Aris Has his Voice on the Pulse of Some Hot Tunes

I’m always honored to be asked to review the work of my artist friends. ESPECIALLY when I’m already a fan of their work. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been listening to Aris Ziagos’ new album Pulse on repeat since it came out last month. To be honest, it has been on repeat in a mix that includes Donna summer, Lady Gaga, and Tina Turner.

The moment I heard clips of the songs and a few full songs in a car ride with Aris, I immediately thought of Donna Summer. This actually began my renewed desire to throw on a few of my favorite Donna hits. The first single from Pulse has been out for a while now and it has been making me want to move since first hearing it. I have said that I’m almost embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve probably listened to it but I am someone who has at least one ear bud in my ear even while I’m working. A good beat keeps me going and in a good mood no matter how much work I have to do or how intense it is.

I listen to very few albums all the way through without pushing past a few songs, even from my favorite mainstream artists so when I can thrown on one album and listen all the way through that is saying a lot. Pulse is definitely a collection of songs that is good for a long car ride, a hike, a workout, or just while you are cleaning and cooking.

The first song, Love (Thank you) features artist Paula Cole. It remind me immediately of Donna Summer’s hit I Feel Love with it’s sexy, breathy repetition and underlying sexy rhythm. Rain is a storm of emotion, desire, passion, and pain. I’ve said I felt like he was in my diary at some point, especially when I hear this one. It just feels that personal and I think it will to many people.

Speaking of Donna Summer, the title track has a sample of I Feel Love and I can actually hear Donna performing this one with approval. Handle It is definitely for anyone who has been wronged by a lover or just not appreciated for who they are. To me, it sounds like a dare to handle me in all my fabulousness if you think you can. But if you can’t, well the hell with you. It is reminiscent of a Beyonce empowerment piece. Basically, take me for what I am or everything you own will be in a box to the left.

Next, I want to talk about the Reborn remix. I do enjoy a good remix, especially when it is different version of the song that brings a new way to enjoy it. This remix does that for me by giving it a new beat. Make sure you check it all out for yourself at Aris’ website and follow him on social media because you are also going to want to check out his covers.

The 2012 U.S. Army Soldier Show

The 2012 U.S. Army Soldier Show was designed to showcase the talents of active-duty Soldiers who are selected by an audition held throughout the Army. These men and women are amateur artists who have a passion for music, dance and performing. They come from all areas of the service such as information technology, human resources, food services, signal systems support, petroleum supply, combat medicine, aircraft structural repair, and other tactical units. The show is put together in five weeks, and then they tour for six months.

There are new cast members selected each year as aspiring Soldiers worldwide submit applications that include videotapes, biographies, photographs, and letters of recommendation from their commanders. Soldiers must have an outstanding record in their units as well as demonstrate musicality, movement, stage presence, and versatility.  Their applications are screened by an audition panel made up of  Soldier Show artistic staff, Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation program directors, Soldier peers, and selected senior Army leaders. They are also scored by a panel of judges on showmanship, talent, and poise, the finalists must pass physical training and drug tests, uniform inspection and even a dance audition. Then audio and lighting technicians are selected based on their military and civilian theater experience and training, recommendations, and military record.

The new cast and technical crew spend six weeks at Joint Base San Antonio rehearsing under the direction of an artistic staff led by producer/production manager Tim Higdon, artistic director Victor Hurtado, music director Joey Beebe, and choreographer Amy Lynn Miles.
The performers days are usually 12- to 16-hours and begin with military formation that includes aerobic workouts, vocal coaching, dance
training, and learning how to assemble and dismantle the stage trusses. The technical crew learns computer-based lighting and audio and video functions while designing the lighting, sound and special effects.

In addition to learning choreography, performers memorize as many as 40 songs, ranging from country, R&B, gospel, rock, oldies, soul, and patriotic songs combined in solos, duets, group and high-energy, fast-paced production numbers that make up the 90-minute show. Once on the road, Soldiers work an average 14-hour day, seven days a week for seven months. In addtion, the cast and crew offload, load, assemble, and dismantle 18 tons of equipment at each stop on the tour, including four miles of cable and 100 theatrical lights. During the tour, they will handle more than a million pounds of electrical, sound, stage and lighting gear. Some Soldiers have described it as their toughest duty outside of combat. Military drivers rotate shifts driving a 44-passenger bus, two 18-wheel tractor trailers, and a 15-passenger van to transport personnel, staff, costumes, and stage equipment to their stateside destinations.

The 2012 U.S. Army Soldier Show is sponsored by Army G-1’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program. Five motivational “I. A.M. Strong” commercials appear during each performance, featuring songs written and performed by Soldier/rap artist SGT Daniel “Danny Bee” Bullock and the commercials made by the SHARP Program Office. I. A.M. STRONG is the Army’s campaign to combat sexual assaults by engaging all Soldiers in preventing sexual assaults before they occur.

For complete info and photos you can visit the official media release and be sure to check out the list of Tour Dates to find out when they will be performing near you. If you are in NYC, the soldiers perform at noon and 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 14 at the Military Recruiting Station in Times Square.