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Jann Arden is a much celebrated multi-platinum, award winning artist catapulted onto the Canadian music scene in 1993 with the release of her debut album “Time For Mercy” featuring the hit single, I Would Die For You. A year later with “Living Under June”, she would have her career break out hit Insensitive that would solidify her position in the music world.

Arden has released 12 albums with 19 top ten singles. Her most recent recording, “Everything Almost” was released in 2014. With Grammy Award winning producer Bob Rock behind the console, the 11-track disc is considered to be amongst Jann’s finest work – progressive, yet retaining the magic that is distinctly Jann. In her career to date she has received 8 Juno Awards including Female Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year and in 1997 she hosted the Awards ceremony. Arden is also the recipient of 10 SOCAN Awards, 4 Western Canadian Music Awards, a Much Music Video Award, 3 Prairie Music Awards and an Alberta Recording Industry Association Award.

And now, she can add inventor to her many list of accomplishments. She is the co-creator of The Arden Collar and Smartband, a new voice of your loved one in a world filled with noise. Their product isn’t just about technology or the future, it’s about one of the most important family members in your life- your pet, your child, your elderly parent, or your child with autism. Imagine for a moment your loved one is lost, wandering, and alone without the ability to find their way home or able to speak. They are scared, hungry, and exposed to the harsh elements. You would give anything to help your family find their way home. That path home will be the Arden Collar and the Arden Smartband.

Eric: The Arden Collar is a device that contains a GPS tracking system that shares data with your smartphone? Correct?
Jann: Yeah, I mean, in very simple terms, the dog is your destination, your dog or your cat, or your parent with dementia, or your 16-year-old child that you want to keep track of. But basically we’re really thinking about losing our animals, which 32,000 people in Calgary alone lose every year.
Eric: Why do you think that number is so high?
Jann: You know, even a fireworks show can send hundreds of dogs running to the hills. Camping trips, people working, leaving their gates open and things like that. But your dog is the destination and your smartphone is your GPS device that you have in your car, your satellite navigation. With the collar, though, we realize that obviously it needs to be in water resistant, silicon casing. It can’t just be GPS which is why we have cellular technology as well. Even when you’re thinking of Sirius satellite, you drive your car into a shopping mall, big concrete shopping mall, and all of a sudden the signal drops out. Well, the reason that we’ve done the cellular part of this, is that people have this secondary chance to find their dog if it’s in a cul-de-sac or in a building, or hiding underneath a house, things like that. So, anyway, that’s the basic gist of this: It’s nothing that we have invented ourselves, we were just sitting there going, ‘Why hasn’t anyone done this?’
Eric: How did you come up with this? Did something happen in your life?
Jann: That’s a great question, Eric, and you know, I was doing exactly that. I was sitting with my friend and because I do travel with music – I still travel between 200 and 250 days a year, in fact I’ll be traveling more than that this upcoming 2015 – I was saying to my friend Derek Sheldon, who really is the software genius behind all of this stuff, I was saying to him, ‘Oh my gosh, I need a damn travel app!’ and he goes, ‘Isn’t there a travel app?’ I said ‘No!’ I mean, you know, I don’t know if anyone remembers the debacle I had on Via Rail – Believe it or not, I was very naive, my work colleague booked me on the train just to give me a little change of scenery, and I really didn’t know I couldn’t take the dog on there. So, in hindsight, the travel app – we’re talking back and forth, wouldn’t it be great to get an app, know where you’re taking your dog, what hotels are friendly, what cafes, what restaurants, what planes, how to book them on, what weight they’re supposed to be, how to find a vet in any city that you’re in..Like, a one stop app, and then my friend Derek said to me, ‘Have you ever lost your dog?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I’ve actually lost her in the venue, where she gets out of my dressing room and she’s literally 400 yards down a hallway, but I don’t know that.” And he goes, “You should just put a GPS on her.”
Eric: And you probably laughed when you said that.
Jann: I’m like, you’re really hilarious. He goes “Jann, I could make you one.” And then I’m like, “How!?” He said “Well, all the chips and everything out there, what do you think people use?” He says it’s already invented. He said, “It’s not like I’m gonna sit there and weld it in my basement, it’s just putting it in a collar.” So then a couple weeks later, I wrote him back and I said, “Derek, you know what, I’m really interested in this.” And I kind of gave him some stats on lost pets, people that even in the last couple of weeks – a lot of us read about a dog that got out of the kennel underneath of an American flight, and he chewed his way out of his career, obviously took off across the tarmac, was traumatized, and the guy couldn’t find his dog. And I’m just thinking, with an Arden collar, it doesn’t matter if the guy’s in a different city, he could activate this app, and literally see, ‘My dog is in Boston, he’s on 5th street and 7th avenue. And there’s really good battery life available now, because our collars, they’re not a constant signal, because we didn’t feel like that would really give people the time that they needed to find their dogs, especially if something like that does happen. Every 5 minutes, it sends up to the satellite, so you just buy yourself this 6 or 7 day period, where if you really lost your dog on a camping trip, you have a fighting chance, it’s not just a few hours.

Another thing, the vet we’re working with her name is Judith Sampson French and she’s just amazing. She does so much philanthropic work and so much work with disenfranchised and marginalized animals on reservations. God, she’s doing the work. But she said most of the pets, the dogs especially, that come into her clinic that have been injured are lost. They’ve been hit by cars, in a fight with another animal and they’ve got – she said the sooner you can find your animal the better it’s going to be for your pet. So, with our collar one of the things Derek said we have to do is there should be light on this thing. You basically hit the strobe function on the collar when you realize the dog is lost or even if you don’t realize it. You’re in an off leash park and you want to be able to see your dog. LED lights, these things are so bright and they don’t bother the dog because he can’t see them but you can really see the from a mile away. They flash in a circular motion and it draws attention. There’s not a car in the world that wouldn’t see these lights. I’d wear one of these on both my wrists if I was running at night, I really would.

Eric: Are you going to sell it at shows?
Jann: You know, I’ve never thought of that. Cross-collateralization is always a good thing, isn’t it?
Eric: Absolutely, you have developed such a fan base where they love you and they trust you and it’s like bringing a charitable organization with you on the road or a food bank that people would be more apt to donate to something if they know that the artist gets behind it. I think this is one of those situations where for the good of the people and for the good of their pets, that they trust you on this.
Jann: I really appreciate that. This really is something that’s about people having happy endings just otherwise to otherwise really traumatic issues. These are our family members, these aren’t dogs are cats, these are people’s families. Whatever I can do – I’m very selfish about this area. This is a very selfish endeavor for me because I don’t want to lose my dog, she’s only 5 lbs and I want to have a fighting chance to find her, even if she’s just gone a block down, even if it’s 200 yards. For people who fly with their animals for people that are avid campers. Anyone that’s ever lost their dog bolting after a fireworks show, which I did as a kid. We lost our dog for three days and of course they didn’t have anything, we didn’t have smart phones in the 70s but yeah, we found our dog three days later just looking so bedraggled and how cool would it have been to pick up a phone, hit an app and know that his light is flashing and somebody could see him and that we can literally get in the car and go pick him up in ten minutes.

Before Jack White became a rock and roll God, he started a one-man business of his own, Third Man Upholstery in 1997 after completing his apprenticeship. The slogan of his business was “Your Furniture’s Not Dead” and the color scheme was yellow and black—including a yellow van, a yellow-and-black uniform, and a yellow clipboard. Although Third Man Upholstery never lacked business, he claims it was unprofitable due to his complacency about money and his business practices that were perceived as unprofessional, including making bills out in crayon and writing poetry inside the furniture.

And also hiding his early recordings in the upholstery.

Recently Third Man Records has been made aware of the discovery of two different copies found by two separate individuals of the 2nd single bye Upholsterers. This duo, comprising of actual upholsterers Jack White and Brian Muldoon, pressed 100 copies of this single and proceeded to hide them in furniture being reupholstered by Muldoon in 2004, in celebration of his 25th year in the business.

upholst2
Uphost

From Boing Boing:

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The British Medical Journal has published a paper investigating the lack of up to date magazines in the waiting rooms of medical practices. It’s because the new ones walk out the door.

Results: 47 of the 82 magazines with a visible date on the front cover were aged less than 2 months. 28 of these 47 (60%) magazines and 10 of the 35 (29%) older magazines disappeared (P=0.002). After 31 days, 41 of the 87 (47%, 95% confidence interval 37% to 58%) magazines had disappeared. None of the 19 non-gossipy magazines (the Economist and Time magazine) had disappeared compared with 26 of the 27 (96%) gossipy magazines (P<0.001). All 15 of the most gossipy magazines and all 19 of the non-gossipy magazines had disappeared by 31 days. The study was terminated at this point.

Conclusions: General practice waiting rooms contain mainly old magazines. This phenomenon relates to the disappearance of the magazines rather than to the supply of old ones. Gossipy magazines were more likely to disappear than non-gossipy ones. On the grounds of cost we advise practices to supply old copies of non-gossipy magazines. A waiting room science curriculum is urgently needed.

Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces its Inductees for 2015:

Performer Category:

  • The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
  • Green Day
  • Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
  • Lou Reed
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
  • Bill Withers

Award for Musical Excellence:

  • Ringo Starr

Early Influence Award:

  • The “5” Royales

“As we mark 30 years of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions, we’re proud to honor these artists,” said Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation President Joel Peresman. “These Inductees epitomize rock and roll’s impact over the past 50 years and continuing through today.”

The 30th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Klipsch Audio, will take place on Saturday, April 18, 2015, at Cleveland’s Public Hall. Tickets go on sale Thursday, December 18, 2014, at 10 a.m. EST. Additional ticketing details are below.

The 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performer inductees were chosen by a voting body of more than 700 artists, historians and members of the music industry. To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. The 2015 nominees had to release their first recording no later than 1989.

Induction ceremony presenters, performers and broadcast information as well as additional details about the week of events leading up the show ceremony will be announced at a later date.

Tickets to the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony go on sale to the public on Thursday, December 18, 2014 beginning at 10 a.m. EST. To purchase tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000. Individual tickets to the Induction Ceremony are available for $75, $150 and $300. Tickets are expected to sell out quickly. A two-ticket limit applies to all purchases.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s mission is to engage, teach and inspire through the power of rock and roll. The institution carries out its mission by giving voice to the stories of the people, artifacts and events that shaped rock and roll — through Museum exhibits, materials in the Museum’s Library and Archives, traveling exhibitions, and a wide array of innovative educational programs and activities. The 150,000 square-foot Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Cleveland’s rapidly developing North Coast Harbor, is home to major artifact collections, four state-of-the-art theaters, and year-round educational and concert programming.

About the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees:

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band

“I was born in Chicago – nineteen and forty-one…”  The racially mixed Paul Butterfield Blues Band blasted off from the Windy City with a wall-of-sound fueled by Butterfield’s inspired harmonica and lead guitarist Mike Bloomfield’s explosive lead guitar – at that moment, American rock and roll collided with the real Southside Chicago blues and there was no turning back. Along with original members Elvin Bishop on second guitar and Mark Naftalin on organ, they conquered the landmark 1965 Newport Folk Festival. It was there Bob Dylan borrowed Bloomfield and the Butterfield Band’s African-American rhythm section of Sam Lay on drums and bassist Jerome Arnold (both former Howlin’ Wolf band members) for his world-shaking electric debut that Sunday evening. The Butterfield Band converted the country-blues purists and turned on the Fillmore generation to the pleasures of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Willie Dixon and Elmore James. With the release of their blues-drenched debut album in the fall of 1965, and its adventurous East-West follow-up in the summer of ‘66, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band kicked open a door that brought a defining new edge to rock and roll.

The “5” Royales

The “5” Royales are responsible for crafting some of rock and roll’s first true standards. Over the course of two decades, from 1945 to 1965, the group created a remarkable body of work that laid the foundation for a host of music that followed in its wake, with pivotal recordings and performing techniques that helped define a variety of styles under the rock and roll umbrella. The group transitioned to secular music by the early 50s, and they were among the very first to incorporate elements of gospel, jazz and blues into the genre of group vocal harmony. Their resoundingly soulful sound was built around the dual-lead vocals of siblings Johnny and Eugene Tanner. That combination paired perfectly with Lowman Pauling’s exceptional songwriting and innovative guitar playing, which profoundly influenced the likes of Steve Cropper and had many similarities to the single-string soloing favored by Albert King and Freddie King. With a move to King Records in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1954, the “5” Royales hit a stride that produced “Dedicated to the One I Love,” which decades later became a hit with versions by the Shirelles and the Mamas & the Papas; and “Tell the Truth,” later recorded by Ray Charles and also covered by Eric Clapton. The “5” Royales’ “I Think” was a Top 10 R&B hit in 1957 and is a nearly unclassifiable masterpiece. In 1960, “Think” made the R&B Top 10 for a second time in a radical re-working by James Brown and the Famous Flames that pointed toward future funk classics like “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “Cold Sweat.” In 1993, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger recorded a version of “Think” for a solo album, Wandering Spirit. Not long after recording a handful of singles produced by James Brown, the “5” Royales disbanded in 1965.

Green Day

Fueled by the manically prolific imagination of lyricist, guitarist and lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day are the perennial punk adolescents, true to the ethos of every basement and garage-rock band that preceded them. Building on the trail blazed by the Clash, the Sex Pistols and the Ramones, Green Day are forever wed to The Wild One credo: “What are you rebelling against?” What do you got?”  The pickings were slim for a pair of teenagers from the East Bay enclaves of Berkeley and Oakland in the 80s, when Armstrong and bassist/backing vocalist Mike Dirnt first hooked up and began playing in high school. Within three years, the drum chair was filled by Tré Cool, and Green Day were on their way. Arguably, the 75 million or so records they have sold, the tours and the Grammys haven’t changed their outlook very much – they’re still on the outside looking in. Who doesn’t hold dear their battered CD of Dookie, with its litany of hits – “Longview,” “Basket Case,” “Welcome To Paradise,” “When I Come Around” and “She” – that collectively held radio hostage for over 15 months in 1994-95? Green Day touchstones raved on as the millennia changed: “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” spent an astounding 43 weeks on the pop chart in 1997-98. Their rock opera masterpiece American Idiot was a damning indictment of the Bush administration, catapulting the group to another level.  “American Idiot” went all the way to Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs Of All Time;” and 2004’s “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” took the Grammy for Record of the Year. Anyone who caught Armstrong in one of his hair-raising stints as St. Jimmy in the Broadway musical of American Idiot witnessed something special.

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts created a potent mix of hard rock, glam, punk, metal and garage rock that sounds fresh and relevant in any era. Their biggest hit, “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” (Number One in 1982) is a rock classic – as pure and simple a statement about the music’s power as Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven.” The honesty and power of their records make you believe that rock and roll can change the world. As Jett once described rock and roll: “It’s a feeling thing, it’s emotion. You don’t think about it. If you start thinking rock ‘n’ roll, you’re f**ked. That’s when you’re homogenized. That’s when it’s boring. And that’s when it’s bullsh*t.” From her days as a founding member of the all-female Runaways, Jett has made loud, hook-laden records that convey toughness and joy. Sporting black leather and a shag to create a sexy and androgynous look, Jett took over a role formerly reserved for male rockers. She formed the Blackhearts in 1982, and their classic four-piece sound (with Gary Ryan on bass, Lee Crystal on drums, and Ricky Byrd on guitar) muscled past the synthesizers that dominated the 80s and carried the flag for rock and roll. Three of their albums – I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll, Album and Up Your Alley – reached the Top 20, behind songs written by Jett and manager Kenny Laguna. By covering songs from all corners of the rock catalogue – from Gary Glitter to Tommy James to Sly and the Family Stone – the band effortlessly broke down barriers between genres and eras. In the 90s, Jett’s no-nonsense attitude and vocal style was a major influence on the riot grrrl movement, and she went on to produce Bikini Kill and record with L7. She continues to be an inspiration for young female rockers.

Lou Reed

With the Velvet Underground, Lou Reed created music that ranked him among the Beatles and Bob Dylan in terms of both importance and influence. Every alternative movement that arose from the late 60s until his death in 2013 – from punk to grunge and beyond – owed Reed an essential debt. In the course of a fearless solo career that lasted more than 40 years, Reed both solidified and enhanced the stature he had attained with the Velvet Underground. He consistently took an uncompromising stance in the service of his artistic vision – often following commercial breakthroughs with daring, experimental projects that initially confounded both fans and critics only to gain recognition decades later. That willingness to follow his creative instincts wherever they led him, regardless of the cost, made him a figure of tremendous symbolic significance to succeeding generations of artists – from David Bowie to R.E.M., from Iggy Pop to U2, from Patti Smith to Arcade Fire. In addition, like James Joyce with Dublin or Bruce Springsteen with the Jersey Shore, Reed became inextricably associated with New York, transforming the city in his songs into a cauldron of moral challenges, a spiritual proving ground in which damnation and redemption were sometimes impossible to tell apart. Reed both observed the world and transformed it, definitively shaping the sound and the sense of contemporary music. His impact has been so total that it can be easy to overlook. It’s hard to remember that one man could be responsible for so much that came after him, but in the case of Lou Reed, it’s not only true, but also undeniable.

Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr is one of the greatest and most creative drummers in rock and roll history. He got to know the members of the Beatles while both groups were playing clubs in Hamburg, Germany, and occasionally sat in with them. He joined the group in August 1962, providing the musicianship and personality that the group needed to become stars. Starr’s drumming was key to the Beatles’ overall sound. Their songs rested on his always-steady backbeat, and he added creative, memorable fills on songs like “Ticket to Ride” (1965) and “A Day in the Life,” (1967) one of his finest moments on record. Throughout the Beatles’ career he sang on many lighthearted and funny songs (“Yellow Submarine,” “Octopus’s Garden”), providing sly humor and clever turns of phrase that helped cultivate the group’s image and persona. Starr was the first Beatle to have significant solo hits in the 1970s.  “Back Off Boogaloo,” “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Photograph,” “Oh My My” and “The No No Song” dominated the U.S. and U.K. charts. His 1973 album Ringo, produced by Richard Perry, is the best representation of this period – a time during which he also played on some of the best Beatle solo records of the era, such as George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass and John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band. Starr’s revival with the All-Starr Band has lead to the recording of a series of strong albums, including Time Takes Time (1992), Ringorama (2003) and Liverpool 8 (2008), a reflective album about his birthplace. Starr continues to be a vital rock and roll musician.

Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble

Legends run deep when memories of Stevie Ray Vaughan (1954-1990) are invoked. David Bowie said, after seeing the 28-year-old Dallas blues guitar sensation for the first time at Montreux in 1982: “SRV completely floored me. I probably hadn’t been so gung-ho about a guitar player since seeing Jeff Beck in the early 60s.” Famed music man Jerry Wexler arranged for Vaughan’s big-time debut at Montreux (which led to him playing on Bowie’s global Number One hit, “Let’s Dance”). Equally famed John Hammond led Vaughan to Epic Records. The studio and live LPs released during the last seven years of his life etched SRV into Stratocaster immortality and influenced the next generation of blues guitarists. From the opening onslaught of “Love Struck Baby,” “Pride And Joy” and “Texas Flood” on the group’s first LP (with Tommy Shannon on bass and Chris Layton on drums), it was clear that Vaughan belonged in the highest ranks of guitar greats. His devotion to Jimi Hendrix emerged on his second LP, with a blistering cover of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).” It turned into a staple of nearly every SRV show, along with Hendrix’s “Little Wing.” After joining the group in 1985, Reese Wynans would add a layer of keys to the group’s final two albums, Soul to Soul(1985) and In Step (1989). Vaughan laid out his dedication to the great masters for all to see, especially Guitar Slim (“The Things (That) I Used To Do”) and Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers Buddy Guy (“Mary Had A Little Lamb”), Freddie King (“Hide Away”) and Albert King (“Blues At Sunrise”). During his short-lived career, Vaughan also recorded show-stopping collaborations with B.B. King, Jeff Beck, Paul Butterfield, Dick Dale, Lonnie Mack, Albert Collins and many others.

Bill Withers

In a recording career that lasted only 15 years, Bill Withers mastered the vocabularies of the acoustic singer-songwriter, R&B, disco and even mainstream jazz, while maintaining a distinctive personality as a composer and vocalist. A 33-year-old Navy veteran when he had his first hit, Withers remained detached from the hype and nonsense of show business and walked away for good when commercial interests tried to interfere with his art. But what a legacy he left behind: the bittersweet “Ain’t No Sunshine” was a breakout smash in 1971, produced by Booker T. Jones, with backing from Stephen Stills and the MG’s. With his second album, Withers moved onto the funkier territory of “Use Me” and his most enduring hit, “Lean On Me.” Over the next few years Withers scored hits with pop (“Lovely Day”) and duets with several jazz musicians, including “Just The Two Of Us” with Grover Washington Jr. When Withers dropped out of the music industry, his songs stayed alive. Meshell Ndegeocello had a Number One dance hit with Withers’ “Who Is He (And What Is He To You).” Club Noveau brought a cover of “Lean On Me” to the top of the pop charts. The Number One “No Diggity” by BLACKstreet with Dr. Dre sampled Withers’ “Grandma’s Hands.” Withers’ songs have been covered by an astonishing range of artists – from the Temptations to Garth Brooks, Anne Murray to Mary J. Blige, Gil Scott-Heron to Widespread Panic, along with Isaac Hayes, Fiona Apple, Big Daddy Kane, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Aaron Neville, Mick Jagger and Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys and Rob Thomas, Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow, Michael Stipe and Brian Eno and the cast of GLEE. Stubbornly his own man, Bill Withers wrote songs that spoke for everyone.

From Billboard:

The U.S. has a new prize to recognize the year’s best debut American album.

The American Music Prize is the brainchild of Scott B. Murphy, who established the annual Australian Music Prize back in 2005. Its ambition is to “encourage, discover, reward and promote new music of excellence by USA artists.” In a nutshell, it’s “an American Prize, for American artists, judged by American judges,” Murphy tells Billboard.

To be eligible, an artist’s debut album must have been released between Aug. 1, 2014, and July 31, 2015, and at least 51 percent of the act’s line-up must be residents of the U.S. The recording should also have some commercial clout; it has to sell more than 1,000 units and be registered by SoundScan. There’s no fee for submissions to the AMP. Details can be found here.

From BBC:

Facebook is thinking about adding a way to “dislike” posts on its site, founder Mark Zuckerberg has said.

Speaking at a Q&A session in California, he said it was one of the most requested features the social network receives from its users. He said the site would need to find a way to make sure it did not become a way to demean people’s posts.

According to Facebook’s own figures, 4.5 billion “likes” are generated every day.

“One of things we’ve thought about for quite a while is what’s the right way to make it so that people can easily express a broader range of emotions,” Mark Zuckerberg told an audience at Facebook’s headquarters. A lot of times people share things on Facebook that are sad moments in their lives. Often people tell us that they don’t feel comfortable pressing ‘like’ because ‘like’ isn’t the appropriate sentiment. Some people have asked for a dislike button because they want to say, ‘That thing isn’t good.’ That’s not something that we think is good for the world. The thing that I think is very valuable is that there are more sentiments that people want to express.”

From Billboard:

Las Vegas natives the Killers and Jimmy Kimmel teamed up to create a new holiday song and character, “Joel, the Lump of Coal,” and it ended up bringing a gift to Kimmel: his Billboard chart debut. The folky track bows at No. 27 on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart with 11,000 downloads sold, according to Nielsen Music.

Since 2006, the alt-rock band has recorded a holiday song for Bono’s (RED) Campaign every year to coincide with World AIDS Day. This year’s track, which Kimmel called “the greatest holiday song ever recorded by non-chipmunks,” premiered on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Dec. 1. All proceeds from the song will be donated to the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS.

Courage My Love released their latest LP Spirit Animal this year and it’ s a great one. Any record label should be proud to have them on their label – they have imagination, confidence, and have accomplished a great deal since their start.  But this week shows why they are amazing. Drummer and vocalist Phoenix Arn-Horn  took to social media this past week for a public coming-out message and to offer support to other young gay people.

On Wednesday (December 10), the musician posted the following message via Facebook:

Turns out I’m gay. I’ve known since I was 14 and my parents knew since even before then. Don’t be scared to be yourself. People have told me not to post about it because it might “hold me back,” but I’m proud of who I am and the beautiful girls I’ve dated. People have even told me not to post about it because it could “limit our fan base.” Honestly, I don’t write music for those people.

I write music because it’s the only way I can exorcise certain parts of myself. I write music for people with the same demons as me. I know there are people out there going through things that need some form of release. People like me. THAT’s who I write music for. If someone listens to a song I’ve written and it helps them in some small way, then I’ve done what I set out to do. And I’ll try not to listen to the people that bring my sexuality into the equation, because that’s not what this is about. My sexuality has nothing to do with it.

*mic drop*

She followed it up with another message yesterday (December 12):

Some of you probably already saw, but a few days ago I posted something really important to me on Twitter/Facebook. I’ve never really tried to hide it, and it’s probably pretty obvious, but for the first time in my life I typed out the words “I’m gay” and posted them. It might not seem like a big deal (and honestly it shouldn’t be), but to me it is. I can’t tell you how liberating it is to come right out and say it. I’ve known since I was 14 and my parents and sister knew since even before then. I’m so lucky because none of them even cared.

Unfortunately I can’t say the same for some other people.

I had a rough time with it as a teenager, I still don’t even really want to talk about it. I still try not to even think about it. The worst part is, I know I’m not the only one. I’m not the only one who has things they can’t talk about, or memories they’ve worked hard to block out. And I got off easy compared to most of them. I was lucky enough to have a supportive family and for the most part, supportive friends. Others don’t…

If something I say can get someone else through the night okay, why the fuck would I not post about it? HOW the fuck could I not post about it? I know that not everyone will see it the way I do, I know that not everyone will understand, but at this point, I don’t care. If I’m the one that stands up and says something, then maybe there’s someone else out there who will see that it’s okay. If I’m the one that the hurtful words get aimed at, then maybe it will take away the hurt from someone else. I’m sorry for the people that won’t understand or get offended. I’m sorry that it bothers you so much. The thing is, I’ll always be sorry for you, never sorry to you. Hopefully one day you can see the difference and one day we can be friends, because if you got to know me, you’d know that I’m just like you.

I know I might get some hate for this but I also know that it doesn’t matter. Not anymore. I would’ve cared when I was 14. But things get better. People can be kind. The world is a beautiful place. Love you guys, thank you.

She wins the internet this week.

If the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame decided its inductions according to fan ballots, Stevie Ray Vaughan would be a lock for 2015. Fans of the late guitarist voted for him over 18 million times — an astounding 31% of the total — and coming in ahead of a list of potential inductees that includes Joan Jett, Lou Reed and Sting.

Vaughan now has slight advantage over the rest of would-be members that Rock Hall chief Joel Peresman described as representing “the myriad places where rock ’n’ roll converges with blues, electronic, dance, Motown, R&B, funk and other genres.”

Stay tuned.

2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Public Poll Results
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: 31.0%
Nine Inch Nails: 22.2%
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: 15.1%
Bill Withers: 6.4%
Paul Butterfield Blues Band: 6.2%
Lou Reed: 5.3%
War: 2.7%
Green Day: 2.6%
Sting: 1.8%
N.W.A.: 1.3%
Kraftwerk: 1.2%
The Smiths: 1.1%
The Spinners: 1.1%
The Marvelettes: 0.9%
Chic: 0.9%

Announced today, the Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) is thrilled to welcome seasoned music industry professional, Verle Mobbs, as Operations Manager of the CMAO. Effective January 2, Mobbs will take over the day-to-day operations of the Association.

“We are excited to have someone with the skill set and experience of Verle taking on the role of Operations Manager,” says CMAO President Sam Arraj. “Her passion for country music and her years of experience in the music industry are exactly what the CMAO needs. I’m confident she will help the organization grow and prosper.”

“We also want to thank Heather Ostertag, who has served as Interim Executive Director for the past seven months,” Arraj continues. “She has provided us the foundation to take the next step on our journey. Her, vision, grace and experience will be missed.”

Over the course of her career in the music industry, Mobbs has overseen prestigious award shows, including the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards, the Canadian Independent Music Awards and the Canadian Radio Music Awards. During her 15 years at Canadian Music Week, she has contributed to the organization as its General Manager, gaining a wealth of industry knowledge and relationships.

“The CMAO has been making great strides to bring Ontario’s country artists to the forefront and I’m excited to join them in the mission,” says Mobbs. “The enthusiasm of the team and their collective efforts are inspiring. I look forward to working with them in building the capacity of the Association and in strengthening the country music sector in Ontario.”

The CMAO was formed in 2007 by Rob MacArthur, founding patron Linda Wright and a number of interested and enthusiastic individuals who thought it was time to have a voice for country music in Ontario. The Association brings together the talent and the industry professionals. Its mandate is to foster and support the growth and development of Ontario’s country music and its industry, provincially, nationally and internationally. The CMAO has now hosted two annual Awards Shows with the assistance of presenting sponsor Slaight Music. These sold-out events featured performances from Ontario’s top talent including Michelle Wright, Jason McCoy, Small Town Pistols, Deric Ruttan, Jason Blaine, Tebey, Tim Hicks, Autumn Hill, Marshall Dane and many more. The CMAO is also proud to have presented last month its first educational conference, the highly successful two-day Road to Independence, with the financial contribution of the OMDC and presenting sponsor CMT.