Jamie Stars Storyland "B Sides" an A plus!! By Clemence Stephens One Hip Nugget
I find it useful to state the obvious. What's to possibly add about Jamie Stars Storyland "B Sides", a new 2012 release, other than the songs do not match the "B sides" criteria. What we hear are deep, fresh sounds merging catchy melodies and shocking twists. Jamie Stars Storyland second disc titled "B Sides" conquers supreme in the amazing category. Although emancipated in June 2012, "B Sides" are "Emergency" leftovers from 2007 after Jamie's band The Casanova Playboys broke up. In a time of open wounds, Jamie Star produced thirty songs in the recording studio and the debut "Emergency" was born. Now to the truth. Ironically, the anticipated second album "B Sides" is only better. I guess it's good to save the best for last. Under promise and over deliver. "Echelons" stands proud as the album focal and "Be Good" buzzes raw feel good indie-rock meets space ship adventures. "Alone", a poignant ballad shines like castles in the air and "Loud Aquarium" is exciting, arena rock insanity. If you're up for surprises and love colorful, interesting music, Jamie Stars Storyland new album "B Sides" is for you.
"Emergency" is pure happening musical genius encounters period. I may have had a little wine but the energy still miraculously coincides with the music, a major plus in the world of den listeners. Breathtaking vocals, distinct melodies, explosive sounds, unpredictable occurrences surrounds electro-pop group Jamie Stars Storyland first album "Emergency". I have been asking deep questions lately. I don't care if you're just coming off the boat, "Emergency" is a must hear! I'd plug it in right now and get your boost for the day. Jamie Stars Storyland "Emergency" recorded in 2007 is full of powerful emotions, incredible, romantic singing and hook after hook of electronic beats, buzzy synths and counter melodies. "When it's Over" is by far the best song on the record and "Scepter" comes close as far as presence. "Can You Relate Now?" invokes great energy and "Kaliedo" is exciting and fast rock n roll leaving you thirsty for more. "Juicer", a frantic rave thriller ripping your insides from the start takes you on a 'dance revolution' kind of good time, so don't lie to yourself. It may take a little time to settle after you hear this album. It will leave you with a burning desire to live life again or throw it all in the garbage. It is fully up to you so in closing, Jamie Star takes us on a journey via ambient, colorful keyboards, deep lyrics and screaming guitars.
April 14, 2011
Extreme fuzz and synthy textures throb over pulsy back beats, inviting the listener to the trance party from the future. Crashing in like a sledgehammer with the first note barreling out of the gate at mach three, a cluster of fog spills in bright colors with a strong vocal presence to awaken the melodramatic overtones that mist through the way out effects. Finally, we have a nice new wave production that welcomes you to the wonderful realm of video game sounds. Emergency is tight and the melodies move perfectly, while it has pleasantly surprising twists which make the songs very listenable. Busy and intense. Short but sweet electronic hooks buzz unique, dirty, nasty distortions and pummelling basslines. Good dark, dancy indie rock mixed with electro rave pop, but still manages to stay within its own dynamics. I'm telling you, aliens have landed and they're doing strange things to what were once harmless musical instruments. If we ever come back out from behind our sofa and listen, we may learn how music can be fascinating and innovative even with our primitive technology. Luckily, the vocals are distinctive enough to grab ones attention away from the burbling heavy bass lines and the eerie Martian death ray synth washing over the top.
Rating: 4 Stars
Still remember silver boyhood fantasy days, impending green dreams with grey skies leading into the musical whirlwind?? Casanova Playboys Jamie Star and Mitch Magic are back again with Cockatoo's Dave Rebus! It happens that Jamie Stars Storyland first show at The Dungeon in Edmonton on September 23, 2011 made a surprising video debut - flashing in bright, colorful lights with an image made of gold.
Jamie and Mitch look great up front donning heavy guitars and Dave's smashing drums makes the mouths of the people drool. With the opener Just Because being the highlight, Jamie Stars Storyland rocked through Cowards, Binoculars and Dreams, an old AWOL pearl. Heavy alternative-rock for sure and Jamie's momentary screams are haunting enough to create a real dungeon scenario.
On to Calgary the group went to play at The Distillery with Passing Clouds and Tired Skies. The vibe was grand and visually mesmerizing as the band ripped through favorites like Dreams, Echelons, Binoculars and opening with Out of Control, a Casanova Playboys song on Low Noise. The dark overtones of the venue never overshadowed Jamie Star's candescent stage aura although few sound technicalities implied. Didn't take us away from the beer chugging good times rock!!
See Jamie Stars Storyland next on tour live in Vancouver, BC on October 23, 2011 as they take on the Railway Club with Kicked off the Farm and show buddies Passing Clouds. Tickets $8 at the door and show begins 8:30 PM.
February 23, 2011
Look who's in the snow!
Interview with Vocalist Jamie Star
By Mia Marshall
What a miraculous enter for Jamie Stars Storyland! Fun, electronic songs that make you bounce and smile mixed with a staunch, fierce crooner wailing in a thunderous storm. Jamie Star, frontman for the animated Storyland - who is also the vocalist for the Casanova Playboys, came by to fill up my curious gas tank full of questions with answers. Here is a short-version interview with the singer from our fun drive through the inner dimensions. Low Noise is one of my favorite albums - so I just had to ask Casanova himself, what was it like?
JAMIE STAR: I miss those guys.
Aw, that's so sad...
JAMIE STAR: Well you gotta move on, right?
So, let's talk about what's next!?
JAMIE STAR: You bet. Storyland is really taking off.
Where is it going?
JAMIE STAR: Through the Storyland and back. If we have enough time.
Condescending is one of my favorite songs, you know? You're condescending!!
JAMIE STAR: You're no novelty!
We feel just the same! Wow! Was that a fun song to record?
JAMIE STAR: It was done in Vancouver with Jonathan Fluevog on the Low Noise record. Good times.
So, what are they up to now?
JAMIE STAR: I don't really care at this moment, but I wish them all the best.
What's next with Storyland?
JAMIE STAR: Funny you should ask. I have this amazing collection of songs waiting to be painted. You'll see!
Better than your debut, Emergency?
JAMIE STAR: They are both very different. The new one will be more organic as opposed to the electronic in Emergency. Keep in mind that Emergency was recorded right after the Casanova breakup in 2007.
It must have been quite a night.
JAMIE STAR: The night started after. You just wait till you hear the new songs from the last three years!
So I just had to say, you have an amazing voice.
JAMIE STAR: Thank you very much.
How long have you been singing?
JAMIE STAR: As long as I can remember. I come from a family of musicians. My mom teaches singing lessons. I had a personal voice pathologist. I don't know, I like to sing. I'm like a fairy.
Why don't you sing for me now?
JAMIE STAR: In the middle of the strain!
What does that mean?
JAMIE STAR: Well, if it happens it will be in the middle.
Of the strain?
JAMIE STAR: Correct. I had to do something after that idiot on the TV dragging the piano.
Hahahaha, I think I know what you mean!
JAMIE STAR: You don't know what I mean. Unless someone showed it to you. Wanna trace me?
Wow! So how old are you now Jamie?
JAMIE STAR: I will be 28 in March.
Well, happy belated birthday!
JAMIE STAR: Thanks. I can't wait.
Oh, I loved reading your Bigus and Turtle books. So scary!
JAMIE STAR: Writing all three seasons last year was a really great time for me.
I really liked your videos on Youtube as well. You are so funny!
JAMIE STAR: Expect some brand spanking new videos coming soon. I have been filming a lot lately.
Before we go, can you tell us about them?
JAMIE STAR: I don't want to spoil it! The snow will be melting soon. That's all I will say.
Feb 17, 2011 Is there no better way to tap into the massive universe then with space alien adventure rock music? It's all going to come around like the record spinning Storyland on my player! Jamie Star's Storyland is the newest hobby of Casanova Playboys lead singer Jamie Star who recorded Emergency in 2007 after the Playboys split. How can you set the tone for Emergency? Creative and precise, electronic dance rock that drives you into a manic frenzy of excitement and suggestion. Every once in a while an album comes out so original that the world is changed through its presence. Here's an album that shines! The dark, buzzy colors and deep association fires senses through. This is a no-kidding timeless piece of sound that will be loved for centuries to come fellows. Feel the electronic urgency in "When It's Over," the obvious centerpiece. "Can You Relate Now," an anthemic, dancy, keyboard track has an amaranthine feel while "Kaliedo" hearkens a new age underway in modern space-rock. The production and songwriting is a vast variety of hooks and choice sounds. The musicianship is tight. The guitars scream, bass rips and his voice is thick and rich. Not to mention the clever keyboard vibes that make hives break out on your skin. The intro is exciting and "Scepter" is arena-rock madness. Jamie Star's Storyland is a must-see! Rating: 4 Stars
How to summarize Jamie Star's prodigious music career? Began as a teenager in 1998 playing shows with Nidus and 1999-2002 with AWOL. Produced and recorded countless songs and acts. Formed The Casanova Playboys and 2004 brought The Casanova Playboys first album "Ladies and Gentlemen." Continuous pursuits for glory led to the birth of The Casanova Playboys sophomore masterpiece "Low Noise" produced by Jonathan Fluevog in 2006.
The irrational demise of the Playboys in early 2007 could not stop Jamie completely. Star recorded and produced "Emergency," Jamie Stars Storyland debut that sparkled like diamonds during black and fragile times. If not for his faith in Christ, Jamie Star could not pull through the storms. The music was touching everyone around him. The next couple years was spent on the guitar and the soul. 2011 brought Playboys Mitch Magic back in town for another chance at it all.
Jamie Star and Mitch Magic met with Cockatoo drummer David Rebus and spent considerable time perfecting a fascinating sound in the rehearsal space. It was indeed a dark and fizzy journey in the electronic unknown. You can hear his voice like a lion in the desert. The heavy guitars and the pounding drums make you scream for more. You could not ask for better energy and presence. Jamie Stars Storyland is a must see!!
Feb 17, 2011
An interview with Jamie Star. I did not know where to begin. Where do you start talking about an artist who has already been playing for 13 years with major acts like The Casanova Playboys, Awol and Jamie Star's Storyland to name a few.
All I knew was I was talking to a musical prodigy who could sing like no other. He's truly a star!
JAMIE STAR - "I played my first big show on Valentines day in 1998 when I was 15 years old. I had already started writing a few songs and I kept going up until now."
So how many more do you have?
JAMIE STAR - "About 200 songs - written and recorded in different genres. I could play them all on the acoustic for you. I have also recorded a few bands myself."
That's really amazing! Do you still remember all of that?
JAMIE STAR - "I can still pull every song out at the top of my brain and now with my experience in music and recording, apply my energy to those songs."
They are memories. Aren't they? Songs?
JAMIE STAR - "Yes and it's how they are delivered. Very important along with content. But overall, if you have a really good general delivery - that's the best way to success."
So you have sang for over 13 years now. Who have you played with?
JAMIE STAR - "I sang for The Casanova Playboys and worked with producer Jonathan Fluevog for many years. He's an amazing person to work with. I also sang for Awol which morphed into The Casanova Playboys."
What else can you tell us?
JAMIE STAR - I also drummed for Chick Maggot, Borx and Free Beer which turned into The Opposed all in my high school days. I was always playing then."
Do you like to drum?
JAMIE STAR - "Drumming is so much fun! You have a lot of responsibility when you're drumming live."
Ok, so let's talk about your new album Emergency. Do you have a favorite song on the album?
JAMIE STAR - "There are too many good moments for me."
So why don't you sing for me now?
*Jamie starts singing and we both fly away into the Storyland. He has his guitar by his side and he takes me away into a land of enchantment. A feeling you could have thought existed in the realms of history.*
At the tender age of seven, Jamie wanted to be a writer, filling a countless number of scrapbooks full of stories, poems and songs. The recording studio in the basement downstairs gave ideas early on. Jamie Salloum meaning 'supplanter of peace,' grew up surrounded by a family of musicians. He wanted to play live shows and organized his own, getting involved in the music scene and meeting many friends who returned the favor. Brought them down into the basement to produce their demos on his fostex 8-track. He eventually got an ADAT and next thing you know, dozens of bands were knocking at his door. He happened to know a well known producer named Jonathan Fluevog who mentored his band and gave them the gears. Jamie recorded song after song, batch after batch and sent it for review. The goal was to make a commercial worthy album.
In 2001, graduated and set out into the real world. It wasn’t easy. He worked heavy labour and in a hotel but still continued working with bands and writing his own material. In late 2002, Awol broke up. The drummer pursued the radio industry leaving Jamie and his brother Nathan to continue various projects. Jamie decided to rekindle his musical spirit and reunite Awol with his former bandmates later on. They changed the name to The Casanova Playboys. By now, Jamie already had almost 200 songs under his belt and Jonathan was eager to get them back into the studio. In March of 2004, Jamie quit his job to pursue music full-time. The Playboys set up recording equipment in the mansion and began tracking their first major debut called 'Ladies and Gentlemen.' The band sent the tracks to Vogville studio after to be mixed by Jonathan.
Finally, they had a rock solid album in their hands. The group spent a considerable time playing shows and getting a few media nods. The producer wanted to get them back into the studio to finesse their sound. He proposed plans for the boys to move to Vancouver. The group agreed and set out at the end of the summer of 2004. Jamie was only 21 years old. They rehearsed every single night and spent countless hours in the studio, writing and tracking, preparing for the new album. Due to excessive funds, the band was running out of money. Jamie was forced to sell his recording equipment he once treasured. In the beginning of 2005, the band decided to move back to Edmonton. The next year was spent going back and forth to Vancouver to finish their masterpiece.
In the beginning of 2006, 'Low Noise' was near completion. The songs were sent to Sterling Sound in New York City to be mastered by Ted Jensen. By the summer of 2006, the group was together and ready to conquer the world. The following months were spent playing many shows, rehearsing and doing all means to promote the band. They ended up playing with some successful acts. Unfortunately, by the end of 2006, things turned sour. With all hope vanishing in thin air, the group got as far as their CD release party before they broke up in early 2007. By the summer of 2009, Jamie decided to put all the Casanova Playboys promotions back up. He wanted to show and somehow prove he cared about his music and his friends.
He never heard a word from any of his counterparts. He could not step on the stage without those guys behind him. Not to worry. There is still a pinch between the fingers. He writes music in his spare time, preparing his masterpiece for the big leagues.