Bamboozle is a clusterfuck of androgynous dudes, 16 year-old girls, crappy bands, and carnival rides. But as I recap the weekend I'm going to be keeping the negative at a minimum and instead--focus on the reasons why I was there. That being said...
The Hoodwink Festival is a pretty awesome concept: Bands performing a set of cover songs by an artist/band of their choosing. Sounds cool, right? For the most part it was. Sure, there were a slew of bands trying to be "ironic" and "funny" with their choices, and a few who seemed to make sincere selections but just didn't have what it takes to pull off the covers. But hey, it was what it was. I passed on said-artists and stuck with the bands I was planning on seeing whenever I could.
The first act of the night was Set Your Goals, who took on the music of Dave Grohl and affectionately referred to themselves as Set Your Grohls. The guys had fun with it, decked out in flannel and their drummer was sporting a wig that varied with the band they were covering (black for Nirvana, blonde for the Foos). Set opener, "In Bloom" brought one issue immediately to attention--the vocals. While Jordan's vocals were solid, Matt's seemed frail and emotionless, and it had definitely had an impact on the set. The rest of the band was on-point throughout, though, alternating between the Foos and Nirvana, hitting up most of the big hits (i.e., "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "My Hero," and "Everlong"). It would have been nice seeing them take on a song that was a bit more their speed (i.e., "Monkey Wrench" or "The One") but it was still fun.
Up next was Bayside performing the music of NOFX. Way cooler than expected. Anthony hit the mark vocally and the rest of the band played tight and fast. The song selection was on-point, complete with fan favorites and a few rarities. There was a circle pit, a brief story about Fat Mike calling them and demanding that the set be recorded. I was impressed. Not much else to say, except that it was really funny hearing Anthony Raneri, one of emotional rock's poster boys singing about lesbians fisting one another...
Bayside's Set List:
- The Cause
- It's My Job to Keep Punk Rock Elite
- Perfect Government
- Liza & Louise
- You're Bleeding
- Stickin' in my Eye
Up next? Sum-41 ripping Metallica's balls off. Dissapointing. Next band.
The Ataris took on the Misfits, and while I only caught a few songs, this was definitely a treat. It wasn't perfect, but neither are the Misfits. Kris Roe went guitarless for the set and rocked out while singing "Skulls," "I Turned Into a Martian," and "Where Eagles Dare." Pat from Anti-Flag was hanging out in the crowd, watching with a discerning eye. It was a bit odd seeing a "punk rock celebrity" in a crowd go so unnoticed.
After watching most of the Ataris, I trekked back over to the main stage to watch New Found Glory cover Green Day. I was expecting this set to either be a total trainwreck or a pleasant surprise. I was pleasantly surprised. The one weak spot was Ian's inability to pull-off Mike Dirnt's fancified bass licks. Other than that, though, the band was spot-on.
Jordan gave up his usual vocal style in favor of a spot-on Billie-Joe impression, and the band did a solid job of making the songs their own while keeping the energy up. The set-list was extremely well-balanced, with a nice balance between the "hits" and favorites selected by the bands. For the latter, members of the band got on the mic to talk about why they wanted to play certain songs (Ian's love for the movie Angus and the song "J.A.R." made me particularly happy). This set pretty much made my night.
New Found Glory's Setlist (In No Real Order):
- Welcome to Paradise
- Nice Guys Finish Last
- Armatage Shanks
- 2,000 Light Years Away
- When I Come Around
- Geek Stink Breath
- J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Revla)
- Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)
And finally? Anti-Flag performing the music of the Clash. Their set was spot-on, but also exactly what one would expect. No real surprises here. A traditional punk band covering one of the genre's pioneers, complete with snotty vocals and passion. Anti-Flag loves the Clash and it showed. I wandered over as they were finishing up "Police on my Back," and the set rolled on with "Career Opportunities" and "Janie Jones" (two cuts that are still relevant today). Of course, they made sure to include some fan favorites as well ("Should I Stay or Should I Go" and set-closer "I Fought the Law").
Overall, it was a great show. I suck at writing reviews. But hey, I tried, right? Stay tuned for Bamboozle Day #1.
One week ago today, my grandfather went in for quadruple bypass surgery. There was quite a bit of bleeding. It sent several other organs into shock. His liver started failing, things looked grim. Thankfully they were able to stabilize him. And now? Slight improvements here or there, but things are still looking bleak. The next few weeks will be critical. One infection and things could take a turn for the worse. Shit.
Last Thursday, the girlfriend and I got into a fight. Our first big one, really. I'm still not sure who's to blame for it. I was too sensitive, she got defensive. She took it personal, I kept pushing to fix it. Really, I think the blame is on the both of us. Things feel changed. But they don't seem to be getting any worse, nor do they seem to be getting any better. I haven't felt like myself since this all started. I feel like a shell, really. Something's missing.
That being said? I'm off work for the next week. I have never needed a Bouncing Souls show more than I do right now. Tomorrow night will be one to remember. I plan on losing my voice, getting sweaty, letting loose. I need it. And the next morning? It's off to Jersey for Bamboozle. I plan on forgetting about home for three days, having drinks with friends, and enjoying the carefree air that summer festivals tend to give me...
Thanks music. Sometimes I wonder if you know how much you help me. Seriously.
And uh, hey. I'm really sorry for the melodrama. But fuck. I think I've earned it.
This feels like the beginning of the end. When the routine begins to crumble. Slowly at first, but rapidly progressing until it completely fades away, taking the daytrips, the sleepovers, the pictures, and the inside jokes with it.
Of course, as I said: It simply feels like the beginning of the end. What can I say? I'm a pre-depressionist. But I'm willing to cross my fingers and hope for the best...
Note: I stole that last word from the Lawrence Arms. God forbid I make it through an entry without an obnoxious, cheesy, and painfully obvious music reference.
There's quite a bit of doubt surrounding this release. But I can't lie: I'm beyond stoked for this album. While I'm definitely a bit biased, the leaked demo was a solid track, "Know Your Enemy" works great for what it is, and the b-side "Lights Out" reminds me of a brighter version of Insomniac tracks. I have high hopes.
And I will not be listening to anything other than b-sides or singles prior to the album's release. It will be a struggle. But hey, we all have our own little goals that help us get through the day and feel accomplished, right?
For me, these goals are usually in the vein of suppressing anxiety, not staying late on a Friday, avoiding calories and excessive musical purchases, attempting to find some friends in this hell hole of a hometown...
Let me have this one little victory. We all need 'em. Last night sucked. I really need one...
Lights out, here comes the night,
As the darkness falls over the light
Lights out, there goes the day
And this fear that comes won't go away
And I'm losing track of time
In the corners of my mind
And I'm living out my private suicide
Lights out, I lost myself
In the space between heaven and hell
Lights out, finding my way
Till I waste my time losing the way
And I'm losing track of time
In the corners of my mind
And I'm living out my private suicide
Last night was a good night. It was a subtle reminder that some people actually enjoy my company, occasionally laugh at my jokes, and appreciate my honesty. I can make friends. All I need to do is put myself in situations where I'm able to do that sort of thing.
That's always the tricky part, though, isn't it?
Regardless, I'm in a great mood today. Massachusetts has finally been blessed with great weather; I spent some time in the backyard talking with the parents, got some sun. And the rest of the time was spent listening to music and basking in a little victory.
Additionally, a few forum posts I've written recently have really made me consider why exactly I was drawn to punk rock in the first place. Until recently I had never really thought about the appeal in any sort of great detail. It was never anything I felt was conveyable. But I think I'm starting to shape it into words. That'll be posted when I get the words onto the proverbial page in a manner that makes sense.
As hilarious as this bit is, it doesn't do him justice. Check out Anthony Jeselnick's stand-up, if you're into the likes of Jim Norton, Ricky Jervais, and other brutal comics.
His brief set on episode one of Down and Dirty with Jim Norton might be a decent starter point. Y'know, if you don't mind jokes about AIDs, Jesus, suicide, or a few other offensive things. You have been warned.
It's also worth noting that this man will be on-stage at Bamboozle on May 2nd. That should go over well with the scene queens...
I had an entire post planned out for tonight about some new music I spent the day listening to at work (Valencia, Mansions, Norma Jean, Riverboat Gamblers) but I got sidetracked by this week's episode of "Lost," an ice cream sundae, the AP.net message boards, and this adorable picture of two sun bear cubs...
Seriously. That's a legit picture. How adorable are those li'l guys? Wicked hahdcore, brah.
An article about a potential radio format switch has left me feeling anxious the past few days. Yet, I'm strangely glad I decided that I didn't want to be a part of the industry a few years back. But still. If that station goes away, much of my high school experience will vanish with it.
Fuck you, nostalgia. And fuck you, corporate. The world doesn't need another pop station, nor does it need another overweight, middle-aged man arguing with other overweight, middle-aged men about the best way for the Patriots to win more games.
The answer is always the same: "More D." So keep your fucking sports talk out of my alt-rock.
Am I the only one who misses this band? This band has had a profound impact on my life over the years, and one of their shows in particular had quite the impact on me. It was life-changing, really. I'm sure I'll tell that story eventually, but for now I'm just wishing they hadn't broken up.
Their last two albums are, in my opinion, masterpieces. And they served as perfect bookends to their career (comparing perfectly, in a way, with Destruction by Definition and Battle Hymns). More than that, though, those two slabs of plastic echoed precisely what I was feeling in terms of the world around me when they were released.
I'm still kicking myself for missing their last tour. The show was in Boston, I was in Connecticut, and there was a blizzard. I contemplated the drive and ultimately decided: "Whatever. They'll come around again in a few months. They're always on the road."
Dammit. Why do all the great bands fall victim to the laziness of the masses?
Got my Polar Bear Club vinyl lot in the mail today, coupled with a sweet poster. The vinyl is very well-done and I intend on framing one of my copies and slopping it on the wall alongside Latterman, Hot Water Music, Alkaline Trio, Lifetime, Jonah Matranga, and Frank Turner. All important artists and releases to me.
As excited as I am to listen to it on one of the three colors, it's going to have to wait until the weekend as I am absolutely drowning in work. I've been working excessively late and/or from home the past three nights and it's getting to be a bit much...
Keep that head up. Only two more days 'til Friday.
When she says we don't see each other enough, I always feel a twang of guilt. Followed by a sharp pain in my heart. Mostly because there's nothing I can do and she never attempts to make me feel guilty about it. She's just venting, expressing frustration.
I'm busy, she's in school. I live a half-hour away and work late during the week. I've finally found something worth fighting for. We can do it...
It'll be one year on Saturday. I best not fuck this shit up.
Worked a tattoo convention today in the southwestern portion of the state. There's nothing like spending two hours around people with ink to lower one's self-esteem. The confidence--whether it be forced or not--in that room is always painful for me to witness. In a way it makes me jealous. In another way, it makes me proud to be the way I am.
Unwilling to fit any sort of mold. Because, y'know, everyone who dresses like a pin-up girl must enjoy Social Distortion. But they aren't allowed to like bands that sound exactly like them. Just Social Distortion. And occassionally Tiger Army.
On a very related note? I'm a judgemental jerk. I should work on that.
PS: I see myself ranking this new Fake Problems record very high up on my favorites for the year. It skinks it's teeth into my ears more and more with each listen.