AMERICAN BANG RELEASE SELF-TITLED DEBUT

Nashville rockers, American Bang have now released their self-titled debut album from Reprise Records. Produced by the legendary Bob Rock in Nashville and Hawaii, the album captures all the amazing grace and guts of the band’s deep musical roots and Southern accent, proving American Bang shoots straight at the heart of American rock ‘n roll. You can hear the album in its entirety now on AOL Music. The band has been named this week’s “Discover and Download” artist on iTunes so make sure to pick up your copy on sale today.

The video for “Wild & Young,” the album’s swaggering debut single, is currently in rotation on MTV2 and MTVU, and spiking at AMTV (MTV’s morning video hours). Meanwhile, the single is blazing at Active Rock and Alternative radio stations across the country, reaching more than 54 million listeners at all formats. It is currently #36 at BDS/Billboard Active Rock. In addition, American Bang have recently been named an “Incoming!” artist by the Fuse network beginning July 13th.

American Bang, which is Jaren Johnston (singer / guitar), Ben Brown (lead guitar), Kelby Ray (bass), and Neil Mason (drums), are currently on the road and will be touring throughout the summer. Check in to their MySpace and Facebook pages for more updates and a full list of tour dates! Pick up a copy of their self-titled album in stores and on iTunes now!

Telekinesis : Dirty Thing – digital release, tour & video!

Sound Of A Handshake is going to release the new Ep by Telekinesis, ‘Dirty Thing’, which is primarily dirty if it comes to the sound: As an hommage to the culture of Low Fidelity, Michael Lerner recorded this EP all alone with the microphone of his Macbook and “insane amounts of compression”. Significantly in this context: A few years ago Michael passed The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in Liverpool, where Paul McCartney himself has an eye on his student’s skillz in recording and audio engineering. Thereby the record’s raw sound fits perfectly to it’s five songs: candid, straightforward and always highly emotional: This is exactly the kind of rock n roll-record, that have become rare these days: no needless knick knack – just a bunch of incredibly catchy two-minute-tunes. While two of them are brandnew, you’ll already know the other three: ‘Calling All Doctors’ (because it was already part of the debut album – though in another version), ‘Meaningless’ (because it was originally played by The Magnetic Fields) and ‘The Drawback’ (because it was written by Joy Division or rather Warsaw).

Before there will be a CD- and a Vinyl-edition (on 10inch) at the beginning of October, ‘Dirty Thing’ will be released digital today, on August, 31st, and is available from Itunes! Please don’t miss the brandnew video! The same day Telekinesis will finally hit the road again. And Michael has a new band featuring Jason Narducy on bass (Robert Pollard, Verbow) and Cody Votolato on guitar (Jaguar Love, The Blood Brothers)! Telekinesis will play shows with Superchunk, Teenage Fanclub and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yetsin in the US and Canada. Later this year, there will be shows all over Europe, too! Please see below for details!

www.myspace.com/telekinesismusic

New Shirts by Morr Music & A Number Of Small Things!

We have a collection of new Morr Music shirts! Julia Guther designed ‘Color Chains’, then there is “Woods’, what was done by Jon Klassen! At least there is a shirt called ‘Cat’ – which was desogned by an upcoming talent called Louise Lee Guther. All Shirts (as always silkscreened on American Apparel shirts) are available for boys and girls from our webshop anost.net from today on! Each is EUR 25.00!

www.anost.net

Metroid: Other M Takes Players Deep into the Heart of a Legend

Samus Aran, protagonist of Nintendo’s Metroid™ series, is already known as one of the most iconic heroines in video game history. Now, with the launch of Metroid™: Other M for the Wii™ system today, players are about to discover more about this enigmatic bounty hunter than ever before. Combining crisp action, immersive graphics and multifaceted controls, this latest entry in the legendary Metroid franchise marks a return to classic form that will captivate fans and newcomers alike.

The result of a collaboration between Yoshio Sakamoto – the director of Super Metroid™ – and acclaimed development studio Team NINJA, Metroid: Other M thrusts players deep into an extraordinary science fiction adventure. While much of the game is played from a third-person perspective that is reminiscent of 2D side-scrollers, with the Wii Remote™ held horizontally, Metroid: Other M is a fully-rendered 3D world where players can also point at the screen to switch to first-person view. Allowing for intense action, precise shooting and detailed exploration of the game’s richly atmospheric environments, this control scheme combines classic elements with original mechanics to give players a new way to experience Samus’ latest adventure.

Throughout Metroid: Other M, players are treated to cinematic interludes that reveal new details about Samus and her largely unknown past. The story picks up just after the events of 1994’s Super Metroid. As Samus, one of the first female protagonists in video game history, embarks on an action-packed mission aboard a derelict spacecraft, players will learn more about this iconic character while uncovering the truth behind a mystery that puts the entire galaxy in peril.

“Immersive action and storytelling go hand-in-hand in Metroid: Other M,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “The combination of Mr. Sakamoto’s Metroid expertise and Team NINJA’s high-octane approach has yielded truly amazing results. Whether you’re new to the series or a die-hard fan, this new chapter is an absolute must-play.”

For more information about Metroid: Other M, visit http://metroid.com.

About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii™ home console and Nintendo DS™ family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 3.4 billion video games and more than 565 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi™ and Nintendo DSi XL™, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™ and Nintendo GameCube™ systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario™, Donkey Kong™, Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon™. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at http://www.nintendo.com.

Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist and Sexual Renegade by Justin Spring

Samuel Steward crammed more living into his 84 years, than most, juggling a handful of careers, often keeping each job a secret from his colleagues, meanwhile helping pioneer everything from tattooing to gay pornography.

In the fascinating bio Secret Historian, Justin Spring paints a complete picture of a renegade and pioneer who was barely known outside of the world of gay erotica, despite being friends with everyone from Gertrude Stein and Thornton Wilder to tattoo legend and his one-time apprentice Ed Hardy.

Raised in an Ohio boarding house by two religious, spinster aunts after his mother died and his father couldn’t be bothered, Steward had his first same sex experiences with out-of-town boarders at the house. From that point on, sex became a focal point of Stewart’s life. He kept detailed journals and eventually pictures of his sexual adventures throughout his life, many of which found their way into academic studies on sexuality by Dr. Alfred Kinsey of the Institute for Sex Research, and eventually became the basis for many autobiographical porn stories.

All the while, Steward was also working as a university English professor in Montana, Washington and finally at Loyola and DuPaul. Toward the end of his career as a professor in Chicago, Steward also worked as a tattoo artist on the side, trying to keep both professions walled off from each other.

Thoroughly researched, the book is almost heartbreaking at times, particularly Steward’s inability to gain mainstream acceptance for his non-porn related literature and his internal struggles with Catholicism.

The book begins with Steward’s upbringing in Ohio and ends with his final vocation as a tattooist in the politically-charged, often dangerous neighborhoods in Oakland, CA. Although he eventually found a literary outlet and some degree of underground fame through his erotica (writing under the name Phil Andros), you get the sense that Steward simply wanted to be accepted as a writer like many of his close friends. Though it’s come decades after his death, Secret Historian is a satisfyingly compelling bio on a largely unknown historical figure.

Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist and Sexual Renegade by Justin Spring/Farrar, Straus and Giroux/2010/Hardcover/496 pages

SRAEL HOUGHTON SET TO MAKE APPEARANCE ON THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO SEPT. 8 AS LOVE GOD. LOVE PEOPLE. RELEASES TODAY

Multiple GRAMMY, Stellar and Dove Award winner, Soul Train Award winner and double RIAA certified Gold-selling artist Israel Houghton highlights the greatest Gospel commandment with Love God. Love People. releasing TODAY amidst acclaim on Integrity Music/Columbia Records. Featuring the musically masterful energy that has become synonymous with Israel Houghton recordings, the album also reveals special guest appearances by Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond and Take 6’s Claude V. McKnight, III, Mark Kibble and Joey Kibble, as well as song co-writes with Meleasa Houghton, Aaron Lindsey, Tommy Sims and Michael Gungor.

Following today’s release of the CD, Israel Houghton, widely acclaimed as an innovative worship leader, singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer, is tapped by The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to sit in with Rickey Minor and the Tonight Show Band Sept. 8. Collaborating live with Minor on the NBC late night talk show fits in well with Houghton’s many talents. Widely known as a master collaborator, Houghton draws out the best performances from all those around him. Having written or co-written 11 CCLI Top 500 favorites, creating a canon of songs that have become standards in houses of faith around the globe, Love God. Love People. follows Israel’s acclaimed GRAMMY Award winning and Billboard Top 200 hit, The Power of One.
In addition to “The Tonight Show” appearance, Houghton appears today on “The Yolanda Adams Morning Show” (http://theyolandaadamsmorningshow.com) and Sept. 2 on the nationally syndicated “The Tavis Smiley Show” (www.tavistalks.com). Music from Love God. Love People. is also being heard nationally as the current radio single, “You Hold My World,” which was named the No. 1 “Most Added” song two weeks in a row, makes its debut this week on Billboard’s Gospel Indicator chart at No. 26 with a bullet. Additionally, the heart of the new album captured in the song “Others,” penned by Houghton and his wife, Meleasa, was released to A/C radio just last week.
View Video Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gcQAL8ONTk

In 1995, Israel and Meleasa Houghton founded New Breed Ministries, an organization they continue to run and that is comprised of noted musicians and singers who serve within their respective churches and together serve the Church at large. Since then, Israel has been featured on FOX, CBS, ABC, BET, CNN, TBN and CBN, and has amassed a legion of followers that crosses generational lines with popularity across African American, Latin and Caucasian listener lines. While blasting down barriers, he has been fittingly graced with 2 Gold-selling albums, 3 GRAMMY Awards, 6 Dove Awards, 2 Stellar Awards and a Soul Train Award.

Israel Houghton is signed to Integrity Music, distributed to Christian retail by Provident-Integrity Distribution and to the general market by Columbia Records/Sony Music. For more information, go to www.israelhoughton.net.

The exclusive double re-release of “Frailty” and “Source” by The Duskfall

The Swedish metal scene is known for many great bands, some of which became true legends of the genre. The Duskfall is yet another fine example of Scandinavian domination – their brutal, yet melodic sound captures all the most prominent features of modern metal music. “Frailty” was the group’s stunning debut, “Source” – their impressive sophomore release. This exclusive double re-release of both of these albums brings back a truly exceptional mixture of thrash, death and power metal! Continue reading “The exclusive double re-release of “Frailty” and “Source” by The Duskfall”

Hennessy Privilege: Mexico 2010 Edition (Cognac)

The bicentennial of Mexican independence occurs on September 16th, 2010. The fine folks over at Moet Hennessy have created a limited edition run of their storied Privilege line in support of this, hand-numbering and providing imbibers with information about the cognac’s long history in Mexico. We were lucky enough to receive a bottle of Hennessy Privilege for review. Continue reading “Hennessy Privilege: Mexico 2010 Edition (Cognac)”

Awesome Note: A Review (iPhone App)

Appropriately named Awesome Note is probably my favorite iPhone App for taking notes with. It’s has a wonderful, and tastefully customizable, GUI that allows for you to take advantage of this Apps many features without thinking too hard about. Simple like simple note claims, but strikingly handsome like something that might have come from Apple themselves. It also features something closer to a filing system than most note taking Apps, and it also has some very nice bonus features as well. All of these elements combine into a very useful and powerful note taking tool for any student or professional on the go.

As most of you will probably have figured out by now I often give away good marks for making your App pretty, and oh boy is this App nice looking. This App looks good for both girls and boys, as well as for full blown men, and women. There are plenty of themes for the actual note pad areas, as well as the ability to chose a font and size that suits your own personal tastes and likes. Currently “Brid”, who makes the App, is working on an iPad version, though it’s not out just yet. Even so, with the new update to make their App look even more Awesome on the iPhone 4; the App should scale up enough in a pinch. I’m not going to sit here and rattle off all of the themes for you, but instead suggest you pick up a free version for yourself and see what it looks like. The main GUI is tasteful, and even it has a few options, but they are all basically just four different looking styles of wood flooring. You can out your notes and to-do’s into one of many preset folders, or erase those and make your own, and as a handy feature, you can choose you’re own color tab and icon for the folder as well as order them however you like. Probably the best piece of eye candy though is the themes for the notes themselves as they are all very nicely done. You can also choose a default theme for new notes, or you can pick them individually for each note that you write. Several of them are good for night-time or low light writing.

The filing system itself is nice, and well thought out. Each folder is represented as something like a Manila folder with various different icons and colors to help you sort out what sort of note might lay within the folder itself. Also, they as I previously mentioned, can be moved around in order to help you prioritize. I haven’t run into a folder limit yet, but once you reach a certain number of folders it will just start filling up another page of folders, just like the spring board of your phone does with icons. Just swipe back and forth in that all to familiar motion and your folders will be right there for you. If you are unsure of where you put that note about your wife’s dimensions you can simply press the “all notes” button and it will give you a listing of all the notes as a list sorted by folders then, I think, alphabetically so you can find the corresponding note that you are looking for. Or if you just had some numbers you might have out it in the quick memo tab, a place that has four different sticky notes for small pieces of info, like that girls phone number from last night.
Some other cool features include things like syncing up with your evernote or google docs account. You can also back it up your PC or Mac via wifi, and you can also do things like add pictures to your notes, either stored or freshly taken from within the App, and other cool things like emailing your boss whole proposals about getting everyone in the IT department iPads. (Seriously, think about it boss.) Also there is a nice option in the works to trade documents over wifi or Bluetooth. That will be a very handy feature, though in the academic realm, it may be one that will possibly be misused. Also another good thing about this App is that with iOS 4 now allowing people who haven’t jail broken their phone to use a Bluetooth keyboard, you will be able to type at length and not hurts your eyes or hands. I may have missed some of the other more minor features, but I think you’ll see that those reasons are enough to truly call this App “awesome” and spend a little on a really good App. There is one feature that really does knock it out of the park for me though, integrated to-do lists with alarms and push notifications as well as a badge that will be displayed even when the App isn’t turned on. That alone helps sell this App because it’s a two-fer.

At a modest price of $3.99 here in the US, Awesome Note is in my humble opinion a great deal. They are also nice enough to let you try it before you buy it and they have a lite version that is free for all. So, I say give this one a look over, and kick the tires, you’ll not regret it. I rate this App a 9 out of 10, and in truth I’d even make it a perfect ten, but I’ve had a few bugs here and there and also the fact that when you email or sync your notes elsewhere, your formatting is going to be WAY off. No spacing, no indents, nothing, but that’s ok. It’s an easy fix. Also, just a thought guys move the “hide keys button” into the middle so you can see your options on the right side, and maybe add a tab key if you can find room.

App rated on a ten point scale.

The Word Alive unleashes new track and pre-order for their debut album Deceiver, set for release August 31st, 2010

To celebrate the launch of the pre-order for The Word Alive’s new album Deceiver, the band has released “The Hounds Of Anubis”, the first track from the album, as an exclusive stream on Revolver Magazine’s website. Take a listen to the song, and get an insight into the album by heading to RevolverMag.com. Deceiver is set for release in Europe on 30th August, and North America on August 31st, 2010.

Fans can now pre-order a special package for Deceiver, featuring the CD, a signed poster, sticker, The Word Alive dog tag and exclusive t-shirt for just $20 – head here to get your copy! The album is also available for pre-order at SmartPunk.

THE WORD ALIVE – Tyler “Telle” Smith (vocals), Zach Hansen (guitar), Tony Pizzuti (guitar), Nick Urlacher (bass), Dusty Riach (keys/synth), Justin Salinas (drums) – are about to explode into the metal secene with debut album Deceiver. The full-length is the follow up to acclaimed EP Empire, which landed at #15 on the Billboard Heatseaker’s Chart in July 2009. Already featured in Metal Hammer’s Hot List 2010, the band follows up a sold our U.S. spring tour with labelmates Alesana and an appearance at Bamboozle Festival with dates on Warped Tour and the Bleeding Through tour this fall.

Dates are as below:

The Word Alive w/Bleeding Through, After The Burial, For Today, & Stray From The Path
09/03/10 – West Hollywood, CA @ Key Club
09/04/10 – Riverside, CA @ The Vibe
09/06/10 – Lubbock, TX @ Cactus Courtyard
09/07/10 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s
09/08/10 – Metairie, LA @ The High Ground
09/09/10 – Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco
09/10/10 – Augusta, GA @ Sector 7G
09/11/10 – ST. Petersburg, FL @ The State Theater
09/12/10 – Ft. Lauderdale, Fl @ Culture Room
09/13/10 – Jacksonville, FL @ Plush
09/14/10 – Douglasville, GA @ The 7 Venue
09/15/10 – West Springfield, VA @ Jaxx
09/16/10 – New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
09/17/10 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
09/18/10 – Acton, MA @ Nara Park Amphitheater
09/19/10 – Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon Club
09/20/10 – Clifton Park, NY @ Northern Lights
09/21/10 – Pittsburg, PA @ Diesel Nightclub
09/22/10 – Buffalo, NY @ Xtreme Wheels
09/24/10 – Louisville, KY @ Headliner’s Music Hall
09/25/10 – Covington, KY @ The Madhatter
09/26/10 – Nashville, TN @ Rockettown
09/28/10 – West Dundee, IL @ Clear Water Theater
09/29/10 – Iowa City, IA @ Blue Moose
10/01/10 -Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
10/02/10 – Wichita Falls, TX @ The Hanger
10/03/10 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep

Mastodon – Blood Mountain (CD)

Mastodon is not quite as hard as many individuals I’ve talked to would have me think. However, this does not mean that they are not intense or brutal, as “The Wolf Is Loose” is the perfect blend of speed metal, sludge rock, and acid rock. This means that the band is flying off the handle even as they call forth acts like Venom, Led Zeppelin, and Judas Priest. Even during the beginning of the disc, the act is present that Mastodon can modify the individual perception of time. “The Wolf is Loose” may only be three and a half minutes, but the density in which they create this track is so high that individuals can easily mistake it for a five or six minute track.

“Crystal Skull” continues the same depth of composition, and while there are a number of moments here where Mastodon seems as if they are moving to the lighter side of things, there are an equal amount of moments where the band is not afraid in the least to bring the heavy. The guitar work that is done during “Crystal Skull” is without comparison. The solo blends in well to the context of the rest of the track while still standing head and shoulders above anything else previously heard on the disc (and maybe even heard on the disc). “Capillarian Crest” is a track that works on the experimental nature of Mastodon, but there are quite a few moments during this track where the band seems to not be at their capacity. In fact, a few seconds feel as if the band does not know where they are immediately going.

Luckily, the band quickly picks things up and get back on track. The momentary lapse is a good thing for me, as it shows me that Mastodon is a group of humans at the end of the day, and that the accomplishments made on this album are even more amazing when one takes that fact into consideration. “Blood Mountain” shows that Mastodon is an act that is incredibly talented and is not afraid of blending together a number of styles in the creation of their own original approach to music. Not quite thrash, hardcore, or straight metal, Mastodon plays a brand of music that will have poser acts following hot in pursuit if they already have not. For fans of any brand of hard music, “Blood Mountain” is a disc that can be hard and yet easily approachable all at the same time.

Top Tracks: Capillarian Crest, Colony of Birchmen

Rating: 6.3/10

Mastodon – Blood Mountain / 2006 Reprise / 12 Tracks / http://www.mastodonrocks.com / http://www.repriserecords.com / Reviewed 17 October 2006

[JMcQ]