Zune Artist

Zune Artist Profile – The Good, The Bad & The Queen

May 212007
 
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Zune.net | The Good, The Bad & The Queen – Artist Profile Page

The Good, The Bad & The Queen began life in the Aphrodisia Studios in Lagos, Nigeria, in 2004. Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) and guitarist Simon Tong (The Verve) had travelled to Lagos to record with veteran drummer and Afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen (Africa 70, Fela Kuti). Working with local musicians, the trio recorded an album’s worth of material. Back in England, Damon was finishing off Gorillaz’ Demon Days album and the project went on the back burner.

By the time they came back to it−and when Damon gave the recordings to producer Brian ‘Danger Mouse’ Burton−feelings about the record had changed. “When Brian came on board it really started to become, The Good, The Bad & The Queen. I started writing about this area−West London−and coming to define here and why I think it’s such a special place to live,” said Albarn.

The final collaborator to come in to the studio was Clash bassist−and West London native−Paul Simonon, and the album was finished by early summer 2006.

The result is a record specific to a place and a time but with a background that is geographically wide-ranging and stretches far back into a glittering musical past. The Good, The Bad & The Queen traces a journey from the English music hall tradition, over to West Africa for Afrobeat, zigzagging through the West Indies and its reggae and dub, back to England and London’s punk scene, all the while taking in a strand of British beat music from the ’50s right through to Britpop.

Preview and download their self-titled album, The Good, The Bad & The Queen, on Zune Marketplace today.

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Zune Artist Profile – Animal Collective

May 172007
 
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Zune.net | Animal Collective – Artist Profile Page

Friends and musical partners since 1992, core members Avey Tare (a.k.a. David Porter) and Panda Bear (a.k.a. Noah Lennox) came together in 2000 with the intention of moving pop music in a direction that would place heavy emphasis on sonic experience. Soon after this, they began operating as Animal Collective, an umbrella name now used for a grouping of four people.

Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Geologist (a.k.a. Brian Weitz), and Deaken (a.k.a. Conrad Deaken) play together under different names and in different configurations. Their releases are always prone to continual musical change: from beautifully skewed pop ballads to fiercely ruptured noise-squalls to tribal rhythmic work-outs to simple folk songs, to who knows where; from fully orchestrated group freak-outs to the intimacy of an acoustic duo.

In whatever formation, Animal Collective is a genuinely thrilling live unit, passionately committed and unafraid to put themselves on the line.

The Collective’s first offering was a stunning collaboration between Avey Tare and Panda Bear called Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished, released on their own label Animal in August of 2000. A second album, Danse Manatee was released by Catsup Plate in July 2001, which was accompanied by a month-long U.S. tour with their friends Black Dice. The next year they released a limited-edition, vinyl-only on St.Ives (a sub-label of Secretly Canadian) called Hollinndagain, which was made up of recordings from live shows.

In 2003, they released Campfire Songs, a collection of songs recorded live on a screened-in porch in rural Maryland on Catsup Plate, Here Comes the Indian on Carpark’s imprint label Paw Tracks, and three tracks from Avey Tare also appeared on a Split 12″ shared with David Grubbs. The next year, the group released their twisted yet masterly pop album, Sung Tongs, and followed it with the album Feels, which was released in October of 2005.

The group’s first release of 2007, People, features three previously unreleased tracks (plus one live version), which were recorded at the same sessions as the band’s hugely successful Feels album.

Preview and download Animal Collective’s songs on Zune Marketplace today.

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Zune Artist Profile – Rodrigo y Gabriela

May 132007
 
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Zune.net | Rodrigo y Gabriela – Artist Profile Page

Rodrigo (Sanchez) and Gabriela (Quintero) are two fast-fingered, Dublin-based, Mexicans with a unique sound created on acoustic guitars. Their music is difficult to define, straddling both world and rock, and often filled with timeless Hispano−classical influences. The fire in it comes from their life-long passion for metal music.

The duo’s repertoire flies beyond familiar Latin folk guitarists’ styles because of the metal connection: their re-workings of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and Metallica’s “Orion,” and the presence, on “Ixtapa,” of the fiery Hungarian gypsy violinist, Roby Lakatos.

The musicians met as teenagers at the Casa de Cultura (Culture House) in Mexico City. Rodrigo was playing drums in a band that changed its name to Tierra Acida (Acid Earth) when Gabriela joined them on guitar. Tierra Acida played in Mexico City’s roughest clubs and lived off day jobs. They recorded an album but wouldn’t sign the record contract, planning instead to concentrate on learning more guitar styles. In fact, they just hung out with friends and survived by playing bossa nova, a style of Brazilian music, in hotel bars before they decided to travel to Europe.

Their first port of call was Dublin, Ireland, in 1999. The city was booming with new music venues, galleries, and a thriving rock scene. The two Mexicans found themselves jamming with local folk musicians in the bars. Next, they moved to Denmark, which inspired two numbers on their album, “Diablo Rojo,” a scary roller-coaster ride in the city, and “Viking Man,” their nickname for a homeless man they befriended, and then to Barcelona before returning to Dublin after they were asked to play the newly opened Sugar Club. Damian Rice, then a busking friend, invited them to support his shows, and in 2003, they released Re-Foc, and a year later, Live Manchester and Dublin, which both launched them onto the World Music circuit.

The duo’s influences range from family salsa records to Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Queen, and Led Zeppelin. But, crucially, they grew up during Mexico’s “metal era.”

Mentions of flamenco influences raise sharp responses: “To many music fans, it sounds like flamenco, and we’re great flamenco fans, but we don’t play it,” says Gabriela. “The only similarity is that our music is guitar music and it’s very rhythmic.”

Rodrigo and Gabriela describe their style as “Fusion music.” “It’s mainly got Latin harmonies and rhythms but the structure is rock. It’s not jazz because it’s structured, and we don’t improvise; our solos are exactly what’s on the record, as a metal fan and guitarist you always want to hear the same solo,” the groups says.

Check out the duo’s latest album, Rodrigo y Gabriela, on Zune Marketplace!

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Zune Artist Profile = Every Move a Picture

May 092007
 
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Zune.net | Every Move a Picture – Artist Profile Page

Childhood friends Brent Messenger (singer/guitar) and Joey Fredrick (bass) had been playing in various bands throughout the early 2000s (at times with drummer Dan Aquino), but Every Move a Picture wasn’t officially born until early 2004 when Allen Davis (guitar/keyboard) joined the band through a Craigslist posting.

Setting up in a friend’s rehearsal space and spending a grand total of $290, the band recorded three songs: “Signs of Life,” “Chemical Burns” and “12AM.” Suddenly they were blaring out of the radio in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The songs also filtered across the Atlantic to the U.K.−with XFM spinning the band’s tracks and Steve Lamacq playing “Signs of Life” on Radio 1.

Back home, the Every Move a Picture fan base was rapidly growing as they played various underground dance parties in lofts and bars, before moving on to San Francisco’s prestigious Popscene club, and support slots with the Kaiser Chiefs and Louis XIV.

Soon after, the band released the five-song EP Blink and You’ll Miss It, with those original three tracks along with two others (“You’re So Predictable” and “St. John’s Night.”) This made it into the hands of leading tastemaker Nic Harcourt on L.A.’s uber-hip KCRW station, who immediately took to the band’s energy, offering them their first live radio session. Next up, a slew of licenses for the band’s music, from TV shows such as One Tree Hill, to various computer games, as the band’s dance punk grooves were compared favorably to everyone from Interpol and The Rapture, to The Killers.

Before any official release appeared overseas, Every Move a Picture played their first U.K. gigs to overwhelming response. The London-based label Something in Construction then issued a 7″ containing the songs “Signs of Life” and “Chemical Burns,” which promptly sold out the week of release.

And somewhere amidst all this the 2005 Reading and Leeds Festival called, inviting the band for a slot on the Carling Stage. They also played the Live 105 B.F.D. radio festival in San Francisco alongside Foo Fighters, Hot Hot Heat, and Ash.

In July 2006, Every Move a Picture released their anticipated full-length debut album Heart=Weapon that you can preview and download on Zune Marketplace. You can also listen to their song “Signs of Life,” which is preloaded into every Zune.

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Zune Artist Profile – The Pierces

May 052007
 
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Zune.net | The Pierces – Artist Profile Page

Born and raised in Alabama but currently residing in New York, Allison and Catherine Pierce are the harmonizing sisters behind the duo The Pierces. Homeschooled by their painter mother and guitar-wielding father, the two girls were encouraged in the arts from a young age, and quickly learned to play guitar and harmonize.

In 2000 they released their full-length, self-titled debut album. After a couple of years of struggling with their first record label, the sisters decided it was time for a change. They ended the relationship and moved to New York City where they performed acoustically at clubs and residences around town.

The Pierces released their second album, Light of the Moon, in 2004 under a new label. Produced by Brian Sperber, the record is filled with radio-friendly melodies with touches of folk and country. The duo recently returned from Europe after opening for Albert Hammond, Jr., band member of The Strokes, on a tour for his solo project.

Their upcoming album, Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge, released by Lizard King Records is scheduled to hit stores on March 20, 2007.

Check out the music video for their latest song “Boring.” And download their music on Zune Marketplace today.

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Zune Artist – Left Disgusted

 Music, Zune, Zune Artist  4 Responses »
Mar 192007
 
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Webpage: http://www.myspace.com/leftdisgusted
Location: Bayville, NJ, USA
Description: Hard Alternative Rock
Biography: After being in millions of bands, all of which have failed due to the incompetence of other band members, I have decided to do a solo project. I am in discussion with some labels and a few agents so I decided to create this page as a gateway to possible fans and labels. I have had the misfortune of playing guitar for 13 years, bass for 5 years, drums for 4 years, and singing for 10 years. I have three songs on my first demo: 1. Flown 2. My Selfish Acts 3. An Epidemic The Demo is titled Vent and is available for free, just let me know who you are and where to send it and its yours. Keep checking back for any and all updates and feel free to email me at LeftDisgusted@comcast.net.
Press
Release:
You can now hear the single “My Selfish Acts” on the Opie and Anthony Show Foundry Cams and maybe on air…check it out and sign up today at foundry music!!!!!!!
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Zune Artist Profile – Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars

Mar 132007
 
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Zune.net | Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars – Artist Profile Page

With a spirited and infectious fusion of traditional West African music, roots reggae, and rhythmic traditional folk, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars craft music that transforms and uplifts. The collection of songs on their debut album Living Like a Refugee, decry the insanity of war and call out for social justice while instantly compelling you to get on your feet and dance. They have lived through unimaginable tragedy and yet Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have become an inspiration and a symbol of the healing power of music.

Formed in a refugee camp in the West African nation of Guinea, all of Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars’ members lived in or around Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital city, prior to their individual departures in the late 1990′s. Although group leader Reuben M. Koroma and future R.A.S. bandmates Franco (Francis Langba) and Arahim (Abdul Rahim Kamara) knew each other as professional musicians from different bands in Freetown and even occasionally played together in common musical circles, it wasn’t until they reconnected in Kalia Refugee Camp in Guinea that the roots of the group took shape.

When Reuben, his wife Grace, and Franco began making music for their fellow refugees, their efforts were short lived when their camp came under attack. The initial band members−alongside thousands of fellow refugees−were evacuated from the area and moved to Sembakounya Refugee Camp. Set deep in the remote Guinean countryside, it was here that Reuben and Franco were able to acquire the rusted-out sound system and beat up electric guitars that helped officially launch the group.

Backed by the likes of Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, Ice Cube, Angelina Jolie, and Steve Bing, the resulting documentary film, The Refugee All Stars, has won a series of major awards. And while the film has been busy conquering the hearts of festival goers, it is the music of Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars that is now prepped to win over legions of new fans.

Living Like a Refugee was recorded throughout the production of the The Refugee All Stars film, between August 2002 and October 2005. Each song is an original composition written during their years in exile and the album serves as a musical document of the band’s incredible journey. Featuring field recordings from the refugee camps in Guinea as well as studio efforts at Sam Jones’ Island Studios in Freetown, these 17 tracks tell the story of life in the camps, facing hunger, and enduring the horrors of war.

Preview and download Living Like a Refugee on Zune Marketplace.

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Zune Artist – Ronnie LeBlanc

 Music, The Zune, Zune, Zune Artist, Zune.net  No Responses »
Mar 122007
 
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Webpage: http://www.ronnieleblanc.com
Location: Toronto, , Canada
Description: Pure energy packed into a huge eclectic arsenal of original music, written by this chaotic, hypnotic & dedicated performer…
Biography:
Ronnie LeBlanc


Ronnie LeBlanc (a.k.a. RON) is the rock stylist set to re-introduce purity of the rock aesthetic to the masses. After a pummeling by alternative, nu metal, modern rock, etc., the listener is ready to return to the roots of rock, rock-and-roll that’s just plain rock-and-roll. Well, maybe plain isn’t the right word, because there’s nothing plain about RON’s music. It’s just that LeBlanc creates rock-and-roll that isn’t this or that, it’s simply and powerfully rock-and-roll.


Emotion


Every song cues a particular emotional response in the listener. “Each song takes me down a road I once traveled,” says Ronnie LeBlanc. “Sometimes I am excited and uncontrollable; other times I cry or swell up inside holding back the tears through each word.” Music has a way of putting a person in touch with his own emotions, which brings about wholeness of self. This can make crossing boundaries between self and others more possible. Music is full of potential, something that RON recognizes. “I feel at one with the world and myself when I sing my songs. They start my day and end my nights and they are the only thing that drives me.” The same effect is had upon those who hear Ronnie’s music. It is muscular but also touching.


Rock?


With all this talk of humanity and music that is touching, some of you may wonder where the rock went. Hey, we’re TALKING about the rock-and-roll! Just one listen to this heady, thick, crunchy, attitude-laden rock (that also boasts a slyly, wryly humorous mien) and you’ll see what’s up. The rock of Ronnie LeBlanc has all the musical muscle the burliest of rockers could want, but it also is laden with human awareness, something any style of music needs to be fully functional.


Love


LeBlanc loves his music. They are his creations and he bears the utmost passion for them. This closeness to one’s artistic endeavors is a good omen. Here is a man who puts all of himself into the songs he writes, assuring the listener that music of depth and talent is about to issue forth from the speakers. “(The songs) are like my children, which I want the whole world to hear so that I may share my anger, sorrows, love, laughter, awareness, honesty and tears with anyone who will have me.” LeBlanc quite clearly has a full grasp of the universal scope of music and its emotional applications. And he loves it.


Acclaim


Ronnie LeBlanc has won the 2001 ECMA Award for Best Alternative Group of the Year and has performed live for a number of TV programs, such as “The Mike Bullard Show,” “ECMA Awards,” “Much Music,” “Music Plus” and more. LeBlanc has also shared concert time with the likes of Creedence Clearwater Revival, April Wine, The Tea Party, Kim Stockwood, Natalie McMasters, Lennie Gallant, Alana Miles and Paul Stanley.


To Be Heard


“I just need the chance to be heard,” says Ronnie. And once you’ve heard him, it’s all over. Making sure the music is heard far and wide is A&R Select, the top independent A&R firm in Hollywood, CA.


Review


“Ronnie LeBlanc’s rock grit and real human emotional approach makes for music that is worthy to rock out a club and also able to soothe the soul. Masterful.”  A&R Select

Press
Release:
Press Reviews

Quotes from national and international media
Press

- Quotes from national and international media -

Ronnie LeBlanc is a soulful, emotionally charged and passionate vocalist/songwriter who is inspired by life itself. His music takes me on a journey to a place within, that I didn’t know existed. His music brings smile’s to my face and tears to my eyes. Powerful!
Don Coleman, Attack Records – A/R Representative

The group develop their debut in like fashion, exploring quasi-mythical
territory in the intimate theatre of bonfire music and a participating
audience sporting a requisite star glazed mind.
RPM, Toronto



Something gothic, yet something Celtic, a really disarming alternative kind of thing that makes you want to keep listening to for what comes next.
Chart, Toronto

Flamenco, blues, folk, country, music from North Africa, the group go ahead with force and originality. To discover.
Michel Bilodeau, Le Soleil, Quebec

Acoustic guitar rock with a lot of strength and character brilliantly sung by Ronnie LeBlanc, a lively guy possessed by his acoustic sin.
Sylvain Cormier, Le Devoir, Montreal

How does it feel to be the talk of the town?
Patrick Marsolais, Musique Plus

Raw energy that has delighted everyone: francophone and Anglophones, decision makers and fans, foreigners and locals alike. A rare accomplishment that leads us, unanimously, to believe we’ll hear from the group again very soon.
Laurent Soulnier, Voir Montreal

Remarkable!
The Bridge, Toronto

Folk rock, blues, flamenco, Gothic had rock, Russian stump, Celtic fiddle
swing&this list obviates a diverse heritage and an eclectic musical play list.
The Nugget, Edmonton

They are laid back, theatrical and mysterious in performance and sure to
at least cause a stir. Keep your eye out for them.
Music East, Halifax

A great prospect for the Atlantic region. If I were an agent for a multinational,I’d sign them up right away, and it looks like they’re going to be signed soon anyway.
Volt Fax, Montreal

On its own strength, created a real buzz about itself at the East Coast Music Awards. With Musique Plus cameras rolling, multinationalsand rock festival programmers from Montreal, Toronto and England at their performance, one of the major alternative rock prospects from New Brunswick. Fascinating and thrilling.
L’Acadie Nouvelle, NB

Imagine that this new band goes to Spain and Ireland to study the respective
musical roots of these countries, namely Flamenco and Celtic music.
Brock Wagner, Tandem, Toronto

The one redeeming quality about this album is the quality of the musicians.
Mike Fisher, The Brock Press, St-Catherines

The musicianship is excellent!
Darell Hartlem, The Nomad

The songs are pure and raw, true the artistic style of the band as it progresses with each track.
Luca D’Addario, Tandem, Toronto

They are bringing back the rock of the 70’s and 80’s that the old metal bands left behind.
Matt Thompson, Lambda, Laurentian University

Their CD offers a unique, refreshing new sound, consisting of powerful lyrics and creative songwriting, coupled with Spanish style guitar and tribal rhythms of an acoustic nature.
Music East

One of my most interesting listening experiences.
Emma Hopper, The Gateway, Edmonton

A song called “The Appraisal”, a hard ballad about homeless, all the more effective in that it is devoid of pathos.
Sylvain Cormier, Le Devoir, Montreal

The fact is any putz can play power chords and roar, but it takes talent to play acoustic guitar and actually sing.
Chart, Toronto

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