Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cave Syndrome holds you close and forces you to be mellow

Indian Casino Records

December 22, 2010, 08:12 AM

The concept for the dreamy sounds of Transient Songs started to materialize for Texas-born John Frum in Seattle two years ago as a writing/recording project. A veteran musician, Frum had found cult status fronting Fort Worth’s Hasslehorse and playing drums for Dallas punk group Hagfish. Released digitally in May, Cave Syndrome is Frum’s first album under Transient Songs following 2008’s EP Plantation to Your Youth, teaming up with former Pomonas bassist Andy Gassaway.

The result is ten songs of haunting, psychedelic photographs in sepia-tone. Opening with “In this Darkness Light Seeps Through,” Transient Songs moulds a sound that is peaceful and summons images of The Bryds mixed with a measure of George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” thanks to its ethereal slide guitars. A sensation of sitting in the sunny autumn air in the countryside is a close equation to the feelings Transient Songs instils off the bat. Although possessing a warm and crisp feel, tracks such as “Smoking Slows the Healing” and “The Cancer in our Bloodline” hold perceptions of dazed emotional detachment and isolation.

Along with a PR summary drawing parallels to groups such as Galaxie 500 and Mercury Rev, a strong taste of Syd Barrett-flavored 60’s psych infuses itself with each track. A listless surrealism makes itself heard with lines such as “the sun shines inside out of you” and images of “morning skies black and blue,” conjuring the experience of ghostly, sedate acid trips set in frontier times. “Thirty-three and out at sea” is an alien existence Frum paints in “A Burrow Patch;” an ache in a time far-gone and coarsely simple.

Although met with the occasional unsettling yell or kitten-like mewl in the background, Cave Syndrome holds you close and forces you to be mellow.

Swirling in the middle of a sea of acoustic violin and cello strings courtesy of Amanda Lamprecht and Ruth Davidson respectively, electric guitars and a grand organ noise is a voice with a sensibility somewhere between Cat Stevens, Neil Young and Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo a la “Rats.” Although met with the occasional unsettling yell or kitten-like mewl in the background, Cave Syndrome holds you close and forces you to be mellow.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy holidays from xo publicity

Right click on song title to download by song or click here "xo for the holidays volume III" to zip whole album

1. Pictures Of Then - "Presents In June"

2. Paper Tongues - "Carol Of The Bells"

3. Campfire OK - "Dreidel Song"

4. Triggers - "A Very Triggers Christmas"

5. Transient Songs - "A Christmas Stalking"

6. Piney Gir - "Snow Snow, Beautiful Snow"

7. Prayer For Animals - "Riptide / Yuletide"

8. The Winter Sounds - "McAdenville (Christmastown)"

9. Captain Nowhere - "Holiday Song"

10. Piney Gir - "A Cheery Christmas"

11. Judge Jackson (featuring: Billy Bob Thornton & Teddy "Zig Zag" Andreadis) ) - "Christmas Tree"

I recently had the oppurtunity to ask the band Paper Tongues a few questions about their sound, album and dream collaborations…

Paper Tongues Interview

Published by Max Specht

Tags: get higher, octone records, paper tongues, ride to california.
I recently had the oppurtunity to ask the band Paper Tongues a few questions about their sound, album and dream collaborations…
Please introduce yourself and your role in the band…

Joey Signa, I play electric guitar and merch guy.

How would you describe your sound to someone who had never heard you before?

We are very much a fusion of several different styles. I think U2 meets Mutemath meets Journey. It is different. The only way of really knowing is hearing Aswans voice, then you’ve heard us.

What kind of emotions or stories went into recording your debut album?

So much. It was quite a collaboration. We all threw as much of ourselves as we could into one computer then sorted threw the mess and picked out what made sense. There was a lot of back and forth and it took lots of ears to complete it but that is what made it what it is! We’re not selfish with our music.

What’s your favorite song on the album?

I love Everybody and Get Higher. Both are emotional and have so much meaning.

If you could collaborate with any artist, past or present, who would it be

and why?

I personally would love to work with Death Cab For Cutie. I love what they have created and what the guitarist, Chris, pulls out of each song.

If you had to cover any one hit wonder in music history (ex. Who Let The

Dogs Out) what song would you choose?

I love playing Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Won’t Back Down is such a soulful song that is simple but feels so good.

If you could go back in time and talk to a younger version of yourself, what

would you tell them?

Don’t be afraid of conflict. Often times on the other side of it is freedom and a path that wasn’t previously open.

How would define ’success’?

Success is growth. It’s coming from one place to another in the midst of change. Success is never a destination, it’s simply a mindset.

Thanks to the band and Kaytea from XO Publicity for helping set this up!

Friday, December 24, 2010

This is sexy (very sexy) Portland, OR indie-pop with dark twists and an unapologetic hip strut swagger;

This Restless Enterprise

(The Very Foundation)

by Marcel Feldmar

"This is sexy (very sexy) Portland, OR indie-pop with dark twists and an unapologetic hip strut swagger; this is the Afghan Whigs and Urge Overkill filtered through Tindersticks and Nick Cave; this is highway driving garage rockabilly twee wrapped in red velvet; Leonard Cohen meets Paul Westerberg. Contradictions fly, but the sound is steadfast and true. Combining the talents of members who also play with Decemberists, Blue Skies For Black Hearts, The Upsidedown, and others, The Very Foundation hit on a new sound with an old school style, and fingers snap, and hearts are broken, like a perfect late night fling you wish would last longer, but it's gone before you wake, leaving only a lusty note on stained bed sheets. [urp!--ed.]"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

win a prize pack of select merchandise including a Paper Tongues

Paper Tongues is heading out on the road with Neon Trees and Civil Twilight on the Bang The Gong Tour! All three bands are also offering a FREE DOWNLOAD of one song from each band! All you have to do is tweet from, and in return you’ll receive a download pack of MP3s from the bands. After you download your brand new FREE tracks, you’ll be able to enter a contest to win a prize pack of select merchandise including a Paper Tongues Exclusive package with a custom skate deck, the Habits LP, and the "Letters From The Sky" 7" with B-side of Massive Attack’s "Teardrop."

Log in to your Twitter account to tweet about the tour now, and enjoy your new music. For additional information on Paper Tongues, please head to their MySpace and make sure to pick up their Self-titled album in stores and on iTunes now!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This lady's got a fire behind her eyes. JESSIE TORRISI

Jessie Torrisi (United States)

This lady's got a fire behind her eyes. She's sassy and a stellar songwriter, with a deep and sensual voice and some serious skills on the drums. After playing as a drummer for a dozen New York rock bands, she recently transitioned to her latest role as front-woman of her own band quite successfully indeed.

Influenced by Americana, folk, and her having lived in Texas, Brazil, Brooklyn, and New Orleans, her eclectic musical sensibilities are fun and touching at the same time. Now taking on the electric guitar, harmonica, and kazoo, she really is a multi-talented instrumentalist and vocalist.
If you are craving some mellow, non-dramatic, but impressive down home music, look no further than Ms. Torrisi's newest incarnation of a band.
Songs we recommend you listen to: "Hungry like me!," "The Brighter Side," and "The X in Texas."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dew Tour At Night - Paper Tongues and Neon Trees

Dew Tour At Night - Paper Tongues and Neon Trees

The Dew Tour threw a free party for Boston at the Skate Open as the MTV2 Rock N Jock Concert Series kicked off at the first stop of the summer Dew Tour. An enthusiastic crowd showed up to watch the bands Paper Tongues and Neon Trees work through their songs. These were not quick three song sets either; the music was blasting historic Boston for almost 2 hours.

Paper Tongues was up first and their music is funky blend of rock and hip hop with a little funk and soul mixed in. The band is fronted by charismatic vocalist Aswan Dixon who is definitely got the personality to be a lead vocalist. He loves the crowd, he loves his job. Aswan was so appreciative of the chance to sing for the crowd that he told everyone that he and the band would be doing more mundane jobs, like raising poultry in their home state of North Carolina if it were not for music. The whole band had a great time and that energy translates into a good show. Their first album just came out in March of 2010 but with Randy Jackson of all people as the manager and promoter of the band expect to see more of them soon.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Based in Portland, OR, Prize Country's music is reminiscent of early 90's Hardcore with definite punk influences.

Based in Portland, OR, Prize Country's music is reminiscent of early 90's Hardcore with definite punk influences. Members of Prize Country are currently Jacob Depolitte (guitar, vocals) and Aaron Blanchard (guitar, vocals). Prize Country recently ended a tour in April, completing 16 dates, making stops in Nevada, Utah, Arizona and California. One stop included a show in Las Vegas. Their set consisted of songs off of their newest album, “With Love,” released in 2009, including the one featured on this show, “What We're Made Of.” Prize Country has several releases including splits with the Loom, Traindodge, Sirhan Sirhan, and Hostile Combover.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Microtia consumed 1,650 beers (19,800 fluid ounces) during the making of this album.

Microtia, Spacemaker

Microtia , Spacemaker [False Eye]

By Anthony Mark Happel »

According to the email I received from their publicist, Microtia consumed 1,650 beers (19,800 fluid ounces) during the making of this album. They also smoked 2,500 cigarettes. It should also be noted, I suppose, that the cardboard CD “case” is actually recycled from a Pabst twelve-pack box, and the track listing card is recycled from a pack of Marlboro Lights. No shit.

So, they managed to put to “good use” the refuse of their consumption? While I’m totally down with the earth-friendly marketing concept involved here, I’m not sure I can endorse such a practice every time if the result is going to be something similar to this misshapen creature.

At first, they emerge from the dark recesses of the beer and nicotine induced-stupor to almost pound out a Jesus Lizard-like nugget on the opener, “Can You Hear the Jets?,” but for some reason, shortly thereafter, they decide they really want to be a poor man’s goth-metal band, or something like that. By the time they reach the third track, “Interlude,” the pace has settled into a comfortable head-bob, and the vocals start to wind out in sustained half-to-full throated metal-flavored notes.

Now, if there was more of the full-throated thing going on, and they really tore a song apart, I could almost forgive the trappings, but instead we get a lot of semi-constipated turns that don’t really ever emote. They just hover around misery and discomfort until it all ends up sounding like the same song over and over. There are a few brief passages where the vocals started to rise and crack a la Dan K. of Die Kruezen, but very few singers could equal his squeal, and what we get here instead is the half-throated version again. This just sounds mopey and lame. Where’s the nausea and the burn?

Maybe they should have stayed away from the beer and gone straight for the crack pipe. Something/anything. By the time the last song, “Pocket Full of Bee Stings,” came to an end I was pleased that I could now listen to something else.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Paper Tongues have been announced as co-headliners for MTV2 and the Dew Tour’s Rock N Jock Concert Series!

Free Show Boston! Paper Tongues & Neon Trees Invade City Hall Plaza

Filed under Daily Music News, Rock

Paper Tongues have been announced as co-headliners for MTV2 and the Dew Tour’s Rock N Jock Concert Series! The dates on the 2010 Dew Tour including a stop at Boston’s City Hall Plaza on June 24th. Paper Tongues, along with Neon Trees, will perform during the nationally broadcasted event that will air on NBC as well as the MTV network.

Paper Tongues self-titled, debut album is now available in stores and on iTunes.

For additional tour dates and information, head to the official Paper Tongues MySpace,

Friday, December 17, 2010

JUDGE FOR YOURSELF: “Christmas Tree,” with none other than Billy Bob Thornton

JUDGE FOR YOURSELF: Our favorite Inland Empire rockers, Judge Jackson, for whom HITS' own J.J. Garcia thumps the tubs, have recorded a funky, new holiday classic, “Christmas Tree,” with none other than Billy Bob Thornton. The band’s Todd McTavish wrote the lyrics and Lee Jackson the music for the chestnut, which was produced by Grammy winner Jim Mitchell (Guns N’ Roses, Black Crowes) at Billy Bob’s Beverly Hills home studio, The Cave, which Mitchell originally designed and built for Slash. McTavish and  Jackson also play on the track, while Thornton takes a break from his band the Boxmasters to provide vocals and percussion. The track is also included in the XO Publicity compilation XO for the Holidays Volume III. Listen to it here. (12/17p)

Best of What's Next: Transient Songs

By Steve LaBate

Best of What's Next: Transient Songs

Photos by Yvette Ramirez

Hometown: Seattle

Album: Cave Syndrome

Band Members: John Frum (vocals, multi-instrumentalist), Andy Gassaway (bass, slide guitar)

For Fans Of: Pink Floyd, Summer Hymns, Mazzy Star

When musicians John Frum and Andy Gassaway met three years ago, they immediately bonded over their mutual love of psych rock and dream pop. Before long, the two were holed up in Frum’s basement, cutting what would become Transient Songs’ first EP, Plantation to Your Youth; they were just beginning to gel as collaborators when they released that first collection, so hopes were already high for their next. But just as they geared up for their’ full-length debut, Frum—the duo’s singer and chief songwriter—broke his arm in a snowboarding accident. “A bad break,” he says. “It was the humerus bone.” Thus began his descent into the depths of an opiate abyss.

“It was one of the longest winters I can remember,” he says. “I was holed up in my house every day, isolated. My only outdoor activity was I’d walk around this lake in the rain with my fucking arm broke—and that’s when I started writing a lot of the lyrics for Cave Syndrome. Slowly, over that time period, things just started spiraling down—I started taking a lot of pain pills.”

Frum says the somber tone, haziness and dark subject matter of Cave Syndrome, Transient Songs’s long-delayed debut LP (out now), is a perfect snapshot of this grim period in his life. On top of the physical pain from his broken arm, his resulting inability to play guitar and struggles with prescription drugs, at the time Frum also had a close friend battling cancer; all this led to some intense soul-searching, which manifests itself in the album’s ethereal music and pensive lyrics.

“The song ‘Cancer in our Bloodlines’ is really about mortality,” Frum says. “As we age, we realize we’ve had missed loves, heroes we look up to aging and dying, that we’ve neglected those who care most about us. … It’s basically about [realizing] the transience of life.”

Despite its bleak themes, Cave Syndrome is not a depressing record. The album’s heaviness is contrasted by its airy, unbound, often uplifting sounds. Just like the first single says, “In This Darkness Light Seeps Through.”

“I go for a big, organic, rich feel,” Frum says. “That type of music—Pink Floyd and stuff like that—it’s transportive to me. … Even today, I hear new stuff like Beach House, and I like that feeling because it lifts you out of reality in a way—without pain meds or muscle relaxers.”

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Concert review: Fort Worth Weekly Awards concert

Concert review: Fort Worth Weekly Awards concert
by Michelle Parsons

The Burning Hotels were the best performers of the night - and the best  we've seen them so far.

The Burning Hotels take their name very seriously.FORT WORTH - The lineup

for Fort Worth Weekly's Music Award Festival is impressive. I was excited --

like school-girl-jumping-up-and-down-hand-claps excited. The nominees this

year truly are the best of the best Cowtown has to offer. Thirty-six bands,

including Josh Weathers, The Orbans, Whiskey Folk Ramblers, The Burning

Hotels, and Calhoun played in six venues. So I embarked on a quest (a

50-minute, 278-move Mapquest-directed quest) from Richardson to the 7th

Street corridor for stellar tunes and a little heat exhaustion. Here's the

diary of my travels:

6:55 p.m.: The Burning Hotels start sound checks. Co-frontman Chance Morgan

promises he's not a prima donna. As the crowd packs in, the temp (and

tempers) start to flare. One employee turns on two overhead fans. Tempers

back to chill mode.

7:04 p.m.: The quartet dives into "Stuck In the Middle" and blazes through

the next 40 minutes with style and finesse. This was the best set I'd heard

thus far, and turned out to be the best of the entire night. Drummer Wyatt

Adams pushed the tempo as fast as his hands could move, and the rest

followed suit in a wave of succinct harmonizing and peppy guitar plucks.

They toasted Lola's and the rest of the 7th Street venues with "Boy or a

Girl," a song Morgan said was written about his hometown hangouts.

Quaker City Nighthawks at Lola's 6th (June 18)

Here's QCN performing in Fort Worth for The Orbans' CD release party. It's a

good peek at them performing live. NOTE: Watch the volume; we don't want to

blow your speakers. Video posted by StephenTall on YouTube.

7:40 p.m.: After The Burning Hotels ended their set with the infectious

"Austin's Birthday," we leave Lola's refreshed and spunky and head to The

Pour House for Quaker City Nighthawks.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

rock/hip-hop newcomers Paper Tongues

Saturday brought the hottest day yet, with the heat index reaching into the 100s by 10 am. Rebelution and Norah Jones were on my radar early in the day, but by far the best performance of the afternoon was an intimate set in the Troo Music Lounge by rock/hip-hop newcomers Paper Tongues. Their current single, “Ride to California” has been getting lots of airplay on alternative rock stations, and their newest release “Trinity” has been climbing the charts as well. Their soulful, high-energy performance, even given the fact that they were playing on the smallest stage at the festival, made the Paper Tongues performance stand out even among industry superstars playing just outside their small tent. Stevie Wonder and Jay Z dominated the main stage in the evening, despite a late start, while house legend Deadmau5 (complete with glowing mouse mask) spun his beats late into the night.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Campfire OK sparks quirky Mychal's talent

Campfire OK sparks quirky Mychal's talent

HOT STUFF: Campfire OK with Mychal Cohen, second right, with fellow Jewish member Brandon Milner, right, and bandmates Garett Van der Spek and Andrew Eckes

SOME people may think being eccentric isn't cool - but a band hailing from the city made famous by Kurt Cobain are changing that.

Campfire OK come from Seattle, Washington, where tragic Nirvana frontman Cobain changed music.

Bassist Mychal Cohen told the Jewish Telegraph: "As well as musically, Kurt's influences were also social and political.

"His spirit - and music - is everywhere around Seattle. His old home is two miles from mine."

Campfire OK's debut album, Strange Like We Are, which will be released in February, describes the band perfectly, according to 27-year-old Mychal.

He said: "We are quirky people and we surround ourselves with quirky people.

"I am a strange human being, but so are my friends.

"Campfire OK is all about being quirky, but that is alright, it is cool, we don't have to be outcasts."

Brought up in Phoenix, Arizona, Mychal was surrounded by music from a young age.

His mother is a pianist and by the age of 12, as well as the piano, Mychal started to play the bass and engross himself in different genres of music.

Mychal said: "It has never occurred to me that I would be doing anything else but music.

"Some people, they don't know what to do, but I always wanted a career in music.

"Over time it became really obvious that it was going to be my life."

Listening to the likes of Annie Lennox, Cat Stevens and The Beach Boys, Mychal was heavily into jazz by his mid-teens.

He played in jazzesque type bands throughout high school and college, before moving to Seattle six years ago, as he wanted to get out of Arizona.

But Mychal struggled to establish himself in his chosen career and worked at various times as a mortgage broker, a sushi chef, a bartender and a motorbike mechanic.

However, his life took a turn for the better two years ago.

While playing in a two-piece band, Mychal needed help finishing an album.

So he enlisted the help of three friends, Brandon Milner (who is also Jewish), Garett Van der Spek and Andrew Eckes.

"It was an almost organic growth," Mychal explained.

"The guys in the band are my friends too and they are fantastic musicians who have the same mindset as me.

"We have developed a strong bond and we have a lot of fun together."

Campfire OK's music has been labelled as folk, Americana and pop rock, although Mychal prefers to call it pop-focused and jazz influenced.

"We are making timeless music," he said. "We only use instruments acoustically and we don't use synthesisers."

Mychal, who also performs in singer-songwriter Bryan John Appleby's band, is optimistic about the future.

"We are all really excited at the moment, especially with our first album coming out," he said.

"We are planning on touring with other bands in America, but I would also love to tour the UK too, as I have never been.

"It is something I am striving for."

Mychal, who said he is proud to be both Jewish and a Cohen, associates himself with Seattle's Jewish community and would like to visit Israel soon, with his girlfriend Sarah, who is also Jewish.

"Sarah is the love of my life and very supportive of what I do - she is passionate about the band's success," Mychal said.

"She is confident that we are going to great heights."

And Mychal's pride in his roots led to Campfire OK recording their own Chanucah song, Dreidel, Dreidel.

He explained: "We recorded it because XO Publicity makes a holiday compilation of their artists doing holiday 'themed' songs every year.

"It is a good way to let people know that you as a musician can create music for all types of people.

"We chose Dreidel, Dreidel because everyone always does Xmas themed music, but we have two Jewish members

"It was a blast to record. Simple as that."

Watch the Christian Hansen-directed video for Dreidel, Dreidel at

Monday, December 13, 2010

I’m quite excited about The Fuzzy Ball, coming to Neumos on Thursday (December 16, and then to the Wonder Ballroom in Portland the following night

There are plenty of reasons that I’m hopelessly behind on compiling my end of year lists and thoughts, as most music writers are obligated to do. One of which is that I spend an unusually large amount of time listening to two albums repeatedly: My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless and The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy. I usually can’t get enough reverb, feedback, distortion, etc…, whatever noise those bands (and their followers like The Raveonettes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Big Pink, etc…) make. That should surprise exactly no one considering that “Another Rainy Saturday” is a

Needless to say, I’m quite excited about The Fuzzy Ball, coming to Neumos on Thursday (December 16, and then to the Wonder Ballroom in Portland the following night). Taking the name of the event from fuzzy guitars, the show will feature 10 bands of the shoegaze/pyschedelic variety playing four songs each, one original and three covers. Some of the bands playing are The Prids, The Purrs, Joy Wants Eternity, amongst others. The press release explains:

On each night 10 bands will go on stage and each play one original song and three cover versions of the Shoegazer or Psychedelic variety (i.e. Fuzzy guitars being the main ingredient). If you’re unfamiliar, the “Shoegazer” genre emanated from the UK in the 80′s with bands such as Cocteau Twins, Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Spacemen 3, Slowdive, Lush, Jesus & Mary Chain, etc. all staring heavily at their effects pedals (not their shoes as was reported by the press) to create this wonderful surreal and melodic wall of sound. Also being celebrated is the ultra-hip resurgence in Psychedelic-Pop-Rock music made popular again today by artists like The Raveonettes, Ulrich Schnauss, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Flaming Lips, The Black Angels and Brian Jonestown Massacre, among many others.

Entrants will also receive a 20-song compilation featuring tracks from bands playing The Fuzzy Ball, as well as favorites like A Place to Bury Strangers, Serena Maneesh and The Raveonettes.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Primarily the work of a duo, Transient Songs sounds like a full band on Cave Syndrome.

Transient Songs – Cave Syndrome

 by David Smith

Category: Albums (and EPs)

Transient Songs - Cave Syndrome

Primarily the work of a duo, Transient Songs sounds like a full band on Cave Syndrome. Even though the group likes to compare itself to The Church and The Chameleons, its music reaches back a bit farther, into the neo-psych of Green on Red or Dream Syndicate quite a bit.

This stuff is really singer-songwriter work. You know how it is: acoustic guitar and some strings, vocals earnest and up front in the mix, bluesy at times, sometimes drums with brushes (“Golden Gardens”). The electric guitar takes it all into mild psychedelia, especially once the reverb starts consuming the singing. “Smoking Slows the Healing” gets pretty thick and lush, with the expected guitar digressions mid-way through. The album has a few surprises. “The Cancer In Our Bloodlines” has some sort of key change that takes it from depressing and hopeless to pointed and uplifting. Some of the lines get a little clunky or cliched (“There’s an old fire burning / Right between your thighs” and “How long should you live before you live for yourself?” don’t quite come across as profoundly as intended). The rollicking bridge and meandering finish to the song defy the album’s patterns.

“Sin Through The Summer” works up a sweat and gets as close to a rock sound as anything else on the record, and it’s offset by the spooky old-school psychedelia of “Astoria”, whose narrative of lost places fits its melodic mood. The song ends before it even gets going, though, leaving it feel unfinished.

You can tell that the band takes its compositions seriously, even if it works over certain tropes until they wear thin. That’s why it’s pleasant to hit on a song like “Greenwood Backyards,” where the mid-song shift from jumpy piano to Dead Meadow stylings make you remember that these guys have more ideas than they really let you in on unless you’re paying attention.

File Under: neo-psych, Songwriter

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bonnaroo through the eyes of a rookie

Bonnaroo...through the eyes of a rookie

by Thomas Corhern

MANCHESTER -- It was Monday morning. My eyes felt like they could hardly open, just exhausted from the previous days before me.

The experience was overwhelming, an unexplainable feeling of excitement. True, the 2010 edition of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival had just come to a close, and after experiencing the event for the first time through my own eyes, I was ready to start the whole thing all over again.
I just needed a shower first.
Over the nine years the event has been held, I had heard my share of stories about what to expect, what I would see and things to do at the festival. And even after I heard those stories, it all seemed to be much more than what I expected or had imagined. A lot more.
The festival's name derives from Dr. John, a New Orleans rhythm and blues icon, and his 1974 album "Desitively Bonnaroo," which, in Ninth Ward slang, roughly means "a really good time."
That it was.
As fellow Herald-Citizen staffer Ty Kernea, who was vacationing, and I arrived to the Manchester campus, it was a strange sight that beheld my eyes. We had left a little late that afternoon, but it was enough to see the makeshift metropolis created by the campers together in nearly full-force.
Seeing 75,000 people at one place doesn't seem to be all that impressive when you think about one of college football's palaces. For example, the University of Tennessee's Neyland Stadium holds 102,037 people after its 2006 renovation, nearly 27,000 more than was in attendance in the rural Manchester fields that host the event.
But seeing at least a square mile of Tennessee farmland covered by impromptu tent cities was more of an impressive sight than seeing a large stadium filled to capacity with its patrons packed in like sardines. The campground reached over the horizon, with nearly every square inch covered with cars, tents or RVs.
As we pulled into our spot in Camp Billy Zane -- named for the character actor who appeared in the film "Zoolander," from which our quadrant took its names from characters in that film as every camp was named for a movie character (I'll admit, I secretly hoped for Camp Han Solo or Camp James Bond or even Camp Marty McFly or Camp Clark Griswold, but no luck) -- we immediately went to work putting our campsite together.
Ty and I immediately struck up a bond with our neighbors -- a trio of ladies: Gina Garcia, Nikki Rouse and Maddie Commando, all from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who had played women's rugby, as well as a group from Charlottesville, Virginia and a patron from Nashville. And the camaraderie started over, of all things, a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
After camp was set up, Ty and I made our initial trek to Centeroo, where all the magic happens. For the uninitiated, Centeroo consists of the event's stages, the kiosks, and much, much more. But Ty and I went our separate ways as we each wanted to see different concerts pretty much over the course of the weekend. Ty headed straight for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band at That Tent, while I made a bee-line for the media compound so I could orient myself with the grounds.
It was much harder than it looked. As soon as we were searched at the entrance, I was overwhelmed. The map I had been sent made it seem like everything was relatively close together. Not quite. It was fairly close, but the proportions created by the campgrounds certainly made Centeroo seem pretty smal

I found my way into the What Stage's audience and watched my first concerts of the night with Tenacious D and Kings of Leon. Between that time, I had my first interview of the event, the electronic band The Crystal Method, who was scheduled to play a 2-to-4 a.m. show.


After Kings of Leon just before midnight on Friday, I walked around the complex, trying to take in the sights and familiarize myself with what the festival had to offer. When the heat had started to get to me, I found the cinema tent, a quick and easy place to cool off. I watched the climax of one of my favorite films, "Shaun of the Dead," then saw a couple of events that piqued my interest.

You see, Bonnaroo isn't just about music. There's also a lot of artistic events as well, mostly taking place at the Planet Roo section of the complex. I arrived at the Solar Stage to see a tribal dance ensemble doing various forms of belly dancing, followed by "Miss Lolly Pop's Burlesque Coterie." Yes, the name describes it all. And seeing the Saturday Night Live-group The Lonely Island's "I'm on a Boat" being performed in a burlesque routine was definitely worth the effort.

I ventured over to watch the Crystal Method, and after watching from the front, stage right, immediately in front of the speakers, as I finally ventured back to Camp Billy Zane, my heart continued to pound. I couldn't get the rhythm out of my head and it made it nearly impossible to sleep. Well, that and the roasting temperatures from inside the tent as the humidity made things uncomfortable quick.

So instead, I stayed up with neighbor Gina, as well as a couple of the other guys and stayed awake until a couple of unintentional quick naps later. That morning, I got maybe 25 minutes of sleep, and it didn't bode well for me for the rest of the day.

Saturday was also when I first learned that no matter how much planning you do, there is absolutely no way you can catch every act that you want to see. It's just impossible. Either they will be scheduled at the same times, or you might sleep through them, or some other circumstance will occur.

On Saturday alone, I missed Conan O'Brien, Weezer and Jack White's latest band, the Dead Weather, all because of varying circumstances. It happens, but you can't really let it bother you, because there really is so much else to see.

I made lemonade out of lemons, taking in Imelda May, the Paper Tongues and a little bit of the World Cup soccer game between the United States and England before I made my way back to the media complex for another round of interviews.

That night, I caught Stevie Wonder and a little bit of Jay-Z before exhaustion started to creep in and made my way back to the campsite, where I finally grabbed a great night of sleep.

But over the course of the day, I also learned the importance of water during the hot and humid afternoon. Ty and I came prepared with four cases of water, but I found myself revisiting the filtered water towers over and over again to stay hydrated. I think I took in 30 to 40 bottles of water in the course of three days.

I also learned that even though I was trying to dress like a reporter -- as I did in my first day at the event on Friday -- at something like this, it's not really feasible. As the weekend wore on, dress shirts made way to T-shirts, jeans worked down to shorts and shoes worked down to sandals or flip-flops -- but even those were dangerous in the mud around the site as I saw several pairs that had gotten stuck in the mud over the course of the weekend.


Then came the final day.

I knew by the end of the day, some of the new friends I had met at the festival would be gone as quickly as they had entered. It was kind of bittersweet and poignant, yet the excitement of the event still shined through. We all shared a breakfast meal with turkey sausage and toast grilled at the site, then made our separate ways once again.
Sunday was the day that presented the most problems as scheduling became even more hectic. I was able to catch Regina Spektor, Martin Sexton, John Fogerty and the Dropkick Murphys, but again, there were more shows that I really wanted to see, like Blues Traveler, Kris Kristofferson and They Might Be Giants.

The evening closed with two great performances from the Zac Brown Band and Dave Matthews Band, bringing the festival to a satisfying end.

As I ventured back to Camp Billy Zane, the camp was a shadow of its former self. All of our neighbors had retreated back to their regular lives, leaving only a scant few in the campgrounds who were going to wait until Monday morning.

One group, after I had stashed my equipment back in my camp, came up to Ty and I offering us one last shot before the event was finally over. I thought to myself, a toast to what had been three of the most grueling, exhausting, yet exciting and entertaining days of my lives. I took it, continuing to lend out my hand in a hospitable spirit -- after all, that's one of the things the event is about.

As the sounds of Centeroo started to fade, Ty and I sat and talked, reminisced about the things we had seen and done, then drifted off to our quarters and called it a night.


The sun rose quickly that morning.

I woke, stepped outside the tent and saw even fewer cars remaining than the night before. The realization hit me -- it was time to go home.

It was barely 8:30 a.m. when we finally made our way into the line back onto the highways, smooth sailing on the way back to Cookeville.

I could hardly keep my eyes open, because it had been a very busy weekend. One that saw me going in so many directions.

But by the end of it all, I couldn't help but think about the great times and the pros definitely outweighed the cons.
Was the trip worth it? Absolutely. Would I have changed anything? Not at all. And as we hit Cookeville city limits, I realized I needed two things -- a cold shower and a long nap. Bonnaroo was done for another year, and for my first trip, I loved every minute of it. It was a non-stop thrill ride because you never really knew what was going to happen next. And I can't wait to get the opportunity to get on the ride one more time.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Action guitars at the fore, a muscular rock'n'roll attack team

CD review: Judge Jackson
"Drive" (Curtis Joe)

When a red-rimmed buddy turns up on your doorstep, a shameless party you'd once sworn would never end erupts, anew. Action guitars at the fore, a muscular rock'n'roll attack team in the spirit of Velvet Revolver and GNR howls. There is much joy to be had kicking out all jams. Let the almighty, experience-centering riff be your guide in a tilted land of crunch and exultation.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Paper Tongues -- About to Pop

Paper Tongues -- About to Pop

Leave a Comment

By Ashley Iasimone

Who: Paper Tongues

Album: 'Paper Tongues'

Single: 'Trinity'

Hails From: Charlotte, N.C.

For Fans Of: Neon Trees, 30 Seconds to Mars

Why They're About to Pop: With seven members in a band, musical backgrounds are bound to vary. Fusing rock, hip-hop, funk and pop, Paper Tongues take their melting pot of influences and have been making them work together since forming in 2007.

"Our sound is soulful alternative hop rock," guitarist Joey Signa tells PopEater. "It has elements of all genres, being that we all come from such different places in life and in music. I like to say its Journey meets the Roots meets U2."

The seven-piece -- Signa, Aswan North, Devin Forbes, Cody Blackler, Clayton Simon, Jordan Hardee and Danny Santell -- can boast a famous fan: 'American Idol' judge Randy Jackson, who's been a supporter since he first heard their demo in Los Angeles. Paper Tongues now have a debut album available, and they're hitting the road with the likes of Neon Trees and Civil Twilight this summer.

Find out what Paper Tongues are like around their fans and how they get pumped before a show in the following two video clips, and check out an exclusive interview with the band after that.

Watch Paper Tongues' 'Webisode'

Watch Paper Tongues' 'Before a Show' Clip

Six Questions With Guitarist Joey Signa:

How did you all get together as a band?

We all met in Charlotte, N.C., playing improv music in the center city of Charlotte. We would meet every Saturday night and just jam! We would find sweet spots, and songs would come. We finally started taking it serious, and Aswan asked us all to commit to starting a band. It took a while, but we did it.

How did you decide on the band name Paper Tongues?

We got the band name from one of our producers who helped us build this record over three years time. We all dug it and since then, we have made it our own.

Who are your musical influences?

I love all types of music -- from hardcore to jazz, from Ryan Adams to Paramore, Jay Z to Underoath. I find what I need in all genres. I try to keep myself stretched as well, not getting stuck in one place, so my playing always has somewhere to go.

Which song from your album is your favorite, and why?

I love 'Everybody' because it has such a deep groove but feels so light. The words are powerful, and the melody is contagious.

Your song is featured on the new MTV's 'When I Was 17.' What did it feel like to first hear your song on a TV show?

It was just so weird to me. Honestly, I just smiled and moved on. It felt good.

You're on tour right now. What three things can't you live without on the road?

Coffee. My bike. Apples.

Civil Twilight with Paper Tongues & Evaline

Civil Twilight with Paper Tongues & Evaline

coming to town

Water Street Music Hall

The three-piece rock band, Civil Twilight originally hailed from Cape Town, South Africa before moving to LA. They perform alt-rock music with strong vocals. Several of their music have been featured on television including on such shows as One Tree Hill, House, Harper’s Island and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Recently, their song “Letters From The Sky” was the iTunes’ Free Download of the Week. Their self-titled release is on Wind-Up Records…Paper Tongues are rockers from North Carolina who fuse rock n’ roll with hip-hop, funk, rap and soul. The recently released a self-titled debut which charted on Billboard’s top 200 chart… The rock group Evaline are making the rounds here in the East, introducing their band new EP, Patterned, to audiences.

Paper Tongues getting into holiday cheer with CAROL OF THE BELLS

Grab the free download from Paper Tongues here:

ALT PRESS MAG Exclusive: The Memorials (ex-Mars Volta) debut video, announce tour

Exclusive: The Memorials (ex-Mars Volta) debut video, announce tour

December 8, 2010 by Tim Karan

The Memorials—the new band of ex-Mars Volta drummer Thomas Pridgen—just released their debut single, "We Go To War," which comes from their upcoming self-titled full-length debut, dropping Jan. 18. We've got an exclusive premiere of the video for the song, which you can check out below. In addition, the Memorials will be embarking on tour next month with Just Like Vinyl—the new project of the Fall Of Troy's Thomas Erak.

Tour w/ JUST LIKE VINYL (the new project of the Fall Of Troy's Thomas Erak)

JAN 18, 2011 - OAKLAND - The New Parish

JAN 19, 2011 - LOS ANGELES - Cat Club

JAN 20, 2011 - SAN DIEGO - Soda Bar

JAN 22, 2011 - PHOENIX - Warehouse 201

JAN 24, 2011 - AUSTIN - The Parish

JAN 25, 2011 - HOUSTON - Fitzgerald's

JAN 28, 2011 - ATLANTA - The 5 Spot

JAN 29, 2011 - NASHVILLE - TBA

JAN 30, 2011 - COLUMBIA, SC - New Brookland Tavern

FEB 1, 2011 - PHILADELPHIA - The Grape Room

FEB 2, 2011 - NEW YORK - SOB'S

FEB 3, 2011 - BOSTON - The Church

FEB 4, 2011 - HAMDEN, CT - The Space

FEB 7, 2011 - BALTIMORE - The Talking Head @ Sonar

FEB 8, 2011 - CLEVELAND - Beachland Ballroom

FEB 9, 2011 - COLUMBUS - Skully's

FEB 10, 2011 - INDIANAPOLIS - The Vollrath


FEB 14, 2011 - MILWAUKEE - Mad Planet

FEB 15, 2011 - MADISON - The Frequency

FEB 17, 2011 - CHICAGO - Martyr's

FEB 18, 2011 - ST. LOUIS - Cicero's

FEB 19, 2011 - KANSAS CITY - Riot Room

FEB 21, 2011 - WICHITA - Rock Island Live

FEB 23, 2011 - DENVER - The Marquis

FEB 24, 2011 - SALT LAKE CITY - Club Vegas

MAR 1, 2011 - SEATTLE - Corazon

MAR 2, 2011 - PORTLAND - Someday Lounge

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

INTERVIEW Seattle, US is home to indie folk-rock act Campfire OK

Interview: Q&A with Campfire OK3

Seattle, US is home to indie folk-rock act Campfire OK and they are starting to build quite the momentum! Even on G&C they’re a top 3 most listened to artist! As you all know by now, G&C Q&As bands from all over the world to see how they’re embracing the digital age.

Campfire OK
Ana-Them Records

“The truth is, if you value your own music and charge for it, people will pay.” Mychal, Campfire OK

Thanks for taking time out for us! Tell me how you guys got together? What is it for you that makes you want to play music as a career?

We formed as a band after I (Mychal) accumulated a collection of songs and needed musicians to play the instrumentation. I was lucky enough to meet very talented, interesting musicians with great ideas. We all met each other mostly by happenstance through friends of friends. We all want to play music as a career for many reasons. Some are simple reasons that compel any one to do anything. We all like to travel, meet new people, have weird experiences and give people a way to escape their day-to-day lives by coming to our shows and listening to our records. We also play music as a career because we have to. I’m not saying anyone is holding a gun to our heads, but we all feel a responsibility to ourselves to play. We have simply done it our whole lives and will continue to do so until we can’t anymore…

How do you cope with the fact that not everybody wants to pay for digital music? With physical sales on their last legs do you think we’re heading towards a world of free?

Absolutely not. People take things for free all the time. It has been happening ever since the financial system was unrolled. Rather than cope, we have to adapt. We have to play by their rules. How? we shall see If someone wants to get our music for free, all I ask is that they come to our show, bring friends, and tell their friends to buy a cd. Obviously we need to make money. We all live in a financially driven world. The upside to this unfortunate predicament is that there are people who pay for our music. There will continue to be people who pay. If we ask for support, they will give it to us. The truth is, if you value your own music and charge for it, people will pay. It is actually pretty liberating!

With programmes such as Spotify, We7 and Google Music servicing cloud-based platforms this is going to eventually result in a lack of ownership. Do you see anything good or bad with the idea?

I don’t know much about these sites, but with the minimal amount of research I did, they look just like Pandora. With that in mind, I think they are great. More people can listen to our music all around the world. I don’t see how it could result in a lack of ownership but maybe I am just being narrow-minded. These programmes are yet another tool to help us achieve what we want. We just need to start looking at them that way.

What are your skills like on social media and analytics (band camp etc)? Is there some sites you feel are more useful than others?

Our skills are only getting better on social media sites. These sites are great. It gives people a chance to connect to artists like they couldn’t before. They are great tools for creating a buzz and letting someone know where you are. I think that the main sites like twitter, Facebook, bandcamp, and even the more outdated like MySpace are great. We use all of the above whenever we can. Letting someone know about a show on twitter is seriously the most useful thing ever. People spread those posts like wildfire.

Completely agree and the best bit is digital wildfire is free! Sticking along the lines of promotion, it is a given most bands will have to tour more to generate income. Do you find a necessity to tour more of a bad thing?

With such programs as you stated above, and that fact that lots of people download music for free, I feel it is a necessity to tour more to make an income. Most bands this day and age make most of their income from merchandise. T-shirts, bags, sweaters or whatever is where you make the bulk of your money. It is difficult to say if touring more is a bad thing. Some bands are simply stifled from being on the road playing the same songs every night. Look at Radiohead after they toured on OK Computer. Thom Yorke had a very difficult time getting out of a writer’s block. Lucky for them, Kid A showed its beautiful little head something like 4 or 5 years later. But then you have bands like Dave Mathews Band. They have been touring constantly since the 90′s and that has not stopped them from putting out new material. Do I feel touring more will be a bad thing for me? No.

With the digital age giving access to bands more than ever before, do you think the lack of mystery has had a damaging effect on bands? There seems to be a lack of true rock stars such as the Keith Moons etc - do you have any thoughts on what happened and why this is?

First off, I think this is a killer question. I think that for some bands the digital access is damaging for the amount of “mystery” they have surrounding them which usually reflects poorly on them as a group. But that is their fault. So many bands just want to tell everyone what they are about and what they are doing every second of the day. You can’t do that and still have mystery. It is simple, don’t blow your cover! Keep some secrets. Keep some dirty, filthy secrets. Then once you are huge and famous, tell one person on the street and start a fucking rumor about yourself. Then deny the hell out of it. Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) once said “I don’t care what anybody says about me as long as it isn’t true.”

Haha, I like that quote! And lastly, how do you obtain most of your music?

I actually buy my music! Digital, physical, however.

THE MEMORIALS drop single today on ITUNES! WE GO TO WAR

Monday, December 6, 2010

Friday Freebies! (holiday edition) – discover new music in a free compilation

Friday Freebies! (holiday edition) – discover new music in a free compilation

December 3rd

by Marianne Meyer

It’s the season of holiday music and gift giving, so why not put the two together? XO Publicity, a Portland, OR PR group that represents independent musicians, is one of the many groups (we’ll discuss others anon) that’s giving away free downloads to get your Cool Yule mixes started.

An 11-track compilation, entitled “XO for the Holidays Vol 3” is available here. (Bonus: Volumes One and Two are still up and free for the taking as well).

The set includes a few seasonal standards, like Paper Tongues’ muscular take on “Carol of the Bells” and a banjo-accented version of the “Dreidel Song” by the Seattle-based indie-rock/Americana quartet Campfire OK (due to release a new CD in February).

But the majority of the tracks are original or much more obscure songs, which actually makes for a nice break from a 358th version of “Little Drummer Boy." Minneapolis, MN’s Pictures of Then, for example, slow down their usual rock attack for a quiet little number called “Presents in June.” “A Christmas Stalking,” from Transient Songs, creates a languid vibe with male/female vocal interplay, while The Triggers’ “A Very Triggers Christmas” is a harmony-laden pop/rock confection.

Percolating percussion drives The Winter Sounds “McAdenville (Christmastown),” a wistful holiday ode from a Pittsburgh quartet with a touch of Brit-pop melancholia in its vocals. Prayer for Animals, a band that lists its hometown as Austin/San Marcos, starts off its contribution, “Riptide-Yuletide,” as a surf guitar-powered instrumental before devolving into something a little more edgy, but nowhere near as dark as Captain Nowhere’s somewhat angry “Holiday Song.”

And, saving the best present for last, the DAME highly recommends a pair of charmers – “A Cheery Christmas” and “Snow Snow, Beautiful Snow” – from Piney Gir (pronounced as in "girl”) a female American musician and singer, (whose real name is Angela Penhaligon) born in Kansas and now based in London. Between her lovely voice and the playful sentiments of the songs, Piney Gir offers two new tunes that sweetly capture the spirit of the season.

Actually, she’s got three. In reading up on this new singer/songwriter, I found another free download from Gir being offered by a site called Joyzine, which is offering an “advent calendar” of free tracks, one each day until Christmas. Not all are holiday themed but Piney Gir’s “Love is a Christmas Rose,” surely fits the bill.

One caveat: The 11th song on the compilation, “Christmas Tree,” by Judge Jackson featuring Billy Bob Thornton (yes, the actor) may not yet be available. The track that was originally posted was pulled when Thornton asked for it to be replaced by another mix, but should be back up any time now.

Merry downloading!

Judge Jackson harnesses the simplicity of rock, plays Mentone

Judge Jackson harnesses the simplicity of rock, plays Mentone


The Press-Enterprise

Los Angeles-based rock bands that regularly perform in the Inland region are rarer than 1980s Sunset Strip bands that still have their original members.

But sometimes, bands will brave the freeways and venture to the area, like the fellows in Judge Jackson, who have dates booked in Mentone and Big Bear Lake this weekend as well as future dates in Murrieta and Yucaipa.

"We like to rock you guys out there, and you like to rock back," singer Todd McTavish said.

The straightforward philosophy frames Judge Jackson's straight-up rock.

"We're a simple band, we write simple songs," McTavish said. "We just write about life."

The band will be at Mill Creek Cattle Co. in Mentone tonight and at Snow Summit Resort in Big Bear on Saturday.

McTavish came to the United States from Canada in 1995 and linked up with guitarist Lee Jackson. The quartet is rounded out by drummer J.J. Garcia and bassist Brian James.

The group is set to release a new album, "Drive," on Aug. 3. The release features songs about the road, hearing your music on the radio and the simple pleasure of being home.

"You gotta be honest, which can be daunting and a little intimidating," McTavish said.

The singer said he constantly writes songs, workings things out on an acoustic guitar. He's also worked with Motley Crue's Mick Mars on songwriting projects.

"Good melody is addictive," McTavish said.

One of the rules he follows in penning tunes goes back to the simplicity dogma of the band -- if you can't play it with one finger on the piano, it's not a great song.

While McTavish loves the songwriting process, he doesn't think of himself as the star on stage.

"I think Lee is the real entertainer in the band," he said of Jackson.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

paper tongues sound like they would be equally welcome on both the charts of the masses and the playlists of the musically savvy.

Paper Tongues

Released by A&M Records

Thanks (or no thanks) to such artists as Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit, when the term “rap-rock fusion” is thrown into the cosmos, it conjures some less than awesome ideas of what it means a lot of the time. Rage Against The Machine did a lot to give the people something (finally) awesome to think about when the hybrid genre is thought about and Paper Tongues definitely carries that torch. And while we’re using this rap-rock motif, if Rage is a “rockier” extension of Public Enemy, then Paper Tongues would be a “rockier” extension of someone like K-OS. They’re versatile, can have fun and can also dig deep. The vocals, sung by Aswan North, are simply great. Rhythmically, there is definitely a lot of hip-hop influence but here’s the thing: he’s not trying to rap. A sense of singing and feeling is what is emphasized and it shines through. On their self-titled Paper Tongues, the Charlotte, North Carolina band isn’t trying to force any type of sound. Ranging from dance and dark to near “VH1-friendly,” they actually never sound out of place or like they are uncomfortable. Even when the radio smash-material songs emerge, the words are never expendable (which is always refreshing). Their lyrics even have rap sensibilities at times (such as on “Rich and Poor” where you’ll hear words such as “peeps” and “thuggin’”) but over roaring guitars and down-to-business drums, it works. Paper Tongues is not a gimmicky, flash in the pan band out to please the top 20 countdowns but as fate would have it, they sound like they would be equally welcome on both the charts of the masses and the playlists of the musically savvy.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Judge Jackson holds the distinction of being one of two bands to ever be invited to play at the Hells Angel’s

Judge Jackson - Drive

Judge Jackson - Drive

2010, Curtis-Joe Records

Judge Jackson holds the distinction of being one of two bands to ever be invited to play at the Hells Angel’s LA Chapter House. Touring with bands like Gov’t Mule, The Doobie Brothers and Cheap Trick over the past several years, Judge Jackson has caught the ear of many classic rock fans, but it’s the freshness of their sound that has gained Judge Jackson placements on such shows as NFL on FOX, MLB on FOX, NHL on FOX Playoffs and My Name Is Earl. With their fifth album, Drive, due on August 3, 2010, Judge Jackson have come fully into their own, mixing a classic sound and a fresh approach that is certain to dance across generations.

Drive opens with "Head Over Heels", driven with the energy of 1980's glam rock without all of the volume. Lead vocalist Todd McTavish can flat out sing, and the hooks and harmonies make this one of the better pop/rock hybrids of the early summer. "Radio" is a tribute that may have been more apropos in the 1980's than it is today. Guitarist Lee Jackson snaps off riffs in the style of Nuno Bettencourt and makes this song a winner. Things get a bit bland for a bit as Judge Jackson runs through tunes like "Pickin' Me Up" and the power ballad "Me Then You", but salvation comes in the form of "Just Because". With a hook so big you can't stay out of its way, "Just Because" is the sort of virulently catchy rock tune that you might be hearing all summer long.

"The End" is a blues rocker that opens and closes with riffs that could have been culled directly from a Jimi Hendrix songbook. The tune is a bit on the hokey side but full of fun and a likely fan favorite at live shows. Judge Jackson shows off their hooky side again on "River", a highly danceable bit of classic rock n roll that will have your toes tapping. Drive comes to a close with "Meant To Be", with Judge Jackson taking on a vague country feel and featuring Julia Henry in a duet with McTavish. This is by far the best track on the disc, and considering tunes like "Head Over Heels" and "Just Because" that's actually saying quite a lot.

You'll pass through some slow moments on Drive, but Judge Jackson show they know how to rock and they know how to write great songs. The slow moments are made worthwhile by the better tunes on Drive, and you're certain to find yourself checking Judge Jackson's itinerary to see if they're coming through your town. This is the sort of band that can make a night memorable.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Friday, December 3, 2010

If you are a fan of Michael Knott, David Bowie, Love and Rockets, Elvis Costello…


Summer Break

I get a lot of CDs that come across my desk and rarely does one grab my attention like this new gem of a masterpiece called Bonedome. Thinktankubator is twelve songs of pure genius. Allan Hayslip is the mastermind behind Bonedome but has a horde of talent supporting him including Gerald Iragorri on drums, Edward McMahon on guitars and a slew of other flair that makes up this unique machine called Bonedome.

Thinktankubator is one of those CDs best listened to or experienced and is nearly impossible to describe accurately. One thing is noticeable is Hayslip’s vocals which are reminiscent of David Bowie with a good mix of Michael Knott (L.S.U. & The Aunt Betties). The lyrical content is a mixture of dark humor and angst. This is most noticeable in songs like “Girl One”, “Eraser” and “Custody Lullabye”. It is a CD that has schizophrenia as one moment it is making you laugh and the next lulls you into the darkness of the night. It is truly an emotional CD.

Overall Bonedome’s Thinktankubator is an independent CD that is worthy of checking out. If you are a fan of Michael Knott, David Bowie, Love and Rockets, Elvis Costello… Ah heck if you like music that is reminiscent of the 90’s alternative music movement then this is one to give a listen. Go on over to; check out some samples and see if this one is up your alley.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This is an outstanding rock band that blows away 99% of that crap they play on the radio called modern rock

JUDGE JACKSON/Drive (Curtis Joe Records) This is an outstanding rock band that blows away 99% of that crap they play on the radio called modern rock. Great catchy riffs and an awesome singer this totally blew me away as I was digging it from the first note till the last. One of the best rock bands making the rounds these days. Info: or

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Paper Tongues at Paradise. Lets GO!

K, M, and I took a break to refuel for the first time of the day (around 5pm). We also got to dry off a bit. Then we headed back down to Boston for the Paper Tongues concert at Paradise Rock Club. The band before Paper Tongues was called Civil Twilight. They sounded Coldplay-esque and were from South Africa. I had never heard their songs before but they were good.

Paper Tongues at Paradise. Lets GO!

The show was nuts. Those guys can really rock. First of all, it was an 8 piece band. The lead singer was so chill. He came out into the audience and shook people’s hands during the first song. The dude really knew how to hype up the crowd throughout the show. Its concerts like that where you can’t help but dance. After the show, we handed out flyers because Paper Tongues is coming back with Neon Trees to put on a free show at City Hall Plaza next Thursday to hype up the Dew Tour.

Just met Paper Tongues. Mad cool guys. Pics later, oh and they’re playing a show for the Dew Tour Concert next Thurs

M, K and I walked back to my apartment and hung out for a bit then they both went on their way. What an incredible day.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Delivering a proggy shimmery take of spacey, indie/alt rock/punk, mixed with some post-rock, some hardcore and lots of silky smooth vocals,



(False Eye Records)

I’m not much for gimmicks, but when a CD is sent to me with the ‘jewel case’ cut from a 12-pack of beer, and the track listing is printed on a Camels lights -pack, I’ll admit it: Well played, good sirs!

Delivering a proggy shimmery take of spacey, indie/alt rock/punk, mixed with some post-rock, some hardcore and lots of silky smooth vocals, Portland’s Microtia is musically a nice break from my usual breakdown filled, growly nun fuckery. At times I was reminded of Cave In’s Jupiter/Antenna, Circa Survive and Codeseven. I also think fans of Baroness’ mellower moments might dig this and I’ve also seen Crime In Stereo thrown around as a reference, though, I cannot personally say so either way.

As I hinted, huge part of Microtia’s sound are the vocals of Jessie Torrisi. His svelte, evocative croons are neither emo or wimpy, but a whiskey smooth tone that matches the shimmering music perfectly. And the music, while probably not the regular fare for readers here, works well when you just want some metal that’s laid back, yet artistic and eloquent. Spacemaker is 45-minutes of spacious and loose music: A perfect background music for when you have your metal- and non-metal friends come over. The likes of “The Early Fish gets the Worm”, “Add Insult to Injury” and “That’s the Problem with Owning half the State of California” will borrow into your subconscious and have you humming their cascading strums and sugary choruses. But at the same time the Mastodon-ish drumming of Tim Steiner manages to remind you that you are listening to a rock/metal album (“Pocket Full of Bee Stings”).

I’m interested if anyone other than West Coast hippies and beard wearers get into this lot, as they deserve a much broader audience—including some of you lot reading this now.

Monday, November 29, 2010

BONEDOME is the musical age ego of Allan Hayslip (guitar, bass, singing),



Summer Break


das musikalische Alter Ego von Allan Hayslip (Gitarre, Bass, Gesang), der

zusammen mit anderen Musikern aus Dallas, TX seine Vision des perfekten

Rockalbums umgesetzt hat. Musikalisch lässt sich „Thinktankubator“ schwer

kategorisieren: Es ist ein zeitloses Werk, dessen Einflüsse von an Bowie

erinnernden Songs über Prog-Rockiges bis hin zu Daniel Ashs (ex-BAUHAUS)

LOVE AND ROCKETS reicht, die Ende der Achtziger in den USA richtig groß

waren, in Deutschland aber maximal ein Geheimtip. Teilweise sehr

mainstreamig, ohne damit böse aufzufallen, und somit ein durchaus

interessantes, aber auch irgendwie zwischen den Stühlen hängendes Album. (5)

Joachim Hiller

Sunday, November 28, 2010

L.A. band set to rev crowd at Big Bear Choppers Ride the Mountain

The judge is in

L.A. band set to rev crowd at Big Bear Choppers Ride the Mountain



Published: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 7:38 AM PDT

It was 15 years ago when Judge Jackson lead singer Todd McTavish met guitarist Lee Jackson in the front room of his apartment. Jackson was at the L.A. home McTavish shared with a female bartender from the famous Sunset Strip bar Whiskey-a-go-go. Jackson was meeting with McTavish’s roommate’s boyfriend to learn songs for a hired gun-gig playing guitar on a six-week tour in Hawaii.

When the boyfriend got distracted with his girlfriend the roommate in the back room, McTavish inadvertently stole the man’s guitarist. The two started talking about songwriting styles and the possibility of working together after Jackson returned to the mainland. “We had immediate chemistry,” McTavish says.

The next day, Jackson stopped packing his bags. “He called the next day and said, ‘Screw getting back from Hawaii. Let’s do this,’” McTavish recalls. The two got to work matching lyrics with chords. Then they matched a name to the sound.

While the band isn’t necessarily a Southern rock band, they wanted a name that summed up the Southern flavor they identified with. As the two became acquainted, Jackson mentioned his father, a Texas court judge in Dallas, Judge Jackson.

The name immediately resonated. “It just sort of fell into place,” McTavish says. While Judge Jackson wasn’t immediately in favor of the idea, he’s grown to be one of the band’s biggest fans, McTavish says.

The band has a few more misleading habits. Not only will this be Judge Jackson’s third time playing Big Bear Choppers Ride the Mountain event come June 19 at Snow Summit Resort in Big Bear Lake, they’re veterans of other chopper-themed events, as well. They’ve played the Laughlin and Sturgis bike runs. But they’re not bikers.

So they are not Southern rock, not judges and they’re not bikers. What are they?

“It’s honest music for honest people,” McTavish says. “No smoke and mirrors, just the straight goods. … We do have a lot of songs about being out on the road, and I think that is where they (bikers) identify with the music.”

The band’s fifth studio album, “Drive,” out Aug. 3, offers straight-up rock ’n roll in the vein of Guns ’ n Roses, Lynard Skynard, Gov’t Mule and Buckcherry. Their amped-up songs have soundtracked everything from the TV shows “My Name is Earl” and the NASCAR reality show “Victory Lane” to the Stanley Cup finals, Monday Night Football and the NBA.

Judge Jackson evolved during the years, with McTavish and Jackson remaining the band’s backbone. The most recent additions are bassist Brian “Chuey” James and drummer J.J. Garcia, making the band complete.

“Any band will tell you it’s the relationship, the chemistry,” McTavish says. “When you get along, it’s a big deal. Half of it has been about writing some great songs and the other is about the boys club. We’ve always liked that feel to it. We are honored we get to play with each other. Every gig is the same gig to me—whether we’re playing in front of 50,000 people or five, we’re honored to play and give 100 percent.”

For McTavish, being a front man didn’t necessarily come naturally. He got into music because of his affinity for songwriting. But the elation that comes with entertaining and working a room did take root early. The first time he felt the call of the crowd was at age 15 as a camp counselor in training.

To entertain the kids, McTavish and the other counselors put together a stage show complete with air guitar and broom handles standing in as mike stands. McTavish gave Foreigner’s “Jukebox Hero” his all. The crowd went wild.

“It went off like the Beatles,” McTavish remembers. “I still remember the ringing of people screaming in my head. There was a moment when I thought that was pretty cool. That was a bit of a rush. There was this moment of performing in front of people you can’t help but be moved by.” It’s what drives him.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

If you want to know what TENACIOUS D would sound like with a Southern accent


JUDGE JACKSON / Drive CD / Curtis-Joe Records / 2010

If you want to know what TENACIOUS D would sound like with a Southern accent and no sense of irony whatsoever, here is a perfect example. It’s boogie rock ‘70s style, making no pretensions of being anything but some dumb backyard barbecue with a six-pack fun. Really silly lyrics like “Romeo and Juliet / were alone and then they met” help to seal the deal.




2 “Radio” (the story of PCR listeners)

7 “Just Because” (for those who miss the sounds of BOSTON)

10 “Meant To Be” (stripped-down Roadhouse Country surprise)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Charlotte, NC band that has been enjoying some mainstream success as of late.

Music Monday: The Paper Tongues

Happy Music Monday! This week's music comes to us from a Charlotte, NC band that has been enjoying some mainstream success as of late. With their two most recent singles, "Ride to California" and "Trinity," I know I've become a fan.
For some reason, the lyrics to the song "Trinity" strike a chord with me. Even though the lyrics sound like, as Daniel Tosh would say, "Christian Mother Effin Rock!" I don''t believe they classify themselves that way.

Glory Hallelujah! Enjoy my personal favorite song, "Trinity," after the jump.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Forged under the inspiration of post-punk and angular melodies, the Burning

The Burning Hotels

Forged under the inspiration of post-punk and angular melodies, the Burning

Hotels cut through modern rock with driving sounds and propulsive rhythms.

The band made their recording debut with a self-released EP titled Eighty

Five Mirrors, licensed by Razor & Tie. This EP won the Fort Worth Weekly's

Album of the Year and 3 of the Top 10 Songs of the Decade. In April of 2010,

the Burning Hotels released their debut full-length LP, Novels. This release

was mixed by Mark Needham (The Killers, Bloc Party).

Tags:indie, indie rock, love, rock, punk

Similar artists:Kelsey Brown, Benjamin E. Morsberger, nick sheqz, Dark Mean,

And Selby Jase

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

gritty yet pleasant piano-infused pop punk and get swinging.

K Sera (United States)
K Será's pop punk with echoingly deep vocals and a piano prove to be the real power behind today's brand of Warped Tour. Having only been together for less than two years, these guys get what it takes to leave an impressionable on an otherwise easily forgettable scene.

Originally a solo gig from lead singer and guitarist Michael Caswell, the five young guys came together to attack the touring stage performance lifestyle. After touring for the first time (including a stint on the 2009 Vans Warped Tour), they stopped in Seattle to record a sophomore EP that proved to be dynamic.

They will be touring again this summer so make sure to check out their gritty yet pleasant piano-infused pop punk and get swinging.

Songs we recomme! nd you listen to: "Me Before Women and Children" and "Edge of the Map."

w.h Walker on new band daily with free mp3

November 22, 2010: Welcome Home Walker (USA)

All hail garage rock bands from Portland, Oregon! We think it's pretty amusing that this type of music can be found all over the rainy Pacific Northwest, but we like it. Welcome Home Walker's three or four piece band typifies this style, but with more gusto and definitely more potential.

They play kitschy, catchy, lyrically memorable and fun garage rock with a pop edge. They are a bit late 1970s and early 1980s punk, mixed with 60s pop, and a modern twist. At moments we think Beatles, at others The Clash...

Having performed at a pop festival this past summer, they're said to play energetic shows reminiscent of past generations, but all in all, we think they seem pretty culturally relevant and awesome.

Songs we recommend you listen to: "As the Night Goes" and "Don't Let Me Go."