Monday, August 31, 2015

Justin Bieber's Brand New Single, "What Do You Mean" Took Over the #1 Spot at iTunes



NEW YORK, Aug. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Global superstar Justin Bieber's brand new single, "What Do You Mean" took over the #1 spot at iTunes today within nanoseconds of its global release at 7:00 a.m. (ET) across all retail platforms.  The single is playing on iHeart radio's 800+ stations across the U.S. every hour on the hour today. The arrival of "What Do You Mean" caps a hugely successful viral 30 day Instagram countdown and Twitter lyric reveal campaign, garnering over a 100 million impressions.

Listen to "What Do You Mean" at http://smarturl.it/WDYMlv; and buy it at http://smarturl.it/WDYM. The lyric video for "What Do You Mean," featuring professional skater Ryan Sheckler, premiered on YouTube today as well, also at 7:00 a.m.  Go to: http://smarturl.it/WDYMly 
"It's been an amazing journey to write, record and deliver this record to my fans," said Justin. "I'm so glad people have participated in it, and I hope they are receptive to it and love it as much as I do. This is only the first step in the journey for me. This album is so personal to me, there's so much of my heart and soul in it, and I can't wait to bring my fans along for the ride."

"What Do You Mean" is the first advance track from Justin's eagerly awaited fourth studio album out November 13 for RBMG / DEF JAM RECORDINGS. The pre-order is available now for signed CDs, vinyl and other limited edition items, exclusively via Justin's new online store.  Go to: http://smarturl.it/JustinShop.

Justin's performance this Sunday night at the 32nd annual MTV VMAs spectacular will kick off a long-range, multi-tiered media campaign in support of "What Do You Mean". Next Wednesday night, September 2nd, Justin will appear on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.  That will be the prelude to his week-long takeover of NBC's The Today Show starting Monday, September 7th, climaxing with live perform­ances on Thursday and Friday, September 10-11th.
- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Experience the Mighty Metal of Metaspherical

Heavy metal is a universal language. And this is proven once and for all by the formation of Metaspherical, whose debut single, "Cloth Of Ought To," is planned for release September 4th via Amazon and iTunes..


METAL MUSICIANS FROM THROUGHOUT THE WORLD UNITE IN METASPHERICAL


Heavy metal is a universal language. And this is proven once and for all by the formation of Metaspherical, whose debut single, "Cloth Of Ought To," is planned for release September 4th via Amazon and iTunes.

Amazon sales link - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-music&field-keywords=metaspherical

iTunes link -
https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/cloth-of-ought-to-single/id1031361704

This first single features Kelly Shaefer (Atheist/Neurotica) on lead vocals, Jason Morley (Metaspherical) on guitar, Gene Hoglan (Testament/Dethklok/Dark Angel) on drums, Travis Morgan (ex-Atheist - travismorgan.net) on bass, Shawn Bowen (DidgesChrist Superdrum/Neurotica) on backing vocals, and an amazing guest lead from Andy LaRocque (King Diamond/Death).

Metaspherical is a global collective of players from all corners of the planet who have come together to fuse aspects of many of the classic sub-genres of metal. At this time, the countries currently represented include: Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Cuba, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden, and the United States. Some of the musicians who are currently on board for this project include past and present members associated with such acclaimed bands/artists as Atheist, Cynic, Death, King Diamond, Origin, Steve Vai, Testament, Voivod, and Zimmer's Hole, as well as some incredibly talented unknown players, who all bring unique aspects of their varying styles to the table.

Metaspherical and all the musicians involved are very proud to partner with Sweet Relief (sweetrelief.org) for this Global Metal Adventure! When the track is purchased, you are helping raise the money to complete a full-length Metaspherical album, and also, to help aid working musicians who are suffering with physical and mental disabilities.

Morley (who is also Metaspherical's producer) is the survivor of a very severe head injury, which required him to undergo seven brain surgeries and forced him to face some very serious challenges. One of these many challenges was struggling over a long period of time to physically build up dexterity in his hands, as well as having to re-teach himself many aspects of the guitar. Jason had previously studied  classical guitar and played heavy metal on electric guitars (without a pick) for well over a decade prior to this accident.

This is just the beginning, as Metaspherical will be looking for many more artists, both known and unknown, to grow this into something much larger where we can give back and help others through the spirit of Heavy Metal.

Soon, the rest of the world will be able to experience the mighty metal of Metaspherical.

For a taster, check out these video clips:

Metaspherical Trailer   


Metaspherical Cloth Of Ought To video



FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT:
metaspherical.com
facebook.com/Metaspherical
twitter.com/metaspherical
 - Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Saturday, August 29, 2015

LOUDER THAN LIFE is expanding in 2015 by adding another stage.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 15, 2015) Rob Zombie, ZZ Top, Godsmack, Shinedown, Lynyrd Skynryd, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, Breaking Benjamin, 3 Doors Down, Bring Me The Horizon and many more are headed to town this fall when the LOUDER THAN LIFE music festival returns for its second annual celebration in Louisville.

In addition to concerts, the event will once again spotlight bourbon, craft beer and local cuisine. It’s under way Oct. 3 and 4 at Champions Park on River Road.

LOUDER THAN LIFE is expanding in 2015 by adding another stage.  This year’s bands will perform on four stages.  Along with the bands mentioned above, other bands taking the stage include: Seether, Chevelle, Collective Soul, Of Mice & Men, Black Stone Cherry, Hollywood Undead, Atreyu, Sevendust, Skid Row, Kentucky Headhunters, Tremonti, Hinder, Issues, We Came As Romans, Saint Asonia, Nothing More, 10 Years, Butcher Babies, Starset, We are Harlot, Beartooth, Turbowolf, The Temperance Movement, Marmozets, Art of Dying, Aranda, Glorious Sons, Dorothy, Like A Storm, Kill It Kid, All Them Witches, Whiskey Myers, Jelly Roll, Red Sun Rising, Goodbye June, Raveneye, Cilver and Romantic Rebel.

Daily band lineups was announced on Friday, June 26.

" Here's the lineup:

Rob Zombie
ZZ Top
Godsmack
Shinedown
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Slash
Breaking Benjamin
3 Doors Down
Bring Me The Horizon
Seether
Chevelle
Collective Soul
Of Mice & Men
Black Stone Cherry
Hollywood Undead
Atreyu
Sevendust
Skid Row
Kentucky Headhunters
Tremonti
Hinder
Issues
We Came As Romans
Saint Asonia
Nothing More
10 Years
Butcher Babies
Starset
We Are Harlot
Beartooth
Turbowolf
The Temperance Movement
Marmozets
Art Of Dying
Aranda
Glorious Songs
Dorothy
Like A Storm
Kill It Kid
All Them Witches
Whiskey Myers
Jelly Roll
Red Sun Rising
Goodbye June
Raveneye
Cilver
Romantic Rebel

Festival producer Danny Wimmer says, “It isn’t often that a lineup comes together to represent a multigenerational greatest hits playlist – but I think that is exactly what I was able to accomplish with the bands playing this year.”

Discounted tickets, VIP, hotel and camping packages for LOUDER THAN LIFE are now available, through Friday, June 26, at 11:59 a.m. online.

Regularly priced tickets go on sale Friday, June 26, at noon.
Ticket discounts will also be available for active military through LOUDER THAN LIFE partner GovX beginning June 26. 

For more information, visit www.LouderThanLifeFestival.com.
- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

The Big Ticket returns to Jacksonville, Florida’s Metropolitan Park with Twenty One Pilots


THE BIG TICKET

FEATURING TWENTY ONE PILOTS, OF MONSTERS AND MEN,

WALK THE MOON, THE NEIGHBOURHOOD, GLASS ANIMALS, AND MORE

AT METROPOLITAN PARK IN JACKSONVILLE, FL

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNTED TICKETS AVAILABLE STARTING AUGUST 28


 The Big Ticket returns to Jacksonville, Florida’s Metropolitan Park, Sunday, December 6 for its sixth consecutive year. The annual music and lifestyle festival will feature performances from top alternative rock acts including Twenty One Pilots, Of Monsters and Men, Walk The Moon, The Neighbourhood, Glass Animals, Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, MUTEMATH, X Ambassadors, PVRIS, Robert DeLong, Saint Motel, Coleman Hell, Boots, Borns and more.



A rolling discounted early bird ticket on-sale for The Big Ticket begins Friday, August 28 at 8:00 AM ET at www.TheBigTicketFest.com. The early bird on-sale offers a limited number of general admission and VIP tickets at discounted prices as follows (plus fees):



Early Bird #1: General Admission: $25.00, VIP: $89.50, 4-Pack: $119.00

Early Bird #2: General Admission: $30.00

Early Bird #3: General Admission: $34.50

Early Bird #4: General Admission: $39.50


Note: VIP and 4-Pack prices remain the same throughout the early bird on-sale and will be available while supplies last. Fans are encouraged to buy early and save, as there are limited quantities available at each price.

 After the discount ends, tickets will be priced as follows until the next price increase (date TBA):

General Admission: $44.50

VIP: $99.50

4-Pack: $134

A limited number of tickets will also be available at select MetroPCS locations with no service fees beginning September 8.


VIP tickets include: a VIP entrance to venue; access to VIP lounge area featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food service; viewing of main stage (seated and standing areas); seated area with shade for dining; private restroom facilities; and a VIP guest laminate.


Ticket discounts are available for active military through The Big Ticket partner GovX. For full details about all tickets, military ticket discounts, and VIP packages, visit: www.TheBigTicketFest.com.


“We’re excited to again partner with X102.9 for the 6th year of The Big Ticket,” says festival producer Danny Wimmer of Danny Wimmer Presents.

Metropolitan Park is a premier 27-acre recreational facility along the beautiful St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville at 1410 Gator Bowl Blvd. Doors for The Big Ticket will open at 1:00 PM.

 The Big Ticket is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, a producer of some of the biggest rock festivals in America, including Rock On The Range, Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville, Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK Festival, Monster Energy Fort Rock Festival, Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion, LOUDER THAN LIFE, and Monster Energy Rock Allegiance.

 The Big Ticket is presented by X102.9 Jacksonville’s alternative, with additional sponsors including Alternative Press Magazine, Miller Lite, Jägermeister, Metro PCS, Community First Credit Union, Fxck Cancer and more.

Website: www.TheBigTicketFest.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBigTicketFestival

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bigticketfest

Instagram: http://instagram.com/bigticketfest#
- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Slayer shoots the music video for the new track "Repentless."

SLAYER SHOOTS MUSIC VIDEO
FOR NEW ALBUM'S TITLE TRACK "REPENTLESS"
Video Features Performances
By a Slew of Iconic Character Actors

SLAYER on the set with quintessential anti-hero, actor Danny Trejo
L-R:  Slayer's Gary Holt and Tom Araya, Trejo, Slayer's Kerry King and Paul Bostaph

LOS ANGELES, CA - Friday, August 28, 2015 -- On Wednesday, in near 100-degree heat and high humidity, a riot broke out in the exercise yard of the Sybil Brand Institute, the women's prison in East Los Angeles, where Slayer shot the music video for the new track "Repentless."  In fact, while Slayer performed the track under that punishing sun over an eight-hour period, the "prisoners" had to stage a riot for somewhere north of twelve takes before director BJ McDonnell finally called it a wrap.  But that was all pretty much in keeping with McDonnell's brutal vision for the clip, a vision that many in the veteran cast and crew referred to as "more like something for a feature film than a rock band's music video."

This is McDonnell's first stint directing a music video.  He directed the 2013 horror film "Hatchet III," and his rich resume as a motion picture cameraman includes "Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Ant-Man" and "The Interview."  For Slayer's "Repentless," he and the video's producer Felissa Rose pulled together a gang of actors and crew who have been part of some of the most iconic horror films ever made:  Derek Mears ("Predators," "Friday the 13th") Tyler Mane ("Halloween") Jason Trost ("Hatchet III"), Danny Trejo ("Machete," "From Dusk Till Dawn"), Tony Moran ("Halloween's" Michael Myers, "American Poltergeist"), Sean Whalen ("Men In Black," "Halloween II"), and Vernon Wells ("Mad Max 2," "Commando," "Weird Science") all are featured inmates in the video.  And if that wasn't enough, McDonnell and Rose brought in stunt coordinator Nils Allen Stewart who is known for his work on films like "Planet of The Apes," "Anger Management" and "Daredevil."

Slayer's prison yard performance is just one facet of what promises to be a grizzly video.  While McDonnell and Rose are keeping full details about the video tightly under wraps until its premiere, it's safe to say that there was a lot of blood spilled within those prison walls.

The date for the premiere of Slayer's "Repentless" music video will be announced shortly.  Repentless, Slayer's 11th studio album, is due out 9/11/15 (Nuclear Blast), and is already receiving some pretty amazing press. 

"Metal Album of the Year" -
Guitar World

"'Repentless' is prime fu**ing Slayer, arguably their finest album since...if not ever, then it's certainly among the best.  Really, it's that good." -- Metal Hammer

"'Repentless' is thrash redefined, upgraded and reborn...
a return to the essence of who Slayer is."  -- Houston Press

Slayer's Official Facebook
- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

TRAPT Unleash “Human (Like The Rest Of Us)” Music Video + Read an Official Statement from Vocalist Chris Taylor Brown

TRAPT Unleash “Human (Like The Rest Of Us)” Music Video

+ Read an Official Statement from Vocalist Chris Taylor Brown



Watch “Human” Now Live at the Cubby Bear in Chicago  | Read a Rumor-Squashing Interview via Loudwire




Sixth Studio Album DNA Coming This Fall via Crash Collide


Chart-topping hard rock group TRAPT have been at the top of the headlines lately, primarily relating to vocalist Chris Taylor Brown verbalizing his opinions about various subjects, whether political, personal or beyond. In a recent interview with Loudwire, Brown addresses what has become a rather tumultuous past few months on social media, taking ownership of his recent comments regarding rumoured altercations with fellow musicians and various other publicized opinions. You can read Part one of the interview here: http://loudwire.com/trapt-chris-taylor-brown-recent-altercations-outbursts/

What many do not know is that these events have not coincidentally lead up to the release of TRAPT’s new single and music video “Human (Like The Rest Of Us)”, which touches upon the theme that all of us are human, imperfect, and often make mistakes. Watch the new music video for “Human” (a Rind-Raja Picture Company production, produced by Roth Rind and directed by Jay K. Raja) exclusively via Loudwire here: http://loudwire.com/trapt-human-like-the-rest-of-us-exclusive-video-premiere/

Brown states, “We are all bound by the emotions that we as Humans are capable of feeling. When we numb ourselves, because the pain is too great, we are no longer Human. To be imperfect, to be emotional is Human. Your emotions guide you. Listen to them. They will allow you to feel empathy towards others and others to feel you, but only if you allow it. Open up and FEEL! Do not be afraid. The only way we can come together as one HUMAN RACE is through understanding each other. The only way to understand is to FEEL, even when it hurts the most. When you are hurting the most, others will feel it too. They will help you, as you do them. #Humanaboveall


While certain recent social media conversations of Brown’s have not been completely random and without planning, he does recognize his imperfect humanity and that some of his recent comments have been made relatively off-the-cuff and potentially received as insensitive by some. Read an official statement from Chris Taylor Brown regarding his recent social media comments regarding racial topics below:

“First off, I want to say that I am imperfect, but that is what makes me who I am and what I think is part of being Human. This brings me to the recent spat of verbal barbs I threw around a few weeks ago that at times sounded mean and much like bullying. It should be easy to shrug off insults that have nothing to do with the subject you are talking about and are only meant to get a rise out of you, but I did not shrug it off and the way I went about defending myself is definitely not the way one should go about spreading a message and I apologize to anyone I may have offended. The message gets lost when you engage in this way.

I read all of these words about one group of people having certain privileges over another based solely on the color of their skin and it doesn't sit right with me. I don't mean to poke fun at the whole thing, but, I did, and I take full responsibility for anyone who may have been hurt by me making fun of the white privilege concept. I have my views and want to express unity through music. I believe that we are all bound by the ability to feel the same emotions and that love and understanding can and do bring people of all races together. Anyone who wishes to segregate themselves can do so, while the rest of us move forward, as we have been for decades. I also believe that there are original sins and acknowledging them through the many advances that this country has made in regard to civil rights, go very far in showing how a country can come together for the greater good. We just made it possible for any human being to marry any other human being, how is that for progress?

I admit that I can come across as harsh when my passion precedes me. If anything I have ever said comes across as racist, that was not my intention. If saying that "white privilege is the sole reason for one human being having more privilege over another" is not true, makes someone feel as though, I or the band that I front is racist, then let me tell you now that this could not be further from the truth. Growing up in a mixed race household and having a side of the family whose roots start in Mexico versus a side of the family with roots in The United Kingdom, I have seen how people can be mistrusting of others based upon what they do not understand about them. Once they understand each other and get to know more about each other those walls are broken down. Understanding comes through clear messages and those that feel they need to be heard, should do all they can to be heard. I hate having to read how some people think that this can all be dumbed down to "the complexion of one's skin." I have a problem with one group of people being singled out on the basis of their skin color.

Again, the moral of the story is how you spread your message and what you want to say. Passion can trip you up. It tripped me up and I allowed the narrative to take turns that did not help spread the message I want to spread. I came across as racist to some, because I chose not to give merit to the idea that only skin complexion grants privilege. I want to tell anyone who is listening now that I believe every man and woman on this planet can rise together, but only through understanding each other’s struggles.”

Head back to Loudwire early next week to read Part two of Chris Taylor Brown’s in-depth interview regarding these recent events.

 “Human (Like The Rest Of Us) ” is available on iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/passenger-human-single/id1032873360?ls=1&app=itunes
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/passenger-human-single/id1032873360?ls=1 

About TRAPT:

TRAPT have worked for well over a decade to reach this point. Their 2002 double-platinum self-titled debut charged out of the gate with their defining and memorable single “Headstrong”, which reached #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock and Modern Rock charts. TRAPT was a featured act on popular video games like Rock Band and Tap Tap Revenge 2, and their music can be heard on countless WWE specials. In addition, TRAPT has shared the stage with heavy hitters such as Mötley Crüe, Nickelback, Hinder, Chevelle, and many more. Most recently, their 2012 album No Apologies entered the Billboard Top 200 at #25, followed by another top 50 debut for 2013’s Reborn.


Featuring an addictive, polished sound that can be sampled via “Human (Like The Rest Of Us)”, TRAPT will release their upcoming sixth studio album DNA, hitting stores this fall via Crash Collide.  Get ready – this album is going to alter everything fans have grown to know about TRAPT. Want another taste? Take a listen to TRAPT’s previously released single from DNA, “Passenger”, here: https://youtu.be/G86PUmUp5lA


Follow TRAPT:

www.trapt.com

www.facebook.com/trapt

www.youtube.com/user/officialtrapt

https://twitter.com/traptofficial



TRAPT is:

Chris Taylor Brown – vocals/guitar

Pete Charell – bass

Dylan Thomas Howard – drums

Ty Fury – lead guitar- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Friday, August 28, 2015

COMMERCIAL DEBUT: Ronda Rousey is a "Winning Combination" for Carl's Jr./Hardee's

Ronda’s Rousey newest Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s commercial now is live:
WATCH HERE


 INTRODUCING THE CINNAMON SWIRL FRENCH TOAST BREAKFAST SANDWICH - CARL’S JR. AND HARDEE’S KNOCKOUT THE BREAKFAST COMPETITION
Nationwide ad supporting launch features popular UFC champion Ronda Rousey 


- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Madame Mayhem Enlists Rocks Top Names for New Studio Album


MADAME MAYHEM ENLISTS ROCK'S TOP NAMES FOR 'NOW YOU KNOW'

Madame Mayhem is certainly a commanding and unforgettable figure - all you have to do is check out the new video for the song "Monster" for the proof. But dig a bit deeper, and you will discover that some of rock and metal's most renowned and respected names played a part in her forthcoming full-length album, 'Now You Know,' which will be released through BFD/RED on October 16, 2015 (in the USA and Canada).

A powerhouse team of rock talent including Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Winery Dogs) - who produced and played on the album - Ray Luzier (KoRn, KXM), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (formerly of Guns N’ Roses), Russ Parrish (“Satchel” from Steel Panther), and Corey Lowery (Saint Asonia, Stuck Mojo) all appear on the fourteen-track recording.

But before the album's autumn arrival, fans can check out the striking clip for "Monster" (by Industrialism Films). "This video shows the escape from being trapped, under speculation, and breaking free to embrace your true self," explains Mayhem. "Raw and real! About how society can turn you into what they already think you are."

Though a singer first (and frontwoman/showwoman during live performances), Madame Mayhem is also a songwriter, and plays piano and guitar. And soon, the world will experience her extraordinary talents!

MADAME MAYHEM ENLISTS ROCK'S TOP NAMES FOR 'NOW YOU KNOW'

Madame Mayhem is certainly a commanding and unforgettable figure - all you have to do is check out the new video for the song "Monster" for the proof. But dig a bit deeper, and you will discover that some of rock and metal's most renowned and respected names played a part in her forthcoming full-length album, 'Now You Know,' which will be released through BFD/RED on October 16, 2015 (in the USA and Canada).


A powerhouse team of rock talent including Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Winery Dogs) - who produced and played on the album - Ray Luzier (KoRn, KXM), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (formerly of Guns N’ Roses), Russ Parrish (“Satchel” from Steel Panther), and Corey Lowery (Saint Asonia, Stuck Mojo) all appear on the fourteen-track recording.


But before the album's autumn arrival, fans can check out the striking clip for "Monster" (by Industrialism Films). "This video shows the escape from being trapped, under speculation, and breaking free to embrace your true self," explains Mayhem. "Raw and real! About how society can turn you into what they already think you are."


Though a singer first (and frontwoman/showwoman during live performances), Madame Mayhem is also a songwriter, and plays piano and guitar. And soon, the world will experience her extraordinary talents!


                                          Madame Mayhem - Monster [Official Video]


                                     Billy Sheehan on Madame Mayhem's new record


'Now You Know' Tracklisting:

1. Monster

2. Perfect Nightmare

3. Something Better (Now You Know)

4. Left For Dead

5. Witchcraft

6. More Than Misery

7. Better Days

8. ... After 2 Am

9. Nothing to lose

10. Under The Microscope

11. Sacrifice

12. Pain

13. Can't Stand

14. Anyone Who Had A Heart


FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT:
www.MadameMayhem.com
www.Facebook.com/MadameMayhem
www.Twitter.com/MayhemOfficial  - Monster [Official Video]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyIiJW5YJnE&feature=youtu.be


Billy Sheehan on Madame Mayhem's new record
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-QwDK2MkRc

'Now You Know' Tracklisting:

1. Monster

2. Perfect Nightmare

3. Something Better (Now You Know)

4. Left For Dead

5. Witchcraft

6. More Than Misery

7. Better Days

8. ... After 2 Am

9. Nothing to lose

10. Under The Microscope

11. Sacrifice

12. Pain

13. Can't Stand

14. Anyone Who Had A Heart


FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT:
www.MadameMayhem.com
www.Facebook.com/MadameMayhem
www.Twitter.com/MayhemOfficial 


- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Neal Morse Band - The Grand Experiment (2015)

Radiant Records – February 10, 2015

Review by Edwin van Hoof



Neal Morse is the busiest bee in the progressive rock hyve. Aside the release of his solo album "Songs from November," Neal also was one of the driving forces behind Transatlantic's "Kaleidoscope" and the recent Flying Colors album "Second Nature." In the midst of recording these jewels, Mr. Morse manages to tour frequently with the above mentioned as well as lend his hand to many other acts in the genre. The Neal Morse Band is the newest loot to his exponential growing catalogue.

What instantly comes to mind is the reminiscence of the material that is strongly rooted in the sound of American pomp and prog classics from the late 70's and early 80's. "Following the Call" (10:12) brings together the very best from this era and it is almost as if Styx and Kansas joined forces to record this wonderful track. The song is progressive as it is recognizable with an ear mingling theme and melody forming the red line amongst which the musical extravaganza takes place. Upholding the timing like a Swiss clock is none other than Winery Dog Mike Portnoy, who lays down his typical drum fills and maintains the energy needed to make the music flourish.

Another focal point is the squealing guitar lick and solo that Eric Gillette unleashes midway through. While the pompous wall of power (Bill Hubauer – keys) rises high, the man's high pitched solo is astonishing and colourful, contrasting extremely which makes it very enjoyable. Amongst the pompous ‘violence' it's Morse who stands out with his wonderful warm voice that links to both mentioned band. The title track of the album is a more compact pomp track combining the best of Styx' sound with that of UK based prog bands such as Yes and Asia, especially due to the echoing voices in the middle section of the song.

One of the most wonderful tunes in progressive rock must be the timid and warm "Waterfall" which highlights the excellent vocal interaction on this album perfectly. Morse' wonderful voice combines perfectly with that of the other band members, much like CSNY in their prime. Even though the song clocks 6:31 it is never gets boring for one second, which is impressive. "Agenda" is a forward rocking track with psychedelic Beatlesque vocals and distorted guitars. A compact tune that paves the way for the epical giant "Alive Again" that opens with a Pink Floyd-ish guitar and keyboard interaction before opening all registers. For 26+ minutes it enrols a bedazzling musical outburst of passion and perfection. The melodies are electrifying and powerful, with keyboards filling in the blanks and Portnoy battering his drums over the fiery riffs. It is all perfectly timed drama before sonically falling apart when the vocals tell the story in a colourful setting of throbbing bass and string arrangements. The close harmony choruses are sublime especially around minute 17 after the eclectic mid section, when the dramatic turns of events is vocally shaped by Morse with a lingering epos about life's endeavors and high price. The song works towards a grand finale with an ear mingling guitar melody from Gillette.

"The Grand Experiment" is an excellent melodic prog album that brings together US bombastic classics with more traditional elements from the UK progressive rock age, uniting it with the utmost perfection. Guitars and keyboards are colourfully lit by a razor-sharp production and Portnoy's polyrhythmic perfection makes the songs sturdy and vivid. It is however Neal Morse himself that breaks free from the chains that bind him to his past in Spock's Beard, for once and for all.

89 out of 100

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- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Pop Star JoJo Makes Atlantic Records Debut

Pop Star JoJo Makes Atlantic Records Debut with Simultaneous Release of Three New Singles

Acclaimed singer-songwriter JoJo joins Atlantic Records’ much celebrated roster. The singer makes her long awaited Atlantic debut with three new singles. The three distinct singles titled "III." are: “Say Love,” “Save My Soul,” and “When Love Hurts”; all of which will appear on her highly anticipated third album.

The not yet titled new album has already made a major impact, months before its official announcement. Both Buzzfeed and Fuse ranked it among their “Most Anticipated Albums of 2015” lists, with Buzzfeed noting the release could make JoJo “this year’s comeback kid.” The singles include an impressive roster of producers: the gorgeous power-ballad “Say Love” was produced by Harmony “H-Money” Samuels; The Family helmed the heartfelt track “Save My Soul”, and Jason Evigan and Benny Blanco took the lead on the infectious club-banger “When Love Hurts”.

Hailed by TIME Magazine as an “innovative songbird to beat”, JoJo is a chart-topping, award-winning multimedia superstar, a remarkably gifted singer, songwriter, and actress whose incredible journey began almost as soon as the New England native could sing. Local children’s competitions soon became high profile national TV appearances and live tours, resulting in the talented 12 year old signing a major label deal in 2003.

Released when JoJo was just 13, 2004’s debut single, “Leave (Get Out),” reached the pinnacle on Billboard’s “Pop Songs” chart, making her the youngest-ever solo artist to have a #1 single in the United States. A true international smash, “Leave (Get Out)” earned RIAA gold certification as well as gold and platinum certification around the world. What’s more, the single’s companion video dominated MTV, VH1, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and The N, spending 50 days on MTV’s Total Request Live (including two atop the TRL countdown) while also leading to JoJo receiving a “Best New Artist” nomination from the MTV Video Music Awards – again making history as the youngest solo artist to be so honored.

2004’s RIAA platinum certified “JOJO” was a global phenomenon, with total worldwide sales now in excess of 3 million. “THE HIGH ROAD” followed in 2006 and proved an equivalent sensation, scoring worldwide sales of 3 million on the power of singles like the record-breaking top 3 hit, “Too Little Too Late.” After several years of legal dispute and a lawsuit filed against her former label, JoJo was finally released from her original recording contract.

JoJo’s immediately identifiable vocals were featured on records by such diverse artists as Timbaland and Pharrell. Her featured track, “Freq” on Pharrell’s chart-topping album “G I R L”, was celebrated by critics as one of the best songs on the album. Her own brilliant solo output continued with 2010’s “CAN’T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME,” an independently released mixtape which drew over 750,000 downloads in its first week online. “Disaster,” her next single/video, arrived in 2011 to great acclaim and chart success, celebrated by a series of international concert tours, radio festival appearances, and national TV performances. As if all that weren’t enough, JoJo embarked on an acting career that included box office smashes like 2006’s Aquamarine and RV, the latter of which opened at #1 in its first week in theatres, as well as hugely rated TV movies (including Lifetime Television’s True Confessions of A Hollywood Starlet) and guest spots on series like CBS’ Hawaii Five-0.

JoJo celebrated her 22nd birthday in December 2012 with the digital release of her next mixtape, “AGÁPĒ,” followed the next year with a North American headline tour. In 2014, the singer released the critically acclaimed “#LOVEJO” EP which features stellar cover versions of songs by such Atlantic Records veterans as Anita Baker and Phil Collins. What’s more, JoJo stole the show at 2014’s South By Southwest (SXSW), her performance at the Fader Fort earning rave reviews from Rolling Stone, which declared the set to be among the “48 Best Things We Saw At SXSW”.

WebSite | Facebook | @IAmJojo Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Atlantic Records



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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Harry Connick Jr. performs pop classics, ballads, and New Orleans jazz at Fallsview

  HARRY CONNICK JR. BRINGS SIGNATURE STYLE WITH A  SIDE OF CHARM TO
                                                     FALLSVIEW CASINO
       
Niagara Falls, ON – Award-winning, pianist, vocalist, composer, band leader, actor and philanthropist Harry Connick Jr. performs pop classics, ballads, and New Orleans jazz from his multi-platinum albums with charm and his signature style. Along with his band, Harry leads audiences through a memorable evening of melody, humour and rousing entertainment. 

Known to fans around the world as "Mr. Las Vegas"; join legendary Wayne Newton for an up close and personal conversation about his six decade-long career, his legacy and the ever-changing Las Vegas music industry told through rare stories and videos. From singing, to acting, to philanthropy, see how Wayne Newton became one of the most dedicated entertainers of his time. 

The hit series Songwriters is back at Fallsview Casino with a special Country Edition featuring multi-award winning Bob DiPiero, Josh Osborne and Jessi Alexander. With a string of chart-topping singles under their belts, these songwriters share the creative journey behind their music and lyrics that have inspired legendary performances for Country’s biggest musical icons including Tim McGraw, The Oak Ridge Boys, Reba, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, and many more. 
With hits like, “Hound Dog”, “Heartbreak Hotel”, “All Shook Up”, “Jailhouse Rock”, and “Love Me Tender”, Elvis Presley was rightly dubbed The King of Rock & Roll. Stephen Michaels, and a spectacular cast, pay tribute to Presley’s legacy of over 149 chart-topping singles in Return to Grace, a glorious and heartfelt performance of the greatest musical moments of Presley’s iconic career.  

The complete September 2015 Performance Schedule:  
Harry Connick Jr. September 1 & 2: Showtime 8:30PM Tickets start at $95 
Return To Grace September 9 -22 (excluding September 16) 
September 9, 10, 17, 21 & 22: Showtime 3:00PM & 8:30PM  September 11, 18: Showtime 9:00PM September 12 & 19: Showtime 3:00PM & 9:00PM September 13 & 20: Showtime 3:00PM & 7:00PM September 14 & 15: Showtime 3:00PM Tickets start at $30
Songwriters Featuring Bob DiPiero, Josh Osborne & Jessi Alexander In the Grand Hall September 12: Showtime 8:30PM All tickets are $20 
An Up Close and Personal Conversation with Wayne Newton Behind the Neon Lights September 25: Showtime 9:00PM Tickets start at $25 
Sanremo Ieri E Oggi  September 26: Showtime 9:00PM September 27: Showtime 7:00PM Tickets start at $80
Tickets:  Tickets to the September shows will be available starting at noon on Friday, June 12 at the Fallsview Casino Box Office (on any show date) or at all Ticketmaster outlets. Call Ticketmaster at 1-877-833-3110 or visit www.ticketmaster.ca.  
Associated Links: Fallsview Casino Entertainment: http://fallsviewcasinoresort.com/entertainment Buy Tickets: http://www.ticketmaster.ca Fallsview - Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Paul Rogers to Perform at Fallsview Casino

                              ZZ TOP MAKES FALLSVIEW CASINO DEBUT

Niagara Falls, ON – Rock and Roll Hall of Famers ZZ Top take the stage at Fallsview Casino for the first time ever this August. For one night only they will perform their repertoire of hits such as “Tush”, “Legs”, “La Grange”, “Gimme All Your Lovin’” and “Sharp Dressed Man”. 

Also this August, over 40 international daredevil stuntmen, trapeze artists and contemporary dancers will soar over the audience and leap onstage to perform incredible feats of strength and agility. Discover the magic and imagination in each spell-binding performance when Le Grand Cirque - Adrenaline returns to Fallsview Casino.  

Singer-songwriter Andy Kim has sold over 30 million records worldwide and has written songs for music greats. Andy Kim performs his hits “How’d We Ever Get This Way?”, “Rock Me Gently”, “Sugar Sugar”, “Baby I Love You”, and new music from his latest album, It’s Decided. 

Platinum selling singer-songwriter Paul Rodgers has sold over 90 million records and is a founding member and main songwriter of several bands, including Free, Bad Company and The Firm. Known for such hits as “Alright Now”, “Feel Like Makin’ Love”, “Bad Company”  “Can’t Get Enough” and “Shooting Star”, Paul Rodgers will perform just 15 concerts worldwide in 2015 – two of which take place at Fallsview Casino.  

The complete August 2015 Performance Schedule:  
Le Grand Cirque – Adrenaline  July 31 – August 16 (excluding August 5 & 12)  
July 31, August 7 & 14: Showtime 9:00PM August 1, 8, 15: Showtime 3:00PM & 9:00PM August 2, 9 & 16: Showtime 3:00pm & 7:00PM August 3: Showtime 3:00PM August 4,6, 10, 11 & 13: Showtime 3:00PM & 8:30PM Tickets start at $20 

ZZ Top August 20: Showtime 8:30PM Tickets start at $60
 

Andy Kim August 21: Showtime 9:00PM August 22: Showtime 3:00PM & 9:00PM Tickets start at $20 

Paul Rodgers  August 28 & 29: Showtime 9:00PM Tickets start at $35  

Tickets:  Tickets to the August shows will be available starting at noon on Friday, May 8 at the Fallsview Casino Box Office (on any show date) or at all Ticketmaster outlets. Call Ticketmaster at 1-877-833-3110 or visit www.ticketmaster.ca.  

Associated Links: Fallsview Casino Entertainment: http://fallsviewcasinoresort.com/entertainment 

 Buy Tickets: http://www.ticketmaster.ca  - Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Kovacs - Shades of Black (2015)

Provogue Records / Mascot Label Group

Review by Edwin van Hoof

A long leather trench coat with oversized big gothic-like boots cover a frail youngster whom timid smile comes shimmering from underneath her oversized furry hood. When her glazing eyes search for the light her hood is throw backwards only to reveal an even more intriguing personality.

This Sharon Kovacs, the vocalist who is currently taken Europe by storm with her mesmerizing voice and ditto music balancing on the fine line between fine dark art and avant garde. It's taunting and hypnotizing beautiful, as is her radiating personality. Kovacs' "Shades of Black" is only just the beginning.

The dark cover artwork lines up just perfectly with Kovacs' musical intentions. Her mesmerizing dark toned music brings together the best from art noire and disgruntled soundtracks from the gritty 50's. Not only does her music warp you back to those dark theatres soaked in the fragrance of bourbon, smoke and cigars, it also has that genuine feel of vinyl with its nostalgic scratches and scuffmarks. Much like her Dutch musical 'twin' Lilian Hak, Kovacs is on a recon mission to explore music in its widest variety, injecting modern day jazz and pop with the charismatic overhaul from those darker times. In her European hit single "Diggin'" Kovacs sums up how wide and varied her vocal influences are: "From Nina to Ella, Ella to Bassey, Bassey to Eta" also simultaneously hinting the musical shockwave that's going to hit you. Because this is not where it ends folks!

Kovacs combined the rich vocalic toning of these here for mentioned icons with her unique passion for modern soul and jazz, making Amy Winehouse's music look rather pale. Another name I wanted to drop if only for her stubborn approach to music and the bewitching and ever so present shadows casted over "Shades of Black". But instead of swinging towards old Motown and soul, this 25 year old managed to pen down an album full of pure art. Compact and appealing, captivating and taunting.

"50 Shades of Black" opens this 12-song expedition that leads us through a dark sonic landscape. An almost romantic velvet melody paves the way for a lashing lyric. The unlikely contrast is the perfect sonic environment for Kovacs' voice. Her voice touches the mesmerizing side of Portishead's Beth Gibbons occasionally but it is above all Sharon Kovacs who speaks to us. "My Love" is a much more dynamic track that hits you with a Goldfinger-ish 007 appeal. The music is richly orchestrated and a little pompous, without blasting your senses. In the same range Kovacs composed "When the Lady's Hurt" with its damp yet danceable motion.

From a completely different planet comes the somewhat triphop new wave blended "Night of the Nights" with its epical undertone and hauling backing vocals. Subtle arrangements of strings, Theremin and percussion interaction make it crawl forward before it pumps up to great magnitude. Absolute highlight is the Ennio Morricone like "My Love" with its Shirley Bassey vocal slingshots and the warm and fuzzy chorus. Whammy guitars echoing as if Hank Marvin's The Shadows are responsible for a revival of their echomatic Meazzi tapes and magnetic Benson discs. It's opposing in every way with that other magnificent heart touching moment, the wonderful and timidly arranged "Sweet Symphony". Sharon Kovacs reveals a completely different side to her (hoarse) vocal range on this song carried by piano and acoustic guitar paving the way for an unmatched highlight. It's overwhelming in its simplicity without lacking the dramatic overhaul Kovacs inflicts into her lyrics which are scarred by life.

The soul comes swinging when Sharon duets with a spitting trumpet in "Wolf in Cheap Clothes". The dynamics of the songs are fading in the always-lingering dark shadow casted over the album. The density of the atmosphere is exciting as it is thrilling.

Outstanding is "Song for Joel" which is rather lush and more rock rooted than any of the other tracks, making it a somewhat odd ending to this remarkable debut release.

Kovacs managed to shift along with the time evolving around female vocalists, harvesting the best of both (read: all) worlds. The result is simply jaw dropping and beautiful, might be counted to the best debut albums of the last couple of years.
The rich arrangements and orchestrations are in fine line with Kovacs' captivating vocal performance which is honest and heart touching. All songs breathe a genuine musical perfection and devotion that radiates from her performance. This is an album of a weathered soul who seeks an outlet for silent smothered screams. Fragile as it is powerful, dynamic as it is passive, but above all: captivating. Kovacs is one of those one off personalities that redefines the lines of music in general.

94 out of 100

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Someone to Watch For: Nova Heart

 

Ever since Nova Heart was founded in mid 2011, they've been embraced by music critics, influential members of Beijing's art and fashion crowds, and indie music fans from China to the West. Nova Heart are the first chinese band to get high rotation on Triple J in Australia, have been featured in NME and Rolling Stone by senior editor David Fricke, have collaborated with french filmmaker Vincent Moon (Blogotheque, Arcade Fire), and have perfomed at the Iceland Airwaves music festival.
In 2012 they released their debut EP, Beautiful Boys in China (licensed in November 2013 to Indica Records Australia with remixes by Acid Washed and Munk) produced by Italian disco cowboy Rodion, toured 5 continents, played some of the most important festivals in China and abroad (a.o. at Transmusicales 2013 in front of 9000 people) as well as some of the most prestigious museums in Germany.
Nova Heart achieved all of this against the odds, being based not in London, New York or Berlin, but in Beijing – on the fringes of the international music industry, and without having released a single album. Their self-titled debut LP will be out on October 2nd, 2015 via FakeLoveMusic.
Nova Heart Tracklisting
01. Drive to Our End
02. Lackluster No.
03. We Are Golden
04. My Song 9
05. No Controversy
06. Interlude
07. The Queen is Dead
08. Evil
09. Starmaker
10. Right Wrong
11. Dancing Barefoot
 
Beijing's dark minimal electro/pop group Nova Heart will be releasing their self-titled debut LP this fall, on October 2nd (via FakeLoveMusic). Nova Heart are compriased of Bo Xuan (bass), Shi Lu a.k.a. Atom (drums), and Helen Feng (vox, keys) the former MTV VJ who's been previously dubbed as, “the Queen of Beijing Rock” and the “Blondie of China.” Their upcoming self-titled debut album was mixed by Rusty Santos (TV on the Radio and Animal Collective) and recorded in Berlin where it was produced by the italian dance music genius, Rodion.
Nova Heart have recently played the House of Vans in London as well as Glastonbury fest (the first Chinese band to have done so) where they did this Tour Diary for POPULAR TV. The Guardian, NME, Clash, Noisey, and Rolling Stone have all written about them in the past and they have a huge following in Beijing (850,000 streams on Xiami, over 200,000 views on LeTV, and 150,000 hits on Youku).
The lead singer Helen Feng is also a key figure within Beijing's growing rock scene, which she discusses in her interview with Alexander Chow for PostPunk here. You can listen and share the first two singles from the album, "My Song 9" and "Lackluster No." before Nova Heart relerase their next single, "We Are Golden" next week on Tuesday, August 18th



EU TOUR DATES
28.08 - Helsinki, Modern Sky Festival
29.08 - Helsinki, Modern Sky Festival

 
 

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Spires Premieres "Parallel Lines" on Brooklyn Vegan

 

The New York based Spires burst onto the scene with a Residency at Pianos on the Lower East Side.  After winning over audiences and media alike with this stunning entrance they played highly praised live sets at the Northside Festival, SXSW and CMJ,  following it up with touring and playing shows alongside Temples, The Horrors, Toy, Noah and the Whale, The Allah-Las, Widowspeak, Caveman and Hookworms.
Their debut single "Candy Flip"  was released by 401K Music in the US and on the Too Pure Singles Club in the UK to great critical acclaim from both sides of the Atlantic. The fashion company The Kooples used it as the soundtrack for their Spring / Summer collection, BBC 6 Music made it their single of the week, KEXP championed the band and featured them in session, the NME, The New York Times,  Brooklyn Vegan, and NYLON all raved about Spires and their debut.
Their much anticipated five song debut self-titled EP will be released on September 18th, production of which was helmed by Spires' singer/guitarist Matt Stevenson and bassist/guitarist Jack Collins.

 
Links
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