Saturday, April 24, 2010

Facebook Still Under Fire Regarding Lack of Privacy By Christine Albrecht

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Here’s an article I read an hour ago.

When I read articles such as this, I admonish myself for not trusting my ‘gut’. Every time I sign up for one of these ‘social networking’ sites, something inside tells me I am making a poor decision, yet I will push the hesitation aside and carry on.

Of course, if I feel too many personal questions are being unnecessarily asked, I will rarely sign on to a new site. I am always curious why they need that information for a site that merely wants to allow people to connect with each other? I understand EBay’s, or Paypal’s, need to confirm addresses etc. as they are a retail/money business, but why for social networking? I’d like to think I am clever enough to know that Raddim Naherlari, the wealthy banker from Nairobi, is not someone with whom I need to continue email correspondence. But in hindsight, considering the information that I have released online, I’m not that clever at all.

I have a Facebook account, in fact, I have two. One account I acquired simply for playing word games without any concern regarding the information I supplied and whether it is shared or not.. For those unaware, Facebook carries many third-party games, and activities. As soon as you attempt to receive a cyber ‘gift’, disclaimers pop up requiring you to release your information in order to continue. Well, my second account idea was not that clever after all, and my cautious approach has been in vain as any “friend” listed on my Facebook page may have inadvertently already released my information because he/she opted to sign onto a game. As soon as someone linked to my page, opens their page for scrutiny, I become a part of that scrutiny simply through default.

It’s a shame, really, as I like the social-networking premise of Facebook. The platform has allowed me to find old friends who had simply moved on - people whom I have always wondered about. I’ve also found people I‘ve needed to thank because of some impact they (unknowingly) made in my life. Facebook has allowed me these opportunities.

I am sure there is another social net-working program right around the corner, waiting to be launched. We’ll all jump on the bandwagon and Facebook will become less used, much like Myspace; still useful, but not relied upon.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Warner New Releases as of April 16, 2010: Reported by Christine Albrecht

NEW RELEASE DATES – As of April 16, 2010


GRATEFUL DEAD Crimson, White & Indigo: Jul 7/89, JFK Stadium (3 cds & dvd)
JON & ROY Homes
RATT Infestation
SEVENDUST Cold Day Memory (CD/DVD)


B.o.B. aka Bobby Ray The Adventures Of Bobby Ray
K’MARO 01.10
KEELOR, GREG Gunless: An Original Soundtrack…
LABELLE, JESSE Perfect Accident
MESSINA, JO DEE Unmistakable Love


DEFTONES Diamond Eyes
FLAMING LIPS… ..& Stardeath & White Dwarfs..doing Dark Side Of The Moon
ZAC BROWN BAND Pass The Jar….Live from Fox Theatre In Atlanta (2 cd & dvd)

MAY 11

A-HA The Singles1984-2004
Love Is Strange
DEAD WEATHER, THE Sea of Cowards
EVEREST On Approach
GREEN DAY Orig. Broadway Cast Recording of “American Idiot”
MEATLOAF Hang Cool Teddy Bear
SOUNDTRACK Drawn Together

Thursday, April 08, 2010



Band to hit the road in the U.S. with Sevendust prior to release of debut album, Population: Declining

Elektra Entertainment

Hail The Villain
has emerged out of Oshawa, Ontario (the automobile epicenter of Canada), to unleash the band’s master plan on an unsuspecting population with the launch of one of the most creative and technologically advanced websites ever built for a band – Click on article title for band's url.

The band isn’t satisfied with just writing songs, making an album and going out on tour. They want to create an entire Hail The Villain universe that includes not only the music, but a dynamic live show, animated videos, a comic book and their unique website.

Designed and built by RUNE Entertainment and GRAND Creative Studios, the website opens with family man and steel factory worker Drake Carter ending his affair with seductive co-worker Thea Landa. This sparks a chain of events that leads to Drake's murder at the hands of his former lover and secret Villain as she moves to claim his soul.

Freezing time in that brutal and savage moment, the website allows users to navigate through the scene to unlock character back-stories, clues and downloads, to participate in the story by becoming Villainized and to share messages with the band.

“This is one of the most interactive websites that we’ve ever seen,”
enthuses Hail The Villain singer Bryan Crouch. “It truly brings our fans into our Universe and allows us to have direct communication with them through our video channels, and the Book of Souls. It’s a site where you can lose yourself for hours in the story that we created. I wish more bands were doing things like this.”

The concept for the website grew out of a series of sketches the band had created as a rough draft for a comic book inspired by the sounds of their new album, Population: Declining which will be released throughout North America on June 8, 2010. Armed with the band’s ideas, RUNE and GRAND set out to design a website with a difference, building a range of engaging features to plug into and enhance a story crafted to showcase the band’s music.

"When we met the group they told us that they were looking for an atypical band website and essentially gave us carte blanche to go off and create something unique,
" explains GRAND co-partner Luke Canning. Taking that brief as their starting point, the challenge for us was to build a site that would set Hail the Villain apart from the cacophony of acts populating the pages of MySpace and Facebook.

Taking the point-and-click concept to a whole new level, presents a series of artfully illustrated environments to explore, with clues and hints, character bios and Easter eggs hidden at every turn. Numbers scrawled in matchbooks unlock audio content when punched into a phone booth, while a map hidden in the glove compartment foreshadows a darker plot twist that will be revealed in one of the upcoming comics.

To drive audience participation, users are invited to activate their webcam at the start of the experience. As they journey through the site, visitors will uncover various opportunities to upload and modify pictures of themselves, record and share videos with the band and other fans, and stumble across several other surprises.

Hail The Villain’s debut album, Population: Declining was produced by Darryl Romphf and will be released on June 8, 2010 by Warner Music Canada, while Roadrunner Records will be releasing the album on the same day in the United States. The album’s release is preceded by the album’s first single, “Take Back The Fear,” and its accompanying animated video, produced by RUNE Entertainment.

Prior to the album’s release, Hail The Villain hits the road in the U.S. for a month of dates opening for Sevendust:

April 21 Knoxville, TN Valarium
April 22 Louisville, KY Headliner’s
April 25 Ladson, SC Ladson Fairground
April 27 Fayetteville, AR Majestic Lounge
April 28 Huoma, LA The City Club
April 30 Atlanta, GA The Tabernacle
May 1 Orlando, FL Tinker Field
May 4 West Springfield, VA JAXX
May 5 Richmond, VA The Natonal
May 7 Clifton Park, NY Northern Lights
May 8 Allentown, PA Crocodile Rock
May 9 Syracuse, NY Westcott Theatre
May 11 Wantagh, NY Mulcahy’s
May 12 Lancaster, PA Chameleon Club
May 14 Sounth Bend, IN Club Fever
May 15 Kenosha, WI Eagles Ballroom
May 16 Flint, MI The Machine Shop
May 20 Ft. Wayne, IN Pierre’s
May 21 Traverse City, MI Ground Zero
May 22 Milwaukee, WI Eagles Ballroom

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The End of Louis XIV... For Now By Christine Albrecht

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Bands often remind me of hockey teams. You can hire the best and the brightest performers available, but if the individual players don’t gel as a ‘team’, then they can’t get ahead - regardless of the combined talent. That analogy sprang to mind when I heard that Louis XVI had parted ways to pursue their individual musical careers.

They got out of the game rather early, considering they have only been a group since 2003. Perhaps they could see the writing on the wall better than most bands. Louis XVI was fortunate enough to receive ‘just discovered’ status, but for some reason they weren’t able to sustain the public’s interest. As a journalist in Manchester wrote, Louis XIV had been “criminally overlooked”.

Louis XIV consists of singer/guitarist - Jason Hill, guitarist - Brian Karscig, drummer - Mark Maigaard, and bassist - James Armbrust. (In 2007 they added violinist, Ray Suen for tours.) They formed in April of 2003 and released several EPs. In 2004, local California DJs began sampling songs from the band’s Myspace page which prompted a quick release of yet another EP. They were quickly signed by Atlanta, in the Fall of 2004, and they released the album The Best Little Secrets are Kept. The album sounded raw and gritty, as though they had recorded in their garage, using a reel to reel. The effect worked - The Best Little Secrets are Kept is an album worth owning – each song brings its own eccentric sound to the finished whole.

These were not young, inexperienced musicians, but rather high calibre performers. Both Hill and Karsig performed on The Killer’s lauded album, Sam’s Town. Karcig, a music producer, also owns Nervous Productions. Hill is known for working with The Killers, The Virgins, David Bowie, as well as others. A formidable list of talented musicians seek Hill’s assistance, which begs the question, why couldn’t Hill propel his own band into a higher musical stratosphere? What happened to 2005’s wave of adulation, with Bowie generously dropping their name during interviews; Rolling Stone magazine and MTV deemed Louis XIV as one of the “top ten bands to watch”?

With the release of The Best..., Louis XIV came controversy. Most notably (and humorously) being known as the band who was banned in Hoover, Alabama. Regarding the Hoover incident, Hill was quoted in an interview as saying, “...but in some ways, the most negative press can also be the biggest compliment...” If this is the case, then 2005 was Louis XIV’s banner year for both accolades and ‘compliments”.

Hill in 2005

Specifically, the song, Finding Out True Love is Blind caused a stir. It was a top 10 hit, but it also prompted a knee jerk response from various special interest groups. These groups were calling for radio censorship and even going so far as to plead with the public not to buy the CD. It is a great song, and yes, the lyrics could be viewed as crude, perhaps even misogynistic, but no worse than top-selling rap albums. Why was this band being targeted by these groups, and why was Hill publicly being called chauvinistic, lewd, and racist? Ironically, the family-oriented Wal-Mart sold the Louis XIV CD, and made no effort to remove it.

Songs are akin to books; the publication of a book or song does not immediately reflect or indicate the writer’s innermost beliefs. It’s just a song/book, period. And since the public is given the gift of choice - either buy the CD, or don’t.

It appeared that Louis XIV was going to approach their zenith again when they released their 2008 album, Slick Dogs and Ponies. Favourable media attention was received when they toured with The Killers in 2009, yet the general public continued to overlook the band. Their recent songs, Air Traffic Control and Guilt by Association were gems, yet received little airplay, aside from occasional college radio stations. The public’s indifference to Louis XIV will remain a mystery. One can only fall back on the hockey analogy – perhaps these talented musicians simply weren’t able to “gel” as a unit.

2010 - the band is no longer, having sputtered out after several attempts to ignite excitement over their releases. Seven years is enough time to know whether staying together is worth the effort required. However, the band’s sporadic efforts will be missed as their music was worthy of attention. Here’s hoping that each member quickly tires of individual pursuits, and they once again unite to show the world that they are, as Rolling Stone once noted, a band to watch.

Louis XIV in 2009