Sunday, May 30, 2010

Studio Update from Never Shout.

Tomorrow, my first task on my mind is transcribing my interview I just did with Christofer, Nathan of the Never Shout band (and Nick their merch man!) and I just came home from a night of work at the restaurant to find the new studio update for their latest record Harmony.

From the new tracks, "First Dance" and "The Lousy Truth", I definitely like where the band is heading with the more folky songs and I think it's something I'll like more. I could definitely see Augustana opening for them or having it the other way around, but check it out for yourself! I hope to be catching up with both bands this summer so maybe I'll even suggest it! :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Back to the past: Wild Sweet Orange.

I kind of miss your sweet, sweet melodies and drumming.
I miss the insanely autobiographical lyrics.
It's unfortunate the way you were part of the "oh find an amazing band opening a show and never see you play again" curse.
It's sad that you won't be opening for Augustana again when I see them this summer.
It's sweet how after one show you became one of my favorite bands.
I miss the way you took picture after picture like it was a mini photo shoot.
It's grand how you gave me my first interview, and now I've come so far from then.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Win a trip to see Allison Iraheta in concert!

Look at little miss active today! You New Yorkers are lucky fools!

Oranthi, Adam Lambert and fellow American Idol contestant Allison Iraheta will be hitting the road this summer, and for one special person and friend, you can win a trip to catch her in New York on June 23rd. You can enter here and good luck!

Alert to New Yorkers!: Free in Borders Keane performance!

Any beautiful New Yorkers reading this? Want to check out some free live music from someone you wouldn't expect? The lovely boys in Keane will be doing a free performance at the Borders at 1o Columbus Circle, NYC. Admission is free, but capacity is limited so get there early. Also bring along your copy (or purchase) of their new record Night Train, they'll be signing! Catch them May 26th!

My Interview With Trevor Hall (as seen on Music Remedy!)

Hey everyone! As most of you know, I work as the features editor for Music Remedy and recently my interviews have all been publishing there, but Trevor Hall is one of the interviews I'm most proud of so far in my career and I wanted to share it here with you as well!

Reggae is something that reaches out to all different kinds of people. It’s something that just makes you feel good, and you can’t help but move to the beat of it. One of those artists that is breaking out of this genre is young but a veteran in twenty one year old Trevor Hall. Since he was fifteen, he has been writing, recording and performing his music and has had quite the roller coaster ride since.

Coming fresh out of high school and with a recording contract, it may have seemed clear that it was meant to be but after some hardships with his first label, Trevor made the switch to Vanguard and dropped his self titled record this past July. Since then he has been hitting the road and playing his high energy shows all over the country. Collaborating with such artists as Matisyahu and Colbie Caillat just to name a few (Unity and Lime Tree respectively), his name has began to be heard around the states. Finally, his hard work is paying off and I got the opportunity to talk about it all with him when he came to Cambridge last February with a sold out show at the popular venue Harper’s Ferry.

I know you’ve collaborated with a lot of artists like Matisyahu and Colbie Caillat, but if you could pick any artist to collaborate with, who would they be?
Do I have to pick one or can I pick a handful?
You can pick a handful.
Cool. I would definitely have to collaborate with Michael Franti. We just got done doing a tour with him and we became really good friends and I would love to do a song or have him on a song, something like that. I also am like a huge Bjork fan and even though our styles are like really different, I think it would be really fun just to see what would come of that mash up so Michael Franti and Bjork. Those are kind of my two main ones right now I’m thinking of.

And who would you say are some of your bigger musical influences?
When I was growing up I was really, really influenced by Ben Harper and I remember the first time I heard him and just thinking like just getting a really intense feeling like ‘woah! I want to make music like that’. So Ben Harper through out my high school years was a huge influence but you know, of course all the reggae stars like Bob Marley. Burning Spear was a huge influence, but in high school I was really influenced by hip hop like OutKast and you know Aesop Rock ,just the way that they would put words together and stuff and I think that really influenced me just lyrically like the way I write lyrics so it’s kind of a mash up organically of a whole bunch of stuff.

And in high school, you ended up getting signed to Geffen your senior year and then unfortunately you got dropped by now you’re with Vanguard? How did that time when you were really doing it on your own help you grow as a musician?
Well, you know when I was on my own I was lucky to have, even though I wasn’t on a label, I was still lucky to have a lot of like good people around who were working for me and stuff. So it was just a struggle because I didn’t have some of the necessary tools you know a label can really help you with. Things like radio and you know putting up money to help make a record which I didn’t have so it was great but when I was on Geffen you know, we had a little bit of trouble, a lot of trouble, getting albums released but it was a really good experience. Just to be on a big label and say ‘Hey I did it!’ So now I’m with Vanguard which is a smaller label then Geffen but it’s more of a family vibe which I think I’m more about and it’s been a little easier communication you know. Communication is really important in anything, but especially I think in the business and we just weren’t getting a lot of communication when we were on the bigger label so it’s better just to bring it down.

You played with Ben Harper actually and Stevie Nicks, Colbie Caillat etcetera. If you could tour with say three dream acts, who would they be?

I just think it would be awesome to be able to tour with Bob Marley. I mean, there would be a lot of pressure involved because he’s a huge star. It would have been really hard but I would have liked just to travel with him and his crew even if his crowd didn’t like me. It would still be fun just to be on the same stage as him every night but, uh, other acts I would like to tour with. I mean, I love Michael Franti, and we just did a tour with him but it was just so beautiful that I would just do it over and over again like we just really hit it off. Some other dream acts, I mean, it would be fun to do stuff like out of the ordinary like tour with Bjork or tour with like Radiohead or somebody that’s really different and not be the same old thing but those are probably some dream ones.

For sure, and I think you’ve actually shared the stage with Ziggy. How was that experience because you’re kind of similar to Bob Marley’s style?
Yeah, Ziggy is amazing and I didn’t really listen to that much of his music before we went on tour with him. The thing about Ziggy is that his band was one of the best bands I’ve heard, not just reggae bands, but just an amazing band. So to be around that high caliber of musicianship every night like really taught me a lot and he was very like focused and he had this intense like feeling about really wanting to have everything right. The effort that he put into his music was really inspiring but the cool thing about it was he did sing a lot of his dad’s songs and he kind of sounds like his dad so if you closed your eyes, you could just feel like ‘Oh man, I’m with Bob Marley right now’. That was a lot of fun, that was one of the best tours we’ve been on for sure.

How do you normally go about the writing process?
Uh, the writing process. It’s a process that takes a lot of time but for me, the writing process is a very kind of meditative thing. For me, I just try not to, when it’s working perfectly, be thinking at all and the songs are just coming out and I’m not trying to figure out what they’re about. I’m not trying to think ‘oh this makes sense’. I can’t say that, I’m just trying to let it come out and usually the music comes first and like the sound and the music will inspire me with the words. Sometimes words come first but mostly for me, it’s the music but it’s just a big process of me moving aside and letting whatever wants to come through come through and not try to think about it too much.

How is your last album, ‘Unity’ doing? I mean, the show’s sold out tonight.
Really? I didn’t know that, that’s cool! It’s been going good, I mean we released it a little while ago-
Last year?
Yeah, last year like around summer/fall. The cool thing about Vanguard is that they’re releasing it and then they’re like it’s not like if it doesn’t do good, then we give up on it and do another one. They’re the type of label that just really works at it and you know that was kind of our goal with this record. It was like let’s just put this out and then use this as a way of, you know, getting the name out but I think, that being said, it’s been doing pretty well. To be honest, I don’t really pay attention to much of the numbers.
But like by kids coming out, the shows.
Oh the shows have been like, this tour has been really surprising for us just because some places that were sold out were a lot bigger then we expected. Places that we haven’t played where people come out and kids singing songs so that’s been really like amazing. So, we’ve been really blessed on this tour for sure.

And how do you believe you’ve grown as a musician? I know you started really young 15 or so.
Wow like when I listen to that stuff, I’m like ‘What the hell was I thinking?’ I think that you know, just time is just a very interesting thing. It’s a very interesting like illusion but it is this thing that just makes you grow and you have to have patience. Patience goes with time, they go hand in hand. If you don’t have patience, then the time will destroy you. So, just over time I’ve just had experiences and stuff. I don’t think it’s really only a question of how my music has grown since then because the music is a reflection of my life, what I’m going through, so it’s like through time I just grew as a person. In a different direction that I never thought I would grow, but I think I’m just going that direction and I’m just learning along the way. So the writing process has just been with the music as a way of exploring all sides of me and the past and other peoples’ past and what is this all about. So, it’s just kind of over time but I don’t think back then I was writing a lot about like you know my relationships with people and like now I’m writing a lot more about my relationship with like spirit. It’s a larger thing so music is about relationships for me just depends with what, and I really think I’ve grown in that way.

Yeah for sure. What can fans expect when they come to a live show of yours?
You can expect to rock! I really don’t know, I just can always speak from my point of view, like when we play a show, we just love to have a good time and a lot of that depends on the audience you know. Seeing an audience just standing there, it’s hard for us to get in to it right but we just love to have a good time and we just love to play music and I think that that just shows so people feed off that. You know, we’re also really spontaneous like we just tend to switch it up at night or stuff. I just think people should expect just to like you know, have a good time and just enjoy themselves because we’re not singing any songs like about bad things I don’t think so far. So, people should just expect to feel good.

What’s your favorite part about playing on the road and touring?
On the road? Hmm, I can definitely list the things I don’t like. The things I love about being on the road. You know, there’s pros and cons of everything but you know travel is like a really good teacher because you’re just seeing a lot of places, seeing a lot of different people. You’re just learning from your environment so in that sense it’s really good. In another way you know, I think touring is just one of the best ways to build your family of fans. I mean you meet people and they come out again. It’s just great to roll into a town and be like ‘Oh I know a few people there’. It’s like you have a family which is good. And of course, you know, we get to play music every single night which is you know what we love to do. It’s a pretty great thing!

If there was one message you wanted someone to take away after listening to your music, what would you want it to be? What do you want them to feel?
I don’t really want to impose my thing on them you know what they should feel. You know, like I mean I want to make them feel good but you know that can go on many different levels. I mean in a general sense, from my point of view, music has given me inspiration. Inspiration in everything, like in my life, the way I live, the way I dress, everything. I remember growing up and just being so fascinated with all these different styles of music. It inspired me in so many different ways. So the only thing that I can hope for is that it will do the same for other people. It will give them inspiration to live like the way they want to live. I mean, whatever way that may be. If it supports them in their life, it makes me happy in whatever sense that is.

And then what can fans look forward to? A lot of touring or new music?
Well, you know we’re doing this tour and we’re going to be done in a couple weeks. Nothing is kind of set in stone but we have a rough plan of just getting back in the studio. We have some songs so you know just work on another record hopefully, just getting that out but they can expect a lot of touring. I mean, we do tour a lot in general but right now because of just like a little bit of you know hype I guess you can say like just a little bit more recognition. We’re probably going to be on the road a little more then usual so come out and see us everywhere! All fifty states!
Hawaii! Hey, I’ve been to all the states except Alaska. I don’t know how it would go but I think my friend Matisyahu went one time but I’ve never been up there.
I saw Matisyahu once way back in the beginning.
Oh yeah? Way back when?
I knew you guys were friends. You did a version of Unity together?
Yeah really good friends and I did some songs for his record but we’re just good friends. We just get along, he’s a good egg. He’s like a big brother, he helps me out a lot.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Put your hands up in the air, make a heart and break that shit.

May 11th at the Middle East, The CIWWAF Spring Tour: Cute Is What We Aim For, The Friday Night Boys, The Bigger Lights, Down With Webster, Ian Walsh

Cute Is What We Aim For made their debut back into the music world scene it seems last week at the Middle East as Shaant and his new band make their way across their country with The Friday Night Boys, The Bigger Lights and Down With Webster. It's been a while since we've seen this band in action unfortunately since the highly media saturated break up that happened in late 2008 but Shaant isn't giving up and as the only original member is hitting up places all over the country, including Charlotte, North Carolina where you can catch the tour tonight at the Tremont Hall!

First up was Ian Walsh, a local Boston act who as of late has been making his way onto tours with acts like Sparks The Rescue and The Audition. Ian definitely had some fans in the audience which would make sense with the local following he has created. Playing songs like "Blue Eyes" and "Comets", he definitely put on a great start for the show to come.

Next up was Toronto band Down With Webster, a seven man group that definitely bring a little something different to the table. Like most canadian bands that come here to play (and last night even from Denmark!), they haven't developed quite the same following they have in Canada so far but the boys are sure to get to that same level here soon. Touring in the last few months with bands like Forever The Sickest Kids and The Rocket Summer, the boys are sure to make a name for themselves.

The crowd was sold on them from the beginning. Their energy is unbelievable and the way they mix rap with soulful singing coming from Patrick, they are sure to make a girl's heart flip. As is typical on the first night of tours (and most nights after if they really impress), Dan and Jk from The Bigger Lights along with Shaant were in the crowd, shaking their heads and clearly loving it which Shaant even talked about during his set. They rocked their way through their current hits "Whoa is Me" and "The Back of My Hand" along with bringing out some oldies but goodies with "It's Time To Win" and "Your Man". Along with their genius cover of "Rich Girls", the kids were sold and so were the bands. Definitely watch out for this band!

Coming up next were The Bigger Lights, a band that has become known for their dynamic live shows and they definitely did not disappoint. Now that their debut self titled record has been out for over a month (still so early!) compared to just under two weeks the last time I caught up with the guys, the kids knew almost every word when the band played "Jessie" "That Kind of Girl" and their current single "Hey Summer" in particular. In his now classic red skinny jeans, Topher Talley made the crowd go on fire and the girls were eating up every word. With lyrics like 'You make the heat in the sheets like no one can', it's clear why this band continues to gain new fans with every show they play.

Balancing both the old with the new, with 'Romance in a Slow Dance' to 'Queen of Broken Hearts', the boys were on fire and made it clear that they are here to stay! Topher even provided the title of this review with something he said right before Jessie with 'Put your hands up in the air, make a heart and break that shit!'

Next up were The Friday Night Boys, a band that seems to be opening for every one lately. Coming off their first headlining tour in February, the band has been actively on the road since heading to the UK and now on the Cute tour just to name a few. I've seen this band just once live since all of this started when they were on tour with Cobra Starship last summer but it was great both times. They are clearly coming into who they are and the kids were eating up. Being all over the area the last few months, including the time they were here last with All Time Low, these fellow Washington boys are making a name for themselves. Songs were played from their major debut including 'Stuttering' 'Molly Make out' and most often considered biggest hit 'Stupid Love Letter'. They definitely did their job by heating up the crowd for the next performance and the first performance from Cute in around two years.

After a night of energetic performances from the opening bands along with the typical energy of the first night of tour, kids were riled up for Shaant and his new band to take the stage. There were worries in everybody's minds for what was to come in this set, and a strong majority of the other bands were standing side stage I would assume in anticipation as well. We all know the hard times that have been endured over the past few years but it didnt't seem to bother Shaant as he jumped right into "Newport Living" and the crowd instantly fell in love once again. He covered a lot of the first record but also playing songs like his new single for the record coming this summer with 'Harbor'. Right after he jumped into my personal favorite with "The Fourth Drink Instinct". He also played the songs that really made the band famous as a whole with "Crush" and "Practice Makes Perfect". I told the girl right next to me that I'd die if he didn't play "Curse of Curves" and like magic, that's what he played as his finale. If that night's performance and the fans reaction was any indicator of what is to come, we are all in for a huge treat and you should definitely check out this tour when it comes to your town!
I also interviewed Shaant and Down With Webster so look for those interviews in the future on along with interviewing The Bigger Lights last month, which is on that website now!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A little bit of love for JLS. My interview!

Hey there lovelies.

So it's been a while since I've updated but this girl has so much material ready to go at a minute's notice. I have interviews with The Word Alive, Anarbor, We Came As Romans, This Time Next Year, Strike Anywhere, Trevor Hall & Jer Coons to go live along with many others with bands like This Providence, Hey Monday, Christofer Drew and Every Avenue just to name a few. I have been a very busy girl and I am so excited to share all of those and more with you including where I'll be tonight with Spill Canvas, AM Taxi and Tyler Hilton..but for now a little holdover with the cutest video from a band I interviewed back last month and a link to our interview!

Also, please vote in a poll that I will be posting momentarily about what interview you want to see next and have a great week! Check back in often!

My JLS Interview here on the website I work as features editor for!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Sing It Loud Record out today! "Everything Collide"

Hey lovely people,
the follow up to Sing It Loud's highly succesful debut record hits your cd racks today with "Everything Collide"! Currently you can catch them on tour with Mayday Parade & A Rocket To The Moon and catch the review I wrote for my other publication below! Let me know what you think of it!:

We’ve all been in high anticipation for the sophomore album for pop punk friendly Sing It Loud and the new one is even better then the first. The group definitely knows how to write a song about love and special girls in their life, which may be one of the reasons so many girls melt for them, but hey it works! It starts off with a bang on the first single off the record, “Sugar Sweet”. It is a great starter to the eleven track record, and is dancy to the extreme along with a good catchy message behind it!
Going into “Thunderstorms”, the upbeat music that we’ve grown to know from the band continues on but it doesn’t get boring like it does with some bands. It’s one of those records that I can really already see them playing live. The next song is quite possibly one of my favorites on the record, “Here With You”. It’s one of the happier tracks on the record, not that all aren’t upbeat and energetic but for the first two tracks on the album, it’s not such happy material about love.
Right when it hit’s the next track though with “Only One”, it goes back to the same message. It leads me to wonder where the band was when they wrote this record, but to me it seems like a common theme these days to write an album as kind of a concept theme of a story of a breakup, make up, the sweet moments in love, and it’s been working for people!
“Addicted To When You’re Gone” is one of my clear favorite tracks on this record. It’s the moment on the record where Pat Brown and the band finally admit that they’re over who ever the song is written about.
The album begins to slow down once we reach “Believe In Me”. It’s where the songs are about wanting the girl back, after throwing her away with ‘Addicted’. It definitely comes across as a concept record and it’s a beautiful story. Most kids don’t sit down and listen to a record track by track in order, but that’s why most musicians order an album a certain way. Sometimes it’s not to tell a story, but in this case it seems this way.
“Letting Go” is another great slower track for the band, and comes across as one of the better tracks I’ve heard on this record. It comes off as they are pretty much giving all they can to this girl if only she’ll take them back.
“Wonder Why” ends the album on a genius note. It brings the album to a close with the idea that you should just go for it.

Overall I give this record a rating of 4.5/5! I love the direction where this band is heading and am excited to see where this record takes them this year!

Songs you should download: “Here With You” “Addicted To When You’re Gone” “Letting Go” “Wonder Why”

Monday, May 10, 2010

Breaking: Bay State on a break!

After six years a band, The Bay State has announced that they will be taking a break as a band. Based out of Portland, Maine this band has been a mainstay in the indie music scene and it will be a sad goodbye to them for now. Hopefully as Tom Tash writes in the blog past about the break, it will just be a see you later, and hopefully we get another chance to see them in case they do end up staying on that break!

We did one last follow up interview with the band back at a show they played recently in Braintree, so look for that soon as well. All the best wishes to the band!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Don't let it get to you Mat Devine, just remix it & make it a quick hit!

If you've been reading this blog for a while and have followed my work on Music Remedy, you know that back in September I sat down with Chicago underground legend Mat Devine of Kill Hannah and since then I've been keeping up to date with this talented band and Mat just posted possibly the greatest thing ever.

It's called "Change of Heart" the remix, which is a full 3:30 goodness of changing this girl's rant:

Into a genius lipsync:

Into the remix 'Change of Heart' here:

Absolutely love, another reason you're a genius! <3

New song "Pretty Pretty Girl" from Stephen Jerzak..and more!

It's been a few months since I interviewed the only eighteen year old Stephen Jerzak and since then his career has literally been skyrocketing. Stephen has signed to Universal Republic, has finished his debut album 100%, has gone on a national tour with The Downtown Fiction & Stereo Skyline and is now putting out a brand new EP to hold over fans called "My Uke has a Crush On You" along with releasing the first track for stream on his myspace.

The track won't disappoint fans as it is similar to his past songs but with this one, as young as he is, I really think he's maturing and am really looking forward to this record and the tours it is to bring!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bored in Boston? Well, this is your lucky week!

It literally drives me crazy how good this week is in music for Boston and surrounding area, and bums me out that I can't do everything!

First up, if you didn't know about it, there is a great indie music dance party really at Harper's Ferry every Thursday in Allston. For Montrealers, it really reminds me of what you would find with the Mustache Men wherever they find themselves these days. What makes the event even more special though is that this week, national touring band from Pennsylvania InnerPartySystem will be deejaying the event for the night, and it's as well the official Passion Pit afterparty complete with the deejays that work with that band. Nothing about this event is bad this week, and I am wicked bummed I can't make it out!

Even if you aren't the dancing like a fool type, this night is something completely different and is this way every week. Many a band I know has taken part in this night but this is the biggest I've ever seen it. You may recognize the InnerPartySystem name either from here and my incessant love for them or from playing all of Warped Tour this summer which allowed them to grow so much in fame, constantly moving to larger stages and their main support slot for Saosin all fall on the Pac Sun tour! Want a little taste? Check out this sick remix of 'Hot Mess' by Cobra Starship. If you don't move a little bit in your seat, you're just cold. They'll be playing both their tracks, 'Don't Stop' is my personal favorite, and a whole slew of their famous remixes. It's only ten dollars, so if you don't go, I don't know honestly!:

Next up, Friday night! Take it a little more low key and as a cool down from Thursday night, but a great alternative rock band I've grown to know from Dallas named Sleeperstar will be taking the stage at Tommy Doyle's in Harvard Square. They'll be dropping their first major label full length on June 22nd, and when that comes out, they are sure to be all over the radio. I'll be at this show, and it's a great little break to get you ready for Saturday's event-Skate Fest!

For Skate Fest on Saturday, there is a wee bit of a travel but the train is only 8 dollars to Worcester, and it's a ten minute walk to the palladium from there with a bus that heads back to Boston at 11:05 pm to get you there with in the hour! Skate Fest is a day long festival (doors open at noon, show starts at 1) and it features both local favorites like Vanna and Stay to nationally known acts like Envy On The Coast, TREOS (Reunion!) and VersaEmerge. It all goes to a good cause, for the Mend a Heart charity which was started by Jordan Pundik of New Found Glory. I'm hoping for a visit from him, but either way it's going to be a whole day of great music! I'll be at this as well!

Then finally, we end on a pop punk note with the Too Fast For Love tour running through Boston on Sunday at the House of Blues. Even though 30H!3 and Cobra Starship are co-headlining the date, Cobra has the bigger market so they will be playing the end of the night/longer set along with Travie McCoy who has an amazing solo project right now off of Gym Class Heroes and the Chicago group I Fight Dragons!

Hope you make it out to one or two of these events, let me know if you do!

New Cobra Video.

For those who say Cobra Starship doesn't tour enough, you're just silly. I've seen the band three times since May 6th of last year and Sunday would be the fourth but it's Mother's Day here! The reason for my maybe rant? Cobra just dropped their brand new video for 'Living In The Sky With Diamonds' and it features my favorite nut case/hot mess/you're just a fool Peaches Geldof.

I may be biased but the home girl agreed to marry maybe my biggest indie crush Max of Chester French after four months and divorced him just over a half year later. Are you an idiot? but besides the point, the new video is great and she does look pretty ridiculous in it. Find it on right now, you won't regret it promise!