Top 10 Reasons I Love James

10- His cute little smile, he makes when he sleeps.

9- The way he keeps his socks on all the time, even when he’s in bed.

8- He looks damn good in a dress shirt.

7- He give AMAZING massages.

6- He comments my myspace almost everyday, because he knows it makes me smile.

5- The way his upper lip quivers when he kisses me.

4- He drives me everywhere, and rarely bitches about it.

3- He says random words, because he knows it makes me laugh.

2- He tries hard to surprise me, each time he buys me a gift.

1- Because when I wake up in the morning, I feel safe in his arms.

I love you James.

Devotchka’s A Mad And Faithful Telling #1 on Both CMJ Top 200 and AAA Charts

DeVotchKa’s fifth album, A Mad And Faithful Telling, came out last week, and if press and radio are any indication, this is turning out to be their best received release ever.  The Denver quartet holds the coveted #1 spot on both the CMJ Top 200 chart and the CMJ AAA chart, and is receiving rave reviews from across the globe. Continue reading “Devotchka’s A Mad And Faithful Telling #1 on Both CMJ Top 200 and AAA Charts”

Of The First Born Son Part Ways With Members & Announce Tour With We The Undersigned

Of The First Born Son has announced upcoming tour dates with Fredericton, NB based We The Undersigned. Of The First Born Son recently parted ways with guitarist  Mike Rideout and bassist Curt Long. The group is currently auditioning replacements and will make an announcement shortly.
Continue reading “Of The First Born Son Part Ways With Members & Announce Tour With We The Undersigned”

Ashop Commerce / Possible NeuFutur Shopping Cart?

I know that for a while I’ve actually wanted to use shopping cart software for the magazine. Before tonight, I had no clue where to find it. Ashop commerce is the premiere place to find this ecommerce software, and it is located on an incredibly easy to shop web site. No matter how much experience individuals have with browsing, individuals will be able to find the right type of shopping care for their web site. The ability to take a test drive of their software is perhaps the best part of the web site, as individuals that may be interested in the service but unsure of how it will ultimately work will be able to figure out what iteration of the software that they would like. So, if you are looking to start up a web site and have a shopping cart on it, check out Ashop commerce and see if they can hook you up.

The Sword’s New Album Streaming, Band Tours



    THE SWORD has made its brand new album, Gods of the Earth, available for streaming in its entirety on the band’s MySpace page.  Check it out now at this location.

THE SWORD’s Gods of the Earth will drop on April 1, via Kemado Records.  The follow up to the band’s critically acclaimed debut Age of Winters, Gods of the Earth was recorded at Folkvang Studios in Austin, TX, and is said to be “more ambitious, more accomplished and simply bigger.”

The final track listing for Gods of the Earth is as follows:

1.) The Sundering
2.) The Frost-Giant’s Daughter
3.) How Heavy This Axe
4.) Lords
5.) Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians
6.) To Take the Black
7.) Maiden, Mother & Crone
8.) Under the Boughs
9.) The Black River
10.) The White Sea

THE SWORD has announced two U.S. headlining tours in support of the impending new release.  Support on THE SWORD tours will be provided by a host of artists, including Torche, Slough Feg, Stinking Lizaveta and Brooklyn progressive thrash trio Children.  The Austin, TX-based band is currently in the midst of a massive UK tour featuring Oakland, CA quartet Saviours as direct support.

THE SWORD will also perform as one of the featured artists of the 2008 Bonnaroo Music Festival, set to take place June 12-15 in Manchester, TN.  Known for showcasing “some of the best performers in rock and roll, along with dozens of artists in complementary styles,” Bonnaroo 2008 will see THE SWORD perform alongside such acts as Metallica, Sigur Ros, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, The Raconteurs, M.I.A. and Willie Nelson.  A full listing of upcoming THE SWORD live dates follows this message. Continue reading “The Sword’s New Album Streaming, Band Tours”

Jersey Beat #74

Jersey Beat #74 / Full-Sized / 152 Pages / Jim Testa, 418 Gregory Avenue, Weehauken, NJ 07086 / Reviewed 27 November 2003

While this may be Jim’s largest issue to date, #74 was the issue I literally flew through, as it contains a slew of excellent reviews, interviews, and other materials to provide for a decent amount of reading material. By far, the most shining example of the killer writing in this issue has to be the excerpt from “The Enemy Within”, which contains enough lucid detail to conceivably be an entire episode of an mtv drama. One of the major questions that is asked throughout this issue of Jersey Beat is how do individuals in bands feel about the recent resurgence of New York as a major breeding ground for signed bands. A myriad of responses are garnered in the various interviews, with the most interesting response coming in as “At least they weren’t bad bands”. The interview sections alternate between large-popularity bands (Brand New, Circle Jerks) and non-name bands (for now, including Cardia, The Ergs, and The Escape Engine). None of the interviews are at a length that exclude some people with short attention spans, and the reviews literally cover all different forms of music. Even with going through the bulk of the reviews (taking over over half the issue), I could only find 6 or 7 bands that I had to absolutely check out, which is not a burden for Jersey Beat as much as a doorway for me to find other bands. Check #74 out – its worth your $3.

Rating: 6.9/10

Andy Partridge’s label releases new CD by ferociously quirky songstress Veda Hille

Canadian songwriter/musician/singer Veda Hille releases her 13th album  This Riot Life, this Spring. The album is being released worldwide on Ape House, the label owned by XTC leader Andy Partridge. The release will be followed by touring in Canada, the UK, and Europe. 

     This Riot Life is full of lush sounds, funny and warm quirky words and great storytelling. It’s  intense, densely orchestrated and at times ferocious exploration of how people survive what life throws at them, in part prompted a year where her death, serious illness and birth in her extended family. The album is centered on a cycle of six songs based on hymns, some notably altered, others left primarily intact, all were drawn from her late grandmother’s copy of The Hymnary, a United Church staple from the early 1900’s.  So this is her interpretation of ecstatic religious music channeled through her own  singular creative lens.  Songs runs from a hurtling, lighthearted look at the life of Jesus in “Ace of the Nazarene,” to a dreamy romantic paean to her husband in “Sleepers,” to a startling artsy take on Paul Hindemith’s setting of Shelley’s “The Moon.”

     Veda Hillewas born in 1968 in Vancouver Canada. She started playing piano when she was 6. Her family moved around a lot, from the city to the country and back again. Veda ran around in the woods and the streets, practiced piano, read books, used her Junior Scientist Microscope, and thought that maybe she would be a psychiatrist. Alas, those piano lessons had a firm hold.  Classical music, then pop music, a  little bit of jazz, plus a few years at art school all led Veda to try her hand at songwriting.  It was  compelling, and she soon found herself doing little else.  She put her first album out independently in 1992, and has released a new record roughly every 18 months since then.  The songs live somewhere in the murky lands of folk music, art song, and esoteric rock.

     Since the mid 90s Veda has been touring in Canada, the USA, and Europe, both solo and with her band.  She has also written extensively for dance, theatre, film, and Special Occasions. She plays piano and tenor guitar, dabbles in banjo, accordion, and protools, and has a new love affair going on with a nord electro keyboard and a handful of casios. She writes about the natural world, the trickiness of love, the constant threat of tragedy, and anything else that amazes her.

     Lately the Hille empire has been diversifying further. Veda is a member of two new bands: Duplex! (rock music for kids) and The Fits (vaudeville duets) and she continues to make her own records including This Riot Life. Veda is the in-house composer for Theatre Replacement and collaborates with them on at least one show per year. She has also been writing for the Leaky Heaven Circus. On Feb. 3, 2008 she premiered Raft of the Medusa a chorale work commissioned by CBC radio for performance with the University of Manitoba Choir at the Winnipeg New Music Festival. It was broadcast nationally on Feb.10.  Stay tuned, because as Veda frequently admits in her music and her life, nobody knows what the heck is going to happen next.  

Into The Wild

Into The Wild / 2008 Paramount Vantage / 148 Minutes / / /

Into The Wild is a film adaptation of the Jon Krakauer book that in turn details the story of Christopher McCandless, an individual struck with wanderlust that ultimately drove eir to set up shop in Alaska. Ultimately dying there, this story (and film) looks to probe McCandless’ soul to see what made eir tick. The film version of McCandless’ life was directed by Sean Penn, and has Emile Hirsch (Lords of Dogtown, The Girl Next Door, Alpha Dog, and The Emperor’s Club) act as the lead character. Before hitting shelves in DVD format, the theatrical cut of the film netted Penn and Paramount Vantage a number of awards – the American Film Institute tapped it as one of the best films of 2007, where the National Board of Review listed it as one of the top ten films of the year. Continue reading “Into The Wild”

New footage of Karen Dalton performing It Hurts Me Too Released

The June 10 release of Green Rocky Road fills in the lacunae in the rightly romanticized mythos of the late folk music legend Karen Dalton and goes a long way in clarifying her crucial role in the evolution of modern acoustic music from “folk” source materials. The only formal studio recordings made during her lifetime — released in 1969 and 1971 respectively — were thoroughly dissected upon their recent re-release. As wonderful as these albums were, they captured Karen in relatively awkward circumstances.  Green Rocky Road, along with last year’s Cotton Eyed Joe, provide a rare glimpse of Karen Dalton circa 1962 and 1963 at her most pure, most powerful, and at ease.  These recordings, released by Megaphone Music, document her unique artistry at the time she was profoundly influencing the likes of Fred Neil, Tim Hardin and Bob Dylan. I’m including a link to footage of Karen performing “It Hurts Me Too” in her inimitable style – accompanied by her own 12″ string guitar playing. Continue reading “New footage of Karen Dalton performing It Hurts Me Too Released”

Singstar ’90s (PS2)

Singstar has been one of my favorite games of the last few years, even if I can sing at all. I also grew up listening to the radio in the 1990s, so the combination of Singstar with songs from the 1990s is something that was right up my alley. Individuals that have played Singstar before will be familiar with how to play Singstar ‘90s; essentially you pick a sing, pick up the microphone, and try to score the highest score you can (or, if you are playing with another individual, to beat their high score). If you aren’t in a competitive mood, you can “pass the mic” in a number of ways, either in the traditional sense or in a duet. Continue reading “Singstar ’90s (PS2)”