Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Executive Decision!

Starting tomorrow, since I am incredibly excited for Warped Tour as some of you may have guessed, I am going to be featuring several of the artists, including ones I am talking to at the Montreal date! It will be a chance for you guys to check out the acts I am looking forward to and some new ones that I love!

Warped Tour in Montreal!

A lot of people know or have learned through this site that I have a huge passion for music of any kind. Even my lovely mother gave me the nickname of "music groupie" the other day since I am constantly talking up both new and old artists. I even had a Michael Jackson tribute dance party the other day! (Personal favorite? PYT. What's yours?)

Some of that passion has done pretty well for me as of late, even resulting in press tent access along with some interviews with acts like Lights, The White Tie Affair, VersaEmerge, Underoath, TV/TV among others at the Warped Tour date in Montreal! I will be putting up all the interviews here and any video/pictures I take at the biggest festival in North America but I'd love your guys input on any good questions I could ask at the interviews since I want to spice up the ones I use most often!

Just drop me a comment, line or if you know me in person, just let me know! :)

Video of the Week, Not Weak Edition..I don't even know.

In celebration of All Time Low's new album 'Nothing Personal' dropping on Tuesday, and the fact that I haven't updated this blog in a while, I thought I would post a little bit on Rian, Zach, Jack and Alex of All Time Low. These boys have been a personal favorite and definite guilty pleasure since I saw them for the first time only a short two months ago while working for Cobra Starship in Montreal on the tour and with some of the bands I tend to talk most about on here. They know how to start the party in their live shows, are hilarious and can really make a show happen!

Recently, they did a skit for MTV where they got kidnapped by a few girls and their ransom? The reason the band couldn't leave? Supposedly, the girls had the only copy of their masters for their brand new third full length album dropping this Tuesday! Luckily, the boys got to escape when the girls discovered (via trending topics on twitter of course) that the album was leaked, thus the boys had no need to worry. They could just rip their own leaked album! Lucky ducks!

You can actually find the full album streaming for free on MTV's Buzzworthy Blog, an awesome read. Unfortunately, it's only an option in the US right now, which may be unfortunate for some of you guys since a lot of my readers lately are from Canada and the UK but just wait till Tuesday, believe me it's worth it! Along with their latest singles off of the album, Weightless and Damned If I Do, they once again do not disappoint and I can't wait to see them on their (hopefully) supporting tour for the album!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Not just your typical over played MTV musical fare.

A shout out to the Animal Collective?

Who knows, but I really don't think so. These guys are still something special and, after listening to a well known personal favorite of mine rave about these talented, youthful and hilarious guys, I knew I had to try it. They may seem like your typical overplayed MTV musical fare (I'm more of a VH1 girl), but it's only at first glance. The boys of The White Tie Affair, who also will be played Warped Tour in its' entirety, which may give them a little street cred, are extremely talented and will be blowing up in every ones' faces very soon! They most recently played Montreal while on tour with Lady Gaga and DA and Maxwell of Chester French and hopefully will be back soon!

They are great guys who I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to talk with at Warped Tour when everything hopefully gets completed for the day I can't wait for (July 11th in Montreal!) among others I will be talking to in interviews!

You can find more of their music here and definitely check out their awesome youtube presence where they have some great tour footage and good times with two of my favorites!

It is a mix of way too good cheesiness mixed with an indie alternative flavor that makes them a little different, in a great way!

Song of the week: "Heartbreak World"

Slowly realizing that my days off/shifts off are going to be my only times to post is a quick inspiration and motivation to really get some stuff up here that I have been planning on for a while now. Thus why my last two posts on here have been a video of the week and song of the week, apologies. I even have a album review I want to put up and a interview with an amazing band that's opening for two of my favorite acts all summer, but I'll slow down a bit after this quick post.

Quickly becoming a often played summer radio hit is "Come On Get Higher" by the amazingly, talented Matt Nathanson. A great friend of mine, the great Alecks Zamara has been a huge fan of this guy since her years in university and turned me on to him recently, after I found out he would be opening for Jack's Mannequin in the fall, a tour I definitely plan on going to and one you should plan on going to too! Recently as I said before, one of his singles "Come On Get Higher" has been getting some major play and for good reasons, the lyrics are amazing, his voice is one of the best, and for the girls out there, his looks aren't too hard on the eyes either as superficial as that reason may be! This song isn't my favorite as of now, though my favorite songs change a ton, as any of my good friends and family can tell you, as they make fun of me relentlessly for it. Best example yet? I currently am taking my first listen to the debut album by another favorite of mine, Chester French, and change my favorites as I listen to every new song, right now it's Bebe Buelle if anyone was wondering!

Back to my favorite song and this song of the week though, with "Heartbreak World" off of Matt Nathanson's latest project and album "Some Mad Hope", just released in 2008. It is his first album released by a main record label as he has been independantly producing all of his last several albums before this release. He seems to have never given up on his dream of playing music and is finally getting some more then main stream attention and honor for it, though I don't think he'll ever change who he truly is!

You can find more of this music here and even find him on tour constantly lately, but in particular with the amazing duo Sugarland and Jack's Mannequin this fall among others!

Video of The Week, not Weak.

Quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with, the three deejays of Moustache Men, DJ FUNK, Classi Assi and New Money are working more and more these days. I have featured these guys a few times now but I just came across a promo they did for their "Do It Yourself" tour across Canada they did earlier this year!

Two of them also just dropped a new remix of the Lauryn Hill song, 'If I Ruled The World' which you can find on the great Love Disco Style blog here and you can also catch them live every weekend in Montreal! If you are still looking for something to do tonight, you can listen to the beats and rhythms of DJ F.U.N.K. and special guest Classi Assi along with Bain Magique at Vinyl tonight, with a night of boogie, funk and disco all night long! On other nights though, you can find Classi Assi along with New Money at the Bluedog Motel and Dj F.U.N.K. at ConU's very own Reggies on Thursday nights for the three!

Here's the promo video put up a while back for the tour. Definitely check these guys out soon! They don't disappoint and are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with! :

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'm a terrible person..

...but lately my addiction to southern Californian rock is just being enabled more and more by some great bands carrying this sound lately. The latest being a band I have listened to for a while, seems like they have been producing music for way more then the two albums they have done (with a third one on the way as we speak!). This band, fronted by Robert Schwartzmann, is Rooney. A band that I have covered before on this blog, I never have bad things to see about their music and themselves.
It is a group of honestly spoken, talented gentleman who never fail to disappoint, and one example of that is the lead singer Robert's video diary update blogs he's been doing since their career started and luckily he posted one last night. It was clearly action packed and he was just hanging out with his best friend. Jason, his brother? Ned? Louie? Taylor?

Nope to all the above:

A few things...

1. I am sorry for my some what pathetic upkeep of this blog right now, but I'm learning the balance between life, working three jobs and this website. It will get stronger promise!

2. I apologize for this crazy kick of mine of mine these past few days of videos and three favorite bands that I keep on playing, ok four. More interviews are coming soon, one with an amazing group I couldn't be more excited about, Meg and Dia. Two amazing girls and sisters who's music you can find here.

3.Also, I am working on my Warped Tour interviews, thanks again to everyone who is doing one with me at the Montreal date. You are all the best and I definetly appreciate it!

4. For everyone in Montreal, I know I disappeared to work for a bit here, I'll be back in a week or so!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Giving a little love, even though it's a quickie!

The amazing, from left to right, Nick Fonzi, Chris Insidioso, Mike Chorvat, Phil Kosch and Dan Wade who make up Treaty of Paris are rocking Summerfest soon on Saturday, June 27th as the main opener for the amazing, classic, historic Our Lady Peace! This is huge and of course I expect a video blog. Come on, Phil! Better get on that! I've talked about these bundles of joy a lot on here and I actually got inspired to finally start this little project of mine that has always been a dream after their show with Jack's Mannequin in Montreal last November! Glad to see that since tour, they have been playing with a few huge players like the Academy Is, The Spill Canvas, Dashboard Confessional and now Our Lady Peace!

And a little addition, since I'm all about the videos today, one of Mike's finer moments and his favorite types of pie at last year's warped tour. It's pretty much a classic:

Here's a quick test, about an amazing group.

Lately, I've been blogging at the spur of the moment,writing a quick post on what comes to mind as most do? No more blogging only certain things on certain days but putting up whatever I want to. And today that is a guess this band feature, as strange and random as it sounds. One of the people in this picture appears once again on this page of the blog, but he's changed a bit in his looks, but not their sound.

They are a classic favorite of mine, and crazy enough, weren't a favorite. I really hadn't even heard of them until they had taken a hiatus from each other but instead, starting listening to their music once I started listening to the man in question, Andrew McMahon once again. See if you can pick him out in the picture. I definetly feell like I'm running back to high school when I listen to anything by this amazing band, Something Corporate. A few things spurred this love interest again with this amazing band, one being that rumors, though they are always flying, are saying that these boys will be going on a tour for nostalgia sometime soon! Mr. or Dr. McMahon to you, see the video below for that, is currently opening for the Fray but soon enough will be headlining his own tour featuring the amazing Matt Nathanson for the fall but hey, maybe we'll be hearing from Something Corporate after that, you never know!

The video is one that really got me into both bands and is amazing.
You'll see, he's never changed no matter what has happened in his life and I love it!:

I'm on a kick..

I'm on a Augustana kick, but they aren't exactly a guilty pleasure so I think I'm totally okay with it. I have had iTunes on all day in between tidbits of Veronica Mars on my one day off this next week and currently my favorite from these guys last album (definitely the best one yet!) is either Rest, Shame, Love, Fire or When Love Went Wrong.
These guys are dropping a new album, being their third very soon but listen to these songs definitely to hold you over or possibly even create a new fan in you in preparation. These guys are definitely one of my favorites!

P.S. I tend to blog about my favorites in incredible amounts, so be prepared! It's okay though, I have a million favorites...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Q&A with Take Cover

Lately, I've been checking out and talking to some great bands out of a sometimes surprising but growing music scene, being Minnesota. I don't know about you but before I started writing this site, I didn't know this scene existed. When I thought of Minnesota, I thought of a family friend who coached a university team there, lots of snow, and the Mall of America. You know, the one that the team skated through in one of those Mighty Duck movies?

I feel pretty stupid though when I look back at where I was when I started this site. The main goal was to find some great bands and try to shine a little more light to them in a broader way, doing interviews with the ones I really liked and writing about them on here since people are looking at this from all over and one of the gems I found through listening to some great bands was Take Cover. Take Cover, as I said before, comes out of Minneapolis and were suggested to me by another great act out of the same area, Jamestown Story who I have done an interview with in the past.

There is something about these acts I am listening to from the midwest area that is very special. It may be their general happy attitude about life or their great sense of music but it is something amazing and I am lucky enough to get the chance to sit down with some of the great ones. Recently, I sat down with Take Cover via the interwebs and we talked everything from favorite treat to their favorite album of 2009 thus far, one that is very popular and common, it's not a bad thing, from many bands I have talked to!

How did the name Take Cover come about? Has it always been that?
We were all hanging out watching videos on the internet and came across a video of Acceptance doing their song "Take Cover" live. It was done so well it kind of struck us all and right there we thought Take Cover would be the name!

What is in your opinion your top favorite album of 2009 thus far?
Oh this is a tough one since we all have different tastes in music. I know A Day To Remember's new album is really sick. I know there are so many more but I'm drawing a blank right now!

How do you go about the song writing process? Does one person write the lyrics or is it more of a collective effort?
Lyrically Ryan works on most of the lines in our songs and then brings them to the tables to see what works and what doesn't. We all give our input on pretty much all of the aspects of the music to make it the best product we can possibly put out.

Who are your major musical influences?
Collectively as a band we always look to some of these current bands for inspiration and direction for how they take on their image and sound: Anberlin, Paramore, Acceptance, Mayday Parade, and pretty much any oldies band that rocked it hard back in the day.

If you could choose any two acts to tour with, who would they be?
Sing it Loud-They are like our brothers and touring with them is amazing!
Anberlin-Just such a strong influence on our music and they are very down to earth guys!

Who are you listening to at the moment?
Black Eyed Peas "Boom Boom Pow".

Do you ever play covers? If so, which songs?
We might be putting one into the set, but we'll see.

What are you up to right now, music wise?
We are currently finishing our new EP "The Last Word" out on June 9th.

What's the most unusual place you have ever played or recorded at?
Birthday parties are always a little different situation because usually you don't know anyone there.

What's your favorite snack/treat?
There are just favorite foods in general.
Chad-Wings with ranch and Vitamin Water flavor Sync.

Any last words?
Keep posted for new updates coming up on the myspace coming very soon and our new EP will be launching in June!

You can find their new EP on iTunes along with some other great songs and look for them to come by you soon as they are currently on tour. They will be hitting Lacrosse Wisconsin tonight and can find a great update video by the guys right here:

I'm a sucker for live music, but clearly most of you already know that!

This past weekend, a friend of my sister's was down and her being a music freak like me, we sat down after a few and listed our top favorite bands. Both of us agreed that we could never list them by number, you know the whole scale of number one favorite till how many numbers (I think for me, it would be around 100). I used to always say Augustana and they are a definite favorite but quickly, through the process of starting up and writing this blog, I have come across so many amazing musicians and bands that I could never rate them in order, I just have favorites.

But to the point of this story. I strongly believe in the idea that if you like a band, you will always love them a whole lot more once you see them live. At first, I didn't believe this idea at all. I've grown up, here comes a secret, being dragged to a country music festival every year with my parents and up until a few years ago, I had never been to a concert that wasn't country until about January 2007 where I saw one of my favorite bands Augustana play with a great supporting act I've talked about on here before, Vega 4. At the time, I was very disappointed in the show that Augustana put on. They were at a a dark point, on the verge of a break up and the show was very down in emotion. I didn't listen to them for a while and decided to give them another chance back in not this past May but last and my view was completely changed and now the love is a lot bigger as the theory goes! The second video below is the beautiful singer who I was at first extremely disappointed in but after seeing his amazing transformation once his little girl was born as his inspiration, my faith was quickly restored as cheesy as it sounds!

Another band that is amazing live is Jack's Mannequin. Andrew McMahon, the lead singer and the lad who writes most of the songs they sing is an amazing performer who jumps on his piano, throws paper airplanes into the crowd and pies his manager on stage on his birthday! They are two of my definite favorites and seeing how both will be touring this fall into the winter, along with Jack's Mannequin currently on tour with the Fray, I thought I would put up some videos from their live shows in Montreal as the video(s) of the week. Enjoy! You can find more of the sweet southern rock tunes of Augustana here and the sad but amazingly written California rock songs of Jack's Mannequin here. Hopefully, I'll be seeing you at their next shows in lovely Montreal or maybe even on our hopeful road trips to see them if they are playing out of town!

I don't care if I'm a guilty pleasure for you.

"I came here to make you dance tonight, I don't care if I'm a guilty pleasure for you. Shut up cause we won't stop and we're getting down til the sun's coming up," is just a taste of my first to none biggest guilty pleasure right now just as the lyrics suggest.

I've "worked" for these guys in the past, in particular at their latest date opening on the Believers Never Die tour for Fall Out Boy in Montreal on May 6th and it was a blast! Everyone in the longest line I have ever seen in my life didn't mind me pushing postcard fliers in their faces for this great contemporary alternative band (Vicky, the sole girl in the band plays a keyboard guitar) for their new album dropping this summer and their tour video blogs(...they are genius!). Besides all the great new things coming from these guys, it also may have just been their love for Mr. Gabe Saporta, the lead singer of the group or their supposed connections that some "haters" think are the only reason the fabulous people behind Cobra Starship have become successful. These guys don't care, they even got a song title out of it ("Pete Wentz Is The Only Reason We're Famous").

When I first saw this guilty pleasure of mine live on the Fall Out Boy tour, I really did know I was in for the treat. The guys were great, putting me on their guestlist for the night and put on a great set to warm up the crowd! With such upcoming hits like "Kiss My Sass" and public mockeries of overplayed radio pop songs like 'Hollerback Boy' and 'I Kissed A Girl', this group is going to be a force to be reckoned with and look for even more amazing stuff coming soon. You can find more of their music here along with a great cameo by the actually really talented Leighton Meester on their hit single singing about how Gabe makes the good girls go bad!

The new cd, "Hot Mess" drops August 11th and right now you can also download their newest single "Good Girls Go Bad" on iTunes right now!
You can also follow two of them on the always addicting twitter at @GabrielSaporta and the amazinglty talented only girl in the band @vickytcobra !

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Band To Be Remembered!

I was sitting down thinking about who my next artist of the week feature would be and listening to a commercial for the new movie My Sister's Keeper when I remembered the great band that is no more, Vega 4. 
I'm still listening to the music and beats of 2/4 parts of the former band, Johnny McDaid who sang lead vocals and Bruce(from New Zealand!) who is now deejaying  as Styrofoam Kid all over the clubs in London. A few things I always loved about this band that I first saw (only about a month before they broke things up!) opening for my personal favorite Augustana in Montreal around November 2006. 
...they are one of the most lively, okay, probably most lively band I have ever seen play a live show. Johnny jumps into the crowd and two steps with several of the fans and jumps around stage like a mad man, but it's something we love.
...he has mad love for Montreal, where he spent about six years of his life trying to make it big and get his big break into the music business. He retells stories of it being a very rough experience in his life, particularly on his winter boots with the salt of Montreal but recounts his love for real Montreal poutine.
...They are literally from all over with one member being from Scotland, one from the UK but a transplant from Ireland(Johnny!), one from Canada and one from New Zealand. Going to one of their shows and hearing all their accents singing together one song is a great experience and was probably part of the charm that these guys put on their fans.
...and last but certainly not least, they have amazing songs, songs that are constantly still being used even though it has been about two years since they said their goodbyes to each other musically. Below is one of my favorite songs by them, Life Is Beautiful, which was even used in movies like Sex Drive and the upcoming "My Sister's Keeper" as major themes, with appearances also on such shows as Grey's Anatomy. Below is a short snippet of the band performing the song actually at the show in Montreal caught while they were bringing sexy back instead of Justin Timberlake who just happened to be playing that same night in Montreal also!: 

Newpage..the sweetest rappers in Italy.

Never did I think I would come across rappers from Italy as a early music favorite, but it happened and it's Newpage

The two boys who make up this rap duo are charming, talented, and slowly becoming a common name as they recently dropped their first EP! They are sure to become very popular very soon and I hope to hear more new music coming from them and maybe even a show?

I recently sat down with the guys via the inter webs with everything on the table from having an amazing classic musician as one of their top albums of 2009 to who would they most love to tour with if they could do the choosing:

How did you come up with the name Newpage? Has it always been that?

The name Newpage about because first we were making music for fun and people loved it and they always said why not make music for real, so we stopped making music for fun and we started making music for real. With this, we moved to the next level and that's how the name Newpage came out.

What is, in your opinion, the top album of 2009 thus far?
We think Chris Cornell's 'Scream' and Florida's 'R.O.O.T.S'.

How do you go about the song writing process? Does one person write the lyrics or is it more of a collective effort?
It's a collective thing, we all bring our ideas to the table and then the magic happens.

Who are your major musical influences?
God and life.

Who would be your three dream acts to tour with?
Kanye West, Coldplay and Akon.

Who are you listening to at the moment?
At the moment, there are so many good acts, from Kid Cudi to Chris Cornell, Kanye West, Akon, Lil Wayne, K'Naan, Gorilla Zoe, The Script, Coldplay, U2.

Do you ever play covers? If so, which songs?
No, but we would love to cover Kid Cudi's 'Day and Night.

What are you up to right now, music wise?
We are in the studio every day working on our debut album!

What's the most unusual place you have ever played or recorded at?
In the beginning, we used to record in our wardrobe!

What's your favorite treat?
We can never get enough of Kit Kat's, they are the best!

Any last words?
Our EP 'Coming Home' will be out on iTunes and in other major online stores in late May (They are up and ready to go!). Every one's support is needed, for more on us, you can check out our myspace page . Our clothing line will be out soon so stay tuned!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Artist of the week...and it isn't just the treaty that ended the war.

With a  group that performs  such great lyrics as, "There's so much to say about the roles we play, and there's so much at stake, I want you in the worst way," have the craziest personalities I have seen, and aren't afraid to play a little dress up for the holidays (as seen above!), the boys of Treaty of Paris are sure to make fans where ever they go!

I first saw these boys at a show here in Montreal, when they were on tour with Jack's Mannequin and FUN, where they put on a great show to a tough audience, but quickly the audience loosened up and they definitely warmed up the crowd! When I found out they were fellow Chicago people, it made it even better! These guys are musical geniuses, even though it may not seem that way from their outfits of choice, but hey, they are just selling the merchandise! They also know how to have fun as can be seen in their video blogs of tour, random moments from way way back in the day, say oh 2007 and even more! I posted a favorite at the end of this article! They have toured with some of my favorite acts out there, including the amazing Meg and Dia, Andrew McMahon, a past member of the Format who are a favorite indie classic of mine amongst others!

You can more of their music here where they have posted some new songs, LOVE Elvis Lives and hopefully will be on tour soon again! If you are in the Chicago area, you can catch them at Schuba's very soon, but for the rest of us, I hope we are lucky enough to have them come on tour once again!


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ready for some Lights Out Dancing?

I think I have a weakness for colored skinny jeans, and I may not be the only one. The boys pulling off this awesome look are Kyle, Scott, Danny, Mike and Ryan, or, Lights Out Dancing. 

These Minneapolis boys have been playing sweet music together since 2007 and came together to make an awesome EP "All the Places You Will Go". Dr. Seuss reference anyone? And I love it! The album came around from people who worked with such class acts as All Time Low, Sing it Loud and several others, with nothing but great compliments for these guys!

I recently exchanged a few emails question and answer form with Mike, one of the two guitar players in the group, the other being Mr. Scott. The most random things were talked about from their favorite treats, and a few love obsessions for Riesens (I completely understand where they are coming from, they're addictive!) to some of the crazy venues they've played! These musicians are some very focused, determined guys and it is definitely paying off for them!

How did the name Lights Out Dancing come about? Has it ever changed before?
Oh god, well we always say it's a dirty joke. It really came from everyone in the basement of Ryan and Kyle's house picking three words off the news ticker, and whoever came up with the best explanation won. We like the name because to us, it represents the fear in everyone that they're horrible at dancing, so Lights Out Dancing would be not giving a damn anymore about expressing yourself in a way you might feel stupid about.

What is your favorite album of 2009 thus far?
I honestly don't even know what albums have come out in 2009, lemme google this. I hope me googling it makes the interview, man, google didn't even come back with anything. I'm sure Ryan would say Day To Remember, and I'll just say I'm excited  for upcoming releases!

How do you go about the song writing process? Does one person write the songs or is it more of a collective process?
Song writing really is a fun process for us. Normally there will be a catalyst, a great set of lyrics, an awesome rhythm, an undeniable melody, and then we'll all put in our own ingredients into the pot. Then we move thirty yards away and watch it explode, then we hash over the remains for a few weeks, and by the end, have a song. When we were writing 'Oh, the places You'll Go', we locked ourselves and the producer  in a room for 36 hours to rewrite all the lyrics to make them exactly what we were looking for. We left to go to the bathroom, food was delivered, and I left for two hours to quit my job, THAT WAS IT.

Who are your major musical influences?
We all have our own quirks and guilty pleasures, and the timeless bands we love. Scott and I are huge fans of the Eagles and Jimmy Buffett, Ryan and Kyle love Marvin Gaye and Danny would be upset if I didn't say The Format, but we all came from the same pop punk fueled background. We were raised on late nineties Warped Tour and bands like Blink, The Starting Line, Sugarcult, Midtown and as we got older, bands like Cartel, Motion City Soundtrack, The Rocket Summer, All Time Low, Mae, Hit the Lights, AVA and of course Honor Bright! 

If you could choose any three acts to tour with, who would they be?
That's an impossible question, do I go gigantic, because the answer, hands down is Doctor Dre, Blink 182 and Kiss. 

Who are you listening to at the moment?
Honestly? 'In The Air Tonight' by Phil Collins because I saw Mike Tyson playing air drums to it and had to listen to it.

Do you ever play covers? If so, which ones?
Funny you should ask, we JUST did our first cover EVER at the show on May 2nd. We did Love Story by Taylor Swift, look for it on YouTube.

Special note, definitely adding it at the bottom of this post! :)

What are you up to right now, music wise?
Right now, we've been writing a lot of new material, possibly for a new Cd? Who knows!

What's the most unusual place you have played or recorded at?
Well other than the fact our CD was recorded in Scott's basement, we have played a couple of house parties in dimly lit basements that smell like cat pee, a double wide trailer converted into a bar in the mountains of Tennessee, thanks Martin, and a roller rink, I really can't think of anything to answer this question with. 

Well it's an amazing answer, loved every bit of it! Some crazy places going on there!

What's your favorite snack/treat?
We're candy junkies! Danny and I have fought over Riesens before, people bring us funfetti cupcakes, blow pups, jolly ranchers and on this last tour, the most glorious thing I've ever seen,we bought a giant (like a one and a half gallon) Tupperware bin and filled it with sour patch kids...we're just beating the hell out of our pancreases!

The guys just played a show last night with Honor Bright and will be playing again tomorrow night, they are definetly keeping busy and are playing some shows arount the area of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Chicago in the upcoming weeks!

Also, here's the video I talked about before when the guys did a cover of a definite guilty pleasure of mine, 'Love Story'. Come on, it's not just me! It's definetly come up a lot over time!

Beautiful Lies

Beautiful Lies is a great band out of Boston who are about to put out their new album on June 24th and they have been slowly releasing some new songs. They release a new album or ep of music every year which gives them tons of material and would make any show great! One of these songs includes one they dropped today called One Thing, and it is great! For more of their music, you can find them here

The Future is...Linden.

When spending some solid studio time with two of the great minds behind Motion City Soundtrack, Josh Cain and Justin Pierre, it's known that the music must be great that comes out of it. Linden, made up of sisters Kara and Casi along with Steven on bass, is quickly becoming a group that definetly deserve some listening to. 

I knew these three were something special when we shared a guilty pleasure of The Downtown Fiction, a band that is literally blowing up right now. Along with maybe a mutual love for an awesome fruit? These guys are fun,energetic and it definetly comes out in all of their songs. They just released their first EP "The Future Is..." and will start playing shows like crazy starting June 20th. 

Recently, via the inter webs, I sat down with Kara, who does the lead vocals in the band, and talked everything from what her superpower would be and her major inspirations. Sharing a favorite band in Jack's Mannequin, I already knew that these guys were a great act to watch for in the future! : 

How did you come up with the name Linden? 
The name Linden comes from a song we all enjoy titled "An Oak Tree stands beside a linden" ...but honestly the reason why we call ourselves Linden is simply because we think it sounds cool ;) Has it ever changed? Nooope!

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I'm thinking either transportation. It would make touring so much easier :)

How do you go about the songwriting process? Does one person write the lyrics or is it more of a collective effort?Anything about it that makes you unique from other acts?
Hmm, it really varies by song! Usually, someone brings a song to the table and we all elaborate on it! The lyrics and music are truly a collaboration of us all!!

What are you listening to at the moment? Any bands that deserve some more light shined on them?
I'm obsessed with John Mayer, Lydia, Taylor Swift, Eisley and Jack's Mannequin lately.A little more shine should go towards Maisie ...if you've never listened to her I highly suggest it!

What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?
At 10 I wanted to move to Los Angeles with my best friend and be a hairstylist and yes, now all I want to do is make music that people want to listen to!

Who are your major musical inspirations?
I'd say the first person that pops into my head at this moment would be Taylor Swift but only because that is who is playing through my iTunes at this moment but there are too many to name. I like to take my inspiration from any music I listen to!

Who would your top three dream acts be to tour with?
Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Eats World and John Mayer.

If you had to put your music into three little boxes, what would the genres be?
Fun, pop, rock.

What is your music guilty pleasure?
The Downtown Fiction.

What is your favorite venue to play? Your dream one?
My favorite venue I've played at is probably the varsity. Someday my dream would be to sell out a stadium. I set my goals pretty high!

What was the first album you bought? The first concert you ever went to?
I think that the first album that came into my posession from a band called "Avalon" and my first concert was probably Jump5, I used to listen exclusively to christian bands. 

What's your favorite treat?
Frozen yogurt.

Any last words?
I love apples.

You can find more of Linden's music here

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Let's Make A Mess, I'm down!

Being a huge live music fan, meaning I love it, I'm always on the look out for shows, especially cheap ones and while going upon this search for cheap, live music, I found out about the Let's Make a Mess Tour. This tour is at most only $15 dollars per ticket which is definitely a bit crazy. Considering though, some tickets on the Blink 182 tour are the same price! Guess everyone is feeling the crunch this summer but it helps live music fans like me out! The tour is five bands, and is at an unbelievable price!

I'm always one to admit my guilty pleasures musically ( I have a few!) and this group is definitely one of them.  I'm pretty ashamed to admit it and will most likely regret it but these guys are different then the status quo punk rock indie alternative wonder. They are about to go on their first headlining tour with some artists on Fueled By Ramen, a label that I have ran some events for at local concerts in Montreal, including the show I first saw these guys play.

They will be coming to a city near you very soon, actually starting on June 10th playing Phoenix, Arizona and will be swinging through the sole Canadian city on the tour, Toronto on the 4th of July. I am definitely looking to take a little trip to to this show and always looking for some music lovers on these trips! The support acts for the amazing Hey Monday includes two great Fueled by Ramen artists, being This Providence and The Friday Night Boys along with newbies to my music library, Stereo Skyline and The Bigger Lights. 

You can find more of Hey Monday's music here and more information on the tour, where they are playing, where you can buy tickets and more here. Hope to see you in Toronto!

Video of The Week (not Weak)

These videos aren't really of the week, should change that. It's when I find one I love or something undiscovered until now. 
For those of you who have known me for a while, it's no contest who my favorite band is, Augustana. One thing I really love about them is their tour diaries and unlike many other acts, they don't use their own music as the soundtrack. For these videos, they choose a song from an artist they are really liking at the moment. One of their videos used an amazing song by Ryan Adams called 'Answering Bell' by Ryan Adams. I've been looking everywhere for this song,who sang it, all the good little details and I finally did, and sadly enough, I am overjoyed. 
Here it is along with one of the Augustana tour diaries from a tour awhile back while they were opening for Maroon 5 in late 2008, just after finishing their headlining tour when I last saw them. 
They will also be going back on tour very very soon, and releasing a new album :)

The song by Ryan Adams is amazing, and even has backup vocals from the legend Mr. Elton John :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

The boys of Chester French!

I've been talking about Maxwell and DA for a while now on here, from featuring them as artist of the week to a video of the growing grassroots movement they are currently riding on. The success that has come for the two puzzle pieces of Chester French is strongly assisted by the work that D.A. and Max have put into the movement. They run their own social sites like twitter (you can find them both @MaxwellCF and @DAChesterFrench), facebook fan page and answer all of their own emails. 
Besides great social media use (it's a pretty sweet trait!), the boys are growing into a huge hit. Since they both graduated from Harvard Class of '07, the boys are quickly becoming a household name. Signing to Star Trak records under the amazingly talented Pharell, they were able to release their first full length, "Love The Future", featuring such hit tracks as She Loves Everybody and Jimmy Choo's. They also dropped a sweet mixtape with Clinton Sparks that had pretty much everyone in hip hop on it, be it Diddy, Jadakiss, Solange Knowles and Janelle Monae just to name a few. 
They also have been pretty much constantly touring since I can even remember, touring with such acts as Common, N.E.R.D., Lady Gaga, The White Tie Affair and Gym Class Heroes. They are even currently on tour in Europe and will be playing tons of dates on the much anticipated Blink 182 this summer featuring such other fellow openers as AAR, Fall out Boy, Weezer and Panic at the disco just to name a few! DA and Maxwell are going to be huge and are quickly taking over the music world. 

A while back, I shot over some not no so normal interview questions and got pretty honest and frank responses with a few surprises thrown in there. These two guys are extremely talented and all their hard work is going to really do well for them:

If you could choose any three acts to tour with, who would they be?
Max: Prince, R. Kelly and Rick James.
DA: Agreed.

What's your favorite treat?
Max: Pretty Grrls.
DA: Agreed.

I know it changes a lot but what is one of your favorite songs to play live?
Max: Of ours? I like playing this one called Not Over You.
DA: Probably Bebe Buell because we get to have a lady on stage.

Who's your celebrity crush?
Max: Mischa Barton, sort of. Not really though.
DA: Michelle Obama.

What is your dream festival to play?
Max: I don't think my life is aspirational enough for this interview.
DA: Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI.

Who were your major musical influences growing up?
Max: When was I little I listened to a lot of Motown and Led Zeppelin.
DA: Michael Jackson.


Constantly being on tour, you can find these guys playing a slew of dates right now in the Uk, France, Belgium and Amsterdam before returning back to the states! Which right after they will be coming back to the United States but it seems they are playing a date at the bell center on July 8th!

You can find more of their music here on their myspace
and can find their blog, lyrics and be able to join the Chester French VIP concierge service which is a great perk all on their website at www.chesterfrench.com

I reccomend this music for really everyone. It's a great blend of hip hop meets 60's pop meets the Beach Boys. They are a duo that can make anyone start loving their music!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Suggestions from you!

Hey everyone!

A big thanks to everyone who has been taking the time to read this blog. I've been loving writing this project and I want to ask you all a favor. Are there are any bands that you could like to see more of on here? Any new bands you think I would like?

Just leave a comment or send me a note at mixandmarkzine@gmail.com

Also, big news. Look for a very exciting interview from me tomorrow, I will be putting up an interview with one of my top favorite bands at the moment and one you may have seen lately with Lady Gaga, The White TIe Affair and Gym Class Heroes. They use protection to give affection and I'll be giving them a little affection tomorrow on here. 
Secondly, this week to weekand should be some mad marathon posts style before i get into the working life again this summer. I'm really looking forward to it :)

Telling the story of Jamestown.

Dane of Jamestown Story is a experienced music veteran, being part of such projects as And Then I Turned Seven (it was him!) and playing the drums for Sing It Loud. Now, he is branching out into the Jamestown Story in a completely independant way. His music is his life and career which is very inspirational to those trying to break into the music business. He takes it upon himself to really make his success based on his efforts. While reading his frequently asked questions section, he really does work so hard for his success and it shows. He's constantly playing shows, releasing music and really being true to his fans. He is a musical inspiration, simply put. 

Dane is releasing also a new cd and will be on tour to promote this release, playing shows in his hometown state of Minnesota along with playing surrounding states North Dakota and Wisconsin. Personally, I cannot make the shows but if you do live in the area, I definetly would suggest making a little road trip, it will definetly be worth your time!

I recently got a lucky chance to sit down with Dane via the inter webs and everything was on the table from his favorite snack (he really loves it, as it is all over his 'space) and one of his major inspirations. We even have several surprising, possibly a little bit embarassing for me regarding my past musical choices: 

What was the process of coming up with the name Jamestown Story? Has it ever changed before?
It was a completely random name, but we changed it from And Then I Turned Seven so it took some time to figure it out. 

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Hmm, the power to make hundred dollar bills so I could buy an island. 

What did you want to be when you were ten years old?
A musician or a basketball player. 

What has been your favorite venue to play? Your dream one?
Probably Grandma's in Duluth, MN. Dream one is probably The Myth or something. 

Who are your major inspirations?
John Mayer. 

Who would be the top three acts you would love to  tour with, if ever given the chance?
John Mayer, Blink 182 and Dashboard Confessional. 

If you HAD to classify your music into three little genre boxes, what would they be?
Acoustic, Pop and Emo.

What was the first album you bought? The first concert you went to?
Not sure on the first album, first concert was a country concert. I don't remember which one, I went to a lot of them. 
What is your favorite snack/treat?
Cheese :)

Dane was great in this interview and you can find his music here on his myspace

Tell Me What You Want, Tell Me What You Think

So far on this blog, I have been putting up artists of the week (including Rooney and A Cursive Memory), videos (including some Mike Chorvat acoustic action and a bit of the Chester French Movement!) I have also been putting up some artist interviews( and there are a lot more coming!) along with some live show information. 

I really want to know what you guys are liking on this blog, and what you want to see more of. I have put up a poll and would love your input! 

Also, I am hopefully putting up lots of posts in the near future. I have been throwing around some ideas and will be putting them together soon!

I know that I could Use Somebody.

So, sitting here watching the MTV Movie Awards. It's cheesy, believe me I am well aware but there was one saving grace in the whole show and it was Kings of Leon performing Use Somebody. I fell in love with these guys from the first time I ever heard them. It's really lame maybe of me to admit that but it made watching these awards actually worth a moment of my time. 

I couldn't find the exact performance but here is a great video of another live performance they did. They are also playing the Bell Center in Montreal in September with the great guys of Glasvegas opening. See you there!: 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Can't STOP the Movement.

When I got a link to 'Episode 1' by the movement, I knew I was in for a treat. These guys are hilarious and after only being together since January, they already have over 100,000 fans, have played a total of three shows and yet are still touring with and friends of huge artists like A Rocket to the Moon and Cash Cash, both of whom will be playing the Warped Tour. These guys are quickly growing into a personal favorite and are definetly going to be big in radio play on your radios very soon!
I was lucky enough to get the chance to do an interview with these guys and everything was on the table from the amazing treats fans have given them to how they go about the songwriting process (it's fancy!) : 

Why did you pick 'The Movement' for the name of your band? Has it ever changed before?
When picking our name, we really wanted a "brand" ...something easy to remember and very distinguishable. We wanted something that described our songs and how we wanted to make people "move" to our music. After narrowing down a long list of names with our manager, we settled on the Movement! It hasn't changed in the three months we've existed :)

What's your favorite album of 2009 thus far?
We have really gotten into a lot of music in 2009...studying all types of music and trying to learn something from each one. Based on song writing, my (predictable) favorite has been Taylor Swift's album Fearless. We're also huge fans of Cash Cash's debut album 'Take It To The Floor'...those guys are good friends of ours, but this is a unbiased opinion! The production, hooks..brilliant. 

How do you go about the songwriting process? Does one person write the lyrics or is it more a collective group thing?
We've developed a pretty strategic process for song writing...we like to target everyone's abilities and involve all four of us throughout the entire song. One of us will come up with a hook or an idea and we'll program the ideas then bring it to our practice space and develop the song together, 'trimming the fat' and setting the hooks. For the most part Brendan (our lead singer) writes our lyrics, but we all have a hand in the final decision...but if one person in particular is lyrically inspired for a song, it's usually best to follow their ideas. 

Who are your major musical influences?
Like I mentioned before, we really try to study all genres of music and learn what works with each, but we take a lot of strong influence from artists including: Justice, Cobra Starship, Daft Punk, Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson. 

If you could choose any three acts to tour with, who would they be?
We would love to get on tour with either Cash Cash or A Rocket To the Moon...There's nothing like being on the road with good friends and I'm sure a tour with either would be amazing! However, a bigger tour with Cobra Starship or Paramore would be great for us. We admire their work. 

Who are you listening to at the moment?
Currently listening to Katy Perry--Thinking of you...phenomenal song!

Do you guys ever play any covers? If so, which ones?
We do not currently have any cover songs in our set, but we dabbled with the idea of incorporating Michael Jackson--Thriller..we shall see!

What are you guys up to music-wise at the moment?
Right now we are writing and recording a few more songs for release. As some may know, we produced two of the songs on our EP ("Can't Stop" and "What You're Here For")and will be producing a few new songs in the next month. 

What's the weirdest place you guys have recorded at or performed a show at?
Well we have only played three shows so far and none of them were very unusual, but we recorded two of our songs in Brendan's old bedroom!

What's your favorite treat?
We can appreciate some good snacks/treats... we have some awesome fans that bake us cookies, brownies, and cakes and bring them to shows! We're also big into beef jerky and mountain dew :)

Any last words?
We're really excited to have the support and overwhelming positive response we've had so far in such a short amount of time ... we appreciate all of our fans so far and can't wait to see where we can go!

You can find more of these guys music here
and you should definetly check out their first episode which involves some splurging!

Artist of the Week (A little on the early side!): Rooney

'These are the words of the popstars, These are the words of the unsophisticated money machines for the killers of rock and roll,' is just a small taste of the genius behind the talented music act, Rooney. Made up by Robert Schwartzman (or for you disney kids growing up, he played Michael in The Princess Diaries, clearly everyone right?), Louie Stephens, Taylor Locke, Ned Brower and Matthew Winter, this band blends the past four decades of music into one and gives it a modern edge. 

These guys sound like the beatles of the 2000's, with a little bit of California thrown in. All of their songs can make anyone dance and have a smile on their face, no matter the story their lyrics may write due to the upbeat- ness (that is really not a word but for the sake of this awesome band, today it will be!) and large range of instruments used. 

I've been listening to these guys for a while and when I found out they were making some new music of their own, taking a little breather after their non stop touring for two years (touring with such acts as Weezer, The Strokes and Jonas Brothers-don't judge them, I sure don't!), I couldn't be happier. From the video updates that Robert has been posting on their youtube channel which you can find here , it looks like we will be hearing their new music very soon and hopefully see some live shows coming from them again. 

This is a band you will be sure not to regret trying, or refreshing on, and I hope you do take a chance on them! You can find  some of their music here  on their myspace and let me know what you guys think of them!

Monday, June 1, 2009

We Surrender...to this band, yes we do.

Here comes something a little bit different, something I haven't covered before. Something being We Surrender (formerly Hitsman if you are lucky enough to know them in that time and place). The music is great and they are very intelligent, music savvy guys who definetly know what they are doing. We sat down via the inter webs and discussed everything from why the names changed (there was still another one besides hitsman, and it's pretty interesting!) with their very interesting categories for music. 

How did you come up with the name We Surrender? Has the name changed a lot before?
Choosing a band name is probably the hardest part of joining a band! Our original name at the heart of the band was "To Kill Christine". However,  after several member changes we felt it was time for something new. The next name we hooked on was "Hitsman" which is simply just the vocalist' last name, it didn't stay that way for long, as we knew we wanted to be a band, not stand in the shadow of the singer. 
"We Surrender" is a name that that has different meaning to us all. It's a name that is applicable to everybody in some way. No matter who you are, where you're from, at some point, past or future, you have surrendered to something. Giving in to conform.
To us, we are surrendering to our love of music. As easy a life it would be to live a life at a government office, our passion for music will always be our weakness ; therefore 'We Surrender' to the call of our hearts. 

How do you go about the song writing process? Is it one person who writes the lyrics or is it more of a collective effort?
Each member in the band has their own way of writing songs. In the past, the vocalist "Eric Hitsman" would write and record a demo of each song, and present it to the bandmembers. Each member would then take the time , put their own spin on the song and write their own parts. 
As time progresses, so does our style. Recently, we have been writing songs during our jam time. As this is a new idea to us, it doesn't work quite as quickly but the results are completely new and unique.
Lyrically, Eric Hitsman spends almost months writing the words. It takes a day to make a rough copy, but slowly he replaces words and adds new things to ensure his content with the messages he is trying to get across; drawing not only from his influences from not only his daily life, but the lives of those around him.
The lyrics are intended, not to be directly interpreted, but to mean something different for each and every person. 

If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
We would all love to have super strength, it's a must for a band on the road. After a month straight of less food then average, and dragging drum sets and guitar amps all around, you're going to be tired. With super strength, carrying equipment around seems like a walk in the park!

What did you want to be when you were ten years old? 
Around 10 years old is about when we all got our first instruments. We've always wanted to be musicians. To us, theres never been anything else that seemed like a good idea. If not playing in a band, maybe producing, or mixing, or even just teaching. 
As it stands, two of our members already work as music teachers. Its a rewarding job, that only helps us grow as musicians everyday. I can honestly say that since the age of ten, I have kept my dream alive with every note that I play. 

What is your favorite venue to play? Your dream one?
Our favorite venue to play is a venue in our hometown called Zaphods. We play it about once a month. It's a great venue that has a great staff. The sound guys know what they are doing, and are always helpful and nice, the bar staff always comments on your show, and rewards you with beer tickets for the night. The Rolling Stones even recorded a video at the venue so that just goes to show how cool of a place it really is. 
A dream venue for the band is a place I recently sang at. During my venture in the top 100 of Canadian Idol, I sang in front of judges on a great stage in Toronto. Vocalist Eric Hitsman sang alone on the stage, but would love one day to share the stage with the rest of the band! There is lots of room on the stage to have fun in any way that you want, a nice green room and lots of room for a huge audience! Or any stage at Warped Tour would be awesome!

Who would be your three favorite acts to go on tour with?
Sharing a tour with the Goo Goo Dolls would be a huge honour. They were a huge influence to the style of music we created, and their evolution from a heavy punk band into a new style of soft rock seems similar to the road we walked.
Another big influence that would be an honour to play with would be My Chemical Romance. The ir style and playing ability would be hugely benificial to our own. We would learn to grow off their style and better ourselves as musicians. 
Blink 182 would be awesome to tour with, because they would always have a wicked crowd and what's a tour without a whole lot of comedy on the way?

What was the first album you've ever bought? 
Its hard to remember back to the first album we bought. As we were children of the nineties, these albums range from 'Nevermind' by Nirvana to 'Dookie' by Green Day to 'Naveed' by Our Lady Peace" so the first albums we bought were a bit from grunge to punk and rock and roll. 

What's your favorite treat?
Toxic Waste candies, they're like warheads but even more sour!

You can find more of their music here