Exclusive Interview With Marshall Crenshaw!

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(PCM) Kristyn Clarke of PopCultureMadness.com recently had a chance to catch up with high entertaining and engaging performer Marshall Crenshaw at his recent performance opening up for Fountains of Wayne at The World Cafe Live at The Queen in Wilmington, DE.

Crenshaw has recently helped pioneer a new music distribution model with new EP subscription vinyl/download series. The subscription service, which the Platinum, Gold, and Silver award-winning, Grammy and Golden Globe nominated songwriter and recording artist recently launched via a successful Kickstarter funding campaign, will provide fans with a steady stream of new Marshall Crenshaw music via a series of exclusive three-song 10-inch, 45 RPM vinyl EPs on Addie-Ville Records, six of which the artist plans to release over a two-year period. In addition to the vinyl discs, subscribers will also receive a download card for digital versions of the EP tracks. These recordings are available from Crenshaw’s web site: http://marshallcrenshaw.com

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Not only did Crenshaw develop the subscription-based EP series via Kickstarter but actually surpassed his Kickstarter goal. The subscription series has already proven a success: Half of its entire print run has been committed to distribution through Thinkindie Distribution for Record Store Day’s Back to Black Friday (November 23) — arguably the most important day of the year for vinyl connoisseurs. Add to that the loyal Marshall Crenshaw fans who have invested in the project on Kickstarter and received their early copy of the official January 23, 2013 release date for the debut EP, I Don’t See You Laughing Now.

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Each EP consists entirely of newly recorded, never-before-released material, encompassing a new original Crenshaw composition, a classic cover tune, and a new reworking of a time-honored favorite.

Photography by: Ken Schuler

Check out the full interview with Marshall Crenshaw below:

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Interview with Pop Sensation and American Idol Judge Nicki Minaj

nicki(PCM) From her humble beginnings in Jamaica to her humble upbringing in Queens New York to her spotlight alongside high profile judges on the panel of American Idol (including her infamous feuding with Mariah Carey.) Nicki Minaj came to conquer, to win, and she did. Nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award in the category of Best New Artist, Minaj’s rapping technique has been hailed by critics for its use of alter-egos, accents (notably, British) and rapid-fire pace. Equally well-known for her unique sense of style, her use of colorful wigs and outlandish costumes ranks her as one of the world’s leading fashion icons. Minaj is in the midst of her Pink Friday: RELOADED Tour.

We recently had a chance to speak with Nicki Minaj about American Idol, her judging style, and more!  Check out the interview below:

Q:What have been your best and worst moments on American Idol?

NICKI MINAJ: My best and worst IDOL moments, I don’t have a worst IDOL moment.  I’ve been spectacular.  Yes, I’m going to toot my own horn.  And then, my best moment is every single moment, I’ll toot it again.

Q:In your opinion who do you see right now as the front runner for Season 12?

NM: I would say Kree and Angie I think are our front runners.  I mean Kree, Angie, and Candice.

Q: Any reason for those three?

NM: I think that outside of their voices they’ve just sort of won people over already, which I think is evident in just what I see on Twitter with my fans.  You know those three singers have really, really made an impact not only with just a great voice that sounds like it should already be making albums but for some reason their personality seems to … a lot of fans.

Q: How do you feel about the fact that a lot of people have said you know, “When I started watching IDOL with Nicki Minaj I wasn’t really familiar with who she was or maybe I had some idea about her but now I think she’s the best thing that ever happened to this show.  I love her judging style.”  How do you feel about winning new fans over just by being on the show like that?

NM: I think God is good.  I feel like my entire career and life I’ve been judged by people who really did not know me, but I don’t think that they—I definitely think that they probably were right to assume what they had assumed about me because there was such little to go on, you know, out there.  If you only see videos and me being crazy and hearing little things here and there then obviously you’re not going to have any idea who I really am.

I’m just happy that IDOL producers gave me a shot on the show for me to be able to show who I really was because I feel like I’m every single women.  I really, really don’t think outside of maybe some pink wigs that there’s anything that separates me from every other women in America, so I’m just happy that I was given the opportunity.  Some people don’t get an opportunity to show the world who they really are.  Some people come out and put an album out and people just never talk about them again, but I was given an opportunity to show who I was as a human being and I really appreciate that.

Q: One of the things that you always seem to focus on with the constantans is not just their performance but their whole look, their package, their clothing right down to their belt or their lipstick.  Do you feel in this day and age that is just as important as the performance?

NM: I think so.  I mean I don’t think that ultimately it will have anything to do with them winning IDOL because I feel like the IDOL viewer is really not bias when it comes to the look.  But I think that when you go out in to the real world as an artist you may want to think about it.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with thinking about how you want to look, how you want to present yourself to the world.

I also think that they need to hear criticism on their look on the show because that’s what they’re going to be criticized on in the real world.  They’re going to go on … every single day and see themselves on the worst dressed list or best dressed list or saying they look bad or whatever so they need to start getting an idea of the real world.

Q: If you were asked to return to AMERICAN IDOL next season would you do so? 

NM: Would I come back next season?  I think people would rather be surprised.  I like to save the mystery and the drama.  I never give that away, but you know what I always say this and I mean this from the bottom of my heart that just the people behind the scenes at IDOL have been just like a dream to work with and I really, really honestly mean that.  Mike Darnell took a chance on me.  Nobody else understood it.  They were like, “Nicki who?” and he took a chance on me.  He believed in me.  His daughter and his wife believed in me and so I’m just super grateful to have been given the opportunity.

Q: You’re kind of a polarizing person on that judging panel.  How do you feel about that as an image and are you just being you and people are just reacting to you?

NM: I am absolutely just being me.  I didn’t know what to expect going in to the show.  I was so nervous.  I had a lot of anxiety.  I felt like, “Okay.  I know everybody’s just going to hate me.  Oh well.”  There were moments in the audition process that I would say to the producers, “I can’t do this anymore because if everyone is going to give good critic and I’m going to be the only one being honest then America is going to hate me.  I’m going to be seen as mean.”  And the producers said, “Nicki, trust me America is going to appreciate the honesty” and that’s all I had to go on.

I had Mike Darnell, Trish and Nigel telling me that, you know, take their work and that’s what I did.  I took their word, and I came in every day and I was myself.   What people see me doing with the constants is exactly what I do with my fans.  Well, I don’t critic my fans but I definitely play with my fans and speak to my fans as if they’re my friends, and that’s why I started giving the contestants nicknames.

When I’m laughing on the show I’m genuinely laughing.  I can’t come up there and pretend.  I just can’t do it.  I can’t be someone I’m not.  I can’t sit there with a phony smile on my face; I can’t do it.  I’m happy that people are responding well to it.  I mean if I’m polarizing I’m polarizing.  I don’t know, but I definitely didn’t have a preconceived notion of who I was going to be on that panel.

Q:So has the reality of it been what you thought it would be going in?

NM: I didn’t have a real idea because it was so farfetched from my reality.  Like I’ve never done anything even remotely close to this so I had no idea, and I think that’s why I was so afraid.  I didn’t know what to expect.  I really didn’t.  I just didn’t know but I’m happy about the way it ended up turning out because it’s a fun thing.  It’s a once in a lifetime experience, and, again, I feel like people have gotten to know the real me and that’s all I can ask for.  Whether they like it or not at least they’re getting to know who I really am.

nicki2Q: Is there anything in particular that you’ve been surprised to learn about yourself as a person through judging a show like AMERICAN IDOL?

NM: I’ve been more surprised about the way people have reacted to me like because it almost seems like people weren’t expecting artists to come up there as judges and be completely real, and that’s the only thing that puzzled me.  I just thought, “Hmm isn’t that what we should be doing?  Why is that so shocking to people?”

I mean I guess the other thing was I didn’t realize that maybe I am a bit strange because like the way people react to what I say to the contestants it’s like that’s really how I act but people think it’s kind of strange.  Like when I asked Kree to marry me I didn’t think that was strange but I guess looking back at it now maybe no IDOL judge has ever asked a contestant to marry them on live TV.  I don’t know.  I guess in general I’m just surprised at the way people react to things that I see as very normal.

Q: You seem very emotionally connected to the contestants.  Is it hard for you with that connection when someone is eliminated?

NM: Yeah.  I mean I was like gutted when Curtis left because I feel like Curtis—his voice—I mean I feel like Curtis has the best male voice for the entire season, and he was exciting.  I couldn’t wait to see him perform, and looking back now I wish we would have given him the save.  I really do.

Q: How is your experience being a judge on AMERICAN IDOL compare to how you thought it might be?

NM: Well, I definitely did not have an idea of what it would be because I had never done anything close to AMERICAN IDOL I’ve never had to sit in front of you know 15 million to 18 million people every week and speak so I did not have an idea of what it would be.  I think one of the things that I probably was shocked about was how interested the world is in AMERICAN IDOL and how people, you know writers they write about IDOL all the time.  I guess I didn’t expect that; maybe that was the only thing but for the most part I just didn’t have any idea on what to expect.

Q: So you have loved giving a lot of the contestants like little nicknames that have been really fun.  If you had the opportunity to give yourself a nickname what would you call yourself?

NM: Young Hold

Q: Any explanation behind that?

NM: I don’t know it’s just Young Hold meaning like the young—well, no I don’t want to explain it.  Either you understand it or you don’t and if you don’t understand it it makes it even weirder.

Q: Out of the contestants that you’ve had on this show, who would you most likely, if ever, collaborate with and why?

NM: That’s a great question.  I would love to collaborate with probably Burnell.  He has a genre legend thing that I could definitely see myself collaborating with.

Q: Fans love you because you’re being honest as well as nurturing.  How do you make that balance in making sure that you’re being yourself and you’re giving the contestants honest advice without perhaps upsetting them?

NM: I don’t really think about balancing anything.  I just react on my real emotion.  This last week I felt like you know I sympathized with Lazaro and that’s just where my heart went.  With Paul Jolley I felt like you’re time is up.  But you know even when I’m saying, “Your time is up” or “That was a bad performance” I still care about these people.  I mean these people are sweet.  They’re loving.  They’re chasing their dream.  Their families are there.  I’m always in my heart carrying about them.  I never try to hurt them at all, but I just say what I really, really feel.

I have been finding lately that I’ve been probably—since we’re down to the very best of the best I’ve definitely been trying to say things in a way that won’t discourage them because I want them to continue shining.  I mean I know this is their moment and that one of these people will be the next AMERICAN IDOL so whereas maybe in the beginning I would say it in a blunt way, sometimes now because we’ve gotten so close to them I say it in a way that I just want them to fix it for next week so that they can actually stay in the competition and get votes you know as opposed to me speaking to them as if I’m writing them off and I have 100 more people to see, if that makes sense.

AMERICAN IDOL airs Wednesdays from 8:00 to 10:00 PM on FOX.  AMERICAN IDOL will celebrate it’s 450th episode this Thursday, 3/28, where another contestant will be eliminated.

For more information please visit: www.americanidol.com

Interview with Pop Sensation and American Idol Judge Nicki Minaj also appeard on Television News.

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Interview With Architects (UK)

(PCM) Brighton’s ARCHITECTS (UK) refuse to sit still and rest on their laurels. While it takes other bands years to even write a record, in a very short time ARCHITECTS (UK) released The Here And Now, wrote Daybreaker, toured the globe with their friends in Bring Me The Horizon (Europe, UK, North America) and Parkway Drive (UK, North America), headlined the UK twice (December ‘11 and April ‘12) and played countless high profile European festivals (Reading/Leeds, Rock am Ring/im Park, Nova Rock, Hellfest, and Sonisphere to name a few).  Right after wrapping up the recording of Daybreaker they hopped right back on the tour bus, this time playing direct support for Rise Against in front of up to 10,000+ people a night. Even though the acclaimed The Here And Now got them daytime radio and TV rotation in their native UK, the band felt it was time to shed their collective skins and reinvent themselves with an amalgamation of their very best trademark. They felt it was time to make a bold statement.

The band recently wrapped up a string of tour dates opening up for Enter Shikari and you will be able to catch them all summer long on this year’s Vans Warped Tour 2013. PCM’s Kristyn Clarke had chance to catch up with ARCHITECTS (UK) at their recent tour stop at the TLA in Philadelphia, PA!

Check out the full interview below:

ARCHITECTS online:

www.architectsofficial.com

www.facebook.com/architectsuk

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Concert Review: Garbage With IO Echo In Philadelphia, PA

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(PCM) I recently had the opportunity to check out the recent Garbage and IO Echo tour stop at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA and it was without a doubt a highly entertaining evening. Opening band IO Echo hit the stage early and used a ton of strobe effects to create  a wonderful ambiance on the stage and certainly got things started off on a high note. The band played a great, although a bit short, 20 minute set with a gorgeous blend of sound that is both a little bit ethereal and a little bit industrial, in fact, the music of IO Echo is one that is truly hard to definite, but totally worth checking out! They reminded me a bit of a female-fronted version of The Smiths and the audiences really seemed to be enjoying their hauntingly beautiful performance.

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The show was turned up a notch when Garbage took to the stage and put on one of the best performances I have seen so far this  year. Garbage are always completely enthralling to watch in the live atmosphere, and there was an almost magic in the air of the venue, so much so that even Garbage vocalist Shirley Manson commented “This crowd it literally giving me chills” while motioning to the goosebumps on her arms and then went on to say that “such a thing doesn’t happen all the time”, so it was truly a magical vibe in the air that night. Opening up their set with “Bad Boyfriend” and “Queer” the band’s set with high octane from beginning to end.

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Also, throughout the night it was very evident just how appreciative the members of Garbage are to the fans that have stuck by them through all the years. The band took a seven year break before making a huge comeback last year and Manson made a humorous remark about them being “ancient old weirdos” but feeling incredibly grateful for the fan support over the years. Garbage then dedicated what they called their greatest love song “Milk” to all of the fans, which was a truly touching moment. The band also offered up a chance to let the fans vote on the evenings set list replacing the previously planned song “Coffee” with “The Trick Is To Keep Breathing” when definitely received quite a few more votes.

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Garbage did a fantastic job of mixing up their set-list with a healthy blend of both old and new songs and it was definitely a thrill to hear some of my favorite tracks such as “#1 Crush”, “I Think I’m Paranoid”, “Stupid Girl”, and of course the super-hit “Only Happy When It Rains”. The band ended the night with a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”.  If you have a chance to check out Garbage on the road, definitely get out to show, trust me it is an investment you won’t regret!

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For more information about Garbage, please visit:

http://garbage.com/

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Remaining tour dates:

March

26: Boston, MA, House of Blues
27: Montreal, QC, Metropolis
28: Toronto, ON, The Sound Academy
30: Detroit, MI, Majestic Theater
31: Cleveland, OH, House of Blues

April

02: Columbus, OH, LC Pavilion
03: Chicago, IL, Riviera Theater
05: Minneapolis, MN, Mill City Nights
06: Milwaukee, WI, Eagles Ballroom
07: Madison, WI, Orpheum Theater
09: St. Louis, MO, The Pageant
10: North Kansas City, MO, Harrah’s
12: Las Vegas, NV, The Pearl Concert Theater
16: Monterrey, Mexico, Arena Monterrey
18: Mexico City, Mexico, Arena Ciudad de Mexico

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Review by: Kristyn Clarke
Photography credit: Mike Sievila

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Exclusive Premiere Of Owl's "Mouse" Off The Forthcoming Album "The Right Thing"

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(PCM) Los Angeles-based rock band Owl – Chris Wyse (vocals/bass), Dan Dinsmore (drums), Jason Achilles Mezilis (guitar/vocals) – is set to unleash its new album, The Right Thing, on April 9th via Overit Records.

After releasing their self-titled debut in 2009, Owl captivated audiences alongside the likes of Helmet, Jet and Hollywood all-star rock collective Camp Freddy. Between touring and recording commitments with Wyse’s other gig – playing bass in The Cult – Owl began writing what would become the band’s self-produced The Right Thing in early 2011.

Approaching timeless rock structures through a healthy amount of experimentation and instrumental intricacy, Owl takes flight locked and loaded with unforgettable hooks and impressive delivery on The Right Thing. It’s a combination that instantly impacts and takes up residence inside your head as all great hard rock should.

PCM is pleased to bring you the exclusive premiere of “Mouse” , a new track off of Owl’s forthcoming new album The Right Thing! Listen below and be sure to let us know what you think!

Do the right thing: Check out Owl’s electrifying new album, available everywhere April 9th!!

For more information about Owl, please visit:

www.owltheband.net

www.facebook.com/thebandowl

www.twitter.com/owltheband

www.youtube.com/user/owltheband

Photo credit: Carl Mahoney

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Rex Brown Talks New Book, Pantera, Dimebag, Vinnie Paul and More In Recent Interview!

(PCM) Our friend Keith Lovett of  TheGauntlet.com caught up with former Pantera bassist and current Kill Devil Hill bassist Rex Brown to chat about his new book “Official Truth: 101 Proof”. PCM’s Kristyn Clarke was on-hand for the interview as well and without a doubt it was certainly one of the most memorable of her career. Memories can be both full of joy and full of pain and witnessing Rex Brown relive a lot of the extremely emotional memories that surround with the death of his former bandmate Dimebag Darrell was a truly touching experience.

Check out the full interview below:

“Official Truth: 101 Proof” is available now and is a must read!  Rex’s does a fantastic job of telling his story and sharing some amazing insights into what was going on under the surface of Pantera, who are perhaps one of the most influential rock/metal bands of our generation. Rex provides a no holds barred account of the many demons faced by the band and himself along the crazy ride of the rock n’ roll experience and he definitely sheds some light into the areas where fans still had many unanswered questions about the band. “Official Truth: 101 Proof” is one of those books that was impossible to put down and certainly will keep you turning the pages well into the night.

You can purchase “Official Truth: 101 Proof” here and at book retailers everywhere!

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