Thursday, September 30, 2010

Epicenter 2010: Thirty Seconds To Mars

All show and no go may be the best description for Thirty Seconds To Mars performance at Epicenter 2010. They held the enviable spot between Bad Religion and Rise Against on the Sunday date of Epicenter 2010 but unfortunately failed to deliver the goods. There were a large number of their faithful in the crowd singing every word and erupting in ectasy when Jared Leto made his way into the crowd, but performance wise the set was a bit of a dud. Jared spent more time talking to the audience, cajoling them to jump or yell or chant or make a pit or sing the words, etc. (you get the idea) than he did performing. Granted none of the performers were happy about having to take the stage while the sun was still out, due to the outrageous temperatures that plagued the show, but one could not help but be a bit bored by this outing of the band. This is not a bad band. I've actually seen them be quite good in a theater setting, but for some reason festivals don't really seem to be their strong suit.

Photos by Preston McClusky

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Epicenter 2010: Crash Kings

Crash Kings took to the Main Stage at Epicenter 2010, on Saturday at 2:30pm, sandwiched between hip-hop acts, Deuce and Big Boi. The rolled out their special style of fierce, anthemic rock for those brave enough to stand in the sun long enough to watch them. Probably best known for the wildly successful single "Mountain Man" this band is a bit of an oddity, for lack of a better word, in that they consist of bass, drums and keys. No guitarist in a rock band is not something you see everyday, but Crash Kings really make it work. Their debut, self-titled album, Crash Kings  continues to sell well and spawn additional singles. On tour now, with Anberlin, you get another chance to see them next week as they hit House of Blues LA on October 8th and House of Blues Anaheim on October 9th.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Epicenter 2010: The Envy

The opening slot, on the opening day, of a massive festival in temperatures well over 100 degrees, is not necessarily the place you want to be, but The Envy gave it their all out best to stir up the small but curious crowd. This Canadian band has spent the summer on the road with KISS (a trial by fire if there ever was one) and successfully won fans everywhere they've been. It's not just that they are a good band, but that they are a good band that seems to have tremendous potential to be huge. As part of a festival with a very stacked group of headliners including not only KISS, but Eminem, Blink 182, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Rise Against, and Bad Religion one of the names that kept coming up again and again when people were asked who they were impressed with, was The Envy. With the marketing and salesmanship of the inimitable Gene Simmons behind them even the sky may not be the limit for The Envy, so watch closely for the announcement of show dates after the completion of the KISS tour because it would be great to catch this band on a club tour before they attain their intended destiny (or at least Gene Simmons intended destiny for them) of being arena headliners.

Monday, September 27, 2010

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

A very special documentary look at the staging and performance of The Airborne Toxic Event's Dec. 4th 2009 show at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, goes on sale tomorrow on both DVD and Blu-Ray. This was the 354th and  final show of the tour cycle supporting their self-titled first album which featured the smash hit Sometime Around Midnight.

To have the opportunity to play the Walt Disney Concert Hall (widely considered to be the best concert hall in the world) is a dream come true for any musician, and especially for a little band that's been knocking around Silverlake for the last few years before the world suddenly took notice and swept them up in the whirlwind that has become the Airborne Toxic Event. The documentary shows all of the joy, and work, and nerves, and excitement that went into making this ground breaking event. This show featured not only The Calder Quartet who have become a regular fixture playing a number of shows with The Airborne Toxic Event, but also the marching band from Belmont High School, the Lalo Guerrero School Children's Choir, Ballet Folklorico dancers.

While this is a must see for any fan of the band, or music in general, this movie works on a number of other levels as well. It is a supremely executed documentary beautifully shot and edited with a fascinating flow between the documentary aspects shown in black and white, combined with concert footage in color. It also works as a regular movie with engrossing characters who must succeed at the task of creating and presenting this show, and really makes you care about the band members as brilliant, creative, and emotionally vulnerable people. It is truly impossible to express what a wonderful film this just need to experience it for yourself.

Epicenter 2010 - House of Pain

The last act on the Monster stage Saturday night was old school hip hop pioneers House of Pain. They tactfully played a mix of both old and new, to appeal to as wide a range of fans as possible. Kind of ironic that after the very public feuding that went on in the late nineties between Everlast and Eminem that House of Pain would be slated to play second stage right before Eminem took to the main stage. Unfortunately the scheduling seemed to reduce the crowd size one would have expected for House of Pain's set as so many people were trying to hold their place in the crowd for Eminem. That is unfortunately just a consequence of the way festival shows are designed, but they missed a memorable moment.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Biffy Clyro

One of the major highlights of Epicenter 2010 Day 2 (the Sunday edition) was Scottish band Biffy Clyro. They played a phenomenal set to a woefully small crowd on the Monster stage. This is a band that has played with the likes of Muse and the Rolling Stones so that gives you the idea that we here in America have been slow to get on the bandwagon with this one. You have another opportunity to catch them here in LA this week at the Bootleg Theater on 9/30 . Another great band, Empires will open the show at 8:30 so be sure to get there early.

Their new album features the song God and Satan which is absolutely amazing. Check out the video for God and Satan here. (and yes, he isn't blond in the video).

Saturday, September 25, 2010

It was the heat of the moment....Epicenter 2010

It was soooooooo hot today at Epicenter 2010 and tomorrow promises to be even hotter. If you are coming out tomorrow be sure to bring sunscreen and lots of money for water as they are charging $5 a bottle.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger

In what can best be described as an all-out, fun-filled bash of the ska/punk titans, Reel Big Fish and their comrades in Goldfinger have announced they will be playing a set of four dates together in early November. Kicking off November 3rd at the House of Blues in San Diego, CA, the bands will also rock venues in Los Angeles (Nov. 4), San Luis Obispo (Nov. 6) and Las Vegas (Nov. 7).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jonah Smith: World Without Love

While I know nothing about Jonah Smith, and indeed have never heard of him before today, I heard World Without Love on XM today and fell in love. The link will take you to Amazon to check out (and hopefully purchase) the MP3. More to come on Jonah as details are uncovered but in the meantime get this song.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gardening, Not Architecture

Thanks to Alex at Bridgeport West for this press release:

SEPTEMBER 22, 2010


SARAH SATURDAY can't stay in one place for very long. After selling and donating most of her possessions in February, and moving into a storage space with only a PO box for an address, she has been paving the way for independent, do-it-yourself musicians everywhere with non-stop touring, innovative ideas, and die-hard work ethic. After a successful Canadian tour in the spring and performing on this year's entire VANS WARPED TOUR, she is ready to take her nom do rock GARDENING, NOT ARCHITECTURE on the road again. This time, Sarah will tackle a 60-date North American tour that she is co-booking with independent Canadian booking agency UNDERGROUND OPERATIONS.

In addition to hauling her bass, laptop, and homemade LED light wall around the continent, playing her "ethereal electronic power-pop" for audiences in small clubs and living rooms, Saturday is also using her platform as a respected emerging artist in the underground music community to promote her do-it-yourself based philosophy, EARN IT YOURSELF, and its online community EARNITYOURSELF.COM. Through guest speaker appearances in high schools, one-on-one consultations at her shows, and "scene meet-ups" at every day of this summer's Warped Tour, Sarah Saturday is inspiring individuals everywhere to take their passion into their own hands, and to pursue their goals using an approach based on integrity, honesty, and hard work.

In preparation for the second annual GARDENING, NOT ARCHITECTURE fall tour, Sarah is calling on fans and music supporters to donate to a "tour fundraiser" in exchange for limited edition, handmade merchandise, "official sponsor" title status of each tour date, plus permanent status as an official sponsor of Gardening, Not Architecture on her website. In addition to raising funds to buy a car and pay for gas, food, and other needs for the tour, the fundraiser is being held in honor of Saturday's friend who passed away in a tragic car accident this past summer. Saturday will be donating 10% of all proceeds to Cocoon House -- a center for homeless and at-risk youths where Saturday's friend was a social worker.

Available packages in the fundraiser include: handmade, personalized postcards with a handwritten message from Sarah for $5; individual tour date sponsorship for $10 per show; limited edition tee shirts (donated by Othello Industries) for $25; customized flash drive wristbands containing a remix EP, live show recording, new music video and other digital downloads for $30; one of ten custom signed/numbered paintings made by Sarah for $40; limited edition signed/numbered posters (donated by Verdilak) for $50; and 11x14 prints of original photos from the two different album covers, signed/numbered by the photographers for $150.

The GARDENING, NOT ARCHITECTURE fall tour launches in Hollywood, CA on October 1 at Crane’s Tavern. For the complete list of tour dates, visit

For the full list of fundraiser item descriptions with photos, and to donate, go to:

For more info about Cocoon House, go to:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Envy of all your friends.....

I know, I know, nobody shows up at festivals until at least a third to half way into the day in time to see the headliners. This is LA. People are too hip to check out the opening acts. Let's hope you don't make that mistake this Saturday as Epicenter 2010 comes to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. Going on first at 1:00pm (doors are at noon) is the Canadian indie band The Envy. They are a very interesting story, in that Gene Simmons of KISS has taken a special interest in this band and signed them to his imprint. They have been on the road opening for KISS this summer (talk about trial by fire) and from what I've seen have been getting quite positive response. While I have never seen them live I am looking forward to being out there early this Saturday to catch their set, so please come join me. LA band Crash Kings will be on the main stage at 2:30pm and the highly anticipated Bush reunion set will go down at 6:05pm, followed by Eminem and KISS closing out the night. To get all the set times for both days click here. Oh, and bring your sunscreen because the forecast says it's going to be hot as, well, you know.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Beta State

If you do not plan on being at Epicenter 2010 this Saturday, then you must head to The Wire in Upland to catch Beta State. Composed of former members of Strata and Ashcroft this band has risen from the ashes to produce some really intriguing new material that is well worth checking out. If you check out their Facebook you can download the music to check it out with the bands' blessing (alot better than stealing now isnt it?).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Jukebox Romantics

One of the great things about Warped Tour is the way they plow so many bands together into one day, that if you make an effort to catch some bands you've never heard of you might just discover something great. Such was the case this year for the people lucky enough to catch The Jukebox Romantics. This east coast punk band has a terrific raw feel to their live show that has been extremely well captured by their diy styled videos that show so well that you don't have to drop a ridiculous amount of money to turn out a really engaging music video. The mere fact that they only have 3471 friends on Myspace and 771 Likes on Facebook gives you a clue that you may be the first among your friends to discover this band, which is always fun. So check them out and if you like what you hear head over to Amazon and pick up their CD.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

If a picture is worth a thousand words...

If a picture is worth a thousand words then let this one take the place of today's post.....It's of Confide frontman Ross Kenyon at Warped Tour Pomona. The band plays Chain Reaction in Anaheim this week on the 23rd and 24th with We Came As Romans.

Friday, September 17, 2010

To All My Fearless Friends

 October brings the Fearless Friends tour, starting out in CT on 10/13 and ending in Florida. This is a great tour that you must see. Mayday Parade, who we have been following and promoting ever since they played us their cd at Warped Tour years ago (the year they spent following the tour and hawking cds in the parking lot) is arguably one of the best live bands out there right now. They are currently offering a special ticket bundle deal you may want to take advantage of. For general tickets click here. 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

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First Annual Dear Jack Foundation Benefit Concert

The first annual Dear Jack Foundation Benefit Concert has been announced for November 18th at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles. Andrew McMahon will play with both Jack's Mannequin and Something Corporate for this very special show. The only other time that has happened was several years ago when SOCO made their first mini reunion at Bamboozle Left for a few songs at the close of the Jack's Mannequin set. This show will benefit Andrew's charity to fight cancer. Presale tickets will go on sale later today, and tickets will be available to the general public Sept 18th. Please come out and support a great cause.
Photo courtesy of Preston McClusky

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Escape the Fate Has Issues

The new self-titled album is slated for release on November 2nd, but the band has posted the new single "Issues" on their website. Though they are taking alot of negativity for the song not being screamo, the fact of the matter is that Craig Mabbitt is actually a good singer and there's no reason they shouldn't showcase that on the new material. Screamo won't get them major market radio play, but this song could.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Secondhand Serenade

Saturday the 4th saw the return of Secondhand Serenade to the House of Blues Anaheim. Always excellent live, the set was a carefully constructed mix of the old and the new. Like Chris Carraba of Dashboard Confessional, John Vesely walks a careful line between his acoustic, stripped down early work, and full band, more commercial work. His latest release Hear Me Now, featuring the hit single "Something More" definitely leans more on the full band, big production values style necessary to  break through to a wider audience, but it's great to see he still gives the nod to his acoustic roots and the fans that have helped get him this far.
Photos courtesy of Preston McClusky

Photos below: courtesy of Jacquie Templin

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Warped Tour - Every Time I Die

Here's the shots from the Every Time I Die Set at the Pomona stop of Warped Tour. The band will be back in town November 17th at Chain Reaction in Anaheim in case you missed them on Warped Tour. It's a tiny venue so be sure to get tickets early.
All photos by Deena McClusky

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Warped Tour - The Charities

A part of Warped Tour that never gets enough attention is the charity connection. Every year several dozen charities have booths at Warped Tour, trying to raise money and get people involved and interested in making the world a better place. Included this year were Shirt For A Cure, Invisible Children, 11:11AM, and the Dear Jack Foundation among many others. Throughout Warped Tour, they are a constant daily reminder to Warped Tour attendees to get involved. It is our fervent hope that their message does not get forgotten the rest of the year. All year long these charities work on a wide variety of events and fundraisers that everyone can and should get involved in. For example the Dear Jack Foundation and 11:11AM are currently actively involved in fielding teams to participate in Light the Night to raise money to fight Leukemia. I am an active member of the team set to walk next Sunday 9/19 in Orange County, CA and want to invite anyone reading this to donate via my page or join our team if you are in Southern California.