Nevermind The Posers

See ya in the pit.

The Ramparts Rebel Album Review February 22, 2017

Review by Nicole Seitz

Joey Affatato, senior music industry student and vice president of Blue Hawk Records, has been a part of the Monmouth University music scene since the beginning of his freshman year in the Fall of 2013. Now he has some amazing music to share with us on his album. Affatato’s first band in college was The Ramparts Rebel, which included himself and his uncle’s band, Crypt Keeper Five.

This album is self-titled The Ramparts Rebel, and if you have ever had a chance to see Joey Affatato play live, you will really be blown away about how some of your favorite hits are re-created on this album. As a frequent goer of Affatato’s shows and a friend, I was honestly surprised and super pumped by the artistic magic that I heard in the songs that I often hear live at his shows.

Affatato explains how he composes his music, “When writing an album, I usually start off by writing songs stripped down on my acoustic then eventually, I’ll come up with a cool hook or catchy melody and I’ll go off that,” Affatato states. “Then, I’ll demo the songs out until they sound good enough to bring to the studio to record.” This album definitely sounds like it was carefully put together and well-practiced.

The opening track begins with a Green Day-esque bass riff that just brings you back to 2005 and makes you feel so angsty in the best way possible. This whole track is just angry and honest which is very refreshing compared to the many happy-go-lucky love songs that some people may be used to now a days.

The second track on the album, “Faults,” is a go to song for Affatato when he plays out. The perfect example of a hooky, fun, but still angsty song. Sometimes you can’t help but scream the chorus at the top of your lungs and pronounce it ” MY FAAA-AA-WALT!”

The next few tracks have a much more serious vibe. You can tell from the feel of the songs and the lyrics that these are real stories and real life lessons put together into 3 minute ballads. When I first listened to the lyrics of “By My Side,” the third track on the album, I began to tear up because I felt like I could feel every emotion that was put into the song and it was just so relatable.

By track five, “Emily,” we get back into the classic Punk Rock feel with gang vocals screaming “Hey Emily!” and the imperfect guitar tone with upbeat drums and overall punk vibes.

Track six is the only acoustic song on the album. “Brings Me Down” was actually a song that Joey Affatato had recorded with Blue Hawk Records as a part of their fourth compilation album. On Blue Hawk Records he recorded this song full band with The Crypt Keeper Five. However, on this album, the acoustic rendition allows Affatato to really showcase some of his amazing vocal skills. During one of the last choruses, he decides to sing acapella and the tone of his voice is really beautiful and adds a great dynamic to the whole song.

The intro to track seven, “Honey, What Was Your Name?” is very reminiscent of a Blink-182 song later in their career. The vocals and over all vibes of the song remind me a little bit of John O’Callaghan, the lead singer of The Maine, and something off their album Pioneer.

Track eight, “Breakdown,” is one of the most powerful songs on the album, in sound and lyrics. This is a track I had never heard before from going to Joey Affatato’s shows, so it was a shock to hear something that just made me feel so much emotion and tension, in a good way. The song is mostly this blurred-sounding guitar and very clear vocals. This style really allows the listener to hear every word and really hear the story.

The last track is titled “Irene,” cleverly named after the hurricane back in August of 2011. The intro bass riff sounds just like you’re in a movie where a big storm is about to come, like the eerie calm before the storm. “Irene” is another crowd favorite at Affatato’s shows and the recreation of it on the record certainly does not disappoint.

Over all the album is AMAZING! Although Joey Affatato is primarily labeled as a “Punk Rock” artists, this album still finds a way to give you all types of sounds and feelings. From really edgy and angsty, to deep and meaningful.

The lyrics really tell a story. Affatato states “I’ll write lyrics and keep changing them until they’re the exact words I want people to hear when they listen to my music.” The words really do speak to you when you listen to the album. Every line has meaning and every song is another lesson learned. The greatest part about music is that it is a way to express ourselves creatively and Joey Affatato certainly does that.

The Ramparts Rebel is not Affatato’s only project. His new band The Carousers, who are signed to Blue Hawk Records, have been in the studio and are looking forward to dropping their new EP for us soon.

 

 

 

 

 

NeW bEAT FUNd “SCARE ME” Series Of Horror Movie Parodies On Instagram October 30, 2013

New Beat Fund, the group behind the SiriusXM Alt Nation hit “Scare Me,” is celebrating Halloween by rolling out 14 Instagram video parodies of scenes from some of the most esteemed horror movies of all time at http://instagram.com/newbeatfund/.
NewBeatFund2013bMed1

Check out all of their hilarious spoofs below and be sure to follow New Beat Fund on Instagram here and check back on Halloween for a compilation reel!

Psycho: http://instagram.com/p/fgXjNusriP/

Frankenstein: http://instagram.com/p/fi7sC9Mrog/

Blair Witch: http://instagram.com/p/fljjt3srlR/

The Fly: http://instagram.com/p/foLvyesrl4/

The Birds: http://instagram.com/p/fqvgBiMrlj/

The Grudge: http://instagram.com/p/ftVj4asrto/

The Ring: http://instagram.com/p/fv-Iz0srt_/

The Shining: http://instagram.com/p/fyfkUDsrst/

Child’s Play: http://instagram.com/p/f1KFd8MrhG/

Cujo: http://instagram.com/p/f3kNxvMrl4/

Night Of The Living Dead: http://instagram.com/p/f6OePxMrm6/

Friday The 13thhttp://instagram.com/p/f9AZq6srth/

Nightmare On Elm St.: http://instagram.com/p/f_P39Ssro9/

Carrie:  http://instagram.com/p/gBh5QtMrn3/

New Beat Fund Tour Now with 3OH!3, The Summer Set and Wallpaper
Oct. 31                      Minneapolis, MN                    Varsity Theatre
Nov. 1                       Des Moines, IA                        Wooly’s
Nov. 2                       Milwaukee, WI                       The Rave
Nov. 3                       Chicago, IL                                 House of Blues
Nov. 5                       Nashville, TN                            Cannary
Nov. 7                       Orlando, FL                               House of Blues
Nov. 8                       Ft Lauderdale, FL                    Revolution
Nov. 10                     Atlanta, GA                               Buckhead theatre
Nov. 11                     New Orleans, LA                     House of Blues
Nov. 12                     Houston, TX                              House of Blues
Nov. 13                     Dallas, TX                                   House of Blues
Nov. 15                     Albuquerque, NM                   Sunshine Theatre
Nov. 16                     Denver, CO                               Summit Music Hall
Nov. 18                     Boise, ID                                     Knitting factory
Nov. 19                     Spokane, WA                           Knitting factory
Nov. 20                     Seattle, WA                              Showbox at the Market
Nov. 21                     Portland, OR                             Wonder Ballroom
Nov. 23                     Reno, NV                                    Knitting Factory
Nov. 24                     San Francisco, CA                   Fillmore
Nov. 25                     San Diego, CA                          House of Blues
Nov. 26                     Los Angeles, CA                       House of Blues

Watch the official video for “Scare Me” 

 

Psychic Friend Releases Video for “We Do Not Belong” October 6, 2013

Psychic Friend is a band that should be on everybody’s watch list.  William Schwartz, who also fronts Imperial Teen, called upon an old college buddy to help make a video for the second single off of My Rocks Are Dreams.  That college buddy was Sarah Silverman and the video is “We Do Not Belong.”  Based roughly on a Nova documentary called Secret of the Wild Child, about a young girl who had spent her entire developmental period without societal contact. The young girl, played by Silverman, responds to nothing scientists present for stimulation until music is introduced. “We Do Not Belong” stands as the backdrop of Silverman’s character’s recovery, as she dances throughout the last half of the song, leaving Schwartz’s scientific role feeling both proud and accomplished.  This song and Psychic Friend’s music is infectious with a vintage sound and notes of melodic 70’s songwriting.

 

FREE 2013 Topshelf Records Digital Sampler! October 1, 2013

TOpshief

Who doesn’t love free music,especially from a great label like Topshelf Records!  Click here to download: http://topshelfrecords.com/2013/

Boston indie Topshelf Records has released a FREE 78 track sampler featuring songs from all the bands on their roster such as: The World Is A Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die, Have Mercy, Tancred, A Great Big Pile of Leaves, Slingshot Dakota, Defeater, Hop Along, The Sidekicks, Lemuria, Owen, Pity Sex, Citizen, Iron Chic, Pentimento and Many more!

Discover and Enjoy!

 

 

Who’s Betty Who? September 22, 2013

Betty_Who_Promo

The next up and coming pop icon, that’s who!  I have been obsessed with her music for a couple of months now.  She reminds me of early Madonna or an 80’s pop diva, mixed with Katy Perry and a touch of Robyn.  Born in Australia, Betty Who (Jessica Newham) moved to the States to attend Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, followed by Berklee College of Music in Boston where she met producer Peter Thomas.  She now lives in New York City.  You might have already heard one of her songs without even know it.  Have you seen the video of the marriage proposal with the flash mob?  The song they were dancing to was “Somebody Loves You” by Betty Who.  If you haven’t yet seen the video, check it out here (if you’re like me, grab a tissue).  

Since the video posted on 09/11/2013, the video has 10,066,035 and keeps on growing!  On 09/13/213 she performed a sold-out headlining show at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn with JOYWAVE.  Obviously this was going to grab the attention of some major’s, but RCA made the deal.  Read all the details on Billboard.com here.  Her EP The Movement is still available as a free download on SoundCloud here.  My favorite track fluctuates, but right now it’s “High Society.”  Check out a live performance of the song at NYC’s Pianos last month.  

 

Music We Can’t Get Enough Of June 9, 2013

John & Brittany is Philadelphia’s latest unique songwriting duo.  Check out their video for hit track “Paper Planes” off their 2013 album Start Sinning.  John & Brittany tell us, ““Paper Planes” is our first music video, and it’s about our inspirations and aspirations. It’s also a pretty accurate portrayal of the dynamic in John & Brittany; we fight a lot but it’s all for the love of rock n’ roll.”

I’ve just started getting into Freak Owls, but can’t seem to get enough of “Optimistic Automatic.”  I woke up the other day with the song in my head and made it my Thursday anthem.

Found another song to add to the ever-growing summer soundtrack, “If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t On The Dancefloor)” by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.  For those of you who are Arrested Development fans – check out  Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.’s very own Daniel Zott in Episode 13 of the new season out now on Netflix exclusively. Danny leads George Michael’s band in the episode’s opening scene. Here’s what he had to see about the experience:

When I showed up on set Mitchell Hurwitz looked at me and thought I was the wrong guy. It turned out that my hair had just gotten too huge. After taming my mane I got to meet Michael Cera who was playing the piano in between takes. I’m so grateful that I was able to watch a truly talented actor work out his lines and ad-lib in real time. I’m still not sure I was the guy they wanted, but I made the most of my one line and even ad-libbed a blank stare into MC’s eyes.” – Daniel Zott, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. 
 

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.

          

   

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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?

SF:  No.

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.

DTK:  Nice.

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.