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When I was in L.A. for the World Premiere of Avengers: Infinity War last month, I happened to pass by AJ McLean on the purple carpet as we both browsed the Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years display. We didn't speak, but there was a small flashback to when the Backstreet Boys were superheroes themselves for a short period of time - turned into toys for Burger King alongside a comic that they collaborated on with Stan Lee. Feeling old, that was nearly 20 years ago, and today comes news that the Backstreet Boys have signed to RCA Records on the heels of their 25th anniversary. Doing up the signing announcement right, the news comes alongside a new single - “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” today May 17th, along with its official music video directed by long time BSB collaborators Rich + Tone. Check it out below...

Chicago's REPENTANCE will make their live debut on May 23 in support of TRIVIUM and TOOTHGRINDER at The Forge in Joliet, Illinois and today we have our first taste of music from the new band. For the past several months, REPENTANCE has been feverishly writing at Chicago’s Superior Street Studios, recently making the move north to Mercenary Digital Studios in Zion, IL to record for the first time with engineer Scott Creekmore (Product of Hate) on the boards. "Collide" is the first single from REPENTANCE, mixed and mastered by Chris Collier (Prong). Crank it up below, and stay tuned for more!

Earlier today, Spin Master's official Etch A Sketch Instagram did a repost of an incredible creation from Willie Witte aka M.C. Etcher aka happy.little.etch. It's a quickly-iconic shot from Childish Gambino's "This Is America" music video - a clip directed by Atlanta helmer Hiro Murai that's racked-up nearly 60 million plays in just under four days. The incredibly multilayered video (see it here) has been a subject of intense discussion and dissection that began immediately following the performance of the song by Gambino (Donald Glover) on Saturday Night Live this past weekend. See the Etch A Sketch creation below, and be sure to swipe left on the Instagram embed to see video of it's making in progress.

With three decades of storied history, acclaimed singer/songwriter Kevin Lee continues to inspire generations as one of the best big-hook, power pop songwriters in the business. Flanked by his incredible band, The Kings, Lee recently released Sticks & Stones on Sigus Records. With an infectious sound of modern pop/rock packed with big guitars, indelible hooks, and soaring vocal harmonies, the songs deliver the kind of car-radio magic that turn winter nights into summer bright. Tracks like “On Top of the World,” “Tell the Truth,” the Tom Petty-esque, “All We Have Is Now,” and the ultra-catchy “Hold On to Yourself Tonight,” remind you of why you loved rock and roll in the first place. Ahead of some summer live dates and an upcoming performance at Joe's Live in Rosemont, IL to benefit Lurie Children's Hospital, our writers caught up with Kevin to talk a little bit about the new album, the music business and the Chicago sound.

The vinyl resurgence of the past decade has been an interesting thing to watch - particularly as my wife and I raise two daughters in an age where music is known for coming from a flat piece of glass and circuits in everyone's pocket. I grew up with vinyl, and as a kid it was played from a turntable housed inside a wooden stereo console that was probably six feet long and weighed a ton - it wasn't just audio equipment, it was furniture. Over the years, I would own my own turntables, from low-end Kmart style (actually purchased at Kmart) all-in-ones to high-end audiophile components and some of the more recent USB-connected models. But, like many, I parted ways with much of my vinyl collection somewhere in the mid-90s, a move that I now regret as our girls really like listening to records with us. In recent years, the biggest challenge has been finding turntables that legitimately have the right balance between quality, sound, price and size. Having owned a lot of turntables, I've been very surprised at how much I love the new Rock 'N' Rolla UFO turntable, one of which was recently sent to us for review.

Wisconsin duo UNDER DARKEST SKIES (Steven Fedder, Adam Didier) has released the first official single from their forthcoming new album. "All My Life, I've Hated This Thing Called Living" features a guest appearance by ALLEGAEON guitarist Greg Burgess performing leads. Stream the new track in the player below...

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