City Sleeps – Hotel (CD)

City Sleeps will be the next big emo band. I’m sure of that fact. The disc starts off slowly with the minute-long opening title track, but as soon as the band gets into the groove of “Prototype”, it becomes obvious that the band is going to strike it big. The style of “Hotel” is not necessarily what one should expect for emo bands in the current period, but seems to rely largely on a previous rock style. This previous rock style had practitioners in acts like the Counting Crows and Dishwalla; City Sleeps speaks just as well to the kids of the late 20th century as well as those in the 21st.

When the band gets to “Just Another Day”, the band goes further away from the emo tag to something more in the vein of acts like Foo Fighters and Incubus. “Not An Angel” is a track that goes more toward the lighter side of nu rock. While the band might not be trying to be the next Disturbed with this track, there seems to be a heavy helping of acts like Finger Eleven during this song. The vocal inflection present on “Not An Angel” calls forward the hair band genre, and especially The Scorpions in particular. By the time that “Walker’s Ridge” starts, the band seems to have lost all momentum that was created with the first part of “Hotel”. This means that “Walker’s Ridge” is a rebuilding track, and the band struggles to get back in the groove that made “Prototype” such a memorable song.

The band actually begins to get back on the track beginning with “Ordinary High”. While it still heavily relies on the slower tempo present in many of the prior tracks, there seems to be an ascending tempo that bursts with energy during the chorus of the song. City Sleeps is a band that will not be constrained by any one specific genre. Where a track like “I Can’t Make You Love Me” may mix older rock styles with an act like Green Day, there are so many different styles conflicting on this track that every different person listening to the track can take something else from it. This will be the way that City Sleeps reaches the top; by providing so many different views to their music that everyone can grab hold. “Hotel” is one of those albums that will provide hours of enjoyment easily.

Top Tracks: Andrea, Prototype

Rating: 6.0/10

City Sleeps – Hotel / 2006 Maverick / 13 Tracks / http://www.citysleeps.com / http://www.citysleeps.com / Reviewed 05 August 2006

[JMcQ]

The City on Film – American Diary (CD)

The acoustic that starts off “Mary, I’m Ready” really portends a more electric, intense style of instrumentation that is the fare during this track. It is almost like Robert slowed down and unplugged one of eir prior releases to come up with this soul-searching, emotionally-heavy composition. The speed comes back for “Pony’s Last Trick”, but this is not the aural assault incorporated by bands like Aiden; this is much more tempered by the “true” emo (1995-2000) movement of things, something that really makes sense considering that Robert was in two of the biggest bands of that era, Hey Mercedes and Braid. It is an interesting happening that the guitars and Robert’s own voice struggle for dominance as the key emotive forces on tracks like “Pony’s Last Trick”.

This level of competition really forces both sections into being the best they can be, and means that the songs on “American Diary” have incredibly little room for improvement. Speeding up the tempo again with “Astray! Astray!”, The City on Film seems to first downward towards the storied music scene of Gainesville, Florida; the martial drumming present also recalls bands like Rumbleseat and Against Me!. The vocals laid down on the track are hard to describe, Robert seems to really be pulling from the Bright Eyes side of things as much as eir is taking from the college-rock scene of the middle-nineties (led by bands like Dishwalla and Rusted Root). What is perhaps the best facet to “American Diary” is the amount of attention that Robert puts forth to the arrangements captured here.

It has been a disturbing trend to either move into arrangements that only the smallest section of musicians could conceivably “get” (the post-Converge emocore bands) or come forth with sub-standard arrangements (A Static Lullaby); to see an act like The City on Film blasting forth with nuanced and thoughtful arrangements through the space of this EP is to hope for a better future in which more of the bands follow their example. The moderation of extended instrumental arrangements is another tally in The City on Film’s favor, it also befalls many a talented band that they let the music try to talk when lyrical accompaniment is absolutely necessary. This humble bit of emotive rock does more in its sub-twenty minute runtime than an entire legion of emo bands could ever hope for; this is the past, present, and future of a specific form of art.

Top Track: Well, It Goes Like This

Rating: 6.3/10

The City on Film – American Diary / 2005 Redder / 6 Tracks / http://www.post436records.com/cityonfilm / http://www.redderrecords.com / Reviewed 08 November 2005

[JMcQ]

DJ Z-TRIP Makes Avatar In-Game Debut In DJ Hero

Superstar DJ extraordinaire Z-Trip will make his avatar in-game debut in one of the most anticipated video games to be unveiled this year: DJ Heroâ„¢. The new addition to the widely popular Guitar Heroâ„¢ franchise is offering a glimpse into the world of DJ culture, equipping gamers with an exclusive, innovative turntable controller, allowing them to take to the simulated decks and rule the party with original mixes. Music fans will be able to spin, mix and scratch along to 100+ songs in a range of genres spanning hip-hop, R&B, pop, rock and electronica.

E3 will welcome Z-Trip on June 3 for three sets, to demonstrate his turntable wizardry, and be on hand as DJ Heroâ„¢ is unveiled. (Additional live dates noted below.)

The often-imitated founder of the mash-up movement, Z-Trip has mastered the art of the mixtape, produced albums and continually sells-out shows internationally. Attendees bear witness to his “fleet-fingered live sets that please crowds as well as crate diggers, mostly by elevating mash-ups from a simple oft-awkward technique to a fully-fledged art form,” (Philadelphia City Paper). His “fiendishly clever collages” (Entertainment Weekly) have been feverishly traded and collected, while his most recent digital-only offering, “Victory Lap,” has already surpassed the 500,000 download mark.

As godfather of mash-ups, it’s been noted: “DJ Z-Trip was remixing classic rock into hip-hop when Danger Mouse was still a cartoon character” (Rolling Stone). His celebrated and unique style will be showcased throughout DJ Hero as Z-Trip has additionally contributed three exclusive tracks to the game. Good luck players!

The City Drive – Always Moving Never Stopping (CD)

It takes the band a minute or so to get started, but The City Drive mix together Weezer with Yellowcard on their “Defeated” to come up with the best blend of emo and pop-punk since the last Blink 182 CD. The sound of the follow-up track to “Defeated” is much more sedate and nuanced; the only thing that seems to have common ground with the prior track is the fact that the band can come up with a catchy, radio-friendly chorus with the best of them.

“Bring Me Everything” is a very odd track, in that the vocals present are close to those of Billie Joe Armstrong, but the instrumentation present on the track have an odd texture to it hat takes attention away from these vocals. This does not mean that the song is in any way bad, but it will just take individuals a little time to get used to it. Each of the songs on “Always Moving Never Stopping” are ready to make it to Mtv or any other music video channel, but there are few in the way of tracks that will rocket straight up the TRL charts quite the same way as a “Swing, Swing” has. The power chords of “Nightfalling” move beyond the pop-punk/emo blend previously mentioned and into something that has not been heard since the days of Fuel and the New Radicals (1998 or so).

Even if the track does not have quite the same catchiness to it as do the rest of the songs on “Always Moving Never Stopping”, “Overready” shows that the band has an ear for arrangements that gives the bass the face time that it deserves. The definitive beat present on the track moves the band away from the styles that they’ve previously focused on and into a bold new realm for their music that hopefully will be explored more with later albums. This is a good start for the band, but what needs to happen for the band to succeed further is more experimentation on their follow-up to “Always Moving Never Stopping”. The band can definitely do a style that has been all over the radio, but the inkling of a distinct style first comes into play during “Over and Done”. This gives me hope that the band can break out in a major way in the next few years, but one must be aware that the band still has miles to go before they can sleep.

Top Tracks: Over and Done, Defeated

Rating: 5.6/10

The City Drive – Always Moving Never Stopping / 2006 We The People Records / 12 Tracks / http://www.thecitydrivemusic.com / http://www.wethepeoplerecords.net / Reviewed 21 April 2006

[JMcQ]

SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS RELEASE “MY CABAL” SINGLE ON GHOSTLY INTERNATIONAL, Tour in Support

Brooklyn trio School of Seven Bells is coming off successful UK tours with Bat for Lashes and White Lies and a nomination for MOJO Breakthrough Act 2009. Now, “My Cabal,” the third single from their Ghostly International debut Alpinisms, is here, released on May 19th, 2009.

08.07 Tokyo, JP @ Summer Sonic Festival
08.08 Mashima, JP @ Summer Sonic Festival
10.02 Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits
10.04 San Diego, CA @ Casbah

*w/ Black Moth Super Rainbow

For more info please visit:
http://www.ghostly.com
http://www.schoolofsevenbells.com
http://www.schoolofsevenbells.com/tour/

New Tiny Vipers Album, Mp3

As you may remember from previous correspondence, Seattle musician Jesy Fortino, who records and performs under the name Tiny Vipers, is set to release her sophomore Sub Pop album, Life On Earth, on July 7th 2009.

Today we are offering the first download off of Life On Earth, “Dreamer”, and it is available for your use here: “Dreamer” free Mp3 http://www.subpop.com/assets/audio/5560.mp3

Tiny Vipers Summer 2009 Tour Dates

Jun 30 Nightlight (NC), Chapel Hill, NC
Jul 01 529, Atlanta, GA
Jul 15 Northern, The, Olympia, WA
Jul 18 Fremont Abbey, Seattle, WA
Jul 22 Larimer Lounge, Denver, CO
Jul 28 Hemlock Tavern, San Francisco, CA
Jul 29 Stork Club, Oakland, CA
Aug 06 Schokoladen, Berlin, Germany
Aug 07 Cafe Paris Syndrom, Leipzig, Germany
Aug 09 Off Festival, Mysłowice, Poland
Aug 11 Astra Stube, Hamburg, Germany
Aug 12 King Georg, Cologne, Germany
Sep 03 Slaughtered Lamb, London, United Kingdom
Sep 04 Gate Theater, Cardiff, United Kingdom
Sep 06 Electric Picnic, Dublin, Ireland
Sep 09 Brudenell Social, Leeds, United Kingdom
Sep 13 End of the Road Festival, North Dorset, United Kingdom

Misguided Aggression Announce Tour Dates With Starring Janet Leigh

Misguided Aggression have announced a short run of tour dates with Ironclad Recording artist Starring Janet Leigh. The group is touring in support of their recently released new album “Hatchala”, which was released earlier this year through Year of the Sun Records.

The album was recorded at Icehouse Studios by producer Thomas Ireland and mixes bone crushing brutality with head-banging grooves to create the soundtrack to a drunken bar brawl between Lamb of God, Pantera and Meshuggah. Sputnik Music hailed the album as, “One of the neatest records of extreme metal from an upcoming band I’ve heard in quite a while.”

Misguided Aggression recently announced they are selling a full digital download of their entire debut album for $1.99 at www.MisguidedAggression.com. The download includes the album cover and DRM-free MP3s that will allow customers to play their music on virtually any device.

Starring Janet Leigh recently released their Ironclad Recordings debut “Spectrum” on the world,. The band recorded Spectrum in June and September 2007 with Producer/Engineer Greg Dawson of BWC Studios who has previously worked with Mare (Hydrahead), The End (Relapse), Moneen (Vagrant) and many others. Mastering of Spectrum was handled by Alan Douches at West West Side who has worked with Converge, The End, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon, Unearth, and Nile just to name a few. Current fans and new comers to Starring Janet Leigh should expect to hear the band head in a much more death metal direction on Spectrum while still retaining their progressive and experimental roots. Starring Janet Leigh is currently streaming their entire debut album online at
http://www.thegauntlet.com/article/4216/15890/Starring-Janet-Leigh-listening-party.html

MISGUIDED AGGRESSION TOUR DATES:

JULY
3 – Brantford, ON @ J’s Place
11 – Port Dover, ON The Brig
12 – Toronto, ON @ The Kathedral
17 – Listowel, ON @ Parkview Gardens
25 – Toronto, ON @ The Opera House
31 – Teeswater, ON @ Teeswater Arena

AUGUST
01 – Ingersoll, ON @ CAW Hall
22 – Otterville, ON @ Otterfest
25 – Gorrie, ON @ Gorrie Legion

Circuit – Eau De Humanity (CD)

Aside from the cringe-worthy title of the album, Circuit plays a pretty middle of the rock type of rock that will not really raise an eyebrow. Sure, the style of “The Lee Side” is a mixture of Lenny Kravitz and Vertical Horizon, but there is little inherent in Circuit’s music that will scream experimentation. There really seems to be a sound present in Circuit that is a look back to the late nineties, back when acts like Live and the Counting Crows ruled radio; Circuit eschews the popular style of acts like 10 Years and Evans Blue for something that is a little more tried and tested.

The guitar work during “Broken Window” is something that will keep individuals listening; the riff itself seems to be born out of the eighties hair-metal but tightened up to the point that it is so clean that listeners can eat off of it. There are a number of tracks that have a decent sound but there is a define failure at times to connect to listeners; this fault is manifest in tracks like “Reasoning”. What really saves that track from the dustbin in the fury that Circuit pushes onto the track, until a point where the drums, guitars and vocals are all at their limits. Honestly, “Reasoning” starts off in the way described – awkward and not really connecting to listeners but Circuit has enough talent under their collective belts to focus their energy for the second part of the track and really end the disc in a strong fashion. Out of all the tracks on “Eau De Humanity”, the one that can be called an unqualified success is “Just Like Heaven”; in this track, Circuit really seems to take a page from pop-punk and emo acts.

For 2006, one has to think that the arena rock genre is dead; being a proper Canadian (read: Rush-loving) band, Circuit struggles through the entirety of “Eau De Humanity” to show listeners that the genre is not dead, but thriving. What seems to be the oddest thing on “Eau De Humanity” is the 180 taken by Circuit in their “Better Part of Me”. “Better Part of Me” is not a ballad in a traditional sense, but seems to be drawn from a Will Young type of style. Circuit may have a number of fans in tow, but there is still a need for the band to create tracks that connect better with possible fans.

Top Tracks: The Lee Side, Reasoning

Rating: 4.9/10

Circuit – Eau De Humanity / 2005 Wea / 11 Tracks / http://www.circuitrocks.com / http://www.topsailproductions.com / Reviewed 18 February 2006

[JMcQ]

NeuFutur.com Introduces Yvonne Perkins

Mrs. Perkins is a prolific songwriter gaining recognition all over the world for her songwriting abilities. Her songs resonate with anointing and power to assist the true believer to tap into the presence of God. Her songs speaks to the heart of non believers and believers alike challenging them to a new spiritual journey. She believes that worship and praise are two of the most powerful but under used weapons of Christian warfare. All of her songs are demo meant to attract the attention of Gospel recording artists, publishers, TV and film industries that recognize music is another vehicle of ministry to reach people everywhere and a powerful tool to spread the Gospel.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

4-14-09 “Where Do they Go?” Street Team Urban Series Vol 2
3-2-09 “Can You Use This Vessel?” Top 10 Broadjam.Com
2-09 “We Give You Glory” February winner Song Of The Year
2-09 “The Altar Call” The Soundcheck Vol 1 Compilation
1-09 “Just A Little Faith” winner January Spiritual Song of the Month at Broadjam.Com
1-29-09 “We Give You Glory” semi-finalist Mike Pinder’s Songwars Songwriting Competion
10-08 “Don’t Wreck The Train” Music To Live By ( Roo Records)
9-08 UK SONGWRITING CONTEST 2008
(Where Do They Go? semi-finalist
My Worship Is My Warfare – semi-finalist
Don’t Wreck The Train – semi-finalist
We Give You Glory – FINALIST)

7-1-2008 Where Do They Go? nominated for Hollywood Music Awards

4-08 “I GOT THE POWER” included in NBC’s music catalogue for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing (Aug 8 – 24).

2-14-08 “DON’T WRECK THE TRAIN” FINALIST IN SONG OF THE YEAR (DEC 07 CONTEST)

1-2-08 MONENTUM NOMINATION FOR WORSHIP ARTIST OF THE YEAR

11-30-07 Spotlight Interview on www.fbccradio.com with Stacey J.

10-2-07 signed publishing contract with America’s New Artist Music for three songs (Victory Dance, My Eyes Wait and What Do You See)

9-8-07 Featured Storytelling Songwriter on the Narrative Music home site.

6-18-07 “VICTORY DANCE” was selected out of over 600 submissions to be included on the 2007 Indie Music For Life compilation CD that will raise money for cancer research

6-1-07 Featured on Front Page of Gospel Synergy Magazine

6-1-07 “Don’t Surrender” selected for Music for Troops Support the Arts being distributed to Troops at USA Airbases Overseas

6-07 “God Want to Be Loved” Top Ten at www.broadjam.com

6-07 “My Eyes Wait” chosen to be part of Makeastar compilation www.makeastar.com

4-07 “My Worship is my Warfare” Top 10 at www.broadjam.com

2-07 “MY EYES WAIT” winner of January Fresh Start Contest at www.Broadjam.com

7-06 ‘I CROWN YOU’ selected to be published in songbook via www.pianopress.com

5-06 “The Master’s Hand awarded Runner Up in the Song of the Year competition.

Nominated for Momentum Award for Worship Artist of the year and Urban Gospel Artist of the Year.

1-06 “I LEARNED TO REST” track 17 on IRL CD compilation in Midem, France

Read interview by Chicago Music guide at www.chicagomusicguide.com. Look for article in ASCAP in March (Spring Issue)

On 1-3-06 song “VICTORY DANCE“WINNER OF Sweet Sixteen Contest at www.makeastar.com. Read interview at www.makeastar.com look “IN THE BIZ’ at top of page. IT SHALL NOT ALWAYS BE LIKE THIS “ #1 SONG OF TOP 100 SONGS streamed at www.theindustryresource.com for 8 weeks in a row (7-1-05) Consistently had 1 or more songs (and as many as 9) in the Top 100 songs at this site and 3 out of 4 star rating by their professional music reviewer.

Selected 7 times as Sweet Sixteen Finalist in contest at www.makeastar.com.

Consistently had at least 1 song on the Top Ten listing at www.broadjam.com “Holy” in Top Ten listing in 4 different categories and currently (7-1-05) holding #4 song “I Crown You” at Broadjam Top Ten. Music streamed at shopping malls and restaurants www.musicoven.com, www.indiegospelradio.com (featured artist spotlight), www.newhorizongospel.com

What Reviewers are saying:

Song of the year reviewer 2-09 “It Takes Faith” I knew I was in for a treat with the first notes of the song. This is an exciting, energetic song of praise! The lyrics deliver the message in a joyous way, and the music keeps listeners on their feet moving to the beat. The title is simple and proud. I love this song!

Song of the year reviewer 2-09 “My Worship is my Warfare” This song chronicles your victory in warfare against the spiritual enemies of the Body of Christ. Your lyrics proclaim the tools of your warfare. In professing your worship, you are standing on faith, bearing your spiritual shield and drawing your sword, which is the Word of God. This is one powerful song that serves not only as a battle cry but a proclamation of victory. I am blessed by your song!

Chelsea Harmon of Inside Connection “Good Morning Jehovah would raise many hands in the Baptist church. While religiously charged, this song has the potential to become a mainstream household name. “It Shall Not Always Be Like This incorporates a down south country sound behind her positive message. Yvonne Perkins is only steps from success. Read the entire review at www.insidecx.com/reviews/sonic/sonic2.html.

Dale Kawashima founder of www.songwriteruniverse re: “God Wants to be loved” fairly well crafted song and demo with some nice elements. Favorite feature phase “God wants to be loved, just like you; melody on this phrase is excellent.

Jay Hervey industry professional reviewer at www.makeastar.com re: God Wants to be loved “ writes the music itself is great, the construction is perfect, this song has a certain beauty of its own. “I listen to this song repeatedly, until my batteries ran out on my player“.

Jay Hervey re: I Crown You
The music is very good. Actually it has that old time religion feeling to it that I grew up with listening to.

Orphaneddie professional reviewer at www.makeastar.com re: “Good Morning Jehovah” this is a really nice melody, both of the verse, chorus and bridge. Your melody conjures up some of the great gospel hits like “Oh Happy Day”

Orphaneddie (professional reviewer at www.makeastar.com) re: It Shall Not Always Be I think this is the best recording I’ve heard from you so far. It’s an ideal song demo, presentable to any name group in gospel.

SONGWRITER’S VISION:

Mrs. Perkins reports that her songs are birthed out of her daily meditation time, tests, trials and victories. She is a member of Monument of Faith Church(world renown pastor, Apostle Richard D. Henton) in Chicago, Ill. She attributes her love for God to the example set by her mother and commitment to marriage set by her parents. Mrs. Perkins has been married for over 27 years, has 2 adult sons and 2 granddaughters. She retired from Dept. Children & Fam Svc. after 28 years. She is a LCPC providing individual, family and group counseling. She received BA in Human Svc, and MA in counseling from Chicago State Univ. Ms. Perkins’s vision is that her music will be recorded by recording artists and be used in tv/radio/film and plays in the near future and that God will be glorified in all of her endeavors.

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (Sony PSP)

It may have taken Capcom 15 months to properly modify and translate Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G, but the wait that players have had since the title first came out in Japan was well worth it. This Sony PSP title begins by building off of the framework that Monster Hunter Freedom 2 laid down, by introducing countless new monsters, missions, and equipables. Other minor (but still important) changes to the gaming experience include greater capacities for holding different gear and items and increased ease in controlling and modifying one’s character. Continue reading “Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (Sony PSP)”