Alpha Group Celebrates Spongebob Squarepants’ 20th Anniversary with Fresh Line or Imaginative, Unique Toys

EL SEGUNDO, Calif – “Are you ready kids?” Just in time for the 20th anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants, Alpha Group, the global master toy partner of Nickelodeon’s iconic and top-rated animated series, is introducing a brand-new, never-before-seen product line. Building upon two decades of incredible SpongeBob content and fandom, these toys have evolved from the conventional preschool toy range and are certain to excite a multi-generation fan base – Kids, Tweens, Teens and Millennials. The company’s imaginative range includes collectible pop culture figures, fun-loving novelties, plush and – for the first-time ever – SpongeBob toys that include Nickelodeon Slime! SpongeBob SquarePants has emerged as a global pop culture phenomenon since first premiering on Nickelodeon in July 1999. The series has been the most-watched animated program for more than 17 consecutive years, is seen in over 208 countries and translated in more than 55 languages. The Spring line up hitting retail now is as follows:

Slimeez with Nickelodeon Slime Experience the world of Bikini Bottom like never before with SpongeBob Slimeez Figures! Load each 3-inch figure with Nickelodeon Slime (included), push and watch the ooey gooey Slime ooze through the figures. Six figures are available this spring at Target, each packaged with 2oz. Slime and collectible SpongeBob cube for the ultimate blind package experience. Will you find the rare Gold SpongeBob Slimeez? Seven figures debut in Fall. Ages 6+, SRP: $6.99 – Slimeez in action :

SpongeBob StretchPants Play with SpongeBob in a crazy new way! Stretch his arms and legs to activate over 20 unique silly sounds and phrases from SpongeBob himself! Parents, siblings and friends can join in the fun by grabbing an arm and a leg. Keep pulling to hear what he will say next! The more you pull, the funnier he gets! Available on Amazon and Target for ages 4+, SRP: $24.99.

Masterpiece Memes 8-inch collectible vinyl figures bring to life fan favorite show and movie moments that have now become some of the most popular viral memes. Featuring exceptional details and window packaging for collector displays, the Spring Masterpiece Memes figures include Mocking SpongeBob, Imaginaaation SpongeBob, Surprised Patrick, Spongegar and Handsome Squid ward. Available at Amazon and Target for ages 6+, SRP: $19.99

SpongeHeads Young-and-old alike, dress up as your favorite SpongeBob SquarePants characters with the 20-inch soft, inflatable head wear! Made to fit most kid and adult heads, Sponge Heads allow fans of all ages to show off their favorite characters in a silly fashion statement! Let the party begin! Available on Amazon and Target for ages 6+, SRP: $12.99

Mini Plush – Bring Bikini Bottom to the toy collection with these soft, 6-inch Mini Plush friends! These adorable little SpongeBob characters are perfect for play and display. Six characters debut at Hot Topic and Target. Ages 4+, SRP: $7.99

SpongePop CulturePants The 4.5-inch vinyl collectible figures celebrate and capture iconic pop culture in a unique SpongeBob way. The Spring line includes B-Movie SpongeBob, Patrick and Dr. Plankton, based on the horror episodes from the show, as well as Old Timey SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward in an all-new timeless style inspired by the golden age of animation. Available on Amazon for ages 6+, SRP: $9.99

Giggle Blaster – SpongeBob is silly and wacky and now kids can be too with the SpongeBob-styled Giggle Blaster. Featuring a real working periscope, the fun-themed blaster sprays aerosol party string (included) and shouts over 15 SpongeBob phrases and sounds. Packaged with one can of aerosol party string, and compatible with most standard size cans, the Giggle Blaster arrives in Fall. Ages 6+, SRP: $19.99

Socialize with Alpha Group Facebook – @AlphaGroupUS IG – @TheAlphaGroupUS Twitter – @TheAlphaGroupUS Stay Connected with SpongeBob SquarePants Facebook – @Spongebob IG – @Spongebob Twitter -@SpongeBob

Jason Becker and Music Theories Recordings/ Mascot Label Group to Release “Triumphant Hearts”

JASON BECKER AND MUSIC THEORIES RECORDINGS / MASCOT LABEL GROUP
TO RELEASE TRIUMPHANT HEARTS GLOBALLY ON DECEMBER 7. 2018
The album features Marty Friedman, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Neal Schon, Steve Morse, Paul Gilbert,
Joe Bonamassa, Uli Jon Roth, Richie Kotzen, Gus G., Jake Shimabukuro, and many more.

WATCH THE LYRIC VIDEO FOR “VALLEY OF FIRE” FEATURING THE MAGNIFICENT 13 FEATURING STEVE VAI, JOE BONAMASSA, PAUL GILBERT, NEAL SCHON, MARTY FRIEDMAN, MICHAEL LEE FIRKINS, MATTIAS IA EKLUNDH, GREG HOWE, JEFF LOOMIS, RICHIE KOTZEN, GUS G, STEVE HUNTER AND BEN WOODS HERE: https://youtu.be/1gS5ibUPUvgg

Pre-Order Here: http://smarturl.it/JasonBecker

Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group are extremely excited and honored to present the new album ‘Triumphant Hearts’ from Jason Becker, which will be released on 7th December 2018.

Jason Becker’s story is one of brilliance, talent, determination, adversity, and, ultimately, triumph. A child prodigy on guitar, Jason rose to prominence as a teenager when he was one half of the technical guitar duo Cacophony, with his great friend Marty Friedman. In 1989, at only 19 years old and after wowing audiences all over the world, the young virtuoso became the guitarist for David Lee Roth, following in the huge footsteps of Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai. He wrote and recorded on his 3rd solo album ‘A Little Ain’t Enough’ and was poised for superstardom when a nagging pain in his leg was diagnosed as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). A fatal condition with a life expectancy of maybe five years. Maybe.

That was 29 years ago. He lost the ability to play guitar, walk, talk, and breathe on his own. But never lost his will to live or his desire to create music. Communicating through a series of eye movements with a system developed by his father, Jason spells out words as well as musical notes and chords. He imparts his musical vision to his team who then can input the notes into a computer, edit the parts to his exacting standards, and then generate charts for session musicians. His inspiring music and life story have been the subject of countless news articles, magazine cover stories, and an award-winning documentary, Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet.

The album’s 14 tracks showcase Jason’s gift for melody and his deep knowledge of classical composition and orchestral arrangement. Many of the guitar parts are performed by a who’s who of 6-string gods including Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Neal Schon, Steve Morse, Paul Gilbert, Joe Bonamassa, and many others. And, in what will absolutely delight his fans, Jason’s amazing guitar playing—recorded in the ’80s and ’90s—features throughout.

The first song to be released from the album is the beautifully mesmerizing 9 minute and 5 second instrumental ‘Valley of Fire’ that features The Magnificent 13 – Steve Vai, Joe Bonamassa, Paul Gilbert, Neal Schon, Marty Friedman, Michael Lee Firkins, Mattias IA Eklundh, Greg Howe, Jeff Loomis, Richie Kotzen, Gus G, Steve Hunter and Ben Woods. A phenomenal cast to feature on a single song.

The album opens with the title track, featuring Jason’s old bandmate Marty Friedman and an astounding violin performance. “I wrote ‘Triumphant Heart’ and it made me feel triumphant,” says Becker. “When Marty found out I was making this album, he told me he would play anything I needed. I sent him this, and his wife, Hiyori Okuda, who is a cellist, also offered to play on it. The great violinist, Glauco Bertagnin, recorded my violin parts in Italy. That fast solo section I wrote is way too hard; I don’t know how Glauco pulled it off. He put so much soul in the whole song.”

‘Hold on to Love’ is the first vocal song on the record, although it didn’t start out that way. “It was going to be an instrumental,” explains Jason, “but after I wrote the chorus with lyrics, I knew I had to tell my story, to explain how I can continue living without feeling hate. I hadn’t written many lyrics before.” In addition to its beautiful, gospel-tinged choir, the heartfelt song features Bay Area singer Codany Holiday on lead vocals.

‘Fantasy Weaver’ displays the 4-string magic of world-renown ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro and harp arpeggios that were written back in his Cacophony days. ‘Once Upon a Melody’ not only features two Jason Becker guitar solos from his Cacophony era, but also audio of him as a three-year-old. The full-circle nature of having little boy Jason, guitar virtuoso Jason, and modern-day composer Jason all on the same song is a breathtaking accomplishment while ‘We Are One,’ features soulful Flipsyde vocalist Steve Knight, and more Jason Becker guitar delights.

Uli Jon Roth appears on ‘Magic Woman,’ along with ex-Megadeth guitarist Chris Broderick who counts both Uli and Jason as big influences. Fans of Jason’s work with David Lee Roth will be thrilled by the inclusion of two previously unreleased outtakes from the ‘A Little Ain’t Enough’ sessions, the hard rocking ‘Taking Me Back’ and the blues-infused ‘Tell Me No Lies.’ There are also performances by Joe Satriani, Guthrie Govan, Steve Morse, Trevor Rabin, and many others.

“Some people feel sorry for me,” he concedes, “and I understand that. I really feel lucky though. I don’t miss playing guitar anymore. I’m sure that’s out of necessity, but I am grateful for so much more. I am surrounded by loving people, and I can still make music.”

Track Listing:
1.) Triumphant Heart- (feat. Marty Friedman, Glauco Bertagnin, Hiyori Okuda)
2.) Hold On To Love- (feat. Codany Holiday)
3.) Fantasy Weaver- (feat. Jake Shimabukuro)
4.) Once Upon A Melody- (feat. Steve Knight)
5.) We Are One
6.) Magic Woman- (feat. Uli Jon Roth & Chris Broderick)
7.) Blowin’ in the Wind- (feat. Joe Satriani, Aleks Sever, Guthrie Govan, Steve Morse)
8.) River of Longing
9.) Valley of Fire- (feat. The Magificent 13)
10.) River of Longing- (feat. Trevor Rabin)
11.) Taking Me Back- (feat. Codany Holiday) [Chuck Zwicky Remix]
12.) Tell Me No Lies
13.) Hold On To Love
14.) You Do It

Jim Wilson talks about new group called Motor Sister

Jim Wilson has a career in the music business spanning almost 20 years. Jim has played guitar for such groups as The Rollins Band, Daniel Lanois and was a founding member of the blues rock band Mother Superior. Wilson’s latest project is a re-visioning of his group Mother Superior named “Motor Sister”. The group which also includes Scott Ian, Pearl Aday, John Tempesta and Joey Vera came together after a one off performance at the Anthrax guitarist’s birthday party. Together Motor Sister have reworked twelve songs from Mother Superiors original catalog and Media Mikes recently spoke with Jim about how everything came together and what it was like revisiting some of the material on “Ride”.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us a little more info on how this group came together?
Jim Wilson: My band Mother Superior was one that Scott and Pearl would always come out to watch when we were playing in the Los Angeles area. I even remember seeing them at a show in Denver. We became friends as time went on and I eventually ended up working with both Scott and Pearl on Pearl’s album. We have a pretty solid history of playing together. I had also worked with Joey Vera in the past on Mother Superior songs as well so we all certainly were connected to one another. Pearl was throwing a party for Scott and she wanted to have me by and do some Mother Superior songs with Scott. Joey also ended up playing that night as did John Tempesta who I knew of but that was about it. Scott picked out the songs for the night and I looked them over and things surprisingly came back pretty easily. This was supposed to be a onetime thing. We never thought that the band would sound so great and be so tight. It was a really great combination that at the end of the night we all wanted to do it again some time. A few days later I found out that Neil Zlozower was at the party and mentioned the show to a friend of his at Metal Blade Records. Next thing we know they were asking us to make a record. Things have just worked so well. I am really lucky and fortunate to be able to play with these guys.

AL: What was it like going back and reworking these songs?
JW: There were a lot of memories that came back from the early years of Mother Superior. We were always on a tight budget when we made those records so to have them still sound good really means something. I do wish some of that earlier production was a bit better but at that time being independent was pretty cool. There was a scene for bands that had a sound that was a bit out of the normal commercial rock sound. The 12 songs on the record are what we played at Scott’s party and were picked by him. That was certainly ok by me as I don’t think I could have chosen only 12. Each of the songs has its own vibe which I really like. We changed some of the original arrangements around but nothing major. John is a double bass master so it was fun to add in some of that. Everyone did what they do and it was a lot of fun. This would have been something entirely different if I had decided to put a new version of Mother Superior together with different people. Everyone in Motor Sister is fans of the original music/band and we are all friends which makes it a lot of fun. This group has an energy that is very infectious.

AL: How did having Jay Ruston produce the album come about?
JW: If you go back through the Mother Superior catalog Jay Ruston actually mixed and mastered some things for us. He actually did the original version of ‘This Song Reminds Me of You” and a couple others that appear on “Ride”. We all have known Jay for awhile. I am pretty sure I was the one who introduced Jay to Joey Vera and one of the NAMM conventions which brought Jay into knowing the Anthrax guys. Pearl and I also worked with Jay on her album. It’s just this weird circle of friends.

AL: What type of long term plans does the band have?
JW: We recently played a show in NY and we have one coming up in San Francisco. After that we all sort of go back to our other projects. It won’t be till about June that we all have time to do more with Motor Sister. There are talks of doing a major US tour though with this band. We want to hit all of the major cities. Scott also has this vision of doing 4 or 5 shows in Michigan being that area has such a history with rock music. I don’t know if fans would get the full vibe of our show in a large festival setting as I see us more in a hot sweaty club packed with 300 plus people would be just great! There have also been talks of signing on with one of the summer package shows but we are still in the planning stages for that.

AL: Aside from Motor Sister what other plans/projects do you have in the works?
JW: I will be going out with producer Daniel Lanois as part of his band. I have been working with him for over 10 years now. We get to play some really great places. Daniel had a new album come out in October for which we toured the states in November. In May we will be heading to Europe for a 6 week tour which will be a lot of fun. I am also working on my second solo record. My solo stuff is a little bit darker and a touch more funky.

Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson and Chris Broderick talk about their work with group Metal Allegiance

Dave Ellefson and Chris Broderick are probably best known for their work in Megadeth however over the past couple of months the duo have appeared as part of Metal Allegiance. The all-star group along with Ellefson and Broderick the group features Alex Skolnick, Chuck Billy, Frankie Bello, Charlie Benante, Scott Ian and a long list of others. The who’s who of metals top players performed their first show as a part of Motorheads inaugural “Motor Boat Cruise” this past month. Media Mikes spoke with Chris and Dave about the creation of the group, experiences from that first show and what they are most looking forward to about performing with the group here in the States in January.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us how a group like this came together?
Dave Ellefson: Mark Menghi is the guy who put this thing together. Back when we were doing the Big 4 shows with Slayer, Anthrax and Metallica, Mark had put me and Frank Bello from Anthrax together for a couple of bass clinics. That developed into a couple shows put on by our sponsors called “Metal Masters”. After we finished those dates up Mark and I kept talking about keeping the concept of the shows together but develop a little bit further. “Motor Boat” was where the first real chance to try this idea happened. It was very last minute as there was a ccancellationby one of the headliners. I knew Chris and I were going to be there as was everyone else we had talked about so I called Mark right away. The show was really great and set a lot of what we are going to be doing in the coming months in motion.

AL: Was there any nervousness to get up their being everything was so short notice?
Chris Broderick: Absolutely none! (Laughs) I was so ready to get on that boat and just play. I thought the Metal Allegiance idea was great. It helped keep my ticket on the boat. (Laughs) We had such a great time jamming with everyone. Very rarely do you get an opportunity like this one to play with all these different guys. It’s a killer opportunity to play and hang out with some great people. I do have to say the only reservation I had was hanging out with Mark Menghi. (Laughs)

AL: What was it like performing a set that was mostly improvised?
DE: We usually start determining some sort of set list through an email thread. You can only imagine what an email thread made up of 12 metal heads looks like. Things get crazy quite quickly. At one point playing the “Love Boat” theme was mentioned. The cool part is that everyone involved is really talented and between all of us we can play just about everything. We of course throw in some of our band’s songs but we wanted to go back to playing some of the songs we grew up listening to and learning. Songs by Kiss, Deep Purple and Judas Priest were all mentioned. Of course the set changes from night to night and after the first night we did this we were having dinner with Alex Skolnick and we asked him to come up and do some songs. Alex brought in a whole bunch of songs he knew. Before we knew it we had the entire first side of Van Halen 1. Right before we walked on stage we all sat down at this little table and figured out what we were going to do. We are all like a bunch of kids when we get up there. It’s like forming a band and you keep adding all these amazing players. It’s fun to have those types of moments.

AL: Is there one guy who sort of runs the show when you are doing these type of shows?
DE: We default to Mark Menghi. He is sort of the voice of reason and sanity. When you throw a bunch of gun slinging, metal heads together it tends to turn in to one giant beer drinking brawl. Someone has to come in and make sense out of everything. You do really need that one guy to be the musical leader because I feel it’s important to stay within certain parameters. We don’t want this to come off as being too watered down so the music we do is all metal and hard rock. Its music fans of our regular bands might be into as a lot of them are our age and grew up on the same music.

AL: How does playing in a setting like Metal Allegiance differ from that of Megadeth?
CB: There is a lot more improvisation going on. We rehearse the songs on our own and then we just get up there and do them. When we go up there with Megadeth were doing the same songs night after night. It becomes almost like rope memory. With this you never know where everyone is going to be and there is a much freer flowing feel to things. Each performance is a onetime thing which gives you moments that can never be duplicated.

AL: Is this project something we could be seeing more of in the near future?
DE: Once we did the first show the phone hasn’t stopped ringing since. It’s going to be great bringing this show to the House of Blues to kick off NAMM. This type of group is perfect for these events. Outside of those bigger event settings promoters want us to do tour dates all over the world. Our bands separately would tough to get on one bill at one time. Metal Allegiance makes things a little more possible because you bring in the key members from these bands and we can just keep everything loose with a jam feel. The whole thing is about getting a specific vibe.

AL: With you guys being a part of NAMM will you be unveiling any new music equipment at this year’s shows?
DE: I have a brand new signature bass coming out called Kelly Bird 5. This is my 4th signature model with Jackson and lots of them have been rolling out which is really been great. The new model just came out and I am really excited for people to check it along with the other gear I endorse.
CB: I have a hard tail version of my Chris Broderick signature series guitar. This model is going to be offered through the USA custom series. I am not sure if it we will be completely ready by NAMM but it will be out the early part of 2015.

AL: Can you give us a quick update on the new Megadeth album?
DE: The plan is to go into the studio in January. Generally there is never a specific date we put on an albums release as we want to make sure the songs we choose are the best fit for our style. We have quite a bit of material to go through right now.

Win Tickets to see the group Darlingside in Kansas City [ENDED]


Described by “Rolling Stone” magazine’s David Fricke as “a quartet with a rich line in acoustic textures and chamber-rock dynamics,” the group Darlingside is making it’s way to Kansas City and Mediamikes would like to send one lucky reader and a guest to their November 8th show at the Record Bar.

All you need to do is let us know what group you wish you could have seen live. Wish you could have been around to see the Beatles? How about Queen? Or is there a band out there now that you’re dying to see. Let us know below. One random entry will be chosen and that person will win (2) tickets to see Darlingside. This contest ends on Wednesday, November 5. Winner will be notified by email. Good luck!

With four distinct voices clustered around a single microphone, Darlingside effortlessly draw audiences into their lush musical world. The band’s sound, characterized by classical strings, tight vocal arrangements, bluegrass and rock instrumentation and smart lyricism, is the product of complete collaboration among the four close friends. The group has no frontman; instead, lead vocals are traded from moment to moment, and each song features a new combination of instruments and textures, pulling heavily from folk, retro-pop, barbershop, and chamber music.

Dave (bassist and former street musician), Don (guitarist, banjoist, and former boy alto), Auyon (classical violinist who studied mandolin in Ireland and Brazil) and Harris (classical cellist and guitarist) met and sang together as students at Williams College. Together, they are “a powerhouse of vocal, instrumental, and performing talent,” and their expansive sound is “aston­ish­ingly more con­gru­ent than the sum of its parts.”

Darlingside’s collaborative work with fellow Massachusetts-native Heather Maloney, which culminated in the 2014 Signature Sounds release “Woodstock,” garnered attention from both “The New York Times” and “The Boston Globe.” This past summer the band stepped onto the national stage with appearances at High Sierra in Quincy, CA, Sisters Folk Festival in Sisters, OR, and Four Corners Folk in Pagosa Springs, CO.

For more information on the group go to http://www.darlingside.com/

 

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Grand Entertainment Group is Proud to Announce the DVD Releases of “Rewind” & “Neverlost”

LOS ANGELES, CA – Grand Entertainment Group (GEG), a newly founded independent multi-platform content and distribution company based in Los Angeles, is proud to announce the DVD releases of “Rewind” and “Neverlost”, two independent thrillers, on August 14, 2012.

Rewind” stars Allen Leech (“The Sweeney”), Amy Huberman (UK’s “Threesome”) and new comer Sophie Brosnan.  This thriller takes you on a journey into a young woman’s past.   Karen (Huberman), a recovering addict, has settled into a successful new life with her husband and young daughter. When Karl (Leech), an old boyfriend recently released from prison, turns up unexpectedly, Karen’s buried past comes back to haunt her; and she is forced to confront a world she thought she’d escaped from, to protect her family and her future.

Neverlost”, written and directed by Chad Archibald (“Bounty Hunters”) stars Emily Alatalo (“Dead Genesis”), Ryan Barrett (“Exit Humanity”) and Jennifer Polansky (“I Hate Toronto: A Love Story”).  After losing Kate (Alatalo), his high school sweetheart, in a horrific fire, Josh Higgins’ (Barret) life tumbles into a depressing mix of insomnia and poor choices. After taking seemingly harmless sleeping pill, Josh is thrusted from his current banal existence to one that he had lost years earlier. As the walls of his own psychosis slowly start to close in around him, Josh must race to save himself, Kate and the parallel life that he vows can never again become…lost.

Both “Neverlost” and “Rewind” are available at most major retailers and on Amazon.com along with GEG’s first release “Zyzzyx Road”.  President/CEO David Rand stated “These are the first of many films that GEG plans on distributing.  We will be releasing at least two films per month, through 2012 and anticipate more in 2013.”

For more information on these releases and other Grand Entertainment Group DVDs can be found online at www.GrandEntertainmentGroup.com

Grand Entertainment Group (GEG), launched in early 2012, as a complete destination for programming.  With the ability to distribute DVD, digital, streaming, television and limited theatricals, Grand Entertainment gives filmmakers and their films the platform they deserve. Grand Entertainment Group is a subsidiary of Grand Distribution Group that encompasses production and distribution for diversified products, services, and technologies.  With a line-up of films slated through 2013, GEG is moving forward in a “Grand Way.”