Thursday, April 26, 2012

Empire Holiday "Ballroom Murder"

The day finally came!  April 24th 2012 finally arrived!  After waiting a long time for their debut return, fans of Empire Holiday can rock out to their music once again.  Their first track release goes by the name of "Ballroom Murder," and I personally love it.  I played it a million times when it came out on Tuesday - I'm so damn proud of my boys.

The major change that EH fans would probably recognize is the change from the pop rock sound of their old stuff to the more electronic screamo sound they have now.  Ronnie screams more in this new song than all the old songs put together I think, and I am perfectly okay with this.  If you saw what he looked like, you would never guess that he could scream like that (;  When I asked Ronnie about the new sound, he referenced a lot of bands like We Came As Romans, Pierce The Veil, Skrillex, and Breathe Carolina.  After listening to the song multiple times, I'd definitely it's captured the Breathe Carolina sound the most with some hint of Skrillex, which is awesome.

Now, with returning bands, people instantly compare the newness to the oldness, but with EH, you can't really do that because the sounds are different.  I still appreciate and love the pop rock sound they had, but I definitely love this new sound too.  It makes me wanna dance like no one's around.  The beat easily pulses through your body to make you dance, and with the screaming in the choruses, pumping your fist is what you're going to be doing.  Can I just say that I cannot wait to see this live?

Please listen to the song and support my boys in Dallas!  You can listen to it on their Facebook page, but now you can buy the song on iTunes!  Stay tuned for more new music because they're just getting started and have more in store for you guys!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Christina Grimmie's "Power Up"

Anyone who knows me knows that I firmly believe that Christina Grimmie and I were separated at birth.  Want to know why?  Just watch the video down below.  Recently, Christina debuted a new segment of "Power Up" for Disney in promotion of Disney Kinect Rush game.  Basically she talks about video games in a dorky and quirky way, and it's quite entertaining because almost every little aspect in each webisode is linked to a video game.  Every so often she releases a new episode with new topics to talk about so be on the look out for future episodes!  And also be sure to check out her music too while you're at it!

Demi Lovato "Give Your Heart A Break" Music Video

Everyone knows that I love Demi Lovato, and I'm happy to see that she released a new music video for "Give Your Heart a Break."  That song has slowly grown on me, and now it's my favorite track on her Unbroken album!  Take a gander on the music video!  Not going to give too much away, but "Give Your Heart a Break" tells a story of a girl and guy going through a rough patch, and she cooks up a brilliant idea.

I think that with this album, she's really matured and it shows because the video's aesthetics have changed from her old ones.  I only say that because this one actually has a narrative to follow whereas her past ones focused on her performing the song with a band backing her up, and sometimes they did include a small side narrative.  In her "Here We Go Again" video, there was a narrative there with a love interest, but the video focused more on her performing with the band, which I'm not complaining about.

Anyway, the song is cute, the video is cute, so you're in for a treat!

Boy Epic on New Segment

A lot of great stuff going on here.  First, debuted a new online segment called "Sounds Like..."  Second, some people might recognize the host of this segment - YouTube user Strawburry17.  I know her because she made a cute music video with Bobby Mares from My Genuine Find.  Third, to kick off her first episode, she spotlights Boy Epic.

What Meghan does with this short segment is introduce audiences with new music to check out and describes what other bands or artists they sound like.  The song she chooses to showcase from Boy Epic is "Too Young Too Love," so watch the video!

I'm glad to see Matt doing well with his new music!  He's played several shows already, and the feedback has been good so far!  He's featured in this widely read teen magazine's website, and he snagged an interview with Clevver TV!  I see nothing but greatness in his future, and I can't wait to see what's next for him!  Proud of you, Matt!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Vacation is a Myth

Band number three on Siri's Bands to Listen to list: Vacation is a Myth.  These guys are a part of the following spree from spring break, and I'm just now listening to them.  My apologies - I blame school.

Vacation is a Myth is from Dallas, Texas (I seriously wish I could go to Dallas more often cause there are so many bands/artists I wanna see).  One of the first things I noticed is that the guitarist/vocalist, Kenny, started following me on Twitter along with the band and recognized him from awhile back with Don't Shoot the Messenger, so of course I was curious to see his new project.

The band released their Daydreamers EP November 11th 2011, and the sampler they have posted in their Facebook music showcases some pretty good stuff.  Overall, they have a happy pop rock sound that kind of makes me think about the-boy-next-door sort of thing, which is not a bad thing, and sometimes their music somewhat reminds me of Honor Society.  My favorite clip from the sampler starts at 0:57 with some upbeat electronic pop rock stuff going on - I've played it a few times now just so I can hear it.  Out of all the tracks I listened to on their Facebook page, my favorite was "Lust at First Sight," so I suggest listening to that one first.  The beat is not exactly super upbeat but it's still a good one that makes you wanna dance.

I'm happy to see that these guys continue playing shows one after the other cause I think they should be heard.  I remember they played a show with Taylor Thrash, Rocky Loves Emily, and Phone Calls From Home in the Dallas area, and I wish I could have gone to it cause that's a good lineup.  They also just came off the "Secrets Don't Make Friends" tour with Rocky Loves Emily, and they're going to be playing Party On! Fest on April 22nd 2012 in Fort Worth with With Shaking Hands.  If you're going to be in that area, you should go!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Bring One Direction to the US in Dallas

Now, everyone I know and everyone on the internet (particularly Tumblr) has been raving about this British boy band for quite some time.  They call themselves One Direction.  This five-piece of cuteness formed from each boy individually auditioning for the X-Factor, and Simon Cowell decided to put them all together as one unit.

Since this band hails from the UK (and Ireland), seeing them perform live in the US is something to brag about because they have only performed a few times to this exact moment in time, and they're about to embark on their first US tour in the summer.  Do I have claims to these bragging rights?  In fact, I do!  Apparently there was this online contest between all cities in the entire US to bring One Direction to, and fans had to make and post videos saying why they love One Direction and why they should consider playing in their city.  Needless to say, Dallas won the contest.  Bringing 1D to the US was one thing, but bringing them to Texas, more specifically Dallas?  That's making 1D history, and I'm grateful to have been there for it.  Not only did I get to see them live, but I also go to meet them for a quick minute and have them sign a CD (not my own but a CD nonetheless).  It was an adventurous day to say the least, and if you want to read about it in detail, head over to Vicci's Tumblr post to see why.

Photography by: Vicci Patneaude
The guys did a brief Q&A saying things that made all the teenage girls scream and sang four songs off of their Up All Night album, and the thousands of girls at the Pepsi Baseball stadium went wild. A majority of their songs make you wanna dance and "jump around until [you] see the sun." Their melodies are easy to learn, and the beat of the songs control your body to move to it. I even started dancing and started learning and singing the lyrics. I'm not gonna lie, I have become a fan. Sometimes I find myself singing the songs in my head or even singing them out loud...let's just say that Vicci laughs at me now for liking them.

With no surprise, Simon has unleashed another great thing to the world.  Though I'm not an avid fan of 1D, I cannot deny the impressiveness of their accomplishments.  I haven't seen a boy band sensation like this in a long time since the 90s with NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys.  It's almost like 1D is bringing them back, and let me tell ya - some of their songs are actually catchy.  Their album reached number one on the charts - the highest UK artist since the Spice Girls' #6 - and who can't say that's not impressive?

One minute clip of One Direction's "Up All Night" shot by Vicci!

Rock Edition

One of the amazing things that came out of spring break was joining Rock Edition thanks to the recommendation of Vicci.  Also a big, big thank you to Michael Duncan for asking me to be aboard the Rock Edition team as a videographer and photographer.  I am so grateful for this opportunity!

Rock Edition is a website based in New York that covers rock music - the whole genre of rock.  You can find news about bands, updates with bands, album reviews, acoustic sessions, interviews, and much more, so check us out:

Rock Edition website
Rock Edition on Facebook
Rock Edition on Twitter

Also check out the interviews and acoustic sessions I did with Black Taxi, Charlie Simpson, and Go Radio!  It's a great experience to finally be working behind a camera and apply my radio, television, film skills, and Vicci and I have met some great people.  More stuff is in the works, so stay tuned!

Houston We Have a Problem Festival

This post is long overdue because the Houston We Have a Problem festival happened March 18th 2012.  Hectic would be the word to epitomise that entire day/night.  In a nutshell, Vicci and I ventured to Houston to this festival to interview Asking Alexandria and I See Stars for Rock Edition, and after much goose-chasing around backstage and in the back parking lot, it never ended up happening because long story short: some tour managers are difficult to get a hold of.  I'm just going to leave it at that.  On the flip side, Vicci and I received wristbands from the gracious Shawn of Sumerian Records which granted us backstage access and access in front of the barricade to take photos and such.  It was a great experience overall.

The festival combined two tours, the Still Reckless Tour and the Fire and Ice tour, with co-headliners of We Came as Romans and Asking Alexandria.  In total, sixteen bands played from 1pm to midnight, and because so many bands played, I'll listen them all with commentary on a few of them.  Be sure to click the names and check out their music yourselves!  It may seem unfair that I'm writing about only a few bands, but unfortunately I cannot recollect all memories and thoughts about every single band.  They were all good and gave good performances, and the audience loved them all!

Smoking Hearts

Make Me Famous
I had heard of these guys several times via AP Magazine, and they impressed me!

mychildren mybride
Upon a Burning Body
Stick to Your Guns

I See Stars
I was looking forward to I See Stars the most because last time they were in Austin, they had to cut their set short due to technical difficulties, so this was my chance.  (Plus I was under the impression that we were going to successfully interview them.)  The entire festival consisted of hardcore metal screamo bands, and I wondered about I See Stars fitting in here because although they are screamo...they still have more of a pop rock sound too while the previous bands scream through entire songs.  But much to my pleasant surprise, I See Stars pulled it off.  They were energetic, they got the crowd pumped and they got the security guys in front of the barricade working hard!  Devin told the crowd to make their way to the stage crowd surfing and such, and the audience obliged.  It literally was a wave of people climbing over the barricade one after the other.  One thing I learned afterwards about I See Stars is that a few days earlier at SXSW, Devin went to the hospital for headbanging too hard and hurt his neck.  From watching them at this festival, I would not have guessed that at all, and that's awesome.

Motionless in White
Chelsea Grin
A Skylit Drive
Born of Osiris

Bless the Fall
Heard about these guys from different people, and they were really good!

For Today

We Came As Romans
One word: flawless.

Asking Alexandria
I had been meaning to check these guys out a long time ago, and I always confused them with Attack Attack! because of the double A's.  They put on an awesome performance, and I wouldn't mind seeing them again!  And I had no idea they were from Britain!

Audrey Fall

Band number two on my "Bands to Listen to" list: Audrey Fall.  The first thing you should know about them is that they're from Latvia!  Congrats to them for being the first Latvian band that I'm listening to!  Again, because I disabled myself from my Facebook, I searched them on YouTube and listened to the most played songs:  "Ghosts," "Love is Profession," "Cartesian Coordinates."

The first thing that I noticed and probably one of the most interesting things I've heard from this post-hardcore band is the screamer - the screaming sounds more like chanting to me and I kinda like it!  It definitely took me by surprise but I think it works well with their sound.  My ears could be playing tricks on me but in some aspects, Audrey Fall sort of reminds me of We Came As Romans as far as drums and guitar goes, and sometimes they exhibit the same type of contrast between the screamer and the singer similarly to WCAR, which I'm not complaining about ("Cartesian Coordinates" is where I heard this).  One thing that I really like about Audrey Fall is that sometimes they don't have any vocals and focus on the music track itself ("Love is a Profession").  It gave me time to really listen and appreciate the music, so in all honesty, I feel as if I would only listen to their music more than acutally going out to see them although if I was invited to go see them somewhere, I wouldn't object to it.

No indication on whether these guys will be in the US, let alone Texas, anytime soon, but they do have an EP out called Daylight Owls where you can hear these lovely tracks!

Empire Holiday Special Announcement!

Happy belated Easter everyone!  I hope you all had a joyous holiday and celebrated with loved ones!  I have very exciting news that's preceding all of the blog posts I need to catch up on!  This past weekend, Empire Holiday announced that they will be releasing new music April 24th 2012!

Why am I stoked?  Because these guys have been MIA for about two years, but they're back and ready to tackle on the music scene again!  I would consider them electronic pop-rock overall with some hints of screamo.  All I know is, when you listen to their music, their infectious beats will get you moving on your feet.  You can jump, you can dance, you can do the splits (okay that might hurt but you get the idea).  Don't believe me?  Go take a listen to an old song by them that was my personal favorite, "Your Kiss is a Death Wish."  While you're at it, listen to everything else too, but for sure listen to that one.

In my opinion, I think the guys are some of the most ambitious people I know because they don't do anything other than music.  Primarily the guys decided to "call it quits" to focus on real life, but evidently they couldn't resist the urgency of music streaming through their veins.  Music is always on their minds.  For almost the past month, they've been in the studio nonstop working on new jams, and now they're ready to share them with the world!  You may recognize Christopher Shelton (pictured right) from Cut Down Trees and his work with Boy Epic, but now he's back to working on Empire Holiday!  So mark April 24th on your calendars people - you won't regret it!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Memphis May Fire

Finally.  I'm starting to crack down on my "Bands to Listen to" list due to the amount of bands that started following me on Twitter since spring break!  The first one up is Memphis May Fire.  Currently I'm temporarily deactivated from Facebook, so I searched the band's name on YouTube and listened to the first three songs that popped up: "The Victim," "The Sinner," and "Ghost in the Mirror."

Overall, their sound is a mix between I See Stars and Pierce the Veil - both good hardcore/screamo/pop rock bands that I also recommend checking out.  The vocalist from Memphis May Fire takes on both roles as a singer and screamer, and I think he does a good job at it.  From just listening, you'd think there are two people working on vocals similarly to I See Stars Devin-Zack dynamic, but it's just one guy.  Sometimes in one lyric he'll sing and scream at the same time - he may start the line singing then transitions into screaming and back into singing again.  Because singing and screaming resonate in every song, the heavy/non-heavy sound balances out; some songs are heavier than others, but in general, it's not hard to listen to.  I can see these songs being rocked out to on stage, and there's definitely potential for head banging and a rowdy crowd.

And just my luck, these guys will be playing at this year's Warped Tour!  Fun fact: this will be my first ever Warped Tour, and I'm stoked beyond belief.  Anyways, I'm intrigued to see these guys live.  I have no doubt that they won't disappoint!