Thursday, December 13, 2012

Album Review: "Crazy World" by Boys Like Girls

After so much anticipation, including a year-long hiatus, a change in lineup, and rumors or all sorts, I was looking forward to Crazy World.

Then the EP came out and I wasn't impressed by that. I started to get worried. I wanted good things from a band that took so much time off, that had really started to define where my music tastes lie, and that indirectly saw to it that I made some of the best friends of my life and had some of the best experiences of my life. And when I saw them live I got some of that faith back. They were great to meet after, super excited like I expected them to be and maybe I might learn to like the new music.

Only now I've heard the whole album and I have to's not very good.

As before, "The First Time" has that opening synth line that's so jarring it hurts to hear it. Cringe-worthy. The words are alright, but they still feel sort of vapid, like a bad country song. Which of course makes one worry of the rest of the album. Is it all going to be bad country music.

The short answer?


I'm still skipping past "Life of the Party" because that one doesn't get any better. It's still dumb. "Shoot" and "Red Cup"? Also terrible. "Shoot" sings about having a 9 to 5 life and getting away from the grind like they've suddenly become Kenny Chesney or something. Which is weird since Martin hasn't ever had anything close to a 9 to 5 and from what I've seen, doesn't know many down home folk either (if his twitter account is anything to be believed, full of trips to go skiing, outings with other LA types). What about that song is supposed to appeal to their existing fanbase of teenaged to early twenty-something girls is beyond me. The argument at this point could be made that maybe they're going down a new route, maybe they're trying something different.

That's all fine and dandy, hell I support them in that if that's what they want to do, but we really should rethink the fanbase. Who you're talking to via twitter. How you look. What shows you're playing. Opening for Carly Rae Jepson and All American Rejects is not the right show. Go open for Blake Shelton, or hell, Taylor Swift.

Speaking of Miss Swift, if you like her music? You'll love "Cheated". Actually I feel like she should take it and put it on her album. Sounds like one of her songs for sure.

I also have to say, I'm from the south and "Red Cup"? It's almost insulting to hear. It's hard to hear someone write about things they don't know, they haven't experienced and anyone from here can tell you that six months in Nashville doesn't make you completely aware of how our culture is. Stop putting out songs like you're Toby Keith. He did that song already and as much as I don't get it, he did it better.

All that said, there's a few bright points on the album. "Stuck in the Middle" sort of sounds like a country version of a Coldplay cover, but it's not bad. I'd listen to it again. "Be Your Everything" still stands up, even over laced with all the poptacular back beat. I really liked "Leaving California", which was good despite some lyrics that don't make sense, and that bugging-me aspect of the fact that Martin has a house in California and still lives there full time, but again it's a more grown up sound musically even if the lyrics are weaker. The last track, "Hey You", also stands up pretty well.

It's frustrating. I'd heard acoustic versions of "Crazy World" and was excited for it, but apparently the album version isn't very good. Actually it's not good at all. "Take Me Home" is probably good live, but the album just sounds like trounced up drum beats that don't fit properly. (Which is a shame considering John Keefe is a damn good drummer and doesn't need his instrument trumped up.)

As a whole, the entire album is depressingly not good. It's not up to par, not what anyone would expect from Boys Like Girls. Vapid lyrics, when their previous albums toted songs like "Go" and "Holiday". A pointless change in direction, that doesn't seem completely committed to, only half. It wasn't worth the wait, nor would I say, worth the money. There's about three songs on the album I would pay money for and I kind of don't want to.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Young Alive Release new EP "American Gentleman"

My favorite dudes in Young Alive (formerly Anchors), dropped their new EP, American Gentleman, today. Go get your hands on a copy on their bandcamp page today. It's epic, and totally worth it.

I've heard a few of the tunes before (actually all but 1) and everything is fantastic. These guys have a great hold on alternative rock, though I do have to admit the re-done version (almost acoustic) of "The Weight of a Hummingbird" is my favorite. It's beautiful and intoxicating. I've said it before, but it's haunting. And I love that about it.

The rest of the tracks don't fail though. "Kingdom Come" starts off strong and keeps that energy throughout the track, same with the title track "American Gentleman". I believe I'm echoing myself again, but I don't mind repeating it: Young Alive is bringing talent back to the alternative rock genre.

Grab your copy and get a jumpstart on the weekend.

Like what you hear? The guys have a few shows coming up in December/January in the Boston area. Find the date closest to you and head out to see them.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Music for Monday: Stages and Stereos

This Monday hurts, but I'm blaming that one on age, starting to become nocturnal and possibly sleeping on the couch after a show on Saturday night. That said? It was one of the best shows I've been to in a bit.

There'll be more to come on it later (and everything else I've been up to concert wise), but I wanted to get one thing out there, straight away, and that thing being, the next big thing you'll be listening to.

If you've got plans to see the Go Radio Go To Hell tour that's coming through your town do it. Not only are Go Radio perfect, Paradise Fears a ton of fun, but the first opener is the pure gold sounds of Stages and Stereos. And it is pure gold. The group is fronted by Daniel Lancaster, who's name, yes, does sound familiar as he's the younger sibling of Go Radio front man Jason Lancaster. Don't think this means they're a copycat of all things Go Radio, because they aren't. Stages and Stereos marches to their own drum, and does it well. Daniel's voice resembles Jason's, but not enough to sound the same and their style is more of a Taking Back Sunday (or even, shockingly enough, early Mayday Parade). They just released and EP that I picked up at the show, Anchorless and it's fantastic. Really it is. Four songs of great music, vocals, all of it. Bonus? If you get to see the guys out on tour with Go Radio, look for guitarist Zach. He's a total doll, super friendly and eager to talk about the band, anything. Give him a hug and tell him he's great.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Locally Grown: The Silver Comet

While it seems most of the small bands I love are out of New England, I'm trying to get better about that.

Which means looking for local artists here in Atlanta. It's not exactly easy because I don't even have one band I'm that interested in (which usually leads to finding a million other small bands in the same region), but I'm looking! And just by nothing but pure luck I came across this one.

Meet The Silver Comet. I know, it's kind of surprising, but that's what I like about them. Take a listen. There's a rock line under each song that has you bobbing your head and tapping your feet, but it's the vocals that hooked me. They're just that good. I can't even begin to guess what they're like live.

I'm actually kind of pissed I didn't know about these guys prior to now. I might have been able to see them before now. Their My Fear of Flying EP is an ever changing collection of songs, but it's still good, even if one song is nothing like the one before. It's not trying too hard, just solidly what it is. It reminds me of the Empire Records soundtrack, then reminds me of the ballad rock of the early 2000s, then back to the underground pop rock scene that's taking over today.

Check it out. Promise you'll like it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Music For Monday: Bonaventure

My good friend Kat came home from seeing Cartel the other night and when we met up to debrief about concerts she handed me a CD to check out. "You'll love them."

Oh man she was so right.

Meet Bonaventure, you're new favorite band. I went through one listen and I adore them. It was almost easy to be honest. Their music is beautiful, great lyrics combined with talent, which is always a killer combination. In five haunting songs they had me in their grasp (actually it was more like two songs, but you get the idea).

Don't believe me? Check out "I Dare You" off their Come Hell or High Water EP.

See what I mean? And I will honestly tell you, that's not my favorite song on the EP. This is the music for those of us growing up on our own terms, not someone else's. Add it to the playlist of your life.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Q&A: Jocelyn

As I mentioned before I had a chance to meet the guys from Jocelyn, and score this great little Q & A with Alex from Jocelyn. Such a charmer. Enjoy!

Q: Every band has a story, how they went from playing in garages, marching bands, and just trying to impress girls, to being what they are now. What's yours?

Alex: We all had bands through college and, since we've recently graduated, this is our final big push at music. We're one of the only bands you'll find that all has their 4 year degree and we're very proud of that, but we wanted to give music one concerted effort before "growing up" if you will.

Q: What are your biggest inspirations music-wise?

Alex: Anberlin and Mayday Parade are extremely influential bands on us all. 

Q: If you had to compare your sound to someone else's who would it be?

Alex: Cartel, Yellowcard, the Downtown Fiction would be three bands that we sound similar to. 

Q: You guys have been trekking around the US following tours to promote the band, what's been the best part of that so far?

Alex: Being able to meet thousands of amazing people  is easily the best part. Everyone is special and has a story and it never gets old traveling to cities and hearing what people have to say.

Q: In your mind what does Jocelyn have that no one else does?

Alex: Jocelyn exists because people matter and their stories are important. The reason we have a band phone number is because we believe that everybody has a story and its important that somebody is always listening. So, we respond to every single text, voicemail, facebook message, or tweet that we receive. The music we create is simply the medium through which we have decided to reach people and hopefully improve the world, one story at a time.

Q: What's on the horizon for Jocelyn? (There's been rumors of a tour!)

Alex: We are following tours until Thanksgiving, and then hoping to release our sophomore EP early next year, with a potential tour to accompany, but we're in the very early stages and have no details at the moment, unfortunately.

Q: If you could switch places with any 80s movie character, who would it be?

Alex: Ferris Bueller, obviously :)

One more note, that really can't be missed, they mean it when they say things about getting in touch with all their fans. I watched them first hand, walk down a line of kids, talking to all of them, taking as much time as any one person needed. They do care, and they do answer tweets and Facebook messages, and are super prompt with emails. This is a group to get behind for sure. Good people, and I see great things coming down the pipes for them. Make sure you check out their tunes!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Concert: Boys Like Girls, All American Rejects and The Ready Set

It finally happened.

Boys Like Girls finally hit the road again, and I was finally agreeing to going, making a plan and getting tickets and all that. I went with my good friend Casey and we figured, what they hey, let's splurge for Meet and Greet passes with Boys Like Girls because really...Why not? (Don't actually answer that.)

I was pretty geared up and so was Case, so we wound up getting as close to the front as possible, lined up on Paul's side of the stage, right in front of the microphone set up for The Ready Set.

I'm not sure I'd ever heard a song by The Ready Set, minus "Love Like Woe" and a cover of "Give Me Your Hand" that I didn't realize I knew (as part of the promotion for it The Endless Summer covered it). I was pleased though once they were on stage. Their music has great energy, the kind to get the crowd jumping up and down, bouncing with it.

The Ready Set

The Ready Set 2

The Ready Set 3

I was actually pretty proud of myself for getting so into it, and remembering a few of the song (the two that I had heard). It was a great set up though, and while there was a deviation into "gangam style" or whatever the hell that song is, it was a great set.

The Ready Set 4

The Ready Set 5

Up next was Boys Like Girls (AAR is a bigger deal in Atlanta and they were the headliners), and I was a level above anxious, but not quite to freaking out. It's been a stressful two years being a BLG fan with the essential break up so Martin could do solo work and the boys pursued other things. Then the whole Bryan issue and getting back together and it's been a rough road. I do still love their music, but the new music isn't quite what I would have liked to hear, not that it needs to be the self titled album again, but I was hoping for something less all over the map. I was anxious because I know my emotions were running high and my expectations were way up there.

Boys Like Girls 9

Boys Like Girls 11

Boys Like Girls 10

And the boys, well the boys impressed me. I'm still not a huge fan of "Life of the Party" even live (it's kind of stupid, and they made it way too long), but I did like "The First Time" more live.

My heart broke during "Five Minutes to Midnight" and I was missing Bryan something awful. That was a song he used to sing so well and it was hard for such a fan to see hear Morgan sing his parts (that said Morgan did do a great job, not filling shoes, but playing a different role).

Boys Like Girls 2

Boys Like Girls 3

The old songs sounded great, not too re-worked, keeping the best parts of what we loved. And Martin...well Martin's reverent about his music. His voice is in great condition, his playing is spot on and he seemed to cherish every moment.

Boys Like Girls 6

Boys Like Girls 7

Boys Like Girls 8

There were a few awkward moments, with a girl being brought on stage to sing "Two is Better Than One", an odd birthday celebration bit (though kudos to Martin for pointing out that he was 27 and too old to give the 16 year old her first kiss on her birthday. Kudos to her for not wanting the kiss from anyone he'd picked out of the crowd for her. "Hey that guy, that guy over there is cute."). And yeah it sort of threw off the flow of things when Martin forgot their names and tried to get us to sing, but it was cute. It was him trying, trying to bring the fans back.

But he was in it, he was giving us so much and as much as I've been frustrated with him? I fell a little in love with him again. Of course him finding me in the crowd and singing part of the medley of 'deep tracks' (that started with "Holiday") to me probably helped. Yeah the girls next to me asked me about the 'moment' we had after the set. Fantastic. (I might have cried. Okay I did cry.)

Boys Like Girls 4

Boys LIke Girls 5

And then All American Rejects and...well I was disappointed. I love their music, even if I'm not as familiar with the new music, but this was not what I remember from when I saw them years ago. Tyson was in short a mess, he looked a wreck and he didn't sound all that great either. I guess he sounded fine, but he went off on tangents and he seemed to not actually be carrying his own music.

All American Rejects 2

All American Rejects 4

All American Rejects 5

All American Rejects

And he screwed up "Paper Hearts". The lyrics to a song he's been singing for a decade. Possibly over a decade. It was upsetting. And it took away from such a great feel that BLG had (part of me can't believe I just said that).

All in all? Ready Set? Yes. Big yes. Boys Like Girls? They are back. We'll see how the rest of the album sounds. All American Rejects? You need to get on a real level. Please.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Music for Monday: Jocelyn

Happy Columbus Day! Though I am guessing most of you are still at work. That's how it usually works right?

That's okay though, I've got something to help shake up your Monday, bring a little light to the gloomy day we're having around here. (What is with fall striking with a vengeance?)

I know stop talking about other stuff and get to the music.

That said, your Music for Monday is one of my favorite small groups of the the Midwest (Iowa specifically), Jocelyn. And trust me, these guys don't disappoint.

Their EP, To You And Yours, is fantastic; something that reminds me of the likes of Cartel and Yellowcard, though all the while sounding like themselves. "Only The Best" is my favorite song on the EP, probably because it's such an anthem of sorts and it has this fantastic piano line at the end (which is probably why I like it so much). I'm such a sucker right? That's not the only reason though, it's that good of a song.

Every other track on the EP is well done, elegant lyrics that have room to grow with the listener, and upbeat (and talented) music backing excellent vocals. What more does a Monday need? If you ever got into The Endless Summer from reading this blog, you'll dig Jocelyn. (Fun fact: the two groups actually know one another.) The sound reminds me more of the original pop punk / pop rock I got into back in high school, holding true to the roots from those days, despite the fact that they are a good few years younger than I am.

Added bonus? These are some of the nicest guys I've met so far. I make a point of focusing on the music, only really getting involved with artists I really respect, and I'm planning on making a habit of supporting both these guys and their music.

I ran into them outside the BLG show in September (more on that later!) and you can too! They've been traveling around the US, promoting their music and are definitely worth having a chat with. Check their facebook page to see where they're at.

Pick up the EP on iTunes, or stream it on Spotify, but definitely check it out. You won't regret it. And keep looking here, I've got more from these guys coming up this week.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Album Review - "Good Love" EP by The Maine

I do love getting new music from bands I love, and I was more than pleased to hear that The Maine had put out a few new songs on an EP they just released. I got my hands on it as quickly as I could, far too excited to hear it, but can you blame me? Pioneer was fantastic and the Good Love EP does not disappoint.

Lead singer John's sound has grown up so much and in "Take Me Dancing" it's so mature, just like the rest of the EP, but this track almost sounds like it was written and sung by someone with far more years under his belt than John has. It feels like such an insight into what the group has seen, and as it picks up it almost feels bittersweet, rejoicing in a life that's well lived, though not necessarily easily lived. It's almost haunting, and so worth riding through the entire rise and fall of the song.

From there The Maine reminds you that they are completely 100% in charge of their music these days with "You'll Never Know". Even with the synth-laden sound nothing about this song isn't' true to who they are.

"You'll never know unless you take it there / take me there"

As almost expected from every Maine album, this is that song that leaves me wondering if it's not about a girl, but the band itself. I love that there's always a song like that.

"Hello World" and "I Want You" are peppier, the first sounding truer to the Black and White roots, but not back tracking. It's like a reminder that this was where they were going, "I Want You" screams that someone's been listening to classic rock, and I can't wait to hear it live.

I am desperately in love though with "Goodbye". The lyrics are so different from things they've sung about before, which just adds to the feel of the song. They own it, just like they do everything, and it's almost a tribute to the pop music of decades before, like something the Monkees or the Beatles eque with a Maine spin to it.

The title track, "Good Love", does just as you'd expect. The piano intro tugs at heart strings like "Back to You Did." The words are different though from the first single, an older interpretation of loneliness, loss, and hope.

"Good love will find me"

That's the kind of hope that anyone needs to hear at any given moment, and there's little that rings it as true as those lines. It's perfect.

Grab your copy on iTunes, now, and catch the band on tour with Mayday Parade this fall. If you're going to the Atlanta show on Halloween, let me know. I"ll bet here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

New Tune From Brighthouse!

With the bummer of news that The Endless Summer is no more (I had another conversation about this this past week with the guys from Jocelyn), there's new things on the horizon.

Tyler, guitarist and vocalist is working on his new solo project BrightHouse and he just posted his first solo song on his soundcloud site, and I gotta tell you, it's pretty darn good. It's not hard to guess that it would be, we know he has the chops to put something together (both vocally and behind the scenes), but there's something pretty darn adorable that the little twang his voice has and the little bit of country meets rock and roll is a great sound. Don't believe me? Hit play.

Trust me, you'll dig it.

Keep up with BrightHouse and everything else via twitter!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Getting Back on Track

've talked briefly about not having the urge to write, to talk about music, what I'm hearing, what's coming, any of it. I have to admit that even a trip to Warped Tour (my very first) didn't bring it out in me. I got to see some artists I've loved since Boston, some names I've always wanted to see live, and go back to the part of me that wanted nothing more than to be a high school aged scene kid (how else is there to react to seeing New Found Glory live?). Warped Tour was awesome despite the collection of bad life choices I saw around me, the sunburnt masses and that feeling that maybe I am getting too old for this.

But it's been a rough summer, dealing with the overwhelming heartache and confusion that is one of my favorite bands and where their new directions have been taking them (I'm still not impressed with that EP). I haven't been to that many shows lately, mostly because there haven't been any. Go Radio bypassed Atlanta on their mini tour, same with a few other groups and there've been a few bands that have skipped through town either on nights I couldn't go out or only as supporting acts for headliners I couldn't care less about. The fall has much more potential tour-wise, starting tonight with Boys Like Girls back in action and my own tempered heart is ready to burst from mixed feelings.

That isn't all of it though. It's been a sad few months, watching two bands I love, one I had high hopes for, another that's part of my everyday soundtrack, opt to hang up the proverbial hat.

The Endless Summer, who I've talked about frequently and adore called it quits about a month back, much to the surprise of their fanbase (though maybe not? We hadn't heard anything from them in a few months) and I couldn't help but have my heart broken. I adore the sound these kids put into things and I feel like there will be more to come from them, but I'm also sure we're just sort of waiting to see what happens. I hate seine good talent go to waste, and these guys have good talent. If I hear more, obviously I'll keep you updated, but I am dealing with the heartache as well.

Add into that the decision made by Andrew McMahon to lay Jack's Mannequin to rest and you can see why I'm frustrated. I've been in love with everything he's touched so far, obviously still a big Something Corporate fan and of course it's impossible not to like Jack's Mannequin. I hate that things change like they do, but am not actually afraid that McMahon will stop playing and writing music, it's just time for a new chapter. I guess I'm the kid that loves the book too much to see it end. But end it has, and if you were curious? He's posted their last song on soundcloud. Definitely worth a listen or twelve.

So while all this depresses me to no end, there's some good news on the horizon. Go Radio did put out a new album, one I'm still hoping to get my hands on soon. I did just greedily get my hands on the new Matchbox Twenty album and the Yellowcard album, both of which I am hoping to get reviews out for soon (though be forewarned the MB20 review might be a lot of 'omg my band is back' as the inner 7th grader resurfaces). The Maine put out a new EP which is, as expected, an epic blending of what they've done in the past and what they're doing now. That review should come up shortly as well.

Other bands are working on new things including three of my New England local favorites, Young Statues and Ghost Thrower are recording new things and Early Morning Blues is busy writing.

All is not lost, and I'm trying to find my steam again. There's a collection of upcoming shows I want to see, beyond the BLG / All American Rejects show I hit tonight, including Yellowcard, Mayday Parade & The Maine, and Cage the Elephant. Hopefully I can make it out to most. I keep hoping for a return to Boston, though the date on that isn't set, I'm determined to get there before the year ends.

So things are looking up, and I'm going to try and write again, more regularly, with updates, I might even tell some of my Warped Tour stories.

Thanks for sticking with me if you did, and keep rockin'. If the world's gonna end in a few months we might as well go out with a bang.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Swellers - "Running Out of Places to Go" Pre-Order

It's always a little frustration to me when I can't place when it is that I got into a band, because I always feel like there's something sort of important to the history of liking a musician. I was into really different music at 10, then completely different music at 16, then again at 21 and even now I'm still listening to more variety, but my expectations have changed drastically.

Honestly, I love the whole part in "High Fidelity" when the main character is sorting his vinyl 'autobiographically'. That gives me weird chills to think about.

That said, I have no idea when I or why I started following The Swellers" on Twitter. More than likely it's from when I posted about the collaboration video that they were in on with Young Statues covering "Closing Time".

So, admittedly, I was surprised when I clicked play to listen to "Making Waves" a track off their new EP Running Out of Places to Go on their bandcamp page. The kind of surprised where I went "...wait. Why haven't I been listening to everything this band plays?"

It's not just a matter of the strong lyrics with stronger guitar and drum lines remind me of my early college day where my whole music collection was punk rock just like this, music that had you driving about 10 mph faster than you should, banging your head to a beat that's a touch too fast to bang your head to (that slightly dizzy feeling is the best). It makes me want to find my chucks and go watch a concert outside in the summer heat.

Better yet? You can still pre-order the new EP, right off the bandcamp page. Pick it up, get it coming your way and do like me and look into everything they've ever put out there. We'll rock out together.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Kyoto Drive Release Music Vide for "Breathe"

I feel like an apology is due to get us started, because it's been so long. I've been in sort of a music rut lately, listening to a lot of old stuff over and over again and very uninspired. I'm probably going to post about that too.

But! Now that I'm back I've got a treat for you.

English band Kyoto Drive has put out a music video for "Breathe" which is off the mini-album "The Approach", which I reviewed already. I already really enjoyed the album, so adding a video to the mix is always a good thing.

The video, which was produced by Josh Patridge (who's also done work with Sell Your Sky), is stunning. It's got a great feel to it, sort of a fun boy/girl story, great for a song that's essentially about sex (a good song about sex mind you).

Trust me, you need to watch this video.

Kyoto Drive is off to big things, hitting the road this fall with Hawthorne Heights (yup them) in the UK and then touring with There for Tomorrow through Europe. It's not stateside yet, but at this rate, I'm sure we're bound to hear more from them.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Album Review - "Crazy World EP" by Boys Like Girls

I have to admit I was a lot more excited for this EP than I was letting on. I have had some issues with the change in their line up (some big issues) and I've had some issues with the direction in which they seem to be promoting things, (still not sure why they released the EP and not just moved the album date up and gave us a single for the radio like Matchbox Twenty is doing but this is Boys Like Girls! They're back. It'll be an EP of Martin crooning with at least two of the best musicians floating around pop music right now backing him.

Not so much.

The single, "Be Your Everything" is great. I'd heard leaked versions and live acoustic versions and I still have a copy of Martin singing it by himself last summer. It's gorgeous. It's so very Boys Like Girls. Everything we missed, everything we wanted. The single on the EP is a touch over-produced in my mind, but it's forgivable. That's not saying I don't like it, I just feel like it doesn't need that, but I do know a radio song these days kind of does. It's still fantastic though.

The rest of the Crazy World EP isn't.

I don't even really know where to start with "The First Time" which sounds kind of like a country song, but not a great one and while it starts to grow on you after a while, it's has this heavy synth line that intros the song and actually takes away from it. The first time I heard it I made a face. The second time through it was better, but I'm not sure I'm going to ever really like the album version. Hopefully they drop the synth when they play it live.

As for "Life of the Party"? I don't even know where to start. I know that I don't like it. I know it sounds like a bad country party song with what I can only liken to some sort of hip hop inspired speaking the background. Anyone could have sung it (if we're counting that as singing) which puts it well below Martin's ability and it's entirely unnecessary to ever have "do you know that that smells like / smells like Boys Like Girls is back" spoken in the song. Completely.

I hope the album has more in store, but I have to admit...I'm starting to worry. I wanted this to be better. I wanted to get the same feel back, but BLG seems to be headed in a new direction. And while I'm supporter of bands maturing their sound and heading in new directions? I'm just not sure they know which direction they want to head in specifically. They seemed to be more trying more than one at a time and it comes across as sloppy.

I'll keep hoping for better, but for now? Grab the single and hold out to hear the rest of the album before you click 'buy'.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Album Review - "Winds Will Change" EP by William Beckett

William Beckett's newest solo endeavor, Winds Will Change, lives up to its name. If the winds will change, they're doing just that and taking Beckett in a completely different direction than expected. Leaving behind the pop punk tunes of The Academy Is.. , which he was the former front man for, he's proving that he's more than the pretty face to front a band. We knew that, if every youtube video and cover he's posted online wasn't proof enough, Winds Will Change is the certified stamp.

"Great Night" is one I heard live a little while back when he came through Atlanta, and the album version of it actually sounds a lot like the live version. It's the song played at your favorite bar that everyone sings along to and yet it's more than that. It's deeper than just a drinking song, deeper than a song about a night out. It's the drinking song for the educated music aficionado. (Not everyone thinks "Red Solo Cup" is an anthem.)

But it's not all fun songs that sound like something almost Beatles-esque, recorded over a live bar sound. "Warriors" is almost hard, especially coming from Beckett and that stretch to something else makes it all the more fantastic. The alt rock kid in my loves it, and really got into the heavy bass and guitars lines and the overall 'take no prisoners' feel is intoxicating. But it's different. It's not a song I would have expected to hear on this EP and while that thought is jarring? It doesn't matter. Not when the song is that good.

Something closer to what one might expect from Beckett is "Scarlett (Tokyo)" and in my mind it's the closest to that pop punk sound, but it's more just influenced by those roots rather than pandering to a genre. Alternating between a higher pitched, peppy guitar line to an earthy, dreamy feeling, it's hard not to get lost in the music, to find yourself swaying slightly and daydreaming with it.

My favorite track is the anthem of the EP, and where the title comes from. "Dig a Hole" isn't about getting stuck in a rut. It's about getting out of it. About starting something new and embracing it. "I know the winds will change / And together we'll become the rain."

Beckett has found his own voice, really found it, and has created a ripple in a still lake with these new tunes. As much as I loved Walk the Talk, it was far more rooted in what he'd done before, but Winds Will Change is not that. It's just Beckett, leaving it all behind. The winds might change, and they might be blowing away the old, but Beckett stands strong and weathers the storm with something even better than before waiting.

Pick up the EP on iTunes today! And enjoy!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Music for Monday: Tyler Hilton

With him being in town it only makes sense to turn on Tyler Hilton's tunes today, just to prep for the show that I may or may not be going to. I'm still not sure.

His new album, Forget the Storm is out and I do really enjoy it. It's similar to my favorite album of his (Tracks Of) but a little more rock and roll, which just makes it all the more fun. Give it a listen on Spotify and enjoy. The single off the album "Prince of Nothing Charming" is fantastic, downright perfect, an the rest of it? It's fun, easy to listen to, easy to get into while working, studying, or just doing housework.

And if you feel like going back in time? Grab some of the older stuff and let yourself get sucked into it. Sure he did a stint on One Tree Hill, but that was when the show was good and honestly I always found his character amusing. And it wasn't like the show didn't prove he could sing. He blew us away.

As for the show, we'll see if I wind up there, it's a nice tiny venue which is always fun, but it's alos in about 6 hours and I don't have plan yet. While I'm fine with flying by the seat of my pants, it doesn't always work out. If I do wind up there, I'll obviously have a post about that too. If not...well Warped Tour is on the horizon.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Album Review: "Fire It Up EP" by Fossil Factory

On the list of eagerly awaited music for this year, the new tunes from Fossil Factory have been pretty high on the list. The genius behind this EDM group out of Boston, Mass is none other than Luke Dent, who joined Boys like Girls members, Morgan Dorr and John Keefe as part of the Empire Kids and is part of the genius behind that as well (I saw them last year with Early Morning Blues--that's a babbling fan girl post. Sorry. There's a few good shots of Luke manning the keyboard though).

So trust me, I hear he's working on something new? I've spent a while, living off samplers on the soundcloud site, itching for more, studying the short list and waiting for a hint that there was more to come. And more is finally here. The EP, Fire It Up debuted on iTunes this week and it is fantastic. Even if dance music isn't really your thing? Trust me, you'll like this.

The first thirty seconds of the title track "Fire it Up" had me bouncing, ready to dance along with it and seriously considering adding the whole EP to my half-marathon training playlist. Then later thinking that no, I'd rather not associate such music with the miserable and grueling pain of running. It's too happy for that.

Don't believe me? That song is still streaming here on the soundcloud site. Give it a listen and tell me don't love it.

The other two tracks, "Sunset Over Detroit" and "Eric Draven", have just as much to offer, peppy, high energy beats that just begged to be danced to, something that you can't not move to as you listen to it. It's the perfect pick you up, wake you up, get you moving music and I'm completely hooked. As good as "Fire It Up" is? The other two tracks are better, and worth every penny.

Get your hands on it, find your glowsticks and let's rock out.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thank God it's Friday the 13th

Thank God it's finally Friday right? Of course it would be a Friday the 13th, but that doesn't have to mean a bad thing right? We've had some strange weather here in Atlanta (that's what we get for complaining about how hot it was) and I think everyone spent the week recovering from the holiday weekend. The new weekend is on the horizon though and just to get you through those last few hours, here's some treats.

Travis Alexander of Ghost Thrower tossed this gem up on his tumblr earlier this week and honestly this guy + a guitar might be all I need. (Okay not all, but I love it). I feel horrible sometimes because I do love when he's screaming in a mic and the whole place is burning with energy, but the fact that just him and the acoustic covering "Small Skeletal" by Crime In Stereo is this good? I can't help it. The more acoustic the better.

Cara Salimando put out her June EP this week as well and you can grab it for free here on her facebook page. These two tracks are peppier than I expected, but my first influence to Cara was her and a piano. I'm always expecting just that and a full band is a pleasant surprise. What is expected though, is that both tracks will be fantastic, which they are. I really love "Never Come Home" and have since I saw it love. This girl is beyond talented and if you aren't listening to her yet you're missing out.

Last, and it feels odd to add it to the same post, but it can't go ignored, the new and long awaited single from Boys Like Girls is out and comes with a pretty fancy looking lyric video.

We've heard teasers of this song since last summer when Martin showed up at a festival as just "Martin Johnson" (and we were sure the band was doomed) and now it's finally a studio thing, which I'm not sure I love as much as I did when it was just the boy and the guitar. I guess I'm spoiled from too many acoustic versions that all the extras seem like too much. I love the way his voice has grown up, and I feel like it doesn't need all that.

That said though, the song is pretty damn beautiful. So here's hoping the new leaf they've turned over won't disappoint. Seems like there's potential for it, but I'm still hedging my bets. Their EP is due out next week with four songs from the upcoming album on it, which is due out in the fall.

Stay safe, watch out for black cats and don't break any mirrors and we should get through this one. Well unless you've got a friend with a mask. Then you might need to be worried.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Album Review: "The Approach" by Kyoto Drive

Kyoto Drive out of Birmingham, England (one of my favorite places I saw in England by the way), just put out a new mini-album, The Approach on I Am Mighty Records and it's no joke.

Overall they have a really solid sound, something kind of Mayday Parade esque, but minus the constant theme of 'just how sad can I make you with a song' that Mayday has. Think lyrics like Boys Like Girls or Cartel with a Mayday sound.

The intro to the mini-album, "Receive This Little Breath" can make one anxious, worrying of an overproduced, studio phenomenon to follow, but it's not. It's followed up by a strong guitar intro in "Holiday" and in the second listen-through it fits the album and does just what it needs to prime the ears.

Though honestly? "Holiday" stands alone just fine with an acoustic guitar. Don't believe me? Check out this video they did for Already Heard. It's fantastic.

(Even with the sirens in the background it's good. Actually that might just add an edgy sort of touch right?)

It's impossible not to bob your head along with "So Much Alive", my second favorite track on the album. It was catchy without being annoying and by the end I caught myself mentally singing along. "I've got this feeling / I'm awake but it feels like dreaming." The song just screams to be stuck in your head, resting there until you can't think of anything else, but in a completely great way (not a "Call Me Maybe" or a "What Makes You Beautiful" kind of way. Those two songs are going to be the death of me).

"Faking Laughs For Photographs" and "Chapters" play two different sides of the emotional coin and Faking might be as close to Mayday as they get. The words tug on heart strings, an anthem for the brokenhearted just trying to survive. "Chapters" is peppier, a toe-tapper kind of song, but still full of emotion. It's the kind of song that you love every time it comes up on shuffle and probably wind up tweeting lyrics to.

My favorite track is the last one, "You Never Know" which intros with a solid piano line a la Something Corporate or anyone else daring enough to stick a piano or keys line in a rock song. It's an introspective journey, the story of the musician, the music lover, the writer, and just how they manage to hold it together. Vocals stand up to powerful (not loud, powerful) music, words find their way into your heart and by the end of it you've stopped doing whatever you were doing in the background and wind up listening to just the song.

All in all, it's solid work and definitely worth getting your hands on (iTunes and Spotify folks). If you need a taste you can stream three of the songs on their facebook page and be sure to add them on twitter as well.

Now I get to sit back and wait for them to wander to my end of the pond.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Music for Monday - The Goo Goo Dolls

Champ and I road tripped to Florida to visit my family this weekend, and with that much time in the car we were sitting there, the iPod hitting Hootie and the Blowfish, The Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox Twenty, just right in a row and all I could think was "man, remember when music was just so tragic and so good?"

There really was nothing like the 90s with music that was so tragically depressing, but so beautiful that you listen to it over and over again. Take the entire Dizzy Up the Girl album. It's tragic, with songs like "Acoustic #3" and "Black Balloon", but it's gorgeous. I love it and I swear if the laser in my CD player could have worn a hole in the CD it would have.

It was inevitable that I was going to put them on for the day after, while cleaning up around the house. The Goo Goo Dolls have a discography that spans genres, decades and most of my lifetime. My favorite song is still "Name" off the Boo Named Goo album, but the new album, Something for Everyone while not as punk rock as the old days, it still great, still full of emotion. They are always good, always solid and super talented. And while the music has become more pop music friendly? It's never lost those words so full of heart, feelings and tragedy. Definitely a mainstay in my music collection.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Links for Thursday

Struggling to get through Thursday? You aren't alone, promise. But I have a few things to make that afternoon lull go faster and get you to Friday all the quicker.

First up, A Loss For Words just released a new music video which is great. I am so excited about seeing them at Warped Tour. Can't even joke. A Boston band here in Atlanta!

Check it out and see why you should be excited too! They just released a few acoustic tracks which I still need to get my hands on but it's too good to ignore.

That's not enough? Check out the Young Statues Daytrotter session they recorded. Nothing these guys touch is bad and there's enough music to make that 4PM hour move a lot faster.

And just in case you do need more, The Endless Summer helped out on a cover of The Ready Set's song "Give Me Your Hand (The Best Song Ever)" to promote it. You can grab a couple of all seven covers, TES included here.

Hang in there kids. We'll get there together.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Album Review - Cara Salimando May EP

I think I'm developing a quick and fast girl crush on Cara Salimando. She's got a voice that just seems to cut to my core. And I don't usually like female vocalists. But man, I love this girl. Seriously.

I finally got around to listening to her May EP (one a month apparently), and it's perfect.

Both songs are beautiful, full of great feelings and while "Deceiver" is just that, deceiving in how heartbreaking it is, "Anthem" is tried and true. Cara's voice is impeccable, strong no matter what direction she takes it in (which is starting to become less and less necessary for singers these days, shame yes?).

"Deceiver" is that song for the girl who's in that relationship she's lost faith in. While her partner might be dreaming, thinking it's perfect, but she's pulling away. "I'll pull out the stitches." I love it. Such an interesting direction for a song to come at a relationship from, interesting and rare.

I think I heard both of these tracks live, and they were amazing, just a girl and the piano. She can back up the voice on the studio version. That's not help from a studio, that's all her. The full band version only adds to it, giving it a great feel over all, the kind of two track EP you listen to over and over again, No getting over it.

Check out the EP here, then pick it up on iTunes or TopSpin. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Prepping for the Half Marathon

It's been decided. Champ and I are running a half marathon in January. I know, absolute crazy talk, but we're crazy so it happens.

In prep, I've been running. Like out there on the trail by where we live running and it's been good, minus the part where the men who have twenty to thirty years on me dust me and finish two 5K loops before I can run/walk one. I'm still slow, still not quite there yet but getting there.

Because it's necessary, I've started a running playlist. Of course I only got through the G's on iTunes and it's already over an hour long (which for running is a long time I think). I figure I might as well share part of it, maybe inspire you to work on your own goals (not everyone needs to have fitness goals).

This is my first time using 8tracks, so bear with me as I catch up with the rest of the world.

Running and Running and Running from winglesswarrior on 8tracks.

But here's the listing:

1. Boys Like Girls - "Chemicals Collide"
Who doesn't love this song? Upbeat, slightly cheesy and fun to get you in the mood. I've moved it towards the top of the list something to put me in a good mood as I get started.

2. Austin Gibbs - "I Like the Ones Who"
Austin Gibbs is a total trip. So much fun to watch live and this song? Oh man this song puts me in a good mood. Total distraction from the fact that I can't breathe.

3. Cobra Starship - "Guilty Pleasure"
I love that this song is essentially about how I feel about this whole band. It's a guilty pleasure and when you're running? You need it.

4. B.o.B. - "Magic"
Don't laugh, I love this song. I love B.o.B. He's super talented. And this song is upbeat and fun to go with. Love it.

5. The Cab - "Bad"
Easily my favorite upbeat track off the Symphony Soldier album. It's fun, it's distracting and honestly? I love it. How can you be too winded when you've got this blasting in your ears?

6. Daft Punk - "Derezzed"
Towards the end, thought is gone and you need something like this one from the Tron Legacy soundtrack that makes you dream you're running on the game board rather than a trail where you wish you were dead.

7. Go Periscope - "She Said (Go Periscope Remix)"
So much by this group is added to my marathon play list. They are super talented and while this isn't usually my favorite genre? This is my favorite group in it. I love this remix, so much energy, more than enough to get through a work out.

8. Go Radio - "Thanks for Nothing"
Normally I wouldn't think that I would like Go Radio on a running playlist, but they've come up more than once off the 'driving' play list I was using and it's actually pretty great. I know, crazy, but it works.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Music For Monday - Matchbox Twenty

It's a throwback Monday for music, with today being rooted in one of my all-time favorite bands, Matchbox Twenty. Though throwback isn't entirely accurate anymore.

The guys have finished up another album and the AOL Music blog dropped the sneak peak of the single, "She's So Mean", that comes out tomorrow on their website. If you loved them before, you'll love this. It's amazing and it sounds like what we've always loved from Matchbox Twenty. Years later? They still have it.

So for your Monday? Check out the new song, get super excited for the album, then go back and re listen to the old stuff. Relive all the memories that comes with that music (there's no way their albums weren't soundtracks for your life, they were for mine for sure).

Friday, June 8, 2012

New Matchbox Twenty Single Snippet!

Matchbox Twenty is back and I couldn't be happier. Seriously, this was my band when I was younger and their music never, ever gets old.

They have a new album coming out at the end of the summer, and a new single that should debut before too long. They've released a 30-second teaser snippet of it and I seriously can't wait for more.


While you're at it, go play their "words" game on their website to get access to the snippet and to tweet your own special promo for the song!

Some Treats To Survive Friday

How's that Friday shaping up? I know it's still one of my favorite days of the week, but nothing is worse than the post-lunch Friday slump.

So I've got a few things to perk your day up, hopefully get you to 5pm (or 4pm or 3pm) sooner.

A friend sent me this video this week. I'm still trying to figure out who Landon Pigg is, but the story that came with the song is that he sent the video to a girl he's interested in. Watch the video, it's cute as hell and you'll go 'aww' over my friend. I'm also kind of sure I've heard this song before, but it's likely been in a million tv shows or whatever I've watched.

He's got a facebook page and I'll be cruising through that to find out more about him. (And possibly post about him again.)

(Speaking of 'songs on tv' did you know the new Boys Like Girls single - or so I'm assuming - is already on tv? It's in the new Biggest Loser commercials. Crazy right? Still deciding how I feel about that.)

This is the best thing ever. Members from The Early November, The Wonder Years, The Swellers, and, our favorite, Young Statues (look at Carmen!) recorded a cover of Semisonic's "Closing Time".

I'm beyond stoked that the whole little video is recorded by some school buses, because this song came out when I was in high school (junior or senior year...yes do that math and figure out how old I am) and I honestly felt like it would have been the best graduation song ever. Love it. Plus, come on, it's beautifully done. I'm bummed this tour isn't headed my way because it is likely a blast.

Speaking of The Early November, they have a new song out, "Frayed in Doubt", preview for their new album In Currents that's due out in July. And it's great. I'm so glad these guys are still doing what they do. And I officially need to listen to more of their stuff. Check it out:

Hopefully that helps a little, gets you through the afternoon and one step closer to the weekend!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

William Beckett Releases Video for "Compromising Me"

William Beckett's video for his new single "Compromising Me" just debuted on (apparently the only version of the Mtv genre that plays music...shock) and it's fantastic.

A little quirky, a little silly and full of William just being William. What can I say? I love it.

Get More:

Check it out and then pick up his new EP (if you haven't already) Walk the Talk on iTunes.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Concert: An Evening With William Beckett

The first concert of the summer (officially given that it's Memorial Day weekend) and what looks like the last show of the summer at The Masquerade (I've been through their line up for the summer and nothing is jumping out at me) was the wisest choice I've made so far. It's going to be hard for anything to live up to this show.

Things were running late due to crews and band running into some car issues on the way out of Florida, and that plus the fact that it's the Masquerade meant that there was plenty of loitering outside waiting to buy Champ a ticket (since he decided at the last minute to tag along) and waiting to get in. I didn't really mind since we were running late a little and wound up getting in early enough to get a great spot for the show (not that there is a bad space in Purgatory or that it was that huge of a show).

First up was Cara Salimando, whom I knew nothing about. When she walked out, honestly I sort of looked around to see what else we were getting with her because she was this tiny little thing that almost wandered out and stood behind a piano. Once she started speaking it was just precious, with a sweet little voice that you can't help but smile at. What really got me was the moment she started singing. My first thought was "how did that sound come out of that tiny person?"
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I have a bias against female singers sometimes, often, but man I loved Cara. Her voice was so pure and true and paired with just piano it was amazing. It reminded me of Vanessa Carlton (seriously that is meant to be a compliment in the best of ways), of Michelle Branch, of any of those true female vocalists that were great before the too breathy Taylor Swifts that have me hating female vocalists. Her music was just so true, so solid, filling the room with just one girl and a piano. That doesn't happen often.
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Her on-stage banter was fantastic, fun stories, sweet comments, proof that she is just an overall adorable human being. I did love that as she intro'ed a more upbeat song it came with the comment of "don't worry it's still full of girl feels" which just made it. And a perfect description of her music. Full of girl feels (without being annoying like TS).
Cara Salimando_4
"Commonwealth" broke my heart. Not only is it a great song, a beautiful song, but it's about being in Boston. Towards the end of the song there's a smattering street names, all streets I've been on and in a moment I missed my friends and the people there I love. Hopefully she didn't notice me getting all flustered halfway through a song I'd never heard before that moment. Her album comes with her and the full band, but if you get the chance to see the girl and the piano? Take it. Trust me.
Cara Salimando_3

Up next, obviously, was William Beckett. I was more than thrilled, more than excited. I saw him the first time with The Academy Is.. when they toured with All American Rejects and Rooney (which I brought up when we chatted and we both got excited about Rooney and he made the Princess Diaries reference), and I fell in love with him the first time I saw him. I was more than excited to see him again, since it really had been years since the last time and the moment he started singing I was hooked again. But then again, how can anyone not get hooked when he opened with Damien Rice's "Elephant"?
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The set was beautiful, some old songs that he'd worked on for a while. Some unreleased things that have only been seen on youtube, and of course the new EP in it's entirety. I've said before that I love the EP, but it's better live. Really truly. We, singing along, messed up "Compromising Me" so William went back and went through it again so we wouldn't have that awkward moment again. It was adorable. "Oh Love" is still fantastic as well and I honestly couldn't help but move with it.
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We were treated with some old TAI classics, and a special song for a local girl who William met a few years ago through Make A Wish, whose friends were there. Sadly, Gracie, lost her battle and the song was in memory of, but it was still beautiful and a special moment for the Atlanta crowd.
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During a 'funny story' William told he mentioned watching "Baseball Tonight" and of course, our favorite guy, Champ whooped out loud (and was the only one). Lovingly enough, William was more than pleased by it, calling back to Champ, admitting it was one of his favorite shows. We had a good giggle at the fact that of anyone, it'd be Champ who'd win him over and later when we chatted with William, the boys talked baseball for a good few moments. There was also a small break to talk about the 'shipping' of him and Gabe from Cobra Starship that goes on online and we were chastised with a smile for shipping. Though he did seem amused by it, and it was obvious he sees what goes up on Tumblr more than some of us would like to know.
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My favorite of all the covers that I've seen him do online though is his cover of Ryan Adams' "Come Pick Me Up" which comes with harmonica as well and back up vocals from Cara. I might have had tears in my eyes as well, so touched by that song, so moved by the beauty of it. Trust me I'm a bit of a loser.
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There's no denying the talent that William has. There's no avoiding that he's better than most out there, a perfect voice and a deep love of music, real music, not just what the radio wants to hear. And he'll keep at it, if talk about future music is any indicator.
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Afterward he was a complete doll, hanging around to chat up anyone who stayed to see him, signing things, taking photos and having real conversations with anyone who wanted to chat. There's a true appreciation of the fans, the response they have to the music and if people keep coming back from one show to another. Definitely a fantastic experience. It will be hard to top it, and if he finds his way back to Atlanta again? (Maybe with one of those 'bigger' acts that he hinted at possibly touring with.) I will likely find myself there again.

Want to see more photos? There are more up on my flickr page. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tim and Beth Fleming Wedding - Preview

I wasn't around too much the past few days, (hence the serious lack of posts) because Champ and I were headed to his brother's wedding down in Florida.

I took a ton of photos, most of which I'm trying to go and edit / watermark (I'm planning to launch a facebook page for my photography...we'll see where that goes).

Since you've been so patient I thought you could use a quick preview of some of my favorites.

That's it for now. As I keep editing I'll put together a big, picture heavy post so you can see the best of them.

Album Review: "For All The Lovers" by The Season Premiere

I got added on twitter by Terrence of The Season Premiere and decided to give their new EP a listen to. It's been out for a while, so this is hardly new music, but somehow these guys never crossed my path before. Odd considering they are another Tempe, AZ band and given the prevalence of Arizona bands (The Maine, My Girl Friday, This Century, The Summer Set) in my iTunes, I'm surprised that I haven't heard of them yet. They look familiar but that's all I can say I knew walking into the music.

The EP they put out, For All The Lovers, has a great back beat (I love a good drummer), and while the 'single', "Anything But Love" is anything but cheesy, the rest of the EP doesn't seem to try as hard to be so something other than what they are.

My favorite track is easily "Ulterior Design", a little darker, something more than just a happy go-lucky pop-punk song. While the other tracks might fall strictly into the "guilty pleasure" type of music (where I tend to lump The Summer Set and, my ultimate guilty pleasure band, A Rocket To The Moon), "Ulterior Design" is a little reminder that they are more than your guilty pleasure. Which is refreshing. The kids who are listening to pop punk are getting older, and the originators of the genre are getting older (even Boys Like Girls are officially in their late twenties), it's time to grow the music up a little.

The other tracks are good as well, definite talent among them, music that has a great feel. "Heart of the Matter" also is full of that older sound, in not-quite-a-ballad mode, proof that they are more than just another set of pretty faces for sure. And it's good because while they make a good guilty pleasure, there's potential there for so much more than that. These will be the kind of bands who take over the fan bases, if they can keep it true and not over commercialized. Keep it fresh and real and success is on the horizon.

Definitely check it out (and go farther than the "Anything But Love" if that doesn't quite sell you) and let me know what you think.

Follow the band on twitter and check out their facebook page.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Summer Concert Plans

I think it's official yes? We can all it summer? There's some equinox I think that's next week, but I'm calling it official.

It's a short list so far, but I'm expecting to hear more on concert / tour schedules in the coming weeks and hopefully can fill up the warm months with shows and friends. As of now though:

May 25 - William Beckett
July 26 - Warped Tour

Okay it's a really short list. But! I do know Boys Like Girls will hit the road again soon and once those dates are up, expect me to be at one or two shows. (I'm a masochist what can I say?)

There's a June show for The Tower and The Fool, but I'd have to make my way to Boston (I keep hoping they'll tour), and of course Music Midtown is in September, I just having committed to buying tickets yet.

What am I (obviously) missing that I need to add?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

New Video From Robert Schwartzman for "Second Chances"

Robert Schwartzman released a music video for "Second Chances" off his album Double Capricorn! Just as everything else he does, it's great and might even include a familiar face (like brother/actor Jason Schwartzman).

You can pick up a copy of Double Capricorn in his shop and all proceeds will be donated to the Tibetan Healing Fund!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

What's Playing - "Bedroom Demos" from Travis Alexander

Woke up to a great treat today. He'd teased at the idea of working on this, that he was writing random acoustic songs and not sure what to do with them. Apparently we are lucky enough to actually get to hear them.

Travis Alexander, front man of Ghost Thrower posted Bedroom Demos to his personal bandcamp, three heartbreakingly good acoustic songs, full of emotion and honesty (or what appears to be) and seemingly intent on just making my day.

I've got a soft spot for Travis' voice; there's just something about it paired with an acoustic guitar. Don't get me wrong, I love Ghost Thrower, but I keep listening to the Holidays On Ice EP they put out (in the warm weather months) because it's showing off that voice. This set of demos is what I needed (that isn't..."Blue Christmas" considering it's almost summer).

So this will be my day. And it should be yours too. Go support a great musician.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Music For Monday - William Beckett

What better for a slightly rainy Monday (how much of my music choices are linked to weather?), but something uplifting, something with enough backing to it that you can't help but ignore the rain? I want to make my Monday a good one and focus on the little bits of sun poking through.

With that in mind, I've got the new EP from William Beckett, Walk the Talk, playing, waking up the day (even if it is already the afternoon). It's a great sound, especially for a girl who fell in love with William the first time I saw him head up his band, The Academy Is... when they opened for The All American Rejects (many eons ago). The sound is different from TAI, but not in a bad way. It's got a foot tapping kind of sound, something that reminds me of Rooney (especially "Girl You Shoulda Been a Drummer"), and yet at the same time sounds completely different. It's got a beautiful groovy feel to it that can only come from William. And "You Never Give Up" is such a beautiful song, uplifting and reassuring.

Pick up your copy on iTunes, or William's webstore or cruise it on spotify. Put on the headphones, crank it up and survive the rest of the day. And hey, the sun's starting to peek out more here. Maybe there's nothing but good things on the horizon.

While you're at it? Follow William on twitter and see if his tour hits your town. I'm pretty sure I'll be going to see him play when he hits Atlanta later this month. I'm already excited.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Concert - Sweetlife Festival 2012

Super awesome bonus post! My buddy, Wolfman (no I didn't come up with the nickname--he's not a Seth Green lookalike hacker, because I've seen that episode of SeaQuest enough to only think of that) hit up the Sweetlife Festival on April 28 and since he was there, I coaxed him into a guest post about the festival! Enjoy yourself. - kt

Bright and early on the morning of April 28, my three friends and I set out to the Merriweather Post Pavilion for a day of music and fun known as the Sweetlife Festival. It was a giant event put on by the Sweetgreen Corporation. There were two stages with musical acts performing on them all day long and hoards of food and drink venders from the area sampling their goods. Since we arrived early and were first in line, we took the time to decide which acts we were going to watch and what we would have to skip. In all honesty, I had only heard of three of the groups playing and my knowledge didn’t go past a couple of songs. We all decided that the main act we wanted to see was Kid Cudi, and we wanted to be close to the excitement. So, as we got in, we decided to go to the main stage and camp out up front early. This meant we were going to miss out on all of the acts performing on the Treehouse stage; Ben Browning, Action Bronson, Haim, Yuna, LP, The Knocks, U.S. Royalty, RAC, Delta Spirit, Zola Jesus, and Twin Shadow. We were sad about missing some of these shows, but we figured the reward would be well worth it.

The first group to grace the main stage with it’s presence was Fun.. You’ve probably heard of their hit single “We Are Young”, and that’s about it. I figure the best way to describe Fun.’s sound is an alternative pop mixture. If you can imagine Flogging Molly combined with Third Eye Blind, you probably wouldn’t be too far off. The thing is, I found myself really getting in to the rhythms and swaying from side to side without even realizing it. My only real complaint about the show was that the majority of their songs sounded very similar and it was difficult to differentiate one from the other. Other than that, they got the crowd reasonably worked up and finished very strong with “Some Nights” which even got our group chanting along with the chorus.

It was about now that we realized the flaw in our plan to camp out up front. After Fun. was done playing, they cleared all of the people out of the pit area. We quickly ran around to get back to the entrance to the pit. The next show to go on was A$AP Rocky, but in between the first two sets a dj group named Bluebrain took to the stage. Originally, Bluebrain was only supposed to be on stage for a few minutes while they set up for the next show. However, for some unknown reason A$AP Rocky ended up being about 40 minutes late so Bluebrain had to perform for roughly an hour.

When A$AP Rocky finally did show up, they only had about 20 minutes left in their set, so they had to get to work fast. They immediately ran out on stage and just pumped up the crowd. Going in to the show I didn’t know a single one of their songs and I was still jumping around and getting crazy. Their raps were very high energy. This is why it was such a shame that it felt like they were getting off stage once they got started.

At this point we decided to hunt down something to eat so we didn’t see Mia and Caitlin, but we were able to hear them while walking around. This group consisted of a dj and a violinist. It was an interesting combination I had never heard before, and I would say I enjoyed it. They did a rendition of Katy Perry that was very entertaining.

When we came back, it was time for Fitz and the Tantrums. This was another group that I hadn’t heard of before they went on, but I was very pleasantly surprised by them. They classify themselves as a pop group, but I think a dance rock fusion would be a little more appropriate. The singers were constantly moving and dancing. They helped convey this energy to the audience by performing such songs as “Breakin’ the Chains of Love” and a cover of the Eurythmics classic “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”. I don’t think I ever saw the pit stop moving, and even a good portion of the crowd in the seats were getting up and swinging. I might not have known who they were when I got there, but I left a fan.

Next up was Explosions in the Sky. This is sort of a difficult group to talk about. They are a modern day jam band, that is made up of all instrumentals and no vocals. I don’t want to say that they were bad because I do not feel like that would be accurate. That being said, I feel as if they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even the crowd in the pit was very bored, most of whom were either talking or texting on their cell phone. The music was just very bland and safe. Nothing they played ever grabbed me and demanded my attention.

The next band was one I was actually pretty familiar with. The Shins were big when I was in high school and college, so I at least had an idea of what I was in for. In case you’re not familiar with them, The Shins are an alternative rock group that is mostly famous for songs like “Caring is Creepy” and “New Slang”. Now I have to admit that I saw the majority of this show while waiting in line to get in to the pit for Kid Cudi, so I didn’t have the greatest view. The crowd really seemed to respond to the music. The pit was always moving and singing along to the songs. At one point, a couple even started swing dancing right next to me. The melodies were hypnotic. I found myself swaying back and forth while standing in line quite a few times.

Now was time for the even our group had been waiting for. We made our way to the pit for Kid Cudi. Before I start talking about his show, I feel I should point out exactly how crowded it was. You could not move, my left arm was pinned between my leg and some girl’s rear and I could not lift it. If one person leaned one direction, everybody was leaning that direction (which happened a few times). Before Cudi even got on stage, the crowd was erupting with noise and excitement. Kid Cudi has a unique ability to take a somber, thought provoking song and infusing it with energy. The perfect example of this is “Soundtrack 2 My Life” which he performed early on. When he performed “Up Up & Away”, I personally feel that was the most excited I’ve ever seen a crowd at a show in my entire life. Keep in mind how crowded I stated the pit was earlier, and during that song every person was jumping up and down. Needless to say, it was an amazing performance and the highlight of the evening for many in attendance.

This brings us to the final act of the evening. AVICII is a dj act that wows the audience with brilliant lighting and special effects. He had a set-up with lights surrounding monolithic screens that continued to rotate backdrops almost like a computer screen saver. This is a prime example of an act where I am amazed more by the visual presentation rather than the musical ability. In the end, the lights were bright, the bass was high, and the crowd had a good time. What more can you ask for?

So it came time for our adventure to end. We took one last walk through the festival grounds. We were cold and tired, but you would have never been able to tell by looking at us.

-Doctor Wolfman

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