Friday, February 24, 2012

South By Southwest 2012 Plans

SXSW 2012 is around the corner in about two and a half weeks, and this will be the first year that I won't be working at it.  It's going to feel so weird not working with bands on a late night shift every night.  Regardless of that, I am still planning to go to shows whether I have my badge or not - plus some of the shows are free.  Here is the tentative schedule subject to change:

March 14th
Twin Atlantic at 1100 Warehouse

Rocky Loves Emily at 311 Club

March 15th

March 16th
Fearless Records SXSW Showcase at Dirty Dog Bar

March 17th
AP Tour at Red 7

March 18th
RockOutLoud showcase at Thirsty Nickel
Driver F

These are the places and the people I wanna see during SXSW!  I know that there are many others coming to town such as John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen, Little Lo, and more, but we can't see them all can we?  If you're going to SXSW, what does your schedule look like?!

Kenneth Rivera - So Beautiful

Kenny released his next single this past week.  It's a lovely ballad titled "So Beautiful," and I've been dying to post about it since I first heard it last semester (below).  I really the music (especially the piano) and the melodies from the track, and I think the lyrics are incredibly relatable for everyone.  This song played a lot on my iTunes when I first heard it, and it probably will be played a lot again right now!  Last time I talked to Kenny he said he was filming a music video for "So Beautiful," so I can't wait to see the finished product!  Stay tuned!

The Anthem

The guys from Versecity have been posting about a "new" project along with a song from this "new" project?  What??  NEW project?  What is this new project?

The Anthem.  It's not a completely different group of guys - it's all the Versecity guys with a different sound.  Versecity was a rock group, but now The Anthem is a pop group.  Their first single, "Out of Our Heads," gives off a very radio-pop sound to me (below).  I'll admit that it's catchy, the words and melodies are easy to catch onto, and it's easy to dance to.  They say that details will follow later, so stay tuned for more updates with them!

I See Stars - NZT48

Exciting news!  Only about two more weeks until I See Stars new album to drop!  313!!  I've pre-ordered Digital Renegade, and I can't wait to see them at SXSW!  Yesterday (February 23rd 2012) they released another song off the album titled "NZT48."  What it means?  I don't know, but what I do know is that they're continuing their promise for a heavier album.  To be honest, I like the song, but I like "Filth Friends Unite," better.  "NZT48" is more of a song to jam to sitting at your computer with your headphones whereas I feel "Filth Friends Unite" has more potential for crazy dancing, moshing, or whatnot.  Besides that, I still think the song is good.  It has a techno-y embedded in it along with the heaviness, which I suppose goes with the theme of "digital" of Digital Renegade. Take a listen and take a read with the lyrics video they posted (below).

Before The Mourning

Last semester I met this girl, Nikki (pictured bottom right), and we became pretty good friends thanks to a group project - which we aced!  I've been talking to her on and off while she's in LA for the UTLA program, and from the sounds of it, she's having a blast over there - now I can't wait to go there!  Anyway, amidst her studies/internship/fun in LA, she's in a heavy metal band called Before the Mourning.

They have one song up for download right now called "Dismember," and it's pretty intense.  It has an upbeat section with sick guitar and hardcore screaming but also a slower and emotional vocal chorus section, which I think contrasts each other well.  I hope they're able to tour in the future so I can see this live.  I can picture this being performed live from the stage and audience perspective, and the vision looks good!

Andy Grammer Tour

Hello everyone! I apologize for my absence again, but I'm here now to blog for you!  So this past Sunday (February 19th 2012) I went to the Andy Grammer show at Stubb's Jr.  Let me digress first that unless you feel confident enough to stand the pain, do not wear high heels to shows.  Lesson learned for me!

The first band of the night are a group of guys known as Action Item.  I had heard of these guys cause The After Party toured with them before, so it was gonna be cool to see them live!  They sounded the way I thought they would sound - catchy pop rock - and in my opinion, they sort of reminded me of Honor Society.  The audience could easily jump into the songs and sing along, and I think that's a cool quality for a band to have.

The next performer was a guy from New York - Ryan Star.  This guy knows how to perform - probably one of the best live performances I've seen in awhile.  At first I was skeptical about him because he was playing an acoustic guitar against a techno beat which I really haven't heard before, but he made it work and won me over.  If it's one thing a band or artist should have, it's a passionate performance.  Ryan really got into the music, and his rugged voice is perfect.  The songs were powerful and deep, and you could feel the raw emotion behind them, which makes you appreciate music so much more.  Another great thing about Ryan's performance is that he gets the audience very involved: he pulled two people on stage to dance to his song, took pictures with them, and he told funny stories to keep the crowd entertained.  Because I fell in love with his performance so quickly, I'm going to post a music video he just released:

WARNING: The video contains nudity. Viewer discretion is advised.
Last but not least was Andy Grammer.  One thing I found funny yet awesome is the story he told about how shocked he was that Stubb's Jr. was completely sold out with the room completely filled with people.  The reason why he was shocked was because the last time he had played there for SXSW 2011, there was literally only one guy standing in front of him.  One guy.  I found that hard to believe considering the amazing turnout he had, but he said it was a true story.
I feel awful because I actually had to leave in the middle of his set due to my feet dying.  I tried my best to stand the pain and deal with it, but my feet were hurting incredibly bad.  He played half his set (which included one of the songs I like - "The Pocket" (below) ) and he sounded great!  His songs are plain cute!  There's no way you can't feel happy when you hear him play guitar, sing, and beat box!  You'll be moving to the music and bopping your head without even realizing it.  I wish I could say more, but unfortunately my poor choice of wearing heels is keeping me from doing so.  I would most definitely check out his music!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Random Update

Okay here's the dealio --

I had an exam and take-home essay due this morning at 9:30.  I have a paper due tomorrow.  I have an exam on Thursday at 12:30.  I promise I haven't forgotten about my blog!  School is just a killer!  I will be back to post numerous things on Thursday after classes!  In the this video of Twin Atlantic.

Love you guys! Have a great week!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  I hope today has treated you well!  I know a lot of people think that today is a stupid holiday and bash it to the ground, but I just wanna say that today is not about celebrating just significant others; it's about celebrating love whether it be with your bf/gf, your best friend, your friends, your family, or whoever!  Celebrate today with the people you love!  And yes of course you should love people everyday, but today just gives you an excuse to do so so DO IT!

Anyways, I also wanted to wish All Time Low a happy anniversary because six years ago today, they signed with Hopeless Records.  Now look at where they are!  They've accomplished so much and are well on their way to make it big!  I just wish they would visit Texas again sometime soon!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

All Time Low live music videos for "The Beach" and "Umbrella"

I was working on an assignment for my demography class when I found out from Vicci that All Time Low decided to release two live music videos for some old tunes: "The Beach" and "Umbrella."  Unfortunately I was unaware of their amazing existence when these were shot, so I'm grateful to view these two videos because I personally love both songs and I feel as if I'm really there seeing them live, which I miss to death right now.  I miss seeing them live so much that I'm about to jump out of my seat and dance around like a wild child!  Man, look at them...they are so young!  Zack has his afro deal going on, and Alex has his long hair.  I wish I had found out about these fellas way before, but better late than never right?  On that note, (I always have to do this) I wanna thank an old friend of mine, Skandar, for introducing All Time Low to me - I haven't regretted it since.

My Genuine Find "When You Know" EP teaser

It's no surprise that fans have been fawning all over this for the past week.  Bobby Mares of My Genuine Find released a two song When You Know EP today (on my best friend's birthday!) featuring "When You Know" and "I Miss Her."  You can listen to small snippets to the songs below.  If I haven't mentioned it before, I'll say it now and again, Bobby is always thinking of ways to keep fans on their toes, interested in keeping up with him even though he hasn't tour in a long ass time (I'm slightly bitter that I'm not able to keep in touch with him).  Let's see what else Bobby will come up with in the future!

(My Genuine Find - When You Know EP teaser)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

We Are The In Crowd music video still shot

Tay Jardine and Alex Gaskarth
This photo was released by We Are The In Crowd in promotion of their upcoming music video.  Now...I distinctly remember me not going super crazy about them when I saw them on tour with Mayday Parade, but when you put a well-dressed Alex Gaskarth in the shot, you've got my attention.  I will admit that I probably wouldn't be blogging this right now if it weren't for him, but hey, if you think about it, it's a wise promotion/advertising choice on WATIC's part because they are probably more than aware of the riiiiing that Mr. Gaskarth gives off.  I'm curious now to see this music video (and most likely blog about it), so stay tuned!

"The North American" Tour

Don't let the tour name confuse you.  There is a logically good explanation as to why it's called the "The North American" tour: three of the four bands that played Tuesday (February 7th 2012) night at the White Rabbit in San Antonio are from overseas!

We Are The Ocean; photography by: Vicci Patneaude
The first band, We Are The Ocean, hails from the UK, and they were rocking.  As Vicci mentioned in her "Bands That Need Love Too" post about them, one of the unique aspects about this rock band is the dynamic vocals.  We Are The Ocean is a five-piece band with two lead vocalists; one holding a microphone and the other playing guitar.  What's so great about the vocals is that Dan (microphone, pictured above) has a hard-edge quality to his voice whereas Liam (guitarist) has a smooth and mature sound to his voice, and the two compliment each other well.  Some might say it's contradictory, but when you hear their songs, it seems natural that they go together.

Dan of We Are The Ocean; photography by: Vicci Patneaude
What was disappointing during this set was the lack of audience members to rock out to this band.  Although I do prefer smaller and more intimate shows, it irked me that We Are The Ocean had so much energy and performance to offer, but there were about 20 people staring at them.  Dan literally jumped down into the crowd and stomped around singing and head banging to get everyone into the music, which was cool to see.  He managed to get a few people to rock out with him.  No worries though - these guys will be back for South by Southwest next month, so be sure to go out and see them!  They won't disappoint.

Sam of Twin Atlantic; photography by: Vicci Patneaude
The next group of guys are Twin Atlantic, natives of Scotland, and in general when dealing with bands from Europe, the first thing we all notice is their accents...when they speak - when they sing, their accents disappear into sounding white American.  But this guy, Sam (above), he sings with his accent. Just a fun fact!  Anyway, these guys put on a fantastic performance - every member was insanely into the music they were playing.  And the music they were playing was flawless.  It was energetic, it was fun, and it got me wanting to dance except for the fact that some of their biggest fans were moshing next to me - I was punched and kicked to be frank.  Other than that, these guys are great performers, and I think I fell in love with a band for the first time in forever.  Can't wait to see them again and can't wait to get a copy of their CD!

The Swellers; photography by: Vicci Patneaude
The Swellers' may not reside from outside the US, but they still gave as much energy as the previous two bands.  I recognized the band name from seeing an advertisement in AP Magazine for the AP Tour last year, so I was somewhat curious to see how these guys were live.  To be honest, they weren't my favorite performance, which is sort of a let down considering they were co-headlining with You Me At Six.  I'm not saying they were terrible; it's just I wasn't as into their performance as I had anticipated.  I like their songs but I didn't care much for them.  I almost wanna say that some of their songs sound similar to me...or I could have been distracted from the group of moshers causing a ruckus behind  me and pushing me.  Not gonna lie, they did have a lot of energy, but I wasn't feeling it - doesn't mean you shouldn't check them out yourself; they're pretty decent!

You Me At Six; photography by: Vicci Patneaude
Last but certainly not least, You Me At Six, took the stage with much anticipation brewing in the crowd.  Now, I saw them at the Mayday Parade tour last semester, but Tuesday night I felt like I was seeing them for the first time all over again.  It's amazing how much of a different experience you get from being closer to the band rather than from afar. And as I said from the first time I saw them, they literally get you off the floor jumping and dancing.  The lead singer, Josh, gets off the floor too with you.  The music is just that easy to dance to, and that's what makes them so great to see live.  One of the things that impressed me vocally was that You Me At Six has recorded a song with frontman, Oliver Sykes, in which he does some screaming, so obviously Oli is not on tour with YMAS, so Josh had to scream Oli's part. Needless to say that I was blown away by it.  Pardon me for deivating from formal writing when I say it was probably the sexiest thing I had seen at a concert in awhile.  Josh genuinely impressed me.  Not to mention that YMAS are nice guys to talk to - not just because of their accents but because they're fun and funny.  They are MUST SEE especially because they're originally from overseas and won't get to tour here as much, but that might all change after this tour.  Go get their latest album, Sinners Never Sleep!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

"All The Way" Tour (The After Party, Hollywood Ending, Before You Exit, and Allstar Weekend)

This past Friday I took a trip to San Antonio's White Rabbit venue for the "All The Way" tour featuring The After Party, Hollywood Ending, Before You Exit, and Allstar Weekend!  This is probably the most mainstream show that I've been to in a long time due to the fact that Allstar Weekend emerged from winning Disney's Next Big Thing and has been popular ever since.  What was also new to me was being surrounded by teenage girls.  Normally at the shows I usually go to there are teenagers, but these were the die-hard, piercing screaming, teenage fangirls that you could possibly see at a Justin Bieber concert - just saying.

The After Party; photography by: Vicci Patneaude
Let's get started.  First off, I want to thank Vicci for letting me use her pictures for this post!  The first band to play were my buddies from The After Party, and I've said it before and I'll say it again, they always surprise me with their set.  Last time I saw them they were telling me what they had planned for this tour, and I almost didn't believe them.  They came onstage wearing thick black mustaches and riding in on toy horses that little kids buy at the store.  The cute intro led into their first song, "Secret Lover," which is the music video where the idea came from.

"Everyday I'm shuffling." photography by: Vicci Patneaude
The guys do their best to make their set really fun and entertaining for the crowd - they know how to engage audience members.  Along with rocking out to their own songs from their last self-titled album, The After Party also included a short segment of them dancing and shuffling to LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" (pictured above), a rockified rendition of Britney Spears' "Oops...I Did it Again," a slightly altered version of their last single "California," and a new song that will be released on their next album, "Still Got Love."  As you can see, they always have something new and exciting to share with the fans, and they always have a way to relate to them during the set.  The choices they make on what to perform for their tours work well to make them lovable.  For example, everyone knows LMFAO's radio hit, so why not bust it out for everyone to dance to?   Everyone knows Britney Spears, so why not bring "Oops..." back to life for the 90s music lovers?  And while we're at it, why not alter the words to "California" to serenade to the people in San Antonio (they changed the lyric "California" to "San Antonio" and the other cities they travel to)?

Lead singer, Kenny Greeley; photography by: Vicci Patneaude
If anyone has a chance to ever see these guys perform live, full band or acoustic, I would definitely recommend seeing them, and I'm not just saying that because they're my friends.  I really mean it.  They make music fun and exciting, and it's always a dance party when they're around!

Hollywood Ending; photography by: Vicci Patneaude
Enough about the boys from The After Party, the next band that played was Hollywood Ending.  This five piece pop rock band continued the party that the TAP boys started.  These guys are a diverse group with members from across the states AND from across the seas!  You'd think that with people from different parts of the globe it'd be difficult to create a cohesive group, but these guys seem to have together well!  They too played catchy original songs and covers of popular songs that everyone would know (Hot Chelle Rae's "Tonight, Tonight" and a Jonas Brothers' rendition of "Year 3000").  Much like The After Party, Hollywood Ending made smart choices on what songs to cover so that everyone in the audience can be involved and potentially love them more.  They danced around the stage having a good time, and it shows how much they love doing what they're doing, which I think is a great quality for bands and artists to have.

Before You Exit; photography by: Vicci Patneaude
Next up were the boys from Floriday Before You Exit.  They're a young group, but they sure know how to perform like they've been doing this for forever.  I remember seeing them in AP Magazine, so it's nice to see this come full circle, sorta.  One of the songs I distinctly remember was "End of the World," simply because they drew upon audience participation.  They taught us the catchy melody of the "Na na na" hook, so that we could all sing together as one unified music force!  Another song that got to me was a song they fused with The Script's "For the First Time."  They combined their own words and lyrics with "For the First Time," and it was pretty cool how they did that.  Again, another example of a song that everyone knows and would appreciate!

Allstar Weekend; photography by: Vicci Patneaude
Last but not least, Allstar Weekend.  Their set was probably the longest one that I've heard in a good while, but I'm not complaining!  It's a weird feeling knowing that these guys have actually been a part of the Disney experience, and they were standing just a few feet away from me!  Needless to say that the energy from them was phenomenal especially for the long set list they had.  Although I'm not as much as an invested fan as I had hoped to be, I was glad to hear some old songs that I did know so that I could sing along!

Allstar Weekend; photography by: Vicci Patneaude
If the previous three bands didn't embed audience participation enough, then Allstar Weekend most definitely did.  What was really cool was they had a spinning board brought onto the stage with different song selections, they spun it, and invited audience members onto the stage to sing/dance along with them.  They made some girls happy that's for sure!  In my opinion, bands who embrace their audiences and fans this way get my vote for being one of the coolest bands ever!  Fans are what brought these guys to where they are so why not show some appreciation and gratitude?

The "All The Way" tour continues its journey across the US, so be sure to check the tour dates to see if these fellas will be stopping by!  You don't wanna miss a great show!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

All Time Low "Straight to DVD 2" ?!

Vicci told me about this interview earlier today, and it has some very exciting news for lovers of All Time Low!  Last year, the boys of All Time Low released a raunchy documentary, Straight to DVD.  Needless to say that it was a success amongst fans, and as mentioned from the interview (specifically 4:34), Alex and Jack have confirmed that there will be a second one!

Straight to DVD is a very entertaining piece of work that showcases the guys' hectic music lives.  Although the first one ventures in the past to see how All Time Low got started and how much the band has progressed, they also show audiences what life is like on the road.  They talk about their experiences in a serious and humorous way, which is what I think makes the DVD great.  Along with the documentary content, they also include a live taping of The Glamour Kills tour show in New York.

Explaining it could go on and on, so I'm going to end it there.  I'm not gonna lie, I had to write a documentary proposal for my screenwriting class last semester, and I modeled it after Straight to DVD - I pitched a proposal about some friends of mine!  As far as the second one goes, I would say that I'm excited considering I nearly jumped for joy when I received a text message from Vicci about it.  I can already predict that they'll include another live taping of one of their shows, but what I'm curious to know is what they will include for the actual documentary.  No mention of a legitimate release date yet, but it is in the works so hang tight ATL fans!


What a cherry on top to a great day!  I've hit 1000 views for my blog, and I'm ecstatic!  I never imagined that the blog I made for a class would get so many views!  I'm glad that I took the class and had the opportunity to share my thoughts and feelings regarding music and people actually like reading it!  So thank you, thank you, and did I mention THANK YOU?! for reading and keeping up with my stuff!  It's greatly appreciated, and I love you guys!! <3