Lamb of God Debuts Video For Upcoming Album’s New Single

Courtesy:  Epic Records

Courtesy: Epic Records

Lamb of God has officially premiered the video for its latest single ‘Overlord.’

The second single from the band’s upcoming album Sturm Und Drang (roughly translated means storm and penetrate),’Overlord’ is considered one of the biggest departures for the band on its upcoming album. It can be viewed online now at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNRsvFsY9qk. Front man Randy Blythe explains of the song, “I wrote the song about the dangers of self-obsession in our distressingly myopic and increasingly entitled “me-now/now-me” culture; just like the couple in the video, many people can’t seem to look past their own relatively small problems to see the bigger picture: the world is in serious trouble. Having a bad day at work, or a fight with your significant other, or getting a crappy haircut or table service does not in any way shape or form constitute an emergency. Sometimes things just don’t work out the way we want them to- deal with it. People who only see their own problems eventually wind up alone because no one wants to hear their crap anymore- we all know someone like that, always whining and complaining about some inconsequential setback as if it were the apocalypse. This song is for those people.” The new video is the second for the band helmed by director Jorge Torres-Torres. His last time working with the band behind the lens was on the video for the song ‘512.’

In anticipation of Sturm Und Drang’s release on July 24th, Lamb of God has announced a series of live dates with Slipknot, Bullet For My Valentine, and Motionless in White. The tour kicks off in West Palm Beach, Florida on the same day as the album’s release and currently runs through Saturday, September 5th in Dallas, Texas. The current schedule for LOG’s upcoming tour is listed below.

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR:

LAMB OF GOD W/ Slipknot, Bullet For My Valentine & Motionless In White

7/24 – West Palm Beach, FL @ Cruzan Amphitheatre

7/25 – Tampa, FL @ MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

7/26 – Atlanta, GA @ Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood

7/28 – Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy MusicTheatre

7/29 – Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lake Performing Arts Center

7/31 – Saratoga Springs, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center

8/1 – Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater

8/2 – Hartford, CT @ XFINITY Theatre

8/4 – Boston, MA @ XFINITY Center

8/5 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center

8/6 – Pittsburgh, PA @ First Niagara Pavilion

8/8 – Toronto, ON @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

8/9 – Montreal, QC @ Parc Jean-Drapeau – Heavy Montreal

8/11 – Washington, DC @ Jiffy Lube Live

8/12 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach

8/14 – Indianapolis, IN @ Klipsch Music Center

8/15 – Chicago, IL @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

8/16 – St. Louis, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre

8/19 – Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre

8/21 – Salt Lake City, UT @ USANA Amphitheatre

8/22 – Garden City, ID @ Revolution Center – NO SLIPKNOT *New Show*

8/23 – Auburn, WA @ White River Amphitheater

8/24 – Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena

8/26 – Concord, CA @ Concord Pavilion

8/28 – Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Resort Festival Grounds

8/29 – Phoenix, AZ @ AK-Chin Pavilion

8/30 – Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheater

9/2 – Austin, TX @ Austin360 Amphitheater

9/4 – Houston, TX @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

9/5 – Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion

Sturm Und Drang can be pre-ordered online now via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/vii-sturm-und-drang-deluxe/id1000708954 and via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/VII-Sturm-Drang-LAMB-GOD/dp/B00YH4Y7U4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433367861&sr=8-1&keywords=lamb+of+god&tag=smarturl-20. Fans can also pre-order the album now direct from Lamb of God’s online store in a variety of bundle packs at http://lambofgod.shop.musictoday.com/page/preorder.

More information on Lamb of God’s tour is available online along with all of the latest updates on its new album and all of the latest news from the band at:

Website: http://www.lamb-of-god.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lambofgod

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Maestro Classics’ Latest Recording Is A Welcome Addition To Any Middle, High School Music Class

Courtesy:  Maestro Classics

Courtesy: Maestro Classics

Children’s music label Maestro Classics has been introducing young listeners to the joys of classical music for no less than ten year. The award-winning organization has introduced young listeners to a number of classical hits throughout its life including but not limited to: Sergei Prokofiev’s famed “Peter and The Wolf,” Paul Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” and Camille Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals” just to name a few.  Now with its latest release Merry Pranks of Master Till, Maestro Classics has released yet another composition that is certain to catch audiences’ ears.  Before getting into the record, it should be noted that unlike Maestro Classics’ previous releases, this latest work is not one that is meant for younger audiences, especially considering the story’s outcome.  It is meant more for older audiences; perhaps those between the ages of 10 – 12 if not a little older.  Staying on that topic, the composition itself makes for plenty of reason for older listeners to give this record a chance.  It teaches a rather invaluable lesson for said listeners, especially at their given age(s).  On a directly related note, young listeners will be just as interested to learn the back story behind Merry Pranks of Master Till.  Learning its back story can easily lead to a discussion on the back story of so many other classical hits.  It’s one more reason that this record proves to be so interesting for older youths.  Having learned the back story of Merry Pranks of Master Till, audiences will be interested to hear the same composition a second time on the record.  Only this time the composition is featured without narration, thus allowing listeners to hear the story for themselves and hopefully in turn gain a new appreciation for at least this piece of classical music if not even more appreciation for classical music in whole.  All three factors taken into consideration, they make Merry Pranks of Master Till a work that belongs in any middle school music class if not any home with pre-teens in the house.

Maestro Classics’ latest release Merry Pranks of Master Till is an interesting addition to the company’s rich history of classical releases for children.  That is because in comparison to those releases, this one is not as universal per se.  Its content proves it to be more fitting for older youths than for younger ones.  Keeping that in mind, the story that comes with this latest composition, crafted by composer Richard (pronounced ree-kard strowss) is itself just one reason for its target audience to give it a chance.  The story itself centers on the young character Master Till Eulenspiegel (pronounced oi-len-shpee-gel) and his series of pranks.  His pranks in question are aimed at pointing out to certain groups that they are not as smart as they would like to make themselves believe.  The problem is that because Master Till is a child (it is believed that he is around 12 years old or so), he doesn’t exactly make the wisest choices in regards to his targets or his actions.  The end result of this lack of foresight leads to some very negative consequences for Master Till, which will not be revealed here for the sake of those that have not yet been exposed to the story, or as it is more properly know, tone poem.  The story teaches a very valuable lesson about knowing one’s limits both in terms of one’s actions and whom one targets when it comes to pranks such as those pulled by Master Till.  Not everybody takes pranks such as Till’s the same way.  In the same vein, not everybody today appreciates others’ similar actions.  It is definitely an invaluable part of the whole that makes Merry Pranks of Master Till a worthwhile listen by its older target audiences.

The story that serves as the basis for Merry Pranks of Master Till is in itself invaluable because it teaches a very important lesson that young listeners will hopefully take to heart.  On a related note, it also serves as a starting point for a discussion on the back story of not only this work but of other timeless classical hits, too.  Audiences will learn that this composition is itself actually based on a series of stories centered on Master Till.  This story in particular is just one of a number of stories.  In the same vein, other classical compositions can be discussed in regards to their use in either the church and/or the world at large.  This is a discussion that proves especially useful in middle school (and in some cases even high school) classical music classes.  That is because an understanding of a composition in relation to its potential back story helps in its own way to gain a new or even renewed appreciation for said composition.  To that extent, the back story behind Merry Pranks of Master Till proves even more why this newly released recording is a good fit in any middle school and high school classroom as well as any home with pre-teen musicians in it.

The story that accompanies Merry Pranks of Master Till is an important element to Maestro Classics’ latest release. That is because it both teaches an important lesson to its target listener base and because it serves as a starting point for a discussion for the role of music and culture on one another. Both of these elements are key in what makes Merry Pranks of Master Till an interesting listen for its target audiences. For all of their importance, they are just part of what makes it so worth the listen. Maestro Classics has included in its new record both a take of Merry Pranks of Maser Till with narration and without. The take that comes sans narration is just as important a part of whole as that with narration. That is because having listened to the narration in the previous take, listeners can experience the complete composition as it was meant to be heard. Having no narration, listeners can better hear the different moments that make up each moment of the story. It actually makes the experience of listening to the composition that much fuller. On a related note, hearing the composition in full serves as the starting point for a discussion on personal interpretations of not only the presented work but of other compositions, too. That within itself is a major positive. It is a positive in that it teaches students and listeners in general about musical interpretation. It can lead to discussions on deeper musical concepts such as the use of dynamics, tempos and other musical elements to interpret music and in its creation. Being that one song can create that much discussion whether in the classroom or the living room shows clearly the importance of this new release from Maestro Classics in any young person’s musical education. The addition of the composition’s story doubles and even triples its importance. All things considered Merry Pranks of Master Till shows in the end with its overall composition and its story to be yet another hit from Maestro Classics even if it is aimed more at older children.

Maestro Classics’ recently released recording of Richard Strauss’ Merry Pranks of Master Till is a greatly welcome addition to any middle and high school level band and/or orchestra class. That is thanks to the inclusion of both the composition with and without narration. Whether with or without narration, this latest recording offers its own value for teachers, parents, and children alike. It teaches basic music theory concepts all while entertaining listeners at the same time. Keeping that in mind, it proves again to be a fully welcome addition to any classroom or living room setting. It can be ordered online now via Maestro Classics’ online store at http://www.maestroclassics.com/merry-pranks-of-master-till.html. More information on this and other titles from Maestro Classics is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.maestroclassics.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MaestroClassics

 

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Prested’s Lookout Records “Bio” Is A Must Read For Music Lovers, Punk Loyalists Alike

Courtesy:  Microcosm Publishing

Courtesy: Microcosm Publishing

Author Kevin Prested’s new book Punk USA: The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records is essential reading for anyone that has any interest in the history of punk rock. The book, published in paperback late this past January via Microcosm Publishing,, examines as the title states, the rise and fall of one of punk’s most influential record labels. It is a label that was home to greats such as Operation Ivy, Crimpshrine, and even none other than Green Day in its heyday. But as with all great things, it came to an end; an end that was obviously not the way that anyone wanted for a once great institution, but an end nonetheless. Now thanks to Prested, who is also a music journalist, audiences get a first-hand look at what led to the famed label’s beginning and eventual sad fall. Readers will especially enjoy this book primarily thanks to the presentation of the story. Prested doesn’t try to make his story another run-of-the-mill bio/history style presentation. Rather, it comes across more as a video documentary put into book form versus the other way around. That will be discussed shortly. Another aspect of the book that readers will appreciate is the history lesson provided by Prested. Audiences learn about not just the history of Lookout Records but of the bands that once called Lookout Records home. One more factor worth noting of Prested’s book that makes it so interesting is the inclusion of the occasional picture here and there as an added illustration of Lookout’s history. None of the photos are the standard publicity photos either. Rather, they are often times more candid shots of different bands and releases put out by Lookout. It’s a minor detail, yes. But it still adds its own interest to Prested’s book. The combination of those photos, the history presented by the story, and the overall structure of the story makes Punk USA: The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records a must read not just for those with a love of music history but especially for those with an interest of and love for punk and its roots.

Punk USA: The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records is a must read for anyone with a love for and interest in not just music history but also for the history of punk rock and its roots. The main reason that it proves itself such essential reading is its overall structure. The overall structure of Prested’s presentation is not just another run-of-the-mill bio or history piece. Rather what Prested has done here is taken the road less traveled. Instead of just being a long-winded read–unlike those bios and historical pieces–Prested has used his journalistic roots and crafted a piece that is presented more like the script for a televised documentary than a literary piece. The story and the quotes from Prested’s subjects (E.g. former Lookout employee Chris Applegren, Frank Portman (The Mister T Experience, The Bomb Bassets), Scott Conway (Screeching Weasel, Even in Blackouts), etc.) are clearly separated and even specifically labeled throughout each chapter. Speaking of the chapters, the book’s chapters are relatively short, ranging anywhere from three pages to five and maybe a little more. In general though, the chapters are relatively short. So readers won’t find themselves constantly asking when the chapters are going to end. On a directly related note, the historical reflections on Lookout’s history both on the part of Prested and his subjects are themselves so entertaining that even if the chapters were longer, readers still wouldn’t have to worry about the story dragging along. The story in whole is that well-written and structured. Considering this, it would be interesting to see if Prested would ever consider turning what is essentially a script into an actual visual presentation to complement his book. Needless to say it would be just as welcome among music lovers and punk fans as his book.

The overall structure of Punk USA: The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records is central to its success. The road taken by Prested in this book is the polar opposite of its much more well-known counterparts. In other words it isn’t just another of those long-winded pieces that relies more on facts and figures than actually engaging the reader. For this reason alone Prested is more than deserving of his share of applause. It is just one reason that Prested is deserving of credit in examining his new book, too. The history provided by the book makes Prested just as deserving of credit. The story presents not only the history of Lookout Records but also of the bands that once made Lookout one of the biggest names in the music industry before its eventual demise. Prested explains through the course of his story Lookout Records’ humble beginnings, its slowly building fame, which seemed to climax at the debut of Green Day’s hit 1994 record Dookie, and its not entirely surprising (and in turn sad) eventual fall. The thing is that as readers will note early on in the label’s history, there was some foreshadowing of what was to come for Lookout. The warning signs were there. They just didn’t seem to be entirely heeded. In regards to the history of the bands that called Lookout home, some readers will be surprised to learn that Green Day once called Lookout Records home as did punk icons Operation Ivy, Screeching Weasel, Pansy Division, and a number of others. Readers even get to hear from members of the noted bands as part of the label’s history in regards to their own experiences during their time on Lookout Records. The combination of the labels’ history and the history of the bands signed to the label together makes for quite the interesting read that true punk devotees will not want to put down. That coupled with the book’s overall structure makes it even more of a work that music lovers and punk lovers specifically will enjoy.

The structure of Punk USA: The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records coupled with the history of the label and its bands makes this book one that is well worth the read whether one is a punk devotee or a music lover in general. They are together only two parts of the whole that make it such an interesting read. Last of note in regards to the book’s enjoyment is its photos. While minor, they do play their own part in the book’s enjoyment. That is because the photos, much like the overall structure of the book, are not the standard prim and proper publicity photos that one might expect. Rather, the band pictures are candid shots of some of the bands that helped Lookout get its start and vice versa. There are also random pictures of some of the vinyls and cassettes that were distributed by Lookout throughout its life. Audiences will be interested in examining some of the pictures that Prested actually discusses in his book aspects of the albums such as their artwork. Readers, for example, will be interested to learn of the DIY approach taken in regards to the artwork of many of the bands’ albums. It wasn’t that spit-shined look of so many of today’s labels. That approach mirrors the overall approach of Lookout Records in whole in terms of signing and promoting bands. It makes even more interesting the fact that said approach coupled with so much dedication and hard work led to the rise of Lookout Records. At the same time, thinking about that in the same fashion, it is just as interesting to learn that that same approach also contributed to the label’s end. Again, that goes right back to the story at the heart of the book. It shows in the grand scheme of things why in fact the pictures included in this book are just as important to its overall story as the story itself and its structure. All three elements together show clearly why Punk USA: The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records is a must read for music lovers in general and for those more devoted to punk rock and its roots.

Punk Rock USA: The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records is a must read for any music lover in general and for those whose loyalties are more linked to punk and its history. The structure of the book makes it easy to follow for audiences. It comes across more along the lines of a video documentary’s script than a standard, long-winded historical piece. The story that is presented within the book’s pages makes it even more interesting for readers. That is because the story focuses not only on the history of Lookout Records in regards to its rise and fall, but also to the history of the band’s that once called Lookout Records home. Both histories are balanced quite well throughout the course of the book with the end result being an overall story that will keep readers from wanting to put the book down at any point. The band photos and photos of albums and EPs released via Lookout are just as intriguing of an addition to the overall presentation. That is because in some cases, the photos are accompanied by stories of the DIY approach taken by Lookout’s employees to crafting the releases’ artwork as well as the DIY approach taken to promote its bands. It shows that Prested was really thinking about that aspect of the book. He didn’t want to just throw in some random photos here and there. He wanted them to play their own important part in the whole of his book. The understanding of that approach also helps readers understand its role later in the label’s life, proving yet again the importance of the included photos even as minor of an element as they may seem. The combination of all three elements together proves once and for all why Punk USA: The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records is a book that is a must read for music lovers and more specifically punk loyalists alike. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct online via Microcosm Publishing’s online store at http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/5160/. More information on this and other titles available from Microcosm Publishing is available online at:

Website: http://www.microcosmpublishing.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/microcosmmm

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Light Flashes Is A Flash Of Indie Musical Greatness

Courtesy:  Press Junkie PR

Courtesy: Press Junkie PR

Independent reggae act Dubbest will release its latest full-length studio effort Light Flashes early next month. The album, the band’s third full-length effort, will be released independently by the Boston-based band. Being that most audiences have likely never heard of Dubbest, its latest record proves to be a good introduction to its sound. This is especially the case for those that are fans of reggae. The band has already premiered the album’s lead single ‘Spend The Day’ as well as a video to go along with the song. That song in itself is a good introduction to the band for those that might not be so familiar with Dubbest and an equally welcome return for the band’s long-time fans. The laid-back grooves of ‘Cross Pollination’ and its intriguing metaphorical writing make it yet another interesting example of what makes Light Flashes a worthwhile listen for any reggae fan. While it is one more good example of what Dubbest has to offer fans both on its new record and in general, it is not the last example. The band also includes no fewer than two instrumental numbers on its new album as part of its whole. The best of those two instrumentals comes late in the album in the form of the song ‘Escape Route.’ The very title conjures thoughts of a beach on a late spring day, the sun shining and palm trees swaying gently in the breeze. It is a great image that will put any listener at ease and in turn yet another example of what makes Light Flashes worth at least one listen. It isn’t the last example of what makes it worth the listen, either. Each of the album’s twelve tracks has its own merits. All twelve tracks noted, Light Flashes shows to be more than just a bright, shining light in the world of reggae and of independent music. That being said, it is safe to say that Light Flashes is one of this year’s best new independent albums.

Dubbest’s new album Light Flashes is one of this year’s best new independent albums. The record boasts twelve tracks that reggae purists everywhere will enjoy. That is because it is a sound that continues to clearly maintain Dubbest’s identity apart from the likes of Sublime, 311, and other pseudo-reggae acts. The album’s lead single ‘Spend The Day’ is a clear example of what makes this record stand out from those of Dubbest’s counterparts. The song doesn’t try to be the poppy sort of song that those from Dubbest’s counterparts have churned out over the years. It is reggae, plain and simple. Guitarists Andrew MacKenzie and Corey Mahoney’s gentle strains harken directly back to the days of Bob Marley and The Whalers while drummer Kyle Hancock’s backbeat serves as a solid foundation for the whole thing. Front man Ryan Thaxter’s own vocal delivery style is just as worth noting here. His delivery is just as soft and gentle as that of his band mates on their respective instruments. This even includes bassist Sean Craffey. Looking at the song’s lyrical content, it plays its own role in the song’s enjoyment, too. Thaxter sings in this song, “Feeling the love like never before/Been waiting for a long time and I cannot endure it/I’m sick of the rain/Let it shine like before/I’ve never been sure before/But I’ve never been so sure/Baby come relieve me/I wanna see you today/Maybe come for the evening and tomorrow we can spend the day.” Simply put, Thaxter is singing from the standpoint of a man that wants to be with his woman. Even more interesting is that even though a man is singing the song, there is no indication of gender in this song. So it could just as easily be sung from a woman’s vantage point, too. That makes the song even more enjoyable. Set against the song’s laid back musical side, it generates a positive vibe that those overly sappy, saccharine pre-produced pop songs about love could never even begin to create. Because of this it makes ‘Spend The Day’ a wonderful first effort from Dubbest on its new album and an equally welcome introduction to the band for any fan that might be unfamiliar with its body of work. Audiences can check out ‘Spend The Day” online now for themselves right at its Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/dubbestmusic.

‘Spend The day’ is a good way for Dubbest to introduce itself to its newer fans and to re-introduce itself to its long-time fans. That is thanks in large part to a solid mix of musical and lyrical content. While it does show itself to be a great starting point for the band on this record, it’s just one example of why any reggae fan should hear this record at least once. The equally laid back yet perhaps somewhat suggestive ‘Cross Pollination’ is another good example of what Dubbest has to offer audiences on its new album. The same things that applies to the musical side of ‘Spend The Day’ apply just as much in the case of this piece. That should just go without saying. Of course, there is the addition of what sounds like an old school B-3 Hammond organ added in to this song’s musical backing. It plays more of a supporting role than starring in this song for lack of better wording. Even in a supporting role, it adds so much with its sound. There’ something special about the vibrato of sorts that comes from such a classic organ. It’s something that can’t be fully put into words. It is something that really can only be appreciated in hearing it. It just gives a certain positive vibe that will put a smile on listeners’ faces just as much as the rest of the song’s musical elements. Moving to the song’s lyrical content, Thaxter uses the concept of cross polination of flowers via a bee to discuss a pretty obvious topic. The swagger in those lyrics coupled with that of the music makes ‘Cross Pollination’ yet another solid radio-ready song from Light Flashes.

‘Spend The Day’ and ‘Cross Pollination’ are both good examples of what makes Light Flashes a worthwhile listen for any purist reggae fan. They are just a couple examples of what makes Light Flashes a bright spot in the realm of indie albums and that of reggae in whole. While both songs are equally important additions to Light Flashes the album also boasts no fewer than two full-on instrumental tracks. The latter of the two, ‘Escape Route,’ is the best of the pair. The music crafted by the band in this song instantly conjures thoughts of a tropical beach. It conjures thoughts of the sun’s rays bathing the said beach in their warmth while a breeze blows through palm trees. The gentle, laid back vibe of the whole song makes it such a joy within itself. It may only be an instrumental. But it proves that an instrumental can be just as enjoyable as any song highlited more by lyrical content than that highlighted by the music alone. It proves in the end to be one more clear example of what makes Light Flashes such a surprisingly interesting listen both within the world of indie releases and that of reggae acts. Together with the likes of ‘Spend the Day’ and ‘Cross Pollination’ it makes all the clearer why any purist reggae fan should hear this album at least once. It also proves once more why Light Flashes is a bright flash of a record among this year’s crop of indie records and reggae records.

Light Flashes is one of the best new independent releases of 2015. The third full-length release from Dubbest it is a welcome return for the band’s long-time fans and an equally welcome first-time introduction for those that might not be so famliar with the Boston-based band. It will be released July 7th. More information on Light Flashes is available online now along with the latest news from Dubbest at:

Website: http://www.dubbestmusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Dubbest

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Five Crooked Lines Gets Five Gold Stars

Courtesy:  The Bicycle Music Company/Concord

Courtesy: The Bicycle Music Company/Concord

Five years have passed since audiences last heard from Finger Eleven. That is a long time in itself in music industry years. Now though, that long wait is finally over. That is because next month the Canadian-based rock outfit will release its latest album Five Crooked Lines. The album, the band’s sixth, will be released July 31st via The Bicycle Music Company/Concord. Listening to this record from beginning to end, it is safe to say that the wait for this album was well worth it. Of the album’s twelve total tracks, there is not one bad number to be heard. As a matter of fact, it could even be argued that this record is F11’s most radio ready record to date. That is because any one of its tracks could be used as a single. The band has obvious already taken that to heart and released the album’s lead single ‘Wolves and Doors.’ Fans of the band’s 2007 album Them vs. You vs. Me will appreciate this song and its companion video. It’s just one example of what makes Five Crooked Lines so enjoyable. There are also two very upbeat, optimistic pieces in the form of ‘Not Going To Be Afraid’ and ‘Blackout Song’ that could just as easily be used as singles. Whether for those two works, for the album’s lead single or for any of its other songs, it can be said that Five Crooked Lines gets five gold stars.

Finger Eleven’s latest full-length studio release Five Crooked Lines is the best and most radio ready album that the veteran band has released to date. Any one of its dozen total tracks could be used to serve as singles to represent it. It has already shown that with the release of its lead single ‘Wolves and Doors.’ This song is one that will instantly hit fans of the band’s 2007 album Them vs. You vs. Me. The reason being that its musical content sounds a lot like that of that album’s hit single ‘Paralyzer.’ Lyrically though, it is far deeper. Front man Scott Anderson comes across in this piece as singing about taking chances and making the most of life. That can be inferred as he sings in the song’s lead verse, “Step right on out/Of the zone of comfort/A little left of center/One step outside your head/Take all these words/Take all this time/You gotta spend it somewhere/Keep your delusion well-fed/Keep your soul for another day/Cause the game’s the game/And the wolves at the door remain.” That argument is made even stronger as he sings in the song’s second verse, “Come save their world/Come move that mountain/Make all the difference/Step up above the rest/Give every inch and all your energy/ And don’t let up until they say/What you think they think is best/Save your soul for another day/Cause the game’s the game/And the wolves at the door remain.” It’s an interesting statement and one that will definitely have listeners talking. That one line in which Anderson states, “Don’t let up until they say what you think they think is best” is one of the most interesting of the song’s lines. It’s Anderson saying to listeners, “stand your ground and don’t give in regardless of the situation.” The way that Anderson has worded it is a little bit of a twist. But once listeners really think about it, it becomes a deep statement. That statement taken with the rest of the song’s lyrics make for quite the depth. Partnered with guitarist Rick Jackett’s infectious guitar line (and later his solo), it proves even more why Five Crooked Lines is such a welcome return for F11. Audiences can hear the single for themselves now online at Vevo now at http://www.vevo.com/watch/finger-eleven/Wolves-And-Doors-(Music-Video)/QMFMK1500155.

‘Wolves and Doors’ is an excellent first impression from F11 in its return. Rick Jackett instantly takes audiences back to days gone by with his infectious guitar work. And front man Scott Anderson’s lyrics are sure to leave listeners talking just as much. The combination of both elements prove why the song was chosen as the album’s lead single. It is just one example of what makes this record the band’s best and most radio ready to date. ‘Not Going To Be Afraid,’ the album’s mid-point, is just as strong of an example of what makes Five Crooked Lines so impressive. It’s obvious in listening to this song that the band put a lot of thought into its creation. That is because Jackett’s guitar line and Anderson’s own vocal delivery perfectly match the tone of the verses and choruses. The verses, in which Anderson sings about so much personal strife are made especially emotionally gripping thanks to Anderson’s own heart-wrenching vocal delivery style set alongside Jackett’s equally moving guitar line. What is really interesting here is that the song doesn’t just jump musically from its verses to the chorus. Rather the verses progress from those emotionally powerful verses to the more optimistic chorus in which Anderson sings, “Even though it’s so dark/I see one last spark/Maybe hope’s not far away/Heaven can’t help me/But courage could sell me/I’m one last chance/I should take.” He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “Fear has always known my name/Play me just like a game/ Today won’t be the same/I’m not gonna be afraid/Crushing overwhelming doubt/Scream a little louder shout/Then whatever happens now/I’m not gonna be afraid.” That emotional back and forth (in musical terms, that’s called an ABAB structure) makes this song just as solid a representative for Five Crooked Lines as ‘Wolves and Doors.’ It is just as sure to be a fan favorite as that song or any of the others that make up the album’s body. That being the case, it shows once more why Five Crooked Lines is the band’s best album to date and its most radio-ready.

Both ‘Wolves and Doors’ and ‘Not Going To Be Afraid’ clearly show why the wait for Five Crooked Lines was well worth the wait. They are only two examples of why it was worth the wait, too. ‘Blackout Song’ is yet another example of why the wait was worth it. It is more celebratory than emotional yet still just as optimistic, if that makes any sense. Explaining the song in terms of its musical and lyrical content will perhaps make that clearer. The song’s title alone gives its own hint that the song is yet another piece that will put a smile on listeners’ faces. That certainly proves true as the band kicks into the song. The song’s opening bars see the band singing in almost a chorus effect before Anderson takes the reins, singing, “I told myself I’d/Stay in tonight/But here I am with no end in sight/I feel amazing/And if you are willing/This is only the beginning/So get here right now/You’ve got to come down/I’m calling you out/Let’s stay up all night/And we’ll sing/For everything good in our lives/Let’s stay up all night/And we’ll say f*** everything we never tried.” If that opening verse and chorus set alongside the song’s upbeat musical content doesn’t get listeners happily singing along, then there’s no telling what will. By themselves, they are yet another reflection of the album’s title and Anderson’s explanation behind it and how it is meant to invoke positive thoughts. The song’s second verse and chorus mirror that thought pattern just as much, as Anderson sings, “Put a song on/I don’t care which one/Cause I’ll only get the words wrong/I’ll change the meaning/To just how I’m feeling/Cause I don’t feel much like leaving/So get here right now/You’ve got to come down/I’m calling you out/Let’s stay up all night/And we’ll sing/For everything good in our lives/Let’s stay up all night/And we’ll sing/f*** everything we never tried.” He goes on late in the song to expand even more singing how people will remember the song’s subject because he had such a good time. It is just a great, feel-good song that is just as certain as either of the previously noted songs to be a fan favorite and/or single. That is thanks to those infectious hooks and choruses that make up its body. Of course its overall bright outlook on everything doesn’t hurt, either. It is just one more great touch to an album that is overall F11’s best album to date and its most radio ready. Even more simply put, it is one more song that, along with the previously noted songs and with those not noted here, proves without a doubt that Five Crooked Lines was well worth the wait and gets five gold stars.

Five Crooked Lines has been five years in the making. While it may have been a long time coming, it proves from beginning to end to be an album that was well worth the wait. Every one of the dozen songs that make up the body of the record proves this. The trio of songs already noted are just a few examples of what audiences have in store when this record hits store. Whether it be one or all of those songs or any of the album’s other works, audiences will agree in hearing Five Crooked Lines that there is not one bad song on this record. It is in fact the band’s best record to date and its most radio-ready record, too. It will be available in stores Tuesday, July 31st via The Bicycle Music Company/Concord Music Group. Fans will also be able to pick up the album at any of the band’s live dates on its current tour. Fans can check out the band’s current tour schedule and get its latest news online now at:

Website: http://www.fingereleven.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Finger_Eleven

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

TesseracT Inks New Deal With eOne Music & Kscope, Begins Work On Next Album

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

British prog-metal band TesseracT apparently has a new home and has already started work on its next album.

Only months removed from the release of its first-ever live recording Odyssey/Scala, the band has announced that it will release its next album via eOne Music in North America. The upcoming release is in partnership with Kscope, TesseracT’s home label in the UK. When asked about joining eOne’s roster, front man Dan Tompkins noted the experience of eOne’s staff in making the choice to work with the label on its next album. “We’re very excited to be working with the eOne team, he said. “Their experience and well- rounded ability will certainly help us grow in our biggest market.” He added that part of the band’s decision was based on the label’s resources. “The band is really looking forward to making the most of utilizing the resources that eOne has to offer and can’t wait to start this album cycle,” he said.

Kscope Director of Sales & Marketing Johnny Wilks discussed the label’s dedication to TesseracT and giving it the utmost attention and help succeeding. “eOne are totally focused on this new record,” he said. “Working closely with our Kscope team in London, they have created a truly exciting campaign.” The as-yet untitled album will be the band’s third full-length studio release, fifth overall release, and its first for Kscope. The band’s previous two albums—Altered State and One—and EPs—Concealing Fate and Perspective—were all released via Century Media.

More information on TesseracT’s new album is available online along with all of the latest news from the band at:

Website: http://www.tesseractband.co.uk

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tesseractband

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Live At Shea Stadium Another Candidate For This Year’s List Of Best New Live DVDs and Blu-rays

The Who Live at Shea Stadium 1982 Box Art

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

In 2014, the legendary rock band The Who marked a major milestone as it reached its fiftieth anniversary. In honor of the anniversary, the veteran British band has been making its way around the world, sharing its decades of music with generations of fans. While it is currently in the midst of that tour, not every city has been or will be lucky enough to see the band as it shares its timeless tunes with the masses. Thankfully for the people at Eagle Rock Entertainment, the leader in live recordings, audiences have been treated with one of The Who’s most classic concerts in the form of Live at Shea Stadium 1982. Live at Shea Stadium 1982 is a pivotal point in The Who’s career as it would be the last time that the band would be joined by Kenney Jones on drums. It would also mark the last time that the band would perform live until 1989. That is a span of some seven years. In the music world, seven years is an eternity. Until now, this concert had never been released in its entirety on one platform. Being the first time ever that the concert–the second of The Who’s shows from its 2-night stand at Shea Stadium in October, 1982–it is a wonderful debut. It proves itself so impressive primarily through its set list. The main set list featured in this concert runs twenty-five songs and just over two hours. The songs included in that list solidly represent the band’s career up to that point. The quartet’s performance of said songs is just as enjoyable as the songs themselves. Considering that it would be the last time that the band would perform live for a span of seven years, the band definitely went out on a high note albeit temporarily. Last but not least to note is the concert’s collective production values. Being that the concert contained in Live at Shea Stadium was originally recorded nearly thirty-three years ago, the footage has stood the test of time quite well. Even more impressive is the work of those that resurrected its footage and re-mastered it for its presentation here. Thanks to the work of those individuals, the concert maintains the look that it boasted in its original recording yet boasts a sound that is just as clear as any show recorded today. The combination of all three noted elements shows clearly why Live at Shea Stadium 1982 is a great replacement for those that won’t get to see The Who on its current tour. It shows just as clearly why this recording is one more of the year’s best new live DVD and Blu-ray recordings.

Live at Shea Stadium 1982 is a defining moment for The Who. It marked the last time that audiences would get to see the band live for another seven years after its completion. It would also be the last time that the band’s then drummer Kenney Jones would perform with the band. And until now, it has never been released in its entirety on one platform. Considering this and the fact that the band’s current tour may be the last for the band, it becomes an even more important recording for fans of The Who to own. It shows itself to be such a lasting concert for audiences first and foremost through its extensive set list. The set list presented here runs twenty-five songs deep and just over two hours long. That is not even counting the five performances included as bonuses. Added to the main set list, they push the overall run time of the recording to a little more than two hours and twenty-five minutes. That’s a lot of music to say the least. And that’s a lot of live for fans that won’t get to see the band on its current tour. On a related note, the songs that make up the show’s set list represent a relatively healthy cross-section of the band’s section up to that point. It reaches all the way back to the band’s third studio release, 1967’s The Who Sell Out and even includes hits such as ‘Pinball Wizard,’ from the band’s hugely popular 1969 album Tommy, ‘Baba O’Reily’ and ‘Behind Blue Eyes,’ both from 1971’s Who’s Next as well as ‘I’m One,’ ‘The Punk and the Godfather,’ ‘5:15,’ and ‘Drowned’ all from another of the band’s biggest releases of all time, 1973’s Quadrophenia among so many other major hits. For all of the importance of the noted hits, their sequencing is just as important to the enjoyment of the show. The first five songs offer up a solid, driving energy that is soon followed up by a slightly more reserved vibe in ‘It’s Hard.’ That is followed up by the ‘Sledgehammer’-esque vibe of ‘Eminence Front’ before the band really pulls back on ‘Behind Blue Eyes,’ another of its biggest hits. That is just the first six of the show’s twenty-five song set. The remainder of the show’s songs exhibit just as much balance right up to the show’s finale. That balance of energy and drive from one song to the next coupled with the show’s overall set list shows clearly why as with any live show, the set list in whole is central to its enjoyment and overall success.

Live at Shea Stadium 1982’s set list and its overall arrangement give audiences plenty to like about the recording. The balance of energy and drive from one song to the mix coupled with an equally solid mix of the band’s hits up to that point will keep audiences’ attention from beginning to end. Much the same can be said of the band’s stage performance throughout the course of the two-hour plus concert. Front man Roger Daltry shows time and again why he is one of the greatest front men in rock’s modern history with his balance of charisma and energy from one song to the next and even in-between as audiences will see for themselves. When the crowd gets too close to the stage, Daltry very calmly and politely asks the audience to back up and make room. Even having to do this more than once he never loses his cool. As minor as it seems, it goes a long way toward showing the type of person that he is. It is truly impressive to see such demeanor. That demeanor coupled with his minimal yet still energetic performance is a clear example of why the band’s performance in this show is so impotrant to its enjoyment and success. Daltry’s band mates John Entwhistle, Pete Townshend, and Kelley Jones each provide their own entertainment throughout the show. Guitarist Pete Townshend’s classic airplane playing is there. Jones’ drumming generates its own energy throughout each song. Even Entwhistle’s own unassuming demeanor as he provides the songs’ low end is entertaining in its own right. Whether in the concert’s biggest moments or its more reserved moments, none of the band members really seem to exert that much energy, rather letting the music exert most of the energy for them. That energy translates perfectly to the audience and will translate just as well to home viewers. In turn, it will lead audiences to appreciate the band members’ talents both as musicians and song writers. That appreciation reveals in one more way why Live at Shea Stadium 1982 is such an enjoyable and successful new recording from one of rock’s greatest acts.

The set list that makes up the body of Live at Shea Stadium 1982 and the band’s performance of said songs do plenty to show why this concert is so enjoyable. They are only two parts of the presentation that makes it whole. The concert’s collective production values round out the ways in which it proves itself so enjoyable. Considering the fact that the concert was originally recorded some thirty-two years ago, it can be said that the footage has stood the test of time rather well. Of course the work of those charged with re-mastering the concert’s audio and video is just as much to credit for how well it looks and sounds. It maintains the look that it boasted in its original standard def recording. Even with that look it is clear that it has been cleaned up and brought back to life. Through it all the fact that it still maintains that look is deserving of praise. It shows the high quality results of the painstaking efforts of those individuals charged with handling the footage. The same can be said in regards to the concert’s audio mix. It is obvious that just as much work was put into remastering the concert’s audio. That is because it sounds clearer than most concerts recorded so long ago. Thanks to the work done on both ends, the band’s performance and the show’s set list both become that much more enjoyable. In conjunction with the work of those that resurrected and re-worked the footage, all three elements show together just why Live at Shea Stadium 1982 is another entirely enjoyable and successful from one of rock’s biggest bands and why it is also one of this year’s best new live DVD and Blu-ray recordings.

Live at Shea Stadium 1982 shows in plenty of ways to be another entirely enjoyable and successful recordings from a group that is one of rock’s biggest and most respected acts. It shows just as much why it is one of the year’s best new live DVDs and Blu-rays. It is available now in a variety of formats both in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

More information on The Who’s current tour is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.thewho.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheWho

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.