Monday, July 30, 2012

Fall Tour Dates: Yellowcard + The Wonder Years + We Are The In Crowd

>> Yellowcard will be releasing their new album, Southern Air, on August 14th.  The band will head out on tour later this fall to support that album with help from The Wonder Years and We Are The In Crowd.  You can pre-order the new Yellowcard album through Hopeless Records.

>> The full list of tour dates can be seen below, and tickets can be purchased here.

Tour Dates:
November 2nd - Las Vegas, NV @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (@ Vinyl)
November 3rd - West Hollywood, CA @ House Of Blues
November 5th - Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theatre
November 6th - Dallas, TX @ Music Hall
November 7th - Austin , TX @ Emo's
November  9th - St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Live
November 10th - Orlando, FL @ House Of Blues
November 12th - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
November 13th - Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
November 15th - Baltimore, MD @ Ram's Head Live
November  16th - Philadelphia, PA @ The Electric Factory
November 17th - New York, NY @  Best Buy Theater
November 18th -  Boston, MA @ House of Blues
November 20th -  Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
November 21st - Detroit, MI @ St Andrews Hall
November 23rd - Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
November 24th  - Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
November 25th  - Sauget, IL @ Pops
November 27th  - Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
November 28th - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
November 30th - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
December 1st  - Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
December  2nd  - San Diego, CA @ House of Blues

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I Call Fives Announce The Late Nights Tour

>> After completing a run on this year's Vans Warped Tour, I Call Fives are touring their way home.  Starting on August 6th, the band will work their way over from the West Coast one show at a time.  They'll be playing with some local acts in each city they reach, as well as The Composure (8/20 - 8/26).  The full list of dates can be seen below.

Tour Dates:
August 6th - Chico, CA @ The Dubhouse
August 8th - Stockton, CA @ Plea For Peace
August 9th - Canoga Park, CA @ Guitar Merchant
August 10th - Pomona, CA @ Aladdin Jr
August 11th - Las Vegas, NV @ The Sanctuary
August 12th - Mesa, AZ @ The Underground
August 13th - El Paso, TX @ The Goat House
August 14th - Midland, TX @ The Pine Box
August 15th - San Antonio, TX @ The Ten Eleven
August 16th - Azle, TX @ House Show
August 17th - Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory
August 18th - Memphis, TN @ East Win Church
August 19th - Tupeta, MS @ Goodtime Charlies
August 20th - Knoxville, TN @ Longbranch Saloon
August 21st - Whitesburg, KY @ Tourism
August 22nd - Akron, OH @ Musica
August 23rd - Pittsburgh, PA - The Smiling Moose
August 24th - Nutley, NJ @ Club Radiant
August 25th - Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary
August 26th - Rockville Centre, NY @ Vibe Lounge

>> I Call Fives released their self-titled debut full length on July 10th through Pure Noise Records.  Pick up a copy if you haven't already!

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Vans Warped Tour 2012

>> The Vans Warped Tour is typically the highlight of the summer for kids across the nation.  It's often referred to as a punk rock summer camp, and for good reason.  Like a circus, the event comes into town for just a little while, and in that time attendees experience so much.  There are games, contests, meet and greets, and of course, the actual performances from musicians of all genres.  This event is wild and crazy every year, but there was something extra special about it this year.  I got to experience that extra something on July 21st in Uniondale, NY.

>> In addition to being able to see some of my favorite bands perform, I was also able to do a number of interviews throughout the day.  I talked to Joe from Transit, Cherri Bomb, Buddy from Senses Fail, and more. I even interviewed A Loss For Words in front of a cop car.  It was great to get their perspectives on the craziness that is Warped Tour and to hear what they have planned for after the tour ends.  I'll post all 8 of my interviews here as they are uploaded. You can watch these interviews on the playlist below.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Triple Crown Records Signs North Korea

>> Long Island band North Korea has signed with Triple Crown Records. Made up of Ryan Hunter (vocals, guitar) and Brian Bryne (guitar) formerly of Envy On The Coast, as well as Michael Sadis (bass) and current Dillinger Escape Plan drummer Billy Rymer, this band is clearly full of talent and drive.

>> Since their formation, the band has released 2 EP’s which can be downloaded for free through their Facebook pageNorth Korea is currently in the studio working with Mike Sapone on a full length album set to be released this winter.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Album Review: "Life Cycles" by The Word Alive

>> When writing their new album, The Word Alive wanted to create music unlike anything they had done in the past.  They added new elements, feelings, and ideas to the drawing board.  They managed to stay faithful to their sound while still creating something new.  The album, Life Cycles, starts off on a fun note, but it soon transitions into something full of emotion and energy.  The band's biography states that they have "gained a global reputation for pushing the boundaries within their genre" over the years, and this album is simply proof of that. With strong lyrics, catchy choruses, and an overwhelming amount of passion, this album will leave any fan of heavy yet melodic music wanting more. 
For fans of: We Came As Romans, Memphis May Fire, Like Moths To Flames

>> Life Cycles starts off with "Dragonspell," and it becomes clear that this album has a lot going on.  The beginning sounds like something you'd hear at a dark, metal circus.  It hints at the deceiving fun, catchy riffs that could overshadow a more powerful meaning in the songs to follow.  This track seems like the perfect introduction for this album, starting it with passion and drive.  Track two, "Wishmaster," picks up where "Dragonspell" left off.  This one is a step down in terms of heaviness, but it has just as much power.  It seems to be leading up to something, even beginning with a fade-in crescendo that adds to the feeling.  This track also has some of those 'metal circus' effects towards the end, showing that all of these songs are connected, and are telling a story.

>> "Entirety" starts off strong and keeps building all the way through.  It has a cryptic feel to it, referencing something that couldn't be avoided without ever naming it.  One line states "feeling isn't easy," and another "feelings are a deadly thing."  By also saying "if I lost you, I'd lose everything" and repeating "you're all I have,"  the lyrics become very powerful.  There's clearly a strong connection being described here, whether or not it's a good thing.  This connection and raw emotion comes through in the music.  This song, while extremely catchy from a melodic perspective, clearly has some dark undertones that make you want to listen more than once.  Watch the lyric video below and see for yourself.

>> "For Your Health" begins with a soft and calm melody.  That calm only lasts for 24 seconds before the screaming comes in, but you can hear it all throughout in the undertones and the background of the song.  This track is different from the rest in the sense that it's full of soft spots, even with the usual heavy riffs in between.

>> "Life Cycles," the album's title track, starts off with a line that really hits home.  "I'd rather die for what I believe than live a life without meaning." The song itself is pretty mellow in the beginning, but the energy gradually builds as that opening line is repeated.  There's an indie rock feel in the guitar parts that sets this song apart from the others on the album.  One lyric reads, "So please take the time to get inside my mind."  That line defines the feeling of the entire album. It reflects the band's search and desire for understanding, something seen in both the lyrics and overall tone.  It isn't overly heavy, but it isn't too soft either.  The Word Alive really accomplished something great with this track- the band goes from calm and reflective to driving and passionate and back again, all with a smooth transition that makes for a great song. The band released a lyric video for this song, which can be seen below.

>> The next song, "Evolution," builds off of the energy from "Life Cycles."  This track also has some calmer melodic moments, but it has a much darker feel to it all the way through.  The band seems to be seeking understanding in this song, just like the one before it.  This song ends with the sound of marching, perhaps leading them to the answers they desperately need.

>> "Ambitionary" is track 9 on the album.  Near the end of the track list, this song manages to be one of the heaviest, and yet one of the catchiest on the whole album.  It's both relate-able and raw, making it a stand out.  The band said the following about this track:
"The song as a whole, is about that moment where you're willing to do whatever it takes to be the person you're supposed to be, but you just need someone to help you get there.  Sometimes all we need is a push in the right direction, and that is what this song is about.  The title is a reference to someone who's life mission is to be ambitious, and find out their true calling." You can listen to the song and view the full statement about it here. This is just one of many songs on this album that has a great sound on the surface as well as a deeper meaning behind the screams.

>> "Astral Plane" starts with a few notes you'd expect to hear while looking at pictures of a wasteland after a battle. The battle in this album is an internal one full of passion and desire.  This track is very calm and reflective, and even when the vocals get louder and the riffs become stronger, there's still clearly a feeling of finality.  Overall, it's the perfect closer for this album.
*Songs not mentioned: "Bar Fight", "Hidden Lakes", "Live A Lie", "Belong", "Room 126"
>>  Personally, I'm usually not a huge fan of anything that has a lot of screaming (with a few exceptions, of course).  But after listening to this album straight through a couple of times, it started to really grow on me.  I actually have favorites, including "Entirety" and "Life Cycles."  If someone like me who isn't necessarily a fan of the genre can like this album, then any fan of the band or similar bands will be more than pleased.
Fans, keep an eye on this band.  They're looking to do big things.

>> You can purchase Life Cycles through iTunes or Hot Topic.

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Tour Dates: Second To Last + American Verse + Bellwether

>> Second To Last will be hitting the road with American Verse and Bellwether for the Today's Mixtape Tour. Put together by East Coast Collective, this tour will cover the East coast and then some. These three bands have their own individual sound, but they all share a passion for their music that will make this tour something worth seeing.  Do your best to get to one of the shows listed below.

Tour Dates: 
July 7th - Today’s Mixtape Fest @ Ollie’s Point (Amityville, NY)
July 9th - House Show @ 16 Linda Place, Denville, NJ
July 10th - Right Choice Ministries @ Hagerstown, MD
July 11th - TBA
July 12th - College Park All Ages @ Virginia Beach, VA
July 13th - Glenwood Coffee and Books @ Greensboro, NC
July 14th - Ground Zero @ Spartanburg, SC
July 15th - Swayzes @ Marietta, GA
July 16th - The Talent Farm @ Pembroke Pines, FL
July 17th - Evolution Records @ Lakeland, FL
July 18th - Sandi’s Place (House Show) @ Birmingham, AL
July 19th - Longbranch Saloon @ Knoxville, TN
July 20th - TBA
July 21st - Penny Road Pub @ Barrington, IL
July 22nd - The Pike Room @ Pontiac, MI
July 23rd - Euro Gryo @ Kent, OH
July 25th - Ihop Estate @ Philadelphia, PA
July 26th - House Show @ Allentown, PA
July 27th - House Show @ Poughkeepsie, NY
July 28th - Weymouth Knights Of Columbus @ Weymouth, MA

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