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Blogcritics Goodie Bag: Tony Lucca, MRNORTH, 2 Much, Michael Jackson, and 65daysofstatic

Tony Lucca on his new album Canyon Songs: "All of the songs on the record were either written and or recorded in the Hollywood Hills, specifically Laurel and Beachwood Canyons. A lot of my favorite artists, as well as most of my favorite records, were inspired by those magical locations. There really is something other-worldly about it. As we got further along in the making of the record, I felt like we had managed to capture a bit of that timelessness for ourselves." The song "Darlin' I" is one of this week's GHIDRAH picks.

MRNORTH returns in early '07 with their new album Fear & Desire, but in the meantime band fans can enjoy a digital-only EP, Sleeping Dogs, which is set for release in November. The five-song virtual platter was recorded at the same time as the forthcoming album, and both came together in three different bursts of creativity over the last six months. They were recorded and mixed at Stratosphere Sounds in New York and the state-of-the-art RED Studios in San Francisco. They enlisted the production and engineering prowess of Steve Lyon (Depeche Mode, The Cure) and co-mixer Keith Hilldebrant (Nine Inch Nails); the result is a sonic departure in which the band finally achieved what they've wanted to for years – a record that fully captures the massive sound and energy that pervades their dynamic live sets.

publicity photo of 2 Much| hosted by Photobucket.com2 Much is the type of group both destined to be embraced by both teens and their parents. "I know this might be a big cliché," says stage and film star Omarion (and cousin of band member Milo Stokes) "but I think they're B2K, a different version – a better version. Together, the four members of 2 Much fuse such diverse musical influences as the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye and Jay Z, plus classic soul. All four members have been singing and dancing all their lives, whether in front of friends, family, classmates or even the public. Performing, says band member Chris Cheeks, "is the best feeling, it's like a rush, a crazy rush, it's a totally different experience than what people take it for – I'm a different person when I'm up there." Listen to the track "Fire" from their forthcoming album.

Next week, Epic/Legacy will be releasing a DualDisc box set containing twenty of Michael Jackson's hits along with their videos. Called Visionary: The Video Singles, each disc in the collection will feature an exact replica of the original 7" or 12" artwork. All the audio has been remastered and will feature the original 7" or radio edit as the lead track plus a sought-after remix or related song. For more information and streaming audio clips of songs in the set, check out the e-card. Also available are full video streams from the box set and full audio streams of a few songs: "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," "Beat It," and "Billy Jean."

publicity photo of 2 Much| hosted by Photobucket.comFans across the pond were lucky enough to indulge in 65daysofstatic's second long player One Time For All Time last year. And, oh how they sang its praises: four stars in Kerrang and high praise from Rock Sound and The Wire, among many others. Now, those waiting with bated breath in the States finally get a chance to delve in to this refreshing gene-splice of electronic glitch and guitar girth. What if Squarepusher joined a post-hardcore incarnation of Mogwai? Maybe you'll find answers here, but 65daysofstatic's speaker-frying blend of instrumental fury and ambience is a product of its own rich imaginations. The album's futuristic tone makes for a perfect score for an unwritten sci-fi epic, with the frenetic drums reaching a ridiculous pace keeping up with the machines in the back all the while guitars blaze and synths slice.

About Anna Creech

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