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Getting Past the Industry to Love Music Again
Five and Alive: The Lack Long After
11/24/11 at 09:16 PM by Adam Pfleider
When you're young, music is really cool. But the reality is that you can't ever truly appreciate the music you love until the artists that created it disappear. The day they say, "We're not going to do this anymore. Do not expect new music from us until further notice," is punishing to many of us. There's a Bill Burr joke about appreciating a dog more when you're older, because when you're younger - everything is awesome! "Why wouldn't a dog be awesome?!" The same can be said about your favorite bands. Whether you're reading this and you just discovered that band, or you're an older person like myself who's halfway between giving up on discovering new music because "They don't make it like they used to," and still striving to keep an ear to ground - I hope this week's column sheds some light on why we're all going to be deaf at an early age or clutching our records when we hear about that one-off reunion and so forth.

I anticipated that 2011 would be an amazing year for music just like the rest of the staff and this fine community on the site. What I didn't anticipate was that I would lose three bands this year, that without them, I wouldn't have an opinion, wouldn't be writing and wouldn't devote my life to this thing. Whatever that thing is.

There's more than one reason why the RX Bandits, Thrice and Thursday are cuts in my musical Rosetta Stone. Thinking about it the other day as a third story came to a close, I couldn't have understood what I'm about to say without these three bands, and a few others that really have pushed what I think and continue to expand on my palette of tastes and audible experiences.

Without drudging on anymore, here are five things that I learned about music from three of the best bands I've come across in my youth up until their current indefinite hiatuses.

1) It's Not That "Album X" is Their Best Record, There's Just a Moment Attached To It…

Sometimes it's hard to meet bands and not say, "Hey, [album] is one of my favorite records of all time." Then you sound like every other asshole who thinks their new direction is boring, when in fact it is leaps and bounds above the aforementioned record. The thing is, that first record got you excited and all fan-like because either (a) you listened to really shitty music up until that point or (b) some records just reach certain people at a certain time. Maybe the disc had answers we were looking for or a conversation we just found interesting. The things we learned from it is what keeps it herald as such. We sometimes tend to stick to those bars that were set though. Unfortunately, instead of appreciating when the same bar is raised years later - we tend to get stuck in the first sense of awe from way back.

Which leads us to...

2) Progression Can Kill a Band or Make Them Stronger…

A lot of bands have called it a day after attempting something new and losing a large chunk of their audience. They're fighting a constant uphill battle. You can adapt and fade away or you can progress and lose as well anyway. The variable is how fast you will burn up or die out. If you're good at it. If you have the ability to shift your sound a bit and still turn heads - that's a feat that most can't pull off, and it's how some bands tend to go from a favorite band status to a cult one. This is a huge deciding factor for who my favorite bands generally are. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it is for most, because...

3) The Best Bands Will Challenge You, And It'll Be Rewarding…

I think the best bands - think about it, your favorite bands - will create new records that are not meant to be absorbed right away. My favorite bands - their new records - they never capture me the way that first one did. With time, I actually like chipping away at what I like about them though. When a new record does capture my attention with time though, I'll spin it and spin it and spin it and then go back to the band's whole catalog - see how it really stacks up. The results might just surprise you as you grow older. Those new tastes will reflect on other new tastes and will lead you to more great bands or different styles of music you wouldn't normally listen to. Most importantly, it will lead the best listeners to keep true in being open to new sounds.

Now, that all said, the following will happen...

4) You Will Most Likely Hate Some of What Comes Out…

That's okay. You disagree with your best friends at times? Maybe the sequel to a favorite movie just wasn't good at all. Your favorite beer didn't exactly knock it out of the park with their winter lager? It's okay. Just breathe. Does that mean you now hate a band when there's an extensive catalog of what you love? Absolutely not. This seems to be the one people get up in arms about the most with bands they hold close to. This is one of the negatives about being a person who dictates their life by the crescendos and decrescendos of their headphones. Then one day, you wake up, and see some awful news...

5) Goodbyes are Hard, But Can Be Temporary…

So many of us have gotten into bands long before our time. Bands that influenced the bands we listen to now. We got into them post break-up. It's a different feeling. We can't lose something that we never experienced first hand. (note: A reunion show is nice, but it is not the same thing as the past moment when it was happening.) It's times like these with bands like these that have had this sense of longevity (loosely defined for the sake of argument) that are shattering to many of us. As we've seen in the last couple of years, just because a band says it's over - doesn't mean that it's over too. So in the wake of a year that penned the final chapters (for now) of three amazing acts, I'll hold my discogs close, remember every moment and do my best to share my memories with others and hand them down to a younger generation of listeners. One day, they might get to see that reunion tour. I'll finally get to say, "I was there." I'll look like the creepy old dude in the back, but I'll have my moment one way or another.

- love and respect
Tags: Five and Alive, Thursday, Thrice, RX Bandits, Life
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Show Review: Taking Back Sunday/Thursday Summer Tour
07/28/11 at 12:12 PM by Adam Pfleider
I've been spouting off about nostalgia and such for well over a year now. In a way, it kind of makes me feel old. I finally feel "dated" for the first time in my life. Not only in a sense of "When I was your age," but also looking back on all the bands I've still missed before my time of consumption as well as a few bands I missed during that portion of my time when I was really adhering to new music. What's great about a decade passing is there's some sort of adequate timeline to judge your idols against what came after and those that influenced them before. When you're in the moment, like most of the younger users right now, you have no judgement besides "This music speaks to me. I don't care what you think!" As much as I can have my bitter opinion against yours, you should always strive to have that attitude. When ten years comes creeping up on you, and you have that moment to reflect back, I can only advise you this: take it, be judgmental and see who really stuck with you over the years. Which albums still give you chills? Which artists that changed the way you looked at music are continuing to change the way you look at music? These are the important questions to ask yourself among all the subjectivity that we continue to war over.

At the beginning of the month, I had the privilege to be a guest to go see the Taking Back Sunday/Thursday tour in Houston on the Fourth. Besides having a great night enjoying music and not pandering to every detail of "how well the band was performing," it was really about watching two bands that will always be part of my childhood, and one opener that still excels after discovering the band at their EP release show years ago. There's not enough praise I can talk up when it comes to Colour Revolt. From the first time I saw them, to how each record continues to change course yet still continues to captivate with its blend of raw emotion and executed delicacies, Colour Revolt are one of those bands that are held special to more people than you know and without ever getting some sort of larger recognition. It's a shame, because no matter when I see them, they never disappoint in their live show. No matter how big the room I've seen these guys in, their aura always has a way to fill it and turn quite a few silent until applause.

But Colour Revolt came into my life a few years later, and the two big names of the evening were engrained in my blood since I was sixteen and was at that age of simply eating up new music like it was a bottle of Flintstones vitamins and I was on a binge. Thursday was that band for me when it came to the hardcore genre. Before that I had heard and enjoyed essential albums like The Shape of Punk to Come and Relationship of Command, but Full Collapse was a whole other personal level that isn't detachable to this day. On the band's sixth album, this year's No Devolcion, they have simply reminded many of us how far not only the band have pushed themselves in the truest sense of the word "progression" over the years, but that a quieter and more aural feeling can be just as intense as any heavy guitar riff hammocking under a cathartic scream. With cuts mostly from their new album, the band are just as impacting months after doing a run that reminded us why we fell in love with the band's presence in the first place.

While Thursday has mostly kept a steady fan base throughout the years, it's also always been the same five people (sans the pre-Waiting departure of Bill Henderson and the later inclusion of Andrew Everding soon after Full Collapse) and you wonder what it would have been like if the same stayed true of Taking Back Sunday. Even through all the muck, bad relationships and reunions, the last few years that was Taking Back Sunday still has its memorable moments - you can't deny that. There's some great tunes, and there's some not so great ones - that's music! Music certainly thrives on a natural flow not only in what is processed out, it also has to be experienced among the creative outlet. Watching the "newly reformed" original line-up gave me that feeling. No matter how you feel about the band's self-titled as a product judged against your high expectations (or low ones depending), it certainly feels like the most natural sounding record since the beginning. I felt that standing on stage as well. These were men - years later - reflecting not only on their past few years (the band taking part in Straylight Run's "Existentialism on Prom Night" and Nolan of course singing parts not his own from absence), but they were happy in the present moment as well. That's what shined through the most.

What's mainly been rolling around in my head over the past month (and after seeing the current indefinite hiatus of one of my absolute favorite bands of all time that sits a few notches above the aforementioned) is how some of our most cherished bands exhibit the worst behavior in us (see also: the Glassjaw fiasco of the last few years). We're so passionate about holding onto that special something, that there's a bit of feeling in us that makes us become so judgmental. Most older people will tell you that their favorite bands never made the same record twice. For me, that's easily true. At some point when your musical tastes shift, you start to become a crank about how it used to be and how band X sounds like a refurbished version of your favorite band. What I've yet to understand though is that moment when band Z is no longer a rip off, but reminds you why you fell in love with your favorite bands.

Nostalgia will hit us when we least expect it, but it's a net we always seem to fall in that's triggered by an event most notably associated with a past experience acting as your reference of deja vu. I can hear losing my first love in Beneath Medicine Tree, my parents' divorce in Full Collapse, the best times in my senior year of high school in Through Being Cool, moving to Austin in Mean Everything to Nothing, and even further back, I remember my mother playing records while she cleaned the house on Saturday morning anytime I spin Magical Mystery Tour and Led Zeppelin's II. All those feelings have been rushing back to me in the last year, and I think its surely because enough time has passed. Standing on that stage a few weeks ago seeing two bands I not only grew up with - but grew up with - made me feel that sudden rush of nostalgia to the head.

No matter how fleeting your memories will eventually get, it should eventually lead you to finding the bands that influenced your best kept collections, or appreciating a band you once wrote off years down the line. The Taking Back Sunday/Thursday tour has a lot of different meanings to a variety of people. Some of us saw the headliners in small clubs or practice spaces on the weekend, and some of us are thankfully witnessing two bands that keep pushing themselves years later to refine their sound. 2011 has been a great year for music, but we've yet to see what the next ten years will offer us as a whole. I still think we have yet to see if the next generation has picked up on our influences yet. I think 2021 will be quite interesting to reflect back on. I'll be 35. Wow! Maybe they'll have those mini-Pizza Hut pizzas like in Back to the Future II.

Seriously, can we get those already?
Tags: Show Review, Nostalgia, Thursday, Taking Back Sunday, Colour Revolt, AP.net, Life
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Five and Alive: Past and Future Ruins
04/23/11 at 01:37 AM by Adam Pfleider
I had the first reaction to Thursday's No Devulcion as Geoff Rickly described to me that everyone else had upon their first listen. But after about a week with the album, it really clicks as one of the band's best to date. It's the furthest the band has pushed themselves as musicians, but to longtime Thursday fans, we all should have saw this coming. Here's five songs throughout the band's catalog that were precedents to their new record.

==========

1) "Autumn Leaves Revisited" (A City By the Light Divided) If there's one album that comes close to resembling No Devulcion, it's this one. But the album's closer comes closest to landing on the new tracklisting as it is sonically driven up and down the final seven minutes while Rickly's voice continues building and giving out following the guitars and keys.

2) "This Song is Brought to You By a Falling Bomb" (War All the Time) If "Signals Over the Air" caught some off guard as a single, then this piano ballad was off the radar, but certainly showed the capability of the band to completely step out of any typecasting any critic could even conceivably try to muster up. I remember being frozen in awe when I heard "Empty Glass" for the first time earlier this year, but I can't forget this one did the same some years ago.

3) "Time's Arrow" (Common Existence) Originally "A Sketch For Time's Arrow" on Kill the House Lights, this one shaped up nicely, and I remember it being the song that stuck out best on their last album. Another one where Rickly really stretches his voice and becomes not only a vocal layer, but another instrument all together. No matter the time of day or mood, this song still moves my senses in some way.

4) "In Silence" (Split with Envy) With the opening "As He Climbed the Dark Mountain," I don't think anyone expected a post-rock number like this one to follow, let alone be remixed to close out the band's side of the split. This one pulled out the band's "post" tendencies perfectly, creating yet another driving orchestral number. While Rickly's voice is often thought about as a strong leader of a powerful force, the band more than prove that a captain is nothing without a stronger ship.

5) "How Long is the Night?" (Full Collapse) For all of you wishing the band would write more traditional hardcore songs like on the album we all fell in love with, remember again how it ends. Not only one of the best tracks on the album, there really wasn't a better place to sequence this one than letting it be the final curtain.
Tags: Five and Alive, Thursday
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Late Night Thoughts: Scores, and I'm Not Talking About the Gentlemans Club
03/30/11 at 11:55 PM by Adam Pfleider
Some years back, some friends and I went to see the Great American Noise Tour (I think that's what it was called) in New Orleans. We were all pumped to see Norma Jean and The Chariot, and I was super excited to finally catch The Handshake Murders. Whatever happened to them? Usurper was a killer album. Anyway, so we're driving down I-10 when we look to our left to see the most pimped-out (read: ghetto as fuck) hatchback. The scene: one guy rapping and driving at the same time, one guy chilling in the backseat and then a guy riding shotgun who, to this day, was the best "hype man" I've ever seen. He was flailing out the window. He was in the driver's face. Hell, we were getting pumped just driving next to the car.

Then I realized I wanted a "hype man" for every day things. Tests. Relationship fights. First dates. Partying - of course. Anything to build up a simple stack of confidence that I could pour sweet maple syrup on and devour! Mmmm...pancakes. Yes, we all need that bout of confidence in our lives no matter our path to whatever goal we individually seek.

"Hype" in all its glory is nothing more than the essence the word tells us it is. It's a way to get us excited, and the downfall to all the excitement is not living up to it. As reviewers, critics, general all around elitist dickheads that we can sometimes be - the "fanboys" you consider us - the hype seems to lie in the instant gratification of the score. What's in a score? Why is there a decimal system with Pitchfork? In the years I've read Alt Press, that entire system has changed at least three or four times that I can remember. In the upcoming site for us, we too look to have a new system. That system is still there - the simplest system of saying "Is this worth it? Where does my ten bucks belong? Is the extra five dollars worth a deluxe edition?" Why does that answer lie on a "star system" of sorts?

I'm quite possibly the worst reviewer contributing to Absolutepunk, and not just because of all the writing errors and babble. I'm either into an album, "meh" about it, or can't stand it. That's it. If I ride the middle ground, there's no motivation to creatively write. The simplistic of it is: It's not bad, check it out, it may or may not be for you. If I really love an album, then I'm all about telling you about it. That's how I am normally. I get excited about music and share my thoughts with my friends, co-workers and when drunk, complete strangers. Go ahead, ask anyone I partied with in college. Then there's the albums I can't stand. You either read about them in here, or I get my head chewed off about telling you how I feel. (Writer's note: Wow, I wrote even worse back then!)

Reviews are nothing but drawn out thought and "hype." Make your own decisions (once you actually hear the thing and spend as much time with it as some of us have) about any album. It's not a secret the only winners/losers in a review are the bands, publicists, managers, labels, etc. that rely on good words to further a career. But we should all be aware that at this point all the traditional models of "free advertising" don't mean shit considering leaks, streams and every other online wall now sits between the present and the days when we ran to spew money at the local retailer to grab an album with a single and a loaded (or unloaded) album of either killer or filler. (Now that Sum 41 album title makes sense!)

Do yourself a favor, listen to Chuck D, and don't believe the hype.

Well, unless you've heard Thursday's new album. Because the shit is all real son. Oh yeah, I forgot, to my knowledge only Jason, Drew and I have listened to it in this community. I think we're the only ones in this thread worthy of any sort of outstanding remarks. Seriously, keep the laughs coming.

- love and respect
Tags: Late Night Thoughts, AP.net, Critics, Reviews, Thursday
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Late Night Thoughts: The Language That We Speak
02/20/11 at 09:25 PM by Adam Pfleider
It has been quite a weekend. I worked four straight shifts in a row, with about 4 hours each night worth of sleep between them. So, after an exhausting weekend, I of course went down the street to one of my favorite bars in Austin to grab some drinks with friends. Tonight, as I was swigging back a rocks glass of scotch, we were watching a local singer-songwriter play her heart out. Whether it was the exhaustion of work or the tip in the drink, it was wonderful. Her words cut and were simplistic and savage in their stab.

All I gathered from a name was Cass. As she played for "tips and booze, in no particular order," I was enthralled. A lot of thoughts ran through my head: Have I felt this way about something in a while? Was it the booze? Was it her voice, and the distinct, yet referenced sound and pitch it carried? Maybe it was her swagger and the way she carried the songs through indescribable passion, or was it just her executed flow?

You have to wonder when outside factors begin to present themselves in the decision side of art. When did "tips and booze" not cut the lifestyle? I'm not speaking in terms of touring bands and young upstarts, but as far back as someone making an art of your minstrel song to your "fair lady" or respectfully desired "wench."

Furthermore, when did I begin losing touch with discovery, and began looking at music with more anticipation and outlandish expectation? Should I - not only a critic, but as a generally passionate absorber of the musical spectrum - set my expectations low and let them ride out with absolute experience and absorption of the material - whether short-term and on the spot like tonight, or seeing an unexpected opening band, or what if it's a favorite band you've been following for a long time and can't wait for their material and it seemingly takes you just a few more listens than their last few releases?

We get so caught up in preconceived notions of not only what we think music should sound like, that we tend to forget why we fell in love with music to begin with it - its constant relentlessness in keeping us on our toes, of moving us or even, to an extent, being an outside force on our actions and involuntary and voluntary emotions of heat of the moment bursts of life.

I've had the humbled opportunity to hear two of my greatly anticipated albums of 2011 in the last two weeks. They're on repeat most of these days. They've lived up to my exceptions, but what are my expectations from your subjective ones?

Sometimes we get so caught up in all this squallier of anticipation, we tend to forget the innocence of connecting with music on a level that can only be measured through personal grandeur and movement: how loud you raise the volume, if you roll your eyes back at certain points in a song or album, or loose yourself in a paralyzing state of both mind and body.

I find that the recognition of ones involuntary actions towards music to be our greatest and most rewarding subjectivity and one that cannot be measured by some asshole critic like myself.
Tags: Late Night Thoughts, Life, AP.net, Thursday, Former Thieves
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Show Review: Underoath/Thursday Winter Tour 2011
01/22/11 at 12:31 AM by Adam Pfleider
As many of you know, or may not know, I've been working on a book about some of the post-hardcore albums I grew up with. In the past few years, I've interviewed bands, talked about the process of recording said albums and what went into and what was taken out of the final product. What motivated them? What drove them? What did they want to clean up from previous albums? What elements did they want to keep - and so on.

Besides all the technical workings and outside influences, the best information I've gathered about these records is usually the things you wouldn't have thought of: things in the production, recording errors, songs that should have remained off the album and so on. After getting off the phone with Geoff Rickly last year, I can never listen to Full Collapse the same away again. It's not like "I can never listen to this album the same way, because I have a higher appreciation for it" in the vein of my interview with David Sandstrom of Refused about The Shape of Punk to Come, but in the fact that Full Collapse was meant to be Thursday's swan song.

Sink that in for a minute.

Ten years later, I'm thankful that it wasn't.

The anticipation for the evening was already building in me. The summer I bought Full Collapse (well, rather my mother did for my good grades), I listened to it every night as I was falling asleep. I'm not sure if it was because it was that record that was so far out of my usual comfort zone or the fact that my parents were getting a divorce and there was some sort of comfort in what I was hearing, but it struck hard.

Only hours before the set tonight, I was graciously given a listen to some of Thursday's upcoming album, which the band hope to have out around mid-April. What were most capturing about the songs I heard were two things: layering and rhythm. The timing on the songs are unbelievable. But even more thrilling was the way Thursday has dismantled their "hardcore" persona and created songs. Much like a cross between (let's say for the sake of a RIYL) "In Silence" meets "Autumn Leaves Revisited" meets "Time's Arrow," the songs breathe depth and sound full. While I'll be twiddling my thumbs in anticipation for a full listen of the album in the months to come, I can't wait to dive into what may be the band's best album to date.

So after a long wait of technical difficulties, the band blasted into Full Collapse, and my head started banging. I began to air-guitar certain riffs. I was screaming with "I Am the Killer" and belting out what little bit of cold thin air I had in my lungs for "How Long is the Night?" and "A Hole in the World." There didn't need to be another round of songs either after finalizing the album. It was just perfect the way it was.

So after sitting (read: horribly getting) through A Skylit Drive and trying to keep time with the massive talent of Animals As Leaders (if you've never heard a Reflux breakdown, then you probably liked the first band's set), I was then riding high on Thursday's nostalgic run through - it was a nice set-up for Underoath's headlining gig. (Dear users, please keep your "Why is Thursday opening for Underoath whines to a minimum, there's only so much the Buzznet servers can take after the Yellowcard premiere. They're still recovering.) I've said it before, and I'll say it again, They're Only Chasing Safety is one of my all time least favorite albums, so to see the band really beef up those older songs live says a lot about their talent and progression. Spencer Chamberlain's vocals are as broad as a punch to the gut these days. His chords are absolutely menacing live as their new album is played out against their light show. Underoath have done something that not many bands pull off: They destroyed a sound they created, became better musicians all around because of it and still hold onto about the same amount of fans. They deserve every bit of their success because of that.

As sort of mismatched as the tour's bill felt, each band kind of makes a statement for the music scene today. There's going to be something you hate. There's going to be something you appreciate and blows your mind, but wouldn't casually listen to. There's going to be something that reminds you of the way things were. There is going to be something that keeps surprising you with every move it makes - all for the better.
Tags: Show Review, Underoath, Thursday
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Late Night Thoughts: Common Existence
12/05/10 at 09:42 PM by Adam Pfleider
Tonight, while I should have been writing reviews, but instead started working on my AOTY write-ups (twenty - so please, someone read them...), I lost track and started watching/listening to Thursday's discography. Last year Thursday released some of their best material on a scattered album. The flow is really what killed it for me with Common Existence. It didn't feel like an album - it felt like a collection of songs. While I'm one of those people who don't expect Thursday to make another Full Collapse, I do want to see the band craft an experience instead of "some killer tunes."

Still - the band tends to not write bad tunes. Well, maybe "We Will Overcome." I think United Nations makes up for that one blunder. Even I hate "House of Cards" by Radiohead.

I'm not betting against the outcome on this one though. I think there's a lot of fresh talent to keep the band on their toes, but honestly, I think they're always looking to be that standard in the scene - whether it's intentional execution or not.

Can't wait guys.

"War All of the Time"


"Ladies and Gentlemen..."


"At This Velocity"










Tags: Late Night Thoughts, Thursday
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The Berenstain Bears Learn to D.I.Y.
10/20/09 at 11:12 AM by Adam Pfleider
Sometimes you have to climb to the top. Sometimes you have to tell everyone around you to fuck off, pick up the hammer, and build your own four walls. In the punk world, or whatever it's called these days, building up usually means from below the ground, in the basement.

Thursday have played their fair share of basement shows. They've moved on to small venues. Big venues. A few arena shows. They're five records deep going into a 10+ year career as a band.

Sure, the band moved up to the major league for a few releases and are now back to a more suitable home over at Epitaph Records, but they go out every night, into every studio session, and love it or hate, I believe they put their all into it.

Last year the band released an amazing split with Japanese post-rockers Envy. Both sides of the record were beautiful, and I hope it opened up Thursday fans to the great sound that is Envy.

Unfortunately, this past week, the same can't be said about Daitro, a post-hardcore, screamo outfit from overseas. Now, Daitro is a pretty great outfit if you're into the sort of thing, but what an opportunity to miss. A band, who's frontman claimed Young Widows' Old Wounds as his favorite record last year has given you an opportunity to introduce your music to a new audience.

So when did D.I.Y. become an elitist thing? Since bands like NOFX and Bad Religion have made a career for themselves, does this mean that they are no longer entitled to the same ethics anymore? If a hard working back toils themselves to a peak, do they loose cred quicker than air from a collapsed lung.

Going into the next decade, I think we need to all begin thinking about the D.I.Y. scene again. I believe the music recession is coming upon us in a much greater worth in the years to come. Bands will have to start fighting for your love, and the whole industry will be a bunch of Billy Mays yelling at you in viral attempts and bonus offers to purchase and support their artists and clients.

So Daitro, to the above, I say you missed an opportunity to live through your passion of a career. Now I guess you'll have to learn how to really D.I.Y. in the end, because sometimes we forget the most important part of D.I.Y.: the success that comes with friends who help through the D.I.Y. community.
Tags: D.I.Y., Diatro, Thursday, Music Industry
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Nostalgia, Age and Keeping Up, While Growing Old
03/10/09 at 07:53 PM by Adam Pfleider
I think this is the year we reflect on our lives. With anticipated releases from some of our all-time favorite bands, we all sit in anticipation, waiting, to see if said band can pop the cap off our nostalgic good times.

The Daily Reveille finally set their online archive straight with their new server and site, and all my articles are back on the Web. But it's one of my last opinion columns that I reread today before typing this post. It's something that seems pertinent to what I'm about to say.

Yesterday I finished my chapter on The Shape of Punk to Come. In essence, a few people-- and artists-- may hate me because I essentially talk about the irony behind the record (and also how great it is with interviews from David Sandström) and how it spawned a "scene" where the ideas behind the record aren't held in the same light. I don't call anyone out in particular, but more of a group or "you know who you are" type general statement.

One of the things that struck me with Sandström's interview is his love, and still love, for 80's hardcore and the "new school" hardcore, as he called it, of the 90's. He said him and Dennis Lyxzén are still huge fans, and are in fact working together to recreate that sound in a new band. (NO, NOT ANOTHER REFUSED, SO DON'T LOSE YOUR SHIT!)

The point of my last opinion column was how the Internet has opened up an archive of new and old music to discover and rediscover. The idea being that age is important with some music. Adolescence may accept adolescent music and with age and we may "get" other aspects of the musical spectrum.

This is not to say that adolescence doesn't bring about great music. Albums like Blink 182's Dude Ranch and Descendant's Milo Goes to College are best because of the adolescent ideas lyrically and musically. For my greatest example, I shall use Weezer.

Weezer's Weezer (the Blue one!) is one of the greatest albums ever, especially in the 90's. The key to the record is its adolescent approach and swagger. Everything seems innocent and realatable. It's definitive in pre-teen to teenager angst nature. Weezer then "grows up" and gives us Pinkerton, which is my personal favorite, and then something happens. It's like they grew up too much, and maybe we didn't. Later Weezer isn't as approachable to fans of their older catalog because maybe, just maybe, we as fans don't want to grow up with them.

A lot of our favorite artists are releasing albums this year, and I expect many of them to grow with their music, as they grow in age. I'm thankful to still have bands like Thursday and New Found Glory around. It's good to go back and rediscover why I fell in love with them in the first place. With the Internet, I hope I don't get caught up in discovering so many new artists, that I forget about the ones I know and love.

Maybe, just maybe, that U2 album will grow on me, I mean, they did right The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby...so maybe I'm just not grown up enough....

...or maybe Rolling Stone smoked a lot of cocaine before they wrote their review.
Tags: Internet, Archives, New Found Glory, Thursday, Weezer, Adolescence
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Late Night Thoughts on The Scene (Is Dead)
01/17/09 at 11:50 PM by Adam Pfleider
The Scene is Dead. Long Live the Scene. Blogs. Blogs. Blogs.

Let's face it. The scene is not dead. It's cyclical like any genre of music. Punk. Hair Metal. Grunge. It all works in cycles.

Running errands this morning, I popped in Thursday's Full Collapse- still one of my favorite records of all time. I was drumming along, singing at the top of my lungs and driving to the bank and back to my apartment.

For people my age, this is our "scene." We will talk about an album like Full Collapse like it was our Nevermind.

So what happened? Why do we claim that the scene is dead?

Well, our "scene" came around the time of the Internet market. While it gave us a larger channel to discover new music, we also over saturated it with our own creations. We used the tools to discover too much, and also created too much.

That's not a bad thing. Like previous scenes, it took time for some artists to discover other areas of music, where as today, we have all different genres and sounds at a click of a mouse. The problem, therein, lies in not utilizing discovery. So many bands sound like others before because "that is" what they strive to sound like, as much as they tell you, "We're into other things, you know."

I don't know if this is the end. I don't know if the "scene" is really dead. But it's been 10 years since The Shape of Punk to Come, and it seems that these "scenes" work in decades. So we can only hope that our scene has its Appetite For Destruction, and be one last A-Bomb before the next "scenes" Nevermind or Full Collapse comes along.

Long live the scene-- for now.
Tags: Late Night Thoughts, Thursday, Nirvana, Cyclical
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Why Get Leaks When The Physical Looks This Good...
10/28/08 at 05:41 PM by Adam Pfleider
I got my Thursday/Envy split in today. And I know I ditched my weekly blog this week. So consider this it.

This album, it's artwork and total package is why physical mediums will never die. Temporary Residence did such a FUCKING phenomenal job on this record. The sleeve, the layout-- even the way the CD fits in the vinyl fold out-- it is simply magical to hold and see.

I went to the record store again and came across a lot of reissues. Still holding out for the originals.

This release gets me excited about physical mediums again. This is why I will continue to purchase the raw deal. I think Of Montreal and Forgive Durden are on the right path too with their releases this week.

We're moving beyond simplistic show here, and it is exciting and truly eye catching at the same time.

Thank you artist, for giving me my monies worth again.

Fingers crossed that the PTM album will look as magnificent.
Tags: Marketing, Packaging, Thursday, Envy
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