Muse song chosen as official song of 2012 Olympics

Officials with the 2012 Summer Olympics have made an announcement that will make fans of Muse very happy.  The band’s song, ‘Survival’ has been named the official song of this year’s Summer Olympics.  The song will be played at each of the venues for the events of this year’s Olympic games. 

Muse’s Matt Bellamy spoke on the band’s inclusion in the games.  He said, “It’s a huge honor to have the track chosen as such a major part of the London 2012 Olympic Games.”  He explained how the song came to life, saying, I wrote it with the Games in mind as it expresses a sense of conviction and determination to win.”

Muse’s new album, “The 2nd Law” is epxected to be released in September, with a supporting tour to follow.  fans can get all the latest on Muse online at http://www.muse.mu, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/muse, on Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/muse, and at Twitter at http://twitter.com/muse.

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As I Lay Dying releases video for first single from “Awakened”

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

As I Lay Dying won’t release its new album until September 25th.  But to get fans excited for its impending release, the band has officially released the lyric video for the first single off of the album, ‘Cauterize.’

The video shows a moth like insect flying against AILD’s band logo, while the lyrics to the song play overtop.  The song comes across as a very personal piece.  The band sings on the song’s chorus, “I’m caught between the feeling of being pulled apart, or stuffed into a cell.”  There’s obviously some inner conflict in the song.  fans can check out the video on the band’s official Youtube channel now at http://www.youtube.comasilaydying

As I Lay Dying will be touring throughout the Summer with the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in support of “Awakened.”  Fans can check out all of the band’s tour dates online at http://www.asilaydying.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/asilaydying, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/asilaydying.

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Horisont’s sophomore album a shoe in for one of 2012′s best rock records

Courtesy: Rise Above Records/Metal Blade Records

The members of Swedish based rock band Horisont could not have chosen a better name for their band.  For those who don’t know, Horisont is Swedish for horizon.  So what does that have to do with anything?  Everything.  For every band and act that wants to hit it big, fame is just over the horizon.  It’s in the distance.  But for Horisont, the band has reached the horizon (horisont) line and crossed over to major fame in the rock community. 

The band’s new album, “Second Assault” is arguably one of the year’s best rock records.  There are lots of acts that try to emulate the old school rock/metal sound.  But what Horisont does is more than just emulate that classic rock sound.  Horisont sounds like it came direct from rock’s golden era. The album itself makes the band’s name fitting, as it starts off very quiet as if the band is off on the horizon before launching into ‘Time Warrior.’  This is one that fans of Deep Purple will love.  The band gives listeners just enough time to catch their breaths at the end of ‘Time Warrior’ before going headfirst right back into things with ‘Road to Cairo.’  The softest that the band gets on “Second Assault” is on the seemingly Pink Floyd-esque, ‘Crusaders of Death.’ 

‘On The Run’ is yet another perfectly fitting piece to this band’s musical puzzle.  It’s a straight forward, hard driving piece that will get any true rocker moving.  The band’s dual guitar attack, mixed with the Rob Halford/Ozzy style vocals of frontman Axel make this one of the album’s highest of points.  And who would ever have imagined Fleetwood Mac being mentioned in the same thought as Ozzy and Rob Halford.  But it’s true.  ‘Watch Them Die’ shows a pretty obvious Fleetwood Mac influence throughout.  And the guitar solos in this piece will even conjure thoughts of Jimi Hendrix, with their styling.

The title track from “Second Assault” kicks off the second half of the album just as strongly as ‘Time Warrior’ kicked off the first half.  There’s no denying the Judas Priest influence on on this one, from the vocals to the music as a whole.  Axel even gets the high notes with an ease that would make Rob Halford proud.  He doesn’t lose his vocal footing even once anywhere in the song.  The band barely lets off from there as it segues into ‘Spirit.’  The bluesy/rock fuzz feel of ‘Spirit’ brings to mind so many different influences.

‘Hard Bargain’ especially is an impressive track. It boasts a touch of Jimi Hendrix on the guitars mixed in with the thundering John Bonham-esque drumming from Magnus.  Add it together, and audiences get yet another great musical experience.  Once the band pounds through ‘Hard Bargain’, there’s jsut one more song on the album.  That song is the hard rocking, guitar driven, ‘Thunderflight.’  It’s just as relentless as the rest of the pieces on “Second Assault.”  Once it’s all said and done, and ‘Thunderflight’ ends, audiences are left breathless.  But it’s a good breathless.  From start to finish, this record leaves real rock fans feeling like they haven’t just listened to another album.  Rather, it leaves them feeling like they actually just experienced something special.  It leaves them wanting more, in a good way, like a really good book.  They don’t want it to end, even though they know it has to.  And thankfully, just like a book, audiences can listen to it again and again and relive that experience each and every time.

Rise Above Records made a great choice signing Horisont.  “Second Assault” is proof of that.  Of the ten total songs on the album, there is not one bad song.  All combined, “Second Assault” makes for an album that stands on its own two feet among the masses of bands whose albums try to emulate perhaps one classic rock band or another.  Horisont has taken the road less traveled, instead, making its own path.  Because of that, the band has put itself in place to be a candidate for the best rock record of 2012.

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Shark Divers lets viewers take a dip in the deep at home

Courtesy: Mill Creek Entertainment

Sharks are amazing creatures.  They are sleek, swift, powerful, and also very dangerous.  However, there is at least one shark–the Whale Shark–that is anything but dangerous.  But thanks to the 1975 hit movie, “Jaws”, and media hype ever since then, the gap in people’s love/hate relationship with sharks has never really been minimized.  Now, thanks to the people at Mill Creek Entertainment and documentarian Danny Mauro, audiences are offered a chance to better understand one of nature’s most powerful and amazing creatures in the brand new documentary, “Shark Divers.”

Courtesy: Mill Creek Entertainment

“Shark Divers” is an important piece in the crusade to help people better understand sharks and our impact on them.  The four-part documentary takes viewers into the beautiful blue world in which these amazing creatures live.  All four segments included in the documentary echo the same sentiment.  They remind audiences that much of the fear of sharks is baseless.  In the documentary’s title segment, audiences are introduced to a gentleman who runs hiw own shark diving company and companion publication for shark diving enthusiasts.  He takes viewers along for some of his dives.  And along the way, he shares stories of some of his more harrowing encounters with the sharks.  On the other side, viewers see the lengths to which many shark diving enthusiasts will go in order to get close to sharks.  They see the dangerous and sometimes fatal result of shark divers’ hobby.  It reminds viewers that when people go diving, they are enterting the sharks’ world.  The sharks generally do not attack humans.  Rather, it’s noted that sharks actually see humans as just another predator, like them.  So for the most part, they will leave them alone.  Their only reason for approaching divers is simple curiosity.  They mean no harm.

The documentary’s second segment, “Shark Business” expands a little more on the title segment.  “Shark Business” takes a more in depth look at the bahavior of sharks in the wild and how they interact with divers.  Lemon sharks, bull sharks, and Great Whites take center stage in this segment.  From there, it proceeds to profile the gentle giants of the shark world, Whale Sharks.  Whale Sharks are incredible creatures.  But their numbers are dwindling.  This segment investigates the cause of the species’ dwindling numbers and what’s being done to protect and save it.

From the world of sharks, “Shark Divers” closes out with a look at another of the undersea world’s most incredible creatures.  Viewers will get to see what its like to swim with giant manta rays.  Divers head to the Socorro Islands off of Mexico’s Pacific coast to swim with them and research their behavior.  Not only will audiences love the underwater sequences, but they’ll marvel at the scenery around the islands, too.

“Shark Divers” is a wonderful companion piece for fans of Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week programming.  However, it should be noted that this documentary does bear a “PG” rating, and with good cause.  There are some images that younger viewers might find unsettling, or that parents might find unsettling for their children.  While the argument is being made about the impact on sharks of human fear, it shows iamges of the end result of shark hunts.  There are also images of sharks hunting other creatures.  So parents should be warned of that before letting their children watch this alone.  That aside, “Shark Divers” is still an insightful and beautigully shot documentary for anyone who has any fascination with these incredible denizens of the deep.  “Shark Divers” is availble now on blu-ray and dvd.  It can be bought in store or online at http://www.millcreekent.com

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English Beat fans will rock to the “beat” with new box set and compilation

 

Courtesy: ShouT! Factory/Go-Feet Records

It’s been nearly thirty-five years since music pioneers The English beat first formed in Birmingham, England.  The English Beat really crossed the musical lines during its career.  It mixed pop, raggea and ska for a sound that was unlike anything else taht audiences were hearing at the time. Now, thanks to a partnership between Shout! Factory and Go-Feet Records, a whole new generation will get to experience the music of a band that laid the groundwork for a whole generation.

On Tuesday, July 10th, Shout! Factory and Go-Feet Records will release a five-disc box set featuring a career retrospective of The English Beat.  There will also be a single disc compilation released alongside that box, titled, “Keep The Beat:  The Very Best of The English Beat.”  For those who are perhaps new to The English Beat, this single disc compilation is an excellent introduction to both the legendary band.  “Keep The Beat” provides more than just a fleeting glance of The English Beat’s catalogue.  It opens with the deeply introspective ‘Mirror in The Bathroom.’  There’s also the seemingly relationship based ‘Twist & Crawl’, and ‘Hands Off…She’s Mine’ just to name a few.

What makes this compliation such an important release is that it comes in an era when it’s next to impossible at times to differentiate acts from one another even within the confines of their own respective genres.  It could even be argued that The English Beat set the groundwork for what would eventually become today’s ska.  There is also some standard pop and some really great reggae.  In the simplest terms, The English Beat is such an important band because, as proven by this compilation, it could so easily cross musical lines without losing its punch.  Few, if any, bands can do today what The English beat did in its day.

Fans of The English Beat can pick up this amazing compilation or its companion box set, “The Complete Beat” online at http://www.shoutfactorystore.com or in stores on July 10th.  Regardless of either the box set or compilation cd, this is a must for any music lover or music historian.  It is a piece of music history that has finally been unearthed for fans of all ages.

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Dolphin Tale goes belly up

Courtesy: Warner Brothers PIctures

Dolphin Tale is hardly the most original movie ever made.  It’s one part Flipper, one part Free Willy and one part Soul Surfer all tossed together in a pot.  The one big problem with this most recent animal rescue movie is its preachiness.  It comes across more as a means to preach to young, impressionable audiences than to really be anything of substance. 

The movie starts off by showing the dolphin, Winter, playing with her fellow dolphins, among a mass of fishing equipment.  As subtle as this is, it’s obviously a message about the impact of fishing on the ocean environment.  That message is driven home even more when Winter is discovered beached by a fisherman.  The fisherman sees young Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble) and gets him to come help get Winter out of the net in which she was caught.  In the process of freeing Winter, it’s revealed that the netting caused severe damage to her tail, eventually leading it to be amputated.

The amputation of Winter’s tale leads to the secondary preachy story here.  The secondary preachy store is centered on the effects of war on soldiers, both physical and mental.  Sawyer works with Cameron McCarthy (Morgan Freeman) to get a prosthetic tale for Winter.  Dr. McCarthy works with woudned war veterans, making prosthetics for them.  He comes in to play as a result of injuries sustained by Sawyer’s cousin while he was serving.  It’s a subtle way for the writers to preach about war and its effects on soldiers and their families.  On one hand, this might be too much for younger audiences to grasp.  On the other hand, being that it’s part of a movie aimed at young audiences, it could be interpreted as a cheap way to try and influence said young audiences’ mindsets.  What’s more, audiences watch movies as a means to escape the preachiness and negativity in the world.  So to have a movie script do the exact opposite of escapism only serves to make it that much less of a worthwhile watch.

Red Tails is a fast paced, high flying history introduction

Pride.  Honor.  Courage.  The men who fought and died for this country all had these qualities.  Sadly, in all the stories shared of “The Greatest Generation” since WWII ended, the story of the famed Red Tails is one that has been shared far less than that of other groups.  So when word came out that a big budget Hollywood feature centered on one of the United States military’s greatest ever fighting groups would be made, it was a welcome announcement.  And the end result was not bad.  However, it still could have been better.  What can be said of Red Tails is that it is at least a nice starting point in the history of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Red Tails wastes no time getting right into the story.  It starts off with the squadron on the equivalent of a scouting mission.  Thanks to writers Aaron McGruder and John Ridley, audiences are immediately told of how the Tuskegee Airmen were kept from flying real missions until Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) convinces the military brass that his men deserve the chance to fly real combat missions.  The action moves rather quickly from there.  To the writers’ credit, at least the story does keep the melodrama to an extreme minimum, opting instead for featuring the deeds of this fearless group of pilots.

Red Tails shares with audiences a sampling of what made the Tuskegee Airmen the great group of pilots that they have come to be known as today.  However, where it succeeds in presenting wonderful representations of the pilots’ achievements, it comes up short in their overall history.  It would have been nice to get more background on how the all black air wing was first created and how it ended up in Italy.  Simply put, while Red Tails is a good starting point, there is still so much more that can and should be shared about what is one of the most important group of servicemen to ever don the uniform and fly the flag of the United States of America. 

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The Cult releases second single from its new album

Courtesy: Cooking Vinyl

Veteran rock act, The Cult, has officially released the second single off of its highly acclaimed new album, “Choice of Weapon.”  The song, ‘Honey From a Knife’ is the hard rocking opener to the new album.  Behind the work of the band–Billy Buffy (guitar), Chris Wyse (bass), John tempesta (drums) and Ian Astbury (vocals), this song comes right at listeners. 

Along with being released to radio stations nationwide, “Honey From a Knife” is also now available as a ringtone on all U.S. carriers. 

The Cult is currently touring in support of “Choice of Weapon.”  And fans can check out all the current and upcoming tour dates online at http://www.thecult.us and on its Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/officialcult.  They can also keep up with all the latest on the band’s Twitter page at http://twitter.com/officialcult, on Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/thecult.  If you’re not hearing ‘Honey From a Knife’ at your favorite radio station, make sure to call them up and request it right now!

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The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie boogies bigtime

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Records

Eagle Rock Entertainment and Eagle Records is known as one of the leaders when it comes to live releases.  The companies ahve already released the majority of the year’s best live releases so far.  And now with the release of The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie live in Paris, Eagle Rock has continued to maintain its place at the forefront of live releases. 

The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie is a solid recording from start to finish with plenty of jazz and blues for any occasion.  Being that Summer is now here, lots of people are planning road trips, parties and much more.  This is one of those records that is perfect for any of those events.  The band plays its own renditions of  (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66, Doctor John’s ‘Somebody Changed The Lock On My Door’ and W.C. Handy’s famed ‘St. Louis Blues’ along with plenty of its own original compositions throughout the course of this concert.  There’s even a cover of Leroy Carr’s blues classic, ‘Low Down Dog Blues’ and Don Raye’s ‘Down The Road a Bit.’

The set list on this show is impressive to say the least.  But no concert is a concert without musicians who are capable of interpreting the music and making it pleasurable to the ear.  This quartet of musicians is exactly that and then some.  The pure musicianship of each member shows the respect that the group as a whole has for the music.  Even in the longer pieces, audiences won’t even be able to tell how much time has passed.  That’s thanks to the group’s attention to dynamics, style, and everything else that goes on in each piece.

The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie isn’t the only act out there currently spreading the joy of jazz and blues to the masses.  And while the group may not be the only one doing so, it’s one of the best, without a doubt.  And chances are, regardless of how many acts come and go through the years, this is one recording that fans of jazz and the blues will keep coming back to over and over again for years to come.

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Chris Wallace releases video for ‘Remember When’

Former White Tie Affair frontman Chris Wallace has officially debuted the video for the first single off his new upcoming album.  The video for ‘Remember When’ is set against the aftermath of a huge house party which was attended both by Wallace and a former love interest of his.  Audiences see Wallace sitting on a bench and looking over at his ex-gilfriend as she lays asleep across the lap of another man.  He sings, looking at the camera, “I’m sitting with an empty glass and a broken heart\thinking what have I done?”  As he sings these lines, audiences see a flashback of how the now former couple’s relationship went bad.

Throughout the course of the video, audiences see the house party go back in time as he sings, “Do You Remember When?”  The visuals show all the good times that the couple had.  It all eventually leads up to Chris being the one holding his now once more girlfriend’s head resting quietly in his lap. 

The whole video can now been seen online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stKHUgIlNSA and on his main website, http://www.chriswallacemusic.com.  Fans can keep up with all the latest news from Wallace on his website, and on his fficial Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/ChrisWallaceMusic.

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