Tagged with "erica"
War Poets - Hot and Cold American Relationships Tags: war poets american relationships word life production new quality feature entertainment

War Poets are back with their newest EP – Hot and Cold: American Relationships, released by Rock The Cause Records, a non-profit record label based in their hometown Minneapolis, Minnesota. Rock The Cause is dedicated to creating community involvement through concerts, workshops and music releases, and over the past 8 years Rock the Cause has helped to create thousands of new volunteers as well as financial support for organizations like Children’s Cancer Research Fund, MusiCares and others.

Hot and Cold: American Relationships, comes out on November 4, 2014 with a portion of proceeds going to work to find a cure for Cystic-Fibrosis.

“I really wanted to be on this label,” Says Rex Haberman, War Poets lead singer. “Their ethos and the difference they make for community is in perfect alignment with our mission as artists.”

War Poets draw on Americana, pop, and rock to achieve an aesthetic that’s refined but rootsy. The group has a unique band structure built around a core duo of Haberman as the primary singer-songwriter and guitarist, and bassist-vocalist, and contributing songwriter, Jenny Case as the musical director. The two keep an ongoing artistic dialogue with creative advisor Matt Kirkwold who also contributes songs to War Poets. Previous to War Poets, Haberman had recorded and released three albums, and Case has led her own band, and played in many cover bands. Currently, she is the executive director of She Rock She Rock Foundation.

When forming War Poets, Haberman made a socially conscious decision to build the band around a female singer-bassist. “I have a strong opinion about the status of women in music because I find it a really male-dominated world,” he reveals. When he expressed the idea of forging a female/male artistic alliance to creative advisor Matt Kirkwold (Haberman and Kirkwold have been friends and collaborators for 15 years) Kirkwold suggested Case. “We work together like we’re on a mission,” Haberman explains. “Jenny has high standards. She’s a perfectionist in the studio and really pushes the band’s performances. She’s super talented and highly professional.” The two also have complimentary voices with Case’s angelic and schooled vocals providing a sweet counterpoint to Haberman’s plaintive and impassioned vocal stylings. Rounding out the ranks as a full-band collective is a fluid mix of some of the Midwest’s finest musicians and songwriters.

The video for band’s first single, “Close Enough,” from War Poets’ debut full length, Dulce et Decorum Est, has wracked up a 250,000 views. It was a heartwarming statement on marriage equality dedicated to the memory of the historical NYC Stonewall uprisings, and the track became an anthem for many same-sex marriage supporters. War Poets’ music is played nationally on both AAA and college radio formats. In 2014 War Poets played Red Gorilla Music Festival during SXSW. The group has worked with such iconic producers as Grammy winner Kevin Bowe (Etta James, Jonny Lang) and five-time Grammy winner Joe Baldridge (Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson).

The group’s second album was boldly titled American Police State, evoking the red button topics shared within its irresistible pop-rock songs covered topics ranging from income inequality, Native American rights, and gun violence. “What is a gun really for? It’s for killing people,” Haberman affirms. “I realize I have strong opinions on gun violence, but we’re musicians, not politicians. We put our views out there by singing so people can think about this.”

Continuing the theme of exploring contemporary issues in our society, and their resulting struggles, "Hot and Cold: American Relationships" is the second in the "American" trilogy War Poets will release in 2014/15. These songs delve into the highs and lows of interpersonal relationships, whether it be about finding the right companion, talking beyond the point of understanding, or trusting the ones who are closest to you, because at the end of the day, they are all who's left.

Matthew Henson - Co-Discover of North Pole
Category: Black Men Rock!
Tags: matthew henson north american word life production new quality entertainment featured blog

Matthew Henson was an African American explorer best known as the co-discoverer of the North Pole with Robert Edwin Peary in 1909.

Famed African-American explorer Matthew Henson was born in Charles County, Maryland, on August 8, 1866. Explorer Robert Edwin Peary hired Henson as his valet for expeditions. For over two decades, they explored the Arctic, and on April 6, 1909, Peary, Henson and the rest of their team made history, becoming the first people to reach the North Pole—or at least they claimed to have. Henson died in New York City on March 9, 1955.

American explorer Matthew Alexander Henson was born on August 8, 1866, in Charles County, Maryland. The son of two freeborn black sharecroppers, Henson lost his mother at an early age. When Henson was 4 years old, his father moved the family to Washington, D.C., in search for work opportunities. His father died there, leaving Henson and his siblings in the care of relatives.

Henson ran away from home at age 11, and was taken in by a woman who lived near his home. At age 12, he left to work as a cabin boy on a ship. Over the next six years and under the mentorship of Captain Childs, Henson learned literacy and navigation skills.

After Captain Childs died, Henson returned to Washington, D.C. and worked as a store clerk for a furrier. It was there that he met Robert Edwin Peary, an explorer and officer in the U.S. Navy Corps of Civil Engineers. On the recommendation of the store owner, Peary hired Henson as his valet for his travel expeditions.

Career as an Explorer

In 1891, Henson joined Peary on a Greenland expedition. While there, Henson embraced the local Eskimo culture, learning the language and the natives' Arctic survival skills. At the trip's end, in 1893, Henson remained the sole member of Peary's entourage—the rest of the team had abandoned the mission.

Their next trip to Greenland came in 1895, this time with a goal of charting the entire ice cap. The journey almost ended in tragedy, with Peary's team on the brink of starvation; members of the team managed to survive by eating all but one of their sled dogs. Over the next two years, the explorers returned to Greenland to collect three meteorites found during prior explorations, ultimately selling them to the American Museum of Natural History and using the proceeds to help fund their future expeditions.

Over the next several years, Peary and Henson would make multiple attempts to reach the North Pole. Their 1902 attempt proved tragic, with six Eskimo team members perishing due to a lack of food and supplies. They made more progress during their 1906 trip: Backed by President Theodore Roosevelt and armed with a then state-of-the-art vessel that had the ability to cut through ice, the team was able to sail within 174 miles of the North Pole. Melted ice blocking the sea path thwarted the mission’s completion.

The team's final attempt to reach the North Pole took place in 1908. Henson proved an invaluable team member, building sledges and training others on sled-handling. Of Henson, expedition member Donald Macmillan once noted, "With years of experience equal to that of Peary himself, he was indispensable."

The expedition continued into the following year (1909). While other team members turned back, Peary and the ever-loyal Henson trudged on. Peary knew that the mission's success depended on his trusty companion, stating at the time, "Henson must go all the way. I can't make it there without him." On April 6, 1909, Peary, Henson, four Eskimos and 40 dogs (the trip had begun with 24 men, 19 sledges and 133 dogs) finally reached the North Pole—or at least they claimed to have.

Source: Biography.com   

First African American Baseball Player - Jackie Robinson Tags: african america baseball player jackie robinson word life production new quality entertainment featured blog

Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia in 1919 to a family of sharecroppers. His mother, Mallie Robinson, single-handedly raised Jackie and her four other children. They were the only black family on their block, and the prejudice they encountered only strengthened their bond. From this humble beginning would grow the first baseball player to break Major League Baseball's color barrier that segregated the sport for more than 50 years.

Jackie at UCLAGrowing up in a large, single-parent family, Jackie excelled early at all sports and learned to make his own way in life. At UCLA, Jackie became the first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports: baseball, basketball, football and track. In 1941, he was named to the All-American football team. Due to financial difficulties, he was forced to leave college, and eventually decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. After two years in the army, he had progressed to second lieutenant. Jackie's army career was cut short when he was court-martialed in relation to his objections with incidents of racial discrimination. In the end, Jackie left the Army with an honorable discharge.

In 1945, Jackie played one season in the Negro Baseball League, traveling all over the Midwest with the Kansas City Monarchs. But greater challenges and achievements were in store for him. In 1947, Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey approached Jackie about joining the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Major Leagues had not had an African-American player since 1889, when baseball became segregated. When Jackie first donned a Brooklyn Dodger uniform, he pioneered the integration of professional athletics in America. By breaking the color barrier in baseball, the nation's preeminent sport, he courageously challenged the deeply rooted custom of racial segregation in both the North and the South.

Jackie sliding into home plateAt the end of Robinson's rookie season with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he had become National League Rookie of the Year with 12 homers, a league-leading 29 steals, and a .297 average. In 1949, he was selected as the NL's Most Valuable player of the Year and also won the batting title with a .342 average that same year. As a result of his great success, Jackie was eventually inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.


Jackie married Rachel Isum, a nursing student he met at UCLA, in 1946. As an African-American baseball player, Jackie was on display for the whole country to judge. Rachel and their three children, Jackie Jr., Sharon and David, provided Jackie with the emotional support and sense of purpose essential for bearing the pressure during the early years of baseball.

Jackie Robinson stampJackie Robinson's life and legacy will be remembered as one of the most important in American history. In 1997, the world celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Jackie's breaking Major League Baseball's color barrier. In doing so, we honored the man who stood defiantly against those who would work against racial equality and acknowledged the profound influence of one man's life on the American culture. On the date of Robinson's historic debut, all Major League teams across the nation celebrated this milestone. Also that year, The United States Post Office honored Robinson by making him the subject of a commemorative postage stamp. On Tuesday, April 15 President Bill Clinton paid tribute to Jackie at Shea Stadium in New York in a special ceremony.

Dusty Rhodes is known as, "The American Dream" Tags: dusty rhodes american dream word life production feature blog wcw greatest wrestlers all time

Dusty Rhodes is without a doubt one of the most charismatic, entertaining, and famous wrestlers of all-time. During his 1970's and early-1980's prime, he was second only to Andre The Giant (and some would say Andre was second only to Dusty Rhodes) in terms of world wide fame and fan support. Dusty was probably the most loved wrestler in the sport from the mid-1970's throughout the 1980's, consistently drawing exceptionally large crowds wherever he wrestled, be it the N.W.A (and later, WCW), the WW(W)F, the A.W.A, Japan, or anywhere else the nomadic grappler roamed during his 20+ year career. There was something different about the fast talking, down-to-earth "son of a plumber" that endeared him to wrestling fans everywhere. His non-stop traveling between regional and national promotions helped him become one of the top 5 drawing cards in wrestling during his years in the ring.  Outside of the ring, he proved himself to be a unique and influential -- as well as controversial -- booker on several occassions in the NWA/WCW.  Dusty Rhodes truly was "The American Dream"...the regular guy who made it big. Really big.

But despite the overwhelming popularity Dusty enjoyed during his prime, the rotund grappler from Austin, TX. didn't always have such a loving relationship with the fans...

 He first gained notoriety in the sport as part of the legendary rulebreaking team The Texas Outlaws with his longtime friend/enemy/friend "Dirty" Dick Murdoch during the mid/late 1960's. The two rugged Texans were despised for their cheating tactics and disrespectful actions towards the fans. But like they say -- in wrestling, the more they hate you...the more they love you!

Brawling and (usually) cheating their way to several Tag Team titles, The Outlaws were certainly one of wrestling's most hated duos! But when, after several very successful years as a team, the two friends parted ways to pursue solo careers...Murdoch went on to achieve great success across the world. But Dusty...he would go on to even greater heights, and eventually became the most popular wrestler in the sport until Hulk Hogan.

In the years after The Outlaws, "Stardust" went on to become one of wrestling's most-traveled competitors. He often wrestled in 2, 3, even 4 different territorial promotions at once. For most of 1979, Dusty had top spot's in the Top 10 of the NWA, AWA, and WWWF simultaneously. It truly was a different time and climate in the sport, and "The American Dream" was on top of the world...

The flamboyant "American Dream" engaged in long, bitter, and bloody feuds (all of which invariably drew record attendance) with some of the biggest names ever...Harley Race, Superstar Graham, The Funk Family, Dick The Bruiser and The Crusher, Ivan and Nikita Koloff, Nick Bockwinkle, Stan Hansen, Bruiser Brody, Ric Flair and (numerous incarnations of) The Four Horsemen, Dick Slater, Kevin Sullivan, Bill Watts, Ted Dibiase, Randy Savage, and many, many more.

An N.W.A. North American (Hawaii) title, N.W.A. North American (Mid South) title, N.W.A. Mid South U.S. Tag Team title (w/Andre), 10 Florida Heavyweight championships, 2 Florida Tv titles, 4 Florida Tag Team titles, 1 Georgia Heavyweight title, 7 Southern Heavyweight titles, 1 Mid Atlantic TV title, 1 N.W.A. National Heavyweight title, 2 NWA/WCW World 6-Man Tag Team titles, 1 NWA/WCW U.S. Heavyweight title, and 3 NWA/WCW World TV titles were among the dozens of championships he won throughout his career. But Dusty always craved "the Big One"... the N.W.A. World Heavyweight Championship. After years of "missing it by that much" do to cheating titleholders and bad luck, Dusty's childhood dream would finally come true. Three different times...

Dusty's first N.W.A. World Title reign was a true heartbreaker. After 3 years of wrestling Harley Race all across the country and losing each time do to count out's, DQ's, or Race's cheating, on August 21, 1979 Dusty Rhodes finally defeated Race and became World Champion. The victory sent shockwaves through the wrestling world...but Dusty's reign was not to be...

 After making 3 successful N.W.A. title defenses (a rematch with Race, and defenses against Terry Funk and Don Muraco) Dusty was set to engage in another rematch with former champion Harley Race on August 26, 1979. But before the match could start, a crazed Terry Funk stormed the ring and, in one of his most famous "sneak attacks" ever, Funk broke Dusty's arm with a knee from the top rope. A disgusted Race nailed Funk with a right to the jaw and even offered to reschedule the match. Dusty refused, saying he didn't want to disappoint the fans. But disappointed they were...Rhodes went on to lose the NWA belt back to Race that night, ending Dusty's 1st World title reign after just 5 days...

Dusty would bounce back, though, and 2 years later he again defeated Race for the NWA World title on June 21, 1981 in Atlanta, GA. Dusty defended the title 4 to 5 nights per week during his 2nd reign, and it was that heavy schedule that would help end his it after just 4 months.

 After being injured by The Assassins the night before, Dusty entered a Kansas City ring on September 17, 1981 to face the young and talented "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. Flair overwhelmed the injured champion, and defeated Rhodes for the title. Rhodes would even the score a few years later, though, defeating Flair on July 25, 1986 for the NWA championship. But Flair, and the constant interference of the Four Horsemen, would prove to be too much for Dusty, and Flair regained his title on August 7, 1986.

 After a prestigious career in the NWA/WCW, Dusty left his "home" of so many years, and after dabbling in the Florida independent scene for a short time, he ended up in the World Wrestling Federation where, despite the embarrassing "Plumber Man", "Pizza Man", and "Potty Man" video segments he was forced to film upon entering the WWF, he was again extremely popular with the fans. The ovations he received when entering the ring were nearly as loud, if not louder, than those usually reserved by the fans for Hulk Hogan. No matter where he went, fans loved this blue-collar hero, and Dusty became one of the WWF's biggest attractions.

Dusty introduced his debuting son Dustin to WWF fans (although he had made his true wrestling debut in Dusty's Florida-based PWF promotion) and the two formed a team to fight "The Million Dollar Man"...but they soon left the WWF to return "home" to WCW.  Dustin has gone on to carve his own niche' as a champion and personality in the sport... while Dusty retired (more or less) from the ring after his last WWF stint and returned to WCW, where he worked behind the scenes.  Whether as the controversial head booker, a high-profile announcer, or the more ambiguous "creative consultant," Rhodes always left his mark on the promotion.  Fittingly, Rhodes was inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame on May 25, 1995 after nearly 30 years in the wrestling business.

After another nearly 10-year run with WCW, Dusty eventually parted ways with his longtime employer in the fall of `99.  Not long afterward, he made big waves once again by making a shocking appearance in E.C.W.  It seems that, as always, Dusty is a lot more resiliant (and smarter) than people give him credit for.  The Ring Chronicle proudly inducts "The American Dream", the "working man's champion," pro wrestling legend and legitimate creative force, Dusty Rhodes, into T.R.C.'s Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Source: Mid-South Wrestling


Daryl Hall and John Oates are the NUMBER-ONE SELLING DUO in music history! Tags: hall oates duo numer one american history ultimate rock classic feature blor

Starting out as two devoted disciples of earlier soul greats, Daryl Hall & John Oates are soul survivors in their own right. They have become such musical influences on some of today’s popular artists that the September 2006 cover of Spin Magazine’s headline read: “Why Hall and Oates are the New Velvet Underground.” Their artistic fan base includes Rob Thomas, John Mayer, Brandon Flowers of the Killers, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie and MTV’s newest hipsters Gym Class Heroes who dubbed their tour “Daryl Hall for President Tour 2007.” One of the most sampled artists today, their impact can be heard everywhere from boy band harmonies, to neo-soul to rap-rock fusion.

Signed to Atlantic by Ahmet Ertegan in the 1970’s, Daryl Hall & John Oates have sold more albums than any other duo in music history. Their 1973 debut album, Abandoned Luncheonette, produced by Arif Mardin, yielded the Top 10 single, “She’s Gone,” which also went to #1 on the R&B charts when it was covered by Taveras. The duo recorded one more album with Atlantic, War Babies, (produced by Todd Rundgren) before they were dropped and promptly signed to RCA. Their tenure at RCA would catapult the duo to international superstardom. 

From the mid-’70s to the mid-’80s, the duo would score six #1 singles, including “Rich Girl” (also #1 R&B), “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) (also #1 R&B), “Maneater” and “Out of Touch” from their six consecutive multi-platinum albums—’76’s Bigger Than Both of Us, ’80’s Voices, ’81’s Private Eyes, ‘82’s H2O, ‘83’s Rock N Soul, Part I and ‘84’s Big Bam Boom. The era would also produce an additional 5 Top 10 singles, “Sara Smile,” “One on One,” “You Make My Dreams,” “Say It Isn’t So” and “Method of Modern Love.”

Daryl also wrote the H&O single "Everytime You Go Away," which singer Paul Young scored a number-one hit with a cover of the song in 1985.

That same year, Daryl and John, participated in the historic “We Are the World” session as well as closing the Live Aid show in Philadelphia.

By 1987, the R.I.A.A. recognized Daryl Hall and John Oates as the NUMBER-ONE SELLING DUO in music history, a record they still hold today.

On May 20, 2008, the duo was honored with the Icon Award during BMI’s 56th annual Pop Awards. The award has previously gone to the Bee Gees, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Paul Simon, Brian Wilson, Willie Nelson, James Brown, Ray Davies, Carlos Santana and Dolly Parton.

Daryl Hall’s latest project is a multi-award-winning monthly web series (and nationally syndicated TV show), Live from Daryl’s House (www.livefromdarylshouse.com). “It was a light bulb moment,” he says of the show’s genesis. “I’ve had this idea about just sitting on the porch or in my living room, playing music with my friends and putting it up on the Internet.”

The past episodes of Live From Daryl’s House have featured a mix of well-known performers like Booker T and the MGs, Blind Boys of Alabama, Rob Thomas, Train, Cee Lo Green, Smokey Robinson, The Doors’ Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek, Toots Hibbert, Nick Lowe, K.T. Tunstall, Todd Rundgren, Keb Mo, Dave Stewart, Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik and Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump along with newcomers such as Nikki Jean, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Mayer Hawthorne, Eric Hutchinson, Chromeo, Matt Nathanson, Parachute, Plain White T’s, Allen Stone, soul diva Sharon Jones, Diane Birch, L.A. neo-R&B party band Fitz & the Tantrums, hot new alternative band Neon Trees and veteran alternative mainstays Guster.

In April of 2011, John Oates released his solo album, Mississippi Mile on Elektra Records.  People Magazine gave the album 3 out of 4 stars.  “ has the opportunity to reach across the board – and that’s a winning formula.” – Nashville Lifestyles

Daryl released his solo album, Laughing Down Crying, on Verve Records on September 27th,  2011.  The album has received a lot of critical acclaim from the Huffington Post, Spinner and Pop Matters, who said: “With the songs that make up this fine collection of American soul and pop music, Hall proves that with the pen and at the mic, his voice is more than capable of reaching the depths and heights of emotional truth.”

Most recently as a duo, Daryl Hall & John Oates released their first box set, Do What You Want, Be What You Are: The Music of Daryl Hall & John Oates.  The box set marks the first comprehensive multi-CD, multi-label deluxe box set compilation ever assembled from their entire career’s work, four CDs containing 74 tracks (16 of them previously unreleased).

With the fortieth anniversary of their first album, Whole Oats, 2012 finds Daryl Hall and John Oates very much at the height of their powers making their own kind of soul, with a new generation of musicians recognizing not only their historic track record of success, but also their continuing influence and achievements.

Source: Official Website: http://www.hallandoates.com/about.html

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