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Hey Violet
From the Outside
Capitol / Virgin EM

Visit Hey Violet at Facebook and iTunes

Hey Violet, the American rock band from Los Angeles, California, is the spin-out from the hard rock band Cherry Bomb (“This Is the End of Control”, 2012). Cherry Bomb changed it’s name and direction in 2015, becoming Hey Violet and moving from hard rock to pop. The band members are Rena Lovelis (lead vocals), Miranda Miller (rhythm guitar, keyboard, vocals), Nia Lovelis (drums, vocals), Casey Moreta (lead guitar, vocals), and Iain Shipp (bass). The album has some catchy hooks that are likely to catch your ear (“Break My Heart”, “Hoodie”), but if its a rougher sound your looking for jump into “Me Breaking Up With You”.


Ani DiFranco
Binary
Righteous Babe Records

Visit Ani Di Franco at Facebook and iTunes

Ani DiFranco is back! Actually, she never left, but she has just released her nineteenth studio album counting from her 1990 eponymous release. The American singer, multi-instrumentalist, poet, songwriter has given us “Binary”. It’s a gift to us all who have followed DiFranco. Her confidence has not waned, and musically, the tracks span genres from folk to experimental rock. In signature activist style there’s “Pacifist’s Lament” and looking ahead to the future, the final track, “Deferred Gratification” tells us that “these kids are gonna help us win”.


Marika Hackman
I’m Not Your Man
Sub Pop

Visit Marika Hackman at Facebook and iTunes

English artist Marika Hackman releases her second album, “I’m Not Your Man”. She began recording her first full-length album, “We Slept At Last” in 2014. The latest effort is far more aggressive than the first in the sense that it packs a much bigger or louder punch owing to the inclusion of a full band, London-based Big Moon. The result is a grungier sound, which works for Hackman. In addition to the grunge, the listener will hear obscurations of sound as in shoegaze or neo-psychedelia. Her vocals remain true to earlier recordings, light and sugar-coated. Overall, there’s plenty of energy, temperament, and sexuality to make “I’m Not Your Man” a pick of the week!


Sally_newsfeedSally Morgan wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique – literally. Sing Like You Speak™: Simply and Naturally. SLYS™ is specifically designed to restore the effortless vocal production that is natural to the human instrument making your singing powerful, joyful and free. Sally has been successfully training singers for more than 30 years.

My Audition Sucked!

Ugh! What a horrible feeling when you put you heart and soul into preparing for a vocal audition then you leave the room knowing that it sucked. Ugh!

A successful audition is not always going to get you the gig. You never know what “they” are looking for. I’m talking about an audition you can be proud of and feel good about.

The big question now is how do you prepare for a successful audition? Leaving the room high on that brilliant flow of energy knowing that you sang your heart out. What can you do to ensure all your auditions are successful?

I teach a singing audition prep class at Steps on Broadway in NYC. Here are the steps students walk through to ensure a successful audition.

1. Have a consistent warm up routine that opens your instrument, connects your singing to the powerful abdominal muscles that know how to move breath and sound freely through your instrument and to communicate through lyrics.

2. Establish a routine to keep you calm and focused.

3. Know your audition song. Really know the song. More importantly choose a song that you LOVE and can’t wait to sing.

4. Mark your music clearly for the pianist. Choose a cut that shows range and character.

5. Be prepared to sing the entire song if asked. (normal audition you’ll sing 16 or 32 bars of a song)

6. Communicate to your audience – the auditors in this case – tell the story of the song.

7. Keep your body open and your face visible. Body language tells the auditors a lot about how you will look on stage.

8. Be polite and personable – even if the auditors are rude.

9. Be yourself. You are the most fascinating when you are being natural.

You will do many, many auditions in your career. No audition will make or break your chances for a successful performance career. Start preparing for the next audition.

All the best! I love training singers and am always here to help you!

Sally Morgan

Visit Sally at http://singlikeyouspeak.com and Facebook


Molly Nilsson
Imaginations
Night School

Visit Molly Nilsson at Facebook and iTunes

Swedish born Molly Nilsson located to Berlin at age 19. After founding her label, Dark Skies Association, she released her first limited pressing album, “These Things Take Time”. Over time she has built recognition for her D.Y.I. synth-pop. The music, production, mixing, packaging, promotion are all self-produced. “Imaginations” is a strong follow-up contribution. The sumptuous synth-pop and provacative or challenging lyrics continue to differentiate Nilsson’s work although these attributes of “Imagination” seem fuller or better developed than the album’s predecessor. It’s a pretty good bet that adherents to synth-pop will find Nilsson’s variant to be very satisfying.


She-Devils

She-Devils
She-Devils
Secretly Canadian

Visit She-Devils at Facebook and iTunes

Formed in Montreal in 2014 by Audrey Ann Boucher and Kyle Jukka, the She-Devils bridge dreamy, whimsical nostalgia to anxious indie rock. The stand-out attribute of this She-Devil’s work is the non-linear mix of pop culture styles creating tensions between genres, which might leave the listener feeling uneasy, but delightfully so.


ÉCU – The European Independent Film Festival 2018

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

The European Independent Film Festival, one the World’s most distinctive independent film festivals, encouraging innovation and creativity and showcasing great films to audiences who appreciate and love independent cinema, announces its call for submissions for 2018.

ÉCU’s mantra is to Discover, Project and Promote the World’s Best Independent Films and we are actively seeking innovative, absorbing and original independent films across our fourteen categories.

For the last 12 years ÉCU has passionately promoted independent filmmaking and has expanded its presence on a global scale with screenings in over 20 countries annually. ÉCU is often referred to as the European equivalent of Sundance, an honour that we don’t take lightly.

ÉCU offers independent filmmakers the opportunity to express their cinematic narratives in the most compelling ways possible. Filmmakers who compete in ÉCU’s Official Selection join an active community of exceptional creatives who continually push the boundaries of cinema.

Cinema is an art form that can only evolve by being simultaneously nourished and challenged.

“I’m honoured to be amongst such crafted filmmakers…such wonderful people.” – Daniela Leitner, director of LATE SEASON, winner of Best European Independent Animated Film 2017.

The 13th edition of ÉCU will take place on the 4th, 5th, and 6th of May 2018 in Paris, France and will screen about 100 of the very best independent films from around the World. While ÉCU focuses on European talent, it celebrates international filmmakers and hosts several categories dedicated to non-European films.

EUROPEAN CATEGORIES
– Dramatic Feature
– Dramatic Short
– Documentary
– Animated Film
– Music Video
– Experimental Film
– Comedy Film

NON-EUROPEAN CATEGORIES
– Dramatic Feature
– Dramatic Short
– Documentary

WORLDWIDE CATEGORIES
– Student Film
– Arab Special Section
– Feature & Short Script Competition

Our Call for Submissions for ÉCU 2018 is now officially open. Click here to submit your film!

Scott Hillier
President
ÉCU – The European Independent Film Festival


The Coathangers The Coathangers are a punk rock band from Atlanta formed by guitarist and singer Julia Kugel (aka Crook Kid Coathanger), bassist and singer Meredith Franco (aka Minnie Coathanger), and drummer and singer Stephanie Luke (aka Rusty Coathanger). They have toured throughout the U.S. and Europe. In 2007, punk label Die Slaughterhaus Records teamed up with New York’s Rob’s House Records to issuing the band’s self-titled debut album. Their second album, “Scramble”, was released in 2009 by Suicide Squeeze Records followed by “Larceny & Old Lace”, in 2011. The Coathangers released album number four, “Suck My Shirt”, in the spring of 2014 and on April 15, 2016 the band released their fifth studio full-length entitled “Nosebleed Weekend”. which debuted at #149 on the Nielsen Soundscan Top 200 sales charts and #6 on the Top New Artist Albums and #4 on the Alternative New Artist Albums chart. The Coathangers will be on tour in Europe beginning 23 May and they play Paris at Le Batofar on 3 June.

HVUM: Thanks very much for talking with us. We know a lot about the Coathangers, but can you tell about the band’s highlights over the past few years – personal anecdotes included!

C: Over the past few years we’ve been putting the pedal to the metal! Constantly touring including 5 UK/European tours, 2 Australian/New Zealand tours, and countless US/Canadian tours! We also have managed to put out our 5th full length LP and coming up we are releasing a 5 song EP, its a 12″ so on one side we have the 5 songs and on the other side, an etching of artwork by our good friend Helena Darling from Canada! We also have been able to do a bunch of festivals and even got to tour with legendary band, Refused last year.

HVUM: What motivates you as a band? What keeps you going?The Coathangers4

C: I think the main thing that keeps us goin is our love for each other and our love for the band itself as well as all the fans and people we’ve worked with in the industry that have supported us so very much. This isn’t a hobby for us, it’s truly our lives, who we are.

HVUM: Thinking about Hunter S. Thompson’s famous quote,
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”

We’re followed by a lot of young women aspiring to working in the music business. Do you agree with Thompson? Any advice you want to pass along to our aspiring readers?

C: That quote! Wow, yes it’s definitely true for a lot of bands , and maybe we’ve been included in this quote before as well, however, like my momma has always said “Nothing worth doing is easy”. Whether it be music or any other passion or profession, you must work hard at it and assume nothing. Me and the girls sometimes say, “Expect the worst, but always hope for the best”.

HVUM: Reviewers have referred to the Coathangers as bridging punk, garage, new wave and classic girl group sounds ( the Ronettes, the Shirelles, the Chiffons , Little Eva, and the Cookies). How do you hear that that mix in your music?

C: That’s amazing, that’s just what we want to hear! On some of our slower songs I definitely take a little bit from the drumming sounds of 50s/60s classic do-wop and we have been inspired by the vocals of the same groups so I’m glad people can hear that.

HVUM: Case in point? Let’s take time out for a look and listen, “Perfume”.

HVUM: Let’s talk punk for just a minute. It’s interesting how – call it a subculture if you want – punk has lived on far beyond the 70’s and Richard Hell and The Voidoids, MC5, The Clash, Iggy & The Stooges, Patti Smith, The Sex Pistols and The Ramones…but as Dorian Lynskey (Guardian) has pointed out it’s not nostalgia that keeps punk alive. Your thoughts?

C: I think that the ideals that punk is based upon continues to stick around because it is in fact a way of thinking, a way of being, living. Thinking for yourself, treating everyone as equals, saying Fuck You to the status quo, fighting for women’s rights, humans rights etc, these are all punk ideals and they aren’t going anywhere. Especially with the way things are in the world now, I think it’s one of the most important times for people to make music, whether punk or not, there’s so much to say, to speak out about, and music is a very real force to be reckoned with.

HVUM: Thinking about your five studio albums, is it fair to say that the Coathangers have been consistent in delivering on a primal anti-establishment, anti-authoritarian ethos?

C: I think we’ve definitely done justice to those ethos, because we are going against sexist, establishment/authoritarian, racist, injustices that surround us all. If you have something to say, say it. However we always want our listeners to think for themselves, just bc we say it doesn’t mean you have to agree, it is just how we feel.

HVUM: Okay, let’s give a listen one more time, “Down Down”.

HVUM: Looking back over the last eleven or so years of hard work as a band, can you identify a “high” point… “low” point? Based on your experience, what works really well for the band and what doesn’t work so well?

C: Ha, the highs and lows are always day to day especially when we are out on the road so much. The highest of highs are those amazing gigs where everything just falls into its place, the lowest of lows are missing out on family and friend affairs back at home I think. What works best for us now is taking small breaks in between tours, treating ourselves to a nice meal from time to time… its the little things….

The Coathangers3HVUM: In putting together a set list, how do you go about deciding what works and what doesn’t?

C: We definitely only have like maybe 2-3 songs out of all of them that work best as the first song! We want the first thing people to hear at our shows, something that really captures their attention and gets the place going! Then after that we just try to equally place the songs going back n forth between all our lead vocals. And not too many slow songs as that tends to bring down the energy.

HVUM: HorizonVU Music advocates for particular social and political causes such as rights for women, LGBT, legalizing of marijuana use. What issues do you feel comfortable taking up as a band?

C: All those things, basic human rights in general, but especially all those mentioned above. We went to the Anti Trump march in Washington DC with my sister and friends and it was the most powerful feeling… being in the presence of so many, all marching against the same injustices, it really does matter to keep fighting against all these awful things…

HVUM: Thinking ahead, suppose that in five years, individually or as a band, you could be anywhere you want doing whatever you want to do. Where you and what are you doing?

C: Doing exactly what we are doing now, maybe playing even bigger venues? As long as we get to keep writing and playing I am happy.

HVUM: Last, outside of music, what do you do for kicks?

C: Go to the movies, hang in the park with my dog, hang with loved ones at home, quite boring eh? Ha

HVUM: Hey, it’s been a real pleasure talking with you. We wish you all the best for your spring – summer tour taking you across Europe and winding up in Knoxville, TN on 5 August. We’ll see you in Paris in a couple of weeks. Meantime, safe travels!

C: Thank you so much

Visit The Coathangers at http://thecoathangers.com/home/


Girlpool

Girlpool
Powerplant
Anti-

Visit Girlpool at Facebook and iTunes

Cleo Tucker (guitar, vocals) and Harmony Tividad (bass, vocals), Girlpool, is a folk punk band from Los Angeles. The duo formed in 2013, when Tucker and Tividad were still teenagers. Their sound is notably praiseworthy for its impertinence. Following the rather sparse approach taken in the group’s debut, “Before the World Was Big”, they’ve introduced a drum kit on “Powerplant” backing Tucker’s guitar and Tividad’s bass. The tracks on “Powerplant” express plenty of brash self-confidence in the sense of 1990s Liz Phair. Drop the needle on “123” and enjoy!


Delia Gonzalez

Delia Gonzalez
Horse Follows Darkness
DFA

Visit Delia Gonzalez at Facebook and iTunes

Delia Gonzalez is perhaps best known for her videos, visual art, theatrical performances and concerts as well as her earlier collaborations with Gavin Russom. She has released her second album following Remembrance. The storyline of Horse Follows Darkness is one of a rather complex re-encounter with the American Wild West and the continuance of that heritage through time. Complexity comes from the imagery and dream-like atmosphere stirred by the intertwining of a melange of influences running from minimalism to post-punk and electronica poly synth. The five-track album is quite brief, but the auditory experience is other-worldly.


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