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Music Is My King Size Bed

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ones to Watch in 2011: TimPermanent

Photo by David Arenas

A little bit Owl City, a little bit Gary Go. That's how I would describe singer/songwriter TimPermanent. His "quirky and idiosyncratic style" really sets him apart from a lot of the other electro pop artists out there today and that's what I'm absolutely loving about him.

It was the French horn and clarinet that started TimPermanent's professional music career, leading to his attending a conservatory for performing arts in New York City. Co-founding the band Testosetrone Kills and signed to Fortified Records who's main mission is to "advance the artistic progression of the gay artist community." So he's cute, talented and gay? Can't say I'm surprised! His solo material blends electronica with pop in a similar way to Owl City and Gary Go, but still staying true to himself as an artist. TimPermanent is definitely still an original. I was pleasantly surprised to hear just how could sing. With electro-pop music, it's pretty easy to lose the vocalist in all of the effects but TimPermanent rises above. Really lovely. He released his debut album, called Record, via a USB Jump Drive that contained all 14 songs written, produced, performed and recorded by TimPermanent himself. Very impressive indeed. I give so many props to a those artists out there who put out their own material. I can't imagine how much blood, sweat and tears go into that whole process but when you want to be heard, there shouldn't be anything to stop you.

"A dash of whimsy and the peculiar propels TimPermanent to fearlessly experiment with his music and embrace his individuality. Engaging and lyrically motivational, he guides the listener toward optimism and the fulfillment of each person’s unique life purpose."

TimPermanent opened for artists such as Fantasia, Deborah Cox and Adam Lambert at LA Pride in 2009 and played the infamous Sunset Strip's Viper Room, Roxy and Key Club. His new EP, Marker, is out now on iTunes. Download it HERE. Check out a video for his song "Asymmetrical" below as well as his fantastic live cover of Robyn's "Dancing On My Own."
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Oscar-Winning Actor Jeff Bridges Signs with Blue Note Records

Now, this news definitely falls under the unexpected but not so unexpected category. Actor Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski, True Grit) has signed with Blue Note Records/EMI Music Group and will release his major label debut album in late summer.  I say this news was "not so unexpected" because Bridges won the Academy Award for his portrayal of a down and out former country musician in the 2009 film Crazy Heart, in which Bridges actually sang.  It was only a matter of time before Bridges was going to release music of his own.  Well, now looks to be that time.

Inspired by their work together on Crazy Hearts, Bridges will collaborate once again with friend and Grammy Award-winning songwriter, musician and producer T-Bone Burnett.  Burnett is known for his extraordinary work with Allison Krauss and Robert Plant, Elton John and Leon Russell as well as Grammy-winning soundtracks to O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Walk The Line.  Their 30+ year friendship started during the making of the 1980 picture Heaven's Gate, when fellow actor/musician Kris Kristofferson introduced them.  Over the years the friendship has only strengthened so pairing together to record an album just sounds so organic.  Crazy Heart wasn't Burnett's first dabble in Hollywood, he also picked the songs that ultimately ended up on (one of my favorite movies) The Big Lebowski soundtrack.  On Crazy Heart, Burnett's role was larger and significantly more involved, co-writing several of the songs that appear on that film's soundtrack, including Oscar's "Best Original Song" in 2009, "The Weary Kind," co-written by Ryan Bingham.

Working with Bridges and Burnett on the album are a number of Burnett's repertory players including Keefus Ciancia, Mark Ribot, Dennis Crouch, and Jay Bellerose, and guest vocalists Rosanne Cash, Sam Phillips, and Benji Hughes. Not only that but Bridges will be contributing several of his own compositions to the album as well as performing songs written by Crazy Heart collaborators (the late) Stephen Bruton and John Goodwin. Also writing songs for Bridges on his debut, Greg Brown, Bo Ramsey, Tom Waits and others. This sounds like it's going to be amazing. Check out Bridges on PBS American Masters program from this past January, where Bridges talks about his "life-long passion for music." You can also check out Bridges on the cover of Esquire Magazine, the music issue, hitting stands April 26th.

Check out Jeff Bridges on the webOfficial Site

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Ones to Watch in 2011: Nomi Madness?

Nomi Madness? is a flamboyant piece of electro-pop bubble gum and I can't stop chewing!  In reading his bio, it seems like music and entertainment in general has always been a strong influence in his life.  He sang in competitions as a young child, wowing crowds with his high notes and elaborate, self-choreographed dance routines (courtesy of VH1).   Things were going swimmingly - that is until the family picked up and moved off to Georgia.  While George may be known for blues music, it was a different kind of BLUE that Nomi Madness was feeling.  Feeling like an outcast, Nomi acted out, started wearing makeup and clip on earrings to school at age 12.  Needless to say, this didn't earn him many fans at the school and he was subsequently kicked out and placed in an alternative school.  At the age of 15, Nomi returned to New York and dove right back into the music he loved so much.

Working odd jobs including Sam Goody and as a Go Go dancer, Nomi Madness worked hard to get his dreams off of the ground.  Funding and producing his own demos, Nomi started pedaling his tunes to the record labels, playing  gigs wherever he could all throughout Greenwich Village.  After he was deemed "too Broadway" for American Idol, Nomi packed up his life and headed to Hollywood for a shot at doing what he loved ( know. Earning a living doing so).

Once in Hollywood, Nomi picked right up where he left off, landing a role as an extra in the Christina Aguilera/Cher film Burlesque, numerous music video spots and not to mention - a bit part in Showgirls 2 (playing a dancer).  Working by night at a Vegas style club, “Drais Hollywood Nightclub,” Nomi and his co-workers (aspiring songwriters, beatmakers and producers) got together regularly and started putting together some new musical material.  It was at this time that Nomi reignited his passion for makeup design, eventually using his earnings from Drais Hollywood to hire a stylist and help put together the look that is today - a part of NOMI MADNESS?.

Nomi Madness is ready to take the world by storm with his sassy, sexy electro-pop sound and bold, glitzy image.  His first release - The Fairy Tale EP is a magnificent little electro-pop nugget, sure to bring all the boys to the dance floor (and maybe some girls too).  Nomi worked closely with a whole slew of producers and music makers, including David Kahne (Regina Spektor, Kelly Clarkson, Miley Cyrus), Imani Coppola (Little Jackie) and Gina G & Johnny X (Ooh Aah...Just A Little Bit) to name a few.

The EP is available for download on iTunes HERE.  You can sample a couple of the EP's songs on Nomi's YouTube page, including "Red Wine Girl" (David Kahne Remix), "Eye Candy" (Virgin Version) and "The Rush" (Clubbed Mix) [BELOW].    Be on the look out for a new REMIX EP called The Rush Collection and make sure you download Nomi Madness?' free Fairy Tale Mixtape HERE.  Can't wait to hear more from this talented guy!  With all that he's had to deal with, he definitely deserves a little success in his life.

Check out Nomi Madness? on the web:

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Hot Video Alert: Blue - I Can

The boys of Blue haven't lost it one bit. Still as sexy as ever, Simon Webbe, Lee Ryan, Duncan James and Antony Costa are back as Blue and representing the UK at the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Germany this Spring. I'm BEYOND thrilled to hear that these boys are back, seeing that I came upon them shortly before they disbanded, each pursuing solo careers with varying degrees of success. Their album, Guilty, was the one I stumbled upon and immediately fell in love with. The album featured a mix of both pop and R&B and while there were only a handful of songs on the album that I really liked ("Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours," "Guilty," "Bubblin'," "Breathe Easy" - basically all of their singles) I was instantly left wanting more.  The boys managed to string together 3 #1 albums in the UK, starting with 2001's All Rise. In addition to three #1 albums, the boys also managed to top the UK Singles Chart thrice and land in the top 5 six times. Super impressive for a boy band with only three albums.

What's even more impressive is that Blue was essential shortlisted by the BBC, to represent the UK in this year's Eurovision contest. Typically, that decision is left up to the voting public, after finalists have been given a chance to submit songs - correct?

The chosen single, "I Can" was produced by Dsign Music and written by band members Duncan James and Lee Ryan AND co-written with Ciaron Bell, Ben Collier, Ian Hope, Liam Keenan and StarSign. That's a long list of writing credits, but no matter. The song is hot! "I Can" sounds kind of like it was especially-written for the new Backstreet Boys/New Kids On The Block supergroup, who passed on it and recorded "Don't Turn Out The Lights," instead. I know it sounds like I'm knocking them but I swear I'm not. Blue hasn't released music since 2003 and things have changed since then - as far as what's fresh and hot now. "I Can" sounds like an updated boy band song. Something for a contemporary boy band. Something that could actually get radio play in this day and age.

In addition to Eurovision, the boys of Blue are also working on their comeback album. According to an interview with Digital Spy, they've lined up both Ne-Yo and Bruno Mars"I Can" will be available to download in the UK on May 1st, followed by a physical release on May 2nd.  Drool over Watch the "I Can" video below and UK fans, pre-order the single HERE.
Check out Blue on the web:

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Hot Video Alert: Eric Saade - Popular

Eric Saade isn't a name anyone knows here in America but in his native Sweden, he's kind of a big deal.  You see, on May 12th, Eric Saade will compete for Sweden in the second semi-final for Eurovision and has his whole country rooting for him - and he's only 20. WOW. They keep getting younger and younger, but he's Swedish and we all know that good pop comes out of Sweden.

If you can believe it, Saade started out even younger, writing music at the age of 13 and signing his first record deal at the age of 15! Then, in 2007 Saade entered a competition looking to create a new Swedish boy band, ultimately winning a spot in the band What's Up!. In 2008 the band went on tour and hit the studio, recording the Swedish-language version of the Camp Rock theme song. Saade and his band mates also dubbed voices for the American actors for the film's Swedish release. Later that year the boys released their debut album, Pose, taking it to #40 on the Swedish Albums chart. The album spawned only two singles - "Go Girl" and "If I Told You," seeing the former go all the way to #5. In 2009 Eric left the group and went solo. Three years and BAM. Superstar! Impressive!

Later signing a record deal with Swedish label Roxy Recordings (Agnes, Erik Hassle), Saade released his debut solo single, "Sleepless," which peaked at #44 on the Swedish Singles chart. It wasn't until his second single, "Manboy" that Saade really hit his stride. The single went straight to the top of the charts, becoming his biggest hit to date.  The song served as Saade's first attempt at representing Sweden in Eurovision.  Unfortunately "Manboy" only placed third in the national final, seeing Anna Bergendahl's boring ballad "This Is My Life" winning the coveted spot instead.  No matter.  Saade's debut solo album, Masquerade came out in Spring of 2010 and peaked at #2 on the charts. Not a bad consolation prize.

Back to Eurovision - it looks like Saade's persistence paid off.  If he makes it through to the next round, after the semi-final, he'll go on to the final in Düsseldorf. Check out the video for Eric Saade's incredibly infectious dance/pop anthem, "Popular," below. Released in March, the song was written by Fredik Kempe and topped the Swedish Singles chart for four weeks in a row, achieving Platinum status with over 40,000 unites sold. Wishing you the best Eric! Go do Sweden proud!
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