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Bad Religion Perform Christmas Music On 'Conan'

Bad ReligionChristmas isn’t just about the quality time with loved ones, delicious baked goods, or even presents. Instead, we like to think of Christmas as the one time of year we can really indulge in our favorite band’s cover of iconic Christmas tunes. Such is the case with Bad Religion‘s recent performance of O Come, O Come Emmanuel on Conan.

Earlier this year, the band released their Christmas album, aptly titled, Christmas Songs, via Epitaph Records. Check out their performance on Conan below. (more…)

Bad Religion Announce Holiday Album, Stream "O Come, O Come Emmanuel"

Punk icons Bad Religion have helped spawn more basement-dwelling bands than perhaps any other group of the last 30 years. They could easily take time off or retire, but every two-three years the members come together and create albums that remind us why they’ve been genre staples for so long. 2013 is different. Instead of hitting the studio and delivering a dozen new anthems for aging punks, the members of Bad Religion have crafted their first holiday release, and today we’re excited to present you with the first single.

According to a new press release, Bad Religion will release an album titled Christmas Songs this November through Epitaph Records, the label owned by their guitarist Brett Gurewitz. The album will feature a few original tracks alongside a slew of holiday staples, including a number of songs most will associate with Christian holiday traditions. One of those, the classic “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” has been released to help promote the album’s arrival. You can stream the single at the end of this post.

Christianity and Bad Religion are two things that probably shouldn’t go together, but it’s hard to deny the punk fury on this cover. The band has definitely made it their own, which makes us excited for the rest of the release. Do you agree? Comment below and let us know your thoughts on this cover. (more…)

Riot Fest Lineup Announced

Chicago’s Riot Fest has become one of the must-attend alternative music festivals of the year. 2013 will be no different, and dare I say it may even be the best year yet.

Breaking around 11pm (EST) last night, May 15, Riot Fest’s initial lineup announcement includes headline performances by Blink-182 and Fall Out Boy. An additional headliner will be revealed in the weeks ahead, but as far as additional confirmed acts go, you can count on seeing The Violent Femmes, Motorhead, Sublime With Rome, Rancid, AFI, Blondie, Public Enemy, Brand New, Flag, Taking Back Sunday, Rocket From The Crypt, Bad Religion, Atmosphere, The Dismemberment Plan, Dinosaur Jr, X, Devotchka, Yellowcard, Screeching Weasel, Pennywise, The Broadways, Against Me!, Bob Mould, Gwar, The Lillingtons, Best Coast, The Lawrence Arms, Say Anything, Bad Brains, Quicksand, The Selecter, Bad Books, Mission Of Burma, The Devil Wears Prada, Saves The Day, Glassjaw, Bayside, Stars, Toots and the Maytals, Peter Hook (performing a Joy Division set!), Smoking Popes, Reggie and the Full Effect, Attack Attack!, The Dear Hunter, Maps and Atlases, Surfer Blood, Chuck Ragan, Dessa, Saul Williams, Empires, Memphiskapheles, Kitten, Peelander-Z, Touche Amore, Masked Intruder, Deal’s Gone Bad, Twin Peaks, Flatfoot 56, and White Mystery.

Pretty awesome, right? Tickets start at $23 a day; the festival is being held September 13 through 15 in Chicago. Buy tickets or see the official website here. (more…)

New Releases: January 22, 2013

With the return of hipster favorites Ra Ra Riot, Toro y Moi, and The Joy Formidable, this is an especially fertile week for indie rock releases. Also on the menu are new offerings from classic punk stalwarts Bad Religion and OurStage’s own rising star Tyler Bryant.

Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown “ Wild Child

We’ve been fans of Tyler Bryant’s barn-burning blues guitar skills for years, and now, with the release of Wild Child, Bryant and his band are poised to take the national scene by storm. Their new album has enough plaintive slide guitar, ripping solos, boot stomping and gang vocals to last you a lifetime. Or at least until their next release comes out.

By the way, the single “Say A Prayer” is currently iTunes’ Free Single Of The Week.

Ra Ra RiotBeta Love

Ra Ra Riot are back with an album of danceable minimalist synth pop that also manages to incorporate more organic sounds from swelling string arrangements. Strong echoes of David Byrne are still recognizable in frontman Wes Miles‘ voice, but he generally sounds much more self-assured and in reach of a true personal vocal style this time around.

(more…)

Listen Now: Bad Religion's 'True North'

Hey punks! The legend that is Bad Religion is ready to release their 16th album studio album, True North, on longtime label Epitaph Records. The actual release date isn’t until January 22, but a full-album stream is now available HERE. Accompanying the new album will be a massive tour through the US, Germany, Italy, France, and Sweden.

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Bad Religion Stream “True North”

What better way to start the morning than with a little in your face, old time, classic punk by none other than Bad Religion?

Packed with plenty of force, their latest song release, True North, is short, it’s sweet (you know, in that raw punk rock kind of way), and it leaves a whole lot of anticipation for their upcoming album, True North, due out Jan. 22 via Epitaph Records. Check it out below.

 

 

If you like Bad Religion check out OurStage artist Fiction Reform.

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Punk Isn't Dead. It's Just… Different.

Once upon a time, people used to listen to this thing they called ˜punk rock’, and they would put safety pins in their noses, get funny haircuts, and advocate anarchy in the streets. Nihilistic rebels and apathetic outcasts lurked in the back alleys and dark basements of a few select cities for the better part of the ˜70s, all the while building an empire before anyone even knew it was happening. However, after a brief detour through new wave, post-punk alterations, this sudden uprise seemed to fade away as rapidly as it began. But where did punk rock go? Where are the mohawks, the plaid pants, and the wayward misfits of the golden years we all used to know and love? Have they been lost into the dark abyss of what used to be, never to be seen again?

Yes. Well, mostly, anyway. However tragic it may be that the traditional Punks and Skunks are no longer bombarding the music scene with stripped-down, chugging guitar breaks and monotone shouting, the punk rock nucleus still lives on. Despite what the old-school anarchy stalwarts may claim, punk is by no means dead. It’s alive and kicking, with more teenage angst bursting at the seams than ever before. It just looks a little different and, of course, depends on how you choose see it.

So where is it, you ask? It’s blowing up all over the mainstream rock scene. Bands like Four Year Strong, A Day To Remember, and Rise Against, who have all made appearances on the Billboard charts, are leading the way for the contemporary punk movement. Granted, these groups aren’t ˜punk’ in the traditional sense, but they’re the product of years of development and evolution as punk rock has absorbed different trends and influences over the years. (more…)

Businessmen, Bankers And Biomedical Engineers: Rockers With Degrees You Wouldn't Expect

Earlier this month, Bad Religion founder Greg Graffin announced that he’s taking a break from touring after the band’s summer dates in Europe. But the reason is not to work on a new album. No, he’s going Ivy League, teaching a class on evolution at Cornell this fall.

He already has the nerdy but cool professor vibe down

The news might come as a surprise to fans of the legendary punk pioneers, but Greg (or Dr. Graffin) actually earned his degree from Cornell (the guy has a PhD in zoology), wrote a best-selling science book/memoir and even has an ancient bird fossil named after him. And as it turns out, Graffin isn’t the only rocker who gives credence to all those Be cool, stay in school PSA’s. Quite a few performers earned degrees in fields that might completely surprise you.

We knew Gregg Gillis, a.k.a. Girl Talk, was a smart fellow… not just any old schmuck can weave together seemingly unrelated musicians like Queen and Rihanna and make it sound both awesome and original. But we never would have had him pegged for a Bachelor’s degree-wielding biomedical engineer. Even more surprising? Gillis actually worked in biomedical engineering while he was building his career as Girl Talk. Lucky for us, he quit his day job to focus exclusively on music in 2007.

...is this the look Graffin was channeling in his picture?

Milo Aukerman, frontman of SoCal punk band the Descendents, inspired the title of the group’s quintessential first album Milo Goes to College when he was studying biochemical engineering from UCSD. He eventually earned his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. There really must be something punks like about advanced degrees, because the Offspring have had two smartypants in their ranks. Frontman Dexter Holland has a Master’s degree in molecular biology”he left USC when the Offspring blew up while he was pursuing his doctorate. (Thank goodness, because while we don’t know much about molecular biology, we do know that we love Pretty Fly for a White Guy.) Former Offspring drummer James Lilja must not have been as certain about the band’s future as Holland was; he left in 1987 to pursue his own medical career…as a gynecologist. No, we’re not making this stuff up.

While these degrees may seem unrelated to the career paths of the musicians who wield them, plenty of artists have degrees that fit perfectly with their musical persona. Andrew Bird has a Bachelor’s in violin performance from Northwestern, which isn’t too surprising given his masterful fiddling. The lyrically gifted Ted Leo, of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from Notre Dame in 1993 and equally wordy Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo earned a Bachelor’s in English from Harvard in 2006. Cuomo isn’t the only Harvard alum; Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine graduated with honors in Political Science in 1982, and we can only assume that fueled Rage’s socially-conscious lyrics in later years.

Rivers Cuomo is rocking that graduation cap

So what can we take away from studying the careers of these multi-talented musicians? Besides the obvious”they’re way more intelligent than we’ll ever be”it all comes down to this: cut records, not class.

Ernie Ball Winners Rock Out With A Year's Supply Of Free Strings

Every month, Ernie Ball selects one winner from one music channel to be the recipient of a years supply of free strings. Each month, a different genre is chosen and axe wielders of all shapes and sizes get the opportunity to win. We caught up with winners Fiction Reform and The Worsties to learn a little more about their playing style, major influences and favorite guitarists among other things. Check out their responses below:

Jesse Worstell (The Worsties)

Playing Style: “My style is a mixture between punk and riff rock. Lots of powerchords mixed with some riffy goodness.”

Favorite Players: Jimi Hendrix, Mike McCready, Tom Morello, Jack White, Prince

Major Influences: “I caught the music bug in high school so my biggest influence in the beginning was anything from the grunge era, especially Pearl Jam. A lot of the albums in the ’90s were easy to play along to, so they were pretty much my guitar teachers.

Currently Playing: “My main guitar is a black Gibson SG Standard. I also have an arctic white Fender American Telecaster and a white 1985 Japanese Fender Mustang.”

What was it like to win? “When we received the news that we had won a year’s supply of strings there was a lot of celebration, mostly because Ernie Ball was already my preferred string. It couldn’t have come at a better time. We’ve been on the road quite a bit and strings can be expensive, especially if you’re going through them so fast… and it’s not always easy to find a music shop while out playing shows. We don’t have to worry about that now for a while. It’s been one of the best prizes The Worsties have received for sure!”

Aaron Chabak (Fiction Reform)

Playing Style: “My playing style is mostly a blend of classic punk-rock power chording and blues licks that I picked up listening to Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. I like to stay minimalistic when possible because Brenna can really belt out the vocal melodies.”

Favorite Players: “My list of favorite guitar players is always growing. It started with Jimmy Page, Jerry Cantrell, Eddie Van Halen, all the guys in Bad Religion and Fletcher from Pennywise. Lately I’ve been into Matt from Muse, Zach & Tim from Rise Against and recently I’ve been going back over Descendents albums.”

Major Influences: “I can track most of my inspiration back to Dave Grohl. The first time I saw him play was with the Foo Fighters at Memorial Hall in Kansas City when they were promoting their first album. I’ll never forget how cool he was on stage. And that guy plays everything like a badass!”

Currently Playing: “Right now my main guitar is a Gibson Les Paul Standard and I recently got a goldtop LTD EC-400 that I’ve been really impressed with. The guys at Krank also turned me on to their new Nineteen80 series amp and it rips!”

What was it like to win? “Winning free strings is an awesome feeling! It’s easy to skimp on changing strings when you’re a starving musician and it’s horrible for your tone. Having a year’s worth of Ernie Ball’s keeps me sounding my best every night so I’m very thankful.”

You can check out the riffing of Aaron Chabak and Jesse Worstell in the playlist below: