Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Extra! Extra!

Extra! Extra!
Some extra fun stuff that wouldn’t really fit anywhere else!



*YouTube is now THE place to go too when you are bored or looking for a laugh. Here is a video that may be a bit old, but is definitely very well-done and amusing in my opinion. Look it up:
-Titanic Two the Surface


*Mitch Hedberg

Is anyone a fan of comedy? Well, forget Dane Cook for a second, and check out Mitch Hedberg. Though he passed away a couple years ago, you can still enjoy the funniness he left behind. Search for him on YouTube or buy one of his c.d.’s (Mitch all Together and Strategic Grill Locations)!
Some of my favorites include The Dufrenes and Smackie the Frog!

By: Lauren

You Say: Thoughts and Reviews

Book Review

The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer has taken the nation by surprise. The once referred to as the "vampire book" is now on the New York Times best sellers list. Heart throbbing scenes paired with characters to near and dear to us we feel what they're going through this book is one for the ages and as a matter of fact for all ages.
-Wannabe Bella


Show Review


The Secret Handshake show at Funk N Waffles on September 23rd was amazing. It was just so much fun. All the bands were great (well, except for one mediocre Rochester local). All the people were great. And the waffles were great. The venue is hands down one of the best I've ever experienced. It was a small cafe with what can barely be considered a stage as it is only a couple inches higher than the rest of the floor. It is extrememly intimate and made the show very different than most played even in the smallest of clubs.

The local band was Urgency, from Rochester, who I have seen numerous times despite strongly disliking. Not much to say about them, they played and then we all started paying attention. Farewell played second. They were great. I had previously heard great things about them and had listened to a couple songs so I had an idea of what to expect. My expectations were not high enough. Their songs are catchy and their live performance is energetic. After seeing them live I can honestly say they are one of the best new bands out right now.

Powerspace played next. I was expecting to completely dislike them, since the first time I saw them was in July with Envy on the Coast and at that time I did not like them at all. But much to my surprise I really enjoyed their set. It was extrememly fun and energetic. Alec, the lead singer, was very entertaining. At one point he left the stage and no one knew where he went, then after a couple minutes he was suddenly behind me in the crowd dancing. Alec moved in closer to everyone and danced with us for a good minute or so before getting back up on "stage".

Then, of course, The Secret Handshake played, and it was amazing. Luis' interaction with the crowd makes the show so much more enjoyable. He doesn't just talk at the crowd, but he talks to the crowd and individual members within it. The songs sounded great. Overall GREAT set. At one point he said he recognized some faces; he pointed to Lenny and said "Lenneth" and then pointed to Jensen and said he remembered her and that at the last show she was wearing a blue t-shirt. Only a little creepy.

After the show we hung out for about 45 minutes. We talked to Luis for a few minutes about song remixes and how he looks like Max Bemis and how his strange memory allows him to remember useless things such as what color shirt Jensen was wearing in March. We photosessioned with Marshall from Farewell. Lenny told him my name is Goat Cheese and about 20 minutes later when I said goodbye to him and that we would see him Tuesday and called me "goat cheese" and I pretended to be really upset and like I was about to cry; he said "aww she's so cute" and he blew me a kiss. Needless to say it was adorable.

We also talked to TSH's drummer, Greg, and Buddy from Farewell. As well as a couple guys from Powerspace. Thom, from Museums and They Sleep They Dream, was there and he saw that I was wearing a TSTD shirt and called me out. He made a big deal about it and asked if I was going to the show at Waterstreet on Tuesday. I told him no because since Valencia cancelled I decided to go to the show at the Icon instead since they are closing and whatnot.

Then when I was getting ready to leave and I was saying goodbye to Marshall, Thom said something about how I was wearing his old band's shirt. It was pretty cool, he seems like a nice guy.Overall, it was an amazing show. Regardless of how small the crowd was, everyone was into the music and having a great time. More shows need to be like this one was; no stage to seperate the bands from the kids, because really we're all their for the same reason...because we love the music.
-Kristina

Two Bands Holiday Q&A

What a couple bands do for the Holidays and what’s on their Wish Lists!

Lido Beach

1. How do you celebrate the holidays? I haven't lived home in forever but I usually fly in for the holidays and spend New Year's Eve with the same friends that I saw movies with in high school. Thanksgiving is the big family holiday. Chanukah is not a huge deal but I love presents. And pizza.

2.What's on your wish list? As always, global domination.


Daniel the Band

1. How do you celebrate the holidays?
I personally stick close to the family. I do not do alot of traveling, food at my house and parents house, food at grandmas, presents everywhere. We go pretty big for the holidays around here, decorating and watching all the classic movies like a Christmas Story and Christmas vacation is a must in my house.

2. What's on your wish list?
Nothing really..haha I think i have everything i could possibly want. Extras are always welcome though, haha. A Fender Telecaster would be nice. Two would be nicer.


By: Lauren
The Scenic
www.myspace.com/thescenic
By: Lauren

Lauren: Please state your name and what it is you do in the band.

Shane: I’m Shane, or as some people like to call me Suga! haha, i play drums

Lauren: Will you give us a brief history of the band?

Shane: Well Andrew and Frank and Jake, were looking for a drummer and found me on a message board of some sorts, and i was living in NYC at the time, but i came down to jamWe kind of hit it off right away, and a year later we added Dan as a second guitarist and thats where we are at today

Lauren: Awesome! What was it about playing music that first appealed to you personally?

Shane: My dad is a musician so i have always tinkered with instruments. He has bad ass pictures of himself in the 70s with crazy mullets and a long beard.

Lauren: How can people go about buying your E.P, It's a Secret to Everyone?

Shane: our ep is on Smartpunk.com if you want a physical CD, but most people just use ipods now anyway, so its also on iTunes for only 6 bucks. And if your too broke, just go steal it from us. haha We’re broke so we understand.

Lauren: What song would you recommend people listen too first? Or a favorite of yours?

Shane: Well, honestly, I’m soo hung up on our new songs right now, i dont listen to the EP much anymore, but everyone seems to think Not enough to Love track 2 and Fire Science the last track are the catchiest songs and i would have to agree

Lauren: Well, sounds like majority rules on those two then.

Lauren: The Junior Varsity contributed guest vocals on the E.P. How did this all come about? Which song was it? Why that song?

Shane: Oh, well theyy are just really nice guys, and were doing their new record at the same studio we were doing our EP at. We actually got the whole band, not just ASA into the studio on The Fall, and sang some fun gang vocals. It’s sad they are breaking up, really nice guys and hardworking and their new cd is amazing

Lauren: What's your favorite song off their new album?

Shane: "the Sky"
Shane: no wait
Shane: ST louis
Shane: haha
Shane: i take that back its def St Louis

Lauren: sweet. Everyone needs to go and listen to that song then.

Shane: it has a "say anything" type of feel to it

Lauren: What are your plans for future releases?

Shane: we are going to demo 3 new songs that are going to make it onto a full length Japanese CD, they will eventually make it onto a new record here as well, but i would expect them on myspace before the end of the year

Lauren: Now, if you had to shamelessly promote your band, what would you tell people?

Shane: we like to get naked a lot, i mean a lot. Ridiculous amounts of nakedness. haha

Shane: oh you mean musically? haha

Lauren: nah, i think that will get everyone curious enough. haha

Shane:Everyone can get into our music, its just really accessible from a listeners stand point and its not something you necessarily haven’t heard before, but at the same time it is. we really don’t sound just like any other bands. haha we haven’t even found our own sound yet

Lauren: It's all a process, but it sounds good so far.

Shane: thanks

Lauren: No problem. So, last question. Simply, is there anything else you want to add?

Shane: WE absolutely love talking to all our fans online and at shows, we respond to every single comment and message, even if it takes us a while, so make sure to say HI

Lauren: Easy enough!!

Behind the Lyrics: Marianas Trench

Behind the Lyrics with Marianas Trench

1. Who is this and what do you do in the band? Mike. I play bass and sing back up vocals in Marianas Trench.


3. Name one of your songs. And then explain the lyrics/music to it. Shaketramp-This song is not about what you would think at first listen. It's about struggling with the pressures the music business puts on you once you decide to do music as a career. It's about that point when you wonder whether you're selling out because you think you're writing songs just to be commercial. As it is of course if you're playing music as a living there has to be some thought about the business side of music, but we still just play the songs that mean something to us and that we enjoy playing. If it fits in to what our fans and what music biz execs think is something they can work with then that makes life easier. If not then we just have to work harder.



Shaketramp is off the album Fix Me, Out Now!

Our Questions. Your Answers.

Our Questions. Your Answers.

"Does the way the members of bands act as people change your view on their music?"
By: Keaton


The way the band members act doesn't affect the way I view their music. If they make good music, they make good music. Their behavior does affect how I view them though. There are some bands that I can't stand because they are complete jerks, but I still listen to them.
-Christine


It depends on the artist/band. Fall out boy is one example. Pete Wentz doesn't exactly "Behave" in public, but I think his lyric writing is too amazing for that to matter. But if someone's like, constantly strung out, on drugs or alcohol in public or on stage, then I don't know, they better have some sort of credibility behind them. Otherwise, I don't know if I'll keep listening to them.
-Carl


I think it affects it big time. I loved the starting line for 4 years, and i was waiting 4 years to meet them. Then this past warped tour, when i met them, it changed my WHOLE view of them. They aren't the guys I thought they'd be. They went from being my favorite band, to being whatever. There music is great, but I think that experience will affect weather i want to see them in concert again.
-Kaila

Yes, at times. If they killed someone, or something, then that would totally change my opinion . . . but if they just do something silly like get really super drunk or something...I don't really care. I guess positive things affect my opinion more . . . say if they do something really cool or charitable or something I'll like the music better than I did. Or whatever. I dunno. Lol
-Ralph

The way a band acts as people does affect how I view the music to an extent. Especially if its the singer. If a band is really nice and I become friends with them then I enjoy the music more because it becomes more personal and I connect more. If a band acts like an ass, especially the singer, then I don't stop liking the music, but I am not as eager to see the band live sometimes and I feel like what the say in the songs doesn't have as much meaning.
-kristina

Yes and no. If I decide that I don't like the band as people I'm much less likely to support them although I'll view the music the same way. But if I see one of the members acting arrogant I'm more likely to interpret their lyrics as arrogant.
-Stephanie

I think band members’ behavior off-stage doesn't really have a HUGE effect on my impression of the band, because if they're talented, character doesn't take away from that. It may lead me to lose a little bit of respect for the specific member themselves, though.
-Hattie Phillips :D


For me, yes because if a band loves what they do and appreciate the support, then I am able to feel that through their music and enjoy it. Unfortunately, if a band doesn't care, takes it for granted or is cocky, it's off-putting and their music is spoiled.
-Lety

YES! I really liked this band that I saw at the Metro in Chicago and really really liked them. I was all excited, went home and got the CD and such. I later heard that they are HUGE druggies and partiers...and I instantly lost respect. I still listen to their cd regularly but I look at the lyrics relating to drugs...and dunno..just not into that!
-Stefan


I think that this has a very big impact on how people view the band. My favorite bands, Rise Against, Anti-Flag, and others in that genre, are known for their political views and appreciation of human and civil rights, so as a band, what they say matches what they believe.
-Shane C

Behind the Music&Lyrics: AntiKid

AntiKid

Chris from the UK band AntiKid takes us behind the music and words of two of their songs which you can find on Itunes.
www.myspace.com/antikid

At the moment, we've got 2 tracks that people can get hold of, part of our first DoubleA single. The 2 tracks are called Faultlines, and Discard the Excess
At the moment we think the only way to get hold of them in the US is by Itunes- cos we ship out the cd's ourselves over here, and haven't got international distribution just yet! Both the songs are quite different stylistically- Faultlines has a more far more ambient, experimental sound to it, whereas Discard shouts far more back to punky stuff we used
to do.

Lyrically, they're not all that different though. We wrote Faultlines a lot more recently, and it pretty much started with John coming up with the verse line on guitar, then we all just build stuff around that until the song kind
of just formed. Most of the lyrics I write are generally about something, but they're also left really open to interpretation, so a lot of people seem to take different things away from it, which is cool I guess, otherwise it'd just be me being really preachy about my life all the time. If you listen to the lyrics, the theme of it is fairly obvious, but the chorus-

It's all about the plastic words
and don't you fit the mould so well
Well you're just breaking the ice,
breaking the ice
sometimes gets a little misunderstood, but mainly it was just kind of talking to someone, and how just exaggerating and lying about their life had just become so natural, and they try to justify it by saying it's just for first impressions, or breaking the ice in a conversation, and the lie just never goes away and they carry on living it.

The other track discard was one we wrote a lot earlier, and the general theme is how people flaunt the word love about, without really thinking about it, and it kind of devalues it a lot, and when you listen to it you can hear views on how both girls and boys often end up on one sided relationships, which are just built on rubbish.

Interview: Strata

Eric Victorino of Strata
By: Lauren and Braxton
www.myspace.com/strata

Strata’s vocalist Eric Victorino answers questions about the band and their newest album Strata Presents the End of the World. This Alternative/Rock band hails from Campbell, California, and is definitely a welcome change for those in the music scene that are looking for something a bit different then what the radio is constantly playing.

1. Can you state what your name is and what you do in the band?

Yes I can.

2. The cover art for the new album definitely seems to fit the album title. Can you give us a more in depth look on what the images on the cover are all supposed to be representing?

The artwork is Anne faith Nicholls' interpretation of the album. We gave her no direction other than to paint what she felt.

3. You basically state on the bands’ myspace that you think more people shouldn’t be afraid to write love songs. Do you think this is an important thing for more people to sing about? What is your idea of a true love song?

90% of the Beatles' songs are beautiful love songs. I think love is one of the only things in life that really matter and people shouldn't ignore it in their songwriting.

4. You have also stated that the lyrics for this album are about what life in America is like now. Is this just from your point of view or everyone in the country in general?

Obviously it's all from my perspective - but I don't think my point of view is all that unique.

5. Your book and a song on the album are both called Coma Therapy. What’s the meaning behind the title? Is there a reason for the titles being the same?

I think that's something people can figure out without too much effort if they have both the book and the record...

6. If someone walked up to you and asked you what your music was all about; asked what do you want people to get from it; what would you say?

I'd probably look at them kinda funny for a second - being that they just walked up to me on the street and asked that kind of question... after that awkward silence I would probably just tell them to listen to the music.

7. What was one of the most memorable shows you’ve ever played? What was one of the shows that did not go quite so well?

Last time we played in Cleveland there were people calling us faggots and saying we should go home... that was fun. Gotta love the red states.

Our FREE Compilation

Our Compilation
By: Lauren


You know what you need this Holiday Season? Our Compilation!! And it’s free, so what could be better then that? The idea came from Andy who makes free online compilations to put in his blogs and support unsigned bands. I loved the idea and he gave us the okay to go ahead and use it! To help support him and all the bands he’s been helping, we did an interview with him.
1. What is your name and what is Probably Monday Records all about?

My name is Andy. PMR is about promoting unsigned bands with great potential. We are dedicated to finding the best unsigned bands, making compilations out of their tracks, and digitally distributing those compilations for free!

2. How did you come up with the idea?

PMR was started in March 2007. I originally thought of getting into booking/serious promoting, but this is what happened instead.

3. Are the blogs the only place people can find the songs?

The blog is the best way to find our compilations. Compilations are also sent out in bulletins and on messageboards, but our blog is the best way to go.

4. How do you decide on what songs you choose to include? What are some of the bands you have had songs from so far?

Some quality pop/punk bands have contributed so far. American Diary, The Late Night, Dropout Year, Hand Me Down Buick, Radio Pirate DJ, and Parade The Day are standouts. PMR focuses mainly on pop/punk music. I grew up with pop/punk, and I'm still in love with it.

5. If a band wanted you to use one of their songs, what do they need to do?

They should just send me a message or a comment. And give me a reason why they are badass.

6. What kind of response have you received from people/bands thus far?

Overwhelming positive response from people. I always smile when I get comments and messages from people just saying thanks. Bands have been a little harder to contact. Some will never get back to me, but most make an effort to respond.

Too check out his compilations, then head on over to his myspace (link below). Now, back to the compilation we set up ourselves! Bands included are The Bigger Lights, Lido Beach, The Remorse Code, and more!
Like we said, this compilation is available for free. Just check out our two purevolume sites (links below) and download the songs. Also, don’t forget to click the Photos tab and print off our c.d. cover and tracklist made by our very own Annie!
Once you’ve done that, just drop us a comment on myspace to let us know you did this and one to the bands, for I’m sure they’d love to know!

Links:
www.purevolume.com/shootingstarsmag
www.purevolume.com/shootingstarsmagx
www.myspace.com/probablymondayrecords

DVD to Rent

Superbad

BEST PRESENT EVER. NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

By: Keaton


*Yes, there is only one for this, but I'm sure there are plenty of movies coming out or just did...such as:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
License to Wed
In the Land of Women
etc.

-Lauren

Movies to See

Movies to See!
The Holidays are a great time for movies to come out, and we have a list of various titles that you need to see! If you don’t find something you like out of these, then you must hate movies!
By: Lauren



This Christmas
In this Holiday movie, the whole family is home in time to celebrate Christmas together. And as we all probably know, that will most likely result in all sorts of drama to be sorted out by the movies end, but I’m sure we’ll have a happy ending…no need to worry.
Cast Includes: Loretta Devine, Regina King, Mekhi Phifer, and Chris Brown.
Due out: November 21, 2007
Rated: R……..did anyone actually believe that? Actually, I have no clue.


August Rush
August Rush is about a musical couple who have a child and is not allowed to keep him. Years later, they both go looking for each other and their son, who is using music to find them.
In my opinion, this movie looks pretty darn amazing and I can’t wait to see it. Who’s with me?
Cast Includes: Freddie Highmore, Kerri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Robin Williams.
Due out: November 21, 2007
Rated: PG (So you really have no excuse NOT to see the movie)



The Mist
Based on one of Stephen King’s short stories-so it must be scary- The Mist is about a fog that covers a small town and kills anyone who gets caught in it. The grocery store becomes a refuge for the ones that make it. That’s basically all I can tell…so if you know any more about this movie, pass the information along!
Cast Includes: Andre Braugher and Laurie Holden.
Due Out: November 21, 2007
Rated: R


Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Sweeney Todd, based on the musical by Stephen Sondheim, is about Benjamin Barker who is wrongly accused of a crime and sent to prison by Judge Turpin. When he returns to London, re-christening himself Sweeney Todd, and opens up a barber shop above Mrs. Lovett’s Meat Pie shop, the two of them plot revenge. And yes, Johnny sings!
Cast Includes: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, and Sacha Baron Cohen (Basically, best cast ever!)
Due Out: Christmas
Rated: R


Juno
Juno is the story of a teenage girl who sleeps with one of her classmates, Bleeker, and becomes pregnant. Her friend Leah helps her find a home for the baby and they meet a couple who cannot conceive on of their own. This is the story of all that Juno must face being a pregnant and still only being a teenager! It looks hilarious and thought-provoking and definitely one of my top movies to see!
Cast Includes: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, and Jennifer Garner
Due Out: December 7, 20007
Rated: PG-13


Alvin and the Chipmunks
Alvin, Simon, and Theodore are back for the first time ever in theatres! All I have to say is that it’s about time!
Cast Includes: Jason Lee and David Cross
Due Out: December 14, 2007
Rated: PG (Again…no excuse not to see this!)

Winter Tours

Some Winter Tours
by: Keaton and Lauren


Anthony Green, Envy on the Coast, The Dear Hunter, and Days Away Christmas Mini Tour.

12/26/07 Harpers Ferry, Allston MA
12/27/07 School Of Rock, South Hackensack NJ
12/28/07 Recher Theatre, Towson MD
12/29/07 Crazy Donkey, Farmingdale NY
12/30/07 First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia PA


Christmas tours are seriously amazing.
-Keaton



The Dresden Dolls, Lumescent Orchestra, and Meow Meow

12/27/07 Sixth & I Historic Synagogue WASHINGTON, DC
12/27/07 Rams Head Live! Baltimore, MD
12/28/07 The Fillmore at the TLA Philadelphia, PA
12/29/07 Orpheum Theatre Boston, MA
12/31/07 Grand Ballroom New York City, NY
01/03/08 Le National Montreal, Quebec
01/04/08 The Phoenix Theater Toronto, Ontario
01/05/08 Vic Theatre Chicago, IL
01/06/08 The Pageant St. Louis, MO
01/08/08 WorkPlay Theatre Birmingham, AL
01/10/08 Tampa Theatre Tampa, FL
01/11/08 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
01/12/08 Carolina Theatre Durham, NC
01/13/08 Norva Theater Norfolk, VA


Ain't nothin' like a bit of Cabaret Punk to warm up that cold winter spirit!
-Keaton


New Atlantic, Paper Rival, and Charlotte Sometimes


12/01/07 The Warehouse, LaCrosee WI
12/02/07 Beat Kitchen, Chicago IL
12/05/07 The End, Nashville TN
12/06/07 Johnson Center Atrium, Fairfax VA
12/0/07 The Sound Garden, Myrtle Beach SC
12/08/07 1982 Bar, Gainesville, FL
12/09/07 Studio A, Miami FL
12/11/07 Jack Rabbit's, Jacksonville FL
12/12/07 The Brewery, Raleigh NC
12/15/07 Penn Monster Factory, East Stroudsburg, PA
12/16/07 Knitting Factory, NYC

-Keaton





United States Tour: Bayside, The Sleeping, June, A Day To Remember, and Driver Side Impact.

Some of these dates may be past, but there are plenty coming up still, so give this list a look and if you can, check out the show!
-Lauren









October 26th
New York, NY
Nokia Theatre



October 27th
Philadelphia, PA
Trocadero



October 28th
Norfolk, VA
Norva



October 29th
Charlotte, NC
Tremont Music Hall



October 30th
Atlanta, GA
Masquerade



November 1st
Orlando, FL
Social



November 2nd
Orlando, FL
Social



November 3rd
Ft Lauderdale, FL
Revolution



November 4th
Tampa, FL
State Theatre



November 6th
Houston, TX
Numbers



November 7th
San Antonio, TX
White Rabbit



November 8th
McAllen, TX
South State College



November 9th
Dallas, TX
The Door



November 11th
Las Vegas, NV
Jillians



November 12th
Phoenix, AZ
Clubhouse



November 13th
San Diego, CA
House of Blues



November 15th
Anaheim, CA
House of Blues



November 16th
Los Angeles, CA
Henry Fonda



November 17th
San Francisco, CA
Slims



November 18th
Sacramento, CA
Boardwalk



November 19th
Portland, OR
Hawthorne Theatre



November 20th
Seattle, WA
El Corazon



November 23rd
Salt Lake City, UT
Avalon



November 24th
Denver, CO
Gothic Theatre



November 26th
Omaha, NE
The Rock



November 27th
St Paul, MN
Station 4



November 28th
Milwaukee, WI
Turner Hall



November 29th
Chicago, IL
House of Blues



November 30th
Cincinnati, OH
Mad Hatter



December 1st
Detroit, MI
St Andrews Hall



December 2nd
Cleveland, OH
House of Blues



December 3rd
Buffalo, NY
Xtreme Wheels



December 4th
Pittsburgh, PA
Mr Smalls Theatre



December 6th
Boston, MA
Middle East



December 7th
Troy, NY
Revolution Hall



December 8th
Asbury Park, NJ
Stone Pony

Video Game: Guitar Hero 3

Guitar Hero 3: Legends Of Rock
I don't really understand why this game is xbox exclusive, considering PS2 and PS3 are 100 times more popular. But, if you happen to have the Xbox 360, this game looks awesome! I mean come on, those interchangeable faceplates are so cool, and the fact that you can actually be rock legends, and not stupid rock n roll made up characters just takes faux rocking out to the next level.

By: Keaton

Author: Justin Jorgenson

Justin Jorgenson Interview
By: Braxton


What compelled you to write a book about the interior decorating pictured in the background of male personal ads? Where did you come up with the idea?

I was very inspired by the magazine “nest” and the book “STUD: Architectures of Masculinity.” In western society men have an uncomfortable relationship with decorating I was interested in. Also, it was 1999 and I wanted to document what our actual interiors looked like at that moment. Webcams were getting big and I started grabbing shots from those, the kind people would leave on all day. But the image quality was low and then I hit on using online personal ads. The images were higher quality, the setting just as candid, and it had the added bonus of a person in a ridiculous pose.

Do you know Chuck Palahniuk on a personal level, other than the fact that he is promoting Obscene Interiors on his Rant tour?

The first time I met him was at his Haunted book event here in LA. I gave him a copy of my “Obscene Interiors” then seven months later it showed up on a list of his “Top Ten Books of the Past Ten Years” in Blackbook Magazine. I guess that was his way of saying “I liked that funny book you gave me.”

It is obvious that you know about Chuck Palahniuk, based on the recap of Guts in your blog. Do you have a favorite book written by Chuck?

I’m actually most attracted to his nonfiction work. I know in some ways all his work is nonfiction, which is why I like it. I’m very interested in the true stories we all have that seem untrue, and they only seem unbelievable because we consume so much popular fiction (TV, Movies) that obscures, sanitizes, or simplifies the human experience. People do crazy shit and I want to know about it. Every movie and TV show I’ve worked on had far more interesting stories happening behind the camera than in front.

What inspired you to start writing?

Reading bad books. After holding one too many I put the book down and picked up my keyboard. I said, “I can do better than this.”

Are there any more books in the making?

Yes. Maybe more “Obscene Interiors.” And another one about Feng Shui that’s very silly. Those are the fun gift books. I’m also writing a long story about a boy from Fargo who wants to move to LA and design theme parks. It opens in LA with him as an adult having sex that will leave his partner dead. Then it jumps back to his childhood to before he knows he’s gay, before his mother discovers her multiple sclerosis, and before his father dies of lung cancer. It’s a memoir.

What is your all time favorite book?

Honestly, I’m not well read. But I like buying books. The original printing of “You Shall Know Our Velocity” is my favorite book as a physical object. I take it off the shelf sometimes just to feel the particleboard cover. The original “The Wizard of Oz” was the first “real” big-person book I ever read. It was 209 pages and one of the biggest and heaviest books in my elementary school. It was my first “the book is way better than the movie” experience. Also, I greatly admire the honestly of Dave Eggers, Joan Didion, and Amy Hempel in their work. “Lucky” is an excellent memoir. And I’ve recently started reading Stephen Elliott. He likes being dominated by women.

What is your favorite band?

I don’t have one. I just like individual songs. But I listen to “The Hours” soundtrack all the time. And the Fred Falke remix of Test Icicles’ “What’s Your Damage” is really good.

Do you have any tips for writers?

I’ll tell you the tips I tell myself (or the ones my writing group reminds me of every Wednesday). No one gives a shit about your commentary. (Unless you possess exceptionally unique thoughts on the subject, or God forbid, “whit.” But you probably don’t. So cut the commentary and get back to the story ‘cause that’s all we care about.) I came to this realization while playing pool slightly drunk at a gay bar. Oprah would’ve called it an “ah-ha! moment.”

Typing on your laptop in a coffee house tells me you’d rather be known as a writer than known for your writing. I know there’s exceptions. But it reeks of the artist who wears his paint-splattered jeans to an art opening. We get it. You’re “creative.”

Fuck being coy. Don’t hold back important info. Tell me where we are and what’s going on. It’s a story, not a date. Being coy in prose isn’t flirting, it’s annoying. On a date we put up with it only because we can’t skip ahead to the page where we get laid.

After you’ve written something terribly clever, call your boyfriend and read it to him. If he’s well trained he’ll say, “Justin, that is by far the most clever turn of phrase you have ever constructed.” Then pat yourself on the back and delete the paragraph and rewrite it.

Don’t waste the reader’s time. If you’re not entertaining, then be educating, preferably be both. I like coming away from a story knowing some real-world facts I didn’t know earlier, like that soap could become a bomb. The reader is giving you their time. Pay them back somehow.

Author: E.M.Alexander

Death at Deacon Pond by: E.M. Alexander

Death at Deacon Pond is a story about a girl named Kerrie Langston who has visions of her dad’s death after he commits suicide. Because of this, she believes that her dad was killed. Then, she comes across a dead body and must try and help solve the mystery. Now, to get a much better summary, look up the book!
It took author, E.M. Alexander, 15 months to write this book and once the story was sold to Lobster Press, she took another 3 months to edit. The book is currently out and waiting for you to pick it up at the bookstore, so I think while she’s working on new material, you should go out and do that!
Speaking of new work, Alexander informed us that “Death at Deacon Pond is currently my only release, but I have two manuscripts of merit I'm hoping will be published soon--a middle-grade historical that placed 2nd in the Smartwriters W.I.N. contest and a non-fiction picture book manuscript that was honored with a Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Barbara Karlin Grant.”
If you, yourself, are interested in writing a novel like E.M. Alexander and are wishing for some advice, then look no further! “Aspiring writers should read widely and be persistent. People say this so often, but it is really true. Oh, and don't write for fame and fortune. Write for the person that picks up your book and feels like you wrote itjust for them.” That’s wise advice, I believe. Also, if you don’t love what you do, how will anyone else?
Finally, since it is now the Holiday season, we wondered what might be on Alexander’s own wish list! Here’s what she had to say:
“Books! (Okay, that's a given.) New tunes for my MP3 & the Led Zeppelin collection. And clothes--especially clothes that my husband picks out forme because he has a much better eye for fashion than I do. Sad, but true. Just don't tell him I said that!”
Don’t worry, we won’t!

Myspace: www.myspace.com/writeremalexander

By: Lauren

Author: S.A.Harazin

Blood Brothers by: S.A.Harazin

S.A.Harazin shortened her name for the same reason that J.K. Rowling did for the Harry Potter books: So that the book would not turn away boys if they saw right away the author was female. So for all those boys out there, you better give this book as much of a shot as any girl would!
This debut novel is about a teen named Clay who works as a hospital orderly, and what happens when his best friend, Joey, ends up there in a coma. Clay is blamed, but he must help more than just himself.
For those of you who like to judge a book by its cover, then I expect you to pick this one up, for it has a pretty sweet one! And for those of you who choose books based on what others have to say, then just check Blood Brothers’ Amazon page. The book has 7 reviews, who all gave it 5 stars out of 5.
When we talked to S.A.Harazin about what she’s heard others say about her book, she said that “I've heard from teens and adults who really liked the book. Quote from Guerilla Librarian (a myspace friend) on my comment page:
"Blood Brothers is certainly resonating with teen readers. I have written comments from two 15 year olds at http://www.genrefluent.com/2007page10.htm#bloodbrothers
"One of them is a very reluctant reader and the other is an avid reader. Really shows why it is a contender for both BBYA and Quick Picks."
One of my biggest surprises and thrills was when a teen with ADHD called me to tell me how much he liked the book. Blood Brothers was the only book he had ever completely read.”
As for any future work we can see by her, she is currently writing a new novel! “I am working on a young adult novel about a teen with a rare genetic disorder. I am hoping it will be released in 2009.”
There you go! You have plenty of time to check out Blood Brothers before it’s time to read her newest book, and I sincerely hope you do!

To read a more complete summary and/or talk to the author herself, visit her on Myspace! www.myspace.com/saharazin

By: Lauren

Books: The Autobiography of Santa Claus

The Autobiography of Santa Claus by: Jeff Guinn

How about a holiday book to read curled up by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate? Well, give this one a try! This is the “true” story of St. Nicholas and how he became to be Santa Claus. It’s said to have a lot of facts and a lot of humor…perhaps even enough to make Santa’s belly jiggle and his cheeks to turn red from laughter? Find out for yourself!
Out: Now
By: Lauren

Books: Switching Time

Switching Time: A Doctor’s Harrowing Story of Treating a Woman with 17 Personalities by: Richard Baer

Switching Time was an amazing story of a woman with Multiple Personality Disorder who had not just one altar, but 17 accumulated over the years. Each altar had a specific job and some even stopped aging at certain times, while others aged throughout the years. Karen finally went to Dr. Baer for therapy and it took a few years before Baer even realized what exactly was wrong. Once he did, it was an even longer journey to get all the altars to trust him and merge within Karen so that they would become one whole person.
The book contains many details about the abuse that Karen survived her whole life, and a lot of the reason her altars formed, so please read with caution: Mature readers!
Out: Now
By: Lauren

Books: I am America (And so can you)

I am America (And so can you) by: Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert, the host of the ever-popular TV show The Colbert Report, is now an author! I, for one, could not be happier. He’s hilarious on the show and I’m sure the book is just as funny! You may have noticed the silver sticker on the front cover (usually an award of some sort) which is actually a fake award that Colbert invented himself. In fact, he gives you a page of those same stickers in the book to put on other novels. I have yet to read this book, but a couple random things I have noticed on the book that I found amusing were the fact that the review snippet on the back cover was from Colbert himself and his author photo is him depicted as the Hulk.
This is one Holiday gift you must get for a friend or family member or even add it to your own list, but for heavens sake, get the book!!
Available from: Pretty much any major book store.
Out: Now
By: Lauren

Books: Postsecret

Postsecret: A Lifetime of Secrets

The latest in the cultish Post Secret Books. Filled with handmade postcards, sent anonymously to Frank Warren, and compiled into the 4th book in this series.

postsecret.com
Out: Now

By: Keaton

A Cursive Memory

WWW.BANDARAZZI.COM
besides having the BRILLIANT idea of chasing celebs like the paparazzi in order to 1) get them to be in their music video (rumor has it Britney Spears is going to take part?! 2) get mad coverage! (tmz.com has a video up!), and 3)be damn hilarious, A Cursive Memory is a really good band! If Shaun follows in big brother Chris' footsteps, ACM will be big in notime. Check out their debut EP, Respek! is out on Vagrant Records.

bandarazzi.com
myspace.com/acursivememory

By: Keaton

Therefore I Am

Therefore I Am's EP drops November 13th, and available for streaming on purevolume.com/thereforiam as of November 5th
Expect good things from a good band.

purevolume.com/therforeiam
myspace.com/thereforeiam

By: Keaton

The Maine

Many of you may know The Maine from their Akon cover of "I Wanna Love You", on this years Warped Tour "Yo! Indie Rock Raps" cd. The poppy quintet just signed with Fearless Records, which besides for The Plain White Tees, is home to some awesome bands, like Every Avenue, and Mayday Parade. Their EP, "The Way We Talk", is going to hit stores December 11th. If pre-order off their myspace, it's only $3.99, and you get a free poster. Beat that.

myspace.com/themaine

By: Keaton

Photo Finish Records

This label is definitely going somewhere. They only have 3 bands, and 5 releases, but every single one is M-I-N-T. Their most popular band, Envy on the Coast, as I'm sure you know, holds a special place in my heart. their full length and EP are both phenomenal.
Paper Rival, previously known as Keating have their debut EP out on Photo Finish as well. After seeing them with The Pink Spiders, You Me and Everyone We Know, and The Color Fred, i haven't been able to put the EP down. Paper Rival is the indie child of their label.
The newest AP Comp, Press Play Volume 1: Back To School Sessions, is also released on PFR. it has acoustic versions of some great bands, ranging from the Fueled By Ramen staples, to more hardcore and scream Chiodos, and even Everytime I Die. Photo Finish's latest signer is the Seattle groove funk pop band Danger:Radio. I have been listening to Danger:Radio, lead by The Scene Aesthetic's Andrew DeTorres, for the past year and a half, and personally, im thrilled to know that they aren’t going to be selling spray painted demos at shows anymore. Their debut EP, "Punch Your Lights Out" is available on ITunes now, with no information about a CD release.

Photofinishrecords.com
myspace.com/envyonthecoast
myspace.com/paperrival
myspace.com/apcomp
myspace.com/dangerradio

By: Keaton

Headrush Photography

A group of girls decided to take their love of photography and make it into something much bigger then just taking photos for themselves. Hence, Headrush Photography was born and the photographers would be Lety, Lucy, Steph, Yesenia, and Corinna.
We talked to Lety to get the lowdown on why they decided to start Headrush and about some awesome t-shirts they have up for sale.
The girls try and take as many photos as they can while school is going on and a lot of those photos are live band shots. “I mostly do Live Band photography because I am the official photographer for BU Central (my university's venue).” As for why they love to do this and just plain want to do this, Lety said that “When it comes down to it, we really love the art of photography and the experiences that we get from it. We just want to expose our pictures and get our name out there because you never know what our hobby can become.” Sounds like these girls are a good example of getting out there and following your dreams!
Now, how about those sweet t-shirts we mentioned before? Well, the girls had two different designs, but one of them has already sold out. That particular shirt would be the Spider Vision shirt which was “Inspired by the band, The Pink Spiders. When I showed them to the band, they really loved it.”
The other t-shirt which is still available is The Zombie Vision shirt, which was inspired by “the 1988 cheesy horror movie "They Live!"
If you would be interested in helping these girls out and purchasing one of their shirts, Lety let us know exactly what you would need to know about them. “The Zombie Vision Shirts are $25 (that includes shipping) and are professionally screen printed on American Apparel shirts. To purchase, one needs only to go to our myspace page and click the "Buy Now" button (We currently only accept purchases through Paypal unless we know you personally then we'll accept moneyorders/cash) under our general information, and select a size. We currently only have Small, Medium, and Large (adult sizes). We ask that everyone who buys one take a picture of themselves wearing it and we'll put it up!”

To check out their photography and/or buy a shirt, then check out the girls’ on Myspace:
www.myspace.com/headrushhhh

We also have some of their band photos under our pictures on our own Myspace:
www.myspace.com/shootingstarsmagazine

By: Lauren

A New Kind of Holiday Playlist

Bands show off their holiday spirit in various ways, including singing songs about this jolly time of year! Here is a list of new and old favorites sung by some of your favorite bands!

Fall Out Boy-Yule Shoot Your Eye Out
The Killers-Don’t Shoot Me Santa
Santa Claus is Thumbing to Town-Relient K
Sleigh Ride-Oh, Hush! (www.myspace.com/ohhushmusic)
Grandma Got Run Over-Family Force 5 (www.myspace.com/familyforce5)


Leave us a comment on here or Myspace and let us know some of your other favorites! We might edit this and add some more later. :)


-Lauren

The Boy and His Machine

Boy, should you listen to them!
The Boy and his Machine


Coming out of Buffalo/Rochester, New York, this four-piece band was first formed in 2006. Members include Joey Arena-guitar, Ron Griffo - Singer/ Guitarist, Ryan Martin - Drums, and Christian-bass. Since then, they have released a five song E.P. titled All That We Make It and are most likely playing shows with some of your other new Pop/Rock favorites.
The band is definitely ready for everyone to get a hold of their music. “I think the songs are very comfortable to listeners of all genres, and people of all ages. Our older material was our "pretty side", however the new stuff we are just throwing an edge on it. I guess you can say. It’s just rock n roll,” says Joey Arena.
Now, we know when you get new music, you have to sit down and listen to all the songs, but what if you’re short on time? Just look to the band for help. Arena lets us in on his personal favorite song off the E.P. and what the others like as well. “My personal favorite is "Worth the Wait". I know Ryan and Chris will agree on that. Ron, I believe, is a fan of "Thinking of an Escape", or "The Plan".” And if you happen to have all the time in the world, then here’s some information for you: “THEY ARE ALL GOOD!”
Now that we are all caught up on the band’s music, how about we move on to their future plans? You know once you hear the music you’ll be wanting to rock out to it live! “Future plans would be to stock up on merch, press and release, and hit the road until we are corpses.” Sounds like you’ll have no problem catching them at a show sometime in the future, so no worries!
Obviously, the band already has their fair share of fans and they want to recognize all the things that they do. “We get messages all day long of requests to come to their cities, and these kids that take the time to promote us, flyer for us, tell their friends, visit the myspace and listen to a jam, add the song to your page, post a banner, even so much as to write us telling us about their day (yes believe me we have received those messages, and yes we do respond back) we owe EVERYTHING to them. The fans are a big reason to never think about calling it quits.” Come on people! How can you NOT listen to a band with an attitude like that nowadays? That’s what I thought!
Finally, any last words? “Look for us in a city near you and keep telling your friends.”
Are you ready to start your mission guys and gals?

By: Lauren
Listen at: www.myspace.com/theboyandhismachine

Winter Guide

Hey everyone!!

I'm sorry we didn't have a November issue but we didn't get this all finished in time, so here it is ready for December! We decided to make the whole issue a sort of Winter Guide for everyone to have. Things to listen too, watch, read, buy, look out for, etc. etc.
Hopefully you'll enjoy everything and even find some things you want to get for yourself or someone else this Holiday Season!

Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment. Comment on here or on myspace..Myspace is a lot easier and we can reply BACK to you!
Go here:
www.myspac.com/shootingstarsmagazine

In the future, we're going to try and follow the same trend and talk about music, of course, but other things as well. So all you bookworms, movie lovers, etc., keep a look out!

Thanks for reading everything and again, hope you enjoy it!

Happy Holidays everyone,
Lauren and Shooting Stars Mag

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