Retro Champ Pays Tribute To Linkin Park With New Video, Cover

Courtesy: Earshot Media

Independent rapper Retro Champ debuted the video for his latest single this week.

Retro Champ debuted the video for his cover of the Linkin Park song ‘A Place For My Head‘ Thursday.  The video’s premiere comes less than a month after he debuted the video for his then latest single ‘Confidence.’

‘Confidence’ is streaming now through Spotify.  The album is available now through Midwest Originals, LLC.

The video for Retro Champ’s cover of ‘A Place For My Head’ features the rapper in a small setup along with his fellow musicians.  Enlisted to help with the song is Isaac Etter of This is Falling to cover the part of Linkin Park’s late vocalist Chester Bennington.

In talking about the decision to take on ‘A Place For My Head,’ Retro Champ had the following to say.

“With the 20 year anniversary for Linkin Park’s ‘Hybrid Theory’ coming soon I wanted to do something special for it. I grew up listening to Linkin Park. They really inspired me when I was coming up. Making the track was a team effort. The track was produced by J.T. Ibanez and Isaac Etter. Isaac Etter not only sings on the track, he programmed and recorded all the instruments for it. The final touches came from veteran producer, James Paul Wisner (Underoath, Paramore, Hands Like Houses). James really brought the track to life with an amazing mix. The video was filmed with director, J.T. Ibanez (P.O.D., Slaves, Picturesque.)”

Retro Champ’s cover of ‘A Place For My Head’ is available to stream and download here.

More information on Retro Champ’s new single and EP is available along with all of his latest news at

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Lakeshore Debuts Video For Cover Of Puddle Of Mudd’s ‘Blurry’

Lakeshore is taking on a classic Puddle of Mudd song.

The band debuted the video for its cover of Puddle of Mudd’s hit song ‘Blurry‘ over the weekend.  The video mixes footage of front man Jesse Doran singing the song with various other shots, such as rain on a window, an empty building, and a series of random video images presented in fast motion.

Lakeshore’s take on the song stays largely true to its source material, but also gives the song a take that lends itself to comparisons to works from Linkin Park.  Doran’s vocal delivery is even itself comparable to the late Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington here.

Courtesy: Lakeshore/O’Donnell Media Group

Lakeshore guitarist Ben Lionetti talked about the genesis of Lakeshore’s cover of the song in a recent interview.

“I had a few wild nights with [Puddle of Mudd frontman] Wes [Scantlin] while I was living in LA. When Jesse (Doran) and [fellow Lakeshore member] Joe [Lionetti] asked if I wanted to cover “Blurry”, I thought cool dude, cool band, epic song,” he said. “Hope y’all dig it”

‘Blurry’ is just the latest single from Lakeshore.  The band debuted the video for its own original single, ‘History‘ last month.  The band debuted the video for another single, ‘Mountain View‘ in March.

Along with all of this, the band recently released a video tour of its Loud Lion Studios on May 5.  Doran led the tour.

More information on Lake Shore’s new single, news and more is available online at:





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Steve Aoki, Linkin Park Partner To Release New Benefit Single

Courtesy: Dim Mak Records

Famed EDM artist Steve Aoki has released a new song to pay tribute to the late Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington.

Aoki debuted Friday ‘Darker Than The Light That Never Bleeds (Chester Forever Steve Aoki Remix).  He made the announcement Friday via his official Instagram account. Audiences can hear the song online now here through a number of sources.  A short 30-second preview clip of the song is streaming at the link, too.

The song is a mashup of two songs that Aoki composed with Linkin Park—‘Darker Than Blood’ and ‘A Light That Never Comes.’  Net proceeds of the song’s sale will benefit Music for Relief’s One More Light fund in Bennington’s name.

Aoki praised Bennington in a recent interview, calling him a friend as he expressed his sadness over Bennington’s passing.

“Chester Bennington was my favorite singer of all time,” Aoki said.  “I feel so incredibly honored to not only have worked with him on these songs, but am so deeply touched to have gotten to know him as a friend.  I’m still shattered by this tragic loss.  It’s hard to realize that he is not coming back.  Chester was such an invaluable human being that bled out the pain and passion through Linkin Park, touching so many people’s lives.  He helped so many people that have felt these similar feelings around the world scream out and feel like they are not alone.  Life can be incredibly trying and tough.  Nothing can bring more consolation than knowing that there are others going through this same pain.  Chester was such a beautiful human being.  I will never forget our conversations and moments shared together in the studio, on the stage and in life.  We now have Chester in our hearts and minds forever.  Keep his inspiration and passion alive and play Linkin Park f***ing loud.  Scream the lyrics f***ing loud.  Live in these moments f***ing loud.  I miss you dear friend.  You are in our hearts and minds forever.  Chester forever.”

More information on Steve Aoki’s new tribute to Bennington is available online now along with all of his latest news and more at:










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Girl On Fire’s Debut Album Is One Of 2013’s Best New Rock, Indie Records

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.  That timeless adage obviously wasn’t what Seattle, Washington’s own Girl on Fire had in mind when it came up with the title to its debut record, Not Broken.  Regardless, it is still a fitting title for the band’s debut record.  That’s because there is nothing broken about this record.  As a matter of fact, for a first outing, Not Broken is a solid record from beginning to end.  And with the proper support from mainstream radio programmers, the band could very well be the next band to add its name to the already long list of famed bands from the city.

Not Broken is a fitting title for Girl on Fire’s debut full length album.  This is despite the fact that while the band obviously didn’t have a certain timeless adage in mind when its members were coming up with a title for the album.  Not Broken will grab listeners right from the album’s opener and lead single, ‘The Takedown.’  This song is an instant fan hit with its catchy guitar riffs and equally infectious defiant chorus of “We are not afraid to bleed/Awake the strength inside/Shadows come to life.”  It’s instantly easy to see the band playing this song to a packed arena, the crowd pumping its fists and singing in unison.  Any mainstream radio programmer that doesn’t give this single a chance is missing out.  Period.  Making the song even more radio friendly is the fact that front man Austin Held and his band mates—Nick Mahan (guitar), Nicholas Wiggins (guitar), Josh Mouser (bass), and Harry MacDonald (drums)—have crafted a song that could easily lead listeners to mistake it for Linkin Park.  The song’s official music video is available online now at    Held even sounds just like LP/STP front man Chester Bennington.  It’s eerie how closely similar the two singers sound.

The positive message and equally enjoyable musical side of ‘The Takedown’ doesn’t stop after the song ends.  The band keeps its energy and positivity flowing throughout the album.  This is evident in the song ‘Believe.’  The song starts off at a slow tempo with Held singing, ‘These scars/Have to be covered/Never discovered/From outside eyes/I’ve been running in circles/While losing my purpose/It’s hard to breath.”  The reason for the slower, more moody opener (and its corresponding moments) is to highlight the more uplifting sections of the song and make them more influential.  Held sings in those more uplifting moments, “And I will be strong/And I won’t hold on/To the darker side of me/When you fall/No one sings/Hide your pain/Underneath/Like the scars/They never fade/Something in you/No one can take/I believe/I believe/Let’s just believe.”  This is only a portion of the song.  But that same contrast of positivity winning out over the most negative of thoughts runs throughout the song.  It makes this one more song that every listener will both enjoy and appreciate.

‘The Takedown’ and ‘Believe’ are both excellent examples of the positive lyrical themes that populate Not Broken.  Those themes don’t end with these or other songs, either.  The album’s title track is just as powerful both musically and lyrically.  Held sings about having overcome the worst that life could handle as difficult as times might have been at one time or another.  He sings, ‘I’m not broken/I’m alive/I’ve been kicked down/But I’ll surive/Never give up/Never hide/I won’t go down without a fight/You can drag me down to the mat/You can rip my heart/Right out of my chest/I’m not broken/I’m not broken.  This kind of uplifting content is something that every listener can use at one time or another regardless of age.  That’s because even as adults, we all have people that will try to kick us down and then kick us again when we’re down.  Even through all of that, Held and company are telling listeners it is possible to have the inner strength and determination to not let such situations get us down.  This isn’t the type of thing that would only apply to younger listeners.  The gentle piano run that opens the verses set against the harder rocking chorus parts makes once again make for an excellent juxtaposition of emotions.  They expertly illustrate the two different emotions and especially highlight the possibility of  hope and personal determination.  This song, along with the previously mentioned songs (and those not mentioned) make Girl on Fire’s debut a contender to be both one of the year’s best rock records and one of the year’s best new independent albums, too.  Not Broken is available now.  It can be ordered online direct from the Century Media Records website at  More information on this release, the band’s current tour in support of Not Broken and more from the band is available online at,,,, and  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at