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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Ocelot Robot – Ready To Go (Self Released)

As a good reviewer should be, I’ll disclose how I heard of
this band is due to the song Don’t’ Play Nice which the video clip features my
friend Michelle Page and the song itself is cool and video clip rocks as she
kicks the band members butts. The band plays rocking catchy power pop/rock music
which is well written performed and played, and nicely produced, The opening
track Dead Celebrity, is an energetic rocking blast of energy which kicks off
the album nicely, The song Don’t Play Nice is a catchy tune that is the song
for radio, it’s catchy, well written, performed and played. The vocals are
solid and the lyrics are good. Brand New Girl a good upbeat song that has nice
use of the keyboard, I get a little bit of hints of Weezer and Zebrahead, Go
gives me hints of 90’s rock, the almost ballad track that radio would have been
all over it. Well written and performed, sung. Good lyrics too and like the use
of backing vocals in the chorus. Again & Again is another energetic upbeat
tempo song, the musicianship is good; you can feel the passion and the energy
for the music the band in the song. Almost post hardcore/punky pop like. Give
It to Me is another 90’s inspired track that I reckon radio would be all over.
The keyboard used in the track is a nice touch. Nothing For Free is a bit more
edger almost rock’n’roll like, not as a catchy as some other tracks, change in
tempo and mood in the music. Isabelle has hints of the style in the songwriting
in the song Don’t Play Nice but not as catcher, melodic and groovier in the
places with the guitar in the chorus part and the hint of use of keyboard. Over
It a shorter song, catchy, nice use of the keyboard, the band musicianship is
good here, vocals and lyrics are solid. Beautiful Disgrace is catchy upbeat,
rocking, energetic. Punchy in your face and solid and I love the instrumental
part of the song, real nice touch. Reckless is catchy rocking, almost punky pop
and has solid vocals, good use of backing vocals and lyrics are good. No One
Left is a nice way to finish off the album, different which I like about it
it’s an instrumental song that goes for 11 minutes and lets the band shows off
it’s musicianship and songwriting which is excellent. This album is solid, a
lot of fun, well produced and performed. I had a lot of fun listening to this,
it’s catchy and it’s very much worth your time.

Jesse Lee – Come After Me EP (Self Released)

Lee is a country singer songwriter doing what I think is good honest
beautifully written music which is a joy to the ears. I’ve been a fan of
her music ever since I discovered her in 2005. Love the way she sings
and the honesty in her voice.  It’s starts off with the beautiful ballad
Come After Me which shows off Jesse voice, songwriting and the great
musicianship behind it. Cry is an upbeat catchy country pop/rock tune
that shows off good lyrics and Jesse amazing voice. Ghost Of Us is my
pick off the EP is a beautiful love song, it’s upbeat melodic and
catchy, her voice is in fine form, good lyrics and a great band behind
makes it all the better.Talk To Me is another ballad, beautifully
written with great use of piano in the track, it’s a moving track. Let
It Go has great use of Banjo at the start of the track, is an upbeat
energetic song, catchy well written with solid vocals. Just Like Me is
another ballad, it starts off slow then gets upbeat and catchy, song is
well written and vocals are good. If I Were You is another pick off the
ep for me, beautiful written, solid vocals and melodies, good lyrics and
great musicianship. It finishes off with another pick off the ep for me
If I Could Go Anywhere which is a rocking upbeat tune, beautifully
written, great musicianship, good lyrics and solid vocals. This is a
fine first class ep, all the songs are well produced,sung and performed.
I’ve been a fan of hers for years and love what she does. This is a
great ep, this is something really special and worthy of your time. You
won’t be disappointed.

Mere Theory – Walking In Storms (Mere Theory/MGM Distribution)

Mere Theory is a Adelaide band who have been around a while and play melodic punky rock, think Trial Kennedy and you’re on the right track. The first thing that grabs you even before you slip the disc into your player is the packaging, it looks good and presentable. It invites you in to listen. The music is good, the production, musicianship, songwriting and vocals are first class. The opening track El Nino Lifts It’s Wings highlights this  perfectly great intro and bridge in the song. Break Through is another song that shows off the band songwriting, the way it can craft melodies with heavy parts easily in the chorus, the lyrics are good too.  Searchlight is to me a song that screams radio play, it’s catchy well written and everything works to make it that way.  The same can be said for Black Honey, the song has great musicianship, melodies and vocals. The band works perfectly here.  Remedy (Is You) is another radio play time song, is an anthem ballad, the song starts off slow, then gets more energetic and passionate. The use of Cello is a really nice touch and something special to the track. Songs like We All Stand, In The Same Room. Another Day are more anthems on the album, they start slow, then grabs you when you least expects it. Well written sung and performed. All Walls Will Fall is a just a straight rocking track, it’s an anthem as well but straight up rocking, good lyrics and musicianship is excellent.  We Can Start Over is a ballad that has great use of piano and acoustic guitar and the use of electric guitar in the background work perfectly together. The vocals are excellent. This is the song they should release to radio, I think it would do wonders and radio would pick it up. The Closing Scene is another energetic track that finishes off the album well. The album is well produced, well written, sung and performed. There is a lot to like off this album and I reckon fans of this style of music will lap it up and people who have not will also get something out of it too. These guys are a hardworking band and they deserve your ears listening to it, it’s totally worth it.

Chloe Bartlett
As a Kiwi living in Aussie, I’m still very loyal to Kiwi music and will support it any way I can. When I came across Chloe Bartlett and her soulful pop tunes I was hooked.  A singer songwriter who will be going very far. I am a fan and will be watching what she does next. I Think she will be one of New Zealand next big talents. Check her out 
1. How did you get into music?
1) I’ve kinda always been into music. Mum got me into piano
lessons at the tender age of 5, I started songwriting at age 11 and I
inherited a love for singing from my country lovin’ Dad. But I had a
blind piano teacher who taught me soul music, and that’s when music came
alive for me.
2. What were you listening growing up that made you wanna play music?
2) The fascination with music started somewhere in between my first
MJ CD ‘Bad’ and memorizing all the lyrics to both Spice Girls and B

3. What inspires you when writing music?

3) What inspires me? Stories. Humanity. And the mess that comes
with it. As you can imagine my friends avoid telling me things! It’s so
funny though, I have Monday-Wednesday off to ‘songwriter’, and I end up
lying on the floor twiddling my thumbs wondering how I’ve ever written a
single song in my life. So inspiration for me is a fickle thing, often
presenting itself in the most inopportune times. Murphy and his law!
4. Are you happy how the song Freak Out was received by New Zealand Radio?
4) Super happy with how well Freak Out did. It spent a ridiculous
amount of time in the NZ airplay charts, which I am so grateful for. I’m
hoping my next single Hitman will do just as well if not better.

5. What is the new song Hitman about?

5) Hitman is about being in love with someone that isn’t right or
good for you. I know this certain ‘Hitman’ quite well… imagine a
puppeteer holding out vast amounts of invisible strings with girls
attached to the end of each string, as soon as one girl tries to break
free he tugs on the string by flirting, textular communication, kissing
even, but it never goes anywhere, and it never will… but you keep
hoping and expecting it will. I’ve played this quite a few times now and
people have said to me "did you read my diary?", which means I’m
writing about stuff that resonates with people, which is my vision for
my music.
6. How has the kiwihitdisc helped you get radio play?
6) The kiwi Hitdisk has been great, mainly to let people (particularly in the industry) know you are stepping on to the scene with a new track. But radio plugging has been the most beneficial thing I’ve found. Tim Homer I love you.

7. Who have you enjoyed working with recently?
7) I have the most amazing band on this blue & green ball. The Levites, 3 brothers making absolutely killer music. But I’ve also loved working with and being encouraged by Si Moore & Stephen Small. I also have an amazing manager now which has been a huge weight of my shoulders. I am grateful to a lot of people.
8. Who have you enjoyed playing with recently?
8) I opened for Chris Cope a while back, and that was fun. I remember he had amazing shoes on that night.
9. When will expect to hear an album from you?
9) Album? Next year. I went to JBHIFI today and just felt all the CD’s, creepy huh? I so badly want to do an album, so over the next 6 months I’ll keep digging through my old material and writing new tunes to make sure I’ve got it right, and of course I’ll be waiting on the doh ray me (money honey).
10. What’s next for yourself?
10) What’s next for Chloe Bartlett? Well I’m off to order a cheese lovers stuffed crust pizza, next week I’m going to Waiheke Island to write songs, I’m playing a whole bunch of random things over Summer (including singing the national anthem that I’m kind of panicking about), and I’m planning on more singles and that beloved album we’ve been talking about. And most importantly I’ll be doing my best to enjoy the journey!

[@[email protected]]Serena Lorien

Serena Lorien is a british actor working in America, who I interviewed in the past and well I wanted to know more about what she had been up to recently so I did. Find out why she a name to watch out for.

1.Are you happy how things have gone for you with your career so far?
I am happy with the progress I am making and what I have been able to
achieve to this point. I’m the sort of person who is always striving for
more, but I am happy knowing that I’m busy doing what I love to do and
seeing that things are getting bigger and better all the time.

2. Who have you enjoyed working with recently?
I have really been enjoying working with everyone I’ve worked with
recently. I’ve been fortunate to have been working with and getting to
know some really lovely Directors, Producers and actors in my recent and
upcoming jobs.

3. What was it like working with Daryl Hannah and Michael Madsen?
They are great actors! The film is a comedy called ‘Garbage’ from
director, Phil Volken, it’s about two best friends who are garbage truck
drivers servicing Hollywood who become overnight celebrities after
finding a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in the trash. I recently enjoyed
attending the film’s screening at the world renowned Grauman’s Chinese
Theater and was very happy to see how well received it was, it’s a very
funny film!

4. How has social media helped your career?
think it’s gotten to the point where social media has become so
prevalent in our society that its becoming more and more how people are
starting to run their businesses, so it’s an important tool to utilize
as a self-employed business which is technically what every actor out
there is in-between jobs.

5. What was it like working on your film ‘Poe’?

I had a brilliant time working with the director, Francis Xavier and
his lovely wife, Jo Ann who was one of the producers of the film. They
are such positive, energetic people, so it was a very enjoyable set to
be on. I played an in-charge State’s attorney which was a fun role to
play. I have actually been cast in Mr Xavier’s upcoming film ‘Less Than a
Whisper’ and will be playing a mysterious real estate agent in that
one, so I’m very much looking forward to that.

6. What kind of role do you most want to play?

I love characters who have conviction, those who are fighting for a
cause and are willing to play the ultimate sacrifice for them. Strong,
independent, smart women!

7. What have you been enjoying watching recently?
I love House and Law & Order SVU, so I consistently watch them,
there have been big changes in both, so it’s been an interesting season
so far. I also have been really enjoying the new ABC show, Pan Am.

8. How do you prepare for a role?

I do research into the type of person the character is, who would have
that type of profession, if a profession I’m not familiar with I
research the profession, so the terminology is second nature to me, I
make choices about the person’s background/ upbringing and decide what
the feelings/ emotions are behind what the character is saying.

9. How do you memorize lines?
I’m thankfully good with memorization, it doesn’t take me too long to
get lines down. I read through the entire script first and then read my
scenes again, after that I put the script down and say my lines out loud
and then the other character’s lines in my head and then my next line
out loud and so on. Some people work well just remembering the others
person’s cue line, but I tend to memorize their lines also which for me
works well.

10. What is next for yourself?

I have multiple
films coming up, as well as ‘Less than a whisper’, I also have the
psychological thriller ‘Sound of Mind’ from writer, Alexander Emmert in
which I play a doctor alongside Thora Birch and Efren Ramirez, the
action thriller, ‘The Human Factor’ in which I play a tough detective
alongside Eric Roberts, Danny Trejo and Charisma Carpenter, the action
film ‘Blood on the Border’ where I play a drug cartel member’s
girlfriend alongside Martin Landau, and the horror/ thriller film
‘Gripped’ where I play a southern socialite amongst others, so I have a
busy year coming up!

Hess & Franzen {ClosedLockedSealed} – Self Released

Instrumental music well is not normally my thing, and if I do like its good be good or something special. This CD which is a collaboration by Hans Hess from England and Renan Franzen from Brazil, is music that is inspired by prog rock, movie music and their love of instrumental music which this. It’s good, the production values of this is fantastic,  The track Gobi Desert Search For SS Cotopaxi highlights this with a 70‘s electronic music intro, think Goblin then into some fast paced drumming and guitars which are almost metal but still retains the prog rock inspiration. The same can be said for Three Stripes, it’s a fast paced and frantic metal/prog rock inspired track, love the use of keyboard and synth, it really works well with the song.  Mantis is more about the keyboard, synth and the drumming places a good part in the tune, has an almost something gonna happen movie score feel vibes to it. China Inox has a really cool part in the song where is just flamingo guitar and a slight touch of keyboard when it’s not loud guitars and drumming.  Doomsday Device reminds me a lot of Devin Townsend latest album Deconstruction and some of the songs on their, the way the song is structured, written and performed and of course minus the vocals, the same can be said for also When I Get Out Of This Place with its excellent musicianship, songwriting and song structured. Words Mean Nothing is more of a slower paced with good use of keyboard, drum machine and the way the song is structured and performed. Magic Cat is the last song, its guitars, drums and it works well. Look this is a cool unique album that different, two people who have come together to make an album that is an unique experience to the ears. It’s well produced and well played, so if you like good music well done and you love instrumental music than this it for you. I say check it out.

Celadore – The Bright And Blue EP (Popboomerang Records/MGM

Celadore are back with their new EP The Bright And Blue and
is a cracker of a release, these boys know to write a top quality tune and the
4 songs on this release are worthy of your time. It hits first with Bakery, a
catchy upbeat power pop tune that shows of Michael Cooper voice, the
songwriting and the excellent musicianship, love the use of the backing vocals.
Kinks In Armour is a radio hit in the making, it’s got everything that radio
wants and I can see crowds singing it in no time. Monster At The Public Hall is
also the ballades track on the EP. It starts off slow with Michael and the
guitar and vocals and hits you with rest of band at 1:07 mark.  Burn Down The Lighthouse is the last track on
the EP is also another song that is radio hit in the making and some how
reminds a lot of Motor Ace, the songwriting and lyrics are all there. The EP is
a solid release with 4 great songs that offer something to the listener. These
boys are going some where and this need’s to be in your collection.

If I Were A Gladiator – Hallowed Antiquity EP (Self

When I received this in the mail didn’t know what to expect
but I heard was way cool. They are a Roman progressive metal with a female lead
singer who can sing with an operatic voice but also can growl. This cracker of
an ep has 6 tracks of energetic rocking tunes with a voice that truly shines.
The band is tight and can certainly play the music and the lyrics are solid and
suit the music they are playing well. I like the use of synth on the song
Farwell, which reminds me a little bit of Kittie strangely enough. The song The
Exploit has none of the operatic vocals and more of the screaming and growling
and a pretty cool use of the keyboard. The same is said for The Virtuous,
Conquest of Servitude regarding the growling. The King And The Sibyl has a cool
guitar solo and a nice little instrumental bit in the song.  The opening track Grant My Peaceful Sleep just
hits you from the word go and Emily Ruth amazing operatic voice mixed with
her perfect growling just wins you over. It’s also my pick off the EP. This is
an awesome release, totally rocking and solidly written, performed and sung.
This rock’s and you need it.

Emily Kinney

Emily Kinney is actor of stage and screen and also a singer songwriter who has released her debut ep Blue Toothbrush which I discovered and liked. She currently working on the show The Waking Dead. I urge to get check out and download or purchase the cd here

Check out more about her here She somebody to watch out, She is gonna go far.

1. How did you get into acting? 

I first got into acting by singing and doing musical theatre.  I also saw a lot of movies when I was little that made me want to be an actress.  Growing up, I was a huge fan of Leo DiCaprio in ‘Growing Pains’ and I remember seeing him and really wanted to be able to act like him.  

2. What has been your highlight the acting so far? 

There have been so many incredible moments in my career so far.  Getting to go to the premiere of The Walking Dead was pretty incredible.  I will also never forget what it felt like to come out onstage during the closing night of Spring Awakening.  The audience’s energy was incredible.  It was so much fun to perform that night.  I felt I was a part of something really big.

3. What is like working on The Walking Dead? 

Working on the Walking Dead is amazing.  I work with all these really incredible actors so just being around them really inspires me to do good work and I feel like I am learning so much about being a good on screen from them.  I also like being so far away from the city and on location.  It gives you and everyone on set this really great focus.  

4. How do you prepare for a role? 

Every role is different.  But mostly I try to learn as much as I can about who the person is.  I read the script a bunch of times, do research, and then I also try to find times when I have felt like the character.  I think bringing part of yourself to a character is important.  

5. How do you learn your lines?

I learn my lines by saying them over and over out loud to myself.  I like when I can have friends or someone quiz me and read them with me.  I get really nervous about forgetting lines so I have to set aside a lot of time for that.  I also think keying into how a person talks (the rhythm and such) and communicates with other people is super important so saying them over and over is the best way to fall into some sort of rhythm and deeper understanding of who the charachter is.  

6. Who have you enjoyed working with recently?

I love working with Scott Wilson.  He plays my dad and he is so helpful and just a really great person.  I also really liked working with Laura Linney on The Big C.  I only had one scene with her, but she is one of my all time favorite actresses so it was a dream come true…!!!

7. How is acting different to writing and performing music?  Writing and performing music is fun because it tends to be a way to express stories that I write and come up with or even stories about my own life and how I feel about things.  It’s very freeing.

8. What was the inspiration for the ep? 

My inspiration for the EP came from being on tour and spending a lot of time reflecting.  Someday, I would really love to be in love with someone and have a boyfriend, but it’s been pretty impossible in my life lately and I think alot of my songs on ‘blue toothbrush’ come from that hope for love.  I was really inspired  to write music by my good friend Conrad because he is a very talented musician and hard worker.  He really believed in me as a songwriter and encouraged me to write more and more!  

9. What inspires you when writing music? 

I like to write really honest lyrics, so I try to find one key statement that is true about the way I feel, even if only for an hour (sometimes we change our minds, dont we?!?) true about how I feel, and then build a song around that.  I feel like writing songs is the one place where I can truly write and say exactly what I want and still in a pretty way.  Sometimes in life I get nervous and anxious and am not as articulate as I would like to be.  Or I don’t feel I can say exactly what I want without hurting someone.   Songwriting is my place where I am really honest.  

10. What do you hope the ep will do for your music career? 

I would like to play more live shows.  I want a lot of people to hear my music and feel connected to the words!! I would like this EP to lead to a chance to complete a full length album.  I have many more songs to share!!

11. What was it like working on The Big C? 

Working on the Big C was fun!!  It was great to have a whole charachter arc throughout several episodes. That was one of the first times I’ve been able to do that in a show.  

12. What do you like about working on stage? 

I love doing a show every night.  I think it is exhausting but I also think it is the best schedule in the world.  It keeps you in touch with your voice and your body in a really great way that pushes you as a performer.  I love getting out of the show all buzzed and hungry from performing and having dinner in the middle of the night.  I love being in the theatre all day rehearsing.  I would rather be there than any park on a sunny day.  

13. How is that different to you from working on screen?

Working on screen makes me sad sometimes because as soon as you get  a scene down; It’s over and you won’t explore it again once it has already been shot.  But i still really love acting for film too.  It is always so interesting to me to see the end result of how it is put together. Also, everyday is different.  New lines, new wardrobe, new locations.  It keeps you on your toes and keeps things fresh.  

14. What has been your favorite stage role to date? 

I love playing Hermia from Midsummer Night’s Dream.  I would play her again.  I also loved play Jean in August: Osage County.  I wanted to be her from the first moment I read the play.  I memorized her monologue before I ever got the part and it sticks with me.  I can still recite almost all her lines.

15. What is next for you?

Once I’m wrapped on The Walking Dead, I will go back to NYC.  I’m moving into a new apartment and working on an indie film in the city.  I will also start promoting my Blue Toothbrush EP more!  I have a release show scheduled for December 19th at 8pm at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 1 that I am really excited about!  I hope to spend some time with my family over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Jenny Dalton – Blood Folk EP (Glossy Shoebox Productions)

I’ve been a fan of Jenny’s music for a while now, she has been on two compilation cd’s I’ve done and yeah I like what she does as a singer songwriter. So this is her latest release and it’s really good. The songs are bit different to her early stuff, they have this haunting almost dark edge to the tunes and this is evident in the opening track Nightmare which is my pick off the ep. Like the use of synth/keyboard through out the track. The lyrics and vocals are excellent.  Shotgun Wedding is more focused around the piano and her vocals, lyrics truly shine here. Like the use of the drumming in the track. The use of Violin is really nice too. Tuesday With Zooey has a great use of piano and violin, Jenny voice is great here as is the lyrics. Awake up reminds me off stuff of her first two albums and why I liked Jenny in the first place. Colorado Song is a beautiful song and a great way to finish off the ep. If this is where she is heading with her music, count me in. I loved this ep, there is so much to like here. All songs are well written and performed. She got loads of talent and it will not be long until plenty more people discover why I think she is so great. Check this out.