Coheed and Cambria have released The Afterman: Descension for streaming and on iTunes. Stream the album below.
Coheed and Cambria have released The Afterman: Descension for streaming and on iTunes. Stream the album below.
Transit has announced their new album entitled Young New England, which will be released on April 2nd. Take a look at the cover art and track listing below.
1. Nothing Lasts Forever
2. Second To Right
3. Young New England
5. So Long, So Long
6. Weathered Souls
7. Hang It Up
8. Don’t Do, Don’t Stray
9. Thanks For Nothing
10. Summer Me
12. Bright Lights, Dark Shadows
13. Lake Q
The twelfth annual Sasquatch Music Festival lineup has been announced. The four day event, set to take place over Labor Day Weekend (May 24th-27th), will once again take place in George, Wash. Check out ticket information here, and take a look at the lineup below.
MUMFORD & SONS
THE POSTAL SERVICE
MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS
EDWARD SHARPE & THE MAGNETIC ZEROS
EMPIRE OF THE SUN
BUILT TO SPILL
TORO Y MOI
NANCY & BETH
ARIEL PINK’S HAUNTED GRAFFITI
THE BARR BROTHERS
AZARI & III
BROTHERS FROM ANOTHER
FOUR COLOR ZACK
SCHOOLBOY Q & AB-SOUL
OC NOTES: “GOLDEN GODS”
TOTALLY ENORMOUS EXTINCT DINOSAURS
JJ GREY & MOFRO
PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND
SHOVELS & ROPE
DEEP SEA DIVER
THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH
FATHER JOHN MISTY
SHOUT OUT LOUDS
BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB
Max Bemis’s popular Song Shop is open once again. The shop opened at midnight today and is limited to 1,000 songs (as of this post there are still 482 songs left). For $150, Bemis will write an acoustic song tailored towards anything you want. He will also write a shorter “half-song” for $75. New to the shop this year is the choice to have Bemis’s wife, Sherri Dupree-Bemis of Eisley, featured on the track for $207. Each song comes with a person phone call from Bemis. Order a song here. They will sell out soon.
Senses Fail have made their new album, Renacer, available for preorder via their website. The album is to be released on March 26th. They currently have different bundles available including purple vinyl (limited to 500) and a screen printed poster (limited to 250). Preorder the album here and listen to their new single, “Mi Amor”, below.
The Postal Service has recently reunited for the first time since 2005 and has announced their first tour since 2003 which will include a performance at Coachella. Ben Gibbard has assured fans through his Twitter account that additional date will be announced. Check out tour dates below.
4/09 Reno, NV - Grand Sierra Theatre
4/10 Davis, CA - Mondavi Center
4/12 San Luis Obispo, CA - Madonna Expo Center
4/13 Indio, CA - Coachella
4/18 Phoenix, AZ - Comerica Theatre
4/19 Las Vegas, NV - Chelsea Ballroom at the Cosmopolitan
4/20 Indio, CA - Coachella
5/18 Manchester, England - Academy 2
5/20 London, England - Brixton Academy
5/21 Paris, France - Trianon
5/23 Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound Festival
6/14 Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center
Vampire Weekend has announced their third LP, Modern Vampires of the City, which will be released on May 7th. The album is their first since 2010’s Contra. The band has also announced a string of tour dates starting with South by Southwest in March. Take a look at the album’s artwork and tracklisting below, as well as tour dates.
Modern Vampires Of The City Tracklisting
1. Obvious Bicycle
4. Diane Young
5. Don’t Lie
6. Hannah Hunt
7. Everlasting Arms
8. Finger Back
9. Worship You
10. Ya Hey
12. Young Lion
3/13-16 Austin, TX – SXSW
4/12 Las Vegas, NV – The Cosmopolitan
4/14 Indio, CA – Coachella
4/16 Davis, CA – Freeborn Hall at UC Davis
4/17 Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
4/21 Indio, CA – Coachella
5/8 London, UK – The Troxy
5/10 Paris, FR – Casino De Paris
5/15 Boston, MA – Agganis Arena
5/16 Toronto, ONT – Sony Centre
5/17 Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit
5/19 Kansas City, MO – Midland Theater
5/20 Denver, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre (co-headline w/ Of Monsters and Men)
5/21 Salt Lake City, UT – Red Butte Garden Amphitheater
5/23 Portland, OR – Keller Auditorium
Official Website | Facebook
Fall Out Boy have announced today that they have officially reunited. This has come after several statements to the contrary recently made by the band. The band has plans to release Save Rock and Roll on May 6th or 7th, which will be the first full length from the band since 2008’s Folie a Deux. The band will officially release a single to iTunes today entitled, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark”. The music video can be seen below. The band has also announced a full tour in support of the album. Check out the dates below as well. Save Rock and Roll is available for preorder here.
May 14 - Milwaukee, WI @ Rave
May 16 - Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
May 17 - Columbus, OH @ LC Pavilion (indoor)
May 21 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
May 22 - Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
May 24 - Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy
May 25 - Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
May 26 - Boston, MA @ HOB
May 28 - Niagara Falls, NY @ The Rapid Theater
May 29 - New York, NY @ Terminal 5
May 30 - Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
May 31 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
June 1 - Charlotte, NC @ Fillmore
June 2 - Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
June 4 - Orlando, FL @ HOB
June 5 - Miami, FL @ Fillmore
June 7 - Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center
June 8 - Dallas, TX @ Palladium
June 9 - Austin, TX @ Stubb’s
June 11 - Phoenix, AZ @ Marquee
June 13 - Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern
June 15 - Las Vegas, NV @ HOB
June 16 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fox Theater
June 18 - Portland, OR @ Roseland
June 19 - Seattle, WA @ Sodo
June 20 - Vancouver @ Commodore Ballroom
June 22 - Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
June 23 - Denver, CO @ Ogden
June 25 - Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theatre
June 26 - Minneapolis, MN @ Myth
June 28 - St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
June 29 - Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room
June 30 - Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
As I have been extremely busy in the last couple of months, I have been unable to regularly update this blog. However, I plan on trying to change that, and it would not be right to not list my favorite albums of the past year. 2012 has brought some of the best music I’ve ever heard. From comeback albums to debut full lengths by up-and-coming artists, 2012 has proven to be one of the strongest years for music in recent memory. Maybe it would be better if we had all died in December because 2013 is going to have a hard time competing with 2012’s stellar batch of music. So without further ado (it’s perfectly fine to hate me for saying that), here are my top 15 albums of 2012.
15. Japandroids - Celebration Rock
It has been difficult to find an album this year that displays a band having as much fun as Japandroids do on Celebration Rock. With Celebration Rock, the Canadian duo have created arguably the best garage rock album of the past ten years, and it sounds as if they had a lot of fun in doing so. While the songs are not extremely complex musically or lyrically, the songs are ridiculously catchy and fun. I cannot envision having a bad time at a Japandroids show. ”Younger Us” displays the band at its best, and “The House That Heaven Built” provides Japandroids with that ever-important anthem that all great bands need. The album takes charge with “The Nights of Wine and Roses” and never lets down, providing us with one of the most fun, exciting albums of the year.
14. Of Monsters and Men - My Head is an Animal
Alright, technically the majority of this album is a 2011 album. However, since the international version was released in 2012, I will count it in my countdown. Of Monsters and Men exploded onto mainstream radio early this year after the 2011 release of the extremely catchy “Little Talks”. Of Monsters and Men have joined a wave of indie folk artists attaining mainstream success, and they have emerged as one of the best in the genre. My Head is an Animal has been re-released this year with the addition of “Mountain Sound”, which is lucky for us as the song is one of the best on the album. My Head is an Animal has proven to have mainstream success, and I feel it is superior to Mumford and Sons’ Babel. With this album, Of Monsters and Men have proven that they are the leading indie folk band to compete with at the moment.
13. Right Away, Great Captain! - The Church of the Good Thief
Manchester Orchestra may be the primary source of musical output for frontman Andy Hull, but fans know that Hull’s most intimate moments are found in Right Away, Great Captain!’s songs. With The Church of the Good Thief, Hull wraps up the trilogy of 17th century sailor that has been betrayed by his wife and brother through their adulterous relationship. The sailor kills his brother and eventually pays for his crimes in “Memories From the End Pt. 2”. Hull is a masterful songwriter, and this is perhaps seen best in the Right Away, Great Captain! trilogy. The album also contains of the best songs Hull has ever written in “I Am Aware”. While I find this album to be inferior to its predecessor, The Bitter End, The Church of the Good Thief is a great album that wraps up one of the best musical journeys ever told.
12. Circa Survive - Violent Waves
Circa Survive seem to be one of the rare bands that gets better with every album. While Violent Waves may not be better than Blue Sky Noise, Circa Survive has created another great album that plays nearly flawless from front to back. Their first self-released album, Violent Waves was recorded with the intention the replicate the band’s live sound, which they feel displays them at their best (they are right). Violent Waves contains many of the same elements of other Circa albums, but has a freshness to it as well. The album is a bit toned down with less screaming from Anthony Green, and has an even more ambient feel than previous albums. ”The Lottery” (which contains a guest vocal from Thursday’s Geoff Rickley) can be added to Circa’s best songs and is a treat to hear live. Although I was disappeared that they did not play “Bird Sounds” when I recently saw them, as it is the best song on the album.
11. Now, Now - Threads
Being as I have lived in Minnesota all my life, it is always exciting to hear great music from Minnesota musicians. Although I had never heard of the band before and listened to the album on a whim, I found one of the best pieces of indie pop music of 2012 in Now, Now’s Threads. Threads displays Now, Now’s incredible musical range. The first three tracks have a somber feel to them and contain the albums strongest track, “Prehistoric”. The albums begins to get more upbeat with the second half of “Lucie, Too” and “Dead Oaks”, and continues on a bit of an emotional roller coaster from there. With Threads, Now, Now has shown they have what it takes to attain mainstream success and make Minnesota proud.
10. Kelsi Grammar - Me and All My Friends
Kelsi Grammar’s Me and All My Friends has been one of the most pleasant surprises of 2012.With their first full length, Kelsi Grammar has created an album that seems to cover a variety of genres from emo to hardcore, and they have done it extremely well. The album starts off perfect with its heaviest track, “Bad Jokes”, and maintains a catchy heaviness throughout the entirety of the album. Kelsi Grammar’s strength lies in their ability to write catchy songs that touch on a variety of different musical songs. On multiple occasions throughout the album, songs will end completely different than you would expect. This keeps their sound surprisingly fresh, and this is clear to see on the title track. With Me and All My Friends, Kelsi Grammar has created a unique, yet accessible album that I see myself going back to time and time again.
9. Silversun Pickups - Neck of the Woods
Silversun Pickups rarely disappoint me, and Neck of the Woods is no exception. Although this is probably my least favorite of their three albums (I really love Carnavas and Swoon), Neck of the Woods displays Silversun Pickups with their most creativity and a level of musical maturity they were not at on previous albums. The album’s guitar and keyboard parts are a pleasure to listen to, while the rythm section is strongly lead by Nikki Monninger’s indistinguishable bass lines. The record opens strongly with the synth-heavy “Skin Graph”, which is probably the best opening track on an album this year. The album has a few jump out tracks, but for the most part remains solid and consistent while not getting too out of control. However, the standout tracks are some of Silversun’s best, and make Neck of the Woods a must-own album.
8. Stellar Young - Everything at Once
Although I only recently discovered Stellar Young, Everything at Once has quickly become one of my favorite albums of the year. Containing a sound that I feel to be a hybrid of HRVRD and fun., Everything at Once is an album that I feel could attain mainstream attention and become very successful. The albums begins with the catchy “Playing with Guns” that reels you in with beautiful vocals and a keyboard line and doesn’t let you go until the album is finished. There are some very catchy tracks to be found here. Among them is one of the catchiest/best songs I’ve heard this year in “As You Go”. Formerly known as The City Never Sleeps, Stellar Young has created an immensely strong debut effort and will find that the sky truly is the limit.
7. Coheed and Cambria - The Afterman: Ascension
I was extremely relieved after listening to The Afterman: Ascension. I was highly disappointed with Year of the Black Rainbow, and was nervous that Coheed was taking their music in a direction that I was not fond of. The Afterman has halted those fears, as Coheed and Cambria have struck gold once again. Coheed and Cambria can perform heavy music well, but they truly shine when they embrace their less-heavy progressive rock roots. With The Afterman, Coheed plays on their strengths, and the result is their best album since Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One. Their are signs of familiarity on the album, as “Goodnight, Fair Lady” could easily fit on their older albums, whereas “The Afterman” displays a brand new sound for the band. The Afterman: Ascension is the first part of a double album with The Afterman: Descension due out next month. I’m excited.
6. Deftones - Koi No Yokan
Deftone’s Koi No Yokan was released on my birthday this year, and what a birthday treat it was. What the Deftones have done here is unheard of. They have gone from a band in turmoil and despair from the car accident that left bassist Chi Cheng in a coma to releasing two of the strongest albums they have ever made. While 2010’s Diamond Eyes proved that Deftones could make strong music during tough times, they have outdone themselves this year and created their best album with Koi No Yokan. The album blends Chino Moreno’s vocals with instrumentals better than ever before, and the result is the most dreamy music the Deftones have ever made. ”Entombed” and “Romantic Dreams” became two of my favorite Deftones songs upon my first listen. The true magic the Deftones create is in their ability to play heavy, yet dreamy music, and they have outdone themselves with Koi No Yokan.
5. Stepdad - Wildlife Pop
Stepdad’s Wildlife Pop is by far the most infectiously catchy album of the past year. Lead by ultramark’s unbeatable falsetto, Stepdad combines electronic elements with 8-bit sounds to craft unbelievably catchy pop tunes. It is hard to find a misstep on this album, and a couple of the songs rank among the best of the year (“My Leather, My Fur, My Nails” and “Jungles”). Coincidentally, those are also the two songs that have carried over from their previously released Ordinaire EP. However, that does not mean that Wildlife Pop doesn’t provide plenty of new gems. Pretty much everything on the album is above-average, and many of the songs I would consider as some of the best of the year. Stepdad have not only created a great album with Wildlife Pop, but a great genre as well. Stepdad is going to be huge. It’s only a matter of time.
4. Motion City Soundtrack - Go
In my opinion, there is not a pop punk band that can hold a candle to Motion City Soundtrack. Not only are they from Minnesota, but they grow with every album and manage to create some of the catchiest, wittiest songs in popular music. Go is no exception as Justin Pierre and company continue their streak of albums based upoon power chords and excellent lyrics. Although I am still partial to My Dinosaur Life, Go represents a continuously maturing Motion City Soundtrack and brings some great music to the table. Go displays somewhat of a change for the band in terms of theme as the future and death are discussed at length in a number of songs. The result of this brings what may be the best song Motion City Soundtrack has ever written in “Happy Anniversary”. However, there is still plenty of cheerful music to be had here. The combination of the melancholy and the joyous make for Motion City Soundtrack’s most mature record to date.
Bad Books - II
I recall first hearing about the recording of the first Bad Books record. Andy Hull and Kevin Devine are two of my favorite songwriters, and the thought of them recording together was, pardon the pun, divine. The first record was amazing. However, it lacked a distinct sense of cohesion that I was looking for. On II, Bad Books have eliminated any sense of distance and have created a remarkably amazing album. Although it is clear who the primary songwriter is on each song, the presence of the other party is distinct on all tracks. Although on the first record it seemed that the most consistent tracks would belong to Hull and the most accessible to Devine, it seems almost equal here as there is not a bad song on the album. Hull and Devine prove they can both write pop mastery with “Forest Whitaker” and “It Never Stops”(the latter being my favorite song of the year). There is only one misstep on the entire album, and that is not placing “Lost Creek” at the end of the record, as it is the perfect closing track. However, that is easily forgivable as II stands among the best work Hull and Devine have ever put out.
2. Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania
This is the album I have been waiting five years for. Starting with the release of the below-average Zeitgeist, it was hard to be a Pumpkins fan until last. Almost five years of sporadic releases that did not meet the expectations of most fans and a seemingly ever-changing lineup made it difficult to hold out hope that Billy Corgan would once again capture the magic he had in the Pumpkins heyday. But then Oceania was released. What I heard when first listening to this album was familiar, but also something completely fresh. It had everything I loved about the original Pumpkins and gave me hope that the future would be bright. Oceania is the first album that all of the members of the band have made significant contributions and it really shows. Bassist Nicole Fiorentino proves that she is a bass player of significant talent, and drummer is finally starting to fill the massive shoes Jimmy Chamberlain left after leaving the band. There are songs on Oceania that would fit in fine on Siamese Dream or Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (“Panopticon”, “The Chimera”, “Inkless”), and there are songs that demonstrate elements never before heard in Pumpkins music (“Pinwheels” and “One Diamond, One Heart”). So much of this album works, and I believe that is due to the fact that Corgan has taken elements from each of his previous albums and folded them into Oceania. It’s an exciting time to be a Pumpkins fan.
1. The Menzingers - On the Impossible Past
It’s hard to describe an album this good without failing to accurately explain how good it is. With On the Impossible Past, The Menzingers have crafted the perfect punk record. There has not been a punk album that stays as true to the genre as well as has this much heart released in forever. On the Impossible Past embraces its punk roots while being one of the most lyrically-accessible albums I have ever heard. The Americana inspired lyrics that are found throughout On the Impossible Past are found on other albums, but no bands have managed to make songs that relate to listeners as The Menzingers have on this album. The themes of late drunken nights and fucking something up are all themes that we can all closely relate to. The album starts off with “Good Things” a song discussing how all good things never last. The melancholy theme continues with the anthemic “The Obituaries”, where vocalists Greg Barnett and Tom May exclaim that they will “fuck this up, I fucking know it”. The album continues with songs of love and love lost, as well as late nights spent doing nothing better but drinking the night away. I don’t know anyone that can’t relate to at least one of the themes found on this album. And the fact that they are delivered with such sincerity while being accompanied by catchy punk rock chords only elevate the feelings displayed. The album recalls Brand New’s Your Favorite Weapon, and that is not a bad thing in the least. With On the Impossible Past, The Menzingers have created one of the best albums I have ever heard and proven that punk’s not dead.