Friday, May 30, 2014

This Wild Life’s Kevin Jordan Gives Us: The 7 Songs That Define A Break Up

If you don't know This Wild Life by now, you should. Recently they were signed to Epitaph Records, which is well-deserved because they have beautiful music and have worked hard to get to where they are.

If you listen to Kevin talk, or just listen to their music, you know he's quite a deep, emotional person, and maybe one of the most perfect people to have contributed to an article like this one.

I don't frequently repost articles from other music websites or music news, but this is a subject very close to my heart (breakup playlists) and I absolutely love what Kevin has put together. It's pretty perfect and definitely going into my phone as a new playlist.

Check out the sample and the article below, as well as This Wild Life's website and music, if you haven't yet.

Song #3 :

"Daughter - 'Still'
Find It: 'If You Leave'

It's hard to choose a more relevant song off this record because the entire feeling of the record is so consistent, but this song particularly stuck with me more than others. It's about continuing to sleep with the person you've broken up with. Sleeping with someone is such a vulnerable and special thing to me, I can't just do it with someone I don't have true feelings for and care about. When you've broken up with someone and have so much hate in your heart but continue to let your body connect with them, it's an awful feeling. When Elena Tonra sings, "Hate is spitting out each others mouths, but we're still sleeping like we're lovers. Still with feet touching, still with eyes meeting, still our hands match, still with hearts beating", it reminds me of a time when I hated myself every moment I was with my ex after we broke up. I just felt so sick of myself and this song represents that cold feeling so well."


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mae - Back From The Dead

I normally don't post news stories on my site, but anything about Mae is too good to pass up! 

Mae has come out of the woodwork and celebrating the ten-year anniversary of  their classic debut album Destination: Beautiful and fan coveted compilation Destination: B-Sides! They're doing this with an online performance at on June 7th. The band will be performing from their studio, and fans will have a chance to interact with them.

In addition to this exciting news, Spartan Records has also announced they plan to release Destination: B-Sides on limited edition vinyl record for the first time in the near future. The exclusive vinyl will be available for pre-order during the band's StageIt performance, where a portion of the proceeds raised from the show will go towards re-recording of a few tracks, which will be included on the vinyl pressing of the album.
Pick up StageIt tickets now at
For More Information:

Manchester Orchestra & Balance & Composure & Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band - House of Blues - 5/3/2014

The only thing that can top seeing one of your favorite bands (Manchester Orchestra) in concert, after almost ten years of listening to them on record, is seeing them play with another one of your favorite bands especially one you've been following since they started - a proud moment. 

Balance and Composure has been playing smaller venues than they're worth for years. Their star quality has been obvious for a long time, and it only took the world catching up with the times to realize it. When Manchester Orchestra announced they'd be taking the two on tour with them, it was a very exciting moment for all involved. Their show at the House of Blues in Hollywood sold out almost instantly, to no one's surprise. The line I encountered upon arrival to the House of Blues was the first sign of just how popular these three bands are. I've never stood in such a long line to get into a show before, and it was great to see the excitement fill the venue as everyone was let in. The only thing better than a concert where you know all the words to most of the songs, is a show where the whole crowd is singing along with such emotion and passion, it becomes an entirely different type of experience.

Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band is a hidden gem of a band, because while they may be somewhat unknown for the time being, their fame is coming up rapidly. They were the perfect band to open for this tour, starting with high energy music that got everyone excited for the night of beautiful sounds to come. A surprising amount of people knew them and were able to sing along, but I guess in LA that's not that unusual.

Balance and Composure was on next, and sadly, singer Jon Simmons was quite sick. He alerted the crowd of this pretty early on, but it was already easy to detect, for someone like myself who has seen them play multiple times. Despite his apologies for his voice not being up to par, his vocal performance was barely affected. The band definitely picked up any slack due to his illness, making for an incredible set. They played a mixture of songs from all of their albums, pleasing all fans, new and old. It's a difficult venture to play a show soon after a new album has been released, but I didn't hear any complaints or shouting from the crowd. I was surprised, however, at the lack of stage diving, crowd surfing, and moshing attempts that I normally see at their shows at smaller venues.

Manchester Orchestra didn't disappoint in the two claims I'd heard about their live performances: great sound... and LOUD sound. It was one of the only times I've ever worn earplugs in my show-going life, and I was glad to have them. It was a pleasure to be able to hear an array of songs from all of their albums, being that they just released their newest album, Cope, and nobody really knew what to expect in terms of a setlist. I was impressed by the amount of people who were even able to sing along with the newest songs and how rowdy they got during such an emotional time.

By the end of their set, as though anything could make such an evening better, the band brought up Matt Sharp from Weezer to perform a couple of songs with them, which made the entire crowd into an even louder, cheering mob. You could definitely tell it was a surprise because of the volume of the screams.

Photo by Up Late Reviews

Photo by Up Late Reviews

Photo by Up Late Reviews

Photo by Up Late Reviews

Photo by Up Late Reviews
Photo by Up Late Reviews

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Manchester Orchestra - "Cope" Album Review

Recommended Tracks: “Choose You” & “Every Stone” & "The Ocean"

My initial thought having listened through the album all the way the first time was how amazing it was. Several times later and I was thinking, “Wow, they’ve managed to make an incredible album that doesn’t have me sobbing my eyes out. I’m actually happy about this.” If you've listened to Manchester Orchestra often or even at all, you'll understand what I'm talking about. Right away, I felt the high energy, dynamic, in your face type of music and writing that I'd missed being in my life without even realizing it. 

I missed the sensual crooning, the complex lyrics, the sadness hidden even behind the loudest and most brutal songs. Even though writing about music has been and continues to be a common thing gracing the internet, words sometimes just aren't enough to express how music makes you feel. Oops, and there goes the whole "not crying" thing. 

This band has a way of grabbing you by your collar and shaking you until all your feelings fall out and you're embarrassedly trying to grab them all back up and shove them back inside, like a woman who drops her purse and all of her private items are on display. If you don't have a very good poker face like I suffer from, you'll probably want to be alone when you listen to it, at least for the first few times. That way, when you inevitably break down into an emotional mess, you won't have anyone to hide from. 

It's loud, it's messy, it's emotional, but at the same time, it picks you up and drags you down and brings you back up again in such a way that you won't be able to stop listening. It's addictive and I want more of it.

From start to finish, I was so captivated and impressed with each track. I know I've said it before, but if an entire album can satisfy me and not have any tracks I tend to skip over, then color me impressed. The hardest part about writing this was choosing which songs to recommend.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Say Say @ Bardot Hollywood 2/24/14

Photo by ULR
I haven't been to that many shows since the new year and returning back to the US from Israel last month. I have all sorts of excuses, but all that matters is I'm getting back out there, and I can't explain how happy I am that seeing my buds in Say Say was one of my first shows of the year. It's easy to say that seeing friends play makes you biased, but these guys are genuinely so talented.

Photo by ULR
Singer Adam Reiter has a way of capturing a raw passion in his live performance that is rare to see on a stage. There's something about the way he sings that carries so much emotion and depth to it. Paired with well written lyrics, a talented drummer (Nick Jordan) and singer/keyboardist Jesse Gurtis, it's a captivating combination.

Live music usually has one of two effects on people. Either it acts as background to a scene, like in a bar or festival, where people aren't paying much attention, have their cellphones out, are chatting and barely notice that someone's playing a show, or it silences a crowd. And the latter is what Say Say did to Bardot on this special night.

I've personally become obsessed with their music, whether it be their live shows or listening to the recorded tracks and reminiscing about how great their live performance is. It's truly an experience you have to have in order to understand. This band is definitely going somewhere huge.

Photo by ULR

Friday, February 7, 2014

Mystery Skulls & Robert Delong - El Rey Theater - January 31, 2014

Robert Delong
One of the things I love most about a live show is when I haven't seen the band or artist perform in a while, so that I have something to compare the performance to. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of pretty much any type of performance - new or old to me. There's just something great about being able to say to yourself, or if you're fortunate, the artist, "Wow, you've come a long way." In this case, I was able to say that very thing to both artists.

I first saw Robert Delong perform at Echo Park Rising almost 2 years ago, Summer 2012. He wasn't very well-known then, at least not to my knowledge (or by the appearance of how many fans he had at that point). He had much less fancy equipment then. Fast forward to January 2013 and he's selling out a headlining tour and having the Mowglis surprise everyone on-stage.

Mystery Skulls (aka Luis Dubuc)is a new project, but it's obvious as the time passes that Luis has such diversity as an artist. Having just seen his first performance as Mystery Skulls last summer and enjoying it thoroughly, I wasn't sure what to expect when I found out he was touring with Robert Delong. From the moment I stepped into the room and saw his extensive set-up on stage and felt the energy of the crowd, I knew that he had grown even just in the past months since summer.

The way that he owns the stage and has this presence over everyone, that isn't looking down on them, but making an experience everyone can enjoy together, is astounding. He truly has a way of capturing an audience. Although many of the fans may have showed up initially for the headliner, Robert Delong, I can't imagine anyone left forgetting Mystery Skulls' name.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Balance and Composure - "The Things We Think We're Missing" Album Review

One of the saddest moments of album reviewing is having to compare two albums or multiple albums by such a brilliant band. The old and the new are rarely the same; sometimes it will disappoint and sometimes it will be exactly what you're hoping for. Separation was and probably always will be a favorite album in not only my mind, but many fans of the alternative/post-hardcore genre (or whichever genre a person may feel fits the band best). With songs that I'm likely never to forget on Separation, the anticipation for the new release by Balance & Composure was at an all time high. There's a strong likelihood that many had no clue how the band would be able to follow-up such a masterpiece.

But they did. The Things We Think We're Missing has such a captivating, emotional pull to it, you could think it was planned as a continuation of Separation. The recording quality on this album sounds really stellar, and definitely a step up from the past. Heartfelt lyrics sung with such desperation, you can't help but getting sucked in emotionally.

Although each track is different, the album comes across almost like a story, each different song a chapter that all ties together smoothly. Starting off with a bang, the first song "Parachutes" quickly became a favorite, with its first lyrics, "My vacant heart, how is it that you split in two parts? I'm checking in to reminisce, a roller coaster in the dark to places I don't want to go." A great description of how B&C songs can make one feel  - like you're on a roller coaster.

From the very beginning, you will be able to tell you're in for an incredibly bumpy, but beautiful ride. As always, Balance & Composure brings long-time listeners to an emotional place that not many bands can. Although  not quite as devastating as previous songs, the tracks on this album definitely make you feel similar things.

"Back of Your Head" instantly became another favorite, with its hard-hitting, melancholy lyrics and softer vocals. The way that they can deliver such an emotional message in such a strong, but calm manner really throws me for a loop sometimes and leaves me shaken and impressed.

"Notice Me" really hit home, with true B&C style vocals that make you feel like they're crawling up the walls in desperation to be understood and to save you from feeling the same way. "And I can see the evil games you love to play. Don't give a shit, take all of me. Left me in the open, cut me deep, cut  me right."

The worst thing about listening to this album was trying to choose favorites to include in the album review. "Cut Me Open", "When I Come Undone" , "I'm Swimming" , and "Keepsake" should also be mentioned as tracks you've got to listen to if you want to get an idea of the album's well-rounded sound, if for some reason you haven't yet committed to listening to the whole thing.

All in all, being able to make life's hardest moments easier has become the biggest thing that this album has in common with Separation and what the band seems to be best at. They obviously understand what you've gone through, because they've experienced it too, and they want so desperately to ease the hard blows that come with life.

If you're unfamiliar with the band,  RIYL: Brand New, Polar Bear Club, and Joyce Manor.