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When You’re Too Busy For New Music

The worst part about being in college is it feels like I’m doing a lot of nothing, but never in an environment when I can listen to music. It seems like I’m missing all the best things: I still haven’t heard Pvris’ new song, no I haven’t listened to A Day To Remember’s new jam, I didn’t even know Simple Plan had a new album – who knows what else I’ve missed while I was “out” and away from my headphones.

Sometimes it gets so frustrating, because I want to be up to date and I love having a rotation of CD’s in my car, but now I’m out of the house most of the day and my car’s CD player is broken! I’m surprised it hasn’t caused me more distress.

Just like reading, listening to new music is a luxury some of us (college students) feel like we can’t afford. But you probably have more free time than you think you do.

Listen to the radio

There’s nothing wrong with tuning into one of the many pop stations for your ride to work, because there’s plenty of great hits out there to enjoy. You’ll for sure come across things you don’t want to hear for the several dozenth time that day, but when you tune into rewind stations or hard rock stations, you’d be surprised what throwbacks and new songs come into your life. It’s usually a last ditch effort, but try pausing that Fall Out Boy CD you’ve played over and over again to see if something catches your ear.

 

Ask your friends for suggestions

This won’t always be the best idea, but worst case scenario you never listen to those bands. Usually you’ll find you have a lot more in common than you thought, and best case scenario you learn about a new musician you love!

It’s even more fun when your friends make you ‘mixtapes’ for the road.

Go back to your roots

Sometimes, new music isn’t the answer at all. It’s sometimes more comforting to go back and listen to a band you heard in concert last summer, or the first band you ever called your favorite, or just something that really gets you moving in the mornings. No one is going to criticize you for being behind the times. I also recommend movie soundtracks if you’re desperate.

All in all, it’s not so hard to find new music, even if you are falling behind on binge-listening your favorite bands’ new records. Just remind yourself to take a break once in awhile to enjoy the big stuff, and appreciate the little stuff when you’re less free.

What new songs have you been enjoying?

xoxo

radium rollercoaster

 

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A Moment

I have a new article coming up very soon (probably right after this one) but I wanted to take a moment and acknowledge that this website has been in in existence for four years now. FOUR YEARS! (Insert Four Year Strong joke here.) Something that was a pipe dream when I was a freshman in highschool turned into a series of unbelievable adventures and I am so thankful for that opportunity.

I can never say if I’m returning to this site for good, but I would love to make that promise. I went to a Neck Deep concert at Rocketown earlier this year, and I’ll be seeing Pvris and hopefully The Nearly Deads later on this spring. Between classes and my new position at Odyssey, I may or may not find the motivation to write more reviews. Something I’d like to consider is just a weekly update of what I’ve been listening to, so the website doesn’t go dead while I’ve got other plans.

All in all, I want to thank anyone who has stopped by over the years, and my parents for helping me get this together and taking me to all those concerts because I am STILL not 18. It’s been the craziest, most wonderful thing.

Back to music!

xoxo,

radium rollercoaster

A Lucky Friday the 13th

Three years ago I met a five member band called Tell Romeo i Hate Him at Rocketown, and promised to myself and to them that I would be quick about interviewing them. Time passed, and that never happened. Now, four of those boys (plus a new face, Bryant!) are Jet Black Alley Cat, and I had the immense pleasure of finally seeing them (Warped Tour 2014 doesn’t count!) in all their glory at The End in Nashville. And just like when “Poison” came out, I was not prepared for this show.
It’s an unpleasant truth, but I can’t remember being to a show where I genuinely enjoyed every single band, until now. I walked home with all four of their CD’s, and everyone who has been in the car with me at all in the last week knows that I’ve overplayed them already. I absolutely adored everyone who played.

Band: Dream Chief
Highlight: They are cousins!
Favorite song: “Electricity”
Dream Chief was a great band to start the night with, the duo made a perfect opener because they provided the atmosphere without having a demanding sound. Those not ready to dance could enjoy the music just by swaying.

They have an electro-pop sound that I would argue is even better in person. Every song was different, and I think that helped the crowd get more comfortable with what they would be seeing that night. I loved seeing John and Luke switch on the vocals and both of them handled different sound effects. It was really effective, in my opinion.

They played all four songs off of their Movement EP: “IDK Why”, “Math”, “Electricity” and “Who Knows”. All of these songs are really catchy: they can be head bobbing material or full out dancing if you feel adventurous.

Band: Charge The Atlantic
Highlight: They played a cover of “Shut Up and Dance”!
Favorite song: “Work Suit”

The first thing I thought about Charge The Atlantic was: “Someone told them they could be anything, so they did!”

They have a sound that is nearly impossible to label, unless “Funk // Rock // Reggae” works for you, which is proclaimed on their Facebook. At first I was apprehensive of the way they switched their sound around a lot. “Let It In” was a good first song, though, because it seemed the most shocking. The more songs they played, the more I enjoyed listening to them. They were so full of energy and style.

I loved that they brought Ty Christian, who features on “Work Suit” out to sing with them. I did not expect what was coming next, but I heard just a few notes of the guitar before I started jumping around. Some venues and audiences are really picky about covers, but their “Shut Up and Dance” was on point and created a peak moment in the crowd.

They brought more than just good music to the stage, though. The showmanship (and energy) required to make a several minute long bass vs drum solo entertaining is really outstanding. I was completely sold when they closed their set.

Band: Vega
Highlight: The lights!
Favorite song: “Vices”

This band had my attention from the moment they assembled four box-high towers of different colored lights on stage. A “Rock | Soul” group, Vega seemed to fit right in with the first two acts while remaining wildly different. There’s something so alluring to their music, something dramatic that makes it so fun to listen to. They are high energy without being overwhelming, and at this point I was so ready to dance the way the music made me feel. Even the slower song, “Wild and Young” was compelling and fun to sing and sway along to.

Band: Jet Black Alley Cat
Highlight: All of it!
Favorite song: “High Class Women” definitely, or “Parking Lots”, or “Roxy’, or “Poison”…or “Memphis Blues”!

Jet Black Alley Cat will be your new aesthetic.

Seeing Joe walk on stage, channeling Brendon Urie with a gold shirt to match his microphone and stand and a disco ball in the back of the stage was almost too much. It’s such a transition from what I remembered, in a direction that is so good and so right for them. No one else has the sound that they do.

Their performance energy was so high and the crowd was so engaged in each and every song. Watching all of them, but most of all Joe, move around stage with such passion made me even more engaged in their music- which is very good music, mind you.

“Vintage / Rock / Pop / Groove / Dance / Cinema” is a pretty good summation, actually. Their music is great, but what is addictive is the way they perform it. I knew I loved them before, but seeing a full proper set with JBAC in all their glory was in short, an Experience.

Oh, and I caught (well, retrieved when it slid offstage) a drumstick!


Perhaps the most important thing about all of these bands, though was that they were all very kind to me when I stopped to talk to them or ask for photos. The life of musician is demanding in so many regards, but I think in Nashville is really depends on the people to keep their fans. All of these bands had the talent and the showmanship, but that means very little with a bad personality.

My only regret, in all honesty, is not having more money for merchandise.

So, if you get the chance, listen to each of these bands. And don’t stop at one song either. They are all more than worthy of your time.

I hope to see them soon, and hope you do the same!

xoxo

Radium Rollercoaster

Warped Tour Nashville, Round 2

          On average during this summer, I haven’t woken up before 10:30 am. In its entirety, I don’t think I’ve woken up before 5 in the morning at all. But for Warped Tour, we do crazy things, and I’m not the only one. All across Nashville and surrounding areas, people were waking up as early as 4 o’clock (that I know of) to get in line for the renowned festival. The process for me consisted of showering, eating, and checking, double checking, and triple checking our supplies. After we reached our first destination, where we would be carpooling (recommended!) to the fairgrounds.

          We had spent the entire week planning for rain, and with high hopes we expected light showers at the most, so the sprinkling that accompanied our walk at 9 a.m. to the line left us completely unfazed. The two hour wait until gates opened? That was a little more disheartening. Nonetheless, I watched eagerly as the first small, off-the-tour bands started walking the line to sell CDs. The first to approach was Danny from Vanity Strikes, who found his way to us by the matching t-shirt my girlfriend wore. The second took more effort on my part: I had to flag down a member of The Residence to get a listen, but it was worth it.

Danny from Vanity Strikes matching shirts with Lauren!

Danny from Vanity Strikes matching shirts with Lauren! (Photo cred: Vanity Strikes)

          Then word travelled down the line: we were moving to the tunnels and the stadium to hide from potential storms while the Tour finished setting up. The chaos that ensued from that point until we lined up at the gates was fast paced and muggy. By the time we approached the divide between the outside world and Warped Tour, there was no doubt that the rain was going to be a problem. That didn’t stop bands from going out and promoting themselves, like Koo Koo Kanga Roo who carried four foot replicas of their face on poles.
          Gates opened nearly an hour early to make concessions for the incoming weather, and I quickly and frantically found my way around the fairgrounds trying to keep my program from getting wet. My girlfriend and I pick up some flyers and a sign to promote The Nearly Deads as we checked signings and confirmed set times. I went from Keep A Breast to Neck Deep to Music Saves only to end up with Hope For The Day to purchase a wristband for the signing. They were all very nice people and you should look at all the organizations at Warped Tour dedicated to making a difference in the community.
          But as I made my way back to return the sign I was informed that the Nearly Deads had gone on early, just before I arrived! I bolted over there to enjoy the show, making it before the first song was over. Although cut short and without either of the songs I was hoping for, they put on a wonderful, entertaining show. The crowd was even bigger than last year. It’s really exciting to see the evolution of the faces around me as The Nearly Deads get more popular.

Later in the afternoon I got to get a picture with The Nearly Deads and have them sign my shorts!

Later in the afternoon I got to get a picture with The Nearly Deads and have them sign my shorts!

          Because I didn’t want to be up close for Our Last Night, I spent 6$ on a huge snow cone and sat off to the side, so my girlfriend could still see and I could still see. Not fifteen minutes after a warning from my father and seconds before the band walked on stage, the fairgrounds were evacuated. Slowly and stubbornly we made our way up to the banquet hall, a nearby building, for shelter. We made it before the rain began, but others were not so lucky.
          As I relinquished the weight from my feet and began eating my sandwich, people began to walk in with soaked clothes. Some seemed unshaken, simply taking their shirts off to dry and laughing it off. Others walked in shame across the room with makeup and hair dye dripping down their skin. I knew I could have laughed it off, but I couldn’t help the pity I felt toward them. I wanted to reassure them and help, but I had nothing but tissues to offer. Instead I turned my head and tried to be as respectful as possible.

While we waited for the rain to stop

While we waited for the rain to stop

          We were stuck in the building for as long as the rain held us, and it was quickly obvious to everyone that we needed pick me ups and fast. At first, people started to whoop and holler for morale, but that was both annoying and not very effective. So instead they organized a giant game of ninja, which turned into duck duck goose and ended in a giant production of the Campfire Song Song. It took nearly half an hour to squeeze out of there, and I am embarrassed to admit someone had the bright idea of condom balloons. Yes. That happened.
          It was raining as we walked back down to the entrance, and I got stuck with two bags under my poncho, while my girlfriend stood hopelessly in the downpour. We made it back to the bridge, halfway through the venue, before we were turned around again. It was obvious that we weren’t seeing Our Last Night, and the PVRIS signing had been canceled. Things looked increasingly dim, especially after the second evacuation was canceled halfway up the trek.
          All of the set times were changed, most of the signings were abandoned, and the rain kept coming. Mud began to form in the frequent grass pathways, and while I was safe with my combat boots from water and dirt, my girlfriend complained ceaselessly about the struggle. Using the bands that were currently playing, we devised a rough estimate of when every band would be playing. Cutting the bands out that we couldn’t see, we were left with five things: PVRIS, Our Last Night’s signing, Neck Deep, Neck Deep’s signing and Memphis May Fire.
          I have never been more frozen than when Lynn Gunn walked right in front of me to prepare for PVRIS’ set. Part of me wanted to launch forward and tell her how much I admired her and how I wanted to interview her band, but two parts of me were scared, intimidated, and knew she was in a hurry. The water had sent everyone into an anxious, scattered haze and I didn’t want to be that fan. My girlfriend saw her as she rounded the corner and we just looked at each other. That did not just happen.
          Pumped by her appearance, we found a spot in the crowd to see PVRIS. Notable mention to The Beautiful Bodies, whose amazing sound I could hear from the nearest stage! I’ve been to a lot of concerts by now, and I’ve seen lots of live videos. I have never been so impressed by a band’s live performance, and never before have had I thought a band actually sounded better live. But the members all brought so much energy, and I was surprised at Lynn’s vocal flexibility- hearing her live growl was a religious experience. I knew then I was sold for life.

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          As my girlfriend parted for her Our Last Night signing, I waited hesitantly with a small group for Lynn to return from the stage. I couldn’t tell if the others were nervous, but I didn’t want to annoy her, take too long, or interrupt her day. My face was scrunched up in worry, and when she walked out I didn’t know how to react. I waited patiently, spoke to her as a journalist and then waited for everyone else to go before talking to her as a fan. She is one of the most genuine, kind, beautiful people I have met in the scene. Afterwards, I briefly spoke to The Beautiful Bodies, who are also amazingly sweet people.
          Waiting for Neck Deep, I reflected on last year, when I only knew one song that brought me to tears. This year I knew all but one of the songs played, and I was surprised when even my girlfriend who doesn’t like them mentioned she thought they were great live. They are so energetic and interactive. So many people were crowd surfing and reaching for Ben Barlow. I was blown away that the fans were able to sing Laura Whiteside’s part during “A Part of Me”. It was surreal. The members themselves were also really kind when I went to the signing.

          In the hour between the signing and Memphis May Fire’s performance, the pull of exhaustion got heavy and I felt the headache sink in. My boots were caked in mud, my feet were already beginning to bruise (as I’d learn later) and the ground was wet. It was miserable, but I knew that I had to wait it out. I caught the last part of Blessthefall’s set and was amazed at how Beau managed to control two crowds, the one in front of him and the one waiting for Memphis May Fire’s arrival. And honestly, even from the back of the crowd Memphis May Fire put on a great show. Matty Mullins’ clean vocals are absolutely pristine, and the band as a whole gave a wonderful performance despite the long day and late performance. I was very tempted to do some crowd surfing of my own, because it was such a strong impressive pit, but I opted out of it.
          The drive home was done in two parts, the second being where I had to drive. After only eating a sandwich all day, I have never been and will never be so incredible ecstatic to have Wendy’s. Still better than buying food from Warped. All in all it was a really good experience, and if anything, the rain was just a memorable inconvenience. Sleep, however, was inevitable.  
No matter the date, drop a comment about your 2015 Warped Tour experience!
xoxo,
Radium Rollercoaster

all photo credits to Lauren if not specified

Fall Out Boy, Song of the “Centuries”

After a cryptic, six second, Morse code video was released on Fall Out Boy’s VEVO, the entire world wanted to know what it meant. The band was quick to enlighten us – although not their blackened social media icons: “Centuries”, their next single! They just finished off touring Save Rock And Roll and apparently the pop-punk quartet, who are notorious for experimenting with new styles, had been writing on the road!

If the quiet chanting in the beginning sounds eerily familiar to you, that’s because it should be. Not only is it the well-known melody from 1987 hit “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega, but it is sung by someone most Fall Out Boy fans will recognize: the very same LOLO that performed “Miss Jackson” with Panic! At the Disco on Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! I recommend you familiar yourself with the original if you haven’t already; homage is kind of why they featured the bit.

I listed the lyrics below because I feel they, like most Fall Out Boy lyrics, are a defining feature, and I’m more happy with this song than I was for most of Save Rock and Roll. Feedback? Here’s the song

After this familiar segment, it cuts right into the powerful, chanting chorus with and pretty piano melody in the background along with clapping in the form of quarter notes.

“Some legends are told

 Some turn to dust or to gold

 But you will remember me

 Remember me, for centuries

 Just one mistake

 is all it will take

 We’ll go down in history

 Remember me for centuries”

The verses follow Fall Out Boys reliably unpredictability, with an unique rock vocal style backed by a pop beat.

“Mollify my teenage dreams

No, it’s nothing wrong with me

The kids are all wrong

The stories are off

Heavy-metal broke my heart

Come on, come on, and let me in

 Bruises on your thighs like fingerprints

 This is for tonight, the darkness that you felt

 I never meant for you to fix yourself

The first verse was my favorite for no particular reason, although I love the word mollify.

You have to enjoy that strange thing Patrick does to the word amnesia. More of that Fall Out Boy spontaneity.

“And I can’t stop till the whole world knows my name

 Cause I was only bold inside my dreams

 Until you die for me, as long as there’s a light

 My shadow’s over you cause I, I am

 the opposite of amnesia

 and you’re a cherry blossom, you’re about to bloom

 You look so pretty but you’re gone so soon”

The most interesting part of this song’s lyrics is the big bridge,

 “We’ve been here forever

 And here’s the frozen fruit

 I could scream forever

 We are the poisoned youth”

If you consider the post Fall Out Boy made on their website when the song was released, it’s really interesting that you can connect their biblical reference of David and Goliath to these lines. At least I think so.

All in all, the song speaks for itself. The vocals, the interesting use of backing sounds and instruments, it seems like it should feel generic but it’s so unique Fall Out Boy. It is an experiment. It is an anthem. It is a promise from Fall Out Boy, but also a call to action. Pick up your weapon, no matter what style or denotation, and fight with it.

Oh and seriously, what is up with the thing on the wrist of their cover art?

tumblr_nbf83x194s1s2w5zfo1_1280

What do you think?

Xoxo,

Radium Rollercoaster

New Single: A Love Like War

Many All Time Low fans cheered when the pop-punk band unveiled the news of a re-release of Don’t Panic, their latest album that featured “The Reckless and the Brave” and “Backseat Serenade”, but even more were thrilled to hear that Pierce The Veil vocalist Vic Fuentes would be joining the band to record a song that was titled “A Love Like War”. A music video featuring the band and Fuentes was released last week, and is almost at 900K views!

This song has all the makings of a classic All Time Low song; driving guitar power chords, upbeat drums, and choppy verses with powerful choruses. The addition of Fuentes enhances the song by adding a dynamic contrast to lead singer Alex Gaskarth’s voice, without bringing in a tone that doesn’t fit the song.

If you were looking for the next song to get stuck in your head for days on end that you can sing along and dance dramatically to, that would be “A Love Like War”. The video is entertaining- All Time Low has a great sense of humor- and was an interesting idea to go along with the tune.

I’ve already gotten this song stuck in my head several times, and I think this will go down on the list of songs that were definitely meant to be made!

Xoxo,

Radium Rollercoaster

Paramore: Paramore Album Review

One of the biggest female-fronted bands of this generation and THE biggest female-fronted band of their genre, Franklin-based Paramore seems indestructible. But when the Farro brothers left, many fans weren’t sure of what would happen to the punk-pop group. Would the band fall apart without what fans considered an essential part to the band, or would they- like a phoenix- rise from their metaphorical ashes and come back with the hardest hitting album of their career and 2013?

“Now”, however, all anticipation is over! Two singles and undoubtedly much work later, Paramore is proud to present Paramore, their self-titled album. The title may seem self-absorbed, but it represents the beautiful transformation of maturity the band has gone through, and it expresses their new sound and their new direction.

This is still Paramore. It’s undeniable that change is apparent in these songs, but they are made with love and inspiration, something that I think all fans can appreciate. Whether your favorite song is Misery Business, Emergency, or The Only Exception, you’ll love Paramore.

The album has all sorts of dynamic, with interludes that sound like nevershoutnever with a 50’s flair, tuned that sound inspired by all sorts of artists like My Chemical Romance- who’s “Na Na Na” can be compared to the driving anthem “Now”-, P!nk-whose bluesy vocal style Hayley matches in the meaningful, relatable “Grow Up”, Florence and The Machine- “Last Hope” sounds a lot like the airy style they usually bring to their records, and even Michael Jackson- which the dancing, spiteful “Ain’t It Fun” reminds me of personally. Even “Fast In My Car”, which wasn’t my favorite on the record, sounded like “Automatic Systematic Habit” in its techno characteristics and style.

The album is lyrically important to Hayley, Jeremy, and Taylor, and you can tell that in some form each song is directly from the heart of at least one of them. “Fast In My Car” was definitely a shout out to the Farro brothers, with the lines “  “The three of us were initiates/we had to learn how to deal/ and when we spotted a second chance/ we had to learn how to steal.” My second favorite on the record, “Daydreaming”, has really powerful meaning and most teenagers will be able to connect with the verse, “Not that I won’t remember where I’m from/ Just don’t wanna be here no more”.

There was a pretty big difference in style from not only previous albums but the tracks from this record itself. “Let The Flames Begin” doesn’t really stand out, and neither does “Hate To See Your Heart Break”, or “Future”, but they are the songs you really have to listen to in order to appreciate. I will point out that the almost tango “(One of Those) Crazy Girls” is only distinctive because the lyrics throw you off like Blondie’s “One Way (Or Another)”. Contrary-wise, there are a few songs that are just super upbeat and perfect for dancing. “Anklebiters” has a really punk rock beginning and would be perfect for a jumping crowd, and “Proof” has the bite that reminds me of “Feeling Sorry”, along with “Be Alone”. My personal favorite was the upbeat love song, “Still Into You” which had an Aerosmith edge with style and an impressive bridge that is the pinnacle of Hayley’s vocals for the album in my opinion.

In some ways, Paramore is a lot more pop then older albums, but it’s heartfelt and determined, and you can tell the trio put in a lot of work to make this exactly what they wanted and what they thought would be the best direction. Because of its diversity, not everyone is going to have the same favorite and least favorite songs from this album, but that’s what makes it even better. Everyone is going to love the album for different reasons, and everyone is going to connect with a different song. I love it and think it’s safe to say it has definitely set the bar for future music they will make.

What do you think?

Radium Rollercoaster

Xoxo,

Radium Rollercoaster

Fall Out Boy Back With A Mission: Save Rock And Roll

The early morning of February 4th, 2013 saw an uproar of fans all over the world with this news: Fall Out Boy is back. The group had been denying all rumors (including a tweet from blessthefall’s Beau Bokan) about their reunion until their producer Butch Walker finally revealed the truth: the band had been recording for a while and the record (Save Rock And Roll) was scheduled to be out on May 5th, 2013. This announcement came with a song, “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)”, and tour dates!

After five albums and then a four year hiatus, many critics are probably wondering, “When is Fall Out Boy going to fall?” And the answer is simple: never. Unlike many “sell-out” bands or bands that have had one too many lineup changes, Fall Out Boy stays true to themselves in their first song released. Is there a change in sound? Of course, there’s a difference, but if they were to play the same music on every record, they would not be respected and adored by so many people around the world.

There’s a reason, however, that I as a music aficionado believe that the new Fall Out Boy record will be nothing but classic. Start with the title of this first track. “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)”. This sounds exactly like a title from any other record they had ever produced. While this song itself may be a little slower than your favorite Fall Out Boy song, the style is the same. Patrick’s range and stuttering vocal pattern takes you away from his “Soul Punk” and back to the Fall Out Boy of 2009 with “Folie à Deux”.

There’s nothing about this reunion that promises anything but an amazing comeback of a band that started off a line of records that still echo in the IPods everywhere. I don’t doubt the quality of this record at all.

Let’s Save Rock And Roll, Fall Out Boy.

Xoxo,

Radium Rollercoaster