Torrential Downpour from Clifton, NJ were the winners of the 2013 MetalSucks band contest. The prize? The chance to play at Euroblast Festival in Cologne, Germany on October 11th! They shared the stage with The Algorithm, The Ocean and Twelve Foot Ninja. Torrential Downpour had the most votes out of the other 19 selected bands with their progressive metal / post rock sound. I remember seeing Torrential Downpour back in the day, at the good ol’ Lodi VFW hall on Union St. Now I feel old, so hopefully I’ve succeeded in making others feel aged too so I’m not alone. Sidebar, I think they would tour great with Clutch. Check out Torrential Downpour here and preview all the finalists below.
Congratulations Torrential Downpour! September 20, 2013
On the sound and release of their new album “Love and the Human Outreach”… September 22, 2012
Warped Tour 2012 – July 21 – Nassau Coliseum
DF – David Fowler – Keyboards
SF – Stephen Fowler – Lead Vocals
DTK – Dave the Klone
TNT, as herself
One of the amazing highlights of the 2012 Vans’ Warped Tour was getting to catch an awesome set from, and hang out with Echo Movement, the band from the Jersey shore bringing their own brand of sci-fi to their Reggae / Classic Rock fusion sound. Take 2 parts Bob Marley, 1 part Beatles and 1 part Pink Floyd, and you just start to scratch the surface of what Echo Movement has perfected with their latest album, Love and the Human Outreach. The guys were super cool and more than happy to go into depth on the finer points of what makes Love and the Human Outreach more than just a mind-blowing album, but a scientific work of art.
TNT: So it’s already been featured in CNN, MSNBC, Wired Magazine and other media as a scientific work. Would you explain how this album is a scientific work?
DF: Yeah, absolutely. There are two things in there that would qualify as such, three things if you include the subject matter of the lyrics. The two physical things that are in there, one is…well, actually this is our second album that features binaural beats. What they are essentially are two sinusoidal frequencies that are ever so slightly out of tune with each other. And when you pan one of those frequencies hard right, so that it’s only coming out of the right speaker, and you pan the other hard left, so that it’s only coming out of the left speaker, and then put on a set of head phones, your brain goes through a neurological process where it identifies the algorithm between those two frequencies, and it becomes what we call an audible artifact. It’s something that doesn’t physically exist, but because of a certain exchange among elements, you hear something that may not exactly be there. To get your brain working that way is always a great thing.
DTK: Wow, it sounds like you’re creating a certain kind of big bang in someone’s head when they listen to your music.
DF: Ha. We’d love for that to happen. If there’s any sort of output of energy, or any sort of transformation of energy, I think that’s a beautiful thing and in this case, it’s a cognitive process that’s responsible. It’s pretty fascinating because you can use binaural beats, and they have been used for therapeutic reasons. It’s something we’ve studied for a pretty significant period of time before we used them on the last album. On this one we used them on the first track, “Rising Sunset,” and a little bit on the second track, “Spaceship Earth.” I feel like they put you in a nice relaxed state to set you up for the album, and then you proceed from there.
DTK: That sounds incredible. [Referring to the explanation, as I had not heard the album at this point…but before you ask, yes, those binaural beats worked, and it was so fucking cool.]
DF: It’s a good way of bridging the gap between reality and the world of the album.
TNT: Could you explain Reggae Bubble?
DF: Reggae Bubble is essentially a rhythm that is used commonly in our genre of music, and I guess in our case I’ve updated it or textured it with different sounds, but originally it had started to emerge thirty or forty years ago, if not more. It’s a great rhythm, because the only beat that’s not hit is the first downbeat of each phrase. That’s something that’s awkward and foreign and, for the lack-of-better-words, uncouth to any sort of western tradition of music, where everything falls on the down-beat rhythm.
DTK: So is Reggae something that has always been with you guys, or did it come from growing up in the beach culture? How did you guys wind up in the genre you’re in, which clearly involves a scientific component as well, so I can’t wait to hear how that plays into this to create Echo Movement.
SF: You know, as far as Reggae, Bob Marley Legend was one of the first albums I got when I was younger. We listened to a lot of Bob Marley growing up. We also listened to Michael Jackson, a lot of Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Doors. Those were the big players as far as the soundtrack at our house between ourselves and our parents. Dave, you wanna explain the science-side?
DF: As far as the science, that’s really just something we wanted to do. We were into doing research in different areas that we’re interested in as far as from a scientific point of view, and then just use the genre as the communicative medium through which we express these things. We use it as a vehicle. Regarding the binaural beats, it’s something I discovered two or three years ago, but they’ve been around for something like 70, 80, 90 years, so it’s existed for some time. It’s been used in the medical community as a treatment for certain neurological disorders.
DTK: That’s really cool.
DF: But the real science project on this album comes as a result of spending the last seven years contacting SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence…
DTK: Whoa, really?! Can I just tell you, I am so happy that’s the direction this is going, myself probably more than TNT.
TNT: Haha, yeah.
DTK: As soon as you said SETI, I was like, ‘Ooooooh!! X-Files!!’ So awesome. So, you contacted SETI.
DF: I did. I was looking for any audio they might have that we could possibly use, and I wound up talking to Edna Davore, the Director of Education at SETI. She introduced me to the Keppler mission, which is a space telescope that trails Earth, with the primary goal of discovering exo-planets, or planets outside our solar system. To date, since it’s been launched in 2009, it’s discovered over 2500 planets, as dead-on confirmations. It does this by observing the apparent magnitude of the star, because planets don’t emit light, it has to observe as the planet transits a small cross-section of sky, passing through our line-of-sight between us and the distant star of the galaxy where the planet is orbiting. Passing in front of the star over a period of time will create a discernible pattern. That pattern is charted by an organization called PlanetHunters.org, headed up by a Dr. Debra Fischer at Yale University. So I reached out to her, at Edna’s suggestion, and she was able to talk to me about how to read and understand their charts. So over a period of months, I searched through the data points on the charts until I found some that seemed to me to be sinusoidal, and something that I thought would translate well into music. Then I found a sonification team at Georgia Tech, led by Dr. Bruce Walker, and he put one of his undergrads, O’Riley Winton in charge of putting together a small team of undergrads to help me sonify this data. And over the course of four or five months, working with them, I would say diligently…
DTK: Yeah, I second that, diligently sounds like the right word.
DF: …they came back with some results, and successfully translated this star-data. The data we used in this case was actually a binary star-system, but they still create a series of data points that oscillate at the rate we were looking for, it just had a more consistent, more stable pattern that was easier for sonification. On top of that, we “fitted” the data, which is an idea I borrowed from a Dr. Charles Bailyn, also at Yale University, who was doing a lecture series where he discussed how he would “fit” the data. He discovered radio velocities of stars…so, you know the planet would go around the star, and it would wobble from its center of mass…and he would take those data points, which weren’t as stable because they were Hubble observations, and they used to just “fit” the data in order to make for cleaner digestion of the information.
DTK: So, it used to be inaccurate and they’d fill in the gaps?
DF: Well, it was more accurate eventually, but they were able to draw more conclusions and extrapolate more information from the data they had at the time. Using that information applied to the binary star-system sample we were using, they came up with these sounds. So when I got them back, I composed them into a five-part harmony and put it on the album, and then we dedicated it to Carl Sagan.
DTK: Oh my God, that’s so awesome. So now how many songs is this going to be happening in? I mean people are going to be hearing these star sounds and not even be realizing that this is part of the music, right?
DF: That’s fine. If they don’t understand, that’s absolutely fine. And those who do, more power to them. It’s no problem. At the end of the day, someone made a comment that they could’ve made these same sounds on their CASIO. And I thought to myself, ‘Yeah, so could I have. But what you can’t do, is make those sounds from a binary star-system on the other side of the galaxy.
DTK: I love that you guys are hiding all of these little…I like to call them clues. These would be kinda like, for people like me who watched the show LOST, these would be the Easter Eggs that are being left to explain what’s really going on. I mean, the fact that scientists are actually figuring out where other planets are, and if they’d be able to support human life, and all while we’re sitting here drinking lemonade and listening to music, this is what the universe is throwing around, all around you. I think it’s awesome you guys are incorporating that into your music.
DF: Those scientists make very easy idols. I idolize them, we idolize them, and they’re just fantastic human beings who are looking out for knowledge and the welfare and the progress of humanity. We honor them through our music when we do things like this.
DTK: Congratulations, guys. That is definitely a lot of work, and I can’t wait to hear this for myself.
TNT: What are some of the other bands you guys have seen on the Warped Tour that you’ve liked?
DF: The top of that list is Streetlight Manifesto.
TNT: How about the band name? Can you tell us, does it have any meaning, where did it come from?
SF: We are part of the echo generation. The echo generation are the sons and daughters of the baby boomer generation. Dave thought of the name. He came up to me one day and was like, I thought of this…how about Echo Movement, like the movement of our generation, the momentum that is going to bring about big changes.
DTK: Have you been seeing any of these big changes happening yet?
DF: They happen at the pace of life.
SF: I’ll tell you what, technologically we are moving at such an exponential rate, it’s noteworthy.
DTK: Scary even.
SF: If you think about it, hundreds of years ago, a father would teach his son a skill, I don’t know, how to make an ax or something. And then the son would teach his son, who would teach his son, and so on, and so on. It would always be the same exact method to make the ax; they’d heat the metal to the same temperature, they’d use the same materials, they’d live their whole lives in the same small town. Now, every year we get new cell phones, with completely new applications and completely new technologies and peripherals that we hook up. I mean, it’s like Ray Kurtzweil says, do you know Ray Kurtzweil?
DTK: Of course, the singularity.
SF: Yup, the singularity. Some of the predictions he’s making are just awesome. We’re going to have the human brain mapped out, in another two decades or so he’s estimating, and he’s been right about a lot of things.
DTK: I think I had read that he thinks by 2025 we’ll have the human brain reverse engineered.
SF: I mean, think about that. We’re on the cusp of being able to digitize what a human brain is, and if you can do that, well then what defines a human, what is a human being? Is it a collection of thoughts and memories, are we tissue, are we spiritual or what are we?
DTK: I suggest you check out Battlestar Galactica if you have free time after the tour.
TNT: Oh, God. It’s so not for me. Are you guys’ fans?
DF: No. I think Noles is a fan though.
SF: The only reason I know about it is through friends and now that you mention it, yes I believe that Noles is somehow a fan.
TNT: Anyway, so did you guys catch Streetlight Manifesto today?
DF: Not today, but we try to catch them as often as we can. They’re pretty good friends of ours.
TNT: Have you played together live or on albums?
SF: Dave has.
DF: We played a 5-show run with them in late 2009, and we’ve played with them on a couple isolated dates since then.
SF: When I said, ‘Dave has,’ I meant he’s played on albums with them.
DF: I played on their album 99 Songs of Revolution: Vol. 1, I played the organ solo on “Skyscraper,” which is a cover of a Bad Religion song.
TNT: So, do you think sponsorships are the best way to tour and get around? How did you guys start getting sponsors? Is there a process?
DF: It’s enabling. Any sort of capital is enabling in a capitalist society.
SF: It’s unfortunate that artists have to worry about such things. But the sponsors that we’ve been lucky enough to hook up with are really, really cool. Like Silver Surfer Vaporizors. We hung out with them when we were in Denver. They were awesome.
Don’t forget to order your copy of Love and the Human Outreach, out now! If you hurry, you might be able to catch the limited edition version, which includes a piece of art from Brothers With Glass featuring the album cover-art! Go my friends, be awesome and spread the word and music of Echo Movement. Nevermind the Posers shares new music with you so that you can share new music you discover here with the world.
G-Eazy on the Entire Van’s Warped Tour July 13, 2012
Pure nostalgia…updated for 2012. “Runaround Sue” – G-Eazy ft. Greg Banks
Doesn’t get more real. “Marilyn” – G-Eazy ft. Dominique LeJeune
Union County Musicfest 2011 October 1, 2011
by Mark B.
For the 5th consecutive year, the 3rd at its current location, the Union County Musicfest has tried its damnedest to bring the best musical acts that the industry has to offer to Union County, NJ. And despite the fact that it is not a free concert (our tax dollars at work), I nonetheless appreciated the county’s attempt to do something enjoyable and worthwhile with our hard-earned money. With past headliners such as LIVE, Cheap Trick, The Alarm, Chuck Berry and Third Eye Blind, among many great artist bookings, the promoters had a lot to live up to if they were going to get another massive turnout. And for 2011, again they did not disappoint, bringing in such notable acts as Collective Soul, Ed Kowalczyk of LIVE, Blondie, Toad the Wet Sprocket, The Smithereens and Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes for the citizens of Union County and neighboring areas to check out.
Leading off the Friday night portion of the rock show was recent former lead singer of Live, Ed Kowalczyk. Thankfully, just as LIVE had sounded when the band had headlined the Musicfest a few years back, Kowalyczyk brought the same skill and energy back, playing a tight and rocking show, albeit with a different crew. The set bounced between the obvious inclusions of LIVE songs (with “Selling the Drama,” “I Alone” and “Lakini’s Juice” being the real standouts), peppered with cuts from last year’s debut solo release Alive, which strangely rocked harder than the actual studio album sounded. Regardless, the set was great.
Bringing the evening to a close was a standout set by 90s alternative heroes Collective Soul, who played an absolutely amazing set. In fact, they were so good, the fest could have ended right on that Friday night and I don’t think anyone would have cared. They kept the night moving at just the right pace, playing all the songs that any fan would want to hear (with the night’s versions of “Run” and “Shine” being the best of the set), perfectly mixed in with a few obscurities, a random crowd request (the always great ‘Gel”) and a strange impromptu fifteen minute cover/freeform/writing session type jam mid-set, which turned out to be a strange highlight to the evening. On a personal note, what made the evening even better was the positivity exuded by the ever so charismatic front man, Ed Roland. While he was the consummate rock star on the stage, working the mic stand and dancing across the stage without managing to look Steven Tyler silly, he took the time, he exuded personal warmth that quickly engulfed the audience. It was clear that he loves what he does night after night, and he not only made sure everyone knew it, but that everyone got to share in that moment.
Saturday evening brought the group that was touted as the main headliner for the entire weekend, Blondie. And honestly, I am not sure what to make of what I heard. On one hand, for a band that has been around in some way for over 40 years, they definitely did a great job, rocking the most loyal of fans and the newbies (like me) for almost 90 minutes or at least until the town curfew kicked in. They played very well, ripping through all their hits, peppered with some of their newest tracks for good measure, (which sound very cool, by the way) and brought a lot of enthusiasm and nostalgic charm to the stage, which held the rowdy crowd captivated. On the other hand, although I hate to say it, they really showed their age during the set. Debbie Harry can still sing quite well, but she can’t really hit the high notes anymore; she can still sing decently, but now every song is played at least an octave down from how it was originally performed. I am getting tired of giving bands the benefit of the doubt due to age, among other factors, and this group is where it ends. Realistically, if you can’t perform it the way it was done x-amount of years ago, then maybe you should stop playing it, even if it is a mainstay. Then again, I don’t want it to sound like I am really trashing Blondie, because they were really good, even better when you stack them against a few of the still existing bands with their longevity. It’s really a tough call, but it’s more accurate to say that I truly enjoyed their set, just not as much as I had hoped I would.
Sunday featured sets from bands that could be considered more geared to the older crowds, as the lawn chairs were definitely in attendance. You can always tell how old the crowd is by how much the acts on stage rock out and how little their supposed fans move during the songs. It was like watching people watch paint dry, with the exception of a small group who huddled up to the barricades; at least they were dancing around and having a great time no matter how ridiculous they looked. First up was one of New Jersey’s biggest and longest lasting rock acts, the Smithereens. Having seen the act before and expecting a great show, they did not let anyone down. Although it became obvious that they didn’t expect to play as long as the set times allotted (there was a lot of extended songs, stalling banter and the odd inclusion of the Star Spangled-Banner), it was still a great way to kick-off the last day of the fest. Now that’s how an older band does it.
The day was capped off with a rocking set from New Jersey bar-room blues mainstays, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. At the risk of trampling on Jerseyans pride, I have never really been a fan of what many consider to be “the sound of the Jersey Shore”. For the longest time I found it to be very outdated and a boring, muddled style of music that wreaked too strongly of its past musical influences. But barely 10 seconds after the Jukes took the stage and ripped into their first song, I had an instant change of heart. The combination of Johnny’s voice (which sounded like someone broke a whiskey bottle in his throat while he was drinking it) and the striking horn section yanked my attention away from photo shooting and right to the center of the stage. Basically, the tunes weren’t strong enough to urge me to run out and buy all of their albums, but it was definitely good enough for me to have enjoyed the show, and to have made a casual fan out of me. Even with all the aging fans planted front and center rocking out like it was 1975, Johnny was the one who seemed to be having the most fun, giving a performance expertly leading with his highly skilled band of musical veterans, not bad for a 63-year-old Rock ‘n’ Roller.
The only blight on the weekend was my one major complaint: the Freeholders. Right before every band took the stage, the mind-numbingly irritating “announcer” had to strut onstage and, along with the same barrage of unnecessary sponsor announcements and suck-up thank you’s, the good ol’ Freeholders had to be brought up postage and introduced to the crowds time and time again! Otherwise, everything else was swell. The UC Musicfest 2011 managed to deliver yet another year of fantastic rock acts, minus the egos.
Vans Warped Tour Review at Monmouth Park Raceway in Oceanport, NJ September 20, 2011
Review by Angela Blasi
The 2011 Vans Warped Tour made its annual summer rounds and I was fortunate enough to have the chance to check it out. I found myself one gray morning making my way to Monmouth Park Raceway ready to see the likes of A Day to Remember, Big D and the Kids Table, Less Than Jake, Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds and a whole host of others.
It would be next to impossible, or just a painfully long read, for me to sit here and list every single thing about each band that I liked and disliked. I will tell you however, that I had the opportunity to catch the set of all but one band I was able to interview and that each group successfully stood and delivered both on and off stage. With that, I’ll delve into some of the highlights of my experience at this years’ Vans Warped Tour.
Upon arrival and waiting in line to enter the venue, the crowd found the one and only MC Lars walking along the massed youth promoting his set. I had no idea who he was yet, but I liked his DIY approach. In just a few short hours I found myself sitting face to face with him and Josh of Weerd Science (formerly in Coheed and Cambria) as the two would be performing together as part of the tour. In interview, Lars was quiet and thoughtful while Josh was the more animated of the two, energetically expressing his love and enthusiasm for music. However, when it came time to catch the actual live performance, MC Lars seemingly crawled out of his shell and was absolutely spectacular. Both performers gelled well together on stage, each with his own musical prowess. It became clear quickly that the two were by no means all talk; they did in fact love every second of performing and creating music. It was refreshing to see the happiness and passion still very much alive in artists who are no strangers to the music industry.
I ran into Patrick Salmon from Tomorrows Bad Seeds in the crowd and had a few minutes to catch up since I spoke to him last and his band mates the previous year. Casually, we talked and he is still just as cool as he was last year and he brought me up to speed with the last 365 days and their continuing success. I was able to catch their set and I’m pleased to report that they’re doing great. Their live performance and sound quality coupled with the energy that is so unique to the band has not fizzled out despite rigorous touring and overall momentum.
The rest of the day consisted of back and forth from press to stage areas, interviewing bands I was familiar with and some I had never heard before. I came out of this years Warped with a few new bands tucked away for further research and some of whom converted me to an instant fan. From Sick of Sarah, who I might add are absolutely awesome, funny and badass on stage both in personality and musical styling, to the very theatrical and unique Venetia Fair, to one of my long time favorites Big D and the Kids Table, I was not disappointed with this year’s lineup.
Maybe it was just me, but I felt like this year’s show was more solid and musically diverse than last year’s event. Did I mention Mr. Dee Snider of Twisted Sister himself paid a visit to this year’s event? Yup, he did. I have no idea why, but suddenly there he was surrounded by press conducting a group interview.
Vans Warped Tour 2011 Review September 8, 2011
On July 23, 2011 I said screw the heat wave and headed to Nassau Collisuem in NY for my 9th Vans Warped Tour. Complaining about the tortuous temperature was not bring relief, however, huddling in the shadows of merch tents and chilling on the air-conditioned Monster Energy truck did. The first band I checked out was Sick of Sarah. I am not usually a fan of female rock bands, but these chicks can play. I enjoyed the live set more than their recorded tracks for the fact that there was more energy and less harmony. The songs I recommend are “Bittersweet” and “Not Listening.”
Next I headed over to the Nintendo 3DS stage to check out Moving Mountains. Before their set started, I caught the last couple of songs from Simple Plan. I was slightly shocked to see them on the tour, but their new album is not too shabby. Lyrically, the band grew up. I really enjoy their single “When I’m Gone.” They ended with crowd pleaser “I’d Do Anything”. Oh high school, oh reminiscing.
I’m happy to now cross Moving Mountains off my list of bands to see. When previewing the band, I was reminded of The Get Up Kids (think On A Wire) with a touch of Brand New, which is extremely rare. The band owned the stage and their performance was nothing less than phenomenal. ”The Cascade,” “With One’s Heart In One’s Mouth” and “Where Two Bodies Lie” are my favorite tracks. I can’t wait to check out their albums. Emo music used to be good back in the day when it first became a popular, yet it is still a misunderstood and undefined genre. This band reminds me of that; like when ‘emo’ wasn’t such a shameful word. I deem this band mandatory to check out.
The Narrative was up next at Kia/Kevin Says stage. Local natives to Long Island, NY, the crowd filled rather fast, and more were gathering as each note played. I loved “Fade” and “The Moment That It Stops”. Their voices (Suzie Zeldin and Jesse Gabriel) are just so pleasant to hear with melodic hooks and lyrics. When I take my next train ride, I know “Trains” will be on my iPod. The music paints a great picture of the best train ride you’ll ever take; like you’re 5 years old and it’s your first time on one. I get Tim Burton vibes from this song, but that’s probably just me. The band may not have been something I would expect on the tour, but hey, the times they are a changin’. We’re All Warped.
A break between bands to check out the sites and find some shade.
I love the cloths from Sooshi Clothing Company. They have these adorable plush wasabi/ginger duo and sashimi. Sadly, they’re only up for raffle, so I opted for a shirt, this one. Skull Candy was selling head phones for $10 on top of throwing some free pairs into the crowd. There were giant drinking water trucks with “durkin water” to fill up your water bottles and misting tents to cool down. The Monster Energy truck was on site providing air-conditioned seating and free Monster drinks. I love the Absolutely Zero; it’s energy without the guilt. Oh, and of course I couldn’t forget to catch some skaters!
I have to admit, I had no idea Middle Class Rut consisted of only two members Zack Lopez (vocals/guitar) & Sean Stockham (vocals/drums). Before there set, I had only heard their single “New Low,” which I love. I wish I could say the same about their other tracks, but didn’t care for them. Was it lacking something? It still felt like a full sound on stage, but it got repetitive after a while, and this coming from a gal who loves her jam bands. I didn’t stick around for the full set and of course, “New Low” was played last. I heard it half way across the venue and thought to myself “Fuck,” but sang along to the chorus anyway.
When I was checking the lineup of the tour this year, I knew I had to make a stop and hear Lucero. Again, a sound I thought I’d never experience on Warped Tour. This alternative/country/punk band from Memphis had just enough punk rock in their veins to spark my interest. I’m picking up Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bruce Springsteen and at times and Gaslight Anthem. It’s something that everyone can enjoy and I appreciate them being on the tour. ”The Devil and Maggie Chascarillo” is a must hear. Listen here.
The highlight of the day was watching Less Than Jake perform while standing on stage left. Taking pictures in a photo pit is awesome, but stage shots just rock harder. Less Than Jake takes to the stage like a fish to water (or the smell of weed at The Expendables’ set); they are natural performs and there was never a dull moment on stage. They were fast to point out some visions of Long Island; Chris Demakes told a young girl who flashed her tits to “Put them away!” Rightfully so, good move Demakes.
Another issue/concern they pointed out was the haircut choices of the crowd; lots were sporting the Justin Beiber do and that was not going to fly. The band pulled up on stage one of the look-a-likes and made it a point that this had to change. JR revealed the mohawk strip and buzzer. The original kid chickened out, thus proving the wimpy look and demeanor the Beiber cut holds, and a true punk rocker was selected. He let JR and Buddy shave his head into a mohawk. Not over yet, the band pulls a girl from the audience for the freshly mohawk rebel to make out with on stage. Only downfall to the onstage mohawk was my location and the direction the wind. Thank God for giant speakers to duck behind to dodge the hair. ”Mr. Personality” from their new EP Greetings From… was a big hit, as were all the classics. They deliver so many songs in one set it feels like they covered everything I wanted to hear. I was happy to hear three tracks from TV/EP released back in October 2010, the theme songs to Animaniacs, Spongebob Squarepants and i-Carly. Before I knew it, we were asked to leave the stage and the band was performing their last song. What a great experience! Coming soon, NVMP’s interview w/ JR!
Big D & The Kids Table was up next, another Warped veteran on bill. I wasn’t able to catch their entire set, but still had a great time. They played some tracks off of their new album that dropped on 7/5/11, The Damned, The Dumb and The Delirious. Ska music is getting scarce these days, so you have to appreciate the classics. Sure, there are new bands coming out w/ brass sections trying to keep Ska alive, but remember your roots; both LTJ and Big D have been around since the 90s. Ska is a genre of music. If you don’t like it, then you don’t have to listen. Fact is, the sound has never changed; ska music is known for having a horn section to tie together the elements of a rock/punk band. Ska music will always have a place on my iPod.
Another new band I’m happy to have discovered this year is Go Radio on Fearless Records. Hailing from Tallahassee, Florida, these rockers have some dangerously addicting songs that had me practically paralyzed at the stage. The lyrics are catchy and the hooks are strong enough for me to have just used the word “paralyzed”. This is Jason Lancaster’s band since leaving Mayday Parade. I got a good taste of this band to make me definitely dig deeper into their music. ”Goodnight Moon” was #8 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and sold more than 15,000 copies in 2010 off of Do Overs And Second Chances. ”Any Other Heart” was great live; lots of passion and energy, and definitely a song that drags you in and leaves you wanting more.
No strangers to the tour, up next were The Expendables. Ryan DeMars made a quick statement before their set, something to the tune of ‘light ‘em if you got ‘em.’ A minute later, the audience smelled fantastic and the mood mellowed out. I love reggae. I love punk. I love The Expendables. ”Down Down Down” and “Sinsemilla” are my favorite tracks.
Another new band to check out was Blacklist Royals. I hear Rancid and the Ramones with a taste of Gaslight Anthem, which means it grabbed my attention immediately and deserves a fair listen. Their stage presence was pure energy and they knew how to keep the attention of the crowd. Great set and will definitely be checking out more of their music.
“American Hearts” and “Sick of Sin” are great tracks to start with.
The last band I was able to catch was illscarlett. These boys are certainly no stranger to VWT, and this year, Lyman selected them to play the entire tour. You’ve come a long way illscarlett, from playing your music at the gates of Warped Tour to rocking out on the whole festival! Dub rock is a type of music that is extremely hard to hate, or at least that’s how I feel. Yet again, their live set was able to get the crowd to unite and puff, puff pass.
All in all, it was another successful year at the Vans Warped Tour. I can’t help but to feel that the theme this year was fusion bands. With acts like Larry and his Flask, Lucero, Lionize, Peelander-Z, MC Lars and Weerd Science, River City Extension, all combining different elements of various genres, it lets us hear music we might have never listened to. IE- I’m not a fan of country, but Lucero is pretty damn sweet. In River City Extention there are eight members and that alone is enough of a fusion to create a unique sound. We’re all warped, see you there next year! Thanks for everything.
Here is a slide show of the best pictures I took at Warped this year, enjoy!
Review and Pictures by Tina Nicole Teresi
Flogging Molly’s 7th Annual Green 17 Tour Has Started, Let The Count Down To St. Patrick’s Day Begin! February 9, 2011
CLICK HERE FOR A FREE DOWNLOAD OF FLOGGING MOLLY’S NEW SINGLE “DON’T SHUT EM DOWN”
PURCHASE TICKETS HERE
Yes! We can hardly contain ourselves either! Flogging Molly’s 7th Annual Green 17 Tour is now making its way across the US and shortly to the east coast! With the tour off to a fresh start, NVMP is looking forward to the dates at House of Blues in Atlantic City, NJ on 2/19 and Terminal 5 in New York, NY on 3/2. The Green 17 Tour started in 2004 as a count down to St. Patrick’s Day with a performance celebration in each city leading up to the holiday. Which city is your city? Check out the cities and venues of the tour below.
If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, I hope you’re blessed with the luck of the Irish, because these tickets won’t be available for long. To buy your tickets now and for more information, visit www.floggingmolly.com.
CMJ 2010 November 9, 2010
Review by TNT
As new music filled the streets of the Lower East Side and Williamsburg during CMJ 2010, I was eager to discover something new for my ears to devour. I did my research and planned a schedule; I was able to see majority of the bands and artists that struck my musical fancy and I will share some of those gems in just a moment. In a future post, I will give a list of bands deemed worthy of checking out, either live or recorded, that’s your prerogative.
On Tuesday night, 10/19, I headed to NYU Judson Church to pick up my badge. Walking through Washington Square Park felt like a moment of clarity and a breath of relief. We all have our day jobs, and this year I was hitting up CMJ Tuesday through Friday immediately after mine, braving the rushing hour traffic from Jersey to NYC (averaging around an hour and a half of traffic each day). This felt like my happy hour (minus the bar). Working through a day job you don’t love and following it up with something you just can’t get enough of (new music, NYC, networking, meeting up with friends you don’t get to see as much as you’d like to), even knowing that you’re not going to be sleeping all week, made every second worthwhile. Next stop was right next door, NYU Kimmel Center, for the festival guide and other various goodies. Props to Reverend Moose and company for selecting such unbelievably fashionable travel bags.
Last but not least, I hunted down the Pure Volume House, which was conveniently located at the back alley of Extra Pl., a street I never knew existed in NYC until now. I grabbed my pass, but am sad to say that I never made it inside. Guess the discovery of Extra Pl. was good enough. I saw Aunt Martha at Pianos once again. Three members out of four played, but were still able to fill the air with their ambiance. At least the last time I saw them there were four members, but their MySpace says three is the magic number. But that is neither here nor there. I always fall in love with the picture their lyrics and beats paint; it washes over me like a tidal wave. My favorite songs were “Neighbor Song” and “Detroit City”. They’ll be at The Living Room on 11/12 if you want to check them out live.
My favorite band at CMJ was Black Taxi. I saw them at Bowery Electric Tuesday night and at the CMJ Gallery on Wednesday. They always blow my mind. Their live show is seriously not to be missed; so much energy and raw power! Lead singer Ezra brings out a smorgasbord of instruments to keep your eyes and ears at attention. My favorite? The megaphone. This man knows how to use it, especially in “Up Here for Thinking, Down There for Dancing”. He crawled along the bar at the CMJ Gallery and jumped into the crowd. I love Things of That Nature; every single song is a hit for me. I dare you to not love them live, I double dog dare ya!
After surviving more rush hour traffic, I was ready hit the clubs and bars supporting CMJ on Wednesday. One of the first bands I saw was the New Collisions @ CMJ Gallery. This was a great band to check out live. The lyrics were a mix between fun, carefree anthems and some darker lines. The sound had a powerful pop rock/punk vibe with a new wave touch. Besides their onstage energy, I thought the synth really made this band come alive. Their catchy rhythms and beats kept the crowd moving.
I hate when you walk into a show and you know the band is on their second to last or last song. It was a real shame with Click Clack Boom because they sounded like a band I would have wanted to catch their entire set. I wish I could have heard more. No use being upset, they often play in NYC. I’m excited to hear more from this band and look forward to seeing them live again, hopefully a full set this time around.
One of the buzz bands at CMJ this year was Blood Red Shoes, whom I checked out at Le Poisson Rouge. Minimal effects, just raw guitar riffs and drums made this rock duo from Brighton, UK a must see. I loved what I heard on their MySpace page, but was not overly impressed with them live; I was expecting more from all the hype. I liked that they both had a ‘I don’t care’ attitude while on stage, as if they were both in their own worlds and communicating only by looks. Their music was pure and I would enjoy them at house party, but otherwise wouldn’t see them live again.
What could be a better end to a night of live music then with a dance party? Nothing, which is why my last stop Wednesday night was at Bowery Ballroom to see The Knocks. So much fun! I can add them to my list of bands I’d hire to play a private party. This duo knows how to kick it into high gear and get a crowd going wild. The Knocks have been on my ‘must see’ list for some time, and I was not let down. I recommend checking out some music, live if you can.
Thursday I had my heart set on seeing only a couple of bands. I started at Arlene’s Grocery for Braids at the M for (pour) Montreal showcase. As I waited for the music to start, I tried some free poutine, which is the Canadian version of disco fries (cheese and gravy on french fries). I wasn’t crazy about the poutine, as the cheese was chunky and cold, the gravy was hot, and the fries were stale. Maybe next time Canada, but I’m gonna pass on your version of an American classic. I was not in love with Braids, they were all about the effects and it sounded like one big experiment to me. I respected the effort and the sound was interesting to hear. I stayed for most of their set when I was honestly done with them after the first few songs. It started to get a bit repetitive. Experiments are usually fun to watch, but I just wasn’t getting down with Braids. I decided to hit up Bruar Falls in Williamsburg to catch Turbogeist from London/SE UK. Tonight was the last show on their tour and knew it could not be missed. This thrash rock band had so much energy and was just the music I needed to hear after the cab ride from hell (note to self and others- do not get a hot cup of coffee for a cab ride in NYC. It’s just not going to happen). “Extreme Closeup” was a great song to hear live and is about Wayne’s World. I also loved “Ice Cold Beer” and “Devil’s Barter”. This band is must see/must hear, check them out immediately!
Friday, the last day of CMJ for TNT. I started the night at Pianos to check out Lord Huron for my curiosity. Their MySpace page had me intrigued with elephants swimming in the ocean. While listening, I felt like water was flowing all around me and that I was on vacation, either in Hawaii (because of the hula dancers on-screen behind them) or Africa (music has a tribal/tropical feel to it, like I was going on a safari). I don’t think I came to any conclusions while listening to Lord Huron, but I did like the relaxed and chilled state their music put me in. Any kind of music that is new to my ears and can do that gets a thumbs up in my book. I wanted to see Bonfire at The Delancey, but due to a last-minute cancellation, I stuck around to check out Midnight Spin. I liked what I heard, but it was short-lived when a bass string broke on stage. It happens, but I didn’t have the time to stick around because K.Flay was playing next at Fat Baby. Man alive, this girl is talented! She can rap like no one I’ve ever heard. Such speed and accuracy made me pay attention long ago, but any chance to hear her live is not to be taken for granted. She just finished up a tour w/ Passion Pit and is on tour with 3OH!3. Phenomenal!
The band to surprise me the most was Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. You know when you know of a bands’ existence and have heard a song or maybe two, but just never really gave them the light of day or a fair chance? This is what DEJJ was for me, until this epic night. I LOVED every single song they played, reminding me of a mix between OkGo and Weezer and a touch of The Beatles. The harmonies blew me away, the sound was so in tune that it felt natural for them; the pitch was perfect. I was shocked to see them in the racing jumpsuits; those things have to be heavy and hot. After the show, I did confirm with Daniel Zott that it’s 100% true. Until next year CMJ!