Category Archives: Features

The Advantages of Listening to Vinyl

Vinyl records were the quintessential format for many years before digital became a thing. In recent years though, there has been a resurgence of the vinyl format.  With vinyl’s popularity increasing, there are many reasons why vinyl records are considered a superior format than their digital counterpart. Below are just a few.

vinyl

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Road Trip Radio: Top Playlists for Your Next Road Trip

Rock music has long been the genre of epic road trips: top down, wind in your hair, thrashing guitars pumping from the speakers. So, as summer gets closer and more and more of us pack up our trunk and hit the tarmac, having the right music to get you through the journey is essential.

road trip playlist

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Orlando Hokie Grieves Again

In my life, I’ve made two life-altering decisions to relocate to a new area of our country and in both instances, after a hearty amount of research and a tremendous amount of reliance on my heart, I quickly grew to love my new homes.

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

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My Bowie Life

There has been a flood of David Bowie everything this week, and rightfully so. His offering to the art world will be sorely missed.

David-Bowie-RIP

He transformed the cultural landscape musically, and dramatically, touching all aspects of culture, fashion, and art. Many artists become artists with the assistance of inspiration of the Bowie aesthetic.

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Thanksgiving Songs

    Thanksgiving Songs – Songs about “Thanks”

    thanksgiving songsIn honor of Thanksgiving, I started a list of great Thanksgiving songs.  I got to my top three and the creative juices stopped; Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant,” Poi Dog Pondering’s “Thanksgiving” and Stephen Kellogg’s anthemic “Thanksgiving” offering are all strong Thanksgiving songs, but other than those three, only Adam Sandler’s horrible “Thanksgiving” came to mind. So, I shifted my focus to the Best Songs with “Thank” in the title, and one of the aforementioned makes the list. They’re not all beautiful, and often have nothing to do with gratitude, in fact most of them are more on the bitter side…

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Rock And Roll Mecca Worth the Trip

Destination Cleveland: The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

I recently decided to escape the sweltering summer heat of Orlando for… well, the sweltering summer heat of Cleveland and made my first pilgrimage to the mecca of rock music, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and Museum. What an amazing journey…

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American Idol Live Hits Florida


 

American Idols Live in Melbourne FLorida - rarasfarm.com
American Idols Live in Melbourne Florida – rarasfarm.com

American Idol Performers Wow Florida

After 14 seasons, American Idol Live has tweaked its approach and in this, their penultimate year, they’ve nailed down a formula that works exceptionally well.
 

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The uber-talented Top 5 rolled into Melbourne’s King Center For the Performing Arts in Melbourne, and enjoyed their increased time under the spotlights. This was the third show of the nascent tour, and by this night, everything was running smoothly.

This year for the first time in the tour’s history, they’ve whittled down the traveling contingent from the Top 10 to the Top 5 and it was a fantastic decision. As a result of the more concentrated line-up, we get a much better glimpse into the talents of each musician as well as a compelling look into their backstories, as each Idol took a few minutes to share their own personal journeys.

Each of this year’s Top 5, had their share of moments on this evening, led by 2015 winner, Nick Fradiani and the rest of the crew, Clark Beckham, Jax, Rayvon Owen and Tyanna Jones. Under the new format, each singer had a chance to deliver a handful of riveting solo performances. All five of this year’s Idols boasted fantastic vocal performances, confirming that these five were clearly very deserving of their lofty status.
 

American Idols' Jax in Melbourne Florida - rarasfarm.com
American Idols’ Jax in Melbourne Florida – rarasfarm.com

Our Facebook photo link: American Idol Concert Photos
 
The highlight of the night for me were the performances of the Top 3, particularly 2nd Place finisher Beckham and 3rd Place Jax.

Beckham has a personality built for the stage, and a voice beyond compare. He introduced himself with “I love singing for people, and I can’t ever remember music not being a part of my life,” and it showed. He delivered stunning versions of a Ray Charles inspired version of “Georgia On My Mind” and my favorite performance of the night, a killer version of Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason.” As I listened to his voice, I couldn’t help wondering how he’d sound singing a Robert Plant song – yeah, he’s got a special gift.

He also displayed an affable fun side comfortably perched behind his piano, as he slickly weaved in a few classic TV and advertising jingles. At one point, he said “Hi” to his guitar tech Tim, then shared “Tim is a great guitar tech; well, he’s the only guitar tech I’ve ever had, but I’m pretty sure he’s the best ever.”

The performer I was most anxious to see was Jax, the creative 20 year-old from New Jersey. She’s a charismatic singer with a distinctive, captivating voice and a rare ability to connect with her audience. Her range is impressive, as well, one second flying around the stage tearing through a rollicking version of “My Generation,” then minutes later absolutely nailing a precise, compelling rendition of Dido’s “White Flag.” Great stuff.

She stated she was more comfortable being on stage than being alone in her own bedroom, and it showed. She raced across the stage, jumped into the crowd, high-fived fans, smiled incessantly, took selfies, and generally bonded with the crowd and members of her dedicated JaxPack.

While you are here, check out our recent Jax interview here: Jax Speaks…
 

American Idol's Nick Fradiani in Melbourne FLorida - rarasfarm.com
American Idol’s Nick Fradiani in Melbourne Florida – rarasfarm.com

 
Fradiani’s offerings were just as good. It’s easy to see why he won this year’s competition, as he’s got a polished stage presence, dynamic voice and a personality built to perform. The highlight of his set was an original song that he penned with his former band “Beach Avenue.” He mentioned the roll of the dice Idol performers endure with their first single selected by the Idol team, but how pleased he was to be gifted a song like “Beautiful Life” which he nailed.

Owen and the 16 year-old Jones (from nearby Jacksonville) also displayed their exquisite voices. Although they are not great fits for a rock music website such as ours, they both delivered engaging performances, and boast bright futures. It was refreshing listening to the two performers share how important their family was to them and to the development of their budding careers.

In general, I found that the group performances fell kinda flat, but there were two notable exceptions. Jax offered “Something beautiful can come from a broken road” and the group delivered a stirring version of Rascal Flatts’ “Broken Road,” and later in the evening, they delivered a tremendous version of Sia’s Chandelier,” highlighted by Owen’s dulcet voice.

Joey Cook, one of this year’s more compelling characters opened the show with a quick ten minute set, where she quickly bonded with the crowd, while dishing out three excellent songs, including one of her all-time favorites “Dream A Little Dream,” an apt way to start the journey for these future stars.

We will have a slew of photos from the show and all six performers over the next day forthcoming on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@rarasfarm). Here’s the Facebook photo link: American Idol Concert Photos

Upcoming Florida Dates:
7/11/15 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
7/12/15 Ft. Myers, FL Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
7/14/15 Fort Lauderdale, FL Parker Playhouse
7/15/15 Jacksonville, FL Florida Theater

See more at: http://www.americanidol.com/tour

Rock On!
Cretin
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Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a live music fanatic like all of us at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future photos, updates, rock news, etc… Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂

 

Interview with Message to Venus


 

Message To Venus Interview

The following is an interview that took place in the midst of Earthday Birthday 22, under a tent behind the Full Sail University stage. It was the best place we could find to escape the oppressive heat that lasted all day

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Message To Venus backstage Paul McCoy 12 Stones
The guys from Message To Venus backstage with Paul McCoy of 12 Stones – photo: Philip Snyder

The following is an interview that took place in the midst of Earthday Birthday 22, under a tent behind the Full Sail University stage. It was the best place we could find to escape the oppressive heat that lasted all day.

Philip Snyder (PS):   So, how did you like the crowd?

Message To Venus (M2V):  The crowd was awesome! Everybody seemed pretty pumped, especially for being 11 a.m. You know, so we’re the icebreakers, there’s always that little moment where everybody came up to the stage, straight up to us. We were surprised. It was pretty cool. We threw out some free merch as well. The album, the actual album, you cannot get that on Itunes or Amazon. It’s a full length album we spent a lot of money on, do-it-yourself, a little something for the crowd out there.

PS: Yeah, I was going to ask you about that. So, are you going to see any of the other acts, mingle or anything like that?

M2V: Definitely, we just saw 12 Stones, our brothers over there. They always do a badass set. Pretty stoked Flyleaf is playing as we speak, Sevendust after them as well.

PS: You big Sevendust fans?

M2V: (Chorus of yeahs, and oh yeahs from all members) we love Sevendust! We are looking forward to seeing Tremonti, you know! Slash. Nothing More. Five Finger death Punch, the whole lineup!

PS: So, do you prefer this kind of a festival scene? Or do you like the club scene?

M2V: It’s a lot easier to play a stage at a club. Smaller stage, there’s a lot easier communication, less crew members, everything just flows easier. On big stages, bands like us, who are do it yourself, it’s a lot harder. We don’t have so many hands on deck. You know, it’s just the four of us orchestrating and giving the performance. It’s really difficult to have great communication onstage when there’s a crew of about twelve. Plus everything happens so fast, it’s like in and out, we really don’t have time for a sound check, everything is done during the performance. It becomes like it (the performance) is the sound check, it is heat of the moment. There’s no practice, we have to go, then get out, and that’s how it works during a festival. But we always have fun, it’s awesome!

PS: Okay, do you have any other Florida dates, so the fans who just discovered you can see you again?

M2V: We’re working on that. The next dates are in New York. We’re going up there, then coming back to Miami, so we might work something out for north Florida for May.

PS: That’s good, I think you got some fans today, if you make an Orlando date, I’m sure it will fill up.

M2V: Sure! Definitely!

PS: I was going to ask you, when is the new album available?

M2V: We actually have the album available on our website, messagetovenus.com, right now. We have our merch store, and you can buy it there, physical copy only. We are trying to do it old school, for a little more adventurous music lover. We wanted to take that whole initiative like when you used to have to stand in line at a Sam Goody store, back in the day, on a Tuesday morning. That was new release day. You are going to get something plastic to your doorstep, with real liners.

PS: So, you all are independent, right?

M2V: We are independent.

PS: Any record deals in the works? Anything lined up?

M2V: We have some communication with some guys, yeah. It’s all still negotiating talk, nothing physical, no written documents, nothing set up. We’re still freelance, but some things are starting to happen. We’re being selective, to be honest.

PS: That’s good. So, what is in store for Message to Venus? Do you have a bucket list? What do you want to accomplish?

M2V: Hadn’t really thought of a bucket list, but that’s pretty cool. But of course, we know what we want to do. We want to be an international touring band. We really want to get to that level. When you’re a do-it-yourself band, you are limited by do-it-yourself resources. It’s super hard to get to that level. That’s why we’ve had funds like indiegogo.com, which is backed by the fans, which is pretty awesome! We really want to get to Europe, which would be amazing. Definitely be able to get our music out, we got “Cold and Gray”, that’s hitting the charts right now, Over and Done right now is at #35 and climbing over at radiocontraband.com under the radar chart*, and also #48 on the BDS indicator. But you know, we’re getting some traction. There’s also a video coming out for “Over and Done”. It’s a video we shot in Miami.**

PS: Is there anything else you want our readers to know?

M2V: Keep discovering new music. Be open minded. Check us out. Get out of your comfort zone. Try to listen to new bands, and enjoy good music from Message to Venus, 21st century rock at messagetovenus.com!

PS: That’s all I have. Thanks for the time.

M2V: Alright, enjoy the rest of the bands!

*As of this publication, “Over and Done” has moved up the chart to #16. Congratulations, guys!

**The video has been released. You can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-mz6A415mE

Philip Snyder

Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂