James Durbin Discusses His Debut Record, ‘Memories of a Beautiful Disaster’

On November 21, American Idol season 10 favorite James Durbin released his debut record, Memories of a Beautiful Disaster, on Wind-Up Records.

The 11-track album, produced by the highly acclaimed Howard Benson, is a well-crafted mix of rock music. From the roaring “Higher Than Heaven” to the nod to Aerosmith on “Love in Ruins,” to the power anthem “Stand Up,” 22-year-old Durbin proves to be a real contender in the world of rock.

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with Durbin, where we discussed his debut record, which collaborator he’s learned the most from, and what’s coming up next for him.

How does it feel to have all your hard work out there for people to hear?

It feels great. That’s exactly what it was; it was a lot of hard work. I actually finished the vocals on the record in two and half weeks. It was basically singing three songs a day and getting them finished, having to sing each song 15 times or so to really get the right one. That was a lot of wear and tear on my voice, but it was well worth it.

On the release date, were you more anxious or more excited about your record coming out?

Definitely more excited. Before the release, all my fans were counting down the days, and I was counting along with them. It was very, very exciting. I think it’s more exciting to have it out there. I found out today that I sold 28,000 copies my first week. It’s like, wow, you know? This is like the moment of truth. This is what all the hard work paid off for. It wasn’t just having a record out there, it was really seeing the extent of my fan following. It’s so great to know that I sold that many. It’s unbelievable.

So you had a signing in your hometown of Santa Cruz the day your album was released; what was it like being home on your big day?

It was great. Not only that, but one of my favorite things to do is to see all my fans; just to see all my fans face to face, see who’s buying this record, getting to thank them and shake their hand. And be like, “You know what, thank you so much for your love and support. It means so much to me, it means so much to my family.” This has been my dream. And now my dream’s come true. I get to work in music and support myself and support my family in the process. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.

Continue reading James Durbin Discusses His Debut Record, ‘Memories of a Beautiful Disaster’

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Music Review >> Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers – ‘Gift Horse’

Last month, Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers (Kit “Goose” Karlson, Brian “Boots” Factor, and Sam “Steamer” Getz) released their fifth studio album, Gift Horse. It’s the band’s second release with Vanguard Records.

“There’s the old saying, ‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,’ which translated as showing appreciation for what you have,” Kellogg commented in the band’s press release.

“That’s exactly what this record’s about – appreciation that I have a job right now in 2011, with all that’s going on economically in our country; appreciation for my family, because there’s nothing that I value more; and appreciation of America in general.”

Produced by Mark Weinberg, the songs on Gift Horse have a classic rock, almost Americana kind of vibe about them. You can tell by just how these songs were written from personal anecdotes. The entire album plays out like a collective book of stories on life and family.

Kellogg has taken his storyteller writing style and really captured moments within his life and turned them into meaningful music. This is demonstrated on tracks like the uptempo “1993,” which is the story of how he and wife met and fell in love and “Noelle, Noelle,” which is written in admiration of his daughter, which is probably the sweetest song on the record. In songs such as “Gravity” and “Roots and Wings,” Kellogg sings of lessons learned from his family.

Gift Horse’s lead single, “Gravity,” is an upbeat tune about enjoying and appreciating the life you have now, instead of worrying about what lies ahead. I like that the arrangment really fits the song; coming off lighthearted and fun and truly drawing that picture of leaving your woes at the door and enjoying what’s right in front of you.

“Roots and Wings” is one of my favorites on the record. The song speaks to doing the best you can with your kids, but when the time comes to let them off to explore the world, you handle the change as best you can. Arrangement-wise, the song has a very anthem feel to it; I can see it being a great track to hear performed live.

MUSIC VIDEO: Funeral Party – “New York City Moves To The Sound of L.A.”

Earlier today the L.A. based band, Funeral Party released the the video for their latest single (and my favorite song off their album) “New York City Moves To The Sound of L.A.”!

Check out the video below!

What do y’all think of the video?