Monthly Archives: January 2013

50 States of Talent continues in Arizona and The Afterlight

afterlight bwThis week finds us in a warmer climate.  I’ve traveled west as I said I would and stumbled upon The Afterlight a pop/punk band hailing from the Mesa area.

The core members of this band have been on the Arizona punk scene for almost a decade  A scene that has given us such bands as The Gin Blossom”s and Jimmy Eat World.

Many of the guys in The Afterlight  have been part of some popular bands during this time such as Already Lost, Curbside High, and Spindle who changed their name to Third Approach.  Third Approach was a mainstay on the scene for 7 years releasing 3 albums during their reign.

The last band to have members of The Afterlight in it was The Heartless.  A band that enjoyed immense popularity on the scene and had a promising future. Their album “One Night Stanza” landed them a spot in a contest on The Howard Stern Show.  They went on to win the contest.  Unfortunately, shortly after their success on the Howard Stern show the singer left and the band went their separate ways.

This brief history brings us current and The Afterlight as they are here: Ross Chambers- vocals , Adam Blaylock- bass Chris Nunes- guitar, Jeff Tretta- guitar and Ben McCarthy -drums. These guys come together and bring a lot of experience both as musicians and as well seasoned performers and you can hear that experience on this recording.  Their album Chasing Stars was released this past fall and it is available for free download here:  :

The album contains a really cute intro reminiscent of the late 80’s and early 90’s.  It then dives right in with G.F.Y. and I had to take a step back to make sure that I didn’t accidentally change the music.  There was such a professional quality and sound to the song.  Easily compared to Fall Out Boy and Jimmy Eat World.  The album continues to hold your interest with such songs as The Beginning of the End and These Aren’t the Voids You’re Looking For, Move along.  A very radio friendly tune.  The Afterlight is capable of showcasing their softer side as heard in such songs as “Said and Done’ and “End of October”, another radio friendly song.

Unfortunately shortly after releasing “Chasing Stars” Ross had to leave the band for personal reasons.  The Afterlight though continues on as the remaining four musicians are happy to go forward filling in on vocals while they perhaps look for a front-man.  This is similar to a situation that Genesis found themselves in before finally handing the mic and drumsticks to Phil Collins.

The Afterlight does not yet have a website but you can find them in may places on the web.  They are on Facebook as TheAfterlightAZ.  I find Facebook to be a good alternative if you have not yet made a website because it is easy to maintain.

They can also be found on twitter, instagram and YouTube under TheAfterlightAZ.  On YouTube they have their own channel with some interesting videos some from shows, others just video updates. They are also on www.

Check them out if you are a fan of alternative and pop punk.  Their sound while a local band is universal.


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50 States of Talent continues with the “51st State” and Stuart Newman

SNewmanA self taught musician hailing from the UK who decided to try his hand at songwriting during his most formative years…college. Stuart also decided to undertake the task of learning home recording.  Obviously even at this early stage he was setting his sights higher.

Eventually after some experimentation and technique mastering Stuart released his efforts as an album “Single but Defective” in 2009.  This release was available as a free download. It was well received.  Stuart took it one step further at this point creating t-shirts.  Free while they lasted!!  He sent t-shirts to many foreign nations upon request from new fans.  So obviously someone was listening early on as his fan base was spreading to other continents.

Feeling the need to create Stuart ventured back into the studio to record some new material he had been working on.  Some of this new material was featured on  “BBC introducing: The South” and as “Download of the week”

In early 2012 Stuart released the EP “Bored of Idiot Chatter” available as a free download or a physical CD if requested.  This EP contains the song “51st State” a politically charged song simply understated and lyrically rich. Many of his songs are quiet tunes, they don’t holler at you, they speak softly to you, whisper in your ear and get you thinking.

Stuart continued releasing music during 2012 as singles which can be found on his nicely laid out website  In November 2012, Stuart was awarded the Yamaha Downloads “Unsigned act of the month”  Stuart is also on Facebook and Twitter and a few other media sites all which are noted on his website.

Stuart Newman is definitely someone to check out if you are a fan of Radiohead.  He possesses the same vocal ability and musically he is subtle with a hint of genius.reminiscent of The Church, Radiohead as well as Love & Rockets and more currently Bon Iver.

Stuart has many quality videos that can be viewed on YouTube.  They are alternatively artistic and a pleasure to watch.  I could spend all day exploring the things that Stuart has made available online. So check him out at his website.  Download his music, it’s free!!!  Consider this his gift to you. What can you give him in return?  A new follower.

Photo courtesy of Nicolai Amter



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