Monday, November 30, 2009

Alternative Press Most Anticipated 2010 Issue Hits Shelves

Hey Everyone!
So I just got back from the store today with a fresh copy of Alt Press' annual "Most Anticipated" issue. Every year, they dedicate a block of pages to the upcoming year's most exciting prospected releases. This is one of my favorite issues because it gets me all hyped up for 12 months of new music from a lot of my favorite bands. It keeps you on track with who's writing, interviews about the albums writing/recording process from bands and producers, and allows you to start formulating ideas for possible tours of the new year. 

This year the big title of MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE was given to New Jersey boys, My Chemical Romance. After the 2007 release of Black Parade and constant touring, the band took a little break to have somewhat of a personal life. Getting married, having families, all that stuff. I think its about time they made a return, and from the sounds of it, a great one. They're reporting its a back to basics rock n roll album... no more theatrics, no more makeup, no more nonsense. Just pure, classic, rock. The inspiration behind tracks on the album are said to be Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, MC5, The Stooges, Judas Priest and Bon Jovi. Not bad. A little punk influence with classic rock style... so far it sounds pretty wicked. Combine this with song titles like "Black Dragon Fighting Society" and "Trans Am", its definitely a new direction for the guys. I'm interested to hear the final project, which is slated for a spring release date.

Other bands noted in the article include pop punk duo 3oH!3, poetic rockers The Academy Is, British hardcore group Bring Me The Horizon, breakthrough band Gaslight Anthem, techno nerds Hellogoodbye, young indie sensation NeverShoutNever and former Panic At The Disco boys new project Young Veins.

What albums are you looking forward to in 2010? Anything not listed here? Tell me!

Rock On,
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Our Lady of Sorrows by My Chemical Romance... forever my favorite MCR song. The first album I ever bought by them was I Brought You My Bullets. This is track five off that absolutely amazing record. A heavy melody, dark lyrics... its beautifully miserable. "We could be perfect one last night, and die like star crossed lovers when we fight... this riddle of revenge, please understand it has to be this way... We spark and fade they die by threes... Oh how wrong we were to think that immortality meant never dying" That last line is one of my all time favorite quotes. Can we say "to be inked" in the near future? haha.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bamboozle Festival Announce Fist Round Of Bands In Cryptic Message

Hey Everyone!
So earlier this week, Bamboozle began to announce their lineup for the 2010 show. But there's  a catch... its not that easy. Bamboozle has always been notorious for keeping fans guessing so of course with just under six months left before the festival kicks off, they aren't just going to hand us the band list on a silver platter. No, they're going to make you work for it. Here is a copy of their post... these 33 hints SOMEHOW relate back to the first 33 bands confirmed to play. See if you can figure out any of the names...

1. Queen, the, without 
2. i, s, s, l, a 
3. build a bear, legos, k'nex 
4. line, tramp, o
5. 6, 7, 8, 6
6. build, next, chickadee
7. k-town, king 
8., tail, r, 
9. Hanson (possibly covered at hwink) - 
10. s, k, n, d, s, e, f
11. 31760: i
12. to, me, the, this, is, lifestyle
14., - 
15. monaco, of 
16., k, w, d, o, o, t - 
17. 2, 8, r, 5,
18. Canada, Blame
19. o, 6, u
20. the, hath, rabbit, escaped 
21. gw, herbert's, george, not 
22. Deadly, =, silence 
23. W band, 2, e, t, s, 0, 0, n, r, i
24. 6, 0.21, 0.14
25. to
26. n
27. c, w, r, t, a, i, t, h, p, r, o
28. o, l, t, e, p, a, m
29. c, p, s, i, r, r, p. t, o, n
30. money, in, my, pocket 
31. grow, grow, out 
32. t, g, e, t's, t
33. ray, rachael 

If you figure any of them out, post it in the comments! I've figured out a few based on fanboard discussions and digging up confirmations but for the most part they are nearly impossible. As a student with a life and a job, I cant say I really have time to do serious investigative work on these nonsense clues haha.

Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fall Out Boy Go Metal...?

Hey Everyone!
So as I mentioned a few posts back, Fall Out Boy recently announced a hiatus. For the first time in 8 years the boys are taking a break from their draining tour and recording schedules. In the mean time, drummer Andy Hurley and guitarist Joe Trohman have announced that they will be teaming up with members of Every Time I Die and Anthrax to form a metal band. A different direction, thats for sure, but honestly, it has the potential to be a great album I think.

When people think FOB, its often Pete and Patrick who come to mind... but Joe and Andy are also really amazing musicians. Like the band or not, there is no denying that they have talent. Both are educated on their instruments well beyond the four chord pop punk songs played in their band. Combine their skills with members of Anthrax and ETID, how can you lose really?

Rock On,
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Safe Home by Anthrax... I love this song.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Radio Killed The Music Star: How Does Radio Overplay Effect Music?

Hey Everyone!
So this week I had to watch a CBC Documentary for class called, The End. It discussed The End of media formats that we have come to love... one specific idea was the shift away from radio to digital and satellite sources. It got me thinking that yeah, I used to LOVE the radio. I used to have it playing in the background while I did just about everything. It was fun because you never really knew what you'd hear next... kind of like finding a mixtape on the street and popping it in as soon as you got home. But lately, my love for the radio has died out. I find that I will discover a song I love and within a month it will be played every 15mins by the radio stations to the point where I cant even stand that song anymore. Its awful!

Cobra Starship is a great example of this. I heard Good Girls Go Bad and thought, man they are gonna hit it big with this! Sure enough a few weeks later it was slowly being introduced to top40 radio. I was stoked for them, thats awesome that they finally found an audience but... if I listened to the radio for lets say, an hour, I probably heard the song two or three times! Are there not other songs to fill the time slots? There are soooo many songs out there!

The same thing happened when Green Day's American Idiot album. I used to love it but after a couple months of constant radio play, I had to put the CD on the back of my shelves. It was only recently that I was able to bring it back from seclusion. 

Heres the deal, traditional radio only plays a handful of songs. No matter how many awesome songs are out there, they only use a VERY small percentage of that to create their radio play lists. Also, things like MAPL and CanCon ensure that in Canada, at least 30% of content aired is Canadian. In order to adhere to these regulations, stations often choose some of the top charted Canadian artists and play those tracks constantly so they can say the requirements were met. College stations are some of the only indie friendly airwaves out there who look for newer songs. 

I love radio but lately I've had enough of the traditional style. Digital radio, podcasts, online stations, concerts... these are all great ways to discover new sounds. From there, I load them up on my ipod and hit the shuffle button. Not quite the community feel of radio, but it sure beats listening to the same stuff over and over again until my favorite songs make my ears bleed. 

What do you think? Are you a radio fan or have you had enough? What will you miss about radio, if anything?

Let me know what you think... did Radio kill the Music star?
Rock On,
- Girl At The Rock Show

New Paramore Video: Brick By Boring Brick

Hey Everyone!
I have a newer music video for your viewing pleasure today. Its the latest single off Paramore's  album Brand New Eyes called Brick By Boring Brick. The video is more visually ambitious than many of their others, a clear cut concept and some series effects oddly enough do not overshadow the song too much. Hayley's freshly dyed blonde locks make their first appearance, a somewhat shocking change for the fiery redheaded vocalist but I think she pulls it off. The dress is also quite a turn of pace for her, but she looks great... classic and pretty. It also fits the twisted Alice In Wonderland vision of the video itself. The song is memorable... I'll probably find myself singing it here and there wondering where exactly I picked it up haha. Hayley's voice is strong and passionate as always. One thing I noticed, the band doesnt make much of an appearance... they're like extras. Kind of an odd little thing haha. Anyways, those are my thoughts, here is the video! What do you think?

Rock On,
- Girl At The Rock Show

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bamboozle Festival Understands Economic Pressures

Hey Everyone!
Alright, this is kind of exciting news for me personally because I have ALWAYS wanted to go down to New Jersey on the first weekend of May for this... the Bamboozle Festival. Three days of music, camping and good times had by all. Its a weekend long party, who wouldnt want to take part in that? However, ticket prices for the three day pass have always been fairly high... about $75 a day. I'm on a student budget... the tickets combined with travel costs and accommodations are just too much. In response to the recent economic difficulties, Bamboozle is having a one day only sale... $99 for a three day pass! There is a small catch to note... the lineup has not yet been announced. However, I cant say I'm overly distraught by this. Over the years, the lineups have included something for every rock fan. Everyone from Panic At The Disco to 50 Cent have played on the Bamboozle stages. For a full list of past lineups, click HERE

So if you're into three long days and nights of rocking out in NJ with thousands of like minded people, then this is for you! If you're interested in the three day festival at an all time affordable cost, check online this friday, starting at exactly 12:01am to purchase your pass! If you'd rather wait it out and get an idea of the lineup, it is expected that the first round of bands will be announced in December, around the same time that Warped Tour will begin their annual announcements. So hold on, because it wont be much longer!

Festival Dates: Friday April 30th-Sunday May 2nd 2010
Location: East Rutherford, New Jersey

Tickets- Click Here
Official Website- Click Here
Bamboozle Wikipedia- Click Here

Rock On,
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: A Decade Under The Influence by Taking Back Sunday... these guys have played the Bamboozle sand Warped festival circuits a couple times, and I just really like this song haha. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's The End Of The World As We Know It... For Media Anyways

Hey Everyone!
IMPORTANT NOTE: A while back some of you may remember that I posted a video response blog for my class. Well, this is another one of those entries. Its about the CBC News World Piece "The End", a three part documentary about the changing formats of media. This is not an average every day entry and will not involve my typical banter, please be advised. Check back later for more music news but in the mean time, here is my assignment post: The End...

Image Source: CBC

As a media dependent society, many of us are aware of the changes that challenge current formats. We are amidst a large and critical change in media right now, a shift from print and analogue to digital. This idea is explored well through the CBC News World series "The End". The three part piece focuses on the adaptations of radio, print and tv news medium and explains that it really is the end of the media world as we know it.

The first part discusses the increasing belief that radio is dying out. After watching this, I have to say it merely confirmed my own beliefs. Radio as a music technology is over. The songs are rarely updated, the playlist is composed of a limited number of songs and the technology is becoming increasingly obsolete. Gone are the days where radio ruled the airwaves... Ipods, MP3s and file sharing have made music accessible just about anywhere. Conventional radio stations are limited by the extent of their frequencies, while online and satellite stations are portable across the globe. I know I made the switch to satellite a long time ago and I have not looked back since. Traffic updates can be sent to your phone, local news is published online... what use does radio serve to us now? As much as a I love locality and DJ banter, its just not as useful in my day to day life anymore. The concept of radio is not dead, but the format is changing to digital. We are living in the world of the Podcast. 

The second part of the series focuses on the technology of TV. The classic television model is a stationary, at home device that provides us with entertainment and news. However, as the documentary discusses, the TV of the future is on the verge of taking over. TV technologies are becoming more accessible. We do not have to sit at home anymore, our favorite shows are now portable and everywhere. This is what the consumer wants... fast, easy and accessible. Companies are being forced to throw away the standards of the past and come up with these new technologies to keep up with their changing market.

The third and final installment features an already visibly troubled media, Print. Over the past year we have lost several magazines and newspapers to the failing economic pressures. With this landslide, it was only too obvious that print media would soon die out. Online media has been taking over for many years now. More accessible, more up to date, and more cost efficient, it is the model of the present and certainly the future. Though I will miss the feeling of the pages in my hands, this way I can keep up to date with the latest news at a low to non existent cost.

It all comes down to this... we may be a society dependent on the media, but media is also dependent on us. We are the consumers, and what the consumers want determines who strives and who falls apart. We want faster, smaller, easier, portable technologies. The companies who utilize these ideas have an obvious advantage. Digital technologies are the wave of the future, they allow us to expand our universe with new music, instant updates and easy access that technologies of the past could never mimic. Times are changing and media is going along for the ride. I for one, am not surprised and cannot wait to become a part of this digitally infused media industry.

OK, thats it for now. Thanks for understanding the whole class assignment deal! 
Stay tuned for more music news coming soon!
Rock On,
- Girl At The Rock Show

Weezer ft. Sara Bareilles Live On Jimmy Kimmel

Hey Everyone!
So the other night, Weezer took their new album to the Jimmy Kimmel show... and it was kind of great. I think so anyways. Weezer have enlisted singer Sara Bareilles to not only be part of the single's video, but to perform along side Rivers. Dressed in 50s style clothing with a strong voice to boot, Sara was just as memorable as the band itself. I've never paid much attention to her... granted she has an amazing voice and has been fairly successful in her career, but the way these two are on stage is just dynamic. The harmonies are flawless and the smiles exchanged give it the feel that these are just friends rocking out for fun... not in front of a massive crowd on a popular late night show. I dont know what it is, but I just really enjoyed this song's specific performance. Rivers is way more energetic than some of his more recent performances. I mean, he even jump kicks towards the end... RIVERS JUMP KICKS. This isnt really an everyday move for the awkward, nerdy vocalist. I think it just goes to show that HE loved the performance too... I also love the way he messes up at 1:53 and recovers with a quick laugh haha. Anyways, he's dancing, he's singing and he's jumping... thats a happy vocalist! Watch the performance below, what do you think?

Rock On,
- Girl At The Rock Show

American Music Awards Pt.2

Hey Everyone!
Ok so welcome to part two of my AMA review. This time, I'm going to focus on the performances of the night. From Janet Jackson to Adam Lambert's "grand finale", the night was interesting to say the least. Some performances were much better and much more theatrical than others, some were simple and clean while some were tacky and over the top. It almost felt like watching a variety night. Anyways, on to my thoughts!

Photo: Credited to NYDailyNews

Janet Jackson: The girl still has some moves left in her, thats for sure. The dance routines, though awkward, demonstrate that Janet still has some of that star quality left in her... but I dont know how much longer that will last. I think she's seem her prime and it has long past. But the performance was not as terrible as it could have been. A few shaky notes and a little reminiscent of her late brother, she still gave it a decent shot.

Daughtry: Can I just say, I've personally had enough? He does have a great voice, that I cant deny. But I just cant get into the music... I dont feel his passion. I dont know why, I just dont believe him if that makes sense?

Shakira: I had to think for a few moments when she came out because honestly, we were all sitting around going "What? Sharkira? THAT? No, No way... Really?". She has come a long way from her Whenever, Wherever roots of mainstream popularity. She looked great, the performance was orchestrated in a way that was not too flashy or overdone and she sounded alright. Nothing fantastic but it was well done. Nothing memorable about the song itself.

Keith Urban: unable to find a link for this one. Now, I'm not big on country but the guy can definitely sing so I give credit where its due. Good performance, good sound, all around not bad. I'd make more commentary but I'm only able to work off what I can remember and apparently, from his performance, its not much. Sorry K.U fans!

Kelly Clarkson: We already know this girl can sing. Like it or not, her performance was simple, classic and moving. This is why Kelly has maintained stardom after winning American Idol. Its also probably one of the only thing AI has to really show for their many seasons of contest winners... Anyone heard from Ruben Studdard lately? Anyways, she looked great (LIKE A REAL WOMAN NOT A STICK, KUDOS!), she sounded great and her performance was lovely.

Jay-Z/Alicia Keys: I liked it... so sue me! Alicia is incredibly talented both as a singer and instrumentalist. Combine her jazzy R&B vocals with Jay-z's melodic flow and you cant help but have a winning combination. Empire State Of Mind was a great performance choice. Well done.

Black Eyed Peas: Or as I like to call them... Fergie, Will I Am and those other guys. Though I have to say, I'm glad they had a bit bigger of a part in this performance. Anyways, theres no question as to why they do so well on the charts. The music is well produced and creative, the band performs well together as a group and they really understand the music process. The performance was big and intricate, but definitely something to talk about.

Rihanna: Again, I was asking "who is this" for the first minute or so of the performance. The intro to her performance is nearly a minute long video of some kind of sci-fi robot surgery. All in all, I thought she actually looked and sounded pretty good. The outfit, lasers and all, was pretty cool I thought. In fact, my roommate asked if it was bad that she would wear that in public. For all the bad reviews she got for this album, I dont know, because the live performance was pretty decent!

Carrie Underwood: I had to laugh... as soon as she came out on the stage my roommate's first reaction was something along the lines of "whoa, when did Carrie Underwood go all Britney Spears?" And although I have to agree, I do feel like a lot of it had to do with the song itself. It is a little more out there than some of her other songs. I like it though. She has the voice and she's gorgeous. The song and routine were done well enough, I have no complaints but I have no real praise either. It was just... good. Nothing phenomenal, nothing terrible... just plain old good.

Lady Gaga: Honestly, probably one of the better performances of the night. It had it all, theatrics, talent, and intrigue. I'm not going to go into major detail here because the performance speaks for itself... but was anyone else reminded of the movie Alien when they saw her outfit? Because I did!

Mary J Blige: Is she really still singing? I do like her voice but I just feel like she's kind of yesterday's news by this point. Could not find her performance online either. Sorry, youtube takes everything down!

J.LO: Again, this chick is still performing? Didn't she just have a kid? I don't know, I was not very excited about this and it actually took me quite some time to figure out who was even on the stage. Apparently this was supposed to be a comeback deal for her but I just dont see it taking off. No one cares anymore...

Whitney Houston: An incredible voice that's for sure. She's still got it and she proved that the other night. Her performance was not exactly her best, but it was spot on vocally and she looked fantastic.

Alicia Keys: Ok so I personally was a bigger fan of her performance with Jay-Z. The piano and vocals were way more stand out than this one. What was with that outfit, arent the 80s over? The weird superhero intro was also slightly tacky. Dance routines were decent and while her voice was great as always, I found it was lost in the communication due to the bigger stage theatrics.

Eminem/50 Cent: Now I will openly admit, I like Eminem. I think he's a talented artist who has worked hard over the years to get where he is. However, I am not a 50 cent fan and I think that may be half the problem I had with this one. And "Crack A Bottle"... really? Why not something more fun like We Made You or something more serious like Beautiful... something that represents a greater percentage of your work, not the one of maybe five songs you have that belong in a dance club.

Timbaland/Nelly Furtado/So Shy: Kind of enjoyed the zombie/night of the living dead theme of this performance. The vocals were good, and the dancers were entertaining. Nelly and Soshy looked great. I have to admit, never heard of Soshy before but she has a pretty nice voice. I think we've all come to expect good work from Timbaland and he didnt disappoint in my opinion.

Green Day: A very simple take for these guys. After the more energized performances of Know Your Enemy and East Jesus Nowhere that they have been playing at awards shows, I was surprised to see them take it down with a lovely live version of 21 Guns. From start to finish, it was three minutes of soft rock with Billie Joe crooning along. Not their best work for sure, but simple and classic... no big theatrics, its all about the voice.

Adam Lambert: Ok... this is something he NEVER could have gotten away with on American Idol, thats for sure. Here's my issue... I get that he's gay and proud, I do. Congrats bud, but is it absolutely necessary to try and use that as shock value and shove our faces in it? I mean, simulating sex on stage is probably not that acceptable for anyone but Madonna and even she, a heterosexual white female, gets in trouble for it. Be gay, be proud, I support you 100% but please refrain from theatrics like this. It did NOTHING for your voice which was supposed to be the whole point of a live performance.

So that about sums up my views of the night's performances. I know some of them are short and not into details, but thats probably because I didnt get to really watch it... my roommate was having a party so there were other things going on in the room that distracted from the tv and it was frequently muted by people trying to put on some music... I'm sorry, I fought for the awards show to do this post, I really did. But I didnt always succeed in my battles haha. Anyways, what did you think of the performances? Favorites? Ones you could have gone without? Let me know!

Rock On,
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Empire State Of Mind by Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys... I like this song, especially after seeing it performed live. It was well done at the awards. Kudos!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hedley's "Cha Ching"- A Little Too Close To Reality?

Hey Everyone!
Anyone else find this some what entertaining? Because I certainly do. I was listening to the radio when Hedley's "Cha Ching" came on. The DJ talked about the music video, I'm not a Hedley fan but it sounded like a laugh so I thought I'd check into it. Upon a little more research, I came across the lyrics and the video for the song and I have to say, I was right. Definitely a laugh and a half. 

The song is about reality TV and how people will sell themselves for stardom. Now, thats a pretty common theme in music today, the way society and celebrity interact on a purely superficial level instead of one dependent on talent... but this specific song takes on even more irony than the anti corporate punk band on the major label record contract. Anyone familiar with the band's singer Jacob Hoggart may feel like they recognize him from somewhere. Well if you watch Canadian Idol, that could be the connection you've been looking for!

Jacob was a contendor for the title of Canadian Idol a few years back. He actually came in 3rd place for the season. Now granted, his original audition was nothing more than a bet ($151 that he wouldn't do it) but still the fact remains, he WAS a contestant. After his run on the show, the band reformed and signed a contract. Below is a video of Jacob on C.I. in which he performs Bowie's Space Oddity... he also pays tribute to this performance in the "Cha Ching" video.
Now here is the video in question for Cha Ching... warning, it is highly likely that you will be stuck singing this against your will for the next couple days. Youtube embedding disabled so click HERE to watch/listen. 

So what do you think? Funny or just kind of trying to mock something they have experienced? Personally I cant give Jacob much credit for saying reality TV is a joke and people sell themselves... after all, he sold himself for a bet, a few spotlights and $151! 

Rock On! 
-Girl At The Rock Show

Life On Repeat Cover Miley Cyrus' Party In The USA!

Hey Everyone!
Just wanted to share this with you... not bad in my opinion. Life On Repeat, a five piece pop rock group from Salisbury, MD, have posted a cover of Miley Cyrus' "Party In The USA". The song is obviously already a massive success based on Miley's version... but I actually think this is well done. It doesn't vary much from the original, using similar riffs and hooks and all around structure/performance. The band are apparently fans as the video intro explains that they covered it for her 17th birthday. Well, hopefully Miley enjoyed her gift. They posted it to their youtube account earlier today (Miley's 17th Birthday is apparently today) so here we go... what do you think?

Rock On,
-Girl At The Rock Show

American Music Awards Pt.1

Hey Everyone!
So as a music nut, I often feel compelled to sit through three hour award shows that I cant stand. From the over the top performances to the favoritism in award presentations, its all just a snooze fest for me. And yet, I continue to subject myself to it... why? Maybe its just so I can say I saw it, so I can keep up with discussions about what was shocking, what went wrong, what celeb got caught lip-synching. Who knows? So naturally, last night I parked myself in front of the living room TV (as a party raved on around me none the less) to watch the 2009 AMAs. Here are my thoughts on the night. The first part will be awards, part 2 will be up shortly to discuss performances!

POP/ROCK: OK... I know everyone is sad about MJ, I get it, really I do. He was an important figure in music for sure and the loss is difficult for the fans... but why did he win every award? Lets be honest, This Is It was not the best song of the year... I'm sorry. Its just honesty here, can you say that This Is It is anywhere near comparable to Man In The Mirror, Bad, or Thriller? NO! It just bothers me that artists who pass seem to be given awards whether or not they fit. Favorite pop album of the year... really? Lets again, be honest... one of the only reasons that won? He died so everyone was reminded of how much they loved MJ before all the bad press came out so they went out and bought the album and requested the song.

COUNTRY: I don't listen to much country to be honest. I just cant say I feel the emotion when I hear a guy singing about his love of the farm life since I've been a city girl as long as I've been alive. Yes, I know that is a gross generalization, but I'm just saying that country music has never really been my thing. That point aside, I think the awards were just. I have nothing further to say... Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts... I am familiar with your work and know you're popular artists so well done, congrats.

SOUL/R&B: Ok, so I just have one question... what happened to real soul/r&b music? What about the classics like Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Tony Braxton? I get that they aren't really modern artists, and therefore its right that they aren't nominated for awards... HOWEVER, I just cant shake the feeling that this category has gone downhill and we're now just adopting pop artists under this header. What do you think?

RAP/HIP HOP: Have to say, I would have liked to see Eminem walk away with something to show for it, but I cant say that Jay-Z did not deserve the sweep. He had a good year, and he's a very talented artists so kudos to Jay-Z.

ADULT CONTEMPORARY: I know T.Swift has has some serious airwave domination, but I never thought I'd see the day where a country/pop princess takes this category at the age of 19... aka about half the age of the "adult contemp" audience. But again, it is kind of cool that she is able to transcend that barrier and be loved by all different ages. Parents are probably happy to take kids to these shows... I know my mom hated accompanying me to hardcore shows when I was younger haha.

ALTERNATIVE ROCK: I'm a little bias here, I'm sure you all know that by now. I love Green Day, so clearly I'm thrilled they won. But can I just say that I think its kind of sad that there is only ONE rock category and it only had three nominees? I mean, is it just me, or is this a rather popular genre? People listen to rock and there are a lot of different kinds... metal, punk, alternative... why not have more than one encompassing category and celebrate some of the different styles? I'm just saying... oh, and I dont really consider the pop/rock category as a good substitute, especially when there are only 3 nominees because that really does not leave much room for artists haha

SOUNDTRACK: Ok, as much as I am not a big fan of the Twilight phenomenon, I have to admit the album track list is pretty rocking. A good mix of indie and alt rock that you just cant help but enjoy. There's something for everyone. Not a bad choice, even though I just cant stand the movie or the books... have to say, the music choice has my approval! Even the Rob Pattinson song isn't awful, though I cant really understand many of the words :P Oh, and in all honesty? WAY BETTER than Hannah Montana, because the movie soundtrack and her 3D concert soundtrack were the other two nominees!

So that about sums up my personal opinions on the awards category! Stay tuned for part II which will feature my thoughts on performances of last night!

What did you think of the awards distribution? What changes would you make if any? Feel free to share! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Young Cardinals by Alexisonfire... just because I like the band and the song. No other reason today!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

On The Radar: Gold Motel

Hey Everyone!
So a couple posts ago, I  brought up the topic of the hiatus. One band in particular who recently joined this club of bands on possibly permanent breaks happens to be one that I quite like... The Hush Sound. Amazing piano based powerpop band with a repertoire of folky tunes that will have you singing along in no time. As I mentioned, some bands take time off to try something new... well thats how vocalist/pianist Greta Salpeter has chosen to take this. Since The Hush Sound is taking a much needed vacation from the stage, Greta has taken her talent to a new group by the name of Gold Motel.

Gold Motel is a one woman band featuring keyboards, synth, organs and happy go-lucky indie pop songs. Guaranteed to make your cares fly out the window with the easy going tunes. This song posted below, called Perfect In My Mind, sounds like the perfect summer anthem for a drive to the beach. I'm anxious to see what else she comes up with for the EP which is due out late this year. The release will be accompanied by a short tour, and then who knows?! Since I'm without any new Hush Sound music, this will definitely keep me going.

So what do you think of the Gold Motels? Is this a good side project while Greta and the boys of Hush Sound are on hiatus? Personally, I like it!

Rock On,
- Girl At The Rock Show

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Jack's Mannequin on The Daily Show

Hey Everyone!
So this blog is gonna be really short, but I wanted to share this with you. Last week, Andrew McMahon of Jack's Mannequin performed on The Daily Show. I cant find an embedding enabled version of this video anywhere due to the fact that I am Canadian and "this video cannot be displayed in your region" messages are all that I can find. Thank you online video hosting for discriminating against your neighbors to the North! Anyways, here you go... you can watch the clip of the brief interview and performance of "swim" here. Its beautiful. Enjoy!

Rock On,
- Girl At The Rock Show

Friday, November 20, 2009

Butch Walker Covers... Taylor Swift?

Hey Everyone!
Yup, its true. Producer/Songwriter/Artist Extrordinaire Butch Walker has posted a rather creative and interesting video to his blog. The purpose? A cover of pop/country sensation Taylor Swift's song You Belong With Me. His video follows his recording journey after he returns to the studio from dinner. He records each instrument and the vocals, compiling it all into this male take on the song (ex He's team captain and I'm on the bleachers). The video is taking off, seems people enjoy this version just as much as the original. Take a listen, see what you think! (Start around the 2:40 mark if you just wanna hear the song!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Dreaded "Hiatus"

Hey Everyone!
Everywhere you look these days, bands are taking "breaks" (otherwise known as a hiatus) from work in order to take time for other things... family, writing, whatever it may be. The hiatus is the new black. Many artists are well deserving of a vacation after the amount of work and touring they do, there is no question about that. But at the same time, some kind of red panic light seems to set in when fans hear that word... HIATUS. Its scary, because it seems that for every 10 bands who take one, only 7 come back. 

It becomes a fan's worst nightmare, a waiting game that can last years without any news. I know that when Blink-182 announced their hiatus back in 2005, I was pretty distraught. They are one of my all time favorite bands, I grew up listening to them and to know that I would be left with the somewhat unsatisfying memories of the 2004 untitled release did little to settle my panic haha. Other bands I liked when I was younger, bands that had an important influence on what I listen to now and who I am today, many of them have been on an "indefinite hiatus" for years now. Hiatus, break, quitting... its all so confusing these days.

I guess its just the phrasing that makes us freak out... I mean, "indefinite hiatus"... why cant you just come out with it and say, "we quit"? Is it that hard? I'm intrigued by this resignification of everything. It used to be so simple... a band was active, they played, they recorded. When they had enough, they called it quits. And then they started taking breaks and coming back... and now its just all over the board. Sometimes I find I have a hard time knowing who's still around and who's on "hiatus".

As a music fan, I only ask one thing... be BLUNT. No matter how much it would hurt to hear it, I'd prefer a band just came right out with "you know what, we've done this for a while and we're tired of it, we want to try something different so we're done, thanks!" No more of this "indefinite hiatus stuff... we all know what that means, doesn't matter how you phrase it!

Have you dealt with bands you like going on hiatus? Which bands? 

Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Not Now by Blink-182... one of the last tracks released before the hiatus and though it is not classically funny/twisted Blink, it does a great job at summing up the position of the band at the point it was released through both the song itself and the video... "Please stay, until I'm gone I'm here hold on, to me I'm right here, waiting" It leaves you with that sense of uncertainty, that something is not right, but it isn't quite over.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Music Video Revival!

Hey Everyone!
So I'm sure a lot of you are under the impression that the music video is a dying work of art. At times, yes I would have to agree. A lot of them have gotten short, pointless and annoyingly overplayed. Combine that with cinematography skills and low production values comparable to that of the amateur youtube videos and you have a recipe for disaster. However, I also have to admit that some artists have avoided this fall and revived the music video. They've taken the old MJ model for Thriller and turned songs into epic 10-15 minute short films that require a lot of production work, or have tried something vastly different and unique to bring their songs to life. Here are a few in particular that I think are well done.

1) 30 Seconds To Mars... 
Maybe its lead vocalist Jared Leto's actor side shining through, or maybe its just pure ambition, whatever it is, this band has made fantastic video after fantastic video. Particularly the videos for The Kill (a nod to the classic horror film The Shining) and From Yesterday. The latest, Kings & Queens, was actually the inspiration for the blog. Take away the performance shots and you really would be left wondering... is this a trailer for a Hollywood film?

2) Fight Like Apes...
This video for Tie Me Up With Jackets, is phenomenal. A friend of mine, Andrew, brought this to my attention and I was astonished by the overall effort made to create this piece. Clearly, this group did not take the easy way out. They have a creative and innovative video, somewhat reminiscent of the classic Take On Me by A-ha.

3) Green Day...
For their last couple albums, Green Day has taken the path of the rock opera and their videos communicate this same idea. The videos for Jesus of Suburbia and Wake Me Up When September Ends are prime examples of the revival of the music video. Mini films in themselves, they involve actors, plot lines and movie style effects. I also recommend the new videos for 21st Century Breakdown (which takes the cover art theme of graffiti and seamlessly blends it into real life images) and  East Jesus No Where (which brings new life to the live video with the snapshot effect, highlighting moments of the performance). 

4) The White Stripes...
Now, cant say I am the biggest fan (get a bass player please) but I do listen to their music and I enjoy it. What I like even more? Their music videos! From the early (but absolutely brilliant) Fell In Love With A Girl, to the innovative Hardest Button To Button and the interesting Denial Twist, its undeniable that this duo has mastered the art of the music video. 

5) Ok Go...
Though there aren't many examples to play off, this band has always been one for clever and unique with their videos. Who doesn't remember the treadmill classic of Here It Goes Again? That video was amazing even though it was cheap to make. They borrowed some treadmills and lip-synched to their own track. But its incredibly memorable. The same can be said for their video for A Million Ways in which they perform a dance routine in their backyard. They're taking the old school classic pop video model of a dance routine to a new level and its great. 

6) Weezer...
From the start of their career to the more recent (and questionable) videos, they're still kind of funny. Each one has a clever plot fitting of the time period and featuring some kind of pun or gag. Keep Fishin' features the muppets, Island In The Sun features playful animals that work alongside that light summery song, Buddy Holly has brilliant yet purposely cheesy effects that make you feel like Happy Days is just around the corner, and of course... Pork and Beans was probably one of the best videos ever made for youtube fans of our generation. 

Each of these artists have a number of videos that go to prove the art of the music video is still very much alive. You just have to know where to look! Have you seen any bands with great videos lately? Share them with me, I'd love to see what you come up with because I know there are a lot out there :)

Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Bad Romance by Lady Gaga... Ok, ok yes, it IS a Lady Gaga video. But hear me out... this video is pretty weird... aka I like it. Weird is good in my books and if this is the new version of a pop princess video, then I'm ALL for it. Sure, she's half naked, I think we all kind of expected that, but looking beyond that, its just plain WEIRD. Plastic suits, flaming bras and diamond studded platforms... how can you say thats not a little interesting? Haha.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Band Tattoos... Good Idea Or Full Of Regret?

Hello Blogosphere!
Today I come to you live from Western's University Community Centre where I have been sitting for about 3hrs and 45mins. Exciting stuff.... the bus strike is not friendly in terms of going home between classes so I've decided to suck it up and get some work done on campus. Clearly this isn't working since I've been monitoring my facebook live feed with great interest and watching College Humor videos on youtube instead of cracking down on that 5 page paper I have due this week. Oh well, what can you do? Distractions and procrastination is all part of the University lifestyle  after all!

So amidst my boredom, I did a little image search for tattoos. I'm a bit of a tattoo fan, and I love to see what people come up with to put on their bodies. I've been thinking about adding to my personal ink for a while now. Something to represent my love and dedication to music... but what? This led me to my search, and I have to say some of the returned results were a little... interesting. Three words: Bad band tattoos.

I have three rules for tattoos... 1) No Names 2) No Brands/Logos/Sports Teams/etc 3) No Portraits. Pretty simple, and pretty easy to follow. Now, I'm not going to lie, I've always wanted to get a couple tattoos of lyrics and bands BUT to abide by my rule, I would want the band tattoos in a subtle way... aka no poster portraits, no album covers, no band logos. Something that is perhaps a lyric turned into an image which communicates the same ideas, you know? 

I have these rules for a reason... these kinds of tattoos are (in my opinion) a fast track to regret! How do you know you'll love that artist forever? How do you know that fierce loyalty you have to the maple leafs will continue ten years from now? And for portraits, well thats because personally I dont want some lifeless black ink eyes staring at me , not to mention they are just incredibly hard to do well. Lyrics, lyrics can stick with you for life, they can become mantras to live by, you may never forget them or the significance they hold. If you get a representative band tattoo... for instance an image inspired by a song, then you can always admire it for the art as well as the meaning.

Bottom Line? I love tattoos, but I just don't understand what some people are thinking when they get them (if they're thinking at all). This search of band tattoos was disturbing on so many levels and I would hate to see anyone else make this mistake. Sure, they can remove them now... but its costly, annoying, and not perfect. Probably better to just avoid getting it in the first place, wouldn't you agree? Here are a few I would really suggest covering up, followed by a few that I think are done well...




So what do you think? Would you ever get a tattoo for a band, and if so what would it be? Do you have any rules for tattoos yourself?

Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: I Woke Up In A Car by Something Corporate.... "I met a girl who kept tattoos from all homes that she had loved, If I were her I'd paint my body til all my skin was gone..."

Monday, November 16, 2009

The AP Fall Ball Tour 2009

Hey Everyone!
Hope you all had a good weekend. I know I did, I went to Toronto friday morning to check out the AP Fall Ball Tour 2009. I have to say, overall I was very impressed and had a good time despite being one of the oldest audience members haha. I've gotten used to this... even Green Day and Blink shows make me feel old when I look around at all the kids. Now, if you're unfamiliar with the tour, let me give you a few details. It was put together with the help of reader polls in Alternative Press magazine. The goal of the tour was to hype some new or upcoming acts that people might be interested in because, as it was repeated throughout the night, "you cant listen to the same stuff over and over again". So heres a brief overview of the acts from the tour, a couple examples of their sound and my thoughts on their performances!

The first band to take the stage was a UK group by the name of You Me At Six. They played a fairly solid half hour set of catchy pop punk songs that kept the audience's attention. The big hit of the night was probably their performance of Lady Gaga's Poker Face. All in all, it was a good set but nothing phenomenal. If you're a fan of groups like Forever The Sickest Kids or Boys Like Girls, you might like these guys. They have some potential, and I'm sure that after this tour they will experience a higher level of success here over seas.

Next up, the techno/pop punk brainchild of Luis Dubuc: The Secret Handshake. An interesting performance for sure. An auto-tune equipped mic, a Mac computer, and a couple instruments is all it takes to get a crowd of teenagers moving. Again, as for the point of this tour really, very few people seemed familiar with the act and it was perhaps only memorable due to yet another cover. This time it was the Cascada classic "Everytime We Touch". Not bad, but I cant say I was enthralled by the stage performance. If you like A Rocket To The Moon or Playradioplay, you might like this band.

The third band on the opening round of performances you may know... they go by the name Set Your Goals. This diverse six piece group hails from the San Francisco Bay area. I say "diverse" because although they also play that brand of radio friendly pop punk, they dabble in the hardcore genre as well. It makes for an interesting album. Anyways, I think they played a great set, but were not a prefect fit for the tour itself. The audience appeared more than a little confused for their 35 minute set. 

Up next was the co-headliner, Mayday Parade. Following theme, they are a pop punk rock from Florida. The power pop five piece released their debut album "Tales Told By Dead Friends" back in 2006 and recieved some fair reviews. They have played slots on the Vans Warped Tour as well as a few small tours. They have had an interesting time lately with the departure of their former vocalist/lyricist/guitarist Jason Lancaster. However, they never let that slow them down, having Derek Sanders take over full vocalist duties in the lineup (he used to share the job with Lancaster). He's a great vocalist. All in all, I was impressed by their ability to connect with their audience. It sounds cheesy, but it really is an important art form that is often lost. If you like The Maine or Every Avenue, give them a listen.

Finally, the other co-headlining act and the reason for my attendance- The Academy Is. Stunning performance as always. Personally, I was really happy with the set as it was a lot of material from their album Almost Here, which is what drew me to them in the first place. They also played Sputter off their recent release, the Lost In Pacific Time EP. This song plays live beautifully. William Beckett's voice was flawless as always, accompanied by the trained musicianship of the band. No one was left sitting through this set. It was well worth the wait. I have recommended this band time and time again, so I wont bore you with the details... just give them a chance because you might love them as much as I do. If you want to know more about them, check out my earlier blog: The Academy Is...?

So props to Alternative Press for coming out with this tour to help these up and coming bands to find some fans. This was a good set of bands to take out, a lot of potential in the group for sure. I'll leave you with a couple pictures from the show.
All of these live (6) photos above taken by me....
top row=Mayday Parade
2nd row Mayday Parade and Set Your Goals
3rd row=Academy Is

Rock on!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Ocean and Atlantic by Mayday Parade... I like this song (maybe because it involves my name? :P) Its also guaranteed to get stuck in your head.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fall Out Boy Announce Hiatus

"everyone, when i said fob was on hiatus, i didnt mean hiatus. i meant break. which is what i understood hiatus to mean...according to 1.a break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc...2.a missing part; gap or lacuna: Scholars attempted to account for the hiatus in the medieval manuscript. 3. any gap or opening....that being the definition of hiatus."                                                 -Andy Hurley's Twitter Posts

So again, through the wonders of Twitter (who needs mainstream media outlets when you have this new technological wonder online? *side note: I HATE Twitter actually haha) another band has made a big announcement. It seems there will be no touring in Fall Out Boy's immediate future as the band have called a hiatus. Drummer Andy Hurley broke the news and was greeted to swarms of fans flooding his replies in fear of a hiatus turning into a breakup. A common enough occurance for sure, but Andy is currently trying to calm the twitterverse down with assurance that this is not the end of the band. They just need a break, kids. Calm yourselves, take a deep breath, and go back to your homework. 

Personally, I cant say I'm shocked by this. Like them or not, you have to respect their dedication. Fall Out Boy have been touring relentlessly for quite some time now, and its probably beginning to take its toll. The boys have families and friends that deserve some attention after all this time. They also want to take time to "rediscover" their creativity according to bassist Pete Wentz. The boys will take some time out to dabble in different interests and relax away from the road. They recently wrapped up an opening slot on the highly anticipated Blink reunion tour and released a greatest hits album chronicling the past 7 years of their career. 

Personally, I'm excited to see what they come back with... and I'm curious to see how Andy does with his return to hardcore (his side project for the hiatus, he's recording with some friends according to his twitter!)
Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: What A Catch, Donnie by Fall Out Boy... the third single released from Folie A Deux. I have to say, I LOVE this song. Patrick's voice is absolutely gorgeous. So unique, a combination of various influences and teaching styles (his father was a folk singer which is likely a factor in his not so traditional rock vocal style). I love how this song so beautifully captures his range. The lyrics are also stunning... "They say the captain goes down with the ship, So when the world goes down will God go down with it?... And all I can think of is the way I'm the one who charmed the one who gave up on you". All in all the song is brilliant in my opinion, even though it is a far cry from their earlier work. It also features a number of guest vocals by William Beckett, Gabe Saporta, Travis McCoy, Brendon Urie and the one and only Elvis Costello. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bands Supporting Other Bands... How Influential Is It?

Hey Everyone!
So the other day I was flipping through some of my old magazines when I came across this issue of Alternative Press. The feature article in this issue (beyond the blatantly obvious Blink-182 reunion) is a piece called "The Band Who Changed My Life". In this multipage work, different members of popular bands take turns discussing bands or artists they admired. William Beckett (The Academy Is) cites the artistic and bold Robert Smith of The Cure as a major influence, while acts like the young All Time Low chose the 90s pop punk kings, Blink-182. The bands vary across the board... different genres, different generations, but the one thing they all have in common is an influence. 

Images Belong to Alternative Press Magazine

This got me wondering, to what level does this influence extend? If you think about it, a lot of the bands featured are inspiring the up and coming generation of musicians. I know that when I read about Green Day being fans of bands like Operation Ivy, I immediately pull up google and yahoo radio to check them out. I don't always like the bands (Operation Ivy, however, I love) but I am always curious to know what first made these people think "hey, maybe I could do that". So if I know that Green Day grew up listening to Operation Ivy, and I like them, I might wonder who had an impact on their career and so on, and so fourth.... taking artists of all kinds of genres and styles and intertwining them into one single web. 

Personally, I love this idea. It lets us all celebrate and appreciate music past and present. It brings me to bands I would have maybe never thought to dig up on my own. Its a way of bringing it to my attention. In reality, its not much different from the way a band will select an opening act for a tour. Sometimes this is done for them, but when they hand pick, there's usually a reason. Some people don't show up at a concert until just before the main acts, but if you ask me, that usually means you're missing out. As much as I love knowing who influenced them at first, its also cool to find out who they think has potential to carry the torch for a new generation.

 Its all about giving us new bands to listen to and love.  So what do you think? Does this have much influence on you? Do you care who made your favorite acts decide to pick up an instrument? Do you care who is asked to tour with your favorite acts? Does this make you approach listening to that group any differently? Let me know!

Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song Of The Day: Knowledge by Operation Ivy... one of the first OI songs I heard- because Green Day released a cover of it on their album 1039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Green Day Live Video: Last Night On Earth

A love song off their last release 21st Century Breakdown called "Last Night On Earth"... its a little different than their other stuff and admittedly not my favorite, but its still a good song and I like it. I like that they arent afraid to break down those genre barriers and will write/play whatever they feel like. Live videos by these guys are always good. Enjoy!