It’s July the 1st, and for us, that means summer is in full swing. We’ve been so busy that the season has snuck up on us, and here we are without an album of the summer to call our own yet. Well, contender number one has just dropped. It’s called Penny the Dreadful and it’s by our old friends Those Mockingbirds. New Jersey’s finest have been building a formidable set of songs for this, their debut LP, and it is worth the wait. It’s rock and roll that revels in the guitars, drawing inspiration as much from current modern rock as from the great melodic guitar slashers from the ’90s, including Stone Temple Pilots (with better lyrics) and the often overlooked Hum. Get it on iTunes now – it could be your go-to summer rocker. thosemockingbirds.com
Taking place on May 18 and 19, Skate And Surf 2013 will welcome over two dozen performers and over ten thousand screaming music fans to Freehold, NJ. Check out ticket information here and view the full lineup below. (more…)
While Hurricane Sandy’s destructive path through the East Coast delayed or cancelled almost all live music events in the Mid-Atlantic tri-state area, there is one show that will still go on. This Friday, Jersey boys Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi will play a massive televised benefit concert to benefit those affected by the record-breaking storm. Billy Joel, Sting, and Christina Aguilera will reportedly join the Garden State natives at the show, which will broadcast live on at 8 p.m. EST on NBC and NBC.com, as well as network affiliates USA Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, E!, Style Network, and G4. All proceeds from the telethon will go to the American Red Cross, which has been assisting victims in the aftermath of its devastating landfall this past Monday. Last night, at a concert in upstate New York, Springsteen dedicated “My City of Ruins” from his album The Rising to the storm-battered Asbury Park, the seaside New Jersey town where he and his band gigged regularly at the beginning of their career. To quote another appropriate song from The Boss, the Jersey faithful always seem to take care of their own.
If you dig Springsteen, check out OurStage artist Blake Guthrie!
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For the past six years, fans of all musical genres have flocked to the Bamboozle Festival at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. They endured the rain, the blistering heat, the outrageous food prices and the pain of standing for hours on end, but”at the end of the third day”they left the stadium parking lot with ears ringing and faces grinning.
Before East Rutherford, however, Bamboozle was located in Asbury Park, New Jersey and was known as the Skate & Surf Festival. Similar to the Vans Warped Tour, Skate & Surf was a twelve-hour event featuring over forty bands. The indoor festival featured such prominent “scene” bands as Allister, The Movielife and From Autumn to Ashes. In the years that followed, the newly-named Bamboozle Festival grew larger and larger, featuring performances from some of the biggest acts in pop, rock and rap.
This year, Bamboozle creator John D’Esposito is on a mission to bring back the intimate feel of Skate & Surf, while also booking high-profile performers from all genres. Headliners like Bon Jovi, Blink-182, Foo Fighters, Skrillex, Incubus and Mac Miller appeal to a wide audience, while smaller “niche” bands like the recently-reunited The Receiving End of Sirens, The Wonder Years and Like Moths to Flames will certainly draw their own crowds. In celebration of the festival’s tenth anniversary, D’Esposito even moved Bamboozle back to Asbury Park, where concert-goers can enjoy scenic ocean views instead of a crowded parking lot. And what would a party on the Jersey Shore be without a performance from DJ Pauly D?
What else is different for 2012? Here are a few of Bamboozle’s biggest changes:
- Get your rice ready: The Rocky Horror Picture Show…starring Bamboozle performers? Needless to say, it will be hilarious.
- No more tickets: The Bamboozle will use electronic wristbands instead of paper tickets. The wristbands will help staff to keep track of the crowds and eliminates the need for attendees to bring cash.
- Higher admission prices: Moving the festival to Asbury Park was not cheap. Neither was bringing on some of the biggest names in popular music today. Accordingly, admission prices are significantly higher this year (three-day passes are $81 more than last year), but the increase will still probably be worth every penny.
- Linc’s Very Special Guest: “Linc’s Special Guest” is a performer that shows up for a surprise set during Bamboozle. Past performers have included everyone from Jack’s Mannequin to Journey. But this year, Linc’s guest is “Very Special,” and is a Sunday night headliner. Rumors have been swirling for weeks, with the most popular guesses being Bruce Springsteen and Nicki Minaj.
Bamboozle 2012 will be held May 18-20 in Asbury Park’s North Beach area. More wristband purchases and more information, check out their official Web site.
Never been to Bamboozle? This trailer from the 2011 Bamboozle Documentary gives you a taste of what this epic weekend is like. You can watch the full documentary here.
There are plenty of ways to commemorate a successful career: compilation albums, tribute concerts, limited-edition merch…and if you aren’t a musician, probably an office party with ice cream cake. But the Bouncing Souls are one-upping everyone this summer, playing through their entire collection of studio albums in a slew of four-night punk extravaganzas in cities around the world. We sat down with Souls frontman Greg Attonito to talk about why the time was right for this eight-city tour, the ability to stay relevant for more than twenty years and how even in the digital age, the Jersey-based four piece is still repping the DIY lifestyle.
OS: While a lot of bands who have been together as long as the Souls would choose to commemorate their career with a retrospective album, you guys decided to do a tour where you played through all of your albums. What was the inspiration behind that?
GA: We have been talking about playing all our records live for years so it was just a matter of time. This year at our Home for the Holidays shows in Asbury Park, we decided it was time. It was a lot of memory work re-learning a lot of songs we haven’t played in years, but it really paid off. It ended up going over really well for us and for the audience I think. So…Why not take it on the road! So that’s what we decided to do.
GA: We chose cities that we have had consistently good shows in over the years. We also wanted to work with promoters that were enthusiastic about the idea. So¦ those are the Lucky eight cities!
OS: The Souls and Chunksaah have always had a very DIY attitude”you had to be resourceful and creative about touring in the pre-Internet age. What does that DIY attitude translate to in 2011?
GA: In more difficult economic times I think we are forced to become more DIY in all parts of our lives from the food we eat to the music we make. Most of us are working more and earning less so we really have to be more practical than ever…but I think its good for all of us because most of us have been living pretty wasteful lifestyles. So I’m glad we as the BS family have learned how to be as DIY as we can. We need that knowledge and attitude now more than ever.
OS: How do you feel about the industry now? Did you prefer the days when you got the word out about shows through flyers in record store windows, or are you a fan of doing that online through social networking?
GA: It feels like industry is in labor right now about to give birth to a new way of doing things, so it’s a trying time. I don’t want to repeat the past but I do sometimes miss how simple things were when we first started. The challenge is to carry that spirit on! I’m not a fan of social networking but I do have a Facebook page and I appreciate how convenient it is to inform people about new music/live shows etc. I’m not into it enough to Twitter and I’m also not interested in posting my every life movement. Overall though the Internet is a great thing for all of us to communicate quickly and for free!
GA: It’s a cliche, but we “strike a chord” that goes beyond age I think. Our music is for the heart, and it helps us all remember we are not alone and we are here in life to enjoy ourselves and live for each other. Why wouldn’t people come back for that? That’s why all of us band members keep coming back.
OS: You guys don’t reinvent yourselves as often as some musicians do, but there have been some significant changes in The Souls’ music over your career. What are some of the biggest changes you’ve gone through over the last two decades?
GA: We have intentionally tinkered with our writing styles over the years by including producers in the process. It has been great in some ways and not so great in some ways but we have learned a lot throughout. All that we have learned we are putting into the new songs we have been writing. The main focus is to enjoy ourselves every step of the way.
Since you mentioned re-inventing ourselves it might be a good time to let you know about my new solo record! Its called Natural Disaster and will be coming out on Chunksaah records this summer. It was fun for me to get completely out of the Bouncing Souls writing dynamic, get a fresh perspective and see what happens. The record sounds great and I have a renewed attitude toward creating new BS music. It will be fun to see how people respond to it because its not like BS music.
OS: Now that you’ve been together more than twenty years, do you have any advice you wish you could give your teenage selves? Anything you wish you did differently?
GA: No. I wouldn’t do anything differently. I would probably tell me teenage self not to be so stressed out, be honest with yourself and take the time to learn how to be comfortable with just being myself…Thats probably it. But my teenage self probably wouldn’t have listened to my forty-year-old self! [Laughs]
Interested in catching the Souls as they play through all their albums this summer? Check out the band’s Web site for a list of the upcoming tour dates.
Joanna Burns is pulling a Frank Sinatra on all of us. Like the iconic swing artist, Burns is a native of New Jersey. (Hazlet, New Jersey to be exact, which she notes is also the same town that gave us Jersey Shore’s Sammi Sweetheart. Lucky girl.) But much like Frankie, the songstress isn’t singing about the Garden State from which she hails. While Ol’ Blue Eyes planned to make a brand new start of it in NYC, she looked West, to the city of brotherly love, for inspiration.
Burns wrote the lyrics to Philadelphia as she sat in her high school music theory class. She had applied to the musical theater program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and was waiting anxiously to hear their response. She makes her impatience clear in the song’s opening lines: I’ve been waiting for an answer/But I’m getting tired/I’ve been waiting for a green light/That says I can start the next four years of my life. If she seems more preoccupied than most high school seniors, she had good reason”a confident Burns had decided to put all of her cheesesteaks in one basket and only applied to the U of the Arts.
During that waiting period, thoughts of Philly consumed her life. Of course, since I was harping and dwelling on hearing from them, everything around started to seem like a sign,” she says. “˜Oh look! A Philadelphia Flyers bumper sticker! That’s a sign. I’m getting in!’ She notes that her obsession is funny in retrospect, but it definitely explains the song’s chorus, where Burns croons, Philadelphia’s everywhere/It’s in my face and draws me near/The city of big brotherly love watching down on me.
Burns delivers lines like, Don’t you pity me, don’t humor me/I know where I’ll end up now, with all the confidence of a high school senior ready to take on the world, but despite her bravado the singer wasn’t accepted to her dream school. Of course, it’s not all bad. Everything happens for a reason, she says. I don’t know that I would have written half the songs I did if I went away to college that year.
Give Philadelphia a listen below, and be sure to check out Burns’ upcoming album The Green Year.
Have an interesting story behind your lyrics? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Having been a constant presence in the modern rock scene for nearly a decade, post-hardcore band Senses Fail have refused to conform to current trends on and off the stage. Their fifth studio record, The Fire, a testament to the bands evolution and experiences grappling with self-doubt, anger and forgiveness, was released on Tuesday. We got the chance to speak with frontman Buddy Nielsen about the new record, the first-ever Senses Fail DVD and being on tour with Bayside.
OS: Senses Fail recently returned from touring Australia. How did the crowds there react to seeing you live for the first time in four years?
BN: It was awesome! I had a great time. Everything went really well and I thought the shows went great. I can’t wait to go back. Australia is really my favorite place to go.
OS: The Fire is the first Senses Fail record with Zack Roach on guitar. How has the lineup change affected the band and the writing of the record?
BN: Zack didn’t really do a ton of writing, it was mostly the three of us. Heath (Saraceno, former guitarist) had a lot to do with the writing, but he was kind of a guy who came in after the fact and added to it, he didn’t really write the bulk of the stuff. Not a lot has really changed, as far as the writing process. Garrett (Zablocki, guitarist) usually wrote the bulk of it and he and Dan (Trapp, drummer) arranged it, then I would come up with the melodies and lyrics and help arrange it. I think people would expect that there would be a change, but there really wasn’t.
OS: Senses Fail’s music seems to get heavier with each release. Is this a conscious decision or has it happened naturally?
BN: It just happens. It’s hard to explore different avenues, going a poppier route. It’s very linear, what you can do with something that’s catchy, as opposed to taking a different vibe and taking a different feeling and taking a heavier route. We try to write songs that we would like to play, ultimately…stuff that isn’t too out of the box for us. I think a lot of bands tend to jump the shark sometimes in trying to be experimental. Sometimes it works but I really think most times it doesn’t.
OS: There’s a way to progress without going too far.
BN: Yeah. You’ve got to know who you are as a band and who your fans are, too. You can’t just abandon what made you popular. You can’t get ahead of yourself and what you think are.
OS: That’s something you show on The Fire. You guys have definitely come a long way but you still sound like Senses Fail.
BN: Oh, awesome, thanks! That would be what I want to hear. I don’t like when my favorite bands decide to do something stupid and change their thing. It’s like, “Why? You just ruined it. I liked you for this reason but you decided to mess up what was good about it.” I think bands that have been around for a long time feel a sense of urgency to keep up with what’s going on or out-do what’s going on to stay relevant. It’s hard not to go, “This is what’s popular, should we do this? Do we need to have all these breakdowns and then a techno part? I hope it’s not what we need to do.”
OS: Tell us about the title track of the new record.
BN: “The Fire”… that song, to me, just opens up the record to what the record’s going to be. “The Fire” is about going through a process of change in your life with uncertainty, but ultimately telling yourself that you’re at the right place at the right time and that everything’s pretty much happening for the right reasons. It’s kind of a bipolar song where part of it’s positive and then at the breakdown it goes back to reflecting on ways that I have chosen to deal with things and ultimately want to change. Walking through the fire; walking through a time of hardship leaves you stronger and better off.
OS: Your lyrics have have always been extremely personal, but varied, in terms of their themes. What would you say are the lyrical themes of The Fire?
BN: Self-exploration and working up a lot of self-doubt and anger…definitely anger towards relationships that I’ve had within my family and coming to terms with them. I think forgiveness is definitely a theme on the record…and just trying to figure out what to do when you’re 26 and in a band. The same things that everyone else is trying to figure out.
OS: You’re releasing a live DVD with the first pressing of The Fire. What was the concert shoot like?
BN: We did it last Halloween in New Jersey and it came out great, I’m happy with it. It was our first time that we did a live DVD and it’s a pain in the ass (laughs). The whole process is just kind of a pain in the ass. But it came out really good, I’m psyched. People have been asking for it. We’re not the kind of band that’s going to put on a Nine Inch Nails kind of a show where it’s very visual and stuff, it’s more the kind of show that you need to go to, you know? It’s just a band playing music and it’s kind of hard to sell that on its own, nowadays, with people not buying records and people just not buying things, period. I think it’s better off that it comes with the record, because it’s an added bonus, like, “Hey, here’s a live show, if you’ve never seen us.” You can’t ever really get what it’s like to be at a show, unless you’re there…or unless you’re watching a Muse DVD and it’s just hundreds of thousands of people and a crazy stage show and lights. That’s visually entertaining and you can sit there and watch.
OS: You’re touring with your friends in Bayside. What are you most looking forward to while on the road with them?
BN: I’m just excited to finally be on tour with a bunch of bands that I don’t think suck. We tried, with the last record, to bring along bands that were doing well and that didn’t work. We’ve been a band for nine years now and a lot of our fans are a little older and they go to the bar…they don’t want to see some of the shit that’s going down now. We made some decisions in underestimating how much our audience has grown and what they would like to see. I think that they would probably like to see stuff more along the lines of what we’d like, which is great. I think this tour is going to do really well. I don’t know how much the crossover is between Bayside fans and Senses Fail fans, but I definitely know that Senses Fail fans do like Bayside as well.
OS: And the other two bands…you were saying on Twitter that people should definitely listen to them. What are they like?
BN: Oh yeah, they’re great bands. Title Fight is punk rock, hardcore band. Like Good Riddance, kind of. Balance and Composure sounds like a mid-90s Midwestern emo band. They’re very spacey but heavy, not in a breakdown way…like Deep Elm Records kind of stuff, which is really cool. There are times when they sound like older Recover. They’re doing very well so it should be fun.
OS: In addition to providing vocals for Senses Fail, you also front a punk band called Bayonet. Are there any recording our touring plans in the works for 2011?
BN: We have a bunch of stuff recorded and we have a bunch of stuff we’re still writing, it’s just in between having to write this whole record and then record it, I haven’t really had any time to do anything with that. But I think our full-length will come out next year on Vagrant.
Check out Senses Fail on tour with Bayside at these upcoming tour dates:
10/28 “ Omaha, NE at The Waiting Room
10/29 “ Denver, CO at The Summit Music Hall
10/30 “ Salt Lake City, UT at In The Venue
11/01 “ Seattle, WA at El Corazon
11/02 “ Portland, OR at Wonder Ballroom
11/04 “ San Francisco, CA at The Regency Ballroom
11/05 “ West Hollywood, CA at Troubadour
11/06 “ Anaheim, CA at House of Blues
11/07 “ San Diego, CA at House of Blues
11/09 “ Mesa, AZ at The Nile
11/10 “ Albuquerque, NM at Sunshine Theatre
11/12 “ Dallas, TX at The Door
11/13 “ Austin, TX at Emo’s
11/14 “ Houston, TX at Warehouse Live
11/16 “ Jacksonville Beach, FL at Freebird Live
11/17 “ St. Petersburg, FL at State Theatre
11/18 “ Lake Buena Vista, FL at House of Blues
11/19 “ Atlanta, GA at The Masquerade
11/20 “ Charleston, SC at The Music Farm
11/21 “ Greensboro, NC at Greene Street
11/23 “ Towson, MD at The Recher Theatre
11/24 “ Sayreville, NJ at Starland Ballroom
11/27 “ Philadelphia, PA at Electric Factory