Blog Archives

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 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

Matt Nathanson’s “Kinks Shirt”

In the music industry as it stands today, there are two ways to make a popular music video: you entertain, or you send a message. Matt Nathanson and Goldthwait, the director of this video, blend the two purposes in a video that is cute, refreshing, and might still be a little ahead of its time.

The song itself if catchy and fun, but the video is what captures the attention. It shows a sequence of events- walking in a park, eating breakfast- between Matt and a girl, the seriousness of the relationship hinted at by the small wrapped box sitting on an end table. It’s all really normal, albeit amusing, until the last half of the video. We see the girl is a dancer at a club, and Nathanson is sitting supportively in the audience. The peak of the video is when the props are pulled away, most would be surprised to see that she’s transgendered.

Perhaps the most moving, powerful part is that the entire club, including the other males and Nathanson himself, seems happy. No one treats it like it’s out of the ordinary, and they are all clapping proudly.

It’s a small message of equality, but it’s great nonetheless.

And seriously, watch it more than once and it will get stuck in your head.

Xoxo,

Radium Rollercoaster

New Single: It’s A “Good Thing”

       Just having released their last EP, Celebrity, last year, Boston pop trio Call Me Anything are already back to work on their next EP, The Best Damn Time, which comes out in 9 days! Recently they posted a lyric video for the first single, “Good Thing”.

     As a group, their sound has definitely been refined over the years they’ve been together. What started out as simple acoustic sounding tunes, now is upbeat powerful pop songs. However, I can’t help but have mixed feelings about this new song. Songs like “100 American Town” are forgotten in this sound of repetitive choruses and short verses.

    That having been said, this song is still catchy, and I have to say the addition of Dylan Ronan really added to the sound they’re leaning towards. It’s for driving with the radio blasting, or hanging out with friends. Call Me Anything is still a young band, and it’s good that they discover what they want to sound like now, because it will definitely be harder to do when they have a fanbase that’s used to one kind of sound.

   So, what do you think?

Xoxo,

Radium Rollercoaster

New Single: Rough Water

It’s amazing the kinds of songs you find on accident. YouTube is actually a phenomenal tool in finding new music. So, before I talk about this wonderful single, I want you to go and subscribe to my favorite record labels. Trust me, it makes things so much easier when you want new music or to be updated on your favorite bands.

Rise Records :http://www.youtube.com/user/riserecords

Fueled By Ramen: http://www.youtube.com/user/FueledByRamen

Hopeless Records: http://www.youtube.com/user/HopelessRecords

Fearless Records: http://www.youtube.com/user/FearlessRecords

Most of the biggest bands of our generation are coming out of these four record companies. I am positive I missed a few, but still.

I really love this song, which is sung by Travie McCoy (Gym Class Heroes) and Jason Mraz. Mraz brings a smooth harmonious voice, and McCoy brings his own signature sound to make what should be a number one radio hit.

This is a song you could listen to in any mood, whether you want a sing-along or just to chill. There is nothing about this song that I don’t like. I’ve always loved both of these musicians and the way this song was coordinated is kind of genius. Just like “A Love Like War”, “Rough Water” keeps getting stuck in my head over and over again.

Let me know if you enjoy it, and go check out those labels for great bands!

Xoxo,

Radium Rollercoaster

What It’s Worth: Romeo

One of my favorite resources- and a huge influence on my music journalism- is the internet famous music reporter Bryan Stars. I’ll have to write about him some day, because he played a big part in my exploration with what I do now. But that’s for some other time. I don’t know where he gets his music, but I have come to find some amazing bands on his YouTube.

The most recent on is the band What It’s Worth, a four piece Australian punk-pop band.

Their newest song, Romeo, is really catchy and I think that it’s on the better spectrum of the pop in “pop-punk”. Her voice- while yes I can hear an accent- seems smoother than most vocalists and the sound that the band has in general is really great. I think this is the kind of band you can expect to be touring in the US soon, if not Warped Tour in a year or two!

So go enjoy, and pick up their new album Catalyst if you like this single ❤

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

One Headlight

Jordan Witzigreuter, popularly known as The Ready Set, recently came out with a new three-tracked EP, I’ll Be Waiting that contained two original songs and sneaked in a cover of The Wallflower’s 1997 hit “One Headlight”.

While the original is soft and deep, The Ready Set’s take on this song- bringing it up an octave for the majority of the song and bringing in a female vocalist- makes the song almost more emotional, and definitely presents the song such an original way that no one would suspect it wasn’t his own song. It’s lighter and brighter, but I think the weight of the lyrics themselves carry through even in this version.

Probably one of the best things about the original- and of course, the cover- is that the story told in this song means something different to everyone. The song is in whole a large metaphor; the kind of song that you can sit and think about or sing and dance to. Which The Ready Set is really great at doing.

So go check it out, as well as the rest of I’ll Be Waiting and let me know! It’s been awhile since The Ready Set put out any music, it’s nice to know he’s been working hard.

Love you guys!

Xoxo,

Radium Rollercoaster

The Summer Set: Lightning In A Bottle

The Summer Set, a small pop rock group from Scottsdale, Arizona, just released their new album Legendary, which symbolized a big turn in the lives of all the members. Jess Bowen, the sparky female drummer, finally came out with her sexuality, and Brian Dales used the album to look back at his life and reflect. Not to mention the start of their career with a new label (Fearless Records), I would say this album meant a lot to the whole band. Nevertheless, it’s very poppy and upbeat.

I posted the cute lyric video for “Boomerang” already, but I think that this song is just as cute, if not better because it’s got less allusions. So, enjoy this for today, and I’ll have some more music for you guys to check out tomorrow!

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