Sunday, August 30, 2009

Check my interview with Hill Country Revue

I am doing something a little different at Fox Tracks this week. Chuk Cooley and the Demon Hammers is my featured band of the week. However, I recently had the opportunity to interview three artists who will be performing at the 30th annual Long Beach Blues Festival. Check out my interview with Cody Dickinson of Hill Country Revue.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tulsa band Chuk Cooley and the Demon Hammers: learning to be strong

Chuk Cooley and the Demon Hammers is a four-piece band from Tulsa. Chuk, kin to the late, great country and western swing artist Spade Cooley, answered questions about the band's music, who he would like to play with, and what he would be doing if he weren't making music.
Complete the sentence. Chuk Cooley and The Demon Hammers is...

Chuk Cooley (Acoustic guitar,vocals and primary songwriter/storyteller), Tony Loretti (lead Acoustic guitar), Sondra C. (Acoustic bass,flute,backing vocals), Jester (drums & percussion). We are a band of 4 and put together songs about real life and growing up, climbing life's mountains, learning about love, trust, and learning to overcome addictions of all kinds, learning to be strong.

What is essential to every Demon Hammers song?

A message about life and hope, self-belief, and learning to better yourself and they are all wrtten and played with acoustic instruments. Each song has to truly take its listener somwhere in the head. To me that's what writing songs is all about...takin the listener to a place that you have been.

You can put together a bill with three other bands. Who do you share the bill with?

Well I'm always billing our band with bands I like personally and musically, but I would love to do a show with the Black Crowes, Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society, and with Daxx Riggs formerly of Acid Bath. The show would have to be an all-acoustic show though. I absolutely love what they do and how they sing & play with the acoustic guitar.

If you could write and perform a song with one artist, who would you choose? Why?

I would probably choose Zakk Wylde we write alot in the same tone and feeling and though we both have walked totally different paths in life we still have an underlying message about Life and Hope and being a soldier in life.

What would you be doing if you weren't making music?

Well to be really honest I'd be dead or back in prison or a walking zombie /needle junkie still.Music gives me a life and is my therapy and reason for being truly alive. I mean I would love to believe that I'd be a good man but music is how I found away from being a bad man and from a bad life! This is me being as real and honest as I can be. Those things are what I was before I dedicated my life to the music and its dream and way of life.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fox of the Week [8/27]: Asia Mone't

Asia Mone't is a model from New York. She has been featured on The Today Show [12 June 2009], Glamour Magazine [July 2009] and is the host of X-TV in New York.

How did you get started modeling?

My interest for modeling was sparked when I participated in a runway show while attending college at SUNY Albany. I was one of the first Plus Size models to be in the show. After I graduated I began to pursue a career in modeling landing my first commercial print job with Electric Lingerie.

What would you say is the hardest thing about modeling? What is the most rewarding?

I believe the hardest thing about modeling is fulfilling your vision when others say no. This industry is full of rejection, but you have to stay focused on your goals and the vision you have for your career. The most rewarding aspect of modeling for me is being an inspiration for other women, encouraging them embrace their beauty at any size.

You have some pretty impressive credits on your resume. What accomplishment in your career (so far) is the most meaningful to you? Why?

It is so hard for me to choose one accomplishment that is the most meaningful to me because everything I have accomplished has taken very hard work on my behalf. But lately I have been very happy that I appear in a commercial that is airing in Japan for a TV network called BeeTv. I was very proud because I played a voluptuous woman in the window that was spotted by some young admirers. Anytime I am involved in a project that doesn't traditional include Plus Size Models or put them in a more desirable light, it is another victory for my cause.

What advice would you give a woman who wants to start modeling?

The number one advice I would give to an aspiring model is to treat modeling like any other business. I think people lose sight of the fact that this is a business due to all the glitz and glam. Do your research before investing your time and money in anything. And networking is always key.

Who are some models you admire?

I admire models that make their image into a business empire such as Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum and Gisele Bundchen.
What is one goal you want to accomplish in your career?

One goal I would like to accomplish is landing on a major campaign.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

LA/OC band Retreaux Parish: Putting the soul in SoulCal

Retreaux Parish is a (relatively new) four-piece soul/funk band whose members inhabit both Orange County and LA. The members of the band give their thoughts about what to expect at one of its shows, who they would like to write and perform with, and what they might be doing if they weren't making music.

Give me the bumper sticker version (25 words or fewer) of Retreaux Parish's sound.

NICK: Step into the parish and you'll instantly feel the deep grooves that have grown out of Louisiana's rich musical soil.
MICHELLE: "We're About to Funk You Up"
ALEX: Building a funk oasis in a funk desert: Putting the soul back in SoulCal, dig?
JEFF: 1/4 cup of rock, 1/8 cup of blues, splash of jazz and a heap of funk. Shake well and hold on tight.

I'm a fan attending my first Retreaux Parish show. What can I expect?

NICK: When you find yourself at a Retreaux Parish show, you can always expect a high-quality performance that will pull you out of your seat and move your feet from the first beat to the final chord.
MICHELLE: You like Jambalaya? We got a crazy mix of different things goin on here, all simmered and sauced up, like a party in your mouth... but not in your mouth, in your ear?
ALEX: At the very least tappin' your foot and falling into the groove, at most to bust a dance move to impress some piece of ass; either way, you're having the time of your life and can't help but be in pocket with the scene.
JEFF: The unexpected. Leave your inhibitions at the door and get ready to go on a fantastic voyage. We've got a little somethin for everyone.

What is your pitch to get me to buy your music?

NICK: All of our music is available for free at this point, but we're planning to record a full album within the next year. The music should speak for itself based on the quality of writing and performance. Once you get your first taste of Retreaux Parish, you'll find yourself singing the tunes in the car and dancing in the office until you feel unavoidably compelled to purchase our CDs, party with us live, and hire us to perform at your special events.
MICHELLE: I don't believe in pitching the sale; if it makes you smile, we think you should show the love and support.
ALEX: Pitching is for baseball and doin' it in the backdoor (not that there's anything wrong with either). If you need a reason to buy our music, just listen...we got you.
JEFF: Includes free 1/2-hour lesson on how to access the Groove Spot! Seriously, just listen, mon ami.

What are some bands you enjoy performing with?

NICK: We are brand new on the SoCal scene, but we currently have plans to perform with Mad Jones. In the future, we'd love to play on the same bill with amazing artists as Soulive, Charlie Hunter, or, if we really manage to make a name for ourselves, legends like Sly Stone, George Clinton, and Stevie Wonder.
MICHELLE: n/a as of yet... put something about how we've been talking to, and are excited to play with Mad Jones and whoever else we've been myspace flirting with...
ALEX: Hypothetically, some local groups like Breakestra and Mad Jones, some bigger acts like Soulive and John Scofield if they'd have us once we get rolling properly. Also, prospects of more hip-hop and fusion oriented shows sound promising because we like to party.
JEFF: In the future, hopefully bands that are mindful of the music they create, and aren't just out to make a quick buck or feed the scene kids.

If you could write and perform a song with one artist, who would it be? Why?

MICHELLE: We're all gonna have different answers here. Nick is gonna say James Brown, may he rest in peace. Obviously you guys know how I feel about Janis, may she also rest in peace. I'm pretty sure it's safe to say "Timbaland knows the way to reach the top of the charts..." I want Aretha. Or Patti. Or J.Hud.
JEFF: Prince. A little unconventional to say the least, but an extremely talented artist. Mad creativity.
NICK: I have to agree with Jeff and say that it would be amazing to write and perform with Prince. He has an amazing ability to create a seemingly endless stream of musically compelling compositions that appeal to audiences all over the world.
ALEX: It would have to be a funk ballad with Mr. George Porter Jr. (bassist of The Meters) in which we shake the people and ressurrect the deep funk, long forgotten.

What is one thing the band hopes to accomplish?

NICK: Like I said before, this is a relatively new project, so our short term goal is to develop a large body of exciting, original music that is fun for both the audience and the performers, allowing us to make a living purely as working musicians. We are working toward developing a reputation as a unique and appealing group of performers, exposing as many people as possible to our music, and establishing our name as a brand that we can use for merchandising.
MICHELLE: Make Music Not War.
ALEX: To play fun, authenticly good-feeling music that appeals to people from myriad walks of life; to produce grooves that make booty go bump bump bump.
JEFF: To bring a little flavor to the socal music scene. Not that it's completely bland, but a little Chachere's never hurt nobody

What would you be doing if you weren't making music?

NICK: All of the members of the band have always had music in their lives, so it's unlikely that any one of us would ever be in a position where we would stop making music in one way or another. However, we do have other skill and interests. If I weren't attempting to make a living as a musician, I would probable still work in the music world in some capacity, perhaps as a recording engineer or the owner of a performance venue. Alex has a background in science and medicine, and he is actually still in school working toward becoming a medical professional who can help provide health care to impoverished populations in other countries. Jeff already works in research and development for Toyota. Michelle studied theater at NYU who can still be see in local theater productions, and given her incredible talent and natural good looks, she would undoubtedly be performing and entertaining people in the theater or on camera.

MICHELLE: It's like that Friends episode... I think it was called "The One that Could Have Been"... Alex would be a Biochemist, discovering the secrets of coldfusion, Jeff would own a used car lot in Jersey making more money than God but living in the grossest state ever, Nick would be a Frank Zappa impersonator at Universal Studios, Maybe Vegas during the peak seasons, and I'd be archiving my blogs by day--making the next Sex and the City-esque series pitch--and masquerading as a she-caped crusader at night.

ALEX: Doesn't matter what I seem to get wrapped up in, music remains the only constant part of my life. Although, our alter-egos would likely be thus:
Nick -- After making a veritable fortune in online adult film market, invested profits in chain of rehersal studios/coffee shops in the greater Los Angeles area that are doing well.
Michelle -- Becomes a staple of the NYC theatre scene whilst engaging in aloof flings with various celebrities. Lives in the Village, obviously.
Jeff -- Develops the first production-viable electric car for Toyota, and in doing so solves carbon emissions single-handedly...unfortunately, he tricked out one of the cars and was last seen doing 205 mph in the Mojave Desert two weeks ago.
Alex -- Graduates medical school in the Caribbean, only to return to California to conduct the first government-sanctioned testing on marijuana's effects; it is legalized shortly thereafter.

JEFF: Nick -- Replaces Simon Cowell.
Michelle -- LGBT talent agency.
Jeff -- Tech support. Nuff said.
Alex -- Africa. Ganja.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fox of the Week [8/20]: Saffron Taylor

Saffron Taylor is a model from England. She has been featured on Playboy, fitness sites and magazines, and automotive magazines. She was voted Ms TWV 2009. She discussed her best features, her advice for models just getting started, and Egyptology.

How did you get started modeling?

I created a Myspace page back in 2006, from there I received many modeling opportunities and things basically led from there, so I decided to take up modeling full time.

What would you say is your best feature?

My legs and long hair.

What do you enjoy most about modeling?

I love being able to 'play' different characters in my photoshoots and videos, its so much fun getting the opportunity to wear so many sexy costumes. I am a girly girl and love to feel feminine and very sexy.

Of what accomplishment in your career so far are you most proud?

Becoming a known name on the net! Also, designing, building and maintaining my official website all by myself, which has become a very successful website, which I am extremely proud of!

What sort of workout do you do to stay in such great shape?

I work out about 4 to 5 times per week, I do three days of weight training using split routines, then cardio on the days in between. It's really important for women to train with weights, as it boosts metabolism and increases bone density. I have quite a good knowledge of nutrition and with being a vegetarian for the past nine years, I put this down to the main reason I have maintained a good physique.

You are interested in Egyptology. Share something you find interesting about ancient Egypt.

Oh yeah! Ever since I was a kid I had a facination with pharoahs and ancient Egypt, I think it's the extravagance of the way they used to live, huge temples, extreme makeup and riches, plus they were really advanced over 5000 years ago, most of the western world were running round like cave men at the time. [laughs]

What advice would you give a model who is just getting started?

Determination! There are some beautiful girls out there, so you will always be up against constant competition, but it's not all about looks. You really do have to become a business woman and persistance is the name of the game. Market yourself well, this is very important. Also, there are some sleazy photographers out there, so always check who you are dealing with first, and make sure you take someone with you on photoshoots. Recommendations from other models is always a good way to start.

What is one goal you feel you must accomplish in your career?

To become the number one blonde on the net and to become a household name, especially in the States!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

LA band Totally Serious: aggressive math rock

Totally Serious is a two-piece band from LA. The two members answer questions about how the band came together, who they would like to write and perform a song with, and what they would be doing if they weren't making music.

Describe your music for someone who has never heard it.

The instrumentation is drums and bass. I guess some would say it's technical or refer to it as math rock. It's pretty aggressive most of the time, with lots of time signature changes. We tend to explore parts for a few seconds then abandon them. It's busy busy busy.

How did the band come together?

We've been playing together quite a while. Our old bands Upsilon Acrux (Jesse) and A Possible Link to Klaus (Eric) used to play shows together. Then all the members in APLTK joined Upsilon Acrux. We recorded a couple albums and did some touring and continue playing together after leaving Upsilon Acrux.

What is essential to every Totally Serious song? What about every Totally Serious performance?

I think we could say the same for both writing songs and performing. It has to be fun first, but also challenging, while not taking ourselves too seriously. With performing, it becomes more about nailing all the parts and trying to play the songs fluidly and without errors, which is more ideal than outcome. Performing, of course, is also about connecting with folks who would be into this sort of thing.

If you could write and perform a song with only one music artist (living or dead) who would it be? Why?

David Lee Roth. He brings 'totally' to the table.

You get to put together a bill with three other bands (active or defunct). Who do you get to share the bill?

Ruins, Magma, Kool Keith. That would be a fine show.
What would you be doing if you weren't making music?

We would most likely be CEOs of multi katrillion dollar companies, taking trips to exotic places, living lavishly with every desire fulfilled. Yeah, life would be good. Stupid music...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fox of the Week [8/13]: Brooklyn

Brooklyn is a model from Dublin, California. She discusses her best feature, a common misconception about her, and what she hopes to accomplish in her modeling career.

What has been your favorite modeling job?

My favorite modeling job so far was the bio video for
Vida Guerra. It was so much fun it was basically a pool party with tons of other models, food, drinks, free tattoo and airbrush artist, music, and cameras everywhere. I could live like that on a daily basis.

What would you say is your best feature?

I would say my best feature are my eyes. They are perfect almond shape.

Where have you been featured?

I have been featured in online magazines sucy as
Slippery Girl, WWS and several others. In print I have been featured as cover girl for HS magazine (Now Damn Girl Mag), Jet mag and several others. For a complete list please check my website for my resume.

What can a good photographer contribute to a photo shoot?

A good photographer can contribute to a shoot by being professional, making the model feel comfortable, being excited, and being energetic.

What is a common misconception people have about you?

The most common misconception that people have about me is that I am unapproachable. I hear all the time after a person speaks to me "you are so nice and funny I didn't think you would be so much fun."

If you could do a photo shoot anywhere, what location would you choose?

If I could shoot anywhere I would shoot in a safari in Africa at dusk surrounded by giraffes and tigers and I am in all white. I think this would be a great shot because I love Tigers and in Africa you wear white to celebrate death and I would like to do it as a tribute to my ancestors.

What is one goal you feel you must accomplish in your career?

One goal I must accomplish while I am modeling is to one day do it full time.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Columbus rock band PEN15: trying to take over the world

PEN15 is a three-piece band from Columbus, Ohio. Guitarist Dustin Rouan discusses what is essential to every song his band writes, bands he would like to share the stage with, and what he'd be doing if he weren't making music.

If you are filing your music in a record store, where do you file it?

I would definitely file it under ROCK! I'm all for blazing a new trail and making your own sonic dent in history but there is something to be said for tradition.

What is essential to every PEN15 song?

Energy. Whether it's positive, negative, sad, or happy, we try to bring that energy to the forefront.

If I'm at your show, what is your pitch to get me to buy your album?

I'm honestly not much of a salesman. If I was any good at retail I wouldn't be doing the music thing. We mention that we have cds for sale while we are on stage but we let the music sell itself. If we get you to a show then we've already won the battle.

What are some bands you enjoy playing with?

I've enjoyed playing with a lot of bands over the years but my favorite is playing with Lemming. I guess I'm a little biased though because it is the band of my friend of fifteen years. I enjoyed playing with them so much that I have recently drummed for them on their latest CD, "dandelions", on my down time.

Name three bands (active or defunct) you would like to perform with.

It's hard to pick just three bands over time but off the top of my head:

Nirvana. To share the stage with such an amazing artist would be amazing. Dave Grohl isn't too shabby on the drums either.

Mudhoney. Over time their sound has changed but they haven't hit a bad chord yet. They don't hit the road as much as they used to but I still keep my fingers crossed that one day I'll be able to make a show with them happen.

Burning Brides. These guys put on a great show and are an inspiration in the way that they run their band. They take time off when they need it, record and produce their own albums that are always amazing and even have a van made to run on vegetable oil to get from show to show.

What would you be doing if you weren't making music?

Trying to take over the world. If that didn’t work, I also enjoy recording music, graphic design, and making/editing video.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fox of the Week [8/6] Melissa Irish-Brown

Melissa Irish-Brown (5'2", 36-28-44) is a model born and raised in Trinidad, now living in New York. She discusses how she started modeling, where she would like to shoot, and her ambitions for the future.

How did you get started modeling?
I was doing party promotions and some of my friends persuaded me to try it,and once I did I loved it.

What is your favorite type of modeling gig?
I don't have a favorite I like them all,but I did enjoy the vintage style.

Where have you been featured?
Featured Model with interview Dec 08
Featured Model with interview Dec 08
Featured Model Dec 08
Model of the month April 09
Miss sexy of the week July 09
Eye Candy- July 09

If you could do a photo shoot at any location, where would it be? Why?
I would love to shoot in the Hamptons,because it just beautiful there

What do you look for in a photographer?
I look for a photographer who has versatility.

What is the most challenging thing about modeling?
Keeping my body in shape

What is your dream job?
To host a TV show of my own.

What kind of TV show do you want to host?
Probably a show interviewing celebs on various issues etc.

If you could host one TV show that's on right now, what would it be?
I would say Def Comedy Jam. I'm actually working on an internet show called MIBTV and DVDs. Just stay tuned I have a few surprises up my sleeves.
Coming soon

Fox Tracks: what it is

Welcome to Fox Tracks. I guess I should begin with what this blog is not. It is not related to any of the Fox networks. Or Fox Racing. Or fox hunting. I chose the name Fox Tracks because it encompasses both aspects that will be featured weekly in this very blog: models and music.

Each week, you will see a new model featured with a brief Q&A and some photos. In this blog, you will learn more about a model than her cup size and turn-ons. Also, I will post something about music each week. It could be a feature about a band, or about an album or song I like. And I will tell you in a straightforward manner what I like and dislike about an album. I won't dress it up with a lot of pretense. In any case, if you like models and music, then this is the blog for you. Feel free to send your suggestions for models or music to feature. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing this blog.