Tuesday, September 18, 2012



A little over three years ago I had the pleasure and privilege of booking and performing alongside Texas' own: Sohns. At that time both of our projects were on the Kentucky based nonprofit label Mayday! Mayday! Records. On that tour Sohns had ventured all the way down to the murky swamps of South Florida with their very close friends and fellow San Antonio natives: The Grasshopper Lies Heavy. Initially, upon hearing Sohns I was completely and utterly blown away. The vocal range was something that was unlike almost anything I had ever heard ranging in spectrum from insanely high pitched yelling and screaming to extremely guttural growling and chanting. The music commanded me to instantaneously start banging my head to the rolling beats and hum along with the edgy guitar and bass riffs as they all intertwined together weaving into the bands eclectic sound. 

At the time of our meeting the band was comprised of Alex Mendez (vocals), Marcos Gossi (guitar), Wes Dunn (bass), and Lawrence Mecado (drums). The year is now 2012, and many things have changed…including Sohns. Although the band's lineup has changed, now consisting of Alex Mendez (vocals), JC Rodriguez (guitar), Luis Enrique Farklas Trevino (bass), and Lawrence Mercado (drums), the band continues to break new ground with their explosive tunes. 

Ripe/Rot 7” is the story of Vincent Calloway as told by Sohns. 
Stream the album via The Flannel Gurl Records BandCamp page or below.

This is the bands first release on their new label; the one and only Virginia based Flannel Gurl Records. Check out the video for the song “Abomination” off the Ripe/Rot 7” below.

Sohns just wrapped a summer tour with The Reptillian that took the bands through the east coast, parts of Canada, and back through the Midwest. Watch the video flyer below for exact dates. The video is for the song “Soul Salvation” off the Ripe/Rot 7” and was filmed at one of the band’s shows in San Antonio.

If you’re a fan of heavy music, high-pitched vocals, or parties…this band is definitely for you and certainly worth the listen. Enjoy the tunes and pass them on.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Algernon Cadwallader


Rumors have been swirling for sometime but its official…Algernon Cadwallader has been laid to rest. The Philadelphia three-piece that was comprised of Tank Bergman, Peter Helmis, and Joe Reinhart announced the unfortunate news through the official Algernon Cadwallader Blog shortly after midnight on August 26th, 2012. Tank Bergman wrote:

I've had an amazing past 5 years touring and writing music with my best friends Peter and Joe. So here's the news: I'm having a kid and got a nursing job! I'm stoked about a little Tank running around with drumsticks. Unfortunately I'm unable to tour anymore.

You can read the full statement here. Since the bands formation in 2007, they released two full-lengths: 2008's Some Kind of Cadwallader and last year's Parrot Files in addition to releasing several 7"s.

The three friends crafted an excellent sound utilizing Kinsella esque vocals, beautiful harmonies, and amazing energy that all coincide with each other perfectly to create one of the best emo bands of our time and possibly all time. Taking off where Cap’n Jazz left off, Algernon Cadwallader takes the sound and expands on it making use of lots of finger tapping and noodling techniques to construct their melodic tones and tunes. In addition to creating music the trio created numerous other things. Peter Helmis created all the bands t-shirt designs. Joe Reinhart recorded and mixed all the band’s music in his studio The HeadroomPhiladelphia. The trio collectively printed all their shirt in their own warehouse in addition to personally booking all of their tours. Furthermore, the three members of Algernon Cadwallader own a record label, Hot Green Records.

The catalog left behind by Algernon Cadwallader will undoubtedly be one that is sought after and treasured by many for years to come. The fantastic music by Tank Bergman, Peter Helmis, and Joe Reinhart will continue to influence many musicians and speak to its multitude of listeners. 

Although the news of Algernon Cadwallader's end comes following weeks of rumors, the breakup is a definite loss for the music community. If you haven't already heard the bands excellent tunes I would highly recommend the song: "Some Kind of Cadwallader" as a great starting point. Check out the song and watch the video of them performing "Serial Killer Status" above.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

No Use For A Name


Almost a decade ago I attended my first Warped Tour. The event that year was spectacular, boasting a lineup including Shai Hulud, Thursday (who were touring in support of Full Collapse), Taking Back Sunday (who were touring in support of Tell All Your Friends), Hot Water Music, and a slew of other artists. One of my personal highlights of the day was after frying all day in the sun, cooling off in the sun shower while watching No Use For A Name perform in the early afternoon. The punk band from San Jose, California played an excellent set and even had a small meet and greet following the performance. The group was extremely gracious and friendly taking pictures and signing autographs for everyone.

Fast forward to this year and the band was still going strong and in the midst of a tour until July 31st. It was on this unfortunate day that Tony Sly, the vocalist-guitarist of No Use For A Name was found dead from undisclosed causes. The punk-rock hero from the Bay Area punk scene was only 41 years old. He will be best remembered for leading No Use For A Name. The San Jose resident was also working an his solo endeavors including an upcoming tour with Joey Cape of Lagwagon. The news of Sly's passing was made public through the San Francisco label Fat Wreck Chords that had handled No Use For A Name's catalog since the early 1990s. Sly's last performance with No Use For A Name was in June in Montebello, Quebec, Canada. His last solo gig was in Gainesville, Florida on July 29th - just two days before he died.

It's unknown whether No Use For A Name will attempt to con tune on without Sly. Tony's brother Mike has set up a memorial fund which you can check it out here to find out how to donate and help.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Suis La Lune


In the summer of 2010 I had the pleasure of booking and performing with a band called Suis La Lune. At the time, the band was touring across the United States with Pala and my good friends Fair Root. The show took place on June 27th at one of Miami's most iconic venues Churchill's Pub. The concert featured performances by all the touring bands as well as Capsule, Baboons, and Montgomery Drive. To this day it continues to be one of my favorite concerts I've ever been a part of in terms of booking, coordinating, organizing, and performing.

Check out one of the videos from the 2010 Churchill's Pub show below:

Fast forward two years and the emotional hardcore heroes from Sweden are back with a brand new album available through Topshelf Records. The new album titled Riala is by far one of the strongest, most melodic, infectious, and catchy emotional hardcore albums of 2012. From start to finish the album flows beautifully begging for another listen. Furthermore, Riala has been the album I consistently find playing in my head and hence has been stuck in my stereo since its May release.

Check out video of the Riala Release Show below.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012



After a 5 year hiatus the experimental metal/alternative rock super group Tomahawk will be returning this fall with the album "Oddfellows". Tomahawk, the band comprised of Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantômas ), Duane Denison (The Jesus Lizard), John Stainer (Helmet, Battles) and now Trevor Dunn, also of Mr. Bungle and Fantômas, will be releasing the highly anticipated album through Ipecac Recordings. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Ipecac Records please refer to my previous entry Ipecac Recordings & Fontana Distribution for some background on the label and their current distribution deal. Formed in 2000, Tomahawk released their first album, the self-titled Tomahawk in 2001. Prior to their hiatus the super group released Mit Gras (2003) and Anonymous (2007). Tomahawk toured extensively playing in numerous countries including the United States, Australia, Europe, and Japan. They generally headline shows but have been the supporting act for bands such as Tool. In July 2011, Mike Patton announced to Rolling Stone magazine that the fourth Tomahawk album was in the works. While working on the new album they released the Box Set titled “Eponymous to Anonymous”. All of these albums including the Box Set were released through the label Ipecac Recordings.

Click Below to Watch The 40 Second Teaser From Ipecac Recordings

Oddfellows was recorded at Easy Eye Sound Studio in Nashville and co-produced by Tomahawk and Collin Dupuis (The Black Keys, The Nocturnals). According to the guitarist Duane Denison, the LP is “dark and claustrophobic here, light and spacious there”. Tomahawk is scheduled to perform their first show in nearly a decade this October taking a part in the 2012 New Orleans Voodoo Music and Arts Experience. Additional dates will be announced soon. In the teaser it notes that Oddfellows will be available in Fall 2012 however it has since been announced that the album is in fact slated for a January 2013 release.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Telephone Guitar


As many of you already know I am always actively searching for new and different instruments to mess with and utilize in order to expand and shape my music and sound capabilities. In my years traveling and hunting I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to see and play all sorts of different instruments both near and far but I had never seen anything like my latest acquisition from Rainy Day Instruments. While surfing the net hoping to find something to grab my attention I found myself coming across the site Etsy. Etsy is a social commerce website that is focused on handmade and/or vintage items as well as art and craft supplies. After scrolling through numerous pages in the music section of the website I found what would later become my newest and most prized instrument. It was a Handmade Epiphone Telephone Acoustic/Electric Guitar and the only one in existence. 

The instrument itself is an Antique Playschool Phone (from the 1950s), which is securely attached to a new Epiphone Gibson Special neck. In addition, the instrument has a Piezo pick-up installed inside allowing the guitar to resonate through an amplifier. The "Telitar" as I've been affectionately calling her has an excellent sound and great playable action. The tone is slightly tinny but extremely warm and sounds very smooth acoustic and even better through an amplifier or PA. Rainy Day Instrument’s Marc Potter built the instrument. As per my request he was kind enough to also install strap buttons onto the instrument before shipping it. 

Aside from my "Telitar" being the only instrument of its kind in existence it is a priceless piece of art. Not only is the “Telitar” art that can be visually enjoyed and admired, it is a fully functional guitar with a unique and vintage look that makes it special. 

Many have understandably questioned whether or not the “Telitar” is in fact real. Doubt no longer. The "Telitar" is real and included here are pictures from the initial Etsy listing and a picture or myself with it as added proof. However, if that’s still not enough you’ll just have to make sure to come out and catch me on tour to see/hear it for yourself. Until next time…


Monday, June 18, 2012

Mayday! Mayday! Records: Sixteen


In 2006 I formed Clocks Are Devils with friends from my previous band The Great God War. After vigorously practicing and writing quality songs we were collectively happy with we began recording our first release (Split with 8085). Not shortly after we began the recording processes I can into contact with Mayday! Mayday! Records. The Kentucky based non profit label run by a small group of friends focused on producing  good quality packaging for good bands. They have released albums and cassettes for bands including Bears, Demeanor, Leaving Songs, and Sohns. Mayday! Mayday! Records ended up putting out the split release Clocks was working on with 8085 and following our eventual breakup released the first ever Montgomery Drive cassette release The Elephant Never Forgets.

 After being pushed to the side for a while Mayday! Mayday! Records has begun revamping their logo and site while simultaneously planning to release new material in the next few months from Sixteen and Best Summer. For Sixteen, Mayday! Mayday! Records is in the middle of putting together packaging for the cassette version of "Now It's Gone". In addition to containing the recordings from their CDR release, the cassette will also feature an additional cover track.  To begin promoting, marketing, and creating an initial buzz for the release Mayday! Mayday! Records released a video teaser on YouTube (check it out below).

The video was done by Matt Barnes (of Mayday! Mayday! Records) and in the credits it notes that the release will be coming out on cassette via Mayday! Mayday! Records. Utilizing social media and web 2.0 Mayday! Mayday! Records and Sixteen are promoting for the release and building awareness of the cassette version and the distribution channels in which this excellent release will be available for purchase. In using this efficient and cost effective marketing the label and bands have been generating lots of attention. These DIY (do it yourself) ethics only strengthen the brands involved and the actual power behind the release. 

In terms of the genre and networks the release is aimed at, this tactic is one of the best and overall effective means of doing this. The limited run being made will certainly sell out and become one of the gems for tape traders, collectors, and cassette lovers everywhere. Following its release and what happens, perhaps Mayday! Mayday! Records will do another run of the long awaited cassette sooner than later provided all goes according to plan. For those not aware, Sixteen are a  two piece that started in the summer of 2009. According to their Bandcamp page they currently reside in Bowling Green Kentucky, wallowing in the murky depths of depression and self pity. They have an excellent blend of sounds that's definitely worth checking out and has become very popular over the last few years with bands like 1994!, Grown Ups, and Algernon Cadwallader.


Ipecac Recordings & Fontana Distribution


Ipeac Recordings is an independent label based in California. Founded in April of 1999 by Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Peeping Tom,  Fantômas, and Mondo Cane) and Greg Wreckman (Mike Patton's manager). The label was initially created to release the first Fantômas album after shopping the release to some bigger labels and being unhappy with the offers. Currently the label releases and distributes other artists as well as Mike Patton's plethora or musical projects and collaborations. One of the most interesting things about Ipecac Recordings is their policy of signing bands to only one-album contracts. Wreckman was quoted as saying, "when starting our label we decided that it did not feel right to "own" the artists on our label. Instead we would rent or license records from artists that we liked". With this philosophy Ipecac Recordings has found them in a unique position of being able to release the music they enjoy and create on their own terms which leave both the artists and label both happy.

In August of 2006 Ipecac Recordings signed an exclusive distribution deal with Fontana. Fontana is the independent distribution sector of UMG (Universal Music Group - the world's leading music company). Fontana provides unparalleled sales and marketing support as well as back office services. They distribute for over 60 labels in addition to distributing certain projects from UMG labels worldwide. Due to this agreement Fontana will work directly and closely with Ipecac Recordings on expanding the label's reach in the marketplace, building and extending its brand and helping them to capitalize on the many new and emerging opportunities across all retail and new media platforms and formats. Since the agreement Ipecac has released multiple releases that have found success and support from fans and critics alike. Mike Patton's project Peeping Tom's first single "Mojo" debuted at #1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart in addition to becoming one of the most added songs eat Modern Rock radio. Furthermore, Mike Patton's "Mondo Cane" debuted as #2 on the Billboard Classical charts and #7 on the Top New Artist Album (Heatseekers) chart. With releases ranging from the heaviness of Fantômas to the smooth stylings of Peeping Tom to the classical sounds of Mondo Cane Ipecac Recordings is quickly become a force to be reckoned with. Now with this deal with Fontana the end seems nowhere in sight for the very unique label founded by Patton and Wreckman.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Chris Lord-Alge


Earlier this month I had the privilege and pleasure of attending a Q&A Session with the one and only Chris Lord-Alge. As one of the most in-demand mixers in the music industry since the 1980s, his discography is simply astonishing. Working with names ranging from James Brown to Green Day, Chris Lord-Alge is known for his extreme use of dynamic range compression. In his time working in the industry he has accumulated well over 750 credits including The Rolling Stones' "Too Much Blood", Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA", and The Smashing Pumpkins "Teargarden by Kaleidyscope" album. All in all the session was extremely informative touching on multiple aspects of Mr. Lord-Alge's career from his work at Unique Recording Studios in New York City all the way up to his position now at his studio in Miami Beach, FL.

The mixing work of Chris Lord-Alge has been so influential that in early 2010, Waves Audio released the Chris Lord-Alge Artist Signature Collection of audio plug-ins, a collection of 6 application-specific audio plug-ins for Bass, Drums, Effects, Vocals, Guitars, and Unplugged. The session was very interesting and insightful. For those of you who think you haven't heard any of Chris Lord-Alge's work, your most likely just unaware you were listening to his work or you've been living under a rock the last 35 years. It takes merely a glance at his discography to realize the amount of masterpieces Chris Lord-Alge has been a part of. It was awesome to take part in and attend the session and I strongly recommend any of you reading to take the initiative consciously check out his work.

 Montgomery Drive

Sunday, April 1, 2012



For this post I've decided to write about my instrumental EP "Crybaby" which was released in 2010. After spending years writing, recording, and releasing songs with both musical and lyrical content, I felt compelled to put out a release that contained completely instrumental multilayered tracks with more of an ambient and soothing feel. Initially I chose to release the "Crybaby" EP on my own. I personally undertook every aspect of the release from the art direction to the actual design and construction of the package itself. For the simple fact that this was a special and very unique release for Montgomery Drive, a key aspect in the failure/success of the release was the product management. For this reason alone, I felt it was extremely important to differentiate the packaging from my previous releases to reflect how unique "Crybaby" was in relation to my other releases. In addition to the packaging, I also chose to make the physical packages of "Crybaby" in limited quantities to allow the release to be all the more special due to its rarity. 

At that point in time the packages I had been doing myself were all CDs however with the help of BEAR Records / BEAR Distro I was able to also release limited quantities of  "Crybaby" on Cassette. In terms of the CD packaging,  I hand painted cds, individually hand numbered the packages, hand cut and printed inserts, and physically put each package together myself. As far as the management of the product, because this release was so near and dear to my heart I personally wanted to put the same love and care into the package as I had into the actually writing and recording process. The end result is something that to this day I find myself being very pleased with. From time to time I even hear from people who discovered the CD somewhere or ordered the tape through BEAR Records / BEAR Distro and it always puts an extra big smile on my face. Moreover, whenever someone refers the the CD, the fact that I personally undertook all the aspects in putting it together it is very flattering. At this time I only have a couple left in my possession (CDs and Cassettes), and I know BEAR Records / BEAR Distro has limited quantities left as well. While on tour in Japan I left a bunch copies with my friend Hiroyuki (from S-Explode) to have in stock with his distro and recently heard Rok Lok Records from Long Island, NY are now carrying a few of the cassettes. That's all for this post, feel free to stream and/or download "Crybaby" for free on my bandcamp page.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Mike Young Interview


This week I had the opportunity to speak with the one and only Mike Young, CEO and Founder of Unfair Roots and After Sweet Kiss. With years of countless experience within the music industry in avenues including event booking and coordinating, promotions, touring, and distribution; Mike Young has built a reputation and resume that reflects his passion and dedication to the entertainment and music industry.

After we began discussing his impressive resume he was very quick to explain the importance of mutual benefits in terms of the actual negotiation and deal making process. Whether he is working with bands or the venues associated with an event he works in order to find and/or create a situation in which all those involved benefit as opposed to just one person or establishment. Through years of cutting his teeth in bands like Tunes For Bears To Dance To and Osceola, Mike Young cemented his status and reputation as a highly motivated, driven powerhouse in the diy scene and the punk rock community. By taking the initiative to do things himself and finding ways to navigate through various situations to he continues to make deals and negotiate terms that are beneficial to all the parties involved. This mentality and track record have given Mike Young leverage and power in multiple situations allowing him to utilize BATNA’s to negotiate the best terms for all of those involved. 

Due to this attitude towards negotiating and deal making Mike Young not only finds himself appreciated but also in a role that allows him to affiliate with whomever he chooses. With these options Mike Young has been able to steer clear of dealing with dirty tricks and/or dirty tactics from others. Although there are those who will always utilize these types of ticks and tactics, Mike Young is not one of them. Currently, Mike Young is preparing to embark on another tour of Japan which he successfully negotiated for his band (Unfair Roots) and their good friends Tideland.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Casket Lottery


From the moment I first heard The Casket Lottery I have always been inspired and greatly influenced by their eclectic sounds and excellent recordings. The music produced by the three-piece based out of Kansas City, Missouri always seemed to resonate deep within me. Unfortunately in mid-2006 I was crushed to hear they had decided to go on hiatus. The members went on to perform in different groups for the next few years until 2010 when they re-united to perform as special guests at a show in their hometown featuring Coalesce. Than in early 2011, the three piece yet again reformed to play select shows with the recently re-united Small Brown Bike.

Late August 2011 I was elated to hear The Casket Lottery had announced they would be entering the studio to begin working on a new album. The Casket Lottery's last release was the Smoke and Mirrors EP which was released in 2004 and their last full-length release was 2002's Survival Is for Cowards. Keeping in mind that most of the band's material had in the past been released through Second Nature Recordings it was expected the band would announce the yet untitled new album would also be released through them.  

In January of 2012 The Casket Lottery announced through their Facebook page that they had signed to No Sleep Records. It was also reported that the new album would be the band's first release as a quintet. The Casket Lottery have been recording at Black Lodge Recordings with Ed Rose in Eudora, Kansas and have promised a darker album than anything they've previously released.

No Sleep Records also announced they will be releasing a new 7" -EP from the band as well as a new solo 7" from The Casket Lottery's frontman Nathan Ellis this Spring. Needless to say, I am extremely excited to hear all the new material and hear how the addition of the fourth member will add to The Casket Lottery's already wide-ranging sound. If you haven't already heard this jaw-dropping group I urge you to take the time to check them out, you won't regret it.

 Montgomery Drive

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Montgomery Drive


Simply put, "Montgomery Drive" refers to the street in Miami that I grew up on. This is a place where I spent countless hours wandering and searching throughout my life during both good and bad times. In 2004 I began writing music as "Montgomery Drive" but it wasn't until late 2005 that I actively began recording and performing under that name. When I began "Montgomery Drive", there were never any set goals or things I was hoping to accomplish besides self-expression. Since that time, I've been fortunate enough that my music has provided opportunities that have allowed me to travel to various parts of the world and perform for different audiences both near and far. This past March I traveled to Japan a week after the Earthquake/Tsunami with Unfair Roots as the first group of American Musicians to tour the island following the disaster (watch the full video playlist below). 

Although the primary goal of "Montgomery Drive" will always remain self-expression, I would love for people across the globe to feel personally connected to it. Even though this is something I'd like to accomplish, it is not something I would compromise my artistic integrity to gain. Furthermore, the connection with my audience is the best reinforcement and show of appreciation I can ever and have ever receive. "Montgomery Drive" is my outlet, a vessel I utilize in order to deal and/or cope with life and the experiences involved. For myself, it serves as a very therapeutic way of expressing very personal matters. It is extremely important to me that anyone who connects and/or enjoys the sounds of "Montgomery Drive" can easily find, own, and share those sounds with anyone.

As of this writing my discography includes four releases. These releases include: The Elephant Never Forgets, Fair Root/CounterfeitMatt Split, Crybaby, and Life On A Seesaw. The Elephant Never Forgets is a collection of early recordings and b-sides from 2004-2008 that was a limited release on cassette through the Kentucky based indie label Mayday! Mayday! Records. Most of the tracks included on that release are one-track live recordings that were later rerecorded for future releases. The Fair Root/CounterfeitMatt Split was a release through After Sweet Kiss Records to coincide with a Winter Tour in 2010 featuring Fair Root (aka Unfair Roots), CounterfeitMatt, and Myself. Crybaby was a completely instrumental release that was self released on cd and released on cassette through the Boston indie label BEAR Records. Lastly, the Life On A Seesaw recording was a self released EP that was released to coincide with the March/April 2011 Japan Tour. Although I just finished the tracks for my next two releases (both of which are splits that will be coming out later this year) Life On A Seesaw is my latest release that is currently available. As for the next two releases, the first split will feature Heffa Peppa, Rosetta Setta (MD), The Mad Skeleton (FL), and Myself. The second split will feature Love Ocean (MI), Ascia (CA), Colk (CA/JPN), Yui Daiki (JPN), and Myself. In addition to those splits I am currently finishing writing new material for some other special releases. As new albums are released I will add them to my site so remember to come back and check out what's new, subscribe to my YouTube page, like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and keep smiling there's much more on the way.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The British Paraorchestra


Music is one of if not the most important forms of communication that exists. At an independently organized TEDx Event in Brussels in 2011 Charles Hazelwood said,  "music is the most universal language that we have, way more so than any dialect or tongue. You can play a melody to a child in China and the same melody to a child in South Africa, and despite the huge differences between those two children, they will still draw some of the same truths from that melody." Charles Hazlewood is an award winning conductor who founded the British Paraorchestra to give musicians of disability a platform to collaborate and perform. The father of four who's youngest child was born with cerebral palsy stressed the importance of the British Paraorchestra and its platform for gifted musicians of disability to the audience in Brussels. In making this point, Hazlewood compared great orchestras from the 1960s to those of today noting how these orchestras had gone from virtually no females to having a fantastic healthy balance of the sexes. According to Hazelwood, "There's a very small community of disabled musicians out there, and that's the tragedy of it…Those known on the professional circuit you can almost count on the fingers of two hands. You can't tell me there aren't thousands more similarly gifted disabled musicians in this country - but where's their platform, where's their infastructure?" 

As the event continued to move forward, Hazlewood mades excellent points noting the Paralympics and how the validity of the disabled athletes involved is never questioned and the same should be the case for disabled musicians. Charles Hazelwood is determined to give gifted musicians of disability a platform, and with the British Paraorchestra it seems he has and is. At the TEDx Event in Brussels, he introduced for the first time ever, the first four members of the British Paraorchestra as they made their debut featuring Clarence Adoo, Lyn Levett, Baluji Shrivastav, and Llyod Coleman. 

Clarence Adoo, who formerly played trumpet for Courtney Pine until 1995 when a terrible automobile accident left him paralyzed from the shoulders down, plays music on a laptop computer by utilizing a custom designed blow tube as a computer mouse. Lyn Levett, who has severe cerebral palsy and can only communicate by pressing an iPad with her nose, creates remarkable electronic music. Lastly, there is the sitar player and composer Baluji Shrivastav who has been blind since eight months, and Lloyd Coleman who is both deaf and sight-impaired. All these members make their living solely from music. At this point the British Paraorchestra  is only made up of these four members but it is the hope of Charles Hazelwood that the British Paraorchestra will continue to grow closer to hopefully fifty members. Furthermore, Hazelwood is set on launching the British Paraorchestra in juncture with this years Paralympics which will be taking place in London.

It will be exciting to see whether or not Hazelwood is able to successfully in launching the British Paraorchestra at the Paralympics this coming year. Personally, I feel this is not only a notable and fantastic undertaking on the part of Hazlewood but also a fantastic and wonderful opportunity for gifted disabled musicians that should have been available long ago. Regardless of the outcome in the actual launch, the British Paraorchestra is the first orchestra of this kind and should be cheered, promoted, and supported vigorously. Everyone is capable of making music, and anyone who enjoys doing so should never have difficulty or be hindered in joining a group/band/orchestra especially because of something like sex, race, religion, or because of a disability.

 Montgomery Drive

Saturday, January 7, 2012



Welcome to 2012. It's a new year, and as we continue to move forward the landscape of the entertainment industry will always shift and change as new developments and services become available. Recently, I read an article published on SESAC discussing the launch of a service called "Dreamseekers". This service which will come from a partnership between Myspace and Billboard will offer artists the chance to get "discovered". Through this subscription based service costing about $100 a year, artists will be able to upload music as well as gather analytics on their various social networks, blogs, airplay, and sales. These subsequent results will be published in a "Dreamseekers" chart that will be featured in Billboard. 

Is Dreakseekers worth the price? Personally, I don't feel it offers much besides the chart that they will be featuring in Billboard. There are currently numerous websites and services that track analytics the same way for far less and in some cases for free. Furthermore, in the past few years Billboard has fallen victim to decreasing subscribers and major losses in terms of revenue. To make matters worse, the other partner in this service is Myspace which has over the last few years become as outdated as the Eight-Track. With the public launch of other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, Myspace quickly became obsolete. Even as this shift occurred I as well as many others continued using Myspace as a platform for music that was until a few years ago. As more and more users switched over from Myspace to Facebook and Twitter, the idea of using Myspace became a thing of the past. Since switching over, I have never felt more connected to my audience. In addition, Myspace is completely flooded with spam and bots that make the social network more of an aggravation than a thing of enjoyment.

Dreamseekers is certainly a great thing in the aspect that it utilizes all the analytics to promote undiscovered artists on a chart that will be featured in Billboard. For the time being, Billboard continues to be the primary source consumers and industry professionals alike use to monitor success based upon mainstream charts. The thought of paying $100 or so a year to have the "possibility" of rating high enough to be featured on the chart may be good, but its only a possibility. If millions of artists utilize this service it becomes extremely unlikely that all these artists will be featured. To conclude this entry, I'd like to say for some this service may be good and extremely beneficial but for the majority of artists I'd say it seems foolish to utilize a service that can be attained cheaper and in some cases free.