Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Old Shock Rocker Plays On New Fear

What do you get when you mix a washed up goth superstar desperate for media attention and a massive media driven fear like the H1N1 virus? The answer: Marilyn Manson claiming he's diseased! Yes folks, the man is in fact insisting (despite PR releases from the label and management that the claims are false) that he has been "officially diagnosed". The question I have to ask is, is this the truth, or is the out dated shock rocker just looking for a new way to scare us?
Clearly his bible burning antics are a little passe... we've seen it all. In a culture of gory horror films and violent television, its hard to really get under the skin of the audience. So when Manson steps onto the stage in androgynous garb or puts a dollar sign swastika in his video backdrop, its all too easy to look past the facade and see him as just another rock n roll artist. We're far beyond the days where Ozzy bit the heads off bats and Alice Cooper filled the stage with demonic imagery and blatant sexuality... we don't fear this stuff anymore. We broke those boundaries back in the 60s and 70s when it was truly new and frightening. Rock emerged as a rebellion, in its early days, rock itself was scary. It threatened the societal rules at the time. But as time passed, society loosened up, became more accepting and open minded (for the most part). Manson is now just a performer for most of us, not an unholy demonic influence. We've learned to separate the stage persona from the face behind it.
But this is what gave him a career. Marilyn Manson is famous and successful because it was cool to be into something that scared your parents. He got media coverage for being outrageous, for causing riots, for being the embodiment of fear. But the times change, and apparently Manson changes with them. In order to keep a career in being that fear, maybe stating you have the swine flu and you're still touring is the best way to keep this fear alive.
So does he or doesn't he? Personally, I think he's taking a regular case of the flu and using it as an way to hype up the fear and generate tour sales. He's being his typical self, intelligent. I mean, look at the attention he's getting! It's WORKING. Thats my personal opinion, what do you think?

In the mean time, lets hope the rest of us stay safe from the feared flu.
Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

"Rock is deader than dead, Shock is all in your head... God is in your TV"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On The Shelves This Week

I love tuesdays (and always have) for one reason... new music! Yes people, to a music fan like myself, every tuesday is Christmas and the local shops are Santa's bag of toys. Its the reward I get every week for making it through the dreaded monday. So for today's blog, here are a few new albums that hit the shelves today that might interest you.

Paramore- Brand New Eyes
As much as I'm a fan of Paramore, I have to say I wasn't really counting down the days until this album's release. Feels like Riot was released just last week with the hype recently surrounding this act. However, if the first single is any indication of what the rest of the album holds, it will join my personal collection soon enough. The energetic pop punk quartet is back with a new set of catchy tunes to add to your ipod. If a simple but memorable score fronted by a feisty redhead with the voice to match is your style, give this one a listen.

Alice In Chains- Black Gives Way To Blue
For all you 90s rock fans out there, this is pretty exciting. Today marks the first album by Alice In Chains in over ten years, yay! They were one of the bands who hit it big in the early nineties rise of the Seattle Grunge scene along side Nirvana and Pearl Jam. They never officially called it quits, but they went on a hiatus for many years due to their original vocalist's struggles with substances (he passed away in 2002 from an overdose). With a new singer (William DuVall) the band is ready for their second chance and from what I've heard, they've got a great sound laced with elements of both classic and modern techniques.

AFI- Crash Love
I was, and still am, quite curious about this album. I loved them when I was younger, I mean, this band has changed time and time again over the years. I love that they are not afraid to transcend the boundaries of genres... punk, pop, classic, metal, even techno, they sample everything. Borrowing different styles to create all new hybrid sounds that arent always successful, but are definitely creative. This album seems to be reviewed as a bit of a backtrack from their last work, away from the experimental and a return to their roots. So if you like AFI, particularly old AFI, check this out.

Landon Pigg- The Boy Who Never
This artist is a newer one (for me anyways) that I've been watching. An cute young indie artist with a kind of folk allure makes him a perfect fit for an upcoming chart climber. You've probably heard the single from this album even though its not exactly all over the airwaves... its on your TV! From One Tree Hill, to Grey's Anatomy, to AT&T commercials, he's everywhere. Who doesnt love sweet little indie styled guitar ballads about love? For the reason that this boy is on his way up, I'm recommending his album.

Ill Scarlett- 1up
I thought I'd add a Canadian to the list, its my national duty... to ensure the survival of our cultural industries... this is what MIT classes do to you by the way haha. Anyways, this band has been around the club scene for a while now. Their style is a working combination of modern reggae and punk that draws the audience into a feel good frenzy. This album seems to be taking on a bit of a turn towards more classic rock, but the elements of their signature sound are easy to hear.

Thats it for today, merry tuesday shopping!
Rock On,
- Girl At The Rock Show

Monday, September 28, 2009

Reading Between The Tracks

Happy Monday People... Or as happy as it can be I suppose haha
Do you ever find that when you buy a CD, you're quick to skip ahead to the tracks you know? To those catchy singles flooding the airwaves long before the album hit the shelves? We're all guilty of it, no use in denying it. Lately, I've been trying to catch myself and break this habit. The reason? In all honesty, most of the songs I grow to love are the ones I discover beneath the gimmicky singles. 

In the music industry, its all about mass market appeal. Its about what's going to sell to the highest percentage of the target group. As a result, the labels choose songs that fit into a specific mould. They have to define what's popular at the time. If its rock, then the label picks something with a heavy guitar riff and lyrics about teenage rebellion. If its rap, the label picks something about rough beginnings and a feature by the hot lyricist with impressive flow. And hey, even if it has to be country, the label throws a violin or a banjo into the mix... its all about sales and profit margins. But what about those songs that break the laws of popularity, the ones that don't fit into the radio charts of the day? 

I think its almost depressing when an incredible album is remembered only for its singles, or forgotten only because it never contained those catchy tracks. When I think of Nirvana, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is not the first thing that comes to mind... instead, its a little track called Something In The Way that has never let go of me. Buried beneath the hit list that is Nevermind, a lot of the beautiful pieces of music are left underrated. Lost in the shuffle. Grunge rock was popular at the time, not ballads with orchestral strings and harmonies. There is always a lot more to a group than those songs that hit billboard's number one spot, thats important to remember. 

So come on people, lets make a music resolution, make singles a dying breed. Challenge yourself to expand your horizons. The next time you hear a song on the radio that catches your attention, take down the artists name. Remember it. Then when you get home that night, go to Youtube, Lastfm, LaunchCast, Rhapsody, Itunes... whatever website you may choose (even if it happens to be a P2P network which I will ignore) and do some research. You may find that the rest of the bands style just isnt you. Maybe that track is a situation where mass marketing proved deceitful... but then again, maybe you'll discover that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Maybe you'll find out that sure, that song they play at all the shows is great, but that one track in the middle of the album is where the band really gave it their all and thats the track that really speaks to you. You have nothing to lose, so give it a shot. Just listen to an album once... when you first buy it, put it in the CD played and just leave it alone. Dont touch it no matter how much your finger twitches. Let it play and who knows, maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised. 

Happy Listening One & All
Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

A lot of you probably recognize this as the hot new song climbing the charts. Thats why I picked it, to make a point. Not all singles are bad. I happen to love this song actually. Now, Cobra Starship has been around for a few years, picking up a few fans along the way with their dancey techno punk. Writing the title track for Snakes On A Plane as well as song placement in other popular Hollywood blockbusters probably didnt hinder their career progression either. That being said, what about the rest of their songs? Three albums later, this is the first time they've achieved commercial success on the radio. And yet, this song is a great representation of their career catalogue, its not a matter of times. This is the same music they have been playing for years. I have seen them play a few shows over the years and have watched as the crowds grew from fifty to five hundred. Singles arent ALL bad. They give bands who otherwise wouldn't have a chance, their 15 minutes to show us what they can do and I obviously support that. Singles can be great, but don't skip through the rest of the songs without giving them a fair chance. Dont hold other tracks in comparison to one, okay? Now grab a dance partner and click that link!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

She's A Rebel: Girls Who Rock Pt.2

Welcome Back Bloggers!
I've had quite the interesting little development in my life over the past couple weeks... I'd like to formally welcome my insomnia back from its high school hibernation! Yes, I have joined the world of the undead, or at least it feels like it haha. Anyways, I guess the bonus is I'll probably be able to keep up with my writing habits. So if you enjoy reading this, then at least you can always look forward to new updates :)

That being said, I'll get back on track with today's post. Yesterday, I posted a list of ten influential and upcoming female rockers that I really respect. They may not all be top 10 chart artists, or fit into the mould of the rock n roll stereotype, but they have all left a lasting impression on their audience at one point or another. So now, onwards with the list!

11) Alanis Morissette
A Canadian female with serious passion. As a girl, I have to admit that Alanis writes the world's best feminist anthems. Many of her chart topping hits are about bitter breakups where the girl gets her revenge. She looks and feels great while the guy sulks knowing he let a good thing go... yeah, too bad thats not reality eh ladies? In any case, Alanis' music proves to be the perfect soundtrack to a breakup and you have to love her for it. For that reason and many more, Alanis is on my list.

Choice Tracks: You Oughta Know, Ironic

12) Tina Turner
If anyone can scream Rock N Roll when she walks into a room, its definitely Tina. This woman is the original: sex, drugs and rock n roll survivor. Although her R&B vocals do not reflect the vast variety of rock genres I've been discussing, she's still a great example of a woman in the limelight. Tina has not had an easy path to stardom, her long battles with difficult relationships and substance abuse have proven to knock her down from time to time, but never out altogether. Although she may never obtain that once held status of rock n roll diva, she is surely on her way to a come back with new appearances and music in the works. Watch out world, Tina Turner is back and she has something to prove to us all: rock n roll never dies.

Choice Tracks: Proud Mary, Typical Male

13) Debbie Harry (Blondie)
A true musical goddess, thats for sure. Debbie Harry is the pretty platinum blonde with a not so typical demeanor. She's proven she can be loud, in your face, and still totally iconic. Our generation still sings along to the classics when they come on the speakers. Although this band lived its prime before most of you (and me for that matter) were born, they still maintain a relevance and that is in great part thanks to Debby herself. Not the typical rock star, she even once worked as a playboy model. Its a long road from a model to an icon and for that, I give her a lot of credit. 

Choice Tracks: One Way Or Another, Call Me

14) Juliet Simms (Automatic Loveletter)
Love it or hate it, "emo" seems to be here to stay. Personally, I find it easier to explore the genre for interesting sounds rather than throw it all out the window. This band is one of the gems I came across, and Juliet is certainly a noted factor. A musical staple in her home town cafes in her teenage years, Juliet had offers from record labels left right and center. It wasn't until she joined the band that she sought mainstream commercial success. Having started out back in 2003, the band never recorded an album until 2007. The process was slow, but relatively worth the wait. If anything, I'd buy the album just for her voice. She's known for her acoustic performances, nothing but a girl and her guitar... simplicity at its best. Having dueled it out with Paramore for an audience at Bamboozle Fest in New Jersey(and doing a fantastic job for such an unknown group), this band is rising fast. I'd keep an eye on them!

15) Scarling
I love this act, highly recommend it to anyone interested in the newer wave of gothic/industrial music with a lighter edge. The themes are definitely laced with death, darkness, depression and disorder... but the music itself is gorgeous. It revives a lot of the energy of Siouxise and the Banshees many years before. Having begun as an all female four piece, the band underwent many changes before starting anew. The true staying power of this act however, lies in the hands of their lead vocalist and original member, Jessicka Fodera. Her soft, sultry voice starts off sweet but don't let that fool you. She definitely knows how to bring on the aggression! ...not to mention she has a beautiful name, don't you think? Haha. The band does appear to be on somewhat of an indefinite hiatus (Jessicka and her guitarist were married on their last tour), but their music is still lurking around the internet so definitely give it a listen if you think it could be for you.

16) Sarah "Sin" Blackwood (The Creepshow)
One of my personal favorites, again haha. Hailing from Burlington, ON, this band is bringing back the classic sounds of the Misfits with a modern twist. Their signature brand of singalong rockabilly punk cant help but make you want to shake. Although Sarah is a newer member to the group, she was quickly and eagerly welcomed by the band's existing fan base. Sarah actually inherited her front woman status from the band's original vocalist, her sister Jen (after she became pregnant and unable to devote time to the group). Sarah's transition to the band was seamless, and her stage presence makes her a face to remember. A petite little blonde with the voice of a soul singer, she has truly become a recognizable talent in the underground scene. Creepshow actually played in London tonight alongside Streetlight Manifesto, but when they come back (as they often play at Call The Office) make sure you dont miss out!

17) The Eyeliners
When you think of Albuquerque, New Mexico, catchy pop-punk probably isnt the first thing to come to mind. But these girls are an exception, and put the town on the map for their fans. Rising up among the mid 90s era of pop and grunge, punk was due for a comeback. With bands like Green Day gaining momentum, there was room in the crowd for a female surge. They even joined Green Day's original California DIY label, Lookout. With four albums under their belts, these girls are no strangers to the world of rock n roll. So if you're into three chord, simple punk with a lot of feminine edge, give these girls a listen and you wont be disappointed!

Choice Tracks: Destroy, Rock N Roll Baby

18) Greta Salpeter (The Hush Sound)
Indie rocking pianist chicks are clearly in style these days. If you're starting a band, I might recommend thinking about it. Its a trend that I sincerely endorse as I've always loved the sound of a passionate piano player grace their fingers across the keys. Greta is a perfect example. She's soulful, poetic and truly inspiring. To watch an artist who loves what they create enhances the experience of live music. Having seen the Hush Sound on tour, it is clear that music has always been much more than just a pass time. Their brand of catchy, bluesy, folk styled pop rock commands attention in a market of its own. The group was signed to Decaydance by fluke, as a member of Panic at the Disco stumbled upon their recordings online, passing them up to heads of the label. Within a couple years, the band was headlining sold out club tours, and making a name for themselves. The group has been performing since 2004, and although they are on hiatus, I would expect more to come from the young indie sensations. 
PS. Sorry for the terrible audio selections, apparently Youtube is very anti-Hush Sound because they have taken down ALL of their videos, limited choice for me! But check out the songs if you can.

19) Hunter Valentine
Yet another Canadian act makes the cut! I have to say, although most of these artists have a home on my ipod, I have never noticed just how many of them are Canadian until this blog. Anyways, this all female band originates from the Toronto music scene. Instead of focusing solely on their career, these ladies have also lent their talents to a performing arts camp in Connecticut. The band has opened a slew of major club shows for many independent Canadian rock bands such as Gentleman Reg, Social Code, and the national star Sam Roberts. With only one album behind them in five years, I feel like these girls are due for a breakout. After all, its hard to define your sound after only a handful of songs!

20) Maja Ivarsson (The Sounds)
Lets add another amazing foreign act to this list to close. This one hails to us from the town of Helsingborg, Sweden. Multitalented, Maja is active in both the writing and composition aspects of her group's work. Never one to take a back seat, she is the epitome of the hard working female. She's also a woman to fear with an extensive history of fight training. Word of caution: Dont mess with her! The Sounds are quickly gaining popularity here in North America (due largely in part to Maja's vocal features on the title track of the cult classic "Snakes On A Plane"). This gig allowed her access to a new market within the FBR/Decaydance record label family. Heavily popular with teens and young adults here. Make way America, here comes Sweden!

- Civet
- PJ Harvey
- Melissa Auf Der Maur
-Sinead O'Connor
- Kate Voeguele
- Tegan and Sara
- Tsunami Bomb
- Veruca Salt
- Otep Shamaya (Otep)
- Mary-Kate Geraghy (Fight Like Apes)
- Lyn-Z and Kitty (Mindless Self Indulgence)
- Vicky T (Cobra Starship)
- Lucinda Williams
-Gwen Stefani (No Doubt)
....and I could probably go on for a while, but I think I'll stop myself there!

Thats all folks, that completes my list! For now at least haha. There will be more to come, but for now, I'm tired and in need of rest. Enjoy the many different kinds of rock n roll goddesses I have recommended. See what works for you, see what you like. Its all about personal taste, find it and express it. 

Rock on!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Saturday, September 26, 2009

She's A Rebel: Girls Who Rock Pt.1

Good Evening!
(This is gonna be a long one people!)

Often, girls are seen as minorities in the world of rock music. Its a man's genre, and decades later, we're still trying to find our place in it. I'm actually taking a class on gender roles in relation to popular music and some of the ideas brought up, I find to be very interesting. What does a woman have to do to prove she's an equal in this male dominated arena? It may be tough to gain credit, notoriety, and an audience... but there are definitely women who do a great job representing the rest of us and I'd like to use this entry to highlight a few that I personally respect. Forget the Spice Girls, this is some real girl power.


1) Joan Jett
No list could be complete without this woman. For me personally, she is a huge inspiration. Having had the chance to see her in concert, I have to say the most amazing thing about Joan Jett is the way that she is able to control a stage. Keep in mind, she's 51 years old and been in the rock game for about 34 years now. Thats a major accomplishment for any artist. Starting out in the background of a band called the Runaways, she quickly gained a reputation of her own and moved on to front her own group, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and even started her own record label to distribute her music. This band is still active today, having recently stated that a greatest hits album with two brand new tracks is in the works. She has been praised as the "Godmother of Punk", the original punk rock front woman, as she is one of the first of her gender and genre to achieve and maintain success beyond the era's popular club culture. There's even a movie in the making focused on her life. She definitely helped to pave the way for women in rock today, I highly recommend checking out a live show if you ever get a chance. 

2) Madonna
Now, I know what you're all thinking... Madonna is not very rock n roll. But you're wrong, the queen of pop does in fact possess the spirit and integrity of any rock n roll great. She's an outspoken woman, not afraid to push boundaries and press buttons. In her early days, Madonna's music faced great criticism for its taboo themes and content, marking her as a favorite target for the press and many religious groups. . Her career has evolved and changed, yet maintained steady levels of success over the years. To this day, her reputation remains firmly in tact. It is because of her willingness to step outside the box that I decided to include her in this list. Personally, no Madonna songs beyond the early 90s will ever find their way on to my itunes, but I still give credit where its due

3) Kittie
I have to admit, this is a bit of a bias addition for me as they are a product of London's own music scene. However, as a modern day Runaways with a metal edge, they fit quite comfortably amongst the other choices. Its not often that you come across an all female band with a serious heavy metal edge who have managed to make a name for themselves. While they may not be a grammy award winning group, they certainly possess the passion, drive, commitment and talent that make them a memorable act. I mean, you cant be all that bad in the metal community if you're asked to play Ozzfest or open for Slipknot, right? Kittie has also played host to a revolving door or members, but as long as the Landers sisters are a constant, this band definitely has the potential to break out. Having recently found a great deal of success in the darker, more high profile European metal scene, I foresee great things over seas for this band.

4) Amy Lee (Evanescence)
While she may have dropped off the charts lately, I still consider Amy Lee to be an important icon. I have to say I personally love the way opera and rock can meld together so beautifully. She may not have been the first to do it, but she was one of the first to take it to the top of the billboard list. 

5) Hayley Williams (Paramore)
Onto the new wave of female rockstars! I'll start this one off with a band who's seen mass amounts of praise due to their involvement with the popular Twilight franchise. However, the story of this little Tennessee act  goes far beyond the vampire movie soundtrack. Hayley actually started singing for the band back in 2004. It is said that the other members, all male, were hesitant at first about the idea of adding a woman to the mix as it could make or break their future. Luckily for them, they found huge success in the growing pop-rock scene. Hayley became a symbol for the younger generation of women. Her vibrant style, powerful stage presence and unique vocals make her one to watch. With a sold out summer tour behind them and a new album just released, their career has only just begun.

6) Cassadee Pope (Hey Monday)
Also part of the Fueled By Ramen family of artists, and a find of the one and only Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy. While I may not be his biggest fan, he definitely knows how to find true, raw talent. Hey Monday was only formed in 2007, but their shows are already getting rave reviews. At the centre of the group is Cassadee, a 19 year old from Florida with a flawless voice. If you find that hard to believe, check out any one of their acoustic live tracks on youtube and you too will be a believer. Following the path treaded by label mates Paramore, this band is on the rise with a lot of thanks owed to the front woman. 

7) Siouxsie Sioux
I'm gonna go ahead and assume most people don't know who she is. In fact, unless you really love punk rock, she's probably a total stranger to you, but thats totally ok. Siouxsie (pronounced Suzy) is the front woman for a 1980s act by the name of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Having managed to top the billboard charts, they are definitely part of rock's colorful early hardcore history. Their music has been described as a newer wave of experimental punk, a rather new mix of sounds. This style has been credited with the eventual rise of goth and industrial music. These are some pretty heavy and impressive accomplishments for a little club band from London, England. This band would never have gotten as far as they did without their lead singer and her eccentric stage presence. In a time where men dominated punk, she stepped forward without a second thought, paving the way for women everywhere. 

Choice Tracks: Halloween, Sin In My Heart

8) Poly Styrene (X-Ray Spex)
Again, probably a fairly unfamiliar name to many of you out there (but thats what I'm here for!). If you were at all interested in early work by Siouxsie and company, you may be interested in the X-Ray Spex and their vocalist, Poly Styrene. Taking on a more punk flavor, these bands emerged around the same time frame and both struggled to gain respect in harsh underground clubs. It cant be easy to stand on the same stages as the Sex Pistols and win over the same audience while wearing a dress! But somehow the X-Ray Spex pulled through and helped to dismantle the stereotypes of women in punk music. They were about music, not gender. Polly has been described as one of the least conventional front people in the history of the genre. For her to emerge in the late 70s like she did was truly remarkable. For this, she definitely deserves to be on this list.

9) Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
Back to some more of the modern women who are rocking the mics today, we have Karen of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Known almost as well for her wild fashion sense as she is for her phenomenal vocal talent, Karen is a force to be reckoned with. The three piece formed back in 2000 and have steadily climbed the ladder to indie stardom. I mean, you know you're doing something right when you're opening for the White Stripes and headlining Lollapalooza! Their music has been described as a melding of Blondie and Siouxsie and The Banshees... personally, I have no problem with that mix!

10) Emily Haines (Metric)
A Canadian sensation currently dominating the charts. The 34 year old front woman has experienced a great deal of success worldwide with her band mates in Metric. A passionate vocalist and keyboard player, she has also lent her talent to other acts like the indie noted Broken Social Scene, Stars, K-Os and MSTRKRFT. She also created a solo side project by the name of Emily Haines and The Soft Skeleton. Emily is not afraid to experiment with music, to try new and untested things, making her a perfect fit to this list. 

Stay Tuned For The Second Installation
Rock On!
-The Girl At The Rock Show

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wiki's Rock N Roll Handbook

Good Morning!

            So I was browsing the internet looking for some upcoming local shows and CD releases to write about today. Instead I came across this fascinating little page on Wiki's "How To" site and I was inspired. Rock concerts are an interesting experience. For those of you who have never been, my words could do little to explain the vibrant world of live performance. Lets just say you have to be there to understand it. Surrounded by a sea of people, all screaming and chanting... it can certainly be intimidating for a newcomer to the genre. Maybe this article is helpful in that sense? To eliminate fear and worry to those who have never entered this world? But can I just ask the simple question here... since when does rock n roll have rules and guidelines to adhere by? Isn’t that the whole point of rock? To rebel against conformity, to be free to express yourself without fear of judgement? So therefore, a newcomer to the rock concert should be at ease no matter what. A rock legend, and personal 'icon' of mine, Kurt Cobain once said, 

"Punk is musical freedom. It's saying, doing and playing what you want." 

            I've always kept this quote in mind. I think it perfectly describes the true spirit of punk and rock as genres. I've always loved the feeling of unity I get at shows. How everyone is a perfect fit. No one cares about gender, fashion, background, religion, none of it matters. I've met some of the most interesting people at concerts because its a place where (I feel at least) people shouldn't be ashamed to be completely themselves.

            So back to the article. What has this rant got to do with anything, you ask? Here is my point. There are no guidelines to a concert. In fact, this whole thing made me laugh. "Act the part," it says, "Sing. Shout. Dance. Get involved! Don't stand there like a bump on a log! Sing the lyrics. If you don't know them all, no sweat, print the lyrics off and read them on the way to the concert. Sing the parts you know often." Just the first word... "act". Allow me to share some of my wisdom having been to more than enough of these things in my 20 years of life... don't act! BE YOURSELF. I know its cheesy and cliche, but trust me it works. You don't have to play the part... you don't have to dress a certain way or act like Sid Vicious to be a part of the environment. No, if you want to sing and dance, then do it. If you'd rather grab a chair and just watch, then go right ahead! If skinny jeans and band tees aren't your cup of tea, then wear whatever makes you happy (though I agree with the note about comfy shoes and clothing because its key to a good time). Oh, and please, PLEASE do not print off the lyrics and bring them with you. I know I said its all judgement free, but that's just asking for it. If you don't know the words, SO WHAT?! Forget about it, don't worry, and just enjoy yourself. Who knows, maybe you'll hear a song that really sticks with you long after the house lights come on. 

            This also kind of applies to any live music event of any genre. Don't feel compelled to become part of the crowd, individuality is much more interesting. So if you are someone who has just developed an interest in the rock n roll universe, then I extend to you a warm welcome. Just remember: there are no rules, make your own. Test the waters a couple times and decide how you want to act, dress, and generally go about attending live shows! Take these rules and throw them out the window, I know I plan to. 


Thats all for today!

Rock on,

- Girl At The Rock Show


Song of the Day: The Middle by Jimmy Eat World


Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Battle

Good Afternoon!
Its only been a day and I'm back, making sure this blog writing habit sets in as fast as possible! Today, I'm just going to share with you a piece that I wrote a little while ago. As a little punk kid in high school, people used to take one look at me and say "rock is dead". I never understood how people could say such a thing. Surely rock had changed over the years, but dead? I didn't understand... I was a regular at the rock clubs downtown. The Embassy, Call The Office, Rum Runners, The Salt Lounge... these places were my home away from home. I saw rock in all its glory, reborn time and time again. From the rise new wave hardcore, to the indie explosion, to the top 40s pop rock of today, change is adaptive. Every genre undergoes a transition. To expect something to stay constant and static over the years is to expect it to be dull. Rock, to me, is about being new, being bold, being whatever it wants to be. Personally, I hope rock music continues to change, because that is the only way to ensure it never truly dies.

The Battle
Each weekend, these seemingly silent streets turn to a war zone for the city’s teenaged population. Though it has been said that punk rock is dead, the truth is, it is alive and thriving. You just have to know where to look. As night falls, they step into the darkness to claim the night. Outside, they line the streets behind the overlooked, dilapidated buildings ignored by the general public. Adrenaline coursing through the line, excitement lingers in the smoke filled air. 

Open the heavy paint chipped doors, pay your seven dollar admission fee, and enter a world like nothing you have ever seen. Here, it almost appears to an outsider, that a makeshift militia has been formed. They meet each Friday night, prepared for another drill. The soldiers arrive in brigades of three or four, dressed in a uniform of slim fitting dark band tees held together by pins and patches, low slung studded belts with tight denim jeans and dyed hair teased to an extreme. They proudly flaunt their battle scars in forms of bruises, casts and chipped teeth. Medals are displayed through vibrant art and silver jewelry, decorating the skin. 

They have come ready for battle against an unseen enemy. Their weapons of choice? Pumping fists and violently thrashing bodies. Among the sea of veterans, lie the new recruits anxiously awaiting the mission. The environment is buzzing with anticipation as the musicians take their positions on the frontline. Like drill sergeants, they coax the crowd to a frenzy. The screams of protest dictate their movements as they charge headfirst into the rhythm. Bodies are thrown into each other, passing high above the heads before crashing to the floors. But on this battlefield, no man is left behind. They march for this cause, together. As much as the rules of the mosh may dictate that its ‘every man for themselves’, this unity cannot be broken. It’s a scene of victory alone to watch the pit move as a single being. Fists raised high, voices echoing into the night. The guitars blare melodic chords, merely noise to the virgin ears. Pounding drum and bass lines guide the rhythm of the enthusiastic crowd. In unison, they jump. 

As the night carries onwards and the hours reach early morning, the troops begin to exit the trenches. The battle dies with the last guitar chord that echoes through the night, much like the haunting tune of Reveille called the end. Bodies are scattered across the wooden bars, clutching cold beers and raising them in silent victory. The battle has been won tonight, and as long as these soldiers keep fighting, the war will never end.

Rock On!
-Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Long Live Rock by The Who
The title on this one says it all.

Wishful Beginnings

Good morning Blogosphere,
Welcome to my page! I have to say, this is all kind of new and intriguing. It is certainly impossible to say that I've never posted a blog before. I've dabbled on different sites and tried to get my 15 minutes of internet fandom, who hasn't? That being said, its also true that within a few postings, each blog I start comes to an abrupt end. But this time, this time will be different. I make that promise to you all now. Mark my word, this blog will not suffer the same demise as my last attempts! I have a feeling that this blog will become very important to me. This will be my voice. 

Ok, I think I've dragged on enough about that. Now that you're all caught up on my horrible habits, lets get down to the real deal! Music. What does it mean to us? Is it just a hobby, a pass time, or something far greater? For some, music is nothing more than catchy background noise. As for myself, I've always believed that life can be defined by music. That each one of us has a personal playlist which has the power to evoke emotion and return us to a particular time and place. Music is an incredibly powerful entity, and this is why it intrigues me so much. 

This blog will be dedicated to music. Local concert updates, band and artist bios, and CD reviews, you'll find it all here. I will also be recommending a song or album at the end of each post, a "Jess' song of the day" if you will. While I do enjoy a vast array of genres, there will be a strong focus on rock music (yes, this includes punk/indie/alt./etc). 

So now that you're all up to date on how this thing works, I'll leave you with a small personal bio and wishes for a pleasant evening. Welcome to my journey, hope you all enjoy the ride as much as I do!

BIO: My name is Jessica, I'm a third year university student currently studying Media. For as long as I can remember, music has been an important staple in my life. The love affair first started in the passenger seat of my mom's car. Many of my childhood memories center around that car, and the radio stations that flooded the speakers. Now, I know my mom doesn't listen to the coolest music. Sadly, many of these fond memories center around artists like Celine Dion and Shania Twain. However, throw in the occasional Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson and Madonna track and we can call it even. The point is, I remember being fascinated with the music itself... the voice, the instruments, the production, the way it all came together to create that track. It wasnt long before I began to search for my own sound. I started playing instruments and listening to other artists. Like every other young girl, I found pop music at an early age. Spice Girls and Britney Spears were a staple in my house. But I grew bored quickly... this is when I found Hip Hop/R&B. Oddly enough, it is this very genre which led me to my current obsession with rock n roll. The first rock show I ever saw was Linkin Park. I remember the feeling I had when the lights went down and the crowd came to life... I remember the atmosphere of that stadium. Filled with tension and excitement... it was totally new. For those few hours, I was alive. Since that night, I have been obsessed with rock n roll, but I never lost my love of the other genres. I guess you could say that I've collected music over the years, and I'm still working to build my collection. There's always something new out there, and I'm always looking to find it.... but I'll always be The Girl At The Rock Show.

- I felt this was appropriate. I'll always remember this song because I woke up to it almost every saturday morning of my childhood. I still want to get up and dance around the living room when I hear it. To the late great king of pop, may you rest in peace, and thank you for being a part of my life's personal playlist.

Goodnight and Rock On!
-Girl At The Rock Show.