CD Reviews

All CD & Book Reviews will be posted on Tuesdays or Thursdays

New Music Tuesday (LAMC 2014 Edition)

Last modified on 2014-07-08 16:59:48 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Natalia Clavier, “Lumen”

Released on May 28th Natalia Clavier’s Nacional Records debut album “Lumen” has already graced the top of the iTunes Alternativo + Rock Latino charts and the #5 spot on the iTunes overall Top Latino charts. “Lumen” is a sultry twelve track album full of jazz-inspired vocals set against an electronic backdrop. The album seamlessly features songs in English and in Spanish.  Stand out tracks include, “Trouble,” “El Tren” and “Lumen”

AJ Davila, “Terror Amor”

Front-man for the acclaimed garage rock band Davila 666, AJ Davila, releases his first solo effort, “Terror Amor.”  The album is a mixture of high-energy, guitar driven garage rock that will be sure to enthrall an alternative crowd. “Terror Amor” features collaborations with many of the biggest names in indie rock from across the Americas, including Cole Alexander (Black Lips), Alex Anwandter, Sergio Rotman (Los Fabulosos Cadillacs), Juan Cirerol andFofe Abreu (Circo). Stand out tracks include, “Lo Que No Sera” (featuring Alex Anwandter), “Es Verano Ya,” and “Espina Dorsal”

Santé Les Amis, “Sudamericana”

Acclaimed indie alternative band Santé Les Amis released their highly anticipated debut album, “Sudamericana” on May 27th on National Records. The album is a blend between alternative rock and electronica with tracks in English and in Spanish. The catchy melodies and the dance qualities will have you dancing it up regardless of who’s watching.  From the moment lead off track, “El Rayo, El Trueno y El Silbido” kicks off you’re entranced and have no other choice but to whistle along to the infectious beat.  Album is great from start to finish.

New Music Tuesday (Week of June 17th 2014)

Last modified on 2014-06-17 13:29:41 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Jennifer Lopez, “A.K.A”

Jennifer Lopez’s 10th studio album, “A.K.A.” will have JLovers and newbies alike dancing it up and singing loudly. The actor, entertainer, film & television producer, fashion designer, entrepreneur and humanitarian reinvents her sound but remains true to the JLO brand in this 14-track album. Her pop tunes are melodic and fun and up-tempo dance tracks are infectious with Booty shakers like the aptly titled, “Booty,” and “Tens” you can’t go wrong. Collaborations include Pitbull, T.I., French Montana, Iggy Azalea and Nas among others. Stand out tracks include, “I Luh Ya Papi,” “First Love,” and “Booty.”

Adriana Lucia, “Porro Hecho en Colombia”

Adriana Lucia’s sixth studio album “Porro Hecho en Colombia” (Porro Made in Colombia) cements the songstress’ status as a prolific powerhouse. The album features ballads as well as up-tempo tunes. Porro is a sub-genre of Colombian cumbia rhythm from the Caribbean region of Colombia. The accomplished Colombian singer-songwriter pens some of the most beautiful songs “Quiero Que Te Quedes” and “La Canción Más Bonita” are great examples of that. Physical copies of the album will be available on July 15th digital copies can be purchased now exclusively via iTunes. Stand out tracks include, “Quiero Que Te Quedes,” “La Espeluca,” “Ya Te Solté” and “La Canción Mas Bonita”

Moonrise Nation, “Moonrise Nation”

Chicago trio Moonrise Nation is building a solid following with their unique blend of indie folk-pop. Their 5 track EP entices listeners with their sultry harmonies accompanied by a keyboard and cello.  Their self-titled EP has set the bar high for future releases from these ladies it’s great from start to finish.

New Music Tuesday (week of February 25, 2014)

Last modified on 2014-02-25 18:33:15 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Romeo Santos, “Formula Vol.2”

“Hagan espacio que Daddy’s back” (Make room Daddy’s back) sang Romeo Santos in the track, “Amigo” off his highly anticipated follow-up album, “Formula Vol.2” and just like that his reign continues as the King of Bachata.  The album features 17 tracks bookended by hilarious phone messages, the intro which features comedian Kevin Hart giving the artist album title suggestions that the comedian believes would appeal more to the Latino community. The music itself is stellar. The guitar-driven track, “Necio,” features legendary guitarist Carlos Santana as Romeo sings about coveting a married woman. A common theme that is revisited in the song, “Eres Mia” (You’re mine) where he signs, “si tú te casas el día de tu boda, le digo a tu esposo con risa, que solo eres prestada, la mujer que ama porque sigues siendo mía” (If you get married on your wedding day I will tell your husband with a chuckle that the woman he loves is only a loaner because you continue to be mine).  Which he caps off with “Te deseo lo mejor y lo mejor soy yo” (I wish you the best and the best is me). Standout tracks include, “Cancioncitas de Amor,” “Eres Mia,” “Hilito,” “No Tiene la Culpa” (which may be the first Bachata to mention and/or defend homosexuality, he states, “this is not a gay record this is a reality song,” very progressive on his part) and “Yo Tambien” a salsa track featuring Marc Anthony.

The Caution Children, “Safe Crusades / No Judgements / And Baby”

Switching gears and entering the punk rock realm we have The Caution Children’s latest LP, “Safe Crusades / No Judgements / And Baby” a record which draws from post-hardcore and other heavy melodic elements. The Florida natives shake listeners with opening number, “The Same Thing In Three Parts” a song that I can already envision crowds chanting along to at live shows. Whereas I prefer some of the mellower tracks like instrumental favorite, “Over-Under” and “Middle Missing” heavy rockers may prefer the buildup featured in up-tempo screamo quasi-ballad, “Shouldn’t Have Used Black Magic.” In the end there’s something for everybody.

Reason, “The Darkest Star”

Going into this record completely blind without any information on the artist or the record I fired up the first track of Reason’s “The Darkest Star” and was pleasantly surprised. The instrumentation on album opener, “Another World” is stellar and reminiscent of classic arena rock. The prog rockers fuse metal and hard rock elements beautifully on this record. Tracks like “Rise,” “Another World” and “Life To A Flame” will have you believing in rock again.

Best of 2013

Last modified on 2013-12-17 13:43:53 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Marc Anthony, “Marc Anthony 3.0”
Released on July 23, 2013 Marc Anthony’s 3.0 marks his triumphant return to salsa. After a 10 year absence “Marc Anthony 3.0” features some of his greatest tunes to date. From his hit single, “Vivir Mi Vida” to second track, “Volver a Comenzar” the album is simply a delight and Sinister Girlz’s selection for Best Album of 2013. The album is vibrant with songs you wouldn’t necessarily expect from the singer; including covers from Jose Feliciano (“La Copa Rota”) and Los Pasteles Verdes’ song “Hipocresía.” It’s a whole new level of Marc Anthony and fans and music enthusiasts alike will be delighted with this record. Standout tracks of the 10-track album include: “Volver a Comenzar,” “Hipocresía,” “Flor Pálida” and “La Copa Rota”

Alejandro Fernandez, “Confidencias”
Produced by the late legendary producer Phil Ramone, “Confidencias” is Alejandro Fernandez’s new album featuring classic tunes from Latin America and Spain. The album is simply beautiful from start to finish and one of my favorites of the year. The album is available in two formats, standard and deluxe, with 11 tracks and 15 tracks plus a DVD, respectively. “Confidencias” features collaborations with Christina Aguilera, “Hoy Tengo Ganas De Ti” (the single is #1 in 17 countries), a bilingual rendition of, “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” which features Fernandez’s vocals in Spanish, while Rod Stewart sings in English and a duet with his father Vincente Fernandez, “Me olvidé de vivir.” Standout tracks include: “Cóncavo Y Convexo,” “Te Quiero, Te Quiero” and “A Pesar De Todo.”

Anna Rose, “Behold A Pale Horse”

Sultry songstress Anna Rose hits it out of the park with her stellar sophomore record, “Behold A Pale Horse.” The album is guitar heavy and full of rock grooves reminiscent of the musical styling of Janis Joplin. In the day and age of auto-tune and electro-pop it’s refreshing to listen to a well-crafted rock album with a soulful delivery. Standout tracks include, “Electric Child,” “Beautiful World” and “Because You’re Mine.”

Avril Lavigne, “Avril Lavigne”

Canadian pop-rock superstar Avril Lavigne returns with her fifth studio album. The self-titled album blends her pop-rock sensibilities with a mature coming of age sound. The album rocks harder than its predecessors, “Best Damn Thing” and “Goodbye Lullaby.”  The track, “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” speaks volumes regarding the album’s direction and rougher edge and is best displayed in the Marilyn Manson produced track, “Hello Kitty.” Although Lavigne toasts, “Here’s To Never Growing Up” the album clearly showcases a mature sound that fans who’ve grown up with her will be sure to love.  Standout tracks include: “Here’s To Never Growing Up,” “Give you what you like,” “Hello Kitty” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

Halle & The Jilt, “Three Roads Home”

Release on April 16th of 2013 Halle & The Jilt’s album “Three Roads Home” made audiences aware of the band’s undeniable musical prowess. Their follow up to their critically-acclaimed debut, “Lucky You” is a genre-bending, soulful versatile album that borrows some of the best elements of blues, pop and rock n roll. Halle Petro’s vocals are stellar and within seconds of leadoff track, “Kiss My Ghost” you’re captivated by the band’s sultry retro vibe you can dance to. Stand out tracks include, “Confessions” “Kiss My Ghost” and “The Jam.”

Icona Pop, “THIS IS… ICONA POP”

The pop duo that launched the smash hit, “I Love It” released their full-length debut album, “This Is…Icona Pop.” The album is full of fun, up-tempo, hypnotizing tunes that should solidify the Swedish duo’s staying power. You simply can’t go wrong with tracks like, “All Night,” “We Got The World” and “Girlfriend” the album is simply irresistible.

The Disparrows, “Making Others Rich”

Released on October 8th 2013 this last minute contender first caught our ears on December 10th and was so good we had to add it to the Best of List. Produced by Grammy Award winner Ken Wallace, The Disparrow’s new album “Making Others Rich” is a well-engineered 11-track rock record with heavy up-tempo dance tunes.  Simply put the Los Angeles rockers have put together an amazing record. Songs like “I’ll Take The Roses,” “Detroit City,” and the ballad “Running After You” truly stand out and complement the record perfectly.

New Music Special Friday Edition (December 13, 2013)

Last modified on 2013-12-13 17:21:08 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Beyoncé, “Beyoncé”

No promotion, no teasers, no hype. On December 13th Beyoncé nearly broke the internet with the unveiling of her self-titled visual album. The visual album available exclusively on iTunes features collaborations with Jay Z, Drake, Frank Ocean and her daughter Blue Ivy (her sweet voice could be heard saying “hold on to me” and giggling). Its 32-tracks; songs interspersed with music videos. Beyoncé is known for innovations and pushing boundaries but nobody expected something like this, it’s Beyoncé at her finest, uninhibited, soulful and a little bit wild. There’s no denying that Bey is a “Grown Woman,” she’s “Flawless,” a “Superpower” and if you listen to the lyrics closely of “Drunk in Love” you’ll realize she’s “No Angel.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of December 10, 2013)

Last modified on 2013-12-12 16:00:38 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Jenni Rivera, “1969 – Siempre, En Vivo Desde Monterrey Parte 1”

Released in commemoration of the one year anniversary of her death Jenni Rivera’s new album “1969-Siempre, En Vivo Desde Monterrey Parte 1” is a live recording of her final concert.  The late Mexican-American banda singer’s album debut on top of the iTunes and Amazon digital charts, the 18-track record opens with “Dos Botellas De Mezcal” (two bottles of mescal; a brand of tequila) a song which eerily states, “When I die I would appreciate that you place on my grave two bottles of mezcal (tequila).” The following track is “Que Me Entierren Con La Banda” (bury me with the band) and concludes with “Amarga Navidad (Live From Monterrey)” which translates to Bitter Christmas.  This album is a must have for any Jenni Rivera fan and will serve as a rounded introduction to the legendary Diva de La Banda to newcomers.

Kate Nash, “Have Faith With Kate Nash This Christmas”

British Award-winning Indie Queen Kate Nash makes the Holidays edgier with her new EP, “Have Faith With Kate Nash This Christmas.” The five-track EP features three original tunes, the unapologetic, “I Hate You This Christmas,” the previously released “Faith,” and “Christmas Is In The Air” by The Tuts plus acoustic renditions of “Silent Night” and “Auld Lang Syne.”

The Disparrows, “Making Others Rich”

Produced by Grammy Award winner Ken Wallace, The Disparrow’s new album “Making Others Rich” is a well-engineered 11-track rock record with heavy up-tempo dance tunes.  Simply put the Los Angeles rockers have put together an amazing record. Songs like “I’ll Take The Roses,” “Detroit City,” and the ballad “Running After You” truly stand out and complement the record perfectly.

New Music Tuesday (Week of November 26, 2013)

Last modified on 2013-11-26 17:09:28 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Erica Glyn, “The Glyn That Stole Christmas”

Best of 2012 recipient (“Static”) Erica Glyn is back with her holiday EP, “The Glyn That Stole Christmas.” The 4-track record provides listeners with a new take on holiday classics, “Deck The Halls,” “Winter Wonderland” (featuring fellow NYC artist Charley Hustle), “Silent Night” and “Jingle Bells.” The EP is fun and festive, I never grow tired of the holiday classics especially when an artist makes it their own as Glyn has done.

Various Artists, “Our Voices”

I Surrender Records Presents:Our Voices” featuring solo tracks from Adam Lazzara (Taking Back Sunday), Anthony Raneri (Bayside), Chris Conley (Saves The Day) and Vinnie Caruana (I Am The Avalanche). The compilation is the first of what the New York based indie label hopes to become an ongoing series of EPs featuring original solo tracks from the members of some of the biggest and most influential punk and indie bands. Adam Lazzara’s “Because It Works” kicks the album off strong with his acoustic guitar and harmonica while Raneri’s “String Me Along” and Chris Conley’s “Diamonds & White Gold” round out the rest of the EP, it’s Caruana’s “Sick Down To My Heart” to that brings it home with the forceful up-tempo ditty.

Lamb of God, “As The Palaces Burns (10th Anniversary Edition)”

Lamb of God’s answer to the 9/11 terror attacks and critique of the George W. Bush administration is encapsulated in their album, “As The Palaces Burns.” The newly remixed and re-mastered 10th anniversary edition of the album recaptures the intensity of the original with a finer-tuned crisper sound. It also includes unreleased demos of tracks, “Ruin,” “As The Palaces Burns” and “Blood Junkie.” The 10th Anniversary Edition features a making of the album DVD with new band and producer interviews.

New Music Tuesday (Week of November 19, 2013)

Last modified on 2013-11-20 20:58:13 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

The Sounds, “Weekend”

Since the first time I laid ears on the Swedish indie dance-rockers The Sound, with their 2006 album “Dying to Say This To You,” I fell for them, hard.  Seven years and 3 albums later they’re back with their new album, “Weekend.” The 11-track album quickly became a new favorite with nearly 100 replays on my ipod. Maya’s vocals are refreshing and better than ever, the band showcases their “Young and Wild” side on tracks like, “Shake Shake Shake,” “Great Day” and “Animal.” The album is full of great grooves and undeniable catchy tunes.

Avril Lavigne, “Avril Lavigne”

Canadian pop-rock superstar Avril Lavigne returns with her fifth studio album. The self-titled album blends her pop-rock sensibilities with a mature coming of age sound. The album rocks harder than its predecessors, “Best Damn Thing” and “Goodbye Lullaby.”  The track, “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” speaks volumes regarding the album’s direction and rougher edge and is best displayed in the Marilyn Manson produced track, “Hello Kitty.” Although Lavigne toasts, “Here’s To Never Growing Up” the album clearly showcases a mature sound that fans who’ve grown up with her will be sure to love.  Standout tracks include: “Here’s To Never Growing Up,” “Give you what you like,” “Hello Kitty” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

New Gods, “Beloved”

It takes a confident band or one with a lot of balls to name themselves New Gods and their debut LP, “Beloved” had Melbourne rockers Dom Byrne, Adrian Beltrame, Richard Bradbeer of Eagle and The Worm, Dale Packard from Ground Components, and drummer Sam Raines produced a mediocre album we could have had a lot of fun coming up with alternative band names. Fortunately New Gods provide listeners with a musical odyssey full of breathtaking and hypnotic tunes. The album plays like a score to a critically acclaimed indie film. It’s the type of record you play in the background but at some point or the other you will get sucked in and hit the replay button.

New Music Tuesday (Week of October 1, 2013)

Last modified on 2013-10-01 14:58:27 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Moby, “Innocents”

Moby is back and better than ever his new album “Innocents.” The highly anticipated record is an exploration of sounds. The album consists of twelve engrossing tracks of uplifting electronica.  Moby who isn’t a stranger to collaborations stepped out of his comfort zone once more by working with an outside producer, friend Mark “Spike” Stent, who has worked with artists like U2, Madonna, Bjork and Muse among others. “Innocents” features the critically acclaimed single, “The Perfect Life.”

Chevonne and The Fuzz, “Fire at Will”

Pop-rockers Chevonne and The Fuzz make an impressive debut with their album, “Fire At Will.” The fan-funded album was the product of a successful kickstarter campaign started by former NBC, The Voice contestant Chevonne. Switching gears from her career as a soloist Chevonne enlists Chris Ricci (vocals), Mike Sarkissian (bass/vocals), Chris Bookstaver (guitar/vocals), Steve Sarkissian (drums), and Nick Potters (keyboard, percussion, vocals) for seven electrifying radio-friendly tracks where Chevonne’s vocals really shine.  Standout tracks include, “Glow,” “Heels” and “Ugly Boy.”

Jay Stolar, “More Than We Think”

Ten tracks, that’s all it took for me to fall in love with Jay Stolar. Stolar’s debut album, “More Than We Think” is a charming soulful record full of contemporary sure-fire pop hits like lead single, “Like You Do” and album opener, “Fall Apart.” The album is breathtakingly beautiful and simply amazing.

New Music Tuesday (Week of September 24, 2013)

Last modified on 2013-09-27 19:12:00 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Icona Pop, “THIS IS… ICONA POP”

The pop duo that launched the smash hit, “I Love It” released their full-length debut album, “This Is…Icona Pop.” The album is full of fun, up-tempo, hypnotizing tunes that should solidify the Swedish duo’s staying power. You simply can’t go wrong with tracks like, “All Night,” “We Got The World” and “Girlfriend” the album is simply irresistible.

Kenny Feinstein, “Loveless: Hurts To Love”

Kenny Feinstein of Portland, Oregon-based roots-bluegrass-punk band, Water Tower, fame makes his solo debut with a cover of My Bloody Valentine’s 1991 album “Loveless.”  The tribute album features all eleven tracks from the My Bloody Valentine classic, plus the track “Swallow” from their 1991 “Tremolo” EP. Feinstein’s vocals are breathy but full of command it’s the perfect tone for this fitting tribute.

Anna Rose, “Behold A Pale Horse”

Sultry songstress Anna Rose hits it out of the park with her stellar sophomore record, “Behold A Pale Horse.” The album is guitar heavy and full of rock grooves reminiscent of the musical styling of Janis Joplin. In the day and age of auto-tune and electro-pop it’s refreshing to listen to a well-crafted rock album with a soulful delivery. Standout tracks include, “Electric Child,” “Beautiful World” and “Because You’re Mine.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of August 27, 2013)

Last modified on 2013-08-29 16:45:28 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Alejandro Fernandez, “Confidencias”

Produced by the late legendary producer Phil Ramone, “Confidencias” is Alejandro Fernandez’s new album featuring classic tunes from Latin America and Spain. The album is simply beautiful from start to finish. The album is available in two formats, standard and deluxe, with 11 tracks and 15 tracks plus a DVD, respectively. “Confidencias” features collaborations with Christina Aguilera, “Hoy Tengo Ganas De Ti” (the single is #1 in 17 countries), a bilingual rendition of, “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” which features Fernandez’s vocals in Spanish, while Rod Stewart sings in English and a duet with his father Vincente Fernandez, “Me olvidé de vivir.”

Joe Moorhead, Tides Are Rising (September 1st)

Releasing on September 1st the Cleveland, Ohio band Joe Moorhead sets the mood for the transition of summer to autumn in their new album, “Tides Are Rising.” The 12-track album features melodic tunes like, “Bad Day” and “Bright Lights.” There’s definitely a breezy, cool island feel to this record which will be better served with a drink in your hand like the song, “Drinks In Our Hands” suggests.

Lots Of Love, “From The Start”

Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Jessica Fleischer showcases her breathy sweet vocals, in her debut album, under the stage name Lots Of Love, “From The Start.” The record features 10-tracks of pop goodness remising of 60s love songs. She’s definitely an artist to watch. Stand out tracks include, “Come To Life,” “It’s so hard” and “From The Start.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of July 23, 2013)

Last modified on 2013-07-23 18:43:22 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Marc Anthony, “Marc Anthony 3.0”

He’s back! After a 10 year absence Marc Anthony is back with a brand new salsa record, “Marc Anthony 3.0” the 10-track album features some of his greatest tunes to date. From his hit single, “Vivir Mi Vida” to second track, “Volver a Comenzar” the album is simply a delight. “Marc Anthony 3.0” is vibrant with songs you wouldn’t necessarily expect from the singer; including covers from Jose Feliciano (“La Copa Rota”) and Los Pasteles Verdes’ song “Hipocresía.” It’s a whole new level of Marc Anthony and fans and music enthusiasts alike will be delighted with this record. Standout tracks include: “Volver a Comenzar,” “Hipocresía” and “La Copa Rota”

ZZK, “ZZK Sound Volume 3”

The best of the best from the South American dance and electronic underground scene is represented on the compilation album, “ZZK Sound Volume 3.” Intoxicating electro-pulsating beats derived mainly from the Buenos Aires club scene make up the 15 track LP. With tracks like—album opener, “Vacilon,” “Zombie Dance” and “Sonido Galaxia” you’ll become better aquainted with the dance and electronic underground of South America.

Worthwhile, “Carry On Kid”

California natives Worthwhile re-released their debut album, “Carry On Kid” on InVogue Records last week. The album consists of melodic hardcore tracks that will sure to make the Bay Area proud, Worthwhile is a band worth checking out. Stand out tracks include: “Live For What Lasts,” “Unloveable” and “Messy Masterpiece.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of March 26th, 2013)

Last modified on 2013-03-26 12:47:28 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Sevendust, “Black Out The Sun”

Sevendust’s ninth studio album, “Black Out The Sun” has something for everybody. It’s the first album from the quintet in nearly 3 years. The hard rockers’ highly anticipated album features 13 unique tracks ranging from heavy aggressive moody tracks like “Decay” to melodic touching tunes like the stellar acoustic track, “Got a Feeling.”

Vanna, “The Few And The Far Between”

Massachusetts based rockers, Vanna, bring new meaning to screamo and hardcore. Their new album, “The Few And The Far Between” features 11 fast and furious tracks, showcasing their superb energetic delivery. From lead off track, “The Few And The Far Between” to closer “His Heels” there’s no denying that they are among the emerging stars of the hardcore scene.

The Room, “Screaming Through The Noise” (single)

The Room’s debut album “Open Fire,” features the single, “Screaming Through The Noise” a beautifully written song detailing front-man Martin Wilson’s son’s battle with retinal cancer and the effect it had on his family. This rare form of cancer predominantly affects children under the age of 5. The Room are donating all proceeds of the single “Screaming Through The Noise” to the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust CHECT. To download the single visit http://www.skyrocketrecords.co.uk/#/firebrand-shop/4573043945

New Music Tuesday (Week of March 12th 2013)

Last modified on 2013-03-12 20:04:32 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Stars In Stereo, “Stars In Stereo” (April 9th)

Los Angeles-based rockers Stars In Stereo make a lasting impression on their stellar, self-titled debut. The 10 tracks fly by thanks to the charming vocal stylings of front-woman Bec Hollcraft. It’s always refreshing to hear a strong female vocalist front a rock band. From anthemic opener “The Broken” to sure to be breakthrough hit “All Together” there’s just no stopping this rock powerhouse.

Dave Elkins/Schematic, “Color (n.) Inside The Lines”

Dave Elkins formally of Mae enlisted the help of music lovers for his highly ambitious solo project, “Color (n.) Inside The Lines.” Thanks to the crowdsourcing website IndieGoGo (the campaign raised over $50,000 in just one month) Elkins was able to unveil his musical alter ego Schematic. The 11-track album is melodic, introspective and fun.

Adelaine “Currents” (April 30th)

Texan rockers Adelaine will unveil their sophomore album, “Currents” on April 30th. The female-fronted rock band flourishes in their 12 track power pop record with killer vocals and heavy guitars. The album’s Leadoff single, “Bad Blood” sets the tone for an album chock-full of up-tempo goodness. With melodic tunes such as, “Out Of Line,” “Two Cents” and “Let Go” the album is bound to be a hit.

New Music Tuesday (Week of March 5, 2013)

Last modified on 2013-03-05 22:22:14 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Tilian Pearson, “Material Me” (March 19th)

Dance Gavin Dance’s front-man Tilian Pearson will delight audiences with his solo effort, “Material Me.” The indie rocker shines with electro-pop anthems like, “Now or Never” and “Flutter.” With up-tempo beats so infectious you may forget the album explores deep subject matters such as love and loss. “Material Me” will be released by Vital Records, through indiegogo.com on March 19, 2013.

Roxiny, “Qoya” (March 20th)

Dominican dance diva Roxiny is ready to set the dance world on fire. Her enchanting 5-track EP, “Qoya” offers listeners a unique blend of island rhythms and electro-dance-pop. Whether she’s singing about “Karma” or love in the playful track “Cheree” you won’t be able to get through this EP without a smile on your face. It’s as beautiful and playful as a “New York City love song…”  Standouts include “Cheree,” “Belong” and “Headlights.”

Jac Dalton Band, “Icarus (Remastered)” (April 8th)

Newcomers to The Jac Dalton Band will quickly fall in love with the seven-piece Australian rock band. There’s no denying that the band consists of seasoned musicians. Their melodic rock tunes are reminiscent of those of classic rock bands. Whether it’s their up-tempo love song, “For Your Love” or the rifftastic “Armed and Dangerous” there’s something for rock aficionados. When front-man Jac Dalton sings, “we’re ready to rock again” he wasn’t kidding.

New Music Tuesday (Week of February 5, 2013)

Last modified on 2013-02-06 16:11:24 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

BETS, “BETS”

Indie pop songstress BETS makes a stellar debut with her self-titled EP, “BETS”. Leadoff single, “Rooftop Lover” is a folksy tune with breathy vocals that will be sure to have you swaying in your seat. The singer-songwriter marries melodic indie pop with snarky lyrics (listen to track one, “I Love You, But”) making her and artist worth keeping an eye out for.

Three Roads HomeHalle & The Jilt, “Three Roads Home” (April 16th)

Halle & The Jilt’s album “Three Roads Home” won’t officially drop until April 16th but once it does audiences will quickly learn that their follow up to their critically-acclaimed debut, “Lucky You” is a genre-bending, soulful versatile album that borrows some of the best elements of blues, pop and rock n roll. Halle Petro’s vocals are stellar and within seconds of leadoff track, “Kiss My Ghost” you’re captivated by the band’s sultry retro vibe you can dance to. Stand out tracks include, “Confessions” “Kiss My Ghost” and “The Jam.”

HolySexyBastards, “HolySexyBastards” (March 5th)

Venezuela natives HolySexyBastards are ready to take the music industry by storm. Their self-titled debut album features fourteen heavy-hitting, in your face, rocking tracks reminiscent of classic punk rock tunes. The album is full of attitude and catchy lyrics. It’s hard to believe that so much sound can come from a trio. Hooray! ¡Gracias Venezuela!

Best of 2012

Last modified on 2012-12-13 16:34:04 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Aerosmith, “Music From Another Dimension”

11 years after the release of “Just Push Play” Aerosmith is back with a vengeance with “Music From Another Dimension.” The 15-track album features a combination of power ballads including “Can’t Stop Loving You” with Carrie Underwood and heavy hitting rock tunes like “Oh Yeah” and “Out Go The Lights” that feature their signature amazing sound. The guys still have it and fans will be glad they are making beautiful music together once again. Standout tracks include, “What Could Have Been Love,” “Oh Yeah” and “Street Jesus”

Amanda Palmer, “Theatre Is Evil”

Amanda Palmer is quickly establishing herself as the queen of the indie music scene. Her latest release “Theatre Is Evil” is her first studio album in four years and the hiatus has proven to be well worth the wait, the album is simply brilliant.  From the synth-heavy dramatic opener, “Smile (Pictures or it Didn’t Happen)” to the piano-driven ballad, “Trout Heart Replica” the album is full of thought provoking and heartfelt lyrics that will leave you gasping for air. “Theatre Is Evil” grabs listeners and takes them on a magical journey of sound. Standout tracks include, “The Killing Type,” “Do It with a Rockstar” and “The Bed Song”

Dragonett, “Bodyparts”

Within seconds of leadoff track “Run, Run, Run” you’re instantly hooked to Dragonette’s cool vocals and funky electro-pop dance vibe. The band’s third studio album, “Bodyparts” is addictive, up-tempo fun that will have you dancing it up no matter where you are. The Canadian electro-pop trio definitely knows how to craft catchy tunes. Standout tracks include, “Run Run Run,” “Live In The City” and “Let It Go.”

Erica Glyn, “Static”

Evocative and breathtakingly beautiful. Erica Glyn’s “Static” is superb. From the haunting lead off track, “Commonplace,” to the funky up-tempo “Black & White” the album explores different genres that utilize pulsating beats, memorable melodies, surging synthesizers, and dark, poetic lyrics all tied together by her beautiful vocals. Standout tracks include: “Commonplace,” “I do” and “The Animal.”

Heart, “Fanatic”

Legendary rock duo, Heart, release their highly-anticipated 14th studio album “Fanatic.” The album showcases their signature sound; beautiful harmonies, pulsing guitars and memorable melodies. The 10 tracks fly by as sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson celebrate love and life in rock anthems like titled-track “Fanatic” and power ballad, “Walkin’ Good” which features Sarah McLachlan. Stand out tracks include, “Skin and Bones,” “Walkin’ Good (featuring Sarah McLachlan)” and “Pennsylvania.”

Wisin & Yandel, “Lideres”

Reggaeton superstars Wisin & Yandel return with their highly anticipated album, “Lideres” (Leaders) the album features 15 blazing tracks easily making it the must have Latin album of the summer.  “Lideres” features collaborations with Jennifer Lopez (“Follow The Leader”), Chris Brow and T-Pain (“Algo Me Gusta De Ti”) among others. The prolific duo manages to reinvent the genre time and time again and although the collaborations are fun they are talented enough to carry the entire album on their own. Stand out tracks include, “Perdón,” “Una Bendición,” “Follow The Leader,” and “Rumba”

New Music Tuesday (Week of November 27th, 2012)

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Woe, Is Me “Genesi[s]”

Melodic nu-metal rockers Woe Is Me are already climbing up the rock charts with their newest album, “Genesi[s].” The album features 11 diverse tracks including ones with guest vocals from Matty Mullins of Memphis May Fire & Caleb Shomo of Attack Attack! It’s hard to believe that it’s only been 2 years since the release of the Atlanta natives’ 2010 debut album. The album is polished but maintains its raw energy.

Last Call, “Dog Years”

Last Call’s debut full-length album “Dog Years” serves as a great introduction to the Las Vegas, NV punk rockers. The album is a fun collection of up-tempo, poppy punk rock tunes. The album is reminiscing of a rawer, earlier Thrice record. Stand out tracks include: “Bones,” “Winter Clothes” and “Limbo”

Ex-Cult, “s/t”

Ex-Cult’s (formerly Sex Cult) newest release “s/t” features in-your-face, no holds barred catchy post-punk. This Memphis punk band has the goods and isn’t afraid to show it. In the album opener, “Knives on Both Sides” the band sets the tone for what’s sure to be an aggressively raw and loud record. Standout tracking include: “Future Victims,” Young Trash,” and “Knives on Both Sides”

Punks on Mars, “Bad Expectations”

14 undeniably catchy tracks. Punk on Mars’ debut album, “Bad Expectations” had me hooked within seconds of listening to track 1, the “Overture.” There’s just something festive and fun about this record, for starters you won’t be able to get the songs “You Do, You Don’t” and “Is It Me” out of your head.

New Music Tuesday (Week of November 20th 2012)

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Lindsey Buckingham, “Lindsey Buckingham: One Man Show”

Fleetwood Mac guitarist, singer, writer and producer Lindsey Buckingham has released his first ever solo acoustic live album, “Lindsey Buckingham: One Man Show.” The album encapsulates the past year on the road as he performed numerous sold out shows across the United States. The album, recorded live and in one take from his Hoyt Sherman Place show in Des Moines, Iowa on September 1st, features 13 stripped down, raw tracks that will leave you wishing you were there.

All That Remains, “A War You Cannot Win”

“A War You Cannot Win” is the latest from Springfield, Massachusetts heavy metal rockers All That Remains. The album features their highest charting single, “Stand Up” which also happens to be a kick ass heavy hitting metal anthem. The album which is enjoyable from start to finish will be sure to delight ATR fans and newcomers alike.

The Epilogues, “Cinematics”

It’s no surprise that The Epilogues’ latest effort, “Cinematics” is as good as it is. The Colorado natives seem to have a knack for creating catchy, well-crafted rock songs. In “Cinematics” vocalist Chris Heckman sings earnestly about love and lost and in the song “Call Me A Mistake” his vocals are soft and tender until the guitars pick up and he lays it all on the line in the chorus singing, “Tell me I’m a mistake. Is what I need to know. That this lust is hard to break. And still can’t let it go. ‘Cause your taste it burns. And I can’t leave it alone. To me I’m a mistake. Never let me go…” The album while about loss doesn’t take itself too seriously after all this record features a song titled, “My Misinformed ‘John Hughes’ Teenage Youth.” Standout tracks include: “Hunting Season,” “Call Me A Mistake” and “Paradigm Shift”

New Music Tuesday (Week of November 6th 2012) Aerosmith Edition

Last modified on 2012-11-06 17:00:43 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Aerosmith, “Music From Another Dimension”

11 years after the release of “Just Push Play” Aerosmith is back with a vengeance with “Music From Another Dimension.” The 15-track album features a combination of power ballads including “Can’t Stop Loving You” with Carrie Underwood and heavy hitting rock tunes like “Oh Yeah” and “Out Go The Lights” that feature their signature amazing sound. The guys still have it and fans will be glad they are making beautiful music together once again. Standout tracks include, “What Could Have Been Love,” “Oh Yeah” and “Street Jesus”

Aerosmith, “Toys In The Attic”

Released in April of 1975 Aerosmith’s “Toys In The Attic” is the band’s third studio album. Ranked as their second most commercially successful studio album selling 8 million copies in the US and voted #228 on Rolling Stone’s list of 500 greatest albums of all time. “Toys In The Attic” spawned such hits as “Sweet Emotion” and the first incarnation of “Walk This Way.” In 1986 rappers Run-DMC’s cover of “Walk This Way” helped revitalize Aerosmith’s career and pioneered the rap/rock genre.

Aerosmith, “Permanent Vacation”

Released on September 5th 1987 Aerosmith’s “Permanent Vacation” is the band’s 9th studio album. It went 5 times platinum in the US and features hits like “Rag Doll,” “Angel” and “Dude (Looks Like A Lady).” In the UK, it was the first Aerosmith album to attain both Silver (60,000 units sold) and Gold (100,000 units sold) certification by the British Phonographic Industry. “Permanent Vacation” is the only album I own in multiple formats, digitally, CD, Vinyl and cassette.

Aerosmith, “O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits”

“O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits” features 30 of Aerosmith’s most popular songs from their years with Columbia & Geffen, the songs are all digitally re-mastered. Released on July 2, 2002 the album is a must have 2-disc compilation album for any new Aerosmith fan.

New Music Tuesday (Week of October 30, 2012)

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Hidden Hospital, “002″

Five tracks is all you need to be transported into Hidden Hospital’s melodic  alt rock  world. Their EP, “002″ is  full of catchy hooks and raw emotion.  The four-piece alternative rock band from Chicago, IL deliver a stellar post punk  album. Stand out tracks include:  ” The Absence of Emotion” and “Picture Perfect”

Erica Glyn, “Static”

Evocative and breathtakingly beautiful. Erica Glyn’s “Static” is superb. From the haunting lead off track, “Commonplace,” to the funky up-tempo “Black & White” the album explores different genres that utilize pulsating beats, memorable melodies, surging synthesizers, and dark, poetic lyrics all tied together by her beautiful vocals. Standout tracks include: “Commonplace,” “I do” and “The Animal.”

Sleeping With Sirens, “If You Were A Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack”

Sleeping with Sirens’ acoustic record, “If You Were A Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack” is quickly become a favorite in the office so it’s no surprise that the week of June 26th it debuted at #17 on the Billboard Top 200 charts. The album showcases a softer side to the Michigan-based group. The five tracks will fly and are all worth a listen.

Various Artists, “The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of End Of Watch”

Relativity Music Group has released the original motion picture soundtrack of the Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña action thriller, “End Of Watch.” The soundtrack features nine suspenseful, edgy tunes from David Sardy along with three tracks from artists like Latin Rascals, “Lisa’s Coming,” a new song by Public Enemy, Harder Than You Think and “Hey! Love by The Delfonics. The soundtrack will inspire listeners to check out the movie and for those who’ve already seen it, it will transport them back to the action packed movie thriller.

New Music Tuesday (Week of October 23rd, 2012)

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Buried In Verona, “Notorious”

Australian rockers Buried in Verona let it all hang out in their new studio album “Notorious.” The 12-track LP features aggressive, unapologetic rock tunes. While hard rockers may appreciate the fast-paced blaring guitars and growling vocals I’m partial to the slower heartfelt tracks like “Lionheart” which showcases vocalist Brett Anderson’s softer side. Standout tracks include, “Couldn’t give 34 Fucks,” “Lionheart” and “Ivory”

Various Artists, “Escape From Chicago: Loose Squares Comp Vol. 1”

In Loose Squares’ first compilation CD, “Escape From Chicago: Loose Squares Comp Vol. 1” footwork and bass music are showcased and feature some established as well as upcoming artists. The album includes tracks from Russian rising star Pixelord, Detroit’s Ghettotech legend DJ Godfather, and bass music pioneer Atki2 to name a few. The album serves as a great introduction to the world of underground bass music.

Sick/Sea “Moral Compass”

McAllen, TX indie rock trio Sick/Sea offers listeners an inviting easy listening experience. Their 5-track EP, “Moral Compass” beautifully combines elements of indie, jazz and rock. Tracks like “Robot” and “Mermaid” have massive commercial appeal and leaves us wanting more. Sick/Sea have won me over.

New Music Tuesday (Week of October 9th, 2012)

Last modified on 2012-10-11 18:06:24 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

All Time Low, “Don’t Panic”

Fun, melodic, pop-punk goodness are just a few words that come to mind when listening to All Time Low’s “Don’t Panic.” The four-piece Baltimore band has a knack for crafting power pop tunes with heartfelt lyrics. “Don’t Panic” features their signature sound; big guitars and hooks so catchy you won’t be able to get them out of your head.

Defiler, “Nematocera”

Defiler’s sophomore effort, “Nematocera” is a dark moody metal-core album that will stir up multiple emotions for its listeners. The vocals are strong and powerful and the lyrics are introspective as displayed in the track titled, “Walk In The Glow” where front-man Jake Pelzl sings, “I can’t change what has happened to me, but I can change what happens to you” before unleashing a monstrous growl. If you’re looking for an honest metal-core record then this one’s for you.

Wazu, “Robobo” (October 31st)

Australian-bred, but currently residing in New York, duo Wazu make a splash with their debut LP, “Robobo” an electro-pop record worthy of multiple listens. “Robobo” features elements of dance, glam and rock in their energetic fresh take of new wave. Tracks like “Show Your Skin” and “I’ll Take You Over” are intoxicating heart-pumping gems. Their danceable follow-up to their self-titled debut showcases the genius behind this male-female duo.

New Music Tuesday (Week of October 2nd 2012)

Last modified on 2012-10-11 16:30:27 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Papa Roach, “The Connection”

Papa Roach’s highly anticipated album “The Connection” will enthrall all Papa Roach fans as the multi-platinum and Grammy nominated alternative rock band tap into their strengths to deliver a high-energy, melodic, commercial friendly album. Shaddix wears his heart on his sleeve and beautifully channels it into his songwriting and vocals. The album is solid from start to finish and may possibly be better than their 2004 breakout album “Getting Away With Murder.” “The Connection” is definitely a strong contender for best rock album of 2012. Standout tracks include, “Still Swinging,” “Give Me Back My Life” and “Leader of The Broken Hearts.”

In Dying Arms, “Boundaries”

Baltimore-bred metal rockers In Dying Arms bear it all in their latest release, “Boundaries.” The album is full of melodic metal riffs and metalcore screams each song different from the next. The Baltimore quintet showcases its softer side as well with introspective lyrics and clear vocals showcased best on closing track “11:11.” Standout tracks include, “The Core of My Existence,” “11:11” and “Bathed In Salt.”

Dragonett, “Bodyparts”

Within seconds of leadoff track “Run, Run, Run” you’re instantly hooked to Dragonette’s cool vocals and funky electro-pop dance vibe. The band’s third studio album, “Bodyparts” is addictive, up-tempo fun that will have you dancing it up no matter where you are. The Canadian electro-pop trio definitely knows how to craft catchy tunes. Standout tracks include, “Run Run Run,” “Live In The City” and “Let It Go.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of September 25th, 2012)

Last modified on 2012-09-26 13:32:24 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Heart, “Fanatic” (October 2nd)

Legendary rock duo, Heart, release their highly-anticipated 14th studio album “Fanatic.” The album showcases their signature sound; beautiful harmonies, pulsing guitars and memorable melodies. The 10 tracks fly by as sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson celebrate love and life in rock anthems like titled-track “Fanatic” and power ballad, “Walkin’ Good” which features Sarah McLachlan. Stand out tracks include, “Skin and Bones,” “Walkin’ Good (featuring Sarah McLachlan)” and “Pennsylvania.”

Amanda Palmer, “Theatre Is Evil”

Amanda Palmer is quickly establishing herself as the queen of the indie music scene. Her latest release “Theatre Is Evil” is her first studio album in four years and the hiatus has proven to be well worth the wait, the album is simply brilliant.  From the synth-heavy dramatic opener, “Smile (Pictures or it Didn’t Happen)” to the piano-driven ballad, “Trout Heart Replica” the album is full of thought provoking and heartfelt lyrics that will leave you gasping for air. “Theatre Is Evil” grabs listeners and takes them on a magical journey of sound. Standout tracks include, “The Killing Type,” “Do It with a Rockstar” and “The Bed Song”

Sinistarr, “Lost Angles” EP

Detroit native Sinistarr blends rave elements with half-speed breakdowns that showcase his Midwestern roots in his hard-hitting EP, “Lost Angles.” The album jam-packs raw energy in 3 epic tracks. From opener, “Rave Juke” to closer “Ross” the EP is a kaleidoscope of sound and will leave you craving more.

New Music Tuesday (Week of September 18th 2012)

Last modified on 2012-09-18 20:09:46 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

The Burning of Rome, “With Us”

The Burning of Rome’s stellar debut “With Us” features a unique blend of dance, punk and alternative rock. Within seconds of listening to the melodic leadoff single, “Ballad of an Onion Sprout,” you’ll be hooked. From the whisper-like vocals in “Little Piranhas” to  the dance inducing up-tempo madness that is “Cowboys & Cut Cigars” there’s just something intoxicating about their eclectic sound, something that’s outright enjoyable.

I Am War, “Outlive You All”

I Am War’s debut studio album “Outlive You All” is an aggressive ode to heavy metal. From the unapologetic opener, “Don’t Worship Assholes” to the in your face scream fest and leadoff single “Uninvite Me To Your Facebook Party” the album is full of turbo-charged guitars and even heavier vocals. Atreyu and Bleeding Through fans will enjoy this album the most considering that Alex Varkatzas of Atreyu provides the vocals while Brandan Schieppati (Bleeding Through) backs him up on vocals and guitar.

Feather Weight, “It Keeps Me Awake”

Adelaide, South Australia natives Feather Weight have a 4-track EP titled “It Keeps Me Awake” available for free download / name your price on http://featherweighthc.bandcamp.com The EP showcases the melodic side of this hardcore band. It’ll be interesting to see what these guys come up with in their next go around. They appear to be a promising act.

New Music Tuesday (Week of September 4th 2012)

Last modified on 2012-09-18 17:38:17 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Rachel Brown, “Building Castles”

Rachel Brown’s debut EP, “Building Castles” features a unique blend of melodic pop, Caribbean inspired folk and country. Her breezy vocals set her apart from the auto-tuned robots that have infiltrated today’s pop charts. Songs like “Four Leaf Clovers” and “Falling In Love Backwards” are so harmonious and fun you’ll immediately ease into a carefree attitude. It’s the perfect little album to drive along to.

Ten Kens, “Namesake”

Toronto-based indie rockers Ten Kens provide listeners with a reflective exploration of sound with their latest release, “Namesake.” The 10-track album tackles subjects like life and death (“Death In The Family”) with a psychedelic twist. Audiences with an adventurous ear will get a kick out of their unique sound.

Ben Taylor, “Listening”

Singer-songwriter Ben Taylor showcases his groovier side in his latest release, “Listening” the title track sets the tone for what will be a melodic mid-tempo folk-pop album full of introspective lyrics. Taylor also shakes things up with the aptly titled song, “Dirty” a cool little tune that will have you dancing along to the reggae influenced song. The album is a fun listen from start to finish.  Standout tracks include, “Not Alone,” “Dirty” and “America”

New Music Tuesday (Week of August 14th)

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The Wicked, “Never Trust The Dead”

Quirky, spooky but never dull, this Boston duo knows how to captivate an audience. The Wicked’s debut album “Never Trust The Dead” features 10 genre-bending tracks that will have you humming and tapping your feet along to the beat. This “gypsy-punk” duo knows how to blend ghostly melodies with beautiful vocals. Standout tracks include: “Elevator,” “Time To Kill” and “Granny’s House”

Such Gold, “Misadventures”

Such Gold’s debut album “Misadventures” features 11 melodic hardcore/punk tunes. The Rochester-based band offers a variety of fast-paced tracks that will leave you wanting more. Album opener “Two Year Plan” is the perfect example of a well-crafted pop-punk tune with a touch of hardcore. Standout tracks include: “Two Year Plan,” “Another Day” and “You Are Your Greatest Threat.”

Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson, “Small Changes We Hardly Notice”

“Small Changes We Hardly Notice” features beautiful melodic vocals and arrangements so sweet you’d think you were listening to the soundtrack of an offbeat romantic comedy. Although Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson offers 4 delectable tracks that’s enough to entice listeners, you’d still wish there were more.

Toadies, “Play.Rock.Music”

Fort Worth, Texas natives and local heroes, Toadies, are ready to rock. Their new album “Play.Rock.Music” features 11 alternative-rock tunes with their signature southern-rock flair. The album is playful and full of instant classics like “Animals,” and leadoff single, “Summer of The Strange.” Toadies fans and newcomers alike will enjoy this record. Standout tracks include: “Summer of The Strange,” “Magic Bullet,” “Animals” and “Epic Castles”

New Music Tuesday (Week of August 7th)

Last modified on 2012-08-08 16:45:07 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

A Bullet For Pretty Boy, “Symbiosis”

Metalcore Longview, Texas natives A Bullet For Pretty Boy have a new studio album titled, “Symbiosis” that rocks from start to finish. Within seconds of lead off track, “Red Medic” you’re immersed in a screamo-metal alternative universe that will leave you gasping for air. For the most part the tracks are fast-paced and heavy. Whether it’s in your face tracks like “Come Clean” or the melodic instrumental ballad, “Illumination” the album offers a nice balance of scream, metal and hardcore. Standout tracks include: “Red Medic,” “Obstruct” and “Illumination.”

Close To Home, “Momentum”

If titles are any indication of what’s to come then Close To Home is right on the money with lead off tracks “Make It Count” and “Don’t Waste Your Breath” proving that the Cincinnati-bred post-hardcore rockers aren’t wasting any time and get right down to rocking. Close To Home’s new album, “Momentum” features 11 up-tempo tracks that incorporate elements of pop punk and metalcore.  Simply put the album is a delight. Standout tracks include: “Don’t Waste Your Breath,” “Pirates Belong At Sea” and “Nights Like Tonight.”

Chelsea Grin, “Evolve” (EP)

Chelsea Grin’s latest EP, “Evolve” offers fans a departure from the band’s previous releases. The EP’s title suggests the band has evolved and grown musically and Chelsea Grin fans would agree. The Utah quintet delivers 6-raw fast-paced metalcore tunes that although differ from those featured in fan favorites, “Desolation Of Eden” and “My Damnation” it breathes new life into the band and keeps things interesting. For those still on the fence the album will grow on you with each listen. Standout tracks include: “Lilith” and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of July 31st 2012)

Last modified on 2012-08-08 15:01:11 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Everyone Dies In Utah, “+//- (Polarities)”

Post-hardcore, Temple, TX natives known as Everyone Dies In Utah return with sophomore studio album “+//- (Polarities).”  The band’s sophomore album features 10 exploratory tunes that toy with the realms of reality; the album features dark and moody tunes that transition between positive and negative points of views. Standout tracks include, “Synthia, Where’s R2?” “You Are Now Manually Breathing” and “Simply Me//2”

Mike Ruocco, “The Rise. The Ride. The Risk.”

Baltimore-bred singer-songwriter (formally of Cinder Road) Mike Ruocco branches out on his own and brings us an introspective album full of radio-friendly, catchy tunes each different from the next. Ruocco seamlessly weaves different styles of rock, elements of electronic music, ballads and acoustic tunes offering a little something for everyone. Standout tracks include, “Love Is Goodbye,” “Too Late” and “After I’m Gone.”

The Drowning Men, “All of The Unknown”

Released on July 17th on Borstal Beat Records, “All of The Unknown,” The Drowning Men’s follow-up to their 2009 debut album, “The Beheading of the Songbird” features 10 solid indie rock tunes full of catchy melodies and poetic lyrics that will spellbound listeners; fans and newbies alike. Standout tracks include: “I Am the Beggar Man,” “Lost In a Lullaby,” and “Smile.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of July 10, 2012)

Last modified on 2012-07-24 12:04:42 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Wisin & Yandel, “Lideres”

Reggaeton superstars Wisin & Yandel return with their highly anticipated album, “Lideres” (Leaders) the album features 15 blazing tracks easily making it the must have Latin album of the summer.  “Lideres” features collaborations with Jennifer Lopez (“Follow The Leader”), Chris Brow and T-Pain (“Algo Me Gusta De Ti”) among others. The prolific duo manages to reinvent the genre time and time again and although the collaborations are fun they are talented enough to carry the entire album on their own. Stand out tracks include, “Perdón,” “Una Bendición,” “Follow The Leader,” and “Rumba”

Hoobastank, “Fight or Flight” (September 11th)

Hoobastank’s highly-anticipated 5th studio album, “Fight or Flight” features the band’s return to their alternative rock roots. The album kicks off with leadoff single; “This Is Gonna Hurt,” the track grabs hold of you and doesn’t let you go until you’re fully immersed in their up-tempo alt-rock world. The album features the band’s signature sound but delves a little deeper lyrically. Stand out tracks include, “The Fallen,” “Incomplete” and “No Win Situation.”

Lostprophets, “Weapons”

Lostprophets’ new full-length release “Weapons” is a delight from start to finish. The album is full of up-tempo, radio-friendly gems like “We Bring An Arsenal,” and “A Song For Where I’m From.” The Welsh rockers known for their catchy choruses set to alt-metal tunes deliver in tracks like “Bring ‘Em Down,” and “We Bring An Arsenal.” Simply put you won’t be able to put “Weapons” down. Standout tracks include, “We Bring An Arsenal,” “Jesus Walks,” “Somedays,” and “A Song For Where I’m From.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of June 19th, 2012)

Last modified on 2012-06-19 17:45:26 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

The Dirty Heads, “Cabin By The Sea”

So-Cal alternative rockers, The Dirty Heads are back with “Cabin By The Sea.” The 16-track album features some of the band’s best material to date. “Cabin By The Sea” is the band’s long awaited sophomore album and follow up to their 2008 smash, “Any Port in a Storm.” The album features the band’s signature Rock/Reggae/Hip-Hop sound. The record is full of up-tempo tracks with great melodies. Standout tracks include, “Cabin By The Sea,” “Hipster,” and “Burn By Myself.”

PK, “The Lost Boy Sessions”

Indie-pop quintet, PK, provide listeners with up-tempo goodness in their EP, “The Lost Boy Sessions.” The 6-track record features radio friendly tunes like, “London” and their Cure like track “Some Nights.” “The Lost Boy Sessions” is the perfect album to crank up when you’re driving down to the beach on a hot summer day.

Mykul Lee, “Fortress”

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mykul Lee bares his heart and soul in his full-length album, “Fortress.” Whether it’s the melodic arrangements, his breathy vocals or heartfelt lyrics the album is bound to tug at the listener’s heartstrings. “Fortress” is beautifully executed and should withstand the test of time. There are no gimmicks, sampling or anything that can date this indie gem.  Standout tracks include, “Loving Arms” and “Crazy Like Me.”

Maniac, “Kenneth & Eisenhausen Present: Maniac Records Radio Sampler”

Ten diverse tracks from four distinct albums serve as the perfect introduction to the dynamic duo that is Maniac. Formed nearly two years ago and already the band is displaying massive appeal and rock star potential. The sampler features tracks from their EPs, Sons of Summer 1 & 2, their self-titled 2011 album “Mania” and their 2010 debut EP, “Extended Play.” Standout tracks include, “Pride of Lions,” “Whatever Twirls Your World” and “Hey Love.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of May 22nd, 2012)

Last modified on 2012-05-22 18:30:47 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Shadows Fall, “Fire From The Sky”

Shadows Fall’s highly anticipated new studio album, “Fire From The Sky” is full of heavy hitting metal tracks. The Massachusetts band known for their seamless blend of metal and hard rock do not disappoint on “Fire From The Sky” with killer tracks like “Nothing Remains” and “Save Your Soul.” Shadows Fall fans will surely sing along to the melodic vocals featured throughout. Standout tracks include: “The Unknown,” “Save Your Soul” and “Blind Faith.”

Cafeteria Dance Fever, “Danceology”(May 29th)

Cafeteria Dance Fever’s “Danceology” is ready for a spin. “Danceology” features loud, fast-paced, lo-fi tracks you won’t be able to get out of your head. The album features 24 fun tracks including “Color Coded” or the equally infectious track, “School Sucks.”

Hollow Earth, “We Are Not Humanity”

Released on April 17th Hollow Earth’s “We Are Not Humanity” features 6 gritty sounding tracks with dark omniscient lyrics. Hardcore fans will relish in tracks like “There Will Come Soft Rains” and “The Great Forgetting.” Stand out tracks include “Unfamiliar Cage,” “The Great Forgetting” and “There Will Come Soft Rains.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of May 15th, 2012)

Last modified on 2012-05-16 14:50:03 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

The Used, “Vulnerable”

Utah rockers The Used are back with their fifth album, “Vulnerable.” The album kicks off with the appropriately titled track; “I Come Alive” the tune seeps into the listener’s subconscious and rocks you from the inside. The album features a nice blend of their signature fast-paced, hard-hitting tunes and angst driven ballads. Overall the album is catchy and compliments their past albums well. Stand out tacks include, “Kiss It Goodbye,” “Getting Over You” and “I Come Alive”

Dee Snider, “Dee Does Broadway”

Rocker Dee Snider of Twisted Sister fame takes on Broadway show tunes and spins them on their head. Broadway classics like “Cabaret,” “Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets),” and “Luck Be A Lady Tonight” receive the rock star treatment as his signature growl breathes new life into the long standing Broadway tradition. The album features Special Performances/Collaborations With Patti LuPone, Bebe Neuwirth, Cyndi Lauper, Clay Aiken, Stars Of The Broadway Musical Priscilla Queen Of The Desert and more. As Dee Snider has said, “It may not be metal…but it definitely rocks!”

B. Hamilton, “Everything I Own Is Broken” (June 26th)

B. Hamilton’s “Everything I Own Is Broken” features blaring guitars and raw vocals reminiscent of old school rock n roll. The album marries blues, as featured in the track “Miss Carolina,” with guitar-driven classic rock sounding tunes best displayed in “Turn Out the Lights.” Lead off track, “Me and Margaret Counting Countdowns,” sets the tone for a rockin’ good time. Standout tracks include, “Miss Carolina,” “Gold Tooth,” and “Turn Out the Lights.”

Xavier Rudd, “Spirit Bird” (June 5th)

Australian singer-songwriter Xavier Rudd is ready to take off with the upcoming June 5th release of “Spirit Bird.” The album experiments with indigenous sounds, unique rhythms and melodies that blend beautifully with his laid back approach and stripped down vocals. Stand out tracks include: “Spirit Bird,” “Follow The Sun” and “Comfortable In My Skin.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of March 6th, 2012)

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Black Taxi, “We Don’t Know Any Better”

Released in January of this year and already Black Taxi’s second full-length album, “We Don’t Know Any Better” is among my favorites of 2012. The album is a rhythmic gem full of synthesized grooves that vary from track to track.  Only Black Taxi could masterfully transition from a song like “Balloons on Barbed Wire” to “Holding onto Nothing.” The stylistic variety on the record is impressive and yet none of the tracks seem out of place. Stand out tracks include, “Tightrope,” “Balloons on Barbed Wire” and “Politics.”

Little Barrie, “King of The Waves”

“King of The Waves” is bound to put UK band Little Barrie on the map. The band has already received massive success throughout Japan and the UK and with this album they’re poised to do the same stateside. The band masterfully weaves their surf sensibilities with garage rock and power pop as showcased in “We Can’t Work It Out.”  Stand out tracks include: “How Come,” “Now We’re Nowhere” and “Surf Hell.”

Thousand Foot Krutch, “The End Is Where We Begin” (April 17th 2012)

Canadian rockers, Thousand Foot Krutch, kick off their sixth studio album, “The End Is Where We Begin” with an epic introduction. The chilling voice featured in “The Introduction” sets the tone for 15-track episodic opus. The album is full of raw energy and blaring guitars, the album is sure to sit well with rock enthusiasts. Stand out tracks include: “Light Up The Sky,” “Be Somebody” and “Fly On The Wall.”

Best of 2011

Last modified on 2011-12-20 17:54:39 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Lady Gaga, “Born This Way”

Lady Gaga’s third studio album “Born This Way” is a mixture of empowering anthems with religious undertones set to heavily produced synths and experimental vocals. Where Gaga truly shines are on simpler tracks like power ballad, “You and I” and personal favorite “Edge of Glory.” One must not forget that Gaga’s origins are in Dance music her popularity and catchy hooks landed her on top of the Pop charts but she is still a dance queen. She pays homage to her roots with tracks like “Heavy Metal Lover,” “ScheiBe” and “Americano.” Whether you love her, hate her or flat out don’t understand her, the bottom line is Gaga will continue to craft delicious pop hits that will top the charts. Standout tracks include: “Edge of Glory,” “Marry The Night” “Hair” and “You and I”

Thrice, “Major/Minor”

Thrice’s latest effort “Major/Minor” is easily one of the best albums released this year. The songs are so well crafted and instantly likeable that it’s no wonder these guys have been around for as long as they have. Seven albums in and they can still deliver the goods. Stand out tracks include “Blinded,” “Yellow Belly” and “Treading Paper”

Girl in A Coma, “Exits & All The Rest”

After last year’s impressive cover album, “Adventures in Coverland,” Girl in a Coma is back with brand new tunes for their fourth studio release, “Exits & All The Rest.” Never losing sight of their Tejano roots and rock n roll tendencies the San Antonio powerhouse delivers with their signature guitar blaring tunes, tight melodies and overall anthemic qualities. Whether they’re seducing you with guitar riffs, a tight rhythm section or Nina’s unique yet beautiful vocal stylings (best displayed in the track “Control”) Girl in a Coma’s “Exits & All The Rest” is a nice progression from their 2009 release “Trio B.C.” Stand out tracks include: “Smart,” “Knockin At Your Door” “Control” and “Hope”

The Sounds, “Something To Die For”

You simply can’t go wrong with The Sounds, the Swedish electro-indie rock band is back with their fourth album, “Something To Die For” and it’s more infectious and delectable than previous releases. With tracks like dance-infused “Better off Dead” and sure to be crowd pleaser “Yeah Yeah Yeah” fans and newcomers alike will be dancing along to the melodic, dance thumping styling of The Sounds. Stand out tracks include: “Yeah Yeah Yeah,” “Dance With The Devil,” “Better off Dead” and “The No No Song”

Kottonmouth Kings, “Sunrise Sessions”

Kottonmouth Kings don’t believe in burying the lead they love marijuana and profess their love in lead off track “Stonetown” a groovy tune that sets the tone for the 16-track record about sucking on joints “like a baby does its bottle” and Lost Love among other themes. The songs have an undeniable cool vibe to them that will be sure to have you swaying along to them. Stand out tracks include, “Kalifornia” and “She’s Dangerous.”

Saves The Day, “Daybreak”

Saves The Day’s seventh full-length album “Daybreak” is full of hopeful, up-tempo love songs showcasing the band’s softer side. While past releases displayed frontman Chris Conley’s darker side “Daybreak” breathes new life into the band with instant favorite, “Let It All Go” and guitar-driven “Deranged & Desperate.” “Daybreak” is sure to delight hardcore Saves The Day fans as well as those listening to them for the first time.

Tayisha Busay, “Focus/Virus”

Tayisha Busay’s highly anticipated full-length debut album, “Focus/Virus” features thirteen delectable tracks from heartwarming ballad, “Heartmeat: Lovemuscle” to dance craze worthy, “Oops Sorry.” The album is well balanced with up-tempo dance tunes like “Bashy Face,” “TXTING” as well as slower jams, “Can’t Believe It’s You” and “Maybe.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of December 13th, 2011)

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Cast Recording, “Elf- The Broadway Musical”

The cast recording of “Elf-The Broadway Musical” is a charming delight and a fun fit for this holiday season. With 17 fun filled holiday themed tunes penned by Tony® Award Nominees Matthew Sklar (Music) And Chad Beguelin (Lyrics) you simply can’t go wrong. The album is full of pep and will inspire listeners to see the live-action show.

Young Statues, “Young Statues”

Young Statues self-titled debut LP features 11 melodic up-tempo tracks complemented by their introspective lyrics. The album kicks things off with the radio-friendly “Spacism” and never looks back. Stand out tracks include, “Young Statues,” “Athens” “Spacism” and “Pretty Girls Makes Raves”

Seahaven, “WinterForever”

Seahaven’s full-length Debut LP “WinterForever” features 10 eclectic tracks. Weaving elements of post-hardcore, emo and punk rock this Southern California band channels the likes of Bayside but put their own spin on it. Stand out tracks include, “Save Me” and “Slow Down.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of November 15, 2011)

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Journey, “Greatest Hits Volume 2”

Journey fans rejoice the band’s highly anticipated “Greatest Hits Volume 2” is finally here.  After achieving platinum success with their Greatest Hits release the multi-platinum selling rock band is back and this time they’re rolling out Top 40 and Top 20 singles that were not included in Volume 1 including, “Stone In Love”, “Anytime” and “Feeling That Way.” The album features 17 Journey hits including a live version of “Mother, Father” recorded live in Houston back in 1981. This album is a must have for any true Journey fan.

Vanessa Carlton, “Hear The Bells”

Vanessa Carlton’s holiday EP, “Hear The Bells” features two holiday classics, “Do You Hear What I Hear,” John Lennon’s, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” an acoustic recording of “Hear The Bells” (from her latest album, Rabbits on the Run) and an acoustic re-recording of her mega-hit, “A Thousand Miles.” Holiday albums are either hit or miss and this EP is a clear hit.

Hit The Lights, “Invicta EP”

Hit The Lights’ “Invicta EP” offer listeners a taste of what’s to come when the Ohio pop-punk quintet’s full length album, “Invicta,” is released on January 31st 2012. The three tracks, “Gravity,” “Earthquake,” and “All The Weight” are up-tempo, heavy hitting, melodic pop rock. Hopefully their full-length release will feature one or two ballads that showcase the band’s full range.

New Music Tuesday (Week of November 1, 2011)

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Various Artists, “NZ @ CMJ 2011”

This year’s CMJ may be over but the bands’ left a lasting impression. The compilation CD “NZ @ CMJ 2011” features 15 diverse tracks from bands like Cut Off Your Hands, The Golden Awesome, Tiny Ruins and Parallel Dance Ensemble. The New Zealand Music Commission is a Government-funded agency committed to growing the New Zealand music business both at home and abroad. Internationally, the Music Commission undertakes export projects and partnerships aimed at assisting music businesses to take their music to the world.

The Greater The Risk, “Say What You Never Said”

Richmond pop-rock band, The Greater The Risk is ready to showcase their new sound and musical direction. “Say What You Never Said” is their latest release and in it they display their ability to crank out catchy up-tempo danceable tunes. Stand out tracks include, “The Resolution” and “Friends and Foes.”

Astral, “Forever After”

Astral’s “Forever After” is a mature sounding, cleverly crafted album. From enticing opener, “Narcissus” to moody, “Dahlia’s Falling” the album demonstrates the band’s flair for the dramatic. Whether you’re dancing along to “Fall Away” or taking in the atmospheric qualities of “Forever After” the album offers a bit of something for everyone. Stand out tracks include, “Until The Day,” “A Million Miles from Nowhere” and “Fall Away.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of October 25, 2011)

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She & Him, “A Very She and Him Christmas”

Christmas may be weeks away but She & Him are ready to bring on the holiday cheer. Their holiday album “A Very She and Him Christmas” opens up with the ballad, “The Christmas Waltz.” There’s just something sweet about classics like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” getting the She & Him treatment that brings sheer delight.

Thrice, “Major/Minor”

Thrice’s latest effort “Major/Minor” is easily one of the best albums released this year. The songs are so well crafted and instantly likeable that it’s no wonder these guys have been around for as long as they have. Seven albums in and they can still deliver the goods. Stand out tracks include “Blinded,” “Yellow Belly” and “Treading Paper”

Man Made Machine, “Become”

Man Made Machine kick off “Become” with the hardcore anthem “Liar and A Thief.” The album features an array of hard rocking tunes, from the powerful and honest lyrical content, as displayed in the track ‘Nobody Loves Me,’ to the more melodic and introspective track “Pain,” the album is a well-balanced mix of sensitive tunes and hard-rock anthems.  Stand out tracks include, “Pain” and “Liar and A Thief.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of October 11, 2011)

Last modified on 2011-10-11 19:25:31 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Tayisha Busay, “Focus/Virus”

Tayisha Busay’s highly anticipated full-length debut album is finally here. “Focus/Virus” features thirteen delectable tracks from heartwarming ballad, “Heartmeat: Lovemuscle” to dance craze worthy, “Oops Sorry.” The album is well balanced with up-tempo dance tunes like “Bashy Face,” “TXTING” as well as slower jams, “Can’t Believe It’s You” and “Maybe.”

Little Red, “Midnight Remember” (October 25th)

Melbourne’s Little Red is ready to take the US by storm with the release of their forthcoming album, “Midnight Remember.” The album opens up with “Get A Life” a dreamy tune showcasing the band’s ability to harmonize alongside groovy tunes. Whether it’s the disco-like “Rock It” or mellower “All Mine” Little Red’s “Midnight Remember” is an album you’ll never forget.  Standout tracks include, “Rock It,” “Slow Motion” and “All Mine”

States, “Room To Run”

States’ “Room To Run” is a melodic joy ride into the world of indie rock and pop. From upbeat opening track, “Timebomb” to equally melodic “As Good As It Gets” the album features ten cohesive tracks that will have you dancing it up and leaving you craving for more. Stand out tracks include, “Timebomb,” “Generation” and “Versus The Mirror.”

Pinkunoizu, “Peep”

Denmark’s experimental pop group, Pinkunoizu entices listeners with their EP “Peep.” Pinkunoizu, named after the Japanese word for “pink noise,” provides listeners with a fusion of ‘’60s Asian pop and post-apocalyptic future rock,’ the truth is the EP is a fun up-tempo experiment worth spinning. The album includes tracks, “Time Is Like A Melody,” “Everything Is Broken Or Stolen” and “Dairy Queen.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of October 4, 2011)

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Girl in A Coma, “Exits & All The Rest” (November 1st)

After last year’s impressive cover album, “Adventures in Coverland,” Girl in a Coma is back with brand new tunes for their fourth studio release, “Exits & All The Rest.” Never losing sight of their Tejano roots and rock n roll tendencies the San Antonio powerhouse delivers with their signature guitar blaring tunes, tight melodies and overall anthemic qualities.  Whether they’re seducing you with guitar riffs, a tight rhythm section or Nina’s unique yet beautiful vocal stylings (best displayed in the track “Control”) Girl in a Coma’s “Exits & All The Rest” is a nice progression from their 2009 release “Trio B.C.” Stand out tracks include: “Smart,” “Knockin At Your Door” “Control” and “Hope”

Various Artists, “Are You With The Band?”

The all-female fronted pop-punk compilation features a diverse line up of talented musicians from pop-punk (The Measure [sa], No More) to indie rock (Noun, P.S. Eliot) and punk rock. The 17-track album includes previously unreleased tracks that will surely silence naysayers who still think women can’t rock. The album was compiled by former vocalist/guitarist of The Measure [sa], Lauren Denitzio, and all proceeds from the sale of the compilation will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

MC Chris, “Race Wars”

MC Chris’ seventh album, “Race Wars” features his unique blend of nerd-oriented hip hop in his signature fast-paced high-pitch voice. The 19-track album (including interludes/talking credits) is full of pop culture references and head bopping beats. The tracks fly by and are entertaining as hell. Stand out tracks include: “Buckle Up,” “Nerd Cave” and “Where Is My 40”

New Music Tuesday (Week of September 27, 2011)

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Anvil, “Monument of Metal: The Very Best of Anvil”

The Canadian heavy metal powerhouse that is Anvil has compiled their latest and greatest tunes into one album titled, “Monument of Metal: The Very Best of Anvil.” The album features 19 tracks, some rerecorded and others original cuts, from albums spanning 30 years.  Among favorites are, “Metal on Metal,” “Jackhammer” and “Mad Dog”

The Dirty Heads, “Any Port In a Storm (Special Edition)”

The Dirty Heads’ “Any Port In a Storm (Special Edition)” features 22 outstanding tracks, the album originally released in 2008 began to chart in 2010 and is making waves again with the increasing success of their current single, “Believe.” Rarely do you get these many cohesive songs that aren’t a part of a compilation album.  The southern California band fuses rock, reggae and hip hop and the end result is nothing short of amazing. Standout tracks include: “Believe,” “Neighborhood” and “Lay Me Down”

We Are The In Crowd, “Best Intentions” (October 4th)

We Are The In Crowd’s sophomore effort, “Best Intentions” is refreshing, up-tempo, goodness. The Poughkeepsie, NY band utilizes their pop sensibility well and creates melodic radio-friendly tunes. The female and male dual vocals offer two perspectives that weave smoothly throughout each track. Stand out tracks include “Rumor Mill,” “On Your Own,” and “See You Around.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of September 13th, 2011)

Last modified on 2011-09-13 21:22:26 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Saves The Day, “Daybreak”

Saves The Day’s seventh full?length album “Daybreak” is full of hopeful, up-tempo love songs showcasing the band’s softer side. While past releases displayed frontman Chris Conley’s darker side “Daybreak” breathes new life into the band with instant favorite, “Let It All Go” and guitar-driven “Deranged & Desperate.” “Daybreak” is sure to delight hardcore Saves The Day fans as well as those listening to them for the first time.

Kevin Devine, “Between the Concrete & Clouds”

For the first time in his nine year career Kevin Devine puts down the acoustic guitar and welcomes the accompaniment of a full band the result a melodic album full of well-crafted pop tunes. “Between the Concrete & Clouds” features great tunes like “Awake In The Dirt,” “Off Screen,” and “Wait Out The Wreck”

Madina Lake, “World War III”

Madina Lake’s three-album trilogy culminates with their epic release “World War III.” The album was inspired by real life tragedy in which bassist Matthew Leone found himself in a coma after intervening in a domestic dispute. With the help of doctors and the music community the Chicago quartet prevailed and channeled their angst and energy into a 12-track melodic pop rock album full of uplifting and hopeful undertones. Stand out tracks include, “They’re Coming For Me,” “We Got This,” and “Hey Superstar”

Dark Loft, “Dark Loft”

Rooted in rock and blues Dark Loft’s self-titled debut album features an array of groovy tunes, which will be sure to have you swaying in your seats. Whether its lead off track, “Backlash” or harmonious “You First” the album will surely enthrall listeners seeking a mellower sound to dance to.

New Music Tuesday (Week of September 6th, 2011)

Last modified on 2011-09-07 18:58:26 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

The Sounds, “Something To Die For”

You simply can’t go wrong with The Sounds, the Swedish electro-indie rock band is back with their fourth album, “Something To Die For” and it’s more infectious and delectable than previous releases. With tracks like dance-infused “Better off Dead” and sure to be crowd pleaser “Yeah Yeah Yeah” fans and newcomers alike will be dancing along to the melodic, dance thumping styling of The Sounds. Stand out tracks include: “Yeah Yeah Yeah,” “Dance With The Devil,” “Better off Dead” and “The No No Song”

The Kid Henry, “The Kid Henry”

The Kid Henry has all the makings of becoming a household name among teens that are ready to walk away from mainstream pop and ease into the indie rock scene. The female-fronted five-piece rock band’s self-titled album features hooky danceable tunes, which are rounded out nicely with classically-trained Alexandra Lombardi’s vocals. Standout tracks include: “Change of Scene,” and “Dirty Dancing”

Lola Dutronic, “New York Stories”

“Kids Just Wanna Dance” indeed, Lola Dutronic’s “New York Stories” kicks things off with the catchy leadoff track, “Kids Just Wanna Dance” and never looks back. Whether it’s with the provocative “Cheree” or melodic gem “In The Sun” Lola Dutronic’s “New York Stories” is full of charming dance-friendly tunes that leave you craving more.

New Music Tuesday (Week of August 16, 2011)

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Ugly Stick, “Pick Up the Hatchet” (Double CD-Reissue)

The four-piece Ohio band, Ugly Stick is finally getting their 1989 self-titled cassette-only debut and the band’s 1991 sophomore release, “Shaved” digitized with the double CD reissue of “Pick Up the Hatchet” the album is full of raw energetic emotion set to genre-bending punk rock. Their Midwestern rock influences are apparent and will translate well to a new audience today.

My Summer, “Ice In The Loveliest Veins”

My Summer’s “Ice In The Loveliest Veins” is a melodic, pop rock gem. The Long Island natives showcase their pop sensibilities with tunes like “Hollywood Heart,” “Burn Every Bridge” and “So Say I.” It’s no wonder they are quickly becoming a staple in the indie rock scene.

That’s Outrageous!, “Teenage Scream“

That’s Outrageous!’s full-length debut “Teenage Scream” is a screaming delight. From the instrumental dance-infused opening, “The Poughkeepsie Tapes” to “Re:Why I Killed My Girlfriend” the album is full of diverse tunes that blend dance, pop and metal. Stand out tracks include, “Is It 2012 Yet?” and “Teenage Scream”

New Music Tuesday (Week of July 19, 2011)

Last modified on 2011-07-19 18:31:42 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Kottonmouth Kings ,”Sunrise Sessions”

Kottonmouth Kings don’t believe in burying the lead they love marijuana and profess their love in lead off track “Stonetown” a groovy tune that sets the tone for the 16-track record about sucking on joints “like a baby does its bottle” and Lost Love among other themes.  The songs have an undeniable cool vibe to them that will be sure to have you swaying along to them. Stand out tracks include, “Kalifornia” and “She’s Dangerous.”

Attack Attack!, “Attack Attack! (Deluxe Reissue)”

The 18-track expanded edition of Attack Attack!’s 2010 self-titled release features 4 brand new studio tracks, 2 acoustic songs and 2 remixes enough to tie fans over until their highly anticipated third studio album expected in 2012. With songs like “Last Breath,” “Sexual Man Chocolate” and “Fumbles O’Brian” it’s easy to see how this Ohio foursome has developed such a keen following.

Liana Conway, “Sunrise” (August 8th)

Singer-songwriter Liana Conway is sure to delight listeners with her upbeat tunes and soulful delivery. Her debut album “Sunrise” set to release on August 8th features leadoff single, “Beautiful Day” a lovely airy tune that’ll be sure to have you whistling along.  With melodious love songs like “You Baby,” “Walk In The Sun” and radio-friendly “Callin’ You Baby” the Massachusetts native will be sure to make a name for herself in the music scene.

New Music Tuesday (Week of June 28th, 2011)

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Weird Al Yankovic, “Alpocalypse”

Weird Al Yankovic is back and he’s poking fun of everyone from Lady Gaga to Taylor Swift.  His 13th studio album, “Alpocalypse,” is full of hilarious parodies including leadoff single, “Perform This Way,” an homage of sorts to Lady Gaga’s whimsical costuming set to chart topper, “Born This Way.” But the album isn’t all fun and giggles Yankovic takes on the paparazzi in a track titled, “TMZ” in which he sings to Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me”, “They’re out there praying you’ll have a big meltdown/ take them to a car chase through this whole town/ they’ll be there with you when you go to jail/ first on the scene for every world told fail…” Other parodies include, “Party in the CIA” (Mylie Cyrus’ “Party in The USA”), “Another Tattoo” (parody of B.O.B’s “Nothing On You”) and the ingenious Doors inspired song listing ads one could find on Craig’s List titled, “Craigslist.” Weird Al Yankovic’s “Alpocalypse” proves that the comedian is relevant and still has what it takes to make us laugh.

Steve Shiffman & The Land of No’s, “Death & Love” (July 19th)

New York City-based Steve Shiffman & The Land of No’s captivate listeners with their 3-track EP, “Death & Love.” The songs are well-crafted, beautifully sung and full of melodies that leave you wanting more. From opening track, “Atlantis,” to “Truth or Propaganda” there’s no denying that this rock group will make a big splash in the alternative indie rock scene once they ultimately release their full-length LP.

Miss May I, “Monument” (Deluxe Reissue)

Currently on this year’s Van’s Warped Tour, Miss May I brings a fresh take to the heavy metalcore scene. Their sound is loud, in-your-face but never overpowering with vocals screamo kids dream of, add some kicking guitars and thrashing drums and you have Miss May I. The deluxe reissue of their widely popular 2010 release, “Monument” features three brand new unreleased studio tracks, a B-side, as well as a DVD featuring all of the band’s music videos, interviews, live songs and more. A must have for any fan.

Ocean Grove, “Another Place To Stay”

Ocean Grove’s self-released new EP, “Another Place To Stay” features five of the most enjoyable, catchy, crafty, radio-friendly tunes I’ve heard in a long time. Opening track, “Away” features beautiful harmonies and equally enjoyable melodies, while track, “So Cool” is a sweet ode to an unattainable crush set to delicious grooves. The album is full of feel good tunes that will be sure to have you swaying along.

New Music Tuesday (Week of May 31st 2011)

Last modified on 2011-06-03 15:43:42 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Lady Gaga, “Born This Way”

Little monsters rejoice Lady Gaga’s third studio album “Born This Way” is finally among us. Though the album recently crashed the servers over at amazon.com the overall reviews have been mixed. The tracks on the album are a mixture of empowering anthems with religious undertones set to heavily produced synths and experimental vocals. Where Gaga truly shines are on simpler tracks like power ballad, “You and I” and personal favorite “Edge of Glory.” One must not forget that Gaga’s origins are in Dance music her popularity and catchy hooks landed her on top of the Pop charts. She pays homage to her roots with tracks like “Heavy Metal Lover,” “ScheiBe” and “Americano.” Whether you love her, hate her or flat out don’t understand her, the bottom line is Gaga will continue to craft delicious pop hits that will top the charts. Standout tracks include: “Edge of Glory,” “Marry The Night” “Hair” and “You and I”

Yellowcard, “When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes”

Along last Yellowcard has returned this time with their best album to date. “When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes” features refreshing vocals, radio friendly tracks set to the beat of rocking guitars and a beautiful violin. The album’s heartfelt lyrics are best displayed in tracks like “The Sound of You and Me” and “Hang You Up.” The album is reminiscing of their 2003 release “Ocean Avenue” in which every track is an engaging as the next. Standout tracks include: “Sing For Me” “With You Around” and “Hang You Up.”

Clare Burson, “Silver And Ash”

Released in August of last year Indie songstress Clare Burson’s “Silver and Ash” still strikes a chord for those stumbling upon her music for the first time. The songs are melodic, complex and beautifully set to music that tugs at the heart strings. The classically trained violinist showcases her songwriting ability with tracks “Look Close,” “Losin’ You” and up-tempo “I Will With You.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of March 22th 2011)

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Unwritten Law, “Swan” (March 29th)

“Swan” marks the return of Unwritten Law, the band’s follow-up to their 2008 Live record, “Live and Lawless” and first studio release of new songs since 2005’s “Here’s to the Mourning. Whether its up-tempo tracks like opener, “Starships and Apocalypse” or equally infectious “Last Chance” or ballad “Love Love Love” Unwritten Law proves they still have the goods and charms to conquer the music charts. Stand out tracks include, “Last Chance” and “Love Love Love.”

Kids of 88, “Just A Little Bit”

“Just A Little Bit” is undeniably sexy, electro-pop gold! New Zealand’s Kids of 88 make an impressive debut with their EP, “Just A Little Bit.” “Just A Little Bit” offers an impressive peek into this duo’s promising future. The tracks will have you dancing up a storm; the five tracks fly by and will leave you craving more. Expect great things from this electo-pop/dance rock group.

Water & Bodies, “Light Year”

Water & Bodies’ new full-length album “Light Year” is the anticipated follow-up to their first full-length album. The 11-track album showcase the band’s songwriting skills paired with energetic up-tempo tunes. Stand out tracks include: “Celebration Song,” “1980” and “Light Year.”

Jim Greer, “Ginger Vision”

Released on March 14th Jim Greer’s “Ginger Vision” chronicles the diagnosis of his 20-month old son, Teddy with a rare pediatric cancer, called neuroblastoma. The album features mid-tempo tunes with a soulful, folksy flare. The vocals are almost like a soft whisper, a tone one would use to serenade a child. It’s a good album with a great cause all proceeds from sales of the album will go to Teddy’s fund and assist Jim and his family in handling the costs of Teddy’s treatment.

New Music Tuesday (Week of March 1st 2011)

Last modified on 2011-03-03 18:41:18 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

The Gallery, “Come Alive”

Indie-rock-folk band, The Gallery, have released “Come Alive” an EP worthy of multiple plays.  Lead off track “Catalyst” serves as a great introduction to an album comprised of delicious hooks and overall infectious tunes. Tracks like “Last Goodbye” and “Who’s In The Right” showcase the band’s range one is an up-tempo break up song of sorts while the latter is a heartfelt ballad.  The Gallery are well on their way to becoming the next breakout band.

Dad Rocks!, “Digital Age”

Icelandic/Danish act Dad Rocks! of Mimas fame offers a unique blend of observational folk tunes with his latest solo effort, “Digital Age.” The six-track digital release features tunes like “Aroused By Hair,” and “Kids” which blends humorous story telling with folk and country. The album was well received in Europe and is poised to captivate American ears.

Freewood, “Talanzias”

Freewood’s debut album, “Talanzias”, consists of harmonious acoustic love songs and songs of lost love. The 10-track album features great vocals, bittersweet lyrics and beautiful instrumentation but the best part of it all is that the album is available in its entirety for FREE. As expressed on the artist’s website “The goal for Freewood is to have it heard and enjoyed by as many people as possible, which led to the idea to give away Talanzias for free on freewoodmusic.com. Micah explains, ‘commerce can destroy the sentiment sometimes, after all, how could someone sell an album
called Freewood?’”

New Music Tuesday (Week of January 11, 2011)

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Praxis, “Profanation: Preparation for a Coming Darkness” (February 8th)

“Profanation: Preparation for a Coming Darkness” is the latest creation from Praxis. The album set to be released on February 8th features an eclectic, futuristic, out of this world album with collaborations with everyone from System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian to Iggy Pop. The album is a step in the right direction for these experimental hard rockers.  Stand Out tracks includes, ““Furies” (Feat. Iggy Pop), “Revelations Part 2” and “Endtime”

Playing Dead, “In Your Head”

Playing Dead’s full-length debut album, “In Your Head” features high-energy, indie rock tunes. Tracks like “Architect from Hell” and “On a Thursday” will be sure to have you jumping out of your seat and onto the dance floor. Great things are in store for this New York based foursome.

Tommy Simms, “Then The Archers Bowed And Broke Their Bows”

Released on Tuesday, January 11th of 2011 comes “Then The Archers Bowed And Broke Their Bows” by Tommy Simms of Automatic Loveletter fame. This solo project includes rhythmic and musically diverse tracks with soothing vocals as best showcased in track, “How It Feels.” The album provides insight into the other brilliant half of Automatic Loveletter. Stand out tracks include: “New Accents,” and the bluesy “Millions of A’s”

Best of 2010

Last modified on 2010-12-13 19:29:51 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Shakira, “Sale el Sol”

Multi-lingual Columbian superstar Shakira is at it again this time with a Spanish-language album. “Sale el Sol” is full of love songs, mid-tempo ballads and a handful of romp shakers set to urban, merengue inspired beats. The album features collaborations with Dominican urban recording artist El Cata (featured in the leadoff single, “Loca”), Calle 13 and Pitbull among others. As always Shakira’s songwriting is best when in her native tongue, the songs come off more passionate lyrically and in the delivery. That is not to say that her English-language efforts aren’t without merit, songs like “Fool,” “Underneath Your Clothes” and “The One” off her English-language debut “Laundry Service” as well as “Illegal” off English-language follow-up “Oral Fixation Vol. 2” are some of her strongest tunes. Not to mention chart-toppers and crowd pleasers like “She Wolf” and “Hips Don’t Lie” that catapulted the singer-songwriter to international superstardom. But like Calle 13 sings in “Gordita” we too liked her back when she sported black hair, had a rounder face and was a bit more rock n roll. Still “Sale el Sol” is a solid effort that grows on you the more times you listen to it. Stand out tracks include: “Addicted To You,” “Rabiosa” (both versions ft. El Cata and Pitbull), “Lo Que Mas,” “Mariposas” and “Devoción.”

Plain White T’s, “Wonders of the Younger”

Plain White T’s “Wonders of the Younger” is an end of the year powerhouse contender for Best Album of 2010. “Wonders of the Younger” kicks things off with “Irrational Anthem” an up-tempo chant-worthy tune that reminds us why we fell in love with Plain White T’s in the first place. Their songs are infectious, melodic and sweet. Their leadoff single, “Rhythm of Love” is a well-crafted love song that’s slowly making its way up the music charts and into music lover’s hearts. The album is a delight from start to finish.  Stand out tracks include: “Boomerang,” “Rhythm of Love” and “Last Breath.”

Kelli Scarr, “Piece”

Kelli Scarr’s “Piece” is a personal melodic look into the singer-songwriter’s inner workings. The singer’s vocals are calming and each song is handled with tenderness and ease. That in combination with her arrangements takes the listener onto a beautiful luscious journey. Stand out tracks include: “Driftwood,” “Come Back to Me” and “Salt to The Sea.”

Semi Precious Weapons, “You Love You”

The highly anticipated full-length debut album by New York glam rockers Semi Precious Weapons is finally here. “You Love You” is a filthy-glamorous-rocking debut from the foursome that pride themselves in bringing sex and glamour back to rock n roll. The 10-track album features 3 tracks from their previously released self-titled EP (“Magnetic Baby,” “Put a Diamond In It” and their anthem, “Semi Precious Weapons,” the track that proclaims, “I can’t pay by rent, but I’m fucking gorgeous!”) and 7 fantastic new tracks. For the most part, the album is fast-paced and full of rhythmic guitar-driven rock anthems-in-the-making. Then you reach the latter part of the album, “Leave Your Pretty To Me,” the seventh track on the record, a monster ballad that showcases front man Justin Tranter’s vocals and conveys a true vulnerability.  The inclusion of this track proves that this band is more than just a party band who writes songs with catchy hooks.  Once you reach the final track you get the feisty Semi Precious Weapons we’ve come to love with infectious licks and lyrics such as, “Her hair! Her Hair! Her hair is on fire, she don’t want no water let her fucking head burn!” Among favorites are, “Sticky with Champagne,” “Leave Your Pretty To Me,” “Her Hair is On Fire” and “Semi Precious Weapons.”

Margaret Cho, “Cho Dependent”

When it was revealed late last year that Comedienne and actress Margaret Cho was set to release an album I, like I’m sure many, figured it’d feature her brilliant stand-up instead we get 13 fully produced musical tracks. “Cho Dependent” is filled with witty and funny lyrics as well as delicious vocals and catchy hooks. The album was co-written by the comedian herself and features collaborations with everyone from Fiona Apple to Patty Griffin, Grant Lee Phillips, Ben Lee and Ani DiFranco among others. Her brilliance is showcased best in tracks like “Your Dick” a ballad that pays homage to a man’s southern region while the lyrics are blunt the melody is sweet and the harmonization is lovely enough to momentarily make you forget you’re listening to a comedic album, that is until the falsetto comes in proclaiming “I like your balls too.” The album tackles many issues such as “Lice,” “Calling In Stoned” and “Enemies.” If there’s one thing you’ll soon come to learn while listening to this album is that, “you can’t break up with [her]…[she’s] Margaret Fucking Cho!”

Stewart, “Kicks”

Released on June 15th of 2010, Stewart’s appropriately titled album, “Kicks” kicks ass. The Brooklyn pop-punk band showcases their many talents in a span of nine tracks. Leadoff single, “Dance With Me” asks listeners to “take a chance…and dance with me” something you’ll gladly find yourself doing to the energetic, fun-filled track. Tracks like “Consider Me Gone,” “Goodbye” and “Aloof” can easily play alongside any of the current top 40 hits on today’s charts. With their clever lyrics and references to pop culture it’s easy to predict that these guys (guitarist John White & drummer Kevin Cerovich) and gal (vocalist Andrea Tarka) will become this year’s breakthrough act.

Terrible Things, “Terrible Things”

A negative sounding title or name can be perceived as a band omen but in the case of the hybrid trio Terrible Things (that consists of Taking Back Sunday’s Fred Mascherino, Coheed and Cambria alum Josh Eppard and Hot Rod Circuit’s Andy Jackson) it’s anything but that. Terrible Things’ self-titled album features a unique blend of storytelling and indie rock with a southern sensibility. Lyrically, the concept album address anxiety, fear, alienation and other solemn themes without ever becoming heavy handed. It’s perhaps thought provoking and inspiring, there aren’t many albums out today that sound like this. Lead off single “Revolution” sets the tone with the lyrics, “This is not a revolution til we say it is…it seems we only want what we don’t have…” Standout tracks include, “Revolution,” “Terrible Things,” and “The Hills of Birmingham.”

TECLA, “Strangers in Masks”

“They want me to act right, shine under a black light, playing dress-up is a task, I’m a stranger in a mask…” sings TECLA on the second track “Let’s Play Dress-Up (mask #1)” of her musically diverse album, “Strangers in Masks.” The singer-songwriter’s 16-track LP is currently on heavy rotation on my ipod. Her music is smart, insightful, charming and danceable at the same time. She mixes electro-afro-punk beats with funky-edgy tunes. The album is completely self-produced and available for FREE on her website tecla.bandcamp.com. The album tackles race (“Good Hair”), body image (“Skinny Skinny”) perception, sexuality and love. The album is a must for anyone who’s jonesing for some quality lyrical dance-pop. Stand out tracks include: “Let’s Play Dress-Up,” “Good Hair,” “Skinny Skinny,” and “When I was a Sinner.”

Tayisha Busay, “Shock-Woo”

Tayisha Busay’s EP “Shock-Woo” has shocked and wooed listeners with their provocative lyrics as featured in opening track, “WTF You Doin In My Mouth” set to infectious electro-beats, so much so that they recently SOLD OUT all physical copies of their debut EP. The New York based trio continues to cultivate a cult following with their sexy, glitter-filled, in-you-face performances. They do showcase a softer side on the second track, “Tonite” but the party rolls on in the remaining three tracks, “Soul Power,” “Circles (TB Fireproof Mix)” and “French Song (Nite Club Remix).” Expect to hear more from this electrifying trio.

Girl in A Coma, “Adventures in Coverland Vol. I, II, & III”

Girl in a Coma’s “Adventures in Coverland” is a series of 3 EPs released on 7” vinyl and digitally last April and due to popular demand it is also available in CD format. Vol I was released on April 13 it features a Spanish-language track “Si Una Vez” originally performed by Selena and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by The Beatles. The album is a tribute album of sorts because it consists of various artists that have influenced the San Antonio-based trio. “Si Una Vez” has been covered numerous times in different genres including Bachata and Merengue but this may be the first time that the track has had a punk rock twist. Vol II released on April 20th covers Joy Division (“Transmission”) and David Bowie (“As The World Falls Down”). Lastly Vol III became available on April 27th featuring their take on “Come On, Let’s Go” by Ritchie Valens, “Walkin’ After Midnight” by Patsy Cline and The Velvet Underground’s “Femme Fatale.” The tracks are delightful and showcase the band’s true talent and ability to translate their sound to any song.

Chelsea Handler, “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang” (Book)

Comedian and E! Late Night Talk Show host Chelsea Handler is back with her third book “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang” the New Jersey native details her coming of age story in ways only she can. When describing her first love, herself, at the tender age of eight she writes, “Who knew that something I could barely look at could give me such pleasure? Who knew that the little albino pincushion I was carrying around all these years would end up turning into the equivalent of a watermelon Jolly Rancher? How many other women knew about this? And if they did, why did anyone ever get jobs?” The book is hysterical, mildly inappropriate and a very quick read. It includes photographs of elaborate pranks she’s pulled off and the quirky folks she encounters on her many misadventures. For Handler what many would deem to be a disaster she sees as comedic gold. Or as her then boyfriend put it, “I consider last night a mockery. You consider last night one of the best nights of your life and a huge success” in regard to the shenanigans that was described in the chapter “Black-on-Black Crime.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of November 30, 2010)

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Rihanna, “Loud”

The ‘good girl gone bad’ and ‘Rated R’ singer Rihanna is back with her most infectious album to date. Released on November 16th it’s already become one of my personal favorites. “Loud” is an explosive album featuring dance heavy and über catchy tunes like lead off track, “S&M,” hit singles, “What’s My Name (Feat. Drake),” and “Only Girl (In the World)” but the up-tempo tracks aren’t the only gems ballads like “Fading” and “California King Bed” are beautifully sung and radio friendly. But the track that stands out the most is “Raining Men (Feat. Nicki Minaj)” not only is the beat catchy as hell but it features Nicki Minaj who’s on fire right now and for good reason she’s a gifted lyricist. But is ‘Loud’ better than its predecessor ‘Rated R’? That’s debatable, although ‘Loud’ is a delight ‘Rated R’ is rawer and less commercial to compare the two would be like comparing apples to oranges they are just separate entities.

Pomegranates, “One of Us”

Cincinnati rockers Pomegranates are taking indie rock to a whole new level. Their third full-length album (released back in October) “One of Us” features thirteen stellar tracks. The album consists of anthem like choruses driven by killer melodies and bittersweet vocals. “One of Us” is one of those albums that instantly transports you to an alternative universe full of musical colors and tunes.  Stand out tracks include, “Create Your Own Reality,” “The Positive Light” and “One of Us”

Bear In Heaven, “Beast Rest Forth Mouth” & “The remix LP”

Bear In Heaven’s double LP “Beast Rest Forth Mouth” and special remix LP, “The Remix LP” offer a bit of everything, synth-fueled tracks with danceable grooves. While the original album was good these remixed tracks catapult them to the next level of synth-guitar driven pop rock. Stand out tracks include, “Fake Out (BRAHMS remix),” “You Do You (Studio Remix)” and Wholehearted Mess (Pink Skull remix).”

New Music Tuesday (Week of November 9, 2010)

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Jimmy McMillan, “The Rent Is Too DAMN High, (Vol 1.)”

Before becoming a YouTube sensation after proclaiming “The rent is too damn high” during his run for Governor of New York, Jimmy McMillan was a pop singer in the 70’s. Now he’s returned to his pop roots with his conscientious LP, “The Rent Is Too DAMN High, (Vol 1.)” available on iTunes now.  The lead off track urges folks to “come to the floor” if you are having difficulties paying your rent. With tracks like “Vote 4 Me” and “R.E.N.T.” and numerous tracks replaying his sound bite “The Rent is Too Damn High” it’s hard not to laugh and wonder what kind of Governor he would have been. After all this is the man that sings, “Santa Claus got evicted because he couldn’t pay his rent and now he lives in the park” set to a slow groove on track “Rent 2 High Christmas.”

Lelia Broussard, “Masquerade”

Indie songstress Lelia Broussard is well on her way to superstardom with her new full-length album “Masquerade.” Her voice is undeniably sweet and tender. Her album is full of promising tunes including instant classic “Hipster Bitch” and a sure to be crowd pleaser “Satellite.”

Ultra Dolphins, “Alien Baby”

Richmond, Virginia trio Ultra Dolphins is making a splash with their latest release, “Alien Baby,” the band’s first release in four years. The albums features nine hard hitting tracks that veers from the band’s original indie sound. In some cases change can be catastrophic but for these guys the melodic vocals work.

Shuteye Unison, “Our Future Selves” (November 16th)

Harmonious, up-tempo, and fun are a few words that come to mind when listening to Shuteye Unison’s “Out Future Selves.” The album features well-crafted indie rock tunes that should stand the test of time. Stand out tracks include “Our Future Selves,” and “Traffic Hymn.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of October 19th 2010)

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Shakira, “Sale el Sol”

Multi-lingual Columbian superstar Shakira is at it again this time with a Spanish-language album. “Sale el Sol” is full of love songs, mid-tempo ballads and a handful of romp shakers set to urban, merengue inspired beats. The album features collaborations with Dominican urban recording artist El Cata (featured in the leadoff single, “Loca”), Calle 13 and Pitbull among others. As always Shakira’s songwriting is best when in her native tongue, the songs come off more passionate lyrically and in the delivery. That is not to say that her English-language efforts aren’t without merit, songs like “Fool,” “Underneath Your Clothes” and “The One” off her English-language debut “Laundry Service” as well as “Illegal” off English-language follow-up “Oral Fixation Vol. 2” are some of her strongest tunes. Not to mention chart-toppers and crowd pleasers like “She Wolf” and “Hips Don’t Lie” that catapulted the singer-songwriter to international superstardom. But like Calle 13 sings in “Gordita” we too liked her back when she sported black hair, had a rounder face and was a bit more rock n roll. Still “Sale el Sol” is a solid effort that grows on you the more times you listen to it. Stand out tracks include: “Addicted To You,” “Rabiosa” (both versions ft. El Cata and Pitbull), “Lo Que Mas,” “Mariposas” and “Devoción.”

K.Flay, “K.Flay” (EP)

San Francisco recording artist K.Flay combines her melodic vocals with her unique blend of electro-rock and hip hop. Her self-titled EP is superb and showcases her knack for rhyming. The five tracks fly by and have been on heavy rotation on my ipod. Expect wonderful things from this up and comer. Standout tracks: “No Duh,” and “Messin With My Head.”

Various Artists, “New Zealand at CMJ 2010”

The 13-track compilation CD features songs from New Zealand artists like Die! Die! Die!, Kids of 88, Zowie and Surf City. The artists are showcased at this year’s CMJ Music and Film Festival and the tracks range from pop punk to indie rock. Each track like its artist is distinct and infectious in its own right.

New Music Tuesday (Week of October 5, 2010)

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The Pipettes, “Earth VS. The Pipettes” (November 16th)

“Earth VS. The Pipettes” is a delicious venture into an outer planetarium pop universe.  The tracks are undeniably fun and reminiscing of The Go Go’s but with a harder electro-pop edge.  You’ll find yourself dancing and singing along within seconds. Each track is catchier and more exciting than the next. Standout tracks include: “Aint No Talking,” “Thank You” and “Stop The Music.”

Emily Shirley, “Tiny Truths” (EP)

“Tiny Truths” consists of five brutally honest tracks set against a bluesy backdrop. Emily Shirley has the looks of a pop star but chops of folksinger. Her voice is at times tender and bittersweet. Overall the songs are melodic and are worth a listen. Standout tracks include, “Taking The Sun,” “Earnest” and “Quiet Hours.”

White Rabbits, “It’s Frightening”

The only thing frightening about White Rabbits’ sophomore release is that the album hasn’t catapulted this well deserved band to mainstream success. Although released in May of 2009 the album is noteworthy enough and sadly overlooked by us last year for a Best of 2009 contender. The songs are well-crafted and the vocals are phenomenal. Lead off track, “Percussion Gun” kicks things off with a bang and sets up this dance-rock album. Tracks like “Right Where They Left” and “The Lady Vanishes” will have you hitting the replay button again and again.

New Music Tuesday (Week of September 28, 2010)

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Plain White T’s, “Wonders of the Younger” (December 7th)

“Wonders of the Younger” kicks things off with “Irrational Anthem” an up-tempo chant-worthy tune that reminds us why we fell in love with Plain White T’s in the first place. Their songs are infectious, melodic and sweet. Their lead off single, “Rhythm of Love” is a well-crafted love song that’s slowly making its way up the music charts and into music lover’s hearts. The album is a delight from start to finish.  Stand out tracks include: “Boomerang,” “Rhythm of Love” and “Last Breath.”

Peelander-Z, “P-TV-Z”

Quirky, energetic and fun are some of the words that come to mind when listening to Peelander-Z’s release, “P-TV-Z.” The Japanese Action Comic Punk Band has some of the most entertaining and undeniably fun tunes. With songs like “Go! Rio!,”  “E-I-E-I-O” and “Wasabi Man” it’s no wonder the band is quickly becoming an underground phenomenon.

Home Video, “The Automatic Process”

“The Automatic Process” marks the return of Brooklyn duo Home Video. The album is full of intoxicating beats and its titled track is as exciting as the next. The album mixes darkness with light and the rhythms will be sure to have you dancing it up wherever you are.  Stand out tracks include: “The Automatic Process,” “I Can Make You Feel It” and “Accomplished But Dead.”

Kelli Scarr, “Piece”

Kelli Scarr’s “Piece” is a personal melodic look into the singer-songwriter’s inner workings. The singer’s vocals are calming and each song is handled with tenderness and ease. That in combination with her arrangements takes the listener onto a beautiful luscious journey. Stand out tracks include: “Driftwood,” “Come Back to Me” and “Salt to The Sea.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of September 21st, 2010)

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Arthur Nasson, “Echo Garden” (October 5th)

Boston’s prolific multi-instrumentalist Arthur Nasson is taking on his most ambitious project to date with the release of “Echo Garden” a three part album trilogy recorded on a single album.  The songs are reminiscing of old school rock n roll and boast a unique charm. The songs are well crafted, rhythmic and will be sure to have you bouncing along.  Stand out tracks include “Summer Drops,” “Bounce” and “Echo Garden.”

Kaci Battaglia, “Bring It On”

Learn the name; Kaci Battaglia because this songstress will soon be a household name. Her first single, “Body Shots” featuring Ludacris off her album “Bring It On” is already burning up the dance charts and the 11 remaining tracks are just as infectious. The album is full of booty-shaking, up-tempo tracks that blend nicely with the singer’s vocals. The bottom line is this girl can sing. Stand out tracks include: “Body Shots,” “Tool,” and “Remedy.” The album is available now on iTunes.

Meat Beat Manifesto, “Answers Come In Dreams” (October 12th)

MBM’s latest release “Answers Come In Dreams” is an electronica musical odyssey, the tracks blend nicely in and out of each other. By mixing bits of techno, electronica and hip hop Meat Beat Manifesto is able to evoke bursts of different moods within each track. Among favorite tracks are: “Let Me Set,” “#Zero” and “Luminol.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of September 7th, 2010)

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Electric Six, “Zodiac” (September 28th)

Electric Six has the ability to make someone giddy just from looking at the CD packaging. Their past releases have gone on to become personal favorites which is why we were ecstatic to receive an advanced copy of their September 28th release, “Zodiac.” The album consists of twelve musically diverse tracks that evokes its own emotion but will have you dancing regardless of the mood it puts you in. “After Hours” kicks things off and within seconds of hitting play my foot was tapping along to Valentine’s comedic but enticing vocals and equally enticing beats.  The music alone is electr0-rock-funk goodness but add the band’s unique sense of humor and you have music gold. Stand out tracks include: “American Cheese,” “It Ain’t Punk Rock,” and “Love Song For Myself.”

The Birthday Massacre, “Pins and Needles” (September 14th)

“Pins and Needles” mark’s The Birthday Massacre’s fourth studio release and what a delight it is! The album plays like a killer 80s soundtrack to a generation defining movie you’ll revisit time and time again. The vocals are hauntingly beautiful and their overall sound is their own. It’s clear that they are influenced by 80s new wave and electronica but their dark melodic take elevates the music to another level.  Stand out tracks include: “Always,” “Control” and “Midnight.”

Combichrist, “Making Monsters” (September 28th)

“Making Monsters” is a dark, aggressive, rock, twisted-sounding album. From its eerie sounding instrumental opening track “Declamation” to the heavy hitting storytelling tune “Never Surrender” the album is full of twists and turns and takes you on a dark dance-infused journey where monsters, blood and pain reign supreme. Stand out tracks include, “Never Surrender,” “Throat Full of Glass” and “They.”

Toadies, “Feeler”

Thirteen years after its intended release Toadies’ “Feeler” finally sees the light of day. The 9-track album whose original intent was to be the follow-up to their critically acclaimed platinum selling release, “Rubberneck” features tunes like “Dead Boy,” “Suck Magic” and “Joey Let’s Go.” The album that shoulda been is now a reality and is sure to make Toadies fans proud and thankful the long wait is over.

New Music Tuesday (Week of August 10th 2010)

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Terrible Things, “Terrible Things” (August 31st)

A negative sounding title or name can be perceived as a band omen but in the case of the hybrid trio Terrible Things (that consists of Taking Back Sunday’s Fred Mascherino, Coheed and Cambria alum Josh Eppard and Hot Rod Circuit’s Andy Jackson) it’s anything but that. Terrible Things’ self-titled album features a unique blend of storytelling and indie rock with a southern sensibility. Lyrically, the concept album address anxiety, fear, alienation and other solemn themes without ever becoming heavy handed. It’s perhaps thought provoking and inspiring, there aren’t many albums out today that sound like this. Lead off single “Revolution” sets the tone with the lyrics, “This is not a revolution til we say it is…it seems we only want what we don’t have…” Standout tracks include, “Revolution,” “Terrible Things,” and “The Hills of Birmingham.”

Tito el Bambino, “Hits”

Reggaeton recording artist Tito el Bambino is a well-known in his native Puerto Rico and across Spanish-speaking communities in the United States. Now after achieving superstardom as a solo artist with albums “Top of The Line” and “It’s My Time” comes the compilation album appropriately titled, “Hits” which features some of his biggest chart-toppers, including “Caile” and “El Tra.” The album features cameos from Daddy Yankee, R.K.M. y Ken-Y, Toby Love, and Inés & Beenie Man. The album is a must have for any Reggaeton fan.

Lone Wolf, “The Devil and I”

Lone Wolf’s “The Devil and I” is an incredibly musically ambitious album. While listening to it, you can’t help but fall into a trance like state with its dreamy melodies and overall delivery. The lush delivery boasts horns and stings like no one’s business. The 10-track album is epic for lack of  a better word.

Satellite District, “Vessels”

Georgia indie rockers Satellite District sound like musical veterans on their 4-track EP, “Vessels.” Their songs are well polished musically and evoke a lot of emotion. Their Dance, Electro influences are showcased best in lead off track “Looking Out for You” but undoubtedly their best track is “No Sorrow.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of July 20th 2010)

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Aventura, “The #1 Official Mixtape of Aventura Ever Made: From The Last To The Beginning”

Anthony Rey and DJ BabyFace in collaboration with Aventura’s manager Johnny Marines have put together the must have album for any Aventura fan or Bachata lover. The 17-track album features an intro from Aventura’s own “Mikey” Max Agende along with shout outs and introductions that include the history behind the bachata super-group’s rise to the top and inner workings of their six studio albums. This along with a genius blend of their greatest and finest tunes chronicling each album from their latest, “The Last” till their very first release “Generation Next” is stellar from start to finish and the best part is it can be downloaded for FREE via Anthony Rey’s website.

Alex Cuba, “Alex Cuba”

Singer-songwriter Alex Cuba’s self-titled new album features 13-delectable-tracks with thrilling pop hooks and chant-able lyrics.  Cuba’s tunes have a rock sensibility to them but are rooted in Afro-Cuban soul. Stand out tracks include “Que Pasa Lola,” “Directo” and “Solo Tu.”

Eyes Set To Kill, “Broken Frames”

Phoenix based rockers Eyes Set To Kill have their eyes on reclaiming the charts with their third album “Broken Frames.”  “Broken Frames” is the band’s most aggressive release to date with vocalist Alexia’s signature melodies and the band’s overall rougher, aggressive take on metal without ever losing sight of their radio appeal. The album features the band’s signature fast-paced tracks with killer guitar riffs and appealing choruses. But the band really hits their stride when they slow things down, that’s when the vocals and lyrics can be fully heard and appreciated like in the track “Ticking Bombs”. Stand out tracks include “The Listening,”  “Falling Fast” and “Ticking Bombs.”

Lachi, “Lachi” (July 27th)

Undeniably sweet and charming, Lachi’s self-titled debut album features beautifully written songs with sweet vocals to match. Her strength lies in her storytelling her songs can be described as poetry set to melodic music. Songs like “We Can Fly” and “Dear Happiness” have true commercial appeal. Standout tracks include, “Funny Girl” and “We Can Fly.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of July 6th 2010) LAMC Edition

Last modified on 2010-07-06 20:52:03 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

In honor of this week’s Latin Alternative Music Conference we’ve decided to feature some album reviews from this year’s performers.

Los Punsetes, “LP2”

Madrid’s five-piece band Los Punsetes are poised to take over the US with their catchy second album “LP2” released in Spain on March 1, 2010. By means of the internet and old fashion word- of- mouth Los Punsetes have caught the eyes and ears of the Latin Alternative Music scene and beyond. The album is a 12-track collection of catchy Spanish language indie pop tracks and a DIY attitude. The writing is smart and lyrics speak to a post-Francoism generation all set to a melodic backdrop. Stand out tracks include, “Dinero” (Money), “De Moda” (In Style) and “Estilo” (Style).

Ana Tijoux, “1977”

Chilean hip hop artist Ana Tijoux showcases her rhyming abilities in US debut “1977.” She’s been setting the Latin American music scene on fire and continues to do so in this impressive 14-track homage to early 90s hip-hop. Her breathy vocals are on point and her swagger is undeniably cool. Her lyrical content are best showcased in tracks “1977” and “Crisis de un MC” and tackles relationships and her personal coming of age story. Ana Tijoux is a true storyteller.  Stand out tracks include, “1977,” “Crisis de un MC,”  “Problema de 2” and “Mar Adentro.”

The Pinker Tones, “Modular”

Musically diverse, boundary pushing Spanish electro-duo The Pinker Tones are at it again. Their latest release, “Modular” features sure fire hits like “Estirado al Sol,” “Tokyo” and “Sampleame.” The album features instrumental electronica as well as tracks in English and in Spanish. “Modular” is the type of album that’s sure to put you in a party mood or at least lift your spirits. Viva Los Pinker Tones!

New Music Tuesday (Week of June 29th 2010)

Last modified on 2010-06-29 21:51:36 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Semi Precious Weapons, “You Love You”

The highly anticipated full-length debut album by New York glam rockers Semi Precious Weapons is finally here. “You Love You” is a filthy-glamorous-rocking debut from the foursome that pride themselves in bringing sex and glamour back to rock n roll. The 10-track album features 3 tracks from their previously released self-titled EP (“Magnetic Baby,” “Put a Diamond In It” and their anthem, “Semi Precious Weapons,” the track that proclaims, “I can’t pay by rent, but I’m fucking gorgeous!”) and 7 fantastic new tracks. For the most part, the album is fast-paced and full of rhythmic guitar-driven rock anthems-in-the-making. Then you reach the latter part of the album, “Leave Your Pretty To Me,” the seventh track on the record, a monster ballad that showcases front man Justin Tranter’s vocals and conveys a true vulnerability.  The inclusion of this track proves that this band is more than just a party band who writes songs with catchy hooks.  “Look At Me” is the second ballad on the record and although a good track it is not nearly as touching as “Leave Your Pretty To Me” nor has the same commercial appeal. Once you reach the final track you get the feisty Semi Precious Weapons we’ve come to love with infectious licks and lyrics such as, “Her hair! Her Hair! Her hair is on fire, she don’t want no water let her fucking head burn!” Among favorites are, “Sticky with Champagne,” “Leave Your Pretty To Me,” “Her Hair is On Fire” and “Semi Precious Weapons.”

Hey Rosetta!, “Into Your Lungs”

“Into Your Lungs” is a harmonious, multi-dimensional, textured record by six-piece indie Canadian rockers, Hey Rosetta! The album consists of well crafted power ballads and up-tempo musically diverse tracks. The vocals are strong and come off bittersweet in tracks that convey sorrow or loss and plays well against any musical backdrop. Stand out tracks include, “I’ve been asleep for a long, long time,” “There’s An Arc” and “A Thousands Suns.”

Brookhaven, “When the Chorus Walks” (August 16th)

“When The Chorus Walks” is the most recent release of California based, Brookhaven. The album features seven instrumental pieces that bring new meaning to indie rock music. The tracks are entrancing, mellow, guitar-driving tunes and stand out tracks include, “Something Must Remain of Us,” and titled track “When the Chorus Walks.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of June 22th 2010)

Last modified on 2010-06-22 20:35:56 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Authority Zero, “Stories of Survival”

“Stories of Survival” is Authority Zero’s latest and greatest album to date. The punk band which has seen its fair share of line up changes in its 16 year existence kick things off with Winston Churchill’s “Blood, Seat, Tears and Toil” speech in their intro track then take off with opening chords to “The New Pollution” the second track on the album. The album is politically charged and weaves punk, ska and reggae beats effortlessly throughout the remaining 11 tracks. Stand out tracks include “Big Bad World” and “Crashland.”

Tanadra, “Tanadra”

With a guitar-driven hard rock edge and soulful vocals Tanadra’s debut EP is a promising nod to the alternative hard rock scene. Her influences range from Guns ‘N roses to Alanis Morissette and Joan Jett and it’s evident in her four track EP. Her vocals are reminiscing of a young Tina Turner and her skills are best showcased in tracks “Pissed Off” and “Today Is The Day.” Expect to hear more from this promising star.

Peggy Sue, “Fossils And Other Phantoms”

UK folk power trio Peggy Sue makes their impressive debut with “Fossils And Other Phantoms.” Opening track “Long Division Blues” encapsulates what the band is all about, clever-thought provoking lyrics set to bluesy music sung harmoniously by vocalists Katy Young and Rosa Slade.  The album tackles dark issues such as regret, self-worth and longing but its deliverance makes melancholy alluring. “Fossils And Other Phantoms” simply put is a well-crafted record and downright cool.  Stand out tracks include “Green Grow the Rushes,” “Yo Mama” and “Long Division Blues.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of June 8th 2010)

Last modified on 2010-06-09 20:48:55 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Margaret Cho, “Cho Dependent” (August 24th)

When it was revealed late last year that Comedienne and actress Margaret Cho was set to release an album I, like I’m sure many, figured it’d feature her brilliant stand-up instead we get 13 fully produced musical tracks. “Cho Dependent” is filled with witty and funny lyrics as well as delicious vocals and catchy hooks. The album was co-written by the comedian herself and features collaborations with everyone from Fiona Apple to Patty Griffin, Grant Lee Phillips, Ben Lee and Ani DiFranco among others. Her brilliance is showcased best in tracks like “Your Dick” a ballad that pays homage to a man’s southern region while the lyrics are blunt the melody is sweet and the harmonization is lovely enough to momentarily make you forget you’re listening to a comedic album, that is until the falsetto comes in proclaiming “I like your balls too.” The album tackles many issues such as “Lice,” “Calling In Stoned” and “Enemies.” If there’s one thing you’ll soon come to learn while listening to this album is that, “you can’t break up with [her]…[she’s] Margaret Fucking Cho!”

Scarlet Grey, “Fancy Blood”

Scarlet Grey is a tease, releasing a delectable album such as “Fancy Blood” that only features six tracks.  The 6-track EP has massive appeal and leaves you begging for more. “Fancy Blood” kicks things off with Über-catchy track “No Boys In The Ballroom” but by the time track two makes its way through the speakers you’re already hooked. Titled track “Fancy Blood” features sexy grooves and is as entertaining as they come but there’s something about “Mr. Sinister” that’ll have you hitting the repeat button time and time again. It could be the catchy hooks or the chanting of lyrics “smoke signals, smoke signals” that’ll make a great sing-along at shows, whatever the case is the album is a must for anyone jonesing for a pop-rock fix.

Front Line Assembly, “Improvised. Electronic. Device.” (June 22nd)

Front Line Assembly’s new album “Improvised. Electronic. Device.” Is rough around the edges but awesome on the inside. The band puts their own unique spin on the electronic music scene, filling their album with lively hooks and stylized beats and are triumphant on their quest of ‘finding new ways to make sound’ as once stated by founding member Bill Leeb. Although the tracks are sure to ignite the club dance floors the songs are far from one note, tracks like “Hostage” and “Laws of Deception” are politically charged and provide social commentary without becoming didactic. Other stand out tracks includes, “I.E.D.” and “Shifting Through The Lens.”

Automatic Loveletter, “Truth or Dare” (June 22nd)

There’s nothing better than a great female fronted band and Automatic Loveletter is quickly becoming a new favorite. “Truth or Dare” is an unstoppable force of energetic rock-tastic pop. Frontwoman Juliet Simms is a force to be reckoned with, her vocals exude confidence and boast star quality that alongside those catchy hooks is a winning combination. Between lead off track, “Heart Song” to the soon-to-be break up anthem of 2010 “Hush” you simply can’t go wrong.

New Music Tuesday (Week of June 2nd, 2010)

Last modified on 2010-06-03 20:49:48 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Stewart, “Kicks” (June 15th)

Stewart’s appropriately titled album, “Kicks” kicks ass. The Brooklyn pop-punk band showcases their many talents in a span of nine tracks. Lead off single, “Dance With Me” asks listeners to “take a chance…and dance with me” something you’ll gladly find yourself doing to the energetic, fun-filled track. Tracks like “Consider Me Gone,” “Goodbye” and “Aloof” can easily play alongside any of the current top 40 hits on today’s charts. With their clever lyrics and references to pop culture it’s easy to predict that these guys (guitarist John White & drummer Kevin Cerovich) and gal (vocalist Andrea Tarka) will become this year’s breakthrough act. Don’t believe us? Check out their lead off single, “Dance With Me” here.

Breathing Blue, “Breathing Blue” (June 11th)

Breathing Blue’s self-titled debut EP consists of six fast-paced well executed tracks. “Chasing The World” features a rhythmic and memorable opener as vocalist Justin Sanford proclaims “the sounds collide” guitarists Rob Bost and Matt Basilotto weave their chords along to bassist Chris Dechert’s musical stylings and Jason LaRaia precise drumming. Track “Real Eyes (Realize; Real Lies)” will surely have audiences dancing at their shows but without a doubt the song “Sparkle” which is listed as a bonus track has anthem written all over it.

JBM, “Not Even In July” (July 27th)

Jesse Marchant a.k.a. JBM’s debut album “Not Even In July” is set to hit stores and ipods around the world on July 27th. The album’s profound lyrics and mellow accompaniment will tug at your heart strings. His vocals are emotionally charged but light at the same time leaving listeners wondering if they’re intruding on a very personal moment in the songwriter’s life. Each track is diverse and intense in its own way. “Not Even In July” has the potential of touching the biggest cynic and leave him or her with the feeling of hope.

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, “The New Number 2”

The retro looking and sounding duo comprised of drums/vocals (by Sophia Cacciola) and bass (by Michael Epstein) pay homage to spy-fi TV show The Prisoner with their clever 6-track EP, “The New Number 2.” The tracks are titled after episodes and feature fast-paced energetic music and breathy vocals. This 60s-spy-show theme rock band not only stands out in terms of look and sound, but they also deliver the goods.

New Music Tuesday (Week of May 25th, 2010)

Last modified on 2010-05-25 16:30:34 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Marc Anthony, “Iconos”

Marc Anthony’s 11th studio album, “Iconos,” features eight cover versions and two previously unreleased songs that were composed by Julio Reyes. The album includes covers by singers José José, Juan Gabriel, Roberto Carlos, La Mafia as well José Luis Perales, singer and composer from the lead single. Lead off single, “Y Cómo Es El” gave fans a taste of what was to come, his interpretations are heartfelt and very much his own. Among personal favorites are “Abrázame Muy Fuerte,” and “Te Lo Pido Por Favor.”

Hypernova, “Through The Chaos”

Utterly delightful! Hypernova’s debut album “Through The Chaos” features slick guitar riffs and a melody one could really rock out to. From the instant opening track “Universal” gets underway you’re transported to a melodic-dance-filled world of rock goodness. Vocalist/guitarist Raam has a distinctive voice that gels well with the energetic tracks. “Lost in Space” is among the many of the favorite tracks and “Empty Times” showcases the softer side of the Iranian five-piece band. “Through The Chaos” will have you dancing it up and will unleash the monster in us all.

Alamance, “In The Moment” (June 15th)

New Jersey export Alamance is ready poised to charm the MTV and Warped Tour crowd with their latest release “In The Moment.” “In The Moment” is a delightful listen and features pop friendly hooks and sensible lyrics. The album’s lead off single, “Your Eyes” has the allure of a summer flick theme song with its proclamation of love set to rhythmic guitars. The album’s eight tracks fly by and will have you hitting the replay button over and over again.

DJ Rap, “Synthesis” (June 29th)

#1 female DJ in the world DJ Rap (aka Charissa Sarevio) has returned with a 12-track synthetic blend of melodic grooves that blend beautifully with her breathy vocals. Tracks like “I’m Ready” and “I Just Wanna Feel Good” showcase her true talent and has massive crossover appeal. “Synthesis” is bound to catapult DJ Rap to the mainstream.

New Music Tuesday (Week of May 18th, 2010)

Last modified on 2010-05-18 15:08:40 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Big Jay Oakerson, “An American Storyteller” (Digital release) Comedian Big Jay Oakerson has teamed up with COMEDY CENTRAL Records to release his new full length, digital-only album, “An American Storyteller.”  His brand of comedy has proven to be popular among metal and hard rock music fans primarily for his hard hitting approach. His routine covers everything from threesomes to inter-racial dating and traveling abroad.

Deadly Beloved, “Make It Bleed”

Toronto rockers make their US debut with their third studio album, “Make It Bleed,” an album full of energetic epic sounding rock. The tracks are heavy and reminiscing of classic hook-heavy rock n roll. The bands talents are best displayed in tracks like, “Carnival-Onze,” “Acceptance,” and “Fire Escape.”

The Wailing Wall, “The Low Hanging Fruit” (June 8th) Folksy, harmonious vocals are beautifully interwoven with indie-rock elements in The Wailing Wall’s LP, “The Low Hanging Fruit.” The tracks are epic sounding and have tribal elements that transport the album to another dimension. Album opener “Speak Not Its Name” starts off as an a cappella tune and slowly percussion can be heard and other instrumentation trickle in culminating in a full fledge production which includes chanting. “The Low Hanging Fruit” is an experimental album worth checking out.

New Music Tuesday (Week of May 4th, 2010)

Last modified on 2010-05-05 17:18:37 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Derek and The Darling, “Rockface”

“Rockface” is an impressive up-tempo debut from NYC based duo Derek and The Darling. The album is full of catchy electronic beats and choruses with sing-along potential (“Hustler with a Rescue Plan”). The two trade off singing duties and are able to shine in individual tracks like in the ballad, “You” where female vocalist Sammi Garett showcases her sweet vocals. However, on the track “Lucky Lola” where Sammi and Derek come together and harmoniously perform the infectious tune is where they hit one out of the park.

FlyinFisch, “FlyinFisch”

FlyinFisch’s self-titled fully self-produced debut album features the soulful styling’s of the multi-cultural singer. His usage of electronica and reggae beats blend well with his melodic voice. The lyrics are uplifting and convey a message of unity and hope. Tracks like “Three Years,” and “Keep On” are rooted in jazz and are the most radio-friendly tunes on the album.

Sweet Apple, “Love & Desperation”

Sweet Apple, features members of Dinosaur Jr., Cobra Verde and Witch, and together they bring us “Love & Desperation” a rhythmic, well-polished, catchy rock n roll album. “Do You Remember” is the pace setting opening track that will have you dancing it up whenever you may find yourself that moment. The 12-tracks fly by but songs like, “Hold Me, I’m Dying,” “Somebody Else’s Problem” and “Do You Remember” will have you hitting the replay button over and over again.

New Music Tuesday (Week of April 20th 2010)

Last modified on 2010-04-20 19:14:29 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Hole, “Nobody’s Daughter”

“Made something better” are the opening words in the title track “Nobody’s Daughter,” sang along to that gritty classic rock sound only Hole can produce. “Nobody’s Daughter” is Hole’s highly anticipated follow-up to 1998 “Celebrity Skin.” The album’s first single, “Skinny Little Bitch” is classic Love and features her signature growl. Like most of the album it’s rhythmic, unapologetic, and undeniably fierce. The track “Pacific Coast Highway” showcases her softer side with lyrics like, “I knew a boy he left me so damaged/Do you even know the extent of what you ravaged?” then stating, “All of this world’s shame won’t stop my arrival. And all this world’s fame and drugs and plague won’t stop my survival…” The album is raw, uncensored and proof that Courtney Love has what it takes to reclaim the rock n roll spotlight she clearly deserves.

TECLA, “Strangers in Masks”

“They want me to act right, shine under a black light, playing dress-up is a task, I’m a stranger in a mask…” sings TECLA on the second track “Let’s Play Dress-Up (mask #1)” of her musically diverse album, “Strangers in Masks.” The singer-songwriter’s 16-track LP is currently on heavy rotation on my ipod. Her music is smart, insightful, charming and danceable at the same time. She mixes electro-afro-punk beats with funky-edgy tunes. The album is completely self-produced and available for FREE on her website tecla.bandcamp.com. The album tackles race (“Good Hair”), body image (“Skinny Skinny”) perception, sexuality and love. The album is a must for anyone who’s jonesing for some quality lyrical dance-pop. Stand out tracks include: “Let’s Play Dress-Up,” “Good Hair,” “Skinny Skinny,” and “When I was a Sinner.”

The Royal Heist, “Midnight In The Garden Of Evil”

Los Angeles rockers The Royal Heist have produced a dance-friendly, catchy, indie-rock album. Their 11-track release, “Midnight In The Garden Of Evil” is delightful from start to finish. Tracks like “Lock And Load,” “Anything For You,” and “Dance With The Devil” will have you shaking it regardless of time and place. “Midnight In The Garden Of Evil” should appeal to the cool kids and those desperately trying to fit in with them.

Javelin, “No Más”

Groovy, genre-bending, electrifying debut by the band Javelin, “No Más” features 15-tracks all different from the next. Leadoff track “Vibrationz” is a gem and among my favorites, then tracks like hip hop inspired “The Merkin Jerk” and R&B infused “Susie Cues” come on, and you begin to rethink your choice of favorites but one thing’s certain “No Más” has a song on there for everyone.

New Music Tuesday (Week of April 13th 2010)

Last modified on 2010-04-12 15:59:06 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Mark Kurlansky, “The Eastern Stars: How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de Macorís” (Nonfiction/Baseball from Riverhead Books)

The best selling author of “Cod” and “Salt” explores the origins of Dominican baseball in his new book “The Eastern Stars: How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de Macorís.” Anyone who has driven past the barrios, away from the tourist complex, has seen a group of children taking practice swings with makeshift bats and balls along the dirt roads. Kurlansky writes, “It is tempting to say that baseball defines it, but it got the game from Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and Americans. Dominicans have excelled in the game, and in the last few decades baseball has at last become something at which Dominicans dominate—at last, something they can be known for—and a this is a source of pride.” What started out as a favorite pass time for sugar-mill workers quickly became the salvation of many young hopefuls. The book is informative and depicts the Caribbean country as a land of dreamers with an intense yearning to belong. Kurlansky asks, “Why does this town produce so many baseball players? José Canó said, “Because we don’t have anything else here, and we aren’t tall enough for basketball.”

What Cheer? Brigade, “We Blow You Suck” (May 25th)

What do you call a boisterous, music-bending, 19-piece brass band with a taste for punk? What Cheer? Brigade is their name and after self-releasing “We Blow You Suck” in 2008 they’re rereleasing it on Anchor Brain with two additional tracks.  The album is loud, danceable and surprisingly guitar free. They’re way cooler than a marching band and in their own way totally rock.

The Art of Shooting, “Traveling Show” (April 27th)

“Traveling Show” is the explosive debut album by the female fronted Brooklyn based punk band, The Art of Shooting. Vocalist Kelly Irene Corson’s distinctive growl will give you chills that in combination with the eerie, dreamlike melodies will leave you craving more.

New Music Tuesday (Week of March 30, 2010)

Last modified on 2010-03-30 16:37:43 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, “Greatest Hits”

Joan Jett is on top of the world right now, the film based on her teenage all-female rock band, The Runaways, opened to rave reviews and now she and The Blackhearts have their sights on dominating the music charts with their “Greatest Hits” 2-Disc release. The double album features 21 of their most memorable hits including, “Love is Pain,” “Crimson and Clover,” “I Hate Myself For Loving You,” “Bad Reputation,” and “I Love Rock n Roll” and many others. It’s a must-have for any Joan Jett fan or aspiring musician.

Girl in A Coma, “Adventures in Coverland Vol. I, II, & III”

Girl in a Coma’s “Adventures in Coverland” is a series of 3 EPs set for 7” vinyl and digital release releasing in April. Vol I out on April 13 features a Spanish-language track “Si Una Vez” originally performed by Selena and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by The Beatles. The album is a tribute album of sorts because it consists of various artists that have influenced the San Antonio-based trio. “Si Una Vez” has been covered numerous times in different genres including Bachata and Merengue but this may be the first time that the track has had a punk rock twist. Vol II out on April 20th covers Joy Division (“Transmission”) and David Bowie (“As The World Falls Down”). Lastly Vol III available April 27th features their take on “Come On, Let’s Go” by Ritchie Valens, “Walkin’ After Midnight” by Patsy Cline and The Velvet Underground’s “Femme Fatale.” The tracks are delightful and showcase the band’s true talent and ability to translate their sound into any song.

Tayisha Busay, “Shock-Woo”

Tayisha Busay’s EP “Shock-Woo” will shock and woo listeners with their provocative lyrics as featured in opening track, “WTF You Doin In My Mouth” set to infectious electro-beats. The New York based trio is slowly cultivating a cult following with their sexy, glitter-filled, in-you-face performances. They do showcase a softer side on the second track, “Tonite” but the party rolls on in the remaining three tracks, “Soul Power,” “Circles (TB Fireproof Mix)” and “French Song (Nite Club Remix).” Expect to hear more from this electrifying trio.

Librarians, “Present Passed”

Dark, enticing, danceable indie rock hailing from West Virginia, Librarians’ “Present Passed” features 10 trans-infused tracks indie rockers and fans of Vampire Weekend will enjoy.  Standout tracks include: “Polar Opposites” and “Kids Stuff.”

The Laughing Man, “A Palace for Alice”

The Laughing Man’s 13-track album “A Place for Alice” showcases the Los Angeles duo’s classic rock sensibilities and their ability to blend indie rock with funk. Each track offers a different take on these genres and showcase what they can really do, perform well crafted tunes. Stand out tracks include: “Having Fun Pt. 1,” Having Fun Pt.2” and “King On A Throne.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of March 23, 2010)

Last modified on 2010-03-29 03:58:34 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Hunter Valentine, “Lessons From The Late Night” (May 11, 2010)

Canadian female rockers Hunter Valentine is destined for greatness with their energetic, in-your-face melodic rock. Their sophomore effort “Lessons From the Late Night” proves that this trio can rock out and also make listeners want to get up and dance. Their songs are well crafted and are radio friendly, that is not to say that the songs are sugary or sweet they are the exact opposite of that, there’s nothing sentimental or mushy about “She only wants me when she’s wasted” in fact, the lyrics are brutally honest and heartfelt. Tracks like “The Stalker” and “Scarface” stand out as potential hits.

The Izzys, “Keep Your Powder Dry” (April 13, 2010)

The Izzys are reminiscing of old school country rock bands, tracks on “Keep Your Powder Dry” have a nifty southern feel to it surprising for a band that hails from Brooklyn, New York. Their five-track EP is a promising start for a band that we’ll be sure to hear more from.

Savoir Adore, “In The Wooded Forest”

“In The Wooded Forest” offers an interesting blend of indie-melodic, foot tapping rock. The 14-track LP offers beautiful harmonies and beats you can really move around to. Stand out tracks include, “We Talk Like Machines,” “Take Hollow Lane” and “Bodies.”

Midas Fall, “Eleven. Revert and Return”

Midas Fall’s “Eleven. Revert and Return” offers entrancing, epic-sounding music you can really groove to. The Scotland-based alternative rock band offers smooth harmonies and vocals that tuck at your heart strings. Tracks that stand out the most include, “Century,” “My Radio Stars,” and “Bright Lights Will Harm No-One.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of March 16, 2010)

Last modified on 2010-03-29 03:51:15 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Chelsea Handler, “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang”

Comedian and E! Late Night Talk Show host Chelsea Handler is back with her third book “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang” the New Jersey native details her coming of age story in ways only she can. When describing her first love, herself, at the tender age of eight she writes, “Who knew that something I could barely look at could give me such pleasure? Who knew that the little albino pincushion I was carrying around all these years would end up turning into the equivalent of a watermelon Jolly Rancher? How many other women knew about this? And if they did, why did anyone ever get jobs?” The book is hysterical, mildly inappropriate and a very quick read. It includes photographs of elaborate pranks she’s pulled off and the quirky folks she encounters on her many misadventures. For Handler what many would deem to be a disaster she sees as comedic gold. Or as her then boyfriend put it, “I consider last night a mockery. You consider last night one of the best nights of your life and a huge success” in regard to the shenanigans that was described in the chapter “Black-on-Black Crime.”

Jennifer Knapp, “Letting Go” (May 5, 2010)

Tracks on Jennifer Knapp’s forthcoming album “Letting Go” is bound to be the singer’s breakthrough album. Although the singer-songwriter has sold over 1 million records, toured and played to sold out crowds and has earned two Grammy nominations she’s still not a household name. Her debut album was released back in 1998 and since then she’s released four more including a live album in 2006 and a compilation of her hits titled “The Collection” in 2003. “Letting Go” has the heart of veteran and energy of an artist that has her eye on the prize. Her voice is reminiscing of a young Melissa Etheridge. The tunes are radio friendly, energetic, well-crafted pop rock. Stand out tracks include: “Dive In,” “Letting Go,” and “Want For Nothing.”

Kerretta, “Vilayer”

New Zealand rockers Kerretta have their eyes set on America. Their new album “Vilayer” will mark the band’s official US debut. “Vilayer” showcases the band’s experimental nature with trance-like beats and long instrumental pieces. The album boasts an energetic and engaging quality, with rhythmic drumming and catchy riffs “Vilayer” may just catch on this side of the globe.

New Music Tuesday (Week of March 2, 2010)

Last modified on 2010-03-29 03:42:56 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Cherie Currie with Tony O’Neill, “Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway” (March 16, 2010)

Cherie Currie’s accounts prior to joining The Runaways and the rise and ultimate demise of the female-teenage rock n roll band reads like fiction, it’s hard to imagine that such tough ladies and rock n roll icons in their own right endured such mental and verbal torture from their management and hangers-on. They were young, trash-talking, tough chicks that seemed to be in control. However, the book reveals their softer sides and how impressionable they actually were. One of the most memorable passages came early on where Currie recalls attending a David Bowie concert and how she “watched this impossibly thin, pale, alien prince singing” to her. She continued, “…this beautiful, hypnotic, strange man was singing to me, and although I could not quite put into words, I instinctively knew that what I was experiencing was something religious, something profound…for that moment, I was somewhere else. Somewhere profound. What I was witnessing tonight was nothing short of a revelation.”  Her vivid descriptions of concert goers and the way in which the music was depicted, experience and heard was refreshing. With a couple of words, she could transport the reader to the pulsating, sweaty crowds of the late 1970s. What’s clear when reading this book is that for Currie rock n roll was as big as a drug as the coke and Quaaludes she was taking. The bigger The Runaways became the further apart the band grew and her drug intake increased. The book recounts Currie’s struggles with drugs, rape, violence and how she ultimately reclaimed her life.

Pirate Love, “Black Vodoun Space Blues”

Eerie, striking, fast-paced melodies and a distinctive yell open up the track “Shake It” on Pirate Love’s “Black Vodoun Space Blues.” The Norwegian band has its sight set on conquering the globe with their blaring guitars, gothic, garage and punk inclinations. The track “In A Dirty Cellar” has the appeal and potential to enthrall the masses not just the underground crowd. “Black Vodoun Space Blues” will transport listeners to a world of gritty, loud rock n roll.

Adam Green, “Musik for a Play” (May 11th, 2010)

The opening bars of Adam Green’s lead in track “Gallop” has that sort of charm that brings an immediate smile to a person’s face. The melodies are like those you’ve probably heard playing alongside a Saturday morning cartoon but then it turns and shifts into something new fusing elements of samba and other unconventional genres all in the span of two minutes and twenty seconds. The New York City singer-songwriter composed the instrumental tracks that make up “Musik for a Play” for the theatrical adaptation of Paul Auster’s novel “Timbuktu.” The tracks evoke mood, illustrate passion and other elements of the human condition. Like a score for a feature film Adam Green’s “Musik for a Play” will surely provide color to any mundane life.

Francis, “Francis” (EP)

The four-track self-titled EP by Swedish rockers Francis is enough to peak audiences’ interest and tie over devotees until their full-length debut album is released later this year. Opening track, “Eternal Souls” showcases the band’s folk sensibility with Petra’s in your face vocals and pounding piano keys. The track “I Was Never Bored At All” has a blues written all over it and the way in which the vocals and smooth melodies come together is nothing sure of genius.

New Music Tuesday (Week of February 2nd)

Last modified on 2010-03-29 03:24:13 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Peasant, “Shady Retreat”

Fresh off the heels of his critically acclaimed album “On The Ground,” Peasant brings us a melodic, acoustic and unpretentious follow up titled “Shady Retreat.” Damien DeRose’s vocals come across as a soft whisper that compliments the guitar very well. “Shady Retreat” is destined to become Peasant’s breakthrough album.

Smile Smile, “Truth on Tape” (February 9, 2010)

Although Smile Smile’s “Truth on Tape” chronicles the end of the romantic relationship between singer/guitarist Ryan Hamilton and singer/pianist Jencey Hirunrusme the album is surprisingly upbeat. The Dallas duo who at one time was engaged parted ways and somehow managed to put together a harmonious, up-tempo, folk-friendly album. With tracks like “Cancer” (an up-tempo track that has a bit of a country twang) and the hauntingly beautiful “The Attic” it’s hard not to fall in love with this album.

The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, “Communion”

“Communion” is the title of The Soundtrack of Our Lives’ double disc LP. The album opens up with a wave of sounds that slowly evolve into rhythmic up-tempo guitar driven rock titled “Babel On.” There’s a feel of epicness to this album, the guitars are strongly present as are the cymbals on the drums reminiscing of those wildly popular modern rock albums that are bound to be around for a very long time. Stand out tracks include: “Mensa’s Marauders,”  ”Distorted Child” and “Flipside.”

Veil Veil Vanish, “Change In The Neon Light” (February 23, 2010)

From the second I popped in Veil Veil Vanish’s “Change In The Neon Light” I was hooked. Simply put “Change in The Neon Light’s is an enjoyable record from start to finish. Keven Tecon’s captivating vocals will have you hanging on to his every word that along with the band’s emotionally charged performance will have you hitting the replay button over and over again. Stand out tracks include: “Change in the Neon Light,” “Exile City” and “This is Violet.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of January 26th)

Last modified on 2010-03-29 03:21:32 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Motion City Soundtrack, “My Dinosaur Life”

Released on January 19th Motion City Soundtrack’s “My Dinosaur Life” has already charmed the hearts of many and etched a spot on the Billboard charts. “My Dinosaur Life” is easily the band’s greatest album to date and that’s saying a lot considering that they’ve consistently put out good records. The opening track “Worker Bee” boasts that ”it’s been a good year, a good new begging. I’m through with the old school so let’s commence the winning” and winners they are with this charming 12-track release and its pop sensibilities. The impressive thing about Motion City Soundtrack is that they’re able to craft catchy and melodic tunes with thought provoking lyrics that hold up years later. Tracks from previous releases like “I Am The Movie” and “Commit This To Memory” and so forth are still relevant five to seven years later. Without a doubt “My Dinosaur Life” will be among those albums you’ll dust off years later and fall in love with it all over again. Stand out tracks include: “A Lifeless Ordinary,” “Delirium,” “Stand Too Close” and “Disappear.”

Wakey!Wakey!, “Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You…” (March 16th 2010)

“Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You…” is a well crafted indie rock album that knows how to cater to the pop crowd. Wakey! Wakey! has a sure fire hit with tracks like “22,” and “Got It All Wrong.” Expect to hear great things from this noteworthy band.

APSE, “Climb Up”

There’s a dreamlike quality to Apse’s “Climb Up” the opening track “Blown Doors” like most of the tracks off the album offers immersing grooves and haunting vocals. It’s definitely a mood setter one that’s hard to describe but there’s no denying that when listening to tracks like “Lie,” and “The Return” you’ll feel an array of emotions all evolving into good.

The Wonderful Stylings of Vanessa Leonardo

Last modified on 2010-03-28 05:03:27 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Vanessa Leonardo performing at NYC's Arlene's Grocery photo by: Natalya Scholomyansky

Vanessa Leonardo performing at NYC's Arlene's Grocery photo by: Natalya Scholomyansky

Vanessa Leonardo is a name that may very well soon become a household one in the music industry. Having been a singer/songwriter for a number of years now, her career has recently picked up momentum, having booked shows at various places in New York City including The Bitter End, Arlene’s Grocery, Crash Mansion, and Galapagos Art Space for the SAFER benefit. More recently, she has started collaborating with a band, composed of bass player Nicholas Mazza and Mark Joinnides on drums. These instruments add elements of complexity to Leonardo’s songs, as well as lending them more of a rock vibe, which presents a nice contrast to her more mellow folk songs. Despite this, she has no intention of dropping her acoustic writing and performing, which is where her lyrics and vocal talents are really brought to life. Watching Leonardo sitting on stage alone, strumming the guitar or playing the piano, it is impossible for one not to be taken in by the powerful emotions her songs exude.

Leonardo’s debut album, “Wonder,” is a perfect display of the talents mentioned above. It is an interesting combination of hopeful, upbeat pieces with others that are more haunting and dark, due in part to the skillful incorporation of minor chords into the melodies. The band is not present on these tracks; however, Giovanna Leonardo, Vanessa’s sister, provides the harmony on a few songs and is the other voice in the duet on “Alone.” The song has a slightly melancholy air, yet, with the mix of the gentle guitar sound and the two women’s delicate voices, the song also takes on a peaceful and angelic tone. At times, it is reminiscent of Jewel’s sound early on in her career.

Another unique characteristic of “Wonder” is how the songs can be interpreted a multitude of ways; some seem to be talking about family or friends, whereas others like “Follow You” and the title track can be read as being about lovers. In this way, the album can easily relate to a variety of life experiences, which is not a very common attribute in much of today’s pop culture music.

Hopefully, Leonardo will not keep us waiting too long and will soon produce a follow-up album to the very successful first one. As her distinct sound continues to develop, she will undoubtedly continue to impress listeners with her talents. In the meantime, however, check out http://www.myspace.com/vanessaleonardo for upcoming performances and new songs!

Best of 2009

Last modified on 2010-03-28 05:12:00 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Aventura, “The Last”

Two months after its release (June of 2009), Aventura’s “The Last” LP, was certified double platinum and tracks from the album till this day remain on top of the Billboard charts. The Bachata singing group has shattered record sales and is currently selling out venues across the U.S. The songs are beautifully crafted lyrically and musically and songs like “Dile Al Amor” (Tell Love), “Su Veneno” (Her Poison) and “Peligro” (Danger) have cemented their status as Kings of Bachata. There is no doubt that “The Last” is not only one of the best Latin albums of 2009 but also one of the best across genres. Bravo, Aventura, bravo.

Corn Mo’s .357 Lover, “Diorama of The Golden Lion”

Corn Mo’s “Diorama of The Golden Lion” is one off the quirkiest, epic sounding albums I’ve listened to in a long time. This album has stadium rock written all over it and I couldn’t help be reminded of Queen and the Hedwig and the Angry Inch soundtrack while listening to them but with a fresh twist. From tracks like “Event Horizon” to “German Lady Special” and then to “Maybe Tonite” the album is just hit after hit of rock-opera goodness. Expect great things from Corn Mo’s .357 Lover.

Electric Valentine, “Automatic”

Within seconds of Electric Valentine’s lead off track “Body To Body” I knew this duo had something special. The track, “Body To Body,” like the rest of the album makes you want to get up and dance. The 13-track dance album is so infectious that the duo should have called it “13 Reasons why this album will rock” each track symbolizing a different reason. Stand out tracks: “Automatic,” “Body To Body,” “Beat Drop” and “Faster.”

Elizabeth & The Catapult, “Taller Children”

In Elizabeth & The Catapult’s opening track “Momma’s Boy” off their release “Taller Children” Elizabeth sings, “If you want a girl to be your mother go find another, go find another one. You only call me when your life’s going under, I’m not just a cover, not just a cover up. But you’re a grown boy, a grown boy, don’t expect the world to clean up for you cause they don’t have to, don’t expect the stars to line up or shine right past you. You seem to think you’ll always get exactly what you ask for but I’m not your mother.”  The album’s theme is clear, “we’re all just taller children in the end.” The album is a delight to listen to and is currently on heavy rotation on my ipod. Stand out tracks: “Taller Children,” “Race You” and “Momma’s Boy.”

Kathy Griffin, “Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin” (Audiobook)

Had I actually read the book version of comedian Kathy Griffin’s memoir “Official Book Club Selection” I would have called it a page turner but since I’m too lazy to read most books I downloaded (I purchased it people don’t get your panties in a bunch) the audiobook version and man am I glad I did. Since she’s a comic and we’re use to hearing her perform it was refreshing to hear her actual voice narrate tales from her early childhood as well as her ups and downs in Hollywood. The comic is brutally honest about her family and numerous plastic surgeries. The audiobook plays out like a performance or a one woman show. Sadly we miss out on the visual aids that the book comes with; I’ve heard her book comes with great photos including ones of her old nose as well as her new one. Kathy Griffin’s “Official Book Club Selection” is not for the faint of heart, it will definitely have you laughing, gasping or thinking, “Oh no she didn’t” so please don’t listen to it on the subway cause people will definitely be staring.

Kiss, “Sonic Boom”

Sonic Boom marks Kiss’ first release in 11 years. The album was released on October 6th and has a lot of that energy and sing-along ability that only Kiss can deliver. The 11-track album was produced by the band’s Paul Stanley in Los Angeles and among favorites is the track “Russian Roulette” whose guitar riffs and infectious chorus had me singing along “ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah” for days. Other killer tracks include: “Never Enough,” “Yes I know (Nobody’s Perfect),” “When Lightening Strikes” and “Say Yeah.” The album undoubtedly will have you screaming “Oh yeah!”

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, “Kitty, Daisy & Lewis”

Their influences range between R&B, swing, jump blues, country and Western, blues, Hawaiian and rock n roll and all of these influences can be heard on the trio Kitty, Daisy & Lewis self-titled US debut album. Their cover of “Going Up The Country” is irresistible as are tracks, “Honolulu Rock-A-Roll-A,” “I Got My Mojo Working” and “Ooo Wee.”

KristeenYoung, “Music for Strippers, Hookers and the Odd On-Looker”

The title alone put a smile on my face, KristeenYoung’s upcoming release “Music for Strippers, Hookers and the Odd On-Looker” is uniquely guitar-less and fully piano-based. The 14-track musical odyssey oozes raw emotions backed by Kristeen’s powerhouse pipes and pounding of the piano keys. The album aims to put piano-rock back on the map and it does. Among favorites are: “You Must Love Me,” “Everyone Wants Me To Cry,” “Stop Thinking,” and “That’s What It Takes, Dear” a duet with Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump.

Lady GaGa, “The Fame Monster”

Released as a 2 Disc re-release containing 8 new tracks Lady GaGa’s “The Fame Monster” is a reboot of her debut album “The Fame” which was an incredible album to begin with and catapulted GaGa to the mainstream with hits like “Just Dance,” “Poker Face” and “Love Game” now this new release features some of the most electrifying tunes in pop music today including the uber catchy “Bad Romance,” power ballad “Speechless” and delectable “Monster.” Lady GaGa is an unstoppable force that with her songwriting ability and show stopping appearance alone should withstand the test of time.

My Cousin, The Emperor, “A Long Way From Home”

My Cousin, The Emperor’s debut album has southern written all over it. The opening track, which is bears the album’s title, “A Long Way From Home” is downright fun to listen to. The guitars have a certain twang that gives you the sudden urge to hike up your cowboy boots, dust off your cowboy hat and button up your plaid shirt. It’s clearly a country album but with a hint of Blues, which is exactly what these Brooklyn-based young men are trying to create a blend of “Country R&B.” Standout Tracks: “Montevideo,” “Vanity on Decline” and “A Long Way From Home”

Rihanna, “Rated R”

Although released late in the year Rihanna’s “Rated R” made enough of an impact to make its way onto our Best of 2009 List and here’s why: Rihanna beckons listeners “To come on in” on intro track “Mad House” the sound is darker and the organs give a spooky element to the track, “to those of you who are easily frightened we suggest you turn away now. To those of you, who think you can take it we say welcome to the Mad House,” states a sinister male voice before Rihanna croons, “Come on, come on in.” The track is followed by “Wait Your Turn” where the songstress sings, “Sometimes it takes a thousands tries to win, the wait is over.” Not only is she declaring her return to the music scene but she’s acknowledging the turbulent year she’s had. It’s hard to separate the darker moodier tracks and honest lyrics with the headlines that rocked the singer’s life. On track “Stupid in Love” she sings, “My new nickname is you idiot, that’s what my friends call me when they see me yelling into my phone. They telling me “let go he is not the one.” I thought I saw your potential guess that’s what made me dumb. “Rated R” is a blend of confessional, dark and even hopeful lyrics. So don’t worry about Rihanna she’ll be just fine cause “Baby [she's] a rock star!” Key tracks: “Rock Star,” “Stupid in Love,” “Wait Your Turn” and “Fire Bomb.”

The Lonely Island, “Incredibad”

The Lonely Island’s debut album, “Incredibad,” is comedic gold. Featuring hits like “Dick in a Box,” “Jizz in My Pants” and “I’m on a Boat” (all featured at one point as SNL digital shorts) has paved the way for this trio to really shine. Aside from the lyrics being laugh out loud funny, (You can’t help but sing along to some of the most absurd lyrics, “I gotta vendetta, it’s against your jeans/Gonna put my knuckles up against the seams/They can be on your legs or on the clothesline/But when I see the zipper and cloth, it’s go time!/ And I’m zeroed in, I got the tunnel vision/ Gonna cover you in shit like a ton of pigeons/ Man I hate your jeans, I’m gonna bruise that denim/ It really doesn’t matter as long as you’re in em/ yo we’ll punch your jeans, we’ve said it before/ best believe this is not a metaphor/ Better watch your back, cuz we’re on the creep/ And we won’t stop till your jeans are six feet deep!”) the songs are well crafted, their hooks are catchy, upbeat and fun. The reason why the album works is because the artists don’t take themselves too seriously. They may be serious in making the music work and the personas they take on in the tracks are serious or “as real as it gets” but they know their audience and play to them well. The album features cameos from Jack Black (“Sax Man”), Natalie Portman (who rapped in her now famous SNL digital short titled “Natalie’s Rap” the rap where she claims she, “don’t sleep motherfucker off that Yak and the durbnin’/ Doin’ 120 getting head while [she's] swerving) and Norah Jones (“Dreamgirl”) among others. Stand out tracks: “Boombox,” “Like A Boss,” “Punch You In The Jeans,” “Santana DVX” and “Who said We’re Wack?”

New Music Tuesday (Week of December 8th)

Last modified on 2010-03-29 03:19:13 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Chevonne, “Unwrap Me”

A unique take on the traditional holiday albums, Chevonne’s “Unwrap Me” is a four-track EP with topics ranging from a guy lighting her up “for eight days at a time (“My Menorah”) and in the track “Single Bells” she sings, “getting decked out because my man just checked out and gonna throw away his photo” and spend the holidays singing “Single Bells, Single Bells all the way and I’m not gonna cry a single day.” You can purchase Chevonne’s “Unwrap Me” for a recession friendly $4 on itunes.

Family of The Year, “Songbook”

Family of The Year’s “Songbook” is a melodic, soothing album. The song “Feel Good Track of Rosemead” is just that a feel good song about having to “keep on keeping on” and wanting to “party all the time.” Songs like “Stupidland” and “I Played Drums On This” stand out musically and should appeal to the alternative music crowd.

Fink, “Sort of Revolution”

British born singer-songwriter Fink is destined to take American audiences by storm with his latest release “Sort of Revolution.” The album consists of acoustic tracks such as, “The Apologist” and “Pills In My Pocket” along with electronic-folky tunes like, “Fences” and “See it All.” The titled track “Sort of Revolution” is a favorite among the other wonderful tracks.

KARNIVOOL, “Sound Awake” (Feb 16, 2010)

KARNIVOOL’s “Sound Awake” erupts within seconds of opening track “Simple Boy” and never looks back. Tracks like “Goliath” and “Umbra” are epic rock gems that weave complex lyrics with equally complex and epic sounding guitar riffs and stand out percussion. It’s clear that 2010 will be the year of KARNIVOOL.  Stand out tracks include: “New Day” and “All I Know.”

New Music Tuesday (Week of December 1st)

Last modified on 2010-03-29 03:16:25 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Rihanna, “Rated R”

Rihanna beckons listeners “To come on in” on intro track “Mad House” the sound is darker and the organs give a spooky element to the track, “to those of you who are easily frightened we suggest you turn away now. To those of you, who think you can take it we say welcome to the Mad House,” states a sinister male voice before Rihanna croons, “Come on, come on in.”  The track is followed by “Wait Your Turn” where the songstress sings, “Sometimes it takes a thousands tries to win, the wait is over.” Not only is she declaring her return to the music scene but she’s acknowledging the turbulent year she’s had. It’s hard to separate the darker moodier tracks and honest lyrics with the headlines that rocked the singer’s life. On track “Stupid in Love” she sings, “My new nickname is you idiot, that’s what my friends call me when they see me yelling into my phone. They telling me let go he is not the one. I thought I saw your potential guess that’s what made me dumb.” Rated R is a blend of confessional, dark and even hopeful lyrics. So don’t worry about Rihanna she’ll be just fine cause “Baby [she's] a rock star!” Key tracks: “Rock Star,” “Stupid in Love,” “Wait Your Turn” and “Fire Bomb.”

Miles Benjamin’s Anthony Robinson, “Summer of Fear”

“Summer of Fear” opens up with “Shake a Shock” a mellow soothing track that like the album’s cover will have you feeling like you’re in the middle of the ocean with soft waves crashing behind you. Songs like “Always an Anchor” and “Losing 4 Winner” will have you humming along to the soothing sounds of Miles Benjamin’s Anthony Robinson’s “Summer of Fear.”

White Denim, “Fits”

White Denim’s “Fits” is a foot tapping, head shaking good time. From the explosive opening track, “Radio Milk How Can You Stand It” to the ballad “Regina Holding Hands” this Austin Texas trio has a unique blend of soul and blues infused rock n roll. With tracks like “I Start To Run” and “Paint Yourself” it’s easy to see why these fellas have been generated buzz across the globe.

Various Artists,A Blackheart Christmas”

Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records is gearing up for the holidays with a disc full of holiday tunes performed by label mates Girl in a Coma who perform a touching rendition of “Blue Christmas” The Vacancies and their original Christmas tune, “The Elf Song” and other classic covers performed with a harder edge like “Santa Baby” performed by The Dollyrots and “Little Drummer Boy” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

New Music Tuesday (Week of November 10th)

Last modified on 2010-03-29 03:13:30 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Holiday Shores, “Columbus’d The Whim”

Holiday Shores’ debut album “Columbus’d The Whim” is full of breezy summer- friendly pop tunes that consist of catchy melodies that are bound to put a smile on even the biggest cynic’s face. It’s hard to believe this is a debut album since the band has the kind of self confidence only veterans can get away with. Among favorites are: “Errand of Tongue,” and “Bradley Bear.”

Bing & Ruth, “City Lake” (Spring 2010)

A taste of what’s to come, we were very fortunate to get a really early peek at their forthcoming album set to release sometime next spring, Bing & Ruth’s “City Lake” is an entrancing delight. From opening track, “Broad Channel” to the culminating track, “Here’s What Your Missin.”

Nouvelle Vague, “3?

Nouvelle Vague’s release “3? is one of those albums those refreshing albums that comes along once in a lifetime, if the tracks on “3? sound vaguely familiar it’s because the band puts their groovy spin on tracks like, “Our Lips Are Sealed” a track made popular by The Go-Go’s and the Talking Head’s “Road To Nowhere” and Depeche Mode’s “Master and Servant.” The tracks feature duets from the likes of Terry Hall of the Specials and Funboy Three and Ian McCulloch of Echo And The Bunnymen.

Jon Bream, “Neil Diamond Is Forever: The illustrated Story of The Man And His Music” (book)

It is the second illustrated history book released by Voyageur Press to feature an iconic music legend, this time the spotlight shines brightly on Neil Diamond. The 160 page hardcover mixes color and black and white photography of the influential singer songwriter and his career that spans over five decades. Like Jim DeRogatis’ “The Velvet Underground: An Illustrated History of a Walk on The Wild Side” this book offers insight into the artist’s rise to the top and features ticket stubs and rare memorabilia, album covers, records and quotes from the man himself. The introduction alone is fantastic, Bream writes, “Everybody’s read one: a review deriding Neil Diamond as the “Frog King of Rock” or the cheesiest purveyor of pop on the Planet. He is parodied on Saturday Night Live. The keepers of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame haven’t thought enough of Neil to even put his name on the ballot, let alone induct him. He’d get my vote. I’m a believer in Neil Diamond’s as countless other devotees are.

New Music Tuesday (Week of October 20th)

Last modified on 2010-03-29 03:10:39 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

The Hi-Nobles, “Shake”

The Hi-Nobles latest release “Shake” has been regarded as being “a retro-style record, recalling the 1960’s garage/soul era with a new millennium twist” to us it was simply a rockin’ good time! Seconds into the lead off track “Soul Sister” you’ll be shaking it and having a ball. The 12-track album is a delightful rhythmic, dance-filled romp! Stand out tracks include “Shake,” “Soul Sister” and “Shelter.”

Deastro,”Moondagger”

By mixing unique out of this world sounding beats and layering loud guitars Deastro is able to bring to us “Moondagger” an album that’s bound to go over well with dance lovers and electro-pop enthusiasts. What makes this album stand out is the passion in which it is sung in and although the music itself is powerful it is never overpowering, they just mesh well. Stand out tracks include “Tone Adventure” and “Biophelia.”

Hey Ocean, “It’s Easier To Be Somebody Else”

Canada’s Hey Ocean has that type of sound that captivates audiences instantly from the mellow sounding lead vocals to the dynamic instrumentation this band is definitely one to keep an eye out for. “It’s Easier To Be Somebody Else” starts things off with the pleasing track “Too Soon” then delves into funkier sounding tunes like “A Song About California,” and “Vagabond” which features an artist by the name of Shad K. The album is pleasing from start to finish.

New Music Tuesday (Week of October 6th)

Last modified on 2010-03-28 05:22:52 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Rubblebucket Orchestra, “Rubblebucket” (October 13)

They’re unlike anything I’ve ever heard, Rubblebucket Orchestra fuse afro-beats with funk, rock and that undeniable hip Brooklyn sound, their songs will have you jumping out of your seat because tapping along is not enough when tracks like “November” blast through your speakers. This nine-piece band produces catchy rhythms with their brass instruments and soulful lead vocals their talent is perhaps best showcased in tracks “Landing,” and “540 Grove.” Rubblebucket is a musical experience not to be missed.

Art Brut, “Art Brut VS. Satan”

Within seconds of lead off track “Alcoholics Unanimous” you’ll be hooked. The rhythm is infectious and lyrics have a sing-along quality that’s bound to have you rewinding just so you can chant along to the chorus. “Art Brut VS. Satan” is a blend of good beats and comedic lyrics, “DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake” the title says it all. Killer tracks include, “Am I Normal,” “Demons Out!” and “Alcoholics Unanimous

Yourself And The Air, “Friend of All Breeds”

“Friend of All Breeds” is one of those albums that strike a cord with you instantly, the mellow sounding vocals and powerful guitars transport you to an alternative rock universe you don’t want to come back from. Among favorites are “So You’ve Come To Mingle” and “Less is Less.”

Modernboys Moderngirls, “I Might As Well Break It”

Watch out America, Canadian rockers Modernboys Moderngirls (MBMG) are poised to invade airways with their release “I Might As Well Break It.” With catchy tracks like “Stay Under,” and “My Baby Says Boy, Don’t You Ever Go” they are bound to become household names.

Cymbals Eat Guitars, “Why There Are Mountains”

“And The Hazy Sea” is perhaps the best lead off track I’ve heard in a long time, the first 30 seconds are epic sounding then mellow out into a beautiful sounding rock ballad. Cymbals Eat Guitars “Why There Are Mountains” is an accomplished 9-track album that deserves air time. Stand Out tracks include, “Cold Spring,” “The Living North” and “And The Hazy Sea.

New Music Tuesday (Week of September 27, 2009)

Last modified on 2010-03-28 05:19:37 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Joe Perry, “Have Guitar, Will Travel” (October 6)

“Have Guitar, Will Travel” is Joe Perry’s fourth solo album, the Aerosmith co-founding member and living guitar legend kicks his 10-track rock and blues infused album with lead off single “We Got A Long Way To Go” featuring German singer Hagen, the track has everything you’d expect from Joe Perry, rhythmic beats and killer guitar riffs. Although the album features tracks by guest vocalists (“Do You Wonder”), allowing Perry to shred his guitar, the songs I prefer are the ones where he showcases his voice, his voice is deeper than expected and has a blues feel to it that’s total rock n roll. Among favorites was his Fleetwood Mac cover of “Somebody’s Gonna Get (Their Head Kicked in Tonite).” Other favorites include “Slingshot,” “Heaven and Hell” and “Freedom.”

Electric Six, “Kill” (October 20th)

Electric Six’s “Kill” is no “Waste Of Time And Money” the album has all the sweet beats and charm we’ve come to expect from these guys. Tracks like: “The Newark Airport Boogie” and “Simulated Love” will have you dancing it up regardless of the time and place. Pick up a copy or we will “Kill” you! Ha-ha.

Mower, “Make It a Double”

Loud, in your face and an overall party only begins to describe Mower’s “Make It a Double.” The album appropriately opens up with “The Party,” a hard rocking track that will have you banging your head. “The Song We Don’t Speak Of” stands out the most but tracks like: “Road Rage,” and “Undone” showcases the band’s softer side providing a nice balance to this hard hitting album.

The Cinematics, “Love and Terror”

“All These Things” is the lead off track of The Cinematics’ “Love and Terror” the track like most of the album is a delight full of infectious hooks and fast-paced beats. “Love and Terror” is the long awaited follow-up to 2007’s release “Strange Education” it’s nice to see that these guys can overcome adversity and still produce a sound album.

Subnoize Souljaz, “Blast From Tha Past”

Kottonmouth Kings kick off the 14-track album with the song “Paul Revere.” The album features artists like Big D, Cypress Hill’s Sen Dog who does a rendition of Public Enemy’s “Bring the Noize,” Chucky Chuck who covers Snoop Dog’s “Murder Was the Case” and many more. The album is a must have for hardcore hip hop fans.

Jim DeRogatis, “The Velvet Underground: An Illustrated History of a Walk on The Wild Side” (Book) The 192-page hardcover illustrated history book of the legendary Velvet Underground comes with a velvet dust jacket. Inside the book is full of never before seen photographs, ticket stubs, concert posters and album covers chronicling the formation and history of the influential band. The book was published on the forty-fifth anniversary of the Velvet Underground’s founding and is a must have coffee- table-sized book for any Velvet fan or rock n roll enthusiast. Jim DeRogatis (author) does a fantastic job of walking us through the 60s rock era and provides some great insights into how these rockers although heavily influential in the alternative and punk music scene were relatively unknown by the masses, in his intro DeRogatis writes, “Only five thousand people ever bought a Velvet Underground album, but every single one of them started a band.”