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How Does Music Influence Gameplay?

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

When it comes to video games in their various forms, we often discuss how they look in terms of the graphics and animations; or we talk about the gameplay. One thing that often gets overlooked is the music that is contained within the game, and just how important it is in helping to create an enjoyable and immersive gaming experience. So just how does music influence gameplay and how important is it for players?

The first thing to consider is the game itself and its setting. It’s hugely important for the player to be immersed completely in the game, and music helps to do this by creating the atmosphere. Taking a first-person shooter game as an example, there’s no way a player would feel in the slightest involved; if the background music was the type you would find in a Super Mario game.

What is also key is that the music reflects the shift in the gameplay too. If you’re playing a game which is going from scene to scene, with different settings and emotions, the music has to go with it in order to keep the player immersed. Otherwise, if it’s the same sound playing repeatedly, punters will quickly lose interest and are likely to stop playing or not enjoy the gameplay as much.

Flash Lightnin’ Release HOMAGEOUT on Pheromone Records

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Always bound by friendship, Darren Glover and Darcy Yates of Flash Lightnin' resolutely refused to officially call it quits when Glover returned to Victoria in 2015, while Yates toured the world as a session player with the Bahamas. While only gathering on occasion for special and memorable shows such as their 10th anniversary in Toronto in 2016, it was finally time to acknowledge the inevitable, but not without a final, incredibly powerful recorded statement.

They are excited to announce that their upcoming EP Homage is set for release on April 6 via Pheromone Recordings. Along with the announcement they have given fans a taste of the EP today with their version of Jeff Beck's interpretation of The Yardbirds' "Shapes of Things."

In the fall of 2015, Glover and Yates gathered with powerhouse drummer Blake Manning at Toronto's Revolution Recording with Ian Blurton at the controls.

Four stone classic rock 'n' roll songs were covered:
Peter Green/Fleetwood Mac's "Green Manalishi"
Mountain's "Never In My Life"
Jeff Beck's interpretation of The Yardbirds' "Shapes of Things"
Cream's "Swlabr"

Simply put the combination of Flash Lightnin', Ian Blurton and Revolution's cavernous Neve room delivered the goods and in spectacular fashion.

Voice of Addiction The Lost Art of Empathy

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Submitted by Lance Wright

Voice of Addiction hasn’t released a new studio album in a number of years, but The Lost Art of Empathy doesn’t betray even the faintest signs of extended layoff. Ian Tomele’s engagement with both his immediate surroundings and the world at large is every bit as vital as ever and manifests itself in twelve songs ranging in duration but all packing the same impressive punch. Tomele and his bandmates can connect with you in a number of different ways and, despite the band’s punk rock sound, there’s subtlety in this collection on both a musical and lyrical level listeners are well advised to not miss. The Chicago punk scene has always been close-knit and vibrant, but they’ve produced few bands with the staying power and ever-growing pedigree we find with Voice of Addiction. The evocative title of the album reflects Tomele’s social concerns but, moreover, his attitude towards our modern life in a way each of these songs reflects.

Rustbelt” opens The Lost Art of Empathy with a song undoubtedly very personal to Tomele’s heart as it, in essence, takes on his home base of Chicago and other cities in the region. The thwarted, underappreciated lives depicted in his lyric finds perfect musical expression in Tomele’s fierce bass playing, drumming from Dennis Tynan, and ferocious guitar work from Jake Smith. Tomele wisely brings in some backing singers for an

Sarah Jane Scouten At The Dakota Tavern April 5

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

It’s hard to pin singer and songwriter Sarah Jane Scouten down. She’s called Montreal and Vancouver home at different times in her life and she now lives in Toronto — on the rare occasion when she’s not touring Europe, the UK, the U.S. or across Canada. Now she’s stopping long enough to play a special show in Toronto at The Dakota Tavern on Thursday, April 5, 2018.

Sarah Jane Scouten is a link between folk and country, a traveling musician whose musical boundaries cross as many borders as geographical ones. She’s a three-time nominee for the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

A quick check of her passport shows she’s done four UK tours, in a variety of European countries, and several tours in the United States. Coming up is a spot at the prestigious Merlelefest in North Carolina (headliners this year include Kris Kristofferson and Bela Fleck), and five weeks in the US North West in September...

Her latest album, When the Bloom Falls From the Rose, is on the Vancouver-based independent label Light Organ Records.

You can hear traces of Lucinda Williams, Nanci Griffith and Iris Dement in her work — as well as a wealth of early country music.

Van William’s Releases 1ST Album Countries

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Van William Photo Credit Silvia Grav

Acclaimed rock singer-songwriter, Van William, is joining another sparkling artist on the rise, Lissie, for a national tour kicking off at The Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles on May 2nd. The 13-date tour will hit major markets across the US and Canada – full routing is below. Van is currently on the road in Europe with Swedish duo First Aid Kit, in support of his acclaimed debut album, Countries, out now via Fantasy Records.

Countries has been met with excitement both here and overseas. The Los Angeles Times called it, “A brash, confident folk-rock statement that affirms William's place in contemporary L.A. songcraft.” And UPROXX praised Countries as, “One of 2018’s first great folk-rock records.”

Inspired by his love for David Lynch’s cult classic film, Wild at Heart, Van just released a captivating video clip, directed by Silvia Grav and featuring Caitlin Gerard (American Crime) for the new single, Before I Found You. Before I Found You is the follow-up to the album’s first single, the Top 5 Triple A track, Revolution featuring First Aid Kit.

The Art of Music - A Man Called Wrycraft

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Submitted by Pat Blythe
Photo: Jane Harbury and Michael Wycraft

Michael Wrycraft has truly been lovin' the music since….well…..always. He has been a stalwart supporter of Canadian musicians simply by being Wrycraft. Having produced almost 700 album and CD covers over the years, Wrycraft's distinctive designs stay true to the artist's music, his art paying homage to the musician's art. Every single cover is unique, even if he's produced multiple covers for the same artist. From Moe Kaufman and David Clayton Thomas to Jeff Healy and Bruce Cockburn, Wrycraft's art speaks to the music, not just what he hears but what he feels. You will never see the typical picture of a guitar-swinging musician on the front cover. In a 2017 interview with Jazz FM91 Wrycraft described his process, "I think the artists deserve much more on the outside of their album…..I talk with the artist but it's the music that speaks to me. So what I do is I immerse myself in the music and somehow, through a number of processes, visuals come out the other end."

For almost 20 years, Wrycraft has been living his passion. As he has stated so often, "I love my job!" and it shines through in his work. What begins in his brain works its way through his heart and starts his fingers dancing across the page. With one Juno award and five Juno nominations under his belt, Wrycraft can add emcee, curator, promoter, radio, lecturer and social gadabout to his long list of talents. His tribute events at Hughes Room Live are legendary.

Ry Cooder The Prodigal Son Returns

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The Prodigal Son, Ry Cooder’s first new solo release in six years, is set for release by Fantasy Records on May 11th, 2018.

Recorded in Hollywood, CA, and produced by Ry and his chief collaborator, drummer Joachim Cooder, The Prodigal Son is all America - our spiritual, hopeful voices, our raw cries and our sly provocations, voiced through the songs of the Pilgrim Travelers, The Stanley Brothers, Blind Willie Johnson, and Ry Cooder himself.

The album’s 11 tracks, including three Cooder originals and a carefully selected collection of his favorite spirituals of the last century, share a particular resonance in this time and place, forming an unflinching look at the state of play in modern America.

“I do connect the political/economic dimensions with the inner life of people since people are at risk and oppressed on all sides in our world today,” he stated. “There’s some kind of reverence mood that takes hold when you play and sing these songs. ‘Reverence’ is a word I heard my granddaughter’s nursery school teacher use, a Kashmiri woman. She said, ‘We don’t want to teach religion, but instill reverence.’ I thought that was a good word for the feeling of this music.”

Arizona Blues Hall of Fame guitarist Jim Glass dies at 70

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Story Credit Ed Masley The Republic azcentral.com
Jim Glass Photo Credit Candace Porth

Joshua Glass says he always loved watching his father, Arizona Blues Hall of Famer Jim Glass, play guitar.“I can honestly say those are the times that I could see the pure joy on his face,” he says. “When he was playing.”

Jim Glass died Feb. 26 after suffering a massive heart attack. He was 70.

“He had a heart attack a couple years ago,” his son recalls. “And that pretty much did a number on him. He never quite fully recovered. There were some issues in his lungs, and then he had another massive heart attack on his way to a doctor’s appointment and it was just too much.”

Michele Robins, a jazz announcer at KJZZ, met Glass in 1984.

"When I first heard Jim play,” she says, “I thought he sounded like a cross between Eric Clapton and the Allman Brothers, such a pure, sweet tone. He always told me that the sign of a great blues guitarist was less notes, not more. His passion was playing the blues and I'm so happy he was able to share this love with Arizona for such a long time. He truly was the best blues guitarist to have ever graced the Arizona music scene."

Beyond his chops, Glass brought a certain presence to the scene that did not go unnoticed.

"I'll never forget his charm," Robins says, "those beautiful blue eyes, how much he loved cats (he had eight cats at one time living with him!) and that incredible sound coming from his vintage Les Paul."

Ronnie Prophet Gone At 80

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Canadian born country singer/entertainer, comedian and musician Ronnie Prophet has passed away at age 80.

Ronald Lawrence Victor Prophet, who charted 23 singles from 30 albums in a career that spanned 60 years, died with loving family and friends at his side on Friday, March 2 at age 80, following cardiac and kidney failure. Survived by his wife of 32 years, Glory Anne Carriere Prophet, sons Tony (Kitty) Prophet, Vancouver, BC, Jimmy (Emily) Prophet, Nashville, TN, stepchildren Rhonda (Bill) Paisley, Nanaimo, BC, Warren (Lesa) Carriere, Regina, SK, Tamara Greer, Estevan, SK and 12 grandchildren - Justin, Joey, Jake and Patrick Prophet, Josh and Victoria Paisley, Meagan and Stephanie Carriere, and Brooklyn, Ryan and James Greer.

His longtime friend and Agent of 38 years, Paul Mascioli commented “Ronnie was an international star who transcended all boundaries with his big heart and superb showmanship. He was a working man’s entertainer and loved by people of all ages. We’ll truly miss him but will never forget him”.

Prime Boys Take Over The Tundra with Music Video ‘Tinted’

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

On March 1, 2018, Toronto trio, Prime Boys, serve up the cinematic music video for their new single, Tinted —produced by Murda Beatz [Drake, Gucci Mane].

In the visual directed by Elliot Clancy Osberg [Roy Woods], the group — Jimmy Prime, Donnie, and Jay Whiss — take over an icy landscape. Cruising on four wheelers through this snowbound expanse, they drop autotuned hooks and rhymes that are as chilly as the climate is. For the uninitiated, it’s the perfect introduction to their ice-cold flows. Complex exclusively premiered the clip, fittingly describing it as “memorable.”

They’ve recently been making waves by dropping the music video and single for Come Wit It, starring in the Viceland documentary 6ix Rising, and garnering widespread support from Drake’s OVO Sound Radio.

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