All posts tagged: feature

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Download Now: Brittany McDonald “Notice Me”

As Jermaine Stewart once so eloquently sang, “We don’t have to take our clothes off to have a good time.” Now, some 27 years later, Brittany McDonald sips the same cherry wine while bringing this important message to a new generation of girls. Her self-released video for “Notice Me” is racking up views on YouTube and she’s having no trouble finding friends on Facebook. The song shimmies the musical gap between Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jepsen, the video packs dozens of classic film, TV and music video clips into a very powerful narrative. Young McDonald is so passionate about the subject, she even penned a Huffington Post article called “Selling Sex is Never Going Out Of Style.“ With 108,000 views and counting, you clearly struck a nerve with fans. Was the video for “Notice Me” inspired by your own journey, your friends, the media or a little bit of everything? BRITTANY McDONALD: “Notice Me” was most definitely inspired by my own journey and personal experiences. Being a female in an industry where who you …

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SXSW Interview: Jim Lauderdale

Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale have known each other for more than 30 years, and they frequently hang out both on- and offstage. Separately and together,  they create country music of the highest pedigree.  So whenever they want to tear into a wailer or a weeper – which is fairly often – it’s always good for the listener. You can find some of these on Buddy and Jim (New West Records), the album collaboration between these two wonderfully talented music pros, and even more when the Miller-Lauderdale show comes to a stage near you. Miller is a killer guitarist who’s toured with Elvis Costello, Steve Earle and Linda Ronstadt, and a hot producer for artists like Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin and Robert Plant. Lauderdale has written hit songs for George Strait, the Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, George Jones and others.  Both together and separately, they have helped to lay the foundation for the Americana music movement and preserve everything that’s good about traditional country music. Buddy and Jim are gearing up for a …

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Amaluna takes Cirque du Soleil to new Heights

Amaluna, the latest gem from Cirque de Soleil’s seemingly bottomless treasure chest, is about to bid farewell to Seattle and trek across North America. This dazzling, spellbinding and breathtaking show transcends mere entertainment — it is a testament to the power of love, femininity and creativity — it stretches the very limit of what we think the human body and imagination can achieve. Most importantly, Amaluna is a blast. It’s America’s Got Talent seen though an acid trip, the Olympic gymnastics finals as produced by Red Bull, a two-hour rollercoaster ride set to a soundtrack that’s equal parts Prince and the Art of Noise. The less you know going into the show, the more fun you’ll have. I easily missed 90% of the plot and still had the time of my life. I highly recommend seeing it once — then reading the program to learn the story — then seeing it again. Cirque de Soleil shows can be a bit hit or miss depending on one’s aversion to or fear of clowns — my phobia …

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David Schelzel of the Ocean Blue: The Popdose Interview

Hershey, PA’s the Ocean Blue rose out of the 80’s and soundtracked much of my greater 1990’s. Over the course of five albums and some terrific EP’s, they bridged the gap between new wave and the next Brit Pop invasion (Blur, Pulp, Oasis) while providing a soothing antidote to Nevermind Ear (the medical condition resulting from playing Nirvana, Soundgarden, NIN and Smashing Pumpkins on heavy rotation). As the century turned, the band became less prolific, but their legacy just just grew stronger. On March 19th, 2013, the Ocean Blue returns with a new album, Ultramarine (four and 1/2 stars out of five). It is a true return to form for fans of their two biggest albums while providing a perfect entry point for fans of heartbreakingly gorgeous, shimmering guitar pop. Last Thursday, on the eve of their concert in Seattle (see below), POPDOSE caught up with frontman David Schelzel to discuss the new album, the upcoming tour and everything that’s changed since the band last released a full-length album in 1999. POPDOSE: On the Ultramarine track, …

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The Popdose Interview: Peter Beckett of Player

Remember the band Player? Sure you do…and even if you think you don’t, it’ll only take three words to remind you who they are: “Baby Come Back.” That’s not by any means to suggest that there’s no more to the band than their biggest hit, mind you: they released four albums during their original run during the late ’70s and early ’80s, and despite regular claims to the contrary by the misinformed, they actually had two – count ’em – TWO top-10 hits (the other being “This Time I’m In It For Love”), and although the band’s line-up has fluctuated over the years, Player continues to reform on occasion for live dates and, believe it or not, even has a new album: Too Many Reasons, released on Frontiers Records. Popdose was fortunate enough to chat with frontman Peter Beckett about the band’s reemergence, along with a deep discussion of his past musical endeavors, including stories about opening for Jimi Hendrix and The Who, co-writing an Olivia Newton-John classic, and more. Popdose: You and Ronn Moss …

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Drew Holcomb on Songwriting, Fatherhood, and the NBA

You’ve probably heard a Drew Holcomb song before. His music has been featured on an endless amount of television shows: Parenthood, Justified, Deadliest Catch, How I Met Your Mother, House, One Tree Hill — and those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head, so it’s ironic when the words “I don’t watch a lot of TV” come out of his mouth in the opening line of “Rooftops” from his latest release, Good Light. Because if he merely watched the shows that have featured his music, he’d be watching plenty of television. It will be hard for Holcomb to top 2012. His wife and bandmate, Ellie, welcomed their first child Emmylou, who has been out promoting their new record. Although playing Bonnaroo in 2013 won’t hurt, and for the next week, Drew and his band are on The Rock Boat cruise with Sister Hazel, Brandi Carlile and others. Normally here at Popdose, we pick up the phone and have a conversation with artists. But my day job makes that impossible. …

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Orianthi Finds Heaven at the Gates of Hell: The Popdose Interview

Most people only know axe shredder Orianthi for the company she keeps: Carrie Underwood on the 2009 Grammys, Michael Jackson’s doomed This Is It tour and Alice Cooper’s current jaunt around the world. Still, a feverish fanbase shares one of the best worst-kept-secrets in popular music: the blonde bombshell from Australia has also headlined two the best rock records of the past decade: Violet Journey and Believe Vol. #1 and #2. The blistering guitar-powered trilogy concludes when her Dave Stewart-produced third album, Heaven in this Hell, drops March 12. Popdose caught up with Orianthi — Ms. Panagaris if you Wiki — to discuss her new album, the horrors of touring with Alice Cooper and a musical dalliance she once had with Prince and Sheila E. POPDOSE: Thanks for taking the time to talk to POPDOSE. Are you calling in from Australia? ORIANTHI: Oh no. I live in Los Angeles. Though I am leaving for Las Vegas tomorrow. I’m playing a TV special with Michael Bolton. It’s a Motown special that also stars Smokey Robinson and Kelly …

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The Popdose Interview: David Lowery

Hearing the stories behind how the new Camper Van Beethoven album came together, we’re not surprised to find out that God is a CVB fan. And as you listen to La Costa Perdita, the new Camper album which landed in stores on January 22nd via the fine folks at 429 Records, it’s a safe bet that He has a permanent spot on the guest list whenever the band comes to town. David Lowery and the members of Camper Van Beethoven were set to play a show at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur in June of 2011 when rain — an unusual visitor for that particular time of the season — forced the band to postpone. With the unexpected opening on their schedule, the band decided to seize the opportunity to launch into the writing process for what would become their first album of new Camper material since New Roman Times in 2004. The moments of collaboration were fruitful, birthing enough material for an album and then some. There’s a distinctive Northern California tint …

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The Ultimate Power Pop Roundup: 10 Essential Bands and FREE MP3s

Big hooks. Singalong choruses. Earworm melodies. Guitars. Handclaps. When these stars align, I think Power Pop. So, what bands will become the next Cheap Trick, Posies, Material Issue or Big Star? POPDOSE traveled around the world to find the very best. Now the purists might debate me on what qualifies as Power Pop in this list and what does not — because purists will happily debate anything — but let’s not get caught up in semantics. Let’s rock! Here are some of the best damn rock songs to cross my desk since I started at POPDOSE. Pack your bags, it’s time to hit the road. HIGH ON STRESS — Minneapolis High On Stress – Bite Your Tongue In a city as ass-smackingly cold as MPLS, good food, great sex and hot bands keep the locals alive. Prince, Husker Du and The Replacements all hail from there, and in their footprints walks High on Stress. The band served as Slim Dunlap’s backing band prior to his stroke — and here’s hoping they all hit the stage again someday. …

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The Popdose Interview: Lisa Loeb

With the renewed popularity of female-fronted alternative rock, New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert saw a window of opportunity to bring ‘90s alt-rocker Lisa Loeb, a noted influence for many of those same artists, back around to file a new chapter in her own discography of work. Gilbert, a longtime fan of Loeb’s music, knew exactly the kind of album that fellow fans would want to hear from Lisa and he also knew that fans had been waiting for quite a while. Loeb had been wrapped up in a variety of projects which had carried her away from making the “adult” music that brought her name recognition, starting in 1994 with “Stay,” the  #1 Grammy-nominated hit which served as her musical moment of introduction to the outside world. Having developed a healthy career of his own outside of New Found Glory as a producer, Gilbert had the right resume and experience to tackle the job and he was bold in his approach. He emailed Loeb to say “I know you do these kids books, but …

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Soul Disciple Gedeon Luke Makes His Move

Gedeon Luke’s debut EP, Perfect Ain’t Perfect, strutted onto my “Best of 2012” list after only a few spins — ironically enough sharing the bill with the original Disciples of Soul. Since then, Luke’s short stax of trax have been on near constant iPod repeat play. I’ve been damn near giddy about it because the emotional experience of discovering a new favorite record hits many of the same beats as falling in love: euphoria, enlightenment and plenty of electricity. My gravitation to the record may have as much to do with what Luke is throwing down as it does what everyone else is throwing out. Ask yourself, how long has it been since Prince released anything worthy of his potential? I hear great things about the upcoming D’Angelo record, but the waiting is the hardest part. These days, Lenny Kravitz spends more time hanging out with Katniss than he does in a recording studio. With Perfect Ain’t Perfect, Luke and producer Marc Swersky have crafted an uplifting, raw, soulful and timeless mini-masterpiece. It could have …

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On The Road With Crushed Out… includes free travel music

The easiest way to get your ass handed to you in a bar is to tell a dude you have a crush on his wife. Unless that dude is Frank Hoier, singer/guitarist for the rock duo Crushed Out, and your crush is of the rock star variety. How could he blame me? His wife, Moselle Spiller, is a smoking hot percussion combustion engine that keeps their blistering crazy train club anthems on the rails. So then technically I am crushed out on them both. Listen loud and you will be too. Blues-soaked rock and roll axe shredder with brunette drummer/wife? We’ve seen this species before in the White Stripes and Black Keys — but since Meg got out of the kitchen, someone had to step in and start cooking again. Moselle is Meg White and Alison Mosshart rolled into one — a drummer with frontwoman swagger and total command of the stage. Frank sings like he plays guitar — hair raising, goose bumping shred and squeal offset by daydream smoothness. Their new album, Want to …

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The Popdose Interview: Robert Carradine

You might think that Robert Carradine, an actor whose filmography is far more formidable than the average moviegoer would ever imagine (keep reading and find yourself astonished by at least one or two of his past co-stars), would view a motion picture like Revenge of the Nerds as an albatross, one of those projects that you can’t make people forget no matter how hard you try. Carradine, however, views the role of Lewis Skolnick in the 1984 comedy – and its sequels, lest we forget – as more of a godsend, something that became far bigger than anyone ever could have anticipated. Plus, c’mon, who would’ve thought 29 years ago that nerds would end up being so hip as to warrant a prime-time television series? Or, as is the case now, a reality-competition series on TBS? That’s right: get ready for King of the Nerds. Popdose spoke with Carradine about this project, along with some of the other projects he’s worked on over the years, including – true story – Django Unchained. Popdose: The most …

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Download Now: James Levy and the Blood Red Rose (Interview and Free Songs)

James Levy is a gifted New York coffee house singer who clearly has friends in high places. Guy Berryman of Coldplay produced his fantastic album with duet partner Allison Pierce of the Pierces. Tim Wheeler of 90’s Irish alt rock heroes, Ash, produced Levy’s other project, Reputante. The Berryman/Pierce project Pray to be Free, officially by James Levy & the Blood Red Rose, topped year-end “best of” lists in every language around the world, including POPDOSE. James Levy And The Blood Red Rose – Give Me Happiness Since the Pierces is one of my favorite bands, I briefly wondered if my passion for Pray To Be Free was just spillover from my passion for the Pierces’ trilogy of four and five star albums Light of the Moon, Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge and You & I. So I consulted some second opinions: Andy Fyfe of Q magazine said, “With Allison Pierce as his Nancy Sinatra, (Levy) cooks up some of the greatest countrified orchestral pop this side of the randy old goats’ heydays.” …said goats …

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The Popdose Interview: Brooke White (free holiday MP3)

Brooke White is one of the sharpest, most prolific singer/songwriters in pop music today — her natural beauty, charm and style are simply sprinkles, whip cream and Cap’n Crunch atop an already perfect sundae. Sure a certain TV juggernaut catapulted her to international fame in 2008, but of the 120 American Idol Top 10’ers to date, she’s one of the few who still has bankable name brand recognition more than a season later. You can read all about my beef with the show here — but in a nutshell, what is now a popularity contest used to be about talent, and talent is something White has in spades. I drank the Brooke White Lemonade long before Idol. I bought her self-released debut CD, Songs From The Attic, at a rousing club show in LA two years before she went face to face with Simon, Randy and Paula. Attic steadily became one of my favorite pop albums of the decade; it is packed with powerful, exquisitely produced, full band originals that would have sounded as good …

Jimi Jamison

The Popdose Interview: Jimi Jamison of Survivor

In more than four decades in the music business, Jimi Jamison has worn quite a few different hats. While perhaps best known for his work with Chicago-based AOR rockers Survivor, his trademark vocals also helped to power albums by ZZ Top (take a fresh listen to “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” for example), George Thorogood and Joe Walsh, among others. When he stepped into the lead vocalist slot for Survivor in the mid-’80s, following the departure of original vocalist Dave Bickler, it was an important addition that would bring the band a second lease on life and add an extra five Top 20 hits (four of them went Top 10) to their resume. The road-worn huskiness of Jamison’s vocals helped make him one of the most distinctive vocalists of the decade, instantly identifiable on a crowded radio dial, where sounding different was the key, especially considering the hefty amount of competition that he was up against. Never Too Late, the new solo album from Jamison, plays out like a lost chapter from the Survivor discography and …