Cataracs

On November 13th Cataracs released their album "Lingerie". This 'musical revolution' has people wondering where they've been all their life. MusicRemedy had the opportunity to talk with Cataracs about the album, Christmas, American Dream, etc...

Jermy Leeuwis (MusicRemedy) asks a question [Q 1]: For people who may not have heard some music from you yet... what can someone who's never heard ofyou expect from your music?

Cataracs answers [A 1]: A musical revolution.

[Q 2]: Your upcoming album is your first Cataracs album release. Tell us about it...

[A 2]: It's going to be a musical revolution. Something that everyone can get into.

Cataracs Interview - continued
[Q 3]: Which song on the album took the longest to complete? Why?

[A 3]: We've recorded a bunch of records that are not our "official" album yet. All the things we've recorded have been for fun. We've just recently really started to sit down and really conceptualize. Lingerie, our last EP we dropped about three months ago really makes sense from record to record as you listen to it.

[Q 4]: In what way has your personal live affected your music? And what about the other way around?

[A 4]: My personal life is my music! We create music that comes from our soul.

[Q 5]: If someone didnot enjoy/like Chromeo and Shwayze, would they still have to listen to Cataracs when keeping in mind your equation [Chromeo + Shwayze = The Cataracs]?

[A 5]: Of course not. We are The Cataracs! Plain and simple. Someone actually just wrote that, Chromeo + Shwayze = The Cataracs

[Q 6]: Which Christmas songs do you like to play at Christmas?

[A 6]: 100 miles and running by NWA and Christmas remakes by Barry Manilow

[Q 7]: To what extent can artists combine their personality into their music?

[A 7]: To every extent! A musician is an instrument.

[Q 8]: Please explain your nicknames, Campa and Cyrano.

[A 8]: Cyrano is a famous guy from a long time ago. Campa came from when i used to wear backpack everywhere I went, a friend would call me "Campa!"

[Q 9]: Any instruments you would like to learn to play on?

[A 9]: The piano and the guitar.

[Q 10]: Do you think success and credibility are mutually exclusive?

[A 10]: Not really. If your majorly successful, even if you had to do something horrible and wack, you still get credit in our book.

[Q 11]: What artists are you listening to at the moment?

[A 11]: T.I.

[Q 12]: Are you living the American dream? Is it anything you hoped for?

[A 12]: No and no. I don't even know what the American dream is anymore. Well actually I love The American Dreams album :)

[Q 13]: How does the weak US economy affect your daily life? How many houses are for your sale in your street?

[A 13]: It just brings everyone a little down ya know? I have like 2-3 houses on my street being foreclosed.

[Q 14]: Recently, what is a typical day like for you?

[A 14]: Wake up. Make music. Eat. Make music. Smoke marijuana. Go to Sleep.

[Q 15]: Final words?

[A 15]: Thank you for the questions! and check us out at www.mysapce.com/thecataracs

Cataracs biography
Chromeo + Shwayze = The Cataracs. Your Guilty Pleasure. We could describe the sound of The Cataracs using the familiar terms: '€œcutting edge'€ '€œuniversal,'€ '€œbeyond category.'€ And we wouldn'€™t be lying. But save those cliches for a group who needs them. The Cataracs music and buzz speaks for itself.

The Cataracs are David Singer-Vine, 20 aka '€œCampa,'€ and Niles Hollowell-Dhar, 19, '€œCyrano'€. Both members share vocalist duties with Cyrano acting as the sole producer. The pair have developed a electro-pop sound that combines the dance floor sensibilities of electronic music with pop melodies, a risque edge, and east bay swagger. These divergent sounds are effectively cohesive when brought together by The Cataracs'€™ energy, sense of humor, and undeniably entertaining chemistry.

Myspace exclusively made The Cataracs featured artist last month out of pure love for their booty jiggling jams. Last month also debuted the video to '€œBaby, Baby'€, directed by acclaimed director Taj, best known for Rihanna'€™s '€œPlease Don'€™t Stop the Music'€. This month has been even busier with cover stories in The SF Chronicle, The Oakland Tribune, and The Contra Costa Times, as well as a feature in the SF Weekly. The Cataracs video, '€œMurder She Wrote" has recently debuted on VH1'€™s '€œThe V-Spot'€. Their latest video "Julia" is to debut on MTVU, which was directed by 20 year-old Colin Tiley, a protégé of music video director Taj who has shot videos for Rihanna, NAS and LL Cool J.

Cataracs pres quotes
"What happened to make these kids go crazy? The Cataracs. They're two electo-pop-stars-to-be who were thrilled to be billed as Berkley's 'home-town heroes'." - San Francisco Chronicle (Date Book Cover)

"The Cataracs joyous mix of '80's dance pop and modern hip-hop has made it a hit with clubgoers and has garnered the attention of major labels. Some speculate that a record deal could be right around the corner."- Oakland Tribune (Preview Cover Story)
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Kristin Chenoweth

On October 14th the lovely Kristin Chenoweth released her first Christmas album "A Lovely Way To Spend Christmas" including 'I'€™ll Be Home For Christmas', 'Silver Bells', etc... After 8 years she finally releases an amazing Christmas album which is a gift to everyone. MusicRemedy had the opportunity to talk with Kristin Chenoweth about the album, family, presents, etc...

Jermy Leeuwis (MusicRemedy) asks a question [Q 1]: For people who may not have heard some music from you yet... what can someone who's never heard of you expect from your music?

Kristin Chenoweth answers [A 1]: It'€™s everything from classical to country music to Broadway and pop. I love being versatile. The fact I have a masters degree in opera has taught me how to safely navigate between all these genres.

Kristin Chenoweth Interview - continued
[Q 2]: Your upcoming album is your first Christmas album. Tell us about it.

[A 2]: It has classic Christmas songs as well as two new originals. Also a great version for Christmas of "What a Wonderful World".

[Q 3]: Which song on the album took the longest to complete? Why?

[A 3]: Probably "Born on Christmas Day ". Its "pop" in nature, and I wanted to make it simple so the words stood out as much as possible.

[Q 4]: In what way has your personal live affected your music? And what about the other way around?

[A 4]: I only sing songs that I can relate to, not just simply because it has a beautiful melody, for example. When you go through rocky times, your music can display it. Its actually great therapy!

[Q 5]: You were signed 8 years ago and you were thrilled to record & release a Christmas album. What took you so long to record a Christmas album?

[A 5]: The first album needed to be what people expected from me. Broadway and class standards! So fun to do...the second was a labor of love to get back to my spiritual roots and back to music that first influenced me. Christmas music was the natural next step!

[Q 6]: Which Christmas songs do you like to play at Christmas?

[A 6]: I love "Silent Night" the most. Also "Do You Hear What I Hear", which is on the record. I just simply love the lyrics. Its a reminder that its Christ''€™s birthday.

[Q 7]: What kind of feeling do you want your listeners to have when listening to your Christmas album (at Christmas)?

[A 7]: I want listeners to relax, and enjoy! I want them to feel like opening presents to this album , and smiling!

[Q 8]: You have been quite busy, a movie "Four Christmases", a Christmas CD and your TV-serie. Do you still have time to celebrate Christmas?

[A 8]: I will always have time for celebrating the most important holiday of the year. It's a time to re-evaluate your life, and be with the ones you love. Often times, the family comes to visit me if I'm working! But we still eat! Haha
And open presents!!

[Q 9]: In what career (movie, music, tv) is your voice the most important? If you had to choose, which one do you prefer?

[A 9]: I love what I do. I get asked this quite a lot. I view acting, singing, dancing all the same! But if I had to pick? Music. Its like air for me. Is it where my voice is most important? I don't know! I just know I was born to sing.

Kristin Chenoweth biography
Sony BMG Masterworks has released KRISTIN CHENOWETH'€™s new Christmas CD A LOVELY WAY TO SPEND CHRISTMAS. For her third album, Chenoweth covers a wide range of Christmas songs from '€œChristmas Island,'€ popularized by The Andrew'€™s Sisters to Kristin'€™s personal favorite '€œCome On Ring Those Bells.'€

Recorded at Capitol Recording Studio'€™s legendary Studios A & B where Sinatra, Judy Garland and Nat King Cole all etched their Christmas standards, A Lovely Way To Spend Christmas is an eclectic combination of full orchestral arrangements, along with big band, a bit of tropical island flavor, pop and country.

In adition to well-known Christmas classics such as '€œSilver Bells'€ and '€œI'€™ll Be Home For Christmas,'€ Chenoweth reinterprets Louis Armstrong'€™s modern standard '€œWhat A Wonderful World'€ and children'€™s favorite '€œSing,'€

(originally written for Sesame Street'€™s loveable Big Bird) into Christmas songs with the help of acclaimed producer Robbie Buchanan (Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Barry Manilow) and Executive Producer Jay Landers (Streisand, Midler, Manilow, Celine Dion and Josh Groban).

The album also features new compositions of '€œHome On Christmas Day,'€

co-written by Grammy Award winning producer Walter Afanasieff (Mariah Carey, Celine Dion) and Jay Landers and '€œBorn On Christmas Day,'€ with lyrics by Grammy winning pop/soul singing legend Peabo Bryson.

On choosing to record a Christmas album Chenoweth says "From the minute I signed with Sony Classical eight years ago, I wanted to record a Christmas album. I grew up listening to Barbra Streisand's Christmas album, and that was such an inspiration to me. Christmas is my favorite holiday and I am blessed and excited to be able to do my own Christmas album.'€

This fall Kristin will be featured in a new comedy Four Christmases directed by Seth Gordon and starring alongside Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn. She also continues her role in ABC'€™s Pushing Daisies for which she was recently nominated for an Emmy. Kristin can also be heard as the voice of the fairy, Rosetta, in Walt Disney Picture'€™s Tinkerbell this fall and she just wrapped filming the independent film, Into Temptation, directed by Sundance filmmaker Patrick Coyle opposite Jeremy Sisto.

Kristin Chenoweth biography
Kristin Chenoweth effortlessly transitions between stage, television and film with the captivating grace that only she can project.

Kristin can be seen staring in the ABC series Pushing Daisies, where she was recently nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. This one-hour series is an unprecedented blend of romance, crime procedural and high-concept fantasy in a forensic fairytale about a young man with a very special gift. Pushing Daisies was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for '€œBest Television Series '€“ Musical or Comedy'€.

Kristin'€™s Christmas album, A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas, was released in October. She has written an uplifting candid chronicle of her life which will be released by Simon & Schuster in spring 2009. She will next be seen in the Warner Bros. film Four Christmases in November. The film revolves around a newly married couple who decide to visit their families for the Christmas holiday. Kristin also can be heard as the voice of the fairy, Rosetta, in Walt Disney Picture'€™s Tinkerbell this fall. She wrapped filming the independent film, Into Temptation, directed by Sundance filmmaker Patrick Coyle opposite Jeremy Sisto.

This past summer Kristin starred alongside Cheryl Hines and Jeff Daniels in the animated film Space Chimps for Twentieth Century Fox.

She starred in Stairway to Paradise, an original Encores! production celebrating the great Broadway revue. Commemorating the centennial anniversary of the first Ziegfeld Follies, Kristin concluded New York City Center'€™s 2007 season with beloved Broadway numbers from the early 20th century.

Kristin was seen in the season finale of ABC'€™s hit comedy Ugly Betty. She played an orthodontic technician who loves romantic comedies and becomes overly involved in her patients'€™ lives '€“ including Betty'€™s (America Ferrera).

Chenoweth starred in the critically successful and highly lauded limited-engagement of The Apple Tree at Roundabout Theatre Company'€™s Studio 54. She also had the honor of playing a sold out solo concert at the famed Metropolitan Opera House.

Many remember her show-stealing, Tony-winning performance in You'€™re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and her triumphant star turn when she originated the role of Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked, which earned her a Tony Award nomination. Chenoweth also performed in the Broadway comedy Epic Proportions and in the Kander and Ebb musical Steel Pier, for which she won a Theatre World award. Chenoweth also performed in an Off-Broadway production of Moliere'€™s Scapin for the Roundabout Theatre Company.

Television fans know her as Annabeth Schott on The West Wing, the librarian, Marian Paroo, in ABC'€™s movie version of Meredith Wilson'€™s The Music Man, and Lily St. Regis in the television adaptation of Annie. Kristin also starred in her own series Kristin for NBC.

Moviegoers have seen her in Deck the Halls with Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick, RV with Robin Williams, Bewitched with Nicole Kidman, Running with Scissors with Annette Bening, and The Pink Panther with Steve Martin. Her film credits also include a cameo in Stranger Than Fiction with Emma Thompson. Kristin is currently developing a feature film based on the life of Dusty Springfield.

A veteran of the concert scene, Kristin took the stage in a solo sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall in 2004 and continues to tour the country. She performed her solo concert at Sam Mendes'€™s acclaimed Donmar Warehouse as part of the Divas at Donmar series. The show received glowing reviews. Following her show in London, Chenoweth has had numerous collaborations with various symphonies, including The New York Philharmonic, Boston Pops, National Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony. One of her proudest accomplishments was having the privilege to perform Bernstein'€™s Candide at Lincoln Center with The New York Philharmonic. Other performances include her sold-out Los Angeles solo debut at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, an evening at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, and the Washington National Opera'€™s 50th Anniversary Gala with Placido Domingo. She is scheduled to have her Metropolitan Opera debut in March 2010 as Samira in John Corigliano'€™s The Ghost of Versailles.

In addition to her upcoming Christmas album, she has released two albums entitled, Let Yourself Go and As I Am.
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Pace Won Mr Green

On June 20th rap-duo Pace Won & Mr Green released their album "The Only Color That Matters Is Green" including 'Eye of the Needle', 'Children Sing', etc... The album has received good reviews and gained a lot of respect in the HipHop underground-scene. MusicRemedy had the opportunity to talk with DJ/Producer Mr. Green about the album (and forthcoming one), wack MC's, USA economy, etc...

Pace Won & Mr Green Interview
Jermy Leeuwis (MusicRemedy) asks a question [Q]: For people who may not have heard some music from you yet... what can someone who's never heard of you expect from your music?

Mr. Green answers [A]: Some straight forward hip hop. If you like that good old hip hop you can't hear on the radio anymore you will love my music.

[Q]: Pace Won has been in the game for quite some time now. Doing his thing so long it must have been hard to get your heads together. How did you hook up and get things rolling?

[A]: Yeah it was definitely a little bit difficult. Pace has a platinum plaque hanging on his living room wall from his contribution to the Fugues album 'The Score'. To be an up and coming producer working with someone with such prestige, it was a big leap for me. It worked out because Pace simply liked the way he sounded over my beats... if not for that, this whole Pace and Green thing never would have happened.

The way it started was Pace did a verse over one of my beats for our boy Kosha Dillz' mixtape. Kosha sent it to me, and when I heard Pace's verse it was some of the best hip hop I'd heard in years. It was like Pace had improved since his early years, during which he was already amazing. Most rappers from the late 1990's / early 2000's are judged on if they've still "got It".. if they can still do what they used to. When I saw that he was actually better now than he was at his "prime", I immediately contacted him and was like "let's make more of these." As it turns out he was a big fan of the way he sounded over my beat... and he was down. Next, thing you know, I played the song to the fine people at Raw Poetix, and within a matter of weeks we were working on a full EP.

[Q]: You kept your own name instead of a name as a duo (ie, Gangstarr) making itquite long. Is this because of the way you want to present yourself (ie.,classic rapduo), Pace Won's name is popular and will gain more attention or simply just because you like it?

[A]: That's really just the way that it turned out. We discussed giving the group a name but in the end we decided we liked the idea of having our names on the album cover. This way it can be thought of as a Pacewon solo album as well as a Mr. Green solo album.

True, the groups we are compared to the most are Gangstarr and Eric B and Rakim... as far as names go we favor the latter.

[Q]: Your album "The Only Color that Matters is Green" is your first release together. To what extent have you and Pace Won incooperated lessons learned,by any previous albums, on this album? Please give examples and/or songs.

[A]: We both knew we wanted to keep it short and to the point. Pace and I both agreed that having 20 plus tracks on an album doesn't make it better for the listener. Also, we didn't really want a whole lot of different people on the album. I've seen a lot of artist out albums that feature as many MC's as possible that fail to make there mark. A couple years ago I realized that even if there are 50 amazing rappers on an LP, if the songs don't fit well together, the final product won't be solid. It will seem like a choppy and incontinuous mixtape. Pace and I are both not really big fans of mixtapes. With this album we tried to keep as few people on it as possible, we were aiming to make an album that you can listen straight through, which I think we accomplished.

[Q]: On one of your tracks Pace Won rhymes about wack MC's. Many rappers recorded about and dissed so-called 'wack' MC's. How do you define 'wack'? To what extent have wack MC's influenced your taste and career?

[A]: Well there are many things that can define wack... in most cases it simply means 'not talented' (i.e., the person's voice doesn't sound good on a Mic). Nobody wants to listen to a wack rapper, just like they don't want to hear a singer who can't carry a tune. On the other hand (like when Pace says it in our song "hip hop") he is talking about people that are into hip hop for the wrong reasons. He is saying they are wack because "they want glamour". He is commenting on how watered down and glittery mainstream hip hop has become and how much of the problem can be directly attributed to the rappers who thrive on money and attention rather than trying to keep the culture alive.

How do wack MC's influence me, I use them as a reference for exactly what I don't want to be doing. The thing about wack is, it's really a matter of taste. What's wack to me might be fresh to you...

[Q]: Which song on the album took the longest to complete? Why?

[A]: The beat that took me the longest was Hip Hop. We had originally put that song out without MC Shan but then Pace said put him in so I did. He was right about that one. It was difficult for me to get Shan's voice to work with Pace's. Once I finally did get them in the pocket the song came to life. As far as recording vocals: "She can be so cold" took Pace like 72 takes to get it down right.. haha, he made me record him for like 3 hours straight, it was killing me. It was all worth it because a couple of our biggest reviews said that they ("Hip Hop" and "She can be so Cold") were the best songs on the album.

[Q]: There is one guest appearance on your album. Nowadays there are more guest artists then songs on the album. How come?

[A]: We'll we really wanted to showcase our abilities and didn't want there to be any distractions. Also, I'm not the biggest fan of mixtapes, or at least the oversaturation of mixtapes in the market right now. I feel like the more people you have on an album, the more it begins to feel like a mixtape. Since there are so many mixtapes being put out everyday... they are much more forgettable than albums... we didn't want our album to sound like a mixtape and get forgotten. People can expect a couple crazy guests on our next album.

[Q]: When creating a track, do you have a set theme and pre-written lyrics, or do you start with an idea or the music first?

[A]: It is always different. For the majority of the album, I would send Pace beat via email and then he would record to them with Jenz at Studio 56 in Irvington (shout out to Jenz!). We did that for about 8 songs. We then went back and re-recorded most of them at my house with some changes made to the beats/rhymes.

At first we were only going to do an EP but things sounded so well that we decided to make it a full album. That's when we recorded the last 4 songs (at my studio in New Brunswick). Most of those lyrics, including "Children Sing" were written on the spot with Pace and I in the studio together at the same time.

[Q]: Do you think success and credibility are mutually exclusive?

[A]: No, there are a lot of successful artists that manage to remain credible. It is however a difficult task to achieve both. I think the artists that last the longest are the ones that focus on credibility more than success. I aim to do that but as a result I am often kicking myself for turning down lucrative work because I think my die-hard fans wouldn't like what they see/hear me doing.

[Q]: What artists are you listening to at the moment?

[A]: I don't like that many new artists right now but I can tell you some specific songs that I've been listening to lately: Nas '€“ "Surviving the Times", Az '€“ "The Format", Guru and Solar '€“ "State of Clarity', and Special Teamz '€“ "Fallen Angelz". Also I saw this crazy freestyle by a guy named Wax. He rhymes for like 5 minutes while driving.. check it out on youtube.

[Q]: Are you living the American dream? Is it anything you hoped for?

[A]: I don't know about that. Needless to say life is better here than it would be in a third world country, but it is not great for me. I am a starving artist and my life is very frustrating here in America. There are a lot of ups and downs. When things are going well I'm getting paid to travel and party in different cities all over the country (and the world). When they are going bad, haha, like now (October, 2008), I'm back home in my apartment (that I share with 4 other people) depending on family and friends to help me float by until my next tour or royalty check comes through.

To answer the 1'st question, I think I grew up living the American dream, but didn't ever realize it until it was too late. Now I am just trying to make it in a 'dying' music industry and a failing economy. No, it is not what I had hoped for. The good is great and the bad is very bad. I'm honestly starting to think that the bad outweighs the good. Still I'm not even close to ready to stop doing this.

[Q]: The meaning behind the album title "The Only Color that Matters is Green" is very accurate regarding the current worldwide economic problems. To what extent does money matter at an economic crises like this?

[A]: Money matters a great deal, it is the driving force behind most everything we as human beings do. That said, it is *NOT* the most important thing in this world. Family and friends are much more important. If the only thing you go after in this world is money, you will not have a good life.

[Q]: How does the weak US economy affect your daily life? How many houses are for your sale in your street?

[A]: Despite my last answers, the weak US economy hasn't really changed my daily life that much. Although there is enormous pressure on everyone around me, I try to stay optimistic. During the great depression the only industry that thrived (besides bootlegging) was entertainment. I'm hoping history will repeat itself in that regard and people won't stop paying to go to see concerts and movies.

As far as houses, not that many on my street are for sale, there are however a great deal of my friends and family members who are worried about losing their jobs.

[Q]: Recently, what is a typical day like for you?

[A]: I get up at about 11 a.m. and check my email hoping someone will have some money for me. When that doesn't happen I take a shower, eat some food, and start working on music and promoting. I don't like to work alone much so I'll often take a laptop to a friends house and work there for a couple hours. Many of my friends are artists like painters, journalists, animators etc... I go to one of their places and work alongside them. I just like being around the creative process. I don't have too many friends nearby that make music, I had more in the past but I found that they were getting in the way more than they were helping so I had to keep it moving. No disrespect.

[Q]: Naturally, everybody wants to know when something new is coming along. So, what will the future hold for Mr. Green and Pace Won?

[A]: We are working on a second album called "The Only Number That Matters is Won". Because of the great response we got with the 'Colors' album, it looks like the next album will be coming out on a major label. That's right, A MAJOR LABEL. Don't worry though, if it goes through, we are not going to do what most indie acts do when they go major... change our style up and put out a wack album or worse, get shelved by the label and never put out anything again. No. If this deal goes through we will be the first rap act to ever sign with this particular label, and we have no intention of changing our style. That is all I can say but if everything goes according to plan the general public will be hearing and seeing Pacewon and Mr. Green and not just the true hip hop fans.

[Q]: Final words?

[A]: Yes, keep your head up, don't let the failing economy get you down... we will all make it through this :)

If you haven't already... go buy "The Only Color That Matters is Green" if you like that good old hip hop that you can't get on the radio anymore... you will love it!

Thank you for reading,

-Mr. Green

P.S. be on the lookout for our two new singles + music videos, "I Need Money" (Directed by Evan Van Horn) and "Children Sing" (Directed By Phil Sedehi)

- update April 4thm 2011 -
I just had a new interview with Mr.Green about the follow-up album "The Only Number That Matters is Won".
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Blogger, Google and of course Jermy Leeuwis.

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