music videos tour dates






Custard/Atlantic recording artist James Blunt has announced details of his upcoming North American tour, part of his extensive “2008 LOST SOULS TOUR.” The highly anticipated headlining tour celebrates the release of Blunt’s new album, “ALL THE LOST SOULS.” Presented by VH1 “You Oughta Know”, the tour kicks off in February ’08 and will feature special guest Sara Bareilles.

“I am really pleased to be returning to the U.S. on my 2008 world tour,” said Blunt. “We’ve had some of our most memorable shows in America on past tours, and I am so excited to be playing out some of the material from my new album, ‘ALL THE LOST SOULS,’ for my U.S. fans.”
The month-long LOST SOULS tour is set to kick off on February 4, 2008 at Seattle’s Moore Theatre. From there, the British superstar will play a series of major dates across North America, culminating on March 4th at Atlanta’s The Tabernacle (see attached itinerary). Pre-sale tickets will be available via Blunt’s official fan site tomorrow, November 14th, with remaining tickets going on sale to the public on Saturday, November 17th.

As with 2006’s hugely successful “Back To Bedlam World Tour,” Blunt will once again use the tour as an opportunity to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the international medical humanitarian organization whose life-saving work he first encountered while stationed with the British army in Kosovo, where he served as a reconnaissance officer with the NATO peacekeeping force. A personal, one-on-one aftershow meet-and-greet with James will be auctioned after each and every show, to both increase awareness and generate much-needed monies for DWB/MSF.

What’s more, Blunt is being joined on tour in his native UK and in Europe by Friends of the Earth, the influential grassroots network that has for decades been at the forefront of high-profile efforts to create a more healthy, just world. Friends of the Earth’s role on the road has been to assist James in increasing awareness of global climate change, while also putting pressure on the world’s governments to begin acting on the issue.
James recently filmed the companion video for his new single, “Same Mistake,” with famed director Jonas Akerlund (Madonna, The Prodigy, Maroon 5). The video, which is garnering much attention for its thematic elements, premiered this past weekend on VH1’s Top 20 countdown. The video can be viewed via the following link:

Blunt is currently slated to appear on a number of high-profile TV programs in the coming weeks. The appearances begin on November 18th when he is a presenter at the 35th annual American Music Awards. He will then perform “Same Mistake” on The Late Show with David Letterman on November 20th followed on November 23rd by a morning performance on Live with Regis and Kelly. On December 11th James will appear on The View, and then on CBS’ annual seasonal celebration, A Home For The Holidays, scheduled for broadcast on December 21st. The performances follow Blunt’s recent string of major television appearances heralding the release of “ALL THE LOST SOULS,” including the Today show, Ellen DeGeneres, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, as well as Nightline and Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

“ALL THE LOST SOULS” was recorded and mixed in Los Angeles with producer Tom Rothrock, who also oversaw Blunt’s history-making debut, “BACK TO BEDLAM.” The collection features several songs that became road-tested favorites in the course of Blunt’s marathon touring during 2006 – including “1973,” “I Really Want You,” “Same Mistake,” and “Annie.” The album has also drawn expansive critical praise. “He shows the abandon and confidence of a long-term artist,” raved Billboard. “Sounding like John Mayer channeling Jeff Buckley in the middle of Abbey Road, each of Blunt’s songs are infused with love, loss and confusion, but are rendered so elegantly that it sounds like he’s got everything figured out…There’s not a misstep throughout.”

For more information please visit and

“2008 Lost Souls Tour” – North America 2008

4 Seattle, WA Moore Theater
6 San Francisco, CA The Warfield
7 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern
8 Las Vegas, NV The Pearl
12 Denver, CO Ogden Theater
22 Chicago, IL Vic Theater
23 Ann Arbor, MI Michigan Theater
25 Toronto, ONT Sony Centre
26 Montreal, QUE St. Denis
27 Boston, MA The Orpheum
29 New York, NY Beacon Theater

1 Philadelphia, PA Keswick Theater
4 Atlanta, GA The Tabernacle

music videos



MENC: The National Association for Music Education, Scholastic, and musician/actor/philanthropist Steven Van Zandt through his Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, have joined efforts to bring Rock and Roll history and music appreciation into classrooms through the development of a Rock and Roll music education program. The Little Steven’s Rock and Roll High School is targeted to launch in middle and high-schools in 2008/2009, highlighting the impact that Rock and Roll music had on historic events in the country and around the world.

“The support by MENC of this unique middle and high school program and our relationship with Scholastic is the proudest achievement of my life,” says Van Zandt. “Our joint efforts will ensure that future generations will continue to be inspired, motivated, and enlightened by the worldwide common ground communication of Rock and Roll.”

The Little Steven’s Rock and Roll High School program will be a chronological anthology tracing the history of Rock and Roll from its roots to present day, highlighting the cultural impact and significance of each era of the genre as it relates to the events and changes that took place in the history of the country and of the world. The content for the program will be created by educators and some of the most prominent rock music historians and writers in the country, and each lesson will feature a DVD component with various relevant musicians and celebrities contributing.

“The long and important history of Rock and Roll as it reflects history and culture offers an innovative and relevant teaching opportunity for teachers,” says Shelley White, Editorial Director of Scholastic’s InSchool division. “Scholastic is proud to join with MENC and Steven Van Zandt to bring this terrific new initiative to schools across the nation.”

This rich compendium of materials will be delivered to schools free of charge. Each participating school will receive a package containing teacher lesson plans, reproducible student pages and accompanying DVDs, CDs, and posters to enhance the students’ experience. In addition, content from these materials, along with additional resources and more information, will exist online, offering multi-dimensional tools for both students and teachers.

“Our schools are comprised of students with varying musical interests and abilities,” said Lynn Brinckmeyer, president of MENC. “One of MENC’s goals is that all children receive the benefits of music education. MENC is pleased to work together with Mr. Van Zandt and Scholastic to provide curricular materials that reach out to young people who may not currently participate in music ensembles, but can benefit from the diverse and exciting program that is Little Steven’s Rock and Roll High School.”

MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the world’s largest arts education organization, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. More than 130,000 members represent all levels of teaching from preschool to graduate school. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. MENC’s activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Standards for Arts Education.

About Scholastic:
Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children’s books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs, school-based book fairs, and school-based and direct-to-home continuity programs; retail stores, schools, libraries and television networks; and the Company’s Internet site,

The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation:
To educate and promote the history and achievements of Rock and Roll music as well as other traditional and modern music forms. To save, safeguard, archive, and collect important Rock and Roll and other musical documents, histories, or artifacts. To preserve original analogue tape master recordings. To help save or safeguard important Rock and Roll music sites or venues, and to raise public awareness of the historical significance of certain music sites or venues. To provide scholarships, fellowships, or grants to young aspiring musicians. To teach the history of Rock and Roll and its origins and document it’s impact on our nation’s and world culture. To donate or provide access to musical instruments, training, recording equipment, and other musical skills to those who might otherwise not have the opportunity to receive them. To insure that the tremendous cultural and artistic benefits and achievements of Rock and Roll music be passed down to future generations.

music videos tour dates



Melisma/Atlantic recording group MATCHBOX TWENTY has announced their first North American concert tour in over four years. The cross-country “Exile In America” itinerary will also feature Special Guests Alanis Morissette and MUTEMATH. The tour kicks off on January 25th at Hard Rock Live Arena at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, and will hit major arenas across the U.S. and Canada through mid-March. One highlight of the 33-city itinerary will be a special Valentine’s Day show at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, November 17th.

“We’re all completely pumped about getting back together and heading out on the road after all this time, especially since we have a bunch of new songs to play for everyone,” said vocalist Rob Thomas. “And we’re thrilled to be joined by the brilliant Alanis Morissette and the fantastic New Orleans band MUTEMATH. It’s going to be a great show, and we can’t wait to get out there.”

“I can’t wait to share some new songs, connect with people around North America again, and join Matchbox Twenty’s traveling circus,” shared Alanis Morissette. “So psyched!”

MATCHBOX TWENTY last toured in 2003, wrapping up their SRO global itinerary in December of that year. The tour, which earned acclaim from coast to coast and around the globe, was highlighted by sold-out shows at three of the world’s premier rock venues – New York’s Madison Square Garden, London’s Wembley Arena, and Los Angeles’ Staples Center. MATCHBOX TWENTY reunited two years later for two sold-out New Year’s shows in Las Vegas. The 2008 dates will mark the band’s first tour as a four-piece, with Paul Doucette shifting from drummer to guitarist in the band line-up – which also includes vocalist Rob Thomas, guitarist Kyle Cook, and bassist Brian Yale.

The announcement of MATCHBOX TWENTY’s return to the concert trail follows the release of the band’s new album, “EXILE ON MAINSTREAM,” which debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200, while also premiering at #1 on SoundScan’s Current Alternative Albums chart. This marked the biggest first week of the year for a greatest hits collection, with the #3 premiere also matching the group’s previous highest Billboard 200 debut, 2000’s “MAD SEASON.”

A look back and a look ahead, “EXILE ON MAINSTREAM” features the smash single and video, “How Far We’ve Come.” The first album from the group in five years, it combines a six-track EP of new songs, marking the band’s first work with Grammy winning producer Steve Lillywhite, with a retrospective of the band’s greatest hits culled from their three previous albums, produced by Grammy winner Matt Serletic.

MATCHBOX TWENTY has sold some 30 million records to date. They were named Best New Band in the 1997 Rolling Stone Readers Poll, and followed the RIAA Diamond Award success of their 1996 breakthrough debut, “YOURSELF OR SOMEONE LIKE YOU,” with two more multi-platinum sets – 2000’s “MAD SEASON” and 2002’s “MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE.” Among their many accolades are five Grammy nominations and three American Music Award nominations, while vocalist and songwriter Rob Thomas has earned three Grammy Awards, 11 BMI Awards, and has been twice named Billboard Songwriter of the Year.

Since 1995 Alanis Morissette has become one of the most influential singer-songwriter-musicians in contemporary music. Her deeply expressive music and performances have earned vast critical praise, seven Grammy Awards, and a dedicated fan base that extends throughout the world, with album sales exceeding 40 million. Morissette’s 1995 debut, “JAGGED LITTLE PILL,” was followed by such eclectic and acclaimed albums as “SUPPOSED FORMER INFATUATION JUNKIE” (1998), “MTV UNPLUGGED” (1999), “UNDER RUG SWEPT” (2002), “SO-CALLED CHAOS” (2004), “JAGGED LITTLE PILL ACOUSTIC” (2005), her greatest hits album, “THE COLLECTION” (2005), as well as musical contributions to theatrical releases. She is currently putting the finishing touches on her new studio album, “FLAVORS OF ENTANGLEMENT,” which will be released in 2008 on Maverick Records. In addition, Morissette recently announced her first lead film role as “Sylvia” in the film adaptation of Philip K Dick’s novel “Radio Free Albemuth.”

It’s a daunting task to describe the sound of Nashville-based quartet MUTEMATH. Their self-titled Teleprompt/Warner Bros. Records album debut draws from an eclectic confluence of influences and styles that form some kind of intelligent, melodic rock music that feels both familiar and brand new at the same time. Alternative Press magazine recently named MUTEMATH the “#1 Band You Need To See Live Before You Die.” The band’s recent live television appearances on Letterman, Conan, Kimmel, and Ferguson have blown minds and made lasting impressions. This will be the band’s most extensive tour to date.

# # #




25 Hollywood, FL Hard Rock Live
26 Tampa, FL St. Pete Times Forum
28 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena
29 Charlotte, NC Cricket Arena


1 Chicago, IL Sears Centre
2 Detroit, MI Palace of Auburn Hills
4 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
5 Milwaukee, WI Bradley Center
7 Cleveland, OH Quicken Loans Arena
8 Fairfax, VA Patriot Center
12 Verona, NY Turning Stone Resort & Casino*
14 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
15 Atlantic City, NJ Borgata Hotel Event Center**
16 Niagara Falls, NY Seneca Niagara Casino Theatre
18 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
19 Reading, PA Sovereign Center
21 Albany, NY Times Union Center
22 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
25 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
26 Omaha, NE Qwest Center
28 Houston, TX Toyota Center
29 Dallas , TX Nokia Theatre


2 Oklahoma City, OK Ford Center
4 Colorado Springs, CO World Arena
5 Denver, CO Broomfield Events Center
6 Salt Lake City, UT E Center
8 Seattle, WA Key Arena
9 Vancouver, BC General Motors Place
12 San Jose, CA HP Pavilion
14 Reno, NV Reno Events Center
16 Los Angeles, CA Staples Center Arena
17 Phoenix, AZ Cricket Pavilion
18 Las Vegas, NV The Pearl Concert Theater

*Alanis Morissette not performing on this show (to be confirmed)

**MUTEMATH not performing on this show

Matchbox Twenty – “How Far We’ve Come” Music Video

music videos



Angels & Airwaves, Stephen Perkins, “Go Get A Late Pass!!!” featuring ?uestlove, Street Drum Corps, Adrian Young, Brooks Wackerman, Shannon Leto, John Sawicki, and Byron McMackin to Participate

Guitar Center is excited to announce the Drum-Off Grand Finals will take place on January 5, 2008 at the Music Box @ Fonda in Hollywood, CA. Now in it’s 19th year, Drum-Off continues to bring together thousands of the nation’s top undiscovered drummers for the chance to compete for incredible prizes, national recognition and the bragging rights of being crowned Drum-Off Champion.

This incredible night, hosted by Stephen Perkins of Jane’s Addiction, will feature performances by the four Drum-Off finalists as well as Angels & Airwaves, “Go Get A Late Pass!!!” featuring ?uestlove of The Roots, Street Drum Corps with special guests Adrian Young of No Doubt, Brooks Wackerman of Bad Religion, Shannon Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars, John Sawicki of Stomp and Byron McMackin of Pennywise.

Drummers across the country began competing over three months ago at Guitar Center stores across the country. Beginning with preliminaries in over 213 Guitar Center stores, drummers then advanced on from store preliminaries to store finals. Winners of store finals then went on to compete at district finals at 24 Guitar Center stores nationwide for the chance to advance on to one of the four regional competitions held at Guitar Centers in New York City, Hollywood, Chicago, and Houston, TX with the winner of each of these regions advancing on to compete to be crowned the Drum-Off 2007 Champion.

This year’s winner will receive a prize package valued at more than $45,000 including a Toyota FJ Cruiser, $10,000 cash, a feature in a Guitar Center ad campaign, a $2,500 Levi’s shopping spree, a custom designed drum kit from DW, Pearl, Tama or Gretsch, a Roland TD20 electronic drum-set, a set of cymbals custom printed with the winner’s signature, a one year drum, cymbal, stick and head endorsement deal, and a write up in Modern Drummer magazine. Additionally, store, district and regional winners will have walked away with thousands of dollars in prizes from Drum-Off partners.

“Guitar Center could not be more excited by the artists who are coming out to support the competitors as they come one step closer to being crowned Drum-Off champion,” said Dustin Hinz, Manager, Event Marketing and Promotions for Guitar Center. “Drum-Off has become a staple in the drum community and in addition to providing emerging artists the support, encouragement and opportunity they need to succeed, Guitar Center’s mission is to promote the development of community amongst drummers, encourage musicianship and further their passion for music.”

Previous Drum-Off winners have gone on to enjoy successful music careers, record albums and tour the world with noteworthy artists. 2002 Drum-Off Champion, Cora Coleman, is currently performing with legendary recording artist Prince, playing on his most recent album 3121 and at Super Bowl XLI. Eric Moore II, Drum-Off 2003 Champion, has also achieved notoriety by performing with psychedelic funk band Sly and the Family Stone as well as singer Bobby Brown.

Prior to this year’s show Guitar Center is thrilled to have the opportunity to present the “Drum Legends Award” to two of music’s greatest drummers, Steve Smith and David Garibaldi. Named one of the top 25 drummers of all time by Modern Drummer in 2001, Steve Smith, occupied the drum chair for the rock band Journey from 1978-1985. He returned to the band in 1995 for their 1996 comeback album, Trial By Fire. An innovator in funk drumming, David Garibaldi, is best known as the drummer for Oakland-based funk/soul band Tower of Power. He has also worked with many amazing artists including: Natalie Cole, Jermaine Jackson and Patti Austin.

This year Guitar Center will also be giving one lucky person the chance to win a VIP trip for two to the Drum-Off Grand Finals. Starting on November 1st consumers enter to win online at In addition to the trip, the winner will receive a meet and greet with Angels and Airwaves, ?uestlove and Street Drum Corps, $500 spending cash, a Drum-Off Grand Finals poster signed by artist Shepard Fairey and more. Enter here:

Guitar Center Drum Off Community featuring news, videos, downloads and more:

Adrian Young & Travis Barker (Drum Off 2005):

Partners for Drum-Off 2007 include: Levi’s, DW, Evans, Vic Firth, Remo, Zildjian, Pearl, Roland, Sabian, Tama, Gretsch, Pro?Mark, and Modern Drummer.

About Guitar Center
Guitar Center is the leading United States retailer of guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments, keyboards and pro-audio and recording equipment. Our retail store subsidiary presently operates more than 200 Guitar Center stores across the U.S. In addition, our Music & Arts division operates more than 100 stores specializing in band instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and students. We are also the largest direct response retailer of musical instruments in the United States through our wholly owned subsidiary, Musician’s Friend, Inc., and its catalog and Web site, More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the Company’s Web site at

The Guitar Center logo is a registered trademark of Guitar Center, Inc. Other brand or product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

music videos reviews tour dates

The Willowz announce Nov-Dec U.S. tour dates with the Electric Six, new videos posted from latest Dim Mak album Chautauqua directed by Paul Gondry, others.

The Willowz announce Nov-Dec U.S. tour dates with the Electric Six, new videos posted from latest Dim Mak album Chautauqua directed by Paul Gondry, others.

“Big ballsy tracks plus trippier, genuinely engaging psych rock with loads of good, basic melodies and expertise.” – Rolling Stone

“Coyly ambitious and in-the-moment exciting.” – Spin

“The Willowz’ sonic revelry is a riotous romp through rock’s back pages. It’s neither ramshackle nor imitative. The Willowz are an ingenious hybrid, devising clever arrangements and deploying convulsive vocals and slowly but surely getting under your skin.” – Harp

L.A.’s garage-punk-teens-gone-full-scale-rock-opera The Willowz return to the road yet again in November with everyone’s favorite disco-punk band Electric Six. The tour kicks off November 13th in Philadelphia (please see full dates below.) The Willowz released the band’s third album Chautauqua on Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak label earlier this year and has toured nearly non-stop ever since.

The band beloved by revered director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind) — who co-directed The Willowz 2006 DVD video collection Seeinsquares — has released four new videos for Chautauqua.

Willowz Videos:

“Evil Son” –

“Jubilee” –

“Take A Look Around” –

“Nobody” –

The Willowz were conceived in a bedroom in Anaheim, CA in the early summer of 2002 by Richie James Follin singer/guitarist and bassist/singer Jessica Reynoza, who were both at the time in their late teens. The name of the group came to Jessica in a dream when a willow(z) tree told her it would bring her musical enlightenment. The first 7-inch was recorded that summer with producer Paul Kostabi in NYC, with Tony Mann on drums (GG Allin, New York Dolls) and released on the infamous Posh Boy records by way of Robbie Fields.

The Willowz then began playing shows anywhere and everywhere around Los Angeles and Orange County, with an ever changing lineup of drummers and guitarists. The band soon caught the eye of Dionysus Records, who would release the first disc, The Willowz in early 2004 which was chosen by the OC Weekly as one of the top 10 albums of the year. For that album, the band set up a studio in a Whittier garage with Paul Kostabi as their producer, recording everything in just a few days with little idea what they were really doing… and the raw sound is proof of it.

Soon after rigorous touring of the greater North America and Europe, the band’s music was featured in Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind while Kirsten Dunst danced on a bed in her underpants. The soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy. Gondry had a dream about The Willowz song “I Wonder” and soon flew them out to NYC and paid to make a video for them. What followed was another single release, this time on XL Recordings and more European and North American touring with such bands as The Weirdos, New York Dolls, The Dirtbombs, The Greenhornes, Wolfmother, The Ponys, Tom Vek, Ted Leo, OK Go!, The Gossip, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Dwarves, Burning Brides, John Cale and many others.

In February, 2005, The Willowz re-released its self titled album on Sympathy For the Record Industry, changing the title to Are Coming and adding four new songs. The follow-up Talk In Circles was released June 2005 (also recorded in a garage by Paul Kostabi, this time as a four piece and with a little more focus on making an album) on the Long Beach, CA label Sympathy for the Record Industry by way of record mogul Long Gone John. Talk In Circles received extraordinary reviews, including “46th Best Album of The Year” by Rolling Stone and was also featured in another one of Gondry’s films, The Science of Sleep. The Willowz were nominated by LA Weekly as one of the top bands of 2005. More singles followed on such labels as Contaminated, Acid Bird and Sympathy. In 2006 the band released the DVD Seeinsquares on Sympathy. Seeinsquares contained 27 unique videos, all by different directors, and additional live concert footage at a Catholic school summer camp in Oklahoma, several of these videos have gone on to win national and international awards.

For the third album Chautauqua, released on Steve Aoki’s Los Angeles label Dim Mak, The Willowz headed to the eastern countryside and set up a studio, this time in a basement, with Paul Kostabi again producing. They recruited Aric Bohn on guitar and Loren Shane Humphrey on the drums. Chautauqua provides the energy and rawness of the first albums with a thicker rock sound more focused on songwriting. Chautauqua has already been voted by the OC Weekly as the best album in the past 12 months. Rolling Stone gave it 3 1/2 stars, naming “Siren Song” as best song of the week and “Waiting To Fall” song of the day at

“Chautauqua is an engaging and desperately needed resuscitation to raw fundamentals of rock in this digitally perfected age. Flawlessly executed, attention grapping, and joy inducing, Chautauqua is a renaissance rock masterpiece.” – Jive Magazine

“I like The Willowz. They defy categorization, drawing on a wide palette of influences, from metal to country/ folk and from post-punk to grunge. An early contender for record of the year.” – Razorcake

“With Chautauqua, The Willowz prove their mettle (and metal) as a big expansive rock machine cleverly disguised as an economical indie garage band.” – Amplifier

“You could do a lot worse than to have famed director Michel Gondry as your number one fan. The deserving subjects of his adoration are The Willowz, a five-year-old-rock quartet from California. It is the group’s guitar-heavy melodies he loves or the way the fivesome reinvents classic rock licks on Chautauqua? Either way, if we had a hidden camera on Gondry right now, we’d surely observe him headbanging to Willowz tunes like “Evil Son” or zoning out to the folky, Zeppelinish ‘Jublilee.’” – Bust

“In true Willowz fashion, the musicianship manages to simultaneously sound both rough and impeccable – if a contemporary version of the Nuggets box set were put together, a few songs on Chautauqua would be a natural fit.” – Performer Magazine

“Lo-fi darlings of critics and Michel Gondry, young California band The Willowz may finally be ready to make their mark on everyone else.” – Filter Magazine

“Willowz has always been one of ear-splitting ferocity. Lead singer Richie Follin’s charm has always been a yelping recklessness combined with a natural ear for melody.” – URB

The WIllowz Live:

All w/ Electric 6
11/13 Philadelphia, PA The Khyber
11/14 Cambridge, MA Middle East
11/15 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
11/16 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
11/17 Washington, DC Black Cat
11/18 Baltimore, MD Sonar
11/20 Savannah, GA Savannah Smiles
11/21 Atlanta, GA The Earl
11/23 Orlando, FL The Social
11/24 Jacksonville, FL Jack Rabbits
11/26 New Orleans, LA The Parish
11/27 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon
11/28 Houston, TX Engine Room
11/29 Austin, TX Emo’s
11/30 Dallas, TX House of Blues
12/01 Kansas City, KS The Record Bar
12/03 St. Louis, MO Creepy Crawl
12/04 Little Rock, AR The Rev Room
12/05 Nashville, TN Mercury Lounge
12/06 Indianapolis, IN Birdy’s
12/07 Covington, KY The Mad Hatter
12/08 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop

Chautauqua Tracklisting:

01. Beware
02. Take A Look Around
03. Jubilee
04. Nobody
05. Evil Son
06. Siren Song
07. Warship
08. All Need
09. Waiting To Fall
10. Choose A Side
11. Once and A While
12. Big Knob
13. Yesterday’s Lost
14. Lonesome Gods

music videos

Culture-jam your Christmas! Negativland’s greatest hits DVD release date gets bumped into holiday season due to manufacturing error. In accordance, band releases controversial statement.

Culture-jam your Christmas! Negativland’s greatest hits DVD release date gets bumped into holiday season due to manufacturing error. In accordance, band releases controversial statement.

“Declared heroic by their peers for refashioning culture into what the group considers to be more honest statements, Negativland suggests that refusing to be original, in the traditional sense, is the only way to make art that has any depth within commodity capitalism…” – The New York Times

“Twisted genius…compelling…parody and satire as a grassroots weapon of consumer resistance.” – Rolling Stone

“Negativland isn’t just some group of merry pranksters; its art is about tearing apart and reassembling found images to create new ones, in an attempt to make social, political and artistic statements. Hilarious and chilling.” – The Onion

Negativland’s long-awaited DVD release of its greatest hits titled Our Favorite Things has been delayed until November 20th due to a manufacturing glitch discovered on early promotional versions of the disc. The epic career-capping project — several years in the making — was originally slated to be issued via Other Cinema (Sonic Outlaws, So Wrong They’re Right) on October 23rd. A sizable number of DVDs were found to have problems playing through its bonus features, which has necessitated the remanufacture of its full run.

Sure to please the group’s old fans, this very accessible DVD is also an incredible introduction to Negativland’s work for new ones. Created with a crew of 18 other experimental filmmakers from all over the USA, Our Favorite Things is a collaborative project that takes a striking visual leap into the same legally gray area that Negativland has been exploring with sound for the last 27 years. A dark and charming film collection of unforgettable collage and classic cut-up entertainment for all ages, it also comes with over 90 minutes of bonus material, as well as a truly silly and bizarre 50-minute bonus CD of 100% acapella versions of Negativland’s work by The 180-Gs, a five-person black acapella group from Detroit, that has endeavored to “cover” Negativland’s cut up collage work in R ‘n B, Doo-Wop, and Gospel styles. The resulting album 180 D’Gs To The Future! is extremely fun, funny, and very weird.

Negativland issued the following statement regarding the DVD in its absence on its original release date:

“Aside from all your desperately unanswerable questions about Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma, about half the countries in Africa, American politicians, and arctic polar bears, you’re undoubtedly wondering why the new DVD/CD from Negativland, Our Favorite Things, is no longer immediately available for making art whoopee regardless of all that other vexing and hexing of the American soul we are currently subjected to.

“Due to technical difficulties beyond our control, Negativland’s new DVD release has been delayed by one month. While none of the above human problems, or the polar bears, can be fixed now, and some of them can’t be fixed in your lifetime, Negativland’s Our Favorite Things DVD is being rapidly fixed as you read this. No problem. That’s why art is more satisfying than politics – it sometimes might be a little late, but it seldom involves senseless death.

“Look for Our Favorite Things, Negativland’s career spanning DVD/CD of old and new works made visible for the very first time on its new release date of November 20, 2007. We can’t change the world, but we can give you another way to look at it, and better late than never.”

Recently released without difficulty is the long awaited reissue of Negativland’s legendary 1983 difficult listening conceptual suburban epic A Big 10-8 Place. Over three years in the making, and with ten-thousand-million-billion analog tape splices, this insanely cut-up and uniquely weird release remains the hands down favorite of many fans of Negativland’s work. The disc comes with a 60-minute bonus DVD of Negativland’s No Other Possibility video, created in the mid-1980’s.

As if all of this Negativland activity weren’t enough to cause a government reaction, the band recently brought a new version of its weekly radio broadcast (“Over The Edge” – on the air since 1981) to the live stage, mixing music, found sounds, found dialog, scripts, personalities, and sound effects within a “radio” theater-of-the-mind.

Time Out New York featured the band in anticipation of its first New York City performance since a sold-out show at Irving Plaza in 2000. “It’s All In Your Head FM” is a two-hour-long, action-packed look at monotheism, the supernatural God concept, and the all-important role played by the human brain in our beliefs. Dr. Oslo Norway is your “radio” host, and Christianity and Islam are the featured religions, as Negativland asks you to contemplate some complex, serious, silly, and challenging ideas about human belief in this audio cut-up mix best described as a “documentary collage”. “It’s All In Your Head FM” is a compelling and uniquely fun presentation of sticky theological concepts, which has actually been known to provoke arguments for days after the show is over.

Opening the NYC performance were two other significant contributors to the history of re-appropriation of found sounds – Steinski and Double Dee. In 1983, Tommy Boy Records held a promotional contest, in which entrants were asked to remix the single “Play That Beat, Mr. D.J.” by G.L.O.B.E. and Whiz Kid (members of Afrika Bambaataa’s Soulsonic Force). The entry submitted by Steinski and Double Dee, “Lesson 1 — The Payoff Mix” was packed with sampled appropriations from other records — not only from early Hip-Hop records and from Funk and Disco records that were popular with Hip-Hop DJs, but with short snippets of older songs by Little Richard and The Supremes, along with vocal samples from sources as diverse as instructional tap-dancing records and Humphrey Bogart films.

Double Dee and Steinski followed up this success with “Lesson 2 — The James Brown Mix” in 1984, which began with a sample from “The War of The Worlds” before quickly running through a montage of memorable breaks from classic James Brown records, with sampled appearances by Dirty Harry and Bugs Bunny. In 1985 came “Lesson 3 — The History of Hip-Hop Mix” which attempted a survey of the great breakdancing favorites, along with snippets from Johnny Carson and Hernando’s Hideaway. The Illegal Art label, home to notorious musical collage artist Girl Talk will issue a definitive compilation of this long unavailable material in 2008.

Our Favorite Things DVD Chapter Listing:

Release Date: November 20th, 2007

01. Learning To Communicate

02. No Business

03. Gimme The Mermaid

04. U2

05. Time Zones

06. Freedom’s Waiting

07. The Bottom Line

08. Yellow, Black and Rectangular

09. Guns

10. Over The Hiccups

11. The Mashin’ of The Christ

12. KPIX News

13. Truth In Advertising

14. One World Advertising

15. Why Is This Commercial?

16. The Greatest Taste Around

17. Taste In Mind

18. Humanitarian Effort

19. Drink It Up

20. Aluminum or Glass

21. My Favorite Things

180 d’Gs To The Future Bonus CD Track Listing:

01. Intro (Everything’s Going Fine)

02. Christianity Is Stupid (mp3)

03. Helter Stupid (Excerpt)

04. Greatest Taste Around

05. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

06. Car Bomb

07. A Nice Place To Live

08. Seat Bee Sate

09. Roy Storey’s Sports Line

10. I Am God

11. Playboy Channel

12. Oven Noises

13. Theme From A Big 10-8 Place (Live)

A Big 10-8 Place Track Listing:

Release Date: September 25th, 2007

01. Theme from a Big Place

02. A Big 10-8 Place, Pt. One (MP3)

03. Clowns and Ballerinas

04. Introduction

05. Four Fingers

06. 180-G, A Big 10-8 Place, Pt. Two

More About The 180-Gs:

The 180-Gs began in 2001 when David Minnick and his four or five brothers got together to sing and perform in their family’s two-car garage in Rochester, Michigan. Soon the whole neighborhood knew of the “Singing Minnicks” and the crazy ruckus that David, Chris and the triplets set up on those hot summer nights. It wasn’t long before their pastor, Reverend Al “Sugar” Sweet heard them and decided to take the youngsters under his wing. It was in Reverend Al’s venerable Airstream Trailer home that David Minnick found, under a dusty anorak, the album which was to transform the sound of the group: Negativland’s Points.

Under Reverend Al’s tutelage the Minnick boys redirected their energies into the delightful and stunning arrangements found on the recordings. Christened The 180-Gs, their performances went from basements and garages in Bloomfield Hills to crowded church halls and Elk’s Lodges in the entire Detroit Metro area. Their soulful styling of such Negativland classics of “Car Bomb” and “I Am God” were particularly uplifting in the tough times that followed 9/11, and their popularity came to the attention of local DJ and impresario D’Andre Xavier Jones, who produced their first singles. Jones sold these out of the trunk of his car – often moving as many as three crates in a weekend – first to folks in the neighborhood, but later to people all over who had heard bootleg cassette recordings of the Gs at block parties and dance clubs throughout the city. What started as a local phenomenon had broken out into the world, and The 180-Gs were going to ride it to the top.

“The mission of the 180-Gs is to bring music with a positive message to the youth of today. Their music is the complete opposite of the gangsta rap and techno devil music and all the stuff kids think they’re supposed to like. They’re 180 degrees away from that. In fact, the sound of their voices is an insult to the entire gangsta rap community. Coming up in the streets, the Gs learned the hard way that you’ve got to use your head to get ahead. There’s just no other possibility.” – Reverend Al “Sugar” Sweet

More About Negativland:

“Negativland, longtime advocates of fair use allowances for pop media collage, are perhaps America’s most skilled plunderers from the detritus of 20th century commercial culture. Negativland are media addicts who see society suffering under a constant barrage of TV, canned imagery, advertising and corporate culture…the band’s latest project is razor sharp, microscopically focused, terribly fun and a bit psychotic.” – Wired

“Brutally hilarious…a compelling argument for the anti-copyright movement.” – Village Voice

“Fearless artistes or foolhardy risk-takers…. by constantly haranguing the audience with authentic advertising spiel and highlighting its transparency, they kill the messenger, kill the message and produce highly entertaining art simultaneously.” – L.A. Weekly

Since 1980, the four or five Floptops known as Negativland have been creating records, fine art, video, books, radio and live performance using appropriated sound, image and text. Mixing original materials and music with things taken from corporately owned mass culture, Negativland re-arranges these bits and pieces to make them say and suggest things that they never intended to. In doing this kind of cultural opposition and “culture jamming” (a term coined by Negativland in 1984), Negativland have been sued twice for copyright infringement.

Okay, but what, you still ask, is Negativland exactly? That’s hard to answer. Negativland definitely isn’t a “band,” though they may look like one when you see their CDs for sale in your local shopping mall. They’re more like some sort of goofy yet serious European-style artist/activist collective – an unhealthy mix of John Cage, Lenny Bruce, Pink Floyd, Bruce Connor, Firesign Theatre, Abbie Hoffman, Robert Rauschenberg, 1970’s German electronic music, old school punk rock attitude, surrealist performance art, your high school science teacher…and lot’s more.

Over the years Negativland’s “illegal” collage and appropriation based audio and visual works have touched on many things – pranks, media hoaxes, media literacy, the evolving art of collage, creative anti-corporate activism in a media saturated multi-national world, the bizarre banality of suburban existence, file sharing, intellectual property issues, wacky surrealism, evolving notions of art and ownership and law in a digital age, artistic and humorous critiques of mass media and culture, and, of course, so-called “culture jamming” (a term now thoroughly and somewhat distastefully commodified by Adbusters Magazine.)

While they have been, since getting sued, aggressively and publicly involved in advocating significant reforms of our nation’s copyright laws, and are often perceived as creative and funny shit-stirring anti-corporate activists, Negativland are artists first and activists second, not the other way around. Their art and media interventions have (often naively) posed questions about the nature of sound, media, control, ownership, propaganda and perception, with the results of these questions and explorations being what they release to the public. Their work is now referenced and taught in many college courses in the US, has been written about in over 30 books (including No Logo by Naomi Klein, Media Virus by Douglas Rushkoff, and various biographies of the band U2), cited in legal journals, and they often lecture about their work here and in Europe.

In 1995 Negativland released a 270 page book with 72 minute CD entitled Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U and the Numeral 2. This book documented their infamous four-year long legal battle over their 1991 release of an audio piece entitled U2. They were the subjects of Craig Baldwin’s 1995 feature documentary Sonic Outlaws. Negativland also created the soundtrack and sound design for Harold Boihem’s 1997 documentary film The Ad and The Ego, an excellent in-depth look into the hidden agendas of the corporate ad world that goes very deep into the gross and subtle ways that we are adversely affected by advertising.

Negativland is interested in unusual noises and images (especially ones that are found close at hand), unusual ways to restructure such things and combine them with their own music and art, and mass media transmissions which have become sources, and subjects, of much of their work. Negativland covets insightful wackiness from anywhere, low-tech approaches whenever possible, telling humor, and vital social targets of any kind. Without ideological preaching, Negativland often becomes a subliminal culture sampling service concerned with making art about everything we aren’t supposed to notice.

music videos

Saint Bernadette to play CMJ gig at NYC’s Highline Ballroom this weekend. Band premiers the mysterious video for “Sidestep” from its debut album In The Ballroom — recorded live in Bridgeport’s abandoned Bijou Theatre.

Saint Bernadette to play CMJ gig at NYC’s Highline Ballroom this weekend. Band premiers the mysterious video for “Sidestep” from its debut album In The Ballroom — recorded live in Bridgeport’s abandoned Bijou Theatre.

Two additional EPs (including one of obscure duets by Morrissey & Siouxsie Sioux among others) set for release in 2008.

“The debut album from Connecticut’s Saint Bernadette hits the sort of notes and touches that make me weak in the knees, by expertly melding things I’m a sucker for: ballsy broads, smoke-filled jazz clubs, and, of course, the element of surprise.” — Sentimentalist Magazine

“The music on In The Ballroom, is seductive, eclectic, sophisticated and a natural fit for DiMenna’s superlative voice.” — Stamford Advocate

Saint Bernadette is celebrating the recent release of its debut album In The Ballroom by playing the CMJ Music Marathon this weekend at Manhattan’s Highline Ballroom on Saturday, October 20th. Filter Magazine will present the show and Saint Bernadette will serve as opening act to the Grammy award winning leader of Dirty Vegas, Steve Smith, who will be debuting songs from his upcoming solo debut. Saint Bernadette takes the stage at 12:30AM. The first video from In The Ballroom is now ready for consumption as well. The clip for “Sidestep” is a mysterious ride with a hot car through some murky and ominous fog.

In The Ballroom has already received much praise from the press — not only for the gorgeous pipes of singer Meredith DiMenna, but also for the unique sound of the record which was recorded live in the abandoned ballroom of Bridgeport, Connecticut’s Bijou Theatre (pictured on the album’s cover) in a marathon three-day recording session.

DiMenna, a professional vocalist by day — she is well-known as the voice of MTV’s “Chunky Pam” — gets to show off her personal side with Saint Bernadette, making beautiful, loungey music that harkens back to Motown or early Atlantic releases. To make In The Ballroom, DiMenna, and her husband, guitarist Keith “Touch” Saunders, put together the lineup that would appear on the record and went north to a small cabin in Vermont to learn and arrange the songs. Inspired and invigorated by the results, they began the search for the perfect recording location.

“We knew we wanted to record it live. Because of the instrumentation, the dynamics depend on a real-time push and pull between the different elements and we felt we couldn’t achieve that in an overdubbing situation,” says Saunders. “We really wanted the record to reflect the energy of a live show.”

Recent transplants to Bridgeport, DiMenna and Saunders found that a local redevelopment project, the historic Bijou Theatre, was hiding a large and beautiful ballroom circa 1908 on the second floor. The developers gave the band permission to use the space for five days – one each to load in, load out and three to record. The album was recorded completely live – with everyone in the same room at the same time. It was nearly non-stop recording, except on breaks to go to the bar next door and keep tabs on the World Cup. When recording was finished, the band took the record to Peter Katis (Interpol, The National, Mates of State, Tokyo Police Club) of Bridgeport-based Tarquin Studio.

“Not only is he in Bridgeport, which was important to us – we really wanted it to be a hometown effort – but he’s also really talented. Working with him in his studio was a great experience,” says DiMenna. Saunders adds, “We had to wait a few months for him because he was busy working on The National, which was so hard since we were so excited about the recording, but it was well worth the wait.”

In The Ballroom will be followed up by a pair of EPs in 2008. One, a new Saint Bernadette collection entitled I Wanna Tell You Something and another, a six-song collaboration with singer-songwriter Brian Grosz, a label mate of DiMenna’s. Interestingly, the second EP is a planned covers collection of some famous and not-so-famous duets from the past and present featuring tunes originally sung by Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong, Tom Waits & Crystal Gail, Morrissey & Siouxsie Sioux, Tricky & PJ Harvey, and Elvis & Ann Margaret.

Lastly, famed hip hop producers, Black Panther and Shaad Almighty have decided to put their own take on In The Ballroom and are working on remixes of the album tracks “Lay Me Down” and “Money In The Air”. More information on the remixes will be announced in the near future.

Saint Bernadette Live:

10/19 Bridgeport, CT Acoustic Cafe
10/20 New York, NY Highline Ballroom (CMJ)
10/23 New York, NY 11th Street Bar
10/30 New York, NY 11th Street Bar
11/17 Danbury, CT SUB ROSA/Cousin Larry’s
11/29 Knoxville, TN TBA
11/30 Athens, GA TBA
12/01 Asheville, NC Westville Pub
12/02 Philadelphia, PA TBA
12/11 New York, NY Piano’s

In The Ballroom Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

Release Date: October 2, 2007

01. I Own The City (MP3)
02. Bound To Do
03. She’s a Natural
04. Money In The Air
05. Pieces
06. Sidestep
07. Such Ease
08. Lay Me
09. Universe
10. No Dreams

music videos reviews



Special Los Angeles Screening with Serj Tankian in Attendance on October 23rd to Benefit Axis Of Justice

OCTOBER 18, 2007 – Burbank, CA – Earlier this year, Serj Tankian – the visionary frontman for multi-platinum rock band System Of A Down – asked a collection of video and film directors, painters, and digital artists to each create a video for one of the 12 tracks on his forthcoming solo debut album, “Elect the Dead,” which will be released on Serjical Strike/Reprise Records on October 23rd.

The directors involved in the video project include a prestigious array of artists whom Tankian has befriended over the last decade. They include music video director Tony Petrossian (Taking Back Sunday, Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold), who shot the video for “Empty Walls,” the first single from “Elect The Dead,” photographer/video director Greg Watermann (Mudvayne, Lamb of God, Howie Day), Oscar-nominated Puerto Rican playwright and screenwriter Jose Rivera (“The Motorcycle Diaries”), digital artist Roger Kupelian (“The Lord of the Rings,” “Flags of Our Fathers”), documentary director Sevag Vrej (System Of A Down, Fair To Midland), short film/music video director Adam Egypt Mortimer (Against Me!, Idiot Pilot) and Beirut-born filmmaker Gariné Torossian (Sparklehorse), among others.

“I asked each of the directors for their visual interpretation of my work,” Tankian explains. “They were asked not to write treatments and that they could make whatever they liked. The results have been overwhelmingly amazing!”

Among the videos posted on Tankian’s website
is an animated clip for the song “The Unthinking Majority” by filmmaker/video director Tawd Dorenfeld. Also available for viewing on the website are the videos for “Empty Walls” and “Saving Us”.

To celebrate the artistic collaboration of the music and visual interpretations of Serj Tankian’s solo album, Reprise Records and Serjical Strike, in conjunction with digital cinema/music marketing company D&E Entertainment (, will screen the videos of “Elect The Dead” back-to-back, accompanied by an introduction by Tankian at movie theaters across the nation at 8pm on Monday, October 22nd. This unique experience on the eve of album release offers fans a preview of “Elect The Dead” in a premium listening and visual environment. A special screening event on the October 23rd album release date will take place in Los Angeles with Tankian in attendance.

Special screenings of “Elect The Dead – The Short Films” will be held at 8pm on Monday, October 22nd at the following locations:
Long Island, NY: Herricks Cinema
Parsippany, NJ: Parsippany Cinema
San Francisco, CA: Embarcadero Center Cinema
San Diego, CA: Ultrastar Theatres Mission Valley
Boston, MA: Kendall Square Cinema
Chicago, IL: Century Centre Cinema
Detroit, MI: Emagine Novi
Philadelphia, PA: Clearview’s Anthony Wayne Cinema
Seattle, WA: Metro Cinemas
Houston, TX: The River Oaks
Minneapolis, MN: Lagoon Cinema
Phoenix, AZ: Harkins Tempe Marketplace
To usher in the release date on Tuesday, October 23rd, Serj Tankian will attend a 9pm screening that evening of “Elect The Dead – The Short Films” in Los Angeles at the Vista Theater (4473 Sunset Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027). Starting at 7:30pm on October 23rd, the first 300 people in line at the box office to buy tickets for the 9pm showing will be able to have their CDs autographed by Serj after the show. Lining up at the Vista Theatre before is 7:30pm is prohibited. Copies of “Elect The Dead” will be available for sale at the Vista Theater that night, along with a free poster for every CD purchased. Tickets will be sold for $10 a the box office, with all net proceeds donated to Axis Of Justice (, an organization founded by Tankian and Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine.

interviews music videos

Borders Offers Exclusive Making Records CD Companion To Phil Ramones Book Making Records: The Scenes Behind The Music

Borders® Offers Exclusive “Making Records” CD Companion To Phil Ramone’s Book ‘Making Records: The Scenes Behind The Music’ (In Stores Today)

Oct. 16, 2007 – Borders is the exclusive retailer for legendary music producer Phil Ramone’s new compilation CD, “Making Records,” which hits shelves today at its stores across the country. In conjunction with the CD, Ramone’s accompanying book, “Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music” with co-author Charles Granata published by Hyperion Books is also available today.

“Making Records” is a compilation CD of tracks from some of music’s brightest stars such as Tony Bennett, Gloria Estefan, Billy Joel, Kenny Loggins, Barry Manilow, Paul Simon and Barbra Streisand all either produced or engineered by Ramone. These recordings on this exclusive compilation are the original versions of timeless classics as released by the original artists all on one CD for the first time. The cover art to this special CD is also Borders exclusive having been designed and created in-house by Borders.

For the first time ever, Ramone shares five decades of trade secrets on creating hit music in his book “Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music.” From his early days recording jazz and commercial jingles at A&R to his first studio and eventual legendary producer status, Ramone gives the reader a rare peek into the making of some unforgettable music such as Billy Joel’s “The Stranger” and Frank Sinatra’s “Duets.” “Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music” is also filled with stories from major recording artists sharing their memories and experiences working with Ramone and the tremendous impact he had on their music careers.

“Making Records” CD Tack List:
1. Tony Bennett w/ Billy Joel – New York State of Mind
2. Paul Simon – Slip Slidin’ Away
3. Phoebe Snow – Poetry Man
4. Gloria Estefan – Coming Out Of The Dark
5. Billy Joel – Movin’ Out
6. Carly Simon – The Wives Are in Connecticut
7. Michael Bolton – Sexual Healing
8. Cyndi Lauper – I Don’t Want To Be Your Friend
9. Barry Manilow – I’ve Got The World On A String
10. Karen Kamon – It’s Tough To Be A Man
11. Tony Bennett w/ James Taylor – Put On A Happy Face
12. Liza Minnelli – Liza With A ‘Z’
13. Kenny Loggins – Celebrate Me Home
14. Barbra Streisand – Love Theme From ‘A Star Is Born’ (Evergreen)

“Borders is relentlessly searching for the best music collections to exclusively offer our customers, and we believe we found such a hit with Phil Ramone’s ‘Making Records’ CD,” said Rob Gruen, executive vice president, marketing and merchandising for Borders Group, Inc. “As the headquarters for knowledge and entertainment, we are excited that our customers can experience this very special CD and companion book from the legendary music producer.”

With 14 GRAMMY Awards – including a technical GRAMMY for his lifetime of innovative contributions to the recording industry – an Emmy and numerous other honors and accolades to his credit, Ramone is a music industry icon. While acknowledged as one of the top creative producers, he has also played an integral role in pioneering many of the technological developments in the music industry over the years. He ardently supported the use of the compact disc, digital video disc, hi-definition recording and surround sound. Appropriately, the first CD ever pressed, Billy Joel’s “52nd Street,” was a Ramone production.

“With this level of talent found on one CD, ‘Making Records’ is a rare gem, and I’m so pleased that Borders and Sony were able to make it happen,” said Phil Ramone. “It has been such a privilege to work with these artists and it’s been a joy to recount these stories. I hope fans will listen along as they read about my journey.”

Ramone talks further about his new project in-depth to Borders’ customers in a special interview segment found at, “Borders Presents Phil Ramone.” Customers can also find sample tracks from his CD “Making Records” and read an excerpt from his new book, “Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music.”

About Borders Group, Inc.

Borders Group, Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BGP. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., the company is a $4.1 billion global retailer of books, music, movies, and gift and stationery items. Through its subsidiaries, Borders Group has more than 30,000 employees and operates over 1,100 stores worldwide. More information on Borders Group is available at

interviews music videos press releases

Illegal Art sampler of upcoming releases surfaces on Pitchfork — features tracks from Girl Talk, Steinski and the soon-to-be-released albums by Oh Astro and Realistic

Illegal Art sampler of upcoming releases surfaces on Pitchfork — features tracks from Girl Talk, Steinski and the soon-to-be-released albums by Oh Astro and Realistic.

Stefan Robinson a.k.a. Yea Big puts in three-song guest spot (Lionel Richie shows up too!) on Oh Astro’s forthcoming Champions of Wonder. Yea Big + Kid Static’s debut self-titled album on your desk now.

The Illegal Art record label continues to birth its Negativland-inspired, Deconstructing Beck credentialed and Girl Talk reinforced releases into a world where copyright laws are beginning to crumble. Case in point – the label will release new albums from two of its roster artists – Oh Astro and Realistic in the coming weeks.

Also on deck for Illegal Art is a career spanning collection from hip hop pioneer Steinski and an album of brand-new material from Girl Talk. A sampler featuring tracks from these upcoming records (save for Girl Talk – the track featured on the sampler is from a long out-of-print compilation) was recently made available for free download by Illegal Art in hi-resolution MP3 format. A post by Pitchfork linking users to the sampler download promptly crashed Illegal Art’s server.

Listeners should take note of the Oh Astro track “Hello Fuji Boy” (MP3) which features a sample from Lionel Richie’s infamous tune “Hello” immortalized in the wonderful video featuring a blind sculptress creating a model of Mr. Richie’s oversized noggin. The song appears on the band’s groundbreaking new album Champions of Wonder (on your desk now!) XLR8R recently chimed in with some early praise for the record, saying: “In true Illegal Art fashion, Jane Dowe and Hank Hofler’s first full-length as Oh Astro is comprised almost solely of sampled material, but this is far from a Girl Talk record. Champions of Wonder is an experimental conglomeration of glitchy techno, ambient, and broken-beat, all layered with distorted vocals that offset the album’s poppier moments with ghostly eeriness.” Also not to be missed is the album’s exquisite cover of Olivia Newton-John’s “Xanadu.”

The way-ahead-of-the-game publication also recently praised the upcoming Jib Door release of the retro-futuristic self-titled collaboration of comic book beats and rhymes between Chicago producer Yea Big and rapper Kid Static. Coincidentally, Big also appears on the upcoming Oh Astro record, lending his skills to three of the album’s tracks (one is a significant remix of a track from his debut release, The Wind That Blows The Robots Arms.) XLR8R says: “This LP is worth listening to just for Deejay Yea Big’s production. Stuttering, glitchy, and just plain jaw-dropping, Yea Big’s beats are up there with the big guns of Prefuse 73 and Daedelus. With Kid Static’s humorous, yet angst-filled rhyming filling it out, this duo have put excitement and innovation back into hip-hop.”

Also on tap from Illegal Art this October is Perpetual Memory Loss, the latest album from James Towning a.k.a. Realistic. With Realistic’s latest release, the Illegal Art label continues to challenge the restrictions of copyright as perceived by the larger music industry. The uniqueness of Realistic in comparison to other artists on the label further illustrates that sample-based music is strikingly some of the most original, innovative, and exciting music being made in the 21st century. Illegal Art claims Fair Use for all of its releases and has professional legal counsel nearby if needed.

More about Oh Astro:

Married duo Jane Dowe and Hank Hofler are both rooted firmly in experimental music, but with the Oh Astro project they continue their move towards odd interpretations of popular forms. Club music, children’s songs, and fragmented samples of pop/rock all intersect on their first full-length album, Champions of Wonder, under the Oh Astro banner.

Jane Dowe entered the international electronic music scene in 1998 on two critical CD releases, Institutional Collaborative on Mille Plateaux, and Deconstructing Beck on Illegal Art. On Institutional Collaborative, Dowe and Terre Thaemlitz created abstract music that was described as a “table-tennis mixing game with ‘lounge’ and ambient soundclips” (The Wire). Dowe resurfaced in 2005 on Illegal Art with the debut Oh Astro mini-album, Hello World, which was hailed as “funky and pretty, Hello World’s bite-sized samples concoct a weird pop universe” (CMJ New Music Monthly). While Hank Hofler peripherally contributed to the project, it wasn’t until after Hello World that he became significant collaborator in Oh Astro. Besides creating music Dowe has also done installations in galleries internationally and codes idiosyncratic software for her various projects.

Hank Hofler’s first performances were in Japan as part of the live electronic improvisation scene from 1998-2001, playing shows with Japanese artists such as Otomo Yoshihide, Merzbow, Ikue Mori, and Sawako. As Dowe was too shy for live events, Hank’s earliest shows were actually performing as “Jane Dowe” (further confusing the identity of the pseudononymous Dowe). As he developed his own reputation, Hofler began to be billed under his own name, began street performing in Tokyo, and later also took on the live shows for Oh Astro. As a tenure-track professor, Hofler currently teaches in an Arts Technology program at Illinois State University. Both Hofler and Dowe hold advanced degrees from prestigious institutions such as Dartmouth College and Keio Univeristy (Japan), but have strong reservations about the esoteric qualities of academic art/music.

The purposely-pixilated digipak artwork for Champions of Wonder was created by the internationally known producer/artist Terre Thaemlitz utilizing illustrations by Aiko Tsuji. The physical release also contains surround sound mixes of the first three tracks by Aaron Paolucci (who also mastered the stereo mixes) that can be played on a computer connected to a 5.1 sound system.

One of the common techniques on Champions of Wonder is the manipulation of vocals by spectral software that is coded by Dowe and long-time mentor Christopher Penrose. Even the more experimental or ambient tracks contain ghostly sounds of vocals that have been stripped from their original context and placed into the pulsating electronic world of Oh Astro. The other common practice on the album is that every sound, with the exception of some of the vocals, is sampled from pre-existing recordings. The types of music sampled range from top 40 songs to indie hipster music to the obscure. In the end, it’s more about what is done with the sample than what was originally sampled.

More about Yea Big + Kid Static:

“What Andy Kaufman did for comedy, Yea Big has done with their new album…” – Treblezine

Ever wonder what happened to the fun in hip-hop? What happened to the Digital Undergrounds, the Biz Markies and the De La Souls ? With all this serious rap, who fills in the gap for the people who just want to get their dance on? The answer: the dauntless duo of deejay Yea Big and emcee Kid Static.

Yea Big a.k.a. Stefen Robinson is a detail obsessed mad scientist of the mix reared on Ravi Shankar, bluegrass & Motown. He released his first full length CD, The Wind That Blows The Robot’s Arms, in 2006 on Chicago’s Jib Door label to much confusion and praise. One dude called The Wind “an ADD trip through instrumental spaz-hop”. Yea Big has done remixes for Minneapolis avant-hip hop outfit Kill The Vultures, the 12 Apostles label, Illegal Art, and continues to produce tour only mash-up and remix EP’s, the first two of which feature The Mae-Shi and Rapider Than Horsepower. In the fall of 2005, Yea Big took a beating on one of Chicago’s largest hip hop message boards for reasons no one really remembers too well these days. Kid Static watched as the crossfire obliterated this unheard of deejay and, after checking out some of his music online, invited Yea Big to collaborate with him. Drawn to Big’s atom splitting beats, Static says, “he’s doing the music I always heard in my head”. For his part, Yea Big, was mesmerized with Static’s presence. “His voice has an energy & grit. His phrasing, texture and flow did it for me.”

Over the last two years of collaborating together, Static and Big have played for Michigan meth farmers, cape cod yacht rockers, snacked on cheesesteaks behind the backs of Philly vegans and played grabass and smacked hi-fives with each and every one of them. Because in the world of high misadventure of Yea Big and Kid Static, the odd man out is always in.

More about Realistic:

“Following the aesthetic of Negativland and John Oswald, Realistic borrows material from every possible source: classic rock, disco, self-improvement records, soap operas [and more]. Towning demonstrates a knack for unconventional looping, sonic accumulation, and a good joke.” – All Music Guide

Realistic’s third album, Perpetual Memory Loss, features sixteen tracks of intricate sample-based compositions — a beautifully sophisticated celebration of found sound, recorded media, technology, and electronic composition. Slices of field recordings mesh with surreal electronic melodies, which creates enjoyably odd multi-layered musical fun. Realistic is the guise of sound collage artist James Towning, a musician and graphic designer originally from OhioIn 2003 he moved to Brooklyn, NY and currently works a full-time job as a motion-graphics designer in Manhattan.

Realistic has also appeared on releases with (or been remixed by) The Evolution Control Committee, Girl Talk, The Bran Flakes, Wobbly, Sawako, Pimmon, and Monochrome (Charles Noel).

A recurring source in Towning’s compositions is the nostalgic sounds of 70’s and 80’s techno-pop and rock artists that were personally influential over the years. As well as using computer-based waveform editing and sampling, Towning carries a portable digital recorder to capture various audio environments on a daily basis. Whether the source samples are found around the house, on TV, on a busy Chinatown street, or a crackly sound effects record, Realistic’s juxtaposition of head-spaces always creates something surreal and altogether new.

“There’s such a rich texture of sound and visuals in New York. I’m constantly entertained with the sounds that I record,” said Towning in a recent interview. An ever-increasing collection of thrift-store records and cassettes is another likely source of audio inspiration. “I love composing little sound pieces using whatever source material I choose. It’s a cathartic, fun, and essential part of my life,” said Towning.

With Perpetual Memory Loss, the Realistic sound has evolved into a tighter and more structured mesh of musical patterns and mangled beats. Tiny rhythmic patterns and subtle textural layers are revealed upon repeated listening. Sampled dialogue is used more sparingly than in previous Realistic releases allowing the musical voices to be heard more clearly. Each complex track is its own self-contained little world, with disjointed characters, funky grooves, and odd but familiar musical samples. Throughout the 45-minute album, expressionistic patterns of sound twist and fold into one another as the tracks evolve. At times the entire audio spectrum degrades and distorts in groovy syncopation. The tracks on Perpetual Memory Loss are more complex and refined, but what remains is the underlying sense of humor, rich production, and an offbeat composition style that is distinctively Realistic.

Regarding the album’s artwork, Towning explains, “The CD art was designed by me. It consists of many thumbnails of snapshots I’ve taken over the past three years or so. That timeframe coincides with the production of the audio tracks, too. The snapshots represent memories in a very literal way. They vary in subject matter from pictures of my cats, still-lifes, industrial landscapes, detailed textures, and random found art. The inside artwork reveals more snapshot thumbnails in varying degrees of clarity.” Towning further elaborates, “Beneath the CD, a collage of found images and photographs explodes and bleeds over into the snapshots. The technique of collaging with found and personal imagery reflects the style of the audio tracks too. The primary colors of red and green that I chose were inspired by and derived from a vintage Christmas card I received from a friend a few years ago. Again, a nostalgic reference.”

As for the title Perpetual Memory Loss Towning says it “speaks to the process of growing older and the mind’s ability to store, lose, and constantly distort memories. And how sometimes those memories are recalled in a random and overlapping order. As we get older, more and more memories are stored while others are buried deep or lost. The title also references the similarities between the ever expanding human mind and a computer’s finite hard drive and its ability to retrieve random and corrupt data.”

Oh Astro Live:
11/06 Normal, IL University Galleries
11/27 Normal, IL KRH
01/22 Joliet, IL Laura A. Sprague Gallery

Yea Big + Kid Static:
10/18 Jamaica Plain, MA The Milky Way
10/19 Brooklyn, NY Sound Fix (Fanatic CMJ Showcase)
10/21 Chicago, IL The Note
10/26 Kankakee, IL Myrtle House
10/31 Bloomington, IN Uncle Festers
11/09 Chicago, IL Darkroom
11/16 Chicago, IL Kinetic Playground

Oh Astro

Champions of Wonder Tracklisting:

Release Date: November 6, 2007

01. Snow Queen (MP3)
02. Hello Fuji Boy (MP3)
03. Lucy Sees the Moon
04. Candy Sun Smiles
05. Empty Air
06. Xanadu
07. Journey to the Center
08. Itch Box
09. Robot Love I Love You
10. Quiet Mouth
11. Pet Apples

Yea Big + Kid Static Tracklisting:

Release Date: October 23, 2007

01. The Screaming Starts At Sundown
02. We’ve Built A Time Machine That Runs On Beats. We Shall Only Use It For Good.
03. Static Leads The Coup
04. Transmission Ended
05. Joining Forces
06. Speak The Facts
07. Low Budget Battle Scene
08. The Basement / Enfant Terrible
09. On The Blink
10. Repairs Are Needed
11. Duck, Mother Fuckers! (MP3)
12. Revel In The Aftermath
13. The Life Here
14. Things Have To Change, Pete
15. Why The Fuck Does This Keep Happening
16. Back Into The Sleeve


Perpetual Memory Loss Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

Release Date: October 23, 2007

01. The Camera Track (MP3)
02. Music in the Round
03. Conversation Hearts
04. Post-Corporate Fantasy
05. Amazing Fall
06. Welcome to Heaven
07. Brand Name Sunday
08. Library Music
09. Wandering Aimlessly
10. Have a Nice Trip
11. April and August Sixth
12. There is Always More
13. In Loving Memory
14. Snowday Plaything (MP3)
15. The Numbers Test
16. Uneventful Fall