Win a Signed Copy of Zaz's Self-Titled Album

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Four days ago we featured Zaz in our Music Video Spotlight, and now, to complete our efforts in Zaz appreciation, we're going to offer up a signed copy of the eponymous Zaz to one lucky reader. If you didn't already skip over to that aforementioned article where we highlighted her songs "Je Veux" and "La Fee" (why not?), and you're not quite sure if you like Zaz, then the best description of her sound we can offer is whimsical jazz mixed with gypsy folk into a blend of catchy rhythms and hooks that will stick with you for days after. You really don't need a comprehension of the French language to appreciate Zaz's music, it's just universally uplifting.

To find out how you can enter to win the autographed copy of Zaz, just keep reading.

Aug
12
2011
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"Electric Daisy Carnival Experience": Documenting Electro-Mecca

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Every genre of music has its own culture surrounding it. Rock has arena concerts, blues has hole in the wall clubs, and so forth. Similarly, each genre has their Mecca: that annual concert that is the end all be all of places to be if you love a certain style of music. For electro/techno/house fans, there’s no better place to be on the last weekend in June than the Electric Daisy Carnival, which has become something of a cultural phenomenon in recent years as its popularity has shot through the roof. What started as a day-long event expanded into two nights and now, as of 2011, three. Three nights of incredible electronic music from the likes of Deadmau5, Moby, Afrojack, Duck Sauce, Fedde Le Grand, Kaskade, and MSTRKRFT. To document the culture that has risen up around the EDC, Kevin Kerslake filmed Electric Daisy Carnival Experience, and as concert films go, it ranks in the top echelons of ones to beat.

Aug
12
2011
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Music Video Spotlight: Joseph Arthur

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Midway through his summer tour, Joseph Arthur is working hard promoting his album The Graduation Ceremony which debuted in early May. The Akron born singer was plucked from obscurity by the hand of fate (or Peter Gabriel, depending on which story you hear) and in 1997, at the age of 25, Arthur had his first album and a spot on a worldwide tour. Not too shabby, but it was the albums that followed that really let him hone his style and really represents the artist people know now. Today we're taking a look at his video for "Love Never Asks You to Lie" one of the singles off of Ceremony. The song embodies much of the sound that represents Joseph Arthur's music. The mellow, and sometimes even melancholy mood rolls out under the slow, smoky vocals that are something of his trademark as two little kids play to the song's message of love as a wholly innocent force of nature.

We've included the video for "Love Never Asks You to Lie" along with a few others from Joseph Arthur.

Aug
12
2011
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The Blue October "Any Man in America" Giveaway

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In celebration of the release of Blue October's new album Any Man in America, available August 16th, JustPressPlay is giving away three Blue October prize sets. The new album features the single "The Chills", which marks a more upbeat turn in the band's mood. According to Blue October lead singer/guitarist Justin Furstenfeld, "The video was probably the most positive video I've ever made. I'm glad that such a heartbreaking song, when written, is showcased with such freedom and spirit." It's an interesting turn for the group, and so let's celebrate with Blue October stuff. The three prize sets include a poster signed by the band, a lyric book, and a copy of the album. To find out how you can win, just keep reading.

Aug
10
2011
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Music Video Spotlight: Carolina Liar

carolina_liar_bannerThere's something refreshing and nostalgic about Carolina Liar's sound. You can easily make out the influence of modern marvels like The Killers and The Fray or the ever stalwart U2 in the mix, and yet there's a bit of that 90s alt rock sound thrown in that makes it feel familiar. Even if their debut album Wild Blessed Freedom doesn't hit shelves until September 27th. Forgive the pun, but it's something of a mixed blessing to have a sound that feels familiar: you can come under fire for being just another link in the long chain of whichever musical trend is currently ravaging the charts. And honestly the 90s aren't so far gone that people aren't still occasionally listening to Third Eye Blind or Eve 6. The point being that comparisons to already established artists can be a death sentence for some bands when it comes to the listeners eager to steer away from the familiar. But it doesn't hurt Carolina Liar, it's really their core strength. Familiarity with just enough of their own element derived from their mixed American and Swedish backgrounds.

They've released the video for their first single "Drown" and it does well to showcase the upbeat pop sound that they've infused with a equal parts rock and electro. Check it out below.

Aug
10
2011
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Dates for The Zombies' 2011 Fall Tour

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It's been 50 years since they first started, but it seems that 2011 is the year of the Zombies as they've scheduled a 12-date (so far) US tour starting and ending in Pennsylvania with two back-to-back concerts in New York City as the second and third to last shows. As with any long dormant band, the question always arises as to which of the original members are the ones flying the Zombies banner. In this case, founding members Rod Argent and singer Colin Blunstone are the recognizable faces in the group, and guitarist Tom Toomey, bassist, Jim Rodford and his son, drummer Steve Rodford, who rounded out The Zombies you hear on the new album Breathe Out, Breathe In.

The album, recorded over a year in Argent’s own Red House Studios, hit shelves on May 17th of this year. We've included the initial tour dates for The Zombies and their supporting group The Acoustic Strawbs below.

Aug
10
2011
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Music Video Spotlight: Zaz

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While I know [read: think] the majority of our readers are English-speaking, that shouldn't preclude an appreciation of music in other languages. I'm pretty sure that, like love, people call music an international language, so there. Anyways, marking our first foreign language entry in Music Video Spotlight is Zaz, a whimsical, jazzy French vocalist whose playful melodies make an understanding of the language unnecessary. Zaz's self-titled album debuted in France last summer, and now she's reached our shores. The  video below for "Je Veux" ("I Would") only reflects a fraction of her diverse range considering her album sees her flutter from African, Andalusian, Brazilian, and Latin flavors, sometimes in the span of one song.

Aug
08
2011
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Music Video Spotlight: Blue October

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Blue October has been kicking around since 1995 with their brand of melancholy rock, and they've found a respectable amount of sex in the past with their hits "Hate Me", "Say It", "Into the Ocean" and others. They're currently prepping for their tour which starts on August 17th (we've thrown the dates down below in case you're interested) in celebration of their sixth studio album Any Man in America, the follow-up to 2009's Approaching Normal. Their first single off of Any Man is titled "The Chills" and Blue October has recently released an incredibly high-resolution music video for it.

Jul
30
2011
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"Raise Your Glass," Cosplayers

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Well, this is arguably better than Pink's official music video for this song. Considering that that video has Pink putting on different costumes, this does seem entirely appropriate.

Cosplay Fever has created this positively endearing video of cosplayers from the London Film & Comic Con earlier this month lip syncing to Pink's upbeat underdog anthem "Raise Your Glass." I wish I'd caught this before I left for Comic-Con, but it's nice to find an ode to geek culture just as you're winding down from Con yourself. Check it out.

Jul
29
2011
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Teaching Science Through Song

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Science isn't for everyone and not everyone has their webpage set to PopSci.com (odds are it's set to Gmail or your e-mail server - so maybe that's a moot point), but there are ways to make science appealing to mass audiences. If you find the right hard science-fiction novel or film you might be able to glean something, but then you have to sort around the fiction part and any liberties taken with a concept. As much as it can be a good approach, I'd really rather people didn't think Kevin Bacon and Tom Hanks narrowly avoided suffocation in space thanks to the quick thinking of Gary Sinise just because Ron Howard was too damned convincing with Apollo 13. Instead, I'd point you towards science as instructed through song.

Jul
15
2011
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