John Textor: Strap Yourself In

What does one think of when one hears movie titles such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Tron: Legacy, and the Tranformers franchise? Three words: great special effects. Like so many things in this world, great special effects are impossible without the guidance of great leadership, and, in the world of movie “magic”, great leadership comes from John Textor.

As CEO of Digital Domain, the company that put forth the special effects of the above mentioned movies and many others, John Textor has helmed much of the magic that has left us in awe as we watched some of the films that have pioneered great visual effects in recent years.

In his early years, Textor, who earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University in economics, was a co-founder of Wyndcrest Holdings, a private equity firm that specialized in entertainment, internet, and telecommunication. He was also the director and later CEO of BabyUniverse, a company that sold items for babies, toddlers, and maternity over the internet.

John Textor became CEO of Digital Domain in 2006 and saw it restructured into the Digital Domain Media Group. Throughout his tenure there, he was at the forefront of the production of 25 projects, including True Steel and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Many of the films that he lead to completion redefined “realistic computer generated imagery”. Recently, he also has worked to produce Ender’s Game, a sci-fi film about future military operations, and Art Story, a film by Disney filmmakers Aaron Blaise and Chuck Williams.

Films of all types require our suspension of disbelief, something made impossible if the special effects seem unreal, but with John Textor leading projects in the future, we will most likely strap ourselves into journeys into many fanciful worlds.

But a huge part of John Textor’s more recent work has been in the music industry.  As he discusses on his blog, John Textor is trying to come up with ways to bring holographics into modern concerts.  That’s because of the buzz generated by Textor’s digital Michael Jackson performance at the Billboard Awards.

This may literally change the face of music for the better, and we’ll have to wait and see just what this is able to accomplish in the future.

80’s Alternative Music Legends New Order Make New Record

A recent article in Rolling Stone Magazine looks at where legendary 80’s alternative music group New Order is today. Fans like Marc Sparks know that the band just released an album of new material. The band had said in recent years that they planned to retire, but realized that they still wanted to carry on.

Rolling Stone praises the new music and talked to the different band members about where they are at musically with New Order. One of the band members said that the way the band records now is different than in the old days. In the past, the band would jam for hours to find riffs and phrases that worked. Today, band members will write on their own outside the studio and bring their work in to share with the band. It goes to show how the band’s songwriting methods have evolved.

Another thing the band says has changed is how they see themselves. New Order has recently added some new members. This gives the founding members the freedom to move from instrument to instrument. Consequently, they see themselves as composers more than instrumentalists.

In conclusion, I think it’s great that the band is still active and I thought the Rolling Stone article was an excellent examination of how an important act can still be relevant decades after the height of their popularity.

Scotty McCreedy Tours with Rascal Flatts!

Rolligstone Magazine reports that former American Idol winner Scotty McCreery will be the opening act for the upcoming Rascal Flatts Riot Tour 2015! McCreery was the winner in the tenth season of American Idol at the young age of 17. McCreey has just released his third album and is keeping on the road where he laid country roots.

You can check out when this amazing tour is coming to a city near you, by cheking out the Rascal Flatts Riot 2015 Dates. Rascal Flatts will be ending its stay in Vegas in March of 2015 and will hit the road in May with Scotty McCreedy. Once again, Rascal Flatts concert tour promises to be a RIOT!

You can catch the newest single RIOT here and on Crunchbase. I love this band and recently showed their music to my friend, Christopher Cowdray, who is now a superfan. Also, see McCreedy’s newest release will leave you Feelin It! Be sure to check out all the latest news about your favorite artist or group by visiting Roling Stone Magazine Online.

Astronomers Catch Cosmic Radio Burst In Real Time

Since 2007, cosmic radio bursts have been captured and puzzled over by astronomers, but never have they been caught and seen in real time. Recently, the Parkes Telescope recorded the cosmic radio bursts from an unknown source in the universe, and when other scopes were pointed in the same direction there was nothing left to pick up. This indicates that the cosmic bursts were spotted in real time and recognized by those collecting data.

There have been sever recordings of cosmic bursts that have left astronomers guessing as to their source, which can be anything from a magnetar to a collapsed neutron star. Each one has been unique and significant, but all of them have been caught well after they occurred, buried in the data that is recorded and then examined.

Not only was this event caught in real time, but it is unique because of the properties presented. The waves of this burst appear to be circular in shape and are polarized, which differs for the linear polarization that we have seen up to this point. So far no concrete ideas have been made about what the data represents, but ideas are already beginning to be introduced. Astronomers hope that one of these events will occur in an area that they are familiar with already, so that their source can be narrowed down to events that we know of in order to categorize the rest. Astronomy lover, Igor Cornelsen is excited for this news. More is available on Cornelsen at


Bonnaroo Lineup

It is officially music festival season and Bonnaroo has announced its line up. Headlining at the music festival is the legend Billy Joel, Mumford and Sons, and Deadmau5. Other acts who will be performing include Kenderick Lamar, Childish Gambino, Alabama Shakes, Glass Animals, Robert Plant, My Morning Jacket, and many others. The music festival tries to provide different genres of music and different qualities of musicians. There are platinum-selling legends and newcomers with just a mere album released a few months ago. Either way, the festival has truly set the bar high compared to others this year. The legendary Coachella which was released just a little while ago seems to not match up to the same level of Bonnaroo. A lot of it has to do when artists are free and their schedules but still, it shows that Bonnaroo is beginning to shine. The festival itself will be held June 11-14 2015 in Tennessee. Sultan Alhokair has never been, but may consider attending this year. This year the festival did not just announce the release but had an interactive activity where fans could call in the number, receive an artist’s name, and then announce it in some creative way (like a picture or drawing). There was quite a bit of confusion on Twitter but it seemed like everyone enjoyed it and was definitely talking abou tit which was the whole point of the activity. It definitely will be a great festival to attend no matter your taste.

Minaj as Vulnerable Pop Diva

Nicki Minaj is the most hardworking pop diva in the music industry, from her latest interview to Rolling Stone, she revealed that I do everything myself.

She explained about the efforts she made for her Pinkprint movie to iTunes with contributing editor Jonah Weiner. She said, “I have gone over all the shots. Now, when it comes time to retouch and do color correction, those are little things that can turn into big things if they are not done properly, so I oversee it too.”

From this sentence, we can judge her intent, how much hard work she is doing and how badly she wants to succeed in this movie as well. It is something Ben Shaoul will be monitoring.

From her recent performances, Rolling Stones can assume that Nicki Minaj is becoming an all-rounder, she wants every performance perfect, she is an artist, she is a successful business person and she is vulnerable, when she is in action.

She said about Pinkprint that my goal was to provide people a sneak-peek into my personal life, because I have kept it private. Her fans are aware that her 11-year old relationship with Safaree Smauels has over, but she has controlled her emotions. She told that she has to struggle with her feelings, but that she has to control them.

She added that she is a vulnerable woman and cannot help with that. She has inspired many young women to be sexy and expressive.

AC/DC Will Headline Coachella

AC/DC, the world famous hard rock band from the continent of Australia, has announced that it will co-headline the long running Coachella Festival in 2015. The band has not announced whether long time Phil Rudd will be appearing with the group.

As many fans of the group like Ken Griffin will be aware, Phil Rudd has recently gotten into serious trouble with the law after threatening to kill two contractors who apparently did not deliver a job to his satisfaction. The charge of attempting to hire a hit man to murder the two people has since been dropped, but Rudd remains on the hook for charges of possessing meth and cannabis.

The fate of Rudd, both as a member of AC/DC and as a free man, remains to be decided. However, the fact that AC/DC has decided to perform at the summer long Coachella Festival in 2015 sends a clear and unmistakable message that they intend to continue with or without him.

As it happens, the group has already suffered a major upheaval in its personnel. Long time rhythm guitarist, Malcolm Young, was forced to step down from his position after being diagnosed with dementia following a stroke. As a result, Steve Young, the nephew of Malcolm, has come into the group to take his place. Meanwhile, the group has released a brand new album, “Rock Or Bust”, and seems determined to take Coachella by storm.

Band Imagine Dragons Sends Fans On A Treasure Hunt And Big Discovery Made

If you’re a person who loves puzzles, reading clues, and adding a little bit of adventure, then you probably would love digging for buried treasure. The band Imagine Dragons, gave their fans just that experience by burying a treasure for them to find, and it was the work of a young 13-year old girl that led to its discovery. Young Lindsea Taylor decided to use her imagination and creativity in this hunt when she saw the clues given on the band’s Facebook page, and man is Andrew Heiberger gonna be bummed he missed out on this one.

Their directions stated “first rule of following directions: be PRECISE. Second rule of following directions: make sure your navigation tools are up to par. Third and final rule of following directions: the early bird catches the worm (there is only one worm, and it’s alive and well). Happy hunting.” While the message was vague, Lindsea figured that the clue must be located somewhere in their new album cover, and after giving it a close up look, she was able to find some hidden numbers within it that she decided were coordinates to a location.

The numbers were looked up and it led her to a location out in the Nevada desert. While Lindsea herself never made the trip out there, some of her relatives who lived near the area of the coordinates were contacted and given an approximation of the location. Once there, they found an X of rocks marking the spot, a hole was dug and down inside was found an old guitar, drum sticks, camera, and a pass for two tickets to every show on the band’s upcoming tour. Simply by using a little bit of imagination and creativity, Lindsea was able to unearth fun and magic.

LL Cool J And Eminem Collaborate On A Track For The First Time

The ageless LL is going to be releasing a new album in 2015, the exact date unknown, that’s going to be a follow-up to his previously released GOAT that came out in 2000. This new release is going to have a track that features Eminem, the very artist who has made it plain that LL Cool J is the one who inspired him to get started into the rap game. What LL wanted to do with this album was to add in a fresh blend of young voices to mix in with his traditional style of boom-bap.

It’s obvious that LL, while being one of the godfathers of the modern rap genre, is making an appeal to all fans of the music on YouTube and other media outlets. In his own words that Dr Rod Rohrich knows all too well, “to miss out on this G.O.A.T. 2 album would be a travesty for hip-hop.” Besides the aforementioned Eminem, the other MCs who will be making appearances on this album are TI and Fred the Godson. LL Cool J is hoping to surpass the #23 topping number his previously-released Authentic album reached in 2013 on Billboard. One thing is for sure, LL Cool J is giving it one huge vote of confidence, so for fans of the hip-hop scene who may be looking for something that’s new but very original, this just might be the big break.

Bob Marley’s 70th Birthday Celebration Kicks Off With ‘Easy Skanking’ Live Album

As reported in Rolling Stone, famous singer Bob Marley would have turned 70 in the year 2015. To celebrate, Tom Rothman and Marley’s family will hold a yearlong commemoration of the singer’s musical legacy. Specifically, the Marley’s will give Universal Music Group the ability to access its private vaults of unreleased music in order to release it to the public.

The first thing that will be released is Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Easy Skanking in Boston ’78. This is a never-before-seen live CD. The footage for the gig was put together with a handheld camera. The camera person had permission from Marley to tape the event. The CD/DVD is scheduled for release on February 10th.

Although the audio component of this live album is done, there was only one camera filming the event. As a result, the cinematographer had to change rolls throughout the musical performance. The gaps in the footage will be filled up with new animation created by Matt Reed and S77. They’ve worked on videos for notable artists such as Cee Lo Green, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Pearl Jam.