Monthly Archives: February 2014

REPOST: Only Make Believe

[E/N: This article was originally posted in November of 2013. It has recently been brought to our attention that the link for the interview was broken. Planet Stereo sends its sincere apologies to both the Only Make Believe foundation and any readers that were hoping to read this article. Also, huge thank you to Marie, who brought this issue to attention!]




The arts have played a huge role in many people’s lives. It’s the reason there are so many bands to report on, or why there are so many albums that stream through our stereos, and why so many people sing the praises of plays or Broadway shows. In some way, whether it was taking an art class, playing clarinet, or performing in the school play, the arts have touched many of our lives. Now, take that impact, and put it on a grander scale: imagine the arts helping you heal from an illness. Imagine being transported, for just a few moments, from the daily struggles of doctors visits and therapies, to the inner workings of your imagination or a story that propels you into adventure.

At Only Make Believe, an organization founded by Dena Hammerstein in memory of her late husband, James Hammerstein, the purpose of the arts is to entertain and inspire as many sick children as possible. “Given James’s deep dedication to the theater, he would be immensely proud that Only Make Believe uses the magic of the theatre to bring joy to thousands of chronically ill children,” says Jackie Miller, the organization’s Artistic Director. “Dena started by bringing children battling chronic illnesses to performances on Broadway.  However, since trips to the theater proved to be too overwhelming for many of the children, she decided to bring the theater to them; helping to create a unique version of live theater in which each child plays an integral part in the production.”

James Hammerstein was an American theatre director and producer, nominated for multiple Drama Desk Awards. His wife, Dena, shares the shame passion for the theatre that he did, producing numerous shows herself.

Only Make Believe was started in honor of James in 1999, following his death. Since then, the organization has garnered the support of a plethora of famous faces from both screen and stage. “We feel extremely grateful for the celebrity support we receive. OMB is thrilled that our longtime friend, Sir Ian McKellen will host our 14th annual gala, Make Believe on Broadway, at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on November 4th!”

In addition to the support of celebrities, Only Make Believe has been backed by multiple sponsors, like Disney and McGraw-Hill. “The giving capacity of large corporations like Disney and McGraw-Hill imbue organizations like Only Make Believe with the capacity to reach thousands of children living in difficult circumstances.  We feel very grateful for the support of our corporate sponsors who play a key role in Only Make Believe’s ability to remain free of charge for the hospitals we serve,” Jackie expresses.

Focusing on the happiness of chronically-ill children, Only Make Believe is in good company alongside other foundations, such as Make A Wish or Give Kids The World. However, OMB seems to be the only organization to bring the arts to these children in the hopes that it will help them heal. “Only Make Believe is dedicated to the belief that freeing a child’s imagination is a valuable part of the healing process.  OMB offers both parents and children a much needed break from the daily challenges of hospital life,” Jackie states clearly; it’s a point that many people often don’t think of: the toll that hospital life wreaks on both a child and their family. “One parent at SUNY Downstate Medical Center actually said that after each play, they feel like a new person who’s ready to face life, and that the show helped them gain their sense of humor again.”

The most extraordinary part? All of this is accomplished without the hospital having to spend a single dime. “Each year, we determine how many hospitals we will be able to visit based on fundraising efforts.  Thankfully, we are able to increase the number of facilities we serve and welcome new sites into our program every time. [I like to think that it’s due to] consistency. Our program comprises a team of three professional actors who perform once a week over a period of six weeks at each facility.  During this time-frame, trust is established between the actors and the kids, and often at the end of the six weeks a child who was reticent to participate on the first day volunteers at every opportunity.  The consistency of performances over a six-week time-frame turns Only Make Believe into something more than entertainment; it becomes a healing activity,” Jackie explains.

Many people claim that the arts saved their lives. For many of these children, this much is true; it gives them the self-confidence to relax and be a child, which, alongside their treatments, may be just the recovery they need. “After one performance with the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit at King’s County Medical Center, a hospital staff member shared that one of the children who participated in the show had been selectively mute since his arrival at the facility,” Jackie shares, thinking back. “It was playing a part in the OMB show that prompted him to speak for the first time. It’s things like this that continue to reaffirm what an integral part imagination and fun play in a child’s healing process.”

To get involved, you can create an Only Make Believe fundraising event in your community, with the VIP Program (Volunteer Initiated Philanthropy), which will give you all the tools you need to host one! To learn more about these and other ways to get involved with OMB people should visit:

“We’re always looking for enthusiastic individuals with sewing skills!” Jackie half-jokes.

For more on Only Make Believe, click HERE.

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STREAM: My Chemical Romance’s “Fake Your Death”



Following weeks of anticipation (and the hysterical sobs of fans), My Chemical Romance has finally released “Fake Your Death.” The track is from their forthcoming greatest hits album, May Death Never Stop You.

My Chemical Romance have released the album, featuring never-before-released material, is their way of thanking fans for a decade of support. As each member moves on to their new pursuits, fans can still enjoy their music. May Death Never Stop You will be released on March 25th on Reprise Records.

You can purchase a CD here.

Dont’ forget to listen to some of their classic songs either, and check out the trailer for their Greatest Hits album.

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Vita Coco/Substream Magazine Present The “Out Come The Wolves Tour”




Vita Coco and Substream Magazine have announced the “Out Come The Wolves Tour,” which will feature headling act The Animal In Me, as well as support from Survive This (Epitaph Records), InDirections (InVogue Records), SycAmour, and As Artifacts. The tour, named after the opening track to The Animal In Me’s debut LP Who’s Laughing Now, was released last month and has seen the band grow its fanbase. The Animal In Me has been seen on tour with The Color Morale, Our Last Night, Ice Nine Kills, and Get Scared and released an EP, a covers album, and their first full length all within the same year! Such a hardworking group can only continue to garner support from as many listeners as possible.


w/ Survive This & As Artifacts
3/14/2014 Fresno, CA Kuppajoe
3/15/2014 Van Nuys, CA White Oak Music & Art
3/16/2014 Santa Ana, CA Malone’s Bar & Grill
3/17/2014 Yuma, AZ Jefe’s Venue
3/18/2014 Mesa, AZ The Underground
3/20/2014 El Paso, TX Lowbrow Palace
3/21/2014 Albuquerque, NM Amped Performance Center
3/22/2014 Roswell, NM The Unity Center
3/23/2014 Tyler, TX Crossroads (w/ InDirections)
w/ InDirections & As Artifacts
3/24/2014 Austin, TX Dirty Dog
3/25/2014 Dallas, TX Sons of Herman Hall
3/27/2014 Lake Charles, LA The Center Stage
3/28/2014 Tupelo, MS Goodtime Charlies
3/29/2014 Marietta, GA Swayze’s
w/ InDirections & SycAmour
3/30/2014 Nashville, TN Cafe Coco
4/01/2014 Elizabethton, TN The Boninie Kate Theater
4/03/2014 Kent, OH The Outpost
4/04/2014 Warren, MI The Ritz
4/05/2014 Kokomo, IN Centerstage
4/06/2014 Darien, IL Q Bar and Grill
The Animal In Me solo
4/07/2014 Oshkosh, WI The Washington Hall
4/08/2014 Burnsville, MN The Garage
4/10/2014 Littleton, CO The Rock House
4/12/2014 Casper, WY The Black Gold Grille
4/14/2014 Salt Lake City, UT Loading Dock
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Alexz Johnson Releases HEART EP



Planet Stereo is so excited to announce the release of Alexz Johnson’s HEART EP.

You can stream the entire EP HERE.

Also be sure to check out her Q & A with Planet Stereo right HERE.

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Chart-topping hard-rock act Avenged Sevenfold have announced that they will be hitting the road in North America for the “Shepherd of Fire Tour,” based on the band’s single of the same name, which hit No. 1 on both the Mainstream Rock and Active Rock charts. The track is from A7X’s current album Hail To The King, and is the second single to reach No. 1, in addition to the title track.

The “Shepherd of Fire Tour,” will kick off on April 12th in British Columbia, hitting arenas in the United States and Canada. The band will also headline the U.S.’s biggest rock festivals, Carolina Rebellion, Rise Above Fest, and Rock on The Range.

Avenged Sevenfold will be joined by Hellyeahon the Shepherd of Fire Tour as support.

“Hail To The King” topped the Billboard Top 200 albums chart upon its release in August, making it A7X’s second consecutive No. 1 debut. The album also went to No. 1 in Brazil, Canada, Finland, Ireland, and the U.K. The Huntington Beach, Calif., band has become known for its spectacular live shows, routinely selling out arenas worldwide and headlining some of the most prestigious music festivals. They are scheduled to perform five shows at the Soundwave Festival in Australia starting February 22nd, and will spend the summer headlining Europe’s biggest rock festivals, including Rock Im Park, Rock Am Ring in Germany, the PinkPop Festival in Holland, and the U.K.’s biggest rock festival, Download at Donington Park. After that they will headline the Mountain Stage for two nights at Summersonic in Japan.


 Avenged Sevenfold’s upcoming tour dates are as follows:

04/12  Dawson Creek, BC             EnCana Events Centre

04/13  Prince George, BC              CN Centre

04/16  Moose Jaw, SK                    Mosaic Place

04/17  Edmonton, AB                     Shaw Conference Centre

04/19  Winnipeg, MB                     MTS Center

04/21  Minneapolis, MN                Target Center

04/23  Huntsville, AL                     Von Braun Center

04/25  Tampa, FL                             St. Pete Times Forum

04/26  Jacksonville, FL                   Welcome to Rockville

04/28  Lafayette, LA                        Cajundome

04/30  Hollywood, FL                      Hard Rock Live

05/02  Virginia Beach, VA              Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach

05/03  Charlotte, NC                        Carolina Rebellion

05/04  Memphis, TN                         Beale Street Music Festival

05/06  Knoxville, TN                        Knoxville Civic Coliseum

05/08  Hershey, PA                            Giant Center

05/10  Bangor, ME                            Rise Above Fest

05/11  Quebec City, QC                   Colisee Pepsi Arena

05/13  Montreal, QC                          Bell Centre

05/15  Syracuse, NY                          Oncenter Complex

05/17  Columbus, OH                       Rock on the Range

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TRACK: Vinnie Hines – “The Riddle”

What’s one thing that you have, but if you tell another person, you don’t have it anymore?

Riddles can be fun. They can be frustrating. They can be…musical?

Singer-songwriter Vinnie Hines just released his latest single, “The Riddle,” much to the delight of his fans. The soul-infused, R&B Influenced artist has been garnering comparisons to the likes of Jason Mraz, Maroon 5, and even recent Superbowl half-time performer, Bruno Mars. While gearing up for a tour of the midwest in the summer, Vinnie has released a teaser video for the single, which you can check out below!

You can stream the song HERE or purchase it on iTunes.

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TRACK: Dominic Wolf – “Behind The Sun”



Dominic Wolf, a London-based singer-songwriter, is making himself well-known for his distinct sound. Utilizing loop pedals to control and affect his vocals and arrangements, Wolf is entrancing listeners left and right. With his latest single, “Behind The Sun,” he has managed to combine catchy melodies and wonderfully intricate songwriting to create a carefully-crafted arrangement that is pleasing to the ear.

Starting with a soft and intimate feel, the song soon picks up, building as it goes along, making listeners hold their breath as it carries through the speakers.

The single, from Wolf’s upcoming EP, Masks, will be available for sale and download on March 16th.


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TRACK: Lake Malawi – “Always June”



Lake Malawi is the brand new band that is going to leave you in awe. Led by a two-time MTV Award Winner and two-time Nominee, Albert Cerny, the band seems to be on the path to success, having already opened for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, performing at the Great Escape Festival, as well as garnering support for The Guardian and VICE Magazine, and being promoted by It would seem that this band cannot be slowed down.

Produced by Charlie Russell and Brad Spence (Alt-j, Radiohead, Kasabian, Coldplay, Beady Eye), the upcoming debut single “Always June” is the epitome of modern indie-pop-rock. From the opening notes, listeners will find themselves entranced, but it is truly enchanting when the song really kicks in. There is something very human in the emotions expressed; a desperation, and an inner-battle.

The beats steadily and subtly placed in the background round the song out, and it’s this effect that bring it full circle. A beautiful addition to any playlist, it will soon be on everyone’s iTunes Repeat List. With the contrast between the optimistic and upbeat lyrics and the almost bittersweet, melancholy lyrics, Lake Malawi make it incredibly difficult to resist their refreshing sound.

It will be available everywhere for sale and download on 23/03/2014, but you can check it out below!




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TRACK: Far From Proper Releases New Track “Caving In”

Poughkeepsie, NY’s FAR FROM PROPER just released their new song, “Caving In,” on Bandcamp, the sales from which will help fund the band’s recording for a for a full length being released later this year.
Frontman Nick Harrison comments: “We’ve been spending months preparing and gearing up to record our first full length record, and lost track of how long it’s been since we’ve released new music. We can’t wait any longer to show you what we’ve been working on. This song is on our new record, and it was recorded during preproduction with DW Productions in Lagrangeville, NY. Caving In is available on our bandcamp page, and any profit from this will go straight to helping us find our first full length. Thank you so much for taking the time to check it out, we hope you like it!”
The upstate New York act saw 2013 as their most active and successful year to date. The band toured with the likes of With The Punches, Divided By Friday, and On My Honor, and also released their EP Rock Bottom on 90Five Records.
Listen to “Caving In”:
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UPDATE: Taking Back Sunday & The Used Tour Dates

Taking Back Sunday have announced additional headlining dates during their North American co-headlining tour with The Used this spring, as Planet Stereo reported last week. These select dates will be with Tonight Alive and Sleepwave. These limited tickets will have a special reduced service fee along with a sale price to pre-order Taking Back Sunday’s album, Happiness Is. General ticket sales began this morning. To purchase tickets and for more information, please visit:

Taking Back Sunday released their video for single, “Flicker, Fade”, which was directed by DJay Brawner, Lazzara tells us,“We haven’t made a video in a while and we didn’t want to overthink it so we connected with some creative folks and said ‘remember when music videos could just be about a song?’  We found a cool location that we feel matched the mood of Flicker, Fade and made a performance video that showcased the song itself.  The result was exactly what we were chasing. No heavy story line to distract from the mood, just a moment in time to live inside the music we created.”



The band will be releasing their new album, Happiness Ison March 18th via Hopeless Records produced by Marc Jacob Hudson and Mike Sapone, and mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer.  You can pre-order Happiness Is and get an instant download of single ‘Flicker, Fade”, by visiting:


Tour Dates:

2/19    McClusky’s                                                    Kingston, UK

2/20    Luxor                                                              Koln, Germany

2/21    Melkweg                                                         Amsterdamn, Netherlands

2/22    Fleche D’or                                                     Paris, France

2/23    Kasbah                                                           Coventry, UK

2/26    Koko                                                               London, UK

3/2      Scape – The Ground Theater                         Singapore, Singapore


Tour Dates:

Headlining Dates w/Tonight Alive & Sleepwave


3/14    Quiktrip Park – South By So What               Dallas, TX

3/15    Backstage Live                                            San Antonio, TX

3/16    Bayou Music Centre – HWHAP Fest          Houston, TX

3/18    Marquee Theatre                                         Phoenix, AZ

3/19    Palladium                                                     Los Angeles, CA

3/21    In The Venue                                            Salt Lake City, UT

3/22    In The Venue                                           Salt Lake City, UT

3/23    Knitting Factory                                     Boise, ID

3/25    Warfield                                                    San Francisco, CA

3/27    Palladium                                                  Los Angeles, CA – SOLD OUT

3/28    House of Blues                                        San Diego, CA – SOLD OUT

3/29    Extreme Thing                                        Las Vegas, NV

3/30    Sunshine Theater *                Albuquerque, NM

4/1      Ogden Theatre                                         Denver, CO

4/2      Sokol                                                            Omaha, NE

4/4      Eagles Ballroom                                      Milwaukee, WI

4/5      Concord Music Hall                               Chicago, IL – SOLD OUT

4/6      Fillmore                                                      Detroit, MI

4/8      Kool Haus                                                  Toronto, ON

4/9      The Armory                                               Rochester, NY

4/10    The Chance *                            Poughkeepsie, NY

4/11    Webster Theatre                                      Hartford, CT

4/12    House of Blues                                          Boston, MA – SOLD OUT

4/13    Tower Theatre                                           Philadelphia, PA

4/15    Best Buy Theater                                        New York, NY – SOLD OUT

4/16    Best Buy Theater                                        New York, NY – SOLD OUT 

4/17    The State Theater *                    Portland, ME

4/18    Lupos *                                          Providence, RI

4/19    Sands                                                                 Bethlehem, PA

4/21    Best Buy Theater                                          New York, NY

4/22    Fillmore                                                           Silver Spring, MD

4/24    The Tabernacle                                             Atlanta, GA

4/25    Freebird Live *                             Jacksonville, FL

4/26    Revolution                                                      Ft.Lauderdale, FL

4/27    House of Blues                                              Orlando, FL

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