Nevermind The Posers

See ya in the pit.

2016 Says Good-Bye, 2017 Says Hello December 31, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — NVMP @ 6:17 PM
What a year 2016 has been.  Van’s Warped Tour was one of the best years since the early 2000’s (New Found Glory, Reel Big Fish, Sum41, Yellowcard, Pepper, Ballyhoo!, and Less Than Jake certainly made Warped Tour great again), Metallica’s Hardwired…To Self-Destruct was released (now just anxiously awaiting US tour dates), and The Living End released Shift AND toured in the US (where I reunited with the trio at Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, NJ and somehow signed up to be a platelet donor).
That being said, I must point out that we’ve lost a lot of amazing music venues/bars/restaurants in the tri-state area.
  • Cake Shop on Ludlow Street will be closing after their New Year’s Eve bash.  This one is hard to stomach as I’ve seen a lot of incredible sets downstairs at this crowded, heat-trapped stage since 2005.  When their neighbors The Living Room closed their doors to re-open up in Brooklyn on Metropolitan Avenue, I was saddened to see three music venues in a row on Ludlow knocked down to two.  But now just one?  If anything happens to Pianos there’s going to be hell to pay!
  • Oi vey…now to talk about the closing of (many) music venues due to hosting NYC Oi Fest.
    • Black Bear Bar (which was right next to Music Hall of Williamsburg and formally Public Assembly and Galapagos Art Space) closed their doors in early September.  They hosted the first night of the controversial Oi Fest! over Memorial Day weekend and cancelled the event in progress due to pressure by promoters.  Black Bear Bar posted this statement on Facebook: “This past Saturday night it came to our attention that our venue room was booked for a two-day festival which featured reprehensible displays of hate and intolerance. We immediately took action that night to cancel the remainder of the event as soon as we confirmed what had taken place. The booking was made by a third-party booking agent and not by Black Bear. That booker also used our social media accounts to make posts that neither I nor any owner of Black Bear condoned or approved. We have fired the booking agent. The owners of Black Bear apologize to our fellow New Yorkers for this disgusting event. Hate and intolerance are not welcome at our bar and have no place in our great city.”  Not long after hosting this mistake of an event the skate bowl/motorcycle bar was forced to closed.
    • Santo’s Party House in Chinatown closed immediately after hosting the second night of NYC’s Oi Fest on May 29th.  I’ve had so many great nights at this place and for years wanted to host my own party here. This place will be deeply missed and I have no beef against Andrew W.K. who was part owner of the venue.  People make mistakes, and clearly deciding to have anything to do with Oi Fest is one of them.
    • That being said, The Acheron also closed their doors in July “As a result of numerous factors that are completely out of our control, the space can no longer be used for shows,” said in a statement from the owners.  The adjacent bar, The Anchored Inn, will remain open.  The Ancheron hosted NYC’s Oi Fest back in 2013 and apologized to their regulars who felt the need to leave.
  • The Grand Victory, another grungy dive bar gem on Grand Street in Brooklyn, closed their doors on July 31st.  The Trash Bar used to be across the street, and closed back in 2015.  Long live the grungy dive bars, lost but never forgotten.
  • It’s with a very heavy heart I say that Rebel Rebel Records on Bleeker Street closed this past June.  Sure, there’s Rough Trade in Brooklyn, but it will never hold as much history as Rebel Rebel did.  Due to rising rent prices, they were forced to close their doors forever after being in business for 28 years.
  • Peanut Butter & Co. on Sullivan Street closed at the end of February. Luckily you can still buy their delicious peanut butter, but you’ll be responsible for your own sandwich creations.  They were in business at this location for 17 years and one of the first single-ingredient sandwich shops in the area.
  • Carnegie Deli on 7th closed their doors yesterday, 12/30.  You can still get tasty pastrami sandwiches at their other locations, although I’ve always preferred Katz.

Okay, that’s enough sad reminiscing.  Let’s get positive and review what has opened up this year, and what will open up in 2017:

  • Brooklyn Steel (a The Bowery Presents venue) is set to open in the spring of 2017 at 319 Frost Street.  They are already booking shows, opening with 3 days of The Decemberists.
  • The Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk officially opened June 25th and has already hosted many great acts.
  • Brooklyn Bazaar closed in 2015 but has now reopened as of September 9th at 150 Greenpoint Avenue.  So many great things to do here; if you’re bored, this is where you should be.  Live music, market place with the most unique vendors, karaoke/arcade/ping pong/mini-golf, and The Brooklyn Star food and bar (serving brunch on Sundays)
  • The Lucky Bee – 252 Broome Street – opened towards the end of January this year.  They serve seasonal Thai curries, Southeast Asian street snacks and cocktails in a colorful space. The cocktail menu features drinks made with honey, and a dollar of every drink sold is donated to the New York City Beekeepers Association. The owners hope to raise bees on the roof in the future. 
  • Pet Shop opened up in Jersey City this past August.  They host occasional live music and have a wine bar in the basement, not to mention a menu of original vegetarian plates.
  • Park and Orchard in Rutherford, NJ closed in July 2015 and re-opened under new ownership on April 1st 2016.  This restaurant has always been about healthy, organic vegetarian options and the new menu still seems to carry that torch. They also say they’ve kept a few classics on the menu, but I do not see the famous Crawfish Enchiladas so I have been hesitant to try it out.  Hopefully they still make the best French martini known to man.

 

Hope everyone has a happy new year!

 

Matt Alonso Breaks Down Walls in the Music Industry December 4, 2016

by Nicole Seitz

Last December I interviewed senior music industry student Matt Alonso about his Kickstarter for Cortex which successfully raised $5,500. It may sound cheesy, but what once was an idea has now become a reality for Alonso after nine months of dealing with the ups and downs of the industry and working four jobs to make sure his dream would come true.

The platform of Cortex is a way for musicians to connect with their fans, according to Alonso. Currently the website thecortexmusic.com can be used for fans to download their favorite artists’ music for free. Artists that are registered with Cortex currently include current Blue Hawk Records artists Littlebear and The Ramparts Rebel and some Monmouth alumni bands like The Bunks, Flammable Animals, and Grin & Bear. Some local bands, such as Bounders and The Black Sox Scandal, are featured on the website as well.

The website had its first soft launch in mid-September 2016. Artists pay a single payment of $50 to start connecting with their fans and making money off their music. Although this is only the beginning, Alonso has a lot in store for Cortex. Within the next year Alonso wants to “go towards streaming music for these artists’ and get them paid more than Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music combined.”

We have seen artists like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift take a stand against the music streaming sites that only seek to take money from artists. Alonso’s goal is to “put the music industry back in the hands of the artists.”

He explained that current CEO’s of these streaming sites have a formula they use to calculate how much money goes to the artist and how much goes to them and Alonso blatantly stated “I made up my own formula and it’s better.”

His whole platform revolves around making sure the artist get paid fairly and can connect with their fans. Alonso recently celebrated his first two cents of revenue, and although that may not be much to most of us, it meant the world to him and the future of Cortex.

His focus is on the artist themselves. “If [Cortex] helps at least one other person, I’ll be grateful,” Alonso stated. He is a huge music lover himself and sees the dwindling appreciation for the art of music. “Music is a beautiful thing that is taken for granted,” Alonso believes.

Alonso’s goal is to raise awareness of this lost art by starting locally. Many of the artists that represent Cortex right now are Monmouth County bands, and Alonso hopes that by being a part of Cortex they can grow. Alonso said, “Every band that anyone has ever loved was once a local band.” He urged people to support their local artists by listening to your local music scene.

Joe Rapolla, Chair and specialist professor of the Music and Theatre Arts department, has had Alonso as a student and says “This is exactly the kind of creative initiative we love to see our students take. I applaud Matt’s entrepreneurial efforts with Cortex. I’ve told him, like we tell all of our students, that we are here to support them if they have an idea that they’d like to pursue…whether while here at Monmouth, or beyond.”

Rapolla continued “I am constantly making the point that the business world isn’t just looking for workers to come in to be told what to do, but rather innovators that ask how they can add value, and contribute to a solution.”

Dave DePaola, a senior music industry student, commented, “Matt is such a great dude and has such a love and passion for music. He’s doing something that the industry should have been doing for years and he’s doing it all to help promote the art of music and get artists’ the appreciation they deserve. I wish him all the luck through out this whole journey.”

The future of Cortex will provide artists an option to pay a little more and register to be Premium Artists. This premium feature will allow artists to see the demographics of who is listening to their music and where these fans are.

This feature will allow the musicians to get to the fans that are listening and make more connections with them. Alonso described how there is a huge disconnect between artists and fans and this feature can hopefully break down those walls.

The passion and enthusiasm Alonso has for this project and for music in general is evident. He has big plans for the future and hopes to change the world of the music industry. If you’re interested in checking out the website go to thecortexmusic.com and sign up to be a fan and become a part of a music revolution.

 

Election Day 2016 November 8, 2016

Election Day…smell that?  Yep, that’s the smell of your freedom.  We could care less about who you vote for, the important thing is that you vote. You have a voice, so speak up!

HeadCount followed Van’s Warped Tour this summer to sign up as many young voters as possible.  They’ve registered close to 30,000 new voters this year (including 2,000+ on Warped Tour) and over 350,000 voters since started in 2004. Here’s a short video of the opinions  of young voters at Vans Warped Tour (the opinions may be surprising). It features members of Sleeping with Sirens, Reel Big Fish and Every Time I Die, plus Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman, and many young fans.

Fact of the matter is that this election is between 2 major candidates. But what do you do when you despise both of them, and cannot envision our country run by a Fascist or a Warmonger?  You still vote.  Consider the Green Party and candidate Jill Stein:

Remember that vote for ANYONE still counts.  Maybe you just want to party hard and think Andrew W.K. and the Party Party is a good option:

Or, maybe you’ve always wanted a pony and think Vermin Supreme is the way to go:

Look, it doesn’t matter who you vote for…all politicians are liars, will do anything for your ballot, and it’s usually between a giant douche or a turd sandwich anyway.  But someone has to lead our country so get out there and vote…because, reasons.

 

41 Tips For Women Starting Out In The Music Business (Repost from PIAS) September 28, 2016

Filed under: Interviews,Too Cool for a Category — NVMP @ 11:36 PM
Tags: ,

“It’s a male-dominated industry, but that means your perspective is even more value. Speak your mind, speak truth to power – never be afraid to be “that girl.”” – Michelle Lhooq

This is an amazing post and I’m honored to share these tips!  Thank you to PIAS for this post!

41 tips for women starting out in the music business

 

 

Vans Warped Tour – 22 Years and Going Strong! July 4, 2016

Vans Warped Tour is in its 22nd year and has become America’s longest running music festival!

VWT 16

“It’s fun to see so many people excited to be back on the road together. Warped continues to be a community that makes it all worth while.” says tour founder Kevin Lyman.

With a back-to-basics lineup that signals a return to the tour’s roots, the 22nd edition of Warped Tour welcomes back several fan favorites, including: American Authors, Atreyu, New Found Glory, Tonight Alive, Less Than Jake, Yellowcard, We The Kings, Sleeping With Sirens, Falling In Reverse, Four Year Strong, Reel Big Fish, Sum 41 and Pepper, to name a few.

NVMP is excited to check out some of the new talent hitting the tour this year like Dash Ten, Capsize, Mother Feather and Reckless Serenade (this year’s BBQ Band), as well as classic punk rockers like Less Than Jake, New Found Glory, Ballyhoo!  and Reel Big Fish. We’re also beyond excited to check out The Interrupters!  We’ll see you on the tour in New Jersey on Sunday July 17th at PNC Bank Arts Center – hopefully it won’t be recorded as the hottest day of the year again.

Since the band schedule is released daily for each tour date, here’s a list of bands and the stage that they will be playing on.  This should hopefully help you plan ahead.  Don’t forget to find the dude selling the full line up when you enter your venue – that thing is a lifesaver and well worth the couple of bucks.  Or, you can fight your way to the inflatable schedule and take a picture.

Journeys Left Foot Stage

Falling In Reverse 6/23-8/13

Four Year Strong 6/24-8/13

Good Charlotte 7/19-7/28

Less Than Jake 6/24-8/13

New Found Glory 6/24-8/13

Reel Big Fish 6/24-8/13

Set It Off 6/24-8/13

Sum 41 6/26-8/7

The Summer Set 7/30-8/13

Waka Flocka Flame 8/5-8/13

We The Kings 6/24-8/13

Yellowcard 6/24-8/13

Journey’s Right Foot Stage

3OH!3 7/21-7/31

ISSUES 6/24-8/13

Mayday Parade 6/24-8/13

Pepper 6/24-6/29, 7/1-7/22

Real Friends 6/24-8/13

Sleeping with Sirens 6/24-8/13

State Champs 6/24-8/13

The Maine 6/24-8/13

The Story So Far 6/24-8/13

Tonight Alive 6/24-8/13

Monster Energy Party Zone North Stage

Atreyu 7/19-8/7

Bullet For My Valentine 7/19-7/22

Crown The Empire 6/24-8/13

Every Time I Die 6/24-8/13

Ice Nine Kills 6/24-8/13

Motionless In White 6/24-8/13

The Color Morale 6/24-8/13

The Word Alive 6/24-8/13

Volumes 6/24-7/17

Whitechapel 6/24-8/13

Monster Energy Party Zone South Stage

Chelsea Grin 6/24-8/13

Coldrain 6/24-8/13

Cruel Hand 6/24-8/13

From Ashes To New 6/24-8/13

Gideon 6/24-8/13

In Hearts Wake 6/24-8/13

Oceans Ate Alaska 6/24-8/13

Vanna 6/24-8/13

Veil Of Maya 6/24-8/13

Poseidon Stage

Emarosa 6/24-8/13

I See Stars 6/24-8/13

Knuckle Puck 6/24- 8/13

Masked Intruder 6/24-8/13

Prof 7/26-8/13

Roam 6/24-8/13

SECRETS 6/24-8/13

The Heirs 6/24-8/13

The Interrupters 6/24-8/13

Young Guns 6/24-8/13

Cyclops Stage

Against The Current 6/24-8/13

Assuming We Survive 6/24-8/13

Ballyhoo! 6/24-8/13

Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! 6/24-8/13

Ghost Town 6/24-8/3

Sykes 6/24-8/13

Teenage Bottlerocket 6/24-8/13

Too Close To Touch 6/24-8/13

Waterparks 6/24-8/13

Full Sail Stage

Avion Roe 6/24-7/21

Bad Seed Rising 6/24-7/27

Broadside 6/24-8/13

Cane Hill 6/24-8/13

Capsize 7/17-8/13

Dash Ten 6/24-8/13

Hail The Sun 6/24-7/16

Like Pacific 6/24-8/13

More To Monroe 7/28-8/13

Mother Feather 6/24-8/13

Old Wounds 6/24-8/13

Palaye Royale 6/24-8/13

Reckless Serenade 6/24-8/13

Safe To Say 6/24-8/13

SayWeCanFly 7/22-8/13

Silent Planet 6/24-7/17

The New Low 7/19-8/13

Wage War 6/24-8/13

With Confidence 6/24-8/13

And here is a list of the remaining tour dates:

7.5 CHARLOTTE, NC

7.6 VIRGINIA BEACH, VA

7.7 SYRACUSE, NY

7.8 PHILADELPHIA, PA

7.9 NEW YORK, NY

7.10 HARTFORD, CT

7.11 SCRANTON, PA

7.13 BOSTON, MA

7.14 BUFFALO, NY

7.15 PITTSBURGH, PA

7.16 COLUMBIA, MD

7.17 HOLMDEL, NJ

7.19 INDIANAPOLIS, IN

7.20 CLEVELAND, OH

7.21 CINCINNATI, OH

7.22 DETROIT, MI

7.23 CHICAGO, IL

7.24 MINNEAPOLIS, MN

7.26 MILWAUKEE, WI

See you in the pit!

TNT

 

The Most Lamentable Tragedy – Titus Andronicus May 18, 2016

Filed under: CD Reviews — NVMP @ 11:28 PM
Tags: ,

A review by Jon Warhol
tlta

Online reviewers have been praising and glorifying the hell out of The Most Lamentable Tragedy as if it’s some grand philosophical statement that’s going to bring peace to mankind. They’re all wrong. Dissenting opinions should always be welcoming punk, so here’s mine.

Before calling me a hater, let’s get one thing straight: Titus Andronicus is one of my favorite bands and there are some really great parts to their 4th album: The Most Lamentable Tragedy (TMLT). However, TMLT is a 29-track 93-minute rock opera in 5 acts that suffers from some little problems which add up to one big problem: it’s just too much. The length, the number of tracks, the concept, the production, the weird parts, the loud parts, the silent parts. It’s just too damn much. Some tracks kick ass, but as a whole it falls flat.

Length: Too long. I own the album on CD and it spans 2 discs. I could dramatically improve it by halving the track list so it’ll fit onto just one. Disc 1 is mostly A-OK, but on disc 2 do we need the Gregorian chant praising Egyptian sun-god Ra? Or the choral version of “Auld Lang Syne”? Or the track called “7 Seconds” that’s just 7 seconds of silence? Or the closing track “A Moral”, an anti-climactic short drone? You get the point.

Lyrics and Vocals: References to classic literature and pop culture and a complicated story about a manic-depressive who meets his doppelgänger, goes through dream sequences and has an existential crisis…or something like that. It’s really hard to get the story simply from listening to the music. This is because most of the album is sung in a scream that’s exhausting, hard to interpret, and just a little too soft in the mix.

I totally get that this is punk rock and it’s supposed to be loud, emotional, confrontational, angsty, blah blah. It certainly achieves all those feelings. But if the lyrics are important and tell such a complicated story, why were they sung and recorded in a way that makes them hard to hear?

Part of me also feels that a 93 minute 5 act opera about one’s personal problems is a little self obsessed à la Roger Waters or Pete Townshend. But hey, I’m not the one with manic depression and it works for Patrick, so to each their own.

Production: Again, I understand punk is supposed to have an in-your-face quality, but listening through the whole thing feels like it was recorded and mixed quickly in one small room. There’s often so much guitar, bass and drums that most of the lyrical content and story gets lost in muddiness. Combined with TMLT’s length, the production and instrumentation really begins to sound the same after a while. You’ll get weary of riff after riff and more guitar and more guitar that by the time disc 2 rolls around, you’ll find yourself skipping tracks.

Things I liked: The band’s performance on TMLT is top-notch. Tight rhythms, powerful chord riffs and melodic guitar solos make parts of TMLT stand out as some of Titus’ strongest playing. There are times when the lo-fi, fast and angry production works well. Tracks 9 – 12 “I Lost My Mind (DJ)”, “Mr. E. Mann”, “Fired Up” and “Dimed Out” are the best on the whole album and would be an awesome EP if released on their own. While the album’s length and production made me miss some of the overall story, I respect that the band tried something bold and new. Titus Andronicus made a true artistic statement with TMLT. Whether or not this statement is realized will vary from listener to listener.

Get it! If you’re already a Titus Andronicus fan and like lengthy rock operas.

Don’t get it! If you’re not already fan. Start with their second album The Monitor. Or, watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKdWBpXlc6E from Titus’ YouTube channel. It’s the best 15 minutes from the whole album.

 

 

Thrice Premieres Official Video For “Black Honey” May 17, 2016

I can’t remember the last time I was this excited for new music from one of my favorite bands!    Only 10 days to go until their new album To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere is released via Vagrant Records/BMG, and only 1 month away Thrice plays the tri-state area!

Check out the music video for “Black Honey”and local dates below

6/16 New York NY @ PlayStation Theater

6/17 Philadelphia PA @ The Fillmore

6/18 Sayreville NJ @ Starland Ballroom

6/19 Boston MA @ House of Blues