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August 31, 2005
POWERHOUSE ROCK TRIO DANKO JONES CONTINUES TO TOUR; DATES INCLUDE SUPPORT OF OUR LADY PEACE AND FLOGGING MOLLY
International powerhouse rock trio and Razor & Tie recording artists Danko Jones will be setting off on their next series of tour dates, including jaunts supporting Flogging Molly and then Our Lady Peace. The hard-working Canadian trio has been on tour criss-crossing the United States since the release of their album, WE SWEAT BLOOD in April of this year.
Included in these tour dates, will be a stint at this year’s Locobazooka on September 18th (www.locobazooka.com) in Fitchburg, MA. Sponsored by WAAF, Boston’s premier hard rock station, Locobazooka is a yearly all-day, all-ages, one-day rock music festival featuring today’s hottest hard music artists. Over 40 bands are on the bill this year. The festival is in its 14th year.
In other Danko Jones news, the band will be featured as part of Infinity Broadcasting’s new Blueroom promotion. Beginning August 30th, radio spots featuring clips of an exclusive Danko Jones interview and performance will begin airing every hour on the hour from 5AM to 9PM on premiere alternative rock stations KROQ (Los Angeles), KITS (San Francisco), WXTM (Cleveland) and WAZU (Columbus, OH). The full interview and performance can be viewed at www.blueroom.sbc.com.
The first single from WE SWEAT BLOOD, “Lovercall”, continues to be a mainstay on R&R’s Active Rock chart; it has been on the chart for fifteen weeks straight. On September 27th, the second single from the album, “Forget My Name” will go for adds at Modern, Active and Mainstream Rock.
August 25, 2005
DAR WILLIAMS LAUNCHES THE CHARITABLE ECHOES INITIATIVE
On her upcoming album My Better Self, Dar Williams emphasizes the notion that everything we do in our lives, especially the good things, resonate all over the world. On the track “Echoes,” Williams sings “Every time you open to kindness, make one connection used to divide us, it echoes all over the world.” Expanding on this idea—and in conjunction with an album release and upcoming tour—Williams is organizing a community-based charities campaign titled the ECHOES initiative. In select markets on the tour, she will promote small and valuable community organizations through advance publicity and marketing aiming to raise awareness, increase funds, and inform audiences of the worthwhile work each charity contributes to their communities.
Williams will discuss these charitable organizations in press conferences in each market and will promote the charity in corresponding radio, television, and print outlets. Local and national media outlets will also be invited to take an active role in promoting the benefit show and speaking to Williams about the campaign. Additional fund raising will accompany the promotion by selling specific concert tickets at a premium price. These allotted tickets will include priority seating and a reception, with proceeds over face value going to each charity.
Williams has an extensive history of aiding community philanthropy organizations. She often dedicates the week of her birthday to benefit concerts, donating all proceeds to the organization of her choice. One of her favorite charities include THE DOOR in New York City, which aims to empower young people ages 12-21 to reach their potential through comprehensive youth development services (www.door.org).
An exclusive download of the track “Empire” is being offered by The True Majority organization, which promotes moving forward in the post-9/11 world with American values of compassion, charity and justice. True Majority's 500,000 email subscribers can win tickets in the top 10 major markets Dar will be touring in (www.truemajority.org). Furthermore, Williams will begin writing for the Huffington Post blog, which is a place for ongoing intellectual commentary about issues in the news and actions by some of our world leaders. (huffingtonpost.com)
Williams new album, My Better Self features a number of guest artists, including a duet with Ani DiFranco on Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb;” a bluesy performance of “Two Sides of A River” with the jam band Soulive; and vocal guest spots with Marshall Crenshaw and Patty Larkin. The album also features Williams’ acclaimed touring band — Ben Butler on guitar, Steve Holley on percussion, Mike Visceglia on bass, Julie Wolf on keyboards, and two special guest instrumentalists, Steuart Smith (The Eagles) on guitar and Rob Hyman (The Hooters) on keyboards. Razor & Tie will release My Better Self September 13.
August 10, 2005
KIDZ BOP 8 CRACKS THE BILLBOARD TOP 10
With almost 67,000 units sold in its first week of release, Kidz Bop 8, the latest volume from the best-selling children’s music series, has debuted at #6 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart, making it the highest charting non-soundtrack children’s release in the history of Billboard. This is also the highest chart debut to date for Razor & Tie. As with all previous Kidz Bop titles, Kidz Bop 8 also debuts at #1 on Billboard’s Children’s Current and Children’s Overall charts. Kidz Bop 8 is also the top-selling album on the Billboard Internet chart.
Like its predecessors, Kidz Bop 8 features hit songs sung by kids for kids - this time with kid-friendly versions of “Lonely No More,” “Since U Been Gone,” “Vertigo,” “I Don’t Want To Be,” “Take Me Out,” and more. Kidz Bop 8 also includes a bonus original music video for “Since U Been Gone”. This video will be included on the forthcoming Kidz Bop DVD: Kidz Bop: The Videos, due in stores on November 1st, 2005. In other Kidz Bop news, look for the brand to expand in the next few months, with an upcoming Kidz Bop-themed Fisher Price toy.
Razor & Tie is currently enjoying great success with Kidz Bop 8 as one of four titles on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart this week. Other charting titles include Slow Motion, a compilation album of R&B singles, Kidz Bop 7 and Worship Jamz, an album of praise and worship songs for kids.
Since their introduction in 2001, Kidz Bop titles have sold over 4.5 million copies with five gold albums to date, and have become the best known brand in kids’ music. Billboard named the titles the #1 Children’s Music Artist for 2002, 2003 and 2004.
August 05, 2005
DAR WILLIAMS’ MY BETTER SELF TO BE RELEASED THIS FALL ON RAZOR & TIE
Of her upcoming sixth studio release My Better Self, Dar Williams says “This is an album where I’m thinking about where we are right now in history…the songs all put stuff out on the table I find important. Less metaphor and more me.” My Better Self builds upon Williams’ praised ability for perceptive songs by covering a range of social and political topics. The 13-track album melodically and eloquently stresses the importance of taking time to relish life, yet also urges one to find a personal and political higher ground. One of the album’s highlights, “Echoes”, written by Jules Shear, Rob Hyman and Stewart Lerman, underscores the universal theme of the album by noting how everything we do in our lives, especially the good things, echoes all over the world. Razor & Tie will release My Better Self September 13th.
Produced by Stewart Lerman (The Roches, Loudon Wainwright) and recorded in Woodstock New York’s Allaire Studios, My Better Self features a number of guest artists including a duet with Ani DiFranco on Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”, a bluesy performance of “Two Sides of A River” with the jam band Soulive and vocal guest spots with Marshall Crenshaw and Patty Larkin. The album also features Williams’ acclaimed touring band — Ben Butler on guitar, Steve Holley on percussion, Mike Visceglia on bass, Julie Wolf on keyboards, and two special guest instrumentalists, Steuart Smith (The Eagles) on guitar and Rob Hyman (The Hooters) on keyboards.
Over the years, Williams’ growing artistic reputation has earned her noted acclaim. People Magazine named her 2003 release The Beauty of the Rain their “Album of the Week” and Stereotype declared “Dar Williams may be the best female singer/songwriter in America today.”
In addition to Williams’ musical work, Scholastic Press published her 2004 debut young adult novel, Amalee, which aptly applies her musical story-telling ability into a different channel of creativity. Williams recently finished a sequel to the lauded novel that will be in stores next year.
Dar will be doing scattered solo performances over the summer (itinerary attached), and will soon announce a national tour with her band slated for the fall. In addition to benefits for organizations like Women Helping Women and Vermont Solar Power, Dar is a major financial supporter of an initiative by some Dartmouth College undergrads to support alternative energy sources. They have refitted an old school bus and are traveling the country powered by salad oil while making stops at Ultimate Frisbee events (see www.thebiggreenbus.org).
August 02, 2005
RAZOR& TIE TO RELEASE TRIBUTE TO BEATLES’ “RUBBER SOUL” ON 40th ANNIVERSARY OF ALBUM’S RELEASE
In honor of the 40th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ legendary album, Rubber Soul, Razor & Tie Entertainment is proud to announce This Bird Has Flown – A 40th Anniversary Tribute To The Beatles’ Rubber Soul. The 14-track album hits stores on October 25th and will mirror the sequencing of the original UK release of Rubber Soul.
This Bird Has Flown features some of today’s hottest artists including Sufjan Stevens, The Fiery Furnaces, Ben Harper, Dar Williams, Mindy Smith, The Donnas and many more. Of the importance of Rubber Soul, Allison Robertson of The Donnas commented, “They got a little more folky, they got a little more funky and more rocking…it was so different, it was like heavy and light at the same time.”
The album is produced by Jim Sampas (producer of 2002’s Badlands: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska). On choosing the line-up of artists on the record, Sampas stated, “As we looked toward artists we would approach, we felt they should be kindred spirits, whose gifts for singing and arranging lend themselves to these melodies and themes. Each artist on this album brought their own fascinating interpretations and have extracted new meanings from Rubber Soul.”
Originally released in the United Kingdom on December 6th,1965, the George Martin-produced Rubber Soul is considered to be an extraordinarily important album in The Beatles catalogue, the first flowering of the complex songwriting and production techniques of their later releases. The album features the now-ubiquitous songs “Nowhere Man”, “Drive My Car’”, “Michelle” and “In My Life” among others. It held the #1 position on the British album charts for eight weeks and remained on the chart for a total of forty-two weeks. In 1966, “Michelle” won John Lennon and Paul McCartney the Grammy for Song Of The Year. To date, Rubber Soul has been certified 6x platinum.
Check out www.thisbirdhasflown.com for more information and streaming audio.