Posts Tagged ‘ punk music ’

Free ska comp from Dying Scene: Pick it up

Ska-Punk’s glory days of mainstream success and radio air play may have come and gone with yesteryear but the punk sub-genre is far from fading into obscurity. In fact it’s very much alive and well, and we’ve got the bands to prove it. “Skaface: Evolution” is a compilation that focuses on the “punkier” side of ska-punk, highlighting bands that convey the speed or angst that originally helped define our beloved genre. Through trombones, trumpets, saxaphones and upstroked guitars the mode of “ska” delivery varies but the musical aesthetic of this group of artists is undeniably “punk rock.”

We’re releasing this digital comp simply because we think the bands it features are badass and deserve a little more attention in the punk scene at large. It features quality tunes from 15 amazing ska-punk acts, including previously unreleased material from Big D And The Kids Table, Mustard Plug, Mad Caddies, 4 Aspirin Morning, Ghetto Blaster and Huge Puppies.

– Dying Scene releases free comp: “Skaface: Evolution” (features unreleased Big D, Mustard Plug, Mad Caddies and more)

Every day is a good day for ska! Every day is an even better day when that ska comes in the form of a free comp with some killer bands. Ska’s not dead as long as there’s people who love it.

Download it here.

In which I review RVIVR!!!! (Exclamation points mine)

Every so often I go to a show where one of the bands look like they’ve having the best time of their lives during the show. Even less frequently does more than one band appear to be having the Greatest. Day. Ever. at that very show. And only once, in my experience, has that happened twice in one day.

And yet, this was Saturday at the final two RVIVR shows of the tour. I went to both, and going to see two RVIVR shows in one day is up high on my list of things in life that I did right. One show was better than the other, meaning they were both fantastic, crowded punk shows. Both took place in the tiny back rooms of bars, with a small stage that couldn’t quite contain the volume and force of the music.

Unfortunately, I didn’t plan ahead for taking photos, and my smartphone/high-tech camera was full to capacity and wouldn’t take any pictures. Luckily, I attended the show with F Yeah! Queer Music, where you can find a few photos and another great review. Both shows were so small and we planned well. Even at the packed and sold-out Union Pool, we managed to get close to the stage. This meant singing along and dancing literally alongside various bands before and after their turn on the stage. At one point, I found myself next to the members of Dogjaw, and told one of them how much they killed it at both shows. Saturday was way better than the third-to-last show at NYU on Tuesday, she told me. That one was weird. These last two shows really were the best.

And what more could you really hope for at the finale?

The Homewreckers opened the St. Vitus show with a classic punk sound and empowering tendencies. Guitarist Cristy C. Road also took part in an event at the New Museum the following day, and wrote a raw graphic novel that I plan to one day read in its entirety. “When capitalism falls/I’ll still meet you at the shopping mall,” went the awesome chorus of one song.

Dogjaw was next at St. Vitus. They played both shows, and they did so with furious intensity. They are raw and vicious and don’t hold back on stage. They will blow out your eardrums and you will want more. Listen to them. Seriously. They have a sound that will blow you away.

Extra Feeler opened the Union Pool show. Like Dogjaw and The Homewreckers, they’re a solid group of three with the basics of guitar, bass and drum. Three instruments, lots of power.

Shellshag is crazy. They’re reminiscent of the White Stripes in that the guy is on guitar while the lady rocks on drums, with a similar shoegaze-y feel on some of their songs. Wiki says they formed in the same year, so it’s likely a coincidence. Shellshag brought their own set up (a mic tower, three drums), started their set with a music video, covered songs by RVIVR and The Cure, and ended their set with a guitar handing from a chain on the ceiling, at which they threw drumsticks. Super danceable and insanely fun.

And then, RVIVR. Oh man. There are so many words, so many positive adjectives and adverbs to use for these shows. I described Dogjaw as empowering, but it’s so fitting for RVIVR, too. Free. Bold. Mind-blowing. Impossibly catchy. Real. They played through a good part of their discography, and their energy didn’t lag for one song.

Amazing shows. So glad I went to both. Can’t wait to see these bands again.

In which I review a surprisingly awesome Green Day concert

Listening to: “Ripped Up Jeans and Silly Dreams” by Candy Hearts

I managed to snag a free ticket to see Green Day play in Brooklyn on Sunday. I saw no reason to pass up a chance to see a band that I’ve been listening to for the better part of my existence (though maybe not as much recently).

but cool looking lights though

Great view, amirite?

The concert (not show, this was definitely a concert) was at the Barclays center, which was the first time I’ve been there. That place is too massive, and the beer is averagely overpriced. We had second row seats, which put us a hockey rink’s distance away from the stage, but heads taller than the folks who purchased general admission tickets and, therefore, we had a decent view.

Green Day hasn’t played NYC since their 2002 tour with Blink 182. I missed that show, so this was my first time ever seeing them live. I awaited a Billie Joe breakdown ala the iHeartRadio fest. At one point early on at Barclays, Billie Joe sat down on the stage, elbows on his knees, chin in his hands, and I thought this might be the moment. He seemed to ponder the crowd for a few seconds, then got up and shouted for the first of many times that evening, “Let’s get crazy!” He later professed his love for the audience multiple times.

Really, we had a pretty clear view of the stage

Really, we had a pretty clear view of the stage

Green Day performed well and the concert was a big bunch of pop-y fun. And here’s why: Green Day are entertainers. At one point in the past they were a punk band. They started out like any other punk band, playing basement shows, mad at the world. Some time around American Idiot, things changed. They were no longer playing shows. They started playing concerts and major venues and festivals. They realized — perhaps with the help of money, encouragement, or a combination of the two — that they were not just a band, but a brand. The concert was great because they embraced this.

They started their set with newer songs and moved into classic ones, which Billie Joe referred to as their “vintage” tunes. They included a ton of audience participation and one too many “Everybody say ‘Heyyyyyy Ohhhhh'” moments. They brought audience members on stage to sing, dance around, hug Billie Joe, even play his guitar and then get to keep it. And why not? They most definitely make more than enough money at every concert to give away a cheap starter-kit guitar. They covered a more well-known Operation Ivy song, which was exciting since this tour has included more covers from the likes of Iron Maiden and the Beatles.

The audience ranged in age from middle age to middle school to in the middle of preschool. I’m sure some badass memories were made for some little kids that night. We missed seeing Best Coast open, so no review for them. But Green Day embraced the pop star part of their image and put on a super upbeat, fun concert.

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