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DAMAGED UNIVERSE A Glimpse of the Future Writer: Lorenz Lammens Artist: James Beihl Color Artist: Martin Silva Letterer: Lorenz Lammens Cover Art: James Beihl Editors: T.C. Hensel & Anna Lammens Chief Editor: Lorenz Lamments

Damaged Universe is the copyrighted property of Octane Comics LLC & Lorenz Lammens, and is being published in this magazine with the permission of the comic’s owners.

I Am Entertainment Media

is not liable for any unauthorized use

or copying of the contents of this page.

Š 2014 Octane Comics llc and Lorenz Lammens.

Visit to learn more about this comic series and its owners & publishers.


Contents Cover Story

i Am Entertainment VOLUME 5 - ISSUE 28


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THE FIEWS (FILM/TV) Shannon Walsh 5 LaQuanda Plantt 7 4 Must See Web Series 8 DVD Releases 12

Making his I Am Entertainment debut, our new Indie Film Editor - Daniel Hoyos (Dir. of Seattle Short Films Festival) - interviews Robert Weiermair, the director of one of the most powerful indie shorts you’ll watch this summer.

THE MIEWS (MUSIC) Barry Roberts 13 Marathon 19 Attic Wolves 21 Carvin Haggins 23 Album Reviews 24


I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14


Editor’s Note i Am Entertainment

The Entertainer’s Handbook


Finding Success Through Balance

PUBLISHER: I Am Entertainment Media


CEO & DIR. BUSINES DEVELOPMENT: Shaine Freeman - COO & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Candy Freeman - recently decided to get more active on social media, and like so many entrepreneurs who get caught up in day-to-day tasks, I am guilty of neglecting this critical area of communicating with you - my awesome readers.

Social media is vital to any business, especially entertainment and media. In order to avoid coming off as a self-absorbed fame dragon, many music and film professionals will actually speak negatively of the socialsphere. But, the truth is that we have to be online connecting with fans of our work, networking with other professionals, and gaining exposure to those who have never heard of us. While there are limits to how consumed we should be with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., we still have to be active in order to keep those we entertain engaged. My social media rant was inspired by my own neglect of engaging the audience we reach through I Am Entertainment Magazine. As an independent magazine owner, I want to help other indies make better moves as they go after their career aspirations so, this issue is a salute to all of the independent trailblazers, renegades, and newbies who share the same love/hate relationship I have with the unavoidable social media platforms. Whether the powers that be want to admit it or not, independents/entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of American society. We are the ones who create new and fresh ideas to fill the voids corporate bigwigs are too high and mighty to see or care about (until we start to cut into their pockets). Independents have the freedom to create what they want without the fear of censorship or “steering”.

While there is freedom in being indie, we face tons of obstacles that must be worked through. Independents are usually working with little to no budget, have limited access to key platforms that our major counterparts enjoy, have to learn most of what we know the hard way, and struggle to build interest in what we do unless we launch to a pre-built audience. Yes, being independent definitely has its “cons” to match each “pro”. But, that’s also what makes being an indie so great! It gives us something to strive for each day, and it builds character. No matter what “stage” you are at in your entertainment career, I Am Entertainment wants you to know that we applaud and celebrate your hard work and creativity. We want to collaborate with you and be a platform through which you can gain access to key information, advice, and exposure as you build your business. We’re so committed to helping serious indies succeed, we have turned down offers from major conglomo publishers who wanted to buy us out so that you don’t have a place to get fed and ahead. Some have called us crazy, but hey, we didn’t do this to sell out...we did it to buy in. We appreciate you for buying in to I Am Entertainment Magazine and helping us maintain our Top 10 ranking among entertainment magazines online; for helping us continue to receive nominations for various publishing awards, and for being a loyal listener to The Miews Podcast with Shaine Freeman. As always I love reading your feedback and I want to hear from you. I hope you are inspired, educated, and entertained and will pass on the education and inspiration to a friend. Ready...set...go!

Candy Freeman

INDIE FILM EDITOR: Daniel Hoyos - IT & WEB ADMINISTRATOR: Tara Rose - MUSIC & FILM REVIEWS: CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Cover: Lee Stefan All others, see interviews/articles. ADVERTISING: I Am Entertainment Media PO Box 263 Kennesaw, GA 30152 Article Submissions & General Info: I Am Entertainment Magazine is published bi-monthly in January, March, May, July, September, and November by I Am Entertainment Media, LLC (IAE). The opinions expressed by our contributors falls under their constitutional rights of free speech. While we have made extensive efforts to ensure that the content herein has been obtained through reliable sources, IAE is not liable for any errors or omissions, typographical errors, or misprints. IAE reserves the right to refuse any advertising which it deems unsuitable. All advertisers agree to hold the publisher harmless and indemnify any and all claims, losses, liabilities, damages, costs, and expenses (including attorney’s fees) made against or incurred by the publisher, including but not limited to the sole negligence and/or fault of the publisher. The publisher is not liable for any claims, losses, or damages of any kind, arising from the wording, text, graphics, or representations of any ads published herein, or of the condition of the articles sold through the paper, or performance of service advertised in this publication. All advertisements and submissions are wholly the property of IAE and cannot be copied in any form without the expressed written consent of the publisher. We reserve the right to edit or refuse any ad and reprint any ad or photo for promotional use. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2014. All issues of I Am Entertainment Magazine are wholly the property of IAE and shall not be printed, copied, duplicated, or distributed without expressed written consent from the publisher. I Am Entertainment is a trademark of IAE. ISSN 2161-9093 (print) ISSN 2161-3109 (digital)


Twitter & Instagram: @CandyJFreeman

I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14


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in theaters NOW

By Shaine Freeman | Photos Emily Soto (Cover & Article) & The Weinstein Company (Inset)

Kicking off 2014 with 5 films in Amoia, is in theaters July 2014 establishing herself as one of Genres: Comedy / Music / Drama actors to watch. Starring: Keira Knightley,Hollywood’s Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine, Hailee Steinfeld Synopsis: A chance encounter between a disgraced music-business execuFresh off recent roles on top tive and a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan turns into a promising shows “Switched at Birth” collaboration between the like two talents. (via (ABC Family) and “Drop Dead Diva” (Lifetime), this rising star talks with I Am Entertainment about the business of acting.

BEGIN AGAIN the works, Charlene


“You can love (acting)...but it’s still important to pursue everything you like...”


rom champion gymnast to actor/musician, Shannon Walsh, is one of the most interesting young talents we’ll get to see in theaters this summer. The Georgetown University economics major stars opposite Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightley, and Adam Levine in the music-centered dramedy, Begin Again.

How did you go from being a champion gymnast to acting? I didn’t know what acting was until I was 16. My family is not very artistic. When I was eight years old, we moved to the states and my parents threw me into gymnastics because it was something that I was comfortable with. Plus, the states have really competitive gymnastics, especially where I live. It got really competitive for me and I wound up doing it 5 hours a day. By the time I got to high school, I lost interest in it. The only thing that I really enjoyed doing was the performing part, which involved dance when you weren’t doing the skills aspects. I got to a point where I didn’t want to wake up at 5 in the morning to do gymnastics instead of school. Plus, there is only so much longevity in the


I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14

sport and you have to stop after college because it doesn’t take you many places. I quit during my junior year (in high school) and had no idea what I really wanted to do. Since I really liked the performance part of gymnastics, I figured I’d give acting a try. I remember watching certain TV shows thinking, “this could be really fun.” It’s good you didn’t limit yourself. We all have so many different talents that we can explore. Thank you! I’m always saying that too. There are so many things that I enjoy doing. How did you wind up with your second theatrical release (Begin Again) being opposite Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightly, and Adam Levine? Oh my gosh! The funny thing is that when my

publicist told me about the interview with you, I decided to go through my emails to find the original film breakdown that my agent sent me. The only people that were cast at that point in time when I auditioned were Keira, Mark, and Hailee Steinfeld and I remember seeing that email thinking, “Holy cow, why not!?” I went in to audition and throughout the process of casting I would hear about all these other people coming onboard. I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh, what did I get myself into?” These are some of the most recognizable names in the industry, and I was so overwhelmed. This is also an indie film that has an A-List cast. It was so casual on set but, when it came down to getting the work done they were very serious and focused. It was so much fun, and I laughed so much on set. They are all really funny. Talk a little about BEGIN AGAIN, and your character, Rachel? Basically, Greta (Keira Knightley) and Dave (Adam Levine) are college sweethearts who move to New York and are both talented musicians. Dave’s career takes off and Greta’s left

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behind. Greta becomes very depressed and winds up playing in bars around the Village, when she happens upon Dan (Mark Ruffalo) who is an A&R for Distressed Records; a label he is business partners with Saul (Mos Def) in. Dan, loves Greta’s voice and the two vibe really well. So, he decides to put a band of talented musicians together for her, and heads over to a music school to get Malcolm (Ian Brodsky) and my character, Rachel. These two are at the top of their class and a bit socially awkward. With Rachel, you get the impression that she never stops playing the cello. Rachel and Greta are the only two girls in the band; and we go out and use the sounds of the city to make a really raw album. All of my scenes are music scenes, and we got to play in the coolest places. I’m talking about the grungy New York City places. The band is a weird mix of characters who come from very different backgrounds. It was a lot of fun. Don’t you still perform with the band (Suite 27) from this movie? Yes! Despite the age gaps and the fact that we all come from different places, we really hit it off

on set. We were going back and forth via email for quite a while. The only thing is, I don’t actually play the cello; I grew up playing the violin and had never touched a cello before the movie. Nevertheless, we all agreed to make a video for John Carney (the director of Begin Again) just showing that we’re still connected and still friends. I left from D.C. for New York one weekend, met up with these guys and we played music for 12 hours in one of their apartments. Kena Onyenjekwe writes his own original music, and we were all like this is super fun why don’t we just make an official band. We’ve done a lot of covers and a few originals, and we have been performing out a lot. We recently performed at Dr. Oz’s foundation. It’s been a fun experience and the movie is what brought us together. Wow, that has to be so exciting for you. So many talented people out there can only wish for an opportunity like this. That’s the beauty of establishing relationships and staying in connection with those you worked with. I think that’s awesome! What advice would you give to other talented people about exploring all of their talents and not limiting themselves?

I think the biggest obstacle with most young actors is that people can get a narrow view of this and it becomes the only thing they see and want to do. But in my opinion, people don’t realize that the only way they’ll succeed is by exploring and perfecting those other interests and talents. Some of the roles I have booked were because I was a gymnast. I never once thought that my talent and background in this sport would ever come into play in my acting career. I think it’s important to never walk into your auditions thinking this one opportunity is the be all and end all of your career. It’s also important to do different things. You can love this and be passionate about this, but it’s still important to pursue everything you like because that gives you broader perspective on life. The more you realize that there are tons of other things out there for you besides just being an actor, the better you will do in acting because, you won’t put nearly as much pressure on yourself to get a gig. It will just flow and you’ll be much more relaxed knowing you have other things you can do to sustain your lifestyle while you work toward success in film. iae

I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14


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behind CASTING By Candy Freeman | Photo Sedric Walker

ElleQ Casting is a premiere casting agency with over five years of experience in the film and television industry. Founded by LaQuanda Plantt in 2009, ElleQ Casting specializes in finding the best talent for every project. Whether its a SAG Feature, Indie Film, Television Pilot, Music Video, or Web Series, ElleQ Casting has “a fresh eye for finding fresh talent.” Some of ElleQ’s award-winning credits include: Probable Cause (film), Osiris (web series), and This Time (starring Reagan Gomez and Terri Vaughn).


“The Casting Director hardly gets any recognition...There are no categories at the Academy Awards for Casting.”


t’s no secret that Casting Directors are the ‘gatekeepers’ between actors and their employers. Without people like LaQuanda Plantt, directors would be less likely to give new actors a shot due to the time it takes to find the right talent. So, here we showcase one of entertainment’s most underappreciated professionals.

Welcome back! We interviewed you back when you first launched ElleQ Casting and you’re still going strong. Of all the projects you’ve worked on, which ones do you feel have elevated your company? I can’t believe it’s been five years! I Am Entertainment was my first interview when I started ElleQ Casting, I’m so excited to be featured again; it’s just in time for my 5th anniversary! Back to your question (laughs)...I’ve worked on a number of projects, but the ones that elevated my company were the short film, “This Time”, Directed by Matthew Cherry, Starring Reagan Gomez, Terri Vaughn and Michael Moss. That was my first project that I started to get recognition. My first feature film, Probable Cause, Directed by Tabari Sturdivant, Starring Lisa


I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14

Arrindell Anderson, Neko Parham, Kendrick Cross and Tasia Grant has yet to be released but, this project established my working relationship with Tabari. Since then, I’ve been hired by him to cast several other projects, including “First Impression”, Directed by Arthur Muhammad, Starring Lisa Arrindell Anderson, Lamman Rucker, and Elise Neal. The award winning web series, “Osiris the Series”, Directed by Donnie Leapheart and Starring Brad James, is a project I am most known for, as I am also a Producer. “Osiris” won Best Web Series at the 2012 American Black Film Festival, and was in the 2012 Pilot Competition at the New York Television Festival. The series was pitched to major networks and is currently in development for a feature film.

What have you learned about the casting business that you wish you had known when you first started five years ago? The Casting Director hardly gets any recognition for their work. There are no categories at the Academy Awards for Casting. How can a director direct a film without actors? Casting is the process to find those actors. Every other department from makeup, to set design, music to wardrobe has a category at the Academy Awards, except Casting. It’s disappointing. I’ve also learned that every project isn’t for everyone. I spent useless time when I first started worried about what other Casting Directors were working on and why it wasn’t me casting those projects. Eventually, I got comfortable with myself and my ability to recognize what is meant for me is for me. I specialize in Principal Casting, which is my main focus. I’ve prepared myself for my journey to cast Principals on an Independent level, which will eventually lead to more projects in the future. I’ve also learned to stay true to myself and my vision for ElleQ Casting. It’s only been five years so, I am learning something new all the time!

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In addiiton to casting, you host workshops to teach actors proper auditioning etiquette. What are the top 3 mistakes you see actors making when they audition? 1) Being unprepared (not having headshot/resume, don’t know the material, arriving late) 2) Apologizing for an audition (bringing insecurities in the audition room) 3) Not taking the audition seriously...AN AUDITION IS A JOB INTERVIEW! What’s the current film climate in Atlanta? I strongly believe that Atlanta is growing as the next film city in this country. Many films and television series are shot here but, currently it’s just a way to take advantage of the tax incentive. Atlanta needs more decision-makers to be based here, more studios that can green light projects,

more funding, etc. I do believe it’s coming. So many people are making the move to LA, but I refuse to do so. I would rather be bi-coastal and work in other cities but, I will continue to remain Atlanta-based. In the 90s, no one thought Atlanta was the place for the music industry but look at Atlanta’s music scene now. I believe the same will happen for film. What’s next for you? Bossip Comedy Series, a sketch comedy show, Directed & Produced by Tabari Sturdivant of Moguldom Films, which is my first episodic show! “Certified”, Directed by Billie Woodruff, is currently in pre-production. Casting will take place in New York City & Detroit for this film. I’m also excited to Produce more projects in the future. I currently have a stage play, two

web series, and a feature film in development. Look for my workshop, “Three Casting Directors...One Room”. I had this great idea and collaborated with Leslie Green of RTSe Casting and Rhavynn Drummer of Tyler Perry Studios to create a forum to educate and provide actors performance critiques from three different Casting Directors in one room, at one time. Our first workshop sold out! The next workshop is this fall. ElleQ Casting will continue to grow, however, don’t be surprised to see ElleQ Productions on your screen soon! iae Connect with LaQuanda Online at: Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: ElleQCasting

4 must see web series


Title: Genre: Website: About It:

Man At Arms (AweMe) Docu-Series/Fantasy (PG) AweMeChannel With over 2 Million subscribers to its YouTube Channel, AweMe has one of the most interesting, docu-series, I’ve ever seen on the web. Man At Arms, is what you’d get if you combined American Chopper, MythBusters, and How Its Made. In its 3rd season, MAW focuses on the folks at LA’s, Sword & Stone, who create replicas of body armor and weapons from various sci-fi / fantasy movies and video games.

Title: Genre: Website: About It:

Indie Across America Title: The Couple Title: Brooklynians Docu-Series/Music (PG-13) Genre: Comedy (R) Genre: Animation/Comedy (NC-17) YouTube: BlackAndSexyTV YouTube: Brooklynians With the indie music scene About It: There’s a reason Black & About It: A cross between Simpsons, growing by the hundreds, Sexy TV’s Youtube chanFamily Guy, and Curb Your when it comes to new bands nel has over 81k subscribEnthusiasm, this series folpopping each day, it can be ers and their videos have lows a number of ‘toons’ tough for most musicians to pulled in more than 6.3MM around real world backdrops cut through the noise and views. It’s because of shows of New York City where they find an available ear. Hosted like, The Couple; a funny, engage in adult conversaby actor, Dave Holmes, inquirky, and realistic look at tions and interactions not surane giant, Geico, presone couple’s romantic joursuitable for young audients a show where select ney together. The show is so ences under 17 (more like indie bands from around the good that HBO is now devel21 in my opinion), or those country are interviewed and oping the series, with Spike who cringe at the sound of filmed live at top venues. Lee confirmed as Executive profanity or topics deemed The only drawback to this Producer. Back in 2012, the taboo in American culture. series is that there have only popular web series raised The only reason I recombeen 4 episodes released. over $32k to film the movie. mend this is because I’ve not seen anything like it.

I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14


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indie Filmmaking Interview By Daniel Hoyos | Photos Robert Weiermair



I Am Entertainment wants to welcome Daniel Hoyos, who joins our team as the new Indie Film Editor. Daniel hails from the Emerald City of Seattle (WA) where his presence in the film scene is felt daily. Hoyos’ professional film career is well documented through his works as both the Director of the Seattle Shorts Film Festival, and as an Indie Filmmaker. Daniel loves to help independent filmmakers find outlets and opportunities to show their indie films. Tweet @DanielHoyos and say hello. Robert Weiermair

(Crew Top-Bot.): Amy W, Vadim A, Angela L, Ben R, Brenda W

ROBERT WEIERMAIR Please tell us how your career in filmmaking started? I may be dating myself but, I think my start in filmmaking was a combination of shooting “super eight” movies as a kid. I would often skip school in the afternoons (in Toronto) to catch matinees at the independent film theaters for $2.50 Tuesdays. I also attended some of the most obscure film festivals. My parents have always been huge film buffs, and while my tastes in film may vary significantly from theirs, they fed my curiosity about the art. They were always seeing independent films (mostly foreign) and discussing them around the house. As I came into adulthood, my love for filmmaking continued to grow and, while living in Boston I started a theater company with some friends where I directed and acted in plays. During that time, I also took my first official film camera, production and editing classes. Since that time, I’ve made three short festival films and earned a Masters of Fine Arts in directing from the American Film Institute (AFI). BULLY is such a personal story, can you tell us the inspiration behind this short film?

As a kid, I struggled with being an outsider and subsequently got bullied, sometimes severely. When I was nine years-old, some kids through my head through a glass window. I suppose it was because my Austrian family didn’t quite fit into the typical Canadian suburban lifestyle. The teacher at the time told my father that it was, in part, my fault because I played the victim. So, I wanted to make a film (BULLY) that examined this complex issue in a way that, I feel is honest, and representative of the pressures and circumstances that lead up to people being both victims and bullies. As earlier mentioned, you recently graduated from the American Film Institute. How did being a student at AFI prepare you for directing BULLY? Attending the AFI Conservatory’s two-year filmmaking program was a powerful, crazy, intense experience. Sometimes it was wonderful, and other times not so much. It was definitely more competitive and challenging than anything I had done previously. The program itself is very practical, with each student making three short films in their first year, on a tiny budget and

limited other resources. It is truly guerilla filmmaking, but adhering to all the strict rules and regulations that govern filmmaking. A critical component of our training was story development. With each script we attached to, and each film we made, the other students, faculty, and sometimes outside critics put us through the ringer. We were forced to explain and justify every moment that existed in every script, or on the screen. Rigorous and exhausting, this experience was designed to help us find our own voices, justify our stories in the face of severe criticism, and ultimately believe in the strength of our choices. My two years at AFI were filled with incredibly talented filmmakers who made things competitive, and we challenged one another to raise the bar with each project we made. Yet, there was a strong sense of comradery, support, and encouragement amongst us. It was an incredible experience, and one that was central to guiding my approach with directing, BULLY. Richard Meehan, did a phenomenal job playing the title character of 14-year old, Toby. Was it hard to cast that role? I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14


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Pictured: Toby (Richard Mehan) faces his antagonist, Liam (Noland Ammon), in the Seattle Shorts Film Festival selection, BULLY.

Richard Mehan is a talented kid. In the audition process, many of the people who read for this role played the character superficially. I was looking, specifically, for vulnerability and innocence that I thought would translate to the screen. I knew it would be challenging to find someone who could transmit this feeling but, also be strong enough to carry the central role. I was worried that a minor would not be mature enough to understand Toby’s transition and deliver the subtleties I wanted to see in the performance. For being new to this business, Richard had a very powerful presence on the camera. He was a natural and in that first read, he went head-to-head with much more experienced actors. Really impressive. At this point, we knew we had our Toby. Just so you’re aware, Richard was living in Boston at that time. He happened to be in Los Angeles for the first audition, but he flew out specifically for this call back audition. I knew with this level of commitment, working with Richard would be a breeze; and it was. BULLY was beautifully shot on location in Southern California. Can you give some insight into the location scouting for the film? Well, that’s a tribute to the magical eye of the gifted, Vadim Aynbinder (cinematographer), and the resourcefulness of my producers, Brenda Weiermair and Avi Quijada. Of course, there’s always challenges with locations. One minute a location is locked, then it falls through; or the schedule doesn’t permit us to make it to all the little special visually stimulating background places. These things are just part of the process and are expected. I have to say, I have great respect for location managers. They juggle many difficult challenges and somehow everything


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seems to work out! The most challenging thing to find was the school. I had a very specific idea of what I wanted - a big, imposing, bureaucratic building that could make Toby’s insignificance be felt visually. We scouted tons of schools in the Los Angeles area. I’d say our greatest challenge was the cost! It was surprising to learn that some schools in Los Angeles charge upwards of $10,000 per day to film on location. I’m talking about High Schools! Even on weekends! This fee was absolutely not a possibility for us to pay within our budget. We had found another school that was excited to work with us, but it was really not the look and feel I wanted for this film, so our producers kept looking. Brenda contacted Van Nuys High School (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High” was filmed there) but had not been able to get a response back from the person responsible for filming. We were, literally, about to drive over to the one unsatisfactory school to sign the agreement when Brenda got a call back from Van Nuys High. We immediately jumped into the car and drove over there. I was excited. BULLY will be making its Seattle premiere at the Seattle Shorts Film Festival, November 15 (2014). Do you think film festivals are essential for an independent film’s exposure? We are so excited about participating in the Seattle Shorts Film Festival. There is absolutely no doubt that film festivals are critical to not only seeing independent film, but also identifying up and coming filmmakers (and actors). What better way to celebrate the filmmakers’ achievement than to experience the wonders and creativity of all the other projects. It’s inspiring, it’s encouraging, and it’s one of the best ways to foster relationships in the film community.

BULLY was produced with a budget of $55,000, which is a good amount of money for a short film. How did you raise the funds? Sell a whole lot of blood! (laughs) No, but close. AFI has a very rigid process for overseeing all aspects of each film; one of which is a continual evaluation of money being raised to ensure that adequate funding is in place to achieve the goals of the film. There are rules and regulations that you have to adhere to. This means no shortcuts, not breaking the rules, no stealing shots. It’s very rigid! For the most part, people raise money through friends and family. The team consists of 4-6 AFI “fellows,” all of whom approach everyone they know to contribute whatever they can! Some projects are lucky because someone comes from a wealthy family, while other projects are more challenged because they have to make a smaller budget go further. In our case, my producer, Brenda, and I are married and we’re older than most students. We both had other careers before film so, we funded half the movie’s budget from our own pockets. The rest of the money was raised through everyone else’s friends and families. Some people couldn’t contribute as much, so they showed up on set to work the craft service table or cook food. Our team was extremely collaborative so, we were lucky that manpower was never a problem! Can you tell us about your next project? My next project is a feature film that I’m in the process of writing with my producer (okay, my wife). I can’t talk much about it but it’s a suspense/thriller film that we’re very excited about. Visit:



BOX OFFICE PERFORMANCE Production Budget $200 Million Worldwide Gross $704 Million


DVD Release Source:, Box Office Gross Numbers:, Images are property their respective owners.

SPIDER-MAN 2 (2014) (Sony / Columbia)

Rated ‘PG-13’ Genre: Action / Adventure Runtime: 2hrs 22min DVD Release Date: August 19, 2014 Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Colm Feore, Felicity Jones, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Embeth Davidtz, Campbell Scott, Marton Csokas, Louis Cancelmi

Single Moms (Lionsgate)

Rated ‘PG-13’ Genre: Comedy/Drama Runtime: 1hr 51min Gross: $16.3M (World) Releasing: July 22nd Cast: Nia Long, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Amy Smart, Zulay Henao, Cocoa Brown, Tyler Perry, Ryan Eggold, Terry Crews, William Levy

Heaven Is Real (Tristar)

Rated ‘PG’ Genre: Drama Runtime: 1hr 40min Gross: $94.6M (Worldwide) Releasing: July 22nd Cast: Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly, Thomas Haden Church, Connor Corum. Lane Styles

RIO 2 (Fox)

Rated ‘G’ Genre: Animation Runtime: 1hr 41min Gross: $475M (World) Releasing: July 15 Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Leslie Mann, Jemaine Clement, Andy Garcia, Jamie Foxx, Tracy Morgan, Kristin Chenoweth, Rodrigo Santoro, George Lopez, Bruno Mars, Janelle Monae

Need For Speed (Buena Vista)

Rated ‘PG-13’ Genre: Action Runtime: 2hr 23min Gross: $203.3M (Worldwide) Releasing: August 5th Cast: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Scott Mescudi, Rami Malek

Muppets (Buena Vista)

Rated ‘PG’ Genre: Family Comedy Runtime: 1hr 52min Gross: $78.1M Releasing: August 12th Cast: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta

God’s Not Dead (PureFlix/Freestyle) Rated ‘PG’ Genre: Fantasy Runtime: 1hr 53min Gross: $60.6M (Worldwide) Releasing: August 5th Cast: Shane Harper, Kevin Sorbo, David A.R. White, Marco Khan, Willie Robertson, Korie Robertson

I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14




What’s Cookin’ with BARRY BY Shaine Freeman | PHOTOS COURTESY Urban American Outdoors

RECORD EXEC, BARRY ROBERTS, TAKES HIS LOVE FOR FOOD & MUSIC TO THE WORLD OF TV As the former marketing and promotions manager for Elektra Records, is there any marketing and promotions principal that will never change? Quite frankly, there is no one set rule that works for every record. Every record is different and you have to work it differently; be it by video or streaming. There’s no one principal that is guaranteed to make a record happen (succeed). First, it has to be a record that someone wants to hear; and then, you’ll try to get as much exposure for that record as possible through video, spotify, etc. I’ve seen mediocre songs become huge hits all because the timing and marketing was right. Would you say that a great marketing and promotions push can make a record happen? Yes, because after you’ve heard a record over and over again, all of a sudden you’re singing the song. The more you hear the beat of the record; that’s what helps the song grow on you. There are a lot of guys, like Billy Joel and Prince, who are still touring on their back catalog, while a lot of the younger artists these days are not going to be able to do that 20 years from now because they don’t have a timeless catalog. To me, this is clearly because most A&Rs back in the day were musicians, while today’s A&Rs are just guys with Music Business degrees and no real musical talent or ear for talent. Do you think that the record labels could benefit from bringing some of the veterans back in to teach the younger guys how to do it? Most of the major labels let go of their top veteran executives once they hit their early fifties. If you’re 50, as far as label heads are concerned, you cannot relate to the youth. But, good music is good music, and bad music is bad music.


I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14

They hire these kids right out of college and make them executives but, as you said, those younger kids don’t know how to pick a great record in most cases. So, what happens is these young A&Rs go out and hire other young guys who only know how to make beats. It’s not about putting a record together properly. That’s why you’ve got a lot of crap out there now. What I find is that a lot of the great artists who are making great music aren’t getting signed. Would you recommend independent artists who have great music to stay independent, or should they go after a record deal? It depends on the individual artist. If they have the money to market and promote themselves and make things happen for themselves, I would say, “stay indie.” The only reason why you would try to get with a major label would be if you’re looking for a booking agent. A top booking agent is only going to sign you if you have a record label backing you. That is the only reason I would recommend an indie to sign with a major label. You now have a cooking TV show you’re working on. Talk a little bit about what you guys are working on? Right now, Urban American Productions and I are putting together a show called, ‘What’s Cookin With Barry’. I’m from New York and I have an opportunity to go to a lot of different restaurants since I was in music business and I was able to sample a whole lot of foods. I first started cooking when I cooked with my mother. I remember when I was 5 years old I was making donuts and she always told me if I wanted to eat good food that I better learn how to cook. I took it to heart because I liked to eat good food and I like different foods with all kinds of variety. I make Italian, Chinese, Soul Food, Irish,

Spanish foods, I make everything. My palette is very refined and I like the taste of a lot of different foods. With that I would like to bring my experience of cooking to the mass public. A lot of people just make one kind of food but I like to make everything. For instance, on Sunday, I made a glazed duck stuff with oranges and apples. Today, I’m making duck soup because I had left over duck and I had stock so I decided to make some this great soup. I don’t believe in wasting food. I also do a lot of baking as well. One of the things that I like the most about that show concept is that you’re able to bring together both your music background with your love for cooking. Talk a little bit about how you plan to use your relationships in conjunction with the show. When I was in the music business because of the relationships that I made in this industry with people like Morris Landy, Cathy Moore and Richard Nash; I’ve already reached out to a couple of those people and they are ready and will help out in regards to getting artists on the show. NOTE: Episodes of “What’s Cookin’ With Barry” are currently filming in Summer 2014. We will keep you up-to-date on when the show will begin to air.

The Miews Music intervIEWS, revIEWS, & success tips

featuring: attic wolves and marathon and more...


touring INDIE

Hitting the road this summer, JAMIE ALIMORAD, goes from NYC to Nashville sharing ‘Words Left Unsaid’ BY SHAINE FREEMAN | PHOTOS BY Marc Padro Photography (cover), Sy Franco (article) Please tell us what got you interested in a career in music? Sure, I’m from Harrison, NY. Both of my parents were very instrumental in raising me on rock music from the 1960s - 1980s. When I got to middle school, I became completely obsessed with The Beatles, and watching them made me want to explore music for myself. By the time I got to high school, I was performing more and got into musical theatre a bit, which opened up a whole new avenue for me and I got a lot of recognition in my home county and surrounding

areas. After high school, I attended college at Northeastern University (in Boston) and got my degree in Music Technology. Then, I launched my professional music career there (Boston) and started playing the various colleges and clubs. Within, I’d say about a year-and-a-half, I was touring the Northeast and other parts of the country. For you, what has been the most rewarding part about pursuing a career in music? This may sound cliche, but music has really tied

itself to everything in my life. As a songwriter, I write about things that I see my friends and family going through, as well as my own experiences. So, to be able to write songs that my immediate family and friends can relate to is very rewarding for me. Also, traveling with a band creates a sort of fraternity bond that, to me, is very rewarding because you and those individuals develop chemistry musically, and you also build stories and experiences that a songwriter can write about. Touring also teaches you to focus on the I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14



booking side, the creative side, the performance side, the business side; it’s a total monsoon of things all at once and I really enjoy that. There have certainly been times when things haven’t worked out, but there have also been many times when things did work out. Talk to us about your most recent release, Words Left Unsaid. Sure. Words Left Unsaid is my first full-length album, but it’s my second official release. Before that I had a four song EP that got me a lot of noteriety, and ultimately got my “foot in the door”. My songs “She Is...” and “What You Have” are what broke me onto the national stage. Those songs are what led to my first tour of the West Coast (USA). So, this album just pushed things further and the shows got even bigger. While the live side of my career was doing well, I was still lacking on the visual front. Then, I was able to get together a budget and a good team to shoot a music video for “Beautiful”, which has done very well for me on YouTube with over 2 million views. My second video for, “Crawling Back To Me”, came out in May and has been doing really well for me as well. My third video was shot in the spring this year for my song, “That’s What She Said”, and it’s currently being edited. I’m now in talks to shoot a fourth video for later this fall so, it’s all very exciting. Wow! That’s a lot of hard work. You’ve also been preparing for your Summer/Fall 2014 tour right? Yes! This will be my first time touring the East Coast in two years and I’m looking forward to it. The tour will be covering ground from Massachusetts to Tennessee, and we’re still adding dates to the schedule. But, I’m starting out on Cape Cod (Mass.) on a TV show called, Live From Center Stage, which I’m really pumped about. Then I’ll be playing in Boston for the first time in three years, over at Cafe 939 on Berkley’s campus, before I head up to New York City to do a big show at The Studio at Webster Hall, where I’ll be headlining for the first time. I’ll also be doing a show down in Nashville (TN) at Two Old Hippies, where I plan to film and also record it so we can do a live release. So, that’s going to be new for me because I’ve never played in Nashville. I’m looking forward to it. You’re busy, which is a good thing. What are some of the things you’ve learned about the business side of music since launching your professional career? I think I’ve had a special experience because, many of my college professors used to work for major record labels. So, they shaped my idea of what I thought the music business was because


I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14

they were basing things on how it was when they were in the music business. So, everything was sort of text book, in a sense. But once I got into the real world, I realized that things weren’t so black and white, and it was far from text book. I experienced a lot of gray areas, and then I got smacked by a lot of color as well, and I thought to myself, “What is this jungle that I’ve entered?” I was somewhat more fortunate than others because, I experienced a lot of this and was getting offers from different groups during my senior year in college. So, I got to learn sooner than most people; and I had my professors as resources to guide me through that initial introductory period. But, I learned that experience is the only true teacher in a music career. Once I really got out there and started meeting people from all sorts of backgrounds I learned that it is way harder than anyone could ever tell you. We always hear people say it’s hard, and I think we know it whether we want to accept it or not. But, until you really start pounding the pavement, playing shows, and trying to figure out everything else that plays a factor in your career, you don’t really understand just what the word “hard” really means - in reference to a music career. You’re so right because, a music career is a rollercoaster ride. Some days are good and other days aren’t. It’s true! Everyday you try to have the same resolve and strength, but you do have some days when you’re energized and others when you’re worn out. But, my goal is to try and accomplish at least one thing on those sluggish days that puts me a step closer to my end goal. You should never let one day go by where you’re not making some sort of positive progress. You never know when you’re going to get your shot, where it’s going to come from and whose going

to give it to you. So, you have to be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities when they are presented, no matter how your day is going. Exactly! One last thing. What’s your ultimate goal with your music career? Are you looking to just be a uber successful indie, or are you looking for opportunities to work with major record companies and do deals on that front? I would love to do something with majors, but before all of that could be determined, you have to see what you think is going to get the return for all parties involved. If you can keep both sides happy, that’s the mission, ideally speaking. But, as far as what I want to do, I just want to make people happy and give them some good music to listen to. If that leads to a major record label being interested, great; but if not, I’m perfectly okay with being a successful indie artist. To be able to travel and have people tell me face to face what a song I’ve written means to them, or has done for them is just the best thing ever. Also, some people don’t want to talk about this but, because it’s my career I want to make a comfortable living. So, I understand that I can’t be super creative to the point that nobody understands my music, but I also don’t want to be the kind of artist who just throws out the latest fad sound to make a quick buck. I take pride in creating music that has integrity and substance, but it’s also catchy and up-to-date sounding. In the end, I’m looking to be sustainable. That’s great man, and I love the fact that you don’t take yourself too seriously, but you’re not playing around either. Where can people connect with you online? People can connect with me on my website, or on Facebook & Twitter @JamieAlimorad. Also, I’d love it if they’d come out and meet me at one of my tour dates coming up.

DON’T FORGET TO RATE & REVIEW ON ITUNES @Themiews | @shainefreeman


lebanon to Philadelphia By Shaine Freeman (@shainefreeman) | Photos Marathon

“ of the most exciting indie rock bands releasing a project this (2014) summer.” - Shaine Freeman



f rock music gave birth to quintuplets, Marathon, would be its name. In this exclusive interview, we get to know the Pennsylvania band and what their journey has been like trying to establish themselves in this crowded, 2014 music business.

How did you guys come together, and how did you get the name - Marathon? It is partially a family band – Erich, Paul, and Zach are related (Erich and Zach being brothers). Rob is from the same area, went to school with us, and now lives with Erich. Ricky comes from a neighboring city – Lancaster, and we discovered him through mutual musical friends. We definitely have an interesting mix of personalities on and off stage, and that keeps things entertaining. The current lineup has been together for roughly a year, having come together the summer of 2013. Zach decided upon ‘Marathon’ as the band name, and it comes from a song with the same


I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14

name by the band Kayo Dot. ‘Marathon’ also was simple enough of a name for people to remember and has caught on with a positive reaction from our fans. You guys have one of the most amazing compilations of songs that I’ve heard this year. What was the mission you all had in mind when creating this project? The self-titled LP was pioneered first as a demo of four songs, three of which actually made it to the final product. There are two major things our debut LP stood for, one of which was a sort of declaration of what ‘Marathon’ is, how we sound, and where we want to be recognized

within the music industry. It is safe to say that the album has its own cohesive mood and feel to it that makes it unique within the alternative genre. Many people who have come to see us live and have listened to the album also have compared our sound to other artists such as Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Cursive, and Circa Survive, just to name a few. That is the kind of thing we had hoped to hear - that people could connect with the music because it feels familiar to them. But, given that it is almost random what alternative artist those same fans will compare us to, and since there is no unanimous answer to whom we sound similar, we’ve struck a rather strong starting point. People can just vibe with it and at the same time recognize what we do as a fresh take on things. Secondly, the album was important to us in the sense that it is a mile-marker of maturity as professionals. Getting the album done, which meant going through recording process, deciding which songs belonged together on an album, having them mixed and mastered professionally, and then taking the steps to make it available


across a multitude of platforms took a lot of coordination and discipline. The whole endeavor brought us closer together and was something from which we have taken many important lessons. In general, we believe the album has been a success. So, in terms of a ‘mission’, it appears that we’ve crossed the first major obstacle as a band and have proven to ourselves that we have what it takes to keep going. Have you found it easy, or tough to cut through the gazillion bands out there vying for the same space and attention? It’s tough. The reality that most bands face when they start making their initial push is that the overnight success fantasy is not going to happen. Many of the big-name bands that we look up to as role models have worked for years to get to the level that they have achieved. So that was something we already have anticipated having to do ourselves. However, we are fortunate in the fact that all of us have more to bring to the table than just our musicianship. Recognizing those other talents (for example, practicing visual arts, or studio recording, or even having taken business classes) and finding a way to incorporate that kind of knowledge into the band makes it easier as D.I.Y. musicians to make a cohesive band that is acting as one unit. The central point from our perspective is that you get out what you put in, and having a proactive attitude towards what needs to be done has been the key to getting us ahead. What’s the next move for Marathon? There’s a lot in motion right now for the later half of this year, and the bulk of it is writing new material. In the meantime, the release of our debut album on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, and several other outlets for music will take the forefront of our promotions. We’ve decided to pull back from playing out so we can focus harder and be more efficient with the behind the scenes work until we are ready to hit the road again and expand our borders into new areas. It is an exciting time for us, because the steps we are taking now are turning into bigger strides and we can raise the bar higher than we ever have before.

I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14



kansas city Rocks By Shaine Freeman (@shainefreeman) | Photos Courtesy of Attic Wolves



“ awesome band of musicians whose new 5 song EP is a powerful work of musical art.” - Shaine Freeman

et’s talk about your band’s name, Attic Wolves. What does it mean and why did you feel this name was the best representation of your band? It’s reference to our favorite TV show, Arrested Development (Season 2, Episode 9 specifically). George Sr. is hiding from the feds in the family’s attic, and he howls like a wolf to get his son’s attention. He was an Attic Wolf, and we are all Attic Wolves. Basically, we’re a bunch of fugitive grandpas. Your sophomore release, Volume & Boldness (July 22nd) is the latest from you guys. What is the primary goal/mission with this new project? Over the last three years we’ve grown as writers and as a band, we’ve had this new collection


I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14

of songs for a while that we feel represent that growth very well. It was simply time to lay these tracks down, and see just how far we can take them! What’s the one thing you guys know now that you wish you had known on your debut release? I wish we had known how important it is to capitalize on the momentum of a new release. After our debut EP we were somewhat stagnant, at least we were not yet ready for serious touring. This new release is a much different situation. We have a slew of release shows happening in our region, and several tours in the books for the next two months. All we can do is try and learn from our experience! There’s an old saying that goes, “It’s not where

you’re from, but where you’re at that makes the difference.” Why have you guys opted to stay in Kansas City, versus relocating to a music city like LA, NYC, or Austin (TX)? We feel that some of the “music cities” can be overly saturated, and with the number of bands around these days it’s already easy to get lost in the mix. We also love Kansas City, we have a lot of deep roots here. Aside from all that, being in the heart of the US of A sets us up perfectly for touring nationally. We’re only 18 hours from the east coast, and 27 from the West. We can be in Austin in 10 hours, or St. Paul in 6. Let’s be real though, we can’t leave the barbecue behind. A music career can be a tough hustle; what drives you guys to keep at it after so many years? It hasn’t always been easy, but we believe in


what we’re doing, and so many other supportive people also believe in this project. We’ve been received with such great enthusiasm through our career thus far, and it seems for every ounce of effort we put in the response is doubled over and then some. As long as doors continue to open, we will walk through them.

ily to support this new record. We’re playing some festivals this Summer, and we’ll be touring the west coast in October, and Texas in November. We’re also keeping busy writing for our first full-length record to be recorded early next year! We’re excited for the work that’s ahead of us, and we can’t wait to see what happens next!

What’s coming up for ATTIC WOLVES for the remainder of 2014? Like we mentioned earlier, we’ll be touring heavArtist: Attic Wolves Genre: Americana / Folk / Rock Album: Volume & Boldness Website: Everyday I get slammed with 60+ album review requests and it can be tough to sift through the mounds of coal to find the diamonds buried within the pile; so when I find a band like Attic Wolves I have to write a review and share it with the world. The Attic Wolves are an awesome band of musicians whose new 5 song EP, Volume and Boldness, is a powerful work of musical art. A shoe-in for just about any music festival stage, Attic Wolves, recorded this new release in Denver, Colorado over 6 days with the help of producer, Tim Gerak, at Mammoth Cave Studios. There’s much to be said about a band who can stick together and last for three years (and counting) in an industry where friendships are destroyed and failure is always knocking at the door. Not only has this band made it through the rigors of a 12,000 mile long indie tour schedule (those who know what I mean, will totally understand), but these guys have now begun to push through the soil and catch some sunshine with Volume & Boldness. I enjoyed this EP because I didn’t have to skip around trying to find something worth paying attention to. Songs like “Here’s To Looking Back”, “It’s Not Over”, and “I Know Who You Love” each stood out to me because the songwriting is so real and relatable. The music is well composed, while the melodies and vocal performances are nicely arranged, bringing life to every note and lyric. The EP in its entirety can be summed up as a gift to the ears, and a soundtrack to heart. I’d love to experience the Attic Wolves live in concert to get see if they’re just as awesome live; which, I’m sure they are. It’s not easy to be an indie folk band in today’s overtly saturated/crowded music business, but when you release great projects like Volume & Boldness, and you promote it right, someone’s bound to take notice. Lets support these guys and connect with them on social media - @AtticWolves.

I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14




music Fights Back By Shaine Freeman (@shainefreeman) | Photos Courtesy of Carvin Haggins


Grammy Winning Producer If you’ve logged onto social media sites in the past year-and-a-half, you’ve likely heard of, or seen posts about “ratchetness”. The term, “ratchet”, carries a negative connotation that many seem to be proudly declaring themselves to be. The simplest way to describe what ratchet means is to say that something is ignorant or tasteless. Fed up with the over abundance of ratchet music being played on urban radio in Philadelphia, PA, 21x Grammy nominated / 1x Grammy winning producer - Carvin Haggins - took to his bullhorn and social media to rally supporters in June (2014) to fight back. Staging a non-violent protest at Power 99 in Philadelphia, Haggins was joined by a large group of supporters that included parents, children, and music professionals who wore T-shirts bearing the “Rage Against The Ratchet” moniker. There were hundreds of picket signs bearing strong messages to the programmers at Power 99, some reading: “Better Music, Better Community” and “Protect Our Children From Pornographic Radio”.


I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14

Upon hearing about Carvin Haggins’ movement via a Twitter post by Hip-Hop legend/activist - Chuck D, we reached out to the Grammy winner and invited him onto The Miews Podcast (Episode 12) to discuss his “Rage Against The Ratchet” campaign. In our conversation Carvin explained what fueled his desire to protest radio stations, and how he felt a sense of moral obligation to protect children from what I like to call, “Wreckless Radio” programming. You can visit to listen to my interview with Carvin. As a father, and lifelong fan/producer of Hip-Hop, R&B, and Soul music, I had to show my support for Carvin Haggins’ “Rage Against The Ratchet” movement. For a very long time, I have felt that the overt greed shown by radio and TV programmers, recording and film company executives, and popular media in the 21st century is at the foundation of the “ratchetness” that has overrun American culture. I was extremely happy to see someone in the entertainment community stand up and publicly say, “Enough is

“The lyrics are disrespectful, degrading, and poisonous to a young mind in development...I have to protect my children because radio stations no longer feel a sense of moral responsibility and this is where the problem lies.” - Carvin Haggins via enough!” I commend and support Carvin Haggins, and have joined the #RageAgainstTheRatchet movement by Tweeting the hashtag, and signing the petition. To show your support and join the movement, visit Carvin’s website,, to learn more and get involved.


GREAT MUSIC You Likely Missed

Artist: Tribu Ultravioleta Genre: EDM / Latin / House Album: Pinata Web: TribuUltravioleta brings us a nicely composed EP with, PINATA. This 6 song release will keep you fully engaged and moving your feet. If you’re thinking it’s a part of the EDM movement that’s sweeping the music business these days, you’re way off. PINATA is mostly house music at its core, but with a few hints of latin pop grooves mixed in for flavor. The limitless potential heard on Pinata is the result of TribuUltravioleta’s crafty and complimentary use of keyboards and guitars, backed by the continuous thump of the kick drum. Tracks like Flying and the title track, Penata, are great examples of why this EP is such a great compilation of tunes. Each track adds a unique color to the overall canvas of the release and I believe that those fans of latin house grooves will really dig this project. I liked the consistency in the music and thought it was refreshing to hear something different after listening to tons of mainstream genres. Overall, Penata is a cool release that compels the dancer in us all to move, while still offering something for those of us who are now too old and out of shape to do too much on the dancefloor. TribuUltravioleta challenges the “norms” of the millennial music industry, which has earned my respect and I’d definitely recommend his music to anyone looking for something that hasn’t been tainted by mainstream record labels and radio stations.


Genre: Hip-Hop Album: Level Up Location: Buffalo, NY Web: Yessirrrr! Saladin (Tha Sultan) is real New York hip-hop, and his latest single 2 THE MELODY, is the truth! This track is all about the love of music, the inner-city struggle and hustle, and the boom bap beat under a beautiful vocal sample; you know...that sound that made you fall in love with hip-hop before it got beat down by commercialism? Saladin bullies the track with perfect aggression, and I’m glad I got to hear it. 2 The Melody is not a club, shake ya butt, Miami strip club song (thank God)! The track is meant to be played at a high volume with your car windows down so the streets can feel it. Every bar is laced with Saladin’s beastly flow; one that reminds me of the days when I would be in my bedroom in Illinois listening to some of New York’s dopest lyricists spit those meanies on the beats. I miss this sound in hip-hop man! You have to hear this record. I’m a little harder on hip-hop because the space is so crowded with reverse Robin (the) Hoods who steal from the poor (exploit the hood) and give to the rich (record labels). But, I checked out a bunch of his other joints on Soundcloud (above) and heard a few I can get with. Because I’m not a big fan of the “N” word, or calling women that word my moms would’ve went upside your head about (b***h), I had that one gripe...but that’s par for the course in hip-hop so, I wasn’t tripping about it! Bottom line is, Saladin is a dope lyricist who understands the importance of painting true mental pictures in the listener’s brain so they can follow the story. Connect with Saladin (Tha Sultan) online at THA_SULTAN.

I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14



Artist: Stellar Lane Genre: Alternative Rock Album: Follow Your Mind Website: StellarLane1.Bandcamp.comStellar Lane’s debut 6 song EP, FOLLOW YOUR MIND, is an ode to 90’s rock bands such as Soundgarden and Alice In Chains. Follow Your Mind is a strong showing for the Israeli band and could land Stellar Lane on tour with some pretty cool rock bands if seen and heard by the right promoters and booking agents. The project is chock full of great lead vocals, powerful guitar melodies, and emotionally inspired lyrics that you don’t want to miss. The EP’s opening track, Fairy Tale, is a cool tune that takes a page from rock and roll’s greatest bands. The song is the bands latest radio single, and it was produced by Tim Palmer, whose credits include such superior rock bands as Pearl Jam. The powerful vocal performance and masterful musicianship displayed on this rock masterpiece is delivered in such a magnificent way that it was hard for me not to nod my head and sing along. The subject matter is somewhat scary because it deals with falling in love with a jealous woman who stalks her lovers every move. It’s scary because, I’ve been through this before. Overall, Stellar Lane’s debut EP has a lot of potential. With so many independent rock bands having entered the music landscape to showcase their talents, it is very tough to cut through all of the competition, but I think Stellar Lane could make enough of an impact with their EP - Follow Your Mind - that it could lead to some big opportunities if marketed to the right audience. I’d recommend Stellar Lane to those 90’s rock fans who miss the awesome sounds of that era in music. Beside, these guys are from one of my favorite places on the planet...Israel! You can connect with Stellar Lane online at: or


I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14

Artist: Against The Clocks Genre: Alternative Rock Album: Against The Clocks Website: When your band is literally from a place called ROCKville, you have to live up to the name, and Against The Clocks is living beyond the name. The four-piece western Indiana rock band’s sophomore EP is a serious work of art. The project contains five hefty doses of progressive rock music that is very competitive with some of the top bands in the music festival circuit. If you want to hear a blend of rock from the 60s-90s, but with modernized elements that bring the sound current and undated. From the outset of the EP, you know you’re listening to professional musicians who understand the true essence of rock-n-roll. Against The Clocks (EP) kicks off with “Always Be”, an emotionally charged mid-tempo rock ballad that will make any female fan fall in love with this band. The songwriting and musicianship are top-notch, and the vocals are very nicely done. From the melodies to the music, this particular track was one of my favorites on the EP and should be pushed heavily to a female demographic/audience ages 18-34. In addition, songs like “Cinderella” and “Away You Go” are perfect examples of the fact that this band has a complete understanding of its sound. Unlike many bads these days who try to be all things to all people and wind up bouncing all over the place trying to figure themselves out, Against The Clocks offer a consistent sound that doesn’t get boring, or throw the listener off by jumping genres. These guys have earned my respect, and I think music fans everywhere would agree with me once they hear the band’s new EP. I absolutely recommend these guys to anyone who likes progressive rock bands (think Pink Floyd, Yes, and Tool).

Artist: Lovesick Saints Genre: Alternative Punk Album: Dia De Los Muertos Website: Scottsdale, Arizona is on fire; and I’m not just talking about weather. The city’s own alternative punk band, Lovesick Saints, is heating the summer up with their new EP, Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The project consists of 6 punk rock tracks that contain hints of garage and metal rock. Lovesick Saints could someday tour with top punk bands like California-based, Pennywise, who are known for tearing the stage down with hard-hitting performances that leave their audience punch drunk (Punk = punch drunk) and sweaty. DIA DE LOS MUERTOS is an adrenaline-filled, guitar grinding music festival captured into one compilation of recordings. The musicianship displayed by Tom Holliday, Jarrod Olson, and Christian Howell is incredible and masterfully done, while Tom delivers the vocal talents necessary to keep us dialed into the band’s foundation. There’s a ton of potential here with Lovesick Saints, and I can see them going very far in the American punk rock circuit, and eventually becoming a worldwide success. My favorite songs on this EP include: War Story and Sick & Broken. Both songs make a solid case for Lovesick’s credibility as punk rockers, and I love the fact that they don’t bounce all over the place, trying to be all things to all people. As mentioned earlier, these guys can perform on the same stages with top punk bands of today, and I would absolutely recommend supporting their music if you’re a fan of the punk rock genre. There aren’t very many indie punk artists who make an effort to expand beyond the comfort of their local regions, so the fact that this band is working to get their music out to a broader audience is something worth mentioning. Overall, Lovesick Saints are a good band with a good summer EP in, DIA DE LOS MUERTOS. While I could hear some room for improvement in the technical aspects of the final mixes, that doesn’t take away from the fact that these guys are an awesome punk band. You can follow them on Twitter at @LovesickSaints, or check them out on their website.


Artist: Richard Tyler Epperson Genre: Indie Rock Album: Hourglass Website: Bold, brash, unapologetically creative; these are just a few of the words that describe Richard Tyler Epperson’s spring 2014 release, Hourglass. A cross between John Mayer and Death Cab For Cutie, Epperson’s new 14 track release is a brilliant compilation of songs that exudes a level of confidence and aggressiveness that gives 80% of the indie music being released these days a swift kick in the pants. From the moment Hourglass kicks off, Epperson gives us a performance we won’t soon forget. “I Know” is one of the top 5 tracks I’ve heard since 2014 got started. The track is very John Mayer-esque in that the music is very soulful, well composed and well performed. Vocally, Richard stands right next to Mayer and Jason Mraz and he should be on tour with one (or both) of these guys because it would not only gain Epperson the quality exposure he needs, but it would be one of the most awesome shows out there. The brilliance of Hourglass doesn’t stop there though. This project gets better as you go through it, and I liked 10 of the 14 selections contained on the album. I loved the fact that he released an actual LP instead of the going with the mass of artists who are just releasing EP’s these days. Overall, Hourglass is a rock-soul masterpiece that deserves the same level of major radio and tour support as the aforementioned artists. Every bit as talented as Mraz and Mayer, Richard Tyler Epperson could very well be the next big thing to bubble to the surface of mainstream rock music. All this guy needs is an investor or label that can provide him with tour and radio support, and he’ll be well on his way to a Grammy nomination. Worth the money, you should pick this project up once it’s available on April 8, 2014. Socialize with Richard Tyler Epperson online at:


Genre: Rock Album: Marathon Location: Philadelphia, PA Website: Hailing from the great state of Pennsylvania, Marathon is one of the most exciting indie rock bands releasing a project this summer. Marathon’s new, self-titled release is a gem of a project that reminds me of my recent calm ride down the Florida coastline. Anyone with an affinity for indie rock music would definitely feel an instant connection to the band’s sound. If I were a booking agent, I would give Marathon a listen because these guys need to be out on the road touring. Releasing to iTunes in June 2014, Marathon (the album) offers 11 songs of great songwriting, vocals, and musicianship. The band consists of Zach Wagner (guitar & vox), Erich Wagner (guitar, vox, and percussion), Robert Battle (bass), Paul Winter (keyboard), and Rick Kreiser (drums); each a skilled musician in his own right. Songs like “Ghosts of Ours”, Chapel”, “Mountaineering”, “Sea of Leaves”, and “Of Bloom” (in that particular order) each gave me a reason to sing the album’s praises as one of the coolest projects being released this summer. Of the 11 songs on Marathon’s album, Ghosts of Ours stood out the most. This particular song gave me that feeling I felt when I heard “Satellite” by Guster, except Ghosts of Ours is more electric guitar driven as opposed to Guster’s acoustic driver. This is a great radio record, that should have a music video put to it. What makes this track stand out so much to me is the fact that everything gels so perfectly together. The melodies are superbly crafted for the lead vocalists tone and range, while the music is exceptionally produced and masterfully played; everything just works. Overall, Marathon (the album) is a great body of musical work that should be respected and enjoyed by true alternative rock fans. Marathon (the band) definitely has all the right pieces to become one of today’s hottest indie/alternative rock bands; great vocals backed by highly skilled and talented musicians. I’d love to see these guys live. Visit them online today. I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14



Artist: NUA Genre: Folk/Celtic Album: BOLD Website:

NUA’s latest 14 track release, BOLD, is an amazing Folk/Celtic release that makes a strong bid for instrumental album of the year. I don’t get excited that often about non-vocal albums, but BOLD is definitely something worth getting a bit pumped up about. James M Law (fiddle), Graeme McGillivray (guitar), and Jacob McCauley (bodhran) bring together their masterful music skills to create some of the most amazing compositions I’ve heard so far this year. Their talents far exceed that of most of the 350+ independent bands sending me music each month for review consideration. This is why my ears perked up when I first heard them. BOLD is the perfect name for NUA’s project because, it is very strong and unique in that I have not heard an album like this. It can be both rewarding and challenging to be the only one in your “lane” because, on one hand you sometimes reap the benefits of being the first to do it, but on the other hand you have to work extra hard to reach an audience and get their ears tuned to what you’re doing. Yet, it is my belief that NUA won’t struggle too hard to get an audience to like them because tracks like: Fizzbuzz, Happy Cammy Drammy Birthday, Driving Song, and The Dark Road all work to make a strong case for this Toronto trio. Overall, NUA is a “Grade A” trio of musicians whose talents are superior, and their BOLD release is powerful. If you’re looking for something that goes beyond the cliche sounds of today’s mainstream Top 40 music, then you should definitely check these guys out. I’d also like to encourage you (the reader) to support this band by visiting their Bandcamp page at http://trionua. and purchasing this album.


I Am Entertainment | Jul-Aug ‘14

Artist: WAG Genre: Rock / Post-Punk / Garage Album: No Worries Website: Some bands have great music and some should keep their day job; for WAG the latter does not even register The band’s latest release, NO WORRIES, is a sort of hippie post-punk surf rock album that you won’t find on many rock albums today. Creatively fusing punk rock with a tie-dye flower child sort of surf sound the bands sound is not one that is easily matched by most of the bands I’m hearing these days online. Songs like Tin Crown, My Baby, Grappling With California, 40 Proof, Bring Back The Guillotine, and Shed are all examples of why this band is so awesome. Lucas Nevrla’s lead vocal is the perfect blend of hardcore and raspy; the kind of voice that extends far beyond the average rock band front man. You can’t train someone to sing this way, they either have it or they don’t, and Lucas has definitely got “it”. Musically, each member of the band rocks out exceptionally well at his perspective instrument. While Lucas carries majority of the vocals and some guitars, Jordan Darula contributes guitars and some vocals, Mario Garcia adds drums, and Hayden Strong does a myriad of things from bass, synthesizers, and even the LP’s cover art design. These guys are truly a DIY band. The songwriting was fun and creative, and while it didn’t outshine the vocals and the music (the necessary components to a successful album), the writing was definitely competitive with top bands in the genre. While I didn’t hear anything that would be considered a Top 40 hit, I believe that was the point. WAG steered clear of the contrived sounds we get from mainstream radio rock, remaining true to the underground grunge/post-punk scene that seems to always be alive and breathing in the great state of California. Besides all of that; WAG won some big “cool points” with me because I saw on their Facebook profile that they like the Old E-40 music; some of my favorite Bay-area hip-hop. Connect with these guys on

Artist: Seven Story Fall Genre: Pop-Punk / Alternative Album: Stories & Analogies Website: Who the h-e-double-hockey-sticks left the gate open and let Detroit rocker, Seven Story Fall (7SF), into the yard? The band’s new album, Stories and Analogies, is a Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) project that has “Radio Ready” written all over it. Each song embodies the foundation of rock-n-roll music, and gives us a wide range of styles within the rock genre. Stories & Analogies offers punk-pop, power pop-rock, and alternative rock songs that are likely to make 7SF a huge success in the business once the right industry heavyweights get their hands on it. It’s only a matter of time before we start seeing 7SF stickers on car bumpers everywhere. The first time I heard 7SF’s song, Sing To Me, I knew my ears were in for a treat. The cohesion between each musician, and the creativity that’s on display here are way beyond “the box” that most indie artists/bands are stuck in. I love the fact that 7SF blends together the sounds of great bands like The Wonder Years, Green Day, and Weezer, reminding us that pop-punk is not dead. You won’t find any of the electronic dance synths that have leaked into and watered down today’s rock genre; just powerful rock music that should be blaring from the speakers of your computer, car, or headphones. Other songs like Better Off On My Own, Hollywood Bound, and To Take On The World Together are amazing displays of 7SF’s awesomeness as musicians and songwriters. The band’s lead vocalist, Hunter Kennedy, has a uniquely incredible singing voice that puts his vocal imprint on the pop-punk genre’s walk of fame. Overall, 7SF’s project ‘STORIES & ANALOGIES’ ranks among the top pop-punk rock albums I’ve had the chance to review since the 2014 spring/summer season kicked off. Chock full of amazing guitar riffs, awesome vocals, kicking drums and punchy bass the album is a recommended buy if you like some of the earlier mentioned bands. Make sure you stop by Seven Story Fall’s website and show your support.


i Am Entertainment



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ISSUE 29 - JUL/AUG 2014  

Our Indie Appreciation issue features indie music artist, Jamie Alimorad, on the cover. The issue also features a number of highly talented...

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