idobi Network Running interviews into the ground since 1999 Thu, 08 Dec 2016 06:06:11 +0000 en Take A Trip To The Studio with Civil Youth in ‘Making Conversation: Episode 1’ Wed, 07 Dec 2016 19:00:11 +0000 Tom Exclusively on, you can check out video diaries about the recording of Civil... [/imgfull]

We ♥ when our friends get together and make cool music—like Civil Youth, who have headed back into the studio to make a brand new album titled Conversations. The collection is set to be released in May of 2017, which left us very impatient.

Since we're not great at waiting (and we know you probably aren't either), the guys have decided to make the time pass a little faster with updates on their studio adventures. Exclusively on, you can check out video diaries about the recording of their forthcoming album up until its release. (You can thank us later.)

In this week's episode, get acquainted with the band and check out where they're recording the album. Watch out for another episode of "Making Conversation" next week!

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"'Making Conversation: Studio Updates from Civil Youth' is a mini documentary series depicting Civil Youth's time in the studio recording our 3rd full length album, 'Conversations' which is set for release May 19th, 2017. Through turbulent and some of the best times of our lives, watch what it's like to record parts, talk with the band, and see inside what a day in the studio is like. This series will depict what it's really like to be in a band from all aspects as well as capture the energy of the record itself. 'Conversations', which happens to be a concept album, tells our story of comparing our present day selves to people we once were, as well as people we want to be. This record enhances everything about Civil Youth, and truly lets our voices be heard.

In this first video of the series, our goal is to get those points across. We cannot wait to release the full album, but for now, let your imagination run wild!" - Michael Kepko


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Exclusive: No More ‘Wishful Thinking’ To Listen To Sunhaze’s New Album, We’re Streaming It Now Wed, 07 Dec 2016 17:00:33 +0000 Tom This summer, we brought you the premiere of Sunhaze's single "Always You". Today, we're... [/imgfull]

This summer, we brought you the premiere of Sunhaze's single "Always You". Today, we're bringing you an exclusive stream of their new album, because we couldn't let you miss out on the stellar collection.

The San Francisco band pulls influence from their California roots into every one of their tracks, making for an atmospheric surf rock/indie pop sound. Check out Wishful Thinking below, and let us know what you think on Twitter!


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Premiere: Check Out “BFA In Technical Theatre” by Nathan Leigh Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:30:53 +0000 Tom Because there ain't no rest for the wicked, Nathan Leigh is ready to release... [/imgfull]

Nathan Leigh has a lot going on. Between being a touring musician and theater composer, you can find his credits on plays like Big Money and The Consequences, and on albums like his 2012 release, A Life In Transit.

"At least once a week our generation is blamed for something or other in the press. A few weeks back it was killing the napkin industry. I'm not really sure how that works. Right now papers are falling over themselves trying to explain why Trump is our fault. I'm not really sure how that works either. I wanted to write something sort of poking fun at the trend, and saying it doesn't matter what people say about us; the future's ours..."

Because there ain't no rest for the wicked, Leigh is ready to release another album in 2017 titled Ordinary Eternal Machinery. He's also ready to release a video for his track "BFA In Technical Theatre", which you can stream exclusively below.

"I refuse to accept the argument that we're some kind of lost generation, just because the old systems have failed us. It's up to us to make new systems and new ways of doing things that work for us. The video, shot by the wonderful Matt Weston is a proud celebration of queerness, young love, the American theatre, and general nerdery. Shooting it was some of the most fun I've had in a long time!"

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(Un)Covered: A Holly Jolly Christmas Wed, 07 Dec 2016 13:00:49 +0000 Tom Get into the holiday spirit with this cover by The Format. “A Holly Jolly Christmas”
Writer: Johnny Marks
Original Release Date: November 1964

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, it’s hard to ignore the holiday joy that retail stores have been pumping out since at least mid-November with their incessant need to play Christmas music.

Personally, I can’t stay mad at being force-fed Christmas cheer when I hear this classic version of “A Holly Jolly Christmas”. It conjures up memories of watching that weird animated Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer special and decorating my house. Actually, the version we’re used to hearing on the radio is a slower rendition, with an acoustic guitar introduction, that Burl Ives recorded for his holiday album the year after he appeared as Sam the Snowman in Rudolf. The instrumentation is fairly simple, with the guitar carrying the whole thing, and the harmonizing choir in the background holding up Ives’ happy-go-lucky vocals. There’s something so old-fashioned about this song, it makes you yearn for a vintage Christmas experience—horse-drawn carriage rides through the snow, crackling fireplaces, and a real tree covered in candy canes and candles.

Before Nate Ruess was singing about Some Nights as fun.’s frontman, he was part of the indie pop band The Format (if you haven’t listened to them yet, drop what you’re doing and check out their 2006 album, Dog Problems. I’ll wait here). Their version is just as cheerful as Ives’ original: again with just a guitar and a tiny piano part, but tambourines take the place of the human choir and you can practically imagine Ruess and Sam Means—the other half of The Format—sitting around a fire jamming out to this song. If the Ives original is vintage Christmas, this one is more folksy—the same imagery, but maybe with cowboy hats instead of Santa’s iconic red hat?

Because Ives and Ruess have such distinctive voices, obviously you’ll hear a difference in the way the lyrics are presented, but both songs have a mellow vibe that manages to wish you happy holidays without throwing tinsel in your face.


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Premiere: Make Your Day “Soar” with Aria Jay’s New Track Wed, 07 Dec 2016 10:00:43 +0000 Tom We'll be jamming Aria Jay's track all day, and we suggest you do too. [/imgfull]

Aria Jay is anything but new to the music industry. With a past in jazz and classical music reaching back to when she began singing in 2011, the R&B artist is soaring to new heights with her airy indie pop sound.

It makes sense then, that her latest track is titled "Soar". We'll be jamming the track all day, and we suggest you do too. Check it out below!



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Support Disability Media, Culture, and Community with The Disability Visibility Project Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:18:52 +0000 Tom Geek Girl Riot's Alice Wong founded The Disability Visibility Project™ (DVP), an online community... [/imgfull]

[blockquotefull]"Visibility is difficult in a world that’s not made for you. Visibility can make you feel vulnerable and unsafe. Visibility is a way of claiming space and identity—it is power."[/blockquotefull]

Geek Girl Riot's Alice Wong is making a great and inspiring difference in increasing the visibility of disabled people, and she wants to take her mission further. In 2014 she founded The Disability Visibility Project™ (DVP), a partnership with StoryCorps and an online community dedicated to recording, amplifying, and sharing disability stories and culture. Alice started the DVP to collect histories of disabled people, to make sure their voices are heard and represented. Championing disability culture and history, the project creates disabled media, publishes essays and guest blog posts, as well as organizes and participates in events, presentations, and panels. And now she wants to reach an even larger audience, with your help.

By donating to the DVP's Patreon page, you'll be making a huge difference—by helping the organization to expand and have a larger impact on the disabled community. Your donation will help to fund guest posts by disabled writers, transcriptions of audio posts for accessibility, as well as events and presentations about disability history, culture, and activism, and so much more. Watch a video from Alice below about supporting the DVP, and donate to her Patreon page here.



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idobi App Advertisement Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:07:02 +0000 Tom  

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“Release The Hounds” (+ Trump’s Dance Moves) With The LaFontaines New Video Tue, 06 Dec 2016 10:07:54 +0000 Tom Put on your finest leather jacket, your coolest shades, and get ready to feel... [/imgfull]

Put on your finest leather jacket, your coolest shades, and get ready to feel like a badass this Tuesday. Thanks to Glasgow band The LaFontaines, we have a new video for their killer indie rock track, "Release The Hounds".

As if the song wasn't enough to get your feet tapping and your head bobbing (even though you're totally aware everyone can see you), the video makes it even better. Oh, and be sure to watch out for those Trump mask cameos—they're probably not what you expect.
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Exclusive: Nominee Announces New EP + Premieres Latest Song “Stay” Fri, 02 Dec 2016 13:00:48 +0000 Tom Forget Christmas, we're counting down to new music from Nominee. If you're like us,... [/imgfull]

Forget Christmas, we're counting down to new music from Nominee. If you're like us and can't wait to hear some fresh sounds by the band, well, we have some pretty great news.

Created by former members of I Call Fives and Thieves, Nominee is crafting genre defying (and hard rocking) sounds that’ll have you craving more—which is exactly what you’re about to get. You didn’t hear it from us (JK, you totally did): the band is announcing the release of a brand new EP, titled Drag Me Out. Produced and recorded by Kory Gables (Major League, I Call Fives), mastered by Bill Henderson, and with pre-production credits to Joseph Milligan of Anberlin, the collection is the next step in Nominee’s career, and will tell a pretty special story.

“The record is about admitting that you're not okay and trusting someone enough to tell them. We collaborate on all of our songs. Usually one of us will bring an idea to the table to get the wheels turning and we'll go from there. Musically, 'Drag Me Out' is a reflection of who we are as a band.”


We couldn’t leave you with that much suspense, though, so on top of delivering the good news, we’re also premiering the band’s new song “Stay”. Read what Chris Mclelland had to say about the track, then hit play below.

“When I was 17 I was diagnosed with Bi Polar disorder. As a naïve teenager, all I knew was that I was given a bunch of medications that made me feel like a zombie and that they scared the hell out of me. At the time, I didn’t really get the disorder or how the mind had so much control over the body. So, after months of questioning it, I stopped taking the medications and spent the next 13 years burying it, pretending that I was fine.  Embarrassed, I continued to hide it, ruining friendships, bands and several dead end jobs while ignoring the real problem. This song is about trusting someone enough to tell them everything, knowing they’ll stay.”



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Premiere: New Spell’s Latest Video Will “Never Change” (Because It’s All We Wanna Watch) Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:00:24 +0000 Tom New Spell's ethereal song layers over a visually striking video for an experience you... [/imgfull]

Music is one of the best healers of them all. This idea isn't lost on San Francisco's New Spell. Today, we're bringing you the premiere of the duo's new video for "Never Change".

"Amidst the breakneck speed of modern life, 'Never Change' is about the struggle to recognize that change is constant and continual. Linear time is altered in our visual collage of a video..." 

The ethereal song layers over a visually striking video for an experience you won't soon forget. If you like what you hear, keep an eye out for new music from the band, and feel free to hit replay as many times as you'd like.

"Images of man, machine, and nature illustrate that, when we look at things from another angle, our individual lives can be seen as part of a bigger whole."

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Premiere: ‘Seasons Greetings’ From Patent Pending’s New Collection Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:30:31 +0000 Tom Patent Pending is releasing their new collection, Season's Greetings, tomorrow, and we're giving you... [/imgfull]

We don't mean to scare anybody, but we thought we'd mention it's already December 1st—and because it is, we have a stellar holiday collection to share with you. Patent Pending is releasing their new collection, Season's Greetings, tomorrow, and we're giving you the first listen below.

From the Long Island band that's certainly not afraid to have some fun, the EP will be able to accompany you throughout any holiday event that'll make you feel like you live in a snowglobe—even though "not too many words rhyme with Christmas".

You can check out Season's Greetings below, and then hear the guys play it for you (complete with commentary and stories) on their idobi TxT this Monday at 5PM ET. Pre-order the collection here!



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Everywhere, Nowhere, and Finding the Balance in Between: Dustin Kensrue of Thrice Wed, 30 Nov 2016 18:00:09 +0000 Tom Hopeful in their rejuvenation and relaxed in their approach, Thrice’s collective demeanor has always... Photo credit: Jonathan Weiner[/caption]

Thrice doesn’t have a leg to stand on, not one that would please everyone anyway. For an act with a rabidly dedicated and meticulous fan base, the veterans of post hardcore/emo/Americana rock/dad rock/whatever genre label makes you the most comfortable, Thrice has managed to escape the clutches of genre-obsessed critics and naysayers alike. What they’ve done in 2016 has set the bar high, crushing uncertainty by pulling back in aggression. When vocalist Dustin Kensrue and Thrice announced a hiatus in 2012, fans were upset. It wasn’t signaling the end of Thrice, but it definitely raised some red flags. Having spoken with The Used vocalist Bert McCracken just days after Thrice played their last show in Portland, Oregon, the front man lamented with such humility and sadness at the mention of Kensrue calling it quits, saying: “It’s a damn shame”.

Stepping backstage on an unusually warm fall evening in Portland to meet with Kensrue is intimidating. Not only does his tall, bearded, physical stature command respect, but when one looks back on the body of work the 35 year old has amassed since Thrice’s birth in 1999, it’s no wonder the man can adopt such a stoic, laid back demeanor. This seems to translate to the making of their first new record in four years; rather than try and build a bridge from 2011’s Major/Minor, Thrice just let the music come to them. “What’s going to come out is the weird combination of the four of us trying to agree on something,” Kensrue opines as he sips a drink and leans back in his folding chair. That push/pull mentality is a blaringly evident vibe on To Be Everywhere is to Be Nowhere, the band’s return to angst-riddled heaviness. The record is layered, strained, and yet somehow it breathes calmly: “I think it’s a bit more balanced. It’s a whole new thing from what we’ve done in the past and we’re seeing it through a new lens.”

[blockquotefull]The record is layered, strained, and yet somehow it breathes calmly: “I think it’s a bit more balanced. It’s a whole new thing from what we’ve done in the past and we’re seeing it through a new lens.”[/blockquotefull]

That new lens may have been born out of the fact that Thrice saw the writing/recording/touring/repeat process to be exhaustingly infinite. It was after a conversation with the members of Brand New that Kensrue began to mentally form a new landscape of how Thrice could operate and thrive by limiting touring jaunts. The Long Island five has certainly found favor with the approach; and with Thrice always feeling like distant the half-brother to Brand New, Kensrue found the new plan appealing.

“It’s nothing to copy. It shouldn’t have worked and it doesn’t, more power to [Brand New], we love them. They’re amazing humans and amazing men. They’re definitely the band we feel the most akin to that came out of a similar place where I feel like there’s a bigger sound and diversity to what they’re getting at. They’re uncontained in that way.”


Though finding a familial kinship with the boys of Brand New, Thrice has always felt like nomads: wandering from scene to scene, experimenting in genre-bending stylings, acting seemingly without any concern for expectations. Even the leech-like emo scene couldn’t contain Thrice—at a time where they would be considered among the leaders of a movement that claimed many victims. The genre could alienate potential fans and pigeonhole an act as they strived to move on and outgrow the particular topics expected to be explored in emo. Somehow, Thrice was the exception to the rule: “I don’t think we’re immune to it but I think there is some kind of resistance to it. It seemed like a really false collection of things. I think every scene starts to become a caricature of itself and if you remain in the scene it kind of latches onto you.”

[blockquotefull]“I think you always see a core group of people who really trust us and will be excited for a new record. When you’ve been a band as long as we have, it’s hard to have an understanding of the variety of perspectives that people all have on you.”[/blockquotefull]

Hopeful in their rejuvenation and relaxed in their approach, Thrice’s collective demeanor has always felt like the calm before the storm. As they take the stage at The Crystal Ballroom on this sweaty fall evening, the energy is palpable, reaching a fever pitch with the first guitar strum. This is a homecoming, an act two to a near flawless opening statement. Though much has been written about the band’s break, their return and their revolving door of sound—some say the new record is too political, some say it’s dad rock, some just wish that Kensrue and crew would return to the sound of the early 2000s—you certainly can’t keep everyone happy and Thrice’s take on that very goal couldn’t be more realistic. “I think you always see a core group of people who really trust us and will be excited for a new record. When you’ve been a band as long as we have, it’s hard to have an understanding of the variety of perspectives that people all have on you.” When Thrice tears into their set, none of this seems to matter. All that exists in that moment is the music, beloved and expansive its purest form.


Thankfully that trust Kensrue mentioned has sustained fans during the darkness of the past several years. Their reward is To Be Everywhere is to Be Nowhere, a sweeping declaration of longevity and progression. Fans would be hard pressed to categorize the new release, however, as they have never seen Thrice as a band that embraces consistency. Kensrue says, “There’s an interesting interplay in all of that. The longer you’re a band, the less uniform your perspective is on who you are.”

[blockquotefull]“There’s an interesting interplay in all of that. The longer you’re a band, the less uniform your perspective is on who you are.”[/blockquotefull]

What stands out about Thrice as a unit, and the way their front man theorizes about the band’s supporters and creative output, is that the union between fan and performer is equally as valued. The equation would not exist without its counterpart. Their journey as Thrice would appear vastly different had the audience not stuck it out through what many considered to be blasphemous—but dynamic and drastic—style changes. The reaction to the shifts are, of course, largely exaggerated and mislead. But this type of passion beautifully proves the stronghold Thrice fans have on the act. As much as the future of Thrice is out of their hands, listeners will continue to return. No matter how many hiatuses, style shifts, or experiments, we can’t resist the connection. We’ve created a dance together, one that would not exist without the other taking the lead. They’ve always created exactly what they wanted to, whether we praised it or not. Either way, Thrice will continue to be known as one of the most respected and talented acts we have today, bucking the traditional models and consistently doing exactly what they believe in.


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What Time Is It? Megosh Story Time, Of Course! Wed, 30 Nov 2016 15:00:45 +0000 Tom Take your places, sit still, and quieten down now boys and girls, because it's... [/imgfull]

Take your places, sit still, and quieten down now boys and girls, because it's about to get weird with Megosh Story Time again. Hit play below to hear the, uhh, classic tale, The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School, read by Josh.
“Megosh is looking forward to yet another story time episode and in this one Josh gets a shave! Bye bye mustache.” - Josh Grosscup



Mind blown? Can't get enough? Mourning the mustache? (Need further proof that what you just saw was actually real?) We understand—check out Megosh Story Time's previous episode here!


About Megosh:

With a set of high-energy intelligent songs, Baltimore’s Megosh has notably exploded on to the scene. Their music is melodic with post-progressive elements and frequent forays into the territory of alternative metal, but with an undeniable pop sensibility. Megosh somehow fuses these eclectic ingredients into a surprisingly cohesive stew – a sound that is clearly their own. Impressive and complex instrumental material will certainly appeal to the musician but, with Megosh, song craft still reigns and their creative use of rhythm and catchy melodies are certain to captivate a wide audience. On top of all this, the front line serves up tasty three-part harmonies, something rarely heard on today’s rock scene.


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Premiere: Stay Where You Are and Watch Sinking.’s “Bloom” Video Wed, 30 Nov 2016 14:00:43 +0000 Tom Winter is upon us, and we’re easing you in to the new season with... Photo credit: Eddie Curran / Enterprise Films[/caption]

Winter is upon us, and we’re easing you in to the new season with one last goodbye to brighter days—from synth-pop duo Sinking., who are premiering their brand new music video for “Bloom” right here on
"I think what Darian and I are doing is really exciting. Both of us have a lot of diverse influences. Chvrches being one of my favorites. It's cool to see how it all comes together. It feels like something natural but also challenging ourselves as artists. This song tells a bit of a dark story lyrically. I'd like to think beautiful things can come from the narratives like that."
- Kyle Ekstrom (Synths/Vocals/Samplers)

"Bloom" is filled with themes of moving on and echoes that nothing lasts forever; but when set to the tune of a deliciously dark synth beat, you'll never want the song to end. The video matches its dreamlike yet deep aesthetic—complete with forests and falling rose petals, smoke machines, and metaphors abound—to send a chill down your spine, and this tune straight to the top of your playlist.

"I'm really excited to be a part of such a passionate project making such meaningful music. Kyle and I came together with the same intentions, which can be really rare to find in another musician. We have a lot of the same influences even though we come from different musical backgrounds, which I think only makes our collaboration more powerful. 'Bloom' was such a fun video to shoot and has such haunting cinematic qualities, I'm sincerely so excited to share it and can't wait to see what our future brings.”

– Darian Renee (Vocals/Synths/Samplers)

Check out "Bloom" below, and keep an eye out for their debut EP, coming early next year!



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(Un)covered: Prince Ali Wed, 30 Nov 2016 13:00:36 +0000 Tom Aladdin's magnificent Genie sings a hilarious praise for the fictional Prince Ali, but that... “Prince Ali”
Writer(s): Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Tim Rice
Original Release Date: October 31, 1992

With Thanksgiving just passed, I really wanted to find a song that encompassed the spirit of the season, and I figured with a repertoire of Disney classics, that should be easy enough. But then I stumbled upon a metal-style version of “Prince Ali” and that plan went out the window. Aladdin simply couldn’t be overlooked, considering the genius of our favorite genie, voiced by none other than the late, great, Robin Williams.

Aladdin is easily one of my favorite Disney movies, if for no other reason than the hilarious, fast-talking, pop culture-referencing, big, blue Genie. Robin Williams absolutely nails this character, providing the comedic relief, best friend, and magical powers to save the day for our hero Aladdin. In the movie, Genie sings “Prince Ali” to introduce Aladdin to the town of Agrabah as royalty in a grand scheme to meet the Princess Jasmine. The jazzy, upbeat introduction is a fun piece of music that’s hard to resist. In a mix of comedy and an utter mouthful of lyrics (courtesy of genius Howard Ashman), Genie praises his strength, attractiveness, and extensive collection of exotic animals. While “A Whole New World” is the first song we think of for Aladdin, “Prince Ali” and Genie’s other song “Friend Like Me” are easily some of the best in the movie as well.

This week’s cover is brought to you by Jonathan Young, a YouTube artist who has released not one, but two entire albums of Disney covers. This particular version of “Prince Ali” is a far cry from the original, and that’s what I love so much about it. It tackles hard rock and metal, with just a dash of screaming. And you know what? It works. The low rhythm and perhaps exotic flair of the original really lends itself to the style, allowing for thundering drums and trilling electric guitar to take over the Disney classic you once knew. I have to applaud Jonathan Young, because he really turns this song upside down. In the movie, Prince Ali is decked out in white and gold, lavish royal clothing and over the top displays of his wealth (courtesy of Genie). But with this song, all I can picture is this fan-made hardcore Aladdin instead:

emo Aladdin

Young’s voice really works for this style, and I find that I’m low-key obsessed with this hardcore version of “Prince Ali”. I mean, it’s no Robin Williams being goofy, but I still love this bold take on the classic. It’s creative, if nothing else!


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Premiere: Take A Trip To The ‘C I T Y’ With Wanderer’s Debut EP Tue, 29 Nov 2016 16:00:09 +0000 Tom Since the release of his first single, Wanderer has been blowing our mind with... [/imgfull]

Gather 'round friends, because this Tuesday, we're sharing with you an extra cool premiere. Since the release of his first single, Wanderer has been blowing our minds with cool tunes. Today, he's released an entire EP of 'em.

To show just how proud we are, we're bringing you a stream of each and every track. From "Driving" to "Make You Feel", check out C I T Y below! After you've memorized every word (and you will), let us know how much you love it on Twitter.


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Callwood at the Cooler #7 Mon, 28 Nov 2016 19:00:41 +0000 Tom “Callwood at the Cooler” is a new bi-weekly column which will see me waxing... [/imgfull]
Aretha Franklin can do whatever she wants…

This year, as millions of families sat down to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner of turkey-and-everything, there’s an elephant in the room that far, far too big to ignore (as opposed to those little elephants people have in their rooms). I’m British, but even I (or perhaps especially I) feel a little uncomfortable at the fact that this holiday has more than a little bit to do with genocide of Indigenous Americans, and we’re all stuffing our faces (me included) while events at Standing Rock unfold.

I’d love to be able to say that I put down my over-full plate, stuffed the family into the Kia, and dashed over to Standing Rock to stand in solidarity with the protesters who are doing such good and dangerous work. But I didn’t. I ate, I kept an eye on the Detroit Lions score, and I watched the Charlie Brown special. The day after, I feel a little bit guilty about it all. I’m a sucker for a holiday. I relish the chance to give my son memories that he’ll cherish, and I get all warm and fuzzy when holiday TV is aired, the music, the decorations—I’m just a big old softy about it all. But this year, the events at Standing Rock going on over Thanksgiving of all holidays just seemed off.

In fact, more people seemed to be up-in-arms about Aretha Franklin’s rendition of the National Anthem at that aforementioned football game, with the version clocking in at well over four minutes. Social media warriors were up in arms as she took the song in a multitude of directions. The thing is, this is Aretha we’re talking about. The R&B legend has earned the right to sing the song, this one or any other song, in whatever manner she deems fit. More importantly, she nailed it. This wasn’t just another contestant from The Voice singing it, again, the same way it’s been sung over and over again, people cheering as that long note is held. This was something artistic, something important, and something better. Aretha can do what she wants. Oh, and the Lions won and sit in first place, so this writer is happy.




Megatron is a smart-ass…

Here’s what I noticed following a recent visit to Universal Studios in Hollywood: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee are friendly but a little pushy, but Megatron is hilarious. He’s a smart-ass, sure, but in the very best possible ways, cleverly tricking children into pledging their allegiance to the Decepticons while simultaneously mocking the parents. The Minions are less friendly, weirdly enough. But that might be because, for them, the sight of a 40-year-old man bounding over to meet them is a tad disconcerting. They seem positively lively, however, next to Chuck E Cheese, who looks like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders nowadays. You could be forgiven for thinking that there’s a young person on minimum wage under the mouse head, who really wished he or she was anywhere else.


Everybody wants The Struts

The show of the past two weeks was undoubtedly The Struts at the Fonda in Hollywood. The British rockers put out a decent debut album but some of the tracks sound more filler than killer. Live though, every song comes to life and sounds huge. Like The Darkness a decade ago, The Struts have breathed fresh life into British rock ’n’ roll with a Queen-like swagger, and they have excited crowds on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond. The Fonda was heaving, and the band played on the excitement with costume changes and confetti bombs.

A few days before that, almost-forgotten industrial metal band Dope played the Whisky a Go Go and had a hell of a time too. The band might be best known for its cover of NWA’s “F**k the Police,” but it now has nearly two decades of material to pull from, and there wasn’t one dull moment.


A few words about Trump…

After the last election-centric column, I didn’t want this one to be too political, but I can afford a few words. Is it just me, coming at this as a foreigner, or is the President Elect going out of his way to recruit the worst people in America? Steve Bannon shouldn’t be allowed near a computer keyboard, never mind the internet, never mind the White House. Breitbart is a terrible, bigoted, heavily-flawed publication/website that should be ignored, and Bannon is a terrible, bigoted, heavily-flawed man who should be ignored. Neither should be celebrated, or pushed on a largely unsuspecting public.

At least we could all get a laugh at the image of CNN’s Wolf Blitzer exiting the tongue-lashing that prominent members of the media received at the hands of Trump. Blitzer came out chuckling, which I took as a good sign. Apparently, Donald wants to lay down the law and let the media, the free media, know what they, we, can get away with. Good luck with that, Don. The truth is, there are libel laws in place in the USA, and if Trump really feels that publications have been dishonest he can sue. And let’s remember, we’re talking about one of the most litigious men in this country. If he had a case, he absolutely would have sued by now. But what we are in fact talking about is a man who doesn’t like people saying negative things about him. He can’t sue for that, and that fact drives him crazy, and we can all sit back and enjoy that sweet nugget of information.

“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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Put On Your “White Dress”, And Dance To The Visions New Single All Night Long Mon, 28 Nov 2016 14:00:05 +0000 Tom If you're already listening to The 1975 and Chainsmokers, this is the track you've... [/imgfull]

Started by brothers Ben and Michael Sugarman, and their friend Ryan Brooks, The Visions is a pop funk band that's here to bring you a good time. Their latest single, "White Dress", does just that—and will probably stick around your head for awhile, too.

"White Dress started out as an 80’s inspired groove built up around some thumping and picking guitars. Kind of in that Prince “I Would Die For U” vein. We sat on it for a little while before any type of lyrical hook/melody came about but once we found it we dug in on the production. A few late nights, and a couple of early mornings later with the help of  some super talented friends at a local studio and vuala!"

If you're already listening to The 1975 and Chainsmokers, this is the track you've been waiting for all your life. Soft pop mixed with groovy beats and infectious vocals, the song is sure to become a favorite in no time. Check it out below!


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Premiere: Prepare For A “Sleepless Night”, Because You’ll Be Too Busy Watching Shiffley’s New Lyric Video To Sleep Mon, 28 Nov 2016 10:00:59 +0000 Tom The Long Island indie pop rock group is bringing us the exclusive premiere of... Photo: Aud Lew[/caption]

The first Monday after a long weekend usually sucks, but thanks to Shiffley, this isn't one of those times. The Long Island indie pop rock group is bringing us the exclusive premiere of their lyric video for "Sleepless Night".

"Warning: This video contains flashing colors, screaming synths, and good vibes. If nostalgia ensues, we recommend re-watching this video 7 to 14 more times. This is an accurate depiction of the vibrancy of the track in an animation. You have been warned."

Turn the volume up, and be prepared to place this one in a prime spot on your playlist—like right in between The 1975 and The Killers. Check it out below!
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Photos: The Goo Goo Dolls in NYC Sun, 27 Nov 2016 12:17:00 +0000 Tom idobi photographer Audrey Lew covered The Goo Goo Dolls at Beacon Theatre in NYC....

The Goo Goo Dolls
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