Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hey, BVB Army, Here's Your New Obsession

        The members look like the cast offs from a Black Veil Brides We Stitch These Wounds era video shoot, and the music takes all the best elements of the rock scene of the last decade- a little All American Rejects, some Get Scared, a bit of Black Veil Brides, and some Escape the Fate. Case in point: The Relapse Symphony is going to be every Hot Topic dweller's new obsession and there's no use fighting it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Warped Tour Patrons, Get Scared!

Hey, my lovely Warped Tour Patrons (of which, I am not one; there is this thing called a sun allergy and it makes standing in the hot sun a bit of a problem), if you're going to catch one band this summer on that lovely tour, then it should be Get Scared.

Hear me out.

I first saw these guys back in 2011 when they opened up for Escape the Fate on their Gorgeous Nightmare tour. They, and Motionless in White, kind of took my attention away from the headlining act. They shredded harder and the singer, Nicholas Matthews, was a beast. He was like Gerard Way mixed with Bert McCracken. I was in love.

Of course, the band went through line up changes, temporarily losing Matthews (it's a dark time; I don't think about it), but Matthews is back and Get Scared is back to their shredding and screaming ways. The band's latest release, Everyone's Out to Get Me, which just so happened to make my fave albums of 2013 list, is creative and full of dark themes punctuated with Matthew's distinct high vocals.

Their live sets are always full of uncontrolled energy, practically visual and audio anarchy, so I would definitely suggest seeing them. They embody everything I remember about Warped Tour- freedom of expression, creative musicianship, passionate singers, loyal fans- and are bound to keep you moving, even after a long, hot, sweaty day in the sun.

"Told Ya So"- Get Scared! 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Bands You Should Know: Bad Things

For fans of: San Cisco, Bad Suns, The Weeks

    Okay, so, you have even more of a reason to be jealous of Shaun White. Not only is he a phenomenal snowboarder, successful entrepreneur, and amazing skateboarder, he just so happens to also be a pretty decent guitarist with a BAND. Yes, a band. I've known for a while that he can play the guitar (I watched a lot of snowboarding DVDs in my teens...too many) and I heard some buzz about the band, Bad Things, (they played their first New York City gig last year at Santos Party House) but I hadn't really listened to them. The other day I grew curious and checked them out.

   Okay, so, they're not really my cup of tea. I mean, I could definitely see myself chilling out and reading while listening to them but they're not my go to music, savvy? But they're definitely goof. They have solid vocals and great musicianship with a very California vibe to them (shocker considering at least three members are California natives). They play the kind music that should be featured on old school high school dramas (think The O.C or One Tree Hill) but the music is catchy and fun. And while they're on the cusp of being poppy,  Davis LeDuke's vocals are just scratchy enough to lend them that bit of edge. Their dance along the line between pop and "rock" makes the band a bit more commercially viable than most bands popping up these days.

"Caught Inside" - Bad Things

   If you're into them, then check out the band's website where you can find tour information (hint: if you're a Southern reader, then they might be coming near your this summer) and more. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Get a Free The 1975 EP

   The 1975 are doing something awfully cool today; its giving you a free download of its Facedown EP free if you sign up for its mailing list. Pretty sweet. This lovely EP features the following tracks:

  1. Facedown
  2. The City
  3. Antichrist
  4. Woman
   Granted, all of these tracks can be bought on the deluxe version of the band's debut, The 1975, but if you just want to try the band out or don't have the extra cash to legally buy the extra songs ("Facedown", "Antichrist", and "Woman") then you might want to head over to their site to sign up for their newsletter. 

   The tracks featured on this EP are some of my favorites. "Facedown" is an atmospheric intro really sets the easy, flowing tone. It sounds like something that should intro a Peter Pan movie. By the time Matt Healy's haunting voice breezes through, you're already pulled in. The version of "The City" that you're getting is the EP version (duh) and is a bit dirtier in its sound and not as manufactured, which isn't a bad thing. It definitely has a more "live" feel to it and it's worth having both versions in your library. "Antichrist" is one of my favorite The 1975 tracks. Matt Healy employs a deeper set of vocals and the imagery is startling. It's definitely the most "Libertines" of their tracks but has that very John Hughes movie soundtrack vibe to it. Finally, "Woman" reminds me of "Me" (another great track that you can get if you buy the deluxe version of the album). A very simple track, it's a great closer to this solid EP. 

   Oh, and did I mention it's FREE? Yeah, so, if you can deal with the occasional newsletter, I suggest signing up and getting a hold of this EP. 

   If you need some more incentive, check out the video for "Antichrist" below. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Oh, Louis Tomlinson...

   Oh, Louis Tomlinson, you are quickly becoming my favorite person ever. 

   Alright, so the lovely Doncaster native and oldest member of One Direction, Louis Tomlinson, threw what appeared to be orange juice or orange Powerade or Gatorade or something at fans in the crowd at the band's most recent show and, apparently, this has made the precious, oversensitive One Direction fans LOSE. THEIR. MINDS. 

  Tumblr is literally going crazy with pro-Louis and anti-Louis factions creating a mini world war in the blue realm. 

 I decided to put my two sense in. Why? Because my house has turned into a Sauna from Hell and I can't sleep and also because I think it's time that you little Directioners learned some hard truths. 

 Getting water or Gatorade thrown at you by a singer is NOT the worst that can happen. He probably thought he was being playful. Also, have any of you ever been to a festival or concert of any kind? I used to annually go to Warped Tour and let me tell you, the amount of stuff that was thrown at me was a little ridiculous. I'm talking bottles filled with urine, beer in cheap plastic cups so that the scent haunted me for weeks after, cups of ice cream, and even full, unopened bottles of Gatorade. 

  At least Louis was nice enough to open the bottle. 

   The whole water/juice throwing tradition has been passed down from artist to artist and, instead of complaining, you should just laugh it up, chalk it up to another amazing concert experience, and move on. I mean, I'm pretty sure I've had a full sixteen ounces of beer poured on my head by a singer who shall not be named (it was a metal band, I was underage, some got in my mouth but I'm not sure if that counts as underage drinking). 

  Also, doesn't Harry gargle his water and spit it out like he's the bloody Trevi Fountain ? 

  Double standard much, darlings? 

  Let's not also forget all the good the blue-eyed peanut from Yorkshire does. He supports multiple charities, supports his friends' charities, and is an all around decent kid. 

  So, Directioners, please, take a breath, get off the internet for a while and EXPERIENCE LIFE. It gets messy, yes, but sometime in the future you are going to hold that Powerade stained tee and remember being close enough to Louis Tomlinson that you were within firing range of his drink. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Jamie Campbell Bower Sings?

I've known for a while that actor Jamie Campbell Bower can sing (Sweeney Todd, lovelies) and that he's a huge hard rock fan (he was incredibly excited about A Day to Remember's latest release, Common Courtesy) but I had no idea that the actor/model could also sing and play guitar. Turns out he can and he's got a new band called The Darling Buds with friends Tristan Marmont, Dan Smith, and Roland Johnson.

I came across this little gem of a hard rock act when I was scrolling through Twitter on line at the coffee shop. I couldn't very well listen then but I favorited the little tweet and found it later. This started my two hours of searching for info and watching fan videos of their must recent gigs in LA.

I'm a little hooked. I mean, their sound is raw but Jamie's got a unique voice for the genre, high and melodic but with the right amount of edge roughening it up a bit. The instrumentals are there and, with some work, they should be a band that most Hot Topic loiterers will have in their iPhones.

What I really love about this is that this is another actor going about creating a band the right way. He's not using his pull (at least from what I can see) to get a massive record deal; he and his band mates are actually doing small free gigs and really building up steam in a DIY fashion.

Now, if only he'd bring this lovely act to New York.

Anyway, check out the band's Facebook and watch one of their most recent performances below.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Bands You Should Know: The Wytches

     Alright, lovelies, this is the time for you to sit back and listen as I tell you all about a new band that I discovered and why you should listen to them. There's this band from England (are you surprised its from England) that plays psychedelic meets Mars Volta type music that I'm sort of in love with. The Wytches were formed in 2011 with members Kristian Bell, Gianni Honey, and Daniel Rumsey while attending university in Brighton. In 2013, the band released their amazing single "Beehive Queen" (go buy it NOW) and then "Robe for Juda" in November 2013. The band's first single for the US, "Crying Clown", was released around that same time.

    All incredibly interesting information, right? The key thing for you guys to understand is that their sound is different. Bell's vocals almost sound like a sick child but a rather endearing one, one that pulls you in and who you want to listen to over and over again until the words from the song and the thrum of his vocals are tattooed into your brain. Make sense? "Beehive Queen" has to be one of my favorite songs in a long time. It's kind of like The Munsters theme song meets the Beach Boys. It sounds similar to something the lovely Mars Volta would have put out had they been a bit more creative. 

  The band will be touring North America this summer. I'll be sure to check them out either at its Mercury Lounge gig on July 24th or its Glasslands show on July 25th. You can see a full list of dates plus check out links for mercy, videos and more at their website


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mat Devine is Goldblooded

    Mat Devine has been one of my biggest influences creatively since I was twelve. As the lead singer of Kill Hannah, he captured my attention with his unique voice and crazy style that reminded me of Edward Scissorhands meets Dickensonian London. There was something wild about him and, to a twelve year old caught in the vortex of 90s and millennial era boy bands and brought up on a steady diet of rock n' roll and classical, Devine was different and new and something inherently mine because I discovered him before anyone showed him and Kill Hannah to me.


   Anyway, I've been a huge fan since I was a pre-teen and have seen a few Kill Hannah shows, met the band and have his autograph saved in a scrap book in my room. Obviously, this is becoming a life long passion. So, when he announced he was working on a solo effort I was stoked. He's been campaigning for the record for a little over a month now and as of today he's achieved 44% of his goal. 

  Now, I pledged that first day and, unfortunately, until my next paycheck, can't really pledge again because, you know, I'm a broke grad student teaching kids basic vocab for a living. ANYWAY, I decided to show you guys the video for the song "Birds of Prey", hoping it will entice the lot of you to maybe spare some shekels and DONATE TO THE CAUSE. (I want this album, people; it needs to be in my hands and ears and blasting from my car so I can annoy the new neighbors who don't know the unwritten parking rules of my hometown). 

    If that The Cure meets Bauhaus meets The XX track doesn't convince you to pledge, then maybe the idea that Gerard Way contributed to one of the tracks will. Yes, Gerard Way or he who will not be named because he said a bird made him realize that My Chem had to end. I'm still bitter. 

    Oh, and there are different levels of pledges so maybe you're a trust fund baby who wants a little more than just a CD. You can spend anywhere from $10 to $5000 (the other two amounts seem a little far fetched but, hey, if you have a $1,000,000 to spare, be my guest and check them out) where you can get Mat Devine to play a house party (why is the New School taking my money for education when it can be well spent on a house party?). Pretty sweet, eh?

   If thou art interested in contributing to this most noble of causes, head on over to Mat Devine's site and pledge away, darlings. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Concert Review: The 1975 at Rams Head Live

   Remember how a few months ago I mentioned that I was a failure of a fangirl and had to road trip it down to Baltimore in order to catch the 1975? Yeah, well, Thursday night, June 5th, I slithered my way through the crowd to get close enough to the stage in order to bring back accurate reports of the greatness that was the 1975. 

   It was a hardship. Really.