Be Present for AWOLNATION's 2012 Fall Tour

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You might not even know it, but you've probably heard and appreciated AWOLNATION's single "Sail" in commercials for Red Bull, The Good Wife, House, and more, and perhaps that owes a little bit to the commercial nature of the group's origins. Started as a partnership between Aaron Bruno (formerly of Under the Influence of Giants) and Red Bull's recording studio, just to see what would come of it, it has since blossomed into something pretty grand. In 2011, Bruno, along with Drew Stewart, Hayden Scott, David Amezcua, and Kenny Carkeet released Megalithic Symphony, and the rest is history (albeit one-year-old history).

AWOLNATION will kick off their fall tour in September, and you can check out the remaining dates below.

Aug
10
2012
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Music Video Spotlight: Norah Jones

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Did anybody ever really think that at some point we could describe everybody's favorite jazzy adult-contemporary musician as the murderous Norah Jones? Earlier this year, Jones released Little Broken Hearts, a more focused and mature effort than we're used to from the now veteran songstress. It was an album full of heartbreak and breakup songs; tunes that set a somber mood that whitewashed the entire album. When it came time to making music videos for these songs though, heartbreak seemed to turn to vengeance. The first video shot for Little Broken Hearts was for the song "Happy Pills." The video, which is both stylish and retro, spins the tale of an unfaithful lover and his demise at the hands of his scornful girlfriend. The more scenic video for "Miriam," which happens to be my favorite song off of the new album, shows us another hapless victim, struck down by the hands of Jones' character.

Aug
03
2012
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Music Video Spotlight: Heartless Bastards

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The Heartless Bastards have been making a habit out of releasing music videos that are a fascinating mix of both interesting and strange for their fourth studio album Arrow, released earlier this year. The first single off of Arrow, "Parted Ways," is possibly the weirdest professionally made music video you'll see all year. Even more recently, the band has given us a video for the outstanding track "Only For You." The video is produced and directed by Brady Beasley and Louisiana Kreutz and highlights a summer romance between two adorable kids - kind of.

Aug
01
2012
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Music Video Spotlight: The Raveonettes

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In September, Danish rock duo The Raveonettes will release their 6th full length album, Observator. It's been ten years now since these two talented artists, that share a taste for both noise pop and '60s rock, broke onto the Danish music scene. Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo have been flooding our ears with new sounds ever since, especially over the last two years. Last year, The Raveonettes released a studio album and a rarities disc, while this year we've already been given a four song EP by the group. Earlier this week, the band premiered the video for their newest single off of their forthcoming album. "She Owns The Streets" isn't just a unique New York themed video, it also has an interesting back story.

Jul
24
2012
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Music Video Spotlight: Glen Campbell

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The sad truth is that after decades as both a studio guitarist and a country music legend, Glen Campbell will be retiring from the music industry after he wraps up his Goodbye Tour later this year. Campbell announced his impending departure from the public eye after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease last year. The admiration and respect Campbell has received as he says one last farewell to his fans and peers has been overwhelming. Earlier this year, Campbell performed one of his signature hits "Rhinestone Cowboy" at the Grammy's and the crowds have come in droves to see Campbell perform one last time on his final tour.

Jul
19
2012
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Mumford & Sons Announce Sophomore Album "Babel"

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It was two years ago when the London quartet Mumford & Sons exploded onto the popular music scene. After releasing their debut album in October of 2009 to little fanfare outside of the UK, Sign No More was re-released Stateside in the Spring of '10 to rave reviews. By 2011 Mumford & Sons had found their way onto modern rock stations, they were nominated for multiple Grammy's and their debut was well on its way to selling over 2 million copies in the US (4 million in their native UK). The band's blend of modern rock and British folk found a broad audience and the anticipation for a followup had reached a fever pitch as 2012 came around.

Jul
18
2012
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Music Video Spotlight: Maximo Park

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There have been a number of music videos in the last decade inspired by the YouTube culture revolution (see Weezer's "Pork and Beans" for the ultimate example) that has since resulted in everyone and their grandma (literally) having a webcam. Britain's alternative rock group Maximo Park has taken a more straightforward approach in incorporating YouTube culture by modeling their music video for "Hips as Lips" in the style of a teenager playing around with a camera in his room. The song's subdued overall sound but catchy chorus combined with the amusing antics of the teen make for a worthwhile watch and will likely having you seeking out more of Maximo Park's signature clash of 80s and 90s sounds.

Below you'll find the video for "Hips and Lips" as well as for their earlier singles "Books and Boxes" (which just might be the best song of the three featured here) and "Our Velocity".

Jul
16
2012
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Cast In Bronze: Sounds of the Renaissance Faire

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Recently, I went to the Oklahoma Renaissance Festival where I witnessed a musical experience I will never forget. The act I saw was called Cast In Bronze, a project created by Frank DellaPenna. DellaPenna first got my attention by sitting on the side of a trailer wearing a mask and full black renaissance clothing. Along with DellaPeena on the trailer was an apparatus of 35 cast bronze bells weighing in at four tons. Soon this man was playing a medieval instrument called a carillon, which is a set of bronze cast bells fixed to a structure and played using a modified keyboard. To play the keyboard one must hit levers with their hands and feet to activate the clapper of each bell. The carillon originated about 500 years ago and was traditionally played in towers of churches and unseen by the public. When DellaPenna performs live as Cast In Bronze, he dawns a mask to conceal his identity and becomes the "spirit of the bells." This gives the show a very Phantom of the Opera feel and keeps the mystery of the carillon player. The sound of the bells is hauntingly eerie and yet astoundingly beautiful. DellaPenna waves his hands around while playing the pegs of the keyboard as if he is casting a spell on the bells to ensnare the audience. While he was playing, there were tracks of the accompanied music being played over a sound system. So the performance was a solo show with accompanied music tracks. The combination of all these elements give life to a new style of music. A must see show, indeed.

Jul
11
2012
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Key, Lia and Yuki: J-Pop Worth Searching For

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There are multiple reasons why I like Japanese pop music, but it’s artists like Jun Maeda, Lia and the accomplished Yuki Kajiara that remind my why I love J-Pop music so much. Kajiura, Lia and Maeda (aka Key) all released new albums last year, and though they may not be easy to find, they are certainly worth seeking out.

Jun
15
2012
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Nero Joins Madonna on Her 2012 MDNA Tour

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Madonna's music has recently wavered somewhere between the definition of pop and electronic dance, and so perhaps it's for that reason that Nero was a smart, if not rather unexpected and unconventional, choice to accompany her on her North American tour later this year. Once you're done pondering what a dubstep interpretation of a Madonna song might sound like, you can lend your brain capacity to deciphering whether MDNA is just an abbreviation of her name or an acronym for something like "Madonna Does North America" or "Madonna Drags Nero Around". Both are viable options. Below are the tour dates for both Nero's solo shows as well as the ones where they join Madonna as her "special guest".

In the meanwhile, we're wondering if anyone knows of a Nero remix of a Madonna song or one that samples a song of hers, as we haven't found one yet. We're just curious.

Jun
06
2012
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