Friday, March 30, 2012

Video: Acoustic Goodies from Young Statues

BLARE. magazine caught up with Young Statues at the Toronto stop of their tour with A Great Big Pile of Leaves and Mansions and filmed a couple of gems!

Acoustic versions of two of their songs, which if you don't have the acoustic EP yet, you're missing out. PIck that up here and then enjoy these two treats.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Champ!

This is my better half. My best friend.

And he's a year older today.

We love the Champ. Everyone who meets him does, most of who you just read about him or hear stories about him love him, but me especially. Though I'm lucky enough to hang out with him almost every day.

He's a good sport, the kind that agrees to go on wild goose chases with me and wanders around Michael's while I look at crafty things or goes to shows with teenaged girls screaming because I asked sweetly. He makes dinner and does dishes (I do sometimes too) and he's completely understanding of whatever crazy idea I have going on that week.

He's kept me from going full 'hipster' which is for the best, but understands that I do like to dabble. He lets total strangers come stay at our place because he felt bad that the band didn't have somewhere to crash. He's Mr. Positive, the best gamer I know and really just a ton of fun to be around.

Hooray for another year of hanging out with him, him being my favorite and here's looking to so much more. I can't wait.

Happy Birthday Champ!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Concert: Young Statues 3/8/2012

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I've had a short list of concerts so far this year and every one of them has been highly anticipated, but I don't know if any of them had the build up that the Young Statues show had. This one had been in the plan since they day they announced it. It got to the point where once I just tweeted that their music was stuck in my head and Carmen came back with "See you in Atlanta." This was the plan. Maybe it was a touch ridiculous, but this was my first 'found in Boston' band that was headed south. It had to be a big deal.

I've said before that The Masquerede is my favorite venue in Atlanta, and I'll say it again. The guys were playing Purgatory which is about twelve steps above the ground level and as big as the first floor of my townhouse. Even Champ commented on the size of it with a 'whoa this place is tiny.'

I spotted Carmen at his table as soon as I walked in and was greeted with him knowing who I was as soon as I walked up (that's a cool feeling, no matter where you are). We chatted for a bit then went to get spots for the show (with the twenty other people who got there early). This has to be said first, it was southern hipster heaven. Girls in straight up urban outfiters specials with preppy guys with boat shoes pretending to care. Seriously the oddest grouping of people, but that's sort of what I expect at concerts here. There's probably an entire anthropological study that could be done with the sort of concert going crowd in Atlanta.

The first opener, Wire Method, was a local Atlanta group and not bad, but not great. They had a good idea going on with sort of a Tegan and Sara sound, but the girls were a little pitchy which sort of threw off the whole vibe of the music. Unfortunate, but something that can likely be fixed.

I ducked off between sets to find the restroom and had told Champ to get us a good spot for Young Statues while I was gone and when I got back I was surprised to find him right up front and a little to the left of the 'stage' (it was like 12 inches off the ground. Does that count?). The girls in front of me seemed excited and I asked if they knew the band but they were very much 'uh no' which was fine when I admitted I was a fan they shoved me in front of them so I was right up close. Great for photos. Awkward for me because I was definitely singing along and I'm sure it was obvious.

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(every photo I got of Matt was awful. He was tossed in this dark corner and just blah for photos.)
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The set was actually really great, with a few choices that surprised me. I was hoping they'd play "Bumble Bee" and "Your Seasons Stay the Same" but didn't totally expect it, so I was more than pleasantly surprised when they did play them. Same with "Meet Me at the Hudson." Love that song.
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Album Review - "Daydream" By The Endless Summer

I have beyond highly anticipated the new release from The Endless Summer, Daydream. I think I've been looking forward to it since they dropped the first single "Satellites", which I fell in love with right away. There's just something about Nick's voice that hooks you the first time you hear the chorus. I think of it like when you first hear the chorus on "Thunder" or "Hero/Heroine" by Boys Like Girls. Actually Nick reminds me a lot of Martin, and I do mean that as a compliment.

"Satellites" is easily the clincher of the EP, but it hardly ends there. Each song has its own flair, something that will remind you of your favorite pop punk (or pop rock, what are we calling this genre now? My iTunes lists it as 'alternative'...right no) artist, but it doesn't sound like everything else. "Fly With Me" has a back beat that has you tapping your foot, moving with the music as it rises and falls and you actually get caught up in the way it slows down then speeds up again.

"If You Wanted" might be my favorite. It comes across as a little raw, but to me it's like if Taylor Swift didn't suck, her music would sound like this. Obviously Nick can outsing her on her own songs, so it's not really a surprise that The Endless Summer would be a better version.

The whole EP is a heartfelt sort of ride, music for driving with the windows down at night, which to me, is special for music that really gets to your heart. I lacked a social life in high school and used to get on the roads that left the little town I lived in and just drive as far as I felt safe before turning around. That's what I think of when I say that. Trying desperately to get away from it all with the windows down and warm air filing the little car, listening to music that could be felt as much as listened to. I wish I had this EP for those nights because it would have been perfect.

Pick up your copy on iTunes or Amazon, Rhapsody or Spotify or wherever else you get your music from. If you're itching for a hardcopy, pick up at their webstore and for a limited time apparently Nick is including a treat for all orders of an EP or a shirt. Sounds like a sweet deal to me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Road Trip 2012 - The Tower and The Fool

Last night in Boston and how fitting that I spend it with Tower. I else was I going to spend it.

I went by to check in on Rana, but she was studying hard for classes and eventually I left her at Starbucks with her books and headed towards Great Scott. Both Colleens were due to meet me there at some point and I wound up stepping off the bus alone, and face with a pacing Bryan. I think I scared him because I just about appeared out of nowhere, but hopefully not. We caught up for a few moments outside until Colleen K found me and then we went inside and I got a beer while we waited for things to get started.

There was a good crowd when The Tower and The Fool went on, though it could have been four of us. It was still great.

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(I hate the lighting at Great's always red. How does one work with red?)

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They played "Breach" for this set (at the H.E.L.L. set they played "Fade Away" from the old EP), though only after some prodding from the crowd. They asked, we (me) answered. And one other guy. I won.

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This band is going to be huge one day. At some point their music is going to be everywhere. It's going to be awesome.

Colleen J got there in time for their last song and then I hung out with both Colleens for a while, chatting about shows and listening to The Front Bottoms who went on next. All in all a great show, even if I did duck out early to make sure I didn't get back too late. I was hitting the road again in the morning with a long drive ahead of me and no sleep wasn't smart for that. idea of a last night.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Road Trip 2012 - Paradise Fears

Wednesday was my last day in Boston, but we wound up making a plan to see Paradise Fears play a house show at Courtney and Shannon's. I don't really know them other than their opening set for The Cab a few weeks ago, but I was willing to get them another shot, to see my friends as well because I figured what that heck. I didn't have much else planned.

Of course, because this is how things go, the snow came on Wednesday and I found myself walking to my car (parked about three blocks from Rana's apartment) in actual snow. Though it was warm enough that it fell more like rain than snow and I didn't have too much of a freak out of driving in it. That said I think I fared very well with being in experienced in driving in such wintery conditions.

I picked up Olivia and drove us to the right place, but we were early and not at all sure we were in the right place. I wound up parking in the wrong place (a Haitian Church parking lot) until that was sorted. I got to meet 'the flock' as they call Courtney and Commie's friends and we had a good time chatting while we waited for the band to show up.

It was a little surprising when they did, but they sat with the girls for a while, chatting everyone up, telling stories. Of course the question was asked about me, about how I wound up in Boston, which had me explaining my following of Bryan's bands. That lead to chatter about Boys Like Girls with the comment of "Do you know their bassist can sing as high as the lead singer." Yes, yes he can.

They were good live, fun to listen too and nice guys all around. They tolerated the loud levels of sound some of the girls reached, which I was very impressed by. I would have wanted to run away screaming.









Road Trip 2012 - I love Boston

Have I mentioned that I love this city?

I love this city. It's fast becoming my second home. I know. I'm a Braves fan, I can't stand the Patriots (tell me you can? You know you can't), I don't like winter and I hate being cold, but I love this city. Maybe I've only seen the best parts, but the place has charm.

And it's starting to feel like like a second home.

It was a fun few days without a show to go, hanging out with friends. I spent Monday, while most people had class, chilling with my girl Colleen K. We watched bad movies and chatted about things. More than fun. And we watched Prom. Who doesn't love that movie? (Admit it, you love it.) Followed that up with a sushi dinner with Rana and mostly enjoying ourselves.

Tuesday was spent with the "other" Colleen, Colleen J. That meant lunch and wandering around the city. Though of course wandering was actually 'running' to the train when we realized we were on the wrong side of the tracks. (Figures.) That's just us I think. Then it was cruising Newbury, raiding Newbury Comics and studying albums and debating over what's good and what wasn't. I have a whole lot more to check out. We also did some shopping at Forever 21 which resulted in a white blazer for me and some cute leggings for Colleen

After that? Off to trivia with Rana and Christina. I love trivia, but I got to tell you, it's depressing to be the only person at the table who remembers The Gulf War. Reminds a girl of her age. Which is old. We didn't win, but that's alright. We held our own for a while there and that's what counts.

The city was so much fun to be in, wandering around, taking the T and pretending I knew where I was going. We just don't have things like that here and as much as I love my city? It's different.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Road Trip 2012 - H.E.L.L. Benefit Show

Sunday morning I was up and moving again, headed towards Boston from Hartford. I was a little surprised I managed to get up that early, but I didn't have as much to drink as everyone else. It wound up being for the best because I had some massive issues parking and then meeting the crew up at Pinkberry. I did finally make it, pleased with how nice a day it was and more than amused to see my friends. They were all there, which made the trek even better.

After a snack and some loitering on Newbury it was off to the H.E.L.L. Benefit Show to see The Tower and The Fool play. I was more than excited, I hadn't seen them play since October and I was due up for a show. Plus all my best Boston friends were there. The place was tiny and I was pretty glad we were early. A Loss For Words wound up playing an acoustic guest spot which had their fans flooding the place. Still it made for a good time, though I'm bummed the place emptied out after their set. They deserved more people sticking around (an apparently it filled up alter afterward because it got crazy for the bands that followed.




The new music sounded epic. I'm already in love with it and can't wait for the album (which comes out on 4/24). It was fun to watch Bryan play as well, he really seems to be loving playing with this group. This is also great news because Tower has the potential to blow up huge.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Road Trip 2012 - Connecticut

Having arrived in Hartford on so much caffeine that I was shaking, I was surprised that I was actually able to fall asleep. I guess when I crashed, I crashed hard and actually was able to sleep in the hotel room I was sharing with my parents (which is impressive since they tandem snore). We were all in town for lil brother's last Master's recital (he's a an oboe performance major).

Morning meant hangs with the family, lunch before a place even opened and then running to a true Italian bakery in the sketchiest part of town. But the walls were will filled with fresh bread and cases of delicious cookies. We couldn't resist.

What really shocked me was the first signs of snow. I knew I had to drive again the next day so snow was not super appealing and of course we didn't want people to miss the recital because they didn't want to go out in the bad weather. Turned out no one really freaked out due to the weather which meant a good crowd.

Then we were off to Josh's recital. I love music, you know that, but classical music doesn't always do it for me. I fully realize it's the root of current music and such, but sometimes it bores me. Plus I did play clarinet in high school and not being able to play the music also bores me (not that I was any good, but you follow). I'll never truly figure out my guitar, but I could muddle my way through some dumbed down classical pieces.

Josh's performance though? That was great stuff. Really great. Even the twenty minute Bach piece, which I didn't actually read the program through. I was rather caught up in it.

After the recital it was off to dinner with the family plus Josh's bud from high school, Cole and his teacher Lucerelli, who is an absolute delight. He's a bit crazy, but that makes it worth it. It's more than fun to watch and see the whole thing. We followed up dinner with a party with Josh's friends. A good end to a great day.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Road Trip 2012 - The drive

The plan was to make the trek to Connecticut and then Boston, but it's a good 18 hours to Boston from Atlanta, and about 16 to Connecticut. There was no way I was going to manage that in one day.

Lucky for me though, my best friend, Heather, didn't mind me using her place as a stop off, which mean stop one was just outside of Raleigh, NC about six hours from Atlanta. Not completely half of the trip of anything, but I'd rather stay with her than anyone else anyway.

The weather was perfect for a good drive, clear blue skies, warm weather and with my tunes cranking there was no way to not enjoy it. The playlist was definitely about 460 songs strong, including all my favorites: Young Statues, Early Morning Blues, The Tower and The Fool, Boys Like Girls, Go Radio, and even some Jesse McCartney. I was jamming my way through the drive.

The stay over in NC with Heather and her boy was the best. We had dinner at Mellow Mushroom (which is much classier in NC that the originals in GA) and then chilled at her place. In the morning she was off to work and I was at it again, headed towards Connecticut. Eleven hours head of me and I hit the road. The first part was fine. Actually rather enjoyable.

Somewhere in DC I was certain I was lost. I wound up on surface streets which didn't feel right, but eventually I made it out of the city. Somewhere between DC and Baltimore the rain started which didn't bode well. That meant rain while driving through Baltimore (all I could think of was The Wire) and New York City. I was miserable by the time I hit Connecticut.

I wasn't tired, enough caffeine kept that at bay, but I was stressed from driving in the rain. Made it in one piece though, finding little brother and setting up at his place until my parents got in around midnight.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Endless Summer Releases Daydream EP

One of my new favorite bands, The Endless Summer just released their new EP, "Daydream"!

Pick it up on iTunes here! Tune in later for me to do a review of the EP (after I get a few listens in).

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Feb Photo a Day - Day 26, 27, 29

The last few catch up days!

Day 26 - Night

This is Ran's street. I'm in love with her street. There's an old bridge thing on one side and trees and these stacked walk ups. It's so city life. I'm so jealous she lives here.

Day 27 - Something You Ate

Sushi!! Rana took me to her place and in her terms we "beasted". That's half hers though. My stuff is int he middle. Loved it. Really good and not too expensive.

Day 28 - Money

I didn't do this one. Nothing came up that worked so no..

Day 29 - Something You're Listening To

This was a fun one for today and had two different pictures.

This is Paradise Fears. I talked about them when I saw them open for The Cab and was impressed them. My friends had them in for a private show and since I was in town I went. They were great acoustic, and fun to listen to. I've got more pictures and I'll post those later.

Last night in Boston also meant, The Tower and The Fool again. I intend to write aout my trip for sure, but these guys were definitely a highlight. The set tonight was fantastic. Love hearing them live.

I've enjoyed my month of photos, and I think I'm going to keep it up, especially since my friend Meag found another challenge for March. So expect more pictures.

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