Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Internet's Fourth Most Dangerous Word - Emo


It's a word that's starting to generate quite a buzz. It seems that no one wants to be associated with it anymore. 

Over the past few years "emo" has evolved from a term describing emotionally charged music into an insult.
No one associates it with good music anymore. 

Perhaps that's because of an endless stream of bad fashion choices (see Gabe Saporta at right), horrid rap/rock acts taking over Warped Tour (see 3oh!3, Brokencyde) and every teenage kid thinking they can identify with a scene they know nothing about. Let's be real, what 15 year old has ever had his/her heart shattered? Quit bitching, and just take the trash out like your dad asked you to. 

Well, it looks like those damn kids have once again ruined what we love. This week Sentry, an internet parental control organization, released a list of the top 10 words parents are monitoring and blocking from their children. "Emo" was ranked the fourth most dangerous word.

Seriously? What about the word "emo" poses a threat to teens? Is it the stereotype that if your child is "emo" he/she will cut themselves and be depressed all the time? I'm pretty sure "emo" actually refers back to those bands who used their emotional side to make great music (see Jimmy Eat World).

Either way, "emo" came in fourth on this list of most parentally monitored internet searches:
  1. Suicide
  2. Alone
  3. Dope
  4. Emo
  5. Bully
  6. Depressed 
  7. Skinny
  8. Breasts
  9. Willy
  10. Hate
Maybe it's just me, but I think this is ridiculous. It's been blown out of the water. How horrible was it when My 
Chemical Romance was accused of being a "suicide-cult" by the British media because of the death of a fan? A coroner stated that the fan's suicide was to be blamed on "emo" music's obsession with death. Right, because we're all just so dark. It's absurd and opinionated.

If your kid is looking up suicide and depression on the internet, how about you try talking to them and figuring out what the problem is instead of giving them restrictions. I blame this on bad parenting and the disconnected youth of America that never learned the true meaning of music. What a shame.

What do you think?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Five Bands You Should Know

It's becoming really hard to find new music that fits your style with so many bands popping up overnight on myspace and purevolume. If you're having a tough time, check out this short list of five bands you should know. With any luck, you'll be hearing more of them in the future.

Me Verse You - St. Louis, MO
Me Verse You are fresh to the scene. Members Dave Schroeder and Joseph
Hamilton started this group up after their last outfit, So They Say, disbanded in 2008. After changing their name from The Audio to the much cooler Me Verse You, and getting the line-up straight, the guys recorded their first record under Matt Hyde. The album entitled Another Enemy is not in stores just yet (no formal release date has been given either). You can still check them out via myspace. Their music is a great mix of punk-rock and pop influences. Be sure to listen to "Come On Baby" and the album sampler they have up. Hopefully in '09, these guys will be the next big thing.

Our Lunar Activities - United Kingdom
Any blink-182 fans out there? You'll be pleased to know that Our Lunar Activities
had their latest album produced by none other than Mr. Mark Hoppus. Apparently, Hoppus hooked up with OLA in 2008 and invited them to record with him and Chris Holmes (New Found Glory). They currently have a few shows coming up in California and some overseas. They've got a soft-punk sort of sound to them. Be sure to listen to "It Comes In Waves" and "Break My Fall" on their myspace. Check out some of them recording with the master. 

These Green Eyes - New Haven, CT
These Green Eyes can finally give Connecticut a good name in the music scene. With a new album set for release at the end of this month, they're heading to the top. They have all the qualities of a great punk act. Heartfelt lyrics, driving guitars, catchy licks and a lead singer that the audience can actually relate to. The east coast sound they have has landed TGE a spot at both Bamboozle and Warped Tour this summer. Check out "Crimson" and "Self-Inflicted." 

Broadway Calls - Rainier, OR
This grassroots punk band just recently signed to SideOneDummy Records. Fresh off a European tour with Alkaline Trio, BC is back in the studio recording their new record. They say they have close to 20 new songs that are being looked at for the album. Hopefully, BC can hold on to their do-it-yourself style and sound. It'd be nice to hear a band out there that still has that basement feel to their music. All the 80s synthesizer garbage today is already getting old. Be sure to listen to "Classless Reunion" and "Back To Oregon" for a real taste of BC.

LoveHateHero - Los Angeles, CA
Post-Hardcore up-comers LHH are a crazy bunch rockers that are out to shred your face off. 
They've secured a few dates on this year's Warped Tour, but don't seem to be doing much else. Last year was pretty big for them though.They had a South American tour, and guitarist Kevin Thrasher was an internet hit with his insane guitar lesson videos. Be sure to check out LHH's "Amity" to get all that head-banging out of your system.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Punk Goes Pop 2 Review

My addiction is worsening. It seems like every chance I get I need a hit. I can't stop - listening to the new Punk Goes Pop 2 album that is. The record dropped in stores Tuesday, and it's already on repeat on my ipod and currently occupying the stereo in my car. Plain and simple - it's awesome. Thus said, we need to talk about it. So here we go, song by song.

What Goes Around... by Justin Timberlake
Covered by Alesana
The first song on the album starts out quick. The guitars and drums are heavy and quick. The singing is melodic during the verses, and wicked heavy during the breakdowns and choruses. I'm talking high-pitched screaming, but it works so well. Not something you would expect for a Justin Timberlake cover, but isn't that what makes it punk? This song just makes you want to mosh, which is just awesome given JT belted out the original with a piano.

Apologize by One Republic
Covered by Silverstein
Another thumbs-up. Silverstein did a great job of staying true to this song. It sounds like the original, only heavier. The gain on those amps was turned up just a tad, and some palm-muting make for a fuller version of the One Republic hit. Plus, the breakdown has got some of that awesome screaming that Silverstein are known for. This one will get stuck in your head, trust me. 

Baby One More Time by Britney Spears
Covered by August Burns Red
This one comes in as one of my least favorites on the record. It's got to be because the whole song is just screaming. Now, don't get me wrong, I love screamo as much as the next scene kid, but this is a little much. Besides, the actual music seems a little off. The guitars scream too much, and the drums are too fast for a Brit cover. I'm just not feeling it, but to each their own.

When I Grow Up by The Pussycat Dolls
Covered by Mayday Parade
Mayday gives this song an almost creepy feel during the verses. But then again, The Pussycat Dolls are pretty creepy in general, so it works. Anyway, the choruses and breakdowns are alright. You get a punk feel from the band and the singing. And I mean, it's just plain funny to hear a dude say, "I wanna have boobies." It passes.

Over My Head (Cable Car) by The Fray
Covered by A Day To Remember
Easily one of the best songs on the album. There is an awesome use of crunchy guitars, screams, pick-slides and melody. If the original version gets stuck in your head, expect ADTR's version to stay that way for days. "Over My Head" blows their cover of Kelly Clarkson's "Since You've Been Gone" out of the water. Listen to it, love it. Seriously.

Smooth by Santana
Covered by Escape The Fate
This song fits perfectly with ETF. It's packed with dirty guitar riffs, a smooth rhythm and lyrics worthy of Craig Mabbitt's style. Not too many screams in this one, which works. The solos are dead on too, which is what Santana is known for. It's a nice mix into the track listing. I mean, who doesn't love this song in its original form? ETF just made it cool for us to admit it openly now, so hell yes. Rock on.

Ice Box by Omarion
Covered by There For Tomorrow
Umm... Is it bad to admit that I've never heard the original of this song before? Is it bad I don't know who Omarion is? Uhh... Is it bad that I've never heard of There For Tomorrow either? All in all, I've got nothing for this song. I don't like it enough to listen to it, and since the artists here are as foreign to me as the Italian language, I'm just going to stay neutral on it. 

Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger
Covered by Chiodos
I never really liked this song much in it's original, but Chiodos do a good job with it. "I'm not sick, but I'm not well" just seems fitting for Craig Owens to sing. Every article out there about that guy has got something to do with his semi-messed up head. So keep it up Chiodos, we like it. The guitars and such work nicely with the singing, and finally, a song without intense screaming.

Beautiful Girls by Sean Kingston
Covered by Bayside
If you know me, you know I've got a soft-spot for Bayside, but this song is really awesome. The original gets you bobbing your head, and so does Bayside's rendition. Anthony Raneri's raspy voice works so well with the song. There are the classic Bayside crunchy guitars mixed with a plethora of drum beats and a subtle bass line. There are even a few "Doo-Wops" toward the end. What can be better? A+ boys, another song that will keep us hooked.

See You Again by Miley Cyrus
Covered by Breathe Carolina
If your motto is "Heck No To Techno," don't listen to this song. Synth-pop-punk would sum this one up. Now, it sounds cool if you're in the right mood. (That mood being pre-club on a Thursday night where you are ready to dance out the week's frustrations) There are a few screams that make it punk, I suppose. Breathe Carolina do switch up a few lyrics too, and they just so happen to be my favorite ones in the song. "My best friend Leslie said, 'Oh, she's just being Miley'" has become "When all my friends say, 'You're just being crazy.'" It's a little sad. Overall though, a cool song. I'd still like to see someone cover a harder version of this song someday. (Maybe Forget The Future will do it? wink-wink)

Disturbia by Rihanna
Covered by The Cab
Now, normally I wouldn't listen to The Cab, but these boys hit this song just right. The only way to describe it is punk meets pop. It's perfect. They stay true to the original, but it's a punk song. It hooks you worse that Rihanna's original. Plus the chorus will hit you harder than Chris Brown. It'll have you singing all the way to court.

Toxic by Britney Spears
Covered by A Static Lullaby
Yes, the pop-princess has two songs covered on this record. This song goes up in my top three for the whole album though. It's hardcore, it's screamo, it's punk and it's Britney Spears. The video is insane. The guitars tear through the verse, build-up and chorus. ASL nailed this one. One thing I can't figure out though, is it okay for me to blast this in my car? I mean, it's screamo and such, but at the same time it's Brit. How are people going to react? Who cares, I'm cranking this one up kids.

Love Song by Sara Bareilles
Covered by Four Year Strong
This pop song has been turned into what I like to call East Coast punk-rock. Four Year Strong hail from Worcester, Massachusetts. Their version of "Love Song" is sped-up and rough around the edges, just like any music coming from the Northeast. It's pretty sweet though. Forget the piano Bareilles, FYS's version takes full use the overdrive knob and some nice cymbal action. "Love Song" will get you going, I promise.

I Kissed A Girl by Katy Perry
Covered by Attack Attack!
Okay, I'll clear this up. This Attack Attack! are from Columbus, Ohio. Don't get them confused with the British band with the same name. Big no-no. Anyway, this album wouldn't be complete without Katy Perry being covered. Attack Attack! do a decent job with it. Once again it's techno heavy, but it's cool. The insane screamo/metal breakdown brings you back to punk. You might want to dance while listening to this one though, which is completely okay so long as it's not in public. All in all, good song. And for their sake, I hope the band really did get to kiss a girl. At least someone's getting some.

So there you have it kids, my take on Punk Goes Pop 2. Overall, it's an awesome album, and worth the buy. Word to the wise though, these songs will get stuck in your head. Just give in, it's so much fun. Anyway, feel free to leave your comments and thoughts about the songs. Maybe I missed something, or even better, maybe I pissed you off. I hope I pissed you off, or made you laugh. Either way, enjoy kids.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

When Pop Meets Punk

I recently filled out a survey on Facebook that asked me to tell the world 25 facts about myself. In doing so I was able to conjure up some nostalgic memories about the music scene I have loved for so long. I think around number five it hit me: I miss when pop-punk was pop-punk.

Does that make any sense? Maybe? Okay, I'll explain my thinking there.

Growing up I listened to so many awesome pop-punk bands (pop-punk was yet to be a genre by the way). There was Green Day, American Hi-Fi, New Found Glory, blink-182 and even to some extent Sum 41 and Good Charlotte. It was a selective group, and it was fun.

Then the rest of the world wanted in on the good times. They turned pop-punk into a fashion trend, complete with perfectly manicured pretty boys. And the last few years have shown just how 'popular' pop-punk has become. Personally, I think this is BS. 

Even original pop-punk had some grit and grease around the edges. Remember? Funny colored hair, no fashion sense and a snotty sense of humor.

Well, that all seems gone now. And I have a list of bands I'd like to blame. Here they are:

All Time Low

These kids are barely old enough to legally drink and they're gracing the cover of Alternative Press as 'Band of the Year.' Garbage. They are far too pretty to be punk. Secondly, their music really isn't that good. Imagine listening to New Found Glory with the whinny-voice knob on the PA system turned all the way up. You can't even understand these boys. They're a fashion statement, and their concerts are packed with nothing but little girls. I'd like to think of them as what the Jonas Brothers would have been had they not signed with Disney. Lame.

We The Kings

These odd-balls hit the scene last summer. 
I think they got popular via their music video being played at American Eagle. It must have been that stupid 'Skyway Avenue' song. How original boys. No one ever had a similar song called 'Ocean Avenue.' (cough-Yellowcard-cough) Complete with the in-style haircuts, these tools took Warped Tour by storm. Again, lame. I think I am most critical of this band because a certain ex of mine loved them. I blame the redhead lead singer for the worst 
break-up of my life. Thanks boys. You suck.

                                     Metro Station

Now, while I know everyone likes to 'Shake-Shake It,' I can't see these guys ever having a legit career in music. Well, unless they buy their way into the business. Oh wait, they can do that. The freakin' guitarist is Miley Cyrus' brother! What the hell? 

Can't I catch a break? No? Okay fine, I'll keep going.

Boys Like Girls

Well, I think their run is starting to die out. Thank God. They were pretty big for a while, though I don't know how. Pretty hair and arrogant attitudes always brings the 'tween' girls out in full force. Hopefully there's no renaissance with them.

Cute Is What We Aim For

The name says it all. Period.

Okay, so like most of my posts, I could go on forever but I am going to stop myself here. I'm afraid if I do keep going I might just call up that certain ex saying how all this crappy music is making me think of her. Well that's just not cool. I think I'll throw on some New Found Glory - 'My Friends Over You' and mellow out here. Here, watch the video. Yep, it's from 'Flake-and-Bake.' Enjoy.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...