Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gerard Way Reveals Artwork for My Chemical Romance Greatest Hits Album

>> Last month, Gerard Way confirmed that Warner Brothers would be releasing a My Chemical Romance Greatest Hits compilation, likely in January 2014.  Now he has revealed what looks like the artwork for that album, which can be seen below. 

>> In need of some new music to listen to before reliving MCR's greatest hits?  Frank Iero has a new project that's more than worth checking out.  Death Spells is the brainchild of Frank and James Dewees of Reggie and the Full Effect.  You can listen to one of their songs below.  Look into those two acts (both Death Spells and Reggie) if you haven't already, and stay tuned for more information on the MCR Greatest Hits album!

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- Kate Russell

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Monday, November 25, 2013

James Franco and Seth Rogen Parody Kanye's "Bound 2" Video

>> Having (finally) just watched that movie This Is The End, I was in need of some more hilarity, preferably the kind that features James Franco and Seth Rogen.  Today, that need was fulfilled.

>> In case you missed it, Kanye West recently premiered his new music video for his song "Bound 2" on the Ellen Degeneres show of all places.  The video features some majestic horses, stunning views of nature, and Kanye riding a motorcycle while his soon-to-be wife, Kim, lays there naked.  Deep stuff, you guys.  So, if somehow you haven't seen this masterpiece yet, do yourself a favor and see this first.

Kanye West - Bound 2 video 

>> Earlier today, a new version of this video surfaced.  Apparently, James Franco and Seth Rogen took it upon themselves to create a shot-by-shot remake of the new Kanye video which they call "Bound 3." If you liked This Is The End or, perhaps, any parody of someone who thinks very well of himself, this completely and absolutely serious video is for you.  You can view the parody video by itself here.

Seth Rogen and James Franco - Bound 3 (a parody)

>> Are you ready for this? Now that you've had your chuckles, let's take this a step further - YouTube user Ahnmin put the two videos together, side by side.  This is cinematic perfection*.  So, if you're ready to laugh, or roll your eyes, or react somehow because you're human, watch the split screen action below.

* - blatant exaggeration (sorry not sorry)

I hope you laughed.

- Kate Russell

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I Call Fives Announce Northeast Shows for 2014

>> I Call Fives will be hitting the road for the first time in months to play a string of shows with We Still Dream and The Composure.  This weekend tour will take place from February 15th - February 17th in three cities in the Northeast.  The list of dates can be seen below.

I Call Fives 2014 Tour Dates:
February 15@ The Loft - Poughkeepsie, NY    (Tickets)
February 16 @ Amityville Music Hall - Amityville, NY     (Tickets)
February 17 @ The Barbary - Philadelphia, PA     (Tickets)

>> The band will also be heading to Australia in 2014 for the Soundwave Festival. In the mean time, listen to "Someone That's Not You" by I Call Fives below!

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- Kate Russell
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Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Finds - 11/22/13

>> Throughout the week, we at The Music Obsession get pitches for several excellent artists.  Due to prior commitments (work, school, the need for at least a little sleep every once in a while), it's hard to write about all of the music that comes our way.  Whether it's an up and coming act or a veteran in the scene who's putting out something new, we get it all, and we listen to as much as we can.  So for this Friday Finds feature, we will be highlighting some tracks we've come across during the week that we haven't been able to write about in full.  Expect new songs and the occasional "oh man remember THIS song? I totally just remembered this existed!"

> Decorator - "Mad Cali Transit" & "Roads"
The new alternative / indie rock act Decorator caught my attention recently.  Their debut single, "Mad Cali Transit," comprises the best parts of groove rock, indie pop, and California sunshine.  It's catchy in a way that makes you sway and picture a beach, whether or not it's freezing outside.  It's smooth and just the right amount of hip, a winning combination you don't find just anywhere these days.  Take a break from your pre-winter blues and enjoy a nice warm track from five boys from the golden state.  Listen to "Mad Cali Transit" below, and scope the band's forthcoming single "Roads" below that.

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- Kate Russell
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review: Border Wars Vol. 1 - The Architects

>> Good morning, sports fans! Today we speak of something magical. Do you like flipping awesome jams? Of course you do. Do you like comics? Don't toy with me. You're a cool kid, of course you do. As a music lover and a comic book fan have you ever asked yourself "is there some way I can have it all?" 

>> Enter the Architects - the badass band from Kansas City who are here to make your wildest dreams come true. The band is releasing their new album Border Wars as five separate EPs alongside five comic books written by the bands singer, Brandon Phillips and illustrated by Mallory Dorn. The story takes place on the gritty border of Texas and Mexico and so far follows the lives of a death row inmate, a corrupt sherif, a mysterious girl who is hit by a car and the son of a televangelist. This cast of characters will prove to be something extremely unexpected, to be sure. [I can't wait to find out!] 

>> I was able to speak to the man, the myth, the legend Brandon Phillips regarding the comic and the first EP. Brandon is a huge fan of The Who's Quadrophenia, which was The Who's album and movie salute to the lives of their fans. Quadrophenia definitely influences the writing of the five volumes. Brandon said that they wanted to make their own Quadrophenia, but not borrow too much from it. Border Wars is ultimately about the fans. It's about their lives, and the things they do. "Let's make this about the sort of kids that come to our shows, who like our band," says Phillips.  It's about taking ordinary jobs and making them extraordinary. In my humble opinion, Brandon is on his way to becoming the Tyler Durden of the modern concept album. 

Some comics that inspired Brandon were Hack/Slash, Sin City and he hopes to reference television shows like AMC's Breaking Bad. He decided to work with Mallory through their mutual love of noir and Sin City. Brandon wanted Mallory to draw the comic her own way, "her own version of cinematic." Mallory and Brandon hit it off instantaneously, "she had a fire in her guts to do something like this" says Brandon. After preliminary character sketches, the style was set and the comic came to life.
From Border Wars vol. 1

>>Brandon wrote the whole story for all five episodes. The band wrote more than enough songs to populate all five episodes, but left the door open to continue recording. The six song EP starts with a song that should be blasted out of your Trans-Am, ripping through the desert after you've "Heisenberged" your way out of a sticky situation, and maybe you're on the run from the cops. With sunglasses on. "Peter Fonda is sort of about some of the characters, and a person who is drawn to danger. A self endangering lifestyle. It's a theme song for Bill, for Angel, [characters in Border Wars] that sort of person."

>> However, you'll still understand the songs without reading the book. The first EP is an amazing stand-alone for gritty adventures under the hot sun. If comics aren't really your thing, not to worry, folks. The songs all speak for themselves. "My mom wouldn't go out and buy a comic book, but she'll listen to the radio...we just tried to write songs that my mom would like," jokes Philips. 

>> While one might find the first volume incredibly mysterious, it was meant to be that way. Brandon wrote the ending that he wanted to read and worked backwards from there. Readers can expect big, cool reveals - a la the end of Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction

>> Check this out if you're a fan of Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC or The Ramones. This series is an incredibly refreshing way to enjoy music and a new medium of art that maybe you haven't tried before. I can't stop listening to the EP, and I'm sure you won't be able to stop once you've hit play. Be sure to pick up Border Wars vol. 1 from the band's merch store and hopefully we'll be seeing the comic book on the shelves of our favorite comic shops soon. Catch the Architects blow down the doors and kick out the jams on tour through November - and get your boots on, folks. "It's gonna be a heartbreaker." In other words, it's not to be missed. 

Peace, Love and Family Breakfast, 

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Interview: Sleepy Kitty at CMJ 2013

>> The CMJ Music Marathon is a wild ride.  There's always something happening, choices need to be made, and sometimes you forget to schedule in a lunch break.  It's rough but more than worth it.  It's an incredible experience, and it's one that incorporates writers, photographers, publicists, musicians, and more from across the country (and even across the globe, as cheesy as that sounds).  It's a great way to meet other "industry professionals" while also finding out about artists you might not have heard otherwise.

>> Through this chaos, I was able to sit down with Sleepy Kitty at the Golightly Media offices in NoHo.  I got to talk to Paige and Evan about their band name, touring, lasers, their new album, performing, CMJ, and how a band called "Sleepy Kitty" can still be a rock band.  You can watch the interview below.

 An Interview with Sleepy Kitty at Golightly Media:

>> If you'll be in or near St. Louis on January 11th, 2014, make a point of attending the release party for Projection Room, the new album from Sleepy Kitty.  The Laser Kitty event will be a listening party involving a laser show set to the band's new album! It doesn't get much cooler than that.  Click here for details.

>> For the rest of us - be on the look out for Projection Room, the new album from Sleepy Kitty, to be released on January 14th, 2014!


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- Kate Russell
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Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Expendables Announce 2014 Winter Blackout Tour

>> Reggae / punk act The Expendables will be heading out on the Winter Blackout Tour starting in January! The tour will include support from Stick Figure and Seedless, and will run from January 24th to March 16th. Tickets are available now through

Winter Blackout 2014 Tour Dates:
Fri January 24 @ The Wonder Ballroom - Portland, OR
Sat January 25 @ El Corazon - Seattle, WA
Sun January 26 @ Fortune Sound Club - Vancouver, Canada
Tues January 28 @ Knitting Factory Concert House - Spokane, WA
Wed January 29 @ Knitting Factory Concert House - Boise, ID
Thurs January 30 @ Park City Live - Park City, UT
Fri January 31 @ Belly Up - Aspen, CO
Sat February 1 @ Gothic Theatre - Englewood, CO
Mon February 3 @ The Waiting Room - Omaha, NE
Tues February 4 @ Mill City Nights - Minneapolis, MN
Wed February 5 @ The Rave II (Downstairs) - Milwaukee, WI
Thurs February 6 @ The Stache - Grand Rapids, MI
Fri February 7 @ The Crofoot - Pontiac, MI
Sat February 8 @ Bottom Lounge - Chicago, IL
Sun February 9 @ Agora Ballroom - Cleveland, OH
Tues February 11 @ The Met - Pawtucket, RI
Wed February 12 @ Revolution Bar & Music Hall - Amityville, NY
Thurs February 13 @ Highline Ballroom - New York, NY
Fri February 14 @ Trocadero - Philadelphia, PA
Sat February 15 @ House of Blues - Boston, MA
Sun February 16 @ Toad's Place - New Haven, CT
Tues February 18 @ The Loft At Center Stage - Atlanta, GA
Wed February 19 @ Freebird Live - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Thurs February 20 @ Jannus Live - St. Petersburg, FL
Fri, February 21 @ House of Blues - Orlando, FL
Sat February 22 @ The Culture Room - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Sun February 23 @ The Culture Room - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Tues February 25 @ The Varsity Theatre - Baton Rouge, LA
Wed February 26 @ House of Rock - Corpus Christi, TX
Thurs February 27 @ Antone's Nightclub - Austin, TX
Fri February 28 @ House of Blues - Houston, TX
Sat March 1 @ House of Blues - Dallas, TX
Sun March 2 @ Cain's Ballroom - Tulsa, OK
Wed March 5 @ Orpheum Theater - Flagstaff, AZ
Thurs March 6 @ The Marquee - Tempe, AZ
Fri March 7 @ House of Blues - Anaheim, CA
Sat March 8 @ Majestic Ventura Theater - Ventura, CA
Fri March 14 @ Senator Theatre - Chico, CA
Sat March 15 @ Ace of Spades - Sacramento, CA
Sun March 16 @ The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA

>> Check out "Zombies in America," the new single from The Expendables, below!

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- Kate Russell
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Patent Pending Announce 2013 Holiday Tour

>> Keeping with tradition, Patent Pending announced dates for their annual holiday tour.  The band will be playing shows in the Northeast throughout the month of December.  The list of dates and the adorable tour poster can be seen below.  Plus, if you haven't already, listen to the band's new album, Brighter, here.

Holiday 2013 Tour Dates:
Dec 15 - Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
Dec 21 - Pittsburgh, PA @ ALTAR BAR
Dec 22 - Howell, NJ @ GameChanger World
Dec 26 - Amityville, NY @ Revolution Bar & Music Hall
Dec 27 - Stroudsberg, PA @ Sherman Theater
Dec 29 - Nutley, NJ @ Radiant (Onyxeye Entertainment)

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- Kate Russell
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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lily Allen Releases Video for "Hard Out Here"

 >> I love songs that have substance.   Lily Allen is known for saying what she's thinking, even if some people might think it's offensive.  She goes for it, lyrical guns blazing and with a sense of humor.  This style can be seen for the first time in a while through Lily's new song, "Hard Out Here."

>> In her first musical release in a few years, Lily Allen makes a strong statement about sexism in the music industry, and specifically in the pop scene.  She references other artists indirectly while making the overall statement that "It's hard out here for a bitch." In the video, she pokes fun at the twerking craze ("Don't need to shake my ass for you 'cause I've got a brain") while also admitting that it's not as easy as it looks (courtesy of the old white guy attempting to show her how it's done at 1:45-1:50 & 4:02).  It's witty, catchy, and to the point.  I'm glad to have Lily Allen back in the game, and I cannot wait to see what she does next.

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- Kate Russell

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bayside to Release New Album in 2014

>> After a slew of interesting and unexplained pictures, our questions have been answered - Bayside will be releasing a new album in 2014.  The album, titled Cult, will be released on February 18th, 2014 through Hopeless Records. The album art, track listing, and pre-order details can be seen below.

Track Listing:

1) Big Cheese
2) Time Has Come
3) Hate Me
4) You're No Match
5) Pigsty
6) Transitive Property
7) Stuttering
8) Bear With Me
9) Objectivist On Fire
10) Something's Wrong
11) The Whitest Lie

>> The album Cult is currently available for pre-order through various options including CDs, digital downloads, vinyl, shirts, stickers, and more.  View all the options at

>> Bayside have released a lyric video for the first song off the new album.  Watch the video for the song "Pigsty" below, and keep in mind that all pre-order options come with an instant download of this song.

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- Kate Russell
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Monday, November 4, 2013

Stream / Download: "Praline Country" by Heyward Howkins

>> Heyward Howkins is getting ready to release his sophomore album, titled Be Frank, Furness, on November 5th.  This album is full of warmth, depth, and lyrics that make you feel.

>> His latest single, "Praline Country" is a perfect example of how seemingly warm and upbeat songs can reflect much darker themes, something that Howkins has mastered over the years.  Stream and download the song below, and be on the look out for the album.

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- Kate Russell
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Sunday, November 3, 2013

podSessions at CMJ featuring NGHBRS

>> What usually comes to mind when you think of home? For The Music Obsession, home is where the music is. For some people, that may mean venues from the Vibe Lounge to Madison Square Garden. For others, maybe it’s an old guitar or a dusty drum kit. For us at podSessions, it's our friendly NGHBRhood... NGHBRS.

>> Though I just recently delved into their work, I felt an immediate connection with this band when I got the chance to sit down with them for a few minutes at the CMJ Festival. With all of them no more than 15 minutes from my house and making their tunes in my humble hometown of Hicksville, we had no shortage of conversation.

>> I'll admit: I felt a little intimidated as they stepped out from their interview with Fuse (that's right, as in the major television network). It was at that point I remembered these guys were covered by the Wall Street Journal. Here I am, one episode deep into a podcast, and I'm going to interview these guys? At that point, I had a mini-crisis and realized that all the questions had probably already been asked. But Fuse, the Wall Street Journal, Wolf Blitzer, Howard Stern, and any other media official might not have one thing that I do:

>> The guys in NGHBRS, like Billy Joel, are from my own backyard - climbing their way to the top and never compromising their attitudes in the process.

Written by JP Catalanotto of podSessions

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