News – SoundLooks http://soundlooks.com The Music Journal Sat, 20 Jan 2018 16:37:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 SKOWT A Brand New Platform Connecting Unsigned Musicians To The Industry http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/skowt-a-brand-new-platform-connecting-unsigned-musicians-to-the-industry/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/skowt-a-brand-new-platform-connecting-unsigned-musicians-to-the-industry/#respond Sat, 20 Jan 2018 16:37:17 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7847 SKOWT is a brilliant new venture that helps give recognition to unsigned musicians around the world. SKOWT helps connect unsigned artists with the biggest target markets most relevant to their needs – streaming music fans, event/media companies and A&R/Licensing Managers.

The platform is highly interactive with artists from a wide range of genres represented. The platform is free to register on and provides for a much better and faster introduction of new music to fans – while at the same time creating a chart which quickly gives insight into the most listened to tracks, helping A&R/Licensing Managers as well as media platform owners get in touch with talented unsigned artists. Think Tinder meets Pinterest for music!

So what are the features? If you’re a music fan, the site allows you to filter by your genre preference which in turn presents you with selected playlists that allow you to discover new music by new artists. If you like the track, you can listen to the full track or hit the Like button before the end of the song, and then the next track loads or swipe to the next track.

Based on the most listened to tracks as well as the most liked, SKOWT builds a top 10 chart which is also shared with Music & Licensing Managers who can then connect with the artists behind the music to discuss potential partnerships.

Their mission is clear:

  1. To give independent artists the opportunity to be recognised and help them grow their fan base.
  2. To become the recognized leader for connecting independent artist to fans and the industry.
  3. To provide fresh new streamed music to fans and enabling Music and Licensing managers to discover their next big talent.

Check them out!

Contact information
Contact Person                 : Kumar Krish
Company                            : SKOWT Music Sdn Bhd (subsidiary of Music Notes Ltd)
Address                               : We Work, 2 Eastbourne Terrace, London, W2 6LG
Email                                   : contact@skowt.it
Phone                                  : +60136424336
Website                               : www.skowt.it

IOS app                               : https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/skowt/id1195858492?ls=1&mt=8

Android app                       : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.org.Codecture.Skowt

Facebook                            : https://www.facebook.com/skowt.it/

Twitter                                : https://twitter.com/skowt_it (@Skowt_it)

Instagram                           : https://www.instagram.com/skowt.it/

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M3 El Famoso Leon drops “Dead Inside” (Prod. Vessels) http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/m3-el-famoso-leon-drops-dead-inside-prod-vessels/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/m3-el-famoso-leon-drops-dead-inside-prod-vessels/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:16:30 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7834 “Dead Inside” (Prod. Vessels) by M3 El Famoso Leon  is a dark, deep, rock, hip hop love song, about a guy that gets a record deal and falls in love with a mysterious girl. A songwriter, rapper, and singer from Bronx NY, music is M3 El Famoso Leon’s life, it’s how he express his most dark, as well as happy, life experiences.

This is hip-hop which does away with the soothing regularity of traditional flows and lyrics in favor of a brash, dangerously off-kilter rock attitude. M3 El Famoso Leon’s lively lyricism and the brilliantly grungy and experimental production form a beautiful team.

As murky, combative and depressing as his introspection can be, “Dead Inside” (Prod. Vessels)  is not difficult to listen to. With such extreme experiences comes a story that only its narrator can tell, and for artists like M3 El Famoso Leon, it’s inevitable for the listener to end up feeling some sort of attachment to the art at hand.

M3 El Famoso Leon certainly seeks to exceed his listeners’ expectations. And “Dead Inside” (Prod. Vessels)  is focused on both lyricism and production, showcasing disparate elements of rock and rap music into one all-encompassing journey. From the perspective of an upcoming rapper, M3 El Famoso Leon is earning his stripes as an artist who can do things on his own terms.

“Dead Inside” (Prod. Vessels)  shows that the rapper has notched up a level, giving the feeling that M3 El Famoso Leon is being even more candid than he has been before; finally allowing the mask to slip even further. The propulsion of the track seems designed to irrevocably drag the listener into the artist’s contemplative psyche and deep-welled emotionalism and, though stylized, intimates the woefulness he’s seen and felt.

OFFICIAL LINKS: SOUNDCLOUDINSTAGRAM

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North Carolina Jimmy Bones Releases his first major Single worldwide http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/north-carolina-jimmy-bones-releases-his-first-major-single-worldwide/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/north-carolina-jimmy-bones-releases-his-first-major-single-worldwide/#respond Fri, 12 Jan 2018 14:55:40 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7828 From River Head, Long Island, NY by way of Elizabeth City NC emerges Jimmy Bones and his long awaited Single, “Goin In” Feat. Ms. B now available on ITunes, Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music, and Google Music worldwide Jimmy Bones is Goin In, all the way in with this first major Single release. Signed to Indie Label, out of Muncie, Indiana, G.I. Records LLC, a label that is known for breaking artists, from Indie to Major, one hit at a time.

Jimmy Bones lives the life that he writes and raps about; his music is his blood. The Hip Hop Rap emporium is his way of reaching out to a certain demographic that will embrace his style of Hip Hop music. Listening to his Single, “Goin In” Hip Hop Rap music fans will hear firsthand his thoughts and experiences in life and how he handle each experiences and what he did to cope.

Jimmy Bones’ goal is to use his style of Hip Hop Rap music to reach a common ground with anyone who has been through what he has been through, and thereby getting to know him and him knowing them, and hope that his music can reach out and touch the entire world.

Jimmy Bones is committed to the music and his married to his fans, lovers of his style of Hip Hop Rap music. This commitment is ride or die, and therefore, he is not half stepping when it comes to giving the Hip Hop Rap music community what they want. He’s “Goin In” real hard with this first major record.

 Jimmy Bones’ loyalty to the music and his fans is all or nothing, and he is not going away no time soon. Go see Jimmy Bones when he come to your area to perform in a venue near you.

 For more information, visit: www.facebook.com/officialJimmyBones/

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NOAH ARCHANGEL & THE BAND OF THE HAWK – “THE MASCHINE WARS: SONGS OF SOLOMON” http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/noah-archangel-the-band-of-the-hawk-the-maschine-wars-songs-of-solomon/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/noah-archangel-the-band-of-the-hawk-the-maschine-wars-songs-of-solomon/#respond Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:40:38 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7819 The Maschine Wars: Songs of Solomon is a journey more complex and original, yet more accessible than anything Noah Archangel & The Band of the Hawk may have released before it. The fact that it exists at all is testament to the projects perseverance, raw talent, and prophetic direction with which Noah Archangel, King Aka Yeaux Majesty, Ash Ra Aka Houey Freeman Fka Ashtonomics, P.ey3, Grynd Seazon, and Juskwam steer the good ship Band of the Hawk aka BOHUP, to the richest musical waters; plucking out those worth bringing along on their musical voyage and creating records greater than the sum of their parts.

In terms of perfection of a sound it’s hard to imagine that Songs of Solomon could do much more. Everything you could want in electronic-based urban music is here with equal amounts of hip-hop and cinematic orchestrations thrown in for good measure. This is an album that perfects a certain style of music.

The Maschine Wars: Songs of Solomon draws its strength from consistency and its fluid track list, notwithstanding its mammoth 22 song duration. The emotional power the record manages to achieve when in reality it is a sequence of luscious electronic beats, sprinkled with raps, is perhaps what is most impressive.

Time will tell if this is a definitive moment for the project, but at this point it seems the realm of electronic and urban music is open for Noah Archangel & The Band of the Hawk to be part of the next big visionaries of their genre.

The album is dense with fresh ideas which battle for elbowroom every few beats, impatiently vying for your attention, before launching each track on another unexpected tangent. Its testament to how good the vast majority of the ideas are that the whole thing doesn’t buckle beneath the weight of its own creativity.

Armed with such an agenda, Noah Archangel & The Band of the Hawk attempt to pull The Maschine Wars: Songs of Solomon apart, treating string laden flashes, bass booming and beat-driven percussion as landmarks in their hyper-lucid vista of hard bop and cinematic-laden ambiance.

From the theatrical black hole of the opener Old Gods and the New to the percussive mono-thematic onslaught of Wendy & Lisa, through to the piano-driven musical epiphany of Transpressions of Trismegistus, or the soulfully sampled soliloquy Those.hoes.over.there., Noah Archangel attempts to redesign the urban album; experimental but conventional, seemingly improvisational but well thought-out, and preoccupied with achieving its vanguard. Which it does.

The Maschine Wars: Songs of Solomon, therefore operates as one whole thematic piece, but with each track serving as a parcel really capable of existing outside of this medium if it has to. As the album moves through various sections and suites, it can create jarring transitions brief passages of reflection that beg for more listening.

In particular tracks such as: Kundalini (feat. Yeaux Majesty), Nebuchenezzar (feat. Juskwam), No Fools (feat. Stx) and the single Black Lotus (feat. Yeaux Majesty, Juskwam & DJ Thruvo), needs your attention, being lyrically driven.

With a plethora of feelings crammed into mere moments on each track, The Maschine Wars: Songs of Solomon makes for some serious listening, both in tone and execution. It’s a defining work a mark of excellence!

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE  FACEBOOK  TWITTER  YOUTUBE

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Monsieur Job aiming for the Billboard Charts with “Chow Chow eyyy Pow Pow” http://soundlooks.com/2017/12/monsieur-job-aiming-for-the-billboard-charts-with-chow-chow-eyyy-pow-pow/ http://soundlooks.com/2017/12/monsieur-job-aiming-for-the-billboard-charts-with-chow-chow-eyyy-pow-pow/#respond Wed, 20 Dec 2017 09:39:39 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7774 Latin lovers get ready for “Chow Chow eyyy Pow Pow” to become a worldwide sensation as it aims for the Billboard Charts! Musik Radio Promotions presents Monsieur Job to the world!

Through many years the acclaimed Miami based executive, Toby Holguin has produced, remixed, and licensed tracks for labels such as Ministry of Sound UK, Universal Music Latino (Mexico and Brazil Divisions), Basswalk Records USA, Basswalk Latino USA and Colombia, Bad Barbie Records USA, Outta Limit Recordings USA, CR2 Records UK, Ruffloaderz UK, King of Ibiza, Tommy Boy Records NYC, Vale Music Spain, Brahma Beats Brazil, Brazil Deluxe, Oid Mortales Argentina, Shock Magazine – El Espectador Colombia, Cuepoint Records Germany, and Space & Sound Italy.

Toby Holguin started the band Monsieur Job, which has released the first single “Chow Chow eyyy Pow Pow” from their album, Bass Passi. It is a wonderfully eclectic piece, a deft blend of slick urban beats and Latin grooves, Old World clubland electronica meets New World sensual and organic spice. It is both chilled and groovesome, hypnotic and memorable, and is also a versatile dance floor beast!

Besides doing electronic music and chill out – downtempo beats, Monsieur Job, made up of musicians from both Colombia and Bulgaria, decided to move onto the Popular Commercial World, and this well- made piece is the result of hard work and raw inspiration.

The song is written based on the phrase “Chow Chow eyyy Pow Pow” which is a way Toby says a casual genuine hello and a sexual flirt. It’s like saying; “Hey what’s up?!” or “Baby Baby eyyy Spanky Spanky”.  It’s a flirtatious greet that Toby began using in Belgrade, availing it in different songs to be identified as his slogan.

Toby believes we all can identify with the lyrics of the song, as he elaborates, “It is pretty much a situation that most of us have gone through in high school, where we dwell with the adrenaline of her parents figuring out that we are alone in her room, and in any moment her father is going to knock the door, so please open the window so we can escape!”

Pop fans will love the accessibility, urbanites the sophistication, Latin music aficionados will soak up the sassy rhythms, beach bums will love how it reminds them of sun drenched tropical days and the dance floor set will just fall for its sultry charms.

Working with Musik Radio Promotions, get ready for Chow Chow eyyy Pow Pow to become a worldwide sensation as it aims for the Billboard Charts!

OFFICIAL LINKS: MONSIEUR JOBMUSIK AND FILMMUSIK RADIO PROMOTIONSAMAZON

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“All Your Bull” – A Politically motivated song from The Chile Colorado band http://soundlooks.com/2017/12/all-your-bull-a-politically-motivated-song-from-the-chile-colorado-band/ http://soundlooks.com/2017/12/all-your-bull-a-politically-motivated-song-from-the-chile-colorado-band/#respond Tue, 05 Dec 2017 19:01:17 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7722 Rock band Chile Colorado’s debut album’s success at Rock Radio was a headline on the Newswire Jumbotron in Times Square, Manhattan, New York, across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe this month. The Chile Colorado band is next scheduled to release the digital single “Getting Restless” to Active Rock and Mainstream Rock Radio from the new self-titled album after having achieved 100 College Radio stations “Adding” the set for airplay.

The ‘Chile Colorado’ album features Ron Wright, songwriter, lead guitar, and vocalist, with Paul Goss on bass & background vocals, and John Ferraro on drums. All three are veteran California musicians, influenced by Rock icons like ZZ Top, Robin Trower, and Jimi Hendrix. One reviewer said the ‘Chile Colorado’ album “combines throwback sound with a modern vibe in the new album” (WRTU.com).

Wright worked on the album with engineer and producer, Chris Minto, who engineered albums by Quiet Riot and L.A. Guns, among many gold and platinum releases. Minto’s wife, songwriter Janet Planet, also co-wrote one song. The album is available at iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby.

The band’s founder Ron Wright has always had an affinity for Chile Con Carne, and as a young child he couldn’t pronounce it well, so it often came out sounding like “Chile Colorado.” Over the years, Wright began to use that phrase as a personal slogan for taking life easy and just having fun. When it came time to name his new rock band, ‘Chile Colorado’ seemed like a no-brainer.

‘Chile Colorado’ has been performing in California throughout the summer, including an appearance with Warner Recording Artists ‘The Wild Feathers’ and buzz-band ‘Mary Loves Molly’ at the Folktale Winery in August, selling 500 tickets. The band’s Management Direction has been under consultation with David Bean at BeanBag1.com.

More information and links can be found at www.chilecolorado.com.

https://soundcloud.com/chilecolorado/all-your-bull

https://youtu.be/nDVIWvZAS20

https://www.facebook.com/chilecoloradoband/

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Pastor Peter Unger Releases New Single “The Memories of God” http://soundlooks.com/2017/12/pastor-peter-unger-releases-new-single-the-memories-of-god/ http://soundlooks.com/2017/12/pastor-peter-unger-releases-new-single-the-memories-of-god/#respond Tue, 05 Dec 2017 01:41:07 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7719 NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, USA — Peter wrote this song for the older people, who he had the honor and privilege of ministering to over many years. Pete explained that many had a humble, kind, and appreciative dignity; qualities born of a long life shaped by faith and wisdom. Most were to experience the debilitating effects of age, including mental decline and dementia. During visits he struggled and prayed with them through the inevitable spiritual and emotional valleys of such a decline.

He further explained that those, for whom faith and a personal relationship with God most defined what it meant to be a Christian were the most spiritually resilient. The habit of opening themselves to God’s loving Grace, had not been developed overnight but was the result of many years of prayerfully centering themselves in that love.

While not perfect, and despite low points, they often seemed to glow with an essential awareness of, and trust in God’s life restorative love. What amazed Pete was how often they uplifted him spiritually during such visits. He hopes that this song will reflect their witness and minister to those who need it most.

When listening to the song, “The Memories of God” gives an instantly uplifting and inspiring vibe. A well-produced and thought out song, the lyrics are instantly felt to be genuine and from the heart- Obviously reflected from the real-life experiences that Peter has gone through as a Pastor.

Lyrics from the song include; “The memories of god, are like those of men. They last forever and give life back again”. The song also explains how memories live on, even when physical health declines.

Background wise, Pastor Unger holds a BA from Goddard College, an MDiv. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate from Drew Univ. Writing and performing songs has been a critical part of his ministry. He was a finalist in the USA International Songwriting Competition, and has had two music CD’s published. The most recent was “Songs of Grace” available on numerous online sites including Amazon, and Spotify.

He is currently a pastor of a church in Northampton, PA. Pete also has several other songs releasing soon, including “Christmas Cards” fitting nicely in time for the holiday season.

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Announcing the 2017 Inductees into the Album Cover Hall of Fame http://soundlooks.com/2017/11/announcing-the-2017-inductees-into-the-album-cover-hall-of-fame/ http://soundlooks.com/2017/11/announcing-the-2017-inductees-into-the-album-cover-hall-of-fame/#respond Sat, 25 Nov 2017 02:12:22 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7679 Latest class of honorees in the 6 major categories – as voted on by a world-wide panel of music, art and marketing experts in the area of album cover art & packaging – represents the “who’s who” of creative and production talent, with many recognized names from the fine art and design world.

Chicago, IL – based organization selects the designers, illustrators, photographers, art directors and patrons whose works were released between the years 1960 – Present.

Since officially launching the site in 2012, we’ve inducted five classes of Inductees based on the results from the group’s yearly surveys (the initial three classes focused on nominees who began their careers as album cover artists between the years 1960 – 1975, 1976 – 1990 and from 1991 – present, while the last two years’ voting looked at all producers active any time since 1960). Hundreds of additional biographies were added for consideration by the esteemed panel of writers, curators of galleries (retail and online) that focus on album cover imagery, art/design museum curators and music marketing experts.

As mentioned previously, this year’s Class allowed for the consideration of any talent not previously inducted into the ACHOF. The people under consideration this year are people who BEGAN their careers in the field at any time during the period the ACHOF focuses its attention on (1960 – present). As you can figure, this was a very long list, but after a research, nominating and voting process that began in September and ended in mid-November with our final vote, the ACHOF Voting Panel has selected a list of individuals and companies that very clearly represent the best examples of a large number of talented men, women and teams who’ve cumulatively created and published a huge portfolio of memorable album cover images and record packages.

Album Cover Hall of Fame Curator/Editor Mike Goldstein had this to say about this year’s efforts – “Through the ongoing efforts of those who support of this Hall of Fame, our goal continues to be to recognize the contributions of those who have had a significant impact in the ongoing development and advancement of rock and roll album cover-related art direction, illustration, photography and package design, as well as the record labels and musical acts who’ve supported great work in the field. Based on each inductee’s body of work in the field, we feel that their talents have exemplified the best possible efforts made to package and promote their clients’ recorded music, and so we’re privileged to have been able to include them in this year’s poll and, ultimately, our lists of honorees.”

Album Cover Hall of Fame – Class of 2017 Press Announcement, cont’d

Goldstein also noted that this year’s voting was rather unique in that two individuals – Art Director/Designer Craig Butler and Art Director/Illustrator Geoff Halpin – were inducted in two categories (how multi-talented of them!). Also, we had a tie in the “Musical Acts with a long-standing commitment to great Album Cover imagery” category, with Earth, Wind & Fire and R.E.M. both getting the same number of votes, so we’re pleased to add both to our list of inductees this year.

We’ve divided the Inductees into their respective categories so that our readers can get to know each winner individually and within their group of peers. Below, you’ll find a summary of the winners in each category. A more-detailed document that includes samples of each Inductees album cover credits, along with links to their respective web sites, can be found on the ACHOF site at

https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-nominee-inductee-menu-page/achof-class-of-2017-inductee-intro-page/

Qualified individuals become eligible for induction 5 years after the publication of their first record album, CD, DVD or digital album cover image.Please note that some names will be seen in more than one category, as it is that certain individuals serve in more than one role in a project. Inductees are listed alphabetically:

Album Cover Photographer Inductees 

Ø Richard E. Aaron, George DuBose, Ross Halfin, Don Hunstein, and Trevor Key

Album Cover Illustrators (inc. those specializing in logos and typography)

Ø  Geoff Halpin, David Juniper, Victor Moscoso, Shusei Nagoka and John Pasche 

Album Cover Designer Inductees

Ø Craig Butler, David Costa, Hugh Gilmour, Carl Glover and Geoff Halpin 

Album Cover Art Director Inductees

Ø Gary Burden, Craig Butler, Art Chantry, Gail Marowitz and Tony Wright

Inducted Record Labels 

In as much as “pop” music in the early days of the Pop/Rock era included musical acts that easily crossed-over from jazz, R&B, country, folk and Rock & Roll to deliver music in many styles to a public hungry for their records, record companies were not eager to be classified and chose to make sure that their cover designs would appeal to a fairly broad audience.

However, many musical artists sought to team with like-minded art directors to create packaging for music that would best-represent their own feelings about how they’d like the buying public to perceive them and their music. Once shown to be effective marketing tools, trend-setting album cover design was embraced by certain record labels, who then – as a prelude to the big-budget video productions of the 1980s and 90s – put significant resources behind these promotional packages. It is the labels that showed this type of forethought that we look to honor in this category.

Ø Merge, Polydor/Polygram and Stax/Volt

Album Cover Hall of Fame – Class of 2017 Press Announcement, cont’d

Inducted Musical Acts with a long-standing commitment to great Album Cover imagery

Of course, without the patronage of musical acts and their record labels, there would be no great album cover art, but there were some acts that “got it” better than others and used their cover imagery to both help set the mood for the music packaged inside and build a deeper bond with their fans and potential fans. At times, a great album cover image could be a powerful enticement to shoppers browsing the racks at their favorite record store, whereas some fans of a band viewed them as “rewards” given to those who’d waited patiently for an act’s next release.

With the strong connection evident between the visual and aural arts, it only seems natural that musicians would find kindred spirits in the men and women tasked to produce the images for their recorded music.

Ø The Clash, Earth Wind & Fire (Tie), Genesis and R.E.M. (Tie)

Going forward, the Nominating Panel – currently consisting of over 75 experts in the fields of packaging design, illustration, photography and music product marketing – will continue the process each year (beginning again in Summer 2018 to nominate the sixth class of Inductees representing those whose works were published any time during the period of 1960 – present) by selecting nominees in each of the featured categories for consideration by both that voting body and those nominees that receive the most total votes in their respective categories will be inducted. Panel members discussed the possibility of opening some aspect of next year’s voting to the public – we’ll notify fans and the press once any decisions have been made regarding this effort.

To see a list of all of the current inductees to the Album Cover Hall of Fame, please visit – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-nominee-inductee-menu-page/achof-inductee-list-main-page/

Please contact Mike Goldstein, Curator, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com with any questions or comments. He can be reached via email at mailto:curator@albumcoverhalloffame.com or via phone at 971-645-8958.

A comprehensive summary of news stories about album cover art and artists is added monthly (typically, on the first of the month) on our site (see the site index for our most-recent article postings) and also on the site’s Facebook page found at https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame

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Twice The Holiday Feel-Good Vibe From NYC Indie Rockers http://soundlooks.com/2017/11/twice-the-holiday-feel-good-vibe-from-nyc-indie-rockers/ http://soundlooks.com/2017/11/twice-the-holiday-feel-good-vibe-from-nyc-indie-rockers/#respond Fri, 24 Nov 2017 02:40:51 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7675 The Baghdaddios Celebrate Homeless Benefit’s 20th Anniversary – and Release a Brand New Holiday Single!

For 25 years The Baghdaddios have churned along, trolling the seedier dive bars of New York City that were fortunate enough to have a sound system and a cabaret license.  Occasionally they graced the spotlight of some higher profile venues (including their third-ever show at iconic punk birthplace CBGB).  Somewhere along the way, between the indie CD releases, music videos, trips to other countries and criss-crossing various part of the U.S., they got a bright idea in their 5th year that resulted in the proverbial ‘gift that keeps on giving’.  They founded a musically-themed benefit for their home City’s homeless………Blank-Fest.

“We were a lot younger and naive back then”, remembers front-man and Benefit founder Kenn Rowell.  “We didn’t even have plans for a second-year show until the very last moments of the first one, when I just looked at the few people who were left in the club and said ‘See you all next year’.  I remember walking off the stage and thinking to myself ‘Uh-oh, what did I just promise’?”

But here we all are, 2 decades later and the little-Benefit-that-could is still rolling along, spawning satellite shows and still marshalling the best of the City’s indie and unsigned talent to bring a diverse audience together at The Hudson House, a friendly little club in the New York City suburb of Nyack on Sunday, December 17 for what will be the twenty-first consecutive year for a worthwhile cause.  When Rowell booked the first 5 acts back in 1997 there was no real blueprint, no primer – Hell, there was barely an internet – to lead the way.  It started as a late-night post-gig barroom convo between he and fellow Blank-Fest founder (and fellow performer) Chuck DeBruyn where they hit upon the idea of mini-set performances by themselves, along with some of their friends.  The price of admission?  Just a blanket, any condition.  These blankets, in turn, would be handed out directly to the City’s less fortunate, spending Christmas Eve on the cold, dark streets.  No middle-man, no huge organization (or red tape) to slow down their efforts and (here’s the cool part) NO money involved.  “We reasoned that if we made dime one, then we had failed”, explains Rowell.  “It was kind of a real hippie-type thing; we felt money corrupts – so let’s dispense with that.  Just give us the blankets and we’ll get ’em to the people”.

Growth was near-exponential in the early days.  Blank-Fest’s inaugural show netted 40 contributions – 20 of which came from DeBruyn’s mother’s home.  Blank-Fest II in ’98 yielded 70 donations.  By the early 2000’s the Benefit was pulling in over 600 donations for what was by now the flagship show.  Early attempts at City-based shows, while well-intentioned didn’t come close to matching the main event.  That all changed after a full-page feature in the New York Daily News in 2006.  New Jersey rocker Rich Kubicz approached Kenn about developing a Garden State-based Blank-Fest and within a few years was outperforming the original venue.  A tour of England for The Baghdaddios the following summer inspired a few enterprising rockers in Nottingham to organize the first Blank-Fest UK, soon to be followed by shows in Canada, Virginia and Florida.  Today Canada boasts Blank-Fest shows in multiple major markets and there are talks of pushing the show onto the mainland in Europe (Germany is one such-rumored locale).  All-in-all the organizers have estimated that Blank-Fest has been responsible for raising over 15,000 total donations, the vast majority being blankets, since its inception, 20 years ago.  As always, Blank-Fest XXI will be featuring the best of NYC and the surrounding area’s indie talent including ex-Misfit and current Undead frontman Bobby Steele along with EMI-alumna, singer-songwriter Patti Rothberg.  The rest of the lineup is rounded out by some great local and regional acts – including a few surprise entries.

For Rowell, it’s been a fun – if sometimes crazy – journey.  But he’s used to the up-and-down micro-dramas that come with the turf considering that The Baghdaddios – his band, the band that’s hosted this show every year since it’s founding – has had an even crazier up-and-down history.  Despite only releasing two full-length albums and a handful of EPs, music videos and online-only efforts, the group continues to record new material and play shows, albeit not as many shows as they were accustomed to ‘back in the day’.  “We’re all older now and a lot of the places we used to practically live at are gone”, says Rowell.  “CB’s, Kenny’s Castaways, Wetlands, Continental – now even Hank’s Saloon in Brooklyn is closing.  It’s just not the same anymore – and even if it were, the crowd we grew up with got older too.  They’ve all moved on, gotten married, raised kids, moved away………or died.  It’s sad but it’s the circle of life.  That’s why we love it when we can bring our show to a new audience.  We sometimes wonder if they’re going to be able to relate to what we’re playing up there but in the end it’s just three chords, a lot of feedback and some good ol’ sweaty rock ‘n roll – and that never goes out of style!”

Which brings us to their latest release: a punked-up Holiday bauble called “Let It Be Happy”.  Written on Christmas Day, 2015, the song started as an acoustic encouragement for Kenn’s partner, celebrated Lower East Side bilingual poet Yvonne Sotomayor.  “She had just reached out to an old grade school friend on Facebook who didn’t remember her and then blocked her.  She was a bit bummed out like ‘what did I do to her to deserve that?’ so I said to her ‘FORGET her – it’s Christmas, let’s just be happy for what we’ve got and to Hell with her – if she doesn’t want to be your friend, screw her!’ and I started playing the chords and singing “Let it be happy – let it be merry – let it be happy, it’s a Merry Christmas” and it all grew from there!”  In fact, they even recorded a homemade iPhone video of him singing the tune in front of their Christmas tree, the next day.  With encouragement from bandmates and friends the group decided to electrify the arrangement and see how the recording would go.  “It went a lot better than anyone expected.  We were in-between drummers at the time so Count of Nine’s drummer, good friend Joe Dugan sat in for the session.”  The rest of the band gelled behind him quite convincingly and Alice Donut guitarist Michael Jung lent his touch as co-producer/mixer to push the two minute and eleven second gem’s final mix to release-worthy status.  So buoyed by the final product, Rowell pulled together what was left of the band, along with some good rock ‘n roll friends to produce a fun, festive music video.  That video – shot mid-January of this year – is finally seeing the light of day with its recent Holiday Season release.  The timing of the release is two-fold in its intention.

“We’ve been dying to drop this on an unsuspecting public for almost a year, now”, relates Rowell, “but we also figured that with Blank-Fest coming up this gave us an extra incentive.  Any buzz we could get from the video – which is pretty damned catchy, don’t you think? – We could use to hype our latest edition of our homeless Benefit.  We saw it as a win-win!”

Available as a YouTube-only release, the music vid is the latest of similarly-themed Holiday fare that the band is known for.  Starting with the underground classic, “Christmas At C.B.G.B.’s” – complete with cool cartoon music video – in 2002, The Baghdaddios have not been shy about shamelessly combining their flare for punk rock bombast with Yuletide imagery.  Their 2008 “Season’s Beatings” Holiday EP featured such hummable staples like “Christmas Ain’t For Lonely People”, their high octane take on Feliz Navidad and their mosh-pit ready version of the Robert Burns New Year’s traditional, “Auld Land Syne”.  Their 9-second oft-bootlegged outtake, “I Want To Kill Paris Hilton’s Dog And Eat It For Christmas Dinner” found it’s way to YouTube where it actually garnered 700-plus views despite no official release, promotion or even mention in band circles.

Meanwhile, Kenn and the rest of The Baghdaddios hope “Let It Be Happy” will exceed all past efforts: https://youtu.be/aTkGquFwgWQ

When pressed for a preference as to which vehicle he had higher hopes for, Rowell merely shrugged.  “Look, in a perfect world I’d like to see both get the monster hype, but if you’re going to ask me to choose then I’d say ‘show up for Blank-Fest and help the homeless – we’ve got the rest of our lives to promote a Christmas song’.  Bottom line: it’s there when you’re ready for it – IF you’re ever ready for it?”

And if they’re never ready for it?

His answer pretty much summed up his punk rock philosophy on life: “F it, man – at least we had fun!”.

(You can always write to Kenn and the rest of The Baghdaddios at SurfVietnam@Hotmail.com – info and history for Blank-Fest can also be found on www.blankfest.org –  Happy Holidays, one and all!)

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PnB ROCK Performing at the Gas Monkey Live November 24, 2017! http://soundlooks.com/2017/11/pnb-rock-performing-at-the-gas-monkey-live-november-24-2017/ http://soundlooks.com/2017/11/pnb-rock-performing-at-the-gas-monkey-live-november-24-2017/#respond Sat, 18 Nov 2017 01:40:15 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7656 PnB ROCK the American artist, singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is getting ready to set the Gas Monkey Live!, in Dallas Texas alight with his live performance programmed for 7 p.m. November 24, 2017. The Billboard Hot 100 artist, whose album “Catch These Vibes”, features Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, Roy Woods, Smokepurpp and more, will also be performing his smash hit single “Selfish”, among others.

Below are all the details relating to the artist and live concert.

Music Group Name: PnB Rock

Date: November 24, 2017

Venue: Gas Monkey
10110 Technology Blvd E, Dallas, TX 75220

Time: Doors open 7 p.m. (8 p.m. Show Time)

Cost: $45 Advance/ $50 Day of Show/ $75 Premier Red Room/ $350 Premier Tables

Buy Tickets -> https://www.gasmonkeybarngrill.com/event/1575395-pnb-rock-dallas/

Related Info:

Instagram -> https://www.instagram.com/pnbrock/

Facebook -> https://www.facebook.com/pnbrockmusic/ AND https://www.facebook.com/events/1779057682391609/

YouTube -> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC52OnlZcHd_ajoTiqcskrvg

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