Monday, June 10, 2013

Album Review - By Starlight - Antics


By Starlight Antics Album Review





The amazing band By Starlight has just released the debut album under 604 Records, the same label as popular bands such as Marianas Trench, Carly Rae Jepsen, Faber Drive and Fighting For Ithaca. The Trio has knocked their album Antics out of the park. Antics released on June 4th, 2013 and I have not stopped playing it since.

Antics starts out with their debut single Here’s To The Times, a catchy up beat tune that reminisces about the good times in a relationship gone bad. They have also released a fun video for this song where label mate Josh Ramsay of Marianas Trench plays the douche bag that steals the girl. In the video with the help of his friends/band mates Nigel gets revenge on his high school sweetheart that left him for the over the top Ramsay. The best line in the song is “C U Next Tuesday”, I giggle every time I hear it.

The other songs on the album are just as catchy and you can’t help but dance to the amazing melodies, synths and fist pumping beats. Nigel John Crowe and Rachel Ashmore have amazing vocals that are simple perfection alongside Jeff Zipp’s guitar talents. Each song matches the previous one with great lyrics and instrumentals. I think this band is on to something and is going to shoot to the top of the charts in no time.

Antics closes the album with two of my favorite songs from all the tracks 11:11 and Monster. I’ve got everyone I know dancing to these songs and that is probably the only apology By Starlight needs to make…getting people like me out on the dance floor that have no right being there. Antics is one of the best debuts I have heard from a newly signed artist in a long time. Well done By Starlight and well done 604 for inking this deal.

Antics is now available for download on iTunes and you can follow By Starlight on www.facebook.com/ByStarlightBand or on Twitter @ByStarlightBand Check them out and get ready for a workout because you can’t help but rock out to each and every track. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Embrace series - Mother's day GIVEAWAY


It's been a while, so what better time than mothers day to do a giveaway. Thank you all for your encouragement and support. I appreciate you all more than you ever could know. Thank you! <3



Thursday, February 28, 2013

Album Review, Halfway To Hollywood – Party Like Its Prom Night



Fans of Halfway To Hollywood have been waiting a long time for them to release more than just a single and the time has finally arrive. Party Like its Prom Night is their first EP and officially released to the public on March 1st. It can be purchased on iTunes. I was lucky enough to talk to Brenden White, on behalf of himself, Grant Walker and Roman Zugarazo about their new release. I was also lucky enough to be one of the first to here the album. I couldn’t wait to share with readers what we talked about and review the album.
CB: How long did it take to make Party Like Its Prom Night?

HTH: A long time, hah!  We started demoing songs for the EP last January.
Out of twelve songs we demo'd in early January only one (To Yesterday)
made the final EP and it has changed quite from the original version.
Grant and I then took to just sitting down and writing with an
acoustic guitar and after a couple months of writing, we (along with
our producer) were happy with the songs.  We started tracking in June
and finished everything right before our September tour.  From there
it took a few months to mix/master etc.  Then we had to get artwork
done which we did this January.  Seems like a long time but it was a
learning process and we're pretty happy with what we came up with!

CB: Are there any tracks that didn't make the EP?

HTH: There are a lot of tracks that didn't make the EP haha.  Some of our
earlier fans might know what they are.  Songs like "That's What She
Said", "Our Time", "Over You".  There are probably more than 20 though
that we've demo'd and never played live.

CB: How would you describe the EP?

HTH: Poppy, catchy, fun.  Considering there are only five songs (six if
you include the acoustic version of  "Unbelievable") I think there is
a fair bit of variety.

CB: What can fans expect next?

HTH: More tours, a music video, cover videos.  We're hoping to expand our
touring base and hit some new cities in the next 6-10 months.

CB: How can fans reach you and/or help you?

HTH: Probably the best way to reach us is send a tweet to @halfwaytoholly
on twitter!  We talk to everyone who talks to us.  As far as helping
us goes... spread the word and buy merch if you can afford it!  We
don't make much money doing this and we are 100% so we have no label
support.  Every dollar spent on producing music, fixing our van,
fixing our gear has to come from us directly.

CB: How does it feel to finally get a finished EP out to the world?

HTH: Feels great! :p

CB: Where did you record the EP?

HTH: We recorded out in Langley with Danny Craig at his home studio!

 Danny is the man, so probably him on the next EP but Grant and I are
 huge fans of the Friday Night Boys and Andrew Goldstein is doing a lot
 of production work now, so that's one guy for sure!

CB: Anything else you would like to share?

HTH: Keep checking our facebook/twitter/instagram!  In addition to the EP
being out Friday we are making a tour announcement *very* soon!  Hope
to see everyone out there on the road!

Review


I have to begin by saying how impressed by this album I am. Halfway to Hollywood has created an album that speaks to listeners. Five different tracks that are upbeat and fun. More often than not music can affect the listener’s mood and in some cases even encourage certain behaviours. Party Like its Prom Night has everything good to offer. What I am most happy about is the encouragement that can be found in lyrics such as “Somebody To Someone” and Unbelievable.
Recently I posted on facebook that I wish I had written the line “You’re just like a love scene, straight off the big screen.” This is from the chorus of “Unbelievable and I LOVE this lyric. I don’t know a girl out there who wouldn’t love hearing something like this being said about them.
Earlier in the week it was Pink Shirt day. A day dedicated to standing up to bullies. When I heard “Somebody To Someone” tears were brought to my eyes. I couldn’t think of a better song to help teens and adults alike get through the tough times. It reaches in to your very core and helps lift you up. This song reminds listeners that they are worth something.
The remaining tracks on the alum are just as amazing. “Party Like Its Prom Night”, “Green Lights”, and “To Yesterday” are great songs to dance, have fun to and just blast as loud as you can. I have focused on the lyrics on this album because they are eloquently written, but the music is just as amazing. There is a slight electronic feels to some of the songs but not enough to mask the talent of Grant, Brenden and Roman’s musical skills. There’s great beats, amazing riffs and everything you would want on a pop album. Adding an acoustic version of “Unbelievable” was a great way to close off their fist EP. Congrats boys you have created something special here.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Album Review – One Day Late




One Day Late is a rock band out of Edmonton, Alberta and they have brought us a fresh new album with a classic rock feel. Their self title 9 track album will have listeners of all ages interested. It’s nice to see a band stay true to what rock music really is and to give listeners something to get excited about. I personally have never heard such a strong debut album for an artist or band in any genre.
One Day Late offers a classic sound inspired by the bands we all know such as AC/DC.  With strong vocals, great instrumentation including guitar riffs you can get lost in, One Day Late will hook you from the first track. The band writes all their own songs and the album was recorded at The Warehouse Studio located in Vancouver where some of music’s best have recorded.  If you are a music lover this is an album you don’t want to miss.
The album opens with Get To You, which is my personal favorite. An excellent choice to get listeners intrigued and interested in the rest of the album. The most recent single Here I Stand this is one of those songs that will give you the rock feel you loved back in the 80’s or if you’re too young for that you will at least get a taste of it. I can’t really say enough good things about this album and my only real complaint is I wanted more. I guess instead of me telling you how amazing every song is you should just pick up the album and see for yourself.
One Day Late has been touring around Alberta and will also be joining Canadian Music Week in Toronto March 2013. If you get the chance to see them live, I highly recommend it. Nothing is better than live music, especially when it’s good music. They have also been getting some great radio play on Alberta’s top rock stations. So help support them by requesting Here I Stand of their first single Full Throttle on your local rock station.
One Day Late can befound on Twitter @OneDayLateBand on Facebook, their websiteiTunesYouTube and Sound Cloud 




ONE DAY LATE
1.       Get To You
2.       Here I Stand
3.       Smile For Me
4.       Hotel Charlie
5.       Ignition (Interlude)
6.       Full Throttle
7.       Crazy
8.       Follow Me







Debbie Kump Giveaway

A few weeks ago Debbie Kump stopped by to talk books. Well she has also offered a giveaway. Debbie is giving away 2 ebook copies of her book 7G.  Make sure you enter and share this great giveaway and check out her post from earlier this month.




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Lindsay Anne Kendal: Huge Valentines Giveaway!

Lindsay Anne Kendal: Huge Valentines Giveaway!: Hey everyone. I wanted to try and do something really wicked for Valentines day, so I thought what better than a huge giveaway. Over the n...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Crystal Kid – Two Brothers With A Dream




A few weeks ago I caught up with Crystal Kid at the Amp Rockstar contest in Calgary. Charles and Frank have competed in the contest for four years now and has become a fan favorite. This year they came in second place and won a substantial cash endorsement from Amp Radio to further their musical career. I really enjoyed getting to know these two brothers and watching them play live. Of course anyone that covers Marianas Trench is great in my books. They have a lot going on in the upcoming months including a trip to Toronto for Music Week. So today I would like to introduce you to Crystal Kid.

Charlotte: We are awaiting the results of the Amp Rock Star finals, are you guys nervous?

CK: I feel pretty chill, this is our fourth time in this competition. It gets to a point where you feel pretty relaxed and whatever happens happens. I think one thing bands forget is it’s all about the music and all about the fans. I know shows tend to create a lot of anxiety, but once you get over that and take a step back to ask yourself why am I doing this? MUSIC.

Charlotte: How long have you been doing this?

CK: Well we are brothers, so the natural progression into this came about nine years ago. We developed Crystal Kid and tribute our pop/rock roots.

Charlotte: I love your cover of Fallout by Marianas Trench, so thank you for doing that
.
CK: Thank you, it came about in a way that was very spontaneous. Charles came up to me one day and said, do you wanna cover Fallout by MT? I was like sure, he sings pretty high...but I will give it a shot. We love Marianas Trench, so might as well pay some tribute.

To read the full interview check out radionation.ca it should be available soon.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Guest post by Author Debbie Kump


Black Moments in Fiction…and Life

I’m a big fan of black moments in fiction. But in real life…not so much.
In literature, I love reaching that emotional climax when the protagonist’s future seems bleak, hoping that a minute chance for a HEA—or Happily Ever After—still remains. Yet when my own life takes a similar turn, I grow increasingly frustrated, doubting a personal HEA exists.
Just as I prefer to write by plotting out the major scenes in outline form before delving into my next novel, I prefer to map out my future career plans and goals than to simply take things as they come. But unexpected twists in the road of life occasionally throw off my plans.           
And lately, these black moments seem to be occurring with increasing regularity.
 
 Nine years ago, I resigned from full-time teaching to stay home and raise our children. By teaching part-time in the evenings, I felt like I never truly left the classroom. Yet when my oldest son entered school, I abandoned the part-time gigs to keep my evenings free for his homework and sports.
As busy as my children kept me with their activities at home, a void began to grow in my life. No longer needing to read Geometry, Algebra II, and ACT prep books in my spare time to prepare myself for answering myriad student questions, my brain thirsted for a new challenge. In response, an unachieved goal continually surfaced in my mind.
Personally, I’m driven by goals. Wanted to run a marathon…check (and I completed four, to be exact). Wanted to live in Hawaii…check. (Then missed it so much after we returned to the mainland that I made my husband move back to the islands). Wanted to publish a book…
Unchecked.

Despite my growing commitments to my children’s school and sports, I decided to act on this dream. At the time, my naiveté was bliss, never guessing how time and effort I’d invest over the next few years in order to actually achieve this goal. But looking back, I believe all of it was worthwhile to be where I am today, especially since my prospects of returning to my previous career as a full-time teacher are slim. Between recessional government cutbacks that forced my school district to eliminate numerous teaching positions and a genetic autoimmune disease called iritis that flared in my eyes and left me extremely light sensitive, I sought another career option.


Blessed with supportive family and friends, I eventually met my goal with the release of my first novel, an Apocalyptic Thriller entitled, 7G. Chronicling the interwoven lives of multiple characters, 7G is set in the near future when Smartphones will be obsolete. Instead, technological innovations provide virtual computer screens for texting, surfing the Internet, or reading an ebook on lenses worn directly over the eye. With the upcoming conversion to 7G Network allowing instantaneous optical and audio recording, limitless military and civilian applications abound. Yet an unexpected programming glitch proves fatal, spelling disaster for the nation. In the aftermath of 7G, the fates of college sophomore Erik Weber and submariner Alyssa Kensington entwine, making the reader wonder if these protagonists will escape and manage to survive in a crippled world.
Though my life may differ from my original plans, I’m done losing sleep over those black moments as I follow this dream down a new path.

Debbie Kump is the author of 7G, Exiled to the North, Transformed, and Disappearances. Her titles are available in ebook and paperback on Amazon or direct from World Castle Publishing and Whiskey Creek Press.

For more information, please visit her website:

Or find her on Facebook:

and Amazon:


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hey Bombshell - A Band On The Rise



Since 2010 Calgary Band For The Weekend has been taking over the music scene, they became the $200,000 winners of the Amp Rockstar contest, played the Coke Stage at the Calgary Stampede and their song “Rockstar” became the most requested song on Calgary radio. Much Music also featured Hey Bomshell on the show Discovered in 2011. Now 2013 For The Weekend has become Hey Bombshell, they are signed to XOXO Entertainment a division of Universal Music and have not one, but three videos in heavy rotation on Much Music and working with leaders in the music industry such as Adam Hurstfield. During the 2012 MMVA’s their song “The Single Life” provided the background music for the entire show.  It seems that the guys of this band are well are their way.

Still living and working in Calgary Alberta, Myles, Colton, Jay and Dennis travel between Calgary and Vancouver to complete their soon to be released album and making videos. Most recently Hey Bombshell opened the final Amp Rockstar show where another lucky musician was awarded the grand prize to further their musical career. During their set, I was able to meet Jay’s parents and Colton’s mother who were all very proud to watch the success their son’s are upon. When I asked them how it felt to see how far their boys have come all three parents responded the same.  “It’s very surreal, we are so proud of them but glad to see them staying grounded. They are very down to earth guys and it’s nice to see them stay the same.”  Now this was paraphrasing, but the Hey Bombshell family is defiantly proud of their boys and even more proud that they are staying true to themselves.

After their performance I was able to talk to the boys a little. We did lose Dennis and Jay in the crowd, but Myles, Colton and Matt Aaron who played bass for the show had a good chat with me. We discussed what is coming up for them in the future, and they promised to be hitting the road soon. They don`t have a release date for the already completed album, but hope to share it with all of us soon.

Make sure you check out their website,  Facebook and Twitter. You can download their music on iTunes now. I think we are going to be hearing a lot from the boys of Hey Bombshell as they continue to rise up the charts and take over the Canadian Music scene followed by the International scene. To see my video interview with the boys check out www.radionation.ca and watch on our YouTube channel as it will be up shortly. Thanks again to Myles, Colton and Matt for chatting with me and I can`t wait to see what 2013 brings for you.


For One More Day - Something New



For One More Day is a popular band from Calgary and after a year together they have definitely made a name for themselves. With a popular release of By You Side and numerous live shows, local music lovers are getting to know these five young men. I had the opportunity to chat with three of the boys and they filled me in on what’s happening in 2013 and it’s exciting.  Chase Myles (drums), Jordan Rumrill (guitar) and Matt Aaron (Guitar) were hanging out at the Calgary Amp Radio Rockstar contest in January 2013 when they told me “We are taking a big curve ball right now. We used to play pop/rock. Coming up we will be going in another direction. More of a harder sound, we should have a song out by spring” say drummer Chase Myles. “We are breaking away from our old stuff” explained Matt Aaron. Lead singer Tanner Forbes and bassist Jeremy Richardson were not at this event, but are also great guys that I have had the pleasure of meeting in the past.

They boys have been working with some friends to perfect their new sound and have a show coming up on March 1 at the Fall City Fall album release party.  This will be a opportunity to show fans their new sound. In music there is no in between when you want to take your music further than the local music scene. To get signed or get radio play musicians must choose one sound. Bands like Marianas Trench experienced this with their debut album “Fix Me” The music was too pop for rock and to rock for pop. Since then we have seen a consistent move into the pop genre. Bands like For One More Day are learning this early in their music careers and making the choice a lot sooner.

This is a fun bunch of guys, they like to goof around and before the interview they did a little workout. Goofing around they three did chin ups on the beam of the room we were in and after the interview Chase helped keep a few girls warm by making a human sandwich. Earlier in the evening they were enjoying the show where bands such as Hey Bombshell and Makeshift Innocence played. For One More Day, are not only talented, but they are hard working down to earth guys that appreciate every opportunity the come by. Keep your eyes peeled for this band and expect some great and exciting things to come in 2013.

For One More Day is planning on hitting the studio this year and hope that you will join them for the ride. With nightly practices, live shows and experienced writers and producers behind them, For One More Day is soon to become a heavy hitter in the music industry. You can check them out on Twitter @41moredayband and face book at https://www.facebook.com/ForOneMoreDay.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Guest Post by Allison Foster

Please welcome Allison Foster, she has provided us with a wonderful book review.
 
Review of Warm Bodies

I first noticed this debut novel by Isaac Marion because of a preview of the upcoming movie. I’d never heard about the book before that but the movie preview left such an impression on me that I just had to go find the book it was based on. I was not disappointed.

The idea behind the book is a humorous one. A zombie falls in love with a human and slowly becomes more human himself. I love zombie stories, though they are usually far bloodier and more gruesome than this one. In fact, this story is more about the complicated romance between the zombie, R, and his human love, Julie.

The thing I enjoyed most about the book is the way it made me think. What makes us human? Is it having blood or a heartbeat, or is it our spirits? What impact do our memories have on our humanity? The tragic part of the story is that R cannot remember his past, but he looks forward to his future. However there are other characters that can’t let go of the past until they have no future. Which one is more human?

Between the funny twists, the serious turns and the complex array of characters this zombie romance is definitely a must read, and not just for zombie fans.

Author Byline:

Allison after graduation allows her to combine her two passions: writing and children. She has enjoyed furthering her writing career with www.nannyclassifieds.com .  She can be in touch through e-mail allisonDOTnannyclassifiedsATgmail rest you know.

 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Meet Half Hearted Hopes




A few months ago I met a young man named Will in line at a Marianas Trench concert. We started talking and he told me about his band, Half Hearted Hopes. This week I had the pleasure of meeting the rest of his band and we had a little chat after their show at The New Black Center in Calgary.
Lead singer Will on stage at The New Black 
Charlotte: Can you all introduce yourselves?
HHH: I’m Will and I’m the singer. I’m Nick and I play Guitar. I’m Jacob and I play guitar. I’m Doug and I play the drums.
Charlotte: Ok and who’s the one that ditched us?
HHH: That’s James, he plays base.
Charlotte: How long have you guys been together?
HHH: As this group only about a month and a half.
Charlotte: How long have you been playing for?
HHH: (Will) I started singing when I was about 5 and playing guitar in grade 7. I just got a keyboard for Christmas.
Charlotte: Are you teaching yourself?
HHH: (Will) Yeah
James on Bass
HHH: (Nick) I started playing guitar when I was 10. (Jacob) I just started playing guitar a few months ago. (Doug) I started playing young because my brother also plays drums. (Will) You have a brother?
Charlotte: So how old are you guys?
HHH: (Nick) I just turned 18. (Will) I’m actually 55, I’m 17 J. (Jacob) I’m 16. (Doug) I’m 18 in nine days. (Jacob) I’m 16.
Charlotte: And how old is James?
HHH: He’s 17, we think.
Charlotte: What can you tell us about your music and why should people listen to you?
Jacob enjoying playing to the crowd
HHH: We work hard, we practice a lot and are all dedicated. Our goal is to get signed, but most of all we want to write music that relates to people. We don’t want to be a band that sells out.  We want to write songs with meaning.
Charlotte: What are your musical inspirations?
Doug  on skins
HHH: Marianas Trench, A Day To Remember, All Time Low. We don’t want to be to heavy and we don’t want to be to poppy. We try to make a good mix of the two but for the most part we just play what we think sounds good.
Charlotte: You hope to get signed, but how do you plan on doing that?
HHH: Right now we are just playing, but we are learning how to market. We are working on a EP at the end of this month and then will start to send it out. You have to start small and quality over quantity is important. We want to try to keep the passion.

Nick working a riff
After the interview the boys and I had a great chat, they asked my advice and listened to everything I had to say. The following day they created a twitter account, so make sure you follow the @HalfHeartedHope and also check out their Face Book page.
Half Hearted Hopes has only played two shows as this group, but are working hard at making a name for themselves. The crowd enjoyed their set and Michael the promoter at the New Black was ready to book them for upcoming shows. HHH is a new band to the Calgary music scene, but they have the drive and the passion it takes to succeed. They are well on their way to gaining the experience needed and are only going to get better with time. Make sure to keep an eye out for the five boys that make up Half Hearted Hopes.
Half Hearted Hopes (Minus James)

Friday, January 4, 2013