Ain’t Too Proud Musical

When I landed in Nashville I found out that my friend had gotten us free tickets to see the jukebox musical about the life and times of The Temptations for that night. We were about a dozen rows back and were excited to check it out when about an hour into the show lights near the emergency exits started flashing. No one seemed to be reacting but the lights kept going off and then eventually started talking about there being an emergency in the building. I looked up and the balcony seats were evacuating, but the show was still going on! Shortly after someone yelled “stop the production!” from the crowd and a voice came on saying “actors please clear the stage” and we were told to leave and that it was believed to not be an actual emergency but they’d let us know if we could go back inside or not.

We waited outside, but a lot of people started bailing out, but we were too curious to see what would end up happening and if the show would go on or not. After about 30 minutes outside, we were told we could come back in.  Everyone got some time to head back to their seats and the show picked up where it had left off – to thunderous applause.  I don’t know about you, but whenever we had a fire drill at my work, we never could just jump right back into it – we always had to discuss the fire drill for like an hour after we got back inside – so it was impressive that the cast just jumped right back in where they had left off.  Then it was time for the actual intermission (the guy next to us said the earlier one was an ‘outermission’) which I imagine was necessary for costume and set reasons and couldn’t have been skipped.  Act II began and we were what we thought to be maybe 10-15 minutes from the end?  Only for the lights to start flashing AGAIN!  This time they were a bit quicker to tell the actors to clear the stage – and the lead playing Otis yelled “SO CLOSE!” before exiting.  This time we were told we needed to evacuate again and that the show would NOT be continuing.  What we had seen so far was great, but I wish we had gotten to see the end!  It does sound like TPAC gave everyone who attended a refund for the tickets.  Maybe I’ll try to catch it when it is in Hartford to see how it ends.


Great Ways to Find New Music

There’s a lot of incredible music being created today, but it’s not always easy to find out about new artists if they are not signed to a major label. You’ll miss out on hearing a lot of wonderful music if you don’t dig a little deeper, so let’s talk about some ways you can discover exceptional new artists and songs.

Stay Active on Social Media
Today’s music acts love connecting with their fans on social media. You’ll find everyone from huge stars to your next door neighbor’s garage band on Facebook and Twitter. You can learn a lot about new artists from their social media accounts, so check them out and start interacting.
In addition to finding musical acts, you can also connect with producers like Jordan Kurland on social media. Kurland loves interacting with fans on his Twitter account, so it’s a great place to find out about exciting news in the music industry.

Ask for New Recommendations
We all have people in our lives that have great taste in music. That might be your best friend, you co-worker or the guy who manages the local music store. If you’re feeling ready to discover some new music, ask people you trust for recommendations.
Even if those new artists don’t fit into your usual mold, you can enjoy some excellent new talent and incredible lyrics. Once you let people know you’re open to new music recommendations, they’ll love sharing their favorites with you.

Attend Live Shows
Whether you live in a small area or a major city, there are most likely a variety of live shows that you can attend. Instead of only buying tickets for popular artists, don’t be afraid to check out appearances by lesser known solo acts and bands.
You’ll like some shows better than others, but there are several advantages to attending performances by up and coming artists. First, tickets for these shows are normally very reasonably priced. In fact, you might be able to even attend concerts for free! Instead of standing in line for hours or staying up all night to wait for tickets to go on sale, you can usually snatch up tickets for some of these shows right before the performance.
Most importantly, you’ll get the chance to discover some great new music. Whether you’re a heavy metal fan or you love the simplicity of the acoustic guitar, search for live shows in your area. You just might find a new favorite artist!

Independent Music Record Labels

Music artists may often struggle break through into mainstream. Talented singers and instrument players often perform in underground clubs and cafes before getting discovered by a scout or someone affiliated with the music industry. Independent record label companies offer great opportunities for emerging artists to begin their professional careers. Such record companies can produce various soundtracks that could be played on local radios. If people like what they hear on the radio, they will demand more great music from new emerging artists that are signed to independent recording studios.

Some record labels specialize only in specific music genres such as alternative rock, blues rock, punk rock and folk rock. Therefore, artists in the general rock category need to carefully select the type of record label that they will work with. Some studios are actually subsidiaries of much larger multimedia companies and major record labels that manage the world’s most famous singers and artists. In the modern internet age, digital music production is very common.

Songs can be released exclusively on digital platforms rather than traditional CD format. Social media sites can also be used to launch marketing campaigns for new music artists that could become future superstars. Independent record label companies have their own websites that include contact information and other relevant resources for emerging artists. Such websites may have “click now” buttons that prompt visitors to learn more about signing a deal. The studios of small independent labels are furnished with digital audio production equipment of the highest quality.



Disclosure: I was compensated by the sponsor of this post. Regardless, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I only recommend products and services which I believe will be good for my readers.



Music Monday: Natania

Natania is a new artist I was recently made aware of.  Her song Cherry Love is SO catchy (check it out in the video above) and the animation of the video is pretty amazing as well.  Natania has a very unique voice that I really enjoy.  Keep an eye out for her because I can see this song catching on with radio very quickly – a great Summer Hit…


A little bit more about Natania –
At the burgeoning age of 20 years old, Singer-songwriter Natania brings herself to Los Angeles, CA to offer her warm, young take on acoustic pop without shame. Her smokey voice coupled with humble vocal melodies create the perfect environment for her use of clever metaphors and witty plots. This can easily be defined as the height of her style. Audiences find her comfortably intimate and undeniably personal as she unravels her fascination with love and loss on the stages across the city. Natania recently released her debut EP, “Hope & Heartbreak” and is building a local following one show at a time.

Natania had always loved music growing up but only thought of it as a hobby until arriving in the US from Mumbai, India in the summer of 2010. Natania couldn’t say what she expected from her new surroundings but signed up for Berklee College of Music’s 5 week summer program to see where this unforgiving love of a “hobby” might take her. Natania frequented the practice rooms and excelled at her studies with ease. It was towards the end of this program when Natania called herself “comfortable” with her writing ability, though still unsure of her identity as a songwriter.
Natania took another leap towards her curiosity of music, and enrolled herself into Musicians Institute’s vocal program in Hollywood, CA for the fall quarter of that same year. Natania called this migration out west the most pivotal decision she’s made. The fast pace of Southern California begged her to keep up, which resulted in a tremendous amount of invaluable experience that ultimately honed her craft of songwriting. She wrote boundlessly. Self discovery was undeniable. Natania found her niche as a writer, and now regularly interprets the inner cogs of love and loss that turn with each step she takes during this journey. Her translations echo common emotions we’re all familiar with, thus making the listening experience that much more personal.
What was then a hobby, can now be defined as a way of life for Natania, and a way of understanding for listeners.

Music Monday: Reasons Be

I was recently introduced to Reasons Be – a Los Angeles based band and check out their 4 song EP.  From the opening notes I was loving it.  I love the song Love the Way, that starts off a bit softer but then just keeps getting bigger and bigger as the song progresses.  The two voices sound so great together as well, I can definitely see this EP getting some heavy rotation on my playlists.  Hands Up is very catchy and fun, and it has a great beat to bop along with.

More about the band –

A band, a bond and a brotherhood: Scotty Dickert and R.E.L. are Reasons Be, a Los Angeles-based duo whose debut four-song EP reveals an endearing optimism and a sparkling tunefulness – a resplendent meeting of two musical minds.

This partnership began on the online marketplace Craigslist, when R.E.L answered an ad, posted by Scotty seeking a guitar player. It was a promising meeting; the duo immediately conceived their first song.

“He was the first and only guitarist we auditioned,” Scotty remembers. “Fate? The musical chemistry was instantaneous.”

Both Reasons Be members bring significant individual histories to the alliance. R.E.L endured a rough upbringing. After his mom died under tragic circumstances leaving his family in shambles, he found solace in music. He came to Hollywood to enroll in the Musicians Institute’s Independent Artist program; a move driven by his affinity for American artists – Dave Matthews Band, Jason Mraz and John Mayer – and his desire to relocate to a more fertile musical market.

Scotty, a native of Milwaukee, WI, had fronted a band from his hometown that performed together for seven years and had music featured in films and on MTV. When the band broke up he made immediate plans to head for Los Angeles. This move served dual aspirations: in addition to his musical endeavors – fronting a succession of bands and writing songs – Scotty is also an actor who has been cast in a variety of roles as a hippie sex toy, a super hero, and of course a rocker in a slate of commercials, television shows and independent features.

Centered on vocals and guitar, Reasons Be’s EP is a faithful representation of their live sound paired with the studio craft of Lee Miles (Puddle of Mudd, Rise Against, Shinedown). The accomplished producer-engineer embellishes the duo’s acoustic core with a pop-friendly studio sheen. “He is quite the visionary,” Says R.E.L “He opened doors we would have never imagined.”

Ultimately, Reasons Be is a creative democracy. R.E.L and Scotty come up with individual song ideas and email these to each other. Scotty often focuses on lyrics and melodies, while R.E.L elaborates on the musical blueprints. Meeting up for regular writing sessions, they then advance these concepts. “In previous bands I felt like I was doing all the work,” says Scotty. “Now, the more opinions the better.” Although they eventually see eye-to-eye, the duo affirms that healthy dissent and subsequent resolution often leads to a stronger song. “And if it comes down to it, we’ll wrestle to determine who wins,” laughs R.E.L

Two voices, one destiny: In their song “Hands Up,” Reasons Be evokes an inviting destination with the lines, “You’ll find a place where everybody knows your name.” This affirmation defines their journey as well, as Reasons Be is becoming known and appreciated for their compelling songs and winning chemistry. “The music that comes from our partnership is far better than what Scotty or I could come up with on our own,” concludes R.E.L “And it’s very rewarding.”

-Dan Kimpel, Author and Journalist

Check out Sonali!

Back to steal the spotlight, fresh-faced pop/rock singer and songwriterSonali is set to release her brand new single “Nothing Left,” available now on iTunes. As a follow-up to her debut EP “Speechless,” the single is a testament to Sonali’s star quality. With still so much to offer, this radiant performer is wowing crowds and rocking stages to show the world what she’s really made of.

Hailing from South Florida, Sonali grew up around music and always knew that was where her heart laid. Humming before she could speak, Sonali was so inspired by music that she began to pen her own songs before she could even write. The young rocker’s family is a major support system and is constantly encouraging her to develop her natural skills. Multi-talented beyond expectations, Sonali displays effortless expertise on the guitar, keyboard, drums and bass. In addition to singing and writing, the Florida native is dedicated to expanding her knowledge in her field and has attended multiple music programs including one at the prestigious New York University, where she is currently enrolled in the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music Program at Tisch School of the Arts. Between studying and recording, Sonali adds philanthropist to her list of occupations and is donating 100% of the proceeds from Speechless to Smile Train, a charity committed to providing free cleft surgery to poor children in developing countries.

Equipped with a big heart and wisdom beyond her chronological age, the shining singer evokes honesty in her lyrics and emotion in her voice that separates her music from the average pop tune. Written by the singer, “Nothing Left” truly speaks to Sonali’s evolution as a writer and maturity. “Since I have drawn influences from contemporary pop, rock, and R&B, ‘Nothing Left’ really

displays my versatility as an artist. Although it appears otherwise at a first glance, it is actually not just another cliché break-up song, but actually one of lost friendship. I can’t wait to hear what everyone has to say about it,” Sonali expressed. 

Produced by Adam Piccoli and David Adams and mixed by Derek Olds, the song tells a story that almost anyone who has been in a relationship can relate to; regretting dating the last ex, freeing yourself from a bad relationship and discovering inner strength. The singer’s sparkling voice soars over major piano chords, infectious guitar licks and enticing drum beats. Sonali’s fingerprints are all over this track being that she wrote, sang lead and background and played the lead guitar on it. This is also the first time she’s recorded her chops on the keyboard.

With a knack for bouncy melodies and lyrics that hit home, Sonali is getting closer to stardom with each song. Rapidly growing as a performer while stunning crowds with her charm, fans of her upbeat and edgy style are sure to stay on this train. For more information on Sonali, please


I’m really digging Sonali’s song “Nothing Left”, it’s pretty catch!  What do you think?

Fearless – The Song

I recently reviewed the book “Fearless”, I just found out that someone was so inspired by the story that they wrote a song about it.  It is available for $0.99 at CD Baby (  Fearless: the Single is a country pop/rock song with a patriotic twang honoring hero, SEAL Team SIX warrior (RIP) Adam Brown.

Definitely check out not only the song, but the book as well 🙂

2gether Reunion?

In High School, my favorite boyband was 2gether.  Sure I was a huge NSYNC fan as well, and an on and off Backstreet Boys fan, and known to wear retro New Kids on the Block shirts every now and then and sometimes randomly burst out in to O-Town songs in the hallway…. but 2gether was my absolute favorite.  I’m not sure why, because they were a “fake” band put together by MTV to MOCK the boyband phenomenon, but they ended up catching on and besides being a mockumentary movie they also got their own TV show.  Unfortunately the TV show ended abruptly after the death of youngest member Michael Cuccione (who played Jason “QT” McKnight)

Recently, Alex Solowitz (who played Mickey Parke) posted on his Facebook page that he had lunch with Kevin Farley (who portrayed Doug Linus) and that they had discussed getting back together. (2gether?)  They called up Noah Bastian (Kevin’s TV brother Chad Linus) and he was on board too. All that was missing was Evan Farmer (heartthrob Jerry O’Keefe) and he was away.  Once he came back, he was on board as well.

The only problem – was MTV on board?  Could they do something without MTV being on board and still use the 2gether name and songs?  The guys want to reunite for a “final” show in LA, with proceeds from the show going to the Michael Cuccione Make A Difference Foundation.  Of course, I’d like for them to do a show on each coast – Los Angeles and New York City because I’m not sure how I’ll figure out how to get out to Los Angeles for a one-off show.

The guys through their facebook and twitter pages have tried to get fans to rally and let them know that we want 2gether back!  There have been twitter trending attempts, posting on MTV’s website, facebooks and twitter pages and contacting whatever news outlets we can.

A LOT of news outlets picked up on things early on and more recently MTV has posted about “2gether reuniting?” We want the ? changed to a ! “2gether reuniting!” with MTV on board – maybe in conjunction with a  re-release of 2gether the movie on DVD (Which has sold on ebay for upwards of $100 when it appears, due to it going out of print so quickly) and the series on DVD. (It is only a few episodes but I can’t find my recordings of it so this on DVD would make me very very happy)

I even started up my old 2gether website again… so if you are a fan of 2gether and want to be kept up to date on the reunion progress as well as some of the projects the guys have been working on as well – be sure to check out!

Honor Society in A Tale of Risky Business Part 2 + Giveaway

On October 25th, Honor Society released an EP called “A Tale of Risky Business Part 2”  The first Tale of Risky Business was released back in 2008 before the band was signed by Jonas Records / Hollywood Records and before releasing their debut full length album “Fashionably Late” in 2009.  No longer with a major label and taking it back to their roots, they found it appropriate to name the album a Tale of Risky Business part 2.

Tuesday night the band had a CD Release party at Webster Hall in New York City.  With Fashionably Late they kicked off the album release in LA, so they said for this one they felt right to celebrate in NYC first.  About 100 of the bands friends, family and fans showed up to help celebrate, dancing to the new songs and mingling.  I was able to attend and had a blast seeing friends that I only see at Honor Society shows and catching up with the guys in the band.

Fans who saw them on their “Wherever You Are” Tour this summer will recognize the songs Living a Lie, Gentleman After Dark, One of a Kind, Run For You Money and Wherever You Are as songs that they had did during their sets.  A few of the other songs are brand new!

The tracklisting is as follows:

MIA (Prologue)
Living a Lie
Such a Lovely Life (Interlude)
Gentleman After Dark
Central Park (Interlude)
One of a Kind
Speak Easy (Intermission)
What’s It Gonna Be
Redundancies (Interlude)
Run For You Money
This Bed Is An Ocean (Interlude)
Wherever You Are
Find You In The Dark (Epilogue)


One lucky Concert Katie will be gifted a copy of the album on iTunes. All you need to do is leave a comment on the post with why you’d like to check out the album. (One comment per person, be sure to leave your email address!) Contest ends October 31st 11:59 PM EST.

Mat Kearney – Young Love

Mat Kearney’s CD “Young Love” was released on August 2, 2011. The first single, “Hey Mama”, is also the first track on the album.  Young Love is Mat’s 3rd full length release – and if you are a Grey’s Anatomy fan you are probably familiar with some of his older songs even if you don’t think you are! A couple have been featured in their episodes and he’s also had songs in some other TV shows as well! All of the songs on the album are either written or co-written by Mat.

The album is really catchy. After listening to it practically all day to properly review it – I found that I had a hybrid of 2 or 3 of the songs stuck in my head the next day!  (Hey Mama, Ships in the Night and Young Dumb and In Love if you are curious!) Usually it is just 1 favorite that gets stuck – so that kind of shows you just how much I loved this album. Another great thing about this album is that there is not one song that I dislike enough to skip it. Most of the other albums I’ve gotten lately there are a couple songs that I just can’t sit through. Not the case with Young Love. I also like how the theme of Young Love carries throughout the songs on the CD.

Hey Mama
Ships In The Night
Count On Me
Sooner or Later
Chasing The Light
Learning to Love Again
She Got The Honey
Young Dumb and in Love

Helpful Mat Kearney Links:

Young Love on iTunes

Mat Kearney Widget (fun & interactive!)

Mat Kearney on Facebook

Mat is heading out on tour beginning September 14th – be sure to check him out if he comes to your area! Dates are under the cut!

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