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Mission of Burma guitarist and cofounder Roger Miller has released a rousing new single, “Big Steam”, via Good Road Recordings. The accompanying video offers a disorienting stream of found footage, color manipulation, and shots of roller coasters and trains in motion. Featuring Larry Dersch (The Binary System) and Brian Arnold, both the track and its flipside, “Dream Interpretation”, have been described by Miller as “a deliberate sonic referencing of Pink Floyd’s Piper at the Gates of Dawn”.
Season ten of American Idol started with what would later be described as “the worst kept secret in Hollywood”. After judges Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, and Ellen DeGeneres left the show, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and dancer/actress/singer Jennifer Lopez were added to the judges’ panel. Critics complained that they were far too easy on a lackluster group of contestants, but Idol remained the highest rated show on television. And despite questions about the series’ hitmaking potential after the sagging sales of its previous winners, season ten lead to eight record contracts and one record-breaking No.1 album.
For every one of its previous nine seasons, Idol was a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, pop, R&B, and everything in between. In the year 2011, however, the Nashville sound completely took over the show, with Georgia‘s Lauren Alaina and North Carolina‘s Scotty McCreery vying for the title. Was it because the show’s audience was rumored to mostly be families seeking family-friendly music? Did massive amounts of teen voters propel two teen contestants to the top? Perhaps the success of modern country acts like Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, and The Band Perry led to a renewed interest in the genre.