Monday, September 28, 2009

Video Premiere: "The Dive" - Callahan

Sometimes you see things that make you stop whatever you may be vaguely preoccupied with and stand agape for a good moment. I had one of those experiences this morning when I checked Buzznet and found my friends' band, Callahan on the front page squeezed in next to features on Where the Wild things Are and The Academy Is....

Callahan, who hail from my native Springfield/South Vienna, Ohio have been working their way up through the local scene and into a more national scope since their formation a few years ago. Through touring nationally, writing fun and catchy pop-punk songs, and with the help of their supportive fanbase, they have been able to achieve such milestones as: being featured in Alternative Press magazine, playing Warped Tour, traveling overseas to play, having their merchandise sold in select Hot Topic stores, playing with John Legend (another Springfield local), and gaining sponsorships from several beverage companies.

Not bad for a little Springfield band.

And now, this. Their brand new video for "The Dive" is featured on a popular music community website. Check it out:

Callahan - The Dive from Thunder Down Country on Vimeo.



Callahan's newly released Summer Sampler is available on iTunes along with other previous albums. If you live in the U.S., you can also catch them on the live; as, they are currently on tour.

XoXo
c.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

AP Fall Ball Tour @ Newport Music Hall 9-26-09

Columbus, Ohio was a ghastly, foggy sight yesterday when the AP Fall Ball tour was drearily welcomed to Newport Music Hall, but that didn't seem to darken the spirits of those waiting in the rain all day to see City Lights, You Me at Six, The Secret Handshake, Mayday Parade, and The Academy Is....

Unfortunately, many of those line-waiters who stuck it out in the rain all day had several roadblocks keeping them from their ultimate goal of reaching the front row.

All shows put on by Promowest Productions venues in Columbus, which include The Basement, Newport, A&R Music Bar, and The LC, grant early admission to members of The Decibel Club. For a fee, members of this club receive such [unfair] advantages as: early admission to all shows at aforementioned venues, 4 free tickets to shows of their choosing, special pre-sale offers, and meet and greet opportunities. I would suggest fans who are going to be seeing one of their favorite bands at any of those Columbus venues to join that club so they will not get cheated out of their crowd spots.

According to Ashley George, a member of The Academy Is...'s pay-to-join fan club, "Santi's Little Helpers," fan club members and the well-dressed also had advantages over the average line-waiter at the Columbus stop of the AP Tour.

"If you're in the fan club... you got an Email, and that's how we got in early," George said of herself and of those who were already inside before the line or even the decibel club had entered. "Since it's 'the fall ball,' AP encouraged people to dress up, and whoever was the best-dressed couple got in early too," she added.

All of these permitted line-jumping techniques seem to be something that would severely dull the spirits of those who wasted their time in the rain all day only to finally enter the venue and find themselves several rows from the front, but everyone seemed to maintain composure and smiles as they waited for the show to begin.

They were there to be here to have fun, and the bands helped by making "fun" a prominent theme of the night.

City Lights, a local Columbus band replaced Set Your Goals as the show-opener. Though they sounded nothing like the band they replaced and are not as well-known as the other bands on tour, they still received an enthusiastic reaction from the crowd and seemed to fit in well with the lineup. It was striking and a true symbol of how very much of a fun-loving community shows like this attract to see that a man in the audience who was having the most passionate sing-alongs and moving around the most to City Lights was wearing a Set Your Goals shirt. Obviously, nothing was going to keep him or anyone else from enjoying this show. As the City Lights guitarists moved in synchronized motion, the crowd moved in waves with them, showing support for their hometown.

You Me at Six, the band that would have been the first opener for the show had Set Your Goals not dropped off knew exactly what they were doing when it came to keeping the crowd lively.

Lead singer Josh Franceschi spoke directly to some audience members while onstage, making their set more intimate and inclusive for everyone. They excited the crowd by playing a song that they knew would produce a reaction from most of the audience: their rendition of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face." The band maintained an energized, upbeat, and fun vibe through their set. However, the audience sometimes didn't react well to the hype-prompts of the band, which lead me to wonder if the crowds in the U.K., the band's home country, would have had a better reaction.

"U.K. crowds are awesome; U.S. crowds suck," You Me at Six lead singer Josh Franceschi told me with a mischievous grin, showing off his dry sense of humor. After a bit of joking banter about how he "[doesn't] like America," the playful singer added, "That's a joke. It's awesome. It was our first ever show here in Columbus."

The Secret Handshake, though it functioned as a three-piece for its live set, has only one official member, Luis Dubuc, who writes and records all the music. This may be why he came off as very demanding, starting his set by ordering around the sound guy to turn up his music.

Technical demands aside, The Secret Handshake were interesting to watch. Their sound, which comprised mostly of synthesized samples along with the singer's equally synthesized voice, mirrors the style of bands like Owl City that are growing in popularity due to the auto-tune craze that has swept wildly from recent hip-hop into pop-punk scene.

The silly and simple themes of THS's easy-to-dance-to songs set a very light-hearted mood and kept the crowd moving. After all, who would not want to dance to a song written about Uncle Jesse from Full House? A highlight of the set was when the band covered a Miley Cyrus song. When is it ever NOT interesting to see men with piercings and tattoos singing to Disney songs?

Though the band's songs were fun and amusing, many of them sounded the same. The samples played under the instruments, which Dubuc insisted the sound guy turn up, drowned out the drummer and bassist, making them seem like unnecessary accessories for the singer's performance.

The first to play of the two AP Tour headliners was Mayday Parade. Before the band even took the stage, the mood in the room grew tense with anticipation, and the crowd began surging back and forth as people, perhaps those screwed over by the early entry situation, struggled to get closer to the stage.

The temperature in the room seemed to rise a few-hundred degrees as the band when the band went immediately into one of their most widely known songs, "Jamie All Over." For the first time of the night, the whole audience seemed to be singing along and moving, almost overpowering the band.

With lit-up risers set on either side of the stage, the Mayday Parade guitarists were able to display their guitar-swinging synchronization with full, lit-up effects, making their ever-kinetic performance appear perhaps a bit more spectacular than it was or needed to be.

The band played a few songs from their upcoming release, "Anywhere but Here," which is to be made available on October 6th. At the AP Tour shows, however, the band is already selling the CD; so, if you are a big Mayday Parade fan and want your CD early, I would strongly suggest you go.

The audience seemed excited to hear the new songs and some kids were even singing along, but the songs that triggered the most excitement from audience members were those from Mayday's previous release "A Lesson in Romantics."

A great moment in Mayday Parade's set came when they stripped-down instrumentally to play their slow, heart-wrenching ballad "Miserable At Best." A technical problem caused the keyboard to cut out, leaving only singer Derek Sanders' and the audience's combined voices audible, causing an accidental and highly-emotional few moments.

Check out the [very] short video I captured:
video

The Academy Is... were the last band to play and were the most hyped by the other bands throughout the show; so, my friend and I were very surprised as we watched much of the audience leave after Mayday Parade to completely abandon what was set up to be the main attraction.

We brushed this off and assumed that, when the band took the stage, it would be just as chaotic as it had been when we had seen them in the past.

However, we found ourselves completely incorrect. When gauged the against their reaction to the opening bands, the crowd's reaction to The Academy Is... seemed very mild. My friend and I, along with other easy-to-point-out fans found ourselves standing out as we flailed and jumped and sang along with all our might to one of our favorite bands.

"What stood out to me the most was...how many people weren't there to see The Academy Is...," Emily Sammons, a fan who described their crowd as "lame and quiet" said, "They're the reason everyone should have been there."

Sam Weiser and Amanda Rozmer whom I met in line admitted to having seen The Academy Is... several times and both mentioned openers You Met At Six as well as TAI... when I asked them who they were there to see.

"I've seen them two times before," Weiser said, admitting that she did not have a preference as to what they played since she had seen them before.

"I like their new stuff from Fast Times at Barrington High," Rozmer said, "but I'd rather they play old songs like 'Slow down.'"

Was there a lack of crowd enthusiasm because many there had already seen them? It certainly wasn't because the band did not play certain songs, because they played an equal number of songs from each album, many of them crowd-pleasing hits.

Not all was dead, however. There were surges of energy from the crowd, which, though they were dull in comparison to the energy I have seen at other TAI shows, were still present. The band members themselves were full of energy and entertaining antics such as William Beckett's many well-rehearsed microphone stand tricks.

Whatever caused the calm, perhaps the main unenthusiastic problem being the new, younger demographic that bands like The Secret Handshake and Mayday Parade attracted, it was not the fault of The Academy Is... who were as interesting to watch as ever and who sounded great.

Perhaps the calmness of the crowd at the end was a result of a state of exhaustion brought on by dancing along with the four previous bands. With such a fun, danceable line-up, it would be hard for an audience member to stay at peak energy level through the entire show, which is unfortunate for the closing band.

--


Overall, every band brought something unique that could be enjoyed.

"It's a lot of fun," Casey Crawford, the touring drummer for The Secret Handshake, told me of the tour's general vibe so far, "everybody's super stoked about everything right now."

One can only hope that the bands on this tour maintain that attitude and put on shows that are just as fun and energetic for the next couple months of the AP tour. If not, they may end up like the audience members during The Academy Is...

XoXo
c.

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Chemical Romance Store T-shirt Sale!


Yesterday, an amazing thing happened to My Chemical Romance's online merch store. It had fans bouncing with glee and credit cards a'swiping. What was it, you ask? Oh, a little thing we like to call AN EPIC DISCOUNT!

The current sale, which will last until October 15th, gives the purchaser of a t-shirt 50% off a second shirt, and the purchaser of two t-shirts a third shirt for free.

Unfortunately, many people have been experiencing problems with the discount's working. If this happens to you, you can contact Warner Bros Records/ Nonesuch customer service by Email at wbr@b3custserv.com or call them at (866) 759-4843. I've had only positive experiences dealing with customer service, and I'm sure they can help you.

So, yes there is the whole matter of a sale, but--

What does it all mean?

Well, let's think about this. There have been MANY sales at the MCR store this past year. Fan websites were simply handed coupon codes, a sale of "classic" merch happened, and prices as low as $5.99 were placed on some items.

If I'm interpreting this correctly, WBR/Nonesuch are doing some MAJOR housecleaning. Now, this may be the fault of some of you illegally-downloading, record industry-killing brats and they are hurting for money, but I doubt that. You see, there's a basic equation that solves this whole thing.

Upcoming Album + New Logo + New Themes = LOTS OF BRAND NEW MERCH!

Remember when those "We are the black parade" shirts came out before any of us even knew what The Black Parade was, but we still bought them anyway? Oh, man...

One can only hope the new wave of merch causes as much fuss and confusion as the pre-Parade merch did.

XoXo
c.

Lyrics of the Week: Sadie

Alkaline Trio, a long-standing punk-rock threesome from Chicago tend to be known for their remarkably dark lyrics which range in subject from drinking alone and pining after a girl to profiling murderers.

The subject of their song, "Sadie," is a real character, a woman known as Susan Atkins or "Sadie Glutz," one of Charles Manson's followers. The song features the words of Atkins' actual testimony on the track voiced by Heather Gabel, who designed Alkaline Trio's well-known heart-skull logo.

Atkins, who has been incarcerated for her crimes since 1971, died last night in at age 61 from brain cancer.


Sadie
Alkaline Trio
















You're on your own my little nightmare
you cannot stay here
It's far too bright for you
If they attack you just lay there,
Play dead dear, it's your only hope of pulling through.

And seconds they seem like a lifetime.
A dream, recurring, a dream that can't come true.
And they'll pin it all on you
after all you've been put through.

"Sadie G. She's crazy, see?"
That's what the white coats say.
Now Ms. Susan A., you're losing
every opportunity to put us all away.

Go run along my little nightmare.
Your job is done here.
You've scared them all to death.
If they revive them just sit there.
Just smile dear. Make them thankful for every breath.

The sentence may seem like a lifetime,
a scream, that's curdling the blood they found on you.
And your knives and clothing too.
Charlie's broken .22

"Sadie G. she's crazy, see?"
That's what the white coats say.
Now Ms. Susan A., you're losing
every opportunity.

Well they found you and they shipped you up the river the same way that you've bound and gagged,
You've shot and stabbed,
You tried to set them free,
but they've thrown away the keys.

[Spoken:]
"He represented a God to me that was so beautiful that I'd do anything for him.
I'd do anything for God.
Even murder, if I believed it was right.
How could it not be right if it is done with love?
I have no remorse for doing what was right to me.
I have no guilt in me."

Whoa [x4]


For more Alkaline Trio songs about murder cases see "Dead And Broken" (About the Laci Peterson Murder) and "Prevent This Tragedy," a song that supports Free West Memphis Three.

XoXo
c.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Upcoming Shows!

Hey, guys!

I know things have been pretty slow on here lately. I really need to pick up the pace, I know. If you followed my blog last year, you will know that I used to post daily, sometimes even multiple times a day, but the summer and dial-up internet interfered with that, and things haven't been quite the same this year, but they will be, oh yes, my friends.

I have a few upcoming shows I'm attending, and you can expect full reviews of each. I promise!

Shows:

TONIGHT: Yo La Tengo @ Stuart's Opera House in Nelsonville, OH

SATURDAY: The AP Fall Ball Tour @ Newport in Columbus, OH

OCTOBER 23: Taking Back Sunday w/ Anberlin, fun., and Gavin Castleton @ Lifestyles Community Pavilion in Columbus, OH

Are you ready, readers?

Also, I want your input. I started a review for this summer's Warped tour, but I never got around to posting it. I WILL post it if you guys want to see it, though. Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

In the meantime, check out some my previous reviews

XoXo
c.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lyrics of the Week: "People Who Died"

On Friday September 11th, Jim Carroll, a punk pioneer and poet, suffered a heart attack and died.

To honor him, I give you "People Who Died", arguably the most well-known song by The Jim Carroll band and an homage to, as the title suggests, "people who died".

The song's upbeat music paired with the very personal depictions of the deaths of loved-ones makes for an interesting vibe that is much better heard than read; so, I have included audio of the song.

Enjoy.

Jim Carroll,
I salute you, brother



Teddy sniffing glue, he was 12 years old
Fell from the roof on East Two-nine
Cathy was 11 when she pulled the plug
On 26 reds and a bottle of wine
Bobby got leukemia, 14 years old
He looked like 65 when he died
He was a friend of mine

Those are people who died, died
They were all my friends, and they died

G-berg and Georgie let their gimmicks go rotten
So they died of hepatitis in upper Manhattan
Sly in Vietnam took a bullet in the head
Bobby OD'd on Drano on the night that he was wed
They were two more friends of mine
Two more friends that died

Those are people who died, died
They were all my friends, and they died

Mary took a dry dive from a hotel room
Bobby hung himself from a cell in the tombs
Judy jumped in front of a subway train
Eddie got slit in the jugular vein
And Eddie, I miss you more than all the others
And I salute you brother

Those are people who died, died
They were all my friends, and they died

Herbie pushed Tony from the Boys' Club roof
Tony thought that his rage was just some goof
But Herbie sure gave Tony some bitchen proof
"Hey," Herbie said, "Tony, can you fly?"
But Tony couldn't fly, Tony died

Those are people who died, died
They were all my friends, and they died

Brian got busted on a narco rap
He beat the rap by rattin' on some bikers
He said, "Hey, I know it's dangerous, but it sure beats Riker's"
But the next day he got offed by the very same bikers

Those are people who died, died
They were all my friends, and they died

Teddy sniffing glue, he was 12 years old
Fell from the roof on East Two-nine
Cathy was 11 when she pulled the plug
On 26 reds and a bottle of wine
Bobby got leukemia, 14 years old
He looked like 65 when he died
He was a friend of mine

Those are people who died, died
They were all my friends, and they died

G-berg and Georgie let their gimmicks go rotten
So they died of hepatitis in upper Manhattan
Sly in Vietnam took a bullet in the head
Bobby OD'd on Drano on the night that he was wed
They were two more friends of mine
I miss 'em, they died

Those are people who died, died
They were all my friends, and they died

Mary took a dry dive from a hotel room
Bobby hung himself from a cell in the tombs
Judy jumped in front of a subway train
Eddie got slit in the jugular vein
And Eddie, I miss you more than all the others
And I salute you brother

Those are people who died, died
They were all my friends, and they died


XoXo
c.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Get A Free Track from AFI's "Crash Love"

For a limited time, you can get a free download of the track "Fainting Spells" from AFI's upcoming album "Crash Love" by simply signing up for the band's mailing list here.

"Crash Love" will be released on September 29th on DGC/Interscope.

AFI will be doing a small-venue tour through October in support of the album.

XoXo
c.

"Road to Paradise" - TAT [Video]

I love this song so much I wanted to share the video.

Tatiana DeMaria, lead singer and guitarist of TAT states in the beginning of the video, "Fuck 'especially for girls.' Why do girls have to suck at everything?'", both making fun of herself and taking a quick stab at the music industry and what it means for a girl to be in it.

The "she's good.. for a girl" statement is one that surfaces a lot in the context music, and it's a statement that can make things a lot harder for us to be taken seriously. Now, uber-feminist rants annoy the hell out of me; so, I'm not going to get preachy about how hard it is to be a girl working into the music industry, but you don't hear guys who interview bands and write about them being called groupies, now, do you?

Just saying.

No one paved the road to paradise or guaranteed that it would be nice



XoXo
c.

Monday, September 7, 2009

All American Rejects and Taking Back Sunday to Tour

A few released dates for a winter tour featuring All-American Rejects, Taking Back Sunday, and Anberlin have just been announced by Alternative Press online.



Announced Dates

11/3 Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
11/4 WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, WV
11/5 Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA
11/6 Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT
11/8 House of Blues at Showboat, Atlantic City, NJ
11/10 Showcase Live, Foxboro, MA
11/11 Showcase Live, Foxboro, MA
11/13 Saint Vincent College, Pittsburgh, PA
11/14 Alumni Hall- USNA, Annapolis, MD
11/16 George Mason University- Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA
11/20 House of Blues, North Myrtle Beach, SC
11/24 Bricktown Events Center, Oklahoma City, OK
11/25 Cain's Ballroom, Tulsa, OK
11/27 IP Casino, Biloxi, MS
11/28 Horseshoe Casino, Bossier City, LA
12/1 The Pavilion @ Concrete Street, Corpus Christi, TX
12/2 Sunset Station, San Antonio, TX
12/4 The Swamp, Fort Walton Beach, FL
12/5 House of Blues, Lake Buena Vista, FL
12/6 Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater, Miami Beach, FL

According to TBS's publicist, more dates will be posted soon.

As many of you guys know, I have seen Taking Back Sunday live several times. In fact, my review of their show that they so kindly posted on their website is probably the main reason a lot of you read this (thanks, by the way). I, however, have never seen the All-American Rejects and have a feeling it would be a worthwhile experience; since, they were among bands like The Starting Line and Jimmy Eat World who were pretty big in the scene when I first really started getting passionately into this type of music.

Both Taking Back Sunday and All-American Rejects were openers on Blink 182's reunion tour this summer.

Check out this hilarious video featuring Adam Lazzara and Matt Rubano of Taking Back Sunday talking about how dreamy Tyson Ritter is:



What do you guys think? Anyone planning to attend? Leave me a comment.



XoXo
c.