Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Inn at St. Johns Review

The hotel is absolutely gorgeous, and is situated in a similarly beautiful golf course. After checking into the hotel, visitors will begin to see the sheer amount of care that has been placed into the St. Johns experience. Parking is expansive, allowing for little fighting over spaces – one will be able to walk right up to the front desk and get squared away. As one enters, a door on the left allows access up to the rooms without having to stumble through the opening foyer.


For those that wish to stick around the hotel, the 5ive Restaurant provides top-notch food and drinks, all captured in a stylish location. During our visit, dinner was served quickly and exceeded even our expectations. After we had finished up dinner, we stopped by our room to place our leftovers in the refrigerator and went down to the pool. The pool is more than a tepid tub – The Inn at St. Johns has included a whirlpool along with a waterfall, with ample space for numerous guests. Where there is typically a paucity of sheets on a hotel bed, we had to actually kick off some of the myriad of covers and sheets that the Inn at St. Johns had placed. The larger size of the rooms (especially the raised ceilings) makes for a more serene and restful experience.

Visit their website at for more information about the hotel, the restaurant, the golf course, and the wide array of amenities that the facilities provide. The Inn at St. Johns is simply sublime, and is the best hotel that I have stayed at. I would recommend it to anyone that has any sort of business or vacation trips that would take them to the greater Detroit metro area.

Rating: 9.7/10

The Inn at St. Johns Review /

The Inn at St. Johns Review

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Odyssey Ale Review

Odyssey is an oak-aged (to the tune of 6 months conditioning) ale, which tops the scales at 10.4% ABV. The beer pours incredibly dark and brown, yielding a lighter tan shade for the head. There is a strong flavor that yields hints of vanilla, bourbon, oak and bits of hop towards the end of each quaff. Subsequent sips will provide imbibers with fruit (berry) and chocolate notes. As the beer warms, the overall mouthfeel and balance of tastes change. What was bold and strong provides some thick toffee and caramel notes after a few minutes warming up. The warmth provided by Odyssey will stick with an individual, refreshing with each sip; for those wanting to not get too inebriated, a friend should be enlisted in finishing the bottle.

Odyssey is complex, fulfilling, and will make for an absolutely memorable night. 800 cases of Odyssey were bottled; make sure to pick up a bottle before it disappears forever. Check out the Allagash website for more information about their year-round efforts and those special releases like Odyssey.

Rating: 9.5/10


Odyssey-label / 10.4% ABV, February 2013 / Allagash Brewing / 25.4 Fluid Ounces /

Odyssey Ale Review

Paleo Protein Review


For those that have sensitivities to gluten or lactose, the Paleo Protein utilizes both egg whites and beef as protein sources. The calorie content (110) per 29.4 gram scoop provides the energy that individuals will need after a workout, while lacking fat (0g), sugars (0g), and small amounts of cholesterol (35mg, 12% RDV) and carbs (8 grams). This means that those supplementing with Paleo Protein will get some of the healthiest and most beneficial shakes out of each Paleo Protein bottle.


The Vanilla Almond flavoring of the protein is distinct from other efforts out there; I feel that there is a rich creaminess that is miles above competitor’s offerings.  The Triple Chocolate flavor provides a much-needed revamp to a common flavor. Shakes utilizing the Triple Chocolate will have a rich and full chocolate flavor alongside any other additional. Both flavors of Paleo Proteins are highlighted through an eminently impressive miscibility; a few seconds in a shaker cup and one will have a uniform shake. Protein is a vital part of those dieting or looking to make gains in muscle, and Paleo Protein is some of the best protein that we have had the chance to review.

Look for Paleo Protein at your local supplement store or at any reputable online retailers; a 1.82 pound bottle (28 servings) can be purchased for around $33-40. For additional benefit, supplement the Paleo Protein with other supplements, including Dopamite or MYO-X. Check out the MHP website ( for nutrition information, a listing of current products, and further news about upcoming products.

Rating: 9.2/10

Paleo Protein Review / Vanilla Almond and Triple Chocolate / MHP / Vanilla Almond /

Paleo Protein Review


Shannon Labrie has extended her current U.S. tour with additional headline shows, including return visits to New York City’s Rockwood Music Hall (August 28) and 12th and Porter in Nashville (September 20).


Next Thursday, August 8, Labrie will play a sold-out show at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, CO with Phoenix, The Head and the Heart and Little Green Cars. Shannon, who was named by Music Connection as one of the best unsigned artists of 2012, will also perform at the Austin City Limits Festival on October 12 and at the Artists for Autism event in Washington, DC (November 1 and 2), which will benefit the Grafton Integrated Health Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching and enhancing the lives of children with autism and their families. For additional details on the event, which will feature a variety of other artists including Bobby Long, visit


“I Remember A Boy,” the lead single from her debut album, Just Be Honest, is Most Added in its first week at Triple A radio, with stations such as WXRV-Boston, MA, WZEW-Mobile, AL and KRSH-Santa Rosa, CA already on board. This follows the track’s success at Non-Comm/Americana radio, where it’s being played by WRRW-Williamsburg, VA, WYSO-Dayton, OH, WOUB-Athens, OH, WERU-Bangor, ME, KUNI-Cedar Falls, IA, WMKY-Morehead, KY, WETS-Johnson City, TN, WVGN-St. Thomas, VI, Public Radio East New Bern, NC, Radio Free Americana and more.


“It’s the song ‘I Remember A Boy’ that kills…devastating and beautiful,” noted Music Connection. Bob Lefsetz, of The Lefsetz Report and Variety, said: “this track affected me. Made me believe like the great singer-songwriters of yore, maybe this woman has something to say. That in this crazy, mixed-up, shook-up world she can illuminate her story and people can relate.” “Labrie has proven herself an artist of uncommon talent, bringing a sharp pop sensibility to her soulful, jazz-tinged songs of stark and arresting candor,” said


You can check out Shannon performing “I Remember A Boy” and several other tracks from Just Be Honest in her recent session here.


American Songwriter tapped “Secret,” another track from Just Be Honest, as a “Daily Discovery” while “Take Me” has been licensed by “Army Wives” and “The Client List” has licensed “How Does It Feel.” Labrie’s recent performances on “AXS Live,” the flagship show of AXS TV, can be seen at:


“I Remember a Boy” –
“Headlines” -


Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Shannon began writing classical piano pieces as a child.  She learned guitar from her father, a gifted, self-taught musician who died of cancer when she was only 14. Just Be Honest (Zodlounge Records) debuted in the Top Ten of iTunes’ Singer/Songwriter chart in February 2013 and Labrie was recently featured alongside Brooke Waggoner, Matthew Perryman Jones, Katie Herzig, Mindy Smith and other artists on the Nashville Indie Spotlight, a digital sampler available exclusively on iTunes.


Shannon Labrie – Upcoming Tour Dates


8/5 – Kansas City, MO – KCKC on-air performance

8/8 – Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre w/Phoenix, The Head and the Heart & Little Green Cars

8/28 – New York, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall

8/30 – Philadelphia, PA @ Tin Angel

9/12 – Atlanta, GA @ Eddies Attic

9/20 – Nashville, TN @ 12th and Porter

10/12 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Music Festival

10/17 – Chattanooga, TN @ The Honest Pint

10/18 – Birmingham, AL @ Moonlight On The Mountain

10/19 – Jackson, MS @ Hal and Mals

10/20 – Atlanta, GA @ Smiths Olde Bar

11/1 – Fairfax, VA @ The Auld Shebeen – Artists for Autism

11/2 – Fairfax, VA @ The Auld Shebeen – Artists for Autism




Founded in 1993 in New York City, Astralwerks Records began as an independent boutique label releasing visionary records that helped ignite two explosive waves of musical creativity: first with Electronica in the ’90s, and more recently with EDM in the new millennium. Over the past two decades, the New York City based label has become one of America’s pre-eminent homes for unique and forward-thinking artists, nurturing a roster of genre-bending musicians and bands.


On July 30, 1993 Astralwerks released its first album – Tales Of Ephidrina by Amorphous Androgynous – a pseudonym of the legendary Future Sound of London, and catalyst for the sub-genre known at the time as ‘ambient techno’. A landmark series of compilations called Excursions in Ambience followed, as did Big Beat, Breaks and the early progenitors of tech-house, subsequently spawning classics by some of the most groundbreaking electronic artists of the era – Future Sound Of London, Photek, Spacetime Continuum, and µ-Ziq, to name just a few.

As the new millennium dawned, the label added luminaries such as The Beta Band, Beth Orton, doves, Hot Chip, Kingsof Convenience, Phoenix and Placebo to its roster, as well as releasing Tour De France, the first new album in 12 years from legendary electronic pioneers Kraftwerk, as well as re-issuing their fabled catalogue.


Additional label milestones include Fatboy Slim’s You’ve Come A Long Way Baby, the first DJ album to go platinum in the USA and The Chemical Brothers‘ “Block Rockin’ Beats,” the first track by an electronic artist to win a Grammy ® and crack the Alternative Top 40 Chart. Astralwerks established David Guetta as a major mainstream artist in America selling over 11 million singles from the smash album Nothing But The Beat and saw Swedish House Mafia become the first-ever DJ artists to sell out Madison Square Garden (in an incredible 10 minutes).


Today Astralwerks remains focused on the future. The label continues to usher in a new generation of talent including Gold Fields, Claire, Empire of the Sun, NERVO, Eric Prydz, and Mat Zo, among many others.


To celebrate the birthday Astralwerks dug deep into the archives, all the way back to that first release, Amorphous Androgynous’ (a.k.a. Future Sound of London’s) “Tales Of Ephidrina,” finding two never-before-heard alternative mixes from the album: “Liquid Insects” / “Mountain Goat” (now available for streaming).


Two 20th Anniversary Playlists are also available: IndieWerks (on YouTube, Spotify, and Rdio) and Ready For The Floor on YouTube, Spotify, and Rdio featuring Astralwerks talent past and present.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Boardwalk Empire The Complete Third Season Blu-Ray Review




Boardwalk Empire is a rare example of a show that has continued to get stronger as the seasons have passed. The third season of the show captures from New Year’s Eye 1922 and the months that follow, as Gyp Rosetti makes eir grand entrance. Throughout the season, Gyp continues to be a major stumbling block for Nucky as tensions continue to escalate. Nucky stands tall at the end of the series, but experiences a major setback in eir personal life.


HBO has provided a number of additional features to this set, including a set of news reels from the 1920s and 1930s, many of which have considerable relevance to this season. For those individuals that are interested in the lore of Boardwalk Empire, a featurette provides additional information about Billie, Dean, Gyp, Benny, and Gaston. Further information about the creative and filming processes of the show can be viewed with both “Scorsese on Season 3” and six audio commentaries. Valuable insights accompany the commentaries, as Steve Buscemi (Nucky), Bobby Cannavale (Gyp), Terence Winter (show creator) have intimate discussions. This view inside is completed with the inclusion of the “Director’s Chair” featurette, which allows directors Coulter and Van Patten ample opportunity to break down a number of scenes into constituent part. Specific decisions are explained, while a final bit of context will provide viewers with the information that they need to understand all the events occurring in the third season.


The Complete Third Season set of Boardwalk Empire can be purchased at a variety of online and physical retailers. Expect to pay around $45-55 for a copy. Boardwalk Empire will start its fourth season on September 8th.


Rating: 9.0/10


Boardwalk Empire The Complete Third Season Blu-Ray Review / 2013 HBO Home Entertainment / 720 Minutes /

Boardwalk Empire The Complete Third Season Blu-Ray Review

Nedelle Torrisi to open for Julia Holter this Fall

This self-titled album, the first Nedelle Torrisi has released under her full name, is basically the story of a friendship. A couple of years ago, she and Kenny Gilmore (of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti) lived in the same house in Los Angeles. Through a wall she could hear Kenny playing keyboards and guitar, and he could hear her making demos of the songs on this album. At one point, he passed her a tape of his own music where he beguilingly recorded and performed all the songs himself, so when it came time for Nedelle to make the proper album, it seemed natural to knock on his bedroom door and ask for his expertise. At the time they never could have known the album would take a little more than two years of diligent work after the initial two weeks of studio time in which they slept in the studio and barely saw sunlight, for they would work between every tour they went on (Gilmore and Nedelle play with APHG, and Sufjan Stevens, respectively.) Not to mention the time Gilmore’s computer containing the recording sessions got left behind in a taxi cab in Russia.  Which led to a four month hiatus before the powers of persistence, faith and loopholes in customs, delivered it safely back to Los Angeles.

Here we find what can be simply be described as Gilmore’s sonic vision of Nedelle’s songs based on the original demos that she made.  Kenny played the majority of instruments on the album as well, with a little help from Julia Holter, Ramona Gonzalez (Nite Jewel), and Dev Hynes (Blood Orange).

No matter how her albums have been produced in the past (either with her previous band Cryptacize with Chris Cohen, or the handful of solo records released under her first name) her songs have a distinct and unmistakeable tone.  Musically there is a mix of girl-group/Brill Building era pop, (her choruses reach for that age-old notion, “the hook”), musical theater, (she has good diction and a penchant for Busby Berkeley-style grandeur), not to mention the omnipresent melancholy often found in her sophisticated melodies and chord progressions.  There is also a hint of “quiet storm” R&B on this album which has been an favorite of Nedelle’s since childhood, hence the echoes of artists like Sade or Anita Baker on tracks like “Perfect Timing,” “Psychic Returns” and “Cathartica.”

On this recording Nedelle and Gilmore have masterfully combined their shared musical interests, creating complex arrangements by combining interwoven “licks” like something off of Gaucho, or layered, synthy interludes a la Stevie Wonder, and nodding to Prince by using the Linn drum machine which is featured famously on all of his early albums.

Lyrically she is always concerned with matters of romance, and won’t hesitate to belt “I wanna be with you! That’s why you came into my life!” or “I was born to love you, and so I will.”  The songs always reveal a specific story from her life, though the lyrics remain cryptic enough to sound universal, as well. (“Born to Love You” is about falling in love with her long-dead, favorite author, “Cathartica” is about looping on a thought while having insomnia, while “I Love Thousands Every Summer” is about moving to a big city and feeling isolated.)

Nedelle is in the process of becoming a social worker, and wants to start a love advice column to combine her love of love and her desire to help others.

In fact, fans already write in to her tumblr page for advice, and she encourages more:

A supplementary EP, entitled “Paradise in Piano” containing solo piano and vocal versions of songs off the album is available on iTunes, or as a free download when purchasing the 7″. Nedelle released as “Paradise” on the Thin Wrist label last year. (Though she loves the concept of paradise, she felt she should finally accept her full name.)


Wed. 09-11-13   First Unitarian Church  Los Angeles, CA *

Thu. 09-12-13    Great American Music Hall    San Francisco, CA *

Sat. 09-14-13    Holocene    Portland, OR *

Sun. 09-15-13    Barboza    Seattle, WA *

Mon. 09-16-13    Biltmore Cabaret    Vancouver, BC *

Fri. 09-20-13    Cedar Cultural Center    Minneapolis, MN *

Sat. 09-21-13    Schubas Tavern    Chicago, IL *

Sun. 09-22-13    Kobo    Columbus, OH *

Tue. 09-24-13    Music Hall Of Williamsburg    Brooklyn, NY *

Thu. 09-26-13    Rock & Roll Hotel    Washington, DC *

* = w/ Julia Holter


Nedelle Torrisi
Street Date: Sept. 3, 2013

Track List:

1. Psychic Returns

2. Double Horizon

3. Don’t Play Dumb

4. Don’t Play Dumb Afterthought

5. I Love Thousands Every Summer

6. Can’t Wait

7. Fool Boy

8. Emotional Money

9. Cathartica

10. Born to Love You

11. The Show Must Go On

12. The Perfect Timing

Dizzy Wright - Can't Stop Won't Stop

Fresh off his tour through Australia, Funk Volume rapper Dizzy Wright has released the latest single and video from his upcoming mixtape The Golden Age, entitled “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop,” which was produced by Will Power aka SupaHotBeats . Directed by George J. for Geeezy Productions, the visual offers a glimpse into the world of the rising hip-hop star, capturing both the simple pleasures of a trip to the barbershop and chilling with friends over pizza along with Dizzy’s captivating flair interacting one-on-one with the camera, and also teases more to come as he embarks on his next chapter. Showing the same engaging personality he’s demonstrated in his live performances on both coasts and now internationally, anticipation continues to grow for The Golden Age mixtape, due out August 19th, and the accompanying tour.


Beginning on September 7th in San Diego, CA, Dizzy and Funk Volume co-founder Hopsin will take The Golden Age Tour across the U.S. including several gigs as part of Rock The Bells 2013 before closing the tour on November 1st in Dizzy’s hometown, Las Vegas, NV. The tour is presented by both Funk Volume and HotNewHipHop, is sponsored by Gig It, and will feature New York rapper Emilio Rojas as supporting act.


Watch the video here:

Tour Dates:

To Buy Tickets:


Sep 7 – San Diego, CA w/ Hopsin

Sep 8 – Los Angeles, CA @ Rock The Bells

Sep 10 – Santa Ana, CA w/ Futuristic

Sep 12 – Santa Cruz, CA w/ Futuristic

Sep 14 – Sacramento, CA w/ Futuristic

Sep 15 – San Francisco, CA @ Rock The Bells

Sep 17 – Portland, OR w/ Futuristic

Sep 18 – Seattle, WA w/ Futuristic

Sep 19 – Spokane, WA w/ Futuristic

Sep 20 – Caldwell, ID w/ Futuristic

Sep 22 – Salt Lake City, UT w/ Futuristic

Sep 23 – Colorado Springs, CO w/ Futuristic

Sep 24 – Fort Collins, CO w/ Futuristic

Sep 25 – Denver, CO w/ Futuristic

Sep 26 – Lincoln, NE w/ Futuristic

Sep 27 – Minneapolis, MN w/ Futuristic

Sep 29 – Washington, DC @ Rock The Bells

Sep 30 – Madison, WI w/ Marcus Moody

Oct 1 – Iowa City, IA w/ Marcus Moody

Oct 2 – Chicago, IL w/ Marcus Moody

Oct 3 – Detroit, MI w/ Marcus Moody

Oct 4 – Cleveland, OH w/ Marcus Moody

Oct 5 – East Rutherford, NJ @ Rock The Bells

Oct 8 – Boston, MA w/ Marcus Moody

Oct 9 – Providence, RI w/ Marcus Moody

Oct 10 – West Chester, PA w/ Marcus Moody

Oct 11 – Baltimore, MD w/ Marcus Moody

Oct 13 – Springfield, VA w/ Marcus Moody

Oct 14 – Richmond, VA w/ Marcus Moody

Oct 15 – Greensboro, NC w/ Marcus Moody

Oct 16 – Wilmington, NC w/ Marcus Moody

Oct 18 – Jacksonville, FL w/ Marcus Moody

Oct 19 – Orlando, FL

Oct 20 – Tampa, FL

Oct 22 – New Orleans, LA

Oct 23 – Houston, TX

Oct 24 – Dallas, TX

Oct 25 – San Antonio, TX

Oct 26 – Austin, TX

Oct 28 – El Paso, TX

Oct 29 – Albuquerque, NM

Oct 30 – Tucson, AZ w/ Futuristic

Oct 21 – Tempe, AZ w/ Futuristic

Nov 1 – Las Vegas, NV w/ Marcus Moody

Please contact Michelle or Dan if interested in talking with Dizzy Wright.

Dizzy Wright Background:

Not many 21-year old rappers can say that they’ve been rapping for over a decade. Las Vegas, Nevada rapper Dizzy Wright began rapping at just 8 years old, in the group ”DaFuture” with his brother and very close friend; his mother wrote his raps at the time. Dizzy broke through when he was discovered at the Sheikh Music “Rip the Mic” competition in 2010 and signed onto Funk Volume a few months later. In April 2012, Dizzy released his first Funk Volume album, SmokeOut Conversations, peaking at #2 on the iTunes Hip-Hop charts. He followed it up with a free mixtape, Free SmokeOut Conversations, which has been downloaded over 200,000 times, and helped propel Dizzy to his own national 30-city tour. In December 2012, Dizzy went on to release the first of four EPs, The First Agreement, which reached as high as #2 on the iTunes Hip-Hop chart. In March of 2013, Dizzy gathered enough votes to be selected as the “People’s Choice” member of the XXL Freshman Class of 2013. Dizzy is showing no signs of slowing down, preparing a new mixtape The Golden Age, which will be released on August 19th, as well as The Golden Age Tour, which will kick off September 7th in San Diego, California.
Funk Volume Background:


Funk Volume is a record label, marketing and production company founded to give hip hop artists a home to freely express themselves without feeling controlled or pressured by any other outside forces. Currently home to Hopsin, SwizZz, Dizzy Wright, Jarren Benton and DJ Hoppa, Funk Volume’s plan is to represent only the sickest, most talented, and most creative artists that we can find. The label’s objective is to produce music that it feel competes with any other artists or labels in the industry. Funk Volume is not a “movement”, not a “gang”, not a “squad.” Funk Volume is a commitment – to protect the integrity of the music and conduct our business properly. It is a commitment to hip-hop, to its fans, and to each other.

Dizzy Wright - Can't Stop Won't Stop

Lady Gaga Applause Single

Lady Gaga has announced that the first single from her long-awaited forthcoming album/app ARTPOP is “Applause”, and has released its single artwork shot by Inez & Vinoodh. “Applause” will be available worldwide beginning August 19th, and is the first single from the pop icon’s highly anticipated fourth studio album/app ARTPOP, which will hit stores around the world on November 11th through Streamline/Interscope Records.

Due to popular audience demand, the pre-order for ARTPOP will also now arrive on August 19th – two weeks earlier than previously announced. Fans who visit digital music retailers on August 19th will be able to purchase the single “Applause” as well as pre-order their copy of ARTPOP with just one click.

Lady Gaga is set to perform “Applause” for the first time at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY on August 25th.


LADY GAGA came to prominence following the release of her debut studio album The Fame (2008), which sold over 15 million copies worldwide.  Her contributions to the music industry have garnered her numerous achievements including five Grammy Awards amongst fifteen nominations, a record setting thirteen MTV Video Music Awards of twenty-six nominations and the estimated sale of 24 million albums and 90 million singles worldwide. She has travelled the world on numerous tours including 2008′s The Fame Ball, 2009-2011′s The Monster Ball and 2012-2013′s Born This Way Ball. An HBO television special titled Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden earned an Emmy Award amongst its five nominations.  Her third studio album, Born This Way, broke the iTunes record for the fastest rise to the # 1 on release day. In 2013, Time Magazine named her the second most influential person of the decade. With over 2.2 billion combined views of all her videos online, Lady Gaga is one of the biggest living people in social media with over 5 million likes on Facebook and over 39 million followers on Twitter. She is also a global activist and philanthropist, having been an outspoken supporter of many important issues including LGBT rights, HIV/AIDS awareness, body image issues, and youth empowerment. In 2011, she launched her own Born This Way Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to empowering youth and creating a kinder and braver world. She also recently built & launched a social network just for her fans, Lady Gaga is the only artist in the digital era to top the 5 million sales mark with her first two hits.

Lady Gaga Applause Single

BEATRICE MASON - When Love Breaks Down

Brazilian chanteuse Beatrice Mason recently released a sultry cover of popular 80s new wave hit “When Love Breaks Down” by the British pop rock group, Prefab Sprout. To pair with the single, Beatrice and her faithful team Maíra Knox (designer/art director) and Manuel Águas (cinematography director), filmed an artful videoclip.

Beatrice (pronounced “bee–TRESE”) and her sister Eurídice were born and raised in Rio to a mother of German descent and a father of Italian descent. Beatrice and her sister began singing at age 6 in many musical choirs, including one led by her mother. Classical music filled the family home, and both girls were encouraged to learn music theory and play musical instruments. Beatrice excelled in three keys of the wind instrument called a recorder as well as flute, led a Baroque trio and won many awards. Beatrice was also exposed to Brazilian popular music thanks to the family housekeeper, Alzira, whose radio fed her a constant diet of Roberto Carlos, Caetano Veloso, Elis Regina, Nara Leão and Maria Betânia, among many others.

At age 16, Beatrice’s father, a very serious minded man, insisted she and Eurídice pursue more standard careers so they could be financially independent.  Beatrice, fluent in English chose the field of law in which she endeavored in Brazil and the United States. While living in New York City she went to clubs and concerts to see artists as far reaching as Stanley Jordan, Sting and The Brand New Heavies. Music never ceased tugging her heart. Eventually, the stress of dealing with mergers and acquisitions got the best of her. She took a sabbatical to have a baby and found singing to be extremely cathartic during her pregnancy. First returning to her classical roots then being led into sacred music by a vocal coach, Mason found her voice to be lovelier than ever.  Her formal vocal instruction included classical lessons with Vera Canto e Mello and popular singing with Paula Santoro and Felipe Abreu.

Dipping her toes back into musical waters two years after the birth of her son, Beatrice presented a show she titled “Coração Tranqüilo” at the traditional Rio de Janeiro venue of Mistura Fina.  Uncomfortable with that program’s emphasis on Brasilian rhythms, she showcased her softer side in “Alumbramento.” Insisting upon off-the-beaten-path material she calls “b-sides,” Beatrice next dug into the fertile well of modern Brazilian composers to fill her debut album, Mosaico.

Sponsored by a Brazilian telecommunications company, Beatrice’s very own label, Lilly Blonde, took her show on the road to several major cities in Brazil garnering massive media and strong reviews, one of which reads, “…what a surprise: there is plenty of good taste in the careful choices of the lady, who presents a debut album that is classical and contemporary at the same time.” Two months after attending WOMEX 2011 (World Music Expo), Mason was invited to perform at the 2012 edition of the MIDEM, the world’s largest international trade show that takes place every year in Cannes, France. Mason played to an enthusiastic and packed house.

She also staged a tribute show to the late folk rock poet Nick Drake back in Brazil later in 2012 and 2013.  The project caught the eyes (and ears) of Billboard Brazil, the July 2013 edition brings an article on her Nick Drake project and her next solo album, and she is now planning a Nick Drake tour in Brazil.

Beatrice also has another recording project, in which she partners with her friend João Cavalcanti to sing the songs by South American composers Jorge Drexler, Vitor Ramil and Kevin Johansen.  João Cavalcanti is a very accomplished young singer/songwriter from Brasil, and the son of Lenine, one of the most popular and respected singer/songwriters in the country.

Ms. Mason has also toured and performed in France, Sweden, Germany and Dublin, in different occasions.

“I want to be a musical bridge between contemporary Brasil at its very best and the rest of the world,” Beatrice Mason promises.

Beatrice Mason is currently recording her second solo CD, to be released later in 2013. Watch the video for “When Love Breaks Down” on YouTube now:

BEATRICE MASON - When Love Breaks Down

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sportz X-Treme PAC Tent Review


The build quality of the X-Treme PAC is stellar, ensuring that individuals will have a number of seasons of service before having to purchase another product. The X-Treme PAC tent fits up to two people, and has two doors to ensure ease of movement while in the tent.  There are a number of smart additions to this tent; individuals can stash their phones, lanterns, or otherwise gear in the included pockets, while two stools allows people to stay off the ground. No matter what the climate is, the X-Treme PAC tent can brave it. We were able to stay dry and cozy throughout a fairly substantial thunderstorm (the tent utilizes GoBeDry technology), while the mesh provided ample airflow for those nights when it was hot and sticky. Napier has further increased the value of the tent through the inclusion of two sleeping bags. I would strongly recommend purchasing the X-Treme PAC if you would like to camp and fish and want the experience to be mess free. The tent comes in a single bag to further decrease the space that one needs in a car or truck.

One can find the X-Treme PAC tent for around $220 and can find further information about the product (and the rest of the company’s line) at .

Rating: 9.0/10


Sportz X-Treme PAC Tent Review/ Napier Outdoors /

Sportz X-Treme PAC Tent Review

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Vampire Slayer Beer Review




Vampire Slayer is a dark elixir, one that blends equal parts chocolate and cream and ends with a very bold ending. The beer pours with an inky darkness, topped by a small amount of off-white lacing. This beer would work with a steak or similarly hardy meal, but I believe that Vampire Slayer should be experience in a singular setting. The complexity of the beer will continue to yield different and exciting twists and turns as one finishes the bottle.

A warmth will build as one continues to drink the beer, assisted by the small amount of carbonation that the beer possesses. With each subsequent sip, a different array of flavors come into focus. This means that vanilla, cocoa, coffee, licorice, and hints of smoke all become prevalent as one continues to drink. Vampire Slayer feels like a double in the late alcohol kick, which reminds imbibers of the 10% ABV of the beer. Taken all together, Vampire Slayer is a complete beer and balances inimitable flavors with te perfect amount of alcohol. This makes Vampire Slayer into one of the best beers that we have the chance to review so far this year.

Check out the Clown Shoes website (  ) or for more information about the brewery, their efforts, and what they have planned for the end of the year. Vampire Slayer can be purchased in 22 ounce bottles all year.

Rating: 9.4/10



Vampire Slayer Beer Review / Imperial Stout / Clown Shoes Brewery / 10.00% ABV / www.clownshoesbeer.comClownShoes_Vampire_violet2-e1322741749285


Vampire Slayer Beer Review

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lenka Shadows CD Review

Shadows begins with Nothing Here but Love, a track that blends sedate and emotive instrumentation with an utterly memorable set of vocals. The dreamy nature of the track sets the stage for subsequent tracks; Faster with You continues this trend with a slight bit of electronic instrumentation. Floating between pop, EDM, and influences including Jewel and Natalie Imbruglia, Lenka deftly crafts a unique style of music during the first part of Shadows. Honeybee is the mid-point of Shadows and reaches the longest length of any track on this album. The additional time allows Lenka to provide some of the most effecting narrative, while the guitar lays down a delightful and supporting line throughout.


The Top of Memory Lane concludes Shadows, and keeps faithful to the approach that Lenka initiated Shadows with. Hints of The Las and Natalie Cole can be heard through the hazy, slower-tempoed arrangements. The work can be enjoyed in a single or album-wide format, and precisely what listeners may taken from Shadows is dependent on the method in which they approach the title.

Purchase a copy of Shadows from a well-stocked physical music store or from a variety of music retailers. Visit Lenka’s website (at ) for more information about the performer, photos and videos, and a listing of the live dates that ey will be playing in the months to come. Lenka is poised to make it big; if you have not had a chance to hear any cuts from Shadows, I would strongly suggest you search them out.

Top Tracks: Nothing Here but Love, The Top of Memory Lane

Rating: 8.5/10

Lenka Shadows CD Review / 2013 Skipalong Records / 11 Tracks /

Lenka Shadows CD Review

Serious Strength Training Third Edition Book Review

Serious Strength Training is a title that looks to provide individuals with education to move past early stages of bodybuilding into the more hard-core weight training. This book provides more than just a set of exercises (which are numerous), providing education in regards to high-intensity training, diet, and even sets of workouts that will increase muscle gains. The “Using Nutritional Supplements” chapter will inform readers about what each class (BCAAs, preworkouts, ECA stacks) of supplements assist with and the time during the workout that they should be taken. The “intensity is the bottom line” mantra provides a starting point for individuals that wish to benefit the most from Serious Strength Training, while a discussion of the motor unit activation rates showcases the differential efficiency of a variety of exercises.


Of particular note in the hypertrophy section of the book, the authors provide an informational breakdown about the superslow training method. The discussion of the eccentric and concentric movement clarifies traditional gym wisdom, while a follow-up section (Common Misconceptions) attempts to steer readers away from unnecessary strain or injury.

The book is written in a very approachable manner, allowing those high-school or early collegiate athletes to reap the benefits described in the book. I believe that the variety that Serious Strength Training preaches in terms of daily calories and workouts is what will keep bodies confused and plateaus broken. Make sure to purchase a copy of this regimen from the Human Kinetics website or from a well-stocked online or physical book retailer.

Rating: 8.7/10


Serious Strength Training Third Edition Book Review / Tudor Bompa, Mauro Di Pasquale, and Lorenzo Cornacchia 2013 Human Kinetics / 358 Pages /

Serious Strength Training Third Edition Book Review

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Roccat Kone Pure Mouse Review


A 8200 DPI mouse, the Roccat Kone Pure Mouse provides a tremendous amount of customization along with spot-on performance. No matter whether one is playing a current-gen MMORPG (World of Warcraft, Neverwinter) or FPS, the Pure Mouse will increase targeting and overall accuracy. The mouse is one of the most versatile that we have a chance to review. In terms of the aesthetics, users can choose any one of millions of different colors (over 16.8 million, actually) for the logo and even establish a set of color switches.


For those individuals that have to go and keep their clicks per seconds as high as possible, the Kone Pure Mouse contains 7 different programmable buttons. The amount of functions that a user can place into the mouse is increased through the Kone Pure’s design, allowing each button to take on two distinct configurations. The mouse is rugged and will take whatever punishment or ragequits that an individual may have. The Tracking and Distance Control Unit (TDCU) is a rarity in that it provides users with further specification regarding the material that they utilize for their mouse pads. The chip included in the mouse (a Turbo Core V2 professor) ensures that the mouse maintains its accuracy and precision no matter what is going on in the background. The shape of the Roccat Kone Pure Mouse allows for a very comfortable experience, no matter how long one plays a game or conducts some other activity.

Visit the Roccat website for more information about the Pure Mouse and the company’s other releases. The mouse can be purchased for about $70.

Rating: 8.4/10


Roccat Kone Pure Mouse Review / 8200 DPI /

Roccat Kone Pure Mouse Review

Strike Back Season Two DVD Box Set Review


Strike Back is one of the hottest shows, and this DVD set (capturing “Strike Back: Vengeance” for those familiar with the British airing) does the show justice. The second season improves on the story that was laid out in the initial collection of episodes, providing some much-needed back story to Michael (Philip Winchester) while providing further drama. The show introduces a new boss for Michael in Rachel (Rhona Mitra of Shooter, Underworld) through the season’s 10 episodes. The overarching plot of season two surrounds the search for nuclear triggers in the exotic wilds and cityscapes of Africa. The show does a great job in tying together the spy and military genres, all while having the same attention to detail that a police procedural or mystery show would require. During the season, a bountiful amount of guest stars keep things fresh. Eamonn Walker (Oz, In Sickness and in Health), Nick Reding (The Bill, A Touch of Frost), and Shane Taylor (Devil’s Playground) all turn in stellar roles during this season.


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There are a number of bonus features that are included on this box set.  Aside from the bonus DVD of Banshee, each box set includes a commentary laid down by Winchester, Stapleton, Holmes, and other cast and crew. The commentary does well in providing viewers with a sense of the camaraderie enjoyed by the cast and crew, along with further context of the character’s motivations.

Make sure to purchase this DVD set from online or brick and mortar retailers; shoot for a price of around $30-35. The show resumes in mid-August and can be viewed in the United States on Cinemax.

Rating: 8.3/10

Strike Back Season Two DVD Box Set / 2013 HBO / 600 Minutes /

Strike Back Season Two DVD Box Set Review

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Eve of Destruction Blu-Ray Disc Review



Eve of Destruction is an epic mini-series (which had an initial airing back in June, on the ReelzChannel) that details the construction of an energy plant that will solve the pressing issue of energy generation. When a set of ecological terrorist decide to throw a wrench in that research, what was a boon for humanity turns into a tremendous bane. Eve of Destruction is built off of the contributions of Aleks Paunovic (BSG, Arctic Air), Christina Cox (Defying Gravity, Blood Ties), and Steven Weber (Wings, the Dallas reboot). In this three-hour release, viewers will get into rooting for the ragtag band as they strike out against the tremendous force of nature and reality.

The quality of the special effects is perfectly passable for the film, while the cast and crew unite to make for a realistic set of relations even with the off-the-wall settings that are utilized here. Director Robert Lieberman (Fire in the Sky, Breakaway) is able to create an immersive environment, striking up that bit of fear in viewer’s hearts that what is detailed here could honestly happen. This point is especially prominent when one views Eve of Destruction in light of the Fukushima nuclear accident.

The sneak peek of another Vivendi production (Cat. 8) will pique the interest of Eve of Destruction.  The video and audio quality of this release is utterly superb, with realistic colors and an audio track sharp enough to discern every line of dialogue and ambient noise. Make sure to check out a copy of Eve of Destruction from any well-stocked physical film retailer or from a variety of online movie stores.

Rating: 8.0/10

Eve of Destruction Blu-Ray Disc Review / 2013 Vivendi / 173 Minutes /

Eve of Destruction Blu-Ray Disc Review

Pee Wee's Playhouse Brought to Digital Entertainment


Shout! Factory announced they are bringing Paul Reubens’ groundbreaking TV series PEE-WEE’S PLAYHOUSE to the home entertainment marketplace and a variety of digital entertainment platforms. Shout! Factory recently secured extensive distribution rights to all 45 episodes of PEE-WEE’S PLAYHOUSE and PEE-WEE’S CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, including worldwide home entertainment, select digital rights and broadcast for cross-platform releases. The announcement was made today by Shout! Factory’s founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos.


“We could not be more excited to collaborate with Paul Reubens on this fantastic venture. PEE-WEE’S PLAYHOUSE is a cultural touchstone for a generation, and its visually dynamic design and offbeat sense of humor were a genuine phenomenon,” stated Shout! Factory’s founders. “We are thrilled that this extensive restoration project is underway and look forward to presenting the series, for the first time in incredible high-definition and with behind-the-scenes bonus material. Fans will experience PEE-WEE’S PLAYHOUSE as never before and share it with a new generation audience.”


Shout! Factory announces a full-range of bonus content is currently in development for PEE-WEE’S PLAYHOUSE: THE COMPLETE SERIES multi-disc, Blu-ray box set. The company plans an aggressive rollout of this definitive complete series Blu-ray collection and individual seasons in 2014.


COMIC-CON ATTENDEES can get a glimpse of the restoration process at ‘The Digital Bits Presents Blu-ray Producers Panel 2013’ on Thursday, July 18 at 4 pm (Room 5AB, San Diego Convention Center).


Paul Reubens, star and creator of the series, commenting on the collaboration, stated,

“The restoration has made Pee-wee’s Playhouse look astonishing. This has been an enormous undertaking and I am truly excited to work with Shout! Factory.”


For over 25 years, the enormously popular Pee-wee Herman and innovative television series PEE-WEE’S PLAYHOUSE, created by, and starring Paul Reubens, has captured a special place in the hearts of millions of viewers, young and old. Since its initial premiere on CBS in 1986, this multiple Emmy®-winning children’s program became Saturday morning appointment viewing for kids in the 80s and 90s and has been a staple in the pop culture zeitgeist ever since. TV Guide named PEE-WEE’S PLAYHOUSE  “one of the top ten cult television classics of all time. “


PEE-WEE’S PLAYHOUSE is an educational, artistic and entertaining show that teaches kids strong ‘life lessons’. With it’s innovative  production design and brimming with Reubens’ rich original characters and humor, PEE-WEE’S PLAYHOUSE is a magical place that sparks creativity and imagination—and brings joy to children and adults alike. Parents and grown-ups have always enjoyed the show’s many double entendres. The series features beloved regulars Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne), Reba the Mail Lady (S. Epatha Merkerson), Miss Yvonne (Lynne Marie Stewart), Captain Carl (Phil Hartman), The King of Cartoons (William Marshall), Jambi the Genie (John Paragon), Ricardo (Vic Trevino) and Mrs. Rene (Suzanne Kent). And of course, Chairry, Pterri, Conky, Magic Screen, Clocky, Cool Cat, Dirty Dog, Chicky Baby, Penny, the Dinosaur family, and the rest of the gang!


Over the course of its original five-year run on television, PEE-WEE’S PLAYHOUSE garnered 22 Emmys®, Parent’s Choice Award, TV Critics Award, and numerous other honors and accolades.


About Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD and Blu-Ray™ offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials in lavish packages crammed with extras.  Shout’s audio division boasts GRAMMY®-nominated box sets, Broadway cast albums, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of” compilations.  In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast digital distribution network which delivers video and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America.  Shout! Factory also owns and operates Timeless Media Group, Biograph Records, Majordomo Records, HighTone Records and Video Time Machine. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention.  Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit

Pee Wee's Playhouse Brought to Digital Entertainment

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lisa Lim Self-Titled LP CD Review

imagesSuperstitious Mind is a hard-rocking track that ties together the work of Guns N’ Roses with a more current and contemporary (Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood) country sound. My Perfect World keeps with a strong instrumentation and showcases Lim’s eclectic set of influences. With more than a passing nod to sixties psychedelic rock and nineties grunge, My Perfect World has the hooks necessary to garner a substantial amount of replay. Broken Promise Blues is one of the hardest-rocking tracks on this CD, allowing Lim to come forth with some alluring unity of sludge-metal (Danzig, Corrosion of Conformity) and seventies rock (38 Special, The Outlaws). Where the band continues to set out on a tremendous groove, it is Lim’s vocals that push the track to an entirely different realm.

Please, Please Don’t Go slows things down considerably, with Lim taking a Mott the Hoople approach. Considerable use of an electric organ gives listeners a large dose of seventies rock, while the theatrics of Lim’s voice will appease fans of Alice Cooper. Let Go is another memorable effort on this self-titled release. This is due to the cohesion that is palpable during the effort; no matter whether Lim’s vocals, the guitars, or drums are kicking into high gear, the rest of act coheres and creates a unitary effort.

Visit her website for further information about her live dates, other recordings, photos, and merchandise that she has for sale. Lim’s self-titled LP is an example of an album that continually impresses, with each of the album’s cuts catchier than the last. Lim is able to hit it out of the park wit this one.

Top Tracks: Please, Please Don’t Go, Broken Promise Blues

Rating: 8.6/10


Lisa Lim Self-Titled LP CD Review / 2013 Self /

Lisa Lim Self-Titled LP CD Review

Monday, July 15, 2013

Drew Stroik Feature by NeuFutur Magazine

When music is done right, it has the ability to alter moods, inspire thoughts and catalyze creativity. That’s the type of feeling conveyed in Drew Stroik’s intriguing sonic catalog. This 23-yr-old producer/singer/songwriter specializes in dreamy soundscapes of lush, lo-fi, extremely melodic tunes Drew Stroik lovingly characterizes as “generic pop.” The lyrics are sometimes literal, often oblique, but always honest. Some songs will evoke an immediate visceral emotion, while others are more slow-creeping, gradually embedding themselves in the listener’s psyche. Let’s put it this way; Stroik’s songs could provide the perfect soundtrack for a long road trip through desolate or resplendent terrain, or they could even serve as the musical backdrop for a plush, debauchery-drenched, nightclub setting. That’s how you know the music is good. It adapts itself amorphously to anyone or anything around it.
Prying into the young musician’s past, one begins to get a better idea of how he’s able to make such sublime and textured music. There is a lot Drew Stroik has been through in his short 23 years, and that’s putting it mildly. Drew Stroik was born in Chicago, where Drew Stroik actually lived with his young single mother in a funeral home with the bassist and drummer of alt-rock group, Veruca Salt. From the Windy City, Drew Stroik moved to Miami where his mother briefly dated the owner of Al Pacino’s palatial drug mansion in the gangster flick, Scarface – no lie. Drew Stroik spent some time in Los Angeles, transplanted to Las Vegas for about five years, and finally settled in North Carolina with his mom and new stepdad. His first introduction to music came at the age of seven when Drew Stroik was given a bunch of movie soundtracks as a Christmas present. “One of them was the Lion King CD,” he recalls, “I was a normal kid at that time – or so my parents thought, I became obsessed.” In North Carolina, he was given a guitar as a gift at the age of 14, and he self-taught himself until he got “really good.” Drew Stroik was kicked out of high school prior to his senior year (the details surrounding said expulsion remain fuzzy), and thus he was forced to find a full-time job to make ends meet. During this turbulent period, it was his music that kept him afloat. He saved enough cash to get himself a cheap computer and a Yamaha keyboard and started laying down his own tracks at home.
The next major progression in his musical journey was when he sent some music to Andy Chase of Unfiltered Records. Andy saw immediate promise in his raw, esoteric and mesmerizing tracks, and asked Drew Stroik for the master files to polish the songs further. However, the masters had been destroyed to save hard-drive space, so with no other options available, he began flying Drew Stroik up to NYC on the weekends to record new material. Andy later introduced the young artist to his longtime friend and musical collaborator Bruce Driscoll (Astaire, Blondfire, Brookville) and the creative cipher was complete. Over the subsequent frigid winter months in Bruce’s Upper East Side apartment, the three musicians crafted Drew Stroik’s beautiful, impending debut LP, In the Fresh.
When asked about the album’s major building blocks, Drew Stroik clarifies that in his world, the music and instrumentation, above everything else, reign supreme. “I can hear ten seconds of music, and be moved more powerfully by that than any of Bob Dylan’s most poignant lines,” Drew Stroik emphatically declares. The inspiration came straight from his heart.
Lyrically, his approach was just taking whatever emotion he was feeling at the time, whether it was humor, indifference, melancholy or love and putting it to words. The bottom line he says was the music “just needed to sound right.” There are many standouts on the album’s 12 cuts: the subtle and breezy title track, the sincere “Number One Blind,” the easy bounce of “Wash and Repeat,” and the rousing “La La La” – but perhaps the most endearing factor is that overall, it’s a well-composed and cohesive listen from beginning to end.
Ultimately when it comes down to it, the music reflects its maker. Speaking to Drew Stroik is a whirlwind experience of human awareness and curiosity. One frenzied minute, he’ll be extolling the vibrant, dance-heavy video for the song “Cat Daddy” (featuring Chris Brown) by The Rej3ctz, and the next, he’ll be explaining the many duties (including forklift operation) he executes at his 9-to-5 factory job. It’s the same urgency, honesty and transparency you see in his music. “Basically what I try to address in my music is the fact that people think they have all the answers but they really don’t,” he emotes. “I’m just tired of all the facades and smoke screens that exist everywhere, so I just make music that’s real to me.” Well said.
The album In the Fresh will be dropping in 2012, and rest assured, this is a musical experience you don’t want to let pass you by.

Read more:

GT1 Mid-Tower ATX Computer Case Review


The GT1 Mid-Tower is the latest case from In-Win USA. It contains 6 internal 3.5” drive bays, 3 external 5.25” drive bays, and an ample amount of USB connectors (1 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0). The company has placed an “EZ Swap Dock” on the top of the case, which allows for rapid changing of SATA hard drives. For those individuals that have to bring over large (over the size of a thumb drive) projects from one station to another, the presence of this dock is a godsend. The build quality of the GT1 is beyond reproach and will stand up to jostling and normal office/house damage (running into it with the legs of a chair, kicking it).

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Cooling is easy for the GT1, as In-Win has included support for 9 fans (8 120mm along with the red 120mm that is included with the case). The routing pathway that is provided here allows for greater cooling, as system builders can keep the case’s space open. The GT1 also includes a bottom-mounted PSU bracket. The decision to place this bracket on the bottom is great for a system’s center of gravity, but places the burden of off-floor placement of a system firmly in the hands of purchasers. Finally, for those with bestial video cards, the GT1 has a removable bracket that allows for placement of extra-long video cards.

The GT1 Mid-Tower ATX can be purchased for around $75, and represents a solid upgrade for anyone that is looking for an airy and spacious case that can fit on a shelf or under a desk. Visit the In-Win website at .

Rating: 9.2/10

GT1 Mid-Tower ATX Computer Case / In-Win USA /

GT1 Mid-Tower ATX Computer Case Review

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Iration Automatic CD


Automatic showcases Iration’s own unique take on reggae; hints of 311 and Sublime can be heard even as the band takes a more pensive and even progressive-tinged approach to their music. The production during this introduction will pique listeners’ interests, which the band uses to great effect during Show Me. Show Me is a radio-ready track that looks back to the days of The Police and the second wave of ska. Back Around pushes the vocals to the forefront, allowing Iration to make a play for a wider array of music fans. This Old Song is delightfully soulful, with a laid-back vibe that matches nicely with the lazy, warm days of summer. This track stands for the whole of Automatic, as the band is able to pack in a variety of styles and influences into the efforts’ three and a half minutes.

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Milk and Honey is one of the last tracks on Automatic, and the tempo of the track is precisely what listeners need to keep with the final two efforts. The penultimate track – Undertow – is a trippy track that feels a little heavier than what has been presented so far in Automatic.

Fans that wish to purchase the new Iration disc can do so at a variety of well-stocked independent music stores and through any online music retailer. Check the band out at live dates and bookmark their website for further information; Iration is one of the most exciting and genre-bending bands that we have had the chance to review so far this year.

Top Tracks: This Old Song, Milk and Honey

Rating: 8.2/10


Iration Automatic CD Review / 2013 / 16 Songs /

Iration Automatic CD

BoostBloc 6600 Review


The BoostBloc 6600 is a lithium battery (rated for 6600mAh) that will quickly recharge cellular phones, computers, and an array of other gadgets. The BoostBloc 6600 contains two 1A/2.1A USB ports, which allow users to place two objects on charge simultaneously; the battery (when fully charged) can charge a dead cellphone three times before depleting its energy stores. Regardless of the amount of objects plugged in to the BoostBloc, users will be able to rapidly get back to surfing the web or checking email.

For those that wish to see the level of charge left in the BoostBloc 6600, eton has created a functionality that showcases battery life with a shake of the BoostBloc. This is a rugged battery and will be able to take all sorts of jostling and damage while providing the lifeblood to any chargeable electronic with a USB port. At a total weight of about 7 ounces, the BoostBloc 6600 will not weigh down a bag, backpack, or purse.

Interested readers can purchase the BoostBloc 6600 online and at well-stocked electronics stores for around $100. Eton’s website contains further specification for their BoostBloc efforts and information about their current and upcoming forays into technology. For a portable battery, the BoostBloc 6600 cannot be beat.

Rating: 9.0/10



BoostBloc 6600 Review / /

BoostBloc 6600 Review

Wispr 2 Vaporizer Review


The Wispr 2 is an intuitive vaporizer, ensuring that users will easily be able to jump in and move away from combustion. With a quick fill of butane and the chamber, the Wispr 2 is ready for usage. After one turns it on and lets the orange light turn off, one can begin to take in vapor from the tobacco or herbal blend that they have placed into the chamber. An individual will be able to get about 5 to 10 minutes worth of vapor off of a chamber’s full of plant material, which can be easily removed and the Wispr 2 refilled for the next round.

The build quality of the Iolite Wispr 2 makes it travel well through the festival scene, treks to the campground, and anywhere else one that it could be trucked around. The Wispr 2 is only conspicuous when it regulates the temperature, “breathing” in a sense. Users have a comfortable time with it, the company has placed a latticework to simultaneously provide cooling for the product and a way to hold onto the Wispr 2. The Wispr 2 is a success because it simplifies the vaporization process. Rather than have to key in a temperature or hold a whip against the element, the Wispr 2 keeps things easy through a smart design and a voluminous user’s manual.

The Wispr 2 retails for $200, and can be purchased in a variety of colors (Brown, Green, Red, Blue, Orange, and Black). The vaporizer comes with a carrying pouch and cleaning / maintenance tools.  Make sure to visit the Iolite website to see their other products and news about their releases through the end of 2013 and into 2014.

Rating: 9.6/10


Wispr 2 Vaporizer / Iolite /

Wispr 2 Vaporizer Review

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Magic 2014 Duels of the Planeswalkers PC Review



For those individuals that are looking to increase their ability with Magic: the Gathering, Duels of trhe Planeswalkers is a must-have. The various challenges that await planeswalkers on single-player mode allow for the more nuanced plays to be understood under the comprehensive rules of the game. The high-contrast design of the battlefield and zoomable aspect to the cards provides further information to those players that may not be familiar with each card in their (or their enemies’) deck.  Duels of the Planeswalkers provides a rapid Magic: the Gathering experience, with the AI making decisions generally quicker than a human would.

The deck design tool provides players with information about the CMC (converted mana cost) and the breakdown of colors in their decks. For this year’s Duels of the Planeswalkers, there seems to be a greater focus on multi-color decks. These decks will provide players with an array of different strategies and a sense for how the paired colors bolster each other. The greatest addition to Magic 2014 has to be the sealed deck variant. This means that players open a number of packs and create their own deck. This means that there is considerably more variation to the game play than was present in previous iterations of the game; the sealed deck campaign allows players to earn additional packs through the completion of different challenges.

With the next expansion (Magic 2014) to be released on July 19th, casual players and hardcore Magic: the Gathering fans alike will find considerably replay value to this $10 title. Make sure to keep an eye out for additional decks released by Wizards of the Coast, which will be released in a regular fashion.

Rating: 9.2/10

Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014 PC Review / Wizards of the Coast / /


Magic 2014 Duels of the Planeswalkers PC Review

Captain Morgan Sherry Oak Finish Spiced Rum Review


There is a decidedly more complex flavor to the Sherry Oak Finish than to the original Captain Morgan. I feel it is this an amazing take on a classic spirit, with the classic Captain Morgan’s acquiring an evolved flavor by virtue of its time in sherry oak. The initial aroma of the Sherry Oak Finish Spiced Rum is very sweet, with hints of vanilla and raisin coming forth immediately. With each subsequent sip, a collection of flavors come into plain view.

The mixed drinks that utilize rum are provided a nice twist by the inclusion of the Sherry Oak Finish Spiced Rum. The dulcet tones of the spirit turn a normal cola into a fortified Vanilla bomb. The finish of this effort is so unique and welcomed that even it is even noticeable in a cluttered drink like a Long Island Iced Tea. For rum connoisseurs, sipping the Sherry Oak Finish Spiced Rum neat or on the rocks will provide the clearest take on the various facets of the rum. The Sherry Oak Finish links together pieces of sherry, cherry, and caramel into a nectar uniting tart and sweet.

Readers that wish to purchase the Captain Morgan Sherry Oak Finish Spiced Rum can find it for around $19.99 for a 750ml bottle for a limited time. Visit the Captain Morgan website or Facebook ( for more information about their varieties and current promotions.

Rating: 9.2/10


Captain Morgan Sherry Oak Finish Spiced Rum Review / 70 Proof /

Captain Morgan Sherry Oak Finish Spiced Rum Review

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Eve to Adam Ticket Giveaway

We are giving away tickets to the Eve to Adam tour, which will run through July and into August. The band is choosing fans (and friends) to go to each of their tour dates, and we have been given the opportunity to have NeuFutur readers sign up. Read through the rules, and sign up for the contest at the bottom of the page.


SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY PERIOD: Eve To Adam Highway Robbery (“Sweepstakes”) begins at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) on July 8, 2013 and ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on August 31, 2013.

ELIGIBILITY: Sweepstakes open to legal residents of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia who are age 18 or older at time of entry. Void in Puerto Rico, all U.S. territories and possession and where prohibited by law. Employees, immediate family members, and persons living in the same household of Total Assault LLC (“Sponsor”), or Sweepstakes partners, their respective parent companies, divisions, subsidiaries, retailers, artists, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies and any other persons involved with this Sweepstakes are not eligible to enter or win. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. In the event that this Sweepstakes is challenged by any legal or regulatory authority, Sponsor reserves the right to discontinue or modify the Sweepstakes or to disqualify entrants residing in the affected geographic areas. In such event, Sponsor shall have no liability to any entrants who are disqualified due to such an action. This Sweepstakes shall be governed by and construed in accordance with California law, and the venue for all controversies will be exclusively in state or federal court in Los Angeles, California.

TO ENTER: follow all onscreen entry instructions to complete and submit the online entry form including your name, home address/phone number(when required), e-mail address, and date of birth. All entries must be received no earlier than 12:01 a.m. ET on July 8, 2013 and no later than 11:59 PM ET on August 31, 2013. Online entrants are subject to all notices posted online including but not limited to Sponsor’s privacy policy. Limit: Only one (1) entry per person and per email address will be accepted. Duplicate entries will be disregarded. No responsibility is assumed for entries that are illegible, incomplete, lost, late, misdirected, or damaged. Mechanically produced or computer generated entries are void. All entries become property of Total Assault LLC (“Sponsor”) and will not be returned or acknowledged.

WINNER SELECTION: (69) Winners will be selected in a random drawing from all eligible entries received, on, about or before September 7, 2013. Random drawing will be conducted by Total Assault LLC. Odds of winning are determined by the number of eligible entries received during the Sweepstakes Entry Period.

PRIZING: One (1) winner per date will win one (1) pair of tickets for the Highway Robbery date of their choosing. No travel accommodations provided. No substitution, transfer, assignment or cash equivalent of prize permitted, except that Sponsor may substitute prize or portion thereof with a prize of equal or greater value. No substitution, transfer, assignment or cash equivalent of prize permitted, except that Sponsor may substitute prize or portion thereof with a prize of equal or greater value. No substitution, transfer, assignment or cash equivalent of prize permitted, except that Sponsor may substitute prize or portion thereof with a prize of equal or greater value.


Check out the contest at .

Eve to Adam Ticket Giveaway

Popcorners Whole Grain Review


There are hundreds of different products that are  released every year that look to carve out a niche for themselves. The sad fact is that a number of these products do not contribute significantly to snacking or are otherwise forgettable. Popcorners is a new product, that has been released in three flavors. Popcorners are crafted with non-GMO grain and is gluten free. The flavoring of each Popcorners type absolutely bursts; each bite will level snackers while not being overly present.

Our favorite flavor of the Popcorners Whole Grain line has to be the Twisted Salt. This is because the Twisted Salt is a smarter version of movie popcorn, with an incredible crunch and enough salt to keep individuals snacking along until they have finished the bag.

Keep an eye on Popcorners in the end of 2013, as the company is looking to expand their line. The snack is filling and is much better for those that are on a diet than comparable chips. For example, the Memphis BBQ flavor bag contains one ounce of Popcorners, with 4 grams of fat (6% RDV), 2 grams of dietary fiber (6%) and 3 grams of protein on only 120 calories. When coupled with a meat and proper amounts of vegetables and fruits, I feel that Popcorners Whole Grain could precipitate weight loss in anyone that swaps their normal chips out. Make sure to check out your local supermarket or gas station for Popcorners products; we will be stocking them in NeuFutur headquarters from here on out.

Rating: 9.0/10



Popcorners Whole Grain Review – Memphis BBQ, Twisted Salt, and Sweet Cinnamon Review /

Popcorners Whole Grain Review


The recently launched Canadian hardcore/crust band CORRUPT LEADERS have released their debut EP, digitally through their Bandcamp page.


The four-song release was mastered by FROM ASHES RISE guitarist/vocalist Brad Boatright at Audiosiege Engineering (HIGH ON FIRE, TRAGEDY, SLEEP, OFF!) and mixed by Dan Emery at Black Matter Mastering (DAWN, GUIDE, SKY BURIAL, MEKA), along with cover illustration by Andy85.


The songs are currently streaming for free in their entirety, and are being offered as a free download to those who support the band by purchasing a t-shirt for only $10.


The following live dates have been confirmed:


July 26 – Windsor, ON – Holden Haus

August 17 – Hammond, IN – Void Haus

August 23 – Detroit, MI – venue info tba

To keep up with current info on CORRUPT LEADERS, visit them on facebook.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Suicide Machines Battle Hymns CD Review

The Suicide Machines-Battle Hymns-This is another band that I am giving a 2nd (and 3rd) chance to prove themselves. This album is much more cohesive then the first one I reviewed. The Suicide Machines end each song before it gets stagnant, by having the songs only last about a minute and a half each. They also are talented enough to keep the mix away from stagnation, changing styles numerous times during the album. However, the more ska-ish parts of the songs become a little tired. The album is good enough to avoid most of the pitfalls that the 90’s ska movement had in it, which caused the movement away from ska by the popular media. The recording level is perfect, a plus which comes with stardom, but the apathy exhibited by established bands is not present in this album. The Suicide Machines are just as devoted to their music as they were when they first came out. “High Society” would have to be the high (no pun intended) part of this album, in which the Machines use a bouncy bass line with sing-songy vocals to make the perfect skanking album. “Confuses” brings an early 80’s feel to the Machines, from the pseudo-Cure beginning guitar riffs with classic ska-style riffs in the chorus. All around a great album, and an improvement over Destruction By Definition.


Rating 8/10

The Suicide Machines Battle Hymns CD Review

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

NCAA Football 14 Review


The graphics of NCAA Football 14 for the PS3 are absolutely brilliant, rendering some of college football’s most well-known stadiums and fan bases in a vibrant and realistic style. The game play allows for individuals to immediately pick up the game and pull off a victory against the AI, but the learning curve of the title is so intense that friends will be debating the victor for years to come. While the game itself has a number of modes, I feel that the intuitive menu layout allows players to rapidly get to the game options that they would prefer. The dynasty / online dynasty modes provide considerable replay value, as XP (experience points) have been presented to provide further nuance and fullness to the mode.

The Power Recruiting option is another solid inclusion for NCAA Football 14, providing players with a closer approximation to the behind the scenes working of college football. The range of programs that are present in the title is substantial, with EA Sports working directly with a full complement of 126 schools. The presence of music videos for each of these schools showcases the highlights of the school program, and puts the nuances of each time into a greater light.

Make sure to pick up a copy of NCAA Football 14 from any local video game store or from a wide variety of online retailers. The title is available for around $60 for the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360. The sheer care taken in uniting the graphics, game play, and raw data from the NCAA makes NCAA Football 14 into a must-have game, perfect for gifting as a birthday gift or for a number of upcoming holidays.

Rating: 9.2/10

NCAA Football 14 Review / Sony Playstation 3 / EA Sports / /

NCAA Football 14 Review


U.K.-based singer/songwriter Tiki Black will release her debut record, OUT OF THE BLACK, on 16  July via No Sugar Added Records.  The revelatory collection introduces Tiki as a profound songwriter/composer and affecting vocalist.

OUT OF THE BLACK explores the process of moving from silence to expression, using creativity to express and exorcise fear and pain.  “I feel like an empath, everything makes me feel something,” says Tiki about her songwriting process.  “If my music starts from personal experiences, it draws more universal lessons by looking across time and place at similar situations and emotions.”   Sometimes the lyrics tell the story of a relatable character’s trials, like the clown in “Powder Masks” and sometimes they seem to speak directly to the listener, as in “Free Like Smoke:”


But when the truth is stuck in your throat, Bad breath

Are you a victim, a scapegoat? Bad faith

And when your life is stuck in your throat, Bad death

Are you born to survive?  Bad fate


This enigmatic theme is stunningly supported by Tiki’s live acoustic instrumentation.  It is minimalistic, carried by lush and intimate piano but lifted by delicate strings and worldly percussion.  The listening experience is slightly deceptive – so easy on the ears, a quiet, warm and resonant voice in your ear – but what that voice is saying is powerful, and challenging.

“Hypnotic.”  The Echo                    “…lovely, meaningful, soulful…”  radio host Bob Meyer

OUT OF THE BLACK performers are:

  • Tiki Black: all lyrics and music, lead vocals, background vocals; piano for Powder Masks

  • John Ellis: piano for all tracks except Powder Masks

  • Sidiki Dembele: nkoni, djembe

  • Michael Christopher Calvert: cello arrangement

  • Rachel Shakespeare, Leos Strings: cello and cello arrangement

  • Matt Owens: upright bass

  • Chris Hamilton: percussions (sticks)

The album is produced by Chris Hamilton and Tiki Black.

Tiki was born in Paris, raised in France and Cameroon, and currently resides in Manchester.  She sings in English, French, and her native Douala.  Because of and in addition to her multicultural background, Tiki’s “acoustic fusion” sound is inspired by artists such as Charles Aznavour, George Brassens, Frederic Chopin, Manu Dibango, Bob Marley, Sting, and Fiona Apple.  In 2009, her original song, “Swollen,” was a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.


OUT OF THE BLACK will be available on iTunes, Amazon, and other online retailers and select retailers.  For more information and to connect with Tiki, visit

1)  Free Like Smoke

2)  Listen

3)  Swollen

4)  Out of the Black

5)  Escape

6)  Etna

7)  Le cinquième élément (in French)

8)  Powder Masks

9)  Silence, No More

10) Open Your Eyes


MP3 STREAM – “Listen”