Category Archives: On the Rise

CDs Released Today, 2/9

Sade – Soldier of Love

Massive Attack – Heligoland

Celtic Thunder – It’s Entertainment!

Jaheim – Another Round

Josh Turner – Haywire

tobyMac – Tonight

Dave Matthews Band – Live in Las Vegas

Yeasayer – Odd Blood

Gil Scott Heron – I’m New Here

Galactic – Ya-Ka-May

Hot Chip – One Life Stand

Overkill – Ironbound

Allison Moorer – Crows

Reckless Kelly – Somewhere in Time

HIM – Screamworks: Love and Theory in Practice

Phantogram – Eyelid Movies

The Watson Twins – Talking to You Talking to Me

Fear Factory – Mechanize

Fireflight – For Those Who Wait

Crack the Sky – Machine

AFI – The Lowdown

Kurupt – Down and Dirty

CDs Released Today: 2/2

Nick Jonas & the Administration – Who I Am

Rob Zombie – Hellbilly Deluxe 2

BT – These Hopeful Machines

Lil Wayne – Rebirth

Midlake – Courage of Others

Yo-Yo Ma – Mendelssohn: Piano Trios Op 49 Op 66

Bruce Kulick – Bk3

The Soft Pack – The Soft Pack

Vedera – Stages

Album Leaf – A Chorus of Storytellers

Monolake – Silence

Late Night Alumni – Of Birds, Bees, Butterflies, Etc

Dommin – Love is Gone

Manose – Epiphany

Through the Eyes of the Dead – Skepsis

Priestess – Prior To the Fire

Glossary – Feral Fire

Lostprophets – Betrayed

Hadouken! – For the Masses

Shining – Blackjazz

Wakey! Wakey! – Almost Everything I Wish I Said the Last Time

FM Belfast – How To Make Friends

Malakai – Ugly Side of Love

Too Much Mars Volta?

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After listening to an advanced copy of The Bedlam in Goliath for about a week, I am ready to release my opinion of the record, and the band as a whole. This comes at a perfect time, for the album will be released tomorrow. This may help you save money and rather indulge in something that may not leave you somewhat annoyed.

It is important to begin with my proclamation of being a huge At The Drive-In fan. Having said that, I have been on The Mars Volta’s side of the battle after the band’s split. Sparta, in my opinion, are nothing to call home about. Deloused in the Comatorium, their debut album, was absolutely amazing. It was love at first listen. At the time, I was so relieved that the Mars Volta was just as good, if not better, than At the Drive-In.

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It wasn’t long after that the band released it’s second record Frances the Mute. The CD was definitely a breath of fresh air – something unique and completely innovative. At the same time, however, some of the band’s musical qualities were left behind; replacing therir overall musicianship with shock value.

Only a year later, the workaholics released Amputechture and a live album called Scab Dates. Scab Dates was excellent because the band is an entertaining and exuberant live force. Amputechture, however, seemed like it was produced by extraterrestrials. If I was unfamiliar with the band, I would have guessed the album was recorded on an intergalactic spacecraft. It was peculiar, yet still somewhat charming. They hadn’t lost me yet. I was still intrigued.

Now, another year has elapsed and the Mars Volta are releasing The Bedlam in Goliath tomorrow. The album serves as the band’s fourth full-length studio album, but the first sans Jon Theodore. Jon Theodore, for those unfamiliar, was the rhythmic drumming force behind the Mars Volta’s intricate and sometimes overwhelming time signatures. Theodore made everything human and kept everything cohesive within the music.

The Bedlam in Goliath is sorely missing the presence of Theodore on this record. While the CD is straight-to-the-point compositions without much between song noise and nonsense, the music is lackluster. There are a few catchy, well constructed tracks on the record, of course, but it seems that the Mars Volta have fallen from their throne and have become “just another eccentric rock band.”

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Bedlam
offers nothing special or out of the ordinary for avid Volta fans. If you were anticipating this record all year, you may want to reconsider purchasing it. Coming from a huge Mars Volta fan – I suggest the band take a little more time writing and crafting their tunes in the studio the next time around. This release has seemed to fall under my head, while the others have gone a little bit over.

Independent Music in Film

Independent Music in Film
By Logan Lenz

In today’s technologically driven world, independent musicians have an infinite number of outlets to display and promote their music. Now that websites like MySpace, Purevolume, and Virb (just to name a few) exist, independent artists have been given the opportunity to “level the playing field” with those prestigious radio guys. The problem, however, lies in the fact that the endless amount of DIY work far outweighs any successful return. So, how can independent musicians gain recognition and popularity without having to deal with the over-saturated world of online promotion? The answer lies in one word: “licensing.”

Within the last few years, independent artists have been glorified on film, television, and commercials more than ever before. Teenage-based TV shows such as Laguna Beach and One Tree Hill have stood in the forefront as the shows to watch to hear some of the best “undiscovered” music every week. Television commercials have taken the notion a step further, by utilizing the most obscure and abstract tunes that leave the viewer wondering what in the world they are listening to. Independent films, although not playing as much of a prominent role, have also been a major launching point for several independent artists. Damien Rice earned instant success and a record deal after the 2004 Mike Nichols film Closer glorified the track “The Blower’s Daughter” in the trailer and the film. Another impressive example was the use of Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek” during a season finale episode of The O.C.

So, how does this process work? How can independent films play a bigger role in the support of independent music? Well, the potential lies in the budget of the film. Independent films are generally projects with smaller budgets than the expensive blockbuster pictures. This fact alone gives the independent film the advantage to be the project that partners with some deserving undiscovered musicians. After hiring a music supervisor, the individual in charge of finding, choosing, and negotiating license deals for all of the necessary tunes, the production company will only allocate a certain amount of money for the movie’s melodic audio features. With this being said, it is now the supervisor’s job to hunt down eligible artists (Artists that have deals with publishing companies) for the lowest cost possible. Similar to any business, the more popular and in-demand a song is, the more expensive it will be. So, instead of choosing Beastie Boys’ “Girls,” the supervisor may be forced to license Johnny Nobody’s “Women.”

Obviously, the process involves a great deal of contracts and numbers, but in the end the supervisor obtains the rights to use these unfamiliar and inexpensive songs in the movie. Although it may be said that the process is a “Catch 22” (A band can’t be licensed until they have a licensing deal with a company), licensing material to these outlets have proven to be one of the easiest and most rewarding elements of income for musicians. Not only is the band given a chance to share their music with the world, they are also getting paid for it. In this way, licensing have opened new doors for every aspiring independent musician and has ultimately given them the chance to DIY for the rest of their successful careers. Independent films will forever have the opportunity to continue shifting the music industry away from the larger record companies.