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John Mellencamp


Although the singer-songwriter is most famous for overplayed radio hits like “Jack and Diane” and “Pink Houses,” John Mellencamp (formerly John Cougar Mellencamp [formerly Johnny Cougar]) also has quite a few other impressive accomplishments under his music belt (which is also equally impressive, including 13 Grammy nominations, 22 Top 40 hits, and over 40 million albums sold). Watch out James Franco, here comes another modern-day Renaissance man!

1.) Farm Aid – As a founding member of Farm Aid®, an organization that started as a benefit concert in 1985 in Champaign, Illinois, Mellencamp helps raise money for American family farmers every year. Inspired by Bob Dylan and in conjunction with Willie Nelson and Neil Young, Mellencamp organized the first concert at University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium on September 22nd and raised more than $9 million. Bringing family farmers before Congress to testify about the poor family farming conditions in America, Mellencamp and Nelson ensured political change. Congress recognized the famers’ concerns and passed the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 to help save family farms from foreclosure. Farm Aid® continues to put on annual concerts with artists like Dave Matthews Band, Jack White, and Wilco to maintain awareness and continue to raise funds for farmers in need.

2.) Visual ArtistMellencamp is a serious painter. He studied with portrait painter David Leffel and Jan Royce of the Herron School of Art and Design, developing his own style that has been characterized as solemn, dark, and shadowy. His work has been featured in many exhibitions, the first being Nothing Like I Planned at Nashville’s Tennessee State Museum in 2012. Another exhibition called The Paintings of John Mellencamp premiered at Ohio’s Butler Institute of American Art in late 2013 marked an important milestone in Mellencamp’s visual art career as it garnered positive critical reviews from writers of The New York Times and Studio International. The exhibition will travel to more museums later this year and well into 2015.

3.) Musical Collaborator – Teaming up with horror writer Stephen King in 2000, Mellencamp wrote the score for their musical titled Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, a Southern Gothic about two feuding brothers who are stuck together in a haunted cabin. The production opened in 2012 in Atlanta to mixed reviews, but a touring production began in 2013. Mellencamp’s music and lyrics have been praised by many as a merging of blues, rock, and country. The soundtrack features many prominent artists including Elvis Costello (who co-wrote the first track “That’s Me”), Neko Case, Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson, and more. The tour runs through the end of 2014.

4.) Political Activist – As most musicians are, Mellencamp has always been wary of the powers that be. Dating back to the Reagan era, Mellencamp was very critical of good old Ronald’s politics and made his views apparent in songs like “Country Gentleman” where he aptly pointed out that Reagan was only interested in serving the rich. His political songs continued into the 2000 Presidential elections when he released “To Washington,” in which he spoke out against the war in Iraq. Mellencamp even wrote an “Open Letter to America” on his website condemning George W. Bush for his ridiculous political moves. Mellencamp’s hidden track titled “Rodeo Clown” on his album Freedom’s Road is a jab at Bush as well. Mellencamp performed at rallies for President Obama and Hillary Clinton to support the Democratic Party, even though they are not as liberal as he would like them to be, he understands that in today’s political climate it’s unfortunately a choice between the lesser of two evils.

5.) John Steinbeck-Approved – Mellencamp received the John Steinbeck Award on July 30, 2012 in San Jose, California. This award is given annually to a person who contributes to society in the Steinbeck essence: “the spirit of Steinbeck's empathy, commitment to democratic values, and belief in the dignity of the common man.” Mellencamp is an artist who seeks to give voice to the underrepresented. Like his predecessors (Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan), he seeks to portray the American struggle in all of its chaos. As Mellencamp stated:

"John Steinbeck’s remarkable ability to give voice to the common man and to people on society’s margins, to describe their plight and aspirations, continues to inspire us more than a century after his birth. I’m very honored to be the recipient of an award given in his name." (CBS)


Mellencamp joined such legends as Joan Baez, Jackson Browne, Garrison Keillor, Rachel Maddow, Arthur Miller, Michael Moore, Sean Penn, and Bruce Springsteen on the John Steinbeck Award recipient list, and continues to enhance American culture in myriad ways. Check out his 2015 tour dates!

©John Mellencamp, Island Def Jam Music Group (1985) via YouTube
Events On Sale This Week 9-18-14

Here's a list of the hottest events with dates going on sale this week. Our featured event of the week is Ariana Grande, the pop sensation who's quickly risen from Nickelodeon to the Billboard charts with singles like "Problem" and "Break Free." Her upcoming Honeymoon Tour is sure to be a showstopper, so get tickets while you still can! Garth Brooks finally announced another city; his next stop will be in Lexington, Kentucky, but his tickets have been going fast, so get yours soon. We've got big announcements from Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and John Mellencamp as well as rockers like James Taylor, Bryan Adams, and Melissa Etheridge who are drawing lots of hype too. Trans-Siberian Orchestra continues to line up more holiday shows across the country while Broadway prepares for the season with touring productions of The Book of Mormon, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia!, and Wicked. If you're looking for something to do with the kids, check out the variety of Disney Live! shows. For tickets to these events and more, head over to Ticket Liquidator. Have a rockin' weekend!

Concerts

Event

Date

Cities

Ariana Grande Saturday, 9/20/14 Philadelphia, PA; Cleveland, OH; Detroit, MI; Toronto, ON; Pittsburgh, PA; Uncasville, CT; Worcester, MA; Fairfax, VA; Atlanta, GA; Orlando, FL; Miami, FL; New York, NY; Houston, TX; Independence, MO; Milwaukee, WI; Saint Paul, MN; Dallas, TX; Oklahoma City, OK; Rosemont, IL; San Antonio, TX; Phoenix, AZ; Inglewood, CA; Anaheim, CA; San Jose, CA; Seattle, WA; Vancouver, BC
Bryan Adams Saturday, 9/20/14 Montreal, QC
Bryan Adams Monday, 9/22/14 Kanata, ON; Ottawa, ON; Kingston, ON; Hamilton, ON; Toronto, ON; London, ON; Kingston, ON; Winnipeg, MB; Regina, SK; Regina, SK; Winnipeg, MB Wichita, KS; Dubuque, IA; Calgary, AB; Edmonton, AB; Kelowna, BC; Victoria, BC; Vancouver, BC
Celtic Thunder Saturday, 9/20/14 Seattle, WA
Elton John Friday, 9/26/14 Brooklyn, NY
Garth Brooks Friday, 9/26/14 Lexington, KY
James Taylor Friday, 9/19/14 Charleston, WV; Pittsburgh, PA; Wilkes-Barre, PA; Providence, RI; New York, NY; Uncasville, CT
John Mellencamp Friday, 9/19/14 Sacramento, CA; Cincinnati, OH; Boston, MA; Red Bank, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Richmond, VA; Savannah, GA; Cleveland, OH; Atlanta, GA; New York, NY; Toronto, ON; Louisville, KY; Columbus, OH; Jacksonville, FL; North Charleston, SC; Durham, NC; Washington, DC; Hamilton, ON; Syracuse, NY; Buffalo, NY; Fort Wayne, IN; Detroit, MI; Baltimore, MD; Indianapolis, IN; Bloomington, IN; Columbia, SC; Charlotte, NC; Ft Lauderdale, FL; Norfolk, VA; Grand Rapids, MI; Kansas City, MO; Saskatoon, SK; Omaha, NE; Nashville, TN; Minneapolis, MN; Greenbay, WI; Des Moines, IA; Dallas, TX; New Orleans, LA; Birmingham, AL; St. Louis, MO; Rockford, IL; Peoria, IL; Memphis, TN; Winnipeg, MB; Nashville, TN; Chicago, IL; Evansville, IN; Calgary, AB; Denver, CO; Fresno, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Portland, OR; Milwaukee, WI; Phoenix, AZ; Vancouver, BC; Oakland, CA
Melissa Etheridge Friday, 9/26/14 New York, NY; Thackerville, OK; Houston, TX; New Orleans, LA; Phoenix, AZ; Mashantucket, CT; Ann Arbor, MI; Jacksonville, FL; Atlanta, GA
Stevie Wonder Monday, 9/22/14 All cities
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Friday, 9/19/14 Richmond, VA; Raleigh, NC; Greenville, SC; New Orleans, LA; San Diego, CA; Glendale, AZ
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Saturday, 9/20/14 Austin, TX; San Antonio, TX; Las Cruces, NM; Spokane, WA; North Little Rock, AR
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Sunday, 9/21/14 Spokane, WA
Zac Brown Band Saturday, 9/20/14 Fayetteville, GA
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With the Philadelphia Eagles' thrilling Monday Night Football win over the Indianapolis Colts, Week 2 is officially in the books in the NFL -- and so is the first week of our Fantasy Football game! It came down to Monday Night Football to determine our winner. LeSean McCoy scored just enough points to give Eli's Sad Face the win this week -- by three tenths of a point.

Eli's Sad Face was hampered by selecting A.J. Green (zero points) and Jamaal Charles (1.2 ponts), who were both injured in Week 2. Eli's Sad Face, however, was bailed out by Bengals running back Giovani Bernard, who scored 22.9 points in the flex spot.

Eli's Sad Face ended the week with 94.64 points. The Rally Monkey came in second place, with 94.34 points. Headed into Monday Night Football, it looked like The Ralley Monkey would come up with the win. However, Reggie Wayne scored just 2.8 points for the Rally Monkey. Just one more catch for four yards, and the Rally Monkey would've been our winner this week.

Congratulations to Eli's Sad Face, who wins a $25 discount code! If you didn't win this week -- don't fret. You can win a $25 discount code EVERY week, and every 4 weeks, we will give away an $100 discount code to the cumulative high score -- and the season-high score will bring home a $200 discount code!

Here's a look at the top 10 standings after Week 2:

  • Eli's Sad Face -- 94.64
  • Rally Monkey -- 94.34
  • Luckness Monster -- 90.64
  • The Dynasty -- 86.54
  • Snake Levine -- 81.54
  • Gritty Gutties -- 75.74
  • Gudy2Shoes -- 73.24
  • CMDDRS -- 69.58
  • Jim in Maine -- 62.94
  • The Dinkinator -- 59.42

Don't forget to make your Week 3 picks HERE!

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On-Sales 9-11-14

Here's a list of the hottest events with dates going on sale this week. Our featured event of the week is Trans-Siberian Orchestra! TSO has big on-sale dates this week in cities across the country, so get your holiday tickets now for a spectacular show this season. Usher is back on tour as well as Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, and Fleetwood Mac, so grab a friend and make a night of it at one of these awesome concerts! Celtic Woman, the Irish folk sensation, is hitting the road again this December, and NHL is preparing for the upcoming months of games! For tickets to these events and more, head over to Ticket Liquidator.

Concerts

Event

Date

Cities

Ariana Grande Saturday, 9/20/14 Uncasville, CT; Vancouver, BC
Bryan Adams Friday, 9/12/14 Upper Darby, PA; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; New York, NY; Minneapolis, MN
Cher Friday, 9/12/14 Pensacola, FL
Dierks Bentley Thursday, 9/11/14 Roanoke, VA
Dierks Bentley Friday, 9/12/14 Hamilton, ON; Kanata, ON; Oshawa, ON; Saskatoon, SK; Winnipeg, MB; Edmonton, AB; Calgary, AB
Fleetwood Mac Monday, 9/15/14 Anaheim, CA
Gabriel Iglesias Friday, 9/12/14 Hidalgo, TX; Rosemont, IL
James Taylor Friday, 9/12/14 Norfolk, VA; North Charleston, SC; Greenville, SC; Richmond, VA; Birmingham, AL; Orlando, FL; Charleston, WV; Pittsburgh, PA; Wilkes-Barre, PA; Providence, RI
Jason Aldean Friday, 9/12/14 Knoxville, TN
Jimmy Buffett Friday, 8/22/14 Berkeley, CA
Luke Bryan Friday, 9/12/14 Inglewood, CA
Maroon 5 Saturday, 9/13/14 Philadelphia, PA; Atlanta, GA; Sunrise, FL; Tampa, FL; Indianapolis, IN; Washington, DC; Boston, MA; East Rutherford, NJ; Columbus, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; Louisville, KY; Toronto, ON; Auburn Hills, MI; New York, NY; Kansas City, MO; Houston, TX; Dallas, TX; Nashville, TN; Chicago, IL; Saint Paul, MN; Saskatoon, SK; Edmonton, AB; Tacoma, WA; Vancouver, BC; San Jose, CA; San Diego, CA; Inglewood, CA
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Saturday, 9/13/14 Sunrise, FL; Orlando, FL Cleveland, OH; Philadelphia, PA; Columbia, SC; Buffalo, NY; Charlotte, NC; Toronto, ON; University Park, PA; Fort Wayne, IN; Lexington, KY; Washington, DC; Uniondale, NY; Toledo, OH; Hershey, PA; Uncasville, CT; Greensboro, NC; Wilkes-Barre, PA; Albany, NY; Dayton, OH; Grand Rapids, MI; Cincinnati, OH; Tampa, FL; Pittsburgh, PA; Indianapolis, IN; Boston, MA; Newark, NJ; Auburn Hills, MI; Columbus, OH; Youngstown, OH; Reading, PA; Albany, NY; Columbia, SC; Erie, PA; University Park, PA; Fort Wayne, IN; Pittsburgh, PA; Hartford, CT; St Louis, MO; Council Bluffs, IA; New Orleans, LA; Dallas, TX; St Louis, MO; Rosemont, IL; Saint Paul, MN; Madison, WI; Denver, CO; Colorado Springs, CO; Green Bay, WI; Manchester, NH; Orlando, FL; Providence, RI; Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; Sacramento, CA; Milwaukee, WI; Moline, IL; Ontario, CA; Tulsa, OK; Richmond, VA; Raleigh, NC; Greenville, SC; New Orleans, LA; San Diego, CA; Glendale, AZ; Las Cruces, NM; Vancouver, BC; Spokane, WA
Usher Saturday, 9/13/14 Cleveland, OH; Auburn Hills, MI; Uncasville, CT; Atlanta, GA; Orlando, FL; Miami, FL; Tampa, FL; Houston, TX; Saint Paul, MN; Dallas, TX; New Orleans, LA; Memphis, TN; Broomfield, CO; Las Vegas, NV
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"Does the world need another U2 record?" -- Bono.

Very little was known about U2's 13th studio album, Songs of Innocence, throughout the recording process. Only a handful of details were available about this record: Danger Mouse, Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder were producing it, and that it was taking a painfully long time to come to fruition. Prior to Innocence, U2 last released a studio album in February 2009, when they released No Line on the Horizon. U2 stunned the world by releasing the album for free on Sept. 9, sending the musical world into a tizzy -- proving that U2 are still relevant. Undoubtedly stung by the lack of social impact Horizon left, the Irish band, now in its fourth decade, went back to square one.

Songs of Innocence thematically returns to where it all began for U2 -- the streets of Dublin in the 1970s. Innocence's opening track, "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)," recounts the experience of where it all started for Bono -- listening to the Ramones, and finding his inspiration for his eventual career and life. "Miracle" rollicks along, with The Edge borrowing a guitar sound from Jack White, while Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton provide a powerful and fitting rhythm section.

While Innocence starts off punk, it quickly gives a tip of the cap to The Joshua Tree. "Every Breaking Wave," the album's second track, was dropped from Horizon at the 11th hour, but made its way onto Innocence. With a late 80s feel, "Every Breaking Wave" wouldn't be horribly out of place on The Joshua Tree -- especially since it feels like a cousin to "With or Without You."

Innocence is one of U2's most personal records, accentuated most by "Iris (Hold Me Close)," which is an ode to Bono's mother, who passed away when the singer was just 14 years old. "Iris" is one of the album's stand-out tracks, with a driving bass line that could have been written by 1990s U2, coupled with guitar riffs that could have a home on The Unforgettable Fire.

Danger Mouse's DNA can be found throughout the album, but his grip on "This Is Where You Can Reach Me" is undeniable -- the pulsating bass, sparse guitar and synthesizers could easily be mistaken for a Broken Bells song.

Perhaps no song demonstrates more that this is indeed going back to where it started for U2 than "Raised by Wolves," which sounds musically like it could easily fit on the band's debut album, Boy. "Wolves" recounts a day in Ireland in the 70s in which a car bombing killed 33 people -- and what it was like for a teenager to grapple with the reality of the day.

The album's title is indeed misleading -- and certinaly intentionally. Instead of a return to joyous roots, Innocence illustrates the troubles U2 had growing up in Ireland in the truest sense; the actual Troubles are referenced in multiple songs, as well as Bono's angst, sorrow and anger over his mother's death. No, these aren't songs of innocence, rather, Songs of Innocence are songs of innocence being lost -- and moving past it.

That's not to say Innocence is devoid of joy. "California (There is no End to Love)" is one of two songs where you can feel that patented U2 joy seeping through both the music and Bono's vocals. With a bit of a nod to the Beach Boys, "California" confronts grief and pain straight on as Bono sings, "There's no end to grief," but, in typical U2 fashion, the next line and chorus flips the entire song on its head. "That's how I know, and why I need to know, that there is no end to love," Bono sings in what is likely to be one of the album's singles.

Most of Innocence is an homage to the band's inspiration in the 70s and 80s, but "Sleep Like a Baby Tonight" feels like it could belong on one of U2's three 90s album -- Achtung, Baby, Zooropa, or Pop. Despite the song's title, "Sleep" features one of Bono's darker lyrics, tackling the Troubles, and one of his most haunting chorus melodies in recent memory. Once again, Danger Mouse's influence is all over this song.

Indie music fans may be surprised to hear Lykke Li singing with Bono on "The Troubles," the album's closing track. While the album confronts the Troubles of Ireland, "The Troubles" confronts the protagonist's own personal troubles growing up, and provides one of the album's most memorable melodies.

There's no doubt that, despite the success of U2's 360 Tour, the band was stung by the lack of hits (read: zero) from Horizon in 2009. When the Billboard chart is filled with pop, fake hip-hop and country, it begs the question -- can a rock band, especially one 40 years into its career, produce a hit or stay relevant? While Innocence may not have a top 10 Billboard hit on it ("Discotheque" was the band's last top 10 hit), it's a cohesive collection of rock and roll songs that looks toward the future while nodding to U2's past both thematically and musically.

By literally giving away the album for free to 500,000,000 iTunes users, there's no reason not to listen to Innocence unless you made your mind up about Bono and U2 a long time ago. No, Songs of Innocence isn't as good as The Joshua Tree or Achtung, Baby, but it is as good of an album as even the biggest U2 fan could have asked for them to put out in 2014.

If U2 needs five years to record and produce an album as good as Innocence, then, yes, Bono -- the world does need another U2 record.

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Slipknot or Edgar Allan Poe?

What do Romantic author Edgar Allan Poe and masked heavy metal band Slipknot have in common, you ask? Not much, except for their similar lyrical themes of darkness, horror, and unrequited love. Can you tell which title belongs to Poe (A) and which belongs to Slipknot (B)? Can you tell we’re excited for Halloween?! (Answers below; no cheating!)

1. “The Devil in the Belfry”

2. “Wait and Bleed”

3. “A Descent into the Maelström”

4. “The Premature Burial”

5. “'Til We Die”

6. “Ligeia”

7. “Gematria (The Killing Name)"

8. “The Imp of the Perverse”

9. “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”

10. "This Cold Black"

11. "Child of Burning Time"

12. “Some Words with a Mummy”

13. "The Heretic Anthem"

14. "Vendetta"

15. "Wherein Lies Continue"

16. “The Man That Was Used Up”

17. “Never Bet the Devil Your Head”

18. “The Nameless”

19. “The Pit and the Pendulum”

20. “Pulse of the Maggots”

If Poe was alive today, would he be a metal head? Who knows?! We might even catch him in the pit this fall at a Slipknot and Korn show moshing out some of that writerly angst.

YouTube © 2009

Answers: 1) A; 2) B; 3) A; 4) A; 5) B; 6) A; 7) B; 8) A; 9) A; 10) B; 11) B; 12) A; 13) B; 14) B; 15) B; 16) A; 17) A; 18) B; 19) A; 20) B

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Events On Sale This Week 9-4-14

Here's a list of the hottest events with dates going on sale this week. Our event of the week is Bob Dylan, the legendary contrarian who’s still touring the world at 73-years-old. You won't want to miss "Blowin' in the Wind" live, so get your Dylan tickets soon! Trans-Siberian Orchestra is preparing for the holiday season, which is the perfect event for the whole family. Speaking of family, Yo Gabba Gabba! is touring as well, bringing smiles and joy to children across the country. In country news, Garth Brooks finally announces another date; the rock star will be heading to Jacksonville, Florida on the next leg of his musical journey! Dierks Bentley, Hunter Hayes, and Jason Aldean are still hot sellers, but they will be rivaled this week with Cher, Maroon 5, Slipknot, and Usher. For tickets to these events and more, head over to Ticket Liquidator.

Concerts

Event

Date

Cities

Bob Dylan Friday, 9/5/14 Boston, MA; Washington, DC; New York, NY; Newark, NJ; Cleveland, OH; Denver, CO; Seattle, WA; Hollywood, CA; Oakland, CA; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA
Bob Dylan Saturday, 9/6/14 Toronto, ON; Chicago, IL; Minneapolis, MN
Bryan Adams Friday, 9/12/14 Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; New York, NY; Minneapolis, MN
Cher Friday, 9/5/14 North Charleston, SC; Corpus Christi, TX; Bossier City, LA; Austin, TX; Lubbock, TX; Corpus Christi, TX; Bossier City, LA
Dierks Bentley Friday, 9/5/14 Utica, NY; Uncasville, CT; Missoula, MT
Dierks Bentley Friday, 9/12/14 Hamilton, ON; Kanata, ON; Saskatoon, SK; Winnipeg, MB; Edmonton, AB; Calgary, AB
Garth Brooks Friday, 9/12/14 Jacksonville, FL
Hunter Hayes Friday, 9/5/14 University Park, PA; Auburn Hills, MI; Providence, RI; London, ON; Cleveland, OH; Kingston, RI; Albany, NY; Kansas City, MO; St. Louis, MO; Milwaukee, WI
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It's here! It's finally here! Football fans can rejoice -- today, Thursday, Sept. 4, marks the beginning of the 2014 NFL season. The Seattle Seahawks will raise their first-ever championship banner tonight, prior to hosting the Green Bay Packers, in a rematch of the infamous "Fail Mary" game two years ago.

A lot has happened since the Seahawks trounced Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl last February -- the Winter Olympics have come and gone, as has the World Cup. California Chrome won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, but came up short at the Belmont. Baseball season began and is now in its stretch run. LeBron James led the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals, but lost to the Spurs -- but then decided to opt out of his contract, and return to Cleveland. The Los Angeles Kings won their second Stanley Cup title in three seasons, perhaps laying the foundation of a dynasty.

But for football fans, none of that matters anymore -- it's football season. Will the Seahawks repeat? Will Peyton Manning break his own records? Will Peyton Manning actually win another Super Bowl? What about the Patriots -- can Tom Brady win his fourth, or will younger quarterbacks like Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill take over the league?

Well, we don't know right now, but we're going to find out. Here's my fearless predictions for the 2014-15 season.

AFC East -- New England Patriots. Is there any doubt that the Patriots will win at least 11 games, probably 12-13, and earn a first round bye? Didn't think so.

AFC North -- Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals will win the division almost by default; the Ravens and Steelers simply aren't that good, and the Browns are still a year away from being a legitimate threat.

AFC South -- Indianapolis Colts. Is this the worst division in football? The Texans are better than the 2-14 team they were last season, but they're still not a good football team. The Titans and Jaguars aren't quite ready to hang with the Colts over a full 16-game season.

AFC West -- Denver Broncos. Nothing to see here.

AFC Wild Cards -- Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers.

NFC East -- Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants and Redskins will both be better, but the Eagles are still the team to beat.

NFC North -- Green Bay Packers. Even without Aaron Rodgers for seven games last season, the Packers went 8-7-1, and qualified for the playoffs.

NFC South -- New Orleans Saints. The Panthers just won't have the offense to hang with Drew Brees and the high-flying Saints this season.

NFC West -- San Francisco 49ers. Seattle ousted the Niners in the NFC title game last season, but the 49ers get (some) revenge this year, by stealing the division crown.

NFC Wild Cards -- Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears.

AFC Championship Game: New England over San Diego

NFC Championship Game: New Orleans over Green Bay

NFL MVP: Aaron Rodgers

NFL Offensive Player of the Year: Aaron Rodgers

NFL Defensive Player of the Year: J.J. Watt

NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: Brandin Cooks

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jadeveon Clowney

Super Bowl: New England over New Orleans

All trademarks remain property of their respective owners. TicketLiquidator.com does not claim any right or ownership to any of the team or league names contained in this release. These names are strictly used for descriptive purposes and do not imply an endorsement or partnership.

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Brotherhood of Thieves to Play Keene Music Festival

Over sixty bands will pack onto the campus of Keene State College tomorrow for the 14th annual Keene Music Festival in southern New Hampshire. On the schedule is local CT indie rock band, Brotherhood of Thieves, who will play Stage 14 at 4:00 PM. “We are really looking forward to sharing a stage with so many talented musicians,” says Nicholas Cole, lead guitarist. “It’s a great way to kick off Labor Day weekend and take part in the unique Keene community.” With over twelve performance areas, Keene offers one of the largest free music festivals in the state, which is great exposure for the diversity of bands on the bill, especially for Brotherhood of Thieves, who are excited for a change of atmosphere. “Playing bars is great,” Nick says, “but it will be nice to play to a bigger and more varied audience.”

We recently sat down with Nick to learn more about Brotherhood of Thieves, whose recent release Little Left To Lend is haunting and potent, taking the title from its fourth track “Vast and Unaware”: “I have little left to lend you/other than these tired tones.” The lyrics, mostly penned by singer Jake Wardwell are poetic, but not overwrought, and his distinguished voice is bold, existentially reminding us all in “Walls” that we are all temporary. Bassist, Jack Reynolds (“Savage Love” to friends), shines on songs like “Church” where his opening riff establishes an authoritative nostalgia of an empty, faithless place. Nick’s guitar solos are precise and well-placed, never self-indulgent or sloppy, like so many lead guitarists can be, and his switch to mandolin on “Shifting In” is a comforting gem to ease the record to a close. Drummer, Monte Arnstam, is teeming with energy and enthusiasm at every show, which makes his complex percussion sharp and on point, while Mike Antoinetti adds distinctive color to every song via the organ, a full sound that complements the artful and carefully crafted instrumentation of Little Left To Lend.

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