Monday, November 21, 2016

Icon For Hire: Do or DIY

>> With the days of mega-rockstars behind us, dipping your toes into the icy waters of the music business is a more frightening prospect than ever before. So imagine the courage it takes, then, to not only take on the industry unaided by a record label, but to leave your label and lose everything in the process. Icon For Hire lost everything leaving their label, including ownership of their first two albums. But even in the face of bankruptcy, addiction, and losing band members, Icon For Hire’s dedication to authenticity in their creative expression never wavered, and their faith paid off tremendously.

>> Aided by their fans (the Icon Army), Icon For Hire became their own label, and lost the shackles that had been holding them back from complete musical sincerity. A band that has always been dedicated to honesty, Icon For Hire could now push the boundaries of expression even further.

>> Though the path following their newfound independence was treacherous, they have said “the pros have far outweighed the cons so far. We adore having full creative control, and it’s a magical feeling to be in the driver’s seat of our own careers. Honestly, we have not experienced many cons so far, except for any fears that were present in the beginning, like, "Can we really do this?” In the end, we had been doing almost everything ourselves anyway, so not having a label wasn't a big adjustment.”

Photo Credit: Emily Beckerbelieveit

>> Now that the band has full control over the album making process, they’ve described their changing relationship with music, saying “We’ve certainly felt more freedom and joy throughout the creation process, which has been coming out in the actual songs. It’s been very empowering to not have to answer to anyone, or worry about impressing the right people at a label so they’ll promote us or something. We only feel responsible for our fans, for creating music that they resonate with. It’s much more fun.”

>> A crowdsourcing campaign that gave fans unprecedented access to the creative process of producing an album (perks ranged from providing backing vocals to appearing in music videos), paired with lead singer Ariel’s weekly videos on self-love and living an authentic life, strengthened the bond between artist and fan. This bond has culminated in the band’s most emotionally raw album yet, and a recently concluded tour they have cited as their most successful to date, noting “we’re playing to the biggest crowds we’ve had on a headlining tour, and everyone is singing every single word. The fans know our story and all that we’ve overcome, so this tour feels like a celebration of everybody's collective victories-personally and as a band.”

>> We live in uncertain times, constantly wary of insincerity, but in the arms of Icon For Hire, there is never a question that what you’re receiving is the unfiltered, hard-earned truth.

Photo Credit: Emily Beckerbelieveit
- Written by Emily Becker

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Live Review: Of Mice & Men, Young Guns @ Gramercy Theatre

Young Guns

Of Mice & Men and Young Guns at Gramercy Theatre on September 16th, 2016

>> It’s a tall order to open for a pillar of the scene at their album release show. It’s an even taller order if you’re not a New York darling and instead hopped across an ocean from London. But in a scene not known for an easy in—I witnessed a girl in line livid about someone “wearing a Three Days Grace shirt at an Of Mice & Men show”—Young Guns were received with open arms and clapping hands. They managed to stitch up the space between uplifting radio jam and throw down rock song and win over everyone in the crowd, from the boy in the Lady Gaga jean jacket to the heavy metal kids with plugs the size of quarters in their earlobes. Young Guns stunned with their authenticity and vivacity, and easily could have stood on their own as a headlining act.

Young Guns

>> As for Of Mice & Men, there were, as always, the outcries of selling out on Facebook and the complaints of going soft on Twitter. But that didn’t stop the band from winning every heart in the room. This is a band that knows how to tap into and fully harness the complete spectrum of human emotion and uses that power for good. Even the parents in the back had a hard time keeping their feet on the ground. If you’ve written off Cold World without hearing it through, I implore you to sit and listen to the album just once—it’s a record made with love and honesty and it deserves to be listened to with open ears and open hearts.

Of Mice & Men
Young Guns
Young Guns
Young Guns

Young Guns
Young Guns

- Words and photos by Emily Becker

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

An Acoustic obSession with The Great Heights Band

Photo by Charow Photography

>> Sometimes you meet a group of people and you hit it off immediately. I was lucky enough to have that very experience with The Great Heights Band from Baltimore, MD. We crossed paths at the Launch Music Conference in Lancaster, PA and the shared love of good laughs, good tunes and good tattoos was fantastic. Hearing that the band would be coming to New York in late August on their Songs In Acoustic Timing Tour was exciting, and we knew we wanted to do something to celebrate.

>> Neal Karkhanis and Eric Taft were the two members embarking on this stripped down tour to perform songs they've written (as well as a few covers) in a totally new way. The duo chose to perform two special songs for our readers here at The Music Obsession, including a brand new one called "The Mountain," and we're thrilled to share these videos with you. 

The Great Heights Band performing "Stay"

>> Though stripped down, there's no denying this band's energy. The positivity and warmth present in these two songs translated beautifully to the full set later that evening. Neal and Eric performed these tunes and a slew of others in a packed room at The Bowery Electric - a room full of friends, fans, and newcomers alike. Each song in the set was accompanied by hand claps or a sing-a-long from the crowd, and it was a performance that would made attendees want to see these guys every time they're in town. Be sure to watch both of these videos, and stay tuned for more from The Great Heights Band.

The Great Heights Band performing "The Mountain"

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Set It Off Announce Something New Tour with Patent Pending

>>  Having completed a successful run on this summer's Warped Tour, Set It Off are set to unveil some new material. The forthcoming album, titled Upside Down, will be released on October 7th via Equal Vision Records and the band is celebrating in style. First, there will be an album release party on October 4th in Winter Park, FL on the campus of Full Sail University. This event will feature a performance from the band as well as a meet and greet and a Q&A moderated by the 2016 Vans Warped Tour Monster Energy Pit Reporter Tori Kravitz. You can find more information on this event here, and for those not in Florida, you'll be able to stream it here from 6pm-9pm EST.

>> Set It Off will hit the road for their Something New Tour two days later to further support the album. The comical punks in Patent Pending will be joining their long time friends on this run, and having watched these two bands perform together for years, I promise you won't want to miss these shows. 

Something New Tour Dates:
Oct 04 - Something New Album Release Party - Winter Park, FL @ Full Sail Live*
Oct 06 - St. Petersburg, FL @ State Theater
Oct 07 - Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits
Oct 08 - Pensacola, FL @ Vinyl Music Hall
Oct 09 - Birmingham, AL @ WorkPlay Theatre
Oct 11 - Nashville, TN @ Rocketown
Oct 13 - Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
Oct 14 - Lancaster, PA @ Lizard Lounge
Oct 15 - Howell, NJ @ GameChangerWorld (Loud Fest)
Oct 16 - Pittsburgh, PA @ The Club at Stage AE*
*Set It Off Only

Get Connected:
Set It OffWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Merch
Patent Pending: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Sum 41 Reveal Don't Call It A Sum-Back Tour Details

>> Fans of puns and pop-punk rejoice: Sum 41 are back and stronger than ever, and they'll be hitting the road once again this fall on the Don't Call It A Sum-back Tour. Clever. Senses Fail and As It Is will be along for support on this month-long run that covers the USA and Canada. VIP packages will be available starting at 10AM local time on Thursday 8/11, and general tickets go on-sale this Friday 8/12 at 10AM local time through Don't forget to pre-order Sum 41's forthcoming album, 13 Voices, which is due out on October 7th via Hopeless Records.

Don't Call It A Sum-Back Tour Dates:
Oct 05 - House of Blues - Orlando, FL
Oct 07 - Revolution - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Oct 08 - State Theatre - St. Petersburg, FL
Oct 09 - Masquerade - Atlanta, GA
Oct 11 - House of Blues - Boston, MA
Oct 12 - Fillmore - Philadelphia, PA
Oct 13 - Starland Ballroom - Sayreville, NJ
Oct 14 - Playstation Theater - New York City, NY
Oct 17 - Metropolis - Montreal, QC
Oct 18 - The Phoenix - Toronto, ON
Oct 19 - St. Andrews - Detroit, MI
Oct 21 - House of Blues - Chicago, IL
Oct 22 - Mill City Nights - Minneapolis, MN
Oct 25 - Union Hall - Edmonton
Oct 26 - MacEwan Hall - Calgary, AB
Oct 28 - Commodore - Vancouver, BC
Oct 29 - Neptune - Seattle, WA
Oct 30 - Hawthorne - Portland, OR
Nov 01 - Regency - San Francisco, CA
Nov 02 - Riverside Municipal Auditorium - Riverside, CA
Nov 04 - Livewire - Phoenix, AZ
Nov 05 - House of Blues - San Diego, CA
Nov 06 - Mayan - Los Angeles, CA

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Good Charlotte Announce Youth Authority Tour with The Story So Far

>> Following a stint on Warped Tour and ever-growing enthusiasm for the project, Good Charlotte have announced a fall tour in support of their new album Youth Authority.  Kicking off in late October, the month-long run will feature a slew of excellent openers including Set Your Goals (10/23 - 10/27), Four Year Strong (11/1 - 11/16), Hit The Lights (11/18 - 11/23), Big Jesus (10/23 - 11/23), and The Story So Far as direct support. Tickets go on sale at 10AM local time this Friday 8/12 via

*Note - the two *'s associated with the 10/23 - 11/23 portion of the run should actually be four *'s as opener Big Jesus will be performing at those dates

Youth Authority Tour Dates:
Oct 22 - Phoenix, AZ 
Oct 23 - Ventura, CA @ Ventura Theatre
Oct 25 - San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
Oct 26 - Pomona, CA @ Fox Theatre
Oct 27 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo
Oct 29 - Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
Oct 30 - Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre
Nov 01 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
Nov 03 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
Nov 04 - Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
Nov 05 - Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theater
Nov 06 - Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room
Nov 08 - Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
Nov 10 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore
Nov 11 - Providence, RI @ Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel
Nov 13 - Boston, MA @ House of Blues
Nov 14 - New York, NY @ PlayStation Theater
Nov 15 - Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
Nov 16 - Washington, DC @ Echostage
Nov 18 - Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
Nov 19 - Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz
Nov 20 - Nashville, TN 
Nov 22 - Houston, TX @ House of Blues
Nov 23 - Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
*The two dates in bold are listed on the flyer but not on GC's website as of 11:15AM on 8/8

Get Connected:
Good Charlotte: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
TSSF: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Set Your Goals Announce East Coast 'Mutiny!' Anniversary Shows

>> After taking three years off to collect themselves, Set Your Goals are back in action with one hell of an announcement. The band will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of their debut album Mutiny! by performing it in full across a series of shows. The East Coast dates of this run will take place in early December with Like Pacific, Can't Swim, and Search Party along for support. Misser will also be along for the ride, which is especially thrilling for fans who have waited patiently for that band to show any sign of life. 

>> Tickets for these shows go on sale Tuesday August 9th at 11AM EST via In addition, the band is releasing a fresh 10th anniversary reissue of Mutiny! in 4 limited variants and special, newly-envisioned cover art. The vinyl reissue will be officially released on September 30th via SmartPunk, and can be pre-ordered starting next Tuesday, August 9th. Get tickets, get vinyl, get stoked.

>> Nowhere near these cities? Want to hear more than just songs from Mutiny? No worries! The band addressed those concerns as you can see below:

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Rare Futures Release X-Files themed Video for "This Is Your Future"


>> UFOs, possible lab experiments and alien abduction? Put on your shoulder pads and Trust No One because Rare Futures is taking us back to the 90s in a government issued rental car. With the release of the video for "This Is Your Future" off of their highly anticipated album This Is Your Brain on Love comes a basement-full of X-Files nostalgia. Through phone taps and back room interrogations we were able to find out that truth seeker Matt Fazzi was inspired to write the song after binge watching seasons of the X-Files with his wife and commiserating with Mulder's plight as a believer in the extraterrestrial and how ultimately love is what drives him to keep believing in something that he can't seem to prove to anyone else.

>> The video was shot in San Jose, California and is a DIY nod to any sci-fi nerd. It feels like you're walking in to a government experiment, a-la Stranger Things and the X-Files movie Fight The Future. There's even a guest appearance by two of our favorite government agents, but you didn't hear that from us.

>> Watch Rare Futures' latest video below. And remember, the truth is out there.

>> Want more nerdy goodness? Peep the band's interstellar stop-motion video for "The Pressure."

Upcoming Shows:
8/19/16 – Philadelphia, PA @ Ortlieb’s
8/24/16 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Resident w/ Beware Of Darkness
8/25/16 – Fullerton, CA @ The Slidebar
8/26/16 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill
9/03/16 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge (w/ Gates)

- Sheila McNair, aka @ThatAlienGirl

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