Triumphant Hearts – Jason Becker

Jason Becker - Triumphant Hearts  artwork

Triumphant Hearts

Jason Becker

Genre: Rock

Price: $ 9.99

Release Date: December 7, 2018

© ℗ 2018 Mascot Label Group/Music Theories Recordings

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Hearts Beat Loud – Brett Haley

Brett Haley - Hearts Beat Loud  artwork

Hearts Beat Loud

Brett Haley

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 12.99

Rental Price: $ 5.99

Release Date: June 8, 2018


In the hip Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook, single dad and record store owner Frank (Nick Offerman) is preparing to send his hard-working daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) off to college, while being forced to close his vintage shop. Hoping to stay connected through their shared musical passions, Frank urges Sam to turn their weekly "jam sesh" into a father-daughter live act. After their first song becomes an Internet breakout, the two embark on a journey of love, growing up and musical discovery.

© © 2018 Hearts Beat Loud LLC

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Hearts on Fire Teams With Wedding Dress Influencer Hayley Paige

PUT A RING ON IT: Jewelry brand Hearts on Fire is getting into the influencer game.
The Boston-based jeweler has teamed with wedding dress influencer and designer Hayley Paige, entering a licensing agreement to produce a range of bridal jewelry under her name. The collection will become available for purchase in spring 2019 through Hearts on Fire retailers, as well as the brand’s own e-commerce channels.
The agreement is a move by Hearts on Fire to appeal to the mass-market Millennial consumer. Paige’s Instagram account carries more than 736,000 followers and showcases her engaging in Millennial-friendly activities, like attending Burning Man and drinking rosé. She frequently appears on the TLC show “Say Yes to the Dress” and recently aired her own pilot on the network titled “Hayley Ever After.”
“Collaborating with Hearts on Fire is not only an empowering and progressive brand and profit opportunity, it also enables us to deliver to a new Millennial and, soon, Generation Z audience that demands a sense of inventiveness and conflict-free craftsmanship,” Paige said of the partnership, which will also see her serving as a Hearts on Fire ambassador.
“Today’s brides are educating themselves and shopping for bridal jewelry online. Hayley Paige has an incredibly engaged digital

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Nathaniel (Dragon Hearts 1) – Carole Mortimer

Carole Mortimer - Nathaniel (Dragon Hearts 1)  artwork

Nathaniel (Dragon Hearts 1)

Carole Mortimer

Genre: Fiction & Literature

Publish Date: July 28, 2017

Publisher: Carole Mortimer

Seller: Smashwords, Inc.


Nathaniel is the 1st book in USA Today Bestselling and Amazon #1 author, Carole Mortimer’s, NEW paranormal series, DRAGON HEARTS. Warriors, from the mists of time? Dragons, of myth and legend? Or both? Taking a much-needed holiday in North Wales, journalist Chloe Evans discovers a castle not listed on any of the dozen or so maps she has of the area. The nearest thing she can find is the remains of a castle that used to be there but crumbled into ruin many centuries before. Her curiosity getting the better of her, Chloe decides to find out more about this imposing grey stone castle and anyone who might live there. The locals, she discovers, call it Pendragon Castle. When Chloe asks them more probing questions some say there are half a dozen male members of the original family still in residence, and that they’re brothers. Others claim there to be more, or less, than that number. But all, without fail, describe those men as being big and muscular, more handsome than any man has a right to be, with eyes capable of mesmerizing and seducing any woman who falls under their spell. Some of those people add a knowing wink, others a warning not to venture too near the castle, and to certainly keep her distance from the men living there. Visitors staying at the same small hotel as Chloe talk of seeing bright lights and helicopters landing on the mountain late at night, and of hearing strange noises that sound like the roars of wild animals. There was a story here, Chloe is certain of it. Whatever the story is regarding Pendragon Castle and the men who lived there, Chloe decides she isn’t leaving Wales until she’s discovered exactly what’s going on. While exploring the area around the castle, Chloe is challenged by the dark and taciturn Nathaniel. A man who fits the description of the castle’s inhabitants exactly: well over six feet tall, handsome as sin, with shoulders wide enough to fill a doorway, and eyes the colour of the clearest emerald. The moment she gazes into those mesmerizing green eyes Chloe realises she should have run while she still could. More books by Carole Mortimer: Dragon Hearts: Nathaniel (Dragon Hearts 1) Deryk (Dragon Hearts 2) Coming Soon More books to come in this series Regency Sinners Series: Wicked Torment (Regency Sinners 1) Wicked Surrender (Regency Sinners 2) Wicked Scandal (Regency Sinners 3) Coming Soon More books to come in this series Regency Unlaced Series: The Duke’s Mistress (Regency Unlaced 1) Claimed by the Marquis (Regency Unlaced 2) Taken by the Earl (Regency Unlaced 3) Pursued by the Viscount (Regency Unlaced 4) Desired by a Lord (Regency Unlaced 5) Captured by a Gentleman (Regency Unlaced 6) Pleasured by a Duke (Regency Unlaced 7) Seduced by a Marquis (Regency Unlaced 8) Tamed by the Earl (Regency Unlaced 9) This series is now complete Contemporary Knight Security Series – spin-off to Alpha Series: Resisting Alexandre (Knight Security 0.5) Defying Asher (Knight Security 1) Challenging Gabriel (Knight Security 2) Capturing Caleb (Knight Security 3) Tempting Zander (Knight Security 4) Enticing Ian (Knight Security 5) Seducing Ethan (Knight Security 6) This series is now complete Contemporary Alpha Series: Christmas Alpha (Alpha 1) Dark Alpha (Alpha 2) Shadow Alpha (Alpha 3) Author’s 200th Book Midnight Alpha (Alpha 4) Renegade Alpha (Alpha 5) Warrior Alpha (Alpha 6) Rogue Alpha (Alpha 7) Savage Alpha (Alpha 8) This series is now complete. Carole Mortimer has written over 225 books, in contemporary, Regency, and paranormal romance. In May 2017 she received a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times. She is the Recipient of the 2015 Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. An Entertainment Weekly Top 10 Romance Author—ever. 2014 Romantic Times Pioneer of Romance. She was also recognized by Queen Elizabeth II in 2012, for her “outstanding service to literature”.

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Sigrid Fills The Robyn-Sized Hole In Our Hearts With Her ‘Raw’ Pop

Sigrid, the MTV PUSH artist for the month of June, breaks down the “raw” message behind her music.
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The Hearts of Jesus, Mary & Joseph at Ephesus – Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles

Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles - The Hearts of Jesus, Mary & Joseph at Ephesus  artwork

The Hearts of Jesus, Mary & Joseph at Ephesus

Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles

Genre: Classical

Price: $ 9.99

Release Date: May 1, 2018

© ℗ 2018 Benedictines of Mary

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Billie Eilish Curses An Ex With Eternal FOMO On “Bitches Broken Hearts”

Listen to Billie Eilish’s new single “bitches broken hearts.”
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Sacred Hearts Club – Foster the People

Foster the People - Sacred Hearts Club  artwork

Sacred Hearts Club

Foster the People

Genre: Alternative

Price: $ 10.99

Release Date: July 21, 2017

© ℗ 2017 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

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Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles

The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band  artwork

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Beatles

Genre: Rock

Price: $ 7.99

Release Date: June 1, 1967

© ℗ 2009 The copyright in this audio & audiovisual compilation is owned by EMI Records Ltd

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Michelle Williams on the Hearts Under the Louvre

HISTORY LESSONS: Seated next to Julianne Moore and Cate Blanchett, Michelle Williams dished out history lessons to fellow guests at the Louis Vuitton show on Tuesday, located in the heart of the Louvre, in what used to be the moats of a medieval fortress.
“It’s my favorite place in the Louvre, I love the little hearts on the bricks [of the fortress’ towers], they’re the stamps of the maker. I love that there are all these tiny little hearts supporting this place,” said the actress who chose to stay mum on research for her upcoming role as Janis Joplin in Sean Durkin’s biopic about the singer. But the preparations are well under way. “It’s such a big one that if you didn’t start two years ahead of time, you’d regret it,” Williams said. “Let’s just say I’m incredibly inspired.”
“It looks a bit like a castle,” said British actress Raffey Cassidy, who stars in the thriller “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” costarring Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, which shared the Best Screenplay prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Standing chatting to Jennifer Connelly on the runway, a futuristic white strip, her husband Paul Bettany also said it’s too early to share details

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Heart’s Nancy Wilson On Love Songs, Sisterhood And Her New Supergroup

Nancy Wilson now has a rock supergroup called Roadcase Royale, whose debut album is First Things First.

Wilson rocked the 1970s with her sister Ann in Heart; now, her supergroup, Roadcase Royale, is releasing its debut album. She speaks with Scott Simon about the new group and her rock ‘n’ roll legacy.

(Image credit: Jeremy Danger/Courtesy of the artist)


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Written in My Own Heart’s Blood: Outlander, Book 8 (Unabridged) – Diana Gabaldon

Diana Gabaldon - Written in My Own Heart's Blood: Outlander, Book 8 (Unabridged)  artwork

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood: Outlander, Book 8 (Unabridged)

Diana Gabaldon

Genre: Romance

Price: $ 29.95

Publish Date: June 10, 2014

© ℗ © 2014 Recorded Books

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Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles

The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band  artwork

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Beatles

Genre: Rock

Price: $ 9.99

Release Date: June 1, 1967

© ℗ 2009 The copyright in this audio & audiovisual compilation is owned by EMI Records Ltd

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Linkin Park Issues Statement On Chester Bennington’s Death: ‘Our Hearts Are Broken’

Linkin Park said their hearts are broken following the death of lead singer Chester Bennington, who died by hanging last week.


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Sacred Hearts Club – Foster the People

Foster the People - Sacred Hearts Club  artwork

Sacred Hearts Club

Foster the People

Genre: Alternative

Price: $ 10.99

Release Date: July 21, 2017

© ℗ 2017 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

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Chrome Hearts and Ladurée Add French Flair to Miami

OOH LA LA: Chrome Hearts is bringing a taste of France to Miami’s Design District with the help of Ladurée.
The storied purveyor of macarons and tea is collaborating with Chrome Hearts to offer a special menu of savories and sweets in the fashion brand’s boutique there. Reflecting a fusion of Ladurée’s signature pastels and Chrome Hearts’ rocker-style crosses and stars, the ground floor café is also selling a collectible macaron box illustrated with a big red mouth, grinning wide enough to show a gold-capped tooth, from Chrome Hearts’ Pete Punk Offspring line.
At the same time of the eatery’s unveiling in December, when fashion and art insiders are southbound for Art Basel, Chrome Hearts is welcoming Sean Kelly Gallery to display works by Marina Abramović, Mariko Mori, Kehinde Wiley and other artists on the store’s second floor.
The partnerships with Ladurée and Sean Kelly Gallery are the latest for Chrome Hearts’ year-old shop. Last year, the Los Angeles-based company heralded its arrival in Miami with photographs from Fahey/Klein Gallery and Cuban sandwiches cooked by David’s Café.
Plus, in its 153-year-long history, Ladurée has enjoyed favored status among confections with fashion and jewelry designers, including Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz and Marie-Hélène de Taillac, who have

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Hearts of Stone Review

The Witcher 3 Hearts of Stone - Review - YT Thumb

The Witcher 3’s first expansion introduces diverse scenarios, memorable bosses, and a mysterious story that stands strong on its own.
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Little Hearts, Big Words – EP – Amanda Taylor

Amanda Taylor - Little Hearts, Big Words - EP  artwork

Little Hearts, Big Words – EP

Amanda Taylor

Genre: Jazz

Price: $ 4.95

Release Date: October 5, 2015

© ℗ 2015 Amanda Taylor

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Watch The Gum Commercial That’s Ripping Everyone’s Hearts To Shreds

Watch the gum commercial that’s got everyone crying, called “Extra Gum: The Story of Sarah & Juan.”
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Tired Hearts – Single – Trophy Eyes


Tired Hearts – Single
Trophy Eyes

Release Date:
September 30, 2015
Total Songs:
1

Genre:
Alternative

Price:
$ 1.29

Copyright
℗ 2015 Hopeless Records, Inc


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‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Premiered And Our #FitzSimmons Hearts Are Screaming

Here’s every big moment on “Laws of Nature,” the third season premiere of “Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
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Pixie Lott to help mend broken hearts

Brit pop singer Pixie Lott will be taking to the stage at the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) Tunnel of Love event on November 11th
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Songs We Love: The Sun Parade, ‘Heart’s Out’

This Northampton band is indebted to The Beatles, greatly obsessed with details, and crafts excellent guitar-pop songs that are small, surprising delights.

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Untamed Hearts – Melody Grace

Melody Grace - Untamed Hearts  artwork

Untamed Hearts

Melody Grace

Genre: Contemporary

Publish Date: September 11, 2013

Publisher: Melody Grace Books

Seller: Abigail McDonald


It's the last night of summer in Beachwood Bay, but for Brit and Hunter, it's only the beginning… She is: rebellious, wounded, free. He is: handsome, searching, enchanted. One night. Two restless hearts. But what happens when morning comes? *A Beachwood Bay novella*  Author’s note: Welcome to Beachwood Bay! Each book in the series is a stand-alone love story following a new couple, but you’ll enjoy reading the other titles and seeing familiar faces return. 1: UNTOUCHED (Emerson & Juliet's story begins – novella) 2: UNBROKEN (Emerson & Juliet) 3: UNTAMED HEARTS (Brit & Hunter's story begins – novella) 4: UNAFRAID (Brit & Hunter) 5: UNWRAPPED (Lacey & Daniel's holiday novella) 6: UNCONDITIONAL (Garret & Carina)  BEACHWOOD BAY: THE CALLAHANS 7: UNREQUITED (Dex & Alicia begin – novella) 8: UNINHIBITED (Dex & Alicia) 9: UNSTOPPABLE (Ryland & Tegan) 10: UNEXPECTEDLY YOURS (holiday stand-alone) 11: UNWRITTEN (Zoey & Blake) 12: UNMASKED (Ash & Noelle begin – novella) 13: UNFORGETTABLE (Ash & Noelle) PRAISE FOR MELODY GRACE: "Melody Grace created fascinating characters that are simply I-R-R-E-S-I-S-T-I-B-L-E ! Her stories leave you with a big smile on your face and a heart bursting with love." – A Bookish Escape Blog "Sizzling hot and super emotional – the perfect combo!" – NYT and USA Today bestselling Lauren Blakely "A roller coaster ride of pure emotion… beautifully written." Blame it on the Rain Reviews "Sexy, sweet, and swoon-worthy." – NYT Bestselling Emily Snow, author of the Devoured series.

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12 Beauty Moments That Stole Our Hearts at the New York Shows This Weekend

Tinashe beauty

From the graphic checkerboard nails at Opening Ceremony to Sky Ferreira’s aquatic dye job in the front row, New York Fashion Week provided more than its fair share of memorable hair and makeup moments this weekend—so many, in fact, that you may need a checklist to keep track of them. Here, 12 standout moments you won’t want to miss.

The post 12 Beauty Moments That Stole Our Hearts at the New York Shows This Weekend appeared first on Vogue.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Hearts of Stone – DLC Teaser

gt_youtube_thumb_witcher3wh_hearts-of-stone-teaser

An all-new story pits Geralt against the bandit captain, Olgierd von Everec in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
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Holt’s Gamble (Wild Western Hearts Series, Book 1) – Barbara Ankrum

Barbara Ankrum - Holt's Gamble (Wild Western Hearts Series, Book 1)  artwork

Holt’s Gamble (Wild Western Hearts Series, Book 1)

Barbara Ankrum

Genre: Historical

Publish Date: August 20, 2013

Publisher: EPublishing Works!

Seller: ABN Leadership Group Inc.


Kierin McKendry is indentured to J. Talbot, a ruthless saloon owner, until Clay Holt wins her in a rigged poker game. When Clay tries to collect his winnings, he's attacked by Talbot's men and badly injured. Clay never expected Keirin to take him to the wagon train on which he was due to leave, or that she would lie about being his wife and nurse him back to health while on the trail. But, Keirin isn't interested in a man consumed by avenging his wife's murder. She's pursuing her father, who sold her for a ticket to the California gold fields. However, posing as a married couple, spending night after night together, is fanning Keirin and Clay into a different kind of blinding passion that's blazing the way for Talbot, who will kill to have what's his. Previously Titled: Passion's Prize AWARDS: Best First Historical, Romantic Times REVIEWS: "…lively plot, believable characters and exciting adventures with a sensual love story." ~Marilyn Dickman, Romantic Times WILD WESTERN HEARTS, in series order Holt's Gamble Renegade Bride

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Hearts of Clover – Danielle Stewart

Danielle Stewart - Hearts of Clover  artwork

Hearts of Clover

Clover Series Book 1 and 2

Danielle Stewart

Genre: Contemporary

Publish Date: November 3, 2014

Publisher: Danielle Stewart

Seller: Danielle Stewart


HALF MY HEART(NOVELLA) AND CHANGE MY HEART(BOOK 2) OF THE CLOVER SERIES: PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED SEPARATELY. BUNDLED FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE.  HALF MY HEART  NOVELLA: THE CLOVER SERIES  At nineteen, Devin Sutton lost his first love, his freedom, and his hope. Years later, the only thing he has on his mind this holiday season is finally settling the score back in Clover, North Carolina.  That is, until the girl he thought he’d lost forever crosses his path. Rebecca Farrus is supposed to be off living the life of her dreams, not tending bar in some dive.  When faced with the choice, will Devin decide to celebrate what he’s finally found or keep seeking retribution for everything he lost?  CHANGE MY HEART  BOOK 2: THE CLOVER SERIES  You really can't have it all, or so Devin Sutton is finding out fast. Returning to Clover was all part of his plan to exact revenge on the town that robbed him of nearly a decade of his life. Unfortunately, things quickly begin to crumble when he's forced to choose between rekindling an old love or destroying the town. Walking the fine line between both might just end up leaving him with nothing.  With his heart full of vengeance is there any room for love? 

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Jim Bob, Michelle Duggar: ‘Our hearts were broken’ by son’s new scandal

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar said their “hearts were broken” upon learning of their son Josh’s extramarital affairs and addiction to pornography.


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The White Buffalo Roams into Hearts of Listeners on Latest LP

2015-08-21-1440121371-1664119-TWBalbumcoverloveandthedeath1.jpg

When Sons of Anarchy took its final ride last fall, they went out with a song that perfectly captured the spirit of the characters and as Jax Teller reconciled with the fate he had chosen, the vocals of Jake Smith were played. Smith, aka The White Buffalo, has been captivating audiences long before SoA went off into the sunset and is making his mark again with his brooding vocals, deep and heavy lyrics with his latest record, Love and the Death of Damnation.

The record, which is another personal journey for Smith, hears the singer / songwriter branching out and finding more about himself both as a person and as an artist. I spoke to him about the new album, having his work become a part of pop culture, and his life on the road. Take a look, below:

The new album is titled “Love and the Death of Damnation,” what does that mean to you personally and musically?

I wanted a title that had elements of the album in it but with broader strokes. There’s some love, some spirituality explored in this album as well as the idea of heaven and hell.

This is your fifth record, what did you do differently on this record that you haven’t done before?

There are a few tracks that I kept feeling and sounding good. I didn’t take them to a darker place, which has taken me awhile as a songwriter to feel comfortable doing. Musically it’s more varied groove-wise than anything I’ve ever done. There are some swampy jams, there’s even a gospel song.

Many of your records are concept albums, is this record?

No, but the very first song on the album I wrote while writing my last album. It’s a bit of a continuation from the last album I guess you could say, like a bookend. This one’s just songs though for the most part.

Last fall, you were part of TV history singing “Come Join the Murder” on the finale of Sons of Anarchy. The song was written by series creator Kurt Sutter, what was it like singing lyrics written by someone else that wasn’t a cover and being a part of that important moment?

It was actually co-written with Bob Thiele and I as well but the lyrics were primarily written by Kurt. It was a unique experience as far as singing somebody else’s lyrics. It was a bit harder to feel it, but it was definitely emotional. It took me awhile to get it, the wordplay of “Come Join the Murder”. He actually wrote those lyrics without the intent of it being the finale episode’s song. It was for an earlier episode, but he loved it so much that he decided to use it as the finale.

Other songs of yours were also used in SOA; were you a fan of the show when you let the songs in the show?

No, I had actually never watched it until I got a song in it. Then I got hooked and became a diehard!

Many of your other tracks have been used in other TV/ film related projects like Californication, West of Memphis. Lone Ranger, and others. There is still a majority of people who have no idea who you are (blows my mind), but also a majority of people who discovered you through projects like this. Do you find this to be an effective way of getting your music out there?

Yeah, absolutely. Probably SOA more than any other show just due to the fact that the way they used music was so in-your-face. With the montage scenes, they really made it a part of the story and not just background fluff. Having so many songs has also helped guide people to the rest of my catalog.

While I am sure you have gotten this before, why did you opt to go under the moniker ‘The White Buffalo’ instead of using your birth name? Did you take the name from the Charles Bronson film?

Can’t sell T-shirts with the name Jake Smith on it! The idea was that The White Buffalo would be a bit more grand than just a singer-songwriter project. Could be a solo artist, a full band, trio, etc.; it adds a bit of mystique as well.

A majority of your songs are very dark, deep, and come from intense places. What is it like bringing them to life night after night on stage and playing them again? Is it a cathartic experience for you?

I try to feel the lyrics every night but it’s not exactly cathartic. In the performance, I’m trying to be passionate and think about what I’m saying which definitely gets me to a good place.

A Longer Version of This Interview Appears on Officially A Yuppie

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Cockatiel Lip-Syncs Her Way Through Nelly’s ‘Dilemma’ And Into Our Hearts

Nelly’s 2002 R&B hit “Dilemma” was adored by swooning lovebirds everywhere, but it really hit home with one bird in particular: a cockatiel named Patrick Jane.

As seen in this YouTube video uploaded on Saturday, Patrick Jane loves nothing more than to lip sync to some quality early-aughts R&B.

Patrick Jane is about 1 1/2 years old and female, “although we thought she was a ‘he’ when we first brought her home,” owner Dean Jeffs told The Huffington Post in an email.

“What Patrick is actually doing in this video is clearing her crop,” Jeffs explained, emphasizing it’s a lip-sync video and has been edited slightly to match up with the song. “She does this often and I’ve always felt like it looked like she was singing. … So I filmed her a few days ago and put the music behind it.”

Jeffs said the song has “always been one of my guilty pleasures.” 

“Patrick doesn’t really have any other favorite songs, but she LOVES people,” Jeffs said. “She tweets maniacally when people leave the room (especially me), and is most happy when she it sitting on someone’s shoulder.”

Lip-sync or no, Patrick Jane, we’re crazy a-bird you. Why don’t you go ahead and play us off:

I love you SQUAAAAWK,

and I need you SQUAAAAWK, 

No matter what I do SQUAAAAWK,

All I think about is you SQUAAAAWK.

H/T Tastefully Offensive 

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Hearts Under Siege – Kathryn Elizabeth Kelly

Kathryn Elizabeth Kelly - Hearts Under Siege  artwork

Hearts Under Siege

Civil War Collection

Kathryn Elizabeth Kelly

Genre: Historical

Publish Date: October 31, 2014

Publisher: Kathryn Elizabeth Kelly

Seller: Smashwords


Alexandra Champagne finds herself swept up in the Civil War while searching for her twin brother. After her grandfather is captured, she must deliver a vital message to Confederate officers in Vicksburg. Forced to travel through war strewn land to deliver this message, she is protected by a man she believes to be a Yankee – her Yankee savior. During the siege of Vicksburg, Thomas Munroe finds his heart sieged by a fearless, lovely Southern belle, Alexandra Champagne. As he fights to keep her safe, her stalker turns his attention on Thomas. Can the two of them keep each other alive long enough to survive the war? Can Thomas convince her to surrender her heart to him?

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‘Hamilton’ will win hearts and minds

NEW YORK — If the notion of American exceptionalism always struck you as a tad chauvinistic, there's a new musical that may change your tune. The USA is, undeniably, where musical theater — storytelling featuring fleshed-out characters, propelled by words, music and dance — took shape and thrived in the 20th century. But there has been nothing on Broadway in the past 20 years to rival the riveting, exhilarating and haunting Hamilton (**** out of four stars), which premiered at the Public Theater last winter to wild acclaim, and opened Thursday at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, its vitality and ingenuity fully intact. Conceived by composer/lyricist/librettist/star Lin-Manuel Miranda while reading Ron Chernow's 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton, the show revisits our nation's extraordinary birth and explores its unique, complicated promise. As written and played by Miranda, Hamilton — architect of our financial system, chief author of the Federalist Papers, first secretary of the treasury — is a man of ferocious intelligence, enormous drive and devastating flaws. He has the outsize passions of an epic musical hero, and the verbal dexterity and bravado of a rap star; and Miranda's pulsing score and dazzling, piercing rhymes accommodate both. The music not only fuses hip-hop and musical theater influences, but also nods to the genres and styles that have informed them, from operetta to girl-group R&B to orchestral rock. It's noted that Hamilton was born in the British West Indies, out of wedlock. Aaron Burr, the rival who will kill Hamilton in a duel, calls him "a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman." Miranda's own parents are from Puerto Rico, and the superb cast is racially diverse, with African-American actors playing Hamilton's fellow founding fathers. Director Thomas Kail has crafted a nascent USA that looks contemporary, emphasizing our debt to the different people who have defined our country by carving out new lives here — often under difficult circumstances, and sometimes not by their own choice. (Slavery is referenced several times.) As musicals demand creative synergy, Miranda and Kail have key collaborators in music director Alex Lacamoire and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler. Lacamoire's muscular orchestration mines the melodic pull of Miranda's score, whether the performers are rapping or singing. Blankenbuehler keeps the dancers in almost constant motion, sustaining a sense of urgency that heightens our engagement and excitement. The individual performances are too varied and rich to give full credit here, but standouts include Leslie Odom, Jr.'s slick but gritty Burr and Christopher Jackson's robust, dignified George Washington. Daveed Diggs does blazing double duty as the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson — who takes Hamilton on in a pair of fiercely witty rap battles — and Jonathan Groff's King George III is a delightful comic tyrant. The personal scandal and wrenching family tragedy that plagued Hamilton are also movingly documented, with Phillipa Soo cast as his gentle, noble wife and a sparkling Renée Elise Goldsberry as her feistier sister. Just as Hamilton makes history as emotionally compelling as any love story, it reveals historical figures as nuanced human beings who yearn and suffer. American musicals have long combined social criticism with unabashed romance, a sharp eye with an open heart. Watching that tradition move boldly forward in Hamilton, a fan can't help but feeling a little pride.
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Some Hearts – Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood - Some Hearts  artwork

Some Hearts

Carrie Underwood

Genre: Pop

Price: $ 5.99

Release Date: November 14, 2005

© ℗ 2005 19 Recordings Limited

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Opening Hearts – Iona Findley

Iona Findley - Opening Hearts  artwork

Opening Hearts

A Hero’s Heart Romance

Iona Findley

Genre: Contemporary

Publish Date: May 14, 2015

Publisher: Rogor Publishing

Seller: Rogor Publishing


Pregnant and alone at 35! Jessalyn O'Donnell returns from her best friend's wedding with a surprise of her own. She knows how it happened — three sex-filled nights with a smokin' hot guy, known only as Sam — but she has no way to get in touch with him. When smokejumper Sam Ricci returns to his hometown after the annual firefighting season ends, he has no plans for fatherhood. His lifestyle is too risky, and he loves his job — almost as much as he loves women. Everything changes when he runs into Jessalyn again and discovers her plans for single parenthood. Sam doesn’t want to be tied down. Jessalyn would rather go it alone than deal with an absent husband. So why, when a twist of fate brings them together again, does it feel so right?

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Hollywood Hearts – Single – Bobby V


Hollywood Hearts – Single
Bobby V

Release Date:
July 1, 2015
Total Songs:
1

Genre:
R&B/Soul

Price:
$ 0.99

Copyright
℗ Blu Kolla Dreams


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Hope, Depression, Love & Fractured Hearts: A Collection of Short Stories & Other Pieces of Writing – Bradley Atchison

Bradley Atchison - Hope, Depression, Love & Fractured Hearts: A Collection of Short Stories & Other Pieces of Writing  artwork

Hope, Depression, Love & Fractured Hearts: A Collection of Short Stories & Other Pieces of Writing

Bradley Atchison

Genre: Theater

Publish Date: October 3, 2012

Publisher: Bradley Atchison

Seller: Smashwords


A collection of short stories and poems, that delve into the lowest abyss and the highest high of emotions. Come take the journey and feel where the heart takes you.

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Taken by Passion: King of Hearts – Jaymie Holland & Cheyenne McCray

Jaymie Holland & Cheyenne McCray - Taken by Passion: King of Hearts  artwork

Taken by Passion: King of Hearts

Jaymie Holland & Cheyenne McCray

Genre: Paranormal

Publish Date: February 5, 2015

Publisher: Cheyenne McCray LLC

Seller: Draft2Digital, LLC


It’s 2015 and the Wonderland series is back, better than ever!  **See author note below. After being cheated on yet again, full-figured Alice O'Brien no longer believes she’ll find her Prince Charming. She resolves to enjoy men, but refuses to involve her heart. When she literally tumbles down a rabbit hole, she finds she has left her familiar home city of San Francisco. She has landed in a strange and beautiful world, where she meets a powerful and dominant shapeshifter, Jarronn, and his equally fierce and irresistible brothers. By the draw of a card foretelling his kingdom’s future, Jarronn has deliberately lured Alice to his realm in hopes of averting a terrible danger threatening his people. He has every intention of saving his kingdom with his and Alice’s bond of passion, and nothing will stop him from making her his Queen of Hearts.  The award-winning “Taken by Passion/King of Hearts” novel has been expanded with never-before published material. Nearly SIXTY PAGES of new and expanded scenes! More great news for Wonderland fans: as countless readers have requested, a new fifth book will be coming soon in the series, entitled “Owned by Fire.” St. Martin’s Press published “Taken by Passion” in trade paperback only, with the pseudonym Jaymie Holland. Ellora’s Cave published the series primarily in e-book, the first as “King of Hearts” under the name Cheyenne McCray. Neither older version had the new and expanded scenes. Taken by Passion/King of Hearts has won numerous awards and accolades, including the “RT Book Reviews Magazine Reviewers’ Choice Award!” Robin Taylor, Romantic Times BOOKclub 4.5 STAR TOP PICK!  “With the Bondage Kings, McCray has spun another fantastic series for her fans.  A deck of cards has never been so much fun!” Tracey West, The Road to Romance REVIEWER’S CHOICE AWARD! “KING OF HEARTS exceeded every expectation I had and I was totally blown away that Ms. McCray could get even better with her stories and her writing.” The Schemer, Romance Reviews Today “Take a dash of fairy tale, add a sprinkle of fantasy and pour on the kink and you end up in Cheyenne McCray's Wonderland, where naughty things happen to those who beg for it.” Ann Leveille, Sensual Romance “KING OF HEARTS is a captivating romance…an enticing, well-rounded novel that bodes well for the future of the WONDERLAND series.”

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Tennessee Waltz (The Homespun Hearts Series, Book 1) – Trana Mae Simmons

Trana Mae Simmons - Tennessee Waltz (The Homespun Hearts Series, Book 1)  artwork

Tennessee Waltz (The Homespun Hearts Series, Book 1)

Trana Mae Simmons

Genre: Historical

Publish Date: April 25, 2014

Publisher: EPublishing Works!

Seller: ABN Leadership Group Inc.


When Sarah Channing's fiancÈ hardens his heart toward a needy child named Mairi, the New York Socialite puts her wedding on hold to locate the child's only relatives, hidden deep in the Appalachians. Arriving at Sawback Mountain, Sarah meets Wyn, Mairi's handsome older cousin, and finds herself wishing for something she doesn't have: a glimmer of beauty. Wyn had his fill of beautiful city-bred women during his time in Washington, DC, as a senator's aide. Yet he's impressed by Sarah, working hard to gain the love and respect of the mountain folks. But Sarah is making mistake after mistake as she tries to use her money and influence to improve the lives of the children. Perhaps the proud mountain folk are right: a cultured socialite, even one without beauty, has no place on their mountain or in the heart of a mountain man who's vowed to never again leave the life he loves. REVIEWS: "The mountain community… comes alive under Trana Mae Simmons' artful pen. Her romance charms." ~Gerry Benninger, Romantic Times "…a refreshing, fun-to-read American historical romance. This reviewer will gladly waltz to more tales by Ms. Simmons." ~Harriet Klausner THE HOMESPUN HEARTS SERIES, in order  Tennessee Waltz Town Social Winter Dreams

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Stephen Webster to Design Hearts on Fire Collection

Hearts On Fire diamonds announced on Saturday a collaboration with London-based jeweler Stephen Webster, who will design a high-end, all diamond fashion and bridal collection for the Boston-based brand. The collections, which will be sold in select Hearts On Fire and Stephen Webster retail locations in North America, Europe and Greater China, will retail between $ 10,000 and $ 1 million.
“As the Hearts On Fire brand  takes on a stronger global footprint, we recognize the importance of elevating our design offering with greater variety in both high-end fashion and bridal,” said Caryl Capeci, chief marketing officer of Hearts On Fire. “By partnering with world-class jewelry designers such as Stephen Webster, we are able to expand the breadth of design and offer something completely new to our fans.” Said Webster, “Today’s global market place demands creativity and resources. Over the past twenty-five years we have strived to bring creative jewelry to a wider audience. By collaborating with Hearts On Fire we will be able to build on our achievements and be better equipped to expand globally.” The debut collection will be unveiled in the first quarter of 2016.

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Heart’s Ann Wilson Marries Dean Wetter At 64

Several decades ago, Heart’s Ann Wilson tried and failed to seduce Dean Wetter. But on Saturday, she finally landed her man as the two tied the knot.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Derek Shepherd Massive ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Shocker Shatters Hearts

If you have not seen “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 11, Episode 21, “How to Save a Life,” DO NOT continue reading. Spoilers ahead!

All the tears. All the tissues. All the heartbreak.

“Grey’s Anatomy” killed off one of its stars on Thursday night: McDreamy himself, Derek Shepherd. And it was a doozy.

After he rescues and saves four people following a terrible crash, Derek gets back in his car and carelessly reaches for his phone instead of watching the road. If he had been paying attention, he would have seen the oncoming truck headed his way. He’s taken to the hospital — no, not Grey Sloan Memorial — and although he’s awake, he can’t speak. We only hear the voice that’s in his head, alerting us to the fact that Derek knows he’s going to die. Unlike his colleagues at Grey Sloan, the doctors and surgeons who are taking care of him at the hospital he’s transported to are not at the top of their game and fail to take him in for a brain scan right away. This, ultimately, is the cause of his death as he suffers brain damage. (Yes, too close to home, we know!) Finally, after what feels like forever, Meredith is brought to the hospital and makes the decision to take her husband, her soulmate, her true person, off of life support.

Patrick Dempsey, who of course played Derek for the past 11 seasons, released a statement to TVLine following the episode.

“It’s been a remarkable ride,” the actor told TVLine. “The worldwide impact has been extraordinary. It is incredible how devoted and passionate the fans are and I will forever be grateful and humbled by the experience.”

Dempsey also talks about his exit from the show in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, hitting newsstands later this week. Sadly, one subscriber got a hold of the issue early, and was clearly not happy about the spoiler. His character’s death is particularly surprising because Dempsey signed a two-year contract extension last year that would have kept him on the show through next season. “Grey’s” has yet to be renewed for a 12th season.

The show’s creator Shonda Rhimes released a lengthy statement following the episode, according to People:

Derek Shepherd is and will always be an incredibly important character — for Meredith, for me and for the fans. I absolutely never imagined saying goodbye to our ‘McDreamy.’ Patrick Dempsey’s performance shaped Derek in a way that I know we both hope became a meaningful example — happy, sad, romantic, painful and always true — of what young women should demand from modern love. His loss will be felt by all. Now, Meredith and the entire ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ family are about to enter uncharted territory as we head into this new chapter of her life. The possibilities for what may come are endless. As Ellis Grey would say: the carousel never stops turning.

R.I.P., McDreamy.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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8 Ways Nina Dobrev Broke Our Hearts in This Week’s ‘Vampire Diaries’

We’re bumming hard about this Nina Dobrev leaving the show stuff. Waaaah.
News

Grey’s Anatomy Just Shattered Our Hearts and the Show Will Never Be the Same Again

Grey's Anatomy, Patrick DempseyWARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW! Do not read unless you want to be spoiled about what happened on tonight’s game-changing, heartbreaking episode of Grey’s Anatomy!

Did we just have…


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Ariana Grande Did A Celine Dion Impression, And Now Our Hearts Can’t Go On

The tale as old as time just got a remix.

Ariana Grande’s celebrity impressions are well-known across the Internet, so on Friday Jimmy Fallon decided to see if she would break out a little Celine Dion.

“The Tonight Show” host joined the singer in a duet of “Beauty and the Beast,” and it was certain as the sun rising in the east. Grande also joined Fallon earlier in the show for the latest episode of “Ew!”

With the addition of this Dion impression, don’t be surprised if your heart can’t go on right away.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Dachshunds Play Cops And Robbers, Steal Our Hearts

Will Crusoe the celebrity dachshund get his man? Watch this insanely cute clip of Crusoe and brother Oakley playing cops and robbers.

Crusoe is the cop, decked out in a cutout police car costume with a siren. Oakley’s carrying money bags. And the chase is on!

So adorable it’s criminal.

H/T Laughing Squid
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Fall Out Boy Flooded Our Brains (And Hearts) With Memories During This Super Nostalgic Performance

Fall Out Boy rocked their hearts out at the 2015 mtvU Woodie Awards, where they performed a medley of their greatest hits and were inducted into the Hall of Wood.
News

This 7-Year-Old Girl’s Emotional Rant Will Warm Even The Coldest Of Hearts

Even if your heart has grown cold and hardened after years of disappointment and frustration, even if you find yourself wandering through life wondering what became of your once promising potential — even then, you’ll still find it impossible not to smile a little while watching this adorable 7-year-old complain about the New Orleans Saints trading away her favorite NFL player, tight end Jimmy Graham:


“Wherever Jimmy Graham goes is where I go, no matter what team.”

The girl’s name is Lexia Woods, and after the video inevitably racked up a huge number of views on YouTube (which is not surprising considering it is nothing short of Internet perfect), ESPN invited her on for a little surprise.

We’ll let you watch what happened rather than give it away:

A lot of horrible things happen in the world. But this is one of those few times where it’s fine to just smile and be like “cool.” And isn’t that the Internet at its best?
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East India Youth, ‘Hearts That Never’

One of Britain’s most talented electronic producers isn’t making dance music. Listen to an intense track from East India Youth’s upcoming Culture Of Volume.

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Future Hearts – All Time Low

All Time Low - Future Hearts  artwork

Future Hearts

All Time Low

Genre: Alternative

Price: $ 9.99

Expected Release Date: April 7, 2015

© ℗ 2015 Hopeless Records, Inc.

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Racing Hearts – Dominique Deruddere

Dominique Deruddere - Racing Hearts  artwork

Racing Hearts

Dominique Deruddere

Genre: Drama

Price: $ 19.99

Rental Price: $ 3.99

Release Date: January 13, 2015


Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey) stars in this romantic, drama-filled love story of unraveling secrets and discovery. Colin (Dornan) is a wealthy New York businessman who always gets what he wants. But when a deal with a wealthy Dubai sheikh hinges on his acquisition of a coveted racing bird, Colin finds himself in unfamiliar territory with the trusting Belgian townspeople who protect the creature. As Colin falls for the owner’s gorgeous granddaughter (Charlotte De Bruyne), will he resort to his ruthless techniques of the past or give in to a passion he never knew existed?

© © 2013 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

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My Heart’s Lifted – Kerrie Roberts


My Heart’s Lifted
Kerrie Roberts

Release Date:
December 16, 2014
Total Songs:
11

Genre:
Christian & Gospel

Price:
$ 5.99

Copyright
℗ 2014 Hootey 2, LLC


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Written in My Own Heart’s Blood: Outlander, Book 8 (Unabridged) – Diana Gabaldon

Diana Gabaldon - Written in My Own Heart's Blood: Outlander, Book 8 (Unabridged)  artwork

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood: Outlander, Book 8 (Unabridged)

Diana Gabaldon

Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy

Price: $ 29.95

Publish Date: June 10, 2014

© ℗ © 2014 Recorded Books

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Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles

The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band  artwork

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Beatles

Genre: Rock

Price: $ 7.99

Release Date: June 1, 1967

© ℗ 2009 The copyright in this audio & audiovisual compilation is owned by EMI Records Ltd

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Rockabilly, Empty Hearts & Psycho Sisters: Chats with Brian Setzer, Elliot Easton, Vicki Peterson & Susan Cowsill…Plus!

2014-08-10-BrianSetzerAugust12th.jpg

A Conversation with Brian Setzer

Mike Ragogna: Brian, let’s talk about your new album, Rockabilly Riot! All Original. It’s all original material and you start it off with the adrenalized “Let’s Shake.” Rockabilly’s really all about the shake, isn’t it?

Brian Setzer: Yeah! [laughs] To me, it seems like nervous energy, you know? It was invented by guys who were just getting back after the war and they were experimenting. Guys from the country were mixing up that kind of music with the blues, there were jazz players who were experimenting with it, it was kind of a mish-mash. It seems like a big ball of energy to me, I guess that’s what’s always attracted me to it.

MR: I’ve been following your music for decades, and my feeling is you discovered that junction point where rockabilly meets swing and dirty boogie.

BS: I saw that it would work because it’s all based on the blues. The blues is the great granddaddy of all this music. That’s where it all comes from. So to me, it was like, “Why wouldn’t it work?” Country, swing, jazz, rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll, it all comes from the blues, so why wouldn’t it work? It wasn’t like I was trying to mix baroque music in there with it. All that music came from the blues. If you like these kinds of music, you take these little pieces that you like and you throw it in. It’s like making a bowl of chili or something, to me. It’s personal taste. Some guys like a little more jazz in their rockabilly, some guys like a little more rock ‘n’ roll. That’s the way you play it. But I always knew that would all work because it was based on the blues.

MR: To me, that’s “Americana.” What’s interesting is that we’ve defined “Americana” as this mid-tempo, kind of rocking, organic-ish, Byrds-influenced music, but it seems like the name “Americana” should’ve been applied to the blues, jazz, gospel, and, of course, rockabilly, that are truly “American” forms of music that sprang from history and culture.

BS: I get what you’re saying, the Americana label is almost folk music, isn’t it?

MR: Yeah, exactly.

BS: Yeah, I’m kind of an anomaly there, I never really fit into anybody’s box. I don’t know how I got those Grammys because I am certain there’s not a rockabilly category. They just kind of squeezed between the cracks somehow.

MR: Yeah, I think you’re right on with that. Okay, so for Rockabilly Riot! All Original, did you sit down and write these songs for the album or were these songs collecting?

BS: You know, I’m a songwriter. I sit down and I write songs. Then I decide what it’s going to be. “Is this going to be a big band record? Should I write some charts behind it? Is this going to be music for other people?” Once I wrote that first song, which was “Vinyl Records”–inspired by my daughter who collects vinyl records now–I was kind of off and running. You need that little spark. It starts a fire. Once a spark starts, you kind of get rolling. After I wrote “Vinyl Records,” I wrote a couple more and I said, “This is a rockabilly record.” Then what you want to do is not repeat too much. You don’t want twelve songs with the same beat in the same key. After you’ve written two or three that might be similar, you want to change gears a little bit. That’s kind of how I look at making a record.

MR: I love how you musically referenced Johnny Horton. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard that done before the way you set it up.

BS: [hums cadence] Yeah, it’s got that Johnny Horton “Battle Of New Orleans” beat, which is really a military drumbeat.

MR: “The Girl With The Blues In Her Eyes” is another off the beaten path song, too. I guess that speaks to your earlier point of having variety on your record.

BS: You know, I came up with that just sitting down. I played a D major chord, which any beginning guitar player can play, but instead of going to A or G, I went to D minor and went, “Oh, that’s different, I’ve never really heard that.” Then I went to the G and the G minor. It sounded really different, but it was a little Beatle-sounding to me, so I thought, “I’ve got to make that fit into the ‘billy side a little more.” I added Paul Franklin on pedal steel and my friend Mike Himelstein wrote the lyrics. He didn’t have that in the title, “The Girl With The Blues In Her Eyes.” It was in the lyrics and I went, “Oh no, Mike, that’s the title. You have to rewrite these lyrics because that’s perfect. That’s the title of the songs.”

MR: Pretty original.

BS: Yeah, I thought that was really kind of different. When you get a spark flying like that, it just starts to roll.

MR: Speaking of rolling, “Nothing Is A Sure Thing” going into “What’s Her Name?” going into “Calamity Jane” practically comes off as a little storyline.

BS: I never thought of it that way! It’s really hard to sequence a record, you know? I guess you could look at it that way.

MR: To me, it was like love sets you up for a fall with “Nothing Is A Sure Thing,” then in “What’s Her Name?” you’re looking for her, and then “Calamity Jane” seems to be the end game.

BS: [laughs] In “What’s Her Name?” I was trying to talk about a guy who really loves a girl and he pretends he’s forgotten about her but he hasn’t. He’s going to go out looking for “What’s Her Name.” For “Calamity Jane,” I was thinking of an old western saloon, really, with that bluegrass call.

MR: The images push the envelope, but musically, it’s all very rockabilly.

BS: It’s all based on rockabilly. It jumps off in different directions, but it’s definitely a rockabilly record.

MR: Let’s talk about the players on Rockabilly Riot! All Original. You have Kevin McKendree, Mark Winchester, Noah Levy… Was this a dream rockabilly band for you?

BS: They’re the best guys I could think of. Mark retired, he became a carpenter to raise his daughters. More power to him, I don’t know many guys who could really do that. He came out of the woodwork again down in Nashville. As he says, “I’m tired of playing for the tip jar.” He’s back to playing, so I said, “Mark, you’re in.” Kevin I’ve used before, he’s a rockabilly piano player. That’s his favorite. Jerry Lee Lewis is his idol, but he could also be Oscar Peterson. Then as far as a drummer, I’ve got a local guy. I just love Noah’s feel. It’s kind of swampy, it’s not rock. It’s hard to find a rockabilly drummer. You don’t want a guy that can’t swing, he’s got to be able to swing. Noah’s got that swampy feel I like. My joke is I think the only way you could make a better rockabilly record is if you got Elvis to sing it, because I’m no Elvis. But I think I hold up my end on the guitar.

MR: You do, sir! Brian, to me, you are one of the best guitar players out there. It isn’t you’re your rockabilly either. Look at The Knife Feels Like Justice, which is one of my favorite albums ever.

BS: Oh wow.

MR: I feel that you could’ve gone any musical direction you wanted. But that’s not what you wanted. Brian, do you know what made you follow–actually, create–your particular mélange of rockabilly-plus?

BS: That’s a good question. You’re right, I could’ve grown really long hair and bought a Les Paul and a Marshall and made a lot of money. [laughs] Let’s face it, rockabilly is not on the tip of everyone’s tongue. I’ve got to say, I think it chose me. My first memory of hearing rockabilly records were the ones that my dad brought back from the army. He was drafted like most men of that era and stationed in Korea. His unit had a lot of guys from the south. He didn’t talk about it too much, but he said, “I was stationed with these guys from the south, they were playing this music here and I like it.” He had a Carl Perkins record, a Johnny Cash record and an Elvis record. I said, “Wow, this Carl Perkins guy, wow! Johnny Cash, I’ve never heard of him! Jerry Lee Lewis?” Then when The Beatles came out, I heard them cover the Carl Perkins songs. The Stones did a Chuck Berry song and I went, “Oh!” You don’t want to like the same music your dad likes when you’re a kid, right? But my dad would come in whistling the song and I’d say, “How do you know this song? This is The Beatles! This is The Rolling Stones!” and he’d say, “No, it’s Johnny Cash, it’s Carl Perkins. I don’t know who these English guys are but this is Johnny Cash.” I guess that’s the first experience I had wit hit, at a very young age.”

MR: And that molded you to need to do this.

BS: I just always loved that sound and the simplicity. It paralleled the energy of punk rock except the guys really knew how to play. It just spoke to me. It’s kind of like asking a guy why he likes redheads over brunettes. You really can’t give a solid answer.

MR: When you think about that era, rockabilly does seem to infer the roots of punk, right?

BS: It really does. It parallels it. I’m telling you, our first Stray Cats gig in England, you could draw a line done the middle of the club, punks were on one side and rockabillies were on the other side and they were nudging each other, really elbowing each other like a, “piss off” kind of thing. We had drawn an equal crowd of punks and rockabillies, I’ll tell you that.

MR: Did you share the same vision of music as Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker? Did you all love a similar kind of music?

BS: Well, the guys loved the music, whether they had heard it or not. I could tell you when I was playing in the corner bar with my brother on the drums, Slim Jim would come in and lean on a post. This was 1978 or ’77 and I saw a guy with a pompadour and a cowboy shirt and a pair of jeans and boots. I was saying, “Who’s this guy?” People had long hair and earth shoes on and here comes in this cowboy-looking guy with a fifties haircut. He looked like he stepped off an episode of Gunsmoke. He was just standing there with his legs crossed. One night, my brother didn’t show up, but he goes, “I’ve got my drum set in the car.” He was just waiting, you know?

MR: In those Stray Cats videos, you took on that visual perfectly. I think it happened at a time when new wave was trying to decide what it was–Euro-romantic, punky-pop, etc. So your take on new wave was unique. Do you think that added to why people liked The Stray Cats?

BS: Well, the purists hated it because my hair was too long and I didn’t have my jeans cuffed the proper length. You have that with all sorts of music–blues purists refusing anything past 1946 and so on. A lot of people didn’t like it but I think the reason it resonated and it became a hit was because A, we added something new to it, we wrote rockabilly songs–a lot of the rockabilly style is just the one, four, five blues format. We actually wrote songs. We looked cool, we mixed some genres, we threw some punk in there, we had big, crazy pompadours with lots of grease in them. It resonated with the eighties world. They didn’t care that it came from the fifties originally, we had somehow re-energized it. And I can’t say enough about Dave Edmunds making it sound brand new. We weren’t trying to sound like a fifties record, which a lot of the bands were. They wanted to sound just like a fifties record, we didn’t want that. We wanted to sound brand new. Dave Edmunds really was a big part of that for us.

MR: Speaking of production, you reunited with Peter Collins for Rockabilly Riot: All Original. What was it like getting back together with him and making a totally different album with him?

BS: He’s so good. He’s the old school of producers that want you to record direct, not overdub, no three takes. You go in there as a band and make a record. That’s how we did dirty boogie. There’s no splicing guitar solos together. If you make a mistake but the song has that magic, that track has that mistake left on it. Plus he’s such a nice, easygoing guy. It’s really a pleasure. He basically came out of retirement to make the reocrd, he doesn’t make records anymore, he did it just because he wanted to make a great rockabilly record with me.

MR: Nice. You’ve released so much vinyl, CDs and swag through Surfdog. You have quite the love affair with this label, huh.

BS: Well, it’s my manager’s label. I think we moved after Vavoom! when I was on Interscope and all that stuff mattered. I don’t know if it matters anymore. I don’t even know if people buy records…I’m so old school. But I recall asking if we could leave the label because we just couldn’t take the interference about wanting a “hit” record. I wouldn’t know what a “hit” record was if you hit me over the head with a hammer. I don’t know what that is, I just write songs. It became really tough to try and make a record because they had us redoing song after song, mixing it with different styles and things. I think eventually, we just said, “Would you just let us go and let us make our own records?” That’s when Dave Kaplan, who owns Surfdog came in. He just lets me make a record.

MR: I brought it up earlier, but what are your thoughts about The Knife Feels Like Justice these days? I believe it was a really great record that somehow just slipped under the radar.

BS: Man, I think there’s some really good stuff on there. I think I probably sounded too much like what was going on at the time. I moved too far away from rockabilly. I probably should’ve stayed a little closer, but you know, it almost hit. Do you remember AOR and CHR?

MR: Oh yeah.

BS: A lot of people won’t. Album-Oriented Radio and Contemporary Hit Radio. I think it was number one AOR and it came that close to jumping and the record company, EMI, just kind of jumped ship. They said, “Ah, we’ve done all we could.” Looking back on it, musically, I like a lot of it. Some of it I think is kind of overdone, with the big eighties drum sounds. But there’s still some good songs on that record.

MR: Yeah, that title track is great pop-rock, and it had “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” and “Radiation Ranch”…

BS: Oh yeah, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” is a good one, isn’t it? [hums]

MR: Ya! I have to ask you my traditional question. What advice do you have for new artists?

BS: You just have to do what you want to do or you won’t be happy, I don’t think. Things come and go so quick, you have to do what you want to do. That’s the first thing. At the risk of sounding like an old guy, it really helps when you bear down on your instrument and learn how to read some music. It just connects the dots for you. I know most people don’t read music, but if you have the patience to try and learn a little bit of reading, you can really connect a lot of the dots. I find that players come to me and ask, “How do you do that? How did you think of that?” I say, “Well, look at it this way. It’s because I learned how to read and write music that those thoughts come into my head.” I think that’s the best advice I could give, really.

MR: It’s unfortunate that nowadays, music education programs in schools have had their budgets slashed or the departments have been completely eliminated.

BS: I know, I know. I’m so lucky, I remember besides band class, we would have music class where they would roll in an old cart with an organ on it and we’d learn “The Erie Canal” song and old American songs I sing today that these little old ladies put their time into. It means so much. I’ll sing an old American folk song or something and my daughters will look at me and go, “What’s that?” I’ll think, “That’s right, you guys don’t have that.” It really is a shame that it’s gone.

MR: I had a similar experience with the little old lady. Or school’s music teacher humped portable organ to every class.

BS: Yeah, God bless those little old ladies, right? I’d say, “I’ve got a mule, her name is Sal, fifteen miles on the Erie Canal,” and my daughters will say, “That’s cool, what is that?” You don’t know “The Erie Canal” song? They don’t! How could they? You’re not going to hear that on Pandora.

MR: [laughs] Is your family going to continue the Setzer music tradition or do they have other goals?

BS: I think the buck stops with me. [laughs] I think I’m the anomaly. My elder daughter is going to college, she’ll be interested in photography and things. The little one is interested in cooking and nutrition. Not just cooking food, but what goes in it. She’s got that thing going. My son is doing his own thing and it’s not musical. I kind of feel like what I’d like to do is just touch someone and say, “Here’s everything I’ve learned,” but it’s not that easy. Probably what I’ll wind up doing is giving some lessons one day, I don’t know if it’ll be over the internet or teaching classes. People have asked me to teach what they call a master class where I go and show people things. That’s probably where I’m going to be headed one day. I wish I could just touch someone who likes my playing on the shoulder and say, “Here’s all I’ve got,” and boom, they’ve got it.

MR: Passing the torch.

BS: Yeah, it would be kind of nice to teach a little bit of it, because people ask me a lot. But I’m not quite ready for it.

MR: Brian, the problem is going to be that nobody is doing what you do, so it’s going to be hard to reach your level of heart-meets-feel-meets-proficiency.

BS: [laughs] Well, I can’t describe what I do, it’s just what comes out. There’ll be more great guitarists coming. There are plenty of great players around. I like to think I’ve got my own style and when people hear me or hear the radio, they say, “Oh, that’s Brian Setzer.” That was always the goal.

MR: Hey, the last time I saw you, you were singing the national anthem at a Yankees game. Are you signed up to do that again?

BS: Oh my God, you saw that?

MR: [laughs] I was the one yelling “Brian!” and you pointed towards me..or at least that’s how I delusionally remember it.

BS: Oh, my gosh, I do recall that! See, one summer, I just got it under my craw that I wanted to sing the national anthem. I think I did it at about five or six stadiums. It was a hoot. They always let me bring my guitar on and I’d do my doo-wop version of the national anthem. I think it was kind of a passing thing. If they asked me again locally, I suppose I could do it.

MR: Come on, it’s time already!

BS: No, it’s not time for that yet. [laughs] I still have a lot of rockin’ left, I’ve still got touring, but I think the next thing will be teaching. I think I’d rather watch the baseball game.

MR: Okay, ’til then, we’ll have to just imagine a rockabilly national anthem.

BS: You’ve got it, my man.

MR: I was just about to ask you what you’re doing in the future. You sort of just covered it, but what else do you want to get done?

BS: I won’t know until it hits me over the head. I can’t say, “Well, my next record is going to be a bossanova record. It has to hit me, so I don’t know. In my spare time, I just do really dumb guy things. I love my dogs–I guess that’s not dumb. I like to go to ball games. I’m trying to keep sort of fit. I’ve got my daughters who are college age. In my spare time, I’m not going to fashion model events or unique parties or anything like that. I’ve never liked any of that kind of stuff, so I just kind of do what everybody else does.

For more info: http://bit.ly/X00NEd

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne

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A Conversation with The Empty Hearts’ Elliot Easton

Mike Ragogna: Elliot, after listening to the new project, I would argue that your new group should be called The Whole Hearts, not The Empty Hearts.

Elliot Easton: [laughs] Well, our hearts are full as far as making the music. And you’ll have to ask Steven Van Zandt about the name, he came up with it.

MR: What’s the story behind this group?

EE: Basically, it comes from a friendship between Andy Babiuk, bass player, and Steven. Andy was previously in a band called The Chesterfield Kings that was on Little Steven’s Underground Garage label. They appeared on an episode of Sopranos, they’ve been friends for quite a while. Andy has done some music consultation work for David Chase for Not Fade Away and things like that. So they’re pals. Steven is just one of those guys that likes to come up with cool band names. When it came time for a name, he gave us a list and said, “Why don’t you pick one of these?” We went through his list and we liked The Empty Hearts. It came about like most things, through friends.

MR: Speaking of friends, Empty Hearts is a merging of talent from The Cars, Blondie, Romantics, The Chesterfield Kings…

EE: Yeah, yeah. To us, it’s very natural, we’re all friends, we all have admired each others’ work through the years, it’s a great situation, it’s a nice, fresh beginning. It’s just been really pleasurable, it’s been fun. That’s really what it’s all about. Hopefully that comes through in the grooves, not that there’s grooves anymore, but you know what I mean.

MR: The virtual groove.

EE: The grooves in the rhythm.

MR: What was the studio experience like and how did it progress from all these talents coming together?

EE: Andy just had this idea, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have a band with friends?” Maybe he’d come to some kind of a crossroads with his band and wanted to just have fun playing music again and we all felt similarly. He just called me. It seemed like an off the wall thing, a little dubious that it would actually happen. He said, “I’ve got this idea for a band, Clem [Burke] would play drums and Wally [Palmar] would be singing, what do you think about playing guitar in it?” At that point, it didn’t cost me anything to say yes because I didn’t know if it was going to happen or not, so I said, “Yeah, sure, if you get it together count me in,” ’cause I wasn’t doing much. Andy is quite a guy, he did get it together, he’s a really hard worker and a great organizer and he put the thing together and got everybody on board. We went up to Rochester New York where his studio is, he’s got a warehouse kind of studio set up. Two of us live in LA, Clem and I, two of us live out of town, Wally in the Detroit area and Andy in Rochester. For writing the songs, Andy and Wally got together a bit on their own, and they came out to California and we rented a rehearsal place. I showed them some ideas and some songs that I had incubating for a while, we recorded that stuff informally, Wally went away and worked on the lyrics and stuff like that, it was a very organic process, we just jammed on ideas and hammered some songs together, then we went up to Rochester and the great Ed Stasium engineered and produced it. People who don’t know his work would certainly have heard it, he did most of the Ramones records.

I first worked with Ed in the mid-eighties on the Lights Out record from Peter Wolf, J. Geils’ lead singer. It’s great to have him around. We all go back like thirty years or more. Then we got the bright idea, since we don’t have a keyboard player of getting Ian McLagan from The Faces and The Small Faces and The Rolling Stones to play keyboards. So he was up for the idea, he came up to Rochester and played Hammond organ and Wurlitzer electric piano, real rock ‘n’ roll keyboards and that was a great little addition to the sound. It’s just kind of taken on a life of its own, moving forward in one direction, all of us. And here I am talking to you, it’s very exciting. Musicians are notorious for discussing things that never come to fruition over a couple of drinks, “Hey man, let’s do something together” and then the next day it’s all forgotten–probably like in most business, you know what I mean? “We’ve got to do something together, we’ve got to collaborate,” whatever, and then the next morning it’s like, “What? Did that conversation really exist?” So it was really great to actually see this thing follow through to fruition and have a really nice record done, have it coming out in August, it’s great. It’s really fun.

MR: I see that Empty Hearts has a track called “Fill An Empty Heart,” I’m guessing a play on the group name. All this Empty Heart-edness!

EE: [laughs] Yeah, as far as the line or the title “Fill An Empty Heart,” that was something Wally came up with. Maybe it was inspired by the band name. I can’t remember the sequence because he wrote lyrics on his own, but I just think it’s a cool name, I don’t think Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers are out to break anybody’s heart. I don’t know that The Empty Hearts really feel that their hearts are empty. It’s just a name. [laughs]

MR: Yeah, I’ve beaten that joke into the ground, sorry.

EE: [laughs] Well, that’s what fans like to do, isn’t it?

MR: Exactly! [laughs] This is pretty much a party record. Do you think that’s indicative of how good of a time you guys were having in the studio or maybe how creatively you guys were bouncing ideas off each other?

EE: I think both. I think it’s indicative of how we were having a great time. We’ve been having a great time every time we get together whether it’s to be in the studio or to write a song or to do a photo session, we’re always laughing and having a good time with it. That’s the whole point of the thing, to enjoy making music and have a good time making music. As I said before, I do think it comes through in the music that we were enjoying ourselves. That’s not contrived, that’s just the sound of four guys having a blast.

MR: Elliot, in my opinion, The Cars left a nice musical legacy. Remember when people used certain albums to test stereo systems? I can remember The Cars’ first album being a test record during that era.

EE: That’s very nice, thank you. I’m really proud of the work we accomplished. That first record took all of twenty-one days to make. It took twelve days to record in England and nine days to mix, just a song a day and we were done in three weeks. That was winter of ’77. It’s pretty amazing. It’s great to have been a part of that.

MR: Although you first broke hugely in the seventies, The Cars is one of the iconic groups that comes up when one talks about music of the eighties.

EE: Yeah, for better or for worse, I guess, huh? [laughs] It’s a much-maligned decade. I don’t know why. I think the seventies were a lot lamer, but we always joke… My wife and I were talking about the eighties and the shoulder pads and the clothes and the funny hair, some of those bands were just “haircut bands.”

MR: Yeah, especially a lot of the Europop dance groups. Elliot, you were part of Creedence Clearwater Revisited, how did that come together?

EE: Like so many things in this business, it just comes through friends. I had a buddy who worked at Atlantic Records who knew Stu Cook from Creedence. We discovered that Stu lived five minutes away from me out here in Calabasas at the time, so we got together and had some lunch. On Stu and Doug [Clifford’s] fiftieth birthday they got together and had a little party together and they decided they wanted to play music again. I’d been hanging out with Stu and he knew that I was a big fan and had played those songs in high school and stuff like that, so he said, “How about Elliot?” I was their first choice of guitar. In fact, we auditioned singers at my home studio here in southern California. I ended up doing that for eleven years. I’ve done a lot of fun things. I’ve played with Brian Wilson on his first solo record and I did some shows with him. I did a little touring with Hall & Oates back in the nineties, a lot of session stuff, I just try to keep busy.

MR: Yeah including The New Cars, which I enjoyed as a kind of Todd Rundgrens’ Utopia meets The Cars.

EE: Well thank you! That was a very enjoyable project. It was like Greg [Hawkes] and I from The Cars and Todd [Rundgren] and Prairie [Prince] and Kasim [Sulton]. Greg used to call it “Autopia,” because it was half Utopia, half Cars.

MR: You were also part of the No Cats project with Lee Rocker.

EE: Oh yeah! That’s right!

MR: Yes, sir, you’ve played on quite a few projects.

EE: A bunch of sessions over the years, it’s true.

MR: And you released that solo album Change No Change. Why no follow up to that?

EE: Well, again, I wasn’t trying to have a solo career or anything like that, it was just something that naturally grew out. I started getting together regularly with a friend of mine, Jules Shear. We found we enjoyed writing songs together, he’d come over my house with his acoustic guitar and I’d show him some ideas and he’d help me flesh them out, he’s such a great songwriter, we ended up writing a batch of songs and then he was like, “What are we going to do with these songs?” They weren’t purpose-written for an Elliot Easton solo record or anything like that, we were just writing songs for the joy of it. I said, “What are we going to do with these?” and he said, “Why don’t you sing them?” I don’t remember exactly what I said but I’m sure I thought to myself, “I’m not a lead singer!” And I’m not! I wouldn’t mind hearing those songs sung by a good singer.

MR: Dude, they’re perfectly fine, don’t you think?

EE: They’re okay. It was an enjoyable thing to do, but to be perfectly honest I think self-awareness is important. It’s important to know your abilities and it’s also important to know your limitations. I think they both define who you are as a person and an artist or whatever. To be completely honest about it, I’ve always found for myself that I really shine in a supportive role. I enjoy it more, I’ve never really sought out to be center stage, that’s not necessarily my thing, but what I love to do is to take a piece of music or be part of creating a piece of music and give it that lift that sends it over the top, whether it’s those solos that people seem to like from Cars records or whatever it may be. I think that’s my little gift, just being able to come up with hooks and solos and cool parts and take a great song and make it into a great record, which are two different things, really.

MR: What advice do you have for new artists?

EE: Very good question. How would I answer that… For one thing, I’d say save your money. I’m not trying to be funny or facetious. There’s a feeling that you can lapse into when you achieve this great success and it’s thinking that it’s going to last forever. Nothing does. It doesn’t matter if you’re Nick Cave or The Cars or whoever. I would advise a young musician to think about the future and to write music. Don’t get involved in drugs if you can possibly avoid it. Drugs and alcohol are kind of a dead end. It stifles creativity and shortens your life and adds misery to it. Those are some of the big ones. And above all, have fun, because if you’re not having fun, then you’re doing it wrong.

MR: That’s beautiful, that’s really a great answer. And speaking of having fun, are you still loving your Tikibird?

EE: My Gibson? Oh yeah, it’s a blast. I love that guitar! I’ll be playing it a lot with The Empty Hearts. I’ve been very blessed in my life, I was one of those kids that used to write away to guitar companies for catalogs. I still am, but even at ten, eleven, twelve years old I was so guitar crazy. You just can’t imagine how nuts I was over guitars. I was one of those guys who used to bring catalogs to school and hide them behind my textbooks. I knew every model. If you would’ve told me back then that I’d have five or six different signature models through the years and guitar companies would approach me to design guitars for them I would’ve just laughed you out of the room. At this point I’ve done two for Gibson, a Martin acoustic, a Gretsch and a Kramer in the eighties. I’ve had like five signature model guitars. It’s an honor to have the signature model guitar, but in a more philosophical way I just feel so blessed to be considered a part of the guitar community and the musical community and to have my opinion valued by people like that who think that I would be able to contribute something to the world of guitars beyond just playing music is really flattering. It’s a great payoff to all of my misspent youth staring at catalogs and memorizing specs. I could’ve told you every bit of copy in the 1966 Gibson catalog. Every serial number. I was just crazed for that stuff. To this day, when the Brown truck comes and a new guitar gets delivered to the door, it’s like Christmas. I haven’t become jaded about that or anything. I still love it.

MR: Beautiful. Will The Empty Hearts be touring to support the album?

EE: Oh yes, we’ll absolutely be touring. It’s kind of toured around from what it used to be. In the eighties we used to make records and then we’d tour to promote the record, but I think it’s flip-flopped now. You want to tour so you can make a record. But definitely one of the main goals of the band has been all along to get out there and play live. Once the record comes out in August I expect we’ll be getting out as much as possible. It’s definitely one of our goals.

MR: What’s the future hold for you, you know, since you could be teaming up with literally anyone at literally any time.

EE: [laughs] My tastes are pretty eclectic, I think I’ve got a pretty deep well to draw from in terms of influences and stuff like that. I don’t know… A year or two ago, I had a mid-century crisis, so I did The Tiki Gods. That was exotica, lounge, Les Baxter sort of stuff. I wouldn’t consider myself a jazz musician but I enjoy tackling most other forms. I like to play a bit of jazz, I just don’t consider myself a jazz musician.

MR: Is there something you want to conquer that you haven’t attempted yet?

EE: Well, I’m kind of doing it. It’s great to be in a band where both my playing ability and my writing ability is welcomed and we’re all writing songs together. It’s a nice collective, I would say this is one of those moments where I am achieving something I would love to achieve. I’m just kind of enjoying this one right now. I never know what the future will bring though.

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne

2014-08-10-PsychoSistersAug5.jpg

A Conversation with The Psycho Sisters’ Vicki Peterson and Susan Cowsill

Mike Ragogna: Finally, after twenty-two years in the making, The Psycho Sisters’ album Up On The Chair Beatrice is released. So was there at least a teensy respite between when the recording started and finished?

Susan Cowsill: Well, about two of those twenty-two years. We actually started this process in the Spring of 2012. [laughs]

MR: So what is this twenty-two years stuff? Is that when you were starting to create the material for this?

Vicki Peterson: Yes, it was. We started writing it twenty-two years ago, and did a couple of demo-type recordings. We recorded a forty-five, which actually exists out there in the world and we did do one session with Kevin Salem recording a few of these songs for fun, with no thought of releasing that or anything.

MR: How far back does your friendship go? What’s the origin story of said Psycho Sisters?

VP: I’ll give you the quick chronology. We met in 1978, but really became lifelong friends around 1988.

SC: Wasn’t it ’85? My mom was dying.

VP: No, it was after that.

SC: Huh. I believe her, she’s the smart one.

VP: It was around when we were making that last Bangles record.

SC: Right, I remember now. But the “in the making” thing is that we fully intended every single day of every single year to make the record. We wrote all these songs and every day we said, “We’ve got to make this record,” and every day we didn’t, so that’s in the making, isn’t it?

VP: That’s totally in the making.

MR: That’s pretty cool. But both of you have been working with your other groups and affiliations. Do you think those projects got in the way of finishing this record?

SC: Well, sure. Life gets in the way of life, every minute. You can quote me on that. We’re best friends and we’re sisters and it leads to this, “Oh, we’ll just do it later,” kind of thing.

VP: I’m the kind of person who would fret about, “We’re never going to make the Psycho record are we. It’s just never going to happen, we’ll never do it,” and Susan would say, “It’ll happen when it’s supposed to happen.” She was very Zen about it and I think in the end she’s absolutely right.

SC: She’s the smart one, I’m the Zen one.

VP: That being said, nothing does happen until you decide that it’s going to happen. It really wasn’t until V and I both said, “Hey. Let’s get ‘er done.”

MR: Finally, after everything that’s gone into it, the time devoted to it, how do you view this Psycho Sisters project in the end?

VP: I think it’s a very happy completed circle of something that has existed for a long time. I think Susan has said before that these songs deserved their day. That’s one of the reasons we didn’t just say, “Oh forget all that, let’s just write all new stuff.” We really decided, “No, these songs existed for a reason, we’ve never given them a chance to be heard. I also believed firmly that the first time you hear a piece of music, it’s brand new. It’s brand new to the listener. We didn’t shape these songs in any particular way sonically, we didn’t say, “Okay, we want these songs to sound as if they’re twenty years old.” Some people react to it and say, “Wow, it sounds like the nineties,” and I’m not quite sure what that means.

SC: [laughs] I don’t either! I’ve been reading that, too.

VP: But that being said, that might just be an implied thing because we’re acknowledging the fact that that’s when they were written and created originally.

SC: The truth of the matter is that they are. I wonder if people didn’t know it took twenty-two years.

VP: Yeah, that’s what I’m wondering; if they all thought this was completely brand new material would they still all have that resonance? But to us it’s a beautiful thing to say, “Okay, we have done this.” It’s as if you were working on a novel for twelve years and you finally get to a point where you say, “Okay, I’m ready to have this read by the world.”

SC: For me, it’s interesting because through the years as an artist you’re creating content and whether you want to or not it’s just one of the evil aspects of being an artist is this little creature lives in your head and says, “Is this viable? Is anybody going to want to hear this? What is the point of this?” I really put a big mute button on that guy because he bugs me. I don’t think art is something we should judge. It’s like judging somebody’s emotions. That being said, these songs aren’t rocket science, they aren’t going to save the planet, but they are where we were at that time. Preserving an emotion and a moment in time and like Vick said I said, giving it its due. So when I’m listening to it I say, “I remember that,” and “Oh wow, how cute,” or “Aw, how sad, poor her.” It’s like looking at a scrapbook.

VP: A scrapbook of former relationships as well, because many of these stories are based on people we used to date.

SC: Oh God, some of them are dead!

VP: Oh, yeah, there’s that too. Some of them are dead! [laughs] Oh, well.

SC: [laughs]

MR: Are there a couple of stories on this record that are particularly endearing to you?

VP: We’re both still laughing.

SC: Wait! I want to know what you’re laughing about. What story are you laughing about?

VP: Oh God, there are several. Here’s a safe one. It’s the song “Heather Says.” The reason that is a favorite of mine is that this song goes back to when both Susan and I were eleven years old. Susan was recording this song, I was at home trying to figure it out on guitar. For my little fingers and my little brain at that time it was a mindbender. I couldn’t wrap my head around where those changes were going.

SC: It was pretty sophisticated.

VP: It was confusing to me. It was one of those songs that I always wanted to master and I think all these years later I can finally play this bloody thing without making a mistake. It’s also this funny thing where when that was recorded in 1971 it was a familiar story to any young girl, the schoolyard bully, the person who commanded attention and obedience from her classmates. Now it’s much, much more topical because the whole idea of bullying young children is much more discussed and not something that is just dealt with on an individual basis. We talk about it now.

MR: I have a kid, and I had to have him switch schools to keep him away from bullies. But in the beginning, I admit that I was one of those people who said, “Oh, it’s just one of those things that kids have to go through.” It’s so out of hand now.

VP: It is so out of hand. Maybe it’s gotten worse, but at least we’re paying attention now.

SC: I think it probably always has been going on, just like any less-than-charming aspect of a human being that’s been going on forever but now we’re more educated, aware of it, and look for solutions to it. That’s a lot heavier than what I was going to say! [laughs]

VP: What were you going to say?

SC: Oh, no, no, no, I wouldn’t want to sully this conversation!

MR: [laughs] Susan, what is your favorite song?

SC: I always find “Timberline” to be a rather amusing story.

VP: Ooh, “Timberline,” that is a good one.

SC: It is a good one. Really “Timberline” never even existed until one afternoon when I was in this bad relationship. I needed to get out of the house I was in because the person I was with just wasn’t cool and I needed to get out immediately. Vicki had just come out of a relationship where she had a wonderful fiancé–I say “wonderful” now but he was a pain in the ass. But I loved him. His name was Bobby and unfortunately, Bobby passed away from which cancer, Vicki?

VP: Leukemia.

SC: He had Leukemia and he had passed away recently and I was in a pickle at my house because I was staying with this person that I shouldn’t have been in a relationship with. I called Vick and I said, “I’ve got to get out of here and I have to have a story,” because he liked her. I don’t know whose idea it was but we concocted that Vicki was ready to spread the ashes of her fiancé and I had to run immediately to be with her, we have to go up to Big Bear like now. That was all a lie. We took him with us, just to make it half true, did we not?

VP: We did.

SC: We took the box with us. We drove up to Big Bear and we stayed in a cabin–was it called Timberline?

VP: No, no, we made that up.

SC: Okay, cool. We did go to Big Bear, we did keep the ashes of her fiancé in the car with us because we’re both catholic and we stayed in a cabin up there, just chilled our heels and I did a little bit of thinking about what I should do about this relationship/non-relationship. In the process, we wrote “Timberline.”

VP: We also brought the Ouija board.

SC: Yeah, we brought the Ouija board because we had some recent dead people.

VP: We talked to them!

SC: We did! In fact a lot of the lines of “Timberline” are from the Ouija board. So yeah, “Timberline” came out of absolute desperation. I think we stayed longer than we said we would and I told him, “We’re writing, we’re being creative, it’s helping her move through grief.” It was all a pile of s**t.

VP: It was one of the first songs that we wrote together, as well.

SC: That’s true.

MR: Susan, you had another family member pass recently. Are you okay?

SC: Yes, I’m very okay.

VP: We’re putting a big pause in the brothers going.

SC: There’s been a twenty-five year moratorium declared by my brother Bob.

VP: Thank you, I appreciate that.

SC: No problem. Richard did just pass on July 8th, but yeah, I’m okay. The alternative is to not be okay and I find that tends to be a waste of energy and rude to the universe and God, to remain in a perpetual state of “not okay.” I’m certainly allowing myself, in the time that it is, to be as sad as I am, but I’m certainly going to be okay, and Richard was okay. Richard felt he had done everything that he needed to do and he was ready to rock. That being said, our age group says we should all be around hanging out with each other and we’re not. I can’t control the universe and what it does, so the only thing I’m in control of is myself. That’s all any of us has. We’re all okay, in fact I’m fairly glad for him because he was in a rough spot.

MR: I was lucky enough to see all of The Cowsills–well, your mom had already passed–but I saw you guys at the El Rey in 1999 or 2000. Shirley Jones was there as the substitute mom, I guess.

VP: She’s the other mom.

SC: That was the last time we were all together.

MR: Wow. So speaking of family, Vicki and Susan truly are close sisters-in-law, psycho or otherwise, huh.

VP: We truly are. I can say that for our name… We absolutely own it, live up to it, nurture it, and it gets more authentic every day.

MR: What advice do you have for new artists?

VP: Yikes.

SC: Run away! [laughs]

VP: I don’t know that there’s any advice I can give because I think most young artists who are coming up today who really want to do this thing have every tool at their command to take it as far as they can. There’s so much available now that wasn’t available when Susan and I were first starting this, either individually or in different groups, because there’s so many different ways to get your music out there. That being said, it’s in some ways more complicated and difficult because of the fact that everybody can get their music and there are no gatekeepers anymore, there are very few to filter things through. I say if you really want to do this, put your heart and soul and energy every day into it and figure out what you really want to do and who you really want to reach and then just go for it. But it ain’t easy, baby.

SC: I agree with everything my sister just said, but I would add to it that I concur, we are in a different time, we have eight hundred thousand more options but we also have that many more people on the planet and creative, beautiful, artistically-talented, should-be-heard young people. It’s a bigger, bigger world, making it harder to be individualized and heard in that way so do everything she said but bottom line? Do it because you love it. That’s what you’re really going to end up with the most gratification from is making the music because you have to, you need to, it’s what you love, it’s how you feel yourself and how you express yourself. Do it because of that first. Then you’ve got a shot at the rest of it following. If you’re doing it just to get famous or rich or noticed or whatever those things are, you’ll never be satisfied, even if you get that. It’s a heart moment. You’ve got to love what you do. It’s a long road.

MR: Futuristic social media and technology aside, are the basics of that what you would have told both of yourselves way back when, also?

VP: Yes.

SC: Yes.

VP: The lesson I keep thinking to tell younger Vicki is, “Really trust your instincts.” It’s something I went along with for a long, long time and a few times disregarded to my own detriment, I believe. I think listening to your instincts, and that includes what Susan was saying about following your heart and doing things because you love them, that is your truest path and that’s what will get you where you need to go, whether that means you’re top of the pops or not. It may not be, but it’s going to be where you’re supposed to go.

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne

INTRODUCING DOUG SEEGERS

2014-08-10-Pressbild7_Doug_Seegers_Fotograf_Gregg_Roth.jpg
photo courtesy Rounder Records

According to Doug Seegers…

“Maikng this record was a dream come true for me. We made it in 3 days and I was worried at first that I would not have much input. But everyone listened to what I had to say and allowed me to make the record that really represented my vision.”

According to Will Kimbrough…

“Doug is the real deal. Over and over, he sat down at the microphone and casually blew us all away with his songs, his voice, his guitar. The artists who is totally prepared and confident and knows exactly what he wants in the studio is rare enough. To learn Doug’s story makes it like some sort of miracle. But it’s no fluke; Doug’s simply played and sung every day, whether it was on the street or in a fancy studio. He has to do it. He’s the real deal.”

“POP UR HEART OUT” WITH SALME DAHLSTROM’S REMIX BY SPEKRFREKS

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photo credit: Bryce Prevatt

According to Salme Dahlstrom…

“I play all of the instruments, program, produce, edit and mix it all myself,” Salme Dahlstrom says of her creative process. “Except for a couple of guest vocalists, I did that too, the singing, that is!”

According to Salme Dahlstrom’s peeps…

“The Wall Street Journal recently dubbed Dahlstrom a ‘music licensing queen’ when, like Moby before her, she managed to license every track from her 2008 album The Acid Cowgirl Audio Trade to various major companies and television programs. At the time, she was not only just getting noticed, she was just getting started.”


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