Sunday, January 31, 2010

Back on the Road with..A Rocket To The Moon!


Just two months ago, I had the chance to experience A Rocket To The Moon truly for the first time in Foxboro, MA. During my interview with Andrew Cook and Nick Santino, I learned about their songwriting process, how they all got together and some of their craziest moments as a band. To ensure my idea that this band was definitely not one to miss, their live show was electric and full of amazingly written love songs that melted the crowd completely. Lucky for the fans of the band, the boys are already jumping back on the road after a quick break for the holidays as part of the 2010 Take Action tour!

A Rocket To The Moon first started with Nick putting tracks on myspace and quickly it spiraled into it's current incarnation as a quartet of Nick, Justin Richards, Andrew Cook and Eric Halvorsen. They recently dropped their debut full length album on Fueled by Ramen "On Your Side" and they are quickly becoming a house hold name in the alternative scene! They are taking part in an extremely special tour and will be doing it until March 2nd ending in Dallas Texas.

Every year the Take Action Tour! gives a percentage of its' ticket sales to charity which should give you even more reason to head out. If not, just take a look at the lineup package for this tour. Included are Stereo Skyline, Call The Cops, There for Tomorrow, Mayday Parade, We the Kings and of course Rocket! Tonight they hit The Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, Michigan but check out all the dates below for the rest of the tour! They promise a completely redesigned set and will hopefully be incorporating more of their songs from "On Your Side"! The boys will also be playing some in store shows and one headlining one off during this tour and those are included in the dates below!

Leave me a comment if you make it out to one of their dates!

2/1 House of Blues..Cleveland, Ohio
2/2 Phoenix Concert Theater..Toronto, Ontario
2/3 *HEADLINING*Lost Horizon..Syracuse, New York (with There for Tomorrow)
2/4 Starland Ballroom..Sayreville, New Jersey
2/5 Webster Theater..Hartford, Connecticut
2/6 The Chance..Poughkeepsie, New York
2/7 Theater of Living Arts*Matinee* *SOLD OUT* ..Philly
2/8 Highline Ballroom*SOLD OUT*..New York, New York
2/9 Bourbon Street Ballroom..Baltimore, Maryland
2/11 House of Blues..Lake Buena Vista, Florida
2/12 State Theater..St. Petersburg, Florida
2/13 Floyds Music Store..Tallahassee, Florida
2/15 *IN STORE*Cactus Records..Houston, Texas
2/15 House of Blues..Houston, Texas
2/16 Las Palmas Event Center..McAllen, Texas
2/17 Emo's..Austin, Texas
2/19 The Rock..Tuscon, Arizona
2/20 House of Blues..Anaheim, California
2/21 House of Blues..West Hollywood, California
2/22 The Regency Ballroom..San Francisco, California
2/23 Wonder Ballroom..Portland, Oregon
2/24 El Corazon..Seattle, Washington
2/26 Murray Theater..Murray, Utah
2/27 Gothic Theater..Englewood, Colorado
2/28 Sunshine Theater..Alburquerque, New Mexico
3/01 Diamond Ballroom..Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
3/02 The Door..Dallas, Texas!

Check out their music on both iTunes and Myspace, and pick up the new album "On Your Side" as soon as you can! Believe me, it's worth it!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Patrick Stump solo lie? This girl is in heaven.

So, confession time.

Every person has their musical influences and people they look up to, and completely fan out about. One of those people is Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy fame. Coming off a long day of interviews and rushing around and doing a million things, I came back to the tweet from Greta Morgan, former lead singer of The Hush Sound. The tweet was a link to PatrickStump.com and said that Patrick will be releasing his first debut album. He is recording, playing all the instruments, producing and singing everything on it and I could not be more excited for him. Patrick is one of the greatest songwriting talents I have ever seen and I could listen to his lyrics and voice all day. If I interviewed him about this project, It would be a milestone in my career for sure! Check out the video he just released below:

Patrick Stump - New Album Coming Soon from Patrick Stump on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The newest addition to Fearless: Amely

Fearless Records have already been very busy in 2010 and have already signed two new bands to the label. The first being Go Radio and now Amely, the florida based pop punk quartet.

Playing their first show just in March 2009, the band's success is somehow unbelievable. In less then a year, they have been signed to a major label and have played some amazing shows. The most spectacular could be seen as the time when they traveled down to American Samoa in the South Pacific and played to over 8,000 fans singing their lyrics back to them. Tour veterans of three national tours and opening for bands like All Time Low and Red Jumpsuit Appartaus, the band is already used to the music industry and they did it all on their own with out a label so imagine what they can do now!

Check out their awesome EPK they have released that came with their announcement they were signing to fearless!:

Little something that made me smile: The new Breathe Carolina music video!

If you've been reading this for a while, or if you're someone who finds this blog through their google research results, you know that me and Breathe Carolina go a while back now. I've interviewed both David and Kyle on seperate occasions on seperate tours and I couldn't be more excited for their success they have been having as of late. They are two of the nicest musicians I have ever met and just want to have a good time!

Their brand new video for their first single off "Hello Fascination" comes out February 3rd for the title track of the album but for now we got treated to a little preview from their label Fearless and it looks incredible! I really love the screaming part with Kyle at the end especially so check it out and let me know what you think and remember to check out their myspace for a slew of tour dates that they will be doing including a new headliner tour and Warped all summer!

Meet The Bigger Lights!

Tour season is in full swing and there are several bands Mix and Mark has covered in the past who are constantly on that beautiful road. A band that has been sweating it out playing an insane amount of shows and just want to continue doing it is the Fairfax band The Bigger Lights.
Tour wise, the band is currently on the road with Anarbor, The Friday Night Boys and The Ready Set but they have so much in the works for this year with rumored plans coming out for a tour in late spring across the United States. Along with the awesome amount of live shows they are playing, they are also right on the verge of dropping their debut full length album! They will be releasing their first single off of the album "Jessie" on February 9th and this will definitely be their year!

I recently got the chance to sit down with Topher Talley, who is one of the original members of the band and holds place as the lead vocalist in the band. His musical background and influences are clearly what makes him who he is today in a great way and definitely brings something to the band. I got the inside look on how they go about their writing process and large parts of their history of how they came about to be who they are today! Read on for more!

Later this month, you'll be jumping on the road with Anarbor and The Friday Night Boys. Who would be your three dream acts to go on the road with?
Honestly our band has huge classic rock influences, so if it were at all possible we would tour with bands like Queen, Aerosmith and Bon Jovi.

What's your favorite part of the touring lifestyle?
It really is all encompassing. There is something extremely exciting about playing in a new city every night, meeting so many amazing people, and experiencing the world with your best friends.

What can fans expect at the tour's shows from you guys?
We will be playing new songs off our debut full length. We couldn't be more excited because we love the new songs so much. Other then new songs, anytime someone comes to see TBL, they are going to get a show full of energy and attitude.

Why The Bigger Lights for your name?
The bigger lights is actually from the Shakespeare play The Tempest. In the play one of the characters refers to the stars as the bigger lights in reference to the great unknown. We found that very parallel to us following our dreams and pursuing music the way we wanted to!

Who are some of your bigger musical influences?
Like I said before, our favorite bands are the great classic rock/arena rock bands. Outside of that spectrum we are all over the place as far as influences are concerned. Some of our individual favorites range from The Black Crowes, Our Lady Peace, Coldplay, Refused, and John Mayer. As we get older our influences change, but our hearts are always buried with the classics!

You've released two EP's now. How did you guys go about the songwriting process? Is it one person or more of a collective effort?
The last two EP's were written very briefly. Some of those songs had been written only a week after John Kendall and I started working on them. Everything was so new, and we were not entirely sure what our band was, or what it would become. When we released the first EP 'Third Act Stories', we really just captured the genesis of the band. As soon as that was released, we were already talking to different labels about signing, so it all happened very fast. When the label wanted us to release another EP so quickly, they told us a few of the old songs from the first EP should go on as well, which didn't give ourselves as writers a chance to really grow. After touring for two years and becoming a band of brothers, everything clicked for the writing of our first full length, and we found out that we were exactly where we wanted to be.

How did that compare to your recording of your first full length which is coming out this year?
Well the brain child behind our songs is John Kendall. Most ideas start with him. We collaborate together and work out ideas to the end, but along the way any and all input is taken into consideration from any of the other members. One of the great things about our band is that we have no ego, the song is always king and we trust each other in the fact that we all can always come to some sort of agreement on what the best idea is for the song. Having Ryan and Chris (Our two newest members who were not on the previous records) added so much to this record. Now only had John Kendall and I been writing together for almost two years, but the collective of the new band is just so much stronger. I am completely proud of the new record and I'm itching for the world to hear it.

The band is pretty active Internet wise. How do you feel online social media has affected your success?
Honestly, it's a love hate relationship. Without it, we couldn't have gotten as far as we have in such a short time. However, there are the negative aspects of it such as illegal downloads, stolen content, and just an over surplus of crappy bands. It's hard for kids to give anyone a chance when everyone is throwing their bands at them. One of the reasons why we work so hard on the actual songs is because of that very reason. Hair cuts, clothes and videos are all part of the experience, but with us, the focus is always on the music. Music first, business second. I really hope the world hears it on this new record.

What can fans look forward to in the next few months?
Well our first single "JESSIE" will be released digitally on February 9th on iTunes, and the new record will be out in March. Other than that, we will be touring non stop, sweating at shows, and sleeping on floors for the next year, and loving every minute of it!

---
Check out the band tonight in Burlington Vermont if you're from the area but don't fret if you aren't, the band plans to be all over the country this year in support of their new album. Check out their music on myspace and thanks again to Topher and the rest of the band!

Naked Water Sliding and Mmmbop Karaoeking.

I recently had my first chance to catch one of the bands I've listened to for years for the first time when they went out with Hanson and Hellogoodbye did not dissapoint. When I heard that I would be getting to interview them prior, I saw an even better side of the band. Their sarcasm and wit while smiling the whole time and the way they interact with each other won me over. I talked to Forrest, Travis and Joe during the interview and they were one of the best interviews I have had in my career.

To see a little bit of their quirkiness and craziness that you may not always get to see, check out their brilliant tour video they just posted from the Use Your Soul tour that also featured Steel Train and Sherwood. From encouraging the zebra to just go for it to their genius rendition of Mmbop on karaoke that even includes Taylor from Hanson if you look carefully, you'll see that Hellogoodbye just wants to have fun! Check them out starting this month with New Found Glory, Fireworks and Saves The Day coming pretty much all over the country!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Relient K opening for Paramore? It works for me!


The award has been given to the tour I'm most excited for so far in this year but hey, that will probably change every week.

For now though, it's the brand new Paramore spring tour that was just announced. We may not know the dates yet nor the markets they'll be playing but we do know are the opening acts, and this is where I'm not so happy. Relient K and FUN will be opening for the length of the tour. It's not that I don't like these bands, I LOVE these bands and will be traveling to get to this show if they don't make it to Boston. What bothers me is that Relient K is opening. Matthiew Thiessen and the rest of the gang have been working farther back then I can remember and have had many successful headlining tours.
Age may just be a number, all of the props in the world to Paramore but this is becoming way too common of a theme. For example, Relient K has been around the scene for an abundent amount of records, including their latest release coming out just late 2009 and it's the same story with the upcoming A Day To Remember headlining tour. It's A Day To Remember, August Burns Red, Silverstein and Enter Shikari. A Day To Remember used to open for Silverstein on so many tours and now the band isn't even main support. They're going on their tenth year together as a band and it's unbelievable to see.

Still check out both tours though. The dates for the Paramore tour haven't been annouced yet, but I'll be out at the Boston date of the ADTR tour on April 12th! See you at both hopefully!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

& Chicago does it again!

I really don't know how it took me so long to take a good listen to the next featured band on this blog, but luckily I finally have. I've heard AM Taxi's name a lot lately, with the band playing Warped Tour for the whole thing this summer and opening for a band that's a good friend of mine in Treaty of Paris. It may also be because the chicago scene has had so much success over these last few years and has become a powerhouse, but AM Taxi definitely are a stand out band.

Only a week or so ago, they released their first official music video for "The Mistake", and along with being a great music video with an awesome symbolic message and great footage of the band in action, I really fell in love with the lyrics and they are already stuck in my head. The main line of the chorus reads "I will be your razor, baby. I will be the pill, I'll be the ambulance that never comes, the antidote that you spill" and instantly hits a part of your heart and has some obvious symbolism to it. It's like the theory from Music&Lyrics, you either love the melody or love the lyrics and I'm definitely a lyrics kind of girl so these guys are in like flint with me.


AM Taxi - The Mistake

AM Taxi (Angels+Kings Jan 20 w/ Treaty) | MySpace Music Videos


Check out more of their music on myspace and add them to their list of must-sees on Warped tour. It will be worth it, promise!

Finally the boys are coming from the other side of the Atlantic. A tour I'll have to miss :(

A hidden treasure for sure, Twin Atlantic is about to rock the United States for the first times of many as they will be embarking on their first tour of the US opening on the co headlining Envy on the Coast and The Fall of Troy tour this spring.

I've known about these scottish boys for a while now and was lucky enough to have the chance to try their debut US album 'Vivarium' recently. From the first song in, I knew I was in for a treat. It is real rock roll that makes me and others reminscient of some Blink 182 action but with a more mature tinge about their music and with their accents, every rocker chick will quickly fall in love with the way they sing in to their mics and how passionate they are when performing. Come early so you can catch this talented group as they heat up the crowds every night at the following shows! Expect to hear a lot more about this talented group and check them out on their myspace.

Sat/3-6 Rockford, IL @ House Café
Sun/3-7 Indianapolis, IN @ Emerson Theatre
Tue/3-9 Covington, KY @ Mad Hatter
Wed/3-10 Nashville, TN @ Rocketown
Thu/3-11 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
Fri/3-12 St. Petersburg, FL @ Orpheum
Sat/3-13 Orlando, FL @ The Social
Sun/3-14 Mobile, AL @ Mobile Music Box
Mon/3-15 Metairie, LA @ High Ground
Thu/3-18 Austin, TX SXSW
Fri/3-19 Austin, TX SXSW
Sat/3-20 Dallas, TX @ The Door
Sun/3-21 San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit
Tue/3-23 Phoenix, AZ @ Martini Ranch
Thu/3-25 San Luis Obispo, CA @ Downtown Brew
Fri/3-26 San Francisco, CA @ Slims
Sat/3-27 Anaheim, CA @ Bamboozle California

Tue/3-30 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
Wed/3-31 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
Thu/4-1 Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw
Sat/4-3 Salt Lake City, UT @ Murray Theatre
Sun/4-4 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre
Tue/4-6 Lawrence, KS @ Bottleneck
Wed/4-7 Des Moines, IA @ House of Bricks
Thu/4-8 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock
Fri/4-9 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
Sat/4-10 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
Sun/4-11 Grand Rapids, MI @ Intersection
Tue/4-13 Pittsburgh, PA @ Diesel
Wed/4-14 Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk
Thu/4-15 Toronto, ON @ Annex Wreck Room
Fri/4-16 Montreal, QC @ Underworld
Sat/4-17 Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
Sun/4-18 Albany, NY @ Valentines
Tue/4-20 Allentown, PA @ Crocodile Rock
Wed/4-21 Philadelphia, PA @ First Church
Thu/4-22 Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
Sat/4-24 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
Sun/4-25 New Haven, CT @ Toad's Place

Sixteen new songs for free from This Century!

Yesterday marked the first of sixteen brand new songs coming from the pop rock friendly band, This Century. Through the next four months, the Tempe, AZ based boys will be dropping one new song every week and at the end of every four weeks will be offering it as a free four song EP.

I've interviewed this talented quartet in the past during Montreal Warped Tour and it was definitely a memorable one. We learned how to say Beautiful in several languages to the amazing food that they had been having on catering. Since then, the boys have really made a name for themselves and this project they are doing will just make their following bigger. Who doesn't like free legal music? Already, I'm sold on "Money Honey" and there are still fifteen songs to come over the next four months. You can find the first on their purevolume account at http://www.purevolume.com/ThisCentury.

Take a chance on this band, it will definitely be worth it. Over this year I've realized how great the Tempe scene really is. It's produced several great acts lately like The Maine and The Word Alive, and now it's This Century's turn!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Catch two of Mix and Mark's favorite bands in one place tonight on UStream..TV/TV & The Envy!

I've been focusing on preparing for Warped Tour 2010 today and one of my favorite bands and interviews from 2009's tour is definitely TV/TV. I got the chance to sit down with former member Camille and current member Doc at the Montreal date of the tour, and their story was incredible.
They were invited to play the tour in its' entirety while they were still an unsigned band. Near the end of the tour, they got their break and were signed to Mom and Pop Records but they have still maintained the ways of a unsigned band really connecting with their fans, answering facebook messages, doing record updates and the best element in my eyes: having weekly Ustream chats on "Tv/Tv Tuesdays". Tonight, another interviewed band on Mix and Mark, The Envy will be joining the boys and you should definitely catch it!

It starts at nine at : http://www.ustream.tv/channel/tv-tv-show. I'll be there too, so hope to see Mix and Mark readers on the chat as well!

Watch out for both of these extremely talented young bands on your musical radar lovers!

Been missing Fall Out Boy in your life? Well then tune into Joe Trohman.

I don't know about you dear readers but I've been in Fall Out Boy withdrawals since the "break" starting back in October for a year and a half. The band hasn't broken up and still are very close friends who will be coming back next year but until then the boys have all been pursuing individual projects and making some big decisions in their life. Andy Hurley and Joe Trohman have started a band called The Damnest Things that brings them back to their heavier roots, Joe is getting married, Patrick is doing some amazing songwriting and Pete Wentz is collaborating with several artists and focusing on his label, Decaydance.

Lucky for us though, we're getting a little treat from Joe, the guitarist this week. All week from 3-7 he'll be hosting his own radio show on Friends or Enemies and if this week will be anything like yesterday's broadcast it's definitely something you should check out.The music is more of the classics compared to contemporary tunes but even if you don't appreciate that style of music, his dry wit and humor will make up for it. He is hilarious and in my personal opinion, the funniest member of the band.

Check it out and let me know what you think! I will definitely be tuning in!

Video of the week: Stand By Me.

Nope, it's not the original stand me movie in this post. I'm sorry to disappoint for anyone who came to this post because they hoped to find the film.
But hey instead you get a bit of musical genius. Recently at the Heavy and Light TWLOHA show at the House of Blues in Orlando, there was a great encore performance of "Stand By Me". Included in this performance was Mat Kearney, The Rocket Summer and members of Anberlin, Copeland and Underoath. Check it out here and fall in love with it like I did!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Something a little out of the normal for me but I like it all the same: "Young Girl"

Country/Western is never really something I've covered on Mix and Mark thus far, but hey times are always changing. Especially when Dawn Landes isn't just country. Her music is a little more glam and new wave then any country I've heard before so she definitely brings something new to the table.

Here's her brand new video for her first single off Sweet Heart Radio that comes out on January 19th which coincidentally is when she'll be playing Club Passim right in Harvard Square. Club Passim is the same sick venue that I caught The Rescues at in August and one of my favorite little hideaway spots in the city. It's part of a vegan restaurant and during the show you can enjoy your dinner along with organically brewed brews. It's a fabulous little joint and I hope I can make it out!

Portugal.The Man is back is on the road!

And I thought I lived in a more central city.

Alaskan band Portugal.The Man has just announced that they will be back on the road with fellow alaska natives Port O'Brien and The Digs. Unfortunately, they won't be making a visit to Boston this time but they will be making an appearance in a lot of places so definitely check out the dates below and let me know if you'll be making it out to one of them!

The band will be playing songs from their last album "The Satanic Satanist" along with playing songs off their upcoming "American Ghetto". The band released a statement on their website earlier today along with the tour announcement saying the following: "This one is for you, we are not sending it to press and we are not sending it to radio. When all the finishing touches are complete we will make it available to everyone on the same day."

2/24 Fargo, ND @ Aquarium
2/25 Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theatre
2/26 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
2/27 Louis, MO @ The Gargoyle
3/1 Oxford, MS @ Proud Larry's
3/3 Dallas, TX @ House of Blues / Pontiac Garage
3/4 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live (Studio)
3/5 Austin, TX @ The Parish
3/6 Austin, TX @ The Parish
3/9 Gainesville, FL @ Common Ground
3/10 Ybor City, FL @ Crowbar
3/11 Orlando, FL @ The Social
3/12 Elkton, FL @ Harvest of Hope Festival
3/13 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
3/18 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
3/19 New York, NY @ Highline Ballroom
3/20 Millvale, PA @ Mr. Small's Theatre
3/21 Cincinnati, OH @ 20th Century Theatre
3/24 Columbia, MO @ Mojo's
3/26 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre
3/27 Vail, CO @ The Sandbar
3/28 Aspen, CO @ Belly Up Aspen

We're giving away the new Cartel album "Cycles"!

Hey there!

For all you Cartel fans out there, I'm working with Wax Records to give away three copies of the band's brand new album "Cycles"!

It's a great album that shows Cartel's sound has really grown up but still has retained the friendly pop punk we all grew to love. To win the album is an easy feat. All you have to do is send me an email at cojohns1@gmail.com stating that you want to win a copy of the album and the first three to email will recieve the new copy. We'll email you to figure out where we should send it if you're one of the winners! Unfortunately, it is limited to the US but we will be having more and more contests so check back in!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

All time low..with Bongos!

Why are there so many good albums &EP's coming out this year? I keep on adding to my Newbury Comics purchase list and you should add this next selection to your's too: All Time Low's MTV Unplugged.

I've always been supportive of this band and even had the chance to sit down with Jack Barakat this past summer. They are the butt of a lot of peoples' jokes but honestly the music and the people themselves are very creative individuals and ones that haven't left each other's side since high school even when Alex Gaskarath wanted the band to be a Blink 182 cover band!


Something incredibly different and definitely a buying point is the use of bongos in liew of Rian's typical drum set and Alex breaking out the tambourine for Coffee Shop Soundtrack! These boys have been a strong force in the music scene and I believe, upon listening to this brand new EP and their live shows, will stay that way.
Another thing I liked is that they play a lot of their old tracks and those are the ones that get the biggest cheers!

You can check out the live stream here: http://www.rhapsody.com/all-time-low/mtv-unplugged but you should also pick it up at Hot Topic and Newbury Comics among much more (I'm rooting for physical record purchasing lately, can't you tell?) but you can also get it on iTunes!

You Should Go Because I Can't: "Never Say Decaf" tour!

It's short, sweet and caffeniated so they'll definitely be bringing the energy! Hawthorne Heights singer JT Woodruff, along with ex Spitalfield lead Mark Rose have announced that they will be going on a acoustic tour together starting on February 9th in Dekalb, Il!

It's only 11 days but is sure to make for some great sets. The two come from amazingly talented bands that will definitely bring in a crowd and they'll be bringing along The Story Changes to warm up the crowd!

Catch all the tour dates listed below and feel special if they are stopping somewhere near you. The tour is one of the shortest I've seen and should be a good treat every night!

Tue 2-09-2010 / DeKalb, IL @ The House
Wed 2-10-2010 / Grand Rapids, MI @ Mixtape Cafe
Thu 2-11-2010 / Rochester, MI @ The Factory (only 100 tix avail!)
Fri 2-12-2010 / Toledo, OH @ Frankies Inner City
Sat 2-13-2010 / Akron, OH @ Musica
Sun 2-14-2010 / Scranton, PA @ Eleanor Rigby's
Mon 2-15-2010 / Rockville Centre, NY @ Vibe Lounge
Tue 2-16-2010 / Audubon, NJ @ The Auction House Loft (only 100 tix avail!)
Wed 2-17-2010 / State College, PA @ Sozo
Thu 2-18-2010 / Charleston, WV @ The Brickhouse
Fri 2-19-2010 / Bloomington, IN @ Rhino's
Sat 2-20-2010 / Dayton, OH @ Blind Bob's (EARLY SHOW - ALL AGES)
Sat 2-20-2010 / Dayton, OH @ Blind Bob's (LATE SHOW - 21+)


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

& The Fold strikes again with a little help from their friends!

With two viral videos, chicago based band The Fold has made their name more then just a local catchphrase. They put together a parody of Miley Cyrus's "Party In The USA" that created quite a "scandal" and national youtube acclaim. The latest from the band begins with a rude wake up call from Billy Ray Cyrus himself with a lawsuit against the band.

With guest spots by Tom Higgenson of Plain White T's, Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy and Alex Gaskarath of All Time Low, The Fold learns who they can really depend on and find themselves in a rough situation. Hoping for a part three? Me too but for now check out below the original music video then the video that just got posted today!



The Audition--Taking the energy wherever people will listen.

One thing I must say about The Audition is how hard their work ethic must be. The lead singer, Danny Stevens, who I was able to sit down with for an interview, is only twenty two yet they are on the verge of releasing their fourth full length studio album.

The band first formed back in 2003 with original member Ryan O'Connor. Since then their history as a band has been a little rocky but they have come extremely far through the process. Since they have been signed to Victory Records they have released three full length albums and have finished recording their fourth album to be released in Spring 2010.

Through their time as a band, they have been on the road pretty much constantly. They have both headlined tours and have opened for some very well known names. They have played at numerous festivals and have made many loyal fans along the way. Mainly starting in 2006, they have opened for acts like Jack's Mannequin, Silverstein, Mae, New Found Glory, Madina Lake and All Time Low amongst others and they have also headlined hugely successful tours. They have also had bouts on Vans Warped Tour, Bamboozle and Soundwave just to name a few.Currently they can be found playing as main support for the current Every Avenue headlining tour and right afterwards will be playing their own headlining tour "Revolution and Resolutions".

I got the chance to see the boys in action on one of their most recent tours where they were main support for Cobra Starship and their set was electrifying! The energy that Danny Stevens gives off during a live performance exhilarates the whole crowd even if you haven't heard of them before. In my recent interview with him, he even talked about how they always play their hearts out and switch up their sets to try to create an high energy set every time. A new change to their set could be their brand new cover "Livin' on a prayer" so watch out for it! This talented quartet tend to never disappoint with their live show and their enthusiasm for what they do!

You've toured with a lot of big names. If you could tour with any three other dream bands, who would they be?
The Avett Brothers, Jason Mraz and John Mayer.

Recently you took part in a acoustic showc
ase. How does the audience reaction differ from shows with the full band?
I absolutely love playing acoustic shows. It's such a different atmosphere from normal shows and I think it makes it special for me and especially the crowd! I'm able to interact on a more personal level during acoustic shows. It's much more intimate and different from a normal loud show where there is a lot of guitar and yelling.

Starting in a little over two weeks, you'll be on tour for a steady month and a half. Are there any cities you're particularly excited for?
We're always excited about playing Chicago, it's home to three of the dudes. I'm always excited to play my home Detroit and I think we can all agree that it will be nice to get out of the cold for a while and head out west to the LA and Socal area.

What's your favorite part of touring?
Being able to do what I love every night and that includes more than just playing music. It's meeting people, traveling, making friends. I particularly like the struggle of it. It makes you appreciate things so much more when they actually go your way.

What can fans expect at these dates?
A lot of variety within our set list. We definitely want to play some songs off of our new album "Great Danger" so expect that and just all in all a kick ass show. We try to never disappoint!

What was one of the first shows you went to as a kid?
It was New Found Glory, RX Bandits and H2O at the State Theater in Detroit. One of the best nights and concerts of my life!

Who are some of your bigger musical influences?
I really range. I'm huge into country music. I think there is so much talent in country and unlike a lot of other genres today, if you suck, you straight up don't do well. Country fans don't tolerate it, it's something you really have to strive for. I also love soul music and mo town. Something about it really strikes a chord with me.

Where do you find inspiration for your songs?
Just every day life. Song writing is the best therapy a person can have. You write everything down that is good or is bad on your life in your life and make it into something amazing. It's a great feeling!

How did the writing process for the new album compare to the last three?
I think all three processes have been pretty similar. By that, I mean that they've all been completely random. We definitely don't have a set way to write a song. It just kind of comes out and we don't stop until we are satisfied.

How do you think the new album "Great Danger" will compare to "Self Titled Album" sound wise?
I think we took elements from all three of our previous albums and put them into this album. We've got some fast, catchy poppy ones and we've also got some funky soulful songs. I don't think anyone will be disappointed by Great Danger. It's got something for everyone.

--
You can find more of the guys on their myspace here.

Augustana, please just come back from The Rock Boat.

Maybe I'm just incredibly jealous of all the people who are lucky enough to be on a cruise where you can listen to Augustana and Green River Ordinance all day, but I just watched a video someone took on the boat of an acoustic version of "Sweet and Low" and it made me a crave a show even more.

I know the boys are currently working on their fourth album, and I am ecstatic for them about that album. Knowing that they still want to work with each other and put in the effort when just two short years ago they were extremely close to breaking up is incredible but I just want this band to come back on the road. Hopefully it will be sometime in 2010 and they'll come back to Boston soon and hopefully I'll be sitting down with them to talk about all the exciting things to happen but for now, I'll just have to whet my appetite with the video of their performance:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Retweet. Andrew McMahon&Matt Theissen collaborating?


As you may have guessed, I'm a big fan of twitter. I'm always clicking through my updates and it has treated me well. I've been able to get some big scoops off of musicians' personal twitters for plans coming in the future and I've just come across a jackpot.

The lead singers and writers for both Relient K and Jack's Mannequin, being Matt Thiessen and Andrew McMahon respectively are at the moment playing piano and singing songs together. It's not exactly a collaboration but who knows what could possibly come of it? I have been listening to both of their groups that they find themselves in currently, along with Andrew's first major band Something Corporate and this is very exciting news. Just to know they are playing together and messing around, since that situation has been played so many times. A few examples? Zooey Deschanel and M.Ward, Craig Owens and Pete Wentz and the list goes on and on.

Jack's Mannequin are putting out a new album this year and Relient K dropped their latest effort late 2009 so who knows what may come!

here is the tweet itself:
matthewthiessen Playing piano and singing songs with my pal Andrew McMahon. There is fun here. And we're having it.

Follow Matt Thiessen @matthewthiessen and I don't believe Andrew has a twitter anymore, or I'm just out of the loop!
You can always follow me at @mixandmark though! :)

Just one of my favorite things: New She&Him Record!

Seperately, you probably can recognize the two people in this picture. The male is M. Ward, a well known indie artist and the girl on the right is Zooey Deschanel a popular indie actress. Together they make She&Him, which isn't nearly as recognizable but they are quickly becoming a big force and they have announced that the followup to their debut record together will be coming out in May of this year.
For the album, Zooey will be writing the tracks and M.Ward will be producing the songs. They hit the road also with two shows scheduled for late March as of now, one in El Lay and one in Savannah, Georgia. There isn't a lot of information out as of yet on the new record but if you haven't had a chance to check out the music that comes out of this talented duo, you should definitely take a look at their myspace and pick up "Volume One"!

New video from Motion City Soundtrack!

Here we go into what is supposed to be an amazing year of music! We're on the eve of the sophomore album release from Vampire Weekend "Contra" and there are lots more albums to follow that. We have the new NeverShoutNever, new Rocket Summer, new Alkaline trio and so much more but one that comes out just a week from tomorrow is Motion City Soundtrack!

In anticipation of the new album, their debut music video for the cd has just been released and it's for the track "Her Words Destroyed My Planet". I am a big fan of this video already. It consists of the band antagonizing what seems to be an elementary school science fair.Showing up all the kids in the science fair with human cloning and giant sized volcanos, they run through the aisles destroying the volcano projects and near the end of the video break out into a full on dance routine! Check out the video to see the end of the story, it's a shocking ending!

I tend to see this band as a more grown up version of the music we got from Fall Out Boy. Yes, it's classified as pop rock but the lyrics are very well written and on a different level then a lot of what the genre is bringing in with new bands right now. Take a look for yourself and pick up
"My Dinosaur Life" on January 19th! You can always check out the band on tour now :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

And Andpop does it again! This time? Gabe Saporta!

I always like to keep up on what other music industry people are doing and one of those sources that I always read/watch is AndPop! They are a great group of people out of Toronto who cover more than just the music aspect of pop culture and do it well!

Today they posted their new interview on youtube with Gabriel Saporta, the front man of the gorgeous group Cobra Starship. It is probably the most in depth and one of the only serious interviews I've seen with him and it's not a bad thing. Take a look at the interview and let me know what you personally think about it.

Like Jordan, I really hate the term "breakout artist" or "big break". There are so many bands that are classified as alternative that have just as big of a fan base as people who get a lot of play on mainstream radio. For example, this band has been selling out shows and tours since 2007 compared to bands who have been huge successes on the radio who play to sometimes miniscule crowds. Cobra Starship did spawn some pretty big hits on both mainstream charts and alternative charts with some singles off "Hot Mess" but they have seen plenty of success before this album which is what Gabe talks about most in this interview. Not having major success, but talking about the fans that have stuck with the band over the years being the closest to the heart and this is something he always talks about.

Personally, I like to think I can relate to what Gabe is talking about with the theory of loving a band and then when you find out someone else likes it or you go to a show and all you see is girls in flowered dresses and their moms (ahem Dead Man's Bones.), it sucks at first. I always wanted to hide my favorite bands from others because I wanted to keep their awesome skills to myself. Now that I've started writing about music though and have seen so many things like how it truly is behind the scenes of a show, and have met and talked to so many great artists, it's the opposite. Really now, I just feel lucky that I have a medium to talk about what I love most, and to really get the word out there for a lot of musicians.

Props to @andpop! You've done it again!

Friday, January 8, 2010

One of my favorite things: Album Cover Art.

As steadily repeated on here, I am a big fan of how many new records are being dropped this year and one of those albums just had their album cover art released. One was only minutes ago with the new Rocket Summer album "Of Men and Angels" which is planned to come out on February 23rd of this year. It will be the first album since 2007 and is very anticipated. Check out the cover below. Photo credit clearly goes to Alternative Press with lots of excitement coming up for future plans from The Rocket Summer. Right now, all we know of touring wise is Warped Tour for the full summer but hopefully we hear more in promotion of the album!:

Sparks The Rescue: They'll love you like Edward Cullen!

It's only January 8th and already some tours are jumping into full swing. Last night was the debut show for both Parachute's first headlining tour with Safteysuit and the Every Avenue "Who's Driving?" tour. One of the main acts on the latter tour, Sparks The Rescue, has been touring non stop for the past year and it looks like they'll be following the same routine for this year already. The night after the Every Avenue tour finishes out, they'll continue on with current tour mate The Audition!

The boys in the band are used to the touring lifestyle though and seem to be loving life that way! As the current band, they have been making music together since 2005 and have released an impressive amount of three e.p's while dropping their debut LP "Eyes To The Sun" this year on Fearless Records!

The band started in Portland, Maine where some of the members have been playing together since 2001 and have come a long way since! I was able to get some time with Toby of the band who takes on guitar in the band and does some of the vocals. We talked about their plans for the future, the place they found their name and their songwriting process amongst other things! Be prepared to hear a lot about these boys in this new year and check out their myspace to see if they are coming anywhere near you in the future, and if not don't be sad. The way Sparks is planning their year, you're sure to get at least one chance to see them, if not more!

Why Sparks the Rescue for the name?
Toby: It came from a book by Nicholas Sparks..a romance novel I might add! We thought it was a cool name and somewhat unique...which in this day and age is a hard thing to find.

What was the first show you went to as a kid?
Toby: We all grew up going to shows. Ben, Nate and myself all begged our parents to go see Blink 182 any time they were in town and we would always have new favorite bands after watching the openers.

What are your bigger musical influences?
Toby: We all listen to a wide variety of stuff. From classic rock, to 90's pop, metal, indie and even some country jams. It's important to us that we listen to many genres' of music so we can have loads of ideas in the writing room.

How did you go about the songwriting process for the first full length compared to your two previous e.p.'s?
Toby: We wrote the e.p. when we were young and fresh out of high school. The full length took us about two years to write, because we wanted it to be the best thing we could do. So with growing up and taking serious time to write, the sound naturally evolved.

You've released your full length revamped on Fearless earlier this year. How has the reception been so far?

Toby: The reception has been amazing! We are literally living out our dream thanks to our family on fearless. We have been touring non-stop since the record came out and we have never been happier!

You'll be on back to back tours with Every Avenue and The Audition in the new year. What can fans expect at these sets?
Toby: We are going to be playing the most energetic set we can play every night, and we will be hanging out which anyone who wants to chill. We enjoy making new friends every night.

What's your favorite part of touring?
Toby: Like I said, making new friends is a huge perk. Also getting to know other bands that go through the same shit really helps with the stress. We always have a blast because we are able to travel and play our music every night...what could be better?

Who would be your three dream acts to go on the road with?
Toby: Gin Blossoms, Saves The Day and Blink 182.

What's upcoming for the band that fans can look forward to?
Toby: We have been writing, and really trying to make our live show more professional..but not too professional! We are ready to work our asses off in 2010, and we can't wait to see where the road takes us!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Meet Crash Kings: Our Interview!

Recently, I got the chance to come out to the winter Rooney tour to watch Crash Kings heat up the crowd for the rest of the night! Their set was electrifying and something I don't think even the crowd was expecting.

Unfortunately, the idea of a three piece rock band is becoming a skeptical idea but that night, that image and stereotype got proven wrong. A live performance by this band is fantastic and something that cannot be missed. With the mix of piano, drums and bass, it was definitely something that made the crowd dance and tap their feet. It was a real rock show and something I haven't had the chance to see lately! It was also a hometown show for the band so there was definitely a following and a welcoming in the audience!

Crash Kings formed in 2006 in Los Angeles and quickly got signed to Custard/Universal Motown records where they released their self titled debut effort in May 2009. Touring with artists like Chris Cornell, Rooney and Stone Temple Pilots, they have grown quite a following and it will only get bigger! Luckily, I got the chance to sit down with Tony for a quick interview in their dressing room only a few minutes after their set before he celebrated with his family and friends who were in abundance that night! It was very loud during the interview since we were directly next to the stage where the next band, Tally Hall was playing but we were still able to have a decent interview for sure! We talked about how it is to work with his brother to the songwriting process the band goes about!

I know you and your brother have been in a few bands together. Was it tough at first having your brother always there?
Aw, you know. We argued a lot, figuring stuff out but now it's like this awesome connection in the band we have now. It's awesome to be able to play with your brother. It's really cool!

The new album only came out in May. How has the reception been so far?
Awesome. We've been getting radio play all over the country. We're seeing more of a crowd come out because of touring and stuff like so that so it's been good.

How do you go about the songwriting process. Is it just one person or is it more of a collective effort?
I usually write most of the music and then we arrange together as a band. So that's usually how we go about most of the songs. Sometimes Michael and I write a song together but mainly I write most of the music.

Who would you say are some of your bigger influences, maybe personally or as Crash Kings?
Queen, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Radiohead, stuff like that. Black Sabbath, Frank Sinatra, Carly Simon.

Where do you get your inspiration for songs from?
Nature.

What were some of the first shows you went to as a kid?
Live? REM, Allman Brothers, Beck, Neil Young, Neil Diamond.

If you were to collaborate with any other band on this tour, who would it be and what would the song be about?
Rooney and..the song would be about, um, clowns.

I know you said you're playing the great scott in February but are there any other future music plans we can look forward to?
That's sort of, uh, to be determined. We won't be back any time before then, if we do make that one. The plans are kind of up in the air.



Wednesday, January 6, 2010

People's Choice Awards tonight!

To be perfectly honest, I'm a sucker for awards shows but tonight's? Not so much. I understand that it's awesome that it's fan voted and that's awesome but it can go two ways. People who actually deserve an award get beat by someone who is just a fad or (For example, Kristen Stewart beating out Rachel McAdams for Best female actress..really now?) people who have been working their butts off get forgotten because they aren't exactly all over the mainstream charts.

I follow people who I have interviewed in the past and there are a few in attendance tonight along with some favorites like Hayley Williams, Jack Barakat, Gabriel Saporta and they'll all be at the awards tonight but who thinks they'll actually get coverage on the red carpet or be one of those the camera focuses in on the audience? Cobra Starship will be performing at the show with I believe Nicole Schewerzinger doing "Good Girls Go Bad" so they may get some coverage but I'm pretty sure I'm in to be disappointed.

I am still hoping for a miracle tonight with Cobra up with Leighton Meister for best collaboration but they are up against some hardhitters. I'm actually hoping for the fans to vote for the fad artist tonight since it would be amazing to see a band I actually love win an award for once. They are up against several amazing nominees like the song "Lucky" by Colbie Caillat and Jason Mraz though! In honor of another chance for Gabe and the cobras to win tonight, here is the brand new Cobra Cam episode! I couldn't be more excited for this series to come back and they have been steadily putting out new videos with my personal favorite being the Christmas episode! So here goes, and it spotlights my favorite member of the band actually Mr. Nate Novarro on drums!

Watch tonight and come back here for hopefully the live feed like I did for the VMA's last year!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cartel "Cycles" Review & Cd Giveaway Contest!

There are a lot of new things happening with this blog in 2010 and one of those "things" is a weekly video album review. We have a few different albums coming up with next week's selection being the new Rooney EP, 'The Wild One'!

Today, we have the latest album "Cycles" from Cartel. It's a very pop rock album that reminds me of bands like All Time Low and We The Kings, but it has a different maturity to it as comes with experience in the field like Cartel has had.

We are also, in hand with Wax Records, giving away three copies of this album via our youtube channel where you are welcome to make a video response about why you love Cartel and why you think you deserve this album!

On a last note, if you are a band and you have an EP or album you'd like us to review, send us a note at cojohns1@gmail.com!


video

Monday, January 4, 2010

They aren't treasure hunters..they're just Thieves and Villians!

In personal opinion, this next band is one of the most musically minded I have come across, and one of the most hard working ones! Thieves and Villains, better known as TAV to fans have overcome some huge hardships. The two founding members still in the band Sergio Otaegui and Christoper Pennings realized early this year that if the band was still going to happen, they would need to separate from the other two members and luckily they did.

After Chris Competiello and Joseph Penna joined the band, their sound became extremely powerful and something people have fallen in love with. They have been working hard on their first full album as the current band and hopefully all these continued efforts will pay off for them in 2010. I recently got the chance to sit down via the inter webs with Sergio, who both plays guitar and provides some of the vocals for the band! We talked about everything from the music they are big fans of themselves to their songwriting process! Check them out more on their myspace here and let me know what you think!

How did you come up with the name Thieves and Villains?
To get ahead in life/business/anything most people have to step on others and engage in negative or sketchy behaviour, so we decided that from day one we would run this band with good morals and be straight up with everyone we dealt with. Because of that, we figured we'd name the band "Thieves and Villains" so we as people wouldn't have to be.

What is your favorite album of 2009 thus far?
That's so hard to say because we listen to a ton of music from all different artists but here are some current favorites and some that we're really looking forward to:

current faves of 09
Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything to Nothing
Passion Pit - Manners
Arctic Monkeys - Humbug
Chester French - Love The Future
Anthony & The Johnsons -The Crying Light
Mos Def - The Ecstatic
Fabolous - Loso's Way
lookin forward to in 09
Clipse - Til The Casket Drops
Tokyo Police Club - TBA
Vampire Weekend - TBA(Contra)
Wale - Attention Deficit
Kid Cudi - Man on The Moon

How do you go about the song writing process? Does one person write the songs or is it more of a collective effort?
Chris Pennings and myself are the main songwriters, so typically we'll bring in ideas to practice and start from there. Sometimes we'll bring in a virtually completed song and just direct everyone else on what to do. Other times, we'll just have the tiniest sliver of an idea and everyone else will through their two cents in. Even sometimes, someone will bring in a song that we thought was finished but it ends up being changed around completely, and for the better. It always happens a little different each time.

What are your major influences?
Every piece of art we've ever seen, every piece of music we've ever listened to, every book we've ever read, every person we've ever met and every great sight we've ever seen.

If you could tour with any three acts, who would they be?
That's such a hard one because obviously we're inclined to say "Bob Dylan!" or some other classic artist, but as far as more contemporary people I'd love to tour with The Artic Monkeys, The Killers and Kanye West.

Who are you personally listening to these days?
All of those albums we listed above plus some other great artists like Lykke Li, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Crystal Castles, the xx, Bob Dylan, Ray Lamontagne. Just a lot of everything really.

Do you ever play covers? If so, which ones?
We've yet to play a cover in this band, but we're planning to do 'stand by me' in our live sets soon.

What are you up to right now, music wise?
Just finishing out about 3/4 more months of touring off of our first album and then going into writing and recording for our second album. We're very excited about that because we've been writing in all of our free time between touring all year and we're really happy with all the ideas we have.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Little Musical Tidbits!


This is a new daily column I'm starting up called Little Tidbits. Each day, I'll put together a little list of going ons in the music world that day so here we go:

  • Stephen Jerzak just put up a new song on his myspace! Known as a "myspace musician", he is very active on his myspace and is constantly putting up new songs and putting out new EP's. Right now you can find a great one called Lonely Hotel Room!
  • In a video chat with Garrett and Pat from the Maine tonight, they let it out that they won't be playing Warped this summer but look for some new touring plans as they also accidentally mentioned some of what next year is to bring for the band!
  • Treaty of Paris has released two of the tracks off of their upcoming ep 'Currents' on their myspace, including the track that shares my name!
These tidbits are just a little bit of what happens every day in music but I hope I can provide you some more tidbits within the next few days along with some upcoming album reviews (in video form!) and my choice for album of 2009!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Series? Yes!


Hey there!
Welcome to 2010 everyone, I have so many new and exciting things in the works for this year and can't wait to get started on it!

It's been a wild year of covering some great shows and getting the chance to sit down with some of the greatest bands around, including the groups and acts to the left to name a few!

One of those new things coming to you is a new series on our youtube channel which you can find here. We've had it for a while but now it will really be in use! I'll be putting up album reviews with the first two being Currents by Treaty of Paris and Cycles by Cartel along with offering some contests to win a copy of the album being reviewed! We will be updating it often and hope to see you there!

Retweet.

Following a lot of the bands I both listen to and have interviewed in the past on twitter, I tend to catch a few subtle hints of artists recording new stuff, and a little bit of excitement! There have been a few exciting things happening today for example! Sometimes, it's one of the best news sources around even!

Number 1: Rooney tweeted about forty three minutes ago that Ned Bower's wife is currently in labor with his new baby that Robert talked about at their show when I caught them about two weeks ago!

Number 2: Alex from All Time Low tweeted about four hours ago the following: Bored. Flying out to LA on Monday to start writing some new jams. Very excited.
The boys released their latest effort just in July and looks like they are already working on new stuff, and I couldn't be more excited about it!