Archive for April, 2018

Meet Vana Liya: LAW Records Newest Signing

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With only a ukulele, a vocal microphone, and a captivating voice, Nirvana Goberdhan has gone from Pepper fan to Pepper-endorsed.

Goberdhan, better known by her stage name Vana Liya, was recently signed to LAW Records, which is managed and operated by the close friends, family, and members of Hawaiian reggae/rock trio Pepper. The announcement of her signing was paired with the release of her new single, titled “Show Me.”

Vana grew up in Deer Park, New York, about 45 miles east of Manhattan. Her parents are from Guyana, at the southernmost end of the Caribbean. From early on, Vana was surrounded by soca, calypso, dancehall, reggae music (and, thanks to her dad, Elvis Presley karaoke). After finding punk-rock on her own, Vana’s musical worlds collided in middle school when her older brother introduced her to Sublime.  
“I really connected with it because I liked the reggae style I grew up with, but it had the punk aspect I was into,” Vana told The Pier. “I had heard their staple songs like ‘Santeria’ and ‘What I Got’ but he put on ‘Roots of Creation,’ and that’s when I started really getting into them. From there it branched off and I was listening to Slightly Stoopid, Pepper, and Long Beach Dub Allstars.”
Her interest in the genre carried her to emulating her stars, at first with a guitar. After deciding a full size guitar was too big, her instrument of choice shrunk, but her popularity only grew.

“I started making minute long Instagram snippets in late 2016. Before I had a mic, I was actually recording videos on my bathroom floor because of the acoustics,” Vana tells The Pier. “My first repost was from Pepper – they shared an old cover I did of “Tradewinds” back when Instagram videos were only 15 seconds. From there I gained a little bit of a following and then I got noticed by bands like Rebelution, 311, and Dirty Heads.”

Yesod Williams, drummer for Pepper and LAW Records partner, told The Pier the LAW family is lucky to have Vana: “I instantly took note of how sweet and soulful her voice was,” Williams shares. “One key factor was we met at one of our meet and greets in Long Island, NY and she was so genuine. Sky is the limit for her in my opinion, it’s an honor to be a part of the process.”

Vana’s live show consists of her original music and a mix of covers from her favorite bands in the scene. One she loves playing is “Bowl For Two,” from The Expendables’ 2004 album Gettin’ Filthy.  

“When you play it in front a reggae crowd they automatically recognize it and start singing along. But also when people who aren’t familiar with the song hear it, they know what it’s about and they start to chuckle – it kind of brings the crowd together,” Vana said of the Expendables hit.

Outside of reggae, Vana told The Pier her biggest influences are Dallas Green of City Colour, Ben Gibbard from Death Cab For Cutie, and Ingrid Michaelson.

Currently, Vana is busy touring and putting together an EP, centered around her single “Show Me.”  The track features Vana, backed by guitar, keys, bass, and drums by Tosh Peterson. The single was recorded at Greg Shields’ (Kash’d Out) studio in Orlando, FL, and produced by Joshua Saldate.  Shields and bandmate Nick Gudzan helped Vana with writing.

Just a year ago, Vana Liya only dreamed of touring with her favorite band Pepper. As of today, that dream doesn’t seem too far off.

Watch: Vana Liya – “Show Me”

Related Links:
Vana Liya Official Website
Vana Liya Facebook
Law Records Website

Article By: Aidan Leddy

Watch: Vana Liya – “Bowl For Two” (The Expendables Cover)

Watch: Vana Liya – “Too Much” (Pepper Cover)

This entry was posted on Monday, April 30th, 2018 at 2:04 pm and is filed under 311, Daily News, Law Records, Rebelution, Slightly Stoopid, Sublime, The Dirty Heads.
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12 Fin-tastic Children’s Books

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Reading helps children develop their comprehension skills and promotes a furthered understanding and perception of the world as a whole. In honor of National Children’s Book Week, we thought it perfectly fitting to acknowledge just how important it is to discuss our ocean, its resident wildlife and the many things we can do to take care of the sea. These fin-tastic books were chosen for their ability to combine valuable educational lessons and reading practice with an ocean-themed twist, fostering an early appreciation of our ocean for children as they learn.

What’s more: all of these books are available for purchase on Amazon, where you can sign up to participate in AmazonSmile, a program that allows you select Ocean Conservancy as a recipient of a portion of the proceeds from your purchase. Check them out and decide which one you’ll read with the kiddos in your life first!

The Rainbow Fish

By Marcus Pfister


  • An international bestseller, this book easily captures a child’s attention with its lustrous, sparkling foil-stamped illustrations. However, what it’s known for goes far beyond its pictures of beautiful fish. It tells the story of a fish born with several gorgeous scales, who quickly learns that sharing is one of the best ways to make lasting friends, and that there’s much more to life than what we think are our most valued personal possessions.

Somewhere in the Ocean

By Jennifer Ward

somewhere in the oceansomewhere in the ocean

  • This book helps children learn numbers and features a large variety of marine life—including species from octopuses to manatees to clownfish.

Humphrey the Lost Whale: A True Story

By Wendy Tokuda

Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 3.38.47 PMScreen Shot 2018-04-29 at 3.38.47 PM

  • Based on the true story of a 40-ton humpback whale who accidentally traveled into San Francisco Bay, this book tells of the near month-long journey Humphrey took to find his way home. The book has been a favorite for nearly a quarter of a century, and helps teach children awareness for the largest marine mammals that inhabit our waters.

What if There Were No Sea Otters?

By Suzanne Slade

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  • In this story, children are taught that even though there are millions of species that call our planet home, every single one plays a critical role in their ecosystem. If just one species (such as the sea otter) were lost, the effect on our environment would be huge, showcasing the importance of treating all animals in our world with respect and concern for their wellbeing.

A Swim Through the Sea

By Kristin Joy Pratt

swim in the seaswim in the sea

  • We love that this book was written by a 16-year-old! And, it has been praised by the legendary marine conservationist and explorer Jacques Cousteau. The book moves through an alphabet of sea creatures, providing a full segment of facts and an illustration of each species and their habitat.

I Can Save the Ocean! The Little Green Monster Cleans Up the Beach

By Alison Inches

little green monsterlittle green monster

  • This book teaches children the importance of keeping our Earth clean. Telling a story of Max, a little green monster who doesn’t like cleaning up after himself at beach picnics. Max soon discovers on a scuba dive that not picking up trash affects his friends in the sea, and he sets out on a mission to protect our ocean from litter and pollution, while truly understanding what it means to be ‘green.’

Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee

By Chris Van Dusen

down to the sea with mr mageedown to the sea with mr magee

  • This one is an OC Staff pick! Following the fun-filled journey with a character named Mr. Magee and his little dog named Dee, this humorous book tells the story of what happens when a playful whale decides to visit Magee’s boat to say hello. It provides giggles for all, and helps kids learn that the ocean is home to many wonderful animals.

The Emperor’s Egg

By Martin Jenkins

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  • The book highlights how important fathers are to children—especially for Emperor penguins! It’s also an excellent illustration of diversity of roles in parenthood; in this story, the mom goes off and serves as the ‘bread (or fish) winner,’ while the father stands in the freezing cold, keeping the egg warm between his feet for weeks on end. A beautiful recollection of the commitment of papa penguins.

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

By Dr. Seuss

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  • Would our list really be complete without mentioning this legendary book? One of the famed author’s best-selling pieces, this book teaches children the diversity of life in the natural world, while instilling an appreciation for animals even when they look or seem ‘funny’ to us.

My Octopus Arms

By Keith Baker

my octopus armsmy octopus arms

  • This is great book for children learning to complete new tasks and activities on their own, like tying their shoes. This book focuses on a friendly octopus who explores all the different things he can do with his eight arms. It also communicates one of the best things children can do with their arms: hugging! It teaches a valuable lesson to kids that they can do anything, but no matter what they do, showing compassion should be at the top of the list.

Simon Schuster Children’s Guide to Sea Creatures

By Jinny Johnson

simon schustersimon schuster

  • We felt it necessary to include at least one ‘guide to the ocean’-style book, and this is one of our favorites. From plankton to penguins and beyond, this book provides full-color pictures paired with fascinating information about the various wildlife that call our ocean home. A wonderful gift idea for a youngster wanting to learn more about the ocean itself and the bounty of wildlife that call her home.

A House for Hermit Crab

By Eric Carle

a house for hermit craba house for hermit crab

  • A classic story about embracing change, A House for Hermit Crab covers the story of a little hermit crab searching for the perfect fitting shell to call his home. But as he continues to grow, he starts to understand that growth isn’t a bad thing, and just because it’s not always comfortable doesn’t mean it won’t help you become who you’re meant to be.

Do you want to help the kids in your life learn more about our ocean? Check out our Wildlife Fact Sheets for some fun and fascinating information about the many species that call our ocean home!


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Jimmy Buffett performs at New Orleans Jazz Fest

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Jimmy Buffett and his Acoustic Airmen performed yesterday at the New Orleans Jazz Fest. The set list from the show is now available.

From The Times-Picayune: “Jimmy Buffett churns out a crowd pleaser at Jazz Fest, backed up by a ukulele virtuoso

New Orleans Jazz Fest producer Quint Davis introduced Jimmy Buffett’s close-out set on the Acura stage on Sunday (April 29) by saying, “This guy makes the world a little happier.”

For the next hour and a half, Buffett proved his point. Beach balls flew through the air, polka dotting the blue sky with primary colors. Hawaiian shirts clung to sweaty bodies. Parrothead hats bobbed to the beat. Vintage Buffett — and everyone, including the barefoot guy on stage, was eating it up.

For his 12th time at Jazz Fest (not counting his many guest appearances over the years), Buffett performed with the Acoustic Airmen, an all-start group of players that included Country Music Association Musician of the Year Mac McAnally along with Robert Greenidge, Eric Darken, Nadirah Shakoor and Tina Gullickson. Louisiana’s own Sonny Landreth joined on slide guitar, and Jake Shimabukuro stole the show on ukulele.

At one point, Buffett put down his guitar and walked aside, abdicating the stage to Shimabukuro and Greenidge as they performed “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” on ukulele and steel drums.

Much has been written recently about Buffett not living the “Jimmy Buffett lifestyle.” That was, in fact, the recent headline of an insightful New York Times profile. The world’s most famous beach bum runs a multi-media empire, with his sand-in-the-toes mantra as its bedrock. He even has an acclaimed new Broadway musical, “Escape to Margaritaville.”


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Saving the Coast through Storytelling

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Last month, we were excited to explore science communication on the Gulf Coast courtesy of OCEANDOTCOMM, a collaborative storytelling event hosted by the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON). People from around the world and all walks of life came together for five days to share, learn, collaborate and create.

Often abbreviated to “scicomm” (pronounced “si-com”), science communication is about sharing scientific information in createive and innovative ways including infographics, videos, art, social media, podcasts and more.

On the first day of the conference, after months of mystery and anticipation, the theme of the event was finally unveiled: coastal optimism.

That’s something that we strive for here at Ocean Conservancy, so our crew of two RAY fellows (Emi and Melia), a Gulf restoration expert (Rachel) and ocean planning aficianado (Rafeed) were excited to get started on storytelling projects with the added bonus of all the LUMCON resources for making it happen.

We pulled a trawl net on the R/V Acadiana to learn about the critters that live in Terrebonne Bay. We were invited to eat dinner with the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe to understand how land loss and sea level rise are affecting their community. We even rode an airboat!

In Cocodrie, Louisiana, where the bayou meets the Gulf of Mexico, LUMCON’s facilities and staff are experiencing the effects of a changing climate. LUMCON scientists were also some of the first to take a research vessel to the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig when it exploded in 2010. We sat down with the LUMCON staff to talk about the OCEANDOTCOMM event and why this fresh approach to ocean and coastal science is so important.

Photo Mar 19, 3 20 50 PM_previewPhoto Mar 19, 3 20 50 PM_preview
Dr. Craig McClain (Executive Director and Associate Professor), Murt Conover (Associate Director of Education and Outreach), and Virginia Schutte (Social Media Officer) at LUMCON. © Rafeed Hussain

Ocean Conservancy’s questions to the group are highlighted in blue. 

How did y’all come up with the concept for OCEANDOTCOMM?

Murt Conover: The concept was really a brainchild of Craig’s. Coming from a scientific and science communication background, he was actually kind of tired of attending SciComm events where people were teaching you how to do SciComm. So he wanted to be extremely innovative and create a product-driven event for “SciCommers.”

Craig McClain: It was a collective vision. This is an idea that had been floating around the SciComm community for a while. It came out of my conversations with some of the people who are here [at OCEANDOTCOMM]. These are people I’ve known for years, and we all felt very unfulfilled after science communication conferences and basic workshops on things like “this is how you use Twitter.”

What makes LUMCON the ideal host or venue for this event?

Virgina Schutte: LUMCON is a special place because we have full time scientists on staff. We also have full time educators on staff, and I would say that at least half of our staff are not scientists. We are South Louisiana. We’re not the ivory tower. Everybody has a cousin that lives right down here and knows what life is like and they come into work every day telling us about it. So I think a combination of things that’s hard to recreate elsewhere.

The theme of the event was “coastal optimism.”

Why do you think we need coastal optimism?

McClain: Well, because we have everything else but hope when it comes to coastal loss here in Louisiana. It’s a huge problem we’re facing. But our politicians are all on the same page. It doesn’t matter what your political agenda is—everybody agrees that coastal loss is an issue, and the money is there to address it. And we have the expertise through multiple institutions, from colleges and universities to NGOs, to government agencies, you name it. So we have the money, we have the political willpower, we have the expertise. What we don’t seem to have a lot of is hope.

You don’t hear a lot of success stories. Where are we winning? What things give you hope about the future? We don’t often talk about it, and we have to help build the momentum because morale is actually a really fundamental factor to all of this and one that doesn’t often get addressed.

Conover: You have to have something to work towards. People will gravitate towards optimism. That’s what we’re achieving. So it’s important to celebrate the good because it gives you a reason to get up at 4:00 a.m. every day.

Schutte: We as a society can’t only focus on the problems. What difference does one drop in the ocean make? You need the optimism to keep you going and to provide that motivation so that you can see that one drop affects the drops around it, and then who knows how far that can go.

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© Rafeed Hussain

What gives you optimism or hope for the coast?

McClain: People in Louisiana, especially in coastal Louisiana, are fundamentally tied to the landscape. It’s part of everything that we do. The food, the music, the art, the religion—everything is tied to this sort of land-water interface. So their ability to be adaptive and resilient and just be fighters—that gives me hope.

Conover: What gives me optimism for the coast is how much everybody wants to be a part in the success of the coast. I think here in Louisiana, we’ve gotten to the point where we realize that change is inevitable, but we’re moving more towards an adaptive, resilient frame of mind. People have lived along the Louisiana coast for hundreds of years and they will continue to live on the coast for hundreds of more years and they will continue to adapt and be strong.

Working with such an innovative, supportive and collaborative community showed us that scicomm is more than a tool, it is a movement. It speaks to our shared curiosity to learn more about the world around us. Through scicomm, scientific inquiry becomes a conversation, rather than a lecture. We look forward to keeping up the connections we made with the many artists, writers, educators, photographers and scientists we met at OCEANDOTCOMM. We’re grateful to LUMCON for the opportunity to experience the Gulf Coast from the perspective of their facilities and community connections.

To learn more about LUMCON and their work, visit them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. And you’ll find more fun photos, videos and amazing stories from our time at OCEANDOTCOMM by searching for #odotcomm18 on Twitter.

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Buffett performs in Hattiesburg Mississippi

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Jimmy Buffett and his Acoustic Airmen performed last night at the Saenger Theater in Hattiesburg, MS. The set list from the show is now available. Some of the highlights from the show included “The Great Filling Station Holdup”, “Pascagoula Run”, “Peanut Butter Conspiracy”, “Life Is Just A Tire Swing”, and “Biloxi”.

Jimmy Buffett’s was inducted into the The University of Southern Mississippi Hall of Fame. Appearing on stage with Buffett are USM President Rodney Bennett and Bret Favre.


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Fat Mike and Mad Caddies To Release Ska-Punk Cover Album

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California ska-punk band Mad Caddies are set to release Punk Rocksteady, a 12 track record of punk songs covered in ska style that will officially drop on June 15th, 2018. The album will be released through Fat Wreck Chords and features a songlist hand-picked by Fat Mike and covered by the Caddies with guest appearances by members The Interrupters The Skints.

The only song currently available for streaming is their take on Green Day’s “She.” The album can be pre-ordered through Fat Wreck Chords and will be available in CD, LP Digital format on June 15th, 2018. mad-caddies

Chuck Robertson, vocals and guitar for the Mad Caddies, said this of the record: “We wanted this to be a cohesive album that, even if you are not a fan of punk, you could throw on and enjoy. We had a grand vision that we needed to have four-to-six sounds on here. We needed to have traditional ska, super horn-heavy dancehall songs, reggae, SoCal stuff, and we needed to have something new and weird that we could make our own.” “This has been one of [Fat Mike’s] dream projects for a long time,” added guitarist Sascha Lazor.”

Punk Rocksteady re-frames the past 40 years of punk history into a lighter tone of new perspective. “If the song’s good, it can be played in any genre and do the song justice,” says Robertson. The album was recorded entirely at Motor Studios in San Francisco, CA, under the “spiritual guidance” of Fat Mike. It includes covers of Misfits, Descendents, Rancid, Propagandhi, Bad Religion, Green Day, Against Me!, and more.

Sascha Lazor, guitar/banjo for the Mad Caddies, said “This has been one of [Fat Mike’s] dream projects for a long time.” He went on to say that reworking the songs into original takes caused more band introspection than would be expected. This so called “fresh perspective on writing songs” could hopefully lead to new original Caddies soon.

Bass player Graham Palmer told The Pier that the record will also feature guest vocals by Aimee Allen of The Interrupters and Joshua Waters-Rudge of The Skints. Aimee and Josh are both featured on the Operation Ivy cover of “Sleep Long,” while Aimmee is also featured covering NOFX’s “She’s Gone.”

2018 is year 23 for the Mad Caddies, who have been touring and recording since the mid 1990s. In that time, they have accumulated 6 studio records and 2 live albums. Their music is some of the most unique in the ska-punk world, with influences stemming from folk, jazz, latin, hardcore punk, and soul.

Mad Caddies – Punk Rocksteady Track List:
MadCaddies_PunkRockSteady1.) Sorrow [Bad Religion Cover]
2.) Sleep Long (ft. Aimee Allen Joshua Waters-Rudge) [Operation Ivy Cover]
3.) She [Green Day Cover]
4.) …And We Thought That Nation-States Were a Bad Idea [Propagandhi Cover]
5.) She’s Gone (ft. Aimee Allen) [NOFX Cover]
6.) AM [No Use For A Name Cover]
7.) Alien 8 [Lagwagon Cover]
8.) 2RAK005 [Bracket Cover]
9.) Some Kinda Hate [The Misfits Cover]
10.) Sink, Florida, Sink [Against Me! Cover]
11.) Jean Is Dead [Descendents Cover]
12.) Take Me Home (Piss Off) [Snuff Cover]

Watch: Mad Caddies – “She” (Green Day Cover)

Related Links:
Fat Wreck Chords Website
Mad Caddies Website
Mad Caddies Facebook

Article By: Aidan Leddy

This entry was posted on Friday, April 27th, 2018 at 1:47 am and is filed under Daily News.
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An Arctic Mystery: What are These Circles in the Arctic Ice?

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Recently, when flying over the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic, NASA scientists stumbled on a bit of a mystery: three holes in the sea ice surrounded by irregular circular shapes.

As part of its Operation IceBridge mission, NASA has been photographing, mapping and documenting how climate change is affecting both the Arctic and the Antarctic. NASA scientists have flown over a lot of sea ice during their missions, but the ice features shown in the above photograph were something new.

Like much about the Arctic region, scientists don’t know exactly how these shapes were formed. Maybe seals or whales created the holes in the ice, and water flowed out to cause the surrounding circle shapes on the ice. Or maybe warm water bubbled up from below to create the features.

However these shapes came about, we know they appear in an area of young, thin ice that was recently open water. The ice is so pliable that wave-like ripples appear on its surface, which can be seen in the center-left of the photograph.

The fact that these scientists don’t know how these features were formed and haven’t seen them before highlights just how much there is to learn about the Arctic Ocean and the ways it is changing. We do know, however, that Arctic sea ice—both the multi-year ice that persists from year-to-year as well as seasonal ice that forms from open water each fall—is on a downward spiral. In general, Arctic sea ice covers significantly less area than it once did, especially in summer, and is much thinner than it used to be. That’s a major concern.

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. In recent years, Arctic wildlife and peoples have faced rapid and dramatic impacts related to global climate change. Summer sea ice, habitat for so many Arctic animals, is little more than half the area it was only a few decades ago. Some scientists predict that the Arctic could be largely ice-free in the summertime by the 2040s.

While we may not know yet what caused the circles in the photos captured by the NASA scientists, we do know that continued research and study is critical to understanding the impacts of climate change and identifying viable management measures for this remote and rapidly changing region. All of us here at Ocean Conservancy are working toward solutions that will sustain a healthy, productive ocean—for people and wildlife alike.

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The Hip Abduction’s First Single of 2018

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Based out of St. Petersburg, FL is a six-piece musical collective known as The Hip Abduction who have released their first single of 2018 with the drop of “Come On Get Up.” While details on a new album are not available, the new single shows promise to an evolving sound from the groups 2016 full length of Gold Under The Glow.

How do you describe The Hip Abduction? They sum it up as an independent alternative tropical pop outfit. Myself, personally? I just call it original wanderlust feel good music. The type of music you play shirtless on your way to go parasailing, sky-diving or falling in love during the summer. It instigates adrenaline exhileration, like the need to have it during or following the album. Hell, the group formed over a mutual appreciation for West African and early Jamaican reggae/dub music.

The Hip Abduction includes David New (lead vocals, guitar), Chris Powers (bass), Dave Johnson The-Hip-Abduction-band-2017-2-WEB_credit-Dylan-Melcher-png(baritone and tenor sax), Sean Fote (keyboards), Matt Poynter (drums, vocals) and John Holt III (kamale ngoni, guitar, vocals).

Their new song, produced by Kenny Carkeet (formerly of AWOLNATION), is a dance track titled “Come On Get Up,” meant to get you off your feet to shake off the negative feels from heartbreak. This is not a stagnant reproduction of what they’ve released over 3 albums but a natural progression from where they left off. That doesn’t mean its a great, groundbreaking new addition to their repertoire, either. Don’t let me oversell it, but in looking at their body of work, this song is telling in that its not them trying to make another version of their most popular tracks. I’d likened them to a newer generation John Brown’s Body, giving wings to progressive roots music with their electric and authentic musicianship.

Front-man David New details the new song, saying: “At some point in life, there’s a good chance you will get your heart broken and or break the heart of someone you love. Either way, the after effects can tear you down to your core. This song is about going thru that. The song is a wish for both sides. The process of turning grief into catharsis by returning to the earth to find yourself.”

[Related: Cali-Roots Festival 2018 Artist Line-up: A Look at Who To See Live]

The single comes at a perfect time as the group plans to perform at the infamous Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado before visiting California for the first time this May when they play the 9th Annual California Roots Music Arts Festival. You can find all of their upcoming tour-dates below. You can stream their music to your preference or own it via iTunes by clicking HERE!

Related Links:
The Hip Abduction Website
The Hip Abduction Facebook

Article By: Mike Patti

Watch: The Hip Abduction – “Come Alive”

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 26th, 2018 at 11:50 am and is filed under Daily News.
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Working with Our Neighbors to the North for Trash Free Seas

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Beach cleanups are in our DNA here at Ocean Conservancy, so when we had the opportunity to work with partners from Oceans North, Ecology Action Centre and Friends of McNabs Island to co-host a beach cleanup in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Earth Day, we knew we couldn’t miss it.

© Eric DesRoberts

Marine debris, after all, is not an isolated issue. Plastics, in particular, have been found nearly everywhere in the ocean—floating at the surface, settled at the bottom of deep-sea trenches, moving through tropical waters and frozen into Arctic ice. And while neither Arctic nor tropical, there was plenty to clean up this past weekend in Halifax. Between two locations—McNabs Island and McCormacks Beach—some 150 volunteers collected about 100 bags of debris and rounded up larger items such as a 3′ x 6′ plastic picnic table top, a 10-foot piece of absorbent spill boom, two car tires, a section of orange snow fence and several plastic fish boxes.

Among the volunteers was none other than Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna. In celebration of Earth Day 2018 (the theme of which was Ending Plastic Pollution), she launched the Dialogue on Plastic Waste to gather Canadians’ views on plastics and identify ways to achieve zero plastic waste and reduce marine litter. By engaging Canadians, indigenous peoples, industry, municipalities, non-profit organizations and research institutions, the Government of Canada will work with provinces and territories to develop strategies to keep plastics within the product stream and out of landfills and the environment.

The Canadian government recognizes the ubiquity of the marine debris issue and is also taking a lead on it through its G7 presidency this year. Canada has prioritized advancing global and domestic action on marine plastic litter and ocean preservation; and at the cleanup, Minister McKenna not only collected trash but launched the G7 Shoreline Sweep Challenge, encouraging Ministerial counterparts from G7 nations to launch their own shoreline cleanup.

Canada’s commitment to solving this global problem and helping to raise its profile among other G7 and G20 countries gives hope and optimism to an often overwhelming situation. Their leadership through the G7 demonstrates a commitment to developing solutions. This is something that we hope resonates with other global leaders as we all have a role to play.

Ocean Conservancy and our Canadian partner, Oceans North, are continuing the conversation today in Ottawa as we convene leading experts to provide input into Canada’s G7 Plastics Charter and the role of cities and municipalities in implementing waste management solutions. Stay tuned for a readout of the event soon!

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Margaritaville resort to be built in Manhattan

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A Margaritaville resort based on the beachy lodging concept from the Jimmy Buffett song of the same name is slated to open near New York City’s Times Square in late 2020.

Margaritaville Holdings, the global lifestyle brand synonymous with fun and escapism, today announced it’s building a new Margaritaville Resort in New York City. Located in Times Square at 560 Seventh Avenue, blocks away from the bright lights of the entertainment district and New York’s most popular attractions, the 234-room, 29-story property is expected to open in late 2020. Once complete, the $300 million project will boast several Margaritaville food and beverage concepts, a rooftop LandShark Bar Grill and pool, retail space and more.

“From the beaches of Florida to the Great Smoky Mountains to the corner of Seventh Avenue and 40th Street, Margaritaville brings fun, relaxation and a much-needed escape from the every day to any set of coordinates,” said John Cohlan, chief executive officer of Margaritaville. “The Margaritaville Resort Hotel and the lifestyle experience it offers will be the perfect complement to the exciting, fast-paced energy of Times Square and we can’t wait to bring this destination to the travelers and residents of New York City.”

In partnership with International Meal Company (IMC), food and beverage venues include a Margaritaville Restaurant, LandShark Bar Grill, 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar, Floridays Airstream Café, and an all-new concept, Chill Bar. Retail space is planned for the lobby, allowing guests a way to extend their visit to paradise and bring the island life home.


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