Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Vans Warped Tour 2016 | Review in Photos By Arica AJ Waters

Motionless In White
Photography by: AJ Rocktography

After recently attended Vans Warped Tour in Akron, Ohio at an outside venue called Blossom, I can honestly say that I can rest happy knowing I've seen some of the coolest bands in the country: I’ve encountered a lot of bands through my times being involved in the metal scene as a Photographer (and as an avid concert-goer) so being present at Warped Tour in and among the heart-pounding electric energy of the crowds was yet another amazing experience I would be happy to play on repeat. This was my first time attending this event where I was able to capture images from the photo pit and I am thoroughly pleased with the experience and results.

The first act I photographed was ‘ISSUES’. I was a big fan of Woe is Me a few years back so the excitement to hear Tyler Carter’s new band was an understatement. Pokémon Go has been taking IPhone, Androids and now even computers by storm and opening their set with the Pokémon Theme song was brilliant. The sound and energy was great! I recently watched a documentary conducted by Rise Records on co-vocalist Michael Bohn and his struggle with Tourette’s syndrome. Being in the photo pit to capture moments that almost seemed impossible for him was a moment I will never forget. 

New Found Glory
In all honesty I had no idea 'New Found Glory' was even at Warped Tour and after hearing the first few chords of their hit song ‘Head On Collision’ I remembered that they made comeback recently and I immediately lost it:  I was singing so loudly and not paying attention that I almost dropped my camera!

After scoping the grounds and mingling with other talented Photographers and Media peers, I ran into a few local bands attending the event passing out their CD’s and stopped to chat. In that process, I stumbled upon a local band out of Chicago, Illinois by the name of Sheevaa. Their presentation and overall vibe was very engaging and I made sure to purchase their CD.

Bullet For My Valentine
Later, I moseyed on down to capture some images of ‘Bullet for My Valentine’ whom I have seen before when they opened for Slipknot in Pittsburgh. They put on an awesome show! Their song “Tears Don’t Fall” definitely had the crowd singing (including me) at the top of their lungs. It was becoming apparent to me that I was having as much fun as the crowd was; only, I was also capturing some amazing images as well!

In Hearts Wake
Next was ‘In Heart’s Wake’: the first time I saw them was when they opened up for Parkway Drive at the House of Blues in Cleveland, Ohio and they are by far the best opening band I had seen to date. Their performance was spot on and the use of animal inflatables made it that much more fun.

When it came time for ‘Atreyu’ to perform, I instantly began singing their single ‘Becoming the Bull’.  This was another band that made an impact in my middle school days and graced me with their presence after being silent in my life for a while so it was pretty surreal being able to capture them behind the lense of my camera. Front man Alex Varkatzas’ performance and overall energy left me with a positive experience: he entered the crowd many times and sang his heart out! (I personally think he was in the crowd more than he was on stage).

Motionless In White
The final band of the evening was ‘Motionlessin White’. This band is known for being dark, creepy and macabre. The lead singer Chris Motionless was stellar: he moved around on stage with high energy captivating the crowd. I have seen them live when they opened up for Slipknot in Pittsburgh but the intimate setting at Warped Tour while watching from the photo pit definitely made my experience more intimate.

I have to say that overall, my first experience at Warped Tour was memorable. It was nice to see local bands being able to showcase their talents while sharing the stage with some of the bigger bands as well. I can’t wait until the next one!

Monday, 15 August 2016

'Band Things To Do By the End of Summer' by Mike McKenna | Nor'Easter Magazine

'Of Monsters And Men' photo by Austen Blake Marshall edited by CA Marshall

Tips by Michael McKenna
Nor'easter Entertainment Magazine

Do you ever feel like time is passing you by? Do the fall & winter holidays sneak up on you, leaving you rushing around to buy gifts and do promotions at the last minute? Do you realize in September that it’s too late to plan that new EP? Well, it’s time to start planning ahead.

Summertime is a great season for gigs, but they’re likely already booked by now, or it’s too late to get into the better spots or outdoor events. The season also offers great opportunities for musicians who take the time to look ahead to the fall and winter. And of course, putting an end to procrastination should happen today. Before Labor Day you need to roll up your sleeves and take care of these six crucial items.

1. Plan a Black Friday release
Americans spend most of their discretionary income between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now’s the perfect time to start thinking about getting in on that with your own recording or merchandise. It doesn’t need to have a holiday theme, either; it just needs to be well done and be you.

People love giving their loved ones homegrown or homemade presents, from Vermont maple syrup to your Uncle Doug’s home-brewed beer. Your fans would love to share your work with others, so start getting something ready now to promote by Halloween and release by mid-November.

2. Contact colleges for gigs
Every college or university has some sort of activities director or full-time event planner, if not a whole office full of them. These folks generally work 12 months a year, but during the school year, they’re busy all the time with students and events, so they’re hard to reach. In the summer, every day is casual Friday for some of these professionals, and they’re able to look ahead and book shows for the upcoming school year.

You can jump on board by contacting these people now. You stand to gain well-paid gigs with appreciative audiences who are adept with social media, and at larger institutions, you could end up opening up for some major acts. So pick up the phone.

3. Go to a music festival
Do you want people to come to your shows? Go to theirs, camp out, take some friends, make yourself known to them. It might be too late to get your band onstage at the balloon fest or chili cook-off, but you can probably buy tickets at the gate. Go check out some great acts, have a good time, and, if you like the scene, network with the organizers so you can get on next year’s bill. Bring a few demos along – you never know who you might meet.

4. Play on the street
This is the season to spend a little time busking. People are outside enjoying the weather, walking around downtown, checking out the local scene. Locals and tourists can stop to listen to talented musicians because there’s no snow falling on them, and your hands won’t go numb. Playing outside on the street is the lowest pressure gig imaginable, like an open-air rehearsal, and you’ll improve your chops and your rapport with strangers.

You can also sell a surprising amount of reasonably priced merchandise. But make sure to check with city hall first; a permit is usually required (although it’s often free). Ask if a sound system is allowed!

5. Make those repairs you've been procrastinating on
Okay, what useful item in your music room is gathering dust because you’re procrastinating an easy repair? What broken amps, guitar, or stompbox just needs one cheap part or a new nine-volt battery to be back in service? Is your band vehicle out of inspection because you were too busy to replace the wiper blades?

Use the lazy days of summer to catch up on all this stuff. The winter is when farmers hang out in the barn, fixing their broken tools (and enjoying the beer they brewed in the summer). Let the summertime be that time for you and get all your stuff in tip-top shape.

6. Clean up your online presence
You’ve been avoiding it, but it’s time to do a web search on yourself and see if your social media presence is up to snuff. Change those profile pics. Customize your pages to the greatest extent available. If you’re terrible with computers, get a bandmate, significant other, or buddy to help you out. It’s 2016, and even Ozark fiddle bands have a web guru. Don’t get left behind by having a cheesy website or generic Facebook page.

All of the above items are things that I seen bands do and/or make the mistake of not doing. Don't be left behind and Don't rest on your laurels thinking that your band is the best thing out there, believe me, there are better!

Don't Underestimate Me | Carolina Magnolia Review by Randy Wayne Belt

by Randy Wayne Belt

This rootsy song by Carolina Magnolia could be the missing song from "Oh Brother Where Art Thou", or even better, it could have been used for a follow up movie "Oh Sister Where Art Thou".  No seriously!  This song could easily find its way into an appropriate soundtrack, without a doubt.

Based out of Petal, Mississippi this Duo has an acoustic sound all their own. blending genres a bit without you even noticing, this song in particular has that old timey feel that will pull you right back in time.  The chorus and title of this song, "Don't Underestimate Me", lends the song a very memorable phrase and melody. It is like you may have heard it before, only you haven’t.

Lead vocalist Virginia Grey delivers just the right sassy soulful sound with her voice and guitar playing for this track. The line "I've got horns hidden under my halo" sums up the vocal work here.  Carolina Magnolia is backed by Tammy Chambliss with her smooth harmony and background vocals and upright bass ability.  The vocals together in harmony and alone, hauntingly sound like they were pulled straight out of a time warp to back when music was pure, raw, and real and sounded music the better for it.

 Adding in the upright bass gives the song just the bottom end it needs to thump its way onto the canvas of sound and bring the swampy bluesy sound into an Americana field and into your soul and feet.  If you mix a little CCR (especially that tremelo guitar sound in this song) with a bit of Alison Kraus and Union Station and a little rock, blues and country, you'll get a bit of an idea of what sounds you can expect with this group.

The duo is currently working on their first album together which is expected to be released sometime in 2016.  Judging from the back catalogue by the duo's songwriter Virginia Grey, (notably, and I recommend as well: "Virginia Grey's Greatest Hits" ou can expect some excellent songwriting and musicianship coming up on that album.

Social Media Links for Carolina Magnolia (click to view):

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

SMC announces NEW affiliate: ARTISTMAX & presents VIP Music Scholarship Program to 2016 Artists of the Year Winners!

by CA Marshall

We've been sitting on this little gem since our first email correspondence with the amazing team at ArtistMax out of Los Angeles, California and we've gotten the green light: after several months of correspondence, we are proud to announce that Starlight Music Chronicles is an OFFICIAL Media Ambassador for the prestigious ArtistMax music workshop program. 

Here's the buzz on the ArtistMax scholarship program as per their website:

'ArtistMax is a 3-day intense artist development workshop designed by industry professionals to teach a new generation the current music business and to discover tomorrow’s superstars. Presented by GRAMMY Award winning engineer, producer and author Ken Caillat, (Fleetwood Mac) and initially held at the World Famous Village Studios in Los Angeles, "ArtistMax gives developing artists access to the training, knowledge and coaching necessary to maximize their careers."  ArtistMax offers a real life chance to train with the top music professionals of today - panelists include recording studio engineers, producers, vocal coaches, image consultants, make up artists, social media experts, touring managers and artist managers. ArtistMax events have included appearances and panel discussions by a number of noted artists and producers, including GRAMMY award winning artist and songwriter Colbie Caillat, John Rzeznik, and Christina Perri.'

Here's where this announcement gets real interesting.....in partnering with ArtistMax as an Ambassador, we are able to also proudly announce that we were offered TWO VIP Scholarships to present to our winning Artists of the Year: (IAM)WARFACE and Olivia Penalva! Congratulations! 

Here's what the VIP Scholarship will include:

·         One on One Vocal Coaching
·    Official Artistmax Songwriting and Collaboration Course
·    Publishing, Contracts and Artist Management
·    Branding, Social Media and the "Pitch"
·    Recording Vocals in the Studio
·    Production Tools and Arrangement
·    Individual Songwriting Breakout Sessions
·    Stage Performance and Movement
·    Makeup, Image and Style
·    Featured Grammy Award Winning Producer/Engineer

For more information on the ArtistMax program, please refer to the social media links below or click on the video! We have added this amazing program to our roster of growing elite organizations on our website www.starlightmusicchronicles.com 

ArtistMax Social Media Links (Click to View):