Posts tagged with "Audiobook"

Actor, Model, Entrepenuer Vaughn Lowery shot by Andrea Marino inside 360 Magazine

VAUGHN LOWERY

Vaughn Lowery, the founder and president of the NGLCC certified, 360 MAGAZINE, has always strived for positive social change. He graduated from Cornell University. From there, he became active in modeling, acting and publishing.

A decade or more, Vaughn Lowery became notable when he appeared in Kmart’s smash commercial – Joe Boxer. It helped the retailer roughly sell US$20 million per week. By becoming an exclusive spokesperson, he appeared with Leeza Gibbons on Extra, Katie Couric on Today Show, and Jay Leno on The Tonight Show.

At the culmination of college, he relocated to New York City; and thus, Vaughn began a career as an actor and model. It was there where celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine set him up with a fashion photographer, Fadil Berisha. Above Joe Boxer, he worked as a successful print model for many companies such as GAP, Old Navy, as well as a runway model for Tommy Hilfiger, Phat Farm, and Karl Kani. He has graced the pages of Elle, Cosmopolitan and Glamour. Additionally, he flipped the Houston Chronicle.

Years back, ABC News Primetime aired a segment chronicling his life, along with the tragic John Ritter story. Vaughn has also filmed a Super Bowl commercial, completed a high-profile Dasani Water billboard ad campaign, appeared on America’s Next Top Model, guest-starred on the comedy, Scrubs, and screened his controversial 35mm festival film, The Young & Evil, at Sundance 2009. He was also named Seventeen Magazine’s 17 Hot Guys. His hindmost project The Company We Keep boasts director Roy Campanella II along with comedic co-star Leslie Jones. At present, Vaughn wrote a short, Chasen Life, which won a writing competition. He adapted audiobook Say Uncle into a feature-length film, pitched a reality series and is in the process of architecting an immersive design experience.

Due to his turbulent upbringing in Detroit, Vaughn has kept his personal promise to be a contributing citizen to those in need. He has lent his name and support to: Women At Risk, Human Rights Commission, March of Dimes, Heart of Los Angeles Youth, Awakening Young Minds and schools across the nation where he encourages adolescents to step into their power.

As of late, Lowery has developed their inaugural 360 MAG Podcast on Audible, Apple and Spotify as well as a new NFT Animal Series on OpenSea.

Futher, 360 MAGAZINE was named Business of the Month by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce [NGLCC]. The NGLCC is the business voice of the LGBT community, the largest advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people, and the exclusive certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses. It possesses deep affiliations with FORTUNE 100 Fastest Growing Companies.

Lastly, hard cover and auditory interpretations of Vaughn’s memoir, Move Like Water × Be Fluid, are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Walmart.

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OTG

Vaughn speaks on the NFT-VIP ‘press panel’ on Sun., June 19 at 2:30pm EST Margaritaville Times Square Resort NYC.

In his spare time, designs e-bike bras and reconfigures their silhouettes.

Mixed Media Fabrications

PORT:

b. intro via Chris Parsons for use by 360 Magazine

A Little Spark

By: Merilee Kern

Whether gifting for the holidays, a birthday, Valentine’s Day or “just because,” children’s literature is a timeless gift that can impact the recipient, families and society at-large in meaningful ways. This truth is exemplified with “A Little Spark ” children’s book authored by Chris Parsons—a truly unique title that was recently awarded the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award Gold Medal for best in family-friendly media. Fittingly so, as this distinctive  interactive, read-along chapter book is centered around the noble theme of finding, and doing, good in the world. 

A Little Spark is redefining children’s literature by driving its overarching message home by combining a compelling narrative and cast of identifiable characters with full color  illustrations; a custom-scored musical soundtrack of original songs like this accessible through QR Codes while reading the book; an audiobook featuring delightful performances; fun on-and-offline activities; and invaluable life lessons that are highlighted throughout each chapter. It’s a heartening activity to enjoy with young children, grandchildren and students.

To complement the beautifully illustrated 160-page chapter book, Parsons collaborated with renowned music producer Bruce Faulconer  to develop the full album with an original soundtrack and accompanying audiobook. “Lyrics range from playful to heartwarming and, in one instance, even a bit ominous,” noted Faulconer. “The music keeps the reader poised and, at times, thrillingly on the edge of their seat. We worked with an amazing group of performers and have created something truly special that’s resonating with kids and adults, alike.”

Enhancing the read-along story and the various audio components, A Little Spark also comes complete with a free companion online Resource Library available at BeThatSpark.com, which boasts over 50 book-related family activities like coloring pages, character puppets, word searches, mazes, dance videos, character drawing video tutorials and more. A “Parent’s Guide” is also available to help plan and optimize the overall experience.

“Parents, grandparents, caregivers and educators are indelibly seeking great content to engage with kids, and A Little Spark is written with purpose and intention toward that end,” said Parsons. “The storyline, and the various lessons embedded throughout, underscore that even the smallest creature can make the biggest difference. This takeaway message is especially important for young, impressionable children to hear because they so badly want to be seen and heard…in today’s culture more than ever.”

“Children’s literature is a powerful force that can shape and nurture the minds of kids,” continued Parsons. “In the case of A Little Spark, the combination of a great story, captivating illustrations and rich characters—in combination with mood-inducing music—can truly engage young minds in an impactful and immediate way. It’s one that not only entertains and inspires young audiences, but also helps them develop critical thinking skills and encourages a sense of adventure and the confidence to take that first step.”

As per the Mom’s Choice Award, “A Little Spark is an innovative, inspiring, and entertaining tale about unlikely comrades who join forces on a quest to defeat a threatening enemy. A little Spark reminds us that, to awaken our passion and spirit, we all need something in life to make the world be a warmer place, and to always look for ways to ‘Be That Spark.’”

Working in partnership with a teacher advisory group, the “Be That Spark” elementary education pilot program launched this October in multiple first grade classrooms. This one-of-a-kind scholastic program combines the book, music and all of the related material into a formal academic lesson plan designed to provide a fun, inspiring experience for educators and their students. The Be That Spark program includes a focus on helping students develop positive character traits based on the characters and lessons from the book. It aligns with U.S. standards by creating meaningful and challenging lessons for students intended to increase their reading, listening and comprehension skills.

“Our panel of judges really felt this book merited a place on our list of the best in family-friendly media products that parents and educators can feel confident in using,” said Dawn Matheson, CEO, Mom’s Choice Awards. Other accolades include A Little Spark earning its place as an Amazon new release best-seller in a number of categories, including #1 in Children’s Music Books.

Sonos × Erykah Badu × Kareem Abdul-Jabaar

Today Sonos revealed their fall line-up of original programming coming to Sonos Radio and Sonos Radio HD, including a new artist-curated station from the queen of neo-soul Erykah Badu and a collaboration station from Impulse! Records and avid jazz fan and historian Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The platform also announced plans to roll out additional sleep and holiday stations, alongside new premieres and seasons of its popular podcast-style shows on Sonos Sound System. The new programming gives fans even more ways to discover the music and content they love on Sonos Radio, with hand-selected tracks to soundtrack every moment of their day.

“Sonos Radio has seen explosive growth in the last year, with listening hours nearly doubling as consumers embrace the golden age of audio and spend more time streaming their favorite music, audiobooks and podcasts at home,” explained Joe Dawson, Director of Content and Brand Platforms at Sonos. “In a year where artists and consumers have been stripped of in-person concerts and festivals, Sonos Radio has become an important platform for creators to develop unique audio experiences and reach their fans directly where they are – at home.”

Available to all customers globally in the app, Sonos Radio will launch a new slate of programming this Fall to help inspire and feed fans’ love of music, while bringing unexpected moments of joy into the home.

Erykah Badu’s BADUBOTRON Radio blasts off as Badu takes you outta this world and into her sonic orbit. A space where music genres are stars and the galaxy is filled with psychedelic funk, retro soul, classic rock, spiritual jazz and experimental hip hop. A trip to Badu’s curated station will take your mind exactly where it needs to go.

Impulse! Records Radio hosted by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar commemorates the 60th anniversary of the legendary Jazz label that’s home to all-time greats including John and Alice Coltrane, Ray Charles, Quincy Jones and more. As host of the station, basketball hall of famer, activist and jazz historian Abdul-Jabbar will revisit the role of jazz music in his upbringing and its deep roots in African American history and culture.

Expanded sleep stations composed and mastered by Mikael Jorgensen of the Grammy Award-winning band Wilco will include Slow Motion Freeway, Waterfall at Dusk, Warm Glow and Midnight Beach (all HD only).

New seasonal stations to soundtrack your holiday festivities including Fright Night (HD only), Horror Punk, Monster Bash and Infinite Darkness to haunt your Halloween and Thankful, Tanz, Joyous Kwanzaa and Country Christmas to bring the yuletide cheer home for the holidays.

A growing lineup of internationally-relevant programming will uncover the sights and sounds of underground music scenes across the world, including Garage Skank in the UK, Schlager Charts in Germany and Nederhop in The Netherlands.

New show premieres on Sonos Sound System including Imaginary Soundtracks, Famous Last Words, Dada Strain Radio, and Music is Everything. All shows can be streamed on-demand in the in-app archive and on Mixcloud.

Running back the fan favorites on Sonos Sound System with season two of Sheroes Mixtape Memoir and Call & Response and season five of Radio Hour guests, including Junglepussy, CAN, Angelique Kidjo, George Clinton, Seinabo Sey, Anika, Kero Kero Bonito and more. All shows can be streamed on-demand in the in-app archive and on Mixcloud.

Sonos Radio is available free for all Sonos customers globally, pre-loaded in the Sonos app. Sonos Radio HD offers an expanded catalogue of original content streaming ad-free in high-definition, CD-quality audio with skips and repeats, currently available in the US, UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Canada, Austria and France. Listeners everywhere can tune-in to select Sonos Radio shows through Mixcloud, and stay up-to-date with the latest Sonos Radio updates by following on Instagram.

Image via the Oriel company for 360 Magazine

Gord Downie – Coke Machine Glow 20th Anniversary

GORD DOWNIE’S COKE MACHINE GLOW SEES EXPANDED 20th ANNIVERSARY RELEASE

Downie’s First Solo Project Revisited With Triple Album

Coke Machine Glow: Songwriters’ Cabal (Arts & Crafts) And Poetry Audiobook (Penguin Random House)

Out August 27, 2021 – Preorder Now

Bonus Listen: ‘I Stand Before The Songwriters’ Cabal‘ Music Edit With Spoken Word By Rob Baker

Gord Downie’s Coke Machine Glow was released in 2001, in between Music @ Work (2000) and In Violet Light (2002), the ninth and tenth albums by his mighty band of brothers in The Tragically Hip. The first solo project by one of the world’s great wordsmiths, Coke Machine Glow’s sixteen painterly songs were released with an accompanying book of poetry, collectively emanating Downie’s heartrending stories, from the road as from home, in his signature quirk and complex, approachable wit. Twenty years since its release, Coke Machine Glow remains a teetering, charming body of work, never static, shot across its canvas in brilliant glowing embers and warm honey tones.

Now, to mark its 20th anniversary, Arts & Crafts announces a special expanded reissue that posthumously revisits the songs and poetry of this prolific period of Downie’s career. Entitled Coke Machine Glow: Songwriters’ Cabal, the triple-album features the original two-disc set plus a bonus record of twelve unreleased demos, alternate versions, and never-before-heard outtakes, carefully curated by Gord’s oldest Toronto friend Josh Finlayson and brothe Patrick Downie with Arts & Crafts’ Jonathan Shedletzky, including the ominous I Stand Before The Songwriters’ Cabal and two opposing versions of the mysterious Contact.

The in-all 28-song collection presents a portrait of Downie with a rarely before heard intimacy, unrefined and dripping in the wildness of the moment. Elegant alternate studio takes of classics like Vancouver Divorce and Lofty Pines express the fluidity of the family band that comprised the Gas Station recording sessions in Toronto, that May of 2000; while home recordings dated November 1999, Carlaw Avenue, of SF Song, Trick Rider, and Chancellor, and more, spotlight Gord in close communion with his tape recorder and coffee machine. Produced by GD, Josh Finlayson, and Steven Drake, featuring Dale Morningstar, Julie Doiron, Kevin Hearn, Atom Egoyan, Dave Clark, Don Kerr, and more, Coke Machine Glow: Songwriters’ Cabal is a document of Gord at the precipice of his illustrious solo career.

Concurrently, Penguin Random House announces the Coke Machine Glow Audiobook, a complete reading of Downie’s original book of poetry by family members, band members, and friends, like Sarah Harmer, Dan Aykroyd, Ron MacLean, Bruce McCulloch, Don Kerr, and many more, produced by Patrick Downie. (See here for the full list of readers). Ultimately a book Gord wrote about the distances that bridge and separate us, Coke Machine Glow is bound by the dedication of those he loved and was loved by a rich, haunting collection that reveals both the public and private selves of Gordon Edgar Downie. In poetry that is urban, gritty and political, romantic and nocturnal, nostalgic and whimsical, Downie allows us a glimpse inside his world, with loved ones carrying the gift of his words onwards.

Available via digital audiobook retailers, the Coke Machine Glow poetry collection will also be included on CD with A&C’s physical music editions. The Songwriters’ Cabal 3LP vinyl is presented in a beautiful embossed triple-gatefold package, limited to a one-time pressing of 2000 hand-numbered copies. In addition to the 3CD set, A&C is for the first time offering a Coke Machine Glow songbook for voice, guitar, and piano. The album, audiobook, and songbook are out on August 27, 2021. The Coke Machine Glow: Songwriters’ Cabal limited edition vinyl is expected to ship November 15, 2021.

PREORDER COKE MACHINE GLOW 20th ANNIVERSARY ITEMS

That Coke Machine Glow did not sound like a record by The Tragically Hip was both not a surprise, and is still in every way a surprising work: Downie’s oblique yet vicarious poetry undressed of its electricity, redressed in a glorious other voltage. A snapshot of spontaneity, recorded but barely rehearsed, its arc of clandestine art pop clashing with the hum of collective stream-of-consciousness, Gord Downie’s Coke Machine Glow feels like a wild passage through listless places, burrowing in the magic of whatever delicate moment. Maybe Downie was the genius orchestrator of this Goddamned Band, or perhaps he was just always prepared with the right thing to say. You might have listened to this record for the last twenty years, and still not heard some of its finest details, that is the happenstance when onesome poetry is rightly crossed with collective improvisation. On Songwriters’ Cabal, the curtain is pulled back, as Downie rose from his kitchen table/hotel room desk, notebook in hand, and stepped to the mic and sang, voice tinkling like a chandelier, until god or a reasonable facsimile appears.

NOT included on either the music album or the spoken word audiobook is a bonus music edit of Rob Baker of The Tragically Hip’s reading of the poem I Stand Before the Songwriters’ Cabal, set to an instrumental snippet of the same titled song. Shared today, listen here:

BONUS LISTEN: ‘I STAND BEFORE THE SONGWRITERS’ CABAL’ MUSIC EDIT WITH SPOKEN WORD BY ROB BAKER

Josh Finlayson on the Coke Machine Glow sessions (from the liner notes):

Having lived in Toronto for over 10 years, Gord wanted to make his first solo record in his adopted city, co-producer and musician Josh Finlayson recalls. He had met and befriended many artists in different disciplines and was keen to collaborate with that community. The Gas Station recording studio was located in an old warehouse district of Toronto close to the exhibition grounds near King and Dufferin. Located on the fourth floor, it was an open spaced room with 10 foot windows that had spectacular views looking south to Lake Ontario and east towards downtown. Owned and operated by Dale Morningstar and Don Kerr who after 10 years of operation were being evicted from this location. Coke Machine Glow ended up being the last session at the Gas Station from April 29-May 10, 2000.

The one concrete idea we had going into the recording was that Gord would sing these songs quietly, as they had been written. The recording room was large (50’X25′) with high ceilings. The musicians were spread throughout this room facing the centre where Gord was sitting. Don Kerr (drums) and Kevin Hearn (piano) were only available for the first day of recording which was also our set up day. By late afternoon we were ready to start and their time constraints led to the decision that we were going to make a live off the floor record using an 8 track machine. In hindsight, this was a fortuitous decision as it created a structure that forced us to work within certain parameters. All the songs ended up being cut live, including Gord’s vocals. The only overdubs were done by guests who weren’t available at the time and had to add their parts later. For the remainder of the session Dave Clark took over on drums and Dale Morningstar who was assistant engineering, played several different instruments throughout the recording. There was little rehearsal time for anyone so in most cases the songs were run through once or twice and then recorded.

The Coke Machine Glow 20th anniversary collection, including exclusive merchandise commemorating this landmark release in Downie’s career, is available for PREORDER NOW via Gordieland, Arts & Crafts and Penguin Random House.

PREORDER COKE MACHINE GLOW 20th ANNIVERSARY ITEMS

GORD DOWNIE COKE MACHINE GLOW: SONGWRITERS’ CABAL TRACKLIST

Coke Machine Glow

  1. Starpainters
  2. Vancouver Divorce
  3. SF Song
  4. Trick Rider
  5. Canada Geese
  6. Chancellor
  7. The Never-Ending Present
  8. Nothing But Heartache in Your Social Life
  9. Blackflies
  10. Lofty Pines
  11. Boy Bruised By Butterfly Chase
  12. Mystery
  13. Elaborate
  14. Yer Possessed
  15. Every Irrelevance
  16. Insomniacs of the World, Good Night

Songwriters’ Cabal:

  1. Vancouver Divorce – Alternate Take
  2. Trick Rider – Demo
  3. SF Song – Demo
  4. Contact – Demo
  5. Down Down Down – Demo
  6. Putting Down – Demo
  7. Chancellor – Demo
  8. The Never-Ending Present – Demo
  9. I Stand Before the Songwriters’ Cabal – Outtake
  10. Contact – Outtake
  11. Mystery – Alternate Take
  12. Lofty Pines – Alternate Take

Audiobook Readers
Dan Aykroyd, Rob Baker, Andrew Cash, Dave Clark, Julie Doiron, Charlyn Downie, Clare Downie, Clemens Downie, Lou Downie, Mike Downie, Patrick Downie, Paula Downie, Willo Downie, Johnny Fay, Josh Finlayson, Sarah Harmer, Kevin Hearn, Dave Billy Ray Koster, Paul Langlois, Ron MacLean, Andy Maize, Bruce McCulloch, Dale Morningstar, Larry Murphy, Andrea Nann, Dr. Pee, Gillian Reiss, Damian Rogers, Gord Sinclair, Kaya Usher.

Inhuman illustration by Heather Skovlund (Cover art for Inhuman provided by Smith Publicity) for 360 Magazine

Eric Leland × Inhuman

A Gripping Military Horror with Shocking Supernatural Twists

Q&A WITH ERIC LELAND:

AUTHOR OF Inhuman MILITARY THRILLER DEBUT

Question: What inspired you to write Inhuman?

Eric Leland: During a class for my MA I wrote a 25-page short story titled Recon Team: Mercury. That story was shortened to five pages and is now the prologue to Inhuman. For a NaNoWriMo idea I thought it would be interesting to see what happened when the rescuers came looking for the team that disappeared in my original short story. Inhuman is the result.

Q: What sets Inhuman apart from other military and horror books?

EL: The bravado one comes to expect when reading military fiction is quickly ripped away to expose and pick at the delicate flesh of fear and self-doubt we are ashamed to admit exists.

Q: What do you hope readers will take away from the book?

EL: It was never my intent for Inhuman to be didactic. Primarily I hope readers are entertained. I hope readers will remember the experience of Inhuman rather than any particular lesson.

Q: Inhuman features a diverse cast of characters. How did your military friendships, and experiences with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” inform this inclusivity?

EL: A diverse cast adds verisimilitude to military fiction simply because any U.S. military unit features a diverse roster. In my first combat experience I found myself fighting shoulder to shoulder with Mexican Americans, an African American, and a gay woman. Unfortunately, DADT was still a thing for most of my military career and I would only find out after DADT was repealed that some of my greatest friends were gay. I think truth in fiction is important, and if I did not write a diverse cast I would by lying. Readers can spot a lie from a mile out.

Q: How did you develop your characters? And which of them do you have the strongest connection to?

EL: The character Jaran is heavily based on my wife’s experiences who was born in Vietnam. At an early age, she and her family fled to a refugee camp after the war. The chaos of displacement during war time seemed terrifying. I can’t really say which character I have the strongest connection to—John’s sense of duty; Chris’s refusal to take anything seriously; and Brandon’s severe depression and self-doubt—they’re all variations of me.

Eric Leland grew up in Massena, NY and entered Army basic training upon high school graduation. He was an MP in the Army for six years and reclassified to a Special Agent with the Army Criminal Investigation Division. Eric deployed to Honduras in 2002, and Iraq in 2003 and 2009 where he was awarded an Army Commendation Medal with “V” device for valor. He completed his MA in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University and has happily traded in his gun for a pen. Eric lives in Seattle with his wife. Connect with Eric Leland on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Inhuman is available on Amazon in both print and digital.

Audiobook forthcoming in Summer 2021.