Erich Church inspires 'Jurassic World' character

6. July 2015 12:24 by Julie Merar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

When many people think of Eric Church, it's easy to listen to his songs of the blue-collar lifestyle and see his tough-guy music videos and think that he's someone you'd certainly not want to mess with. That's what actor Chris Pratt apparently thought as well, as the star of the blockbuster "Jurassic World" recently declared in an interview that the inspiration behind his lead character of Owen Grady was indeed none other than mainstream country's biggest outlaw himself.

Is Owen Grady actually Eric Church?
Anyone who has seen "Jurassic World" knows that Chris Pratt's lead character Owen Grady isn't your typical action hero. Grady is a technically an expert in training velicoraptors in the movie, but it's his constant swagger, snappy comebacks and overall cocky-yet-charming demeanor that allows him to be awe-inspiring and relatable. Many of those characteristics, aside from training velociraptors, can also be attributed to Eric Church, the man known for his confident tracks such as "Guys Like Me" and "Drink In My Hand." Turns out that Church's behavior was quite an influence on Pratt's development of Grady for the movie.

In an interview with GQ Magazine, Pratt admitted to including Church in his mantra he'd repeat to himself before every take, which was "Flow core, no TC, volume up point five, Eric Church." 'Flow core' was a reference to his paddleboarding posture, while 'TC' was an abbreviation for triple chin, reminding him to keep his forehead up to avoid having a, fuller face. 'Volume up point five' reminded him to project his voice while 'Eric Church' was to help Pratt recall Church's song "Dark Side," one of the country star's edgier songs off of his 2014 album The Outsiders.

The actor would repeat this phrase before every take, and extensively listened to the song "Dark Side" to channel the nature of a kind-hearted quasi-outlaw who is the focal point of Church's song. While Church has yet to publicly respond to Pratt's declaration to the singer as an influence, one can only hope that the country star would be up for perhaps making a dinosaur-inspired track for his next album. Church is currently on tour with shows scheduled until early September, including multiple festival appearances along the way. Tickets are currently on sale for the majority of the concerts.

Fall Out Boy among bands named for new Guitar Hero game

16. April 2015 14:25 by Julie Merar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

While many suspected the once acclaimed and popular Guitar Hero video game franchise was officially on hiatus, recent announcements have declared the game will be back and better than ever. Slated for release in fall 2015, the game is being titled "Guitar Hero Live," and while details are still scarce, an official lineup has revealed that Fall Out Boy leads the way among other rock giants such as The Rolling Stones, The Black Keys, Green Day and more. 


Game will produce more live music feel
Previous games in the Guitar Hero series tended to focus more on the skill aspect of punching in buttons while playing user's favorite songs on their own TV screen. However, a recent video has been released by the game's producers Activision that emphasizes how this version in particular will be more catered to producing the live feel bands like Fall Out Boy create every night while selling out arenas.

The game will be a first-person experience, where you'll be a member of a band that starts off playing the low-key, bar shows until you work your way to the top, packing stadiums with thousands of fans. The graphics will also stray away from the cartoonish qualities of previous installments and instead incorporate live action footage, so your bandmates and audience members will look like real people. Fans in the crowd will also respond to how well you play, booing if you begin to miss notes and cheering you on as you exceed expectations.

Year of Fall Out Boy
Being announced as one of the leading bands for the new Guitar Hero game is just the icing on the cake for Fall Out Boy in 2015. This year is shaping up to be something special for the band hailing from Wilmette, Illinois, as they inch closer to their 15 year anniversary with a worldwide tour that kicks off in June and is slated to go on until late October. April alone has seen a lot of activity from the pop punk rockers, as the band made a special performance at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards and bassist Pete Wentz threw out the opening pitch for the Chicago Cubs in his nearby hometown of Chicago.

Back in January, the band released its sixth studio album titled American Beauty/American Psycho, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, being the band's third No. 1 album and selling 218,000 equivalent copies in its first week. Critics responded to the release with rave reviews, and the album has spawned singles such as "Centuries," "Irresistible" and "Uma Thurman."

Taylor Swift donates $50K to NYC Public Schools

2. March 2015 10:45 by Julie Merar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

Taylor Swift's 1989, her first foray strictly into pop music, has proven that she has unfathomable crossover appeal. The country artist turned pop icon's album, named after the year in which she was born, sold more than 4 million units in the U.S. alone in its first 12 weeks and more than 6 million copies total worldwide. 1989 kicks off with an upbeat track titled "Welcome to New York," perhaps in reference to Swift's move to the city in 2014. In honor of her new hometown, Swift has announced recurring donations to NYC Public Schools stemming from sales of the song, and began with a $50,000 donation in late February 2015. 

New York's Welcome Ambassador 
Swift originally promised to donate proceeds from the single to her new home's school system back in October 2014 on "The View." That same month, Swift was named the NYC & Company's global "Welcome Ambassador," and began her duties by making a number of promotional videos for the Big Apple. Though she initially caught some flack on social media for the size of her donation, NYC officials were quick to clarify that Swift would be making regular donations on a continuing basis. 

Devora Kaye, NYC's Department of Education press secretary told Entertainment Weekly, "We're deeply appreciative of this kind gesture to donate her proceeds of the single 'Welcome to New York' to benefit NYC public schools." 

A spokeswoman for the artist also ensured EW that "this is not a one-time donation." According to Time, Swift held an event with students from NYC public schools in fall 2014 and is often recognized for her philanthropic efforts. 

As welcome ambassador to the city that never sleeps, Swift's promotional videos have included praise for the quality of NYC's coffee and lattes and definitions of vocabulary specific to the city. Though Swift has not lived in the city long, her ongoing donations to the school system and marketing heft are a sure sign that she can make a positive impact on her new home. The artist currently resides in a penthouse apartment in Tribeca. 

For the majority of 2015, Swift is scheduled to be performing on her "1989 World Tour" with support from Vance Joy, Haim and Shawn Mendes.  The tour will take the artist across stadiums and arenas in the U.S. and Europe, before she closes out the year with a handful of shows in Australia.