Seconds Before Landing The Great Deception CD Review

What Could It Be? is the initial track on The Great Deception, and it provides ample background for listeners. Touching upon the Roswell alien crash, What Could It Be? links organic and human elements with a more tranc-y, out of this world instrumentation. Instructions immediately brings listeners into a style that fans of Styx and Utopia would appreciate. Seconds Before Landing touch upon a wide array of influences from the 60s (psychedelic), 70s (prog-rock), and even touch upon industrial (Nine Inch Nails) and hard rock.

They’re All Around You is a transitory track for The Great Deception, and showcases a reversal of fortune between the humans and the aliens. What was very much an Army operation in What Could It Be?, changes by the time that They’re All Around You begins.

Mikey Get Your Accordion is the penultimate track on The Great Deception, and showcases an introspective and touching side to Seconds Before Landing. The track links together two disparate elements of rock in the stylistic mash-up of Queensryche’s Silent Lucidity and David Bowie’s Space Oddity. The inclusion of a very authoritative and patrimonial vocals will appease fans of Pink Floyd’s The Wall and Alice Cooper’s role as Father Sun in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Pick up a copy of The Great Deception from Seconds Before Landing’s Bandcamp (http://secondsbeforelanding.bandcamp.com/) or on their iTunes; if you are a fan of rich instrumentation, an alluring store, or of rock generally, you will absolutely love The Great Deception.

Top Tracks: What Could It Be?, They’re All Around You, Mikey Get Your Accordion

Rating: 9.0/10

 

Seconds Before Landing The Great Deception CD Review / 2013 Self / http://www.secondsbeforelanding.com/

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Great Northern Porter Review

 

 

 

While there seems to be a desire for individuals to want the lighter and more fruit-flavored beers during the summer months, I feel that porters provide a perfect counter-point to a big meal or long day of work. Summit’s Great Northern Porter is a rich brew that pours with an intimidatingly dark head and body. The lacing that remains stands in stark opposition to the dark coloration of the brew, sticking around until one finishes their glass. The hints of toasted malt, coffee, and even hints of smoke are moderated by a slight sweetness with an initial sip. Rather than go too heavy on the brown sugar notes, Summit has placed the perfect amount of hop bitterness into the beer – at 45 IBUs, the Great Northern can be appreciated by the widest array of beer fans.

 

The Great Northern has a small amount of carbonation, which highlights the smooth complexion of the porter. Summit has crafted a high-octane session effort in this beer, allowing imbibers to polish off a few beers with relative ease.

 

Make sure to visit the Summit website for more information about their year-round and seasonal efforts. Summit was one of the earliest microbreweries and continues to provide imbibers with memorable efforts; pick up a six pack of the Great Northern Porter or another Summit effort and your local beer store.

 

Rating: 8.6/10

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Great Northern Porter / Summit Brewing Co. / 5.6% ABV / http://www.summitbrewing.com/brews/great-northern-porter / http://www.summitbrewing.com

The Producers Blu-Ray and DVD Combo Pack Review

 

The original 1968 film of The Producers is a classic title, showcasing Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, and Zero Mostel in a deliriously funny and off-the-wall look into the Broadway of the 1960s. When Max Bialystock (Mostel) and eir accountant (Wilder) learn that making an unsuccessful Broadway show is more financially lucrative than dealing with a long-haul release, Springtime For Hitler is born. The machinations of Bialystock and Bloom are thwarted when the show is successful beyond their wildest dreams.

The Blu-Ray edition of the film provides individuals with an absolutely beautiful video print of the original, allowing the sets and outfits worn by the crew to shine. The audio quality of the Blu-Ray edition is similarly strong, with Shout Factory providing viewers with the option to experience The Producers with the original mono or re-done DTS-HD Master Audio.

The combo pack contains a number of special features. A brief deleted scene provides additional room for Kenneth Mars’ Franz Liebkind to shine, while a set of trailers showcase a collection of titles having to do with Mel Brooks (along with a trailer for The Producers, there are brief looks into The Incredible Mel Brooks and American Masters’ Mel Brooks: Make A Noise). A sketch gallery shows the transitory state between the script and the finished product, while a documentary (“The Making of the Producers”) is a valuable view into the conditions lending themselves to the creation of the movie. The Producers’ Blu-Ray and DVD Combo Pack is the definitive version of this classic. The release can be purchased anywhere that sells movies.

Rating: 9.5/10

The Producers Blu-Ray and DVD Combo Pack / 2013 MGM /  89 Minutes / http://www.shoutfactory.com / http://www.mgm.com
The Producers

Newland Volume 3 Mixtape CD Review

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There is a high amount of energy that is present on this mixtape, and a considerable portion of that comes from the work of DJ Malone. Where the most common mixtapes around have DJs touting themselves at the expense of the songs that listeners want to hear, there is a much more organic feel to the compilation of cuts here. What DJ Malone Productions does here is blend the hottest hits (We Up, Memories Back Then, No New Friends) with some absolutely scorching new tracks (Bravo Starr – Watch It Add Up, Mays – You Mad). The flow of the mixtape will keep a party lively, representing a wide array of distinct rap genres.

Newland Volume 3 is a mixtape that helps the up and coming rappers by  placing them front and center (rather than at the ending) of the disc. By doing this, the inimitable styles of Tenf Letta (I’m Riding) and B-Stacks (Ironic) can be heard by a completely new audience. Newland Volume 3 also succeeds as it does not veer into the more experimental efforts of rappers – the tracks present here are absolutely catchy, are the songs that listeners want to hear, and may otherwise be hard to hear (Beyonce’s H-town remix of I’ve Been On).

Make sure to add him on Twitter, visit his Facebook at http://t.co/WevL8EfCfj, or email him directly at dj_malone88@live.com. The Newland Volume 3 mixtape can be downloaded from DatPiff (http://www.datpiff.com/DJ-Malone-Newland-Vol-3-mixtape.487272.html).

Top Tracks: 50 Cent Featuring Kendrick Lamar – We Up, Mays – You Mad

Rating: 9.3/10

Newland Volume 3 Mixtape CD Review / 2013 Self / 17 Tracks / https://twitter.com/djmalonepro

My Morning Jacket Segment To Run On CBS Sunday Morning

Serena Altschul goes back to the Kentucky farm where My Morning Jacket formed their signature sound and learns they take cues from an unlikely source – “The Muppets” – in an interview for this week’s CBS SUNDAY MORNING WITH CHARLES OSGOOD, to be broadcast June 30, 2013 (9:00 AM, ET) on the CBS Television Network.

Critics have called My Morning Jacket one of the greatest live bands ever. They found their sound, bandleader Jim James says, playing in silos on a farm in Louisville, Ky., where they could play as loud as possible.

“The various major studios all had their echo chambers that they’re known for, so I thought, ‘Well, we’ve got these giant silos that sound amazing. Why not use them as our chambers?’” James tells Altschul during a tour of the farm. “It’s got a beautiful sound. A dirty floor, but a beautiful sound.”

That sound has earned the band great critical acclaim, and their last album Circuital reached the top ten on the Billboard charts.
But it’s more than the silos that helped inspire the band as James admits Roy Orbison’s voice and “The Muppets” have influenced him.

James says his first experience with music was watching the show. “Like, that was the first time I ever knew what music was,” he tells Altschul.

James released his first solo album, Regions of Light and Sound of God, earlier this year. For more information on the album and his solo performances please visit http://jimjames.com.

Coming this January 26-30th 2014 is My Morning Jacket’s One Big Holiday, a tropical destination adventure at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in Mexico. In addition to an intimate run of shows, fans will enjoy all of the luxurious benefits offered by the gorgeous Hard Rock Riviera Maya resort. More than a series of live shows, this is an all-inclusive experience; all fans stay on site at the resort and all meals, drinks, concerts and activities are included in the package. Visit www.MMJOneBigHoliday.com for tickets and more information.

My Morning Jacket is also currently on tour with the AmericanaramA Festival of Music, which includes performances by Bob Dylan and Wilco. For more information on fan clubs and ticket purchasing, visit MyMorningJacket.com and check out all upcoming tour dates below.

Tour Dates
6/29 – Atlanta, GA – Aarons Amphitheatre
6/30 – Nashville, TN – The Lawn at Riverfront Park
7/2 – Memphis, TN – Autozone Park
7/5 – Noblesville, IN – Klipsch Music Center
7/6 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center
7/7 – Columbus, OH – Nationwide Arena
7/10 – Saint Paul, MN – Midway Stadium
7/11 – Peoria, IL – Cheifs Stadium
7/12 – Chicago, IL – Toyota Park
7/14 – Clarkston, MI – DTE Music Theatre
7/15 – Toronto, ON – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
7/18 – Darien Center, NY – Darien Lakes PAC
7/19 – Bridgeport, CT – The Ball Park at Harbor Yard
7/20 – Mansfield, MA – Comcast Center
7/21 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga PAC
7/23 – Washington, DC – Merriweather Post Pavilion
7/24 – Virginia Beach, VA – Farm Bureau Live @ Virginia Beach
7/26 – Hoboken, NJ – Pier A
7/27* – Wantagh, NY – Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre
7/28 – Camden, NJ – Susquehanna Bank Center
7/31 – Denver, CO – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
8/1 – Salt Lake City, UT – USANA Amphitheatre
8/3 – Irvine, CA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
8/4 – Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre

*Please note that My Morning Jacket will not be performing on this show

State of Decay Xbox Live Arcade Review

Over the last few years, the genre of survival horror has taken a marked turn towards action horror. Later installments of series like Dead Space and Resident Evil play like Michael Bay blockbusters, and it’s rare to have an actual sense of dread for the monsters that you’re mowing down.

That’s what makes State of Decay, the ambitious new XBLA offering from Undead Labs and Microsoft Game Studios, so refreshing. Play like Rambo, and you are going to get torn apart, and for the first time in a long time, you’ll actually fear the consequence of death.

When you die in most games, you get a game-over message, and the worst consequence is jumping back to a checkpoint and losing some progress. Die in State of Decay, and that character is gone forever, leaving you to carry on as one of your other survivors.

State of Decay is many things, but forgiving is not one of them.

At its core, State of Decay is about surviving. You are dropped into a massive open world where every building can be explored and searched. There are bases that you can construct, other survivors that can join your community and must be taken care of (you can switch control between characters if they are loyal to you), and food and materials to scavenge. On top of all of this, each survivor comes with their own unique traits and abilities, and can be leveled up in areas like melee combat and how much weight they can carry.

If it sounds like a lot to wrap your head around, it is, and orienting yourself to the gameplay can be daunting and a bit frustrating. There is no hand-holding, and while text descriptions pop up as you navigate the pages of your menu, it can take several hours before you’re clear on everything that the game has to offer.

The world that you live in also evolves in real time, so resources are depleted at your base even when the game is off. Adding to the difficulty, the resources and cars in the game are also finite, so if you wreck a car plowing through a crowd of zombies, that car is gone for good. Fortunately you can upgrade your base to repair damaged vehicles and weapons, but it makes you feel like there are real consequences for playing wastefully and recklessly.

In fact, consequences are what sets State of Decay apart from most other zombie-focused action games. Whereas I would normally charge headfirst into battle, the concept of perma-death had me slinking down back allies past zombie hordes praying that I didn’t alert them to my presence. It was maddening to lose a character that I had spent hours leveling up, but that just made the rest of my playthrough all the more tense and satisfying.

State of Decay isn’t perfect by any means. Graphics are constantly popping in and I encountered a myriad of glitches like zombies shifting through walls and cars disappearing as I was driving in them. The sheer magnitude of the game means that it’s rough around the edges, but none of the glitches will keep you from enjoying yourself and getting lost in its vast world.

This game isn’t for everyone. Some players will be turned off by the learning curve, real-time resource depletion and perma-death. But if you’re looking for an unforgiving challenge that you can really sink your teeth into, State of Decay is the game you’ve been waiting for.

Rating: 8/10

State of Decay Box Art

 

State of Decay Xbox Live Arcade Review/ Microsoft Game Studios, Undead Labs, 2013/ UndeadLabs.com

(This game was reviewed with a download code provided by the publisher)

(Cameron Gidari is a freelance writer and the author of Seattle Before8. Follow him on Twitter at @CGidari)

Kelsea Little Personal Myth CD Review

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Kelsea Little begins Personal Myth with Blue Feather, a track that has a delightful sound. Little allows the instrumentation on this introductory effort to keep up with her effervescent and bubbly style. What results with the beginning of Personal Myth is nothing less than impressive – It Hasn’t Gone Away looks back into fifties rock just as much as it touches upon a current and contemporary singer-songwriter sound. Little’s vocals take on an instrumental feel that provides an increase to the complexity to the effort. To properly get what all Little has placed into this effort, listeners will have to spin Personal Myth a number of times. Walnuts in Peru, one of the longest tracks on Personal Myth, is a hard nut to crack. Puns aside, the complex array of styles broached by Little during this cut makes for a heady and cerebral experience for fans. I feel that much of Personal Myth can be enjoyed simply as individual efforts, but that there is much more to enjoy if listeners can sit down and focus on the album from start to finish.

Now is All We Have is an uptempo cut that blends together lively drums with a clap-track; far from left field, the track further solidifies the later registers of Little’s Personal Myth. Little’s newest can be purchased at her Bandcamp (http://kelsealittle.bandcamp.com/album/personal-myth ); keep an eye on Little in the months and years to come. If subsequent efforts are as compelling and as fun as Personal Myth, I am sure that she will be a hot commodity in the near future.

Top Tracks: It Hasn’t Gone Away, Now is All We Have

Rating: 8.6/10

 

Kelsea Little Personal Myth CD Review / 2013 Self / 10 Tracks / http://www.kelsealittle.com/ / http://www.facebook.com/kelsearaelittle

Knife Fight DVD Review

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This indie movie about U.S. politics may have relied on B-list celebrities, but most bring their A game in this surprisingly solid light drama. Rob Lowe is great as Paul Turner a Democratic fixer, the guy you call when your politician is about to get caught screwing around or… well let’s just go with screwing around, because that seems to be the go-to vice for male politicians in Knife Fight

Eric McCormack’s plays sleazy well, as one of his clients, a sympathetic Kentucky governor with a thing for his 20-something intern (of course). The film is littered with celebrity cameos, some good (Alan Dershowitz as an opportunist attorney) and some awful (a very stiff Howard Kurtz playing a political blogger).     

 
Knife Fight/95 mins./IFC Films and MPI Home Video/2013
Knife Fight DVD Review

KODALINE TO RELEASE LOVE LIKE THIS EP ON JULY 16TH

Irish quartet, Kodaline is set to release their LOVE LIKE THIS EP, on July 16th via RCA Records. The Love Like This EP was released in the UK and debuted in the top 10 on the iTunes album chart and reached #2 on iTunes Alternative album chart. Additionally, Kodaline will release their debut album, In A Perfect World, in the US on October 8th. The lead single, “All I Want” is available now at all digital providers.

In A Perfect World was released in the UK and Europe last week and debuted at #1 in Ireland, #3 in the UK and in the Top 10 in the Netherlands.  On the iTunes Chart the album debuted in the Top 20 in Singapore (#1), Holland, South Africa, Switzerland, Malaysia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, France and Sweden.

“All I Want” has received early support from SIRIUS-XM (SPECTRUM and ALT NATION) and has enjoyed several television and ad campaign placements including Google’s 2012 “Year In Review online spot”,an episode of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, the series premiere for NBC’s new show Ready For Love and was also the featured music bed for the promo spot for ABC’s hit television show Modern Family. Other tracks have also been heard on TBS’s Cougar Town and VH1’s Mob Wives. The compelling and powerful videos for “All I Want” and “High Hopes”, another album highlight, have over 5.8 million views on VEVO.

Hailing from Dublin, Kodaline are childhood friends Steve Garrigan (lead vocals) Mark Prendergast (guitarist), Jason Boland (bassist) and Vinny May (drummer). Steve and Mark met at the age of 7 in the school choir and forged a close musical bond learning to play guitar together, growing up just minutes apart. They encountered Vinny playing with another band in their early teens and quickly recognised his talents. Jason completed the line-up in 2011, and Kodaline was born.

The band was recently nominated for MTV UK’s “Brand New: for 2013”, as well as BBC’s “Sound of 2013.” “All I Want” was a featured track on BBC Radio 1 DJ Fearne Cotton’s Record of the Week. Their debut single in the UK, “High Hopes” was the highest new entry on the UK singles chart upon release. In Ireland, both “All I Want” and “High Hopes” are certified gold and “High Hopes” was #1 on both the singles and airplay charts. Additionally, “Love Like this was released and reached #2 on the iTunes Alternative singles chart and is now A-listed at both Radio 1 and Absolute and is on the XFM Daytime list.

Critics in the UK are raving about Kodaline. The Daily Telegraph claims, “They have a touch of every epic multi-million-selling outfit around” and have, “sleek, widescreen rock songs to make them big stars in 2013,” while The Guardian states, “Where they’ll be by summer 2014: near the top of the bill at a festival near you, having the words deafeningly sung back at them” the Daily Star raves, “Kodaline are a band that justify the hype.”

The band will play a number of UK and European festivals over the summer which kicked off with a sold out performance at Paradiso in Amsterdam and includes performances at Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds and are on the bill supporting Bruce Springsteen in London.

Love Like This EP Tracklisting

  1. Love Like This
  2. What It Is
  3. Midnight
  4. Love Like This (Acoustic Version)

Stripmall Announce West Coast Tour Dates

Stripmall Architecture pushes all boundaries as they continue to set the tone for much of the Bay Area electronic music scene. With a long history in music and collaboration, their exceptional sound takes new form with each new release, be it a dancy single with sexual innuendos, or a dark and haunting full length inspired by despair. There is always a project in the works and when it surfaces, a new innovation is born.

Husband wife duo Rebecca and Ryan Coseboom have collaborated with groundbreaking artists including; Cocteau Twins guitarist Robin Guthrie, legendary Nine Inch Nails/Depeche Mode producer John Fryer, James Lavelle’s UNKLE, and underground avant-cellist Zoe Keating. These days, the pair are laser-focused on their own material and have put together a live show that has instantly become one of the most unique and acclaimed in the once-again vibrant San Francisco music scene.

Tour Dates

07.20 – The Uptown Nightclub – Oakland, CA^
07.21 – The Box @ Blue Lagoon – Santa Cruz, CA#
07.31 – Dante’s – Portland, OR#
08.02 – KEXP Live On-Air Performance – Seattle, WA
08.02 – The High Dive – Seattle, WA%

^with Teenage Sweater and Mortar and Pestle
#with Books on Fate
%with Books on Fate and Whitewaits