Shout! Factory Kids’ New ‘LPS’ DVD Is A “Star” In Itself

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids

Shout! Factory Kids’ latest entry in its ongoing series of Littlest Pet Shop DVD, Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Stars is a star in itself among the bigger picture of the series’ current collections.  The DVD, released Feb. 14, is yet another enjoyable collection of episodes for the whole family.  That is due in part to the collection’s featured episodes and their sequencing.  That will be discussed shortly.  The episodes’ writing is just as important to note in examining this collection if not more than the episodes themselves. While it is a minute detail here, the series’ animation can actually be noted in the case of at least one of the collection’s episodes.  Each element plays its own important part to the collection’s overall presentation.  All things considered, this collection proves in the end to indeed be another enjoyable addition to the series’ current list of entries and another one of this year’s top new children’s DVDs.

Shout! Factory Kids’ latest Littlest Pet Shop DVD Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Stars is yet another enjoyable addition to the series’ current list of home releases.  It is also an easy, early pick for any critic’s list of the year’s top new children’s DVDs.  That is due in part to the episodes that are featured on the DVD.  As with the series’ previous DVD releases, this collection features five more episodes from the family friendly animated series.  The episodes featured in this collection take families through the series’ second and third season.  What truly stands out here is that the episodes are presented in relative chronological order from start to finish.  This includes both overall and within the seasons themselves.  ‘Heart of Parkness’ and ‘Standup Stinker’ are both lifted from Season Two while ‘The Secret Recipe,’ ‘A Night at the Pawza’ and ‘Sue Syndrome’ are all lifted from Season Three.  On the surface, this seems like an unimportant element to examine.  In the bigger picture though, presenting the episodes in almost the same order as they aired in their original television broadcast shows a dedication to properly transferring the episodes from television to DVD.  Simply put, it’s an aesthetic element, but an important one nonetheless.  To that end, it is still a highly important piece of the DVD’s overall presentation, and not the only important piece either.  The writing behind each episode is just as important to examine as the episodes themselves.

The episodes featured in Shout! Factory Kids’ latest LPS DVD collection are in themselves important to the DVD’s overall presentation.  That is because they are presented in relatively the same order as they were in their original broadcast.  This is not the first time that Shout! Factory Kids has taken such painstaking efforts to properly transfer the series’ episodes from television to DVD.  That being the case, it makes this element well worth noting.  Just as important to note in examining the collection’s overall presentation is the work of the show’s writers within each episode.  The writing is notable first because of the stories that are at the center of each episode.  The writing in the set’s opening episode “Heart of Parkness” shows that the episodes can and do entertain even when only one of the cast is a story’s focus.  In this case, Sunil is the focus as he is separated from his fellow pet pals and is forced to defend a group of “native” raccoons in the park from a King Cobra.  The setup for the story comes from the Biskit twins’ release of the exotic snake from their father’s pet store because of their own selfishness.  Considering the very real issue of people having (many times illegally) exotic pets and the dangers posed therein, suspension of disbelief here becomes relatively easy.

“Standup Stinker” is another key example of why the episodes’ writing is so important to note. The dual-pronged story line presented in “Standup Stinker” sees both Pepper and Minka following their own dreams, connecting both with plenty of humor along the way.  This touches on another element of the writing that is so important to note–its pop culture references.  True lovers of classic sci-fi flicks will enjoy the manner in which the writers spoofed so many classic sci-fi/alien flicks here as the pets try to make Minka believe she has become the first monkey on Mars right down to the poorly designed alien costumes.  On another note, there is also a joke made through a reference to eBay at the episode’s end that only parents will appreciate.  Speaking of jokes that only grown-ups will appreciate, the story at the center of “The Secret Recipe” is one that adults will enjoy just as much as their children if not more so.

The story at the center of “The Secret Recipe” sees Blythe’s friend Youngmee Song pitching her not so tasty pet treats on a show called Bear Cave, which is very similar to ABC’s hit series Shark Tank.  In the case of Bear Cave, the “hosts” are dressed in bear suits (yes, bear suits).  The full-on spoof of Shark Tank highlights the often times silliness despite attempts by its heads to make it come across as something serious.  That is shown through the “hosts’” reactions and their general personas as well as Youngmee’s pitch.  The scenario is set up through a class project in which Blythe, Youngmee and their classmates have to develop their own businesses.  Again, such a setup is believable as there are some schools (and teachers) who do use this teaching method in their classrooms in real life.  It’s just one more way in which the writing proves so important to the DVD’s overall presentation.  Together with so many other examples, it becomes clear why the writing is so important to the collection’s presentation.  It still is not the last element worth noting here.  The animation is, surprisingly, worth noting here, too.

The episodes that make up the body of LPS: Pet Stars and the writing within each episode is important alone and collectively to this collection’s presentation, as has been pointed out already.  While both elements are clearly important in their own right to the DVD’s presentation, they are only two of its most important elements.  The show’s animation is a minute detail to note here, but is in fact worth noting in this case.  That statement is supported partially in the design of the King Cobra in “Heart of Parkness.”  Rather than make the snake a full-on scary character, the show’s animators maintained a King Cobra’s look but also made the snake not look too scary or menacing.  By making sure the snake didn’t look too scary, the animators helped ensure even more engagement by the show’s younger audiences.  The work of the series’ animators also proves important in “Standup Stinker” as they designed a famous comedian as the host of a comedy competition show.  The animators took David Letterman’s tooth gap for the comedian’s design, crossed it with Conan O’Brien’s face and hair, and Jay Leno’s chin for quite the interesting hybrid figure.  Just as with so much of the writing, this design is something that only adults will appreciate.  On another note, the “hosts” of Bear Cave are an impressive likeness of the “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank; so much so that the “sharks,” if they see these designs, would be moved to laugh at the similarities between themselves and the “bears.”  It’s just one more ways in which the animation proves so important to this collection of episodes.  When it is set alongside the episodes, their sequencing and the equally impressive writing within each episode, the whole of these elements shows fully why this collection is a star among this year’s current field of new children’s DVDs.

Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Stars is a star in itself among this year’s current crop of new children’s DVDs.  That is, as already has been explained, due to the episodes featured in this collection and their sequencing, the writing within the episodes and even the animation featured in the series.  Each element shows in its own way to be an important piece of the presentation’s whole.  All things considered, they make Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Stars another enjoyable experience for audiences of all ages and—once again—one of this year’s top new children’s DVDs.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store.

More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory and Shout! Factory Kids is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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Remada Releases ‘A Better Tomorrow’ Video

Courtesy: O’Donell Media Group

Rock outfit Remada released its latest single and video this week.

The Chicago, IL-based band unveiled the video for its single ‘Better Tomorrow’ on Tuesday via Bravewords.  The song is taken from the band’s upcoming EP, which is currently due out April 29.  Its lyrical message comes across as one that empowers listeners to never give up even in the most difficult situations.

The video, which was filmed in Gary Indiana, was co-directed by Nick Frollo and the band’s vocalist, Matt Daniels. Bassist Ahmed Forero said the process of making the video was in itself powerful.

“Being my first music video shoot, it was a life changing experience,” Forero said.  “It was extremely interesting to see the work put in behind the scenes and then reviewing the final product.  We’re all super happy with it.”

The band has scheduled a short string of live dates in support of its upcoming EP that begins April 7 in Fort Atkinson, WI.  The band’s current live schedule also includes New York and Illinois.  The band’s current live schedule is noted below.

Upcoming shows:

April
7 – Fort Atkinson, WI – Hijynx Bar
15 – Auburn, NY – Fingerlakes Eventplex Center for Metal Fest
29 – Chicago, IL – The Cobra Lounge (EP release show)

June
10 – Madison, WI – The Annex

More information on Remada’s latest single and video is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.RemadaOfficial

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialRemada

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OfficialRemada

 

 

 

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Judas Priest Album Re-Issue Is A “Turbo”-Charged Release

Courtesy: Sony Music

It might be hard for some to believe, but 30 years have passed since veteran hard rock band Judas Priest released its landmark album Turbo.  In celebration of the anniversary, Columbia Records and Legacy Records partnered to re-issue the album last month with some added bonuses.  Those bonuses—a pair of live recordings–will be discussed later, as they are key pieces of the re-issue’s overall presentation.  The original record is the key piece that should be noted in examining this latest re-issue of the classic album and will be discussed shortly. The set’s companion booklet is just as important to the package’s overall presentation as the album and the package’s bonus live discs, and will be discussed later, too. Each element obviously plays its own important part to the album’s presentation.  All things considered, Columbia/Legacy’s recent re-issue of Turbo proves in the end to be one of this year’s top new CD re-issues.

Columbia/Legacy’s recent 30th Anniversary re-issue of Judas Priest’s landmark album Turbo is one of 2017’s top new CD re-issues.  That is due in part to the presentation of the original album in this re-issue.  The work put in to re-master the album’s original masters paid off soundly (bad pun fully intended here).  The guitars, drums and vocals are just as clear and crisp here as in the album’s original release, if not more so.  The album’s sequencing is also the same as in its original release, adding even more to its enjoyment.  The improved audio quality of each track and the mirroring of the original album’s sequencing does plenty to entertain listeners in the album’s re-issue.  It is, collectively, just one part of what makes this re-issue so impressive.  Its companion booklet is just as important to note in examining its presentation as the album.

Turbo’s updated sound quality and the mirroring of its original sequencing here does plenty to impress listeners with this re-issue.  It is just one of the elements that makes this re-issue stand out.  The set’s companion booklet does its own share to enhance the listening experience.  That is because of the material presented within the booklet.  The booklet opens with a brief but concise history lesson on the album’s creation, explaining that Judas Priest was not the only band that was changing its sound at the time that this record was being crafted.  The lesson notes, “heavy metal was kicking into various new gears as we began writing sessions for Turbo as it opens.  From there, it points out the extensive process that followed the original writing, taking the band across two continents.  It even offers an explanation of one of the album’s songs—‘Parental Guidance’—noting that the song tackled the issue of censorship in America at the time.  Between that explanation and the history presented inside the record’s booklet, it all offers plenty for fans and listeners to appreciate.  That is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, too.  The booklet also includes lyrics for each of the album’s nine songs.  On the surface this doesn’t seem very important.  But considering how hit and miss albums have always been in terms of including lyrics, having those lyrics here is another positive.  They serve as a starting point on renewed discussions on the songs’ topics.  In the same breath, having the lyrics printed out also means no chance of misinterpreting the lyrics.  To that end, having the albums lyrics included in its new re-issue is just as important to its presentation as the short but concise history lesson that opens the booklet.  When both elements are coupled, they show clearly why the album’s booklet is just as important to the record’s presentation in its re-issue as the album itself.  It is still not the last of the re-issue’s most important elements.  The live recordings included with the record are just as important to the re-issue’s presentation as its booklet and original album’s presentation.

The presentation of Turbo’s original album and its companion booklet are both key pieces of the album’s re-issue.  They are only two of the record’s key elements.  The live recordings included in the record’s re-issue are just as important to its presentation as the album’s presentation and its booklet.  They are spread across two bonus discs and feature five of the songs included in Turbo’s sequencing.  The other songs included in the recordings take listeners all the way back to the band’s 1976 sophomore record Sad Wings of Destiny.  They include ‘Victim of Changes,’ ‘Hell Bent For Leather,’ ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Coming’ and so much more.  The whole of those songs makes for a 20-song set list spread across two discs that is in itself a history lesson for new fans.  The band’s performance also serves as a comparison point for the band’s on-stage presence then and its on-stage presence now.  Needless to say the band’s stage presence in these performances shows the band at the top of its game.  The only negative to the whole thing is that a DVD or Blu-ray wasn’t included.  Hopefully Columbia and Legacy will eventually release the performances on one platform, the other or both so as to complete the experience.  Even without a full audio/video experience, the performances, with their rich set lists and equally entertaining performances, do plenty to entertain audiences.  When the insured entertainment from the live recordings is set alongside the positives of the re-issue’s companion booklet and the positives of the original album’s re-mastering, the whole of those elements makes this package in whole one that proves to be one of this year’s top new CD re-issues.

Judas Priest’s 30th anniversary re-issue of its landmark album Turbo is one of this year’s top new CD re-issues.  That is due to the impressive work done to re-master the album’s masters.  The companion booklet that is included with the album plays its own important part in the presentation of the record’s re-issue.  The live recordings included in the set put the finishing touch on the presentation of the album’s re-issue.  Each element is clearly important in its own right, as has already been discussed.  All things considered, they make Turbo’s 30th anniversary re-issue one of 2017’s top new CD re-issues.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this re-issue is available online now along with all of Judas Priest’s news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.JudasPriest.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialJudasPriest

Twitter: http://twitter.com/judaspriest

 

 

 

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Eve To Adam’s New LP Takes Listeners On An Enjoyable Musical Journey

Courtesy: Rocktagon Worldwide Music/High Road Publicity

Hard rock outfit Eve To Adam has been on quite the voyage since originally forming in 2001 in New York.  From lineup and label changes to struggles getting albums released to playing with some of rock’s biggest names past and present, this band has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows throughout its life.  So it makes sense that with its latest album—its fifth full length album—the band opted for the title Odyssey.  The 10-song, 37-minute album was released late last month via Rocktagon Worldwide Music, and shows both musically and lyrically how far this band has come in the now 16 years that it has been in existence. Its heavy emphasis on electronics and keyboards presents a sound that will appeal to fans of Orgy, Powerman 5000 and other similar acts.  Its lyrical content is just as varied.  It ranges from a commentary about the life in ‘The Price’ to a statement of self-confidence in the fist-pumping opener ‘Altitude’ to the anthemic closer ‘Day Drinkin’ and more.  Between the varied lyrical themes presented throughout the record and its musical arrangements, the whole of those elements makes Odyssey a musical journey that is well worth taking.

Eve To Adam’s latest full-length studio recording Odyssey is a musical journey that proves well worth taking.  That is exhibited through the record’s musical arrangements and its widely varying lyrical themes.  ‘The Price’ is just one of the songs included in this record that serves to support these statements. The song’s up-tempo, guitar-driven arrangement will instantly have listeners pumping their fists as their blood flows so fast with the music.  The intensity in that arrangement serves well to illustrate the emotion expressed in the song’s lyrical content, which seems to be a commentary of sorts of life.  That is inferred as front man Taki Sassaris sings in the song’s lead verse, “The price is high/You know you were told/Oh darling let me go/Before my body’s cold/And my weary heart grows old/The memory/Now comes to me/So far removed/From a life I used to know/Suddenly you realize it/The time remaining has been bought and sold.”  It is as is Sassaris is saying here, “let me make the most of my life.”  That is inferred even more as he sings in the song’s chorus, “Money all day all day/You gotta get paid/Running around insane/No time to hesitate/Some days, some days/You never get ahead/Well I’m not your slave, no slave/The price will be paid.”  Who precisely Sassaris is addressing as he sings, “I’m not your slave” would be interesting to learn.  That aside, it seems even more through this and the song’s lead verse that he is singing about not letting life get the better of one’s self.  The contrast of that chorus to the song’s second verse seems to hint at that message even more. Sassaris sings in that second verse, “The style instills/It makes this work/Consuming all my thoughts/Inside these fears stand tall/One by one the brave now fall.”  The song’s chorus responds to that message with its message of making the most once again.  When that seeming message of overcoming life’s difficult moments presented in the song’s lyrical content is set against the driving energy in the song’s musical arrangement, the two elements together make this song stand out against the record’s other offerings.  It also serves to help show why this record in whole is a musical journey worth taking, and is just one example of what makes that trip worthwhile.  ‘Altitude,’ the album’s opener, is another example of what makes journey taken through this record so worthwhile.

‘The Price’ is a clear example of what makes the journey taken through Odyssey worthwhile.  That is due to the partnering of the song’s driving musical arrangement and its thought provoking lyrical content.  It is just one of the songs that serves to make the trip taken through this record so worthwhile, too.  ‘Altitude,’ the record’s opener is another example of what makes that journey so worthwhile.  As with ‘The Price’ that is exhibited in part through the song’s musical arrangement.  This song’s musical arrangement is heavy on keyboards.  The combination of the keyboards with the guitars and vocal elements in the mid-tempo rocker makes the song a solid start to the record.  The song’s lyrical content is just as interesting to take in.  Sassaris sings in the song’s lead verse, “It’s now fast approaching/It’s my favorite time you see/The moment right before you reach/You feel this clarity/A painful total freedom/I have no anxiety/Anything that steals from this/Becomes an enemy/You’ll see.  This is a statement of confidence, plain and simple.  Considering the band’s *ahem* odyssey up to the point of this album’s release, it makes sense that it would be the record’s first lyrical statement. It is Sassaris saying, “I’m still here.  Nothing is going to get me down.”  That message is driven home even more as he and the rest of the band sing in the song’s chorus, “Free from me/I’m far above it all/Not a worry in my head/I’m free from me/I’m far above it all/For as long as I can be.”  The song’s second verse solidifies that message of confidence and optimism even more as Sassaris sings, “Don’t you take for granted/This zero gravity/It’s never very easy/To escape captivity/Now try to remember/Why you fought for this release/This elevation’s beautiful/But it’s difficult to breathe/You’ll see.”  He comes across as saying that getting that getting out on one’s own, so don’t’ lose sight of things on that personal journey.  It’s a strong statement, and again is only this critic’s interpretation.  Hopefully it is the correct interpretation, but should not be taking as gospel.  That aside, that seeming message of self-confidence and determination, when coupled with the song’s hard-hitting musical arrangement, makes this song a solid first impression from the band on this latest effort.  The combination of the two elements shows in its own way what makes the journey taken in this record is worthwhile.  It is not the last song that serves to support that statement, either.  The album’s closer, ‘Day Drinkin’’ supports that statement, too.

‘The Price’ and ‘Altitude’ are both songs that serve to show why the musical journey on which Eve To Adam takes listeners on its new album is so worthwhile.  They are only two examples of what makes that journey worthwhile.  The album’s closer, ‘Day Drinkin’ puts the proverbial exclamation mark on that statement.  As with the previously noted compositions, that is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement.  Unlike those songs, this song’s composition is more of a straight forward rock song.  It can be argued that it is the album’s most radio-ready song, too, with its anthemic arrangement.  The song’s lyrical content is just as infectious as Sassaris and company sing, “You know what we need right now/You feel it when we’re hanging out…So we’re day drinkin’/throw ‘em back till the morning light/Day drinkin’/Livin’ hard, but it feels so right/Numb the pain to fight the fire/Day drinkin’/There ain’t no shame in this way of life.”  Such content, coupled with the song’s bombastic arrangement instantly conjures thoughts of Motley Crue.  This should come as no surprise considering said band is one of the acts that ETA has emulated in its previous albums.  It’s just a fun song and an equally fun final statement from the band on this record.  It shows one last time why indeed the journey on which this record takes listeners is well worth taking.

Eve To Adam’s latest full-length album Odyssey sends listeners on quite the musical journey over the course of its 10 songs and 37 minutes.  From the high energy and confidence expressed in its opener to the more contemplative yet still powerful content of ‘The Price’ to the fun, infectious content of the album’s closer and all points in-between, this record offers listeners plenty to appreciate.  All things considered, they make the journey that listeners take this time fully worthwhile.  Odyssey is available now in stores and online.  More information on Odyssey is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.evetoadam.rocks

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/evetoadam

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EVETOADAMMUSIC

 

 

 

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Shout! Factory Kids Announces Release Date For First ‘Kuu Kuu Harajuku’ Collection

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids

The first collection of Nickelodeon’s animated series Kuu Kuu Harajuku is set to be released in stores and online this summer.

The series, which features the voice talent of Gwen Stefani (No Doubt, The Voice), will see its first volume of episodes, Kuu Kuu Harajuku : Music, Baby!, released in stores and online on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.  It will feature 14 episodes from the series’ debut season.  The collection’s episodes are noted below.

Episodes Include:

Totally Teen Genie / Angel’s Flight

Music, Baby / Wanted Audience

Game Over / Phony Ponies

Hello Puppy / G, This Is Awfully Deep

Baby’s Birthday / Labor Of Love

Bad Boy and Little Girl / Yummy Bear Nado

Drums of Doom / Adventures In Housesitting

*Special Features TBD

Early shipments of the DVD will include a bonus code to download the series’ theme song while supplies last.  It can be pre-ordered online now via Amazon and ShoutFactory.com.

Kuu Kuu Harajuku follows the all-girl band HJ5 through its world of music, fashion and style.  It is Stefani’s brainchild and aimed directly at young female audiences, encouraging them to express themselves, celebrate their individuality and use their imaginations.

The series is co-created and produced by Moody Street Kids (Australia), Vision Animation (Malaysia) and Gwen Stefani.  It is commissioned by Network Ten with investment funding from Film Victoria (Australia) and MyCreative Ventures (Malaysia).

DHX Media distributes the series internationally and licensed the series to Shout! Factory.

More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now along with all of the company’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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Remark Hoping To Get Positive Remarks Across America With Its Music

Russia has been in the news quite a bit lately thanks to everything going on in Washington, D.C. – but for all of the negativity coming out of the news concerning the former Communist nation, some good musical news has been coming out of Russia lately.

Russian rock outfit Remark released its debut, self-titled album last year, and has been making waves overseas with the record.  Now the band has its eyes set on the U.S. with its latest single ‘Falling.’

The released its lead single in its home county last year, and is now spreading the song across America with the song’s companion video.  The video is streaming online now via the band’s official YouTube channel.

Courtesy: High Road Publicity

It is just one of the latest songs to be released from the band’s debut record.  Also out now are the videos for the band’s singles ‘Vesna’ and ‘Wild Run.’

Remark’s name has been building over the years as it has shared the stage with major American acts such as Slash and Myles Kennedy, Tom Keifer, W.A.S.P., Dope and others.

 

More information on Remark is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.remarkband.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/remarkofficial

 

 

 

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Chino XL, Rama Duke Create New Take On Chili Peppers Classic

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song ‘Under The Bridge’ is one of the greatest, most iconic rock songs of the 20th century.  That is because of the song’s subject matter in its lyrical content and a musical arrangement that expertly captures that emotion.  Now, that iconic composition has been re-worked by the duo of Chino XL and Rama Duke and given a whole new life and identity.

The duo’s new re-working of the band’s song has given it a hip-hop vibe that also maintains the guitar riff that helped the original composition become so beloved, adding to the song’s interest even more.

As if that is not enough, the song’s companion, which can be viewed online now here, touches just as much on the new lyrics, making the new take on the classic hit even harder.

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Jarred Gosselin, 1520 Entertainment partner, said he hoped this updated take on the timeless RHCP song would hit this generation just as hard as the original song.

“We hope that our hybrid version of ‘Under The Bridge’ might save some lives and inspire a new generation,” Gosselin said. He added the inspiration to craft the song came after he heard her working on a cover of the song with a band in the early 2000s.  That take on the song was never released, said Gosselin.

Chino XL and Rama Duke’s updated take of ‘Under The Bridge’ is playing at radio stations nationwide now.  It is also available for download at all major digital distribution sites.

A portion of the song’s sales will go to benefit the California-based Action Family Foundation, which works with young people and their families to resolve issues related to drugs, alcohol, sex and drugs.

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