Thursday, February 25, 2010

Get Hyped: The Bamboozle Roadshow 2010

The Bamboozle Roadshow 2010
The line-up alternates daily! Tickets on sale March 2nd!

May 21 – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
May 22 – Charlotte, NC @ Uptown Amphitheatre
May 23 – Atlanta, GA @ Six Flags Over Georgia
May 25 – West Palm Beach, FL @ Cruzan Amphitheatre
May 26 – Tampa, FL @ Ford Amphitheatre
May 28 – Houston, TX @ Verizon Wireless Theatre
May 29 – San Antonio, TX @ Six Flags Fiesta Texas
May 30 – Arlington, TX @ Six Flags Over Texas
Jun. 2 – Phoenix, AZ @ Cricket Amphitheatre
Jun. 5 – Concord, CA @ Sleep Train Pavilion
Jun. 6 – Chula Vista, CA @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
Jun. 10 – Minneapolis, MN @ Cabooze Plaza
Jun. 11 – Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
Jun. 12 – Chicago, IL @ Soldier Field – Parking Lot
Jun. 13 – Eureka, MO @ Six Flags St. Louis
Jun. 15 – Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
Jun. 18 – Cleveland, OH @ Time Warner Cable Amphitheatre
Jun. 19 – Cincinnati, OH @ PNC Pavilion
Jun. 20 – Philadelphia, PA @ Festival Pier
Jun. 23 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Amphitheatre
Jun. 24 – Jackson, NJ @ Six Flags Great Adventure
Jun. 25 – Hershey, PA @ Hershey Park Pavilion & Stadium
Jun. 26 – Nassau, NY @ Nassau Coliseum
Jun. 27 – Boston, MA @ Comcast Center
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Name Dropping 101 ; Part 24

>There was a lot going on today involving freebies, album info, mysterious videos, tour dates, and more.

>> Pre-Order Anarbor's new album "The Words You Don't Swallow" here. You'll get a CD + T-Shirt + Poster Pack combination, all for $20! Take advantage of this great deal from a great band.
>> Dates for Saosin's upcoming tour
  • 23- Feb Indianapolis, IN Emerson Theater
  • 24- Feb Sauget, IL Pop’s
  • 25- Feb Covington, KY The Mad Hatter
  • 26- Feb Chicago, IL Cubby Bear
  • 27- Feb Detroit, MI Shelter
  • 28- Feb Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
  • 2- Mar Syracuse, NY Lost Horizon
  • 3- Mar Cambridge, MA Harper’s Ferry
  • 4- Mar Poughkeepsie, NY The Chance
  • 5- Mar Providence, RI Jerky’s Live Music Hall
  • 6- Mar Baltimore, MD Ottobar
  • 7- Mar Virginia Beach, VA Skate High
  • 9- Mar Richmond, VA Canal Club
  • 10- Mar Louisville, KY Headliner’s Music Hall
  • 11- Mar Nashville, TN Exit/In
  • 12- Mar Johnson City, TN Capone’s
  • 13- Mar South Columbia, SC St. Patricks Day at Five Points
  • 14- Mar Greensboro, SC Greene Street
  • 17- Mar Denver, CO Keggs and Eggs
  • 18- Mar Albuquerque, NM Launchpad
  • 19- Mar Tuscon, AZ Club Congress
  • 20- Mar San Bernardino, CA Stinger’s Bar and Nightclub
  • 21- Mar Pomona, CA Glass House

>> Pop Punk band Second Impressions (Long Island, NY) posted a new song called "Cutting Loose" to their MySpace. Check it out there, and buy the single on iTunes! Also, become a fan on facebook.
>> Something is going on with The Maine. They posted the mysterious video below. If you think that's weird, check out their MySpace. So, what do you think it is?

>> The track-listing for the latest release in the "Punk Goes.." series from Fearless Records, Punk Goes Classic Rock, has been announced! Check it out at the official Myspace page.

>> The Summer Set has posted a very important blog about some of their best friends on their tumblr. Click here to read & see how you can help.

>> Something Epic!, another great pop punk band from Long Island, has recently posted their demo to their MySpace. Go listen & tell them how much you love it

PS, Happy #THEUSEDdayTuesday !
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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Interview: The First Place

>> I did this interview back in December, but for some reason it was never posted on this site, just as a note on the fan page. So here it is, posted just as it was a few months ago :)

I recently sent some questions to Steph from The First Place. These are the answers she posted in her MySpace Blog :)

Tell us a little about yourself- name, age, where you're from:
My name is Stephanie. I’m 23 and I live in Upstate, New York. I used to live about 2 hours south though.

If you could meet any person (alive or dead), who would you be & why?:
This is too easy, haha, Billie Joe Armstrong.

What kind of music did you listen to growing up?:
Well, the funny part about this is that I listened to bands like Green Day, Silverchair, Bush, Smashing Pumpkins, No Doubt, Soundgarden, and other similar bands, but I also listened to Hanson and other boy bands. Weird, right?

Who would you consider to be your biggest influences, musical and otherwise?:
Green Day has definitely been my biggest influence, but other bands have inspired me as well, like Jack’s Mannequin/Something Corporate, and sometimes it’s just a random song that I hear that gives me chills that makes me want to write.

When did you first start writing music?:
It started out as poetry, I think, when I was about 12. As I got older, I’d say by 14 I was writing songs, but only the lyrics were actually written down, the melody was in my head. It took a lot of time for me to officially put a song together completely, but I’m just glad it happened!

How long had you been writing before you thought to record it?:
About 9 years actually. I only started recording this year. I recorded my first song at the end of January (’09). (“The Things You Say, The Things You Do”)

What made you decide to record it & share it with the world?:
I figured that if I ever want to do this musician thing as a career that I needed to get moving. I really want to teach people, in a sense, with my music. I want people to feel the way I’ve felt when I hear certain songs; that feeling of someone telling you, “I understand”. I can’t see myself doing anything other than music and being happy, so this is my way of trying to achieve my lifelong goal.

For those who haven’t heard it yet, how would you describe your music?:
It’s definitely pop/rockish, but I’d like to think of it as different sounding, as well as a different message being sent. There are a lot of songs about love and hate, and a lot of songs are very blunt, but I feel like some of my lyrics that apply to certain things in my life, can also be related to something in someone else’s life. I guess what I’m saying is that it’s music with a different kind of message

Have you been compared to other artists? If so, who?:
Well, the obvious, Paramore, but I have been told that people can hear the Green Day influence (whatever that means, hah), but that, of course, made my day. I’ve been compared to some female singers that I’ve never heard of in other countries too.

I hear your EP was recently released. Tell us about it.
Name: A Change of Scenery
# of songs: 4.
who played on it (band-wise): Me and my boyfriend, yup, that’s it.
where it can be purchased:, iTunes, and hopefully more soon.

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment so far?: Finishing my EP and getting on the radio… twice (so far)!

Have you ever played your music live? If not, would you like to?: Not yet, but I plan to this spring/summer.

What are some of the goals you hope to accomplish with your music?:
Pretty much the same as most bands; get signed, get famous, all that fun stuff, except I want to go beyond that and use any sort of exposure that I get to make a difference in the world by making people aware of some of the problems that people tend to sometimes unintentionally ignore, like animal cruelty.

Do you go to shows a lot? If so, who would you like to see/who have you seen recently?:
I use to go to tons of shows, but since I’ve been in grad school, working, and doing this whole music thing, I haven’t had as much time. The last show I went to was Green Day in July and it was the most amazing concert ever (besides the last Green Day show I went to in 2002). I would like to see Blindside again, actually. They put on a heck of a show and their music is awesome. I would also like to see Linkin Park, since I have missed all my opportunities to see them years ago. Oh, and of course, I wish I was on the west coast to see the Something Corporate reunion at Bamboozle. *Daydreams* Okay, next question.

Who would you want to collaborate with?:
It would make my life to collaborate with Green Day. Period. Haha.

Where would you want to play in the future?:
Anywhere and everywhere. Maybe I can sing for the Queen someday. You think she’d like “Wide Awake”? Haha.

How do you find new music to listen to?:
It’s usually pretty random, but I usually find new music on the radio when I’m driving.

What have you been listening to a lot lately?:
Different songs that I would want to cover, but I won’t tell because I’ll be covering at least some of those songs at some point, and I want it to be a surprise. :)

Fan Submissions:

What inspired you to make music? (question from the Jordyn Mallory CT Street Team):
Well, that “Basketcase” story in my profile def sums it up. After I saw that video, I became the Queen of rocking out in my bedroom, and pictured myself up on stage and the whole bit. Yeah, picture a younger version of me doing that. Haha.

Any reasons behind "The First Place" name? (question from Aurelia Tenissa):
Well, the name “The First Place” came after a lot of debate. I really had no idea what to call myself. I had a huge list of ideas, but then I thought, how can I incorporate my love for sports with my love for music? Then I looked back at some trophies of mine and saw “1st place” on them, and it got me thinking. So I tried it out, and it turned out pretty well. I’m still not used to it 100% though, is that weird? Haha. I do feel like it’s pretty unique, or at least I hope it is.

Spiderman, Batman, or Superman? Why?: (question from Aurelia Tenissa):
Ya know, I like Superman because I have this tanktop that has the Superman logo on it cause of my name, but as far as the character, hmm… I’m going based on recent movies here, so I’d probably say Spiderman, because Tobey Maguire is cool.

Do you think your music has got what it takes to triumph over Taylor Swift? (question from Joshua Moreno):
Well, we are two different genres, and she seems like she’s really sweet, but I still think I can beat her on the Billboard charts. ;-)

What is the weirdest thing that ever happened to you? (question from Aurelia Tenissa):
Weirdest… hmmm… I’ve had a lot of weird things happen to me, but I can’t think of the weirdest right now, so I’ll just say a random one. I went on a writing that led to the song “Stuck Being You”, there was something going on in my life that was quite obnoxious, and I wanted to write a song about the person that was being obnoxious. Vague enough for ya? ;-) Basically, some crazy lyrics came out during that time period.

Do you wish to have an eternal life? (question from Aurelia Tenissa):
Only if the world becomes a better place to live in.

You seem to be an Army of one; Who is in your band live? Are they the same players that back you on your terrific "A Change of Scenery" EP? (question from Matthew Mac Haffie):
As I mentioned before, I haven’t played live yet, but when I do, I will have a band that will be the people that I play live with and record with.

Bonus Rounddd:

Movie?: Hard to choose, but most John Cusack movies and Rambo are up ther
Book?: The Bell Jar
Musical artist? (if you can’t choose just one, pick a top 3 or something to that extent): Green Day
Thing to spend money on?: I like to spoil my kitties with toys and comfy beds.

This or that:
Singing in the shower or in a studio?: Both. I wrote “Wide Awake” while in the shower. I kid you not.
iTunes or Purevolume?: iTunes, because I can sell my songs on there and raise money for animal cruelty prevention. :)
IMing or texting?: Probably IMing because it’s a bit easier than texting.
Physical CDs or digital downloads?: For me, I like to have physical CD’s for the most part, but they’re too expensive to make. Don’t worry, though, my full length CD will be both digital and physical.

Behind The Scenes: What else should we know?:
Special talents?:
* I type super fast.
* I remember numbers freakishly well.
* I pitch almost 60mph and serve a volleyball really fast too.
* I cut my boyfriend’s hair once, haha, (I did a good job for the record).
* I can dance better than Britney (when I can use both feet).
* I’m a pretty convincing actress. I played a drunk woman who talked to a goldfish once.
* I’m probably the most organized person you’ll ever meet.
* I juggle the music part and the business part of this whole shindig.
* I always do well in school, is that a talent?.
* I helped the mother cat of my kitties while she was giving birth.
* I can twirl a basketball on one finger.
* I’m a master at Wii sports, especially bowling and tennis.
* I multi-task like nobody’s business.
* I manage to get 4 year-old’s to do math and reading where I work. I think that’s a skill and a half!
* I suppose I should list singing, writing, and playing instruments on here, right? :)
That’s what came to my mind first. ^^

Pet peeves?: Ignorance, unnecessary rudeness, double standards, people who have no boundaries, bad drivers, when people get ahead solely because they have money.
Nicknames?: Steph, Stephy, Buf (that’s what my best friend calls me), Duke girl, rock star (the last 2 are my favorite). Haha.
Hobbies?: Well, I don’t consider this technically a hobby, but watching Duke men’s basketball religiously. I also like watching movies, certain shows on TV like Will and Grace and Family Guy, playing with my kitties and being like a mom to them, random Walmart trips with friends (even if we don’t buy anything), dancing, even if it’s just my upper body in the car, haha, handing out flyers about animal cruelty and how to prevent it, the list goes on.

Thanks to Kate from for putting together these questions and to those of you who contributed questions. I wanted to get this up as soon as possible so you could all get to know me a little better, so if I forgot something in one of my answers, I’ll edit it later. :)

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Get Hyped: Spring 2010 Tour Dates & Some Upcoming Local Shows

  • 3/31/10 - 5/16/10: A Day To Remember is going on tour with Silverstein, August Burns Red, Enter Shikari, Veara (3/31 - 4/18), & Go Radio (4/19 - 5/16). (Dates)
  • 4/6/10 - 4/28/10: Motion City Soundtrack will be on tour this spring with A Rocket To The Moon, Fun. and Sing It Loud! (Dates)
  • 4/28/10 - 6/11/10: Cobra Starship is heading out on The Too Fast For Love Tour with 3OH!3, Travie McCoy And The Lazarus Project and I Fight Dragons. Tickets go on sale Saturday, February 13th - check for more information! (Dates)
  • 4/21/10 - 5/23/10: The Rocket Summer is going on tour with Tyler Hilton. (Dates)
  • 4/21/10 - 5/23/10: The Spill Canvas will be heading out on tour with Tyler Hilton, AM Taxi and The New Politics starting April 21. (Dates)

Upcoming Local Shows (Long Island, NY):
>In case you haven't noticed, I keep an updated list of upcoming local shows on the right side of this page underneath my twitter updates. I'll post a few here, but in the future feel free to check that list if you live on or near Long Island :)
  • 2/13/10: Calling Out Productions presents Under Spinning Lights, Pretty Boy Beatdown, Off City Limits, & more at The Crazy Donkey
  • 2/13/10: Something Epic!, Sunset Arms, Inmate, & more at The Vibe Lounge
  • 2/15/10: Never Say Decaf Tour featuring Acoustic performances by JT Woodruff (of Hawthorne Heights), Mark Rose, & The Story Changes @ The Vibe Lounge
  • 2/18/10: Rookie of the Year, Farewell, What Happened In Vegas @ The Vibe Lounge
  • 2/27/10: Chords Will Cure presents Patent Pending, Set In Color, As A Gift, & more at the Bellmore Presbyterian Church
  • 3/6/10: Last Days of Summer's EP Release Show at The Broadway Bar
  • 3/14/10: The Ataris, The Promise, Sweet Hollow Drive, Valet Parking, & more @ The Vibe Lounge
  • 4/9/10: 4th Annual Benefit Concert for TWLOHA ft. Sweet Hollow Drive, The Overunder, Revival, & more
  • 4/24/10: Rock Out Autism 2 ft. Revival, Kelsey McCabe, & more @ The Nutty Irishman
>>Also, since you guys would like to see more about local bands (according to the current poll results), I've added a 'Local Spotlight' feature to the site. If you look on the right side of the page under the 'Labels' section, you'll see Local Spotlight (3) listed. I'll be adding more soon, so obviously the # 3 will change, but for future reference all you'd have to do is click on that to see all of the posts having to do with this new Local Spotlight feature. Hope it's what you want :)

>If you have a specific band you'd like me to feature, just email me a link where I can hear their music & if you want, feel free to tell me why you think I should feature them :D
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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Interview: The Bogarts

>>One day when I was updating my fan page, I saw a wall post asking about how someone could get their band featured on my site. About 2 weeks later, here they are. I interviewed The Bogarts from California, and as you'll be able to tell, they're a trio of fun loving guys who just so happen to make good music.

Introduce yourselves.
Hi, I’m Nick Waite and I play bass, vocals, and good looks.
I’m Alex Johnson, and I play guitar, vocals, and I’m the one in the band with no friends.
Moritz Kaltenbrunner is our drummer but he’s not here to answer questions.

Where are you from? How would you describe the local music scene there?
We’re from Thousand Oaks, California, and the music scene is pretty much Indie and Hardcore. There’s only a few punk bands around, so it’s hard to get a good punk show going.

What are some of your earliest memories that made you want to get into music?
Alex: Well, I remember the first album I ever bought was Green Day’s “Dookie”, and I guess that record just had a huge impact on my childhood and the way I thought of music.
Nick: Watching a Blink-182 music video at a pretty young age, I think it was “All The Small Things.”

How’d you guys get together to form this band?
Basically, Alex and Moritz had been in various other formations together, but none of them really worked out. We met Nick last summer, and we all just kind of clicked. We got together in early August of 2009.

Who named the band? How’d you come up with that name?
There was really no hidden reason behind our name, to be honest. Alex was sitting in his house, and heard someone in the other room watching a Humphrey Bogart movie, and started contemplating about how much of a badass he was.

Do you have a certain process you always use when it comes to songwriting?
Alex: Well, I just write about what comes to mind, I guess. Whether it’s a girl problem, mild insomnia, ADD, you name it… I’ve got a song about it somewhere. Basically what happens when we get songs together is Nick comes over to my house, and we just figure everything out. Once that’s done, then we take the song to Moritz, and finish it up.
Nick: If I get really mad, sad, or happy, I write a song. It’s either a fuck-you to whatever is making me mad, a fuck-you to whatever is making me sad, or a thank-you to whatever is making me happy.

Tell us about the new record you guys have coming out soon.
Name: Better Than Before
How many songs are on it?: 11
Main inspiration behind it: Music, girls, and frustration, pretty much.
Release Date: February 12, 2010
Where it can be purchased? Pretty much from us, if you hit us up on Myspace or Facebook, we can get you a copy. It might be on iTunes, also. If we’re lucky.
Anything else you'd like to mention about it?:
We recorded 5 of the songs at Beatlab Studios in Thousand Oaks. They’re really great people, and they’re just starting out, but they’ve got great recordings, so if any up and coming bands are looking for good recordings for cheap, that’s the place to go. That’s my shameless advertising for them.
The other 6 songs we done on our own, and it’s a pretty drastic change in sound quality, but we just wanted to get all of our stuff onto a physical product.

Out of all the songs you've written, which are you most proud of?
Alex: For me, it would probably be Revenge. I put a lot of time into getting the lyrics as good as I could get them, and the last chorus on it is really cool because we got a big group of people to sing, and it gives it this kind of stadium-sounding thing. It’s really cool.
(Nick left my house after this, so all of the remaining questions are from Alex.

What’s your favorite part about being in this band?
I love playing shows, and meeting other bands. I also just love hanging out with the guys, and dicking around at practices, and seeing how much trouble we can get ourselves into without getting busted.

You have a pretty interesting MySpace URL ( Is there a story behind that?
Well, obviously, was taken, otherwise we’d just use that. Nick has a bad habit of mooning the wrong people, and streaking in public, and a lot of girls we know started saying that he had a cute butt, so we just used that. We figured it’d set us apart from everyone else.

For those who haven’t heard it yet, how would you describe your music?
I guess you’d call it punk-rock. But we have other influences, for sure. It’s fast, it’s crunchy, and I’d like to think it’s different.

Have you been compared to other artists?
We get a lot of comparisons to A.F.I.’s early stuff, and Anti-Flag. We’ve also been compared to Green Day, Rise Against, and The Offspring.

How do you respond to negative criticism?
I just think about where the criticism is coming from, and decide if we really give a fuck what they think, and if we do, then we’ll work on it, but if we don’t… well…

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment so far as a band?
We’ve played a good number of shows for a band that’s only been together since August, so I guess that’s an accomplishment.

What is something you want to accomplish with your music in the future?
We just wanna get our music out to everyone who wants to listen to it. We want people to hear the music we’ve created, even if they don’t like it. Because then at least we can get our name out there.

Do you guys have any shows coming up?
Yeah, we have two shows at the Thousand Oaks Teen Center on February 13th, and March 20th. We’re also playing at the Calabasas Rec Center on February 26th, and Epic Ventura with Universal/Geffen artist MIXI on April 16th.

How would you describe your stage presence?
Hm. Moritz come out on one song and sings at the end, it’s pretty great. He just slides onto his knees and strikes this really epic pose. Nick jumps around a lot, I tend to be the same nowadays, but in our early shows, I had pretty terrible presence. I kind of just stood in one spot, and didn’t do much. But at one of our more recent shows a few months back, Nick handed out an enema during our set. The guy he handed it out to came to us after the show and had us all sign it. I signed as Billy Mays.

How do you guys find new music to listen to? What have you been listening to a lot lately?
I find new music by hearing about something from friends and going to shows. Nick and I saw Anti-Flag a few weeks back, and I’ve been listening to a band that opened for them, Broadway Calls. It’s really good pop-punk, and they’re a cool bunch of guys. I’ve also been listening to Green Day’s “Insomniac” lately, just because it’s one of my favorite albums of all time, and has always had heavy rotation for me. Also, I’ve been listening to our friends The Braces’ newest album “I’m Telling Everyone.” Everyone that’s reading this should check them out. They make some awesome music.

What are some of the best, and weirdest gifts you’ve received from fans?
Well, at our first show, I signed someone’s boobs, if that counts. I don’t know, really. I’ve been threatened by someone that they would throw a condom at me, but that hasn’t happened yet.

If there was a television show about your band, what would it be called?
“The Bogarts: Not Actually a Gay Porno”

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
I would definitely have teleportation, just because I’m really lazy. Being to fly would be pretty sick, too. I know Nick has always wanted spider-powers. He actually said something about that today.

Fan Submissions:

What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you to sign? – Dublin
Hm. I think the enema takes the cake on this one.

How would you spend your time if you weren't in this band? - Pete Lawnes
If we weren’t in the band, we would probably start a nudist colony. I might continue writing poetry. Moritz would sell his body on the streets, for sure.

How has your fan base affected you as band? - Amy Nelson
Our fan base is actually really loyal so far, considering we’ve only been together for such a short time. The majority of them are really good people, and some of them are great friends. We try to spend a lot of time interacting with fans, and making sure they know we care, because without them we’d be nothing.

What's the most awkward/funny show you have played? - Amy Nelson
Well, we played a show at a taco shop called Chronic Tacos once. It was really awkward because by the time we played, everyone besides us had jumped on the alcohol train, and we’re underage. People were yelling at us and making fun of us, but it was more fun for us because we made fun of them back, and they couldn’t even comprehend that was what we were doing.

If any of the band members were to go out with each other, who would and why?- Amy Nelson
I think that Nick and I would probably be good as a couple. Moritz is a very good cook though. I don’t know who I’d choose. Cute butt or good cook? You decide.

What do you think sets your music apart from other local bands?- Amy Nelson
I think what sets us apart from everyone around Thousand Oaks is that we tend to be very blunt with our music. If I’m thinking something, I’m gonna write about it, no matter who or what it’s about. Also, our live shows tend to get people going, because we tell bad jokes and run around like idiots. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but that’s how it is.

Bonus Round:

Alex: “Insomniac” by Green Day, “Underground Network” by Anti-Flag, “Dude Ranch” by Blink-182, “Ruiner” by A Wilhelm Scream, and “You’re Awful, I Love You” by Ludo.
Nick: “Broken” by Nine Inch Nails, “Warning:” by Green Day, “Americana” by The Offspring, and “Underground Network” by Anti-Flag.
Moritz: I don’t like music.

Song to play live?
Alex: Downhill
Nick: K.K.B.
Moritz: Revenge

TV show?
Alex: The O’Reilly Factor.
Nick: Can’t decide between Vampire Diaries or Wizards of Waverly Place.
Moritz: I don’t watch TV.

Alex: Candy. Any candy.
Nick: Can’t decide.
Moritz: Grannel Noedel.

Alex: “It’s not what you make, it’s what you leave.” – Billie Joe Armstrong
Nick: “Moritz is gay.” - Anonymous
Moritz: “Easy come, premature ejaculation.” – Anonymous

This or that:
Plugged in or Acoustic? Plugged in.
MySpace or Facebook? Facebook, for sure.
Calling or Texting? Calling.
Albums or Singles? Albums.

Behind The Scenes: What else should we know?

Alex– Kent and The Reverend Billy Mays;
Nick – The Diaper and The Boulder;
Moritz – Santiago and Awesome Man.

Special talents? Nick can run really fast, Moritz can jump really high, and Alex can complain a lot.
Pet peeves? People at shows that don’t dance, people that take themselves too seriously.
Additional hobbies?
Alex: Poetry, long walks on the beach.
Nick: Streaking, and dancing.
Moritz: Pole-dancing and sleeping.

Members Only: In the band, who is
Funniest? None of us are funny whatsoever. We accepted this long ago.
Craziest? Nick.
Most organized? Alex.
Most outgoing? Nick.
Most stubborn? Moritz.

Thanks again to Alex, Nick, & Moritz; aka The Bogarts :)
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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Interview: Jacob Vanags

>>Out of the interviews I've done so far, this is definitely one of my favorites. I asked Jacob Vanags a whole bunch of questions, and he answered them thoughtfully, and with a great sense of humor. Let's just say his answers are pretty "Stellarific". :)

Tell us a little about yourself.
Jacob John Vanags (NOT John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt... so don't start singing), 22, and Kent, Ohio (a.k.a. K-Town)

Are there any significant differences between the music scenes in Ohio and Long Island?
Yes... many. I grew up in a huge indie music scene... I listened to Death Cab for Cutie, Sufjan Stevens, Of Montreal, The Shins, The Format, etc. as well as the more pop/rock piano-driven music. I don't have any special attachments to the iconic Long Island bands like Brand New, Glassjaw, Taking Back Sunday, etc.... At home, people go to see shows that can range from mellow indie shows to rock indie shows... it tends to be more "chill," I guess. We appreciate each others' company socially, we hang out afterward, we talk about the music. Here, I understand the pop punk and harder rock influences and I enjoy the high energy shows... its not always my thing but I do appreciate the scene and the massive support everyone brings to shows. It seems more of a social event where people are looking for fun... and the music tends to deliver. There are plenty of bands on Long Island, but the ones that make something out of their music are the ones that pay attention to what they are playing and what they are saying... those are the bands that will develop a national audience instead of just a Long Island audience.

Who would you consider to be your biggest influences, musical and otherwise?
Musical: Ben Folds, Sufjan Stevens, Death Cab, Snow Patrol... many others!
Otherwise: unity, love, compassion, positivity, travel, people and their actions

When did you start writing music?
Mmmmm... 8 years old? ...when I stopped playing my lesson music and started making up random junk. Actual songs with words?... probably 11 years old.

What is your writing process like?
It seems to go like this: I am super inspired from a movie, a song, a show, an act of human compassion, a thought about world peace, a girl, a friend... I then get in a mood that matches that inspiration... I go to a room with a piano, turn the lights off, and create. Once I land on something I love, something that hooks and pulls at you, I sing melodies on top with gibberish words.... Over time, I find something that really affects me and I inject those words into the song... sometimes it takes me a few hours, other times it takes me years (when I pull some piano part from way back and finally input some appropriate words).

Your album, Pulses are Pluses, was released this past November. Tell us about it.
Pulses are Pluses is an album about positivity... Its about coming to the realization that we all have SO MUCH its unreal. Even the most unfortunate situations pale in comparison to what others are going through all over the world... so basically, get over the pettiness and focus on what counts... be positive and you will be happy, love and you will be satisfied. I am my brother's keeper.

>What was your main inspiration behind it?
See above? And also people being people, everything we do... the VERY good and the bad.

>How did you come up with the album title?
As I've said in previous questions, we have a lot to live for... why not treat it that way? Why not live positively and try to make this world a better place instead of just try to bring it down. Our "Pulses" (our lives, living, existing) are "Pluses" (living is a good thing... its a "plus"... especially when you make an effort to understand what you have in your hands and in front of you and make the most out of it). "PuLses are PLuses."

>Who was the mastermind behind the promo video?
I don't know about mastermind, haha... but it was 2 days until the release and I thought it be a cool promotional idea to have a kickass promo video. I wrote out the time line and my friend/manager, Ryan, did the photographing... I then put the music together and edited the pictures into the final product. Just another Sunday afternoon.

>How many songs are on it? 6!

>Who played on it, band-wise?
Piano, vocals - Me. Drums, trumpet - Zach Periharos of Escape the Skyline and Lion of Ido. Bass, Double Bass - Nick Cantatore of This Condition. Violin - Dylan Ebrahimian of Gabriel the Marine. Cello - Jeremy Landis of The Jeremy Landis Band. Choir - Hofstra's Sigma'capella.

>Where can it be purchased?
itunes, amazon mp3, amazon (physical),,

>Anything else you'd like to mention? I am going to be up on sometime this month! Its a long screening and music-genome-database-break-down process..... but I'll let you know! Make me a radio station! haha

Out of all the songs you've written, which are you most proud of?
"Antarctica." That song took more vision than anything else. To write all the music in my head, then write it on paper, and then relay it to the performers who have no idea what the final product is supposed to sound like... and have it come out the way it did was amazing. It's my favorite puzzle ever completed.

If you could do a song with anyone you wanted, dead or alive, who would you choose?
Sufjan Stevens. To be a part of so many moving and intricate parts making up an ocean of uplifting and unifying sound would make my day... and life.

For those who haven’t heard it yet, how would you describe your music?
Driving piano indie pop/rock. Its fun and catchy, its deep and mellow, its pulsing and epic, it hopefully builds something up inside of you that you just can't ignore.

Have you ever been compared to other artists?
Yessss. Ben Folds, The Format, Death Cab - vocals, Sufjan - orchestration/choirs, Snow Patrol - build, and interestingly... I am often times I'm told I sound like Jason Mraz.

What do you think sets your music apart from other bands?
Hmmm... depends on which bands, haha.... I would say that playing piano with out a lot, if any, guitar creates hugely different sound at most shows from the bands around me. I'd also say that I try to mix creative feeling with a decent amount of musicianship... I change time signatures, write out choral parts, add strings, etc.... Its not always four basic (power) chords.

What would you say is your biggest accomplishment so far?
That I'm still moving forward and haven't plateaued. That I have some people actually believing in my music and giving me confidence to go with it. That I can play for 2 people and play for 1,000. Its the whole package... I think the accomplishment is that I am continually making music my life.

Do you have any shows coming up?
YES. I have been in a new bassist and drummer search for about 2 months and its almost complete (you'll meet them soon!). So that has been my top priority lately and I haven't worried too much about booking bigger gigs (I've played plenty of solo stuff), because I would like to have a settled band first. BUT. I have a show February 27th at The Charleston in Brooklyn and plenty more will follow once we've got the guys we need!

Describe a typical Jacob Vanags show in 3 words.
Surprising. Engaging. Stellarific.

What are some of the goals you wish to accomplish with your music?
I would be happy knowing that my music affects one person, but it would be amazing if it could reach across the nation and possibly beyond... gotta have a vision.

How do you usually find new music to listen to?
Pandora, a friend, a show, a commercial and/or movie/tv show, radio.

What are the best and weirdest gifts you’ve received from fans?
Couldn't tell you :(

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Antarctica. Its one of the hardest places to travel to (physically and financially)... and I were given the opportunity somehow to go "anywhere" I would utilize it to the max.

Is there a certain song or artist you consider to be your guilty pleasure?
Oh its never guilty... but for some reason people think Third Eye Blind is a guilty pleasure now that were not in the 90s... I don't care what you say, I LOVE their first 3 CDs... haven't heard enough of their latest. and then... you know... there's some miley. and "toxic" by britney spears freaking makes me move like never before....

What celebrity would play you in a movie about your life?
Will Smith for sure. It doesn't really fit, I know... but I have a man-crush on him for sure.

What would that movie be called?
Ummm... The Interracial Story of Jacobus Maximus Vanagus.

Bonus Round:

Movie? Minority Report, Finding Neverland
Album(s)? Whatever and Ever Amen - Ben Folds, Come On Feel the Illinoise - Sufjan Stevens, Transatlanticism - Death Cab, Third Eye Blind - Third Eye Blind
Song to Play Live? Public Transit, Speak Up Now
Thing to do on a rainy day? Scuba Dive
Band/artist(s)? Ben Folds, Sufjan Stevens, Death Cab
Artist you've seen live? Ben Folds... seriously, the guy is crazy good/hilarious
Social networking site? The book o' face.

This or that:
Blackberry or iPhone? iphone
VMA or Grammy? grammy
Calling or texting? depends... but i like hearing people's voices sometimes, you know?
Albums or Singles? Albums

Behind The Scenes:
What else should we know? I'm half Latvian.... Latvia? yes, Latvia.
Special talents? Beatboxing, piano/singing/songwriting?
Hobbies? songwriting, soccer, volleyball, basketball, TRAVELING, adventures and adventure sports, the Cleveland Cavaliers
Pet peeves? When people eat grossly and/or make really loud, what I call... "mushy banana noises," when they eat. It kills me.
Jakey V, Jake the Snake, Jujubee, Maximus J - self-given bowling name

Anything else you'd like to say?
God is in the details.

Thanks again to Jacob Vanags and Ryan Daniels :)
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Monday, February 1, 2010

What I'm Listening To #11

Today's Playlist

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