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!

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