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E-Spire Entertainment News

A place where we inspire to bring you the best in entertainment news.

Jack Black "Nacho Libre" Confessionals

Friday, March 31, 2006

Paramount Pictures is trying something that I haven't seen previously done before and I think it's a great advertising tool. They have set a new trend with the release of Jack Black "Nacho Libre" confessionals - a look at what happens behind the scenes with Jack Black on the set of the upcoming movie NACHO LIBRE. Be prepared to laugh as the cameras follow Jack Black. You never know what will come out of Jack Black's mouth.

The confessionals are a series of video podcasts on Apple's iTunes Music Store and Quicktime.com. The first podcast went out on March 15 and will continue for 10 weeks, leading up to the release of the film in June. Every Tuesday and Thursday a new podcasts will be available for free.

Here are the first three episodes. Don't forget to download the others weekly. You don't want to miss the crazy wacky world of Jack Black.

Jack Blacks Confessional - Episode 1:

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Jack Blacks Confessional - Episode 2:

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Jack Blacks Confessional - Episode 3:

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posted by Shelia, 9:13 AM | link | 0 comments |

Dixie Chicks are Back


Superstars, renegades, innovators, heroes, villains, and moms - over almost a decade, the Dixie Chicks have grown from a band into a phenomenon. Now more than ever, the eyes of the world are on them, and with TAKING THE LONG WAY, they come out swinging, surpassing the pressures and expectations history has placed upon them. The nine time Grammy-Award winning Sony Recording artists will release this highly-anticipated fourth album (Open Wide/Columbia/Sony BMG) on May 23, 2006

The album’s producer Rick Rubin assembled an impressive band including Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, session hero Larry Knechtel, and Heartbreakers Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell, and matched the Chicks with co-writers including Dan Wilson (who wound up collaborating on six of TAKING THE LONG WAY's songs), Pete Yorn, and Gary Louris of the Jayhawks.

Not just "big for a country band" or "big for a big female band," the Dixie Chicks are a multi-platinum selling act in North America, Europe and Australia as well as one of a mere handful of acts with multiple albums achieving "diamond" status (meaning sales over 10 million copies) - both WIDE OPEN SPACES (1998) and FLY (1999) hit that stratospheric landmark - and have won nine Grammy awards.

Their defiant new single, “Not Ready to Make Nice” was inspired by the controversy that was created by Natalie Maines’ comments about a fellow Texan, President George W. Bush, during a London appearance in March 2003. It was this comment that earned the Dixie Chicks an uneasy new reputation, along with death threats and boycotts, but it also gave them the chance to let the world know who they really are. Their new album takes this a step further as they earnestly explore the personal issues that matter to them.

Audio streams of their new single “Not Ready to Make Nice” are below:


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posted by Shelia, 8:38 AM | link | 3 comments |

Introducing Penelope Jones

“Don’t tell me women don’t have stories to tell…”
Penelope Jones

“A lot of times, females are not accepted in hip-hop unless they have the stamp of approval from a man. I want to come out and be successful on my own terms. I’m delivering a message—straight from my own life. It’s not pretty and it’s not sugarcoated. But it’s all mine. And I know that people from all over will be able to relate.”

St. Louis native Penelope Jones is raising the bar for female lyricists. With her brash, uncut delivery and real-life tales from the street, she’s armed with a poignant perspective into her world, representing for all of those who can relate to struggle and survival.

Born into a family who has always had one foot firmly planted in the streets, Penelope Jones grew up seeing it all, up close and personal. “I was raised by my mom and my aunts and uncles,” she explains. “It was chaotic because they were all hustlin’ at one time or another.”

Jones watched—and learned—while branching out in another directions as well, picking up an early love for writing. “I always wrote,” she says. “From poems to R&B songs, it was just one of those things I could always do well.” By the age of twelve, Penelope was rapping alongside her male cousins for fun. By 16, she was in and out of a few rap groups. “I still didn’t really take it seriously,” she says. “It was just something to do.”

While hip-hop was just a hobby, the drug game had morphed into her career. Penelope became a single mother who didn’t see many options outside of the family business. While still a teenager and “in love,” she owned up to her boyfriend’s misdeed and to protect him from getting jail time, she copped to his charges and received probation.

Continuing to juggle life on the streets and life in the studio, Penelope Jones joined an all-male rap group and began garnering attention from major labels for her wicked flow and caustic verses. In the meantime, her hometown friend Nelly became an overnight sensation, putting St. Louis on the map. Nelly’s management team eventually approached Penelope about signing to the label. But just after the paperwork was signed, Penelope found herself in federal prison, where she would remain for almost three years in a drug sting that involved her family.

A family member cooperating with police gave information about Penelope and eight other family members, all of whom were arrested on various charges. But it would be in prison where Penelope finally began to reevaluate her life. “I got my big break and went to prison instead,” says Penelope. “The first thing I did was get my GED. I took the test and passed, two weeks later I was tutoring other people for the test.” Penelope graduated from the business program with a 3.5 GPA, directed musical shows in the prison and also earned a license to be a personal trainer.

Upon her release from incarceration, she began working on a demo that eventually brought her to the attention of Sylvia Rhone. “I’ve been around nothing but men in power. Talking to Sylvia about women in this industry was an experience. With her history of supporting women in hip-hop, from Missy to MC Lyte, I just knew I wanted to work with her.”

The result of Penelope’s experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly, have been transformed into a stunning rap album that brings respect and straight-up rhyme skills back to the forefront of the “female MC” genre. “Women are more than objects in videos. We’re mothers and fathers. We hold our men down when we have to,” explains Jones. I was in prison with women who are locked down for everything from drug dealing to killing. Don’t tell me women don’t have stories to tell.”

With top-notch production from Jazzy Pha, and Nimrods (Nelly, Bow Wow) among others, Penelope delivers an album that has the sassiness of Eve combined with the intellectual ferocity of Lauryn Hill. She can name check her favorite Jimmy Choo shoes in one breath while warning anyone who dares to get in her way in the next, as she does on “My Shoes,” a hardcore track with west coast sensibilities. Jones doesn’t shy away from the stories that make up her life. On the female empowerment anthem, “Miss Me With That Foolishness,” she quickly dismisses anyone who doesn’t understand her strength.

The talented female MC doesn’t hesitate to address the topics that affect her community. She discusses the women who do jail time for their men on “My N***a” and talks to her children and single mothers everywhere on “Father Figure.” Penelope’s serious side doesn’t mean that she can’t get the party started. One of the highlights of the album is a custom-made flip of the legendary party anthem “Louie Louie,” where Penelope melds the ultimate party song into a homage to her hometown of St. Louis.

While many rappers say they want to be versatile, Jones is one of the few who can deliver. She hits all cylinders on her album, sensitive and sexy, telling her man exactly what she wants, as she does on “Waiting For,” or she can be bare-knuckle raw, telling a man to skip the niceties on “I Just Wanna.” Penelope relies on her wisdom in and out of the studio and expresses, “in the end, I hope my words help someone who is on the path I was on, or inspire someone to stay on the right track.”

A woman who is brash, bold, sensitive and unafraid to speak her mind is just what hip-hop needs right now- and that’s Penelope Jones.

Website: www.penelopejones.com/

Myspace Link: www.myspace.com/penelopejonesmusic

Video - EPK


Audio - “Miss Me With That Foolishness”


posted by Shelia, 8:31 AM | link | 0 comments |

R & B Singer Kem Goes on Tour

R&B Balladeer Kem Coming To A City Near You

Take a voyage somewhere free, grown up and sexy. Break away from the formulaic. Go somewhere pleasant, peaceful and soulful, where true love and lazy afternoons reign supreme. That's where Detroit native and singer/ musician KEM takes you on his sophomore LP KEM Album II. Filled with songs you can really ride to, he sticks to the critically praised R&B/jazz sound that made his debut album Kemistry, a certified gold hit.

"To me, this album is better than the last one, because I feel better as an artist," KEM admits. "I stayed in the vibe of the first CD. I took the production up a notch. And I had more time to develop my songs."

KEM knows singing songs for adult contemporary listeners are what drives his success. "I am not trying to market to that get naked crowd. My primary purpose is to serve people who like what I am doing."

It's precisely this crowd that the musician sings to on KEM Album II. With the lead single "I Can't Stop Loving You," KEM sets himself apart from his contemporaries with raw and unselfish emotion. He believes his honesty is one of the main reasons he's garnered such a devoted fan base. That fan base will be delighted with Kem’s current tour schedule.

Apr 1, 2006 Boulder Station Casino LAS VEGAS, NV
Apr 21, 2006 Chattanooga Convention Center CHATTANOOGA, TN
Apr 22, 2006 Seascape Golf Resort DESTIN, FL
May 21, 2006 Orpheum Theater MEMPHIS, TN
May 25, 2006 Parker Playhouse FORT LAUDERDALE, FL
Jun 23, 2006 Hampton Coliseum HAMPTON, VA
Jul 28, 2006 Paul Brown Stadium CINCINNATI, OH
Aug 31, 2006 Garden Theatre SARATOGA, CA
posted by Shelia, 8:26 AM | link | 0 comments |

Chamillionaire Goes on Tour

Houston Rapper Set To Hit Road With Lil’ Flip On Texas Boyz Tour

New York, NY – Universal Records recording artist and Houston based hip-hop star Chamillionaire has announced a Texas Boyz Tour with fellow Houston native Lil’ Flip, continuing the ride on the unprecedented success of his major label debut album, The Sound Of Revenge. The second single “Ridin,” featuring Krayzie Bone from Chamillionaire’s gold selling album was recently the #2 most added song at Rhythm Crossover radio and is rocketing up the Rhythm Crossover Mediabase chart.

The much-anticipated tour, which kicks off in San Diego on March 30th, will run through Las Vegas, New York, Detroit and Atlanta among other cities, thrilling Chamillionaire fans in nearly 30 cities before winding up early this summer. Since the fall, of his 2005 release momentum has been building for Chamillionaire‘s The Sound Of Revenge. The mesmerizing “Turn It Up,” featuring Lil’ Flip, garnered an amazing combined radio audience of over 30 million listeners, becoming a ‘top-played’ anthem at rhythm crossover and urban radio across the U.S. The popular video also received tremendous support from BET and MTV, snaring the prestigious #1 most played video slot on BET, and enjoying unparalleled Top 10 rotation for a new artist. The video for “Ridin” will debut on MTV 2 “Hip-Hop” the week of March 13th with Chamillionaire making a personal appearance as host of the show.

Chamillionaire’s emergence as the music world’s hottest new hip-hop hitmaker has also been confirmed by The Sound Of Revenge’s #10 debut on Billboard’s Top Album’s chart upon its release, with nationally syndicated tomes such as Rolling Stone (who gave the new disc 3 and a half stars) raving: “He’s the next superstar in Houston’s hip hop takeover.”

The album, which features a top-tier roster of acclaimed producers and guest-artists, such as Kool & Dre (The Game), Scott Storch (50 Cent), David Banner, Mannie Fresh, and The Beat Bullies (Big Boi/Outkast), is nearing platinum, becoming one of the most successful hip hop debuts of the year.

Tour Dates:
March 30th San Diego House Of Blues
March 31st Las Vegas House Of Blues
April 1st Los Angeles House Of Blues
April 3rd Anaheim House of Blues
April 4th Tempe, AZ Marquee Theatre
April 5th Tucson, AZ Rialto Theatre
April 6th Albuquerque, NM Gotham Night Club
April 7th Oklahoma City Déjà vu Night Club
April 8th Tulsa, OK Club Energy
April 13th Detroit Zoo Bar
April 14th Cincinnati The Ritz
April 15th Cleveland Metropolis
April 16th New York BB King
April 19th Worcester, MA Palladium
April 21st Washington Fur Night Club
April 23rd Orlando House Of Blues
April 28th Fayetteville, NC Crown Center Theatre
April 29th Myrtle Beach House Of Blues

posted by Shelia, 8:22 AM | link | 0 comments |

Ashley Parker Angel

Album Release Date: May 16, 2006

Website: http://www.ashleyparkerangel.com/
ONLINE STREET TEAM: http://i-squad.net/blackground/AshleyParkerAngel.html

“Let U Go” - Produced by Max Martin and Dr. Luke


“Soundtrack to Your Life” clips



The Soundtrack To My Life

There is an old African proverb that states “When the music changes, so does the dance.” I say I already know how to dance so now I have to change the music.

Who can forget the Pop music scene at the turn of the 21st century? Artists such as *NSync, The BackStreet Boys and Britney Spears dominated MTV, and there was a slue of boy bands popping up at every turn. If you paid attention to pop music at that time, or you were a 16 year old girl, you might remember the original group from ABC’s “The Making Of The Band”, O-Town and if you remember O-Town then you might remember me, Ashley Parker Angel.

A lot has changed since the O-Town days, but in order to know the future, you have to know a little about the past. I grew up in Redding, CA with my mother and stepfather who turned me on to music at the age of 3. My mother was a piano teacher and around the same time as I was learning to speak she began giving me piano lessons. At 13, my stepfather encouraged me to learn the guitar and before I knew it I had saved $2,000. While most kids were buying cars, I bought an 8 track recorder and began to write and produce music.

A woman who owned a talent agency in Redding took interest in me and began to help me pursue my dream. Through her office I was able to access audition breakdowns, which is how I first heard of the “Making The Band” auditions. I saved $800 for a plane ticket to Las Vegas and the rest is boy band history.

Looking back on O-Town I feel it was a positive experience to be able to get a crash course in the business that I feel I was born to be a part of. Most kids struggling to break into the music industry at 18 do not get the opportunity to be plucked from obscurity, cut a multi platinum record with Clive Davis, tour internationally and perform in front of tens of thousands of people each night. It was the chance of a lifetime and I intended to make the most of it. Even though we were not selected for our song-writing ability, by O-Town’s second album I placed 3 cuts and proved myself to be more than just a singer.

One of the downsides to being in a manufactured group was the binding contracts and all the people involved taking a piece of the proverbial pie. I ended up owing more than I was making. The only money I really made was from touring and that only lasted so long. Even though O-Town was a multi platinum selling group the contracts we signed were geared to make the most money for the corporate side of the project. When O-Town dissolved in 2002, I packed up and moved to Los Angeles with very limited funds in pursuit of becoming my own artist.

I moved to LA at 21 years old with a decent savings (for my age), but not the kind of money that would let anyone live for more than several months without another source of income. At that point I started song writing on my own without any management or record deal. I was a clean slate. For the first time I was able to do my thing on my own and really concentrate on song-writing and producing.

I met with a few producers that I knew from the Los Angeles music scene in an attempt to secure studio time and work with someone who really understood the direction I wanted to pursue as a solo artist. I had a few songs written but not recorded, so to gain the attention of a successful producer, I performed my material on just an acoustic guitar in a sort of mini showcase. I decided to partner with SoulShock and Carlin as they really reacted to what I was trying to do musically. They had a great history producing for acts such as Sting, Tupac and Craig David and I felt they could help me get a record deal. I had very little money and needed studio time so I felt that this partnership was a perfect fit.

On May 5th 2003, I met the love of my life, Tiffany, and we have been together ever since. She has been with me every step of the way and has stood by me through all of the financial hardships and struggles I have gone through while trying to re-launch my career.

After spending a year recording with SoulShock and Carlin we organized several showcases in NYC and although I received several offers from a few major labels, I decided to do a deal with Barry Hankerson at Blackground Records and Vincent Herbert from Da’ Family Entertainment. I had met Barry and Vincent a few times through Soul and Carlin while they were working on JoJo’s record in Los Angeles. I really hit it off with Barry and I liked the fact that they had less acts and showed their artists more attention. I also felt that Barry and Vincent had an incredible ear for music, discovering such acts as Aaliyah, R. Kelly, Timberland and JoJo and I loved the family vibe at Blackground Records.

Around the same time I was signing my record deal with Barry, I got a phone call from MTV. They had heard some of my music and asked if I would take a meeting. It was at this meeting that they presented me with the opportunity to shoot a pilot about my life after O-Town and my struggle both financially and artistically to become successful again. I agreed and we began to shoot.

I spent the next several months recording with SoulShock and Carlin and after a cumulative year and a half in the studio, we had recorded 15 tracks that everyone seemed happy with.... but for some reason I only felt some of them were strong enough for the album. At that point I was being pushed to agree that the album was finished, but deep down I knew that there was more work to be done. I reached out to an old friend and legal advisor, Larry Rudolph, who had left the legal world to pursue a career in management, managing acts such as Britney Spears. We had a very close relationship as he was O-Town’s lawyer and I knew I could trust his opinion. After listening to the 15 SoulShock and Carlin tracks, Larry agreed that the album was only partially completed and signed on as my management to help finish the album and guide my career.

So that’s the soundtrack to my life so far. I am working on finishing my album and have been most fortunate to have the opportunity to work with incredible producers such as The Matrix, Dr. Luke Oswald and Max Martin since signing with Larry Rudolph. My girlfriend Tiffany is due at any moment, so it looks like I’m going to be a father on top of everything else.

It’s safe to say that my life has changed in many different ways since being a member of OTOWN. You don’t always get a second chance to prove yourself but every once in a while that opportunity comes along and when it does you better give it everything cause after all....

When the Music ends your life is a flashback, a question, a photograph a statement, a story, a struggle, a chance to laugh cause if you don’t laugh you cry a last crescendo when you die so hit the rewind and listen as they playback the soundtrack to your life!

# # #

posted by Shelia, 8:08 AM | link | 0 comments |

Mary J Blige The Breakthrough Interview

Thursday, March 30, 2006

When Mary J Blige’s new CD "The Breakthrough" arrived in the mail this past December, I rushed to put it in my CD player. By the time I finished listening to it, I had to give Mary her props because it is definitely one of her best CDs to date. On "The Breakthrough," Mary sings about being in a healthy relationship and self-empowerment.

It’s hard to believe she’s been in the business for fifteen years. Time surely flies. She has matured from the young lady of the projects of NYC to the queen she is now. With her distinct vocals, there’s no denying her place among the best singers of our time.

She can sing about heartache one moment and have you dancing in the club the next. Audiences love her. She’s been the unofficial spokesperson for women everywhere.

Listeners can always count on Mary J Blige to keep it real. This Grammy award winner worked with an all-star cast of producers (Bryan-Michael Cox, Rodney Jerkins, the Black Eyed Peas’ Will I Am, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Dre & Vidal, Raphael Saadiq, etc.).

The album contains 14 tracks and includes the hot single, “Be Without You” and numerous of other songs that can stand on their own.

Recently, I got a chance to speak with her about her new album “The Breakthrough” and other things going on in her world.

Shelia M. Goss: Congratulations on "The Breakthrough" going Platinum and debuting #1 on the Billboard charts during its first week out. Many women feel like you’re the ambassador and/or voice for women everywhere! How do you feel about wearing that title?

Mary J Blige: It’s very humbling. I’m thankful to know women paid attention to me when I was doing like the My Life album. It means so much to me. As a child, I saw my mother go through so much and I always wanted to do something to help her. Turns out I’m helping a lot of women and not just my mother. It makes me feel really good.

Shelia: Sometimes it helps to know that you’re not the only one going through something.

Mary: Exactly. In turn, they’re helping me. Now I’m finding out that I’m not the only one.

Shelia: You’ve been doing this for at least 15 years now right?

Mary: There about.

Shelia: Other music artists have come and gone. Why do you think you’ve been able to remain one of the leading ladies in music?

Mary: First, I give all the credit and honor to God because I truly believe the humility I did have caused things to be or not be. Being humble and not even knowing who I was at the time. Making sure everybody on the albums got credit for it and sometimes giving too much away. Also at the end of the day, making sure not to burn bridges or take away from people what they deserve.

Shelia: What kind of advice would you give some of the young female artists such as Keshia Cole?

Mary: Be yourself; whatever that is. Find out who that is. Be careful because they really don’t care about all that attitude stuff in the business. What they do care about is the fact that you know who you are and that you’ll stand up for what you believe in. All that other stuff they can do without.

When I was coming up in the business, we had gotten lucky because we had no idea that we were pissing people off in the business. We were just defending ourselves and it was the only way we knew how to defend ourselves. What people are doing is looking at somebody else’s life in the business and saying let me do that ‘cause they keeping it real—that’s keeping it stupid.

Because keeping it real is what’s in your heart. What’s in your heart is you want to be successful and you want to win. Pay attention. Get away from some of those friends that’ll have you looking all crazy. People don’t understand I’m lucky that I got another chance.

Shelia: What do you want listeners to feel after they listen to The Breakthrough?

Mary: At the end of the day, none of its easy—making the choice to be happy or making the choice to share with people what I’ve shared with people over the years has been a challenge. It’s been really hard for me too especially once people get a whiff of who you are (here comes the trouble). At the end of the day, it takes a lot of courage to bare all that I’ve bared.

What I want people to take from The Breakthrough is if I can do what I’m doing right now, we all can do it.

Shelia: Did you have a lot of creative control with this album?

Mary: Yes. I had all the creative control. Every last piece of it: from who I wanted to work with; who I didn’t want to work with; who I wrote with; what I wrote about; what songs; what musically was going on the album; what producers, making sure everybody got paid properly, making sure we booked the right studios. I was all in the mix of everything.

Shelia: Is that the big difference about this album than your previous ones?

Mary: Yes

Shelia: Did you feel any pressure to succeed prior to the release of "The Breakthrough"?

Mary: When the going gets tough, I get tougher. There’s no fear. I just shake it all off. I say, “You know what. I’m going to do this based on my confidence and where I’m at right now.” I never want to let my fans down ever again; I just want them to be happy. The only way they are going to be happy is knowing what’s going on with me.

Shelia: I love the single "Be Without You" and the video with the sexy Terrence Howard. Did you hand pick him for the role in your video?

Mary: Yes, I sure did.

Shelia: I see so many potential hit singles from "The Breakthrough" that if I had to choose it would be hard. Do you happen to know what the next single will be?

Mary: Not at this time I don’t.

Shelia: How do you stay motivated in between albums?

Mary: My whole thing is I have to really continuously go to God, and say “Lord help me to do whatever I can do. Just give me the strength”. I go through peaks and valleys. In between albums is almost like the valley. You want the positive source and have people always see you in a positive mode. That’s it—remaining happy and healthy.

Shelia: You have a powerful voice. Do you think you will ever do a gospel album?

Mary: I know I’m going to do a gospel album. I don’t know when though but I know it’s probably sooner than later.

Shelia: On The Breakthrough with songs like “I Found My Everything” and of course “Be Without You” your music gives others hope that they too can find true love. Did you ever think you would find a true meaningful relationship?

Mary: No.

Shelia: How long did you and your husband date before you got married?

Mary: Five years.

Shelia: What advice would you give someone searching for a real love?

Mary: It’s not easy. If you’re asking for real love, real love doesn’t come as fluff; it doesn’t come as a “yes” man; it doesn’t comes as someone that won’t challenge you. It comes with someone that will challenge you. It comes with things that you don’t even want to agree with, but is good for you. It’s all good. It’s beautiful. It’s fun. It’s hard. It’s hard for women like me; women period. You have to adjust. Get rid of yourself and not be selfish. It’s hard…really hard…at the end of the day, if you can just press through the pain of your own pride and stuff like that, it’s not a bad thing.

Shelia: What are some of your hobbies in your down time?

Mary: I don’t have any hobbies. My thing is when I’m not singing. I’m really trying to focus on ‘Lord how do I live this life?’ I’m so serious, because I’m not going to play around out in this world. It’s not a game. I want to know how to live this life. How do I not get angry? How do I not be prideful? That's it, if you want to call that a hobby. Studying and trying to find out how to get better as a person. Forget as an artist, but as a person.

Shelia: I read somewhere that you were thinking about playing Nina Simone in an upcoming MTV movie. Have you decided whether or not you’ll play the role?

Mary: I know that they want me to do it. I want to do it. I’m going to do everything in my power to nail the part. People like Jamie Foxx brought Ray Charles to life almost like Ray Charles is living. I want to do the same.

Shelia: Are you thinking about doing any other movie roles?

Mary: Scripts are coming in. I just have to have meetings. I have to read the scripts. I’m not going after the typical ‘she’s going to play the drug dealer’s wife or drug dealer’s girlfriend or struggling mother on welfare’.

What I want to do, because this is another art, I want to do something that’s going to have my people proud. My people would be proud to see me do something like what the Best Man represented. It showed Black people positive and working. We have things too. We’re not just poor black (you know what). My people end up being proud of you because they see you’re not trying to stay stagnant; that you actually want to get ahead.

Shelia: What are some of your goals for the upcoming year?

Mary: My goals for 2006 is to work hard; go on tour; possible do a clothing line for us—for women all over the world, but I know it’s been really hard for us to find the right jeans or the right thing to fit us properly. I want to really make women happy everywhere and make them feel confident.

Shelia: Have you corresponded with Lil’ Kim since she’s been locked up?

Mary: I just wrote her the other day; sent her a letter letting her know that I’m going to be up there soon.

Shelia: How is she doing?

Mary: From what I know and from people that have spoken to her, she’s doing fine.

Shelia: I’m sure your fans would love to know if you will be going on tour.

Mary: I plan on going around April or May. We’re not starting rehearsal until maybe February or March.

Shelia: Is there anything else you would like to say to your fans?

Mary: Thank you so much for appreciating the place that I’m in right now; for growing with me; for hanging in there with me. I’m really glad that you guys are happy with this project. Thank you.

Mary J Blige’s The Breakthrough is in stores. Visit Mary J Blige’s website to keep up to date on what’s going in her world: http://www.mjblige.com.

Shelia M Goss is a freelance writer and the National Bestselling author of My Invisible Husband, Roses are thorns, Violets are true, and Paige's Web. To learn more about this writer, visit her website www.sheliagoss.com.
posted by Shelia, 4:24 PM | link | 0 comments |

Susan Cagle

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

posted by Shelia, 8:24 AM | link | 0 comments |

Book Release - My Life is All I Have by V Anthony Rivers

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Life is about decisions and no matter how big or small, each one can affect the outcome of others around you. Love can change your direction. Tragedy can ruin the best dreamed out plans. However, a young woman in control; she can do just about anything or at least that's what Leesha grows up to believe…

Packed with suspense and vivid descriptions of some of Los Angeles's toughest streets, My Life Is All I Have by V. ANTHONY RIVERS tells the gripping story of a young girl who will do anything to leave her troubled past behind her.

Leesha Tyler is about to commit robbery when memories from her past start to consume her. Leesha looks back on her life and remembers the chaotic household she lived in-with her mother and herself always at odds. Thoughts of the death of her grandmother and the untimely loss of her favorite cousin Luther only sadden Leesha further and make her more determined that the only solution to her problems is to get out of Los Angeles. And the only way to do that, or so she thinks, is to commit armed robbery. My Life Is All I Have is a timely piece of fiction that paints a candid, upfront portrait of a section of Los Angeles known as "The Jungle."

West Coast readers will welcome the familiar settings and others will enjoy a realistic slice of Los Angeles life. With echoes of The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah and Warmest December by Bernice McFadden, this novel shows how the decisions one individual makes can alter many lives-a perfect blend of contemporary fiction and street-lit flair.

posted by Shelia, 11:56 AM | link | 0 comments |

PRINCE 3121 in stores Now

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Prince's new album 3121 is in stores NOW!


posted by Shelia, 9:39 AM | link | 0 comments |

LaCuna Coil Goes on Six Week US Tour

LACUNA COIL has embarked on a massive six-week U.S. tour in direct support to Rob Zombie. This trek, which runs through early May, will be the group’s first stateside run in support of their highly anticipated new album, Karmacode. It will also be the first time the band has played in the U.S. since their successful Ozzfest 2004 run.

And Lacuna Coil have now been confirmed to play the Main Stage at Ozzfest 2006! They will be playing along side with Hatebreed, System of a Down, Disturbed, and Ozzy Osbourne.

Cristina Scabbia (vocals) describes her excitement over the upcoming tour: “Well, I can’t even count the times I said ‘Wow, we’re so excited about this upcoming tour!’ I mean we all know how much Rob influenced the scene and how great his live shows are. We definitely can't wait to share the stage with him and his band. I'm sure it'll be a great experience. It'll be the perfect occasion for us to present the new songs from Karmacode to the fans. This new album is killer and you won't believe your ears. You guys never let us down and we can't wait to see you all. It's been a long time and LACUNA COIL is more than ready to come back!”

The album’s lead track, “Our Truth,” received its worldwide debut on the Underworld: Evolution soundtrack, where it appeared alongside such acclaimed artists as Puscifer (Maynard Kennan’s [Tool, A Perfect Circle] new project), Chester Bennington (Linkin Park), Slipknot, My Chemical Romance, Atreyu and more. A video for the track was shot in Los Angeles by Fort Awesome, a brand-new directorial duo whose individual credits include Queens of the Stone Age, Linkin Park, Disturbed, Chevelle and more.

LACUNA COIL initially left their mark on the hard rock scene in 2004 with their acclaimed album, Comalies, which opened several opportunities for them that were previously thought unattainable for an Italian band, such as two highly successful commercial radio campaigns alongside a breakthrough Ozzfest appearance resulting in over 500,000 copies sold worldwide with a quarter of a million in the U.S. alone.

Official Karmacode website with Ecard:

Tour Schedule Go to: www.lacunacoil.it
posted by Shelia, 9:32 AM | link | 0 comments |

Hear Kem single "Into You"

Album Title: II
Single Title: “Into You”
Album Release date: IN STORES NOW

Websites: http://www.kemmusic.com/

Hear Into You Audio

posted by Shelia, 9:25 AM | link | 0 comments |

Nacho Libre movie trailer

posted by Shelia, 9:12 AM | link | 0 comments |

Heather Headley In My Mind CD

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

"In My Mind," Heather Headley's latest CD, is by far in my top three favorite CDs this year. It is in constant rotation in my CD player. I was hooked on the CD when I heard the title track "In My Mind." Normally after hearing the hit song that's played on the radio, you get disappointed in the rest of the CD. Not the case here. I was very impressed from track one until the end "Change."

While listening to the lyrics, I wondered did she have a peek at my journal because the songs fit several situations I've encountered. In my opinion, you can just put "In My Mind" in and let it play without hitting the skip button. But even then, of course, you'll have your favorites. Call me odd, because it seems that all the odd numbers on the CD are programmed in my player to repeat. Like Tracks #1 "In My Mind," #3 "Wait a Minute" and #5 "How Many Ways," and I could go on and on.

posted by Shelia, 1:54 PM | link | 0 comments |

Hip-Hop Gospel Knine's Born Again CD

When you first play Knine's new CD Born Again, it sounds like a regular hip-hop rap album. But if you pay attention to the lyrics, you'll soon realize it's not. Knine uses his rapping skills to praise the Lord and address day to day issues. His words expresses hope even in the midst of turmoil. The beats on the track will have you moving to the beat as Knine raps.

Out of the 17 tracks, you'll find several songs that you'll want to listen to over and over again. This is a CD that should satisfy the young and old. Knine's Born Again is a great introduction into the sound of hip-hop gospel.

posted by Shelia, 1:31 PM | link | 0 comments |

Urban Mystic's Ghetto Revelations II CD

If I had to compare Urban Mystic's voice with anyone's it would have to be KiCi of Jodeci fame. Urban Mystic has a powerful sultry soulful voice that will have you swaying to the majority of the songs on Ghetto Revelations II. He sounds good on all of the tracks, whether he's singing a slow jam or a club song.

If I had to pick a favorite song, I would narrow the tracks down to: #1 It's You featuring Paul Wall, #2 Where Were You?, #5 Bounce Wit Me featuring Stack$, #6 I Refuse , #7 Your Portrait, and #11 Let's Make A Change featuring Trick Daddy. Although he has a few special appearances on the tracks, he doesn't need them because he has the type of voice that can pull it off all by himself.

Ghetto Revelations II should appeal to both hip-hop and R & B fans.

posted by Shelia, 1:13 PM | link | 0 comments |

Introducing Yung Joc

posted by Shelia, 1:01 PM | link | 1 comments |

Warner Bros Records presents Leela James - Live in New Orleans

Leela James - Live In New Orleans (Warner Bros Records)
Available now, only on iTunes

A digital EP of soulstress Leela James performing live in New Orleans is now on sale exclusively through iTunes starting today, March 14th. It will be made available for download by other online retailers two weeks later. The show, which took place in November 2004 at The House Of Blues, features songs from the Los Angeles native’s critically acclaimed 2005 debut A Change Is Gonna Come.

The DMD will go on-sale the day after James appears with Marc Broussard and Solomon Burke in a tribute to late soul legend Wilson Pickett at the 2006 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, which will air on VH1 on March 21st. James also performed with Jamie Cullum in a tribute to Aretha Franklin at the UK Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in London last November.

In addition, Warner Bros. Records is readying the release of “Good Time,” the second single from A Change Is Gonna Come. The accompanying video begins shooting in Los Angeles on March 15th and will be lensed by hot directorial team Coodie and Chike, who are known for their work with Kanye West and Mos Def.

James, whose throaty gospel-influenced voice has been described as “Chaka Khan meets Mahalia Jackson,” was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding New Artist” and a Soul Train award for “Best New R&B-Soul Artist.” She is currently on tour with KEM.

Leela James: Live In New Orleans, DMD Only EP March 14th on iTunes
EP Track Listing:
Change Is Gonna Come (Live Version)
Didn't I (Live Version)
Good Time (Live Version)
Long Time Coming (Live Version)
Music (Live Version)
My Joy (Live Version)
posted by Shelia, 12:55 PM | link | 0 comments |

Holly Stell - Child Prodigy

Holly Stell has a beautiful soprano voice. Her self titled CD is relaxing to listen to. With songs like "Hope", "Gone," "Perfect Shades of Blue," and "Jewel Song," its hard to believe that she's barely a teenager. I think this CD will appeal to both adult and young listeners. Her voice reminds me of listening to birds sing on a spring morning.

posted by Shelia, 12:42 PM | link | 0 comments |

Meet LeToya "ex-member of Destiny's Child" and hear new single "Torn"

windows media
real player

Watch her Soul Train performance:CLICK HERE TO WATCH.

More about LeToya:
As an original member of Destiny’s Child, LeToya co-wrote the group’s signature songs “Bills Bills Bills” and “Say My Name.” Now, with her self-titled solo album, the powerful singer wants millions of her fans to again be saying her name. That’s why after a few years away from the music industry spotlight, the Houston native felt that naming her album LeToya would be the best way to reintroduce herself. “It’s the world’s first time hearing me and getting to know me as a solo artist,” she says, “so what better way to get them to know me than call it LeToya?”

LeToya flexes her soulful roots on lead single “Torn,” the most emotional and personal song on the album. LeToya’s vocals and lyrics detail the struggle she’s experiencing in a strained relationship that means the world to her. She was inspired to write as soon as she heard the beat, which features a sample of The Stylistics’ classic “You Are Everything.”

“‘You Are Everything’ is one of those songs that just makes you smile, that makes you fall in love,” she explains. “In a sense, it made me feel in love, but I had to twist it up a little bit. “‘Torn’ is a ballad about a girl who is in a relationship and is totally in love with her man. She’s been down with him for so long, but he just can’t get it together. He’s taking her through the motions after she’s been through the ups and downs with him. She’s coming to the point where she realizes that she needs to love herself more than she loves anyone else. She’s really torn in between staying with him and completely leaving him alone.”

The rest of LeToya contains a quality mix of musical sounds and styles. As part of the biggest selling group of the last decade, the ones who helped put Houston on the modern music map, LeToya felt it was important to rep her city throughout her album. No song does a better job of that than “Gangsta Grill.” The future smash features Mike Jones and Killa Kyleone, and features LeToya saluting her city, from the grills to the cars to the type of men found there to the city’s homegrown music.

“This song is straight Houston,” LeToya gushes. “The producer, TA, is from Houston. Mike Jones, Kyleone and myself, we’re all from Houston. Plus, no female artist has taken the whole Screwed Up style and used it for an R&B record. Since I came up on that music, DJ Screw and Michael Watts from Swishahouse, I had to put that on my album. That’s all we used to jam.”

With the upbeat, Scott Storch-produced “I’m Good,” LeToya dismisses a no-good man, while on the sassy “She Don’t,” she sings from the perspective of a woman who realizes that her man will never find a woman on her level. She then explores the pain that comes with a haphazard engagement on the moving ballad “Obvious.”

“Every time I play that song for a girl that’s engaged, she’s like, ‘Girl, that’s how I feel,’” LeToya explains. “A lot of girls go through that. A lot of times, guys see those rings as pacifiers. They’re like, ‘OK, we’ve been over this two, three-year limit of a relationship. I guess it’s time for me to marry you. I guess that’s the next step.’ They don’t look at it like, ‘I’m so glad God has blessed me with a woman like you. I don’t want you to go anywhere. I want you right here with me.’”

But LeToya knows that love is the greatest joy. That’s why she included “This Song” on LeToya. On this smooth, sensuous cut, LeToya lets her man know that she’s ready for a romantic evening of lovemaking. As much as she enjoys the song, it was difficult for her to sing. “It’s hard for me to talk about sex,” she says. “They had to push me to do that record. I did it, but I did it in my own little way. The girl in the story is playing a record that she did specifically to get him in the mood. She’s telling him how the night is going on. She’s got the candles and the lingerie on, so she’s going to take it home for him.”

Taking it back to the club, LeToya delivers two more uptempo smashes with “Tear Da Club Up” with Bun B and “All Eyes On Me,” which features Paul Wall and Slim Thug. The latter is tailor made for a night on the town. “That song is about how I feel when I’m going in the club,” LeToya says. “I’ve got my jewels on, I’ve got my girls and we’re like, ‘Let’s make this look like a video real quick.’ Actually, that’s what I was picturing in my mind when I wrote the song.”

Long before she started making club music, LeToya was singing in her local church. After her father, also a singer, spread the word that his daughter had skills, LeToya was surprised to have an opportunity to sing her first solo in her own church. She was only 5, after all. “The lady just gave me the mic one Sunday and I sang,” she recalls. “Right after that, I joined the children’s choir and started doing all the school plays. That’s where I met Beyonce, in elementary school. I saw that I had a love for music.”

LeToya and Beyonce went on to become integral members of Destiny’s Child. LeToya remained with the group for seven years. During her stint, the group released the gold-certified singles “Bills Bills Bills” and “Say My Name,” both of which LeToya co-wrote and appeared on the breakthrough The Writing’s On The Wall album, which has been certified 8-times platinum in the United States.

“I was happy to have that experience and to be a part of a movement like that,” LeToya says. “Being in that group taught me so much at a young age. I learned to have the mindset of focusing on making a successful album and to do whatever you had to do in order to get there, whether that was waking up at 6 o’clock in the morning to sing or going to vocal lessons when you really wanted to hang out with your friends.”

After leaving the group before the release of its third album, LeToya opened up her successful clothing and accessory store Lady Elle in Houston. Now, with LeToya ready, LeToya will again have the world saying her name.
posted by Shelia, 8:58 AM | link | 0 comments |

Van Hunt "On the Jungle Floor"

Van Hunt ON THE JUNGLE FLOOR will be in stores "April 4th."

posted by Shelia, 8:04 AM | link | 0 comments |

The Churchills

The Churchills' polished, radio-friendly pop songs have been featured in a slew of TV shows. Their album, The Odds of Winning (Near), is jam-packed with pretty, catchy tunes...” - Time Out NY, January 18th, 2006

The Churchills recorded one of 2005’s most stellar indie albums, the underexposed The Odds of Winning, with current single “I’m a Sucker for a Girl in Uniform” a delightful burst of garage rock. Tasty harmonies in the live setting, too. Catch them here while you can: They won’t be playing small venues for long...” - The Village Voice, January 12th, 2006

The Odds Of Winning is easily one of the essential indie releases of 2005 and with licensing deals for shows like ER, Summerland and Scrubs in place to feature their music, The Churchills look like they really do have the odds in their favor...” - INK 19's Top 20 records of 2005, January 17th, 2006

Audio of “Sometimes Your Best Isn’t Good Enough”:

Video stream of “I’m a Sucker for a Girl in Uniform” video:



(Windows Media)


Tour Dates:

03/22/2006 Cafe Nine
New Haven, CT 06501

03/25/2006 08: Main Street Pub
Manchester, CT 06040

03/31/2006 Tilleys
Glens Falls, NY 12801

04/01/2006 The Velvet Lounge
10 Woods Corner Road, Setauket, NY

04/07/2006 La Cocina
140 Wahconah Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201

04/08/2006 Salt Hill Pub
Lebanon, NH 03756

04/29/2006 Quinnipiac University Spring Weekend
Hamden, CT 06514

05/06/2006 Dewey Beach Popfest
Dewey Beach, DE

posted by Shelia, 7:51 AM | link | 0 comments |

E-40 Contest

Monday, March 13, 2006

As E-40 celebrates the release of his new BME Recordings CD My Ghetto Report Card, fans have the opportunity to win an E-40 beanie, keychain, promo CD or an E-40 pee chee folder. The contest ends in two weeks.

All entries must be received by midnight March 31, 2006. To enter, SCROLL DOWN and fill out the form below:


Email Address:

Mailing address:

Enter me in the E40 Contest.



By checking this box you indicate that you understand that no purchase is necessary and void if prohibited by law.


Get an html form for your site.
posted by Shelia, 3:44 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saving Jane Girl Next Door CD

"Girl Next Door" is Saving Jane's new entry into the pop arena. With 11 tracks, a listener should be able to find at least one or two songs they will enjoy. I would suggest going over to Amazon.com and sampling to see if this is the CD for you.

Here's a track listing:

1. Who's Cryin' Now
2. Happy
3. Girl Next Door
4. Change You
5. Reasons Why
6. Ordinary
7. Sleep On It
8. Don't Stop
9. Mary
10. Come Down To Me
11. Autumn & Me

posted by Shelia, 2:07 PM | link | 0 comments |

SheDaisy - FortuneTeller's Melody

I've lucked out because I've been listening to CDs all day and I can say SheDaisy's "FortuneTeller's Melody" is in the "good listening" category. I can't say that I've listened to their music before, because I haven't. I've heard of them, but just never bought one of their CDs. Their unique sound made this is a pleasant CD to listen to. Some of the songs sounded alike to me, but the lyrics is what saved it.

My favorite tracks are "Whatever It Takes," "I'm Taking the Wheel," "Kickin' In," "What Do I Do Now?" and "She Gets What I DeServe."

Here's a list of the entire 12 tracks:

1. 23 Days
2. Whatever It Takes
3. Bring It on Back
4. I'm Taking the Wheel
5. God Bless the American Housewife
6. Kickin' in
7. Healing Side
8. What Do I Do Now?
9. In Terms of Love
10. Burn Down the House
11. Out of My Mind
12. She Gets What I DeServe

Country music fans will like Fortuneteller's Melody.
posted by Shelia, 11:53 AM | link | 0 comments |

Country is My Rock CD

Trent Tomlinson latest CD "Country is My Rock" lives up to the name--because it rocks. There are 11 tracks on the CD. I loved at least 5 of them. Most know I love lyrics and that's why I recommend Tomlinson's CD because he tells a story in each song--from the uptempo songs "Country is My Rock," "Cheatin' On My Honky-Tonk," "I Was Gonna Leave Tomorrow Anyway" to the slower tempo of "Angels Like Her," and "Just Might Have Her Radio On." So if you like country music, this is a must have for your music collection.

posted by Shelia, 10:32 AM | link | 0 comments |

Terraplane Project CD Untitled Vol 1

Terraplane’s self titled CD is a mixture of soulful music with dynamic vocals. It’s the perfect CD for a relaxing evening with friends. I would love to hear them perform live. You can’t go wrong by listening to one of these 10 tracks:

  • Take Me Higher
  • Compared to What
  • Power of love
  • Young girl
  • Feel like going home
  • Come on in my kitchen
  • Rolled up and ready
  • Betta’ to love
  • Back back train
  • When I lay my burden down

  • posted by Shelia, 9:39 AM | link | 0 comments |

    Steve Harvey's DON'T TRIP in theaters NEXT Friday

    Friday, March 10, 2006

    Original King of Comedy Steve Harvey returns to the concert stage with a hilarious new stand-up film, DON'T TRIP…HE AIN'T THROUGH WITH ME YET. Filmed live at Bishop TD Jakes' popular gospel event known as MegaFest, the six-time NAACP Image Award winner playfully pokes fun at everything from the rituals of a church service to the interesting characters in the congregation. Opening in movie theaters on March 17, 2006, Harvey brings his side-splitting observations to New York, Chicago, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Camden, Shreveport, Charlotte, Kansas City and Columbia/Charleston, S.C. in this special filmed performance. DON'T TRIP…HE AIN'T THROUGH WITH ME YET is being released through CodeBlack Entertainment.

    To see the trailer: http://media.azteca.net/SH_Movie_300K.mov
    posted by Shelia, 9:19 AM | link | 0 comments |

    American Myth new CD by Jackie Greene

    Jackie Greene's new CD American Myth will be released on March 14, 2006.

    Hear the single “I’m So Gone:”

    Windows Media


    Jackie Greene is also on tour.

    3/17/2006 Jackie Greene Eternal
    SXSW AUSTIN, Texas

    4/13/2006 Jackie Greene Doug Fir Lounge
    10:00 PM PORTLAND, Oregon

    4/15/2006 Jackie Greene Mazzotti's
    11:15 PM ARCATA, California

    4/20/2006 Jackie Greene The Palms
    8:00 PM WINTERS, California

    4/22/2006 Jackie Greene Fillmore
    10:00 PM SAN FRANCISCO, California

    5/21/2006 Jackie Greene Music in the Park
    6:30 PM ROSEVILLE, California

    8/11/2006 Jackie Greene Festival At Sandpoint
    7:00 PM SANDPOINT, Idaho

    To find out more about Jackie Greene, visit the website:
    posted by Shelia, 8:59 AM | link | 2 comments |

    Keyshia Cole Goes on Tour

    Keyshia Cole goes on tour.

    See when she'll be in your town.

    Escape Ultra Lounge
    Minneapolis, MN , United States

    Fort Lauderdale, FL , United States

    House of Blues - Orlando
    Lake Buena Vista, FL , United States

    Earthlink Live
    Atlanta, GA , United States

    TBD- Savannah
    Savannah, GA , United States

    Rams Head Live!
    Baltimore, MD , United States

    930 Club
    Washington, DC , United States

    Starland Ballroom
    Sayreville, NJ , United States

    Electric Factory
    Philadelphia, PA , United States

    Nokia Theatre Time Square
    New York, NY , United States

    Webster Theatre
    Hartford, CT , United States

    House of Blues - Cleveland
    Cleveland, OH , United States

    St. Andrews Hall
    Detroit, MI , United States

    House of Blues- Chicago
    Chicago, IL , United States

    The Rave
    Milwaukee, WI , United States

    The Pageant
    Saint Louis, MO , United States

    House of Blues - Las Vegas
    Las Vegas, NV , United States

    San Diego, CA , United States

    The Grand Ballroom
    San Francisco, CA , United States

    House of Blues - Los Angeles
    W. Hollywood, CA , United States

    Marquee Theatre
    Tempe, AZ , United States

    Gypsy Tea Room & Ballroom
    Dallas, TX , United States

    Grambling State University
    Grambling, LA , United States
    with Lil Wayne

    Plush Club
    Memphis, TN , United States

    TBD-Houston, TX
    TX , United States
    Essence Festival
    posted by Shelia, 8:51 AM | link | 0 comments |

    Lil Kim Countdown to Lockdown on BET tonight

    Thursday, March 09, 2006

    Lil' Kim Countdown to Lockdown airs on BET on Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. est. The show follows the life of Lil' Kim in the last two weeks prior to her 366 day prison sentence.

    Below is a review of her CD The Naked Truth:

    Lil Kim a/k/a the Queen B is back with a vengenace. The Naked Truth is probably her best CD yet. Some of her lyrics have a 1-2-3 punch and if you're a hater, she talks about you. If you're a fan, she thanks you. She doesn't leave any stone unturned on this CD.
    She lets you know she's "strictly gutter" on it's "All Good." "Lighters Up" sets the pace and it's a non-stop ride from there. She talks about "studio gangstas" on "Quiet." "Whoa" is a good club song. She addresses the haters on "I Know You See Me." Lil Kim has no problem telling The Naked Truth on her latest release. This is another CD you can put in and not worry about pressing the skip button. For rap fans, you won't be disappointed. And even if you weren't a Lil' Kim fan before, I say give this one a shot, because the beats and her lyrics are on point.
    posted by Shelia, 12:24 PM | link | 0 comments |

    Elvis Costella My Flame Burns Blue

    Elvis Costello new album “My Flame Burns Blue” is in stores now.

    Here are a few songs from the album:

    Watching The Detectives

    Almost Blue

    God Give Me Strength

    posted by Shelia, 11:11 AM | link | 0 comments |

    New R & B Singer Nya Jade

    "My Denial" IN STORES MAY 16
    Katako Records


    WM HI:

    WM LO:

    More about Nya Jade

    Cruising effortlessly through irresistible ballads, buoyant rock, and soulful pop symphonies, singer/songwriter Nya Jade’s debut album “My Denial” stands as a potent introduction to a resourceful and gifted young artist. The San Francisco-based singer/songwriter has already drawn acclaim throughout the Bay Area for her unique music, a bold blend of sounds utterly unbound by genre, unified by Nya’s passionate, perceptive vocals. Songs such as the turbulent title track “My Denial” and the provocative first single, “One Pill” mark the emergence of a remarkable new talent, one whose fierce intelligence burns as brightly as her uncommon creativity.

    “I’m such a fan of different forms of music,” Nya says. “My goal from the start was to make a record where no two songs sounded exactly the same, with my voice tying it all together.”

    Nya’s gift for freely traversing artistic boundaries stems from her transient youth. Her father, a doctor with UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations program on HIV/AIDS, traveled frequently, and as a result, Nya grew up in such exotic locales like The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Her childhood in the Caribbean exposed her to a diverse range of music, from calypso and reggae to salsa and classic R&B.

    “My doors were always open,” she recalls, “and a whole bunch of different influences came in and really expanded my musical palette.”

    Nya first began exploring her interest in music while at Boston’s Noble and Greenough School , singing in the boarding school’s Jazz-Pop Octect called Octazz. After Noble and Greenough, Nya began attending Stanford University , focusing on a career in medicine. She also joined Talisman, perhaps the most elite unit among the university’s nine acapella groups. With their mixture of gospel, pop, and traditional African music, Talisman sang in competitions as well as concerts, including a performance at the 1996 Olympic Games.

    Her interest in music soon led to writing songs, expanding on a lifelong habit of penning personal poetry. Before long, Nya realized that if she was going be a serious songwriter, she would need to learn to play guitar. “I had all these ideas for melodies,” she says, “but it was so hard to convey them I realized I needed to pick up an instrument for myself.”

    But with the pressure of being a pre-med student, Nya found herself conflicted between a career in medicine and her love of singing. After two years, she resigned from Talisman in order to fully devote her time to her studies.

    “Talisman was a time-consuming commitment and something had to go,” she recalls. “So I left to focus on Organic Chemistry and all that other fun stuff.”

    Fate, as it often does, interceded in the winter of Nya’s junior year at Stanford. Crossing a street after attending a Talisman performance, Nya was hit by a speeding car. “I was really lucky,” she says. “It could’ve been much, much worse. My head smashed the windshield before I flew off and landed on my shoulder. Had I not landed like that, I would’ve landed on my head and that would’ve been that.”

    Nya suffered a dislocated shoulder, along with injuries to her head, back, and knees, forcing her to take a semester off to heal and attend physical therapy. As she restored her body to health, Nya found herself rethinking her priorities.

    “It’s cliché, but it was a painful rude awakening,” she says. “I realized that there was a lot of truth to the old saying, ‘here today, gone tomorrow.’ The difference of a split second and I might not be here anymore.”

    She decided that life’s too short not to live one’s dream. Nya dropped pre-med, but determined to get a degree, switched majors to Economics. Her guitar lessons became a crucial part of her physical therapy, while songwriting helped her heal emotionally.

    “When you go through an experience like that,” she says, “you tap into a whole well of feelings.”

    Friends and acquaintances were knocked out by Nya’s emotive voice and heartfelt lyrics, giving her the courage to try playing her songs in a Stanford coffee house. “The college environment is very encouraging,” she says. “Everyone is open to exploring new music. That made me think, ‘Maybe there’s something to this,’ so I started playing in cafés around San Francisco .”

    Nya began frequenting open mic nights around the Bay Area, and with each passing gig, her fanbase grew. Still, she had yet to fully invest in the idea of a career in music. Upon graduation, she chose “the safety net of staying in college” and continued onward at Stanford, pursuing a master’s degree in Organizational Studies. It wasn’t until she took a position at a Silicon Valley start-up company that she realized that a deskbound life was not her destiny. “I was bored to tears,” she says. “I realized that wasn’t I the type of person to spend my life sitting on the phone.”

    Intent on going full-on with her music, Nya put together a band through craigslist and started playing out as often as possible. She also recorded a series of tracks with up-and-coming Bay Area producer Tone, known for his work as a studio engineer for artists such as Green Day and Santana. The songs scored airplay on the local alternative station, Channel 104.9 FM, whose support led to Nya’s sharing stages with the likes of the Donnas, Evanescence, Ben Kweller, and Maroon 5. In summer 2004, Nya and her band wowed the side stage audience at Dave Matthews Band’s Sacramento show. Taking in the rapturous response, Nya had an epiphany: “For the first time, I thought, ‘Hey, this is really happening.’”

    While she was determined to make a career for herself, Nya was hesitant about staking her artistic future on the whims of the ever-fickle music industry.

    “My music isn’t cookie-cutter pop that you can market to young kids,” she says. “I knew the labels were thinking, ‘How do we market her?’ I realized that the music industry today is more about promotion and distribution, not developing artists. I knew that if I was going to be serious about a career in music I was going to have to pave my own path.”

    A Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist – and avowed fan of her work – encouraged Nya to put together a business plan for starting a label of her own. She reached out to former Atlantic Records President Ron Shapiro, admiring his philosophy of allowing young artists to develop their own unique potential. Widely regarded as among the music industry’s most innovative and accomplished executives, Shapiro responded positively to Nya’s music and vision and came aboard as manager.

    As she explored ins and outs of the business, Nya attended the annual NEMO Music Conference where she struck up a fast friendship with legendary producer Jack Douglas (Aerosmith, John Lennon). When the time came to record, Nya headed down to Los Angeles’ Westlake Audio, where the studio veteran enlisted a line-up of session players including bassist Dan Rothchild (Beck, Sheryl Crow, Fiona Apple), guitarist Rick Dufay (Aerosmith), and drummer Dan Potruch.

    “It was exciting,” she says, “but since I’d had some studio experience with Tone, I wasn’t intimidated about working with Jack. I wasn’t afraid to speak up for myself and make sure that what we recorded was my vision.”

    Combining the Douglas-produced sessions along with those helmed by Tone, the resulting “My Denial” is unquestionably representative of Nya’s multi-faceted personality. The songs touch upon a range of life’s big issues – from our pharmacologically obsessed culture (“One Pill”), to romantic ennui (“Leave It All Behind”), and questions of faith and redemption (“Best I Can”) – all informed by the songwriter’s witty and intuitive lyrical perspective. At turns poignant, humorous, and fraught with great beauty, Nya explores the complex emotional terrain of interpersonal connections in all their many permutations.

    “The songs are predominantly about relationships,” she says. “Ultimately, that’s what life is all about. Whether they’re romantic or friendship or political, our lives are a tangled web of relationships.”

    “My Denial” will be the debut release on Katako Records – the label name comes from the initials of Nya’s family members. Nya will serve as both artist and CEO, an unusual but indisputably thrilling dual role. With her musical gifts more than matched by a daring desire to reshape the very face of the industry, Nya Jade is poised to spread her wings and bring her songs to the world in unprecedented fashion.

    “It’s so exciting,” she says. The music business is changing and the field is wide open for creative, alternative ways to get music out there. I truly feel like the possibilities are endless.”
    posted by Shelia, 10:47 AM | link | 0 comments |

    New Music from Jewel

    Jewel is back with a brand new CD Goodbye Alice in Wonderland (Atlantic) . Its scheduled to be released on May 2, 2006.

    Here's a preview of the first single:

    http://www2.fanscape.com/jewel06/redirects/alicerealaud.aspx REAL
    http://www2.fanscape.com/jewel06/redirects/alicewinaud.aspx WINDOWS

    http://www2.fanscape.com/jewel06/redirects/alicerealvid.aspx REAL
    http://www2.fanscape.com/jewel06/redirects/alicewinvid.aspx WINDOWS

    posted by Shelia, 10:27 AM | link | 0 comments |

    Pretenders boxed set Pirate Radio in stores March 14

    Rhino Records releases the first-ever Pretenders boxed set Pirate Radio (in stores March 14, 2006).

    Their first-ever boxed set features over five hours of career-spanning music on four CDs. Also includes a DVD with never-before-released performances from 1979-1995. Packaging includes a specially commissioned poster by Clay S. Wilson. Pirate Radio also packs in music The Pretenders originally released on soundtracks and compilations, including the Burt Bacharach/Hal David-penned “Windows Of The World” from the 1969 soundtrack, a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Bold As Love” from Stone Free: A Tribute To Jimi Hendrix, a cover of Morrissey’s “Everyday Is Like Sunday” from the Boys On The Side soundtrack and a live cover of Radiohead’s “Creep.”

    Pretenders Listening Party:





    Pretenders E-Card:

    posted by Shelia, 10:16 AM | link | 0 comments |