Music Video for "Absolutely Still" by Better Than Ezra Released!

The new music video for Better Than Ezra's first single off of Paper Empire was released today and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. I might even go as far to say that I liked the music video more than the s, although they do compliment themselves very well. The stop motion animation fits perfectly for the song and it is well directed.

I don't have much more to say other than enjoy it. You can read my review of Paper Empire or my post on "Absolutely Still" if you are up for further reading. Enjoy it.

Third Eye Blind Launches New Website - Live Chat With The Band

After shifting operations from to their official myspace page for the release of their new EP, Red Star, it was unclear when and if we would see a new official website. That all changed a few days ago when was officially revealed to the public: a completely fan friendly website. This is a major upgrade from and has everything you would want in a band's website. The new site's best features include: lyrics and commentary on the new songs from the Red Star EP, individual blogs from 3 of the band members, and blogging capabilities for fans as well as a fan forum. It has only been a few days since the site was launched and already 882 fans have registered as members.

This news is just one event in a string of initiatives to connect with the fans that have stuck with them through the thick and the thin. There were some very long stretches with no news from the band and now it seems Stephan Jenkins is specifically going out of the way to connect with his fans in ways that was never before possible. He is very much in tune to how technology has impacted the landscape of the internet and has taken these new opportunities to reconnect with fans. You can hear his thoughts on this internet revolution here: Stephan Jenkins on Music and Technology. He seems very passionate about all of these new opportunities and has proved it through the contests and his new twitter account among other things.

The big news from the launch of the new website is that they will be hosting a Live Q&A tonight for fans to come and ask all the lingering questions that have been unanswered in the six years since their last full-length album. I am going to try to get a couple questions in tonight and will be sure to post an update if I get a question answered.

Get excited 3eb fans!

"Red Star", "Why Can't You Be", & "NonDairy Creamer" Posted on Third Eye Blind's Myspace Page!

As you may of heard, Third Eye Blind's new EP, entitled Red Star, is set to hit a digital music store near you November 18th, 2008. Much to my delight, all 3 of the songs on the EP are currently up on their myspace page. They even put of a teaser video for their new full length album, entitled Ursa Major. Watch it below.

Ursa Major teaser

I would have to say that the title track is my favorite. "Red Star" has that classic Third Eye Blind sound that you come to expect. It really blew me away the first time I heard it. It sucks you in from the beginning and doesn't let go. Everything fits together perfectly and musically it's the best of the three.

"Why Can't You Be" is actually a live version and is the version that will be put on the EP. It is a song that a lot of people can relate to: a song about being frustrated in relationships.

"NonDairy Creamer" is really growing on me. My initial reaction to the song was more of excitement that the contest had started and that there was new Third Eye Blind material out there, than anything. It has that catchy element that "Semi-Charmed Life" had back over 10 years ago. I don't know if it will have that kind of mass appeal, but its definitely catchy.

Enjoy the new Third Eye Blind while it's still there.

Fastball Is Back! New Tour Dates and New Album - "Little White Lies"

Fastball, famous for their hit single "The Way", is back on the music scene with a new album, Little White Lies. Set for release in the spring of 2009, Little White Lies is the group's first album in five years.

They have recently updated both their official website and myspace page in preparation for the new album's release. Currently all of the songs on the band's myspace page appear to be from the new album, including one of my favorites, "All I Was Looking For" and the title track, "Little White Lies".

While it has been over ten years since Fastball's All the Pain Money Can Buy, they are still kicking and hoping that the new album will revive the popularity that they once had.

That album was actually one of the first albums I purchased when I was younger. I have always been a fan of "The Way", although my favorite from All the Pain Money Can Buy is "Which Way To The Top?", a really laid back, relaxing song featuring the artist Poe.

My favorite line from "Which Way To The Top":
"Oh, just waiting for the perfect wave
And a place in the shade"

It is great to see that they are back at it.

Tour Dates

November 6th - Bend Studios - Dallas, Texas
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November 10th - Rialto Theater - Tucson Arizona
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November 11th - Belly Up - San Diego, California
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November 12th - Viper Room - Los Angeles, California
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November 13th - Fishlips - Bakersfield, California
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November 14th - The Canyon Club - Las Vegas, Nevada
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November 15th - Brixton - Redondo Beach, California
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November 16th - The Red Devil Lounge - San Francisco, California
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November 18th - Toad Tavern - Denver, Colorado
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November 21st - The Fine Line - Minneapolis, Minnesota
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November 22nd - Joe’s Sportspub - Chicago, Illinois
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November 23rd - Beachland Ballroom - Cleveland, Ohio
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November 24th - Ram’s Head - Annapolis, Maryland
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November 25th - Bowery Ballroom - New York, New York
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November 26th - Stephen Talkhouse - East Hampton, New York
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November 26th - Jammin Java - Vienna, Virginia
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November 29th - Maxwell’s - Hoboken, New Jersey
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December 1st - Smith’s Olde Bar - Atlanta, Georgia
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December 2nd - The Mercy Lounge - Nashville, Tennessee
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Vertical Horizon's New Song "All Is Said And Done"

After five long years Vertical Horizon first released their last album, Go, Vertical Horizon finally has something new for their fans. While their website is currently under construction, the Vertical Horizon myspace page has been updated with a new song, "All Is Said And Done". While there is no blog post for this update, the song has about 4,500 plays, and according to their wikipedia article, the new song was posted yesterday, Oct. 20, 2008.

A release date for their new album, Burning The Days is expected soon and this update while stealthy, has to be good sign for Vertical Horizon fans. The new song has also been posted on lead singer, Matt Scannell's myspace page. Matt is usually pretty good about updating fans on what he is up to and the progress he has made but this little update came with no announcement and who knows how long it will remain on their page.

As for the new song, it is classic Vertical Horizon. I don't know if it has the mainstream appeal of some of their former hits or even if it will end up being a single but it seems to pick up right where "Go" left off. It has a very unique sound, and sounds a little like a combination of "Underwater", "Echo", and "Forever". Like always the lyrics are meaningful and powerful and Matt's voice hits every note.

What do you think of the new music from Vertical Horizon?

One Big City, Two Legendary Bands

After a two month hiatus, RizzoMusic is back and today I have something to report back from my summer travels.

This summer I spent some time in the Big Apple, New York City. Over two months, and I only managed to get to one concert. Luckily for me it was a great one. I saw Collective Soul and Live play at the Hammerstein Ballroom on July 30th. This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen these bands live in concert but it was surely a concert I would never forget.

Fortunately for me, I was able to go for free. RizzoMusic’s first sponsor,, was able to provide me with enough funds to go to a concert of my choice, free of charge. It was too good of a deal for me to pass up. After much debate I decided on Live and Collective Soul, two bands that I have seen before individually and together. Having a great respect of their newest releases, Songs from Black Mountain, and Afterwords, respectively, I knew that it would be a great show.

First I am going to give a little review of RazorGator’s services before I get into actually reviewing the concert. RazorGator is a ticket marketplace where anyone can post extra tickets they have for other people to buy. Their slogan is “Your Connection for Hard-to-Get® Tickets!” and unfortunately for me, the Collective Soul tickets weren’t exactly hard to get. The tickets were not sold out and retailed for about 50 dollars. The cheapest I was able to come across were 74 dollars. Not too bad but considering that you could still buy them from the box office for cheaper, there wasn’t much incentive to buy from RazorGator. RazorGator does charge for shipping and processing fees, so my total was $189.30. So for this particular concert, I can’t really say that I would recommend using RazorGator but if a concert or sporting event is sold out, they are a very good option. I ordered my tickets 2 days before the concert and they were shipped and delivered in time. One little caveat for people looking to use RazorGator’s services is that you need to be able to sign for the tickets when they come to your house. Luckily where I was living, we had a doorman so it wasn’t a problem but I could see where this could become problematic. They do give you the shipping tracking number so you can figure out about what time the package will come and I can understand RazorGator’s position in requiring a signature. They guarantee the tickets to be there on time for the event and a signature requirement ensures that the tickets were received. The process was very smooth, and overall I was happy with their service. They accept all major credit cards and everything is shipped FedEx. I even called their customer service number, and the man I talked to was very helpful. I would recommend the website for sold out concert tickets or if you’re looking for closer seats then are available. The Hammerstein Ballroom had balcony seats but I was cool with the general admission floor tickets. You can get a lot closer and everyone down there gets really into it.

Alright, now that you know how I got to the concert, I am sure you are all dying to hear how the concert was. In case you were living in a cellar throughout the 90s, Live and Collective Soul were two of the most popular rock bands of the decade. Each have had their fair share of chart topping hits, combining sales of about 20 million records in the U.S. While Live has sold more records, Collective Soul has had more #1 singles on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.

Hana Pestle

The concert opened with an up and coming female artist, Hana Pestle. A singer/songwriter from Montana, Pestle was a surprisingly good addition to what was sure to be a great concert. Coming on stage with only an acoustic guitar, she impressed the audience with her entrancing voice. She has some serious range, and her songs were very good. I was a little disappointed when I heard that Blues Traveler, famous for “Hook” and “Run Around”, wasn’t going to open up for this concert like they have been in the past but Hana Pestle, more then made up for their void. Like most opening acts, the crowd wasn’t really into it like they were for the main act but you could tell that some were pleasantly surprised by her performance. She was upbeat and talkative, though you could tell that she felt that crowd was unresponsive. She covered the song “Creep” by Radiohead before she left the stage and the audience finally welcomed her with a rousing applause. She has the voice to make it in the business and I wouldn’t be surprised if she breaks though sooner, rather then later.

Collective Soul

Next up was Ed Roland and company. They got the crowd going by opening up with “Heavy” and never looked back. They played the usual classics, like “Shine”, “Run”, “The World I Know”, and “December”. I’ve seen them 3 times in the last three years and they never fail to play the songs that the crowd wants to hear. Since it was a shortened set because they were sharing time with Live, they only played two of their songs from their new album, the two singles, “Hollywood” and “All That I Know”. They also played one of my favorite songs to hear live, “Listen”, one of their more underrated songs. Much to my delight, they pulled one of their best songs out of the archive for this tour, “Needs”. I’ve been hoping and hoping that they would play it live one of these days and I finally got to hear it. The crowd loved it and it sounded great even without the strings. Ed gave his usual energetic performance and had everyone singing along.

Live (Band)

After about a 30 minute intermission to get things set up, Live came out and “the other Ed”, Ed Kowalczyk, got the crowd roaring with the opening song, “Simple Creed”. Like Collective Soul, Live never seems to disappoint on the classics. They turned out “All Over You”, “Heaven”, “Dolphins Cry”, “Selling the Drama”, “I Alone”, and of course “Lightning Crashes”. They ended with their bone-chilling performance of “Lightning Crashes” like they normally do but I think that their performance of “I Alone” is even better. Hearing that song live in concert is something that everyone should see before they die. They played some of the new ones including, “The River”, “Wings” and “Sophia”. Like “Needs” for Collective Soul, I was very surprised to hear “Turn My Head”; easily my favorite lesser known hit from Live. Hearing those two gems that night was well worth the ticket price. They played an awesome four song encore. Not quite the seven song encore I was able to see a few years back when they played without an opening act but very good nonetheless.

Overall, it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. It was about 5 times better then the last time I saw them together in concert, mainly because it was an indoor, intimate concert. The crowd was great, the bands were great and having the equivalent of about a 4th row floor seat was amazing. Rock concerts always tend to be better when there is standing room right in front of the stage. Unfortunately I don’t have any picture as I forgot my camera but if you would like to see some, Pop Culture Madness also reviewed the concert and took a few pictures. I hope you enjoyed the review and hopefully there will be a lot of new articles in the near future. Thanks for listening.

Counting Crows' New Album "Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings"

One of my favorite bands, Counting Crows, is set to release their new album, Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings on March 28, 2008. This is the band's first studio album since Hard Candy was released back in 2002. It has been about six years in between albums, but the Counting Crows still have a strong following since they first released "Mr. Jones" in 1993.

Adam Duritz had this to say about the new album, "Saturday night is when you sin and Sunday is when you regret. Sinning is often done very loudly, angrily, bitterly, violently." The album is split up in to two halves, the Saturday night half and the Sunday morning half.

The Counting Crows are allowing fans to get a little preview of the new album. They recently released two of their new songs, "1492" and "When I Dream About Michelangelo". You can visit their website or you can click here to download these songs for free. This is a great treat to loyal fans. Neither of these songs are set to be their first single but it gives us a little taste of the album as a whole. "You Can"t Count On Me" will be their first single, set to be released on February 4th.

It is time to get excited about the Counting Crows again.

The Wallflowers New Tour Dates!

After a brief stint with his solo career, Jakob Dylan seems to have rejoined his fellow band mates -- at least for a while. The Wallflowers website, seems to be revamped back to feature the band as a whole and not just Jakob. There is not much content on it right now but it looks like they are working on it. According to Jacok Dylan's Myspace page,, these dates are the first live performances for the group in over two years. This is great news for any fan of The Wallflowers as it means that they are starting to get back together and they seem to be getting things moving. Hopefully they are not just out to play a few shows but are back working on a new album. Anyway, here are the dates. I hope that they are stopping by somewhere close to you.

Date - Time - Venue - City
Oct 7 2007 - 7:15P - BayFest - Mobile, Alabama
Oct 18 2007 - 10:00P - 9:30 Club - Washington DC, Washington DC
Oct 19 2007 - 8:00P - Keswick Theatre - Glenside, Pennsylvania
Oct 20 2007 - 9:00P - Borgata Music Box - Atlantic City, New Jersey
Oct 21 2007 - 7:30P - Somerville Theatre - Somerville, Massachusetts
Oct 22 2007 - 8:00P - Highline Ballroom - New York, New York
Oct 27 2007 - 8:00P - Dream Catcher at Viejas - Alpine, California
Oct 28 2007 - 7:30P - The Grand Cabaret, Pala Hotel & Casino - Pala, California
Nov 7 2007 - 7:30P - Park West - Chicago, Illinois
Nov 8 2007 - 8:00P - Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort - Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Nov 10 2007 - 8:00P - The Pabst Theatre - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Nov 11 2007 - 8:00P - The Fitzgerald Theatre - Minneapolis, Minnesota

Jimmy Eat World's New Single "Big Casino"

It's time to give you guys a little update on Jimmy Eat World's new album, Chase This Light. Still scheduled for an October 16th 2007 released, they just recently announced their new single to be "Big Casino". You can listen to it on their currently under construction new website or download it on Itunes. When you pre-order the new album, you will also receive two bonus tracks when the album is released, "Take 'Em As They Come" and an acoustic version of "Dizzy".

The track listing for the album is as follows:
1. Big Casino
2. Let It Happen
3. Always Be
4. Carry You
5. Electable (Give It Up)
6. Gotta Be Somebody's Blues
7. Feeling Lucky
8. Here It Goes
9. Chase This Light
10. Firefight
11. Dizzy

There is a great opportunity from Ticketmaster when you pre-order the new album. You will receive a password to buy Jimmy Eat World concert tickets for their 2008 tour before they go on sale to the public.

Jimmy Eat World also announced their 2007 Fall Tour which is as follows:
9/29 - Queen Creek, AZ - Schnepf Farms(The Edge Radio Show)
9/30 - Redlands, CA - Greek Amphitheater
10/2 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Catalyst
10/3 - Davis, CA - Freeborn Hall
10/4 - Reno, NV - Grand Sierra
10/6 - Salt Lake City, UT - Utah State Fair Park
10/7 - Missoula, MT - Wilma Theater
10/8 - Calagary, AB - MacEwen Hall
10/10 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
10/11 - Seattle, WA - Showbox Showroom
10/12 - Bellingham, WA - Performing Arts Center
10/14 - San Francisco, CA - The Filmore
10/16 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern
10/18 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues
10/19 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues
10/20 - Las Vegas, NV - The Joint

According to their website there are also more dates to be announced in the next few weeks.

That is about all I can tell you about Jimmy Eat World for now. I would just like to say how much I love the new single, "Big Casino". If this song is any indication of how good the album will be, I will be a very happy man. I will leave the complete analysis of the song for the full album review. Since they don't have the real video made for the song yet, I'll leave you with a live version of the song. Be sure to go to to listen to the studio version.

Collective Soul - "Afterwords" Album Review

Collective Soul's new album Afterwords was released on August 28th on Itunes and at Target. Unfortunately for me, my digital music store of choice, Rhapsody, does not have the new album. So I just decided to listen to the new album in it's entirety at where if you click on the boom box on the table in the group picture you can control each track. I was thinking of buying the album at Target but the listing on says that the album is 31.98 and will be released September 5th. You would think that if a great band like Collective Soul provided you with an exclusive opportunity to sell their new album that they wouldn't mess it up this badly. Hopefully they recognize their mistake soon and fix it before they lose out on potential sales.

This is the first album I have reviewed in a while but I decided that anything by Collective Soul is worth reviewing and at the very least giving a listen to. The album has eleven new tracks including their newest single, "Hollywood". The run time for the album comes in at just over 40 mins, a fairly short album with an average song time of about 3:40. This is their first studio album since Youth was released in November of 2004. The album kicks off with "New Vibration", a song with that classic Collective Soul sound, a solid guitar riff and Ed's signature voice. Should become a concert favorite similar to "Counting The Days" was on their last few tours. The next song is one of my all time favorites from Collective Soul, "What I Can Give You". It was one of those songs for me that I just had to listen to it over and over, and made it pretty tough for me to get through the whole album so that I could review it. It doesn't quite have the epic sound of "Run" or "The World I Know" but it comes pretty close.

It is tough to follow that up but the album continues with "Never Here Alone", a fun song with an upbeat tempo and a message of putting the pain of yesterday behind you and looking forward to the future. Next up is "Bearing Witness", also one of my favorites from this album. They slow it down a little bit and create a great love song that is not for everyone. The great thing about Collective Soul is that it is a band that draws in all kinds of fans with their broad range of appeal. They attract fans of hard rock with songs like "Where The River Flows" and "Heavy" and the more soft rock fans with "Needs" and "Run". The Fifth track, "All That I Know" was one of the songs that they played when I went to their last concert. It really is a great concert song and they had the whole crowd singing the "Do Do Do Doot Doot Doot Doot Doot Doot Doot Doot Doot Doot Doot Doot Do". It a memorable song that can put a smile on your face every time you hear it. "I Don't Need Anymore Friends" is the next track and a unique one at that. Front man Ed Roland takes a back seat on this track as lead guitarist Joel Kosche sings his heart out. The song itself isn't anything mind blowing but Joel does a good job taking on the lead vocal job. Placed in the middle of the album it gives the album as a whole a nice break and welcome change for any Collective Soul fan. The seventh track, "Good Morning After All", is the longest one on the album coming in at 4:23. This song about God and hope is a nice addition to the album.

Yes, you guessed it. "Hollywood", the eighth song on the album is next. It's one of those made for radio songs that they really did a good job on. It's catchy and sure to be a crowd-pleaser just as "Better Now" was for "Youth". With only three songs left on the album, they give you one more foot tapper, head nodding, song before the slow it down with the last two songs. "Persuasion Of You" has a nice chorus but probably my least favorite song on the album. It's not a song that I would skip over but I think that the verses just fall a little flat. They bounce back with "Georgia Girl", a song where everything just seems to fit perfectly together. They add the sweet sounds of the piano in this one and it reminds me of how well the violins fit into "Needs". They finish out the new album with "Adored", a great song to finish off a far from disappointing album. A beautifully written love song is the way that all good albums should end and this album did just that.

To be honest, I wasn't really sure what to expect from this album. I got a taste of it at their concert this summer but wasn't sure if Collective Soul still had it in them to put out another solid album. Clearly, I should not of doubted them as they made a great album that, if I ever make it out to Target, I will surely pick up. Undoubtedly, I had my favorites in this album but I have to give them a lot of credit for making 11 more than solid songs. I have a feeling that a lot of these songs will grow on me the more I listen to it. It is clear that Collective Soul has been on the decline as far as mainstream popularity but I hope that all fans of this band give this album a chance because I can't see how you could be disappointed by an impressive effort like this.

I give "Afterwords" four stars out of five and hope that you give it a listen. Thanks for reading the review and hope you liked it.