2013 October

Seasons in the Abyss by Sam Westphalen

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I don’t know who this guy is, pretty sure he’s Australian and he sometimes identifies himself as Sambo Ray Jr., which was a nickname a friend gave him in high school. He’s a pretty phenomenal guitar percussionist player. I usually say “listen to the music, don’t watch the video”, but in this case, you really need to watch the video to see this guy play the guitar. This song is a cover of Slayer’s. The acoustic guitar playing is great, and the deadpan mellow vocals are such a contrast to the original that it’s funny.

Home by Marc Broussard

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Marc has been putting out music independently since 2002. He’s a rather talented guy and the son of famous guitarist Ted Broussard, whom was a member of ‘The Boogie Kings.’ Marc’s style of music has been classified and Bayou Soul and once you get a listen to this guys voice, its clear as to why he falls in to that category. During his career, Marc has put out 4 albums and a few EPs. The song that i have brought to you today comes from his first major album release ‘Carencro,’ that was released in August 2004. This album had great success and the song ‘Home’ reached number 40 on the top Billboard charts. This song has been covered by Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson on multiple occasions. I like this song because it has a down south feel that you really just don’t hear any more. The whole vibe of the song and Marc’s voice takes me back to my childhood when i would visit my grandpa and he would have deep soul music from Louisiana playing in the background. I like the down home feel that this song leaves me with, and i must say I’m a big fan of Marc’s voice.

80’s Flashback Molly Ringwald to Perform Jazz Set

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Favorite 80’s teen movie queen Molly Ringwald will perform hits from her recent jazz CD at Husson University’s Gracie Theatre on November 23rd. “An Evening with Molly Ringwald” features the song stylings of Ringwald and the music of her jazz quartet – with two performances at 4:00 pm and 7:30 pm.

“This soul-stirring jazz performance will bring a touch of Hollywood to Bangor,” said Jeri Misler, managing director of the Gracie Theatre. “As a young fan of “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club,” and a current fan of her two books, I’m looking forward to Molly sharing her love of music with a Maine audience.”

The Molly Ringwald Quartet includes Ringwald on vocals, Musical Director Peter Smith, on piano, plus a bass musician and a drummer. Her debut CD, “Except Sometimes,” released earlier this year, received rave reviews. The Huffington Post described Ringwald’s voice as “unaffected, clear, and at moments, vulnerable,” and further added, “she coaxes complexity from her honeyed mezzo-soprano.”

Her Gracie performance will feature the album’s soft-jazz interpretation of “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” the theme song from “The Breakfast Club” among other jazz standards from the release.

Ringwald’s passion for jazz and singing started at a young age. According to Ringwald, “I grew up in a home filled with music and had an early appreciation of jazz since my dad was a jazz musician [pianist Bob Ringwald]. At around age three, I started singing with his band. Jazz music has continued to be one of my three passions along with acting and writing. I like to say jazz music is my musical equivalent of comfort food. It’s always where I go back to when I want to feel grounded.”

Ringwald is best known for her roles in the John Hughes’ motion pictures “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Club,” and “Pretty in Pink.” After the success of those and subsequent films including Stephen King’s “The Stand,” Ringwald moved to Paris and appeared in several French films.

In 1997, Ringwald returned to the theater in New York City where she starred in Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, “How I Learned to Drive,” a role she later reprised at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Subsequent theater credits include playing the legendary ‘Sally Bowles’ in the Broadway production of “Cabaret;” the Tony-nominated Broadway production of “Enchanted April;” and the London production of “When Harry Met Sally.” She also starred as ‘Charity Hope Valentine’ in the Broadway national musical revival tour of “Sweet Charity.”

More recently, Molly starred in the breakout hit, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” on the ABC Family Channel. Currently, she can also be found promoting her second novel, the national bestseller, “When It Happens to You.”

Tickets for “An Evening with Molly Ringwald” start at $25.00 for balcony seats and $32.00 for orchestra seating. Visit http://www.gracietheatre.com or call the box office at 941-7888 to reserve a seat for this special performance.

Completed in October of 2009, The Gracie is Husson University’s center for the fine and performing arts. This beautiful new 500-seat theatre is quickly earning a reputation as one of Maine’s premier performance venues. In addition, The Gracie also serves as a learning platform for students from the New England School of Communications in digital audio, sound mixing, set design and construction, lighting, acting and electronics. For more information, visit GracieTheatre.com

For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in South Portland, Wells and Presque Isle provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies, science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu

Requiem by M. Ward

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“Requiem” starts off with Ward and his guitar for the first minute before the drums and bass kick in. It’s another builder, as the music grows in intensity as the song progresses. There’s also a cool little guitar solo with plenty of distortion towards the end of the short track. Short and sweet is always good. If you like these tracks, go out a get a copy of “Post-War”. You won’t be sorry.

If I was King by Andy Allo

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Andy Allo is very talented young woman; she acts, sings and writes her own music. To be honest, she hasn’t been on the music scene for very long, but she has been able to learn from one of the best artist to ever distribute music to the masses (Prince). Her first album (UnFresh) was an independent release but it earned her the rightful ear of Prince and he asked her to tour with him. During his tour, they wrote multiple songs together for her second album (Superconductor) and this song comes from her second album. This song was not released as a single, but its by far my favorite song on the album. Also, as an FYI Andy’s second album, Superconductor, charted as number one in Australia, the UK and the United States upon its release in late 2012. She’s by far a talented artist and i cant wait for her future releases. Sadly, this was the only version of her song that i could find online that was longer than 90 seconds. It’s a live version, so there’s a jam session for the last minute of the song in which the saxophone players and the trombone players have a little battle. I will say, its great to hear her live and she totally brings it during this live guitar session. Enjoy!

Florida Music Teacher Dyce Kimura Offers Guitar Lessons Worldwide on Skype

Posted by | Artist Development, Industry News | 5 Comments

As the world around us continues to evolve digitally, the world of music is also taking advantage of technological offerings. Dyce Kimura, a respected professional musician in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, proudly continues to bolster his innovative Skype guitar lessons. “With the technology available to us today, there’s no reason for people not to have access to music and have the opportunity to learn,” says Kimura.

Indeed, Dyce Kimura’s online guitar lessons are available to anyone throughout the world as long as they have an internet connection and ability to Skype. Part of what makes Kimura one of the most sought teachers is the fact that he still performs as a professional musician. While many Skype guitar teachers focus on music education full-time, Kimura is performing, gigging, and recording in the studio. This gives Kimura a unique perspective as he works with each student because he creates custom lessons that allow students to not only learn music, but also understand how they can use it in life.

“He’s really inspiring,” says one student. “I enjoy the practical approach that Dyce brings. Whether it’s tips on how to practice or on how to perform, everything he teaches has a purpose. I’ve recommended him to my friends.”

This isn’t the first time that Kimura has received such high praise from his students. In fact, Kimura is currently a top 10 finalist in the 2013 Truefire Next Top Guitar Instruction Competition, which is open for voting through December. Though Kimura receives consistent praise for his work as an instructor, he insists that his goal is simple. “I just want to make music accessible for anyone,” says Kimura.

To make this goal a reality, Kimura is offering 20 percent off for first time Skype guitar lessons by simply mentioning this article. The cut off is October 20th, 2013 at midnight. With continued research showcasing the benefits of music education, Kimura hopes that parents will encourage their children to learn more about the arts. But Kimura isn’t just teaching children. “Anyone of any age can learn music,” says Kimura. “It has a profound effect on creativity, time management, and your ability to set a goal and achieve it.”

More and more research continues to prove the benefits of music lessons, especially at a young age, and Kimura hopes that parents will take advantage of his Skype guitar lessons.

Dyce Kimura is a professional musician from Fort Lauderdale, Florida who is passionate about making the lives of everyone around him just a little more musical.



To Go Home by M. Ward

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M. Ward is an old soul. The singer/songwriter based in Portland (real name Matt, but goes by M), played in a band called Rodriguez for six years before embarking on a solo career. He’s now seven albums in, released between 2001-12. He’s also the “Him” part of She & Him, who is comprised of Ward and Zooey Deschanel, and they just released their 3rd album together (not including their holiday album). Oh, I shouldn’t forget the Monsters of Folk project he did with Jim James, Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis. I call Ward an old soul, because once you hear his music, it sounds retro and timeless. Everything is so natural sounding, it’s almost like listening to a rehearsal until you realize that everything is way too well put together for a rehearsal. His slow vocal drawl really adds to his distinct sound, plus I’m guessing he must record with vintage equipment. He’s an excellent guitar player, but not flashy. I was fortunate enough to first listen to him after his ’06 release “Post-War”, which may be his best work to date. Ward is definitely a fresh breath of air compared to much of the music that is being recorded these days. The first song I’m including is his cover of Daniel Johnston’s “To Go Home”, which also features Neko Case on background vocals. I love this track. The guitar and piano interplay as they trade riffs back and forth is great as the song kicks off. Ward’s vocals are perfect with the music, and Neko Case is a perfect addition on the chorus. My favorite line is in the second verse – “God it’s great to be alive, takes the skin right off my hide, to think I’ll have to give it all up…someday”. This line is repeated again as the song ends. The music slowly builds in speed and intensity as the track moves along. This song easily made by “Best of 2006” compilation that year.

Keep your fans connected by giving them an app

Posted by | Artist Development, Industry News | 12 Comments

A lot has changed since Noisy Planet won “Best Music Business Website” honors from the Independent Music Awards in 2009. Facebook and Twitter have become mainstream promotional tools for bands, and fans are increasingly turning to YouTube as their primary source for music consumption. And most bands today haven’t been to their own MySpace Music page in years – if they still have one! (Sorry Timberlake) Furthermore, whether you realize it or not your fan base is going mobile. Studies now show that at least 65% of music is enjoyed on a smart phone or tablet.

A year ago I challenged my team to come up with the one thing that would help you promote your music more easily, and we did it.

Now when artists and bands sign up for Noisy Planet they automatically get a mobile app to give away to fans for free. We build the app on your behalf and load it to the AppStore for you. The app is branded for each individual act with links to your photos, bio, song list, iTunes catalogue, YouTube videos, Facebook page, Twitter feed and more. It takes about 3 weeks to set up.

If you were to do this on your own it would either a>take six months to build, or b>cost 2,000 USD to build, or both. It’s the easiest way for fans to follow your entire music career and keep you at their fingertips. Anytime you update anything about your career it shows up in the app in real time.

Currently the app is for iPhone and iPad only, and an Android version is scheduled for release in 2014.

Contact my Artist Services team at artistservices at noisyplanet.net with questions, or just hit http://noisyplanet.net/artistsignup.asxp to get started.

Q.U.E.E.N (ft. Erykah Badu) by Janelle Monae

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Janelle has been in the music scene since 2005. She was featured on a few songs by OutKast on their “Idlewild” CD. OutKast member BigBoi liked her so much that he told P.Diddy about her, and then Diddy went on to check her out and wound up signing her to his label. Monae has put out 2 proper albums and her newest album (Electric Lady) is getting ready to drop later this year. This song is the first single off of her new album. Some of you may know her name thanks to the fun song “Some Nights” where she is featured near the end of the tune. Others of you may know her from her break out song “Tight Rope,” which kinda put her on the map in the world of R&B. The song I’m reviewing today is probably one of my favorite songs of hers. The moment i heard this song i was in love with the beat. The whole vibe of the song has a very ‘funk’ feel to it. Monae doesn’t sing on the track, but instead has more of a spoken word type of flow. The best part of the song is at about the 4 minute mark when the horns really come in to the track, and Monae is set to rap a little bit. She has a very steady flow and honestly, I didn’t feel like the rap was out of place on the track. The rap flowed nicely with the funk style that the song is engrossed in.

Doin’ It Right by Daft Punk

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The Parisian duo known as Daft Punk actually first formed back in 1992. The “robots” are DJs Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter. With the release of only three single, the duo started a bidding war in 1996, eventually signing with Virgin. They released their debut album “Homework” the following year. The DJs’ sound was a blend of house, techno, funk and electro, with a mild touch of hip hop. It was and still is anthemic dance music. They experienced a lot of success (in their genre) and their follow-up was eagerly awaited. Four years later, they released “Discovery” in 2001, which I still think is their definitive album. Four years after that “Human After All” came out (a letdown, but anything was bound to be a letdown after “Discovery”. The duo put together an astonishing live show (by DJ standards), which led to the release of “Alive 2007”. A ‘live” album from DJs you’re probably wondering? But it works, and works very well. They did a great job mashing some of their songs together and had a state of the art light show to go with it. They did the soundtrack for the movie “Tron: Legacy” in 2010 and now in 2013, have released their fourth proper studio album “Random Access Memories”. Based on the success of their live show, Daft Punk has grown so much bigger than they were when they released their third album. People are even paying good money for homemade reproductions of the duo’s robot helmets that are sold online. The band has really changed things up with their new release. It’s a full-blown disco tribute, bringing you back to that era and sound in a major way. They used Nile Rodgers on guitar on several tracks (you may know him from Chic – “Good Times” & “Le Freak”) and Giorgio Moroder was also a “collaborator”. Another thing the band did was go out of their way to use live musicians instead of the synthesizers they had previously based their sound on. So instead of digital string sounds, you hear an orchestra actually playing the music. The album was painstakingly recorded and sounds simply incredible. Unfortunately, this will be lost on the overwhelming majority of listeners unless you’re listening on a nice stereo system or possible a high-end pair of headphones (and no, Beats by Dre don’t qualify there). Daft Punk pulled in many others to collaborate with on this album in addition to Rodgers and Moroder, including Pharrell Williams, Paul Williams, Todd Edwards, Julian Casablancas (The Strokes) and Panda Bear (Animal Collective).

I’m featuring the track “Doin’ It Right” that features Panda Bear on vocals, because it is most like their older material. I’m still wrapping my arms around this disco homage they’ve crafted, so hearing something more familiar immediately registered with me. “Get Lucky” is also a great track, but you’ve probably been living in a cave for the past month+ if you haven’t heard that song yet. “Doin’ It Right” kicks off with their trademark heavily synthesized vocals chanting the mantra “Doin’ it right everybody will be dancing, and we’re feeling it right, everybody will be dancing and be doin’ it right, everybody will be dancing when you’re feeling alright, everybody will be dancing”. They slowly layer a beat behind this, along with some other sounds and tempo changes. Then Panda Bear’s vocals start-up, contrasting nicely with the robotic mantra in the background. This was the sound that first drew me in to these guys. If you enjoy this track and don’t own a copy of “Discovery”, you should go download that album tonight.