I can't remember the last time I heard an artist on the radio that I hadn't already heard someplace else. However, I recently acquired SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and it exposed me to a new way of finding music.
Music is my life. For the most part, I generally have music playing whenever I have time to listen, and sometimes even when I don't. One of the times when I can listen to music without too many interruptions is in my car. Up until recently I used a combination of iPod and FM radio in my car for listening purposes. However, I noticed that I wasn't being exposed to much new music. Then, I got satellite radio and that changed.
SiriusXM boasts that it gives subscribers the means to listen to whatever they want to listen to. They do so by offering more than 140 channels that run the gamut of genres and categories. I've spent some time setting presets for the best stations I've found to be worthwhile, and I was easily able to fill all 18 of my presets.
One of the stations that I can't stop listening to is called "Alt Nation." It focuses on bringing new alternative rock to the forefront. I first caught the station while it was broadcasting its Alt-18 Countdown. The countdown features the 18 most user-requested songs of the previous week. So, not only are listeners being exposed to new music via regular broadcasting, but they also hear the songs that other listeners have picked.
An example of a band that I discovered thanks to Alt Nation is Of Monsters and Men. According to their official bio, Of Monsters and Men's musical career took off in 2010 when they won an annual battle of bands competition in their native Iceland. A year later they appeared on one of my favorite radio stations, Seattle's KEXP, to do a live session of their song "Little Talks." Soon after that song went on to hit No. 1 in Iceland. "Little Talks" debuted 46 weeks ago at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 20 Alternative Songs chart, and it is currently resting at No. 13. Billboard took notice of the band's success and decided to have the band do a live session with tastemakers. The live performances are definitely worth checking out.
But, the song's success story didn't stop there. According to Paul Grein's "Chart Watch" the song reached the more than 1 million digital sales mark in October. And, the "Little Talks" music video is also worth a watch because it was nominated for Best Art Direction in the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.
The band's full-length album "My Head Is An Animal" went worldwide via Universal Music Group in April. According to Billboard's tastemakers, shortly after its release the sextet's debut hit No. 6 on the Billboard 200.
However, "Little Talks" wasn't the first Of Monsters and Men song I heard. The band's "Mountain Sound" is currently the most requested song on Alt Nation. It's also at No. 18 on the Billboard Top 20 Alternative Songs chart. It's a gem that I'm sure most will enjoy. Yet, it's not even my favorite song on the album.
The first time I heard "King And Lionheart" I was immediately enthralled. The harmony of Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdottir and Ragnar Thorhallsson that kicks in during the chorus blew me away the first time I heard it: "Howling ghosts they reappear - In mountains that are stacked with fear - But you're a king and I'm a lionheart."
Find out more by visiting ofmonstersand men.is.
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs of the Black Forest" Starts Friday: Panama Central School's class of 2013 will stage a production of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs of the Black Forest" by June Walker Rogers on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
This classic children's play, based on a Grimm story, includes the lovable dwarfs and forest animals as well as the usual characters.
The cast consists of Rachael Kosinski (Snow White), Tyce Schneider (the King), Cali Hadley (The Wicked Queen), Kirsten Green (the Queen's servant), Brittany and Briana Green (rabbits), Cora (a dwarf) and Cathy Monroy (the Wise Owl), Jennifer Merchant (the skunk), Meghan Conway (the turtle), Alec Blose (a dwarf), Devin Ireland (a dwarf), Kyle McIntyre (a dwarf), Tony Paterniti (a dwarf), Ryleigh Palmer (a dwarf), Jordan Todd (a dwarf), Crystal Swanson (Time), Brian Radka (the Prince), and several extras. All cast members are seniors from Panama Central School District.
The show will be located at Panama Central School in the auditorium. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students, and may be purchased in advance from the high school office or at the door.
Little Theatre Takes A Dive With "The Little Mermaid Jr.:" Singing princes, mermaids, sea witches and other creatures of the sea are coming to The Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown.
The show is directed by Helen Merrill, Little Theatre board member. It will feature 50 area children, 20 scene changes, set pieces, costumes, choreography and special effects.
"There are characters that everybody knows from the fairy tale such as Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder and Scuttle," said Merrill. "They are played by young people who are doing an excellent job and are very entertaining. The costumes are phenomenal; the parents have done a wonderful job of creating those. We also have the six mersisters who have a couple of musical numbers with choreography that is very well done. The whole show is really an enchanting thing to watch."
Shows are scheduled for today, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m.
The Lucille Ball Little Theatre is located at 18 E. Second St. in Jamestown. For more information call 483-1095 or visit lucilleballlittletheater.org.
Interactive Production Of "Robin Hood" Opens Family Theatre Series: The Kaleidoscope Family Series at SUNY Fredonia's Rockefeller Arts Center opens its season with an interactive production of "Robin Hood" on Friday at 7 p.m. in Marvel Theatre.
The players of DuffleBag Theatre will take audience members into Sherwood Forest for an unforgettable adventure with a band of merry men and women. Just when the audience becomes enthralled by the story, a twist is created. Selected audience members are asked to come up on stage and join in the action for a fun-filled, interactive theater experience. The unpredictable performance is a hilarious experience for all ages and a truly unique theatrical event in which the dream of being part of the story actually does come true.
This show is approximately 60 minutes long and is recommended for ages 6 through 12. Tickets are available through the SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center, by phone at 673-3501 or online at fredonia.edu/tickets.
To include an upcoming show or event in this column, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 487-1111 ext. 253 by Monday.
Local Author Book Signing: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., James Prendergast Library in Jamestown. Gail Black, owner of the Sugar Shack in Westfield, and author of "Asses And Angels," will host a book signing.
Blue Grass Jam: 7 to 10 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron. Area bluegrass musicians are welcome to sit in and play.
Student Jam Session: 7 to 9 p.m., Infinity Cafe, 115 E. Third St. in Jamestown. Infinity students will showcase their work. Community members are also encouraged to play, but must keep all performances family-friendly.
Movies At The Reg: 8 p.m., "Bully," 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown.
Oliver Burdo: 8 to 11 p.m., Miley's Old Inn in Jamestown.
Day Old Soup:10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Lakeview Hotel in Mayville.
Mary Moody Book Signing: 1 to 2:30 p.m., Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, 28 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood. Mary Moody will sign her children's book "Christopher Counts the Constellations."
Doc and Bill: 6 p.m., VSK Emporium in The Corner Coffeehouse, 54 W. Main St. in Frewsburg.
Movies At The Reg: 8 p.m., "Bully," 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown.
Opera House Cinema Series To Screen "Liberal Arts:" 8 p.m., 1891 Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St. in Fredonia.
M-80s: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron.
American Ride Band: 9 p.m., Murdock's, 104 E. Main St. in Sherman.
Doc and Bill: 2:15 p.m., concert for the residents of the Chautauqua County Home in Dunkirk.
Opera House Cinema Series To Screen "Liberal Arts:" 7:30 p.m., 1891 Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St. in Fredonia.