Tuesday, January 31, 2012

This Century Releases Acoustics EP

This Century released an acoustic EP today and I'm going to unabashedly admit that i grabbed it off iTunes not long after midnight when it came out. I'm biased, the song choices are some of my favorites, including "Hopeful Romantic" and "Sound of Fire", but that doesn't take away from how good the songs sound acoustic.

While most of This Century's music is simple, not over done like bands tend to these days, trying to add more in that doesn't need to be there, it's even better broken down to the bear bones. It's completely lovely, soothing music that eases through you. It's daring for someone to take on such raw music, needing the talent to back it up and these guys have it. Especially "Sound of Fire" which full band is such peppy song, but on this EP it's breathtaking.

Worth the $4.95 for sure. Go pick it up on iTunes!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Music for Monday - Mansions

Starting a new thing as best I can try to remember to post it, featuring a band or artist on Mondays for you to check out. You might not always love it and I'll try and keep up some variety (and not post about my five favorite bands), but give it a shot. See what happens. Maybe you'll find something that speaks to you. (Which really, to me? That's the point. Finding music that speaks to you.)

This week's choice is Mansions. I was doing some research for the upcoming Young Statues show (they deserve their own post, expect that later). I'm way too excited about that show, but I didn't want to stand there confused through the other two groups and then spend the entire time only enjoying one band.

So I gave Mansions a shot and I've go to tell you, I was more than pleasantly surprised. They have a great sound, and that's not even counting my bias for them, being that they're from Kentucky (I have an odd attachment to these KY bands. I blame having lived there.)

Mansions - "City Don't Care" from Cluster 1 on Vimeo.

They have a similar feel to Young Statues, that same sort of Death Cab For Cutie under current without sounding whiny. "City Don't Care" is beautiful. It's music that needs to be on television shows that care about music like The O.C. used to (yes, I did say that in a way that takes that show seriously). It's something you can put on and drive for miles, lost in the music and the changing landscape.

Put it in, lay back and drink in the sound. Stream their stuff off their Facebook page then check out their twitter.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Roughs Release Video for "My Only Drug"

I love this band. You should too. If you like Rooney, which you do you know you do, you'll remember guitarist Taylor Locke (or if you watched season 1 of The O.C. he randomly drops in a few scenes in the "Rooney" episode). Taylor has been busy with his new band, Taylor Locke And The Roughs who are just as amazing.

They released a new video for their song "My Only Drug" today and it's lovely (did you doubt that it would be? No, you didn't).

Check it out!

Taylor Locke and The Roughs - "My Only Drug" from Cinesthesia Pictures on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Concert: The Cab and The Summer Set

I've been way too stoked for this show. I was dragging Champ along with me and this was another one of those ones where I had no idea if he liked the music at all (he is the hardest person to go to a show with. I can never tell if he likes what we're doing or if he's just like there), but he was coming nonetheless. We also met up with my friend Kat, who I met at the Yellowcard concert late last year. (I make friends everywhere.)

Again, weak on my part, I walked in green for this show's openers. I should have done some research but I didn't even recognize their names really so there wasn't a rush to find out who they were. I have to say, I'm glad I went in green. It was one of those things where I stood in the back with a beer and the parents and just took in their sound, devoid of all the fan girls yelling out overshadowing it. I love how I'm trying to justify being old and standing in the back. Sad right?

The first group up was Paradise Fears and despite being a little green, they were really good. Champ weighed in here pointing out that they reminded him of The Maine when we saw them three years ago when they toured with Boys Like Girls. There's a lot of potential there, they just need some more time under their belt playing for a larger crowd. I really liked the way they got the crowd going towards the end of their set and they had great energy which was infectious. That's sort of the key to a good opener, they have to get the crowd by the end. I'm looking forward to checking out their stuff and hearing more from them as they gain some steam. The cover they did was really good, melding two songs in a way that was just different, not a straight cover. A good opener should probably have a good cover too, and that's the best way to do it, something different that's not a straight cover but kids will recognize. Plus, I sort of love the hook to "My Heart's a Stereo" or whatever the Gym Class Hero's song is called.

In between sets I ducked over to The Summer Set's merch table which was being manned by lead man for My Girl Friday, Justin Godsey. I've been following him on twitter for a bit and find him rather charming there (and his hair is like…antigravity it's amazing in its own way). He's met some of my other friends and they swear he's a nice kid so I made a point of heading back to tell him another friend said hi and chat him up. Turns out? He's a really sweet guy, the nice kind who you walk away from and think "I want that guy to do well." I told him how much I had enjoyed the new EP his group put out and we talked about him coming through Atlanta again with them. I definitely said I'd go out to see him play, which I'm sure I will. They were that kind of good. Plus, he's a charming guy, won me over with one conversation.

Days Difference to the stage next and both Champ and I were impressed by how different their sound was. There was a heavy synth sort of sound in the back that took us a moment to place, but after a moment we had it. It's a U2 sound. I know, that's a stretch, but seriously it is. And they do it well. Not copying, but possibly heavily influenced. Very, very neat.

Last of the true openers was He is We, which actually surprised me as being fronted by a girl, not a guy. I don't know why this surprised me, I guess because I listen to so few bands with female leads. They had a good sound, but struck me as a kind of group that would have been better on an album rather than live. They did bring out Brian from The Summer Set to sing a duet with them, which was pretty neat. I'm forever amazed that people can sing with Brian given the interesting sound of his voice. That did win them over with the crowd since there seemed to be a huge fan base for TSS there.

Here's were I confess that The Summer Set are one of my guilty pleasures. To the point where when they came on stage and started singing I was already singing along and dancing a little. I have no idea why I like them so but I really, really do. It's fun, uplifting music and you can't help but get on your feet to it. Plus they started the set with "The Boys You Do (Get Back At You)" which I love. So yes, dancing was inevitable.

Their energy was great, and the crowd loves their frontman Brian to death. He's a cute kid which is probably why, but he did run all over stage, dancing up a storm when he wasn't singing (and when he was). They played a few songs from the new album and while I was able to pick out which songs they were, but not follow along with the words (there was also a sound issue? The vocals were way lower than the music which was hard to listen to as well). While sometimes hearing new music sometimes makes you feel left out, it really had me gunning to turn the music back on when I got home. Like, I wanted to hear more of Everything's Fine rather than wish they'd played more older tracks. That's a good sign in my book.

I was bummed that "Can You Find Me" didn't make the cut (that's one of my favorites) to be played, but I get that it might not be great live. Same with "Passenger Seat" but with ballads like "About A Girl" on the new album, that one would get passed over for "Punch Drunk Love" (which was great live).

We'd inched towards the front for The Cab to take the stage and I do love that they started with "Angel With A Shotgun". It's such a great start to the Symphony Soldier album, that it's a great kick off for the show. They played a ton of new music, all the favorites from the new album and mixed in some of the more popular old songs ("Bounce!" & "I'll Run" among others). At one point they slowed it down, just to Alex DeLeon and Alex Marshall on the stage, playing their ballads, starting with the first verse of "Vegas Skies". I died a little because I do love that song so very much. I wish they'd played more of it, but I can see why they did it that way. It rolled into "Lovesick Fool" which is also pretty great.

There is something to be said for just being in the crowd in a show and not much more. I love seeing the small bands play, the tiny shows, all of that. I love going to see Bryan play and being up front and one of the 20 people who know all the words to all his songs. I do. But during this show? I was in the middle of things, singing my lungs out, dancing around, hands in the air. There is something to be said for that and how much fun it is. I loved it. I don't get to do that too much when I see my small bands play (if the video with my audible gasp being heard is enough proof at how embarrassing that can be in a small crowd), so it was fun to do here.

The Cab closed out their set before the encore with "Living Louder" which should have always been done live, with a huge crowd singing it back. It's an anthem and beautiful live. Brian from TSS came out to help out and it was truly lovely. I really enjoyed it. The encore closed out with "Bad" (of course the new 'single'), but that was fun too even if Alex seemed to be losing his voice there towards the end.

I managed to walk out with a drumstick, crazy I know, but since the guys were around after I had Alex sign it for me and got a cute picture (alright it's kind of cheesy but I enjoy it!) Good fun. Great night. Beautiful music.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Concert: Evanescence

I love shows, but it's been a while since I've been to one where I didn't have some deep love for one of the bands playing. This show though, was my best friend Gina's favorite band, Evanescence, and her Christmas present from her husband: a night out with their best friends, seeing her favorite band.

I've always like Evanescence, but somewhat high level. I'd seen them ages ago when I was still in college and they opened for Seether. I knew they would put on good show, because back then I'd been amazed and they weren't to the level they are now. So even though I was certain I'd only know the few songs that were on the radio, I knew that it'd be worth the time.

I was disappointed that I'd never even heard of the openers (I have higher expectations for myself these days I guess) but as soon as the first band, Electric Touch, started I was hooked. They had a good beat, something upbeat and testing that pop rock sound while holding true to something older (very obvious when they covered "Blitzkrieg Bop" by The Ramones and got the crowd jumping). Their energy was through the roof, especially for a first opener and bringing in a medley of covers, which included covering The Rolling Stones and Foster and the People, gave a little nod to their mixed heritage. I have to say, I was tweeting after the first song that I was hooked, but more entertained to find them tweeting me back the moment they got off stage. I'm eager to see what they can do when they have a different crowd that might be slightly more in tune to their music and they get some more fans under their belt. They are touring this summer with Hot Chelle Ray, so that should be a good start.

(Electric Touch...did not have the good camera with me sorry)

Rival Sons was up next and I had done more research on them, only to find more than one person compare them to "classic rock". That gives one pause since classic rock is a time gone by, but Rival Sons might have gotten their hands on it. On stage the reminded me of Stillwater from Almost Famous though their lead singer moved an awful lot like William Bekcett from The Academy Is… Their sound was like Led Zeppelin for their upbeat numbers and like the Black Crowes when they slowed it down. While they had moments of losing the crowd during their longer ballads, part of that can be blamed on the crowd. They were there to see a bass heavy goth rock with a powerful female singer and a classic rock sound that echoed through the 5th minute of a song is going to lose the crowd. Still, they were brilliant and have a sound that the music industry has long since forgotten.

(Rival Sons)

Evanescence has a presence that really can't be explained until you see them. Amy Lee looks so unassuming, a pretty girl in a exquisite dress and from the balcony it's not like she's very tall. The moment she opens her mouth though and it's paired with the strong guitars and base line from the rest of the band, it's hard not to get completely sucked into the music. I haven't been keeping up with Evanescence as a group as well as my best friend has, but I do know enough of their songs to really enjoy the show. There was something additionally awesome though about watching Gina get completely sucked into the show. I wonder if that's what I'm like at shows (I'm guessing maybe). That was probably the best part, sharing that with my best friend, that moment of being lost in music you love so dearly.


Even towards the end, as Amy is out there alone with just the piano they'd rolled out for her, and she was saying she'd lost her voice, there was no way she even faltered on notes. I'm forever amazed by her, how she can move around so much and how she can sing like that with such power. I can barely sing along in the car and not screw up (I definitely don't try on Rock Band, that's all Gina). I'm not sure where she thought she wasn't doing a great job, because "My Immortal" almost had tears in my eyes. A solid showing, all around. And I'm definitely checking out Electric Touch after this.

Follow them on Twitter!
@ElectricTouch @rivalsons @evanescence

Friday, January 20, 2012

What's Playing

Most of my what's playing this week is rooted in the concert I have this weekend. Sunday is The Summer Set and The Cab and I can't properly explain how excited I am for this. I wanted to see The Summer Set a while ago, but I couldn't bring myself to pay to see All Time Low, even if Yellowcard and TSS were opening. I've watched to see The Cab since Rana got me hooked on them. The two in one show that came through Atlanta was kismet and I am unbelievably stoked. I'll be posting about it come Monday I'm sure.

 In The Car

 It was Pioneer by The Maine and that lead to a great moment of Champ actually turning the volume up to loud and saying he was surprised that as a band they weren't bigger. Color me amazed. I might have stared at him like he was insane. I kept that playing for a little longer, but then switched to The Cab's new album Symphony Solider which is just fantastic. Great driving music. Plus it's getting me more than stoked for this weekend.

On the Computer

I've had more time to crank iTunes and I've been spending a good bit of time listening through the new album, Everything's Fine from the Summer Set. I like their old stuff and while the new stuff hasn't grown on me the same way, I do still enjoy it. Trying to get a good grasp of it for the show so I don't stand there awkwardly through songs wondering what the words are.

The bonus tracks off Go Radio's Deluxe version of Lucky Street have gotten a good bit of air time as well. I practically burned a hole in the album when I first got it, but added content is great, including their cover "Rolling In The Deep" (my second favorite cover, I'm partial to the Cage the Elephant version as well. There's also my favorite "Stay Gone" which comes with the line "You're better off in Boston" which is a regular tweet of mine. (I know, lame, I can't help it, I love that place.)

On the iPod

While I work to listen to new music on my computer, the iPod always goes back to my comfort music in the end. Lately it's been stuck on a playlist I made for someone, which is pretty darn good if you ask me, but there's also been a lot of Jack's Mannequin playing and even more The Tower and The Fool. I really can't get enough of either band these days and it seems to be fitting my moods.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Quick Walk Outside

Took some time to actually go outside today, which was misguided in a few fronts (I had no idea how cold it was out there), but I did talk a walk along the water that the neighborhood I live in backs up to and towards the park that's a short distance (under some bridges) away. I had to turn back when my hands got too cold, but I did get some good photos. It was fun the practice with the new camera some more as well. IMG_0340 Direction for those going under the bridge on the water IMG_0335 (I hope this makes Meaghan smile) IMG_0325 IMG_0300 IMG_0297 IMG_0315 This one is my favorite. Absolute.

"Spacism" Video by "Young Statues"

It's too lovely for words, done by the immensely talented Mitchell Wojcik, this video really does give a feel for the song. Fall in love all over again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Treat for Hump Day

Found the video from the $2 VIP Holiday Show of Bryan and Small Talk performing "The Quiet Things that No One Ever Knows" by Brand New.

(fun fact: I think you can hear my audible gasp type noise around 2:41 because yeah, it's that great.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Album Review: "Empty Sky" By Vultures

Being past my loud angry music phase for the most part, I could tell from the first listen through of the Vultures EP, Empty Sky (which is a name I really like), hit me as one of those collections of songs that really, really needs to be seen live. There's something to be said about screaming lyrics that just work so much better live.

That said, the EP rings true to what hard rock should be, what it needs to be. Strong guitar lines are back with powerful drums, so much that the longer musical interludes become my favorite parts of the songs. My favorite track on the album is "Medicate the Masses" which, even without the lyrics, has a feel that lives up to it's name. And by the end of "Never Good Enough" I'm imaging myself cheering "I'll never give up" right along with it.

I feel like the EP itself doesn't quite give the band the right feel, that it would be something, like I said, you'd have to see live to really, truly appreciate, but at the same time, the EP Is a great taste of what it's store for a live show.

Pick up and stream the EP on their bandcamp page.

Follow Vultures on twitter!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Album Review: "Laugh and the World Laughs With You..." by Chest Rockwell

You know Bowling Green, Kentucky. The non name town that got a bigger dot on the map lately because of Cage the Elephant (I have a friend who lives in Scotland who has actually said, more than once, that she wants to visit Kentucky. I lived there for three years and I have no idea what's wrong with her). Bowling Green never had much to offer me, but it has become a safe haven for musicians. There's always been talent there. Sleeper Agent, another BG band, is starting to make a name for itself and now I'm giving you another hot spot of talent from the sleepy town I lived in in high school.

Meet: Chest Rockwell.

They just released a new EP Laugh and The World Laughs With You… which you can pick up on their bandcamp page. You can stream it there too, which I strongly recommend.

I, begrudgingly, admit that I actually jumped out of my skin when "Black Reign" started. Like jolted form the massive hit of drums to start the song. I was instantly giving the computer a dirty look for scaring me, thinking "wouldn't it be fair if I could just inch my way into this" but that's not the case. It's a loud welcome to the group. I looked into it a little more and I laughed at myself for being surprised. Their drummer, who've I've watched play for a good 10+ years has always played like that.

It's no surprise to me that the EP is laden with tracks that sing deeply of talented musicians, the band is full of them. i know I can vouch first hand for at three of them. They were good when I was lurking in the background of a crowd in high school watching them play. It's a roller coaster ride of an EP, up and down in mood and tone, taking the box and blowing out a different side of it with each track. While it all sounds like themselves, each track sounds different and unique from the first. Each track shows off something else that they have that other bands either don't or don't have the guts to show off.

It doesn't make sense to say I was both surprised and not, but that's how it was. I was surprised that I enjoyed it so much and I wasn't because, hey, I know these guys. I know to expect good things.

Add another to list of what Bowling Green can give the world (that almost sounded like a compliment for that town…don't' judge me).

Since the guys don't have a twitter (GET ON IT), here's a treat. 12 years ago I watched 4/5 of them play in an elementary school gym, a one time deal, never to be seen again. I scrapped the photos not too long ago (another one of my hobbies) just because I loved it so. So here you go, a bonus treat.

March C2P: Running In Circles

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Concert Schedule

It's a new year which means a new list of concerts I've got in mind to see. So far the list is sparse, but I'm hoping to add to it as the year goes.

1/14 - Evanescence
1/19 - The Cab and The Summer Set
3/8 - A Great Big Pile of Leaves, Mansions and Young Statues

That's all I have planned at the current moment, but I'm hoping for another EMB show and probably another Tower show as well.

Anyone else have anything fun on deck? or anything I shouldn't miss?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Album Review: "Midnight Sun" EP by Our Vintage Film

I got caught up in "Road Trip" off Nashville band, Our Vintage Fim's Midnight Sun EP from the first few bars. There's something to be said about a rock band, pop punk or whatever style you think, that incorporates a good keys/piano sound into their music. It speaks to a greater understanding of how to music works together, how a piano sound doesn't have to slow a rock song to a ballad. I'm biased but I've always loved a good piano rock song (think a la Something Corporate).

While "Road Trip" is simplistic in its lyrics the music behind it is was catches the ears, not the lyrics. That's the same through the EP, straightforward words with a complicated musical backing. It's not to say that the lyrics aren't good, but they aren't as original, and at times a little cliche. There's nothing wrong with phrases like "all time lows" and "forever young" but they are over done. The moments described are likely actual moments that happened, direct memory to song correlations, making the music fit the moment.

Writing a more complicated music phrase, one that is explicitly stating the thought and the moment comes with time though and something that can be learned. It doesn't take away from the music, I just feel like it would keep it from striking as a deep a chord with a listener as it might with the person who wrote it. Parts of the songs are relatable, but in general I don't know if it will be the kind of music that sinks home deeply. "Midnight Sun (War)" gets the closest to those type of lyrics that resonate, that when the meaning finally gets through stick in your head, and it's probably the best song on the entire EP lyrically.

With as good as "Road Trip" is musically and "Midnight Sun (War)" is lyrically, "Summer" is as cliche as it gets. It sounds like a bad attempt to be what mainstream music is pushing pop punk style bands into, cheesy lyrics and this one comes with an added rap bit in the middle of it. The music isn't as good as they've already proved they are capable of writing and compared to the other songs, it's weak in comparison. It's trying too hard to force the group into the Big Time Rush bubble, the Justin Bieber corner and it's not good, even compared to its more popular counterparts that aren't good either, it's much worse. While the rest of the EP is worth listening to, something I'd hang on to and add into rotations and playlists, that song I'm not keeping. There's not need to force hip hop into a band that doesn't need it, or to push the lines of how many months are girls' names. There are moments of the song that could be redeemable, but no enough to make up for the worse parts.

I recommend checking out their music off their EP on their Facebook page, but don't be surprised if "Summer" is a let down. If you like it, it's available on iTunes.

Follow Our Vintage Film on twitter

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ringing In the New Year

Champ and I went to his brother's for the holiday, down in Savannah, GA. He throws a party every year and invites a ton of old friends form college and his first few years in Savannah. It's a fun crowd and while Champ and I skirted around the debauchery, I did have a good time catch some of it on my camera (my DSLR camera that Santa brought me by the way!).

So here's a few of the tamer shots, do enjoy.

Happy New Year from the warrior! Here's hoping 2012 brings you all you could want and more!

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