idobi Network Running interviews into the ground since 1999 Mon, 24 Oct 2016 05:13:46 +0000 en Seven Fun Finds from New York Comic Con 2016 Fri, 21 Oct 2016 12:00:06 +0000 Tom These are some of our favorite finds from NYCC 2016. New York Comic Con is all of the fun and unique things you can find on and around the show floor. These are some of our favorite finds from NYCC 2016.

1. Once Upon a Book Club, a Loot Crate type monthly subscription for book lovers


2. The Walking Dead keychains from Skybound representing all the "tribes" from seasons 6 & 7


3. Simplicity and McCalls cosplay patterns


4. Pinbox do it yourself pinball kits that are great for kids, scout groups, and classrooms


5. The Death Wish Coffee truck which gave out free coffee all weekend!!


6. Rick and Morty pins at the Zen Monkey Studios booth (Tiny Rick was sold out all weekend)


7. FREE BOOKS!! Many publishers bring free books to give out at NYCC  (so many that carrying them on the subway became an adventure in itself)



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Premiere: An Acoustic Take On Jack Vandervelde’s “Pick It Up Sometimes” Thu, 20 Oct 2016 16:00:42 +0000 Tom Some songs come around only to get stuck in your head forever. Jack Vandervelde’s... [/imgfull]

Some songs come around only to get stuck in your head forever. Jack Vandervelde's "Pick It Up Sometimes" is one of those tracks... not that you'll mind, because the charming track will also be replaying through your speakers forever.

“The song Pick It Up Sometimes is about reconnecting with someone from the past for a short period of time. It is something I have experienced and I see all the time with my friends and people my age. We are all back in town for a holiday break or summer, and everyone tries to make the most of their time home."

Today, we're premiering an acoustic video for the track. You can check out the single below, then let us know how much you love it on Twitter.

"Everyone knows it will not be the same as it was before but its worth reconnecting with someone who means something to you. It is inevitable that everyone goes back to either school, work, or other aspirations. You might as well give it a try.”


[youtube] [/youtube]


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Premiere: Conversing with Oceans’ “Heart Of A Poet” Thu, 20 Oct 2016 15:00:09 +0000 Tom The latest track from the project, "Heart Of A Poet", is premiering exclusively below....
[imgfull] heartofapoet [/imgfull]

Thursday inspiration, anyone? The story of Conversing with Oceans' is one filled with perseverance and a love of music. Alex Bondarev's family brought him from Russia to India to escape the unrest of war, and then later travelled ever further to the Bronx. Passionate about music from a young age, he started his very first band in grammar school.

"We developed a friendship where he'd share philosophies on life- particularly on how he had beaten cancer several times, the importance of family and friends, of enjoying life, and most importantly, of what it means to live a 'worthwhile' life."

These days, Alex hasn't strayed from his love of sound. With Conversing with Oceans', he's come into his voice more than ever before, showing nothing but potential for an incredible future. The latest track from the project, "Heart Of A Poet", is premiering exclusively below. Written about a bond with an older friend battling cancer, the song is sure to bring more than a few tears to your eye, and a better outlook on the day ahead.


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You Had To Be There: Shonda Rhimes Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:30:01 +0000 Tom Shonda Rhimes at the National Book Festival in conversation with David M. Rubenstein. Shonda Rhimes at the National Book Festival in conversation with David M. Rubenstein, along with a fabulous ASL interpreter![/caption]

You had to be there. It sounds like a reference to an inside joke; the kind of nudge and grin that only a few understand because they shared a moment. This time that line is more like insider information; the kind of understanding you only achieve by doing a thing so skillfully, for so long that you kind of bond with it. It in this case is creating television shows and Shonda Rhimes is its skillful practitioner.

[blockquotefull]“When you become very proficient at something you’ve been working so hard at, you begin to look for ways to excite yourself...I start looking at how can I take what I know and make stuff happen for other people. ”[/blockquotefull]

I was there at the National Book Festival, in my press designated seat, a full thirty minutes before Shonda and philanthropist David Rubenstein eased into a pair of white leather chairs and began to chat. (I use her first name because I deeply believe in actualization and familiarity is the first step to making our eventual friendship happen.) Shonda Rhimes has the kind of success any aspiring creator would crave—I want my career to be like hers when my career grows up. She has written, ran the show, and executive produced up to three hit shows on ABC during a single season. She smiles when she says “Italy literally stops on Mondays for Grey’s Anatomy,” and “The continent of Africa loves Scandal.” It’s not implausible to postulate that were she to leave ABC the network would go into a collective apoplexy. Shonda drags dollars in her wake.


[blockquotefull]“Are you going to say yes to any of these things?” “No. Obviously.”[/blockquotefull]

There is no doubt she sees the world with acuity, which makes her characters so real we yell at them, weep with them, and contemplate all kinds of wicked but deeply sexy behavior alongside them. Her legendary vision contradicts the fact her book Year of Yes began when her “bossy” sister, Delores, told her she says no to everything. The thought of “no” in Shondaland sounds like “crying” in baseball—there is none.

[blockquotefull]“I was a very naive sixteen year old girl who would’ve been dead in a week” - on attending Dartmouth, a small town school rather than a big one.[/blockquotefull]

Shonda said yes to the University of Southern California rather than following her parents’ wishes. She got that yes by presenting the statistic that it’s harder to get into USC Film School than it is to get into Harvard Law School (a fact she’d read in The New York Times). The yes she gave to writing the Britney Spears vehicle Crossroads led her to another affirmative as screenwriter for the multi Emmy award winning Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. After that, Shonda knew to stop saying yes to films and to start saying it to television—because on TV she could truly run the show.


[blockquotefull]“I don’t think the idea that you must be damaged in order to be creative in Hollywood is true.”[/blockquotefull]

Reminiscing on her childhood, Shonda says being a “good writer” is a natural part of being her. “It was like sitting down at a piano and learning that you always knew how to play. That’s one thing that I’ve always been lucky about.” But without the understanding of how to take advantage of each moment I wonder if she would have propelled herself on the trajectory that led her to a packed ballroom in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, after donating $10 Million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture because “the American dream is supposed to belong to all of us,” and she wanted to give that gift to America’s children. Without knowing how to say yes to each opportunity, it’s doubtful Shonda would have learned to defy her introvert nature, finally accepting the idea “I am a brand. Which was creepy to me at first, but then when you start to realize that the sight of you makes it possible for somebody else to think that they can do something, it makes it feel less terrifying for you to stand up and say this is what I do.”


[blockquotefull]“If you want it, then you do it. If you don’t, then you don’t.”[/blockquotefull]

When I say you had to be there what I really mean is “you have to be there.” Successful people are gifted at being in the moment. They recognize opportunity; they pivot so gracefully into fortuitous circumstance that some might call them lucky—but people like Shonda Rhimes aren’t the beneficiaries of luck, they make luck happen. They say, “yes.”


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Win an Exclusive VIP Tour Package to the Youth Authority Tour – Share Your Good Charlotte Story! Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:00:19 +0000 Tom Live the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous for the day because we’re giving... [/imgfull]

Mirror mirror, on the wall, who’s the #1 GC fan of them all? Good Charlotte’s Youth Authority Tour kicks off this weekend, and you can live the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous for the day because we’re giving away two Exclusive VIP Tour Packages!*

Here’s what you’ll win: a meet and greet with Good Charlotte, see them at soundcheck before the show, AND get your hands on some exclusive signed merch too!

You ready? Here’s how to win:

1. Call 1-888-99-IDOBI ext. 500 (it’s free)
2. Say, “This is <Your NAME> on idobi and this is my Good Charlotte Story”
3. Share your favorite GC story or memory
4. Close out your message with “Go see the Youth Authority Tour!”
5. Then leave us your phone number

Hurry! You have until 11:59pm ET on Oct 30th to enter. The first package will be announced on Sat 22nd!

*Contest excludes the Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Boston dates

Hit play below to hear an example, and we'll see you at the show!

[smart_track_player url="" title="Emillie's Good Charlotte Story" artist="idobi" download="false" social="true" social_twitter="true" social_facebook="true" social_gplus="true" ]


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Top 10 Panels at New York Comic Con 2016 Wed, 19 Oct 2016 17:30:10 +0000 Tom The top 10 panels from this year's NYCC, ranked. [/imgfull]



P: Out of all the panels I saw this was the worst. It had all the main cast-members including Jason Sudekis who does the voice of Zorn himself. They played an entire episode of the show for the panel. Yet it wasn’t enough to keep anyone interested. The cast members' Q&A wasn’t really engaging, I was not at all entertained by the episode itself, and the room definitely cleared out quite a bit when this panel was happening. They seemed out of place and not quite prepared.

M: Possibly the least entertaining entertainment panel of the weekend. This one was definitely a disappointment as it started off showing an entire episode. As someone who has never seen the show before, I was excited to give it try. Yet, between you and I, I fell asleep somewhere between the theme and the credits. Disappointing considering they had the talent of Jason Sudekis behind it. Even when he came out on stage, I struggled to stay attentive. The Q&A couldn’t save this panel as the moderator, cast, and crowd seemed to be aware that they were unprepared and mostly there waiting for the panel that followed.




P: This panel was nothing special. They showed a preview that wasn’t yet released and had some major cast members. They even gave away free posters afterwards. Yet, it’s never a good panel when the cast members don’t seem very excited to be there.

M: UNDERWORLD 4! …My first thoughts going into this panel honestly were, “Who asked for a fourth Underworld movie?”. Now I can’t complain about seeing the exclusive debut of the final trailer for the movie which of course featured lots of bloody werewolf vs. vampire battles and Kate Beckinsale in leather with blue contacts. Despite all this the panel that followed mostly consisted of actors who didn’t seem that excited to talk about this new film in the franchise, while Kate tried to save the day by awkwardly flirting with her co-star the whole time. (P: I KNOW RIGHT?! I mean Theo is cute but…) After a strange set story involving a ferret in someone’s trailer I have to say even seeing Kate in person did not leave me super excited for this next instalment of the explosive franchise.




P: This was slightly better than the Underworld panel, only due to Milla Jovovich’s charm. She was funny and happy, and had great energy. They also showed a preview that had yet to be released and gave away free posters afterwards.

M: Following the Underworld panel was fitting, as both films are bloody and feature kickass female leads. With the same format to Underworld, we were treated with the exclusive look at the final trailer which I have to say had me pumped! Not to mention, I may or may not have been able to secure myself a selfie with Milla Jovovich. Overall not too bad of a panel yet nothing seemed to stand out to really make this event something special over all the others. Unless you count my selfie of course.




P: This panel unfortunately took place in NYCC’s equivalent to the infamous “HALL H” aka “MAIN 1-D”. Upon arrival I was asked if I had “tapped in” for the panel and told that you had to do so before it started in order to get a seat. I noticed several people lie and say they had and walk right in. Once I eventually did get into the panel, there were seats remaining. There were only two cast members present and they did not show ANY clips because likely they have yet to film anything for season 2. The guests were charming and humorous but definitely a panel that would have been just as good to watch online later on. The Main 1-D room offers small concessions and beverages which helps when you’re sticking around for the panels to come later on in the day.

M: One of the best break out shows of 2016 somehow found a way to let me down! After finally securing a way into what some could say was one of the most anticipated panels of the weekend, I was left feeling as if my excitement was undeserved. I know, I know I was reaching when I expected to see a sneak peak of season 2. Yet no season 1 reel? No gag reel? Not even the theme playing as the cast walked out! Maybe I was asking for too much. The two cast members who were at the panel were funny and engaging with the crowd so it was certainly not the worst panel. I was still left wishing there was just something more to leave me pumped for season 2.




P: This panel had its moments. Started off with singing Matt Damon "Happy Birthday", which is now something I can say I did. They showed yet another preview and had cast members all the way from China. There were plenty of seats and they were super comfortable. They also had concessions open so you could get food or water. One of the best things about the MSG panels though was the DJ and hype-man that kept you entertained in between panels.

M: Going into this panel you would think the loudest screams you would hear over a cast member being announced to the stage would be Jason Bourne himself, Matt Damon. Well, you’d be surprisingly wrong. As the film takes place around a mythical backdrop to the story of the Great Wall of China and is directed by China’s most renowned directors Yimou Zhang, you better believe it would star a young heart-throb Chinese actor. When Junkai Wang was announced to the stage the crowd went insane! Leading us to quickly google his name seeing he is a huge celebrity in China as part of the boy band TFBOYS. Between exclusive footage, a great venue and singing Matt Damon "Happy Birthday", I've gotta say it was not too bad of way to spend the Saturday at NYCC.



P: This one was unexpected, as I did not know anything about this show before stumbling into the panel. They played what seemed to be an entire episode, but was actually only one part of an episode. I was pleasantly surprised that this is an X-Men related show, yet looks nothing like the X-Men movie franchise. It will definitely stand on its own and can be enjoyed by anyone, even if you’re not a fan of Wolverine. They had the main cast members present who were funny and engaging with the audience. I bet you will be seeing them at NYCC again next year.

M: Definitely the biggest surprise panel by far. The Legion panel debuted almost an entire piece of its first episode and what really caught my attention was not knowing anything about this series or its source material. While watching the exclusive preview I got a vibe that this show was being created as the superhero answer to the American Horror Story fans. Equally eerie as it was suspenseful. For the comic book tv show/movie crowd what might confuse you though, is this show is being done by Marvel TV... about an X-Men character (of which the rights belong to 20th Century Fox)... but still operating outside any of the other Marvel properties. Perhaps it’s fitting though, as this is about a character who is a mentally deranged person (P: OR IS HE?!) with superpowers, which cannot only stand on its own, but it doesn’t belong anywhere else but on its own. After our preview we were treated to a moderated Q&A which did not live up to the same entertainment we just saw and they barely asked the hilarious Aubrey Plaza any questions, which was disappointing to me as I may have a huge secret crush on the actress.




P: One of my most anticipated panels was HBO’s new series Westworld. The panel did not disappoint: they played the entire new episode before it was available. They also had cast members, although James Marsden and Evan Rachel Wood did not make an appearance. After the panel they had three different poster designs available to give out. Ben Barnes even stuck around taking selfies and signing some things for fans afterwards. I love a cast who really appreciates their fanbase. This panel took place in the Hammerstein Ballroom which had plenty of seating and no standby lines.

M: This was probably the panel I was looking forward to the most this weekend. I am a fan of anything the notorious Nolan brothers touch so even before seeing the first episode I was signed up and ready for this series. The panel treated fans to the entire second episode airing later that night. Being able to watch an hour long episode of a series that already has me hooked before all of my friends gave this panel an “A” right off the bat. Although the panel that followed had many of the show’s casts including the awesome Jimmi Simpson, it lacked the show's two biggest stars, James Marsden and Evan Rachel Wood. The moderated portion however, did give a lot of insight into some of the actors like Thandie Newton’s challenges with playing a character who is an AI playing a person who doesn’t know they’re an AI.


3) WAR for the PLANET of the APES


P: This one took place outside of NYCC, at the 42nd Street Regal Theatre. It was not exactly a panel per se, as you had to enter to win a ticket. However, there was a standby line and I’m pretty sure everyone from that line was able to get in. They played a teaser and the trailer, but they also played a seven minute clip of unfinished footage and GFX for everyone to be able to see the process of editing and finishing. We got to see the actors before they are transformed into the Apes, and are just humans in motion-capture suits. It was fascinating, fun, and Andy Serkis is an amazing actor to even be in the presence of. Afterwards they gave out free t-shirts as well.

M: This one took a bit further from the Javits Center and had a bit of a confusing line system outside consisting of stand bys, already checked-in guests, and press. However, once we made it in, it was well worth the confusion. At first we were shown a short minute long teaser for the film which would later release online. The treat of the panel came in the form of an entire seven minute scene that was unfinished. Seeing the actors in their motion capture gear really acting before being turned into the film’s realistic Apes was incredible. The panel also had an amazing moderated section that gave insight into how a film that is made with so much real acting and computer generated imagery is really put together. Andy Serkis was very engaging with the audience and you could feel his excitement for the film. The high point of this panel though was being able to see the film’s first trailer which has still yet to be publicly released but let me tell youif you were a fan of the previous films, be ready for something on an entirely new scale, because this film, to put it simply, looks amazing.




P: I was looking forward to this panel because I’m a fan of Guillermo Del Toro. I knew that one of the cast members, Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) was going to be there. I was, however, extremely surprised when Kelsey Grammer and Ron Perlman walked onto the stage. It was also Guillermo’s birthday so Ron brought him out a cake and once again we all sang "Happy Birthday". Guillermo also broke a table he tried to use as a chair which was charming and endearing. They played two full episodes of a show that doesn’t premiere for MONTHS. It was quirky and cute and I enjoyed it. The main reason we attended this panel however, was to be able to see the panel that came afterwards.

M: Another panel with more exclusives! Actually being able to see something exclusive has become rare at these conventions due to the rise of leaked content on the internet so it is always a treat when you get to see a trailer or a clip of something you know you won’t able to just watch on the official YouTube page a few hours later (I’m looking at you, Disney’s Celebration). Not only were we treated to two entire episodes of a show that doesn’t premiere until December, we got to sing Guillermo Del Toro "Happy Birthday"! Those two things alone spell out what you can truly only see at Comic Con. As for the show? It wasn’t exactly my thing, but if you’re fan of Guillermo’s work and his ability to create fantasy worlds, you’re going to love how he takes on a completely animated series suited for the whole family, while still remaining mature and intriguing in typical Del Toro fashion.




P: Which brings me to the number 1 spot. The Walking Dead. HOW TYPICAL. HOW PREDICTABLE. But let me tell you, I don’t even watch this show any more! Not to mention, I have been to probably four Walking Dead NYCC panels over the years. I really didn’t think this was going to be a panel that was going to surprise me, and it did exactly that. It had all the cast members you usually see including fan favorites Norman Reedus and Lauren Cohan, but it also had newcomer Jeffrey Dean Morgan. They played a preview of the first episode of the new season and that alone made me want to start watching the show again. The guests on the panel were so emotional to be at Comic Con talking about this show that means so much to so many people, that at least two of them cried during the panel. Norman Reedus also read a hilarious letter from co-star Andrew Lincoln which required him to throw an item of clothing into the crowd. One lucky fan got to leave with his hat. All in all this was the most iconic Comic Con panel in my opinion. It was the one where the crowd had the most energy and were the most excited. I may hate that they print TWD on the badges year after year, but this is definitely the top drawing show of the convention and the Con knows it. I may start watching this show again after all.

M: I know this is always the biggest panel at NYCC. They’ve printed the characters all over the badges for years and years and years. Yes, I’m a huge fan of the show and have skipped these panels the last few years due to simply not being able to get inside. But nothing else could possibly take the top spot here and that’s saying a lot for a panel that didn’t show us too much in regards to the actual show. The entire Madison Square Garden Theater was full with a 2,000 person waiting line outside, and for good reason. The panel started by welcoming one of the biggest casts at NYCC all weekend, including fan favorites and even newcomers to the series like Jeffrey Dean Morgan. We were treated to a short clip of the first episode of the upcoming 7th season. With the clip just being under two minutes it was dramatic and suspenseful enough to get anyone excited for the return of America’s number one show. Including my sister who, like she mentioned, stopped watching seasons ago. What made this panel gain the top spot for me as well was the obvious passion and gratefulness the cast showed to such a large audience of fans.  




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Bear Hands Release Video for “Boss” + Show What a Midlife Crisis is Made of Wed, 19 Oct 2016 14:13:05 +0000 Tom If you could use a new Bear Hands music video as much as we... [/imgfull]

If you could use a new Bear Hands music video as much as we could use a new Bear Hands video, get ready to celebrate. The band has just premiered the video for their track "Boss", featuring actor Robert Rexx (yup, the one you've seen in over 150 music videos.)

"Boss" is pulled from the band's spring release, You'll Pay For This. Of course, a short mid-life crisis flick isn't the only place the stellar track has been—the band also performed it live on Last Call with Carson Daly earlier this month. Check out the video, then see where the band is headed next on tour below!

[youtube] [/youtube]


Tour Dates:

  • October 20 – 20th Century Theatre – Cincinnati, OH #

  • October 21 – Mercy Lounge – Nashville, TN #

  • October 23 – 1904 Music Hall – Jacksonville, FL #

  • October 24 - High Dive - Gainesville, FL

  • October 25 – Revolution – Fort Lauderdale, FL @

  • October 26 – The Ritz Ybor – Tampa, FL @

  • October 28 – Voodoo Experience – New Orleans, LA

  • October 29 – Park Tavern – Atlanta, GA @

  • October 31 – Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA @

  • November 1 – House of Blues – Boston, MA @

  • November 3 – Echostage – Washington, DC @

  • November 4 – United Palace Theatre – New York, NY @

  • November 5 – College Street Music Hall – New Haven, CT @

  • November 7 – Sound Academy – Toronto, ON ^

  • November 9 – Riviera Theatre – Chicago, IL ^

  • November 10 – Grog Shop – Cleveland, OH*

  • November 11 - Waiting Room - Buffalo, NY*

@with Foals and Kiev
# Savoir Adore supports
^ with Foals


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(Un)Covered: Blank Space Wed, 19 Oct 2016 13:00:14 +0000 Tom Imagine Dragons fills up the blank space in your playlist with a cover of... “Blank Space”
Writers: Taylor Swift, Max Martin, Shellback
Original Release Date: November 10, 2014
If any song was going to turn me into a Taylor Swift fan, it was going to be this one.

Why is this the catchiest song in the world? Can I pull off cherry colored lips? And what do I have to do to become a “nightmare dressed like a daydream”?? These are all questions I ask myself when I’m listening to “Blank Space”, but at the end of the day, it’s three minutes of pure electropop fun. Swift pokes fun at the way the media perceives her dating habits, exaggerating the process of starting an intense relationship and ending it quickly, and portraying herself as some sort of “girl who’s crazy but seductive but glamorous but nuts but manipulative”. She was already off-the-charts popular before this song came out, but I think “Blank Space” launched her into actual outer space—if you had never heard or liked a Taylor Swift song, this was likely the tune that would turn the tables and give you a new appreciation for the clever songwriter.

Last year, Imagine Dragons took a shot at covering the song for BBC Radio One’s Live Lounge. Their version is slower, with simpler instrumentation, and not as emotionally charged as T-Swift, who had a point to prove. There’s a subtle salute to Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” in the intro, which makes more sense when they break out into the tune later on, neatly wrapping the two songs together, and providing a contrast between the sharp jabs at the media in “Blank Space” and the innocent plea to have someone supportive on your side in “Stand by Me”. The cover is peppered with group vocals, which are charming and give it a barbershop quartet sort of vibe (can’t you just imagine the band in matching striped jackets and straw hats?).

The two versions are good for different moods, so it really depends on how you feel: if you’re plotting revenge, I’d recommend T-Swift, but if you’re a little more good-humored, float away with Imagine Dragons.


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New York Comic Con: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:30:52 +0000 Tom Taking a look at all things New York Comic Con. [/imgfull]

The Good:

Offsite venues meant more manageable crowds inside the convention center and a better chance of getting into more popular events. All offsite venues were within a short walk of the Javits Center and included The Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Hammerstein Ballroom, Hudson Mercantile and the AMC Theater on 42nd Street. There were also shuttles run by NYCC and electric cars sponsored by Verizon and run by Gotcharide giving free rides from Javits to the additional sites.

Charging stations were plentiful throughout the main venue including many larger vendors having multiple charging stations set up. The AT&T booth even had lockers where you could drop your phone off for charging and pick it up later so you didn’t have to miss out on the con while waiting for your phone to charge.

Anti harassment and "cosplay is not consent" signage was prevalent throughout all venues as well as shown onscreen between panels and events. NYCC has done a great job of making it clear what is and is not acceptable behavior at the event.

Entertainment is something NYCC is best known for. From the panels to Artist Alley to the show floor there is so much to see and do it's at times overwhelming. HBO’s Westworld gets high marks for having multiple events throughout the weekend including: a VR experience, a booth where you could book your "trip" to Westworld, and a panel. There were also events held in the days leading up to the event and in the evenings after the convention closed for the day.

Cosplay is always a highlight of New York Comic Con, with Stranger Things cosplay being especially popular over the weekend.


The Bad:

As the event has grown over the years the number of staff has also grown. It can be difficult, especially with the volunteer staff, to ensure that everyone is well informed and helpful. Some staff, such as in the autographing area, did not seem to know what the process was for autographing. Other staff working lines were at times abrupt with attendees. Another issue was that security did not seem to be able to keep up with the numbers of people coming through the doors. Some people just skirted by crowds and their bags were never checked. There also were problems getting the lines into the convention center on Friday morning, resulting in unhappy attendees waiting up to four hours to enter.

The Ugly:

Street badges: While NYCC has done a lot to eliminate counterfeit badges and scalpers with their fan ID and RFID systems, there were still scalpers on every block leading to the Javits Center. For those who scramble through the online process of getting and paying for a badge it is infuriating to still see badges being sold on the street and never knowing for sure if the verification system is actually being used effectively.


Overall the good far outweighs any small glitches in the system and NYCC can be better described as The Good, The Better, and The Awesome. It’s an event we look forward to returning to every year.


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Premiere: “Cindy’s Downfall” by The Undecided Majors Tue, 18 Oct 2016 14:00:51 +0000 Tom Austin based duo, made up by Scott McCauley and Jake Fenton, may not have... [/imgfull]

Austin based duo, made up by Scott McCauley and Jake Fenton, may not have decided on a major, but they have decided to craft some pretty hard hitting pop punk. Today, we're bringing you the first listen of their track "Cindy's Downfall".

[blockquotefull] "'Cindy’s Downfall' was the first song I wrote after a year and a half. It was the first song that sparked the full idea for the In Spite EP. Definitely one of the 'beginnings' to finding our sound after the Redemption Rule EP." [/blockquotefull]

The Undecided Majors are on the edge of a big year. This December, they'll be releasing a new EP for all of our ears, titled In Spite, further cementing their place in alternative music history. Check out their latest single, "Cindy's Downfall" below!


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Callwood at the Cooler #4 Mon, 17 Oct 2016 17:00:46 +0000 Tom “Callwood at the Cooler” is a new bi-weekly column which will see me waxing... [/imgfull]
Donald Trump and his tiny, grabby hands are in a pickle…

What a two-weeks it’s been since the last column. Much of the focus has been on the second presidential debate and the events that surrounded it, which is only natural because shit really got crazy. Unless you live in a cave, you know by now that we have a candidate, a presidential candidate no less, who was recorded detailing sexual assault. The guy said that he can grab women by their most private of areas, and they let him because he’s a star. The fallout from this has been nothing short of stunning, with Trump and his followers dismissing the statement as “locker room talk,” something that The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah brilliantly shot down. “There’s a big difference between saying dirty words, and glorifying non-consensual sexual contact,” Noah said. “Not ‘every guy’ has those conversations—that’s a crime.”

Noah went on to quite correctly say that people should be less focused on the fact that Trump said “pussy,” and more on the fact that he was talking about “grabbing” them. That feeling in your throat right now—you’re not alone. That’s nausea.


Clinton, naturally, brought up the recording in the debate, and Trump mumbled some half-assed regret before blabbering on about Isis. Because that’s relevant. All of this is old news, and I was really just setting up what follows. Because the response on social media since the debate has been stunning. Stunning. I’ve learned that there is a growing movement, reported by the LA Times, with Trump supporters calling for a repeal of the 19th amendment. That’s the constitutional amendment that gave women the right to vote. This is because one set of figures showed that, if only men voted, Trump would be President. And while, naturally, it’s mainly men spouting this crap, it’s not only men. Tracy O’Grodnik, who uses the Twitter handle Christian 4 Trump, said, “I would be willing to give up my right to vote to make this happen,” followed by the hashtag “#repealthe19th.”

Isn’t that unbelievable? People are willing to give up their rights for somebody who doesn’t care about them at all. In fact, given half the chance, he’d reach out and grab them. Two more things that were being yelled, ALL-CAPS, across the net this past week: First, the idea that only alpha-males understand Trump’s vile vocal utterances, because that’s how alpha-males talk. Let me tell you something: Real men absolutely do not talk this way. Not in private, not to themselves, and not in the damn locker room. Some homophobes took it a stage further and criticized Anderson Cooper’s (in fact exemplary) handling of the debate, the conclusion being that a gay man sure wouldn’t understand The Don’s pussy talk. The trouble with that is that it ignores the facts that Cooper seems to be a decent guy, and Trump absolutely does not. Finally, many Republicans pointed to allegations that Bill Clinton actually did sexually assault women, and Hillary helped cover it up. As of now, it’s all just speculation, though if some hard evidence is introduced, we’ll obviously have to revisit. However, the idea that this lets Trump off the hooks is ridiculous because, a) One thing isn’t related to the other, and b), and this is the big one, there are similar allegations being aimed at Trump too. We know for sure that he walked in on beauty pageant contestants while they were dressing, again because “I can get away with it.” The man is slime.


Send in the clowns…

Talking of idiots with unnaturally-colored faces invading our screens, what the hell is going on with all these creepy clowns showing up everywhere? It started off with just a couple of sightings, dudes dressed up like Pennywise, hanging out behind ice-cream stores. Personally, I thought that was cool. Bit weird—who has that kind of time? But cool. America can deal with some scares. Then reports came in that they were physically assaulting people, banging on front doors, and attempting to lure children into the woods with candy. That’s deeply troubling. Now, it seems only a matter of time before a clown, perhaps an innocent, cosplay-addicted creepy clown, gets shot by some gun-toting backwoodsman. One theory that seems to have legs is that it’s all a publicity stunt for the horror film Clowntown, with a couple of these clowns going rogue. Perhaps. As Violent J of the Insane Clown Posse eloquently pointed out in a Time Magazine op-ed, “There’s a whole army of scary, terrifying and dangerous clowns out there in this country trying to suppress the rights of thousands of people to exercise the most basic part of the Declaration of Independence, which evokes the freedom to ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’ The only difference is these clowns don’t wear greasepaint.” In other words, the creepiest of clowns don’t wear makeup.


Just Got Back From the Best Cathouse in Town…

My gig of the past two weeks was the Cathouse reunion show at the Roxy in Los Angeles on October 5. With no guest list, tickets were super-scarce for this celebration of the Cathouse, the Hollywood 80s nightclub, and some digging around was required to get in, but get in I did and it was worth it. Bands like Little Caesar, Jetboy, Junkyard, and (former Guns N Roses man) Gilby Clarke played early in the evening. Faster Pussycat, fronted by Cathouse co-founder Taime Downe, played a killer, sleazy set, and then the big surprise: Twisted Sister. The New York band has already performed a farewell tour, so the night was special, even (or especially) minus the makeup. There was a sister show the following evening at the Whisky that I trust was just as spectacular.


Hell yeah, Luke Cage…

How good was Luke Cage? The Marvel Netflix shows seem to get better every time a new season drops (Daredevil was followed by Jessica Jones, and then Daredevil Season 2), and this latest one was superb. Each and every acting performance was spot-on, the writing was largely great, and the portrayal of Harlem was wonderful. I don’t know if Luke Cage Season 2 or The Defenders will come first, or if Cage will pop up in the forthcoming Iron Fist show. Whatever, there’s so much to look forward to.


“Callwood at the Cooler” is a new bi-weekly column which will see me waxing lyrical about events in the news, pop culture and the etc. Sometimes it’ll be light, other times not-so when the rant/monolog demands. The subject matter will vary dramatically so expect anything and keep coming back.


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MAX Releases Music Video For “Lights Down Low” Mon, 17 Oct 2016 13:38:24 +0000 Tom MAX releases a new video for "Lights Down Low" featuring gnash

Happy Monday! In case y'all missed it MAX released his new music video for his song "Lights Down Low" featuring gnash on Friday along with the Lights Down Low EP  you can buy here! You can watch the video below and here's what  MAX had to say about the making of:
"Delighted to present the official "Lights Down Low" video feat Gnash and my friend Andrea Russett. This video was almost 6 months in the making and means more to me than any other we've ever created thus far. Every detail was crucial. Every moment in the story. We just wanted it to be real. How our lives are really made up of individual flashes in time. Special moments that are unexplainable and intangible yet go by in a flash. Thank you to the entire passionate and incredible team who made the vision come to life. It's so rare and special to have people you work with really connect. That's all we hope you do when watching. Feel. Connect. Think. " - MAX


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See Good Charlotte on the Youth Authority Tour! Fri, 14 Oct 2016 14:02:55 +0000 Tom Don’t sleep on this—it’s destined to be the pop punk tour of the season!  Get... [imgfull]

Don’t sleep on this—it’s destined to be the pop punk tour of the season!  Get your tickets here.

It's finally time for the Youth Authority Tour—have you got your tickets yet? Good Charlotte will be hitting the road in support of the new album Youth Authority, starting October 23 at the Ventura Theatre in Ventura, CA and wrapping up a month later on November 23 at the House of Blues in Dallas, TX. Catch them at a venue near you with support from The Story So Far and Big Jesus, along with Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong, and Hit the Lights on select dates.

To celebrate, idobi is giving away tickets for the Salt Lake City, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Washington D.C., Charlotte, and Nashville dates of the Youth Authority Tour—all you need to do is enter our giveaway below. It’s that simple, and you could be in for a chance to catch the pop punk tour of the season! Check out the dates below and get your tickets here, and enter our giveaway now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Oct. 23 - Ventura, CA @ Ventura Theatre*
Oct. 25 - San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield*
Oct. 26 - Pomona, CA @ Fox Theatre*
Oct. 27 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo*
Oct. 29 - Salt Lake City, UT @ In the Venue
Oct. 30 - Englewood, CO @ Gothic theatre
Nov. 01 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue%
Nov. 03 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave%
Nov. 04 - Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre%
Nov. 05 - Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theater%
Nov. 06 - Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room%
Nov. 08 - Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall%
Nov. 10 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore%
Nov. 11 - Providence, RI @ Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel%
Nov. 13 - Boston, MA @ House of Blues%
Nov. 14 - New York, NY @ PlayStation Theater%
Nov. 15 - Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom%
Nov. 16 - Washington, D.C. @ Echostage%
Nov. 18 - Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore^
Nov. 19 - Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz^
Nov. 20 - Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works^
Nov. 22 - Houston, TX @ House of Blues^
Nov. 23 - Dallas, TX @ House of Blues^

*with Set Your Goals
%with Four Year Strong
^with Hit the Lights


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Photos: Day In The Life of I the Mighty Thu, 13 Oct 2016 13:00:28 +0000 Tom idobi photographer Audrey Lew spent the day with I the Mighty before their show... [imgfull]dsc_6095[/imgfull]

I the Mighty is a band that has been around the block more than a couple of times. From playing the Studio to Webster Hall to joining Pierce the Veil on the Misadventures Tour and now they’ve embarked on a headlining tour.  It’s clear that I the Mighty has come a long way since performing in the basement of Webster Hall. I spent the day with them before their headlining New York City show and learned what they do when they’re not touring, why they mesh so well together, and how important their relationship is with their fans.

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My day with I the Mighty started as they were sorting and loading their equipment on the stage of the Marlin Room at Webster Hall. After greeting everyone and catching up for a few minutes I let the band get going with the rest of their tasks. Soon after soundcheck, I ventured with guitarist Ian Pedigo to a nearby Urban Outfitters to pick up a last minute wardrobe change. We got to talking and I brought up his online Etsy vintage clothing store Beluga Brand. “How did you know about that?!” Ian says while we walked across 3rd Avenue. As we continued to Urban he went on about how the Beluga store has become his full-time gig when he’s not on the road or working on I The Mighty material. “It got difficult holding onto day jobs when we tour this frequently so I opened up my own business,” he explains. Ian continued to talk about how he found a way to make all the pieces fit together and learned that, in the long run, he hopes to open up a brick and mortar vintage clothing store too. It was incredible to see that he carries the same passion for Beluga as he does on stage with I the Mighty.

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We got back from our excursion just in time for their VIP session. After mingling for a few minutes I the Mighty performed a few acoustic songs for their special guests. It was an amazing experience to watch fans be so engaged with their performance and to hear vocalist Brent belt out every note with ease despite feeling under the weather. In fact, the stripped down versions of their progressive post-rock songs left me with chills. The energy in the room really set the tone for the rest of the night despite it being an intimate setting.

[blockquotefull] “Even though these were some dark times, something small would always happen after that would keep me going.” [/blockquotefull]

We had a minute between the end of their session and doors to talk some more. I’ve seen the growth of I the Mighty between their tour with Pierce The Veil and their current tour. It seems like they are well on their way to the top but I had to ask Ian and Brent if there was ever a time when they came close to calling it quits and what they did to combat that feeling. Ian said, “There were some times early on when it was just me and Brent playing acoustically. Even though these were some dark times, something small would always happen after that would keep me going.” Brent added, “There isn’t anything that Ian and I would rather be doing.” Despite tough times, I the Mighty’s perseverance and passion have helped them through it.

[caption id="attachment_263227" align="alignnone" width="6016"]Chris helps Zack of Dayshells run through his set before he hits the stage. Chris helps Zack of Dayshells run through his set before he hits the stage.[/caption]

Once the show started I finally had a minute to grab bassist Chris Hinkley to get a better idea of how this entire band works as a unit. He started by mentioning drummer Blake and tour manager, Matt by saying, “They’re the thinkers. If I wanna know how to get somewhere I’m going to them. They are the ones to keep calm and collected in a stressful situation.” When asked about Brent and Ian, “He’s [Brent]  such a great lyricist. He’s great at song writing and creating a visual with his lyrics. Me and Blake are great at writing songs sonically but Brent is incredible at writing songs lyrically. Ian’s artistic mind has helped us better plan the way things look.” Each one of them plays an important role including Chris who said that he’s the one that brings positivity to the table. It’s hard not to smile when you’re in the same room as him. He’s always cracking jokes too like busting my chops about how those ridiculous Black Tap Milkshakes are as big as I am. At the end of the day, every single member of their team works together seamlessly. It’s much more than a group of guys who happen to play a bunch of songs on stage. “I can’t imagine doing this with anyone else..And that goes for everyone in the band, nobody would leave just because something would pay them more, they all have hearts of steel,” Chris adds. My eyes started to well up as I listened to Chris speak so highly and genuinely about his bandmates. For somebody who had known me for all of an hour or two before that day, his transparency with me said a lot about him as well as his band. One thing Chris mentioned about his experience with being in I the Mighty that really resonated with me was, “ A lot of people give up what they love for something more realistic. If you’re living your dream whether you’re making money or not you can’t take that for granted.” It hit home for me and served as a reminder that I shouldn’t take my involvement in music for granted.

[caption id="attachment_263272" align="alignnone" width="6016"]dsc_6420_1 Fans dance on stage with I the Mighty.[/caption]

This day got personal when my best friend Bryan arrived to the show. I The Mighty is his favorite band of all time so I couldn’t let the opportunity for him to meet them slip by us. The guys were kind enough to take the time to chat as well as sign a print of mine for him. I watched as Bryan was left speechless after talking to Chris and couldn’t stop chatting with Brent. He was so overjoyed he could barely contain it.

[blockquotefull] “I can’t imagine doing this with anyone else..
And that goes for everyone in the band, nobody would leave just because something would pay them more, they all have hearts of steel.” [/blockquotefull]

There are very few occasions now where a band has left me feeling that way so to be able to watch one of my best friends absolutely lose it was the most heart warming experience. That connection between I the Mighty and their fans is powerful. From their live performance where everyone bombarded the stage screaming the lyrics to “The Frame I: Betrayal In The Watchtower” to end of their set when people started hopping on stage to dance and sing with Brent, it was all incredible to witness. I have only seen that happen once in all the shows I’ve been to but this was next level. Even after the show concluded and it came time to pack up, I watched as a few fans helped to move equipment off the stage in an effort to help out while most of I the Mighty were greeting people.


If there’s one thing I got out of this day it is that I the Mighty isn’t just a band from California but they’ve shown me what it really means to create an impact in music and on other people. They have also helped me and Bryan connect in a way that we’ve never have before through their music. This day gave me much more than an insight into what I the Mighty does on their days off, it reminded me to cherish my friendships with people like Bryan and that you shouldn’t settle for something just because it realistically makes more sense. You should be out there chasing after what you love to do.

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Team Simple Plan Tour Review Wed, 12 Oct 2016 19:00:00 +0000 Tom Fish was lucky enough to see Simple Plan the first 2 nights of the... [/imgfull]

Fish, from Gone Fishkin, was lucky enough to see Simple Plan on both of the first 2 nights of the #TeamSP tour in Southern California! Take a listen to his review below!

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Premiere: Mike Frazier’s “Big Sky” Wed, 12 Oct 2016 14:00:11 +0000 Tom Your Wednesday could use some new music, so please allow us to introduce Mike... [/imgfull]

Your Wednesday could use some new music, so please allow us to introduce Mike Frazier's "Big Sky". The musician's latest song is streaming exclusively for readers. Check it out below!

[blockquotefull] "The overarching theme in 'Big Sky' is forgiveness. There are too many pre-existing songs that cast blame onto someone when the problem is within one's own reflection." [/blockquotefull]

Pulled from Frazier's forthcoming sophomore EP, Complete Control, the song gives you a taste of what you can expect when the collection hits shelves on October 21st. Mark your calendars, then hit play on "Big Sky" below!

[blockquotefull] "This song tells the story of me realizing that I was searching for clemency in my own personal transgressions, when in the end the situation I was in was no one's fault but my own."  [/blockquotefull]


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(Un)Covered: We Can’t Stop Wed, 12 Oct 2016 13:00:13 +0000 Tom We can't stop listening to Bastille cover Miley Cyrus. “We Can’t Stop”
Writers: Mike L. Williams II, Pierre Ramon Slaughter, Timothy Thomas, Theron Thomas, Miley Cyrus, Douglas Davis, Ricky Walters
Original Release Date: June 3, 2013

We like to party here at idobi, which sometimes means breaking out the bangers—including some from a former Disney star.

I don't really listen to Miley Cyrus, but “We Can’t Stop” seems like a more mellow version of her. Even though she's singing about non-stop partying, she slows it down, letting you know just how serious she is ’bout “that life”. You gotta hand it to Miley—she manages to turn a song about doing drugs at a club into an anthem about accepting yourself, even if you’re a “homegirl with a big butt”, reminding us that “only God can judge you”. “It’s our party we can do what we want to” is the most powerful line in the song, implying that Miley—who was going through a major reinvention at the time—wasn't going to apologize for being herself, even when other people lamented how much she had changed since her days as Hannah Montana.

If you’re not ready to go home yet, I have what can only be described as one of the best covers to ever exist in the world. The English gents in Bastille had some fun with Miley’s hit a couple of months after the original was released; since then, the band has joked that due to the popularity of this cover, they may be forced to “retire from covers” (this coming from a band who kicked off their career by releasing re-imaginings of other people’s songs). So many elements are brought together: the Eminem “Lose Yourself” sample, the subtle “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” riff, the elegant violins, and, of course, the hilarious homage to “Achy Breaky Heart” near the end (which comes right after a line change from “only God can judge us” to “only Dad can judge us”)—and it pays off. The band stayed true to their sound with this cover, but they weren’t afraid to let loose and give it their own unique spin, while still paying tribute to Miley.

The two versions are so different; if I hadn’t been listening to them back-to-back, I probably wouldn’t have realized it was the same song. No matter which one you choose to listen to, you’ll have a good time.



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Nose In a Book, Ass In a Mercedes with Stephen King Tue, 11 Oct 2016 14:00:53 +0000 Tom The talk Stephen King gave that warm day, at the Nat Book Fest 2016,... [/imgfull]

[blockquotefull]“Writers are supposed to be secret agents.”[/blockquotefull]

People seem surprised when you tell them Stephen King is funny. Their eyebrows lift and their heads tilt back. Sometimes they murmur “really?” or pause to ponder how that’s possible. One doesn’t expect the aptly named King of scares to be so observant of the humor in daily life. Johanne Bégin smiled at the revelation of Stephen King’s comedic side while she and her husband Dr. Guy Berthiaume, the Librarian and Archivist of Canada, spoke with Dr. Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress. Minutes later Johanne confided that she’d never heard King speak, although she’d read all his books. It was my turn to smile, “You’re going to enjoy this,” I told her. Of course, King had surprises in store for me too.

The hum of the crowd amplified rather than hushed as Dr. Hayden walked out; then thundered when she welcomed King onto the inaugural main stage at the National Book Festival. King brought on the laughter right away, telling us a full five people showed up to his first book signing: three were college friends of his, one bought a copy of Carrie, and the last was a chubby little child who wanted kung-fu books, which King helped him find.

[blockquotefull]“I was in a supermarket, this was in Florida, my wife and I have a place in Florida. We didn’t really want to go but we turned sixty-five and it’s the law.”[/blockquotefull]

It’s no surprise that the laughter carried on from there. It didn’t stop when King said he’d predicted Donald Trump when he wrote The Dead Zone, or when he mused that someone out there has a Francis Ford Coppola autograph signed by him “...because writers are friggin’ liars.” We giggled at how King likes it when he's in the bathroom at someone’s house and discovers books by the commode because then he knows he’s with his “peeps.” We fell all over each other because the first person he saw reading one of his books in the wild told him it was “shitty,” to which he replied, “I won’t be buying that then.” How about the lady who recognized King at the grocery store? She declared she didn’t like his work because it’s too scary.

“I like uplifting things like that Shawshank Redemption.”

“I wrote that.”

“No, you didn’t.”


The talk Stephen King gave that warm day, at the Nat Book Fest 2016, reached comedic levels we should start calling literary stand-up. No hyperbole. It was that good. And just like the legends of comedy, Stephen King was most enthralling when he turned his wit to social commentary.

[blockquotefull]“There goes Stevie. He’s always got his nose in a book.”[/blockquotefull]

That’s where the surprise came in. King paced the stage and told us, “All of that shouldn’t bring me to the subject of literacy but it does.” He’d taught High School English for two years, leaving when he noticed when many of the kids entered his class, “the lights went out of their eyes and no matter what I did that light would not come back on.” Certainly King could empathize, he’d been teased for reading. Taunts of, “There goes Stevie. He’s always got his nose in a book” followed him as a child. Being teased is likely why he wanted to reach kids when they were younger, maybe six or seven, when their minds were still open. “Non-readers live just one single life—it may be a good one, it may be a great one—but a reader can live thousands. I wanted kids that were still open to that idea. Sometimes when the right book falls into the right pair of hands it lights a fire that leads to others.”

[blockquotefull]“Reading sets an example. It’s an inheritance.”[/blockquotefull]

King's three children received their inheritance little by little each day. They were never told they must read, “but they saw that the shelves were full of books and mom and dad never went any place without one in hand or tucked under an arm. We read to them everyday, of course, but not to improve their minds, but to amuse them, to stop the constant squabbling, and to keep them from ripping the goddamn house apart.”

“One rainy day, desperate to entertain them before they drove us out of our minds, I bought two Marvel comics from the local drugstore—not sure if the kids would like them. They seemed very wordy and more that a little violent for children of four and two, but my daughter enjoyed them and my son went absolutely bug shit for them.”

[caption id="attachment_263065" align="aligncenter" width="4608"]dsc_0249 Dr. Carla Hayden introducing Stephen King at the National Book Festival[/caption]

Not all inheritances are contained in stocks and bonds. Some are printed on glossy pages that contain webslingers named Spidey and world saviors who call themselves Avengers. Others are filled with epic fantasy, rangers and elves on quests. It’s these inheritances, ones written in indelible ink, that can never be depleted, they cannot be stolen or spent.

The King children took the legacy of books that their parents passed on to them and multiplied it; son, Joe Hill, has written three bestselling novels and continues to write the ongoing comic book series Locke & Key, daughter, Naomi, is a Unitarian Universalist minister, and youngest son, Owen, has written short story collections and collaborated with his dad on the upcoming novel Sleeping Beauties. King’s four grandchildren read as well “because they grew up with books and when you do that, reading is the most natural thing in the world.”

[blockquotefull]“ if learning to think is a thing that just happens naturally like learning to walk. Believe me it’s not.”[/blockquotefull]

“I’m bragging on my kids,” he said, “yes, but I’m also trying to make a point.” For King it is unmistakeable that reading leads to critical thinking. That’s important because he also believes that as everyday reading declines so too does analytical thought. He’s bothered that libraries aren’t prioritized in this country. We don’t laud our authors the way we do our actors and athletes, and maybe that’s good because as Stephen King mentioned earlier in his talk, “Writers are supposed to be secret agents.” The truth of the analogy hit me days later: The power of a secret agent is in their ability to affect change while remaining unseen; yet an author cannot wield the power to expand our minds with books unread.


It all came together then. Stephen King has a message for that guy, Al, who taunted him about reading, and King is also giving notice to all those who think reading is a weakness; he’s sounding an alarm for parents to bequeath a literary legacy to their children, but mostly he’s speaking to the children who travel through space and time by surfing the pages of a book:

“That’s right, Al, always with my nose in a book and these days with my ass in a Mercedes. Suck on that.”

That way, our future successes will be no big surprise.



Watch Stephen King's entire talk on literacy at the 2016 National Book Fest here.

Our thanks to the Library of Congress for hosting such an edifying book festival, and to Sheryl Cannady for hosting us, and finally to Johanne Bégin for inspiring me.



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Premiere: Icon For Hire’s Title Track from ‘You Can’t Kill Us’ Tue, 11 Oct 2016 13:00:07 +0000 Tom Killer rock tracks are exactly what your Tuesday needs. Let us introduce you, then,... [/imgfull]

Killer rock tracks are exactly what your Tuesday needs. Let us introduce you, then, to Icon For Hire's latest release, "You Can't Kill Us". If you haven't heard the song yet, it's because we're playing it for the very first time right here, right now.

[blockquotefull] "Our band had to overcome immense challenges in order to keep doing what we love. We knew our listeners could relate, so we invited our fans into the studio to sing on the track with us." [/blockquotefull]

The female fronted rock act has built a bulletproof reputation in their years of creating stellar, hard hitting songs. "You Can't Kill Us" is the title track from the band's forthcoming album—and if this is any indication, the collection will be a force to be reckoned with. Check out the track below!

[blockquotefull] "This song brings our fanbase and our band that much closer-it’s a song for both of us.”  [/blockquotefull]


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Photos: Made To Destroy Tour in NYC Sat, 08 Oct 2016 12:39:17 +0000 Tom You never know what you're going to get when Pierce The Veil rolls through...

You never know what you're going to get when Pierce The Veil rolls through on tour. You can expect anything from confetti cannons to an elaborate stage production that accompanies an incredible live performance. This time around Pierce The Veil brought I, Prevail and Neck Deep with them on the The Made To Destroy tour when it hit the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.

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The second I, Prevail walked out, they commanded the stage like it was theirs. From jumping up and down on the risers to belting screams as if it was nothing, they showed New York what they were all about. There wasn't a single thing about I, Prevail that could take away from their incredible stage presence.

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By the time they finished, the energy in the room was running high as the stage was being set for Neck Deep. Having seen them once before and being blown away by how kids lost it, I had high expectations for the UK natives. Although they weren't nearly as energetic as I remembered, nothing beats a good old pop punk set. New York welcomed them with open arms by pushing the barricade so hard that security had to post up at one section to hold it back. What can I say? Kids will go absolutely nuts for pop punk.

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A white sheet was raised up after Neck Deep had concluded their set. Once the Pierce The Veil's logo was displayed the crowd rejoiced. Soon after, the curtain dropped to reveal Pierce The Veil emerging from two openings within a spaceship onstage. It wasn't long before they stole the show; the one thing you can expect from Pierce The Veil is that they always deliver. From Vic Fuentes' vocals to Jaime Preciado's timely jumps, there is never a misstep when it comes to this band. Needless to say, it was another flawless performance by the California rockers.



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