AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: CHRIS BUTLER/GOT IT TOGEHTER!

Even though you might not recognize his name, you are more than likely familiar with the work of Chris Butler. While his studio work with Tin Huey, Richard Lloyd, the dBs and other bands might have passed some of you by, you will most certainly recognize his higher profile recordings with The Waitresses. Chris Butler was the guitarist and songwriter for the Akron, Ohio-based quirky New Wave outfit and was responsible for penning their hit single “I Know What Boys Like,” as well as their theme song to the cult TV series Square Pegs and the perennial holiday favorite “Christmas Wrapping.” What some may not realize is that while his most high-profile band may have split in 1984, Chris Butler has continued to create experimental music that is entirely unique and charmingly quirky.

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: XXXTENTACION/SKINS

XXXTentacion was one of modern Hip Hop’s most controversial figures. In his short life – he was shot and killed at the age of 20 in June, 2018 – he achieved more fame and infamy than most rappers twice his age. Active on the Hip Hop scene for just a handful of years. XXXTentacion – real name Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy – left behind a small but beloved catalog of what some have referred to as Soundcloud Rap. Essentially, Soundcloud Rap is a lo-fi movement that relies on heavily distorted bass and intentional lack of polish in the sound. While that description may work well with XXXTentacion’s contemporaries, it certainly only describes a small portion of what X’s sound was all about.

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: ROCKABYE BABY! LULLABY RENDITIONS OF TOM PETTY

When Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers released their self-titled debut album in 1976, there were no indications that Petty would become one of the most important and successful figures in American Rock ‘n’ Roll for the next four decades. Initially lumped in with the Power Pop movement, Petty was eventually embraced by FM rock programmers and by the time of the band’s 1979 album DAMN THE TORPEDOS, he was a bona-fide Rock ‘n’ Roll star. Over the course of his career, he became one of the biggest selling music artists of all time, shifting more than 80 million in the process. Not only did Tom Petty win multiple Grammy and MTV awards, he also received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame and was inducted – with The Heartbreakers – into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2001. Apart from all that success with his band as well as a solo artist, he was also a member of Pop/Rock supergroup The Traveling Wilburys (with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne). Not bad for a skinny kid from Gainesville, Florida with big dreams…

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BLUE UNDERGROUND: An EXCLUSIVE Q&A with Bill Lustig

STEPHEN SPAZ SCHNEE: You’ve just released two of the most beloved cult horror films of all time – ZOMBIE and MANIAC. How are you feeling about these projects and the reactions to them so far? The transfers are stunning and certainly much better than any versions I’ve seen before.
BILL LUSTIG: We did 4K-16 bit Arriscans of both films’ original camera negatives, so the results can’t be any better! Of the two, I consider MANIAC to be a miracle from the movie gods! Let me explain, although we always intended to use the title MANIAC, it was filmed under the title ON THE RUN for the purpose of having a less provocative title to secure city permits, insurance, locations, etc. We shot the film on 16mm then after editing did a 35mm blow-up negative. The 35mm negative was then used to strike the release prints and video transfers. 10 years ago, we could no longer use the 35mm negative due to its age and condition and thus began a search for the original 16mm, which was nowhere to be found. In April, I got a call from my producing partner Andrew Garroni, “I found a box in my deep film storage labeled ON THE RUN”.

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EURINGER: An EXCLUSIVE Q&A with Jimmy Urine!

STEPHEN SPAZ SCHNEE: The self-titled EURINGER album is now released. How are you feeling about the project and the reaction to it so far?
JIMMY URINE: I have been sitting on this album for two and a half years, not able to talk about it or tell anyone anything. Making sure nothing leaks ahead of time especially with the guest vocalists. So, it feels great to finally be able to show everyone all over the world what the fuck I’ve been working on. The reaction has been amazing. People really get the whole thing and it is a very complicated concept for a record. It’s more like an art installation or an avant-garde movie, so for people to understand it right out of the gate is awesome.

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: MAJOR LAZER/ESSENTIALS

First things first: Major Lazer is not a person. But to say that Major Lazer is a ‘band’ is a bit of a misnomer because, to be honest, Major Lazer is a phenomenon! The Dance Music trio features producer Diplo and DJs Jillionaire and Walshy Fire aided by a cast of talented collaborators.  Officially formed in 2008, Major Lazer continually reinvents itself with each release, adding in new influences, moving older inspirations to the fore, and shuffling them all together with ease. While a line-up of one producer and two DJs may lead some to assume that this is a Rap/Hip Hop trio, it must be said that Hip Hop is only one slice of this pie. In a sense, Major Lazer don’t cater to any audience – the members focus on what moves them. Thankfully, the music of Major Lazer has also moved millions of bodies all across the globe. If there’s any act out there who could make the universe groove, it may as well be Major Lazer!

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: DONNY OSMOND/ONE NIGHT ONLY

Sixty years ago, the journey began. From the humble barbershop beginnings of The Osmond Brothers quartet (Merrill, Jay, Alan and Wayne) in 1958 up through their Pop/Rock success in the early ‘70s with lil’ brother Donny on board, The Osmonds were far from a boyband created for teens and tweens. All throughout their career, their appeal has reached audiences of all ages. They wowed America during their appearances on The Andy Williams Show in the ‘60s and they’ve never really left the public eye since then. Who can forget their string of hits in the early ‘70s?  On top of that, Donny’s solo career was equally successful. And we can’t talk about The Osmonds without mentioning the Donny & Marie Show. Or Jimmy Osmond’s career as a singer and clever businessman.  Even when things got tough in the ‘80s, they would always bounce back. Their message of love and family permeated everything that they did. Regardless of what musical trends have come and gone over the last six decades, the Osmond family are still standing, still entertaining, and always moving forward while remaining proud of their legacy. They have a devoted fanbase that has stuck with them through thick and thin. And let’s be honest, the world would be a darker place had it not been for the Osmond family’s unwavering desire to bring joy into the music business.

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LARKIN POE: An EXCLUSIVE Q&A

VENOM & FAITH:
An EXCLUSIVE Q&A with LARKIN POE’s Megan and Rebecca Lovell.

SPAZ: Your album VENOM & FAITH is ready for release. How are you feeling about how the album turned out and the reaction you’ve had so far?
MEGAN LOVELL: Thus far, the response to VENOM & FAITH has been incredibly positive. We feel very fortunate to have a supportive and openminded fanbase; as we have continued to grow and shift over the years, honing our sound, our fans have been willing to make the musical journey of Larkin Poe with us.

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: LAURA JANE GRACE/BOUGHT TO ROT

Whether or not you immediately recognize her name, musician/author/activist Laura Jane Grace has been on the international music radar for over two decades. As leader of Punk outfit Against Me!, Laura has blended honesty, Punk, audio blunt force trauma and Rock ‘n’ Roll into a fiery brew. Originally hailing from Gainesville, Florida, Laura and her Against Me! mates may not sound like the Rock legends that emerged from her hometown – Tom Petty and The Eagles’ Don Felder and Bernie Leadon to name a few – but she has certainly become a force to be reckoned with. 

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