens her Christmas Tour in Niagara Falls


Morgan Launches 11-show 'Enchanted Christmas' Concert Tour
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (November 19, 2014) Lorrie Morgan will ring in the holidays with an 11-show Christmas tour to launch on December 3rd in Niagara Falls, New York and end in Nashville, TN at the City Winery. The Lorrie Morgan Enchanted Christmas Show will feature Lorrie singing her hits along with holiday classics.

“To be able to bring the wonderful music of Christmas to audiences around the country is a dream come true,” says Lorrie Morgan. “This is my favorite time of year. I get to think about my children growing up and reminisce my life with my family. I wish all year could be Christmas time!”  


As a platinum selling country artist, selling over 10 million albums with eight #1 videos, known for hits such as “Something Red”, “Leave the Light On”, and her chart topping country Christmas album, “Merry Christmas From London”, Lorrie continues to be a major artist—both in concert and on record—and tickets for her Christmas tour dates are moving towards a sell-out for the holiday run.


Lorrie Morgan Enchanted Christmas Tour Dates:
Dec. 3-7 Niagara Falls, NY – Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel

Dec. 12  Lawrenceburg, IN – Lawrenceburg Event Center

Dec. 13  Emporia, KS – Emporia Granada Theatre

Dec. 14  Centralia, IL – Jane Knight Auditorium

Dec. 16  Wichita, KS - Orpheum Theatre

Dec. 20  Stafford, TX – The Redneck Country Club

Dec. 22  Nashville, TN - City Winery


Resource artist online at:
- Read the full story at

Saturday, November 22, 2014



Chrissie Hynde has confirmed a 25-date North American tour in support of her critically and commercially hailed Stockholm, which debuted in the U.S. Top 40 upon its June release here on Will Travel/Caroline Records.

The first ever album to be released under her own name, Stockholm was heralded by Chrissie’s debut appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Colbert Report performing “Dark Sunglasses,” the album’s “cutting, springy first single” (Rolling Stone) that charted in the AAA Top 20.

Reaction to Stockholm has been uniformly excellent, with accolades including:
“a worthy addition to a catalog of extraordinary work” — WALL STREET JOURNAL
“Excellent” — THE NEW YORKER
“Delicate and sexy… but Hynde can still flash her blade” — ROLLING STONE
“She’s still the toughest punk rock chick on the planet” — BUST
“One of rock’n'roll’s great singers.” — MAGNET

The upcoming tour dates will feature the first live performances of Stockholm material alongside classics spanning Chrissie’s legendary and storied career with the Pretenders. Starting on Sept 3, fans can register for the Chrissie Hynde presale via:
See below for a full listing of dates. For further updates and on-sale details, check:

North American Tour 2014
10/30/14 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
11/01/14 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre
11/02/14 – Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Theatre
11/04/14 – Philadelphia, PA – Tower Theatre
11/05/14 – New York, NY – Beacon Theatre
11/07/14 – Washington, DC – Lincoln Theatre
11/08/14 – Charlotte, NC – Ovens Auditorium
11/10/14 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
11/12/14 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre
11/13/14 – Akron, OH – Akron Civic Center
11/15/14 – Detroit, MI – Masonic Temple
11/16/14 – Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater
11/18/14 – Dallas, TX – Winspear Opera House
11/19/14 – Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theater
11/20/14 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center
11/21/14 – Tulsa, OK – Brady Theatre
11/23/14 – Denver, CO – Paramount Theatre
11/24/14 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kingsbury Hall
11/26/14 – Mesa, AZ – Mesa Arts Center
11/28/14 – Las Vegas, NV – The Pearl
11/29/14 – San Diego, CA – The Balboa Theatre
12/02/14 – San Francisco, CA – The Masonic
12/04/14 – Santa Rosa, CA – Wells Fargo Center for the Arts
12/05/14 – Santa Barbara, CA – Arlington Theatre
12/06/14 – Los Angeles, CA – Pantages Theatre

 - Read the full story at

Carl Palmer coming to the Tralf Music Hall in Buffalo, NY


Show will present an evening of the instrumental rock classics of  EMERSON LAKE & PALMER    Carl Palmer, among the most renowned drummers in rock history and a founding member of both ELP and ASIA, is returning to the world stage for an extensive solo tour that will celebrate the global release of his new DECADE DVD (which chronicles the 2011 tour show) and his new RHYTHM OF LIGHT collection of fine art, recently done in conjunction with Scene 4 Art Studios.  “America is the country that really propelled my career,” said Palmer from his home in London. “I am always excited to be touring in the US. We have been touring in Europe most of 2014, so to bring this new show to North America and Canada as I did in July and will do again in November is very exciting.”

Entitled “Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy Rhythm Of Light 2014 Tour,” the famed musician will present a show that includes bold, new arrangements of the best-loved instrumental music of ELP, and other composers. A multi-media experience combining music and video projection, the show promises to be among the most musically compelling tours of the year. Carl Palmer Legacy is a red-hot power trio that features Palmer on drums and percussion; guitarist Paul Bielatowicz and bassist Simon Fitzpatrick.  The new shows follow a successful run of dates in July, where Palmer’s group opened in some markets for Procol Harum.

The tour is named for Palmer’s second signature collection of Fine Art, The Rhythm Of Light, created completely from movements captured while he was drumming, released March, 2014. The collection is a series of signed and numbered prints of stunning visual images constructed by capturing rhythm. The images combine motion, color, and lighting into some of the most compelling fine art visuals ever created. This very limited Twist Of The Wrist art collection is available at  

 The tour coincides with the global release of  Palmer’s Decade DVD features a performance from the band’s 2011 tour and includes numerous cinematic images, which were used in the stage show, and the re-release of his acclaimed  2001 Anthology, Do Ya Wanna Play, Carl? , both released in March 2014 on MVD. Also, since his last solo tour, Palmer has also remained active with ASIA .  Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy will play nearly two hours and drum enthusiasts can expect an evening of compelling percussive skills, from the man who brought the drum set to the forefront of rock n roll music.


 Sat Nov 22nd,- Havana Club,  New Hope, PA
 Sun Nov 23rd.- MusikFest CafĂ©,  Bethlehem, PA
 Tues Nov 25th., - Tralf Music Hall, Buffalo, NY
Fri Nov 28th,- Gesu Theater, Montreal, Quebec Canada
Tues Dec 02-  The Met, Pawtucket, RI
 Wed Dec 03- Iron Horse, Northampton, MA

- Read the full story at

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Video Reviews for Week of November 17th

Video Reviews for Week of November 17th
By C. Duke

Taylor Swift – Blank Space (Official Video): From the currently available album, 1989. Talk about a woman scorned! This video starts out pleasant enough when a handsome man in suit and tie drives up in a fancy convertible sports car to an old mansion, where, Taylor, dressed in early 1900s attire, sitting in her white canopied bed and two white horses either side of her, states in staccato vocals, “Nice to meet you, where you been/I could show you incredible things”.

The video goes on to show various scenes of romance in bloom with sweet dinners, dancing, painting portraits, walks on the estate, horseback riding, frolicking and the old timey carving of the names in a tree surrounded by a heart. “’Cause we’re young and we’re reckless/We’ll take this way too far/It’ll leave you breathless/Or with a nasty scar/Got a long list of ex-lovers/They’ll tell you I’m insane/But I’ve got a blank space, baby

And I’ll write your name”.

Things take a turn for the worst there with passionate fighting worthy of a War of the Roses remake. Taylor destroys the portrait with an axe, cut’s his clothes up and sets them on fire and takes a golf club to his precious car.

This ends with him driving off and a new man and sports car driving up as Swift winks at the camera.

Die Antwoord – Ugly Boy: Do you remember the Steve Martin movie, The Man with Two Brains? Remember when Steve’s character was looking for a body for his lover’s brain and wound up in a hotel with a hooker with the really high voice? Well she got a job rapping in Die Antwoord.

All kidding aside, Yo-Landi Vi$$er is an adorable little petite thing next to Ninja towering over her. Die Antwoord are a South African rap-rave group.

This video starts out with us listening in on Ninja’s phone call to “Tony” while we watch the words Ugly Boy get painted on the white wall in red. After Yo-Landi asks Ninja who it was on the phone the track starts with Yo-Landi’s breathy high voice singing, “Ooh, I love my Ugly boy/So rough and

tough/Don’t care about anything but me/Yes I just love him ‘cause he’s so crazy/Just crazy about me” while she sit’s on a throne. Ninja enters with a burning hundred dollar bill lighting his smoke. He then raps, “You and me make the whole world jealous/God knows I know my homegirl’s precious/Life is crazy I know God bless us/Chill the f#%@k out I got this. This track is basically about the two professing their love for one another. Ninja’s protection of her and Yo-Landi’s love for him.

Gold and red boxing outfits, black contacts, red paint, cameos by Flea, Jack Black, Marilyn Manson and others, this video will grow on you in sight and sound and have you saying to your self, “How sweet”.

Carrie Underwood – Something in the Water: Season four American Idol winner and country music singer, Carrie Underwood, standing in shallow water with dancers about her, proclaims how “there must be something in the water” and she’s “changed” after being “washed in the water, washed in the blood” of Christ through baptism. A testament to her Christian faith.

FKA twigs – Video Girl: From her album, LP1 (August 2014). London based, “FKA” (stands for “Formerly Know As”) will trip you out in this black and white video of watching a prisoner’s execution. It starts out with haunting operatic vocals, unable to make out. About two minutes in, the song kicks in when the lethal injection hits the prisoner’s veins and FKA twigs gyrating in the corner of the room repeating, “Is she the girls from the video”. She goes on to dance about the room as the man is dying.

Melanie Martinez – Carousel (Official Video): Like its name sake, this video is set at a carnival around a carousel. Melanie appears to be hypnotized with an expressionless face. With an om pa pa, om pa pa accordion Melanie sings, “Round and round like a horse on a carousel, we go/Will I catch up to love? I could never tell, I know/Chasing after you is like a fairytale, but I/Feel like I’m glued on tight to this carousel”.

Melanie starts to float up and hysterically through the carnival grounds following her love.

Next her head is the water gun bull’s eye and gets squirt in the mouth as the doll above her head rises.

She winds up tied to a carousel horse post as it turns then puking pink spew. This video makes me feel bad for Melanie and her love problems.- Read the full story at

Road Trip through Sonic Highways

    Road Trip through Sonic Highways
(Foo Fighters New CD)
By Sam Frank

Foo Fighters is what I call a "phoenix" band. Not because they got a degree online, but because they have risen from the ashes of a band that faded too soon. Like New Order came from Joy Division, Foo Fighters was born in the wake of Nirvana’s end. In the 20 years since its inception, Foo Fighters have become one of the biggest rock bands in the world. Selling millions of albums in over 20 countries, Dave Grohl, Pat Smear, Nate Mendel, Taylor Hawkins, and Chris Shiflett have figured out the formula for recording rock music that gives your neck a workout. In 2011, along with  Nirvana's Nevermind producer Butch Vig , the band embarked on an ambitious project to record an album in Grohl’s garage using only analog equipment. That endeavor became the Grammy award winning album Wasting Light, and the follow-up to that commercial success is an even bigger project known as Sonic Highways.

“If everyone knew more about the people and places this music was made, they would feel more connected to it,” explains Dave Grohl in the first episode of HBO’s eight part mini-series which shares the album title. Instead of locking his band in the garage, Dave and company travel to eight different cities to record this new album. From the grime of Chicago’s punk rock scene to Nashville’s Grand ‘Ole Opry Sonic Highway is the ultimate road trip soundtrack for anyone interested in music history. Each song’s lyrics are inspired by the cities they were written and recorded in, making every track a unique visceral experience. “The Feast and The Famine” is a stand out song in particular due to it being recorded near Grohl’s hometown of Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C. In the second episode of Sonic Highways Grohl describes the importance of Inner Ear Studio, and how Don Zientara, owner of Inner Ear, “produced the entire soundtrack of my youth.” Staying true to the Washington D.C. hardcore scene, this song takes no prisoners with its pounding rhythms backed by potent lyrics like “You can’t survive as an island alone/ Black heart with a gaping wound/ Put back together by a troubled groove/ check yourself/ Wreck your brains,” which ends with a reference to the energetic Virginia-based band, Bad Brains.

Besides Chicago, D.C., and Nashville the band also visits Austin, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Seattle, and New York. Sonic Highways is more than just a Foo Fighters album. It is a deconstruction of the entire recording process. Not only does producer Butch Vig have to learn how to work with all the various soundboards and studios, the band is forced to adapt to its surroundings for each song. And while the process sounds overwhelming and exhaustive, the end result is a very strong album filled with emotional peaks and valleys unlike any other Foo Fighters record. This album also feels like the band has more skin in the game, owing it to themselves and the cities they recorded each song in to make a great album. I recommend watching the HBO mini-series to get the full album experience. The stories behind each song really make the album come to life, and storytelling is what music is all about. As a “phoenix” band, the Foo Fighters was born from tragedy, and while I understand what a world without Nirvana looks like, I can’t image a world without Foo Fighters.- Read the full story at

Monday, November 17, 2014

Waters at North Park Theatre

 Waters at North Park Theatre
San Diego, CA, 11/15/14
By C. Duke 

San Francisco Bay area band, Waters have been touring the past 6 weeks to promote there newly released EP, It All Might Be OK (October 14, 2014-Vagrant Records). Track listing of the four songs are: 1. Got to My Head, 2. I Feel Everything, 3. Over It and 4. Down Together.

Waters are: frontman and guitarist, Van Pierszalowski, Brian DaMert, Greg Sellin, Andrew Wales and Sara DaMert. Van Pierszalowski is also the ex-frontman for bay area indie rock band, Port O’Brien.

Touring with Tegan and Sara, Waters hit San Diego’s beautiful, historic, circa -1939 restored North Park Theatre along with The Courtney’s, family to Tegan and Sara themselves. Waters took second slot after The Courtneys and proceeded to get the audience pumped up for the third and main attraction.

With flowers on all band members stations and an eight song set of old and new music, charismatic Van and company started the night’s high energy off while getting some air, jumping up and down and won the audience over with the catchy tunes from their EP and previous debut LP, Out in the Light.

Got to My Head was the second to the last tune in the set. Vans high pitched vocals and hooky chorus captured the audience priming them for the last tune of the set, I Feel Everything, in which Van coerced the audience into a vocal participation of the oh oh oh’s of the song…at the top of their lungs. A great set closer and energy boosting song.

Waters, It All Might be OK is available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and their Website store now. Definitely worth the download as the tunes will get stuck in your head as Tegan and Sara later confessed to.

Waters also have two more tour dates with Tegan and Sara left in Tempe, Arizona and Los Angeles, California, then a date with Cold War Kids in Oakland, California. Catch them if you can.

- Read the full story at

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Short CD Reviews

Quick CDs Review
 by Virginia Egressy,

Bob Seger - Ride Out
Have always loved Bob Seger and would seen him on tour any where.  With the last cd release I was disappointed.  His voice is still as charismatic as ever but the lyrics were just weird to me.  It seems like he was under a contract to force another album out and placed anything on it.  I feel guilty placing this purchase into the pile of donations to the Amvets.  Never thought that would happen with Bob.

Jessie J - Sweet Talker
New to her music.  Not bad. Reminds me to the "Pussycat Dolls" style and sound.  I would probably follow her more. 

Sia - 1000 Forms of Fear
Interesting CD but very dark lyrics.  Feels like this musician has a lot of pent up anger and releases this through her music. I would continue to listen to her.

- Read the full story at

End of Week Video Review

End of Week Video Review Nov 15, 2014
by Virginia Egressy

                                MagnetiC "Desire" Official Music Video 2014

This video was nothing original to the roof top playing as many others have done to the story line that appeared as a "Men In Black" Conference and their expressions of disappointment that the aliens actually aren't coming to town.  The lip sync was off and the hair flippin was overdone through the 80's it should never be seen again. Although the vocals were not good the drums and bass guitar have a good rhythm.
Nothing that encouraged me to purchase their work.

                                           In This Moment - Call Me

Not much to keep attention focused on but not the worse I have seen.  A re-make of Blondie "Call Me" with at least having the singer focusing better than Debi did herself.

                         Five Finger Death Punch - Wrong Side Of Heaven

WOW! From a band that is typically not my genre makes me want to check out more of their work.  This video had you captured from the beginning hitting on the issue America is having with the homeless Veterans.  It was filled with alarming statistics that are alarming and keeps you watching. At the end of the vide they even have listed different agencies that you can contact to assist.  This video was beatifully done and should even be a commercial on TV for all to seen and assist.  They hit your heart on this one.

                                         Charli XCX - Break The Rules
This video should some uniquness done through it with a spice of fun added.  It was a catchy tune I would much rather have through my head during the day than "Shake It Off".  This would be a CD I would purchase.

                                    Iggy Azalea - Black Widow ft. Rita Ora

WTF - To the bad storyline  with the dragged out make-shift movie line in the beginning to her dream of being a Ninja warrier the video was bad.  The song itself was decent though.

 - Read the full story at

Nickelback – No Fixed Address Album Review

Nickelback – No Fixed Address Album Review
By C. Duke

A truly diverse album, Canadian rock band, Nickelback, are releasing their 8th album, No Fixed Address on Monday, November 17th, 2014 in the U.S. Every track has you anticipating what direction the next will take you in upon first listen. From heavy handed, distorted guitar, to bleeding heart ballads, to funky disco, to cowboy ruff and boy band sounds, this album will be a delightful ear feast for Nickelback diehard and new fans alike.

Track Listing:
01. Million Miles an Hour - A heavy, driving, tune with watery effected vocals kicks off the album with a bang and a Queens of the Stoneage sounding verse riff. “Insanity is setting in/Reality is getting thin/The universe just started slowing down/Yeah, suddenly were traveling/A million miles an hour”.

02. Edge of a Revolution – The first video release of this album, Edge of a Revolution is another hard guitar rocker that touts that we want change by way of a revolution. “No we won’t give up/We won’t go away/’Cause we’re not about to live in this mass delusion/No we don’t want to hear another word you say/’Cause we know their all depending on mass confusion”.

03. What Are You Waiting For? – Slowing it down on this track, Nickleback create a stop and go, laid back, rhythmic landscape. “Are you waiting for the right excuse/Are you waiting for a sign to choose/While you’re waiting it’s the time you loose/What are you waiting for”?

04. She Keeps Me Up – Switching over to a funky, disco beat with a keyboard reminiscent of KC and the Sunshine Band this tune will have you up and moving your body. “Funky little monkey/She’s a twisted trickster/Everybody wants to be the sisters Mr./ Coca Cola, rollercoaster/Love her even though I’m not supposed to”. In my opinion this should definitely be a radio track.

05. Make Me Believe Again – We take another gear shift here to heavy guitar with Chad Kroeger pleading to, “Make me believe again/In some kind of faith/Help me to see again/Before it’s too late/Because forever is never/That far away/Make me believe again”. Mind you, if you currently look up the video you will hear different lyrics and intro. A demo perhaps.

06. Satellite – Putting on the breaks again, Satellite, opens with a piano synth followed by acoustic guitar. “While we dance around this bedroom/Like we’ve only got tonight/Not about to let you/Go until the morning light/You can be my whole world/If I can be your satellite”.

07. Get ‘Em Up – Pull your boots up for this story of a bank robbery. This single string, question and answer picking for the main foot stomping riff will have you reaching for
your gun belt. The chorus screams, “This is a robbery now get down on the floor/We’re here for all the sh*! that you don’t need no more/We want your cash open the safe get off the phone/Don’t be a hero and you might just make it home/ Get ‘em up/then get down/ reach for the sky /then go ahead and kiss the ground. Another tune that should be on the radio waves.

08. The Hammer’s Coming Down – With a soft piano leading way to orchestral instruments, Chad foretells of impending doom, “This is the calm before the coming storm/This is the red sky morning without warning/This is the fight that we’ve been waiting for/And there’s no sense in running/The hammer’s coming down”

09. Miss You – A lighthearted, sweet tune that will remind you of those boy band songs. Chad confesses, “I thought I had the time to wait/now it’s too late to tell you/ I miss you/I miss you so much”

10. Got Me Running’ Round (feat. Flo Rida) – Starting out with percussion and a triangle, a funky guitar lick starts this song off complete with chicka, chicka, bow, wow, wah wah guitar and horns. Guest starring Flo Rida spittin’ some flow toward the end. Another pick for the radio airplay it deserves.

11. Sister Sin – Tilt your cowboy hat down and chew on that toothpick as you grab for your throat lozenge in trying to imitate the gritty gruff of Chad’s voice as you sing along to this wild west scented tune, which may have you coughing up a lung.- Read the full story at

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Video Reviews for Week of November 10th

Video Reviews for Week of November 10th
By C. Duke- Read the full story at

Ariana Grande with The Weeknd – Love Me Harder
An airy club tune, this video opens like a movie scene of mountains being flown over then to a shot of Ariana in a period piece chair and old big open room, with chandlers and candelabras, which looks as if it’s been unlived in for years.

Ariana caresses herself up and down as she opens with, “Tell me something I need to know/Then take my breath and never let it go/If you just let me invade your space/I’ll take the pleasure, take it with the pain”. She goes on to sing that she needs to be loved harder in the chorus.

The Weeknd comes in on the second verse as he performs in a sun beamed stairwell. By the third chorus the pair are standing back to back dueting together.

Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass
A fun, fun, fun video to watch with a charismatic late 50’s/early 60’s sound complete with doo wop background vocals.

Set in a studio, Meghan and her dancers are dressed in early 60’s pastels and fashion, dancing in unison as Trainor opens with “Because you know I’m all about that bass, ‘bout that bass, no treble”. She goes on to declare, “Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase/And all the right junk in the right places”.

Meghan professes that boys like a little more to hold onto at night and that you are perfect as you are as the video weaves in and out of choreographed dancing and scenes of dollhouse playing and doll posing in a childhood bedroom.

There is a chubby male dancer that steals some scenes with his moves that I adore for his sassy attitude. An A+ for entertainment, song and setting, Meghan delivers something that is not of the tired, old, boring, unimaginative, sexual exploitation that seem to be the standard with most female artist.

Lindsey Stirling - Roundtable Rival
Lindsey adds a steam-punk flair to this video as she battles outlaw, Durango Black, and his guitar with her fiddle and dancing girls in the streets of the dusty old west.

Doing some stepping herself whilst she plays she doesn’t miss a note as she throws it down. Her electric violin has a horn as part of its body, but if you are waiting for her to blow it, you’ll find no such satisfaction. Just plenty of her mind blowing bowing.

An excellent creative effort with a story you can follow and enjoy. The music combines country fiddling with electronic dance music and plenty of visual pleasure.

Tiffany Desrosiers - FEARLESS (Official Music Video) --- New EDM Dance Pop Music 2014
“I think I’m gonna burn my boats tonight/I’m gonna take my chances/I wanna turn my fears into the light/Let go of my defenses”, Tiffany sings in the pre chorus of this enchanted dance tune about being “fearless” in letting go of her heart for love.

Desrosiers, in a sunlit forest and attired in a white dress with white lace covering, opens her heart up and lets her defenses down as the video flashes to shots of men dressed in furs, leather and metal helmets around a camp fire drum along.

This video ends with Tiffany on the beach with the men behind her pounding the skins.

In This Moment – Sick Like Me
Maria Brink questions her treatment of her significant other in this metal tune. “Is it sick of me/To need control of you/Is it sick to make /You beg the way I do…..Are you sick like me”

Robert Kley lays some demented guitar down as Maria dominates this video with her steel claws, red bustier and thigh high black boots. Brink actually has too many costumes to describe here, but they are as dark and domineering as the song and video.

A black studio with spot lights, giant web, a red lighted “sick” sign and small stage, Maria takes charge as she draws you in to her world. Visually appealing, this video is.

- Read the full story at

Thursday, November 06, 2014

A New Orleans Love Poem: An Interview with poet Melanie P. Falina

A New Orleans Love Poem
A New Orleans Love Poem: An Interview with poet Melanie P. Falina
Interview by CoKo Blue

Intriguing, raw emotion, gripping, haunting and a musicality all of its own are just a few words that would describe the artistry and her play on words. In her three collections of poetry "written about, written in, and inspired by New Orleans," Melanie P. Falina captivates her readers by taking them on a seductive and highly emotional journey through the everyday dealings of the city of New Orleans. With a pulse all its own that cannot be duplicated (yet often imitated) Falina transports her readers into the sultry waters of New Orleans. She cultivates her tale of the Crescent City through humor, beauty, nostalgia and grace. With acclaims from those who were born and bred, to those who have yet to experience the majesty of New Orleans, Melanie P. Falina's poetry is the embodiment of all that heart and soul.  These emotions come across whether writing a blurb for on the cultural trends and music scene in New Orleans or within her own books, so when asked to do a Q & A with a poet in a time of high stress in the country, it was a privilege and joy to say the least... 

CoKo Blue: What made you focus on all sides of New Orleans in your poetry? 

Melanie P. Falina: The answer to that question is easy - love. I love that New Orleans has all these 'perfect' elements. Dazzling history, rich culture, amazing food, and music that not only fits into every aspect of life in New Orleans, but it is simply connected to it all. And I love the fact that the imperfections are just as blatant as the beauty. Sure, you can go to Disneyland and pretend you're in New Orleans in a very sterile way, but what you're missing is the heartbeat and breath of real life. Everything gets old and crumbles, sometimes even stinks - as will we. New Orleans celebrates it all, not just the sparkling but the dark and dirty, not just life but death, and so on.

CoKo Blue: What, if anything, would you like your readers to know about the writing process itself? (Meaning how would one go about starting if they have never written before.)
Melanie P. Falina: Someone who wants to write has to just do it. If you tell people, "I've got a great idea for a story..." then stop talking about it and get it on paper. Start with what you know and love, but love deeply because that passion will be the fuel that keeps the process moving. And take it word by word, page by page. To obsess about page 700 before you've written page seven will do nothing but make you want to give up. Fretting about a literary agent, book publisher, how well your work will be received, et cetera, is simply a knife in the heart of what should be pumping away with adrenalin.  Just write, and read, read, and read some more.  Lastly, never explain your work.  If someone you're friends with or related to wants to know who a character is based on, or what you were thinking when you wrote a particular paragraph, never answer those questions.  Let your work speak for itself. 

CoKo Blue: How long would you say you have had this love affair with the Crescent City?
Melanie P. Falina:  It's just always been there. Certain things we simply love as if that love was somehow implanted there.

CoKo Blue: When did it first click that you were meant to write/publish your works? 

Melanie P. Falina: I've always known I wanted to be a writer as far back as I can remember. As a young child I would staple pieces of paper together and write a little story on them, illustrate the pages, and then one of my uncles used to buy them from me for a nickel or dime each. So, in a way I was an independent publisher even before I knew anything about the publishing industry as a whole. [Laughs] Again, it's just something that was always a part of me, and it's something I've always done.  Even the art of journaling is important because of what's happening while you do it.  You're not just writing about the day ahead of you, what you'd like to accomplish, and how it made you feel when so-and-so said something to you – you're taking inventory of your thoughts and emotions, and crafting sentences that convey it all.  I've always kept a journal, I've always written – be it poems or short stories.  I think had a chosen a completely different profession – let's say in medicine or science, writing would still be a very important personal factor in my life. 

CoKo Blue: You are currently working on a book of children's poetry as well as a fourth New Orleans poetry book, what inspired you to work on poems for children, and what would you say is your favorite children's poem/nursery rhyme if any?
Melanie P. Falina: There are a lot of kids in this world who don't receive the kind of emotional support that they should. Be it that they're growing up in the system or in households where their parents never received it either, or maybe their parents and elders just aren't around much. So my goal was to write a collection of poems that do that to an extent, that tell kids that they can do whatever it is they want to in life, that they matter, how even if things seem bleak now that they'll get better, and so on. Some of the poems focus on celebrating diversity, and others are just silly and fun but they're all positive. As far as my favorite - how can you not love Green Eggs And Ham?

CoKo Blue:  Did you ever think that your works on New Orleans would be as well received as they are now?
Melanie P. Falina: No, not at all. Writing poetry is very personal to the poet, and it has to be. If you get caught up in the question or fear of what others will think then you're not being true to your craft. So in doing that, by exposing your deepest, darkest, most fragile feelings, when someone comes along and likes what you've done, it's a pleasant surprise, to say the least.  I knew there would be some New Orleans natives who would like it because the people who love New Orleans are very passionate about most anything that celebrates New Orleans, but it's wonderful to see that others appreciate it as well.  And a nice bonus is when someone tells you why they love one of your poems and convey what it means to them – and to them it means something completely different than what I meant when I wrote it.  But that's the beauty of art, you take it in and then it does what it will with your own personal experiences and emotions.  My poems are mine in the sense that they're my feelings, my experiences, my hopes and fears, but they can also be whatever anyone else makes of them – and that breathes more life into the words.

CoKo Blue:  Any literary "guilty pleasures" you indulge yourself in?
Melanie P. Falina: Not really. For me, writing poetry IS my guilty pleasure. I've written journalism pieces for so long now with all the 'rules' and unbiased voice, so my poetry is very freeing. It's free-verse and I rarely even use punctuation, each poem is whatever I want it to be, and in a world where we're subjected to following a set of restrictions in every walk of life from jobs to relationships, and of course, the grander aspects of society, it's nice having this one thing that makes me feel truly alive and I can do it on my own terms.

CoKo Blue:Do you feel like you are finally at a place of contentment with the success of your books?
Melanie P. Falina: Well, it's a journey.  There's always room for improvement, always new opportunities to learn and work on your craft. Also, more sales would be nice. [Laughs]

CoKo Blue:When did you first have your eureka moment in which it all seem to fall into place?
Melanie P. Falina: It was this past spring when I suddenly had the idea to put together a collection of poems solely about New Orleans. I don't know where the idea came from or why it popped into my head, only that it was suddenly there. I told myself that my goal was 20 poems, and if I reached my goal then I'd have the collection published. After I wrote 13 I was stuck and even thought, "Well, I tried..." But the block didn't last long and soon I was up and running again.

CoKo Blue:Other than that these poems are all inspired by New Orleans is there anything else we should know about them?
Melanie P. Falina: Each collection kind of has a subtle underlining theme, and that's something that wasn't at all planned it just happens during the writing process. But I like that fact, it's almost like a change in seasons for each book.

CoKo Blue:Why 20 poems per collection?
Melanie P. Falina: Well, as I said that was the goal for the first book. I think it's a good number of poems without being overbearing. Each book is inexpensive enough in both formats, print and eBook, that I think it's just a reasonable number of poems per collection. Maybe after the fourth installment is released I'll put out a compilation of all four and include some of my photographs too.

CoKo Blue:Speaking of photographs, you took the photos and designed each book's cover as well, correct?
Melanie P. Falina: Yes, I love taking pictures in New Orleans, it's such a photogenic city! And it's important to me that the books include one of my own photographs, that makes it even more personal.

CoKo Blue:When it's all said and done, what do you hope your readers will gain from your poetry/writings as a whole?
Melanie P. Falina: In regards to my New Orleans poetry, I just hope that anyone who loves New Orleans can feel a little something when they read my words. Maybe my poems will make people realize that we're all connected in one way or another.  As far as my other works go, my hopes are different for each project.  For my kid's book, I hope that the children who read those poems will feel a certain comfort and acceptance. 

CoKo Blue:Lastly, any words of advice or wisdom you wish to bestow upon your readers when they are still unsure of the direction to take in life?
Melanie P. Falina: I'm still trying to figure that out myself. [Laughs] But I think that life goes by so quickly - even if you live to be 100 it'll go by quickly - so just try to follow and focus on the things that make you happy, let go of negative feelings and memories, and be kind to one another because we're all in the same boat sailing through a world that isn't always very nice.
Melanie P. Falina's poetry series inspired by New Orleans is available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and at select shops in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Purchase the book at the following stores: Amazon | Barnes and Noble


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