Norma Jean Video Contest
Calling all Norma Jean fans–get your video phones & flip cams charged and ready to record the live performance of their new song, “Kill More Presidents,” for their current EXPLOSIONS 2009 Tour. The band is asking fans to use their portable digital cameras to film the band playing the new song live and then upload to a microsite after the show. Norma Jean will then create a live music video with all material coming from fan submissions. For those who submit video clips, Norma Jean offer a hefty set of prizes from such sponsors as Monster Energy, Activision/Tony Hawk RIDE, Alternative Press Magazine, Denny’s, Keep A Breast, Rockett Clothing and Hot Topic. Those without a digital video camera can still submit their email address for the Norma Jean mailing list and enter to win the second tier prize pack. Winners will be chosen at random. Norma Jean will be playing “Kill More Presidents” live on the 2009 EXPLOSIONS tour with support from Horse The Band, The Chariot, and Arsonists Get All The Girls. A new Norma Jean album is slated for summer 2010.
For more information about this contest, visit:
Tour Dates:
12/4 – St. Paul, MN
12/5 – Chicago, IL
12/6 – Cleveland, OH
12/7 – Pittsburgh, PA
12/8 – Toronto, Ontario
12/9 – Montreal, Quebec
12/11 – New York, NY
12/12 – Lancaster, PA
12/13 – Towson, MD
12/14 – Richmond, VA
12/15 – Columbia, SC
12/17 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
12/18 – St. Petersburg, FL
12/19 – Atlanta, GA

Pillar’s Rob Beckley Releases Book
With the powerful arrival of its sixth studio album, Confessions (9/22), Pillar continues to impress critics and fans alike. Known for unparalleled energy, commitment to excellence and consistently surpassing fan expectations, the hard rock quartet delivers big on its album’s weighty message with a new book produced by Pillar’s frontman, Rob Beckley and American Bible Society, aptly titled “Confessions.” The “Confessions” book emerges as a resource to address some of the most salient issues affecting youth today: spiritual doubts, sexuality, brokenness and self image. Each section includes thematic confessions, a short devotional, reflection questions and Scriptures references for digging deeper. The book, an extension of Pillar’s hard-hitting Confessions album, was inspired by the band’s profound spring 2009 “Confessions Tour.” A confessional curriculum called “My Secret,” taught at the band’s local Tulsa, Ok. church, changed the way Pillar chose to engage with fans while on tour. “We decided to give our fans a way to pour out their hearts anonymously, yet before God” says Beckley. “We took thousands of blank confession cards [distributed via a confessional booth] on the road. It definitely brought kids to the point of acknowledging their sin and what was going on.” The “Confessions Tour” had a defining impact on Pillar as band members read and prayed over each confession card. Explains Beckley, “More than ever, it put things into a perspective of ‘what we do matters.’” The impact from that tour carried over to the Confessions album and led to the development of this new book. “1 John 1:9 says, ‘If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ Every song on this album could be broken down to ‘If you just confess,’” shares Beckley. “Pillar is made up of a group of guys who have an unyielding desire to change the hearts of youth, and encourage them to give God a chance to change their lives,” offers Karina Lucero, Director, Scripture Advocacy, American Bible Society. “American Bible Society is ecstatic to support Pillar in this emerging movement with scripture journeys, online Scripture engagement tools, and Bible resources to ensure that post confession, Pillar’s fans experience the Bible’s life changing message.” “Confessions” will be distributed physically at upcoming Pillar concerts and digitally 3 additional chapters can be downloaded here at no cost. “Confessions” book will be available online soon at Pillar.americanbible.org. To further engage churches in upcoming tour markets, Pillar will host meet and greets with youth pastors for talk-back sessions about music, relationships and of course, confession. The American Bible Society is inviting fans to text “Pillar” to 31452 to receive scripture verses via cell phone for post confessional support and will offer a place for visitors to share their personal stories by exploring links found at the band’s website. eckley continues, “We’ve discovered that while confession is difficult, receiving confession can be just as difficult. This book is a detailed resource offering help in both areas, plus ABS is committed to walk alongside the reader in real-time with its online tools and other immediately accessible resources. We can’t thank ABS enough for its joint collaboration on this book.” Confessions, Pillar’s sixth studio album — debuting the talents of new members, bassist Rich Gilliland, drummer Taylor Carroll and new producer, Rob Graves (Red, Wavorly) – released on September 22

In The Midst Of Lions Touring With The Crimson Armada
Strike First Records’ In the Midst of Lions will be joining The Crimson Armada (Metal Blade) and Sleep Serapis Sleep for January’s Thermal Detonator Off, Party On Tour. ITMOL will be coming off of their current tour, the Humanoids tour with Facedown’s Hands where they are promoting their May 2009 Strike First release “Out of Darkness.”
Tour Dates:
12/4 – San Antonio, TX
12/5 – Waco, TX
12/6 – Mission, TX
12/7 – Corpus Christi, TX
12/10 – Tampa, FL
12/11 – Orlando, FL
12/12 – Macon, GA
12/13 – Loganville, GA
12/15 – East Ridge, TN
12/18 – Raleigh, NC
12/19 – Crofton, MD
1/3 – Cape Girardeau, MO
1/4 – Manila, AR
1/5 – Henryetta, OK
1/7 – San Antonio, TX
1/8 – Waco, TX
1/9 – New Iberia, LA
1/10 – Pensacola, FL
1/11 – Jacksonville, FL
1/12 – Columbus, GA
1/13 – Raleigh, NC
1/14 – East Ridge, TN
1/15 – Corbin, KY
1/16 – Dayton, OH
1/17 – Terre Haute, IN

The Fold Video Parody
The Fold has filmed a funny little video for “Every Band In The USA,” completely shot on an iPhone 3GS. Check it out here.

MxPx Releases Christmas Album
MxPx, the notorious punk rockers out of the great Northwest are digitally releasing a 14-track Christmas album titled Punk Rawk Christmas through their label, Rock City Recording Company on December 1. This special holiday offering has been over 10 years in the making; one punk-carol classic released each year (sometimes two) to their PxPx Fan Club for over a decade has now been packaged along with one new original track, “Punk Rawk Christmas” and the soon-to-be-classic punk cover of “Auld Lang Syne.” This year marks the band’s 17-year anniversary and in celebration they have already released an album of covers, On The Cover II in addition to an EP, Left Coast Punk, their first original release in more than two years. Lead singer/bassist Mike Herrera explains the bands decision on now adding in a full-length Christmas album, “This year there was just enough songs to make for a nice, robust holiday album. Any more would be too much, any less would be…well, you get the idea.” Longtime fan favorites such as “Christmas Day,” “You’re The One I Miss” and “It’s Christmas and I’m Sick” are wrapped up alongside the previously unreleased “Punk Rawk Christmas”. About the title track, Herrera says, “I was sitting at the studio writing and thinking of how bad the economy was. Then I came up with the idea of Christmas itself being broke and ‘on a budget’ hence, Punk Rawk Christmas was born.” Adding to the Christmas list of hits, MxPx has added their version of, “Auld Lang Syne”, because, “we wanted to do at least one cover, but didn’t want it to be too weird and cheesy. ALS seemed perfect. It was fun and we did it in one afternoon; what I call the punk rock 101-style of recording.” As a bonus, MxPx will be releasing a RED version of the album available only through Amazon on Demand, which features a physical copy of all 14 tracks, but alternative artwork from the version sold on the bands website. The RED version will be available on December 1. Also available on the same day the band will be releasing a collector’s dream, a limited edition marble-colored 7” vinyl featuring the bands first Christmas track ever written, “Christmas Day” and their most recent track, “Punk Rawk Christmas” in their original form on side A, and acoustic versions on side B. The 7” vinyl is a limited run of 500 and is only available through the band’s website. Also only available through the website is the ‘Limited Edition’ version, known as the GREEN version. This edition includes all 14 tracks, plus two bonus tracks, a previously unreleased original song called “Coal” and an unreleased original demo track, “Questions” in addition to an expanded photo pull-out cover and will be available one week after the digital release on December 8. Pre-sales are available for the ‘Limited Edition’ only, for fan club members first on December 1 with a public pre-sale launching on December 3.

Sounds Familyre Signs Ortolan
A hot minivan barreling down the highway, filled to the brim with siblings, sleeping bags, and travel checkers sets—this is the setting for a decades-old American tradition upheld by millions: arguing over the radio dial until consensus is happily found at that hallowed institution, the oldies station. Thus begins the story of Ortolan, four young women from Southern New Jersey with music-loving, art-teacher parents, devoted to each other in laughter, bickering, love, and play. Sisters Stephanie (16), Brianna (18), Lara (20), and sister-in-law Jill (23) also happen to create music that is singularly winsome, disarming, and sincere, possessing the same kind of universal appeal of 1950s and ’60s rock and roll, with its earnest abandon and joy in simple and uncluttered gestures. Ortolan’s sound is at once familiar and new, a sort of musical déjà vu—where listeners remember that which they are hearing for the first time. The group came together in a remarkably unassuming manner, almost unintentionally, with Stephanie Cottingham (at the time just thirteen years old) signing up with a friend to play at a church coffeehouse. Having only picked up guitar a few months prior, she was surprised by the audience’s enthusiasm for her fledgling attempts at songwriting. Encouraged to give greater heed to the writing impulse, Stephanie spun more melodies and drafted more lyrics, and one year later, she signed up to play the coffeehouse again, this time joined by sisters Lara and Brianna on drums and bass respectively. Ken Fabianovicz of Sounds Familyre was in the audience that night and was so struck by the maturity of song-craft present in this humble outfit that he recommended that the band go into the studio. A few months and several penny-jars later, the group found themselves recording a four-song demo at the New Jersey Recreation Room, home to one of indie music’s most creative producers, Daniel Smith. Smith immediately recognized something special in Stephanie’s beguiling voice and songwriting, and in the remarkable support these sisters showed for each other, cheering one another on as only siblings can. Throughout the next several months, Stephanie and the others continued to write, Jill was added on keys and vocals, the band crafted and refined arrangements—and within a year Ortolan was signed to Sounds Familyre Records and back at the Recreation Room recording their first full-length album, Time On A String (to be released in 3/9, 2010). The original four-song demo was mixed and mastered as well, and has become the perfect introduction to the group, simply titled Ortolan EP (released July 14, 2009). Much like the beautiful, thumb-sized songbird from which the band derives its name, the music of Ortolan possesses the kind of startling beauty that reintroduces wonder to the weary. With playful lyrical themes ranging from sandcastles to buckets of light to fanciful creatures following you home, it’s music with sass and spunk, born from fierce imaginations and young hearts just as enamored with the classic sounds of The Ronnettes, The Shirelles, The Beatles and Motown, as with modern songwriters Regina Spektor, Feist, and Joanna Newsom. Perhaps what is most striking about Ortolan’s music is its satisfying inevitability: the melodies, the chord progressions, the instrumentation, the production all boil down to the right note followed by the right note followed by the right note. All this inevitability and sense of rightness—and yet quirkiness, spontaneity, and joy scamper rambunctiously through every measure. The sound makes you feel that perhaps there are things in the world that exist as they are meant to, and that is no small feat.
For more information on Ortolan, go here:

Eric Clayton Of Saviour Machine Releases Book

For more complete/comprehensive information about the book, “Eric Clayton / The Collective Journals / 1997 – 2009? visit:

Seabird On Grey’s Anatomy

For more information on Seabird, visit:

Soundmass announce New Album By Grave Forsaken

House of Heroes News
Refusing to slow down House Of Heroes ends 2009 with a bang with the release of their first holiday EP House of Heroes Presents The Christmas Classics out now on Gotee Records, also released in 2009, The End Is Not The End CD followed by two EP releases The Acoustic End and House Of Heroes Meets The Beatles. 2009 House of Heroes Presents The Christmas Classics track list includes the Mariah Carey classic, All I Want For Christmas Is You, Silent Night and O Come, O Come Emmanuel. You can check out their video for Silent Night here.
Tour Dates:
12/4 – Cincinnati, OH
12/5 – Nashville, TN
12/6 – Memphis, TN
12/8 – Little Rock, AR
12/10 – Oklahoma City, OK
12/11 – Georgetown, TX
12/12 – Houston, TX
12/13 – San Antonio, TX
12/15 – Orlando, FL
12/16 – Jacksonville, FL

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Ride On Indie Style
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is revving up to unleash their fifth studio album, Beat The Devil’s Tattoo, on 3/9, 2010, signifying the band’s first full-length on their own Abstract Dragon, in partnership with Vagrant Records. This album welcomes exciting beginnings, including new drummer Leah Shapiro, as well as their new label, though the trio returned to the familiar setting of Philly to pen this record. They wrote and recorded it in the very studio that produced their widely acclaimed third LP, Howl, before returning to hometown L.A. to add the finishing touches. The band’s accustomed globetrotting will recommence with an initial headline tour, kicking off 2/26 in Sacramento and culminating at New York City’s Webster Hall on 4/8. Pre-sale for all shows will start Wednesday, December 2. Known for their impassioned live performances, the band recently offered a 2 DVD, 1 CD set aptly titled, Live (Abstract Dragon/Vagrant), earlier this month. The DVDs feature more than two hours of concert footage captured from three sold out shows in Berlin, Dublin and Glasgow, and chronicles the end of the band’s 2007 tour in support of Baby 81. Additionally, it includes intimate, behind-the-scenes footage, glimpses into the making of 2005’s Howl and is rounded out with a bonus live album featuring 14 songs.
Tour Dates:
2/26 – Sacramento, CA
2/27 – Reno, NV
2/28 – Las Vegas, NV
3/2 – Denver, CO
3/4 – Boise, ID
3/5 – Seattle, WA
3/6 – Vancouver, B.C.
3/7 – Portland, OR
3/9 – San Francisco, CA
3/13 – San Diego, CA
3/14 – Los Angeles, CA
3/18 – Dallas, TX
3/20 – Houston, TX
3/21 – Tulsa, OK
3/23 – St. Louis, MO
3/24 – Madison, WI
3/25 – Chicago, IL
3/26 – Milwaukee, WI
3/27 – Minneapolis, MN
3/30 – Columbus, OH
3/31 – Cleveland, OH
4/1 – Toronto, ONT
4/2 – Montreal, QC
4/3 – Boston, MA
4/5 – Washington, D.C.
4/7 – Philadelphia, PA
4/8 – New York, NY

Creed Releases First Live DVD
Fans of multi-platinum power rockers CREED are in for a special treat this Holiday Season as CREED LIVE, the first-ever live DVD from one of the most successful bands of the past decade, hits stores and all major online retailers on December 8, 2009, the day after its nationwide theatrical screening in movie theaters. CREED LIVE, captured during the band’s long-awaited “Full Circle” reunion tour, includes every favorite track a Creed fan would want, including “Higher,” “My Sacrifice,” “With Arms Wide Open” and “Bullets” plus new songs such as “Overcome” and “A Thousand Faces” from Full Circle, the band’s first studio effort in seven years. Full Circle recently debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts second only to Michael Jackson’s This Is It. The DVD also includes a revealing documentary that follows Creed throughout “Full Circle” tour with exclusive band interviews and behind-the-scenes, and a photo gallery with over 100 intimate photos from the Summer 2009 trek. Directed by Daniel E. Catullo III (Rush, Nickelback, Alter Bridge, Smashing Pumpkins, Godsmack) and produced by Catullo, Lionel Pasamonte, and Peter Bowers, the 239-camera, state-of-the-art high definition shoot was filmed in front of a fanatical audience of 18,000 screaming fans in Houston at The Woodlands – Cynthia Woods Pavillion” on September 25, 2009. The band gave the performance of a lifetime, setting four World Records – including most cameras utilized in a live concert recording – and using first-time technology in a live concert environment, highlighted by the “Big Freeze” effect immortalized in the hit film “The Matrix.” The concert audio was mixed by Andy Johns (The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin) in 5.1 Surround Sound and the disc will feature Standard 5.1, Stereo and DTS audio streams. “Making this DVD was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us,” says CREED lead singer Scott Stapp. “Daniel Catullo and his staff not only set a world record filming this, but set a whole new benchmark for filming the live show with unprecedented vision and creativity. I have never seen anything like this, nor have our fans. I am so excited to finally give CREED fans something they will never forget. I know this is something that will keep us connected at all times through the live experience. Honestly, I am blown away!” In addition to an arsenal of High Definition TV Cameras, jibs, cranes, etc, the “Big Freeze” technology required over 200 Nikon still cameras to create and entirely new concert viewing experience in scenes which will be made available in the “Deluxe Edition” of “Creed Live” coming out in early 2010. The “Deluxe Edition” promises to be a true collector’s piece. The limited edition set will include a full feature-length film about the history of Creed, a live audio CD and special collectors’ items such as a T-shirt, poster and a backstage pass from the “Full Circle” tour”.

Atticus Fault Is Active Again
Atticus Fault has announced news on the upcoming album. From Facebook: Hello, this is the Atticus Fault guys here! We wanted to keep you all updated on the progress of the record. Many of you have been asking, “When is this record finally coming out?!” 2010 is it. That is the year. Let us give you a bit of a background on this process. When we first started officially working on this record a couple of years ago, we had some hurdles to overcome. Our lives had each taken many paths, so being able to come together was a bigger task than we imagined. Slowly our lives began conforming to the process…we began focusing on becoming a “band” again. We knew we didn’t have a label behind us this time, so we wondered if we could really follow up an album that was so well-received. But we decided to just write good songs and push on. We have recorded and produced this ourselves and are very happy with the moment we captured. We just finished our first photoshoot for the record with a great photographer, Scott Simontacchi. It was a blast trying out new things and we have some great shots that we can’t wait to share with you guys. Until then, we are posting a few “behind-the-scenes” shots from the day. We also have just started pre-production work on a new video that we are excited to begin shooting with our long-time friend Mike Ashcraft…so keep an ear and an eye open. This will be an exciting next few months as we release the record and begin playing out again. We can’t wait to see you guys!

©2009 HM Magazine All Rights Reserved

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The Undertaking 2021

Quite The Undertaking

Frenzied. Chaotic. Punk. The Undertaking!, San Diego's newest wild bunch, is about to release their debut album, and, if their live show is a premonition of any kind, the world will be opening up to one heck of a party with them. Contributing writer Andrew Voigt talks to vocalist Austin Visser about the band's new album, the reality of their music, and how they've been able to embrace their creative freedom.


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