Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rockband Heroes

Happy Halloween!
I love this holiday. As I mentioned before, it definitely has to be my favorite. Get to dress up in crazy costumes, dance in the streets and eat all the candy you want... how can you go wrong with that? Sounds kind of perfect to me. Also could not come at a better time... right after midterms. Anyways, Halloween is a good time so everyone get in the spirit. Dress up and have some fun! Hit the bars or a house party, just celebrate this awesome holiday while you can :)

Moving on to the actual post I have for today... Rockband Heroes. I moved into a house with two good friends of mine this year, and decided to bring my PS2 (outdated, I know) and rockband/guitar hero games along. After a week, it became a tradition for us. For the past two months, we've come home from long nights downtown to play some rockband, to be cheered on by those video game crowds and get the ego boosting satisfaction that comes from the simple phrase "You Rock!". I mean, who doesn't love the feeling that comes with knowing you beat an old high score? 

But here's the issue... do you really rock? Its not like you're playing real instruments here.... Rockband skills do not transcend into real life sadly. I love it, I get a rush. But its nothing like the rush I used to get playing my actual electric guitar on maximum volume while head-banging. Definitely way more satisfying. However, the game is scary addicting. If you've ever played, you'll understand. There is something about it that makes it feel real, and empowering. For example, I'm the queen of rockband vocals in my house and I'll admit it to anyone who listens haha. It makes me think of the South Park episode (I'm a huge SP fan) where Stan and Kyle play guitar hero and get signed as musicians. Great episode, check it out here if you haven't seen it yet! Anyways, there is a scene where another kid starts to play a controller without the game or any music in the middle of a restaurant. All of a sudden, people start saying "oh man! I love this song!". My roommates and I have had similar talks. Rachel says that when she hears songs now, she thinks of how it will look and sound on rockband. She wonders which keys she would have to play, which lines would be emphasized, the whole deal. Its kind of funny, and I know she cant be the only one who thinks this way either which makes it even funnier! All I know is this game is slowly consuming my life... that and I'm counting down to the release of Band Hero this week... such a good thing my midterms are more or less done haha.

So what are your thoughts on rockband? Is it a skill? Is it just for fun? Do you play? Do you think like my roommate? Hahaha I'd love to know, so please leave a comment and share.

Happy Haunting Boys and Ghouls!
Be safe out there tonight, whatever your plans may be :)
Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: This Is Halloween by Marilyn Manson... from my favorite movie of all time, Nightmare Before Christmas. Very fitting for today I think. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Apologies!

Hey everyone!
So I'd just like to take a minute in this post to say I am again, sorry for my lack of posting this week. I've just had a lot of work for school... a couple midterms, a couple assignments to do... you know how it is! So as of tomorrow, I should be back into my regular posting routine of about 5 a week because things will slow down! In the mean time, here's a video to watch and hopefully enjoy! It's Weezer's latest single "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To". The album comes out this week, and regardless of the fairly poor reviews I've read, I'm still going to give it a chance because Weezer has always had a place in my heart. I had the chance to see them open for Blink-182 this summer in Toronto and it was incredible. Definitely go see them if you have the opportunity... aka December 5th, Air Canada Centre. I'll be there. Jack's Mannequin and Weezer... NO WAY THAT WILL BE A BAD SHOW! Tickets are available here

Link to the Video! (Embedding was disabled, sorry!)

Until tomorrow!
Rock On,
- Girl At The Rock Show

Monday, October 26, 2009

Piano Rock

When you think of rock music, what instruments come to mind? Electric guitar, bass, drums... and keys? Or is that just my personal list? I fully support the adoption of pianos in rock. Though keyboards have been incorporated in the past with bands like Meatloaf, Fleetwood Mac and Queen, I have to say I'm a big fan of the recent resurgence. There's just something about the way keys fit into rock music... it makes it epic! It can also lend a soft side to a traditionally heavy genre. 

I find that there's a certain emotionality attached to pianos. Be it an electric keyboard with a flashy player, or the traditional full set up with a bench, it just comes with a level of soul. If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch someone play in a live setting and you'll soon see for yourselves. 
I'll never forget seeing one of my favourite piano based rock groups, Something Corporate, play when I was about 15. Watching Andrew McMahon control that stage... jumping on his own personally painted stand up piano... it was pure, raw passion. When I had the opportunity to watch his new band, Jack's Mannequin, play from side stage at the Vans Warped Tour a couple years ago, it was the same awe inspiring feeling as the first time. Trust me, its difficult to compare their level of emotion and musicality to that of any other performer. 
So if you're into piano/keyboard rock, here are a few bands you should check out!

Jacks Mannequin ( a band I will talk about A LOT) 
The AKAs (keyboard and synth)

No longer is piano something you do as a child... bring it on! I'd much rather meet a guy who plays the piano and not the guitar. Girls- how much would you love one of these guys to play for you? I know I'm not alone here. I wish I never gave it up... too bad for me! Guess I could always pick it up again but it could be tricky to find the time these days. Its just the kind of instrument you cant play without some level of passion. Its always moving, and always beautiful. Enjoy!

Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Upcoming Shows To Check Out...

Hey everyone!
Hope you had a good weekend. Personally I loved having the chance to just kick back and relax! Anyways, for today I'm just going to give you a list of some local shows to check out if you find yourself bored with a few bucks burning a hole in your pocket.

Who? USS
When? October 30
Where? London Music Hall
How Much? $15 (for a good cause- cancer charity!)

Some Others To Check Out...
When? October 30
Where? Call The Office
How Much? $10

When? October 31
Where? Call The Office
How Much? $5

When? November 2
Where? Call The Office
How Much? $5

When? November 3
Where? Call The Office
How Much? $12.50 adv/$15 at the door

When? November 4
Where? London Music Hall
How Much? $10

When? November 7th
Where? Call The Office
How Much? Not Listed

When? November 12
Where? Call The Office
How Much? $12.50 adv/$15 at the door

When? November 12
Where? London Music Hall
How Much? $21.50

When? November 13
Where? London Music Hall
How Much? $20

Enjoy & support the local scene!
Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Heaven Can Wait by We The Kings... just a catchy pop punk tune by a few boys from Bradenton, Florida. Yes, I realize most of their fans are younger, but I don't care. I've seen these guys play live and they are incredible! Very talented, great sound and catchy music. 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Exciting News! Guest Blogger To Come!

Hey everyone!
Hope your saturday afternoon is treating you well. Mine is. I'm doing homework... aka I'm watching the biopic of Darby Crash from the Germs... its called What We Do Is Secret. Highly recommend it! Can I just say that I love being able to call this "homework"? Haha.

Anyways, this is a short post today but its one that I'm personally very excited about. I have asked a good friend of mine, Andrew Colvin to be a guest blogger on my page. This is great as he's a very talented photographer (check out his work here) and he's always up to date on his music. He's introduced me to a lot of really amazing acts that I would have never known otherwise, so hopefully he can do the same for you :) So watch for some posts by him to come your way soon!

I'll leave you with one of the videos he sent me today- its called My Love Was There by The Junction. Enjoy!

Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division... I was watching Control earlier today (again, for the same project) and I haven't been able to get this band out of my head since. So here you go, enjoy the amazing band that is Joy Division!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Random Butch Walker Clip

One of my favourite songs by Butch Walker from his album Sycamore Meadows. 

Butch Walker- Here Comes... (feat. Pink)

Techno Rock... Here to stay?

Hey everyone!
So unless you've been living under a rock lately, I'm sure you are all well aware of the recent explosion of techno pop rock. Bands like Cobra Starship, Metro Station, Hellogoodbye, Stereos and Shiny Toy Guns have all been pushed into the recent spotlight to take over video charts and radio waves everywhere with their blends of catchy pop tunes, rock instruments, Mac computers, keytars (which I love) and synthesizers. 

We all know rock reinvents itself as the years go. Like any other genre, it goes through phases to keep it relevant... take for example: grunge, punk or glam. All rock n roll, just with a twist. I actually kind of like this trend, it allows for rock to transcend into pop culture and subsequently, dance clubs and such. Its fun, upbeat, and a welcome change from the more depressing scene that followed it. However, I find that if you talk to those hardcore classic rock fans, they find this new wave to be the worst possible thing to happen.

A lot of discussion that I've heard comes down to the question of authenticity. Can technology have a place in rock and roll while keeping within the ideals of authenticity? Rock music is often portrayed as this pure, rebellious, untouched genre. But honestly, lets face it. Everything has been touched by the corporation so we need to just forget that definition now. Not to say that because bands like Bad Religion and Anti-Flag are on major labels that their music is not important and authentic, because in my opinion it definitely is. I'm just saying that there is likely some corporate aspect to most rock music, obvious or not, and we cant discriminate bands based on that. I mean, if you could do what you love and be broke, or do what you love and get paid, most of you would pick to get paid, right? 

So barring that fact, what determines authenticity? If music constantly changes, how can we decide what is genuine and what is fake? Granted, I can see where people with this opinion are coming from. Take bands like Brokencyde or Blood on the Dancefloor for example (I warn you now, your ears might just bleed if you click those links!). Bands like this would not be successful if it weren't for this new genre... and thats a GOOD THING. Because, seriously... they just are not very talented (sorry if that actually manages to offend anyone but thats my opinion)! This new genre makes it possible for people with minimal musical talent to replace all technical aspects with machines and become a mainstream success. It has the ability to pave a short and easy path to success. But still, I cant help but think of all the fantastically catchy songs I've grown to love that got their start here...

So what do you think? Does technology have a place in rock music? Can autotune and protools mixing become instruments in their own right? Maybe it just takes the right person, someone who really understands the technology, to make it work? Let me know!

Have an awesome weekend, and make sure to check back soon for more updates!
Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show 

Song of the Day: Dont Stop by Inner Party System... great techno inspired band. If you're interested in this genre, definitely check them out!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Guilty Pleasures or Simple Pleasures

Hey everyone!

Have you ever been asked about your guilty pleasures? That band that you're just not supposed to like but secretly you know every word to every catchy song? Dont even try to deny it, because we all have them. I can name about ten off the top of my head... probably more if I really thought it over! But the one thing that bugs me about this is the name - guilty pleasure.

Why should we be encouraged to hide our passion for certain music? Maybe its just not "cool", but you know what, I dont really care! Personally, I'm a rock n roll girl. I love punk, I love classic, I love pop rock, I love it all. This is the idea people have of me, so its almost assumed I like and dislike specific things. I'm supposed to hate artists like Britney Spears and Eminem... but I dont. I own a few Britney Spears albums, I love Eminem, I think Taylor Swift has serious talent and I still rock out to the Backstreet Boys with my younger sisters. I have no shame in admitting this, in fact I'll scream it from the rooftops!




Whats so wrong with that? The answer is... NOTHING! I encourage you all to go out into the world and wear your ipod on your sleeve. The next time someone asks you about your guilty pleasures, tell them you dont have any because you are proud of what you listen to. Play that Nsync song as loud as you want, go see Fall Out Boy in concert, talk about the latest Pitbull song stuck in your head. No one should be judged for their personal choices, and music is one of them.

video: Guilty Pleasure by Cobra Starship

So what are your guilty pleasures? Dont be afraid of the stigmas attached, just let it out! Tell me about them, because it feels great to have it off your chest people, trust me!

Play it loud, play it proud!

Rock On!

- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Here We Go Again by Demi Lovato... this is one of my guilty pleasure songs. Maybe not her biggest fan, but this song has been in my head since the day I heard it. Disney artists are generally not my thing... but this girl has a great voice, incredibly talented writer friends (William Beckett of The Academy Is) and super catchy songs. I dont care, I like this song!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Girls Playing Instruments

Hey There!
How is everyone on this lovely fall day? Hopefully you find yourselves a chance to get out for a walk today because the weather is pretty decent for once! So I'm sitting here in my music & gender class and we're discussing women playing instruments. This lecture has got me thinking that I may be a bit of an oddball! 

First off, how many of you can name a popular female lead guitarist? Its not an easy task. I mean, I am familiar with a lot of bands, sure. Ask me to come up with the names of well known male guitarists and my list would be pages long... women? Maybe a list of 15 or so? Not even. 

Back in high school, I dabbled in a variety of instruments. I tried a few on for size... primarily: singing, guitar, bass, flute. This is what makes me think that I'm a little strange haha. I play the stereotypical girl instrument, the flute AND the stereotypical male instrument, the guitar. This discussion makes a valid point that women tend to stay away from "rock" instruments until we reach a certain age, and 14 is not that age. Women are apparently supposed to be impressed by guys who rock the guitar, not pick it up themselves. It wasn't "natural".

Now times are definitely changing, and social norms are not so set in stone. I was never really persecuted for my love of the guitar... just asked if I was in the right class or the right section of the store a few times. Harmless really, but frustrating. One of my best friends is a female drummer and I don't even give it a second thought. 
But here's the point...

Girls, pick up those instruments and play them proudly! Don't let yourself be fooled into the old idea that women should only play the flute (although you know what, credit to flute players because it is NOT easy) or the violin. Instead of allowing yourselves to swoon over the guy serenading you with an acoustic living room rendition of Iris, pick up that guitar yourself and pick up a guy! Make him the one swoon over you, its a lot more fun that way!

So have times really changed? How about the rise of women in indie music? What are your thoughts on instrument and gender related stereotypes?
Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Ocean Avenue by Yellowcard... Ipod was on shuffle the other day and I was reminded of my love for this song. It was a favorite a few years ago around the time I started playing I guess. Also kind of fits the blog topic because there is a male violinist in the band, which is typically socially stereotyped as a girly instrument.

*NOTE: I do not personally believe in the idea of men and women only being able to play certain instruments, I dont think instruments should be gendered, so please don't be offended and take this the wrong way :)*

New Link To Green Day's "21st Century Breakdown" Video!

Hey everyone!
So as youtube likes to do because of "copyright" laws, they took down the video I had in my last post for Green Day's 21st Century Breakdown. Here is a new link to the MTV Canada player which should work just fine! Sorry about the glitch, hope this works! 

Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

PS. For anyone in another country, check your local MTV webpage and you should be able to access the video. If you still cant and you're willing to pay for a copy, you can find it on Itunes for about $2CDN.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Green Day Music Video Hits The Internet!

Hello Blogosphere!
So I have to run to class... well, now actually! But I thought before I did so, I'd just share this with you because its pretty exciting for a massive Green Day fan like myself. Their new music video for 21st Century Breakdown is now online and available for download on Itunes. I know its not as great as their classics, but at the same time its a fantastic album and song. Give it a listen if you haven't done so already. I think this album is underrated thanks in part to American Idiot (which was again, good but maybe a bit over played?). Well here's the video, let me know what you think. Enjoy, and I'll check in later.

Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cover Songs: Yay or Nay?

Hello Everyone!
So after what could possibly be considered the LONGEST day of my life (computer virus meant an hour and a half in ITS, exam tomorrow meant 2hrs in the library with reserved course material, etc) I'm finally home with my books and a cup of tea. I also decided to overrule the TV for a while in favor of my ipod dock. I have to say, I was kind of surprised at the overwhelming number of covers that came on in the short hour long period I had it playing. It got me thinking about the whole concept of cover songs in general... are they good or bad?

Maybe the answer isn't quite so clear cut, but you get my drift... what do you think makes or breaks a cover song? I mean, its really an art form in itself to make a known song sound unknown. For me, its a bit complicated. I'm usually a fan of making the song your own, but at the same time I've always been a fan of originals. Sometimes a cover just goes too far in the wrong direction... it ends up being a butchered piece of art that music fans mourn. 

I've usually enjoyed cover songs. I have to say, I love them in a live environment. I think its fun going to a club to hear a band you dont know when they play a cover. Suddenly, everyone is involved in the show, singing along and cheering. Its a great way to break the awkwardness is a setlist that no one is familiar with. I'm a big Green Day fan, and I know that they've always been big on playing a series of rather odd covers at their shows. When they released American Idiot in 2004, I think this quirk really helped to make their new fans feel like they were a part of the show. Who doesn't know the songs 'Shout' and 'We Are The Champions'? Clearly everyone is going to belt it out and have a great time!

Something that is often said is that a great cover makes you forget there was another version before it. What do you think? What is your opinion of the cover song? What are some of your favorite cover songs and why? 

A Few Covers:
Me First And The Gimmie Gimmies: I Believe I Can Fly (R. Kelly)

ALSO: If you're interested, there are compilation albums out called "Punk Goes _____" and I highly recommend them. Its a bunch of modern punk/pop punk artists adding their own twist to other genres of music. Really interesting takes, check it out. This youtube playlist has quite a few covers from various versions of these compilations!

Thanks for reading, I'll check back in tomorrow after my exam!
Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Love Song (Sara Bareilles Cover) by Four Years Strong ... I think its a great way of taking a song and tweaking it just enough that its yours but not unrecognizable. Its found on the Punk Goes Pop Volume 2 CD.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Multi-Instrumentalists: Modern Day One Man Bands

Hello Again!
Yet another sunday drawing to an end. Hope you all had a good weekend because its back to school (aka assignments, essays and exams) tomorrow so make it count! Anyways, today I'd like to give you a look at some 'one man bands'. By 'one man band', I do NOT mean that guy who stands on the street corner and plays a drum, harmonica sings, and whatever else at the same time. No, I'm talking an actual recognized artist who essentially records each part (or a large majority) of a track themselves.
I think its amazing that people like this actually exist... most people can only dedicate serious time to one or two instruments, but to do all the work of 4-5 people yourself must be exhausting. I mean, I guess the bonus is having complete control over the creative process. Instead of having a band to compromise with, you can do whatever you want. Change tuning, change chords, change rhythms... the sky is the limit. But it also means you cant do recording simultaneously, a lot of these multi-instrumentalists take twice as long to release albums because one person can only do so much work at a time. I give these artists a lot of credit.

A few to check out:

Have any other favorites? Let me know!
Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Right Here In My Arms by HIM... what can I say, I've been watching Viva La Bam most of the day. Seeing as Ville makes an appearance in 8/10 episodes, I tend to be left with the need to grab one of their CDs haha. I think HIM is absolutely brilliant! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Music Format: The Ongoing Debate

Hello Everyone!
So in a lot of my classes lately, the whole debate about changing music formats has become one of high interest. I mean, when you think about it, there are so many options out there old and new. Personally, my music collection is made up of a bit of everything... I have vinyl (both 7" & 12"), CDs, Itunes digital, cassettes, pretty much everything. I like to keep my mind open to different technologies. In terms of music, I feel like each format lets you interpret the tracks in a new way.  If I had to pick, I'd say I love vinyl the most. I always loved vinyl, but my parents were always too afraid to let me use their old school players for fear of me breaking it. But I got a record player for Christmas last year and its been a staple in my life ever since. I just cant get over the quality... the way it has its flaws, how it plays with little scratches and white noise. Its not perfect, not airbrushed and over edited, but its natural. Thats why its my favorite. There's just something about it that makes me feel like I'm in the studio, listening to the raw demos of each track as it plays... So now I turn the question to you, whats your favorite and why? Be it sound quality like me and vinyl, or maybe even wide availability like Itunes, I'd like to hear your thoughts!

Thanks, looking forward to getting some feedback from you guys!
Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: So Contagious by Acceptance : I saw these guys when I was in high school, one of my first (and certainly not my last) show at London's own Call The Office. Anyways, this song has been stuck in my head since then. Sadly, they've disbanded since then but I still love to play their CD. Hope you like it even half as much as I do.

Friday, October 16, 2009

On The Radar: The Young Veins

Hey Everyone!
Hope the week treated you well, I know I'm glad its the weekend! Between essays and studying for exams, this has been the longest week of my life haha. I've spent my day so far making up for it... horror movies, junk food, video games, basically undoing the stress on my brain by numbing it! if you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it! Anyways, on with today's blog!

Today I'd like to talk about a band I'm curious about. Now, I say I'm "curious" because they haven't released much, but I see a lot of potential and am interested in seeing how the final product turns out. The band is called The Young Veins and contains members that some of you may be familiar with... Ryan Ross and Jon Walker (ex Panic At The Disco members). It also features guest work from Eric Ronick and Than Luu (Black Gold), Alex Greenwald (Phantom Planet), and  Jason Boesel (Rilo Kiley and Conor Oberst). With a line up like that how could you go wrong? 

Now, I know a lot of you are probably thinking "ew, Panic At The Disco, so high school!"... but I say, lets give them a shot. These guys signed a deal when they were young (about sixteen), subjecting them to a lot of criticism as they experimented with their sound. Now having disbanded (to an extent anyways), the members have gone in their own solid directions. For guys in their early twenties, I think they've done a great job so far. 

The Young Veins play slightly off the Pretty Odd sound, combining a more 60s hippy-rock vibe with a raw indie vibe. The sound (thus far) pushes away from the complex, overly polished music of their old band. I think I like it because it reminds me of an old vinyl record, actually. While Ross' voice doesn't quite stand out the way young, former band mate Brendon Urie's did with nearly perfect tone and exemplary range, he still brings his own style to the performance and does a good job.

Anyways, I think this group has a lot of potential to do well and make great, catchy music. Its simple, but timeless- reminds me of lazy summer afternoons. They are seasoned musicians with a lot of ambition left, so give it a listen and try to forget that they were once responsible for this haha. Happy listening!

Any bands you're keeping an eye on lately? Let me know! Enjoy the weekend!
Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Michael Jackson Track Hits Airwaves!

Hello readers!

      I know the whole MJ topic is highly overplayed right now, but before the media hype takes hold once more when the film is released next week, I'm using this break to write a VERY short blog on the late king of pop. 

Like Elvis and Kurt Cobain before him, Michael Jackson has left behind an important legacy... as well as unreleased music. One track, entitled "This Is It" was released to radio this past week and is already making waves. Fans worldwide were comforted in his death by the fact that his music lives on and will continue to top charts today. As many of you agreed in the poll, the film is paying perfect tribute to the icon. The new track provides a sense of peace for dedicated followers who are still struggling with the loss of their idol. So no matter what the media may say, or what tabloids may appear in months to come, I say we let the music speak for itself. Let MJ be remembered for his contributions to the industry, and the way he made the fans scream for 45 years, and many more to come. I may not be a big fan myself, but I can appreciate the mark this man made on society through the art of music. So rest in peace Michael, and may your legacy live on.

What do you think of this new track? Let me know, share your opinions!
Thanks and Rock On,
- Girl At The Rock Show 

MIT 2412: Outfoxed Video Response

*NOTE: Although this is an important topic, this is not a typical blog post, but an assignment for my blogging class. 
More rock to come at a later time and day! thanks for understanding!*

Is Fox Really Fooling Us?

Every day, people around the world turn on their television sets and sit back to watch the days events unfold on the nightly news. Embedded in our culture is the assumption of journalistic integrity and honesty, but how can we be sure that the truth from any single perspective is the real truth? The documentary "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War On Journalism" asks just this, and works to unravel the thin layers between fact and fiction in the world of Fox News reporting. 

                The documentary uses former employees and guests to display the stories Fox never meant for you to hear. It pulls apart the heavy manipulation involved in creating sensationalized stories that aim to attract and control viewers. After watching this film, I found myself feeling almost betrayed. Although I am often careful not to trust media of various forms, I was shocked by the overall misguidance and bias that was brought to light.

                The fear sets in when we begin to realize the overall effect on our culture. It scares me to think that any one opinion can influence and control that of millions with the simple click of a button. It also scares me to think that Fox is well aware of their impact, and doing nothing to change it. In fact, they use it to serve their own needs. Understanding that in promoting one idea for a long period of time will provide you with the ability to create an agreeing hegemonic culture who hangs on their every word.

                Journalism is supposed to be an art. It’s the process of finding and delivering the truth, enlightening and educating those around you. Years ago, this art was based heavily in research and local importance. However, as Outfoxed shows us, modern day media like Fox is more focused on ratings, viewers and entertainment. A main focus is the way stories and facts are twisted to meet the needs of Fox. The way they contort facts and quotes to fit their own needs and create their own versions of stories is disturbing at best.

                The message here is to be an active watcher of the news. Do not passively digest the media as solid fact,because even honesty can be misleading. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Halloween Party Playlist

Hey everyone!
So I know its a little early for this entry, but I cant help myself. As I'm sure you're all aware, Halloween is slowly creeping up on us. Personally, this is one of my favorite holidays of the year. Yes, I am aware that it is nothing more than corporate designed nonsense to make us spend money and temporarily give up on those healthy diets to splurge on sugar, but you have to admit the simple fact... its FUN! So in honor of upcoming holiday festivities, here is my list of top ten songs for those halloween parties some of you may be busy planning.

10. Ghost Busters Theme: because what is halloween without classic theme songs? Definitely a good way to break the ice in a big group and get everyone involved!

9. Halloween by The Creepshow: kind of self explanatory... it doesn't get much better, a song called Halloween by a band called the Creepshow? It just demands a place on any playlist. You could also look into the original version which is by the Misfits if you're looking for something a little heavier in the punk genre.

8. Pet Sematary by The Ramones: Again, the marriage of rock music and classic horror films make this a perfect fit. "I don't wanna be buried in a pet sematary, don't want to live my life again" The Creepshow also does a great cover of this if you want a more modern sound for your party :P Other covers: Michelle Darkness, Rammstein

7. Welcome To My Nightmare by Alice Cooper: What is "horror rock" without a little Alice Cooper? Not exactly a dance track, but its eerie and haunting in sound & lyrics so its great for atmosphere.

6. Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson: This version is a long way from the original performed by Gloria Jones back in 1964. Soft Cell also does a great cover, but for this list, I highly recommend Manson. This version of the track combines a well known classic with a metal/techno edge and creepy vocal style. Very halloween-esque.

5. American Psycho by The Misfits: Very morbid and for lack of better words, evil? haha. This band is known for their "horror punk" music, so definitely look into a couple of their songs if you want some good halloween related punk/hardcore.

4. Time Warp by Rocky Horror Picture Show (movie): This is right out of a classic halloween styled musical, and perfect for getting everyone dancing. You cant back out on this one, there are no excuses since it tells you exactly how to do it!

3. I Put A Spell On You by Screamin' Jay Hawkins: An oldie but a goodie. A little more bluesy than the other tracks, but its a great song to play around halloween. If you like the song itself but want something a little different, search through some of the covers by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Katie Melua, Marilyn Manson or others. This song has been remade in various styles so its up to you what you like!

2. Thriller by Michael Jackson: Why not honor the late great king of pop this halloween by playing this at your party? Who doesn't instantly think of dancing zombies when this track comes on?

1. The Monster Mash by Bobby Boris Picket: Because you absolutely cannot have a halloween party without this track. Its the ultimate necessity. Everyone will know it and have a good laugh.

So thats my list, hope you enjoy the recommendations. Do you have any favorite halloween themed tracks to add to the list? Let me know, I'd love some help building my own list, so please feel free to share :)

Thanks & Happy Early Halloween Preparations!
Rock On
- Girl At The Rock Show

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"What Song Describes You?"

Hello one and all!
Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you've all had your fill of family and food, I know I have. I'd like to also apologize for my lack of posts this week, but between holidays, school and work its been crazy. I promise to make more effort to make up for it though. Now for some music related discussion!

Like most of the university world, I’m a facebook addict. In all honesty, it probably takes up more of my daily life than I care to admit. Now, in the past few months, apps have been on the rise. Every time I log in to my homepage, I’m greeted with quiz results of all kinds. “What kind of tattoo should you get?” or “What animal best represents you?” to name a couple. I don’t know how many of you have ever actually bothered to take these quizzes, but the questions and answers themselves… the entire process really, is just ridiculous. The ones I find of particular interest are titled something along the lines of “what song best describes you?” I mean, how can you tell what kind of music I like based on my favorite color or my age? Maybe not even what I like, but what DESCRIBES me. I find it difficult to imagine that there is one single song out there that defines me as a person. As I mentioned, the way I see music is like a never ending soundtrack. Its a radio station that changes songs constantly... there are rarely any repeats. So I think that picking one song would have to mean it covers all aspects of my life... how is that even possible?

I took one of these quizzes for the sake of this blog. My results: Gavin Degraw's I Dont Wanna Be. To be honest, not a bad choice. But still, it doesnt scream me. I've never had someone hear this and say, "Jess this is you". Music is complex, but people are even more so. Songs can certainly reflect us on a certain day, or become the playlist to specific events. In all honesty, I'd almost say classical music is more likely to represent me because the music is able to transform many times, almost represent as a new piece within the whole. But personally, I dont think I can be defined by a single song. There are too many sides of myself to be portrayed in a three minute track. Thats my opinion anyways.

The quiz itself is clearly made by a 13 year old, but give it a go. What song does it say you are? Do you agree or disagree? Why? Is there a song you've always felt represented you? Tell me about your experience with these interesting little facebook apps or that random song you have a strong connection to. The bonus? It will kill three minutes of time when you're super bored!

Thanks for reading, happy turkey day to all the Canadians!

Rock On!

- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: She by Green Day ...This song represented a piece of my life, in fact this band represents a good chunk of it too, so I thought it would be fitting haha. *note: Green Day is one of my all time favorites so they'll be appearing A LOT in my blogs :P

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Why Cant We Be Friends? Music Critics On The Street

So this weekend, I participated in the London Zombie Walk. It was a lot of fun, definitely an interesting experience and I highly recommend it. I have to say it was refreshing to dress "down" for once. Instead of spending time doing my hair and choosing clothing, etc... I just had to look like the living dead. An easy thing for a stressed out, over tired student suffering from extreme insomnia! Anyways, I digress, lets get back to the main point.

On our walk there, my friend and I ran into this guy who was also looking for the walk. We started talking and eventually came to the topic of music. I love to talk music, but I also find I will usually only do it with people I know well. Here's the reason: people get too defensive and critical.

Take for example, this guy we met. He was cool and all, but as soon as it came to music, I decided the conversation was over. He asked if we were into punk, which we both are. But as soon as it came up that we also listen to Blink-182, he went off about how its "not real punk" and "we should get into the real stuff". The way I see it, music is subjective. We all like what we like, there's no right or wrong. Yes, I love listening to Black Flag and Fugazi, but I ALSO like Green Day and Blink-182. Heck, I even enjoy the occasional Britney Spears song. I dont see a problem with that... I feel like its unfair to criticize someone for a personal choice.

So next time you're talking about music, dont judge. You may have a difference of opinion, and thats cool, share it! BUT share it in a way that doesnt make you seem like a jerk. Its great to have an opinion, but be open minded. I'm not saying agree with everything, but I'm saying use constructive criticism instead of "you're wrong, I'm right, the end". Music is an area where you can never know everything, theres always something new, so dont assume that because you read Rolling Stone every month you are suddenly a music hierarchy. All I'm saying is respect people's music choices because music is often something that is near and dear to us all. Attacking it, is like attacking them. Think about it next time.

Anyone else have run ins like this? If so, tell me about them!
Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Little Know It All by Sum 41 and Iggy Pop

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Academy Is... ?

Today I want to share with you all a band that I've loved since the day I first heard them. I remember it clearly... It was late one night in early 2005, I was on Yahoo's LAUNCH player listening to music and doing homework when I heard this gorgeous voice through my headphones. Bringing up the screen immediately, I quickly penned the song's title: Slow Down by The Academy Is... Being a fan of Fall Out Boy (laugh all you want, I don't care, yes I'm 20 and I like Black Flag AND Fall Out Boy) I had heard of the name, but never the music. I couldn't believe I had waited so long to do so! By the time the three minute song had ended, I was already anxiously searching for others. I think I must have spent that night glued to my computer with their album on repeat. That was just the beginning, but things haven't changed all that much.

The band is currently made up of William Beckett (lead vox), Adam T Siska (bass), Andy "The Butcher" Mrotek (drums), Mike Carden (guitar) and Michael Guy Chislett ( lead guitar). They formed in the Chicago area in 2003 after Beckett and Carden (formerly of rival bands) joined together and began to write. Their unique blend of influences and styles, combined with catchy pop tunes made it easy to make a name for themselves. After a few member changes, they had found their sound. Each member contributing with their own quirks and talent. Beckett with his girlish appearance and soft exquisite voice, Carden with his shy demeanor and passion for playing, Andy with his artistic nature, Sisky with his youth and charisma. They were soon signed to Decaydance Records and released their first official full length album, Almost Here. This release earned them a spot on the 2005 Vans Warped Tour where I was able to see them perform for the first time. 

I'll never forget how excited I was. I spent the whole day waiting for it, and when their set finally started, I was in heaven. For 30 minutes, I held on to every guitar note, every drum beat, every eloquently spoken word that I could. After they finished, the guys hung around and talked to those of us who had stuck around in the sweltering heat. So down to earth, so unfazed by the celebrity that had been bestowed on them. Later on, I caught up with them again as they wandered the park spraying unsuspecting victims with water guns. They were all just average guys, looking to play music that people would enjoy. I think this impression made a lasting impact on me. They may not remember me, but every time I see or meet them, it hits me how much these guys haven't changed.

Since this early run on Warped Tour, they have gone on to play headlining shows and other festivals. Adding long time friend Michael Chislett to the band (formerly of Butch Walker and the Lets Go Out Tonites) releasing two more albums (Santi & Fast Times At Barrington High) and a couple EPs in the process. They are currently co-headlining Alternative Press' Fall Ball Tour with Mayday Parade in support of their latest EP Lost In Pacific Time. This tour passes through Toronto on Friday Novemeber 13th, get your tickets now, I know I have mine!

The Academy EP (2004)
Almost Here (Feb.2005)
Santi (Apr.2007)
Fast Times At Barrington High (Aug.2008)
Lost In Pacific Time EP (Sept.2009)

Choice Tracks:

Hope you like it as much as I do :)
Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday is the New Friday!

Hello Readers!
Monday again... what an awful day, don't you think? Its that first day back to class, when you know that you have four long days to look forward to before the weekend comes back to your waiting arms. In the mean time, its all class, work and readings. But I have to admit, I've come to love monday nights and I can tell you why in one word: karaoke. Molly Blooms is the place to be monday night if you wanna belt out a good old classic rock song. For those of you not interested in some Pat Benatar or Journey, I bet they can meet your needs as well. I know I've been dragged up for some Katy Perry tunes. Its the rock star experience... a stage, a cheering crowd, the spotlight on you! So if you're anywhere near Richmond monday night, or you find yourself bored at home, go check out Molly's! Get a couple requests in and let go. These people wont judge you, its all in good fun! Let your inner rockstar lose and show that stage what you're made of.

I highly recommend some Bon Jovi... You Give Love and Livin On A Prayer are always classics!
Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Also a perfect song to get the crowd involved, trust me I've seen it happen!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Let It Rock

Good Evening One And All!
So as it was homecoming AND my roommate's birthday this weekend, we decided to hit the town for a night out. As a music fan, I'm usually pretty happy with anything that comes on over the speakers while I'm on the dance floor. A little Britney, some Rihanna and a dash of David Guetta, I'm sold. However, I always enjoy it even more when I hear those few rock songs play. They never fail to get me singing and dancing with the best of them. Ever notice they're always played one after another? Without fail, every bar I've been to plays a block of specific rock songs, probably to get everyone singing along. It usually goes something like this: Livin' On A Prayer, Dont Stop Believin', Thunderstruck, Summer of 69 and Pour Some Sugar On Me. Now, don't get me wrong, I love these songs, but come on... there are others that could easily fit in at clubs. All I'm saying is these DJs could test the waters and try some "new" material before these classic songs get more overplayed than the current top 40 playlist haha :)

Hope you all enjoyed Homecoming, sorry for the lack of post yesterday!
Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Bounce by The Cab
This is a band I could see getting some airplay at the bars... definitely catchy, danceable and all around good fit. Imagine a techno remix of this... pretty sweet in my opinion!

Friday, October 2, 2009

London ON Concert Listings!

Happy Homecoming Weekend Blogosphere
And if its not homecoming for you, well thats ok. Throw on some school colors and join the party anyways, no one will know the difference.

Today I am just going to give you a calander of upcoming London area events (shows/concerts). As it is homecoming, I have some party preparations in need of my attention haha. But here we go, here are some shows coming up that you may be interested in checking out!

Who? Big John Bates And The Voodoo Dollz
Where? Call The Office
When? October 2nd (TODAY)
How Much? $7

Who? Cuff The Duke
Where? Call The Office
When? October 3
How Much? $12.50 adv/$15 at door

Who? Dragonette
Where? Call The Office
When? October 6
How Much? $12 adv/$15 at door

Who? Two Hours Traffic and Spiral Beach
Where? Call The Office
When? October 13
How Much? $10 adv/$12 at door

Who? 3 Inches Of Blood
Where? Call The Office
When? October 20
How Much? $8 adv/$10 at door

Who? A Horse And His Boy
Where? Call The Office
When? October 24
How Much? $5

Who? Three Days Grace
Where? John Labatt Centre
When? December 15
How Much? $41.75-$46.75

Who? Stone Temple Pilots
Where? John Labatt Centre
When? November 19
How Much? $36.75-$61.25

Who? The Most Serene Republic
Where? London Music Hall
When? November 4
How Much? $10

Thats all I'm gonna list today, even though there are lot of great bands to check out! For more details, check these sites: - buy tickets for club shows here - a great little bar downtown with a lot of music history - a great page with concert listings for London area

Thanks for reading, make sure to support the local music scene and check out some shows!
Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Saviour by Rise Against
One of my favourite bands, guaranteed to come up a few times in posts haha. I woke up to this song on my radio this morning, not a bad way to kick start homecoming if you ask me!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Butch Walker: The Man Behind Your Music

I'm going to use the blog today to briefly talk about one of my ABSOLUTE favorite underrated artists, Butch Walker. Although the name probably doesn't mean a lot to you now, I hope it does by the end of this blog. I highly recommend checking him out when you have a couple minutes to kill!

You know those songs you hear, the ones you can sing word for word but you have no idea who wrote them? Well, there's a good chance they were originally penned by this man! Although he has achieved limited radio play in his career span, many of his songs have appeared in movies and on TV. Not to mention, he's also a rather prominent writer and producer, having worked for the likes of Pink, Fall Out Boy, Katy Perry, Tommy Lee, and Weezer to name a few. Thats a pretty impressive career for a guy who rarely steps outside the club tour circuit. I find it refreshing that he is able to write, perform and have an input on every aspect of his music.

An active musician for nearly twenty five years, I almost find it sad that he has not obtained much critical appraise for his work. This man is the definition of hard working artist after all. I had the opportunity to check out one of his rare Canadian dates while on tour last winter and I cannot even begin to describe it. Never have I experienced a concert to that level of intensity. The raw talent and pure passion radiating from his presence were enough to draw even the most skeptic onlooker to the stage. He was very engaging to the audience, asking them to speak out if they felt it necessary, and even going as far as to jump off the stage in the middle of a song to perform the rest of it in the crowd. I mean, how many people start singalong circles at concerts these days? It was like being in the presence of an artist about to create a masterpiece. The anticipation, the curiosity, the passion... it was breathtaking.

One thing I truly love about this artist is the fact that his greatness is unknown to him. He still admits to getting nervous, he still plays shows at little bars in his hometown, he still shies away from television slots. He is highly sought after for his skills in the business, but decided after many years of broken industry promises and band breakups to keep his work rather modest. Albums are few and far between as he has been coined somewhat of a perfectionist, never settling for something he isn't proud of. He's not all about the money and extravagant stage shows, he's about the love of music and making a living through it. The stripped down, basic guitar rock songs are his craft, and I for one am so thrilled that artists like this still have a place to make a name for themselves. If you EVER get the chance to see this man perform, please do it. I promise you, you'll regret it if you don't because this type of artist and performance style are incredibly rare these days. Even if you arent sure how much you love the music, I can almost guarantee you'll love the show. I'll leave you with a set of songs by Butch that I highly recommend.

Album: Sycamore Meadows
This song is super catchy, once its stuck in your head, you'll be singing it everywhere you go... in a good way!

Album: Left Of Centered
A beautiful song that really showcases his vocal abilities.

Album: Letters
Again, gorgeous and simple love ballad (you may recognize this one!)

Album: The Rise and Fall Of Butch Walker and the Lets Go Out Tonites
Back to more upbeat rock songs on his repertoire... yes that IS Avril Lavigne in the video

Album: The Rise and Fall Of Butch Walker and the Lets Go Out Tonites
I love the video, its a great explanation of his career to that point (so the first 20 years or so)

Album: Sycamore Meadows
This song features singer, Pink. Amazing duet, definitely check it out... this video is also one of the ONLY TV performances he's done!

Album: Letters
This is the first song of his that I fell in love with, so beautiful and so sad

Album: Sycamore Meadows
This video follows him as he returns to the ruins of his home after he lost everything in the California wildfires. A perfect fit for the haunting music. "Just wanna walk away from the ashes, And take the fact that I got burned. And baby let you know I'm still standing... if you miss it again, miss it again, I'm around"

Like him, don't like him? Let me know!
Enjoy Butch Walker people!
Rock on!
- Girl At The Rock Show