Before I divulge, you need to understand that my family has been going through a lot of financial stress and two people I knew died this week...so this is what kind of broke the camel's back.
I was looking for some retail therapy, thanks to my christmas gift cards, to soothe my woes...
I'm part of the 52% of people that still buy cds...because the fear of hard drive failure/viruses prevents me on relying solely on itunes/the ipod.
Anywho, my list of "must buy albums" has been increasing and before I partake in a SmartPunk shopping spree, I must make the effort to head to FYE to avoid shipping+handling fees and satisfy my "must have" music craving.
So I stroll on into the FYE in my town on a gorgeous Sunday and head right on over to their awesome, elitist, "Punk/Ska/Hardcore/Screamo/Powerpop" section that only seems to exist in this FYE in north jersey.
I start to slow my stroll when I notice something very strange...the aforementioned section seems to be extremely awkward...there's some cd's that have never appeared int eh S-Z section before like "Van Halen".
I start to get nervous...I walk over to what is supposed to be the bulk area of the "Punk/Ska/Hardcore/Screamo/Powerpop" section and I see BRITNEY SPEARS.
My eyes start to dart all over...Spice Girls? Ashlee Simpson? Everything is under Pop/ROCK. WTF?!
I feel face fall and my shoulders drop...what is happening here?
A sales guy comes over and asks if I need help with anything...I swallow and say, "What happened to all this? Why is it all mixed together?"
and he replies with the dreaded response:
"Corporate. They want everything mixed together...it's fucking retarded and doesn't make sense"
I quickly turn to the other side and pretend to look for something...anything that makes sense.
I want to cry. I want to turn over the aisles.
The greatest thing about this store was being able to walk in and go to the section that I liked and be able to find whatever I wanted...my friends bands, my favorite bands, my new favorites...and now I'd have to go down every freaking letter and artists to find what the hell I was looking for.
As I pretend to browse, my mind draws a blank on what I had wanted to buy. Normally, the "Punk/Ska/Hardcore/Screamo/Powerpop" section was a nice enough size that I could just scan the artists and be reminded of what I wanted.
The employee hears me huffing... "You look really upset right now."
I don't even want to talk to him out of fear that I might actually cry right in the middle of FYE over a reason as silly as "they took away my music genre" or maybe it's because of all the emotional home stuff that I was specifically trying to avoid had followed me into the store and was threatening to reveal itself...
I just respond with, "My heart really hurts right now".
We discuss the change and he is optimistic that the wrong will be righted. He offers to help me look for what I can't find...it turns out they didn't have one of the artists anyway...
I leave with a "must have" and a "i guess i kinda want this" along with a sticker of the employees band to check out when I got home.
Once in my car, I popped in a cd with which I had no emotional attachment.
Breathe. Just Breathe. It's just FYE.
or is it?
I currently have a really cool freelance job
In fact, most days I look around and wonder how I can actually call this a job.
I'm currently a Production Assistant for a "documentary/tv show" on a famous punk band which is scheduled to air in April on TV.
Yes, I have my own cubicle and I sit around getting fat, but...
Most of my day is spent watching footage of these guys on their year long tour around the world.
I watch them perform, go to sketchy places, and experience culture that I never would have known about if I hadn't seen this footage.
Before I got involved with this show, I only knew the band's name and understood their impact on the punk world.
Today I can say that I'm officially a fan.
Maybe not in the way that most are--
I mean, I only like a handful of songs--most likely all of them are on the "best of" album--and I've never even seen them live.
However, I feel like I've learned so much about them within three months...
I've watched so much of their life behind the scenes that they've almost become my unofficial buddies.
When the lead singer came into the office two weeks ago, everyone was really excited.
I'll say, for now, that though he's controversial onstage and in the scene--in person, he's very lovable.
It's REALLY hard to keep this whole project a secret from this website--SPECIFICALLY this place.
Every day I have to fight the urge to post a million threads and news updates to inform people about what's going on.
However, I'm under contract to keep it all private...until juuuust the right moment.
I hope that those who currently find this band controversial or really know nothing about them, will get a better perspective and develop an appreciation for them--even if they aren't a fan of punk music.
As the show airdate gets closer, I'll share more feelings on this project.
So stay tuned...I don't want to disappoint!
From doing this, I will say that,
*I wish I could make Punk Rock Vids/Docs for the rest of my life.*
First of all, the original title was going to be "The worst reader Q&A in magazine history"
but I thought this current title was more appropriate in regards to the subject matter.
Second of all, I made a promise to myself that this blog would be strictly music related...however, the title says it all--I really have no where else to put this where an audience could appreciate the stupidity of this piece.
Ok, so here goes,
The Record's Sunday magazine known as "Parade" has a section called "Personality Parade" written by Walter Scott.
This is the Q&A:
Q:Who stared the current trend among young male stars of wearing their hair over one eye?---Ernie Melcher, Abington, PA.
A: It evolved from the Goth look, popular with teens. But it was High School Musical star Zac Efron, 20, who made it hip. "The look is called 'emo chic,' because it expresses deeply felt emotions," says Beverly Hills stylist Kim Vo. To us, it looks like a bunch of guys channeling the peekaboo hairdo of '40s film star Veronica Lake.
So Friday night I saw the "Chillen Across America 08" tour with two friends of mine. One of them hearts Silverstein to death and I thought they were good at Saints and Sinners so I thought, "why not?" Most, if not all, of this tour was at Saints and Sinners and I've been getting into this entire scene as of late...trying to see what's good and who I like...just basically trying to keep an open mind about the whole thing.
Anyway, The Devil Wears Prada came on and I remember seeing them a S&S and thinking they were pretty good in regards to the crappy audio issues that occured during the day.
I'm drinking with my friends and one of the says "Hey Alyx, check out that keyboardist" and I look up and James Baney is playing a couple of notes with one hand and proceeds to dance around the entire stage throughout the song...
I immediately crack up from the booze and ridiculousness of the situtation. He literally would go to the keyboard...press a couple keys and then be TDWP's personal cheerleader. He was next to the bassist, behind the drums, stage right, stage left....
I was in utter awe. I mean, this is either the coolest favor or the greatest hoax of this band.
I walked away with several questions, many jokes, and one strong, alcohol-driven desire to meet The Devil Wears Prada--only to ask for James' autograph.
Look at him go...so temporary...yet so energetic...
Maybe I'm too cynical or just clueless. If any TDWP fans want to enlighten me on this subject matter or pass along James' number to me so I may discuss matters further...feel free.
So after recently seeing, what I can conclude as, the best Envy on the Coast show I've ever seen, I've done a lot of thinking...
Mostly about the importance of a band like Envy on the Coast has in my life and maybe the music world.
I became a fan in December of 2006 during the Valencia Holiday shows and I never looked back. They were thus added to the roster of "My Favorite Bands" for their ability to put on an awesome live show, their well produced/written/recorded EP and their lyrically poetic full album, and their vocal arrangements.
I really didn't know much about their personalities (and I still don't) until I participated in the EOTC chat here at absolutepunk. It was my first ever community chat with a band and it turned out to be a really fun and informative night. A lot of my burning questions were asked because, let's face it, I'm not ballsy enough to walk up to them and talk about the album in person. I'd much rather let them enjoy the night and do their thing...
The chat gave me an entirely new-found respect and appreciation for the band and their music. By the time I attended the Highline Ballroom, many of the songs had taken on a whole new meaning for me. And may I just say that standing next to members of their family during certain songs puts things into perspective as well...a very emotional experience overall.
Overall, the band is extremely well grouped and know how to emulate their talents in a professional, intelligent, and enjoyable demeanor.
The EP was full of possible hit after hit. It's a crime that radio stations/the film industry didn't get their dirty paws on at least ONE song from that album.
Lucy Gray came a long full of lyrical prose. I was blown away by the writing on this album. The execution of vocal arrangements along with various audio samples and instrumental experimentation leaves me with nothing but praise for them.
Just Ryan's explanation gave me such a different outlook on the entire lineup:
St. Therese of Liseiux had a big influence on many aspects of the record. Wordsworth had an impact (which you probably could tell) as well as Coleridge and Keats. I think that I'll always retain an appreciation for the things that hit me during the writing of LG, but experiences change people and we're definitely evolving and bending and breaking and reassembling ourselves daily.
Just look at lyrics for "...because all this suffering is sweet to me..."
She stutter steps through dreams and to relatives it seems,
that history, just hasn't happened yet.
I know a girl who shares a name
with a guardian don't be ashamed,
she was a saint .
could that be about St. Therese?
The perspective Ryan gave regarding "If God Smokes Cheap Cigars..." completely blew me away. It really struck a cord in me regarding so much of my past and proposed future.
No matter what you religion you believe in, there comes a point in your devotion where books and doctrines and saints and priests mean nothing and you're left with this gap. That gap is faith. What if there was no gap? What if you opened up your bible, the koran, your personal journal...and the answers were right there. Would you do anything about it? If you knew you'd go to hell for the things you'll do...would you change?
After that chat, I went back and listened to the song and now have a completely different view on it. Here's just a small piece:
"I've never coveted nor killed and I was taught to say Amen.
I've read of bloody hands and incorruptibles.
I'm just hoping for the best...
I can't believe that you could say,
"The answers unlock this gate..."
'Cause if you knew his name, not a thing would change
you'd still be wishing you were blessed"
go and listen to the entire song. it really is something that is thought-provoking.
There's so much to talk about regarding this album, but this is getting rather long. The last part I'll insert is from my favorite song on the album. The lyrics are absolutely perfect in my mind. It's so well-written and is actually one of the main reasons that I wrote this piece. I can't listen without developing all these mental pictures that bring this song to life. It's so heartfelt and important.
"Tell Them She's Not Scared"
She's got an army of saints armed with her prayers. (Broadcasting from hospital beds)
Wake the angels (This is only a test, she said)
Tell them that she's not scared.
She won't be taking the next flight out of here. (Broadcasting from hospital beds)
The angels dressed for the wake
But she sent them home, she sent them home
With a handful of bullet shells.
Ryan said something that I felt showed just as much maturity as his quote regarding religion and pretty much made sealed the respect deal for me:
We're not concerned with the principle of having a male or female fan base...but we hope that the females who do come to see us play are attending for the proper reasons. The dreads helped to weed out a few of the females who were showing up for the wrong reasons...
Envy on the Coast has set a standard in my eyes regarding good music/band quality. On the Pac Sun Tour they put together an intimate stage setup with mature segues and a solid set-list. Their lyrics and overall outlook regarding the music scene is something that up&coming bands should take note on. These guys put so much heart and effort into what they do and every now and then they stand up and remind us that it's about the music...not just about the perks.
ok so this is my third attempt at this entry, because every time I write it, i feel bad about not respecting his privacy.
all i know is that a certain bassist from a certain band is using a certain myspace to share his deep feelings of affection and regret with his much younger, ex-gf.
it's all out in the open if you really look
i'm just disappointed if this is all what it really appears to be.
it's his life and he can do whatever he wants
but he's not being very smart about it.
i don't know what i'm more turned off by:
the fact that it's there for everyone to see that he's still blatantly fawning over her
or the fact that they obviously dated when she was a minor...probably a really young minor.
After discovering Valencia in April, I made it a point that shows were something I really wanted to make a part of my life.
That summer I think I saw Valencia four times and Cute is What we Aim For at least three times.
They both happened to share Boys Like Girls for their tours, which turned out to be really strange.
I ended up seeing BLG play at almost every show I went to -- School of Rock, Loyale Lanes, CBGB's etc.
I was pretty stubborn about opening up to them until their third show--Their song "Thunder" had really grown on me...there was something about the chorus that reminded me of Dashboard.
Well, "Thunder" was dubbed the official "soundtrack of our summer"
it held various meanings
about the tours
and one most importantly for a dear friend of mine.
Martin just blogged about it being released as the next single.
It's not a big shock...personally, I thought they'd have it released by now
but, the whole point is what will happen to this song
it all goes back to what i had said about "music being too personal"
as soon as this song hits radio stations across the world,
a private song amongst friends will become everyone's song of the minute.
media will run it into the ground, thus forming a mass amount of "haters"
who think the song "sucks cuz it's played WAY too much"
ya know what?
I love "Hey There Delilah".
I requested their first album and then I put it aside because it wasn't as good as I had originally thought.
and then in 2005 my friend Spenser played "H.T.D." for me and it was really special.
It became a song for just us--one that no one else really new about...
--just a simple song of hope and declaration of affection
and then radio basically raped it of it's uniqueness by ambushing listeners ears 24/7
now, people hate it and want it banned from the music world.
let me tell you,
now that I work in the city
the song has even more meaning for me.
so i hope that everyone finds their own meaning in "thunder"
and aren't as harsh as they are now towards "hey there delilah"
*this is merely for fun and a result of too much time on my hands.
But, with that said, florida seems to have been quietly climbing the ladder as far as music is concerned for the past couple of years.
i look forward to seeing the growth of many of these bands as well as what else florida has to offer, music-wise.
also, probably alot of bands are left off the list.
comment them so i can listen in.