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editor’s word to you I Am Entertainment Magazine is celebrating its 5-year anniversary this issue and we’d like to thank YOU for helping us secure and maintain our position as one of the Top 10 entertainment magazines online! We started in 2009 as a digital publication focused on prividing great content, at a time when most publishers still believed that gossip in print would always be “king”. We were told that digital magazines were a fad and we wouldn’t last, but you (the reader) helped us prove that theory wrong. I find it rather interesting that the same nay-sayers who tried to discourage us wound up copying many of our content ideas just to stay relevant. So, we were right, CONTENT is king, not any particular medium. Our proof is that the print industry is suffering tremendously. If you haven’t noticed, many of the top music and entertainment magazines have closed their doors or decided to join us in the digital age (ironic huh?). While we have a printed edition available on digital newsstands, the overwhelming majority of IAE readers are digital subscribers. Digital is the future and we are happy that you are taking the ride with us. Here’s to another successful 5 years! --- Ready, Set, Go!!!
Candy Freeman Editor-In-Chief
Indies Rule! I’ve been reading IAE since 2010 and have always respected the fact that you support the “little guys” in the industry. When I first saw the cover I was curious as to who this guy, Jamie Alimorad, was and why he deserved to be on the cover? But, after I went through the issue, I went and checked out his music on Bandcamp and instantly understood
why he was on the cover. This guy’s the perfect example of why indie artists rule the music business. His music is very good and I wish I had known about him sooner. After that, I decided to check into some of the other artists you had listed in the album reviews, and was really impressed by Shaine’s taste in music. I now listen to The Miews podcast show and will continue to look for more music recommendations from you guys. Long live I Am Entertainment Magazine! Bill Jimmerson Chandler, AZ
“Music crowdfunding is so different from any other form of raising money...20% of your network is going to get you 80% of your funds raised...” - Levi James, on The Miews Podcast, Episode 38
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I Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
i Am Entertainment VOLUME 6 - ISSUE 30
PUBLISHER: I Am Entertainment Media EDITOR-IN-CHIEF:
7 COVER STORY
FILM & TV cASSI THOMSON 5 TZI MA 7 indie feature: judy white 11 Laura Regan 13 dvd releases 16
on stage george wallace 17 garfunkel & oates 19
miewsic You don’t love music josh nicotra Niki sherrod LARUSSO album reviews Hip HOp’s Fellatio Fettish
21 23 24 25 27 31
Candy Freeman email@example.com
MUSIC EDITOR & PODCAST HOST: Shaine Freeman firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Hoyos - email@example.com
ART DIRECTOR: Tara Rose
MUSIC & FILM REVIEWS: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Cover: Russell Baer All others, see interviews/articles.
email@example.com I Am Entertainment Media PO Box 263 Kennesaw, GA 30152 Tel: 818-813-9365 Article Submissions & General Info: www.iaemagazine.com/contact 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)
film & tv
By Candy Freeman | All Photos CassieThomson.com & Stoney Lake Entertainment (inset)
Kicking off 2014 with 5 films in the works, Charlene Amoia, is establishing herself as one of Hollywood’s actors to watch. Fresh off recent roles on top shows like “Switched at Birth” (ABC Family) and “Drop Dead Diva” (Lifetime), this rising star talks with I Am Entertainment about the business of acting.
Switched At Birth Actress To Star Opposite Nicolas Cage In Theaters Oct 3, 2014 Cassi Thomson has gone from child actress to guest starring on primetime shows. The former “Big Love” (HBO) star, and current “Switched At Birth” actress is set to thrill audiences with her riveting performance in the upcoming apocalyptic tale, LEFT BEHIND. 5
I Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
CASSI THOMSON Please share where you’re from and what inspired you to pursue a career in film and TV? I was born in Queensland, Australia. Then, in the late 90’s my family moved to the Midwestern U.S. My sister actually got me interested because, she was into acting first. Eventually, she fell out of love with acting, while I fell in love with it. What was your transition like, moving to Los Angeles? Well, I grew up in a very small town in Missouri. Our first house was actually a double wide trailer, and we moved around to a lot of small towns. When my parents split, my dad stayed in the Midwest while my mom, brother, sister, and me all moved to California. But, because I moved around so much as a kid, it was pretty easy for me to get acclimated to a big city like LA.
was looking through a list of coaches and found Andrew McGary on the list. He has coached a bunch of young actors, and is one of my best friends. As for my agent; when I first moved to LA I had an agent who was at a smaller company. But, by the time I was 12 years old I had moved over to Innovative Artists, and I’m still with them. They are all about the career and not the money. It’s a lovely place to be. Did you read any of the books from the “Left Behind” series before taking this role? Before I booked it, I hadn’t read the series. I heard about it from my family in the Midwest, and when they heard about the audi-
Did you have a hard time getting an agent, and finding the right acting coach? Actually, my first acting coach is the same coach that I study with today. My mom www.iaemagazine.com
film & tv
tion they were very excited. Before going into it, I wasn’t aware of how big a following this book series had so, I didn’t realize how substantial a character, Chloe, is. I’m just really glad to have been able to get the part. What was the audition process for “Left Behind” like? This is actually a crazy story because, nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I got the audition and almost didn’t put myself on tape for it because, I was in Indiana visiting my family at the time. Plus, I wasn’t too keen on putting auditions on tape, versus auditioning in person. It’s very difficult to do a taped audition all by yourself. I called my agents and asked, “Realistically, is this something that I can book? Am I too young? Should I even do this?” They reassured me that this is an incredible role, and an incredible project with great people attached. So, I taped the audition and the director, Vic Armstong, liked what he saw. He asked me to put it on tape again, and he provided some notes for me to change up some of what I was doing. I filmed my second audition from Indiana and sent it in with the adjustments, and within a week I got the call that I had booked the job. It was crazy to me because, at that point I hadn’t done any chemistry reads with Nicolas Cage or Chad Michael Murray. I hadn’t even met the director or the producers. I wound up flying from Indiana to Louisiana, and met everyone my first day on set. That never happened to me before so, it’s pretty cool how it all came together.
out. I stay pretty fit just in case roles like these come up. I did the majority of my own stunts; except the motorcycle riding. It’s really amazing to have a director who allowed me to do my own stunts. I free climbed a 400 ft. bridge, I was harnessed in once I got to the top. The wind is already forceful 400 ft. up in the air, but when you have a helicopter 30 or 40 ft. from you, the winds get really intense. I was holding on for dear life. [laughs] It was so cool to get that opportunity. What are the most challenging, and most rewarding parts of being an actress? I think the most challenging part about being an actor is, you’re constantly living on the edge with uncertainty, wondering if you have a job or not. It’s very sporadic. It can also be very lonely because you’re constantly travelling and on set, especially if you don’t have a good foundation with family and friends.
The most rewarding part is you get to affect total strangers through your work. It’s just a beautiful and rewarding thing to be able to touch people you’ll probably never meet. That is what inspires me to keep going. What do you wish you had known earlier in your career? I read this amazing interview about the auditioning process for actors. When you’re first auditioning you get so worked up over auditions that don’t go well, or over jobs that you don’t book. I’ve been in this industry for over 10 years now and I’ve learned that my job is to create a character and present it to casting directors and producers. Once I do that, it’s up to them to book me or not. As actors, it’s important that we not invest so much into every audition because, we can’t book every gig we audition for. So much is out of our control, and it’s not worth it to try and change the way we look because, you can’t change how old you are. I wished I could have gone into acting already knowing that. But, I am where I am because of what I’ve been through, so I don’t have any regrets. END Cassi Thomson, Chad Michael Murray, and Lolo Jones (Olympic runner & Dancing With The Stars Season 19)
Tell us a little bit about your character, Chloe. I think they kept Chloe pretty true to the book. She’s very independent and strong-willed. She loves her family a lot. Playing a character like Chloe was so fun because, she’s such a powerful and smart woman! I think people are going to really like her because, her struggles are so human; she’s just so relatable. They did such a good job of translating Chloe’s personality from the book to the film. Sometimes, the integrity of a character can get lost in the (adaptation) process from book to film, but I don’t feel like that happened here. This is an action packed film, how did you prepare, physically for this role? I try to stay in pretty good shape year round. I’m constantly watching what I eat and working www.iaemagazine.com
I Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
film & tv
By Shaine Freeman | All Photos by Diana Ragland
You know his work. Now get to know him.
film & tv
From blockbuster films like ‘Rush Hour’, to Primetime Emmy-winning TV series ‘24,’ and now the new USA series, ‘Satisfaction’; we all know who Tzi Ma (pronounced ‘Ty’) is. He’s the bad guy right? Wrong! When the cameras aren’t rolling, he’s the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet. I had the honor of chatting with Tzi about his 35 years in film and TV, and it was loads of fun. Tzi, let me start by telling you that my 7yr old daughter did not like you in ‘Akeelah and the Bee’. She thought you were so mean. [laughs] Oh, no! Tell her I’m sorry, I’m really not that mean. I love kids. [laughs] I know it’s not that easy to go into acting, coming from an Asian-American family. Why acting for you? Not easy at all. Being the youngest of seven in a working class family, I was the entertainer who was always into something. But, growing up in a Chinese-American family you’re only expected to be a doctor - MD, not PhD [laughs] - or a successful businessman who makes a lot of money. Well, much to my parents chagrin, I went into acting and, oh boy! You talk about drama! [laughs] My mom was so upset. But, here I am. What’s the one thing about acting that you cherish the most? Heads of states meet other heads of states, right? So, President Obama meets with other world leaders. Well, what I love about acting is that it has given me the opportunity to meet them and then portray them onscreen. To be able to meet and spend time with these extraordinary individuals and then, as an actor, go into their minds and learn who they are beneath the surface is something that is beyond description. Obviously, to be able to be an actor and get paid to do what you love is a gift in itself, but I think the best part is that I get to connect with some of the top influencers in the world and get paid for it. It’s amazing. One of the things that I’ve learned over the years is that actors are so different from musicians. You all seem to care more about your www.iaemagazine.com
craft than the fame and fortune aspect of it. Why is the craft so important to a great performance for you? If I give you guys my secrets, I’m going to have to charge you! [laughs] I’ll leave my address after the interview. [laughs] The check is in the mail Tzi! Every actor approaches acting differently. I don’t think there’s any one set way to arrive at the finish line. If you look at runners, for example, they all have different running styles and strategies for finishing the race. For me, I try to make sure I do two things consistently. One is, remember to forget. Learn to be in the moment and focus on delivering the writer’s words the way they intended them to be. As an actor, you are obligated to do that. Every moment and every second has to be fresh, so I do try to forget the previous moments that have gone by in every take. The other things I try to do is to be in a state of emptiness. A blank slate is always good. If you’re able to achieve that by being that much in the moment, I think your life will probably be a little cooler than it is now. [laughs] [laughs] But that makes sense when you’re as busy as Tzi Ma! You’re doing multiple TV shows and movies at the same time. What’s it like to have to switch between the Zen Master on “Satisfaction” (USA Network), and then being the bad guy on “24” all in a matter of days? I’ll tell you, when we did the pilot for “Satisfaction,” last December, my slate was clean. I had just returned from Romania shooting a Steven Seagal film (“A Good Man”) so, preparing the Zen Master was easy. But, when USA picked up “Satisfaction,” I was shooting “24” in London. So, now the game has changed because, we’re in the 7th inning and I’m pinch hitting. I mean, this is tough because, Cheng Zhi (“24”) is such an opposite character from Zen Master. Both productions were overlapping and I was really having a tough time getting to Atlanta to do “Satisfaction” because, they needed me in London to do “24”. By the time I got to Atlanta, I had one day to strip down and clean Cheng Zhi off my slate so I could focus on being Zen Master. If you’ve watched “24” you know that Cheng Zhi is a man of action and violence, while Zen Master is all about stillness and peace. [laughs] Talk about difficult! But, I have to give a shout out to the creator of “Satisfaction,” Sean Jablonski. He was so supportive of what I had to go through in terms of coming from the role on “24”. He was like, “Tzi, just go ahead and do your thing. Even if it’s not quite Zen Master, we’ll shoot it anyway!” As a result, I was able to
physically exercise Cheng Zhi out of my body throughout the course of filming “Satisfaction”. Of course, Matt Passmore (plays Neil Truman) was freaking out because, he was like “Tzi what are you doing man? This is not Zen Master.” [laughs] So, Sean allowing me to work my way into the right character really helped a lot. What I love about you is that you don’t see yourself as this “celebrity” who’s too big to do a short film. Despite all of the major films and TV shows you have going on, you made time to shoot a student short. Why? You have to be a part of a community of actors. It’s your job to nurture relationships with those who are up-and-coming and want to tell a story. Since I’ve been around a bit, I feel that it’s my responsibility to give back and impart wisdom to the young filmmakers and actors coming up. So, I work with film students at AFI, and students from Columbia University. They are smart enough and proactive enough to reach out to me and say, “Tzi, can you do this?” I say, “Sure! Show me the script.” These students are very talented, and most of the scripts are really fascinating. The stories are always told from a very personal point of view, and I really hope that some of these short stories are given the chance to be told in an expanded, feature film release. What advice would you give to the aspiring Asian-American actor whose parents may not be supporting their dream? I say, “Welcome to the club!” [laughs] No, what I would say is, number one - you have to be honest with yourself. Look in the mirror and truly decide if this is what you want to do. Forget the fame and celebrity; is this really what you want to do? If you keep thinking of stardom, or trying to prove people wrong, you’re not starting out on the right foot. I think you need to appreciate what you’re doing, and it will be your life. This is all encompassing. If you’re not ready to give it your all regardless of who’s supporting you then, I would discourage you from entering the film business. But, if this is what you love to do, and it’s where your passion lies, follow your dream and your heart. Make it easy for yourself, and just worry about what you want; not what others want for you. When you do make it, make sure your needs are minimal. Don’t go out and buy this car that goes 0-60 in four seconds, because you don’t need it. Be smart. You don’t have to sell your soul to the devil. Just focus on your dream and keep it simple. Live within your means and work hard to be the best actor you can be, and it will happen for you. END
I Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
for helping us make it to our
Anniversary These are the many faces of the music, film, television, comedy, sports, and live entertainment pros weâ€™ve featured over the years. How many can you name? SPECIAL THANKS to every freelancer, publicists, managers, agents, screenwriters, actors, musicians, producers, directors, record execs, film studio execs, and everybody else who has contributed to IAE in any way. Thanks to everyone who has ever read and shared articles from our website, followed us on social media, subscribed to the magazine and podcasts, and purchased print copies, and patronized our advertisers. We appreciate you all!
Hereâ€™s to another 5 years.
film & tv
indie Filmmaking By Daniel Hoyos | Photos Pavlov’s Condo Productions
I Am Entertainment welcomes, Daniel Hoyos, who joins our team as the 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 filmmakers find outlets and opportunities to show their amazing films. Follow and Tweet @DanielHoyos and say hello.
our writing career began at Seventeen Magazine. Can you tell us what that experience was like? My first published article was actually for a scientific journal, on my college research in neurobiology. But on the side, I was writing humor essays. I sent the first one to Seventeen Magazine, and it was about how I used to drop library books in the bathtub while reading and make my little sister return them so she’d endure the librarian’s wrath instead of me. If I’d known then how hard it is to be published in major magazines, I probably wouldn’t have had the audacity. But, Seventeen bought the very first piece and asked for more, and I did a half-dozen funny columns. The second was called, Lies I Told My Little Sister. So many of us either tortured our younger siblings, or got tortured, or (in the case of middle children) got to be on both ends. Childhood patterns fascinate me because we are set in cement so early on, which is why I returned to that idea for my first screenplay. Most of my career has been writing non-fiction books and articles, usually technical, but my trademark was to infuse humor wherever possible. So in Lies, there is a serious theme of dealing with grief, and a more humorous theme about trying to recover from being a sibling, and about integrating both into your adult life.
I Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
Lies evokes nostalgia, the older sister who tortures her little sister with myths. Is the script loosely based on your family? Yes, definitely. I don’t know why my little sister always would believe the ridiculous things I would tell her, but she kinda still does. And we had an older sister who died of cancer. So those two realities became the backbone of the script. The reason I even wrote it was that my nephew, Jonathan Weisbrod, who is the son of my tortured little sister, ended up at NYU majoring in film & television, and he said, “You’re a writer; write a screenplay,” and eventually he became co-writer. So here we were, writing a story about a family trip with a little kid in it, and that little kid is now grown and in college, helping me write the screenplay based on our family. When you write fiction about your own life, you have to toss out a lot of actualities in order to drive the plot, but there are things in the film that really happened. Including my mother with that porn magazine! Lies I Told My Little Sister was your first feature-length film. Did you find any difficulty with securing funds? After helping me co-write Lies, Jonathan decided to produce it himself. He recruited the most talented of his NYU colleagues, with whom he’d already been making award-winning short films. He put together a SAG-ULB budget
that was funded entirely by equity investors in first-position, allowing a lot of people to have a piece of the film for very little money. It was the crew’s first feature film, but because these were kids clearly at the beginning of promising careers, there were a lot of people who wanted to invest. Backdrop was set in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. How did you locate that beautiful beach house? Lies follows a NJ family who travel to Cape Cod (which we used to do), and so of course a lot of the film was shot on iconic spots on the Cape, but that beach house was actually in Sea Bright, New Jersey. We used our home state as much as possible to keep costs down. As coproducer, I found the house on a vacation rental site, and not only was it used as location, a lot of the cast and crew lived in it during filming. Four months afterwards, Sea Bright was decimated by Superstorm Sandy. That beautiful house was flooded, though it is still standing. Lucy Walters portrayed Cory brilliantly. You mentioned this was her first lead role? Lucy is astonishing in Lies, a perfect combination of tough and sexy and vulnerable and broken. She essentially plays “me” as the middle child. Lucy first got noticed in director Steve McQueen’s Shame – stunning in two sexwww.iaemagazine.com
film & tv
charged scenes opposite Michael Fassbender. Now she is in 50 Cent’s STARZ drama series, Power, playing the ‘hot white chick’ – which has just been picked up for a second season. Lucy wowed us at the Lies audition. It was obvious how good she is, and also how completely she got the humor as well as the agony. Besides being incredibly intelligent and beautiful, she has an older sister and two younger brothers, and knows all the sibling tricks. Lucy Walters. Remember that name, for she is definitely a rising star. I adore her. Lies deals with loss in the family. What has been the audience reaction thus far? There’s been wonderful word-of-mouth because the film is funny as well as touching. People who have had a family loss really relate, especially if they also have siblings. I love the story of one viewer who said that she had been a little afraid to come see it because she’d recently lost her sister, but came anyway, lugging a box of tissues – and she never had to use any of them, because every time she’d start to tear up, something funny would happen. I tried for a good blend so that you never feel like you are wallowing. Because life keeps happening all around you, and some of it makes you laugh out loud even when you are terribly sad. The older you are, the more likely you are to have gone through some hard stuff. I am always amazed, for example, www.iaemagazine.com
at how much older men like this film. It’s kind of a litmus test of how much you’ve personally been through, because if you’ve been touched by grief, no matter what your age, you appreciate that you can keep going, and that you are allowed to be happy. It’s a very hopeful film. Alicia Minshew from All My Children makes a special appearance. How did you casting such a notable actress? We were so lucky in the timing, because All My Children was ending after 41 years. We needed someone gorgeous and fabulous as the oldest, favorite sister who dies, so we sent the script to two-time Emmy nominee Alicia Minshew (10 years on AMC as ‘Kendall Hart’). Alicia reads lots of scripts, and said most are pretty terrible, but she thought Lies was really special. We only see her in flashbacks, but she is the heart of the family, whose loss causes such a hole that it triggers the entire plot of everyone trying, badly, to go on without her. At one point Lish was made up as ghastly sick, and I said, “Oh my God, you look awful!” She laughed and said, “This is my third coma!” Being a soap opera star means you love getting your teeth into a good coma. How did William J. Stribling approach directing Lies? Because on first glance this is a “female-driven” film, William confessed he was a bit intimidated
going in. But the lead character’s choices made sense to him on both an intellectual and emotional level, regardless of gender, connecting to the universal struggle between order and chaos. He definitely didn’t want to hit the sad stuff too hard, and the ultimate takeaway is a peaceful, spiritual one. William is inspired by music, and he compared Lies to a Beach Boys song, one from Pet Sounds or Surf’s Up – melodic and catchy and complex, definitely pleasurable to listen to, but with something darker and unsettling going on under the surface. “And that’s where the honesty is,” he says, “because that’s life; often happy and upbeat on the surface, but underneath there’s something you’re trying to work out.” Are you currently developing any new scripts? I’m working on two new scripts. One is a romantic comedy (Nora Ephron is my hero), and the other is another comedy-drama, about trying to fit in where you just don’t fit in. I want to keep working on stories that touch universal real feelings – and to keep interweaving sad with humor, because even amid grief, even amid hard stuff, life is still funny, if you just let it. END www.Facebook.com/LiesIToldMyLittleSister Website: www.liesitoldmylittlesister.com Twitter: @LiesIToldMySis
I Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
leading LADY from guest star on Mad Men to top billing in Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt? (Part III) this is.. LAURA REGAN BY Shaine Freeman || PHOTOS of Laura Regan by Russell Baer
So, please tell us what made you want to pursue a career in acting? I used to dance and wanted to become a ballerina, but I had an injury when I was 16 and decided I would opt for a social life. When you’re a ballerina you have no social life at all. But, then I had no creative outlets for quite a few years. As I entered (McGill University) I had no idea what I wanted to do, so as a sort of default I chose English as my major. While I was there, I found myself drawn to the drama (theatre) and I decided to move to New York and study under as many people as I could (attended New School University in NYC). I was able to convince (McGill U.) to take all of my credits and let me get my degree, which was awesome. [laughs] After that I focused my attention on acting, and here I am!
You’ve been around a while, so you’ve seen actors come and go. What’s kept you in it for so long? I really love the work! I love being an actor. It may sound a bit weird to some people to hear me say this part, but I actually love auditioning. [laughs] Now, there are times when I don’t enjoy it, but for the most part, it is always the beginning of me landing another opportunity to do the work of acting. Getting a script and thinking about the character, and then going as far as you can go with your creative take on how you’d portray that person is a process I love. As an actor, you have to develop a love for auditioning because, you spend more time doing that than working. So, I think that definitely helps me stay in this business.
I’m always interested in what moves a person to become an entertainer. Once you got started on your journey, did you know that you’d be doing what you do today? I certainly wanted to be acting, but the interesting thing about all entertainment fields is that there’s no one prescribed path. You do have to make your own way. When an opportunity comes up you take it and see where it leads. Sometimes, you may have to turn something down and hope there’s another opportunity right around the corner. It is interesting to learn everybody’s path because, entertainment is not like any corporate field or professional. For instance, it’s not like being a lawyer where you have a set order of steps to take to become a practicing attorney. I think that’s why people are so fascinated by the journey of an entertainer. There’s always a significant amount of happenstance, and you never know what’s next in this business.
You’re so right! But, you’re the first actor I’ve ever heard say they enjoy auditioning! [laughs] Really?! [laughs] It’s true that you have to like it at some point because, like I said, you’re doing that more than you’re actually working. Look, I’ll be honest; I certainly don’t enjoy the afteraudition thoughts where you’re thinking, “Oh man! Maybe I could’ve done it like this, or like that?” Even worse is when some time goes by and you’re thinking, “Why aren’t they calling?” [laughs] I certainly don’t love that part. I am not a glutton for punishment, I promise! [laughs]
On September 12th, you’re starring in Part 3 of the “Atlas Shrugged” trilogy. Which seems to be a bit of a sidestep from what you’re most known for (horror films). How does this differ from anything you’ve ever done? It’s pretty easy for me to say how it differs from the other stuff in my overall body of work. Most of the time I’m playing the victim in some horI Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
ror film, but Dagny (role in ‘Shrugged’) is anything but a victim. She’s very much alive and sure of herself. She knows who she is and where she’s going in life, and doesn’t take flak from anybody. She’s doesn’t have a lot of the “weaker” aspects of any other character I’ve played.
What would you say to the up-and-coming actors who are out there trying to find their first big opportunity? I don’t want to be cliche and just say, “keep going and never give up,” because there’s so much more to it than that. Yes, it does take a lot of resilience to be successful as an actor, but I would say that it also takes a lot of education. Learn as much as you can about life and this business. Study and train as often as possible because, you may learn something you can take into your next audition that will land you that first big step in the right direction. So, I would say, just continue your education. You can never know too much about your passion. END
I Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
“...it does take a lot of resilience to be successful as an actor, but I would say... Learn as much as you can about life and this business.”
ON DVD FALL 2014
BOX OFFICE PERFORMANCE
Production Budget $200 Million Worldwide Gross $742 Million
DVD Release Source: www.dvdreleases.org, Box Office Gross Numbers: www.boxofficemojo.com, Images are property their respective owners.
X-MEN: Days of Future Past (Fox)
Rated ‘PG-13’ Genre: Fantasy, Action Runtime: 2hrs 11min DVD Release Date: October 14, 2014 Cast: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Shawn Ashmore
Rated ‘R’ Genre: Comedy Runtime: 1hr 36min Gross: $261.6M (World) Releasing: Sept 23 Cast: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Dave Fanco, Christopher MintzPlasse, Jerrod Carmichael, Ike Barinholtz, Carla Gallo, Halston Sage, Elise Vargas, Zoey Vargas
Think Like A Man Too (Sony/Screen Gems)
Rated ‘PG-13’ Genre: Comedy Runtime: 1hr 46min Gross: $68M (Worldwide) Releasing: Sep 16th Cast: Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Romany Malco, Terrence Jenkins, Adam Brody, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Taraji P. Henson
Rated ‘PG-13’ Genre: Sci-Fi Runtime: 2hrs 3min Gross: $508M (World) Releasing: Sept 16 Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson,Ken Watanbe, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Carson Bolde, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, CJ Adams, Richard T. Jones, Victor Rasuk www.iaemagazine.com
Chef (Open Road Films)
Rated ‘R’ Genre: Comedy Runtime: 1hr 55min Gross: $37.9M (Worldwide) Releasing: Sep 30th Cast: Jon Favreau, John Lequizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey Jr.
A Million Ways To Die in the West (Universal) Rated ‘R’ Genre: Western Comedy Runtime: 1hr 56min Gross: $149.3M Releasing: October 7th Cast: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Sarah Silverman
Million Dollar Arm (Buena Vista)
Rated ‘PG’ Genre: Sports Drama Runtime: 2hr 04min Gross: $36.8M (Worldwide) Releasing: Oct 7th Cast: Jon Hamm, Suraj Sharma, Aasif Mandvi, Darshan Jariwala, Lake Bell, Alan Arkin, Bill Paxton, Tzi Ma (feat. in this issue) I Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
on Stage 5Yr Anniversary Feature from Issue 12 By Shaine Freeman | Photo Courtesy George Wallace
The New Mr. Vegas Stand-up Comedy Genius/Jerry Seinfeld’s Best Man GEORGE WALLACE’s entrance into the world of stand-up comedy was anything but conventional. Before becoming a legendary comedian and entrepreneur, the Atlanta native obtained degrees in transportation and marketing from the University of Akron (OH) and then went on to a successful career working in New York City’s advertising industry. Here, we learn what makes him funny. Where are you from and what inspired you to pursue a career in comedy? I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia; Brookhaven to be exact. I went to college at the University of Akron in Ohio. That’s why I’m Lebron James’ daddy. [laughs] I’ve always wanted to be a comedian; since I was six-yearsold. My parents were well known in the local church and my daddy was a deacon, but they still had the party records around, so I listened to folks like Red Foxx and Moms Mabley. I also watched comedians on TV like Johnny Carson, Richard Pryor, and Red Skelton and would take their jokes back to school and use them to make people laugh. That’s how I became a comedian, just watching and listening to the greats who did it before me. So after college, you worked in the advertising industry in New York City. Tell us how you went from that to doing comedy? When I came out of college I sold rags and then after that I moved on to become the Vice President of one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising agencies, Metromedia. A lot of the billboards and spectaculars in Times Square, well, that’s what I used to do. I also handled the ads on over 5,000 buses in the top 10 markets in America. After that, I moved to California and started writing for the Red Foxx Show and I’ve been doing comedy ever since. With advertising being so different from comedy, how was it making that transition from
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one to the other? It wasn’t a hard transition because I understood that it’s show business. I don’t think people like MC Hammer realized before they got into this (entertainment) that there’s a business side and you have to have some business sense. You see it all the time with boxers and all kinds of other athletes and entertainers. These guys make millions of dollars and by the end of their career, they’re broke! I think it’s something like 80% of the NFL football players go bankrupt because they have no business sense? I don’t know if very many of the guys in entertainment went to school or not, but I did and so I got to work in advertising and learn different things that you won’t learn if you’re not educated. Education is so important these days because if you’re looking for a job today without a degree in something, how do you expect to get it (job)? You’ve got a guy who’s educated and has his degree, and he’s looking for the same job you want, so how do you expect to get it over him? You just have to be smart and have some business sense if you want to make it out here. Tell us a little about your Vegas show and what do you love the most about your job as a comedian? It’s a blessing because I love going to work every day. I’m in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada and I’m the only African-American who produces
and directs his own show. I’m one of the very few in the Las Vegas strip who doesn’t work for anyone else. I’d say 99% of the folks in Vegas work for the hotels, but I don’t. The room I do my show in seats 750 people and I’m there every night with a crowd full of people. I’m actually in my eighth year at the Flamingo and have actually made history by headlining a major show in Las Vegas for more consecutive years than any African-American in history. That goes back to Red Foxx and Sammy Davis, Jr., God bless them, because they paved the way for me to be able to do this. Just to think, the same stage at the Flamingo that they had to go through the kitchen just to get on stage, and if they were still alive they’d be surprised that we still have to go through that same damn kitchen. [laughs] Initially, I went out to Vegas for 30 days, but because my show did so well, they asked me to stay. I have the most diverse crowd at my shows as well. Young people, old people, white people, black people, you name it and they’re at my show. I do all my own marketing and advertising and I don’t work for any of the hotels. I’m blessed, I love it, and I enjoy life. A lot of comedians these days want to be actors more than stand-up comics. What’s your take on that? People are entitled to their dreams no matter what it is. This thing with Vegas is what I want www.iaemagazine.com
to do and that’s my choice. When Seinfeld and I started out early in our careers, I always said that I didn’t want to be an overnight superstar; I just wanted to enjoy life. I tell people that I’m the most successful comedian you’ve ever met, because success has nothing to do with how much money you make. Being successful is doing what you want to do, how you want to do it, and being blessed enough to be happy in the position you’re in. At this point in my career, I’ve got enough money to retire if I want to and go anywhere in the world, and I’m very happy with my life. What’s your relationship like with Jerry Seinfeld? Jerry Seinfeld is my best friend and we go way back. I was his best man in his wedding and we still hang out. We actually just did a tour in Europe together. We went to Stockholm, Oslo, London, Copenhagen, and all kinds of places over there. I mean, he (Jerry) has the #1 sitcom in the history of television, so he can’t go pee without people bothering him and paparazzi chasing him. [laughs] Now, I get people who come up to me and say, “Hey, Mr. George Wallace!” and they ask for my autograph, but I can still go pee without people following me with a camera. [laughs] What’s been the toughest part about what you do? The toughest part is the business part, because there’s so much BS going on. Anytime you’re trying to make some money there’s BS that comes with it, and it doesn’t matter who you
are. You just have to learn to deal with it and walk around it. Other than Vegas, you’ve also done radio and movies. How does an up-and-coming comedian get those types of opportunities? You put your business in the streets, that’s what I learned from advertising. If people don’t know who you are then you won’t get the big opportunities. I did Arsenio Hall a lot back in the day; I did Oprah and Leno too because they knew who I was. They came after me because I had my business in the street. So when I would be in Chicago doing Oprah or doing a show, I would be on radio with Tom Joyner, who used to do radio in Dallas and then fly to Chicago to do radio on WGCI. Doug Banks was also on WGCI in Chicago as well. So when they would go on vacation or change positions or fire somebody, they would bring me in to fill in. The next thing you know, I’m in Chicago and doing the radio regularly. I was with Tom Joyner when he first started the Tom Joyner Morning Show. I told him he needed to hire Jay Anthony Brown because Jay is good at radio and his laughter is contagious. That’s how Jay got the job with Tom. So you just have to get out and be seen; meet people who are doing something because they might pull you into what they have going on. What advice can you give to young people who are so focused on being rich and famous that they’re miserable trying to make it? I tell young people all the time to go overseas and travel as soon as you get out of college, and
charge it to your parents. [laughs] Go out there and see how other people live, and do it while you’re young. I hear old people saying they can’t wait to retire so they can finally travel the world, but that’s backwards. You want to do all that when you’re younger, not when you’re too old and out of shape to enjoy it. So I tell young people to go out there and have fun. Don’t worry about being rich because the meanest people in the world are old rich people. Think about it. Who starts all the wars? It’s old rich people who just want more money. There are good people everywhere, so get out there and meet people from other countries so that when you’re old you can remember those good people. I think a lot of wars could be avoided if people just travel when they’re young. Enjoy being young and make money later. What area of the entertainment industry do you see the most room for improvement? No matter what part of the business you’re in, there’s always going to be something that needs improvement. It’s really just about doing a better job than what you’re already doing. I think improvements are based on people and how they handle their business. Like I said earlier, getting educated and having some business sense will make things better, because when people don’t have any business sense they get taken advantage of and it makes the whole industry look bad. But it has gotten better and the good thing is that improvements are always being made as time goes on, we just don’t realize it until it’s already there. END
George Wallace & Jerry Seinfeld have been friends since the 1970’s. In this video from the, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, George and Jerry discuss fashion, cars, Vegas, and even put on a live performance at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas strip.
Watch it now at: http://comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com/george-wallace-two-polishairline-pilots
I Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
on Stage 5Yr Anniversary Feature from Issue 11
By Candy Freeman | Photo Courtesy Garfunkel & Oates
Musical Comedy Duo, Garfunkel & Oates, On Showbiz Whether it’s making us laugh on their hit IFC TV show, or via their quirky comedic pop songs, Garfunkel & Oates are rocking it ‘til the wheels fall off!
“If your career is not going the way you want it to, the best thing you can do is make your own material.” Riki Lindhome (Garfunkel), “...make quality material and put it on YouTube.” Kate Micucci (Oates) Please tell us where you’re both individually from and what inspired you to pursue a career in entertainment? Riki: I’m from Portville, NY and Kate’s from Pennsylvania. We both have been writing, creating, and performing for most of our lives. Kate: Yea, we had similar upbringings in a sense of performing in school plays. We both ended up moving out to LA and getting involved in stage plays. We booked some commercials and things of that nature, and ironically, we both attended the same music camp when we were about 10 years old and just figured that out about 2 years ago. What was your first professional acting gig and how did those opportunities come about? Riki: In 2002, I was on this sitcom called TITUS that Fox put out. That came about as a result of me attending a casting director’s workshop. Kate: My first job was a commercial for Moviefone where I ate a candy bar for thirty seconds. It was a close up of my face just eating a candy bar. [laughs] For those who aren’t familiar with Garfunkel and Oates, please share how the duo started? Riki: We met in the lobby of Upright Citizens
I Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
Brigade. We realized we had the same interest in musical comedy. From there it (G&O) sort of evolved over the years. Have you been approached by any record labels? Kate: We have been, but we decided to do it on our own. The nature of the record industry today is very D.I.Y. oriented and it’s possible to record your album by yourself and get it up on iTunes. Riki: We also figured that since we’re doing a TV show it would be less complicated if we owned our songs out right. What advice would you give to the aspiring entertainers who are trying to get their break? Riki: If your career is not going the way you want it to, the best thing you can do is make your own material. We’re a testament to that and it’s opened so many doors for us. You have a platform for your talent unlike ever before. Kate: I get asked this all the time and my answer is always the same; make quality material and put it on YouTube. I personally feel that I wouldn’t have the career that I do right now if it wasn’t for YouTube. It’s an amazing tool and I think most people don’t really utilize it. Basically use the Internet. [laughs]
From your released material, what is your favorite song? Riki: My favorite song is the “Handjob” song. Kate: It’s a toss up between “Handjob” and “Me, You and Steve.” What instruments do you play and what’s your favorite brand? Riki: I have two guitars, one is a Fender and one is a Martin. Kate: I play the Martin SO Ukulele and it’s mainly because I’m from where their factory is located in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. I have hometown pride with using Martin guitars. Every industry needs improvement, so in your opinion what aspect of the film industry needs the most improvement? Kate: There needs to be more roles for women and minorities, I mean, it’s overdue. Things are getting a little better, but we still need to keep moving forward. Riki: I think this is pretty obvious to people because when you turn on your TV, who do you see? People aren’t seeing the faces of America, there’s not much diversity. END
“I LOVE MUSIC”...No You Don’t! You want to get paid & be heard, so Quit Lying To Yourself & Everyone else By Shaine Freeman
shows, selling CDs & merch, driving nice cars, and living the lifestyle you’ve always desired then, you love commerce more than music. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe you can genuinely love creating and performing music; but, I don’t believe that you can ever do music for a living if you don’t incorporate commerce. The WuTang Clan released a song in the 90’s called, C.R.E.A.M. aka Cash Rules Everthing Around Me, which focuses on our need for money if we ever plan to find success. Case in point, if you’ve ever purchased an instrument then you’ve incorporated commerce into your love of music. If you’ve ever paid for studio time, ordered CDs from Discmakers, paid a producer and/or engineer to help you make your album, and the list goes on...then, you my friend have just entered the world of commerce (CREAM). So, I find it laughable when I hear a young aspiring artist, or a longtime musician who never quite made it to the pennacle of their game, make the statement that they love music. Usually, the musician who didn’t make it is just angry that he never made it, so the love of music becomes his explanation as to why he’s still doing music. The young aspiring artist is typically doing it because they want to be famous and rich (#FAIL).
very musician, at some point has declared their love for music; myself included. Most of us want to believe we’ve always done music for the love of it but, at some point we’ve also tried to sell music on iTunes, or license it to some commercial medium. In addition to this, most of us have had dreams of winning a Grammy, selling millions of downloads, appearing on the cover of a magazine, having a huge fan base,
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being signed to a major label, and touring the world. But, the truth is that none of this has anything to do with loving music. If you’ve ever wanted any of those things for yourself, then it’s safe to say that the love of music isn’t your only driver because, all of that stuff is rooted in commerce. An honest look will reveal the truth about your musical ambitions, which are likely rooted in your love of commerce (money). If you’ve found yourself obssessing over growing your fanbase, booking
It may sound harsh to say it but, this article is all about being honest and transparent, I’ve never seen a musician “keep it real”/ stay DIY and earn a living from music by not doing business. So, the next time you fix your lips to say how much you love music; first, shut down every music-related web profile you have and never again sign up for Tunecore. Also, don’t ever copyright another song or seek any form of compensation from your creative works. Just play a bunch of free gigs and work a day job to fund it all. When you do that...then, you can honestly say you love music. END www.iaemagazine.com
THE MIEWS 5Yr Anniversary Feature from Issue 22
“...not every market is great for every kind of music. If you’re making music that doesn’t resonate with your hometown then, you need to find out where other bands like you are doing well and then go there.”
Brushfire Records GM, Josh Nicotra, Offers Advice on Booking Gigs & Record Deals With tons of new songs released on iTunes each week; what would you say is the primary reason most of them fail to sell? Success is a very difficult thing to manufacture, but you do sometimes need that manufacturing process, combined with great music, to become very successful as an artist. I think there are a lot of great records that, from a qualitative perspective, should sell; but when you go and look at Soundscan, you’re mystified that it only sold 2,000 copies. This is proof that selling music is not purely about the quality of the record. It’s really about marketing, radio, YouTube, and everything else falling into place all at once; which is almost impossible to do. [laughs] That’s why you only see a certain number of records cracking through every year. Even if every record out there had a great team behind it, some of them would still fail. It all comes down to the quality of the record mixed with the marketing campaign, and quite honestly, the flukes of timing. You could have put out a great record that had banjo on it two years before Mumford and Sons came out, but nobody would have played it and you would have sold nothing. Now, Mum-
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ford has opened the door for that sound and, obviously, there are tons of copycats running through the door. But, I guarantee if you go on Spotify and search back two years before the Mumford record hit, you’ll find songs that have the same qualities; it’s just that the business wasn’t ready for that sound yet. Also, the number of releases plays a big part in why most records fail. Every week the general public is faced with 50 new records and only one of them has timing, chatter, radio, press, good visuals, and has scored a good tour. The next tier might be five artists who have seven of the 10 things you need to have going on for it to be a success so; it’s not banging on all cylinders. Then there are another 40 beyond that; and this is just for one week of releases. Yes, every once in awhile you’ll see an artist post a track online and somebody will find it and it explodes. But, you can also buy a lottery ticket and win the Powerball! [laughs] If that’s how you approach your music career then the odds for success are going to be against you. In the end, if you don’t have a team of people helping you push your agenda, and you don’t have the blessing of timing, it’s going to be very difficult to succeed. What should bands do to book venues if they don’t have a booking agent? Even bands that are moderately successful find out that touring is really expensive. You need to be able to win the people near you. If you’re going out and playing music and nobody’s paying attention, there’s probably a good reason for it. It’s probably not good enough yet. You have to hone your craft enough where people in your immediate vicinity want to come and pay to see you play. Once you’re at the point then go on a tour. If you’re in Texas, don’t book at tour in the Northeast. If you’re in Austin, take a tour to Dallas, Houston, and New Orleans. Build out regionally first. If you’ve honed your show enough locally, then when you go to those other markets, even if there are just 30 people in the room, they will be turned on to you. If it’s not good, it will just wash by them as background noise; which, a lot of music does. Keep in mind too that, not every market is great for every kind of music. If you’re making music that doesn’t resonate with your home-
town then, you need to find out where other bands like you are doing well and then go there. You may even have to move and build out that way. But, in terms of touring, you have to build it locally. Rarely does a band go on tour and it automatically works out. If you pull that maneuver and dirtball it, it’s going to be brutal. Nobody will show up to see you and it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg, and you’re going to come home with no return on your investment. Major labels are looking for small signs. You don’t need to be a massive success across the US to get labels to pay attention. You only need to show success in one market. Every major label has an entire department whose job is to research SoundScan and Billboard reports looking for outliers. They are asking, “Why is this song showing up in this market and nowhere else,” and then they’ll go and research it. If they see that your record has sold 300 copies a week for the past 4 weeks in that one place, but nowhere else in the country, they want to know what’s going on. They will hit up their radio contacts and ask if anyone is playing it. They’ll reach out to their booking contacts in the area and ask if you’re playing anywhere. If the booking contacts say that you’re playing two times a week in that city or region that may be all it takes sometimes to get the right people’s attention. END
NEWS AROUND THE MUSIC BUSINESS Radio is officially dying. Just two years after dropping the term “radio” from their name, broadcasting conglomo, Clear Channel, recently annouced that they are ditching their name and rebranding themselves as iHeartMedia. While it may seem like a weird choice, the truth is that it may be a smart move, considering the fact that listeners associate the name “Clear Channel” with corporate greed. As listeners have become more acquainted with web-based radio and on-demand services like Pandora & Spotify, Clear Channel renaming itself could prove to be a smart a move. The company will still be openly traded as “Clear Channel Holdings”.
SVP MUSIC LICENSING WARNER BROS PICTURES Picking the right songs for movies is not easy, and nobody knows this better than Niki Sherrod. In this exclusive interview, we learn how she finds the songs we sing. What was your first professional job in the industry and, how did that come about? I worked as a temp receptionist in CAA’s Nashville office. At the time they were primarily responsible for booking country tours. I ended up becoming an assistant for one of the agents and later transferred to CAA’s LA office and worked as an assistant for a motion picture talent agent. From that job, I landed a job as an assistant at Atlantic Records in the soundtrack department; later working with all the Warner Music Group labels. What are your responsibilities as the VP of Music at Warner Bros. Pictures? NS: When I get assigned a project, I am responsible for overseeing everything music related. From budgeting to scoring, finding songs to licensing, deciding if the project warrants an outside supervisor to booking recording sessions, etc. My job also includes managing expectations between filmmakers & the studio, and making sure everyone is on the same page about where we are creatively and financially. How do you determine what the right songs are to serve a film’s story well? Each film is different, but they’re all about collaboration. The director or producer often has a vision of what he/she wants, an overall sound for the film, and I’m here to help them fill in the blanks. Some filmmakers only respond to songs they know, some get excited by songs they’ve never heard, some want a song that lyrically tells it all, and some want a song that serves as juxtaposition. No matter what it is they want, it always feels good when it works and gives new life to a particular scene in a movie. Once you’ve found the perfect song, how long does it take to clear it for placement? This depends on who the artist is, the level of the artist, the label, publisher(s), budget, what the scene is, how the song is used, etc. Sometimes we have to act as detectives to clear the songs. We’ve had instances that have taken months; one in particular was a filmmaker who wanted a song by this obscure British band called, Patto. It took us forever to find out who owned this song! We wound up finding one of the daughters on MySpace and, I saw that Muff Winwood produced the song, so I called Steve Winwood’s agent and pleaded with them for a contact for his brother. 3 days later Muff called and we got clearance. Do you ever license music from independent or unsigned artists? YES! I love independent artists! There are some really reputable 3rd party licensing companies that represent only indie artists. I would suggest artists seek out these companies and seek out opportunities. So much of this information can be found online now. Also, be specific in what you send. Metal probably won’t work for a romantic comedy, singer-songwriters won’t work for action films. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but doing your homework will get you in the door easier. Just remember that the people you are sending music to are getting bombarded with music, so anything you can do to ease that and simplify is a good idea. www.iaemagazine.com
I Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
LARU How did you guys come together and what’s the meaning of your band’s name? Nick: Larusso has been around for almost 10 years. Aaron is the last original member. About 5 years ago he was doing acoustic shows by himself and through a mutual friend met me. We started to collaborate and write some new material. Not too long after that we added Fizzy on bass and a drummer. Ultimately three years later, we booked a tour and Justin filled in for our drummer who had pursued other interests. It was an immediate fit for the band. He became a permanent member and a huge piece of what we had been missing. Since I joined 4 ½ years ago, this is easily the strongest line up we have had. All four members are extremely dedicated and all in. Larusso, the name, goes back to the 80’s move “The Karate Kid”. His name was Daniel Larusso. That is a great underdog story. We feel as though one of our messages we communicate through our music is in support of
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the “underdogs” in life. What do you know now that you wish you had known earlier in your career? Justin: I know for me, the one thing I wish I understood going into this was what it took to really effectively market a record. I feel like the baptism in fire almost motivated me more in a sense, but at the same time, I had to learn as I went along; everything from publicists to radio promoters, labels, attorneys, managers, bookies etc. Networking and reaching out to these people takes good timing, the right approach, and a little bit of luck (but of course the bread and butter of it all is that you have to have good music). We were very lucky to wind up working with the people we did on this campaign like Howard Rosen at HRP and James Moore at IMP. Not only do they do incredible work, they’re the type of people who are always willing to give you help and guidance where you need it.
Aaron: I wish I had known more about booking and working with venues and promoters. What leverage a band has and what we don’t. It would have been so much easier booking shows and tours with the knowledge that we have today. Tell us about your new album. What’s the title of it and what can people who haven’t heard it expect to hear? Justin: The album is called Life in Static. Between ourselves and the reviewers, it seems musically we’ve struck an interesting middle ground between older alternative/pop punk and the new wave of stuff that’s coming out (the Four Year Strong/Story So Far kind of sound). But I can say one thing: it’s dynamic. There’s something for everyone on this record, and lyrically we really tried to do something that a lot of bands in our genre don’t do, and that’s to get really emotive and rich with the content without crossing into the whiny emo-ish thematic area. www.iaemagazine.com
USSO A big part of our sound’s depth, I think, also comes from the fact that we’re all singing a lot. I have a ton of counter melody, echo/harmony stuff with Aaron, same with Nick, and Fizzy’s got some killer parts in Daniel With an ‘L’ and Chemical. Aaron: The new record is called ‘Life in Static’. They can expect to hear the most honest and raw Larusso message to date – that despite all of life’s challenges and obstacles, that we can always overcome and conquer!
You guys have done some pretty big festivals, including the Warped Tour, right? Justin: We’ve gotten pampered with big events lately. The Utah Arts festival, the concert series with the Salt Lake Bees, and yes, Warped a few years back. I feel like there’s tradeoffs to all different kinds of shows. The venue experience is a little more intimate, the club/bar shows are a little more rowdy, but the festivals and outdoor events are always fun for a few reasons. Most notably, we are getting exposure to a mostly brand new audience that’s never heard of us, and our live show tends to draw people in pretty quickly. Also, a lot of those kinds of shows will have an incredibly good stage set up, a crew taking down and setting up; the whole 9. For a band our size who doesn’t get to hire a full crew when we hit the road for shows, it’s a nice change! Nick: The great thing about having the opportunity to play large festivals and tours is that you really get to dial in to a population of people that can appreciate your creativity and your art. Not only are the crowds big and full of energy, but they are exactly who you want to be playing to.
ALBUM RATING: 8 / 10
GENRE: ALTERNATIVE ROCK CITY: SALT LAKE CITY, UT WEBSITE: www.LarussoRock.com
Aaron: Warped Tour was a dream come true. Growing up, it didn’t matter who you were or what style you played. If you were on Warped Tour, you were somebody. It was an honor to share the stage with many of my favorite bands and to truly soak in being a performing artist at the biggest tour in the world. What’s the next move for Larusso? Are there any tours coming soon? Nick: In the short term, we have our album release show in SLC on August 15th. We hope to hit the road a lot in 2015 in support of Life In Static. Justin: Definitely some touring and a big release date for Static. We definitely want to work on locking in some further distribution for the record, and get rolling with the more creative side of things post release like a music video, even toy around with the idea of a cover or two, possibly. Aaron: What’s next is getting ‘Life in Static’ to anyone who is willing to listen! We have some weekend shows planned for the fall and hopefully another tour next summer. END
I Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
XAVIER TOSCANO | RATING: 8 / 10 Album: Feels So Good Genre: Pop, Dance City: San Francisco, CA Website: www.XavierToscano.com Xavier Toscano is a star waiting to be discovered by the masses. His latest release, FEELS SO GOOD, can easily fit Ryan Seacrest’s syndicated rotation and should be revered by young fans of Top 40 radio. There is a strong possibility that someday in the very near future the name, Xavier Toscano, could be a household name rolling off the lips of teenage pop/dance music fan in the world. From the music and catchy melodies, to the energetic and emotionally driven vocal performances, Xavier Toscano’s new release is a powerful display of talent and personality.
I Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
THE MIEWS Reviews
SARAH DOOLEY RATING: 10 / 10 Album: Stupid Things Genre: Pop, Singer-Songwriter City: New York Website: www.SarahDooleyMusic.com I just had my ears kissed and my funny-bone tickled by Sarah Dooley’s awesomeness. Her latest album, STUPID THINGS, is the music equivalent of Tina Fey in a romantic comedy. On the surface you would think Sarah’s just a talented singer with catchy melodies, but at the core of her artistry you will find that she’s a very deep thinker who has the ability to write her feelings in a creative and funny way. Exposing her real thoughts to the world, similar to the candid and clear storytelling of Sheryl Crow, Sarah Dooley’s honesty is both refreshing and special. STUPID THINGS put me in the mood for great music, and I found myself listening over and over again. Sarah Dooley hit all the right notes with me, taking away the numbness I’ve been feeling in my ears due to the overt lack of creativity shown by so many of the bands/artists I’ve been hearing lately. Of the 10 songs comprising Sarah’s album, my favorite songs include:” Stupid Things”, “Peonies”, “Teenage Elegance”, “Nine Inch Snow”, “Gym Looks Nice”, “Shadows”, and “Watching Goonies At My House”. All of these songs made me laugh, think, and agree with what Sarah was saying. What an awesome collection of tunes by one of only 4 artists this summer (2014) to receive a perfect rating from me. Let’s face it, there aren’t a whole lot of exceptional artists out there these days; they’re either clones/robots who release whatever the Billboard topping artists are releasing, or they’re standing off in a corner somewhere making strange music that nobody wants to hear. But, none of these artists are nowhere near as creative and brilliant as Sarah, which is all the more reason you have to support her music. Please go to her website and buy her music.
FEELS SO GOOD contains 11 tracks of pop/dance music that oftentimes crosses into the EDM lane. Of the 10 songs available on Xavier’s website and ReverbNation profile, my favorite is Never Wanna Leave. This track is very well produced and arranged, from the music to the vocals, and is a shoo-in for any club DJ’s Saturday night set. A very catchy pop track that Xavier shows off his true star power on, Never Wanna Leave will take you on a galactic ride through the world of an artist who is a stone’s throw from celebrity status. Buy this song and play it very loud! In addition to “Never Wanna Leave,” Xaviers LP also includes great pop songs like: “Made It Look Easy”, “Runaway”, and “Apologies Wasted”. Overall, FEELS SO GOOD is very comparable to releases from artists like Will.I.Am and Jason Derulo. From an artist’s perspective, Xavier Toscano is a strong pop artist whose combination of talent, personality, and image put him in the mix with top contenders for that next big breaking artist. Make sure you stop by Xavier’s awesome website and see what all the fuss is about. www.iaemagazine.com
RATING: 7 / 10 Album: Same Old Love Genre: Alternative Pop City: New York Website: YanniBurton.Bandcamp.com Yanni Burton is a true alternative pop singer-songwriter whose latest release, SAME OLD LOVE, is a collection of piano laced ballads that are stuffed with passion and honesty. Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Yanni takes up residence in the “Big Apple” - New York City - and adds his own unique flair to the city that doesn’t sleep. Burton takes a Billy Joel, Phil Collins sort of tone which resonates throughout the project. SAME OLD LOVE consists of six (6) poetic love songs that speak to the heart and focus on past and present relationships. Of the songs that comprise his EP, Yanni really shines on “Lies of Love”. A mellow and highly emotional song, Lies of Love focuses on the struggle one might have with being honest about how he/ she feels about the one they’re dating. If you’ve ever found it tough to say “I love you,”or to admit that you’re no longer in love with your significant other, the lyrics in this song will make complete sense to you. Musically, this track’s surface has a simple texture to it, but the fiber (instrumentation) that holds it together is highly complex. From the string arrangements to the piano melodies, there is no shortage of character anywhere on this song. Yanni did a great job here. Overall, SAME OLD LOVE is well worth looking into. In the event you’re not a fan of ballad albums, this one may not appeal to you. But, if you don’t mind a nice ballad or two, or six, then you should definitely check Yanni Burton out because he’s very talented, and deserves to be supported.
I Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
THE MIEWS Reviews RUNNING LATE
RATING: 8 / 10 Album: Better Late Than Never Genre: Alternative Rock City: Madison, NJ Website: www.RunningLateMusic.com
powerful vocal performances sandwiched between a whole loaf of musical Wonderbread.
Genre: R&B, Soul City: Memphis, TN Website: www.DuaneScott.net
At the heart of all great R&B/Soul albums is love, heartache, hope, break ups, make ups, and sensual moments, but only the best of crooners can convey the emotions behind each element and swing a listener’s moods with each note. Well, Duane Scott does exactly this on every song. My favorite songs include: Slow, Late Night Rendezvous, Blind, Lifetime, Anywhere, Leave You Behind, 1000 Women, and FaceTime (Remix). Every one of these songs remind me of what true R&B is supposed to sound like, as opposed to the “blue-eyed soul” artists takeover that we’ve seen in recent years. I’ll admit though, the older I get the less appealing explicit lyrics and AutoTune are to me and so, this is my only gripe. But, that still doesn’t mean this isn’t worth the $10 it costs on iTunes (link below).
Duane Scott does it again! This guy is notorious for releasing some of the hottest soul music in the business, and on his new 15 track album, I AM DUANE SCOTT, he continues the trend. Duane is the missing link in R&B, and once the masses catch wind of his music we’re likely to see an upsurge in demand for great soul singers and songs. Very comparable to artists like Joe, R Kelly, Genuwine and Tank, Duane Scott delivers
Overall, I AM DUANE SCOTT is an immaculate release with all the bells and whistles one could expect from aforementioned artists like Joe and R Kelly. The music is flawless, the songwriting (lyrics & melodies) is incredible, and the vocals are on target. This is a classic release from Duane Scott and I’d recommend it to anybody who loves the R&B greats from the early-1990’s up to the early 2000’s.
DUANE SCOTT I Am Duane Scotts
RATING 9.7 / 10
I Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
Running Late reminds us on their new release that its, Better Late Than Never. A mix of bands like Thin Lizzy and The BusBoys, Running Late reminds me of the good ol’ days when a band could top the charts by blending saxophone with rock guitars and pop vocals. These guys deliver a sound that requires true musicianship and an understanding of what the history of rock music is; and I haven’t had the privilege of receiving very many review submissions like Better Late Than Never. Having received spins on a number of great radio stations, Running Late is proving their worth in the indie music scene. Better Late Than Never is a strong project by this awesome band of rockers, and of all the songs on this project my favorite tune is, “Not Gonna Lie”. I really like the fact that the band’s cohesiveness is on full display and we get to see just how powerful Running Late is. Other songs like “These Days”, and “Long Train Running” (one of my favorite songs by The Doobie Brothers) add that extra “sauce” to the pot to fill any void you might be feeling in your appetite for music. In all, there are 10 tracks on Better Late Than Never, and you have to hear every one of them to truly appreciate how consistent this band is. So, if you’re looking for great music, great songwriting, and great vocals, you’ll want to check out this album. It’s guaranteed to please if you dig great bands like the ones I mentioned earlier in this review. Not only is it a timely release, I believe Better Late Than Never is an album that will prove to be one of the best buys you’ve made this year.
HOUSE OF NOT
THE MIEWS Reviews
RATING: 7.7 / 10 Album: On The Madness of Crowds Genre: Rock City: Canada Web: www.HouseOfNot.com
More than just a musical work of art, House of Not’s third installment in their 5-part rock odyssey - On The Madness of Crowds - is an extremely emotional and attractive album. Heavy on rock-and-roll grooves that make you move and think at the same time, On The Madness of Crowds permeates the weak shell of today’s pop dominated industry and scrambles the yoke. House of Not’s music resembles that classic rock sound one would only find on an album by Queen and Led Zeppelin; with hints of the bluesy vocals that we got from greats like, Stevie Ray Vaughn. There are so many amazing tunes here, including: Running With The Crowd, Wishing Well, Fastlane Fraulein, Hope, Was It As Good For You?, and Key of G. Of these songs, my favorite is Running With The Crowd. Carrying a ska groove, this song is a sensational production from the vocals to the instrumentaion. This track is a definite classic rock radio hit waiting to happen. Overall, On The Madness of Crowds, is a great release in this epic rock series form House of Not. If you’ve been clamoring for an amazing rock album that sticks to the true spirit of the genre, then House of Not should be downloading into your mobile playlist right now. Dig into House of Not, you’ll be glad you did.
KEVIN PRESBREY RATING: 8.3 / 10 Album: Dust Unto Dust Genre: Americana City: Aurora, IL Web: www.KevinPresbrey.com Illinois-born Americana artist, Kevin Presbrey, brings a powerful five (5) song EP release titled, DUST UNTO DUST. I’ve heard a lot of music from this particular genre this summer and can honestly say that Kevin stood out from the majority. What caught me about Presbrey was the fact that his songs were written from a universally relatable perspective. His style of storytelling offers common themes and threads that people from various walks of life can connect with. So, whether you’re from the city or the country, Kevin Presbrey’s music offers something you can relate to. Of the five (5) tracks available on DUST UNTO DUST, the one that touched me the most was “Good Man”. The reason being, I lost my dad in late 2012 and really felt every word Presbrey said in the song. This song tells of the importance of fathers, and how their presence in a boy’s life can shape the young man’s character as an adult. Reminiscing on the great things his dad did for him, Kevin shares how something as small as his father picking him up off the ground when he fell, or offering positive words of encouragement when it was needed made an impact on the artist. All of these things, my dad did for me, and I likely did not come from the same socioeconomic background as Kevin. In addition to “Good Man” this EP also includes great songs like: “Something In The Water”, “Sunrise”, and “Tell Me What You Want”. Overall, DUST TO DUST is an excellent release by Kevin Presbrey that is one of the top 10 Americana projects I’ve heard this year. I feel totally confident that fans of Ray LaMontagne will like Kevin’s music, and for that reason I would recommend DUST TO DUST to anyone who likes Singer-Songwriter and Americana music. Make sure you stop by Kevin Presbrey’s website and support this amazing artist.
RATING: 7.5 / 10 Album: Dancing With Shadows Genre: Rock City: Canton, OH Website: www.JoeVitaleJr.com Joe Vitale, Jr. has released one of the coolest, classic rock albums available this year with, DANCING WITH SHADOWS. This 13 track project is a powerful demonstration of Joe’s command of the rock and roll genre, and on it he leaves no gaps for anyone to doubt his understanding of the history of the genre. Joe’s talents are reminiscent of great rock artists like Axl Rose, Steven Tyler, and more recently, Sugar Ray. So, when you get into this album, just expect a ton of music that makes you move and sing. DANCING WITH SHADOWS is comprised of a number of excellent songs, but if I had to pick a favorite (hard to do with this album) it would be the title track, Dancing With Shadows. This isn’t the kind of rock song that’s being made anymore, which is why I love it. Also, it’s got every element in it that made the earlier mentioned rock artists so awesome. Vitale outdid himself on this record and I’m glad I got the opportunity to hear what he’s bringing. Overall, DANCING WITH SHADOWS is a must listen, must purchase release for anyone who loves great rock and roll music. I can’t imagine that you wouldn’t agree with me about Joe Vitale’s album, especially if you claim to enjoy rock music from before 2005.
THE AFTERSHOW RATING: 7.3 / 10 Album: Space Parade Genre: Funk, Dance, Soul City: Houston, TX Web: www.TheAftershowBand.com There’s a party going in the cosmos and it’s being hosted by Houstonbased funk-soul-dance fusion band, The Aftershow. Their new release, Space Parade, is a powerful compilation of suave production and crafty lyrics that compliment the lead vocal. The Aftershow reminds me of one of my favorite bands/artists, Jamiroquai, making this a personal fave. As a musician myself, I totally appreciate the sidestep these guys are making from trying to fit in with the upsurge EDM pop hits of the day. Space Parade is a five song fantastic voyage that embodies live instruments and passionate vocal performances, all of which will get any funk-soul fan on their feet and moving to the music. Of the five tracks on Space Parade, my favorite one has to be “Guilty Charm” because it reminds me of what’s missing in music today. It’s very Jamiroquai-esque, and as a huge fan of this sound, I was instantly drawn to the live groove guitars, funky bass and pocket drums. I also liked the lead vocals because, while they weren’t the best I’ve heard, they packed the perfect punch to make this song pop. Other songs I’d recommend you check out are Venice and Play Thing. Both tracks help make Space Parade a complete EP that remains consistent and very enjoyable to listen to. I’d recommend The Aftershow and their new EP to anyone who is a fan of funky and soulful artists like Jamiroquai, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and some of the earlier Maroon 5 tunes. Make sure you connect with the band on their social media sites as well. I Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
THE FINAL WORD QUEEN MUSE twitter: @Queenmuse1
HIP HOP’S FELLATIO FETTISH A female musician/mom’s eye-opening insights on “urban” FM radio
erusing Billboard’s music charts has been a hobby of mine for many years. I’ve always been interested to see which artists rise and fall through the ranks of popularity among music consumers. Claiming a space on the hallowed lists typically confirms that artists have either sold a lot of albums or gotten a lot of radio play. So, I’m riding in my car with my 5-year-old daughter one morning and this is what she and I hear on the radio: fellatio, fellatio, fellatio. After quickly changing the station, I decided to do a little research. I took some time and read lyrics from the top 10 songs on Billboard’s Hip-Hop/R&B Airplay chart. I just had to know how many hip-hop artists were dishing out servings of oral sex over the radio during an early morning drive as if it were breakfast. The answer that I found: a whole lot. It baffled my mind that with all of the wars, racial tensions, poverty and injustice going on in the world, according to hip-hop and R&B’s biggest stars, the single most important thing to talk about right now is still sex. Lyrics from the top 10 list of artists–which is predominantly comprised of Black men–incessantly boasts of sex with prostitutes, sex with strippers, sex with white women, and a lot of getting high and frivolous spending on the side. To illustrate just how bad hip-hop’s fellatio fetish is, I translated the artists’ already overtly lewd words into plain English. Brace yourselves. This is going to hurt your eyes and ears. 10. “Broke ni**as stand to the left. My rich ni**as stand to the right. Lil’ mamma, she keep looking at me, Im’a knock the pu**y out like fight night.” – Migos, “Fight Night” Translation: If you are in poverty stand over there. If you are rich like me, stand over here, you’re okay. If this attractive female keeps looking at me I’m going to have rough sex with her. 9. “If you suck and swallow, smell that marijuana they gon’ follow. Throwin money on her like she won the lotto.” – Wiz Kalifa, “We Dem Boys” Translation: If you perform fellatio and swallow ejaculation…when you smell the marijuana I have, you’re going to want to come smoke with me. I throw a lot of money at strippers. 8. “Man, this shit is not a love song. This is a f**k a stripper on a mink rug song. This a f**k them boys forever, hold a grudge song. Pop some f***ing champagne in the tub song, ni**a, just because song.” – Drake, “Trophies” Translation: This is not a song about love. This is a song about having sex with an exotic dancer on a very expensive carpet. This is a song about staying angry, because we’re well beyond the point of reconciliation. This is a song about drinking alcohol while I take a bath. This is a song that I wrote just because I felt like writing about these things. 7. “I got a missed call from your bi**h. She been plotting on me for a cool minute. She wanna suck my d**k and I’m cool wit it.” – YG, “Don’t Tellem” Translation: Your girlfriend called me but I didn’t pick up the phone. She’s been trying to hook up with me for quite a while. She wants to perform fellatio on me. I would like that. 6. “Man, I love to get on. I love to get too on. When the drink be too strong. When the tree be way too strong. Get faded, turn up, pour it on up till I can’t even think no more.” – Tinashe, “2 On” Translation: I really enjoy getting intoxicated. I love getting intoxicated. When the alcohol has a high proof and the marijuana is very potent…get high, get drunk, and keep drinking until your brain stops functioning properly. 5. “Cause she’s such a good kisser. Got lipstick on my leg. Oh, baby. She’s such a good kisser. Imma rain on this parade. Oh, baby” – Usher, “Good Kisser” Translation: She performs good fellatio. When she does it, she sometimes leaves her lipstick on my leg. She’s really good at performing fellatio. When she does it, it makes me ejaculate.
I Am Entertainment | Sep-Oct ‘14
4. “He’s just wishing he could bite it, huh? Never turn down money. Slaying these hoes, gold trigger on the gun.” Iggy Azalea, “Fancy” Translation: You really would like to perform fellatio on me, wouldn’t you? I would never turn down money. I’m a lot better than these other prostitutes. The trigger on my gun is made of gold. 3. “Got a white girl with some fake ti**ies. Took her to Dubai with me. Eyes closed, smoking marijuana.” – Chris Brown, “Loyal” Translation: I’m sleeping with a white woman. She has breast implants. I took her on a trip to Dubai. We got high while we were there. 2. “Lord knows I’ll murk one of these ni**as. His and hers Ferraris my ni**as.” – Lil Wayne, “Believe Me” Translation: I will randomly kill someone. I also own two cars that cost a quarter of a million dollars. One is mine, the other is for my female. 1. “I can hit your type without the hat…put that pu**y on the map.” – Schoolboy Q, “Studio” Translation: You look like you’re clean, so I could sleep with you without a condom. Your vagina will become famous after my penis has been in it. While some of the translations seem somewhat humorous, the recurring classist, sexist, misogynist–and in some instances–rapist undertones in the lyrics are far from funny. The lyrics say to our women that they are worthless, to our men that the most important thing in life is having sex and making money, to the world that no matter what is going on, no matter how many young Black boys are being gunned down on the street, hip-hop doesn’t care. People in Ferguson (Missouri) are suffering? Hip-hop doesn’t care. People in West Africa are dying of Ebola? Hip-hop doesn’t care. Whether something critical to life is unfolding in our domestic backyard or overseas, hiphop doesn’t care. As a mother, I fear for the children who consume these lyrics—especially little Black girls—and how these artists’ words may impact their self-worth. And as a fan of hip-hop and R&B, I am seriously disappointed with the lack of effort from today’s artists to try to create music that is even remotely conscious. Hip-hop has got to do better. END
Queen Muse is an author, journalist, and human rights activist in Philadelphia who is also a songwriter, singer, rapper, and lover of good music. She is also on the forefront of the #RageAgainstTheRatchet movement to boycott urban radio stations who play tasteless music.
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This issue features: Laura Regan from Mad Men, and Atlas Shrugged III (cover), Tzi Ma (from the TV series 24), George Wallace (comedy legend...