Monday, March 30, 2009

Two for the Price of One: It's All In the Family

Normally, I like to post about bands one at a time to give them their shine. 

However, I wanted to switch things up a bit and bring about a theme.

This two for one features two bands who have famous family.

I'll start with the band Citysquare.

Citysquare features Eric Brown, brother of Chris Brown. No, not THAT Chris Brown.

I'm referring to Chris Taylor Brown of the band Trapt.

The band is more poppy than his counterpart, but still has a familiarity about it. Of course, he sounds a bit like his brother and could probably stand in as a ringer for Trapt lead singer.

The next band is Eye Alaska.

Eye Alaska's lead singer is Brandon Wronsky, but he's not the one I'm talking about in this case.

Chase Kensrue is the younger brother of Dustin Kensrue of the band Thrice.

Eye Alaska is an alternative band, but they tread the waters of many different genres, kind of like what Thrice has been doing lately with their latest releases.

If you guys have any other bands I should look at related to this topic or anything that I should post about, you could e-mail me at

I don't bite, I promise.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CFW Rocks Live: The Cold Reunion Tour

I haven't been able to go to a lot of live shows, but thanks to modern day technology, for the most part, I haven't had to...although I wish I could.

In this and in future blog posts, I will be posting videos from Youtube and various video portals detailing either artists touring or an entire tour.

In this case, I'll be posting videos from the Cold Reunion Tour. I'd like to thank user IWillResurface and davemoczulski for posting these videos for public consumption.

This song will be the first single off of their debut album which is coming out on June 6th.
The Killer and the Star is the side project of Cold lead singer Scooter Ward. He recruited Rocky Gray (Evanescence) and Michael Harris (Idiot Pilot) to play live shows.

I apologize in advance that you can't really see anything, but at least you can hear it.

Features former Lifer lead singer Nick Coyle. Two of Lifer's members went on to form Breaking Benjamin. Ben Burnley actually does vocals on their song "Brand New Day".

Cold-Back Home
If you don't know who Cold is by now, Cold had been together for 15 years before disbanding in 2005 after A Different Kind of Pain, one of my personal favorite albums. Year of the Spider is their most successful album and features their most popular hit, the Rivers Cuomo co-penned "Stupid Girl".

A Band a Day...Genedefect

Australia has given me great bands like Sick Puppies and Freestate, but it's time to up the ante with Genedefect, a metalcore band that intends to give you whiplash.

Genedefect is:
Dean Defect (Vocals)
Luke Smith (Guitar)
Dave Tallents (Bass)
Harley Day (Drums)

They only have one EP to their name, but are already getting airplay in their native Australia on Triple M Radio and videoplay on Rage.

Dean's got some great vocals, wailing and growling away with each and every song. The songs are heavy, but have a bit of a progressive sound to it. The music is catchy, but not traditionally radio catchy. It may not hit you the first time you hear it, but when it does hit, it'll be a mack truck.

Hell, they even have a song about a pirate on their Myspace. If that's not enough to make you listen, I don't know what else you want me to tell you.

Here's their video for "My Ready Eye".

A Band a Day...Death Pilot

This next metal band comes from Hollywood, California.

Death Pilot is:
Colonel Midian (Vocals)
First Lieutenant Johnny Death (Guitar)
Second Lieutenant Matt Thrash (Guitar)
Captain Ghost (Keys/Vocals)
Major Ares (Bass)
Lieutenant Colonel Diamonds (Drums)

Get it! They're an army!

The first time I'd heard of this band was on the Kings of A&R blog, which is interesting because I never hear of these types of bands on A&R Showcase blogs.

This band mixes California metal of Avenged Sevenfold and Atreyu with thrash bands such as Trivium and as a matter of fact, they opened dates for Trivium recently.

All gimmicks aside, this band is the real deal. They are unrelenting, unbridled, and unbelievable.

They're starting to release new demos to their Myspace and hope to put something new out soon.

To hold you over, there's a video for "Until the End", which was directed by the lead singer of new Roadrunner signee Dommin.

A Band a Day...Seasons After

We move from Ohio to a little bit further into the heartland of America.

Seasons After comes from Wichita, Kansas.

Seasons After is:
Chris Schlichting (Vocals)
Steve Frank (Guitar/Vocals)
Chris Dawson (Guitar)
Michael Byers (Bass/Vocals)
Tim Rails (Drums)

Within three years of playing together this band has already been living the dream playing dates on the Warped Tour and the Taste of Chaos tour in their region.

Their debut album Through Tomorrow came out in the summer of last year and it has been heavily distributed, enough so that next month, they'll be announcing what label has signed them.

They'll be touring in Kansas, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, and Iowa and hope to expand countrywide later this year.

Here's a video featuring their song "Some Things Burn".

A Band a Day...This Fire's Embrace

Columbus, Ohio will be holding the third Rock on the Range this year just as they have held the previous two.

This band comes from Columbus, Ohio, but is surprisingly not on the bill.

This Fire's Embrace is:
Aaron Benner (Vocals)
Zack Koah (Guitar/Vocals)
Marc Leist (Guitar/Vocals)
Steve Malone (Bass)
Josh Hall (Drums)

Lead singer Aaron Benner witnessed a sad moment in music history.

On December 8, 2004, the band Damageplan played at Columbus' Alrosa Villa.

Aaron Benner had been close to the stage when out of nowhere Nathan Gale came onto the stage, shot and killed four people. One of those people was "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, legendary guitarist of the band Pantera.

There are moments in a person's life which change you forever.

Instead of letting this horrible tragedy get to him, Benner decided to use music not only to heal himself, but to help other people.

Within a year, this band formed.

Within three years, they've played in the region with bands like Pillar, Decyfer Down, Shinedown, Trapt, and Buckcherry and they've also played major Christian festivals such as Ichithus and Cornerstone.

In 2008, the band released a live EP from the very same venue Aaron Benner went to 4 years prior, The Alrosa Villa.

Here's their video for "Home Again" and a cover of Killswitch Engage's "The End of Heartache".

A Band a Day...Amplexus

I normally don't post metal bands, but for this entry and others later this week, I plan on making an exception. This next band from Kent, Ohio has a sound that mixes three of my favorite bands together.

Amplexus is:
Mahlon Rhodes (Vocals)
Cory Kobrinski (Guitar/Vocals)
Billy Liber (Guitar/Vocals)
Curtis von Tacky (Keys/Programming)
Chris Yannon (Bass/Vocals)
Chris McClennon (Drums)

The band has a wide range of influences and you can hear a few of them in their music. Bands they're often compared to are Killswitch Engage, Thrice, and The Receiving End of Sirens.

The brutality of Killswitch's guitars, meets the musical dexterity of Thrice, meets the poetic language of The Receiving End of Sirens.

Not exactly easy to do, but they somehow pull it off. Sometimes all in the same song.

Here's a video of Canaries in a Coalmine and the acoustic version of said song.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Band a Day...Dangerous New Machine

You may remember a band years back by the name of Stereomud

Stereomud released two albums Perfect Self (2001) and Every Given Moment (2003).

Erik Rogers led that band and has been a part of that famous Atlanta band circle which features bands like Sevendust, Dark New Day, Doubledrive, Still Rain, and Stuck Mojo.

After Stereomud though, Erik branched out from that circle and formed bands that were a little bit different from the crowd such as Love Said No.

After six years of being away, Rogers decided to reform Stereomud. Although, according to Rogers, some members had a little trouble accepting a reformed Stereomud without them.

So Erik Rogers formed Dangerous New Machine, instead.

Dangerous New Machine is:
Erik Rogers (Vocals)
Billy Grey (Guitar)
Jake Kitchen (Bass)
Rodney Beauboeuf (Drums)

Dangerous New Machine is kind of like Dark New Day in the sense that it has members of different bands and brings them together to form a sound that brings a bit of each from them. Billy Grey comes from Fozzy, Jake Kitchen and Rodney Beaubouef come from Outshine.

Supergroups are kind of like a Megazord. All elements of the band are strong on their own, but together are extremely powerful.

They've only played one official show as of this post, but hope to have a new album out by the summer.

In the meantime, you can download "Burn" to your PC and watch what appears to be the video for the first official single "Skeletons".

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Memories of Virgin Megastore.

After serving the public for 38 years, Virgin Megastore, home to some of the world's biggest music stores will see its last stores close by June.

The music store is a dying industry as mentioned in previous blogs. Circuit City closed just a few weeks ago while Virgin's Times Square flagship store is in its last days.

I'd like to post some memories related to Virgin Megastore and if anyone has any to share, they're more than welcome to.

One of my first memories of going into the store was the first day I hung out with many of my current friends almost four years ago. At the time, it had a movie theater on the bottom floor.

The store changed like new pairs of underwear.

One of my favorite memories was November 22-23rd, 2004. It was the night that I was going to buy Evanescence's CD/DVD Anywhere But Home. It was also the same day that U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb came out. U2's album was played on the in-store radio station (one of the coolest things about the store). It was almost midnight and some guy who appeared to be Bono walked into the store. I had reason to believe that he wasn't going to just walk into a store in the middle of Times Square without being mobbed, but that didn't stop some people from actually walking out of the line to see "him". It was because U2 spent the day driving through New York City on a flatbed truck performing songs from the new album and their classic songs.

It was one of the few times that I actually went to see a midnight release which is probably why I remember it so well.

Another time I went to a midnight release was for Seether's Karma and Effect. It wasn't so memorable because it wasn't a huge music week, however, being in the heart of New York City and standing outside of the store for about an hour brought about its own experience. 

A lot of times, rappers would come by the store plugging their CD's. Since it was near summer and not raining, they were everywhere. One of my friends had actually gotten to talk on the syndicated radio show Rockline with Seether, but at one point there was a rapper who came close to her face rapping. She moved and he was rapping at the wall. One of those things where you had to be there to see it.

They also had a lot of in-store appearances. Two that I can remember were the Spanish group Aventura and Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx.

Union Square had quite a few in-store performances, but I was never lucky enough to go to one.

Anyway, enjoy the sales while you can and pray for the people that will be going unemployed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Racism and Music: A Personal Perspective.

This past Saturday, one of my relatives had a comment for me wondering why I don't listen to much if any rap. 

Before I go any further, I love that guy and he's hilarious. 

However, what he said got me to thinking about how people see me, how I see music and how I see the world.

Clearly, the message is that since I'm black that I have to listen to what other people feel is "black music" completely ignoring Lenny Kravitz, Lajon Witherspoon, Howard Jones, Kele Okereke, and Doug Pinnock.

I don't particularly listen to much rap nowadays, but I am absolutely proud of who I am and where I come from. I wouldn't change where I came from if I could.

I grew up in the birthplace of modern day rap music, The Bronx in New York City.

The reason I don't listen to as much rap is because I feel that a lot of the current mainstream music is a mockery of what rap is. It's become a mere gimmick that insults the community. I feel that a lot of the music in the mainstream has become fast-food quality. Easy to consume, but just as easy to excrete. 

That being said, I still love the music and will defend the art form.

For example, it gets me upset when people will swear that they hate rap, but adore Linkin Park. What Mike Shinoda does is no different from what Jay-Z or Ludacris does.

I don't feel that the rock that I listen to is as gimmicky and I relate to its messages. It has nothing to do with color.

A comment my father made years ago also comes up with this. He said that he doesn't understand why I listen to my "devil music". 

I can't blame him because he may have been raised a certain way, but it's funny that a lot of the bands that I listen to are considered Christian rock artists.

Flyleaf, Red, P.O.D., Switchfoot, and Skillet to name a few.

While I may keep to posting about a particular genre, don't assume that I don't listen to anything else.

I will listen to anything that I can relate to, no matter the genre.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ticketmaster + Live Nation = MasterNation and how they plan to screw you.

As of February of this year, Live Nation and Ticketmaster, two former rivals in the ticket selling industry have decided to come together in the wake of dwindling sales and a weakening economy. is an example of a re-seller / scalper. So is 

Here's the rub: TicketMaster has essentially been a monopoly for many years - certainly up until Live Nation's exclusive deal ran out. They could have (and can right now) stop the secondary market dead in its tracks by doing the following: limit the amount of sales per customer, print names on the tickets and require ID / ticket matches at the venue. We know this works because we do it for our pre-sales. Why don't THEY do it? It's obvious - they make a lot of money fueling the secondary market. TicketMaster even bought a re-seller site and often bounces you over to that site to buy tickets (!
This part of his explanation is important because Bruce Springsteen recently had a big flap over ticket selling at his massive Giants Stadium residency. 

The story is that people who went to buy tickets for his shows were redirected to where they would have had to pay for tickets hundreds of dollars more than their face value. 

Ticketmaster has long been criticized for the idea of a "convenience charge" because nobody sees the convenience in it. They buy their tickets the same way, they don't help move a line faster, it simply means you bought a ticket.

To add to the chaos, venues are also adding charges...THAT DON'T EXIST!

Could you imagine having to purchase a ticket from Ticketmaster, getting redirected to TicketsNow and then having to pay PNC $6,. even if you came into the venue on a bus?

I can see how and why people are seething mad over this.

The Department of Justice is currently scrutinizing the merger.

If this merger goes through, I can't see it being any good for the consumer.

The majority of tickets sold in this country are through those two companies, meaning that the "convenience" charges could be higher than they're charging now.

I remember when Live Nation and Ticketmaster were competitors. I remember one show in particular, buying two Ticketmaster tickets for $90 and basically getting two nosebleed seats. Buying from Live Nation, I bought two more tickets that were a dollar less and a full section up. 

You won't see anything like that again if this deal goes through.

I feel that these companies need to do more for the consumer.

The same way that they're quick to add convenience charges to everything, they should reward their most loyal customers.

For example, give discounts to customers that buy tickets to multiple events at once, buy the maximum number of tickets allowed, or buy tickets that are worth a certain amount of money.

Waive the convenience charges for those customers.

Granted, it may not apply to most consumers, but at least you're showing you care somewhat.

There's no way that this company/merger can be in any sort of financial trouble or needs a bailout.

It kind of reminds me of the MTA battle in New York City. New Yorkers everywhere are complaining about budget cuts and paying more money for less services. New Yorkers feel that the MTA is a fiscally irresponsible company that doesn't care about its consumers.

It'll be interesting to see how this story plays out in the coming months. Hopefully, whichever way it does go, I can actually afford to go to a show. 

A Band a Day...Silent Season

After only a few official shows, this "Bahstun" band opened for Taproot. That should already give you an idea of the kind of reputation this band has made in a short time.

Silent Season is:
Jeremy Rae (Vocals)
Shawn Glassman (Guitar)
Brendan Sheehan (Guitar)
Ryan Sheehan (Bass)
Dave Pappalardo (Drums)

Silent Season is making a lot of noise recently in Boston. They've only toured for months but have already had a following. They're only touring the general region right now, but this band has the talent to tour the country. And that's only with two songs released to their Myspace.

The first song, "Without You", has drawn comparisons to Revis. I personally played Revis' "Seven" and Silent Season's "Without You" back to back and it's as if it plays out a story.

The latest song, "Cross the Line", is anthemic, gritty, pulse-pounding rock and could be a tagline for TNA Wrestling.

Boston is one of my favorite music scenes in the country as it's filled with history.

Aerosmith, Boston (DUHHHHH!), The Cars, Damone, Dinosaur Jr., Dropkick Murphys, Extreme, Gangstarr (had to throw that in there), Godsmack, Guster, Amanda Fucking Palmer, The Pixies and Staind.

No pressure.

In the meantime, here are some live clips of Silent Season:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rock on the Range: Part IV

Hoobastank-Four major label albums...Over 5 million served. For(N)ever is their latest. They've toured with major acts like Linkin Park and Velvet Revolver and bring a lot of energy to the stage.
Watch this: Inside of You

Billy Talent-This Canadian band has existed for 15 years, but have been known to the American public for six. Billy Talent is releasing their third major label album this June and will be one of only a couple of acts to play both the American and Canadian versions of Rock on the Range (Shinedown and Blue October have also been tapped to play Rock on the Range Canada). This is their first Rock on the Range.
Watch this: Fallen Leaves

All That Remains-All That Remains is enjoying the most success as a band than ever after its fourth album Overcome. This "Bahstun" metalcore act has been blazing up the active rock airwaves with "Two Weeks". This is their first Rock on the Range.
Watch this: This Calling

Rev Theory-Rev Theory has enjoyed moderate success with their major label debut. Touring with the likes of Evanescence, Hinder, Trapt, and Theory of a Deadman, the New York rockers have been touring the country even as an independent band to crowds of thousands. This is their second Rock on the Range.
Watch this: Hell Yeah

Duff McKagan's Loaded-This band has been around for 10 years while playing for his other little band known as Velvet Revolver. Having spent a legendary stint with Guns N'Roses, Duff looks to branch on his own.

Black Stone Cherry-Black Stone Cherry brings their old Kentucky home into Columbus, Ohio. Their brand of Southern rock has earned them tours with Sevendust and Nickelback. This is their first Rock on the Range.
Watch this: Blind Man

Crooked X-This band has opened up for Kiss, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, and they aren't even old enough to drive! These 14 year olds from Oklahoma have captivated crowds since starting as a band at the ages of 11! This is their first Rock on the Range

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rock on the Range: Part III

Atreyu-Playing shows in the Warped Tour and Family Values and headlining Taste of Chaos, Atreyu have played to all audiences. They might want to think twice about opening up for Iron Maiden though. This is their first Rock on the Range.
Watch this: Becoming the Bull

Blue October-Not the heaviest of bands on the bill, but deserve it for being industry underdogs. They'd been dropped by Universal only to get picked up again and have earned platinum success. Approaching Normal is their fifth album. This is their first Rock on the Range.
Watch this: Dirt Room

Saving Abel-Skidd Mills' most successful artist, Saving Abel's gone gold with their top 40 hit "Addicted". Currently touring with Nickelback, this will be their second year at Rock on the Range.
Watch this: Addicted

Saliva-For over a decade and through five albums, Saliva has churned out a consistent set of hits. Their first album went double platinum and the next two went Gold. Currently co-headlining the Snocore tour with Static-X, the band will be playing their first Rock on the Range.
Watch this: Rest in Pieces

Clutch-Through eight studio albums and almost 20 years of service, this cult favorite has kept its nucleus throughout. Clutch brings their unique brand of Southern rock to their first Rock on the Range.
Watch this: The Regulator

A Band a Day...Hello Demons...Meet Skeletons

Hello Demons...Meet Skeletons might sound like a weird name for a band.

However, it is a solo project for Clint Lowery.

A far cry from heavy bands like Sevendust, Still Rain, and Dark New Day, Clint Lowery plays a brand of bluesy acoustic rock.

It also features his brother Corey and drummer Morgan Rose.

The name of the project may refer to Sevendust's "Skeleton Song", an acoustic flavored song from my favorite Sevendust album Seasons.

HDMS has had a few headlining shows, but for now, they've been performing after Sevendust shows.

Chills, the EP that came out last year won't be the last that we've heard of Clint Lowery's project and as a matter of fact, may change musical styles throughout suggesting a sense of freedom.

As a Sevendust fan, I wonder whether starting a side project was one of the reasons he left or was kicked out in the first place.

Oh well, that's another argument for another day. Let's enjoy some live tunes.

No Good Music Goes Unlistened (Volume 7): Ra

Ra formed in the late 1990s.

Their first commercially released song was released in 1998 with "Crazy Little Voices" making the soundtrack to Carrie 2: The Rage.

They released One in 2000.

But they didn't get signed to a record label until Universal came along in 2002.

2002 brought along From One, their debut album that had songs rerecorded from their 2000 EP. 

Do You Call My Name is still their most popular and most well-known song to date.

They released two albums on Universal to little fanfare and left in 2006.

Later that year, they got signed to a Universal imprint called Cement Shoes Records.

They had a tour with fellow labelmates, Godhead and Ill Nino and released a live album called Raw.

They were supposed to work on a new album, but the Cement Shoes deal fell through and Ra left Cement Shoes.

In 2008, Ra finally put out their long awaited third studio album called Black Sun. The album is easily one of the best albums of last year and I'll bet that most readers have not already heard it. You can go to Myspace to hear all of their albums now.

Well, I can't give you Black Sun, but what I can do is send you a bunch of Ra rarities, including their live album (registration required for Raw).

I like Ra because lead singer Sahaj Ticotin implements his culture into his music. He's of Puerto Rican and Egyptian descent. He also sounds like in an alternate world, he could be the lead singer of the Police which he has jokingly referred to.

I also feel that he's one of the best lead singers of the last decade. Even though they've been around that long, their music has often been passed aside.

No more.

The Alternatives to Now.

As was mentioned and as you may have heard, 92.3 WXRK-FM (otherwise formerly known as K-Rock) has changed formats to a pop station as of last Wednesday to Now FM.

K-Rock may be gone, but the truth is that there are a lot of alternatives (no pun intended).

Let's start with the home stations...
101.9 WRXP-It's more of a classic rock station, but they do play a lot of current artists like Kings of Leon, MGMT, and The Killers.

Q 104.3-Another classic rock station, but this one is more classic rock.

And now, let's go around the continent for other great alternative stations.

Detroit's 89x-It's a nice mix of active and alternative that reminds me of K-Rock before it changed formats the first time.

Scranton's 97.9-One of my favorite active rock stations in the country. They do tend to play local artists. Breaking Benjamin anyone?

Honolulu's Star 101.9-The most diverse alt-rock station in the country. They play everything from the Plain White T's to Mudvayne.

Vancouver's Fox 99.3-My favorite station north of the border, this station features a great mix of alternative and active that I like, but also features many Canadian artists (because due to legislation, they have to play a certain amount).

Online only radio stations:
Cage Rattle Radio-Run in part by Breaking Benjamin's tour manager and former terrestrial DJ, Freddie Fabbri. The station has had in depth interviews with great artists and just recently went 24/7.

525 Power Tracks-A favorite by many, this station tends to play a lot of active rock by unsigned artists.

Alternative Addiction-Very much like 525, but this station is more alternative than active.

K-Rock Radio-Originally known as K-Rock 2 because of its terrestrial partner is now the closest alternative station in the market.

I hope those of you who miss the original K-Rock find something in these stations while you wait for Now to fail.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Band a Day...Nural

Readers, you'll have to excuse me for posting four consecutive area bands.

I was just trying to practice what I preach when it comes to sticking to the scene.

I hope I posted some really good bands.

Now that that's over, I've got an band from another big city that deserves attention.

Nural is from Los Angeles, California.

Nural is:
Kyle Castellani (Vocals)
Douglas Allen (Guitar/Vocals/Keyboard)
Charley Hoy (Guitar)
Kyle Black (Bass)
Aaron Breding (Drums)

Nural has existed as a band since 2000, releasing their debut The Weight of the World in 2005. The album was led by Tension.

They had some stints on Warped Tour shows before going into record their next album with superproducer David Bendeth.

They hadn't really broken through and this was supposed to be the album. Years passed however without hearing a peep out of the album aside from some teaser videos.

Then on February 2nd, 2009, inexplicably and unexpectedly, their second album Entitlement showed up on Download Punk.

It has quickly become the #1 album on the site.

The thing that I like most about Nural is that they seem to bridge the gap between pop-punk and hard rock better than any band I've heard. It works when you have influences ranging from Muse and Mutemath to Blindside and Every Time I Die.

Most hard rock fans tend to hate pop-punk and vice versa. In this case, there's a little something for everyone.

Working with David Bendeth, who's worked with bands like Breaking Benjamin and Paramore, helped to perfect their sound.

I've seen weird performances, but this might take the cake. This is Nural performing Tension at an ice rink. It ain't Ice Capades people!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Band a Day...Tragic Orange

Continuing with some local flavor, I've got a Long Island band that has been playing around the country with a lot of great bands.

Tragic Orange is:
Phil Skiba (Vocals)
Victor Fakhoury (Guitar)
Jimmy Pavlis (Bass)
Christina Vitucci (Drums)

First off, the name makes me think of this, which is just great.

But don't let the name fool you, these guys bring it.

I had the pleasure of seeing them with Charetta on February 19th.

Tragic Orange was the headliner. 

It's rare to go to a bar show in New York City and expect to see at least two bands you like because they don't lump similar sounding bands together regularly.

They didn't disappoint. They give it just about everything they have and leave everything out there. Since we were at a small venue, the lead singer actually jumped down into the crowd and bunched everyone together so that they could participate.

I like bands that demand your attention.

These guys have played and will play with a who's who of up and comers and veterans in modern rock. 

The list includes Saliva, Framing Hanley, Earshot, Egypt Central, Cold, Halestorm, Ashes of Soma, Joan Red, Absence of Concern, and Lynam.

They've been touring for almost four years behind their self-titled album and while there have been lineup changes, the one thing that has remained a constant has been their 100% attitude live, leaving everything they have on stage.

Given all of the great acts that they've played with, I have no doubt that they will have the reputation that some of these bands have.

In the meantime, here's a performance of The First Agreement.

A Band a Day...Doubledge

In almost a year, my blog has traveled to many places. We've gone overseas, we've gone to Alaska, but in the past week or so, my attention has turned a bit closer to home. This next band lives in my backyard of the Bronx, New York...but the hilarious thing is that I haven't seen them perform live.

Doubledge is:
Efrain Goyco (Vocals)
Jason Cruz (Guitar)
Manny Ferrer (Keyboard/Backup Vocals)
Larry Abreu (Drums)

This band plays Christian rock that I feel would fit just fine at the Cornerstone Festival.

The band formed in 2001 and has evolved tenfold since then.

Efrain's voice has a bit of a different approach to harder rock music. He still screams and such, but there's a bit more of pop and R&B in his voice. It's a mix of the stuff that's heard largely around him.

Jason is more classically trained.

Manny has more roots in hip-hop and newest member Larry has been a drummer since he was a child.

Think of it as a Christian rock version of Ill Nino mixed with a bit of Creed, Ra, and Red.

They've generally toured the Northeast, but hope to branch out and I think they have the chops to do it. 

To give you an idea of what they may sound like live, here's a compilation of live songs beginning with their Christian interpretation of "In the Air Tonight".

A Band a Day...Kelsey and the Chaos

A true case of sticking to my scene, this local band is buzzing big time.

Kelsey and the Chaos is:
Kelsey Merritt (Vocals)
Brian Pascoe (Guitar)
Justin Stabler (Guitar)
Rich Skibinsky (Bass/Keyboards)
Nick Rotunno (Drums)

They had an appearance on MTV2's short lived Rock Band game show, but don't let them playing with guitar and drum peripherals fool you. They ARE a band.

They've jokingly called their brand of pretty pop-punk Merritt-core after their lead singer.

This band has been touring around the region for a couple of years now and their reputation is only growing.

Alternative Press (an alternative music mag with a huge reputation) just named them one of 100 bands to watch in 2009.

They played on the local show Fearless Music TV which actually gets aired around the country.

They're going to be playing regionally on the Warped Tour this year.

Much like with Blameshift and "The Sirens are Set", the Kelsey and the Chaos song "Wrapped Around Your Finger" is extremely catchy and should be all over NYC pop station airwaves (now that there are two...ugh!).

They're currently touring the Northeastern US, so if you get the chance, go out and dance to Kelsey and the Chaos.

Here's a live performance of "Wrapped Around Your Finger".

A Band a Day...Blameshift

In my band profiles, I've gone from one corner of the country to another. This is no different.

Welcome to the hamlet of Syosset, Long Island (LAWN GUY LAND) New York, birthplace of Judd Apatow (Superbad, Knocked Up), Chris "Mad Dog" Russo (Mike and the Mad Dog) and these guys...Blameshift. God, I'm starting to sound like News 12 now.

Blameshift is:
Jenny Mann (Vocals)
Tim Barbour (Vocals/Guitar)
Joe Meyer (Bass)
James Miller (Drums)

This dual vocal band brings a sound that mixes a bit of dance, pop-punk, and in some cases polka, as they rep their town in a song called "The Syosset Polka".

If you were to explain this band to someone who hadn't heard of them, I'd probably say The Used as done by Bert McCracken and Gwen Stefani.

"The Sirens are Set" is one of the catchiest songs I've heard in a while and has a chorus that will get stuck in your head.

They've toured the country for 18 months with some dates on the Warped Tour and for being unsigned have a very professional sound about them. 

The Test marks their second album and they're currently in the studio making their third album which should hopefully be out before the first half of the year's over.

In the meantime, here's a live performance of The Sirens are Set from a freakin' bowling alley (how Long Island is that?) and an acoustic version of a song called Be Careful What You Wish For.

No Good Music Goes Unlistened (Volume 6): SXSW Edition

In two days, the music world will descend upon Austin, Texas for the 23rd year of the South By Southwest Festival.

Hundreds of bands and artists from many different genres over four days play free shows.

There have been plenty of bands broken because of the festival and plenty more signed.

Every year, the festival has released a torrent of artists playing at the event. If you have a program like Bittorrent, you can download hundreds of songs free here.

Now, you may not download 6 GB of music, but I'll give you a heads up on some artists to download and unlike most blogs where I just go over Rock, I'm going to branch out a bit.

I'll start with Rock:
Anberlin (Feel Good Drag): Last year's New Surrender marked their major label debut on Universal Records. The song Feel Good Drag is their first song to not only chart on alternative, but hit the top 10 where it currently still sits.

Melissa Auf Der Maur (Followed the Waves): This song was the first single off of her self-titled Capitol album in 2004. It was a very underrated record here in the States and her show March 20th will hopefully bring her back to where she belongs.

Bigelf (Money, It's Pure Evil): It's as if The Beatles from their "Helter Skelter" days got together with early Black Sabbath. Bigelf, it's pure rock.

The Break and Repair Method (You Won't Be Able to Be Sad): By listening to it you probably couldn't be able to tell, but this is a wonderful side project of Matchbox 20 guitarist Paul Doucette.

Closure in Moscow (We Want Guarantees, Not Hunger Pains): This Aussie band is kind of a mixture of Circa Survive and Coheed and Cambria. Lead singer Chris DeCinque has the highest pitched vocals of any band I've heard since Circa Survive's Anthony Green.

Fair to Midland (Tall Tales Taste Like Sour Grapes): The storytelling of hard rock here is reminscent of System of a Down, who's Serj Tankian actually signed to his imprint Serjical Strike Records.

The Maine (Girls Do What They Want): These guys played with CFW favorite VersaEmerge on the Secret Valentines Tour and they have a bitchin' cover of Akon's "I Wanna Love You" on the first installment of Punk Goes Crunk.

Nevertheless (Longshot): Pop punk band toured with Fireflight last year and are currently touring behind In the Making...

Amanda Palmer (Leeds United): Singer/songwriter genius behind half of The Dresden Dolls will be performing solo at this year's SXSW.

Shiny Toy Guns (Ghost Town): The second single off of Season of Poison, the new-wave Shiny Toy Guns has become a bit heavier and a lot catchier with their second album.

The Urgency (Fingertips): The David Bendeth produced self-titled debut, this song is less tongue-in-cheek and more tongue-in-other-places.


Bring Me the Horizon (The Comedown): Metalcore has hit Britain like a mack truck through a teenager's bed.

Kylesa (Said and Done): Male and female dual hardcore vocals...a band that I've actually never heard of before, but has my attention at first listen.


The Day After (Car Crash): A melodic smorgasbord of Vegas alt-rock.


Star Fucking Hipsters (Two Cups of Tea): Aside from having one of the coolest names on the entire bill, this female-fronted band's "Two Cups of Tea" pops between a electropop beat and balls out hardcore.

Whole Wheat Bread (Throw Your Sets Up): Pop punk band that runs the gamut of genres even doing an EP split with covers of crunk songs. "Throw Your Sets Up" is reggae rock that's easier to dance to than Skindred.


Bedouin Soundclash (Walls Fall Down): Those of you that are going to the No Doubt/Paramore summer tour might want to check this out as this band will be opening for both juggernauts.

Lisa Hannigan (Lillie): Anyone that knows Damien Rice's best work might want to download this. Lisa's finally going to put out solo work of her own later this year. She'll be opening for Jason Mraz on his latest tour.

Ladyhawke (My Delirium): This Kiwi makes her debut at the festival. A true rags to riches story may get her a contract here in the States.

Stars Go Dim (Come Around): I mentioned them before on this blog. Perfect power pop.

Chip Pope (Ladyboy): Flight of the Conchords meets The Lonely Island meets What the fuck is that?

Howard Kremer (You Won't Sass Me Like That When I Can Summon Wolves): This song is just as random and just as crazy as the other one. I mean, just look at the title.

This doesn't even mention the many bands that are playing in and around the area just to play there for this mega event and there are also surprises.

If you live in or near the area, I am insanely jealous.

No Good Music Goes Unlistened (Volume 5): Static Cycle

We've visited all corners of the country...from Florida to New Hampshire and from Washington to California. This next band is American, but doesn't come from the contiguous 48.

Static Cycle is:
Jared Navarre (Vocals/Guitar)
Josh Witham (Guitar)
Travis Allen (Guitar/Backup Vocals)
Johnny Rheaume (Bass)
Dennis Smith (Drums/Backup Vocals)

They come from Anchorage, Alaska and they're the only band I'll feature that has actually played in nearby Wasilla, Alaska where 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and family reside. They can see Palins from their house!

Their music is pretty strongly influenced by Breaking Benjamin and Chevelle. Their music is heavy, but has a pop sensibility that separates them from both bands and that's straight talk.

Their debut album When We Meet Again was released last year and earned a buzz on music blogs like this one, but they've been trying to take the album on the road. 

After their show in Alaska last night, they will head out to the Northeastern United States to tour and hopefully get a record deal.

Unlike Joe the Plumber, Chris the Blogger has voted on a sure shot ballot. Static Cycle for '09!

You can download two tracks from their debut album here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Band a Day...Rains

Rains is an up and coming band that brings a different spin to hard rock.

Rains is:
Jeff Rains (Vocals/Guitar)
Zach Ruetz (Guitar)
Jason Anderson (Guitar)
Joe Pitter (Bass)
Joe Schultz (Drums)

From Fort Wayne, Indiana, where singer-songwriters like John Mellencamp are king, Jeff Rains takes a bit of that influence and puts it into his music.

Rains released his debut album in 2006 called Stories, to which thousands have purchased.  At one point, the band included his wife and brother.

In late 2007, Rains worked with Trevor Kustiak, best known for his work on Evans Blue's two albums, for their new album Right or Wrong. The band even recruited Evans Blue's Joe Pitter to play bass on the record.

In 2008, Rains put out an EP that earned enough attention to get play on Sirius' Octane and other major radio stations with the single "Liar".

Right or Wrong, which was originally intended to come out last fall is finally ready to come out on March 31st.

Normally, I'd have a live clip, but instead, if you don't feel like waiting to purchase the album, you can purchase the EP from Amie Street for 68 cents.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Death of Radio.

Yesterday at 5 PM, WXRK-FM in New York (known as K-Rock) changed formats for the 3rd time in four years becoming 92.3 Now FM. It has become the second CHR (contemporary hits radio) in the market and will directly go against the most popular pop station in the country, Z100.

As a rock fan, you would think that I'd be upset about this.

The truth is, they lost me the first time that they changed their formats in 2005 to more of a classic rock station.

Don't get me wrong, I love the grunge of the 90s and some of the harder alternative songs of the 80s. 

However, I feel that radio for the most part is current-driven.  How is the current music business expected to succeed if you keep referring to the past?

K-Rock lost me for that very reason.

In the current age of the IPod, Myspace, Facebook, and Youtube, where songs are just a click away, radio has lost me.

Radio has been relegated to little more than background music at work. It's a sad reality.

Radio used to have a certain magic to it that when new songs were played, people listened.
It also has the power of nostalgia. Whenever you hear a song you hadn't heard in a long time, you hearken back to the days when you heard that song for the very first time. 

Music radio still has that power, but doesn't seem to know how to bring it back.

It seems a lot easier than these radio station music directors are making it out to be.

People say it all of the time, but it may be because MDs are in bed with the labels. 

It may not be payola in the traditional sense, but it's related because certain artists get more airplay if they appear in the area locally.

Because of large media ownership, this script gets rewritten all around the country.

Rather than simply complain about K-Rock's demise, I'd like to come up with a few solutions as to how radio can keep from becoming the dying medium that it clearly is.

Music directors need to take on a more active role in a station becoming mini A&R's scouting for unsigned artists, artists on smaller labels and local artists.

Labels need to be less involved with stations because while their artists certainly help a station's viability by making appearances, stations are hurting because they're limited to what they can play.

Formats need to be more fresh. An idea would be to make a station with all currents that focuses on popular songs on all'd be kind of like a pop station, but there would be more of an eclectic mix.

Finally, there needs to be a change in rotation. There's nothing wrong with the idea of rotation, but the way that songs are being played (sometimes twice every 75-90 minutes), makes radio very boring. Radio needs to be a lot more freeform and a lot less streamlined.

Clear Channel, CBS Radio, and other radio entities have turned radio into a science rather than a medium. The variables need to change and the experimentations have to continue. Otherwise, you'll wind up hearing "Love Lockdown" on up to 6 major NYC stations.

Monday, March 9, 2009

My favorite musical concept ever.

As I mentioned in the last blog, in times as depressing as these, music can help heal the soul. 

Music can help uplift and inspire. Unlike the last blog, where I mentioned how much you can get from music.

It's gotten me through school shootingsuntimely celebrity deaths, and the worst tragedy of our generation, 9/11.

Unlike the last blog, where I mentioned how much you can get from music, this blog will focus on how we can give back.

The band Mae, who'd released Singularity with Capitol in 2007 and left the label last year has such an amazing idea. 

The idea is that they would release 12 songs for their next project, one for every month of the year and have people donate at least a dollar to purchase the song and at the same time fund a humanitarian cause.

They are attempting to rebuild the house of Rhonda Floyd, a resident of Newport News, Virginia, who's house burned down in a fire. 

Their goal is to raise $65,000 for the year. Every little bit helps and even though I'm not a huge fan of Mae, the idea that music can not only heal, but give back is something that you don't see in the industry nowadays.

CFW Fights the Recession!

Earlier in this blog, I had posted about the economy. The truth is that we'd only just begun back then and many probably wish we could go back to that period.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had been over 11000 and currently sits at 6500.

The three major auto companies in this country are faltering and heading towards bankruptcy.

Circuit City has gone out of business and Virgin Megastore is next in line.

Times are indeed depressing, but if there's one thing I know, it's that music can uplift and inspire you.

In this entry, I will help you with tips on how to get music that you want cheap.

Before you say "album leaks", let me finish.

First, let's start with digital.

1. Amie Street-This is a great website especially for unsigned and smaller artists. It's a great concept where word of mouth can get an artist very far. Songs start very cheap or for free and as songs are recommended and downloaded, the price increases. The highest a song goes for though is a mere 98 cents and that's provided that the song is popular enough. You can easily grab a great song for a mere 20 cents and in some cases, you can get a good quality album for $3 or even less.

2. The Amazon MP3 Daily Deal-You have to check out Amazon's Daily Deal because they're like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get...but you know what you're going to get is good. Very good. Amazon puts quality albums up for sale (some new, some classic) for as little as $1.99. You need to be quick on the draw though as those downloads only last for the day. For example, a few days ago, you would have been able to buy Beastie Boys' classic album Licensed to Ill for $1.99. There are also times where you can get popular songs for less than what labels would normally want them as well. You can get songs for 79 cents rather than 99 cents. Every little bit helps.

3. I-Tunes' Free Song of the Week-You probably are familiar with this if you have I-Tunes. What you may not know is that there are actually two more than they normally show. They generally have songs from three different genres. The songs that they pick may not generally be your cup of tea, but every now and then some songs that they have featured have become huge radio hits like Sara Bareilles' "Love Song" or Daniel Powter's "Bad Day".

4. Free Downloads-They are practically everywhere now. Most artists have given into the idea that some music can be downloaded for free. Like everything else in this list, you just have to keep checking.

Now for physical...

Even though the format may be starting to falter, some people (like me) still prefer physical CD's over digital albums.

1. Liquidation sales-You may have missed out on Circuit City's sale, but you'll still likely have some record stores going away. The key to these is to not wait for the very last minute. The key is to check the sale every now and again. Stores reset prices to the original prices and then take the liquidation percentages off. When CD's or DVD's are about 50%-60% off of the original price, you should have an idea of what you want and then horde every section. You can still get great quality CD's at those prices and instead of grabbing 2 or 3, you'll have no problem grabbing 10 or more...well, in my case. The only drawback is that there are no returns so please, choose wisely.

2. Cheap/Used CD Places-If you're lucky enough to have one, you can find a lot of great CDs for cheap. There are some CD's that you may find special deals for as these stores are always trying to get rid of them. These CD exchanges always work out for the consumer because it's a mom and pop operation. They determine the price and you can normally find newer CD's cheaper as well. This is probably my favorite option because they will at least compensate you if you want to bring back a CD you've purchased either there or elsewhere. May not be much, but as I said before, every cent counts.

And there's one more miscellaneous tip:

Stick To Your Scene-That does not mean stick to one genre, it simply means to buy local. If you can't afford going to a major show or festival that's two hours away, it's probably best for you to stay close. There's sure to be a band in your town or your general area that's really good that could be worth following. Most local shows are not more than $10 in small bars and small venues. Occasionally, there will be a free show.

The thing that holds all of these points together is to always stay on top. Try to keep up as best you can or you may miss out on the deals that you want.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

CFW Chartwhores (3/4/09)

I know what you're thinking...chart whore?

Well, back in late 2003 when I started following Evanescence, I was intrigued by their progress on the radio. I followed everything from placement on the charts to where they were playing.

What I'm going to attempt to do is an abbreviated version of that by using the Alternative and Active Rock radio charts. Unfortunately, Mediabase doesn't allow us to view an entire chart anymore. This is merely the top 50 of each...but it still gives us a good idea of where things are going.

I'll also post songs that may make an impact on each chart.

I'll start with Alternative.

Incubus' "Love Hurts" is currently the #1 song on the format. No, it's not from a new album. It's from an album that came out in November of 2006 (Light Grenades). It came out as a single over a year after their last single "Oil and Water" and yet, it still managed to hit #1. This won't be the last thing we hear from Incubus on the format as a new single from their upcoming greatest hits "Black Heart Inertia" makes its radio debut in less than three weeks.

Pearl Jam's "Brother", a song that was originally released as an instrumental on Lost Dogs but had been an outtake from the classic Ten, is currently the #5 song and has the best shot to be the next #1. It currently has a bullet of over 400 (Bullets refer to the amount of spins gained from the previous week).

Anberlin currently has their first top 10 on the format with "Feel Good Drag" and it's been a long time coming. New Surrender really deserves the praise it's been getting.

Framing Hanley have broken the top 20 with "Lollipop".

Depeche Mode have been getting more play on the format than in recent memory with their new single "Wrong". And no, it does not sound like "Jizz In My Pants".

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have debuted in the top 40 with "Zero".

Finally, in something that really tells you how the alternative chart has become less active, The Fray are currently holding on to #40 with "You Found Me".

Active Rock:

This chart tends to be more interesting as artists on small labels and unsigned artists tend to be more common. 

Burn Halo and Aranda are currently sitting in the lowest tier of the top 40 with "Dirty Little Girl" and "Still in the Dark" respectively.

Seether's cover of Wham's "Careless Whisper" which they'd originally recorded as a bit of a joke actually has a nice sized bullet and could potentially do some chart damage in the near future.

All That Remains' "Two Weeks" is the first song from them to ever chart on the Active Rock chart and it is currently flirting with the top 15. 

Pearl Jam's "Brother" and Papa Roach's "Lifeline" are in a good position to eventually take over #1 and in a bit of a surprise, without an official music video, Nickelback may get the #1 song on the format with "Something In Your Mouth". They're a few mere spins away from the current #1, Mudvayne's "Do What You Do".

Songs to keep an ear out for:
Sevendust-"Inside"-The third single from Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow. Sevendust is a workhorse, finishing up a tour with Disturbed and moving on with Black Label Society. 

The Veer Union-"Seasons"-The debut single from the Vancouver, BC standout. Their album should be out by late spring and a tour with Hinder and Theory of a Deadman should give them a lot of exposure.

Madina Lake-"Never Take Us Alive"-My favorite song of the three. It's produced by David Bendeth and should do the band wonders. The album Attics to Eden comes out April 28th.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Essential Top Ten Albums.

Challenges seem to be following me wherever I go.

In this particular case, I'm being challenged to list my ten favorite albums ever. It sounds easy enough, however, it's not.

I've listened to and own so many albums.

For all of the albums that I've put up top, it's potentially more amazing to see the albums that didn't make the cut.

Albums that missed the final cut (in alphabetical order):
Alter Bridge-One Day Remains
Breaking Benjamin-Phobia
Deftones-White Pony
Green Day-American Idiot
In This Moment-The Dream
Killswitch Engage-The End of Heartache
Red-Innocence and Instinct
Smashing Pumpkins-Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

Now for my top 10:
10. Sevendust-Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow-My #1 album last year, Sevendust has made it a career of consistently good albums. What makes this album so good in part is the collaborative efforts of Chris Daughtry, Mark Tremonti, and Myles Kennedy. This album marked a return of the melodic band that had departed with their previous two albums (Alpha and Next) and marked the return of Clint Lowery. It proved that Sevendust (who's been around for over a decade) can be more diverse than a simple hard rock band, even though that is what they are at the core.

9. Evanescence-Origin-By the time I'd first heard about it it was already almost three years old, but that didn't make it any less amazing. The production may be less slick, but this album proved to me that independent artists or artists on smaller labels could have albums as good or better than those on major labels. Despite the three major albums they've put out, many fans still consider this to be their best album.

8. Linkin Park-Meteora-This is the perfect case of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Following up their mega-successful Hybrid Theory was a chore, but as Linkin Park proved, it was not impossible. They're arguably the most successful band of this decade and this album I feel cemented their place. Every song on this album could have been played on radio. And just about every song was. 20 million people worldwide own this album. This album came out in 2003. That just about says it all.

7. Lacuna Coil-Comalies-I originally didn't think much about Lacuna Coil. Not necessarily because I thought that they were copying Evanescence (who I was also into at the time), but I hadn't been exposed to them until around 2004. The re-release of this album (which features bonus acoustic versions) showcased the diversity and the beauty of this band's sound. It was then when I could differentiate between Lacuna Coil's sound and Evanescence's sound. Unlike Linkin Park, they didn't really get the airplay, but that didn't stop this album from becoming the greatest selling album in their label's history (Century Media).

6. Seether-Disclaimer II-For having 20 songs on this album, this album is a ridiculously straight listen. It's probably the longest album out of anything on here. This album is a re-worked, remixed version of the original Disclaimer, which in itself is not a bad album. However, this album has a more polished feel and while the album may not be conceptually solid, every song on the album tells its own tale. This is the way I wish re-releases would happen. Instead of putting out the same album with one extra song, they remixed the entire album and added eight songs (and that's not counting the DVD with the music videos and live show they put on there). At the time, it was the first album to have gone gold and to have its subsequent re-release go gold as well.

5. Dark New Day-Twelve Year Silence-Critics of the band will call this nothing more than Sevendust-lite. However, fans of this band know that's not the case.  At the time I'd gotten this album, I'd actually just gotten into Sevendust as well. Dark New Day's album is different because it's rare to find practically an entire band able to sing. There are songs in their catalog that have four-part harmonies that might make Boyz II Men jealous. Most rock radio listeners will know "Brother" and unfortunately not much else, which is a shame because it appears that they are pretty much 'one and done'.

4. Flyleaf-Flyleaf-I loved them long before their debut album came out and I knew that the album would be big. I just didn't realize how big. Flyleaf's debut album era lasted about 3 and a half years dating back from the first single to their last tours. It gives you an idea of their potential longevity in the industry. Their EP was rather raw and was filled with Lacey Mosley's wails, but the album also showed the beauty and the grace of their music and their faith. Even if you're not a believer in their faith, you can believe in their music because it's intense and authentic. It's something that you won't find very often in the industry.

3. Metallica-Metallica-It's been out since 1991 and it's still the benchmark for what a hard rock band can do. This is the oldest album in the top 10 and there's no question as to why it should be on here. The album has sold over 15 million in the States alone. My uncle let me borrow his copy because I was curious and I almost didn't give it back to him. Quite simply, it is the album that made me a hard rock fan rather than just a hard rock listener. 

2. Sevendust-Seasons-Speaking of making a career of consistently good albums...Sevendust is back on the list for the second time. This was the last album that the band released before Clint Lowery left the first time. This band is the most underrated hard rock band, period. They've always been consistent, but they've never really knocked one out of the park. That's ok though because there's more for fans of this band to appreciate.

1. Evanescence-Fallen-No matter what happens to this band, I will never be able to simply throw this album away. I was personally going through a lot when I first heard "Bring Me to Life" and it was the first song that I've ever listened to that ever caught my emotions, my thoughts, and my feelings so well. Three minutes and fifty-seven seconds that have changed my life forever. It was depressing, it was uplifting, it was beautiful, it was ugly, and everything else that I could think of. I couldn't necessarily take the same thing from every song, but there are lines in most of the songs that I took to change my negative mentality.

Whew, that was not easy, but challenging and pretty fun.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

No Good Music Goes Unlistened (Volume 4): The Take It Tour...

The Take It Tour kicks off this Friday with three pretty kickass bands.

Taproot (the headliner, who's "Take It" is the theme of the tour)

Taproot has been rocking stages for over a decade playing on tours such as Ozzfest and the second installment of the Music As a Weapon Tour.

They are one of the most underrated bands that play live. Stephen Richards, the lead singer, gets into it...literally

Dear Enemy is just starting to get a name for themselves. Even though they're unsigned, this Atlanta band earned an opening spot on the Sevendust/Taproot tour late last year and have been touring behind their new album Believe the Rumors ever since. On top of that, their sense of humor must make them fun to tour with.

Adakain doesn't particularly have any silly 80s sitcom promos, but they certainly do have a following. They're going on tour with other up and coming bands such as Neverset (who's recent work also links them to Sevendust), Black Tie Vendetta, and Bobaflex. Their music is probably the most aggressive on the bill and they should be able to fire up any crowd they play for.

All three bands came to an agreement to give away two songs of each of theirs (hence the name of the tour...TAKE IT!)

Taproot is giving away their assumed second official single from Our Long Road Home, "Take It" and an unreleased B-side called "Stay Away".

Dear Enemy is giving away two tracks from the Corey Lowery produced Believe the Rumors, called "Sacrifice" and "The Juggernaut".

Finally, Adakain is giving away "Run" and "The Only One".

For these three bands to offer six songs, you'd be a fool not to take it!


My Change of Pace blogs went well and I'll do more in the future, but I'm going to post more along the lines of the bands that I like in the meanwhile.

Also, if you notice there are new links on the side of my page. They link up to my friends' blogs. They talk about anything and everything. Check them out!

A Change of Pace...John Legend

Artists that I normally profile on this blog are either unsigned or are signed ready to explode. The artist I'm profiling in this entry has already won six Grammies.

However, I still feel that John Legend needs attention.

He may be an R&B, neo-soul artist, but he has earned attention well outside of his genre.

He started out doing background vocals for some songs such as Slum Village's Selfish and Alicia Keys' You Don't Know My Name.

In 2004, he got signed to Columbia Records and released his debut album Get Lifted.

That album was led by the aforementioned "Used to Love U" and signature song "Ordinary People".

He very quietly won three Grammies at the 2006 Grammies and has since added three more to the mantle.

He's collaborated with Fergie, Sergio Mendes, Juanes, Fort Minor...even Stephen Colbert.

There are plenty of artists that people can discredit in the name of pop or R&B these days. John Legend is not one of them.

I leave this entry with his cover of U2's Pride (in the Name of Love).

A Change of Pace...Tamar

When you think of the current pop music world, young female singer-songwriters are cleaning up shop.

Sara Bareilles and Colbie Caillat are among the new breed and Tamar intends to be the next in line.

Backed by other talented musicians (such as some of my favorites including David Hodges), Tamar intends to release music with Interscope Records in the future.

She writes catchy songs like "New Day" which has earned over 500,000 plays to date on her Myspace.

Weirdly, the song reminds me of Paula Abdul's Promise of a New Day (at least in the chorus of the song...oh yeah, I went there).

She has been compared to a female version of Coldplay mixed with a female version of The Fray.

Based on their successes, Tamar should find herself a perfect spot on adult top 40 radio.

No word on when her debut comes out, but it should hopefully come soon.

You ought to see the videos for New Day and Purified.

And here's a live performance of Returning to Sand with David Hodges.