song

The Game samples Guster on New Album

West coast Hip Hop icon The Game sampled alt-pop pioneers Guster on his new song "Pot Of Gold" featuring Chris Brown.  The track is featured on The Game's new The R.E.D. Album, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, and features a large portion of the Guster classic "Rocketship" from the band's 2007 classic "Goldfly". You can watch the video for The Game's new Guster-sampled track here, and read a a witty Q&A the band did regarding the song on their website.

The band will be donating a portion of the money they earn from "Pot of Gold" to the Crittenton Women's Union.  Drummer Brian Rosenworcel offered this statement regarding their reaction to being sampled for this song, as well as their reasoning for choosing Crittenton Women's Union to donate their proceeds.  "Mostly we're flattered to have been sampled in a hit song.  I don't think it'll send droves of people out to discover our "Goldfly" album, but we're excited that we can make a donation to a worthwhile charity with money that comes in from this.  I have a friend who works at Crittenton Women's Union in Boston, and they do great work helping survivors of domestic abuse become economically independent".

The band is currently on tour with Jack's Mannequin in support of their new E.P. On The Ocean. Even Hurricane Irene couldn't keep the band off the road, as they ran into some pretty crazy weather on route.  They documented their experience with Irene here, as they made their way from New York to their show that night in Indiana.  Check out their remaining dates below.

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Remaining Tour Dates

09/02/11 - Interlochen, MI @ Kresge Auditorium

09/03/11 - Highland Park, IL @ Ravinia Festival

09/04/11 - Columbus, OH @ LC Pavilion

Rex Grants, Musical Caravan Events and The World As It Could Be

August began with our 2nd 3-day Institute on The World As It Could Be curriculum, presented in collaboration with the University of San Francisco. A filled class of 25 avidly took in the presented material to lea rn about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and experience applying music, visual arts,  spoken word, performance arts and movement to express their personal connection to human rights issues.  The photo here shows the class members rehearsing for their culminating presentation.  The video of the culminating presentation helps demonstrate the intensely moving experience of working with the curriculum.  We are excited to know that the work done August 2-3 is now being applied in classrooms and communities in the Bay Area, as well as Milwaukee, WI!

On August 10th, we were privileged to experience a very special night of story telling by Bob Weir, Carolyn Garcia, John Perry Barlow, and Mickey Hart about Rex and other reflections, led by Bill Walton, and held at Bob's new TRI Studios. We'll soon have the video of the evening available.

As to Rex Musical Caravan events, the SF Giants made August 9th another great tribute to Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, and once again generously included the Rex Foundation as a recipient of charitable proceeds.   Adding to this already positive energy is the enthusiastic support reflected in the following upcoming Caravan events:

  • Be part of the special project by Fan Mosaics, LLC, where 2,500 Jerry Garcia fans have the opportunity to include their photos in an officially licensed mosaic print of the Grateful Dead legend based on the noted photo taken by world-famous photographer Herb Greene. Here are the participation details.
  • Blair Babcock and the Blurry Pickers are donating half the proceeds of the download sales of their song "Fairlee Well" to Rex. Click here to read Blair Babcock's story about the song and hear "Fairlee Well."
  • On Saturday, September 10th, the Kind Buds once again perform in support of Rex at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northhampton, MA, as described in more detail here.
  • The Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson of Dark Star Orchestra, along with Particle, headline the Third Annual Pink Moon Music and Arts Festival September 15-18, 2011 in Rock Camp WV.  We were very pleased to learn that the impetus to support local area schools came from the Rex Jam at the All Good Festival. Check out the details of the festival and how Rex is generously supported.
  • Ann Arbor's own Macpodz are heading East and hopping on board the Rex Musical Caravan with a concert at the Brooklyn Bowl September 27. Here are the details.

Thanks to contributors like you who donate $5 or more, initiate Caravan events, support our program work, and take part in Rex benefits, we are able to carry out The World As It Could Be initiative, keep making our grants and generate positive community connections along the way.  Check out the list of outstanding 2011 beneficiaries so far, and see, as you explore our website, everything else that your support makes possible

Von Ehrics: Two Foot Stomp

Von Ehrics newest CD, Two Foot Stomp, is an up and down ride filled with Punkabilly drive and an authentically Texas flavor. Songs like the first single, "Lord I Pray" are new, refreshing, and fun while other like "Rock and Roll" fall a little flat in energy and creativity. The album is an overall success in authenticity, with a real feeling that you could stumble across the Von Ehrics playing around town in Denton, the funky college town music hub of North Texas where Two Foot Stomp was recorded. The album is also successful in screaming "if you think this is good, our live shows are 100 times better".  I am convinced, and definitely will be buying a ticket next time these boys roll through Colorado.

The Highlights:

"Lord I Pray", the album’s first single, is also it’s height of creativity, combining gospel, thrashy rock guitar, and a hyperactive drum set. “Lord I Pray” is soulful and cynical at the same time. The single is a satirical reflection on consumerism, but avoids a “preachy” feel for a rather funny one as lead singer Robert Jason Vandergrift prays for material good while being back up by a full gospel choir.

"Down the Road Tonight" also shines on the album. The song is reminiscent of REM's "It's the End of the World as We Know It". That is, if the whole world existed in Texas. You could probably take the lyrics and make them into a scavenger hunt in downtown Austin. Overall it’s super fun.

"Goodbye/The Ride" is a fun, biting little break up song. Vandergrift sings in sweet and slow ballad voice, which we soon learn is totally ironic:

"It's a beautiful night,
the stars are all bright
I've got the moon on my left
and my girl on my right
things are changing tonight
she can kiss my ass goodbye"

then the speedy drummer kicks and one gets a feel of how the guys really feel. I always love a fun break up song.

The guitar lines are a great highlight throughout the album. Just listening to the things Gabe Aguilar (drums) and Clayton Mills (guitar) make up is one of the best parts of the album.

The Not-so-Great:

"Rock and Roll" is a halfhearted cry for what else, rock and roll. I'm not really that convinced, based on this song that the band believes in the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. The Von Ehrics take lyrics that belong in a song like Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock N Roll” and play them with the enthusiasm of Neil Young's “Hey Hey, My My”.

It sounds like the guys wanted a Beastie Boys' "You Got to Fight for Your Right to Party”, but were just kind of tired or hung over or something that day.

"Downtown" is another one of the tunes that is missing the party soul. Maybe the song is much better live, at the actual party. Though the song is low energy, guitarist Clayton Mills picks it up with an exciting solo.

"Texas" (When I Die) is the albums only successful anthem, but it really gets the job done.  It's not a call to rock out or party hard, as the boys attempted in other songs, but an anthem for Texas; the state that encompasses of both of the previous. "Texas" succeeds where some of the other attempts on the album failed in my opinion because Texas is very unique to the Von Ehrics. You can hear conviction in their voice as they sing "when I die, let me go to Texas".

“Texas” is the true call of Two Foot Stomp , and really ties the album together as its last track. Two Foot Stomp is a call to this: party, rebel, dance around, stomp your feet, and do it all in Texas.  I am totally in support of it!

INXS plays the hits & more at the Ogden Theatre

As I eagerly anticipated INXS’ show at Denver’s Ogden Theatre, I will admit that I didn’t know if I was going to witness an act that was well past its prime and just going through the motions.

Christian Kane's "Let Me Go" Blazes to No. 1 on CMT.com

Country music‘s newest renegade Christian Kane (Bigger Picture Group) raised the temperatures on the already-hot summer with the release of the video for his sophomore single “Let Me Go.” The steamy, angst-ridden song coupled with Kane’s first-rate acting skills brings the song to life, and fans are eating it up. The Roman White-directed love story debuted on Friday, August 5 at No. 2 and quickly rose to No. 1 on CMT.com and remained there throughout the weekend, beating out country video heavy hitters and their co-stars, including Brad Paisley (featuring Carrie Underwood); Jason Aldean;  Kenny Chesney (featuring Grace Potter); and Miranda Lambert. “Have You Seen Christian Kane's New Video? Fans can't get enough of his sexy new video, 'Let Me Go,'" advocates CMT’s feature block.

The country power ballad from Kane’s rowdy, debut album, “The House Rules,” tells a vivid and relatable story of the challenges and surprises that come with being in love. “I believe this ballad speaks to everyone,” says Kane. “Women are always smarter than us, but we never listen…they seem to always know what's better for us than we do.”

Shot on location in the desert of East Lancaster, California, the video was directed by the legendary Roman White, whose credits include videos for Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Reba McEntire, Justin Bieber and Martina McBride, as well as the 2011 CMT Music Award for “Video of the Year” for Taylor Swift’s hit “Mine.” Passionate about storytelling, White has been nominated for 11 Emmy awards and has taken home three. White and Kane previously worked together on the 2007 Carrie Underwood video for “So Small.”

The video highlights the beautiful desert landscape of Southern California, which creates a distinctly vintage tone, while the moving lyrics coupled with Kane’s powerful narrative vocals create an effect that is simultaneously heartbreaking and hopeful. The visual response to the song hits all the right notes, depicting a couple very much in love, but on the brink of big changes.

“[Let Me Go”] is one of my favorite powerful songs on the album,” says Kane. “I never sing about stuff I don't know about. It's just not me.” While Kane’s acting credentials are second to none, it is clear that his performance in the video goes beyond acting.  “This one hits way close to home,” confirms Kane.

“Let Me Go” is holding strong on the fan-voted site, CMT.com, and Kane says he is grateful for the support of loya

Deerhoof's New Collaborative 7” with Jeff Tweedy

Jeff Tweedy fronting Deerhoof? You might be surprised just how natural the voice of Wilco sounds amidst the eccentric, swirling chaos of the Deerhoofian musical universe.

The Wilco-Deerhoof connection goes back a long way. They toured the midwest together in 2004. Wilco guitarist Nels Cline's "Suspended Head" from Instrumentals (2002) was the guitarist's raucous tribute to Deerhoof. Frontman Jeff Tweedy has been name-checking Deerhoof records in best-of lists for years. And when Deerhoof recently pointed to Wilco as the inspiration for their song "Behold A Marvel In The Darkness,” the idea was hatched that Mr. Tweedy should actually have a go.

Which brings us to "Behold A Raccoon In The Darkness," the fourth installment of Deerhoof’s collaborative 7” series in which guest vocalists perform over an instrumental track from the band’s latest full-length, Deerhoof vs. Evil.

The instrumental track, the melody, and the lyrics for "Behold" are unchanged from the original. But in place of Deerhoof chanteuse Satomi Matsuzaki, we hear the immediately identifiable pipes of Jeff Tweedy, with harmonies by his son Spencer.

Side B features "Own It," an original song by The Raccoonists, a group comprised of Tweedy and his two sons, Spencer and Sam. Although the band originally began as an instrumental duo (consisting of Jeff and Spencer), it has since evolved into a trio with Sam providing vocals. Recorded in Spencer and Sam's bedroom, "Own It" is the first Raccoonists song to be released. However, the group does have plans to record more tracks later this year.

You can listen to the 7” and watch the video for “Own It” now.

"Behold a Raccoon in the Darkness" comes out October 11 on Polyvinyl Records. It is limited to 2000 copies on clear pink vinyl and it is available for pre-order now.

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TOUR DATES

aug 07 - Katowice, Poland - OFF Festival (Scena Lesna stage)

sep 15 - San Francisco, CA - Atrium at SFMOMA (Adam Pendleton & Deerhoof present BAND)

sep 20 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg (White Suns, Mick Barr)

sep 21 - Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live (Joshua Stamper)

sep 22 - Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theater (Gull, Invisible Hand)

sep 23 - Cincinnati, OH - Know Theatre (Midpoint Music Festival)

sep 24 - Champaign, IL - Polyvinyl's 15th Anniversary Party at Pygmalion (Braid, Xiu Xiu, and many more)

sep 25 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge (Trin Tran, The Cloak Ox)

sep 26 - St. Louis, MO - Luminary Center for the Arts (Sleepy Kitty)

sep 28 - Ithaca, NY - The Haunt (Keir Neurings, Powerdove)

sep 29 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East (The Toughcats, Fat Worm of Error)

oct 01 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club (Benjy Ferree)

oct 02 - Asbury Park, NJ - ATP - Asbury Park Convention Hall & Paramount Theatre (w/ Portishead, Mogwai, Battles, Earth, and more)

Wayne Mills Band Releases New Single

Alabama-based Wayne Mills Band will release their first single, "She Knows the Words to Every Song," to radio August 16. Mills co-wrote the track to be featured on his new album, Long Hard Road, which will mark the first project for new Nashville record label Diesel Records.  "She Knows the Words to Every Song" will also be available on Itunes and www.waynemillsband.com August 16. Seasoned producer, Denny Diante, produced the track for the label's flagship artist.

"This song is a reflection of the emotions anyone, who works out of a suitcase, may go through while they are away from the one they love," says Mills. "My wife has been my biggest support system through the years and I wanted to express to her what she means to me and how I can't wait for us to just getaway with 'She Knows the Words to Every Song.'"

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Wayne Mills Band

Wayne Mills will soon release his 7th studio album, Long Hard Road, where he worked with powerhouse producer Denny Diante under new Nashville record label, Diesel Records. Mills, a native of Arab, AL, showcases his versatility as a singer/songwriter with tracks including “I Need the Country, Whiskey Bent and Jail Bound” and the title track “Long Hard Road” which tells the lonesome tale of a man making bad decisions and working through the consequences. With more than fifteen years of touring experience under his belt, Wayne has proved himself the consummate performer with a huge following in the Southeast while gaining influence in other markets.  This outlaw's traditional country style blended with an edgy rock sound will please new and old country music fans alike with Long Hard Road. His music is the soundtrack to his life: leaving no stone unturned when it comes to lyrics and his life.

Jake on Jimmy Kimmel Live! TONIGHT, Monday August 1!

Tonight Jake will be making an appearance on ABC's , Jimmy Kimmel Live! Jake will be performing his ukulele ode to rock & roll, "Bring Your Adz." As well as an exclusive performance of his take on "143 (Kelly's song) 2011," which will be posted online.

Check your local listings for showtimes.

Jonathan Coulton Set to Release Artificial Heart

Jonathan Coulton speaks to the outcast in all of us, in the voices of characters we know from our own sad little lives. Some of them may be monsters - mad scientists, giant squids, zombies - but his talent is in turning offbeat subjects into deliciously hooky pop songs that move us in surprisingly personal ways.

His upcoming album, Artificial Heart, produced by John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants, is due out this Fall. It's a new direction for Coulton - he leaves behind the home recording gear for a studio filled with talented musicians and guest vocalists including Suzanne Vega, John Roderick of The Long Winters and Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara.

The album opens with “Sticking to Myself”, a blistering, high-energy song about finding success, and then tearing it all down. “Nemeses” is a duet between Coulton and The Long Winters’ John Roderick that suggests the only real way to bring meaning into your life is to find your own worst enemy. “Good Morning Tucson” is a highly singable pop song about an aging morning news anchor who one day finally loses it. The album’s title track, “Artificial Heart," has a bouncy, joyful melody that can't quite mask the feeling that drastic measures are sometimes worse than the problems they are trying to solve.

Artificial Heart is Jonathan Coulton’s first album of all new material since his infamous 2006 “Thing A Week” series, during which he created 52 musical pieces in 52 weeks. It's a strong addition to an already impressive discography that spans a decade. His song “Still Alive” is the closing soundtrack to the video game “Portal," and was awarded “Best Original Vocal Pop Song” in 2008 by the Game Audio Network Guild. This year, Coulton was asked back to write “Want You Gone," a song for Portal’s long awaited sequel.