Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1-7

With new releases...

*This week I will be starting a "thumb" system for upcoming releases. Pretty self explanatory.

Tuesday, August 2nd;

Fountains of Wayne
Sky Full of Holes

This is the fifth studio album from New York rock band Fountains of Wayne. From the information I have received, this album is supposed to be more sedated than past. Their sound apparently remains harmonic but with more believable lyrics. I like this band but am somewhat familiar with their catalogue. I am more familiar with the handful of singles they have released. I have a neutral recommendation on this album.


This is the seventh studio album by O.A.R. They have already released the single, Heaven, which has reached #1 on the iTunes rock chart. I have always thought this band to be underrated even though they seem to consistently deliver a good product. These guys continue to be popular among the college crowd as many of their lyrics are relative to either their high school or college days. I would recommend checking this album out.

Trace Adkins
Proud to Be Here

This is the tenth studio album from country music star Trace Adkins. I personally do not get all the hype and success of this artist. I think he talks in his songs far more often than he sings. If I want to hear a man with a deep voice talk on disc, I will get a book on tape narrated by James Earl Jones. This being said, many people enjoy his music and his fist single off of this album, Just Fishin' has reached #12 on the country charts.

Mat Kearney
Young Love
This will be the fourth release by Nashville songwriter Mat Kearney. When listening to his music, you can tell he is a true singer/songwriter and can definitely hear the Nashville influence in his writing. However, in direct contradiction to the traditional Nashville style, Kearney revealed that he will be using a rapping style that can be heard on past albums. He feels that this style is a return to innocence. His first single, Hey Mama, has already been released for digital download.

With music...

iHeartRadio Festival
As you probably know by now, on September 23rd and 24th, there is going to be a mega concert/festival in Las Vegas, NV. iHeartRadio is an App. and website that allows you to listen to radio stations all over the world. The more I think about this, the more remarkable it is that they had so many artists commit to this festival. I am not sure I have witnessed such a vast collection of artists at one event in my lifetime. This thing is supposed to be huge and sold out in 10 minutes. I expect a media explosion as a result, dvd's, cd's, apps, who know. Follow if you can, it should be highly entertaining. Below I have included a list of artists who have committed to play with more supposed to be announced over the course of the summer. Among the performers are, Lady Gaga, Steven Tyler, Jane's Addiction, Kenny Chesney, Black Eyed Peas, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, David Guetta, Alicia Keys, John Mayer, Kelly Clarkson, Rome w/Sublime, Sting, Usher and more...WOW!

*As a reminder....I rate these albums based on a sixpack. I finally figured out how to include icons. Enjoy!!

Legendary Weapons
I truly wasn't expecting to like this all that much but I did. I thought it was very reminiscent of older Wu-Tang and I enjoyed it on the first listen. I am not sure how this is a compilation album as I hadn't heard the material before. Also didn't miss GZA as much as I thought. The sound was still grungy and the samples used were in form with Wu-Tang's style. It was definitely a nice break from all the crap you hear on the radio now. If you are a Wu-Tang fan you will definitely enjoy this album. I don't think this album will get much airplay but Wu-Tang's music rarely does and to be quite honest I don't think it is meant to....and I like it that way.

Joss Stone
This is another strong release from Joss. This girl has soul spilling out her ears. I think one thing that Joss does better than anyone is gives you a raw, intimate feeling with her music. There is so much emotion in her words that you can't help but feel a connection with what she is singing. This is a good album to chill out with and enjoy. She has transitioned succcessfully from a soulful young lady into a soulful woman and that transition is evident in her lyrics.

This week's throwback albums...

Sixteen Stone
Bush was basically England's answer to the grunge success of Pearl Jam and Nirvana. This debut of Bush peaked at No.4 on the Billboard charts and has reached over 6 million in sales. The album produced 5 top 40 singles and propelled the band into stardom. The album is named 16 Stone after a friend of lead singer, Gavin Rossdale's called a number looking for a 21 year old Scandinavian beauty. When she arrived at the home she was in her 40's and weighed in at 16 Stone (a UK measurement of weight...16 Stone=224lbs.) This album is worth checking out and is still fun to listen to today.

Junior M.A.F.I.A.
Junior M.A.F.I.A. (Master at Finding Intelligent Attitudes) was a rap group formed and mentored under the guidance of Notorious B.I.G. This group is responsible for launching the career's of Lil' Kim and Lil' Cease. Unfortunately the group broke up after the death of Biggie in 1997. An interview with Notorious B.I.G. revealed that he was planning on retiring from rap in 2000 to manage this group. Oh what could have been. This record managed to spawn two singles, Player's Anthem and Get Money. Worth checking out. As I always say, a must have for any true rap collection.

You oughtta know...

The Old 97's

The Old 97's are an alternative country band who formed in Dallas, TX in 1993. They are considered to be the pioneers of the alt-country movement of the mid and late 90's. Elektra records picked them up hoping that the alt-country movement would be the next grunge movement. Sadly, the movement and the band never gathered as much attention as expected. The band is still solid and worth checking out. They have also been featured in the movie The Breakup.

Fan feedback...
Someone asked me how I felt about the Rebecca Black phenomenon, Friday. For those three or four people who have never heard the song or seen the video, check it out here.

OK, now that that's out of the way.....I will tell you how I feel. Let me first give you some background. A friend referred her to this place called ARK Music Factory. Since Black was active in the community already singing, dancing and auditioning for shows, this seemed like a good idea. Her mother paid $4,000 dollars for her to shoot this video. Lets face it, this song is AWFUL but is hard not to find it mission accomplished I guess. Here are my issues with this. First, Rebecca didn't write the song, ARK did. So I don't feel she should get any grief about how cheesy the lyrics are or how awful the song is. Second, this song should never have been leaked for availability. I am still unclear as to who leaked it, ARK or the family. The family had the master copy but I doubt they have the connections to put the video out there like that. This girl was an honor student and seems like a good kid. She was interested in a cut-throat business who slays the weak and under managed. This video went viral immediately and she received almost 4 million dislikes. That is pretty harsh judgement for an innocent teenage girl. In this media-now world, she never had a chance. People can be cruel and rarely take others' feelings into consideration when they berated and belittle someone. Yes, she has gained publicity and has probably had more media attention this way, but it has all been bad. This is not something she can ever recover from. This stigma will stay with her forever. She can kiss any career in arts and performance goodbye. Even though this songs sucks harder than a Dyson vacuum, I think we should cut this poor girl some slack. Let's call it what it is. A waste of $4K and a lesson learned. I hope she moves on without lingering issues of depression and anxiety.

Happy Birthday...

August 1st;

Ashley Parker Angel (O-Town/solo)

Adam Duritz (Counting Crows)

Artis Ivey Jr./Coolio

Carlton Douglas Ridenhour/Chuck D (Public Enemy)

Tim Bachman (Bachman-Turner Overdrive)

Jerry Garcia (The Grateful Dead) *d.1995

August 3rd;

Shirley Manson (Garbage)

James Hetfield (Metallica)

Tony Bennett

August 4th;

Marques Houston (IMX/solo)

Louis Armstrong *d.1971

August 5th;

Terri Clark

Aston George Taylor Jr./Funkmaster Flex

Adam Yauch/M.C.A. (Beastie Boys)

Rick Derringer

August 6th;

Geri Halliwell/Ginger Spice (Spice Girls)

August 7th;

Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden)

BJ Thomas

In Charlotte...

I am switching up my format for this section a little bit. I try to list all the concerts that are coming to town each week. Frankly it is tiring and half of the bands I am unfamiliar with. In addition, most of my followers seem to be from out of town and probably could care less about local events. I would rather give my pick for the concert or venue of the week. If anyone is unhappy with this or feels I should go back to the old format. Please leave your comments. Thanks for the support.

This week the place to be is Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. There are many blockbuster shows coming this week and lots of big names. The Unity Tour rolls into town on Monday and will be featuring 311 and Rome with Sublime, both favorites of this site. Then on Tuesday, another big show. Maroon 5 will be here with Train and Gavin DeGraw. Kings of Leon plays on Friday and finally, Lil' Wayne is here with Rick Ross, Keri Hilson, Far East Movement and Lloyd. Lots and lots of big names. Get out and check out at least one show.

As a side note, Young Jeezy will be playing at the Tremont and Selena Gomez will be playing at the Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheater.

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