by Angela Robledo
As countless audience members piled into the theatre, the room was silent as fans anticipated the film that would give them a peek inside their heroâ€™s life in his last musical days.Â As the opening credits rolled, I could hear the anxious bites of popcorn and see the nervous bites of nails. â€œThis Is Itâ€ is the film that depicts the gone-too-soon idol in his honest role of performer and friend. Michael Jackson made many dreams come true with the announcement of his London tour, however many fans in the United States were unaware of just how much tenuous work was put in to the project. Through this film, we had the opportunity to see just that: a wise manâ€™s work for a project he was passionate about.
With cameras there in moments usually unseen, I discovered that Jackson is not the man the tabloids expose him to be. Instead of the high voiced and slightly outrageous person depicted on magazine covers, he is actually a musician with a good sense of humor, a sensitive heart, and killer dance moves (but we already knew that one). Known for his groundbreaking music videos and explosive shows, Jackson ensured the â€œThis Is Itâ€ London tour was to be nothing short of spectacular. As a film buff myself, I had a great appreciation for the music videos to be used as song intros. In one introducing the hit â€œSmooth Criminal,â€ Jackson is in the middle of Chicago during the prohibition era battling with renowned black and white actor Humphrey Bogart. Had it not been for this movie, the mass creativity and resources already put in to this tour would have remained unknown.
Fans in the audience watched intently as they watched a great show come to life before their eyes.Â While itâ€™s a shame this tour had to be cancelled due to Jacksonâ€™s untimely and devastating death, the film aided in bringing his legacy to life once again. During the movie I could not grasp the fact that this motivational artist was simply gone; his spirit was very much alive on the big screen. His dancing and majesty on stage was skillfully captured, and fans could not help but clap and sing along with the hits we all know so well. Not a foot in the room could refrain from tapping. â€œMan in the Mirrorâ€ played as we saw Jackson holding hands with his dancers, thanking them for being a part of it all. His love and sincerity was evident as he brought them in for a group hug.
The film ended in a freeze frame of Jackson with his arms out wide, embracing the fulfillment of the end of a song. The picture stayed on screen for a long moment, allowing fans to remember this image that described the passionate man so well. Eyes were dried, and immediately the theatre broke out in applause. I left the theatre with bittersweet feelings: inspired by a manâ€™s dedication to his creativity and inspirations in life, and sad that such a trivial person was gone so soon. â€œThis Is Itâ€ is a tremendous film that allows fans around the world to forever remember Michael Jackson and his legacy as a beautiful human and motivational artist.
-A perfect four stars out of four-
Video is coming!
by Brittany Peace
with Stephanie and Melanie and Morgan
“FOUND” by PUSH PLAY!
by Matt Glodz
The Jonas Brothers have some new competition: Push Play. Hailing from Long Island, the quartet is yet another addition to the boy bands that are starting to make a comeback on the music scene. Push Playâ€™s new album â€œFoundâ€ brings listeners what they expect from a boy band, but is unique enough to keep their fan base growing.
â€œOur individual personalities really click,â€ lead singer CJ Baran says on Push Playâ€™s website, â€œand the fact that the four of us have distinct tastes in music, it seems to really work.â€
Baranâ€™s observation is right on point â€“ Push Playâ€™s music ranges from upbeat to somber, and the lyrics follow suit.
It makes sense that â€œMidnight Romeoâ€ is the albumâ€™s first single. The song is energetic, its lyrics flow well, and teenagers are likely to dig its scandalous content. â€œShow me yours and I’ll show you mine / Gonna make you sweat / Gonna feel you head to toe / You know, I’m your midnight Romeo,â€ Baran sings. â€œMidnight Romeoâ€ is the most stereotypical mainstream boy band song on the album, and it is likely to hit the airwaves soon as a result.
In â€œHeart Attack,â€ Baran sings about walking in on his girl making out with another guy and the eventâ€™s aftermath. Its lyrics lack depth as far as content is concerned, but for a breakup song, it is quite upbeat and catchy.
As its title may suggest â€œThis Is Us Breaking Upâ€ is another breakup song. Its frequently changing tempo and melody that incorporates futuristic synthesized sounds keep it from sounding sad and depressing, and also set it apart from â€œHeart Attack.â€ While the two songs share a similar theme, they are by no means redundant musically.
â€œWhere I Belongâ€ is one of Push Playâ€™s more somber songs, but it is one many high school seniors can relate to. â€œThe days we spent together / The nights would last foreverâ€¨/ But all good things must come to an end,â€ Baran sings. The song is reflective and has the slowest melody on the album, yet Push Play still pulls it off, showing their musical versatility.
The remainder of the album does not disappoint. â€œFoundâ€Â is also one of those albums that can be listened to straight through from start to finish, so grab a copy and Push Play.
by Diana Ciuca
Breaking the bonds of Soviet Rule, Mumiy Troll emerged as an incredibly successfull Russian rock band.Â The animated band members of Mumiy Troll are now traveling 40 cities in North America. I got the luck opportunity to interview the front-man, Illya Lagutenko, as the band traveled across Montana to preform in Canada. With a refreshing rock sound and unique history, this band is definitely worth checking out.
1. Being from a communist country, how have the strict regulations on rock music affected Mumiy Troll’s growth?
First of all, it was not anything like Music â€œtraffic codeâ€ or an amendment in the constitution treating Rock n Roll as pedophilia…it was more like adultery:) Â Â You actually can do that if you find a right partner who agrees to conspire a little affair together. But if you wanna spice up your hot nights there is only you and no toys:) Its pretty filthy comparison. I guess but that was exactly the thing. Slightly risky, cool Â includes smuggled records and black market blue jeans. It was so easy to become a rebel in Soviets time.
2. What made you and the other band members rebel from societal constraints and form a band?
Funny thing is we were never considered rebellious , we just wanted the music on our terms, our outfits on our terms. Â It was more like teenage angst. Â But when you grow up in totalitarian society, strange things can happen. Â Only for having strange band name MUMIY TROLL (which is actually play on letters from moomintrolls, scandinavian fairytale characters) theyâ€™ll put you on pedestal of Most Dangerous Band in the world together with Sex Pistols and Black Sabbath. How cool is that? Never made an album and to already be in a same league, at least among your schoolmates?
Were there any musical influences which aided in the band’s development?
We did not have music stores. Soviet TV was not like anything western, so our musical tastes formed as combination of Italo Pop Festivals, DIY made Iron Maiden tshirts and smuggled new wave records. I was really open to any kind of new music. Â I guess I still can be good at Pop Quizzes regarding 80s music.
3. The band temporarily broke up because of the draft to the Soviet Army. Are there any other notable difficulties that the band members have encountered through the years?
It was mandatory. So we did not really suffer in the end. I just had two years to think about lots of things in my life. Soviet Union collapsed soon after that. So it was very discovering times for me. Just imagine – your life and your country changed almost overnight when youâ€™re in early 20s. No more old doctrines, youâ€™re free to go anywhere, feeling of total freedom. Many people could not handle that. However in my life searches it was close to perfection. I studied Mandarin and Chinese Economy. Â I went to China and saw with my own eyes how the Dragon grows, got a job in a City of London where a companyâ€™s bankruptcy sendt me on the street in a perfect time to witness Britpop all that cool Brittannia thing. Â So many great liife experiences only to prove that music is the only thing which I do really enjoy doing.
4. Mumiy Troll is a pioneer in Russian music because of its unique sound. What impact do you think that your music has had on setting trends in Russia and influencing society?
I guess we were just in a right time in a right place. In general my idea of rock n roll band has not changed since I was teenager, however life and music experience gives you a special intuition how to guide yourself in this world where everything been invented. If Iâ€™m not mistaken, there are the words â€œHonesty and freedomâ€ describing rock n roll at The RNR Hall of Fame. Â This is what I was doing, always. Â I would not write about things which Iâ€™m not familiar with and Iâ€™m not trying to copy anyone else. You can not be Pink Floyd if youâ€™re not actually Pink Floyd. Â Rock band is a combination of music tastes, abilities, characters. The moment you realize you just do your best at what you do, then there always people who appreciate that.
Every single label in Russia hated our first self-funded album; they said that â€œwesternized pop rock approachâ€ never sells in Russia. Â We had a hard time proving to distribution that they had nothing to lose, as they did not really have to invest anything Â - only to prove in year time that our record became a most significant record in modern Russia not only for sales figures, but also for the fact that it is not a niche thing. Â Â Everyone from ex-military pilots to teenage girls found something for them in my songs. Â I guess because it was time of new hopes in Russia (late 90s) so we kinda sang everyoneâ€™s hope on our own terms. That things really can be different and it works…
5. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, how do you think things have changed in Russia? What things do you like about it now that were not in existence before the fall of the communist regime?
Russia became oh so different – in its own way of course. I mean, you hardly recognize that Moscow in 1980 and Moscow in 2010 is the same place. Â But nothing really changed visually in many places. Â Itâ€™s quite difficult for people to absorb new way of life, new modern â€œcapitalistâ€ values. Â I do understand that. Â When you live for 60 years when they said right is right, and suddenly they told you right is left, itâ€™s a bit surprising isnâ€™t it? Â It was kinda safe and easy life – if you of course appreciate that someone controls you and actually tells you how to live your life. Â The moment you have a slightest idea that things can be done differently – goodbye Soviets. Then, welcome to real world jungle. Â But life is full of contrasts and Iâ€™m lucky to actually live many of them, not only read in a book.
6. You have gained international popularity through tours and even by participating in the Eurovision contest. Are there any specific places or events that you would consider to have made a huge impact on the band?
I guess its all coming in the future.:) Â Â Really we did not have anything special – we simply work hard, because to live this rock n roll lifestyle is a special reward which is more valuable than any chart position or awards ceremony. Â Â Itâ€™s just a lot of people dreaming about it, but not too many fulfill that dream. You gotta be realistic, have common sense but have enough courage to admit that every rose has its thorn.
7. Speaking of all these tours, how was your first tour in North America, and what made you come back again?
Weâ€™ve played selected cities like New York or San Francisco before, simply because they have significant Russian communities. Â However to go on 40 dates across whole of US Canada and even Mexico was quite a challenge not only from the booking agent standpoint also from the bandâ€™s point of view. Â Imagine Lou Reed goes on tour in China in 2012. Kinda start all over again to explain who you are to people who do not really care about your Velvet Underground background…pretty rock n roll-ish, uh?
8. How would you describe your fans, and how do you think they have changed through the years and through various social revolutions?
Our fans are sweet. And funny. You look at them in audience and you have absolute picture of modern Russia. People so different. This is what I really like. They are different breed of people. Â Maybe theyâ€™d never communicate in real life, but they come to see us. I guess itâ€™s a quality of music and personal things. My band mates are totally devoted musicians; however, they will never bore you with their techniques etc. Â Â Theyâ€™re fun people to go and play. Â Weâ€™re rather realistic, intelligent and GSOH about music industry truths . We were old enough to get success not to be starstruck. Â In russia being rockstar never paid as oil-mine ownership. Â So weâ€™re still the same boys on the road. People like that attitude. Weâ€™re honest with them. To sing about outer space – you should spend some time there at least. We do.
9. Finally, what is the uniting force that has kept the band together for so many years even in the face of political danger?
I guess Iâ€™m a naturally born diplomat…in other life Iâ€™d lead UN or something like United Galactic Peace Corp. Â Iâ€™m sure I can handle that.
By: Vanessa Paredes
Band: Brand new
release date: sept 22 2009
Record Label: Interscope/DGC/Procrastinate! Music Traitors
Formed in Long Island, New York, Brand New has been causing a scene for almost decade now, and with three successful releases, it is safe to say their fourth was highly anticipated. Daisy hit stores Sept. 22, after nine long months of creative juices flowing and hours on end spent in the recording studio. The band sets a noticeably more aggressive tone with Daisy, though the record is still somewhat relevant to their previous album The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me in the way that Jesse Lacey (lead singer/songwriter) delivers a dark atmosphere along with passionately sung lyrics that will have the listener begging for more. Yet it is hard to believe Daisy is Brand Newâ€™s work when comparing it to their first two albums DÃ©jÃ Entendu and Your Favorite Weapon. A once punk band that produced songs that can easily be described as every 18-year-oldâ€™s anthem has grown up and changed its ways.
An experimental approach has been taken with Daisy, playing around with distortion and abstract sounds giving it a unique edge. The most notable approach Brand New took in their latest album was the intro/outro. As the first track â€œVicesâ€ begins you are sent back in time to the 1950â€™s with a church hymn featuring a vintage vocal and piano recording, and before you know it Brand New dives into an intense introduction that will set the mood for the rest of the album. The subsequent tracks throughout set up a similar atmosphere, yet each one still has something extraordinary to offer. Among these, â€œAt the Bottomâ€ really stands out; it has a catchy melody accompanied by whimsical lyrics and impressive break down that will have you rewinding the song to hear it over and over again. The song is considered to be Daisyâ€™s single.
When it came down to a well written song chances are track 7 â€œDaisyâ€ will truly satisfy the lyric lover in you; versus like this one really make an impression:â€œI’m a mountain that has been moved, I’m a fugitive that has no legs to run, I’m a preacher with no pulpit, spewing a sermon that goes on and on and onâ€¦Well if we take all these things and we bury them fast , and we’ll pray that they turn into seeds, to roots, and then grass.â€ The entire album was written by not only Lacey, but guitarist Vincent Accardi as well.
The record finishes off with â€œNoroâ€ which delivers an upbeat rhythmic drum line that catches your attention instantly, as well as the highly appropriate line â€œIâ€™m on my way outâ€. This is easily the best song featured on Daisy. Just as one thinks the song is finished, that same familiar 1950â€™s Hymn previously heard in the introduction ties it all up, successfully completing the album.
It is important to keep in mind that Daisy is an acquired taste, and it is more than likely that its listeners will have to give it a few spins before it grows on them. In addition, Daisy is not meant for the general mainstream audience, so this album may not be for everybody. Daisy is sure to please Brand Newâ€™s die-hard admirers as they will recognize well developed chord progressions, drum and bass lines, as well as thought provoking and mature lyrics. Overall the production of Daisy is phenomenal and should not be overlooked; albums like this one do not come around very often.
Music Review for the Sunstreak
By: Marissa Liebl
Rock: The Sunstreak â€“ Once Upon A Lie
by Marissa Liebl
Being from New York myself, the Sunstreak is one of the most talented rock bands that I have heard from the New York area. This band is made up of 5 members: Gary Foster, David Schuler, Tony Rebis, Jack Flynn, and Jason Sarkis from Rochester and have been bringing their own style of music to the world since the year 2005. Their music is completely mind-blowing and will leave you wanting to hear more. The sound is catchy and keeps you entertained. The members of this band produce a great sound that sweeps you off your feet. The groups music has shown that they have worked hard to get where they are now and that nothing will stop them to achieve their goals.
The lyrics of the songs on the album can be repetitive, yet their music seems to reflect on their feelings of having love and losing it.
The band has performed at Vans Warped Tour in the summer of 2006 and sold over 25,000 records within 2 months. They posted on the Billboard charts without a distribution deal and they were the second band in history to do this.
It has dawned on me that this band produces overall enjoyment for their fans and their progress has proved their greatness and that they can go far in the music industry.
I solely feel that this group can become one of the best rock bands in history if they set their minds to it and follow their dreams.
Our Austin Texas correspondent Brittany Reeber has some awesome videos from Austin City Limits: Â Check out Â Daniel Johnston, Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears, The Knux, and Cotton Jones.