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What Model Citizens (Rock/Electronic) Brooklyn, NY


What Model Citizens, the project of songwriter Alex Musto, was created towards the end of 2009 as a means of exploring noise and feedback-heavy music grounded by a foundation in synth-rock. The band’s music is perhaps best described as a fusion of the noisy jagged guitar of The Gang Of Four with electroclash melodies of The Faint.

2010 saw the release of What Model Citizens debut, semi self-titled, album OH What Model Citizens We Be, followed shortly by 2011’s You’ve Been Set Up. Both albums defined Musto’s sound as grinding juxtapositions of tender synthesizer tones and heavily distorted guitar that beg ears to dissect the layers of sound while daring hips not to shake to the beat. Gritty and driving, OH What Model Citizens We Be and You’ve Been Set Up introduced Musto’s reverb-laden guitar heavy electronic sound with a driving tenacity.

Coming for Me marks the release of What Model Citizens latest single in advance of a full-length album later this fall. A faster, more aggressive, beat than previous tracks, Coming for Me drives with along with sharp synth punctuations and an overbearing sense of paranoia. Accompanied with a video, shot by Brooklyn film collective Nerd Rage Films, Coming for Me places What Model Citizens firmly in the traditions of New York electroclash.



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Jet Black Sunrise (Rock/Pop) Boston, MA


Jet Black Sunrise, known by fans as JBS, is a Boston-based rock band with a background in modern composition, an avid propensity for songs stuck in the 90s, and an unapologetic obsession with foot-tapping pop hooks.

Described by the press as a fan-oriented experience, the band’s live show has fans singing along and connecting with band members, while their recorded music lets listeners take those vibes home. With a growing resume of buzz-worthy accolades on the heels of a regionally acclaimed debut LP, JBS is ready to share an eclectic new EP of upbeat music that offers everything from an electro-infused pop anthem to an in-the-round folk shout. Keep an eye out for the new EP Capture, available March 2013.


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Seventies Sunday – Bob Welch “Ebony Eyes”

If you have never heard this song, love 70’s music, rock, I recommend it!
RIP Bob!

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June 9, 2013 · 5:56 pm

Interview w/Kate Diaz (Pop/Singer-Songwriter) Chicago, IL

When did your love of music begin?
When I was in second grade, I really wanted to get a guitar. At first my parents thought it was a phase, and also because we had a piano they were saying that I should just use that instead, but I kept asking so they got me a guitar and lessons for my 8th birthday.  I loved it from the first lesson and played all the time.  After a few months I figured out that I could put chords together and sing over them, so that’s when I started singing and writing songs as well.
What artists do you recall hearing first?
Probably the Beatles.  My third grade teacher was a huge Beatles fan and used to play their songs all the time as we did worksheets in class.  By the end of the first semester, every kid in my class knew all the words to many of her favorite Beatles songs, and I used to go home and figure them out on the guitar.  From third grade to fifth grade, I really didn’t listen to anything else. 
Describe your songwriting, what influences it? Does the music or lyrics come first?
Melodies always come easier to me than lyrics.  So, I come up with a rough melody and chords, and then I work on the lyrics.  Usually the melody changes a little bit once I put the words in because the syllables kind of shape the melody.  After that I edit my lyrics a lot.  My songs are mostly based on things that happen in my life or lessons I have learned.
Tell us about your best experience so far as a musician. Also tell us your worst!
I got a message on youtube from K’naan.  He said someone showed him some of my covers of his songs and that he liked them.  We exchanged a few messages about music, and to me it was so cool because I was in 7th grade and didn’t really even email with anyone back then, let alone a music star.  Then he even had me come and perform the next time he had a concert in Chicago, which now it is all a blur but it was amazing.
I get my shows off of Sonicbids, but before I heard about it, I was using Craiglist and I did get some really great shows from it, but I guess my worst experience would be some of the pretty sketchy shows I got off Craigslist.
If you could tour with any singer/band who would it be?
OneRepublic has been my one of my favorite bands for a few years because I love their songwriting and the way they use string instruments and orchestral sounds in the production of their songs.
What is your goal for your music?
My immediate goal is to keep getting better shows because I love performing and seeing people’s reactions to the songs I write.  I also would really like to have a fully produced album, and also have a band.  I also would like to hear opinions about my songwriting from someone who is an expert at it.  Eventually I want to get a team of professionals so that my songs can get radio play and to have someone booking my shows so I can have more time for songwriting.
Name three albums that you can’t live without.
1 by the Beatles, Waking Up by OneRepublic, and Nothing Like The Sun by Sting
Describe your music to our viewers and why everyone should be at your next show.

My songs are pop with some rock elements, but because I’m solo acoustic the sound is more mellow than it would be if fully produced with a band.  My upcoming summer shows are at the House of Blues Chicago, Six Flags Great America, Milwaukee Summerfest, and Taste of Chicago, and I’ll be playing new songs that I’m finishing up this month, so please come out!


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Interview w/ Aoede – (Pop/Singer/Songwriter) San Francisco, CA



When did you realize you wanted to play music?


I’ve always been musical! Since being a kid and singing on stage as part of Children’s Young People’s Theater, through junior high and high school drama classes and theater productions. I didn’t try my hand at being a “singer-songwriter,” though, until I was an adult: I was “finding myself” after a separation and was a lead singer in a cover band in 2002! After I started taking voice lessons and writing my first song, my muse started flowing and hasn’t stopped…


What is some of the music/artists that influenced you?


Over the years there have been many pop, top 40 and British bands, from 80s and 90s bands like The Church, Chameleons, Pixies, Nick Cave, New Model Army to blues such as Billie Holiday to many modern women singer-songwriters such as Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spektor, Feist, Lily Allen, Sam Phillips, Adele, and even bands such as Keane and Muse.


The name, Aoede, is that a middle name or something you came up with?


“Aoede” was the first muse of song in Greek Mythology, and the name means “song.” I wanted affiliation with the muse and a reminder to continually inspire and be inspired. Aoede is quirky, child-like, folky-pop and musical stories for kids of all ages. Ingrid Michaelson meets Regina Spektor or Feist. Aoede is compelling pop for your heart by an Award-Winning San Francisco-based Singer-Songwriter with an enchantingly quirky soprano voice…


Tell us about your songwriting process. Do you write lyrics first or music?

I usually write music first, but it goes hand in hand with lyrical ideas. I might have some ideas for a song lyrically, but I don’t often realize them until I hear the music. I most often compose on guitar. My musical ideas can suggest the lyrics too.


What is the best experience, as a musician or being on stage, that you’ve had so far?

There have been a few! As a musician, I have been so privileged to receive multiple awards over the past few years and industry recognition from being a Winner for Children’s Music in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition, Finalist for John Lennon Songwriting Competition, to receiving multiple awards for Artists in Music Awards (2012) and Indie Music Channel (2013, 2012), as well as LA Music Awards and my albums being considered for the Grammys. They have all been amazing experiences for me as a musician and very empowering and affirming of my life path and dreams. In terms of being on stage, the highlight was playing a festival for CureJM in Oregon in 2012 , for children afflicted with a skin and muscle disease, the same condition that I have as an adult. It was so empowering to show them that despite what life throws at them, they can still dream and live their dreams, and I was living proof of that! I also really enjoyed a CD release/music video premiere multi-media show I put on in June 2012. It was so much fun to combine live music, readings and video!


What is the worst? (We all have our moments!)


I was about to go on stage back in 2006 for a benefit show at 12 Galaxies in San Francisco. There was a riser that I didn’t see and I hit my head on it hard. I knew I had hit it but just continued onto the stage, started playing and singing, and the audience started gasping and pointing. Apparently, I had blood dripping down my face! My boyfriend and bass player Dave (now my husband) scooped me up and brought me upstairs to stop the bleeding, and I actually played a set about an hour later (with minimal bleeding)!


What do you hope to achieve with your music? Any specific goals?


Yes! My big dreams are Grammy Awards for Children’s Music and placements in film, tv and advertising. 


My ongoing dream? I want to continue to write and record music for my albums, musical stories, a web series, and singles and for advertising, film and tv. I am in production on my next musical story: “What Are Dreams Made Of?” I hope to complete it and have it considered for the Grammy Awards in 2013.


Tell us three artists that you have been listening to lately.


Greg Laswell, Erin McCarley, Lisa Mitchell


As we can all hear, you are a very talented musician. What else does Aoede do well? What are your other trades?


Writing! I wrote my first script and musical story “Is Love A Fairy Tale?” last year and enjoyed the process so much I am writing my next story: “What Are Dreams Made Of?” now as a follow up. I have started a few books as well. Also, I was an Environmental Scientist for 10 years focused on coastal water quality protection. I have always had a passion for water!


Finally, tell us about your upcoming show/shows and why everyone should be there!


I am mainly focused on production of my new album this month, but I do have a show coming up: a momentous multi-day RipStar Productions Red Cross benefit at Live Worms Gallery for their 10th Anniversary. It is on SAT JUNE 22nd in San Francisco in North Beach. Aoede is on early for FOLK Night. I will be playing some acoustic songs and also doing some fun multi-media stuff. I always like to mix it up, so you never know what I might do next! If you are in the SF Bay Area, come on out and say hello!!




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T. Rex Tuesday – Bang A Gong (Get it On)

Always one of my favorite 70’s bands. This is the song people know them for – but their hits go far beyond this song.

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June 4, 2013 · 2:35 pm

Various Hands (Indie/Dance/Rock) St. Louis, MO


These days, when it comes to music, few artists have standards for the music they perform and few listeners have standards for what they want to hear. St. Louis, Missouri’s Various Hands is setting out to change all that. Their music is catchy and appealing and will make you want to move your body in a convulsive type of way that might otherwise be considered “dancing” while at the same time it touts uniqueness and fresh energy that is becoming a lost art in today’s industry. Various Hands combines an indie dance rock style of music with singer/guitarist Jeff Nations’ signature life-is-good lyric motif. Guitarist/vocalist Zach Meier, drummer Ben Pitts and bassist/vocalist Adam Wirth round out a lineup of experienced, seasoned musicians. Their debut EP, This Party Will Be Fun., solidifies Various Hands’ feel good message, upbeat rhythms and otherwise unorthodox views on what life (and music) should consist of and be recognized for these days. 

This Party Will Be Fun., that’s the title of indie dance rockers Various Hands’ independent debut EP and that is the best way to describe the music that comprises this record. The EP (on which founder Jeff Nations performed all instruments and voices with some guest appearances) is chock full of upbeat, bouncy drum beats combined with smooth, well crafted guitar parts, slick basslines and just the right amount of keyboards topped off with Nations’ life-is-good lyrical attitude. The music makes listeners want to be more than just listeners. It makes them want to join the party. 

“That has been my mantra for most of my life”, Nations says about the album’s title. “Life is fun, it’s here for us to enjoy. Everyday is a party and yeah, you have to do your job and earn your living but if you’re not having a good time doing that then something’s wrong”. The EP’s opening track “Wedding Night” sets the tone for Nations’ views on human existence while the first single, “Blackout Weekend”, along with “Blame It On The Night” and “The Universal Dance” keep the hips moving and the mood light. “You Should’ve Thought Of That Before” and “Everything You’re Doing (Is Bad)” are simply a look at the way people live in today’s world. “People are really being dumbed down these days, especially by the music that’s being force-fed to them”, says Nations. “This is simply my rebuttal to it, both in the style of the music and the messages in the lyrics. Hopefully you hear this album and it makes you smile and want to move in some way…and not just physically”. This Party Will Be Fun. was released on November 22, 2011 and is distributed by MondoTunes, a subsidiary of INgrooves/Universal Music Group.



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