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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!

Lady Antebellum Takes "Just A Kiss" to #1!

Reigning CMA and ACM Vocal Group of the Year Lady Antebellum celebrate their career fifth No. one song this week as the lead single “Just A Kiss” tops the Billboard Country Singles chart. The track simultaneously earns PLATINUM certification and spends a third week at No. one on the Billboard Canada Country chart. “Just A Kiss” is setting the pace for the multi-platinum group's upcoming third album OWN THE NIGHT due out Sept. 13.

“Seeing country radio and the fans embrace the first single off our new album like this has been amazing and also a little relieving,” said Lady A’s Charles Kelley. “There are definitely some nerves and anxiousness involved when you are introducing new music, and this reaction has been beyond what we hoped for.  It just makes us even more excited for Sept. 13 to get here."

“Just A Kiss” resonated with fans immediately, debuting at No. seven on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart to become the highest debut by a country group in the chart’s 52-year history. OWN THE NIGHT follows the band’s GRAMMY winning second disc NEED YOU NOW. Since its release in Jan. 2010, the album has sold over five million copies across the globe, spawned three multi-week No. one hits (“Need You Now,” “American Honey,” “Our Kind of Love”), taken home five GRAMMY Awards (a career total of six) and scored over a dozen other award show trophies.

For updates on OWN THE NIGHT, visit www.ladyantebellum.com.

BAND OF SKULLS ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES

Southhampton, UK trio Band of Skulls are taking some time out from finishing up their second album to play select tour dates in North America. They will be performing new songs at these shows along with favorites from their debut album album 'Baby Darling Doll Face Honey.'

After spending two years touring in support of their debut album which was universally embraced by the U.S. press including SPIN (Best of Coachella), Rolling Stone (Best of SXSW) and Entertainment Weekly (Your Next Favorite Band) and culminated with a sold-out show at the Forum in London in late 2010, the band retreated to a studio in Norfolk UK to begin writing the follow-up. They returned to their home studio in Southampton to start the recording which they are now completing in Wales at Rockfield Studios. The album is produced by Ian Davenport (Supergrass, Badly Drawn Boy) and will be mixed by Nick Launay (Grinderman, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire) and is scheduled for release in 2012. The album will be preceded by a single and EP released in late 2011.

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BAND OF SKULLS NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES:


September 24 @ Atlanta, GA Music Midtown Festival

September 26@ New York, NY Mercury Lounge

September 27 @ New York, NY Mercury Lounge

September 28 @ Toronto, ON The Garrison

Band of Skulls are Russell Marsden (guitar & vocals), Emma Richardson (bass & vocals) & Matt Hayward (drums).

Pop sensation Nadine Coyle makes her move on America

Nadine Coyle is most famously known for being the lead singer of the Guinness World Records acclaimed pop group, Girls Aloud. Together the group achieved a string of twenty consecutive top ten singles (including four number ones) and two number one albums in the United Kingdom. All of their albums have been certified platinum, with their albums The Sound of Girls Aloud, and Out of Control both selling over one million copies. They have been nominated for five BRIT Awards, winning the 2009 Best Single for "The Promise."

In 2010, Nadine released her debut solo album Insatiable and its title track through Black Pen Records in the United Kingdom. The lead single caught fans' attention and in early 2011 was voted as a "Best Single" behind Kylie Minogue's "All the Lovers," Lady Gaga & Beyonce's collaboration "Telephone," and Robbie Williams + Gary Barlow's "Shame" at The Virgin Media Music Awards.

Click here to listen to Insatiable now!

For the latest news, follow Nadine on Twitter and Facebook!

Connie Smith's Long Long Of Heartaches | Out 8/23

New recordings by the country music legend Connie Smith, long acclaimed as one of the greatest singers in the history of the genre have been as rare as the voice and knowing singing she brings to them.  Long Line of Heartaches, set for release on August 23rd, her first full album of new material since 1996 (and only her second since 1978) is an event in the making. That’s not just for the rarity, or because her legions of fans have so long awaited this news, but because in its range of undiluted traditional country moods, themes, rhythms and sound, this new Sugar Hill release is simply, unmistakably a new Connie Smith masterpiece, offering the pleasures of the very best that saw release during her remarkable run of recordings during the 1960s and‘70s.

“And that,” she says. “is exactly what I wanted to accomplish.  I’ve had people ask me what this album was going to be like, since it’s been a long time since they’ve heard me on record, but my musical tastes have remained the same. I wanted this to be traditional country, and it is.”

“One of the reasons that I wanted to do this recording, and it’s a personal reason, is that I have such a deep love for traditional country music. We can talk about the music slipping away, or we can do something about it.  The only way I know to do something about it is to keep singing what I’ve always loved.”

The album’s dozen new tracks, potent songs of heartache, joy, and spirit recorded at Nashville’s celebrated RCA Victor Studio B, where Connie recorded most of her chart-topping hits in her first years as a recording artist, include five new traditional country songs co-written by Connie and husband Marty Stuart, the project’s producer. Memorable songs come from long favored Smith sources such as icons Harlan Howard, Foster & Rice, Kostas, Johnny Russell and Smith’s longtime collaborator Dallas Frazier.  Frazier’s song “A Heart Like You” becomes the 69th Frazier composition that Smith has recorded – breaking his 30 years of songwriting silence, an event within itself.

Having become an overnight country sensation in 1964 when her first single, “Once a Day”, became a number one hit, the first time a female country singer’s debut single accomplished that, Connie Smith enjoyed a string of hits in the following years that have become country standards, including “Ain’t Had No Lovin’”, “Just One Time”, “Run Away Little Tears” “I never Once Stopped Loving You” and “The Hurtin’s All Over”.  She became a star whose iconic voice has influenced other singers for decades. She has recorded a string of 53 albums notable for their quality and range.

To this legacy she now adds Long Line of Heartaches, featuring her band The Sundowners and, for the first time, her three daughters, Julie, Jeanne and Jodi who add striking family harmonies on the contemporary hymn “Take My Hand.”

“I still love to sing as much as I ever did.  I could sing at the kitchen sink and I’d be happy. I feel it is my destiny to sing.”  Country music fans everywhere should rejoice in the fact that we get to be a part of that destiny.

Afrobeta Debut Album Out August 9th

Miami’s avant-dance duo recently announced the release of their debut full-length, Under The Streets, along with the first track from the album, “Nighttime.” Now the band has released a futuristic new video, for “Play House,” directed by Dutch director Ruben Van Leer, along with the details for the “Play House” single, which sees a digital release today (May 10th) on iTunes, Beatport and Amazon. The single will come packaged along with remixes by NYC legend Larry Tee, and Alexander Technique & Junior Sanchez!

Afrobeta’s unique (and diverse) sound transcends genre classifications. Cuci’s rapid-fire delivery, combined with Smurphio’s funky synths and head-bopping basslines, will keep you moving from start to finish on Under The Streets. The thirteen tracks that make up their debut album will undoubtedly ignite dance-floors around the world-the band has a sound that is universally irresistible.

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Click HERE or the Single Art Below to Watch the Futuristic Video For “Play House”

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Under The Streets Tracklisting:

Two Different Worlds
Do You Party?
Nighttime
As Long As You Like It
Play House
That Thing
Touch
Land Of Lost Lovers
Pistol Whip
Love Fur Life
Jealousy
The End
Love Is Magic

TINIE TEMPAH, U.K. RAP SUPERSTAR TO RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM

London-born rapper Tinie Tempah, already a double BRIT Award-winning U.K. superstar with 2010's top-selling debut album by a British artist, goes global with the U.S. release of his album Disc-Overy on May 17.

The charismatic 22-year-old artist is already a phenomenon in the U.K., where Disc-Overy debuted at number one and produced four Top Five singles, including two number ones, and is currently closing in on double platinum sales status. He's now experiencing a major breakthrough in America, where his infectious, message-driven single "Written in the Stars" was recently hailed by Entertainment Weekly as one of the "next big hits of 2011." The song is currently number 13 and climbing on Billboard's Hot 100, and is already certified gold and climbing to platinum status, making it clear that Tinie Tempah is on his way to becoming the first British rapper to achieve major stardom in the U.S.

Disc-Overy will reach American listeners with the addition of three all-new tracks recorded in the U.S. earlier this year with producers Stargate (Wiz Khalifa, Beyonce, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Ne-Yo) and Boi 1Da (Eminem, Drake). One of the new songs, "Till I'm Gone," featuring Wiz Khalifa and produced by Stargate, will be Disc-Overy's next U.S. single. Stargate also produced "Love Suicide," featuring special guest Esther Dean. The third new track, "So Addicted," was produced by Boi 1Da and features Bei Maejor.

Tinie Tempah is currently receiving a massive amount of acclaim and exposure in America, where Rolling Stone recently featured him in their influential "Hot List" issue. Having made his U.S. television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live in February, Tinie will return to the airwaves with appearances on Late Show with David Letterman on May 17 and on Conan on May 26. Also on May 17, he'll be featured in a Live on Letterman interactive webcast concert. Tinie will also be a guest on The View's highly rated Memorial Day show on May 30.

Tinie Tempah recently made his U.S. festival debut with a rapturously received performance at Coachella earlier this month. He's currently in the midst of his first American tour, which began with a high-profile set opening for Lupe Fiasco at New York's Roseland Ballroom, and continues with arena shows with Usher, Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa, Curfew, Nas and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley.

Tinie will perform an intimate concert sponsored by New York radio station Z100 on May 16 at Manhattan's P.C. Richard Theater. Z100 will give away passes to listeners on-air, live on Z100 and online at Z100.com, iheartradio.com and PCRichardTheater.com. And on August 5th, he will make an appearance at the prestigious Lollapalooza festival at Grant Park in Chicago.

Click here to see Tinie Tempah's Live performance of his first U.S. Gold Single "Written In The Stars" on MTV's The Seven earlier this week.

Company of Thieves Announce New Album, On Tour w/ The Whigs

The Chicago-based band Company of Thieves has announced the release of their new album, Running From A Gamble, due out via Wind-up Records on May 17th. To celebrate, the band is offering up a free MP3 from the album, in the form of the amazing track “Modern Waste.”

Running From A Gamble is the follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut, Ordinary Riches. Produced by Rob Schnapf, the 13-track album was written primarily by lead singer Genevieve Schatz and guitar player Marc Walloch.  Of the album, Genevieve says, “The album is a coming of age adventure about the mysterious, passionate and painful transition from dependence and enchantment to autonomy and awareness.”  The first single off Running From A Gamble will be “Death of Communication,” which hits radio this month.

Ordinary Riches was released in 2009 and landed at #5 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart.  The band landed a spot on Last Call with Carson Daly where they performed their hit single “Oscar Wilde.”  The band has built a massive fanbase from non-stop touring, performing headlining dates and also opening for bands such as OK Go and The Hold Steady, followed by duets with Daryl Hall on his hit show, “Live From Daryl’s House.”

Reviews of the album and live performances were nothing but positive.  Entertainment Weekly raved, “Thanks to Genevieve Schatz’s consistently gutsy soul-chick vocals and her bandmates’ energetic arrangement…their technique can’t be denied.” Yahoo! exclaimed, “Hands down, one of the best debut albums of 2007.” The band is in the midst of a national tour with The Whigs.

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Download the FREE MP3 “Modern Waste” HERE

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Upcoming Tour Dates (w/ The Whigs)

04/05 – Greensboro, NC – The Blind Tiger
04/06 – Norfolk, VA – The Jewish Mother Backstage
04/07 – Richmond, VA – Capital Ale House
04/13 – Charleston, SC – The Pour House
04/14 – Charlotte, NC – Neighborhood Theater
04/15 – Whitesburg, KY – Summit City Lounge
04/17 – Wilmington, NC – The Soapbox
04/25 – Memphis, TN – Hi Tone Café
04/26 – Fayetteville, AR – George’s Majestic Lounge
04/27 – St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway Nightclub
04/28 – Indianapolis, IN – Radio Radio
04/29 – Iowa City, IA – Blue Moose Tap House
04/30 – Kansas City, MO – The Riot Room
05/01 – Tulsa, OK – The Marquee
06/26 – Highland Park, IL – Ravinia Festival (w/ Daryl Hall, John Oates)

Free Download From Ben Harper, "Rock N' Roll Is Free"

Beginning today, Ben Harper will be giving away a free download of “Rock N’ Roll Is Free” at his website for a limited time. The track, which was Starbucks’ “Pick of the Week” last week, is the first single from his upcoming album, Give Till It’s Gone. The commercial single, video and ringtone for “Rock N’ Roll Is Free” will be available at all digital retailers beginning April 5th. Give Till It’s Gone, due out on May 17th on Virgin Records, was recently spotlighted in Rolling Stone’s Spring Music Preview.

The songs on Give Till It’s Gone – Harper’s first solo record since 2006’s Both Sides of the Gun – are nothing less than a revelation, expressing one man's struggle, confusion and, ultimately, redemption. Harper has never been afraid to dig deep into his emotions for his songs, but there's a sense of maturity and experience on Give Till It's Gone that add new weight to his efforts. Most of the album was recorded at the Los Angeles studio of Jackson Browne, who harmonizes with him on the wistful ”Pray That Our Love Sees The Dawn.” The album also features Ringo Starr on two tracks. “Spilling Faith” and “Get There From Here” were co- written in the studio with the legendary drummer. The pre-order for Give Till It’s Gone is underway now at iTunes.
Harper made his debut in 1994 with Welcome to the Cruel World, which was subsequently certified Gold. In 2005, he received GRAMMY awards for “Best Pop Instrumental Performance” for his single “11th Commandment” and for “Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album” for There Will Be A Light, featuring the Blind Boys of Alabama. Harper formed Fistful of Mercy with Dhani Harrison and Joseph Arthur and the trio released the album As I Call You Down in 2010. He will be playing a mixture of headlining shows and festivals this year, including Lollapalooza Chile this Saturday, April 2nd.
See below for itinerary or visit www.BenHarper.com. Additional dates will be announced soon.
Tour Dates
4/2 - Santiago, Chile - Lollapalooza Chile
4/21 - Byron Bay, NSW Australia - Bluesfest
4/22 - Byron Bay, NSW Australia - Bluesfest
6/4 - Ozark, AR - Wakarusa Festival
6/5 - Kansas City, MO - Crossroads
6/6 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre  SOLD OUT
6/7 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre SOLD OUT
6/12 - Fès, Morocco - Festival de Fès
6/30 - Chicago, IL - Vic
7/2 - Sioux City, OA - Saturday in the Park
7/3 - Milwaukee, WI - Summerfest
7/5 - Toronto, ON - The Sound Academy
7/16 - Aix les Bains, France - Festival Musilac
7/18 - Lucca, Italy - Piazza Napoleone
7/19 - Rome, Italy - Fiesta Ippodromo delle Capannelle
7/20 - Milan, Italy - Arena Civica
7/22 - Nimes, France - Festival de Nimes
7/25 - St. Malo Du Bois - Festival de Poupet
7/28 - Lucerne, Switzerland - Swiss Blues Festival
7/29 - Tarvisio, Italy - Piazza Unita
7/30 - Verona, Italy - Castello Scaligero di Villafranca
8/5 - Avenches, Switzerland - Rock Oz Arènes
8/6 - Colmar, France - Festival Foire aux Vins d’Alsace
8/7 - Dranouter, Belgium - Dranouter Festival          

Vanity Theft Announces New Single, Launches Remix Contest

Ohio’s hard-rockin’ quartet Vanity Theft has been hard at work lately- the band is fresh off a nationwide tour with Hunter Valentine, which culminated with several SXSW shows and now a four week residency at Los Angeles’ famed Club Moscow, being the first band in over four years to be invited to a residency there. Their full-length album Get What You Came For came out on March 1st via Vigilante Music/Adamant Records, and now they’re happy to share the news of a new single and remix contest for their fans!

They’ll be releasing the “Rattle Rattle” single on April 26th, which will include remixes by HOUSES, Jesse Christenson and Tiny Bill. On top of that, the band is launching a remix/mashup contest in conjunction with Laptoprockers.com.

The contest lasts from March 30-May 20th- here’s a note from Laptoprockers regarding their partnership with Vanity Theft:

“Laptoprockers are very happy to have Vanity Theft aboard for this remix contest. With five sexy songs to remix, this is our biggest contest to date! Thanks to Ableton and D16 Group Audio Software there are great prizes to win, while the best remixes are eligible for inclusion on Vanity Theft's remix album due out this Summer. Not to mention the bonus prize for the best Vanity Theft mashup! Who needs a bigger challenge for Spring?"

Here’s a little more background on Laptoprockers:

Since their inception in 2006 Laptoprockers are shaking the web with remix contests, remix contests and more remix contests. With their comprehensive remix contest listing, Laptoprockers are the longest running independent remix contest resource webwide. Other daily topics include interviews, album reviews and anything related to music (making) in the digital domain. We Are Laptoprockers!

Fans can enter the contest here, so feel free to spread the love!

Download the FREE MP3 of “Rattle Rattle” HERE | And Chrissy Murderbot’s “Limb From Limb” Remix HERE

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Vanity Theft Tour Dates:

March 30 – Hollywood, CA – Club Moscow
April 6 – Hollywood, CA – Club Moscow
April 9 – Las Vegas, NC – Bunkhouse
April 11 – San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
April 13 – Hollywood, CA – Club Moscow
April 15 – Santa Barbara, CA – Muddy Waters
April 20 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern
April 22 – Bloomington, IN – Bear’s
April 23 – Cincinnati, OH – Mainstay Rock Bar
April 28 – St. Louis, MO – Cicero’s
April 30 – Bowling Green, KY - WWHR Music Festival