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Hurricane Bells Launches PledgeMusic Campaign for Sophomore Album Tales and Tides,

Hurricane Bells today launched a PledgeMusic campaign to support the completion of its sophomore album, Tides and Tales, which will be released this fall via band architect Steve Schiltz's own label, Invisible Brigades.

As with Hurricane Bells' debut album Tonight Is The Ghost, Tides and Tales was recorded, produced, and mixed almost entirely by Schiltz (longtime front man of Longwave) over the past few months. The funds raised through PledgeMusic will directly contribute to the mastering, manufacturing, touring and promotion of the album. For pledging, multiple incentives are offered to fans, including exclusive vinyl, signed CDs and t-shirts, a house concert by the band, and a vintage Gibson guitar, among many others. Fans who pledge will also be able to stream new album track "Let's Go" immediately via the Hurricane Bells PledgeMusic page.

Hurricane Bells has chosen to donate a portion of all campaign proceeds through PledgeMusic to Education Through Music, a nonprofit organization that promotes and supports music instruction in disadvantaged schools. For more information on the Hurricane Bells PledgeMusic campaign and to view a full list of pledge incentives, please visit here. Additional news about the release of Tides and Tales will be announced soon.

Hurricane Bells is playing a stripped-down show in New York tonight at CULTUREfix to celebrate finishing recording Tides and Tales. Doors are at 7pm and tickets are $10. To purchase, visit here.

Earlier this spring, Hurricane Bells digitally released two live albums, Hurricane Bells Live At House Of Blues Boston and Hurricane Bells Live At House Of Blues San Diego. The two albums were recorded last fall during the band's tour supporting KT Tunstall. The band released an EP, Down Comes The Rain, last September and Tonight Is The Ghost, in the fall of 2009. The Hurricane Bells song "Monsters," a Tonight Is The Ghost B-side, was featured on The Twilight Saga: New Moon official soundtrack.

Colorado Rock Band Meniskus Selling Naming Rights to Album, Band and Child

Boulder-based rock trio Meniskus is taking a unique approach to financing their upcoming album. The premise is nothing new: The band is soliciting sponsorships from businesses and individual fans. What sets it apart from similar efforts is what the band is offering in return. Depending on their contribution level, sponsors receive benefits ranging from autographed copies of the album up to the right to name the album, rename the band, and even to name the unborn children of a band member.

Raising funds from fans is growing more popular in the post-record label era, but Meniskus has taken the do-it-yourself approach to a new level with this campaign. Sponsorship levels and corresponding benefits differ for individuals versus businesses, with business benefits that include logo placement on the album and website, custom composition of a commercial jingle, and for any well-heeled company willing to foot the $400,000 price tag; the right to rename Meniskus. Thank yous for individuals include concert tickets, backstage passes, “Executive Producer” credit, and of course; naming a band member's child. The campaign gets its official kickoff at Meniskus's “Pre-Release Concert” on Saturday, February 26 at Denver's Walnut Room music venue.

“We intentionally limited the right to name the kid to individual donors. We didn't want to wind up with a son named 'Burger King' or something.” Said drummer Cris Ryt. “But if BK wants to put up the dough to rename the band 'The Whopper Juniors,' we're ready. The timing of the album release kind of required us to do something desperate,” added Ryt, referring to the fact that a commercial funding source for the album filed for bankruptcy just weeks before the album's original release date. “We had to find some way to scrape up the money to get this album out there, especially once we'd gotten the official OK to include our version of a Beatles song on the record.” Lead singer Eric Ostberg acknowledged that “For the last couple years, concert venues just haven't been able to pay like they used to. Apparently drinking and dancing are not as recession proof as you might think.”

Contribution levels for individuals range from $50 (“Special Thanks” on the album, and an autographed copy of the disc) to $5,000 (“Executive Producer” credit and a role in a music video); and then there's that big ticket item – the right to name a band member's child – at a cool $750,000. Business sponsorships start at $250 (“Special Thanks” on the album, and a link on meniskusband.com - averaging 30,000 hits per month) and go up through $20,000 (composition of a company theme song and naming rights to the album, among other items). Don't like the name “Meniskus?” Pony up the $400,000 to name them whatever you'd like.

“We wanted to leverage both ends of the spectrum, from small donations from individual supporters of the arts, up to larger investments from corporations looking to align themselves with a strong, hip brand with a dedicated and diverse following.” Band manager and producer Eric Singer noted. “We've had success with support from businesses in the past, from our first endorsement – free beer from a local brewery – up to playing the holiday party for Google last year. We don't know if anyone will actually take us up on the big-ticket items, but we'll certainly take the money and honor the offer if they do!” Meniskus has flirted with the national spotlight with performances alongside artists including Dave Matthews, Tom Petty, as well as members of Guns n Roses, Parliament and even First Lady Michelle Obama. Despite these notable appearances, the band has yet to really break onto the national scene in any significant way. Venezualan-born guitarist Bardusco added “This is make or break time for us. We had to do something big!” More info on the campaign and the band is available at meniskusband.com

About Meniskus:

Meniskus has shared a bill with an amazingly wide array of artists including Tom Petty, Dave Matthews, Rodrigo y Gabriela, The Roots and The Disco Biscuits - and their devoted following (and music) are just as diverse. The unique dynamic of the band starts with a violin and a Spanish guitar - both enhanced by a barrage of effects - and gets driven by an arsenal of percussion. The music is informed by the extensive classical training of Cris Ryt and Eric Ostberg, as well as the unique sound Bardusco brings from his experience as a self-taught guitarist growing up in Venezuela. The three players weave all their diverse flavors into a cohesive, powerful and unique sound. The influences of classic rockers and jam bands, as well as the rhythms of Latin grooves and European house music have found new life in the music of Meniskus.

Check out Meniskus at Red Rocks video here.

Governors Ritter & Schwarzenegger Launch EcoDriving Campaign

- for the Grateful Web

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today joined the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to kick off a new EcoDriving campaign to save consumers money at the pump, reduce fuel use and cut carbon emissions.

"The EcoDriving campaign offers easy actions that all of us can take – starting today, right now – to save money, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and benefit the environment," Gov. Ritter said. "By adopting EcoDriving tips, we can lower our fuel costs by 15 percent or more. And these are easy, common-sense driving and maintenance tips, like avoiding rapid starts and stops, using cruise control, reducing idling, and knowing when it's best to use your air conditioner."

Colorado and California are the first two states to support the consumer awareness campaign, details of which are available at the interactive website www.EcoDrivingUSA.com. Gov. Schwarzenegger appeared at today's news conference at the Colorado Convention Center via a live satellite feed from California.

"You can save money and save the environment by driving green," said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. "Through EcoDriving, 10 top automakers and the states of California and Colorado have found we share an important commitment, and we commend Gov. Schwarzenegger and Gov. Ritter for their leadership in engaging consumers in green driving."

"Today's automobiles are really computers on wheels, with more than 3,000 interactive parts operating as a complex system," McCurdy added. "The more you know about your machine, the better you can reduce fuel use and CO2 emissions."

With 240 million vehicles on the road in the United States, the benefits of EcoDriving could be significant:

·       - If just half of all drivers nationwide practiced moderate levels of EcoDriving, annual CO2 emissions could be reduced by about 100 million tons, or the equivalent of heating and powering 8.5 million households.

·       -  If all Americans practiced EcoDriving, it would be equal to 450 billion miles traveled on our roadways without generating any CO2 emissions.  That's 1,500 CO2-free miles for every man, woman, and child in the United States each year.

Sample EcoDriving practices include: 

·       - Not tailgating, knowing the proper way to accelerate and brake, and using synchronized traffic lights to a driver's advantage, driving at the optimum highway speed, understanding when to use air conditioning and much more.

Sample maintenance practices include:

·       - Knowing which motor oil to use, understanding the importance of proper tire pressure and what affects tire pressure, understanding aerodynamics and much more.

In conjunction with the unveiling of EcoDriving, the National Automobile Dealers Association announced that September will be free "Green Check-up Month" nationwide.

The EcoDriving interactive website, www.EcoDrivingUSA.com, will help drivers learn practical tips to improve their mileage and reduce their carbon footprint. The site includes a video guide to EcoDriving, an "EcoCalculator" to determine benefits for individuals or states, a Virtual Road Test and a variety of educational tools.

Alliance members hope to engage all 50 states and major consumer organizations in EcoDriving.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is a trade association of 10 car and light truck manufacturers including BMW Group, Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.

Baby Gray Whale "Thank You" Campaign

Gray Whale and baby in Baja, Mexico- for the Grateful Web

When scores of baby gray whales are born in Baja's magnificent San Ignacio Lagoon this coming winter, their nursery will be one step closer to being fully protected against industrialization.

Thanks to Mexican President Felipe Calderon, 109,000 acres of federal land surrounding the whale nursery were recently designated for conservation.

I'm sure you agree that President Calderon and his administration should be applauded for defending wildlands and wildlife in the face of powerful economic interests.

That's why I'm asking you to join me in thanking the Mexican president right now by sending him an online message at http://www.savebiogems.org/baja/action1

 

Your message of thanks is critical. We want President Calderon to register strong support from all across North America for his visionary policy, because the fight to save the whale's nursery is still far from over.

Despite NRDC's stunning victory in 2000 that stopped Mitsubishi from industrializing the lagoon with the world's largest saltworks, San Ignacio Lagoon is still vulnerable to plans for oil and gas drilling ... massive high-rise hotels and resort marinas ... and ocean-bound ship traffic.

That's why it's so urgent that we press ahead with our ambitious plan to permanently protect all one million acres of land surrounding the lagoon.

Thanks to the generosity of NRDC Members and online activists like you, our conservation alliance has already secured permanent protection for 140,000 acres of communal and private lands. When you add in the government's 109,000 acres, we have succeeded in putting 249,000 acres off-limits to industry and developers forever.

 

We're a quarter of the way to our one-million-acre goal - in just two years!

 

Please go to http://www.savebiogems.org/baja/action1 right now and express your appreciation to the President of Mexico for defending San Ignacio Lagoon.

And thank you for supporting our campaign to surround this last unspoiled gray whale nursery with a million acres of protection.