Archive for January, 2018

Blue Planet II US Premiere Highlights Ocean Wonders and Threats

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“One Ocean” showcases the promises of the series.

When Blue Planet first premiered in 2001, it captivated the world. The BBC nature documentary series introduced viewers to seemingly alien terrains and creatures. From the bioluminescence of the deep ocean to pods of blue whales, the world got to see the ocean like never before. It took almost five years to make, was filmed in nearly 200 locations and was viewed by more than 12 million viewers in the United Kingdom alone.

What was so unique about Blue Planet was the way it brought people together. Everyone, from marine biologists to children, could be mesmerized by the show. Scientists could marvel at the technologies that allowed documentarians to film the animals like the dumbo octopus for the first time, while average viewers could learn about the oceans from the prolific narrator, Sir David Attenborough. Personally, I still watch Blue Planet most nights as I try to fall asleep: nothing is more soothing to me than the sound of David Attenborough’s voice.


This past fall, a sequel more than a decade in the making aired in the UK. Blue Planet II was the most watched show in the United Kingdom in 2017, surpassing UK broadcasting goliaths like the Great British Bakeoff and the X Factor. Social media feeds were filled with live tweeting about manta rays, dolphins and coral reefs as almost a quarter of the UK’s population tuned in.

Now, it’s America’s turn to watch. The season premiere, “One Ocean,” debuted on BBC America and affiliated networks on Saturday, January 20 and is nothing short of a triumph. Filming for the documentary took place over the course of more than five years and approximately 4,600 dive shoots. The end result, paired with a score from Hans Zimmer, is awe-inspiring. The very first episode features a fish that can change its gender, a fish that uses tools, and a chase scene between dolphins and whales.

Many of the elements that brought viewers to the original Blue Planet are also present in its sequel- cute baby animals, spectacular cinematography, and surreal ocean landscapes, to name a few. However, Blue Planet II’s mission statement is clear from some of the first lines of the show.

“The health of our oceans is under threat,” Attenborough warns. “They’re changing at a faster rate than ever before in human history. Never has there been a more crucial time to explore what goes on beneath the surface of the seas.”


One criticism of the original Blue Planet was that it tended to gloss over the major threats that the ocean faces. From the very first episode, Blue Planet II makes it clear that it will not be shying away from difficult topics. “One Ocean” features the story of a mother walrus in the arctic searching for enough frozen terrain for her and her baby to rest on. Because of rising temperatures, Attenborough explains, the search has become more difficult. While this story has a happy ending, it leaves you knowing that many others will not.

Blue Planet II has already been called the greatest nature series of all time. I hope that America can come together like the United Kingdom did to learn about the wonders that the ocean can produce and the problems that it faces. Maybe it’ll inspire you to join a beach clean up or find out ways you can help protect coral reefs from bleaching. When you can see the vastness and life that lives in the ocean (preferably on the biggest, highest definition TV possible), it’s impossible not to care about it’s future. Join us at Ocean Conservancy as we watch the remaining seven episodes of Blue Planet II.

Find out more about the show here.

Watch the first episode here.

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Ballyhoo! Releases New Single ft. Rebelution & Reel Big Fish

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As mentioned inside our 2018 Most Anticipated Albums feature, there would be new Ballyhoo! this year featuring Eric Rachmany of Rebelution and the horn section of Reel Big Fish — Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Luckily for us, it’s not.

The band’s first release of 2018, acting as a teaser for what’s to come this year from the Maryland rockers, has us eagerly wanting more. “This Chick Is Wack” brings summer afternoons on the beach right to your speakers, even in January.
The song opens with a muted, 50s doo-wop style bassline and Howi Spangler’s “telephone” vocals, lamenting a dead-end relationship. As the song builds, the Reel Big Fish horn section, made up of Billy Kottage on trombone, Matt Appleton on saxophone, and Johnny Christianson on trumpet, trades phrases with Spangler, laying a nice foundation of full, harmonic sound throughout the song. The final verse is taken by Rachmany, and finishes strong on a horn-filled chorus and conclusion.

The 50s influence embodied in “This Chick Is Wack” is nothing new to Ballyhoo!. Their songs, namely “Let Her Go,” “Morning Sunlight,” and “Alcohol Looks Beautiful” have successfully bottled the sound and style of 50s doo-wop and mixed in nicely with Ballyhoo!’s signature blend of reggae and pop punk.

Spangler said the help from Rebelution and Reel Big Fish was flawless and not a single edit or revision was needed: “When you work with top-notch, professional people that are good at what they do, you have nothing to worry about,” Spangler explains.

Spangler says that the hook came to him one night in November 2017 and he got right to work. The song was written and recorded quickly at their home studio in Havre de Grace, Maryland. The fun, light-hearted feel of the song stuck out to Spangler and assured him of its potential as the early single.

Ballyhoo! is currently writing and recording more material alongside of “This Chick is Wack,” but album details and dates are still unreleased. Shout out to artist Noah Swartz who designed the single’s cover-art — You can stream the single on all the platforms or own it via iTunes by clicking HERE!

Listen: Ballyhoo! – “That Chick Is Wack”

Related Links:
Ballyhoo! Website
Reel Big Fish Website
Rebelution Website

Article By: Aidan Leddy

Watch: Ballyhoo! – “Let Her Go”

This entry was posted on Friday, January 26th, 2018 at 12:57 am and is filed under Daily News, Rebelution.
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Video: Biga Ranx – “Life Long”

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French Reggae / Hip Hop artist, Biga Ranx dropped a new music video for “Life Long” from his June 2017 album release of 1988. Based out of Tours, France, and along with X-Ray Production, an independent record label based in Paris, Biga has released 9 albums since 2011. His new record features 16 songs with an array of guest appearances — You can stream his music through your various platforms or own it by clicking HERE! Enjoy the song and video…

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 25th, 2018 at 12:49 am and is filed under Daily News.
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Sting & Shaggy To Release Joint, Island-Influenced Record, 44/876

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On April 20th, 2018, Sting and Shaggy will put out a joint, island-influenced record entitled 44/876 following the release of their first single, “Don’t Make Me Wait.” The new album is said to reflect the duo’s mutual love of Jamaica, its music, and the spirit of its people through its vibrancy culture.

Together, they were able to produce an album that is highlighted in its StingShaggySIngledescription as music that seamlessly blends Caribbean rhythms, in traditional and modern styles, with pop craftsmanship and rock energy.

In creating this record, the duo had some help in the studio from musicians and writers based out of New York and Jamaica. These artists include Robbie Shakespeare of Sly and Robbie, dancehall sensation Aidonia, DJ Agent Sasco and Sting’s longtime guitarist, Dominic Miller as well as writers Tyrantula, Dwayne “iLLwayno” Shippy, Shane “Gold Tips” Hoosong, Machine Gun Funk and Patexx.

Sting and Shaggy were introduced through each-others representatives and it was after Sting heard the music Shaggy was working on that they decided to collaborate. Initially, they only had plans to release the one single together, but rode a wave of creativity that found them spending a few weeks in New York City, resulting in a full length record. The albums first single, “Don’t Make Me Wait,” will be made available as soon as January 25th via Spotify and iTunes.

The song was debuted live on January 6th in front of 20,000 people in Kingston, Jamaica at the “Shaggy and Friends” charity concert, which benefited the local Bustamante Hospital for Children — You can find a snippet of the live performance below, but stay tuned as an official music video for the single will soon drop.

Given the background of Sting with his love for reggae as heard mixed with Jazz, Rock Pop through his back catalog and time with The Police should be a unique pairing with that of Shaggy who has also seen success with combining his Reggae Dancehall style on a pop platform.

Stay tuned as we look forward to revealing more information as soon as its made available to us.

Listen: Sting Shaggy – “Don’t Make Me Wait”

Related Links:
Sting Website
Sting Facebook
Shaggy Website
Shaggy Facebook

Article By: Mike Patti

Watch: Sting Shaggy – “Don’t Make Me Wait” (1min Live Snippet)

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 at 7:20 am and is filed under Daily News.
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Mighty Mighty BossTones to Release New Album ‘While We’re At It’

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As mentioned inside our 2018 Most Anticipated Albums feature, the Mighty Mighty BossTones will release their 10th studio album While We’re At It relatively soon. The album, produced by rock veteran Ted Hutt, is anticipated to include approximately 15 tracks.

BossTones’ frontman Dicky Barrett described the album as “angrier than you would expect” in an interview with Diffuser. The 53 year old Rhode Island native said: ‘it’s an honest record. In this climate I can’t just say, ‘Hey, let’s all be cheerful and put on our ska shoes.’”The-Mighty-Mighty-Bosstones

Barrett went on to explain how the current climate in politics is a driving force behind its poignant and at times, heated sound: “It feels like unhinged hatred. And the wheels are coming off, but not fast enough for me. For me the whole thing is just lies on top of hatred on top of really stupid thinking. So yes, all that is going to get into the music. It has to.”

According to the frontman, While We’re At It is the final part of a musical trilogy that began with Pinpoints and Gin Joints in 2009. With the songs fully recorded, the band is busy applying finishes touches. Although a date is not set, they are hoping for release before July.

Dicky Barrett told The Pier: “On behalf of myself and the other Mighty Mighty BossTones, we are very proud of While We’re At It and consider it to be our finest effort to date.”

[Related: Boston Mayor Declares December 28th Mighty Mighty BossTones Day!]

The Mighty Mighty BossTones have been a staple in the ska arena since the 1980’s. The 9 piece band from Boston, Massachusetts has enjoyed widespread success over the years both in punk and ska genres, and on the radio and in movies (see 1995 teen-comedy Clueless). Just this past December, Boston Mayor, Marty Walsh, declared December 28th to be Mighty Mighty BossTones Day in honor of their 20th consecutive Hometown Throwdown that spanned over 3 days into the New Year.

We’ll have more info regarding Cover-Art, Official Track Listing Release Date as soon as it’s made available to us. In the meantime, follow their upcoming live shows by clicking HERE!

Related Links:
Mighty Mighty Bosstones Website
Mighty Mighty Bosstones Facebook

Article By: Aidan Leddy

Watch: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – “Someday I Suppose”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 at 12:10 am and is filed under Daily News.
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Margaritaville Beach Resort to open in Nassau

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From the Caribbean Journal: “Margaritaville to Open $250 Million Resort in Nassau

A major new resort is coming to The Bahamas.

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville brand is opening its first property in Nassau, with plans for a $250 million, six-acre development centered at The Pointe, a mixed-use development in the heart of downtown Nassau.

Already under construction, the property will feature a 150-room Margaritaville Beach Resort, along with 150 luxury oceanfront residences, 100 of which will be branded One Particular Harbour at The Pointe.

Margaritaville Holdings’ newest project will also include a marina, a water park, a spa, an entertainment center, signature Margaritaville food and beverage concepts, retail shops and a kids’ club.

“The Bahamas – one of the most beautiful places in the world – is an absolutely perfect location for a Margaritaville lifestyle destination,” said John Cohlan, chief executive officer of Margaritaville. “We’re excited to combine our casual-luxe brand with the local Bahamian culture, known for its warmth and hospitality, to create a one-of-a-kind paradise to vacation, visit, live or just kick back and relax. Nassau is an ideal destination for our lifestyle brand as we continue to expand our global hospitality footprint.”

The project is expected to begin a phased opening in mid-2019.

The Margaritaville Beach Resort at The Pointe will also include an open-air shopping concourse, a movie theater, a bowling alley, an outdoor performance stage and a cascading water pool.

Other amenities will include the St. Somewhere Spa, retail huts, a private beach and a special blue hole diving pool, among others.

The 45-slip marina will feature modern floating berths for up to 150-foot yachts.


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Tunnel Vision Signs With Law Records to Release ‘Days Away’

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It’s been 3 years since San Clemente, CA’s Tunnel Vision released their debut self-titled record. As included in our 2018 Most Anticipated Albums feature, the group plans to release their sophomore record this March and it has now been made official that it will release via Law Records.

The title of the new record is Days Away and will include 14 total tracks (with a secret track secretly planned for physical copies) — The Reel Big Fish horn-section of Billy Kottage on trombone, Matt Appleton on sax, and Johnny “Christmas” Christianson on trumpet all make a guest appearance blaring the horn sections on the new record. The album itself was recorded at Pot of Gold studios with David Irish.

[Related: The Pier’s 2018 Most Anticipated Albums]

Tunnel Vision describes it as the perfect sequel to their first record with more upbeat, aggressive tunes along with some irie reggae jams.

The group tells The Pier: “This album means a lot to us. The last album was sort of a San Clemente Lifestyle themed record about all the things we loved to do growing up in San Clemente, CA. All of the songs on this record were written after we started touring for a couple of years and really facing the life as real musicians. Along with the good, the bad, and the frustrating times of living in a van traveling across the country surfing, skating, and playing music.”

These guys play that surf-jam-reggae-rock, almost reminding me of a young Slightly Stoopid. We caught up with Pepper drummer and co-owner to Law Records, Yesod Williams, as he tells The Pier: “I been watching these boys for years now, and actually started paying attention when the label was on a bit of a break or I would of signed them years ago. I first heard of them about 5 years ago before hearing their first recording while I was sitting in our dressing room at the Pot of Gold Festival in Tempe, AZ about to hit the stage — I actually think I was late getting onto stage because I was soaking it up. From that moment it was only a matter of time and I wanted to hear the band develop after doing some hard work on the road. As you guys know, the label has been back in full force the last couple of years, so the second their manager friend of ours, Anthony Levato, sent me some new music earlier in 2017 I knew it was time, and soon in 2018, the masses will hear the best version of Tunnel Vision yet with ‘Days Away!’

Stay tuned for more details and in the meantime you can stream their current catalog and view their upcoming tour dates by clicking HERE!

Related Links:
Tunnel Vision Website
Tunnel Vision Facebook
Law Records Website

Article By: Mike Patti

Watch: Tunnel Vision – “CitrusSkies”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018 at 12:07 am and is filed under Daily News, Law Records.
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St. Helena 2018: Ocean Conservancy’s Upcoming Plastic Expedition to One of the World’s Most Remote Islands

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In a mere two weeks, Nick Mallos and I will board a plane in Atlanta for a 16-hour flight to Johannesburg South Africa, followed by another 6-hour flight across the South Atlantic to St. Helena, one of the world’s most remote islands. We will be joining Dr. Al Dove, Vice President of Research and Conservation at Georgia Aquarium, for a research expedition to explore the impacts of plastics on the people and marine life of this remarkable place. We hope to return with new scientific findings, insights into how the island is coping with tourism development and its associated waste management challenges, and incredible video footage and still images to tell the whole story. We invite you to follow us on Twitter using the hashtag #StHelena2018 to learn about the expedition as it progresses.

St. Helena, a British colony of only 4,500 inhabitants is located 1,200 miles off the coast of Southwest Africa. It is on the UNESCO list for future world heritage sites, in part because of its phenomenal terrestrial and marine life. Ocean waters near the island appear to be a critical breeding ground for whale sharks, with reproduction peaking in January-February. At up to 40 feet in length, whale sharks are the largest marine fish and unquestionably one of the most charismatic animals in the sea. But as slow-moving filter feeders, they may also be at considerable risk from the growing presence of plastics in the marine environment. Georgia Aquarium, a leading member of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance, is dedicated to research and conservation of whale sharks, both in captivity and in the wild. Dr. Dove is partnering with Ocean Conservancy to explore if there are chemical signatures of plastic contamination in these incredible fish. Nick and I will be joining Al’s dive team to help document the fish’ behavior and collect samples.

We will be spending time on land too, to evaluate the impact of plastic on St. Helena’s beaches and nearshore environment. This past fall a commercial airliner landed on St. Helena for the first time, opening this historically significant island to the outside world without the need first for a week-long journey via mail boat. Plans are now underway to develop a tourism industry that could amount to as many as 30,000 visitors per year, with all the resource use and waste generation issues that accompany development. As these pressures grow, St. Helena could be an ‘object lesson’ in how to “get it right from the start” so that waste management doesn’t become a pathway for leakage of plastics into the ocean as it is in many other parts of the world. With Al’s introduction, we will be meeting with local leaders from the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate to learn more about the strategies they have put in place and the efforts made to date.

Al’s previous expedition to St. Helena confirms it is an amazing place.  A volcanic, tropical island that measures a mere 10 x 5 miles, St. Helena is nearly 3,000 feet above sea level at its highest point. The island was entirely uninhabited when it was discovered by the Portuguese in 1502. Napoleon was imprisoned by the British there and died on the island in 1821. The island became a formal British colony in 1833 after control by the East India Company ended. At one time, 1,100 ships called on the island as they made their way from Africa and Asia to Europe. St. Helena’s constitution came into effect only in 1989 and now the island is governed by a local governor and legislative branch.

With support from Ocean Conservancy and advice from Al, Nick and I will be undertaking four initiatives while on the island in early February.  These are:

  1. Undertake a whole-island baseline coastal debris survey, including determining local vs. ocean sources of plastic debris and identifying any prominent items, products or brands.
  2. Learn about the status of the government’s current waste management system, including comparing waste characterization data from the existing landfill to other parts of the world in collaboration with DSM Environmental Associates, a leading consulting firm.
  3. Engage grade school students on the island to educate them about marine debris and plastic pollution and provide them with copies of Ocean Conservancy’s marine debris curriculum materials, “Talking Trash and Taking Action,” developed in collaboration with NOAA’s Marine Debris program.
  4. As part of Al’s research team, dive with whale sharks to obtain tissue biopsies for evaluation of plastic chemistry biomarkers. We will also sample the surface ocean waters for the presence of microplastics as well.

Planning is now in full swing as our February 1 departure date fast approaches. The St. Helena expedition provides Ocean Conservancy a unique opportunity to integrate insights from waste management, beach cleanup data, and scientific research on ocean plastics and whale shark health to advance our understanding of the connection between plastics use and the ocean.

Stay connected with us at @OurOcean (or our individual twitter handles: @GeorgeHLeonard; @NickMallos) to learn more!


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Iration Teases New Album with New Single “Hit List”

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As Iration draws closer to the release of their yet-to-be-titled 5th studio record that is due out late spring, they have released a new single titled, “Hit List.”

As mentioned in our 2018 Most Anticipated Albums, Iration is said to take a direction of sound that is to be channeled through their influences. The album will have 15+ songs and include three IRATION_Hit_List_FINAL_previewstylistically different guest vocalists that all apparently smashed their respective parts. The album was produced with David “King David” Manzoor who has been co-writing and collaborating with the group since 2015’s Hotting Up.

The first single from the new record is “Hit List” that saw its premiere with San Diego’s 91x radio station at the start of the New Year.

The group shared a statement regarding the new single, stating: “‘Hit List’ is a song that at first listen, might not sound like what you would expect an Iration song to sound like. It draws from our wide range of influences to create something unique. Rock, reggae, hip hop, and RB are all there alongside the melodic hooks we are known for. We always strive to create something new and we think we’ve done it with this song.”

The song does take a more alternative approach than the group is known for. After a piano heavy intro, front-man Micah Pueschel adds his signature vocals that rain heavy on the hook. Singer/guitarist Micah Brown’s melodic rhythm flow at the 1:05 mark stands well in contrast to Pueschel’s chorus in addition to the subtle reggae undertones with hip hop drums marching behind the RB style vocals. It’s a progressive approach for a group that helped create a reggae-pop genre of music using their coastal island influences as a key ingredient to their original sound.

When discussing the new album, Pueschel tells The Pier: “We were really striving to get our fans and listeners as much new material as possible with this record, especially considering how much time we’ve been spending in the studio recently… We basically tried to make an album that paid homage to all of our influences. Obviously there are many, from multiple genres of music. Reggae, rock, pop, hip hop, RB, motown etc. People will be able to listen and try to pick up which of our influences are coming through. It’s going to be very eclectic in that way. We have always said, ‘we don’t really care what genre of music we are making, we just want to make good songs.’ I think this album is a direct result of letting the songs guide us.”

You can stream “Hit List” or own it via iTunes by clicking HERE!

As of this writing, Iration is out on their HeatSeekers winter tour with The Movement Tyrone’s Jacket — For a list of upcoming Iration tour dates, click HERE!

Related Links:
Iration Website
Iration Facebook

Article By: Mike Patti

This entry was posted on Monday, January 22nd, 2018 at 12:05 am and is filed under Daily News.
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Video: Iseo & Dodosound – “Roots In The Air”

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Iseo Dodosound are a fairly new duo founded in 2014 with 2 full-length studio albums with 2015’s Cat Platoon and 2017’s Roots In The Air. Based out of Spain, Madrid, female vocalist Iseo crossed paths with producer Dodosound to bring a fresh and original dub-reggae sound that we look forward to further exploring. Below is a live video of their album-titled track “Roots In The Air.” You can stream their music or own it via iTunes by clicking HERE! Enjoy the song and video…

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 20th, 2018 at 10:02 am and is filed under Daily News.
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