Saturday, October 30, 2010

Street Drum Corps: LA Residency at The Roxy

Hey LA, it's time to get your drum on. Starting November 16th, Street Drum Corps will begin a one month residency on Tuesdays at The Roxy. If you have ever seen them live then I know you will be there, but if you haven't you must come check this out. If you've ever heard of the Broadway hit Stomp, imagine that but way cooler and more punk. These guys have played with everyone from Thirty Seconds to Mars to Linkin Park. They are some of the most respected percussionists in rock today and regularly guest on other projects. Frank even filled in for Tommy Lee on some Motley Crue dates last year. They have announced the dates along with some openers on the DGC site but also a promise of various guest stars, and with the people these guys know that list of guests is likely to be quite impressive as well. Our contributing photographer Preston McClusky has shot them quite a number of times, and speaks highly of them not only as great musicians, but really amazing people as well. So please, come out and show your support for Street Drum Corps.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Escape the Fate at Chain Reaction

Yes, you read that correctly. Escape the Fate are going to play a record release show at Chain Reaction on November 2nd, the day their new self-titled release comes out. But first you need to race down to one of the specially designated Hot Topic stores and pre-order the record and you get in FREE! In honor of the fact that this announcement comes just before Halloween just wanted to share an old costumed shot of Max, shot by Ashlei Brittany a few years ago.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Confide: Time to say Farewell

If you have not already heard the news, or at least the rumblings and speculation, Confide have announced that they are breaking up. Their final show will be at The Glasshouse in Pomona on November 7th. The final show of any band is always a bittersweet thing. We have had the honor and privilege of being present at several such moments, and encourage you to come out and wish the boys of Confide well with all their future endeavors and remind them just how much you liked what they brought to the scene.

Photos by Deena McClusky

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Frank Turner: I Still Believe

For anyone who has not yet become familiar with the name Frank Turner, he is an English singer-songwriter who produces an intriguing punk/folk hybrid style that is starting to generate serious buzz here in the US finally. He just posted the video for "I Still Believe" on his website so please click the link and check it out and wherever in the world you are, start calling your local radio station and demanding they play the song. While in major markets this tends to be an uphill battle, since they are so busy playing old Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana (yes KROQ this means you) but it is worth a try, and eventually someone might listen. If you want to help us convince KROQ in Los Angeles then call 1 (800)520-1067. The best time to call would be between 10 am and noon Pacific time mid-week, during Kat's show because she is the DJ most likely to pay attention to your pleas.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's New Years Day all December

This December New Years Day will be playing a residency on Thursdays at The Wire in Upland. A residency offers a band a wonderful opportunity to grow a fan base and gives fans a great opportunity to really get to know a band. You can come see all four of these shows for 40 bucks. That's less than one bad seat at a lot of stadium shows. So come and check out the first show on 12/2 and see a band whose potential for greatness has been simmering on the back burner for far too long now.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Atomic Tom: Brilliance on a Subway Train

There are so very many times in life when simple far outstrips complex and the Atomic Tom "Subway" video does just that. The urban myth that has sprung up around this video (I say myth because I have as yet been unable to confirm the truth of the story directly from the band - though the statement runs at the beginning of the video) is that all of their instruments were stolen and that they needed to make a video for "Take Me Out" so they came up with the plan to replicate the song as closely as possibly using their iPhones and all of the requisite instrument apps to play the song as they rode on the busy subway, also conducting the filming on iPhone. Whether or not this story is true, it made for an excellent video that you can check out either on the Atomic Tom MySpace page or on the Atomic Tom YouTube .   In either case, if Apple doesn't pick this up for an ad campaign they are absolutely out of their minds. I do not own an iPhone currently and have never wanted one, until now, and with almost 3million hits on the video I cannot imagine I am the only one with that reaction. So if, like me, you now simple MUST HAVE AN iPHONE click HERE if you are in the US (and for our foreign readers it would take forever to post the relevant links to all of you so please forgive).

If you are into this then hit up Amazon to order their record which came out in July.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Warped Tour News

As Warped Tour 2010 is now but a memory we are just a little over a month from the start of the announcement of bands for Warped Tour 2011. Did you get your vote in on the Warped website?? If not, keep using the message boards to make lots of noise about who you want to see. I have it on good authority that the grand poo bah of Warped himself, the inimitable Mr. Lyman, really does pay attention to the names that show up with the greatest frequency. Whoever gets picked to play it will be's always good....even if your favorite band isn't on the bill............even if there aren't as many "headline" bands as previous years.......even if the weather tends to is always the best festival of the year.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

This Time Next Year

You have to have been living under a rock if you are in So Cal and haven't seen these guys dozens of times over the last few years, but it's ok, if you promise to go to the Nov. 28th show at The Cobalt Cafe in Canoga Park we won't tell anyone. Bringing feel good pop-punk to the masses, Walnut Creek's This Time Next Year are headed back through So Cal next month, and it's not even next year yet, or maybe it is, or maybe not, hmmmm I think I've confused myself. Anyway, lots of fun live, as the photos below will attest to, shot at Warped Tour this summer. You can order Road Maps and Heart Attacks ahead of time to familiarize yourself with the tunes, but then be sure to bring it with you to get signed at the show cause these are seriously cool guys who are happy to meet the fans.
photo credit: Deena McClusky

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bring Me The Horizon

Love them or hate them, they are one of the most talked about (and most frequently on the cover of music magazines) bands in the world. They are pulling through Cali next week on their current tour with August Burns Red and the always amazing Polar Bear Club. Emarosa is on the bill too, but don't get me started about Jonny. They will be hitting Fox Theater Pomona on 10/28 and Club Nokia on 10/29 before heading to San Diego and SOMA on the 30th.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Germs of Perfection: A Tribute to Bad Religion

Spin and MySpace have gotten together to create Germs of Perfection: A Tribute to Bad Religion. Tribute albums can be good if the new interpretations are thoughtful and well executed, and horrible when the new interpretations are either boring or just downright bad. Germs of Perfection falls into the former category of being really damn good. Featuring a very wide scope of performers there's really a little something for everyone. Some of the more interesting tracks are by Frank Turner on "My Poor Friend Me", and New Politics covering "Generator". The record includes tracks by Polar Bear Club, Tegan & Sara, Switchfoot, Ted Leo, and more.

As of this moment the full record is available for free download on Bad Religion's MySpace 

p.s. It's also available at SPIN

Photo credit: Bad Religion at Epicenter 2010 by Deena McClusky

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jordan Bolton

Sometimes you don't have to go looking for amazing new goes looking for you. Such was the case last week when Jordan Bolton sent me a friend request on MySpace. After scouting his page (which incidentally I do listen to everyone who sends me a friend request), I was so completely blown away by the two songs he posted that I immediately got in touch with him. Turns out this was his first foray into putting his work out there to see what kind of reaction he would get, though you would have never expected it from the quality of songwriting, recording and performance. The sound, while uniquely his own,  is reminiscent of a younger, British version of Pete Yorn crossed with Brandon Flowers solo work. "Sun, Sun, Sun" (a song he has yet to post off his yet to be released EP Jazz Hands) melds the Pete Yorn-like sound with dramatic Beach Boys references to create a song that absolutely kills most of what is on the radio these days in America. You may not yet have heard of Jordan Bolton, but trust me, you will.

Jordan was kind enough to forward me his bio so you can get to know a bit more about him:

Jordan Bolton is an alternative solo artist from Manchester, England. After spending the first half of 2010 exploring new music and writing his first demo, he  compiled 4 complete songs which he then recorded in September, upon finishing college. Finding influence from many different decades and styles of music, whilst trying to discover his own sound, led him to learn different instruments, different ways of playing and different ways of writing.  

 His first demo is based upon experimental sounds with a pop foundation, including influences ranging from Pixies, to Beach Boys, to Arcade Fire, to Neil Young, whilst trying to retain a common thread throughout with his own developing signature sound. All instruments and vocals on the recordings were played by Jordan, except for drums, which were played by Chris Forsey (of Manchester band 'I, Said The Spy') who also produced the recordings in his home studio. 

 Currently, Jordan is writing his 2nd demo, to be recorded early 2011, which will build upon his current sound to create something more signature, whilst also branching out into other musical areas.

Jordan's interest in music began when he was first given an electric guitar in 2004 when he was 13. Whilst devoting hours each day to developing the technical proficiency of neo-classical and metal artists, interest also built up in the simplicity of pop-punk and rock music that was being played on the radio. After 4 years of advancing himself as much as he could, his interest in the guitar slacked and his interests progressed to songwriting upon hearing The Beach Boy's classic 1966 album Pet Sounds, an album whose influence can be clearly heard on his song Sun Sun Sun (whose title is a play on The Beach Boys' Fun Fun Fun), along with the influence of vocal hooks and harmonies, like those on Pet Sounds, throughout most of his music.

Please check out Jordan's MySpace and lend your support to this outstanding new artist. And to all our label friends....start your engines cause the bidding war should get fierce for this one.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hedley: The Show Must Go

We live in a land where shiny commercial pop is very successful, like it or not. In the case of soon to be released The Show Must Go, by Canadian popsters Hedley, some of it falls into the like category, and some of it definitely falls in the not. It’s hard not to point a portion of the blame at using four different producers which definitely gives the record a bit of a schizophrenic feel. While all four, John Feldman (The Used, Story of the Year), Dave Genn, David Bendeth (Paramore), Brian Howes (Daughtry), are certainly talented and capable individually, it might have made a more cohesive album to pick one and stick with it.

Though the band is already relatively big in Canada, the December release of The Show Must Go is being touted as their shot at grabbing American fame. The Canadian version of this album was released in 2009, albeit with a different sequence and slightly different lineup of songs, so in some sense this record is an already tested commodity. Two of the songs on the original release, “Young and Stupid” and “Shades of Red”, are being replaced by “Color Outside the Lines” and “I Do (Wanna Love You)”, though the original songs will be showing up in various capacities.  However, as it faces an American audience in December, it seems that like fellow Canadians Simple Plan, Hedley seems to be having trouble defining an identity. They are getting a bit old to be pushing the cheesy pop that appeals to 12 year old girls, but seem reticent to take the leap and push their style over into a more rock edged style that would help them skew their audience to an older demographic.

Though it’s a little too glossy, commercial and boy bandy in parts, The Show Must Go does shine, especially on the John Feldman produced tracks ("Hands Up", "Scream"). Other standout tracks include,  " I Do (Wanna Love You)" which wouldn’t seem out of place on a nevershoutnever record, and the opening song, "Color Outside The Lines" which takes the more rock tinged aspect, like the Feldman produced tracks, and brings to mind bands like Cartel and Boys Like Girls.  Much of the rest of the album vacillates between power ballads which hit (Perfect) and don’t, (Amazing - too boy band), odd stabs at trying to be Bowling For Soup minus the clever(Cha-Ching, Don’t Talk To Strangers), and a stray bit of ska tinge (Shelter, Friends).

Los Angeles gets a shot to check them out in person when they appear at the Roxy on Thursday the 21st.

Will appeal to fans of nevershoutnever, Boys Like Girls, Cartel.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Future Converse Ad?

We think Converse should get together with LA band After Midnight Project for some sort of sponsorship/advertising deal. What do you think?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rise Against

I've seen hundreds and hundreds of bands live, but only a handful make my top ten list of best live bands. Rise Against is always amazing. They manage to be not only a great band, but great people, who are socially conscious and politically aware. These shot are from the recent Epicenter 2010 Festival.
Photos courtesy of Preston McClusky

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's nearly time for New Years Day................

It's nearly time for New Years Day, and no, I don't mean January 1st. Orange County pop-punk band New Years Day will be playing The Roxy on October 22nd. If you don 't know them, you should. While I don't recommend a large number of female fronted bands, Ashley Costello has more than earned her place fronting this band, that should have broken huge years ago when Ready, Aim, Misfire was released. Instead the band fell into the all too familiar label woes that stalled the band for far too long. But they're back!!! I got a sneak peak at their return some months ago when they did a private party to herald their return. While there may be new names and faces in the band, they still rock just as hard as you remember, and Ashley Costello, is just as talented, charismatic, and gorgeous as you ever. Tickets are just $12 in advance and you can get more info here

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Punchline Video for "21 Forever"

OCTOBER 13, 2010


PUNCHLINE is on a roll.  On the heels of the release of their brand new, critically acclaimed album DELIGHTFULLY PLEASED, the band premieres the new music video for “21 Forever” today at

Shot in Pittsburgh at the band’s hometown album release party, the “21 Forever” video shows Punchline in action, in front of a sold-out crowd of die-hard fans that have been followers for more than a decade.

21 Forever offers an infectious hook and an indomitable chorus,” describes Chris Parker in his Alternative Press review of Delightfully Pleased, “backed by ooh-ing vocals amid tasty ringing guitars. Tightly constructed with a cool change-of-pace break, [it’s] the type of song that barely ages no matter how many times you hear it.”

It’s no surprise that Punchline delivers these kinds of sparkling, upbeat and fun songs on their fifth full-length Delightfully Pleased. With over 100,000 albums sold and thousands of shows performed across the planet, the band has marked their new pinnacle of an illustrious musical journey that has never stopped and shows no signs of slowing.

Delightfully Pleased is out now from Punchline’s own label Modern Short Stories.
Like Punchline on Facebook and view the new video for “21 Forever” now at


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Airborne Toxic Event : All I Ever Wanted - Live From the Walt Disney Concert Hall - Part 3

Continuing my interview with the filmmakers: (see yesterday's post for part one if you missed it)

Were restrictions put on not using curse words during the performance due to the Disney connection, as I noticed a song lyric had been changed in "Wishing Well"? Were there other restrictions laid down by Disney in regards to the filming, as they are notorious for control issues?
JON:  I'm not too sure what the band went thru as far as censoring. I feel like it was their own choice to modify things as they cared so much about the children in the show and the families involved, but then again, Noah's description of how the little girls choir was going to make people feel the night of, tells me I'm wrong. I haven't gotten any letters yet, but then the film just came out so I'm waiting. Do people still get letters? As far as the restrictions for all of us in general, it's up to us to deal with Walt, you guys just sit back and enjoy the ride.

BRIAN: Yeah, Disney had a few restrictions for us regarding production protocol, i.e. equipment, crew size, etc. But as far as content, that was the band's choice.

The editing was just beautiful, making the film so visually stunning to watch. Whose idea was it to switch back and forth from black and white for the documentary pieces to color for the performance pieces, and why was that decision made? Why was that not fully followed, as one of the performance songs was not in color?
JON: My idea, but I can't take credit for anything until others approved. Luckily Brian likes me and Pete and the band never said anything, so we went with it. I have always been a fan of bringing things to life in post. I'm an editor at heart As for the duet (the song left in black and white) if you notice, it also has clips from them practicing the song and b-roll along with the song, some of it even in sync with the song. This is how I intended the whole movie to be, the music in color and during every other song yo would have rehearsal clips related to the song cut thru-out, but since somewhere along the way this idea dies, I gues you could consider the "Duet" to be a color-less, life-less, homage to that concept. It was the last thing that was edited.

BRIAN: All Jon. Once he started editing, and using this technique, with the doc in black and white and the performance in color, I fully supported. We both loved how the Canons translated to black and white, and switching back and forth seemed like such a cool way to add a unique brand to what we were making. Jon often works in black and white, so it was natural for this project to carry that choice as well.

You've been holding premiers in movie theaters, but are you likely to do any more widespread of a theatrical release, to let more of the public experience it in a theater?
JON: The movie wasn't meant to be played in theaters, it's more of an experiment in how to make concert films a little more interesting. I watch John Mayer's "Where The Light Is" and I think I wish I had more behind the scenes. I wastch Wilco's "I'm Trying To Break Your Heart", and I wish I had better concert coverage. The film was meant to be a mix of these kinds of films as kind of a long CD for fans to listen to and have a story arc in the film just like a really good concept album. The pacing is really for a fan, hence why we made an 88 minute version to show at these cinemas.

BRIAN: At the moment, no. The concept the whole time was to be direct to DVD with the companion LIVE CD, but once the finished product came out, there was this excitement for some theatrical presence, hence the premiers and submission to festivals. Unfortunately, because of the distro to DVD all lined up, our festival run was limited. (Something we'll be more conscious of for future projects for sure.) I do, however, see this film becoming a regular occurrence for special theatrical screenings as it continues to take a life of its' own, as it celebrates this great band so well, and having that shared theatrical experience is something that will always be a possibility.

You premiered the film at Raindance Film Festival in London in September, how was the reception?
JON:  We premiered in LA forst and sold out a theater of 400, and then in New York again a theater of about 300 filled to the brim. Even the people lined up for the following film wanted to see what it was, so I let them in and we literally had people standing half in half out of the theater doors, holding them open, watching the final minutes. The UK was a different world. They have a bigger fan base out there and most of the questions we were asked in the Q&A afterwards were that of "What has been your biggest inspiration for the new album?" But I can say that the reception and theater quality was the best we ever screened at, and you could drink beer. YAY.

BRIAN: The UK really love these guys, and the movie has been received with as much love as a new album. The band played the opening night party to a PACKED room of screaming people. It was such an amazing way to kick off the festival. The producers of the festival kept saying how great it was to have us there, and of course I kept saying thank you for having us!! True lovefest.

You're obviously getting full support from the band in promoting the DVD release. How key do you think this has been for the sales?
JON: Good.

BRIAN: Having full support of the band is essential I think. This has been a collaborative process since the jump, and having them carry the load in promoting it has been tremendous. The fact that they put together a multi-city tour JUST to promote the DVD speaks volumes of their support and their excitement for the movie. Every Airborne fan will love this film as it captures the true essence of these artists, but more importantly, as a film, those who don't know the band become immediate fans after watching.

Any more filming of this band (or any other band or musical event) in the planning stages?
JON: We have plans for some work with the band on the new album coming out early next year From what I have heard thru-out the making of this film and on tour with them recently, the new stuff is amazing, and if the title of our movie pertains to "us" at all, then I take it back. I want much more.
...that was a good ending.

BRIAN: There's always something to do....

I want to thank Jon and Brian for taking the time to answer my questions, and encourage everyone reading this to pick up not just a copy of this DVD for yourself, but get a bunch to use as stocking stuffers this holiday season. Spread the love, spread the joy, spread this movie! It seems to be available in store at most Best Buy locations or click to Amazon to order online.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Airborne Toxic Event : All I Ever Wanted - Live From the Walt Disney Concert Hall - Part 2

Have you ever watched a really amazing movie and wondered how or why they did certain things, wishing you could get a private consultation to clear up any lingering questions you might have had? Well I got to do just that last week when I had the opportunity to pose a few questions to Jon and Brian, the director and producer of The Airborne Toxic Event: All I Ever Wanted - Live From the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

How did the idea to do the film originate?
JON: I had made a couple smaller videos for the band in the few months before the show was announced and started to hang with the band a little more...When I had heard they were going to do the show at Disney I started joking with them that I should film it, and eventually they realized I was serious. Seeing that I was in over my head, cause I had never done anything of this scale before, I brought Brian on to organize the whole thing and make it happen.

BRIAN: Exactly that. I've said this before and looking back on it now, the real impetus for the project started with the friendship between Jon and Mikel. Jon had done a few smaller projects, and it was apparent they were both fans of each others work, and with this amazing opportunity to play Disney Hall, it just seemed to be a natural fit to film the experience.

Were you already fans of the band?
JON: Yes, but not nearly as much as I am now.

BRIAN: I knew of their hit, Sometime Around Midnight, and was a big fan of that song, and over the past year became more familiar with their other tracks, and was an immediate fan. I guess now I could be called a superfan, though!

I saw credits for Canon at the end of the film...what sorts of cameras were used? Did you use digital cameras with HD video capability (It looked like it during one dressing room shot)?
JON: We used the new DSLRs, specifically the Canon 7D's, and then one scene where the guitarist, Steven, was using a Flip Mino HD to cover his trip down to the hall. I've been a fan of the Canon 5D and 7D series since I saw Nine Inch Nails using it on stage. I had never seen anything like it before so I got one as fast as I could. Nowadays it's definitely all over the place. You can't watch two videos on Vimeo without seeing the use of a Nikon, Panasonic or Canon DSLR anymore, but I would go as far to say I think we are the first to have a full film out and on iTunes with the main media being on the Canons. Arcade Fire has recently knocked it out of the park as well for a Vevo project, and Ben Folds and Nick Hornby as well...just gorgeous stuff.

BRIAN: If it weren't for these Canons, this project would not have been possible. Period.

I was wondering how many cameras were used at any given time, especially during the performances because I was so fascinated by all of the tiny moments that were caught like Noah's very rock and roll shoes, the glances that Daren gives when Mikel is up on the platform, and some of the faces they make at each other during performances?
JON: People may think we had millions of dollars to do this but we had a budget of almost nothing once we paid to be at Disney and sound was a big chunk as well, so as much as we wanted to have 15 cameras and mounts and jibs at the show we were really restricted not only by money but also by the sheer fact that Disney really didn't want a big messy shoot with cables and lighting everywhere, so we went with what we could afford which was the minimal of one camera for each band member (5), 1 guy behind the stage getting reverses (1) one wide (1) and a roamer to get the other members on stage like the quartet (1) and then a lock off at the very top of the seats in the hall (1) - 9 cameras in all. Once of the biggest complaints we got from the label was that they looked like they were playing in a closet because you couldn't see fans around them that much, so in retrospect maybe I should have taken the reverse cam and pointed him out at the screaming topless women in the front row with lighters and signs that said "Rock Disney Bitches!".

BRIAN: Nice one Jon, cause there were definitely A TON of topless women at the show. With lighters. Screaming. Who uses lighters anymore? I mean...really? Anyway, yes. 9 strategically placed cameras with 8 very capable operators, with Jon passing out camera assignments and letting them run loose with nothing more than a walkie to communicate with everyone as the show played out.

Part 2 of the interview (part three in the promotional coverage for the DVD release) will be up tomorrow so please come back. Oh, and if anybody from Canon is reading this and wants to hook us up with a 7D to test out shooting concert coverage hit us up at

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mayday Parade tour is about to start so do you have tickets yet????

In case you missed the previous announcement regarding the Fearless Friends tour, this is but a wee reminder that time is running out to nail down your tickets. Shows start on the 13th in Connecticut and move all over the country from there. This is an excellent band that we have been following for many years and want you all to come out and support. If you have never seen them live you owe it to yourself to come out! presents the Fearless Friends Tour 2010 featuring Mayday Parade, Breathe Carolina, Every Avenue, Artist Vs Poet and Go Radio, plus The Victorious Secrets on select dates
10.13.10 - Hartford, CT @ Webster Theatre
10.14.10 - New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
10.15.10 - Sayreville, NY @ Starland Ballroom
10.16.10 - Farmingdale, NY @ Crazy Donkey
10.17.10 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
10.18.10 - Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
10.19.10 - Williamsville, NY @ Infinity
10.20.10 - Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
10.21.10 - Towson, MD @ Recher Theatre
10.22.10 - Charlotte, NC @ Amos' Southend
10.23.10 - Jacksonville Beach, FL @ Freebird Live
10.24.10 - Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
10.26.10 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts
10.27.10 - Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
10.28.10- Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
10.29.10 - Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
10.30.10 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
10.31.10 - Minneapolis, MN @ Cabooze
11.2.10 - Des Moines, IA @ People's Court
11.3.10 - Sauget, IL @ Pop's
11.4.10 - Kansas City, MO @ Beaumont Club
11.5.10 - Omaha, NE @ Sokol Underground
11.6.10 - Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre
11.8.10 - Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
11.9.10 - Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
11.10.10 - Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
11.11.10 - Orangevale, CA @ Boardwalk
11.12.10 - San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom
11.13.10 - Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
11.14.10 - Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
11.16.10 - San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
11.17.10 - Los Angeles, CA @ House of Blues
11.18.10 - Mesa, AZ @ Nile Theatre
11.19.10 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theatre
11.20.10 - Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
11.21.10 - Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
11.23.10 - San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit
11.24.10 - Houston, TX @ House of Blues
11.26.10 - Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
11.27.10 - Tampa, FL @ State Theatre
11.28.10 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Black Veil Brides are coming to a town near you!!

Black Veil Brides are a band whose name you may not yet know, and if you do, you may have dismissed them without giving them a chance based on their extremely theatrical look. If that is the case I would urge you to give them a chance to prove you wrong by attending one of the shows on their current tour. This is one seriously kick-ass band if you would just give them the chance. They were probably the biggest surprise of Epicenter 2010. All of the tour dates can be found on their Myspace. The So Cal dates are 11/14 at HOB Anaheim and 11/15 at SOMA.

Friday, October 8, 2010

nevershoutnever on tour..................

 October 19th - November 27th Christofer Drew and company will be hitting the road along with The Maine, I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody's Business, and Carter Hulsey. They will kick off in Seattle and finish in Chicago, hitting a whole lot of cities in between. The So Cal segment includes House of Blues Anaheim on 10/23, House of Blues San Diego on 10/24, and The Wiltern on 10/26.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tyler Hilton at The Wire in Upland

Last night marked the first date of the Tyler Hilton/Josiah Leming/Dion Roy tour, which kicked off in Upland, Ca at The Wire. Since they do not appear to have given the tour a nickname at this point we shall dub it the “Swoon Tour” because that was definitely the effect these men were having on the largely female crowd. In a very clever marketing tactic, the plan for this tour is to spend the afternoon on most show days basically recruiting an audience by visiting local high schools near the venues in each city. Judging by opening night it certainly seemed to work. The audience was “small but mighty” to quote Tyler Hilton, and composed largely of girls from the local high school. But, don’t think these guys are some kind of cheesy teen thing. These are serious musicians, with serious talent, that would appeal to music fans of all ages.

Dion Roy opened the show, doing the singer/songwriter thing alone with his guitar. While I unfortunately arrived late and only caught two songs, it definitely left me wanting to hear more.

Josiah Leming first came to public attention a few years back as an American Idol contestant back in 2007. While he didn’t get far with the show, what he did get was a record contract that has spawned a couple of EP’s and now a new full-length featuring his unique take on piano rock.  There is no denying that he’s got a stunning voice, a talent with the piano, and the bones of something that’s going to be really phenomenal with another year or two of development, which means this is a great time to catch him in tiny clubs so that you can say you knew him when. Josiah played a portion of his set alone with his piano and a portion with the able assistance of the quite talented backing band pulling double duty, backing up both Leming and Hilton.

Headliner Tyler Hilton stole the show, as he does with just about anything he does (watch old episodes of One Tree Hill for proof). With his imposing physical presence (tall and gorgeous), and a smile that could light up the darkest room, he had all the girls screaming before he even played a note. Like Jared Leto (Thirty Seconds to Mars), Tyler Hilton seems seamlessly move between the music and acting worlds, doing a quite credible job in both. He carefully went out of his way to interact with the throng of girls up front, successfully charming them into utter oblivion. Then, in a move that may get him nominated for nicest guy in music, he even invited a kid he had met earlier in the day at Upland High School named Sam, to come on stage and play bongos for one song. In between all of these niceties he and his band tore through a relatively short set of songs, largely culled from his EP’s as well as a John Waite cover that had been on a One Tree Hill album. Much of his music has an interesting combination of pop, country and rock turns that make him difficult to categorize but make him unique. With a pedigree that includes writing with members of Lady Antebellum, and uber producer Matt Serletic, if you haven’t jumped on the Tyler Hilton train yet, now would be the time. Check out Tyler’s Myspace for all of the tour dates. This tour wraps back around to end at The Roxy in West Hollywood on Nov. 17th so be sure to get your tickets.

Lastly we need to give major props to The Wire. This tiny venue (barely larger than your living room) is without a doubt one of the best places in the Inland Empire to see live music. They do a wonderful job of booking an eclectic mix of local and touring acts. On the local end they have Cromwell and Dose of Adolescence playing this Saturday. On the touring end, in a couple of weeks they have Carter Hulsey,  on Wednesday 10/27, so please be sure to come out and check out a show.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Middle Class Rut release a new disc

Yesterday  (10/5) marked the release of new music from one of my absolutely favorite bands, Middle Class Rut. I happened to catch these guys a few years ago when they did an opening spot at Chain Reaction on their way to SXSW I think it was. It is so incredibly rare to come across a two man band, much less one that produces such a glorious body of raw, crunchy rock songs. Turns out you don't have to have Jack White as one of the members in order to do this. Middle Class Rut is well known for handling their own recording duties, which would not generally be recommended for most people, but works really well for this dynamic duo. First buy this record, but then watch carefully for them to come to your town (or anywhere within a 4 hour drive) because you really have to see them live. Current tour schedule available here.

p.s. I don't have details on who did the cover art work but major kudos!

You can find the record at Best Buy     and Amazon  as well as iTunes  if you cannot find it in a store locally but please ask your retailer to carry it.
Photo by Deena McClusky

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Psst....there's free stuff on iTunes

While I am probably one of the world's biggest promoters of buying physical copies of CD's I do have some digital news for all of you.

If you go to the main page of iTunes right now and scroll down near the bottom you will find two free song downloads you need to be aware of, from a couple of bands we have been following for the last few years. First of all there is Melee - The Ballad of You and I. This is an amazing band out of So Cal that I had the odd pleasure of photographing doing an outdoor set at a mall in Orange County in 2007. Since that time they have toured the world and in fact leave soon to do some dates in Japan. Secondly is God Save the Foolish Kings by House of Heroes. I fell for this band five or six years ago when they were the opening act at a Chain Reaction show, though I cannot for the life of me recall who the headliner was that night. They will be playing in Victorville at the Victorville Events Center on Oct 25th for those of you in So Cal and for all of our friends and readers in other places click here to connect to their Myspace for a list of other dates.

If you download and like either of these tunes (which I know you will) all that I ask is that you please (PLEASE!) buy the whole album either digitally or physical. The only way these people can continue making beautiful music is if you, the music consuming public, pay for the product they produce. Neither of these bands is wealthy, neither of them live like rockstars, and both of them are extremely friendly to and appreciative of their fans. Please return the love they show you by purchasing their Cd's, concert tickets, assorted merch, etc. Keep them in business.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tyler Hilton comes to Upland this Wednesday......

The Wire in Upland hosts a great show this Wednesday (10/6) headlined by Tyler Hilton. With the success of his acting career, including a story arc on One Tree Hill as Chris Keller (possibly the only person to refer to themselves in the third person and not look like a total idiot), movie roles in Walk the Line (playing Elvis and contributing two songs to the soundtrack), and Charlie Bartlett (as Murphy - great mohawk) a number of people seem to forget he actually is a musician. Come out to The Wire at 247 N. 2nd St. in Upland on Wednesday and let him remind you. The show starts at 7 and also features Josiah Leming. Leming was a contestant on American Idol who had left home and was living in his car for an extended period of time in order to try and make his musical ambitions a reality, and is now signed to Reprise. The show also features singer songwriter Dion Roy. Should be a great show at this wonderful tiny venue just a bit north of the 10 freeway in Upland.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Wonder Years is more than a TV show........

The Wonder Years - The Upsides (re-release)

When the original release in January of this year was widely touted as the best pop-punk album of the year when it was only January it was clear that this album was getting a great reception. With the subsequent signing of the band to Hopeless Records, it was somewhat expected that some sort of repackage and re-release would be in the works.

The September re-release of The Upsides features the addition of four new tracks set to enhance what was already a good example of super catchy pop-punk. This includes the “Campfire Version” of Dynamite Shovel which is a fond reminder of the many pop-punk shows that finish out the night with everyone sitting around in a parking lot with acoustic guitars cause they just don’t want the night to end quite yet. A smattering of witty song titles, relatable lyrics, and super catchy tunes have helped The Wonder Years develop of growing fan base all across the country and this record (in either original or re-release form) certainly continues in those lines while showing a development in both style and technique.

Guest vocals from Rachel Minton of Zolof The Rock & Roll Destroyer on “Hey Thanks” bring an interesting element of variety, plus the ukelele usage should immediately attract  all the nevershoutnever fans. Gang vocals on “All My Friends are in Bar Bands” demonstrates the truth to that statement with a little help from members of Valencia, A Loss For Words, Title Fight, and more. Even if you own the original release, it’s worth picking this up for the four new tracks, and if you don’t own it you are way behind the curve.

The Wonder Years are currently on the road promoting the record as part of the “Tonight We Feel Alive!” tour with Four Year Strong and Comeback Kid, which will be hitting The Glasshouse in Pomona on Oct. 21st.

Great for fans of:  New Found Glory, Four Year Strong, Sum 41

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ode to Billie Joe

Billie Joe Armstrong has added Broadway actor to his resume this week, as he took to the boards in the role of St. Jimmy, in the play based on Green Day's American Idiot. He has been filling in for the usual actor who needed to leave for a personal emergency, though much discussion has been made as to whether this was a crafty ploy to jump start ticket sales and gain a bunch of free press for the show. Well, if that was the case, mission accomplished. Everybody cared, and by all reports (including a first hand report from one of our contributors) everyone lucky enough to snag a ticket this week has been absolutely thrilled by his performance. Next month a budding young rockstar gets to try his hand at Broadway as well, when he (Reeve Carney) assumes the role of Spiderman in the much awaited production, rumored to be one of the most expensive plays ever staged. Could this be the wave of the future to drive younger audiences to Broadway?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Epicenter 2010: Day 1

Here's some more assorted shots from Day 1 of Epicenter 2010:


Kinda Major
Smile Empty Soul
Big Boi

Monster Girl (Monster was a primary sponsor)

Papa Roach

All photos by Deena McClusky