Thursday, February 28, 2013

CD Review: Pete Galub Is Letting Out His "Candy Tears"

Singer/songwriter Pete Galub recently released his nine-song album entitled “Candy Tears.” Even though Galub is from the east coast, his music carries a very northwest, alternative rock sound that blew-up the music scene in the early nineties.

The album begins with the guitar-fused “Reacquaintance” as you think you stepped back in time to when the Meat Puppets and Nirvana were still underground music acts. Galub’s songwriting grows on the slow-building “All I Am” and “300 Days In July.” He lets his guitar do the talking during “My Regeneration” as he blasts you with his music. Pete Galub shows his emotional side in “Waiting,” before closing with the seven-minute epic “Boat.”

For more information on newcomer Pete Galub, please visit petegalub.com.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

CD Review: Adrienne Pierce Welcomes You To The "Heavens"

Singer/songwriter Adrienne Pierce is preparing to release her new album, "My Heavens" on March 5 through Insectgirl Records. The album was produced by Pierce along with her husband Ari Shine. The album was inspired by Buddy Holly and the girl groups of the 50's and 60's.

Her voice on "Oh Well" sounds so innocent that you feel the need to give her your full attention. Her music is a mix of modern folk and pop-rock as her lyrics and vocals are very attractive to listen to. At times, her music sounds very big and grand as with "If Ever," then she comes back with the simple, acoustic strumming of "Let It Go" and "Castle Green." Her Buddy Holly influence comes shinning through on "Speak Clearly," before closing the album with accapella-fueled "No Words." 

Adrienne Pierce is hitting the road in the U.S. on March 1 on Pennsylvania before heading west. For more information on her new album "My Heavens" and for a complete list of tour dates, please visit adriennepierce.com.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

CD Review: Gangstagrass Blend Together Country Twang And Hip-Hop On "Rappaclachia"

What if Johnny Cash and Jay-Z worked together on an album? It may have sounded like Gangstagrass' latest release, "Rappalachia." From New York comes this rare, but wildly successful combination of hip-hop lyrics along a country backdrop.

The album features a load of guest rappers including Kool Keith, Dead Prez, T.O.N.E-z and R-Son just to name a few. The album came about when the FX Network came looking for a theme song for their show "Justified." The theme song "Long Hard Times To Come" was so successful, earning an Emmy nomination in 2010, that a full-length album was in order and Gangstagrass was born.

The music is so addictive that you forget that these rappers are rolling their lyrics along with banjos and violins carrying the songs. The lyrics to the songs "Gunslinger Rambler" and "Shoot Dem" fit this new genre perfectly. "Our Life" sounds as if it was made to be the theme song for Quentin Tarantino's recent movie "Django Unchained." They get their country two-step going on the instrumentals "Rappalachia 6" and "Crossbow," but its songs like "Down By The River, Down By The Sea" that bang. The album closes with the most hip-hop sounding song on the album, "Till My Last Shot," which Johnny Cash would have been proud to be a part of. 

Ganstagrass are currently on the road promoting the new album, "Rappalachia." They will be heading down from Canada at the end of February, performing March 1 at Two Boots in Bridgeport, CT before moving on to New York. For more information on this one-of-a-kind sound, please visit ganstagrass.com.

Monday, February 25, 2013

CD Review: The Sweet Remains And Brian Dolzani Sing Us Their Storied Tales

Acoustic folk-rock trio The Sweet Remains released their sophomore album, “North & Prospect” on February 19. They are heading out on the road with a two-month long tour, beginning March 1 at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT. Their music has been featured in a number of television shows, commercials and music compilations. The new album falls into the same vein as Crosby, Stills & Nash with their three-part harmonies and powerfully touching lyrics.
 
The new album begins with the country-folk sway of “Been Too Good” as you notice how their voices mesh so well together, especially in “The Moment.” The album’s mellow feel flows throughout the song’s acoustic appeal as in “Red Brick Moon” and “Better Ways To Spend The Day.” The song “Sweet Love” is just an amazing, fragile piece of music that just eases your worries away. The Sweet Remains try their hand at The Beatles’ classic “Come Together” as it gets turned into country-blues as they let their harmonies carry the song. The album closes with the gentle sounds of “The River Hymn” which feels like it came from Paul Simon’s songbook.
 
For more information on The Sweet Remains new album and for a complete list of tour dates, please visit thesweetremains.com.
 
Also newly released is the latest album from singer/songwriter Brian Dolzani. “If I Don't Speak A Word...” is the title of a new collection of songs that Dolzani has been crafting about his personal stories.
 
The album begins with the lyrical “Older Now” as he explains his words of wisdom. The twelve-song release is more about the words than the music as Dolzani’s vocals on “Whether or Not” remind us of an earlier version of Neil Young & Crazy Horse, before feedback became Neil Young's power chord. The songs that strike the most interest are the mostly acoustic storytelling of “Before Goodnight” and “Broken.” The album finishes up with the inner search for love in “Autumn In Central Park” and how to deal with love in “I’m Sorry Now.”
 
Brian Dolzani has a handful of dates scattered throughout the year, including a couple of shows in Connecticut. He will be performing March 28 at the Acoustic Café in Bridgeport, CT and on May 21 at Café Nine opening for James McCartney. For more information about Brian Dolzani’s new album, please visit briandolzani.com.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

CD Review: Facial Hair Becomes The Main Focus Of Australian Rockers The Beards

If you're a fan of facial hair, then I have the perfect album for you. From Australia comes The Beards with their newest full-length album "Having A Beard Is The New Not Having A Beard." Their new album was originally released in March of last year in their home country of Australia, but is finally hitting the U.S. this March 5. It features a dozen rocking songs paying tribute to all that hair below your nose.
 
The Beards show their passion for the subject matter with the guitar driven, "I'm In The Mood...For Beards." Even if you smirk at the subject matter or at the lyrics of "Got Me A Beard," rest assured that these guys can rock. The album's first single, "You Should Consider Having Sex With A Bearded Man" has an eighties rock feel full of synthesizers, but the lyrics just keep  you grinning as you can't help but sing along to the chorus. The Beards show their passion for the subject witht the emotional jazz/blues piano piece, "Still Got My Beard," before moving on to the acoustic folk/rock of "The Beard Accessory Store." The album closes with the boys showing their true feelings with "There's Nothing Better Than A Beard" and the hidden chant of "Beard Related Song Number 38."
 
The Beards will be hitting the U.S. in early March, but only for a couple shows. To find out more from this amazing talented band, please visit their website at thebeardsblog.wordpress.com

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Concert Review: Maroon 5 Exposes Mohegan Sun To Their Hits

American pop/rock band Maroon 5's success has grown bigger with each new album they release. Their latest album, "Overexposed" debuted at #2 on the Billboard album chart and has already gone platinum after only 8 months. The band set out on their "Overexposed" tour last August and are finally hitting North America this month, including a stop last Friday at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Maroon 5 lead singer, Adam Levine stated that this venue is one of the "best kept secrets" in the music industry as far as fan support and the arena packed with fans did not disprove that thought.
 
As the lights went out, the sound of a dialing telephone was barely heard amongst the screams of thousands of female fans. The band wasted no time, cruising through the new songs, "Payphone" and "Lucky Strike," before slowing the tempo down for the jazzy-flavor of "Sunday Morning." The "M" shaped stage was as impressive as Levine's dance-movements as he shared time on both sides of the stage to the delight of the audience. Forty-foot screens turned the arena into whatever setting the song called for, like a starry sky during "Won't Go Home Without You" or shooting flames during "Harder To Breathe."
 
Older hit songs like "Wake Up Call" and "Misery" received big applause as Levine and the audience sang back and forth to the song's choruses. The set finished with Levine and lead guitarist James Valentine sharing guitar licks during the finale of "This Love" as the band quickly exited the stage.
 
The encore began with a large metal bridge being lowered to the stage in order for Levine to make his was to a small stage located in the middle of the arena. Beginning with a cover of Gym Class Heroes' "Stereo Hearts," the energy was definitely pumping as all eyes were on Levine performing solo on the satellite stage. Maroon 5 continued with their most recent single, "Daylight," before heading into the band's 2004 hit single, "She Will Be Loved," which featured a sing-along conducted by Levine from up on top the bridge. The night concluded with "Moves Like Jagger" as glittery, confetti covered the stage and audience, much to the delight of all in attendance.
 
Electronic/pop band, Owl City began the night with a thirty minute set. They lit up the arena with cell phones during "Fireflies," before ending with their pumped up hit song, "Good Time." Alternative rock band, Neon Trees followed with their quick five-song set which included the hit single "Animal" and a cover of Human League's "Don't You Want Me." They really got the energy flowing for headliners Maroon 5 with their closing song "Everybody Talks."
 
Setlist: Payphone, Makes Me Wonder, Lucky Strike, Sunday Morning, If I Never See Your Face Again, Wipe Your Eyes, Won't Go Home Without You, Love Somebody, Harder To Breathe, Wake Up Call, One More Night, Misery, This Love
 
Encore: Stereo Hearts, Daylight, She Will Be Loved, Moves Like Jagger

Friday, February 22, 2013

CD Review: Catchy Hooks And Folk/Rock Fill New Albums From Todd Kessler And Common Shiner

Singer/songwriter Todd Kessler has experienced the spotlight as a contestant this past season on NBC’s The Voice. As a member of Team Ceelo, Todd was able to pick up a few pointers to help with the release of his fifth studio album, “Sea Fever.” His music has been described as Alternative/Folk/Pop and is heard on the opening song “Oh Brother” and in “Prospect of Protest.” His voice in the song “Intangible” sounds so innocent and pure that you can’t help but get lost in his words.

Kessler’s band, The New Folk, finally make their presence known in “Holes In The Floor” as the music swings with a jazz-rock appeal. The up-tempo beat of “Zen Lunatics” give the song a fun, danceable sound, while the piano ballad “Canary In A Coal Mine” shows Kessler’s passion for what he does. The album finishes up with the folk-sounds of “Put You In My Pocket.”

Todd Kessler and The New Folk have six dates scheduled at the moment, beginning March 13 in Tulsa, OK. For more information, check out his Facebook page at facebook.com/toddkesslermusic.

From Chicago comes Common Shiner with their latest album, "Before They Sold Out (Part 2)." The album was released on February 5 and follows the local success of "Before They Sold Out (Part 1)." While "Part 1" was an all-acoustic adventure, "Part 2" shows the full force of the band's folk/rock/pop sound.

Beginning with "Sharks!," Common Shiner have that winning combination of catchy hooks and meaningful lyrics. Their sound follows the successful footsteps of The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons. The songs "Mae Calling" and "When To Say When" show off their pop/rock side, while the songs "Write Back Soon" and "Oh, The Optimist" give us the folk side of the songwriting. At times, their music can be compared to Barenaked Ladies as in "Even My Vices Have Vices," before they turn their amps up and rock to "We Own This." The album closes with Common Shiner reverting back to "Part 1" with the acoustic folk of "It Took The Dead..." 

After a sold out show at Schubas in Chicago, IL, Common Shiner have only one show on their schedule. They will be performing at the Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids, MI on March 16. For more information, please visit the band's website at commonshiner.com.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

CD Review: I Used To Be A Sparrow Are Now An "Empty Artist"

Swedish alternative, indie-rockers, I Used To Be A Sparrow will be releasing their sophomore album, “You Are An Empty Artist” on March 15 through Paper Wings Records. The duo of Dick Pettersson and Andrea Caccese are taking their garage band and making is sound like arena rock, similar to rock superstars Coldplay.
 
The album begins with “Laura” as you notice how much their sound has grown and developed since their debut album. The first single, “Warpaint On Invisible Children” plays heavy on the electronic beats, while “Spring Knows Where You Live” is a more U2-type rocker. The song “Submarine” sounds too much like a demo recording idea that never really takes off, while “On/Off” has a very mainstream, indie-rock appeal. The album finishes with the gentle flow of “July.”
 
For more information on I Used To Be A Sparrow and their new album “You Are An Empty Artist” please visit their website at iusedtobeasparrow.tumblr.com.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

CD Review: The Icicles Want You To Join Their "Parade"

Indie-pop band, The Icicles released their latest album, “Renegade Parade” almost one year ago and their music is finally meeting the masses by the band re-releasing the album this February. Some of their songs have been featured in ads for Target and Motorola and in a handful of independent films. During the writing, recording and producing of this album, five children were born amongst the various band members as the music still feels like a complete work.
 
Lead singer Gretchen DeVault’s vocals are instantly noticeable on the opening songs “Numb” and “Night Drive” as the songs hit you like a breath of fresh air. The slow-build of “Insomnia” shows a great musicianship within the band, while the songwriting of “Would You Know” gives their music so much heart and emotion. DeVault’s gentle, falsetto tone on “So It Goes” sounds so beautiful and innocent, while the band has fun with the up-tempo, playful sound of “This Is It.” The album closes with the keyboard driven “No Good For You” as The Icicles show you that they can rock.
 
To find out more about The Icicles, please visit their website at theicicles.com.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

CD Review: Prospect Hill Bring Their "Impact" To Connecticut

From Massachusetts comes Prospect Hill with their latest release, “Impact.” It was released last year and is the band’s third release with Carved Records. The band is also heading out on a three-month tour which began last weekend as the band hits the east coast with a show at The Firehouse in Plainville, CT.
 
The 11-song album carries a modern, hard rock vibe as heard in the opening song, “Townie.” Their big, mainstream rock sound comes shining through on “Live Goes On” and in “Superhero,” before adding a heavy progressive rock sound with the instrumental “Say Uncle.” The album is full of potential break-out songs for the band including the dark sounds of “Breakdown” and the more pop/rock of “Rescued.” The album closes with the hardest rocking song on the album, “Reach.”
 
For more information on Prospect Hill, please visit the band’s website at prospecthillmusic.com.

Monday, February 18, 2013

CD Review: Shai Hulud And Neaera Release New Albums Through Metal Blade Records

Metal Blade Records is ready to unleash a couple more hardcore metal albums into the world. We begin with the New York metal/punk band, Shai Hulud. They will be releasing their fourth album entitled “Reach Beyond The Sun” on February 19. The album was produced by New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert, who also takes over the vocals duties in over a decade.
 
The band’s hardcore attack begins with “The Mean Spirits, Breathing” as Gilbert’s screaming vocals are perfectly matched to the three Matts (Matt Fox – Guitars, Matt Fletcher – Bass, Matt Covey – Drums) powerful music delivery. They get their aggression out on the shouting vocals of “I, Saturnine,” before continuing blasting your eardrums on the title-song “Reach Beyond The Sun.” The song “A Human Failing” features, Jay Pepito (Reign Supreme, Blacklisted) the first of many guest vocalists on this album. They blast through the songs “Medicine To The Dead” and “To Suffer Fools” with machine gun drumming and crunching guitars. The change in tempos during “Think The Adder Begins” shows more diversity within the band’s sound. The album closes with the moody, slow-building, big sound of “At Least A Plausible Case For Pessimism.”
 
Shai Hulud is still working on their website, so check out the band’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/shaihuludofficial) for more information, including dates in Australia and the U.K.
 
The other new release comes from the German hardcore metal band Neaera. Their new album, “Ours Is The Storm” is their sixth release through the Metal Blade Records label. The band has created a sound that combines their hardcore roots with a Swedish death metal influence as their popularity continues to grow.
 
The music hits hard with the title-song, “Ours Is The Storm” and “Decolonize The Mind” as the fast-paced drumming and aggressive vocals rage on. The duel vocals on “Walk With Fire” are genius as the song takes on a more epic feel. The song “Black Tomb” shows off the shear force and power of this band as they present the song and neck-breaking speed. The band finishes the attack on your eardrums with the powerful song “Guardian Of Ashes.”
 
Neaera is hitting the road at the end of the on in their home country of Germany. For more information on the new album and for a complete list of tour dates, please visit neaera.com.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

CD Review: Amanda Brecker Channels Carole King On "Blossom"

Singer/songwriter Amanda Brecker will be releasing her new album, “Blossom” on February 26 through Decca records. The album pays homage to Carole King and James Taylor and  also commemorates the 40thanniversary of King’s album “Tapestry.” The new album was produced by Jesse Harris (Norah Jones) and features some of the original artists that performed on the original “Tapestry” album.
 
Brecker's album begins with the gentleness of the title-song as Brecker’s vocals breathe new life into these recordings. Brecker’s vocals on “So Far Away” and “It’s Too Late” are sweet and gentle, but fall a little short when compared to the originals. Amanda does a better job with the James Taylor originals “Sweet Baby James” and “You’ve Got A Friend.” She makes these songs as appealing as the originals by pouring her all into these recordings. The album closes with an original composition, “You Were Mine,” which fits in with the rest of the album perfectly. While it’s not always easy to re-record such classics, Amanda does it with her sweet voice that gives these songs a warm feeling of comfort, which is what James Taylor and Carole King were known for.
 
Amanda Brecker has a couple of dates lined-up at the moment, including a CD-Release party on February 26 at the Rockwood Stage in New York. To find out more about Amanda’s new album, “Blossom” and for more live shows, please visit amandabrecker.com.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

CD Review: Drowning Pool Break-In New Singer With "Resilience"

Multi-platinum selling artist, Drowning Pool returns this spring with a brand new album entitled “Resilience.” It is the band’s fifth studio album and their third with Eleven Seven Music. This is also the first album to feature new lead singer Jason Moreno.
 
Right from the opening track, “Anytime Anyplace” you instantly recognize Drowning Pool’s signature hard rock sound. Moreno’s vocals fit in perfectly as if he was destined to take over the lead singer position of the band. The band’s aggressive; adrenaline pumping sound comes blasting through on their new single, “One Finger And A Fist,” which was featured on WWE’s “Slammy Awards.” The band’s lead single from the new album, “Saturday Night” is still rising up the retro rock chart with its hard-hitting sound and shout out loud chorus. Moreno’s vocals breathes new life into the band as C.J. Pierce’s guitar is blazing on “Life of Misery.” The regular album finishes up with the energy fueled “Skip To The End,” but they have added a couple of bonus tracks onto this release. The first bonus song is the heartfelt ballad, “In Memory Of…” which was released as a single back in August 2012 and pays tribute to former Drowning Pool singer Dave Williams. The second bonus song is “Blindfold,” which finds the band in top form blasting your eardrums.
 
Drowning Pool will head out on a two-month tour of the U.S., including a show at the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT with Flyleaf before heading over to Europe in April to perform with fellow rockers, Fozzy. To find out more about Drowning Pool’s new album, “Resilience” (release date: April 2nd) and for a complete list of tour dates, please visit drowningpool.com.

Friday, February 15, 2013

CD Review: The Electric Grandmother Try And Spread Their "Love" Around

From Washington DC, we get the latest release from indie-artists, The Electric Grandmother entitled “Love in an Escalator.” Their music is unlike anything that is out in the music industry, believe me. They come close to sounding a little like the alternative band, Ween, but without any musical boundaries.

The album begins with the title song that is just a keyboard-driven introduction that tries to prepare for what’s to come. Their songs are really short snippets of ideas, with the longest one lasting just under 3-minutes. They venture in the realm of punk-rock with the 30-second blast of “Reagan’s Got the Bomb,” before hitting their stride with “Sitcom-Core.” The Electric Grandmother go a little “techno” on “Grandpa’s Grave” before hitting the beats, “old-school” with the hip-hop sounds of “Mac and Me” and “Virtual Reality Helmet.” They also try their hand at country with the quick-paced “Mrs. Doubtfire,” then sound just like Ween meets They Might Be Giants on “60 Seconds Of Double Dare.” The album finishes up with the keyboard instrumental “The Tired Robot Ride The Escalator.”

The Electric Grandmother will be hitting the road sometime this year. Check out their website at electicgrandmother.com to find out more from this innovative indie-rock band.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

CD Review: Port Mone Teams Up With DakhaBrakha For The "Khmeleva Project"

From Belarus comes the instrumental trio Port Mone and the Ukrainian ethno band DakhaBrakha to combine their musical talents on this latest release. The album, "Khmeleva Project" was originally released back in 2012 on the Polish independent label Hermetic Garage, but is gaining attention due to the push of the Ukrainian agency ArtPole.

The 9-song album has three songs that run past the 9-minute mark as the quietness of the songs like “Vesnyanky” and “Vanyusha” demand your attention, but also allows your mind to flow freely. The opening song, “Kpyny” and “Dyado” are very upbeat and show the band in top form. While I’m not very familiar with the World Music genre, songs like “Yelena” place you right in the heart of their country. The album closes with the 10-plus minute “Tonke Derevo” as Port Mone add a dance beat to their music to give it a more general appeal.

Port Mone have a couple of shows lined up in March to take place in Lithuania and Poland. To find out more about this group, please visit their website at portmonetrio.com.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

CD Review: Indie-Artists Import New Music To The U.S.

Singer/songwriters Luke Potter and Roxanna are looking to break-through onto the U.S. charts with some new music. Luke Potter hails from the U.K. and is beginning to grab the attention of many in the music industry. He recently released a short, 3-song EP entitled “One Day.”
 
The album’s first single, “One Day” is a heartfelt ballad that gains strength with the chorus. It has the perfect pop appeal for today’s “Top 40” market. He picks up the tempo, (only slightly) with “Chance Worth Taking,” while “Breathe In” is an edgier rocker that is sure to appeal to his fans and shows more diversity to his talents.
 
Luke Potter will be releasing his next single in March, “It’s Ok To Dream” and he has a load of dates in the U.K. lasting until mid-March. To find out more about this new artist, please visit his website at lukepottermusic.com.
 
Canadian singer/songwriter Roxanna released the first single off her upcoming debut album. The single, “Unforgotten” has a Spanish-flair as the video for the song is very steamy and features “Days of Our Lives” actor James Scott. The single is available through Roxanna’s website (roxannamusic.com) in both English, Spanish and there is even a “dance remix”of the song. Look for Roxanna’s debut album available this spring.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

CD Review: The 12-12-12 Concert Release Highlights Performances, And Misses Others

When hurricane “Sandy” hit the coast of New Jersey last year, you knew things were going to change forever. As fellow “Jersey boy” Jon Bon Jovi said, “The storm lasted one day. The effects of it are going to last a lifetime.” So Bon Jovi, along with fellow New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen decided to hold a concert to support the Robin Hood Relief Fund which aided those affected by hurricane “Sandy.”

The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger exclaimed that “this has got to be the largest collection of old English musicians ever assembled at Madison Square Garden.” He was definitely on cue with that statement as the concert invited the likes of Roger Waters, The Who, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones to join fellow musicians Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Billy Joel and others in raising money to benefit the Robin Hood Relief Fund. The concert itself lasted over four hours and was broadcasted over television, the internet and in movie theaters across the world.

Two weeks later, iTunes released a digital version of the concert, which became one of the top selling albums that week. One month later, Columbia Records released a 2CD set featuring two hours of highlights from the “12-12-12” concert.

The high points from disc 1 include almost the entire set from Roger Waters as he performs the Pink Floyd classics, “Another Brick In The Wall,” “Us And Them” and “Comfortably Numb” along with the help of Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder. This disc also features the all-too quick two-song sets from The Rolling Stones.

The second disc gives us highlights of The Who and Billy Joel’s sets and starts off with a great live version of “No One” by Alicia Keys. Coldplay’s Chris Martin receives help from Michael Stipe on R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion,” but it’s the Coldplay songs “Viva La Vida” and “Us Against The World” that ring true.

Now the downside with both discs is there are many outstanding performances that were left off this release, like the one-of-a-kind duet between Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi on “Born To Run” and Paul McCartney’s collaboration with the surviving members of Nirvana for “Cut Me Some Slack.” While I understand that this 2CD is to capture the emotions of that concert, I personally would have rather have seen other songs take the place of Adam Sandler’s “Hallelujah.”

Let’s not forget that the main purpose of this release is to help raise money with a portion of each album sold going to the Robin Hood Relief Fund. To find out more about this album and its cause, please visit 121212concert.org.

Monday, February 11, 2013

CD Review: New Music Coming From West Coast Indie-Artists

From the Portland, OR area come new albums from west coast indie artists including singer/songwriter John Amadon, the rock duo known as Aina Haina and alt/rock band Crown Point. The bands have new music hitting the streets over the next couple months and look to make an impact on the music industry.
 
We begin with the new, self-released album from John Amadon entitled “The Bursting Sheaf.” John’s early influences are found all over this album with the quick two-minute instrumental (“Saltwater Crocodile”) he pays a tribute to the early days of The Kinks, then settles into his Neil Young, story-mode on “Two Hunters.” He gets compared to fellow singer/songwriter Elliott Smith as John displays similar song structures as in “Meet Me When I Call.” Amadon wears his passion on his sleeve with “Cupcake,” before closing the album with the pop sounds of “Dream Your Dream Alone.”
 
To hear more from John Amadon, please check out his music at http://johnamadon.bandcamp.com/.
 
Next up is the Oregon duo, Aina Haina with their new self-titled EP. The band, consisting of guitarist/vocalist Mike Ailes and drummer/vocalist Dylan Magierek have a very heavy classic rock sound. The opening song, “I Wouldn’t Let Me In If I Were You” sounds like an outtake from Alice Cooper’s early days as the guitar crunches along. The duo begin to head into prog-rock music territory with the instrumental song, “We Pulled It Down,” before blasting away on the song, “Mericel.” The EP closes with “Foolin’ Around (In The Sun)” as Aina Haina saved their best for last.
 
To obtain a copy of Aina Haina’s new album and to find out more from this amazing duo check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Ainahainaband.
 
Finally, we have Crown Point with their new 7-song EP entitled “Curtains.” The alt/rock, pop group approached this album as a more collaborative effort with everyone in the band lending their talents to the song’s formations. The album’s first single, “The Room” has all the right ingredients to become a pop radio hit. Heartfelt vocals and slow but danceable beat may be right for the radio, but “Afterbirth” and “Set Fire” shows that this band can rock. The album closes with the mellow acoustic sounds of “Records On The Radio.”
 
Crown Point has some dates scattered over the course of the next few months, mainly along the west coast. For more information on their new album, “Curtains” and for a complete list of tour dates, please visit their website at crownpointband.com.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

CD Review: Rob Morsberger Lets Loose His "Early Work"

Singer/songwriter Rob Morsberger is on a mission to release as much music as he can since being diagnosed with terminal cancer. On February 15, he will release the double CD set, "Early Work 1986-1995" through Hieroglyph Records. This release shows how talented Rob is a songwriter, especially early on in his career.
 
The first disc features 11 song written and recorded between 1986 and 1991. It begins with the songs "State of Mind" and "Down On Me" that just feature just Rob accompanied by a piano with only the subtle hint of another instrument. The songs sound very complete as like "Two Lovers" the sounds so fresh and new even though is was recorded over two decades ago. Rob has fun with the New Orleans-flair of "Catfish" and the jazz backdrop of "A Chang Of Heart." He also has fellow singer/songwriter Louden Wainwright III lend a hand on the heartfelt ballad "3/4 In Love."
 
Disc two begins with the epic, dark music of "The Dogs Of Anger" as it covers Rob's early work between 1991 to 1995. You can hear a more weathered voice in the piano ballad "The Steel Colar," and the Tom Petty-esque acoustic "Like/Dislike." Rob duets Suzy Roche on the slow-moving "Ocean Of Blue" and with Marshall Crenshaw on the country-sway of "Fool's Paradise." The set closes with "Rainbow Girl" as you truly appreciate Rob as one of the best songwriter's of his generation.
 
Rob Morsberger has only four live shows scheduled over the course of the next three months. To find out more about Rob Morsberger's album and tour dates, please visit robmorsberger.com.

Friday, February 8, 2013

CD Review: Indie-Bands From Different Coasts Bring Out New Music

From across the U.S., we have two brand new EP’s from a couple of indie-rock bands looking to break into the mainstream of pop/rock music. First up from Boston comes the five-piece band, The Deep North with their new self-titled EP. The band has recently been featured in the national music magazine “Alternative Press” and the more local magazine “The Phoenix.” Lead by vocalist Rebecca Frank, their sound carries a very attractive alternative sound that does not try to overpower or force their music onto the listener.
 
The EP begins with the slow-building “Wake Up,” followed by the equally appealing “Slow Down, Stay Willing.” Their music walks that fine line of alternative and pop, while their songs are very professional written and recorded. The quick four-song EP finishes with the 7-minute, “Silent Film Star,” which allows the band to stretch and expand their musical talents.
 
The Deep North has a few New England dates on their schedule including tonight in Boston, MA. For more information, please visit thedeepnorth.net.
 
From the west coast comes Falling Still with their self-titled EP which will be released on February 26. The album was produced by Michael Parnin (Rage Against The Machine, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals), who also produced the band’s two previous releases. The album begins with their new single, “If U Stay” which garnishes a hard rock sound that gets carried by a chorus that just wants to you shout along. They drop the hard rock sound on “Stupid Girl” and have fun with “Thin Lizzy,” but when they get their guitars going, that is when their music comes alive as with “Wolves.”
 
Falling Still is taking up a residency at Hemingway’s Lounge in Los Angeles, CA for a few dates in February. For more information, please visit their website at fallingstill.com.
 
Last, but not least we get a new song from singer/songwriter Fiber. The new single “Unison Ruse” is a very slow moving piece that allows you to really listen and take notice of the lyrics. Look for more to come from Fiber later in the year. Also check-out his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/thefiber) for more information.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

CD Review: The Tossers Take The Road To "The Emerald City"

From Chicago comes the six-piece Celtic punk band, The Tossers with their new album “The Emerald City.” Their songs have become known as Irish drinking anthems and their sound is like Social Distortion from Ireland. It has been almost five years since their last release and fans have been patiently waiting, especially with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner.
 
The album begins with “The Rover” as the band gets things going quickly with the first of many fast-paced drinking songs. The whole band gets involved with the all too short pub-rocker “Here’s To A Drink With You.” They show that they can write more than just drinking songs as they pay tribute to Chicago, their “Emerald City” and the slower-paced, but no less energetic “Wherever You Go.” Their quick-paced drinking songs (“The Break of Dawn”) are more fun to listen to than their slower, but more meaningful songs (“St. Patrick’s Day”). The fourteen-song album closes with the sing-along chorus of “Slainte” as another round of music is in order.
 
The Tossers will begin their tour on March 1 in Chicago before heading to the east coast. For more information on The Tossers new album, “The Emerald City” and for a complete list of tour dates, please visit thetossers.com.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

CD Review: Terrible Spaceship Gives New Life To "War Of The Worlds"

From Chicago comes Terrible Spaceship with their debut album“Invaders 1938.” The album was released back in January and retells Orson Welles tale of “War of the Worlds” using original clips of dialogue over a newly recorded soundtrack.
 
Beginning with the aptly titled, “Hello,” this 16-song “soundtrack” adds more suspense to the original telling of the story. While quotes from Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater Company tell the story, the music gives the words new life, especially in the songs “Access Denied” and “Stardust.” The music still carries a nostalgic feel to it, but sounds very much like Terrible Spaceship scoring a Tim Burton film. They mix up the soundtrack with dance (“10010011,” “The Fall”) and rock (“Grim,” “Lost”) beats to show how expansive their sound is. The album finishes with the closing number “Goodbye” as you hear the classic historical apology from Orson Welles about the creation of “War Of The Worlds.”
 
Terrible Spaceship has one live show scheduled at the moment for February 16 in Chicago, IL. For more information on this truly unique band, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/terriblespaceship.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

CD Review: Spoken Gives An "Illusion" To Their New Album

Heavy Metal band Spoken will be releasing their seventh studio album, “Illusion” on February 12 through eOne Music. The band spent the last two years recording this album in Nashville, TN with producer Jasen Raush (Red, Disciple) and they have learned a lot about making this great album.
 
Beginning with “Stand Alone,” Spoken come out with fists flying. Their music hits hard with guitars blazing and screaming vocals which gets carried over into “Beneath The Surface.” They take a more mainstream Hard Rock approach to “Through It All” as the album’s first single is burning up the rock singles charts. The band stays in mainstream rock mode for the next few songs before “Accuser” comes blasting through the speakers with an aggressive shot of adrenaline. The album closes with the title-track which leaves you pumped up and ready for more from this rising Metal band.
 
Spoken are hitting the road in March with fellow Metal band Volbeat is what is sure to be a great music package. For more information on the band’s new album and for a complete list of tour dates, please visit spokenmusic.com.

Monday, February 4, 2013

CD Review: Wang Chung Return With Their "Tazer Up!"

English New Wave band, Wang Chung returns with their first full-length album in over two decades. The band hit it big in the eighties, first with their #1 dance hit “Dance Hall Days” then again with the #2 hit single “Everybody Have Fun Tonight.” The latter song still gets played today at weddings and parties. After a seven-year hiatus, the band reformed in 2000 to perform a handful of show sin America and since then have had the urge to record. Their newest album, “Tazer Up!” was released in December of last year and has put the band back on the radar as an iconic pop group.

The new 11-song album begins with a remix of their hit song “Dance Hall Days,” a sort of a reminder of who Wang Chung is. Then they move on to some new music with “City of Light,” an up tempo rocker that reminds you how much fun Wang Chung’s music is. The song’s infectious groove gets carried over into the acoustic “Let’s Get Along” and the dancehall beats of “Rent Free.”  Wang Chung gets a little funky of “Why” before going nostalgic on the headline fueled “Abducted By The 80’s.” The album closes with the seven-minute “Stargazing” as you truly appreciate their ability to write more than just pop songs.

Wang Chung are preparing for a U.S. tour this year. Please visit wangchung.com for more information on the new album and for any upcoming tour dates.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

CD Review: Adam Ant Becomes "The Blueblack Hussar" On New Album

Iconic 80’s artist Adam Ant returns from a 17 year absence to release his first album of new material. The double-album entitled “Adam Ant Is The Blueblack Hussar in Marrying The Gunner’s Daughter” was released at the end of January on Adam’s own record label, Blueblack Hussar Records. The album plays out as an autobiography as each song deals with a subject that interests Adam Ant.
 
The album begins with the acoustic rocker “Cool Zombie” as Adam Ant gets reacquainted with his audience and fans. Songs like “Stay In The Game” and “Marrying The Gunner’s Daughter” still carry that famous Adam Ant signature sound of the eighties of rock music with a dancehall appeal. Adam brings together his acoustic folk rock with his experimental vocal delivery to make “Valentines” a truly standout song on the album. He gets his pop-dance beat going for “Punkyoungirl” and “Cradle Your Hatred,” before heading back to his early punk rock days on "Hardmentoughblokes." He resurrects a song he’d written in the 80’s, “Who’s A Goofy Bunny, Then?” as a tribute to his late former manager Malcolm McLaren who passed away during the recording of this album.
 
The new album debuted at #25 on the UK album chart upon its release there. Adam Ant will be hitting the road in April performing in the UK. He only has a couple of dates selected for the U. S. at the moment. To find out more about Adam Ant and his new album, please check out his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Adam-Ant/69349615331.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

High-Quality Music Takes A Giant Leap Forward With HDtracks

I would like to introduce you to HDtracks, the newest premier website for high-quality album downloads. It features thousands of albums available in AIFF, ALAC, WAV and FLAC format, compatible with iTunes, Winamp WMP and other audio playback software.
 
HDtracks offers the largest online store for high-definition music. They have partnered with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, Concord Music Group and many others to offers albums from top musicians like The Rolling Stones, The Doors, U2, Miles Davis and many more.
 
Their new user-friendly download application is so easy to use that you'll be listening to your favorite music in the highest quality in no time. I recently downloaded Rush's "Moving Pictures" album in AIFF format. If you are looking to save on the file size, then this is not what you should be shopping for, but if you are looking for the highest quality downloaded audio, then this is the premier place. The drums on "YYZ" are so crisp and clear, you'd think you were in the studio hearing them live. It also displays the perfect balance of the guitar and bass in "Limelight." It's like hearing this album again for the first time as you hear the little things that are missed with regular audio. There is no comparison to MP3s, every instrument is heard without overcrowding your headphones and crunching the music.
 
Every musical genre is represented on their website with popular albums and new ones are added each week. My only complaint is that their library lacks many essential classic rock albums that would benefit from this high-definition format, especially after hearing how good an album that was released over thirty years ago can still sound.
 
For more information, please visit the HDtracks website at hdtracks.com and enter the code "NEWDM10" to receive 10% off your first purchase. I'll guarantee that once you hear how good this sounds that you'll wish all your music can sound this crisp and clear.

Friday, February 1, 2013

CD Review: Martin Sexton Hits The Road With A New Live Album

Singer/songwriter Martin Sexton is currently on tour, headlining about twenty live dates which began in early January and runs to the end of February. Sexton is currently promoting his new live album, “Live At the Fillmore.”

The album features just Sexton with an acoustic guitar singing some of his greatest original storied songs like “Candy” and “Diner.” Sexton interacts with the audience, commenting on the aroma of the concert hall and thanking his fans for coming out to see him in this economical state of the U.S.

Sexton picks up the tempo with “Failure,” but the highlight of the album comes in the form of a cover of The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life.” He creates a dreamy atmosphere with his sound while the words of Paul McCartney and John Lennon dance along to the music. The album closes with his encore, which includes a cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain” done as if Sexton was originally telling the story and the quick, Ray Charles sounding patriotic “America.”

Martin Sexton is making his way out west, but will be performing two shows at Fairfield, CT’s StageOne on February 8 and 9. For more information on Martin’s new live album and for a complete list of tour dates, please visit martinsexton.com.