Chris Catania takes in a triple bill of bubbling-under indie talent, headlined by the flamboyant pop of Bon Savants, and leaves the Chicago venue mightily impressed.
The Social, in Orlando, has been frequently offering two-night residencies to bands that can easily sell out the small venue. Booking the bill with big talent and odd packaging, these shows are usually a hot ticket and always memorable. For a holiday treat in December, Bouncing Souls were the band in big letters with hefty support from The Street Dogs, Whole Wheat Bread and World/Inferno Friendship Society. Jen Cray was there for the mayhem on night #2.
On the first real cold night of our Florida winter, Cursive came to town with Jeremy Enigk, and The Cops. Jen Cray found the weather to be more enjoyable than some of the music.
Appropriately booked at a college campus, Seattle's shoegazers Death Cab For Cutie rolled into Orlando for a crowded show at the UCF Arena. Jen Cray found their inimate sounds rather impersonal inside the too big space.
The whirlwind electro-pop of Hot Chip, complete with giant glasses and walls of keyboards, makes a convert of our very own Chris Catania. The opening bands weren't half bad either.
Even this far into her career Joan Jett is all about the music. Why else would she bring two show-stealing bands- Eagles of Death Metal and Riverboat Gamblers- on tour with her? Jen Cray falls into the celebratory atmosphere of one perfect lineup of rock n' roll.
There's a good reason why Mute Math played two consecutive nights during Orlando's Anti-Pop Festival, at The Social... Because, as Jen Cray soon found out, they are one of the greatest live bands touring the club circuit these days.
The annual O-Rock 105.9 No Snow Show had AFI in top billing with heavy support by Taking Back Sunday, Angels & Airwaves, Buckcherry, Sugarcult, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Kill Hannah. Reporting deep inside the very unwinter weather was Jen Cray.
Chris Catania takes in a Chicago concert by Patrice Pike, contestant on the recent "Rock Star Supernova" show, and he ends up seeing a serious performer, and not a one-trick pony, whose career may have been harmed, rather than helped, by reality television exposure.
The Never Shave Again Tour may have had Silverstein with top billing, but as Brittany Sturges found out, it was Aiden who stole the show.
When At The Drive In split up, half of the band went on to critical success in The Mars Volta. The other half quietly slipped into a band just as worthy of praise, Sparta. Jen Cray stepped in to pay the band some respect.
The Hold Steady are in part known for the copious amounts of alcohol they consume onstage during every performance. How much alcohol can they actually get through in an hour and change? Jen Cray was at their Orlando gig to find out.
At this special time of year, let's not forget the REAL reason for the season... fabulously gaudy displays of Xmas lights! Heather Lorusso sure didn't - and even in faraway Tokyo she found enough clever uses of wattage to soften the most humbuggy of hearts. You won't find these in your neighbor's yard.
James Brown passed away on Christmas Day. Or did he? James Mann ponders the Godfather of Soul.
Dennis Dunaway was the bassist, songwriter and more in one of the greatest bands of the '70s, the Alice Cooper Group. He talks with Matt Parish about those heady years, Frank Zappa and life after the Billion Dollar Babies.
Brittany Sturges talks with Las Vegas writer Jarret Keene about his new book, The Killers: Destiny Is Calling Me and his history with the band.
Mute Math are, without a doubt, one of the most talented live bands you will ever see. Heavy hitting drummer Darren King spoke with Jen Cray after the band's pair of awe inspiring dates during Orlando's Anti-Pop Festival.
During their short tour opening for the legendary Joan Jett, Texas' most valuable export-Riverboat Gamblers- invited Jen Cray up to their dressing room for an informal chat before their set.
The Oaks are more than a band, they're a humanitarian effort. Of the two founding members, one spent two years in Afghanistan helping refugees, while the other has a master's in philosophy & environmental ethics. Jen Cray spoke with both Ryan Costello and Matt Antolick.
A New Language (V2/Artemis). Review by Jen Cray.
Decemberunderground (Interscope). Review by Jen Cray.
Dewdrops (Livewire). Review by Aaron Shaul.
It Takes Fifteen to Tango in My Book, What Book Do You Read?. Review by Carl F Gauze.
Travesias (V2). Review by Carl F Gauze.
Pass the Poison (Aresenic). Review by Carl F Gauze.
Singer (Skipping Stones). Review by Aaron Shaul.
Thanks For Not Asking. Review by Carl F Gauze.
Run All Night (Q Division). Review by Aaron Shaul.
The Best is Yet to Come (Skipping Stones). Review by Aaron Shaul.
Movie Disaster Music (Scruffy). Review by Carl F Gauze.
King Crimson Songbook Volume One (Voice Print). Review by Carl F Gauze.
Remember That I Love You (K). Review by Matthew Moyer.
Unsaved (Pure). Review by Carl F Gauze.
Bones From The Yard. Review by Matt Parish.
Stealing Kisses. Review by Carl F Gauze.
The Wind At Four To Fly (Diamond Riggs). Review by Carl F Gauze.
Be Careful What You Call Home (Home Tapes). Review by Aaron Shaul.
Protected. Review by Kyrby Raine.
(My Fat Ass). Review by Carl F Gauze.
The Moonlight Never Misses an Appointment (Eskimo Kiss). Review by Carl F Gauze.
Sleep Inside This Wheel (I Eat). Review by Aaron Shaul.
Cold As Ice (Telarc). Review by Carl F Gauze.
29 Pieces for the Microtonal Guitar (g-wOw). Review by Carl F Gauze.
Gifts of the Season (Sisu Heart). Review by Kyrby Raine.
Monument to the Masses (Virgin). Review by Jen Cray.
The Ministry of Archers (Tooth & Nail). Review by Aaron Shaul.
Today (Ultra). Review by Ben Varkentine.
Strawberry Lover (Ryko). Review by Aaron Shaul.
Inside In/Inside Out (Astralwerks/EMI). Review by Ben Varkentine.
Let's Get Out of This Terrible Sandwich Shop. Review by Tim Wardyn.
Pessimism & Satire (Fearless). Review by Addam Donnelly.
Open Letter (Dai Box). Review by Kyrby Raine.
Citation (Sugar Hill). Review by Sean Slone.
City Vs Country (Ghostly International). Review by Aaron Shaul.
Chase the Man (TKO). Review by Scott Adams.
Our Fathers & the Things They Left Behind (Rising Oak). Review by Jen Cray.
Safe As Houses (Slender Means Society). Review by Carl F Gauze.
Impeach My Bush (XL). Review by Jen Cray.
Waiter: You Vultures! (Fearless). Review by Addam Donnelly.
Proudflesh (Wired Gnome). Review by Scott Adams.
River of Crime (Cordless). Review by Carl F Gauze.
The Rewinds (Livewire). Review by David Barker.
They Think They Are The Robocop Kraus (Epitaph). Review by Aaron Shaul.
White Bread Black Beer (Nonesuch/Rough Trade). Review by Ben Varkentine.
Up Your Ass Tray (Go Kart). Review by Jen Cray.
Absolutely (Croakin' Poet). Review by Andrew Ellis.
Steady (In Music We Trust). Review by Tim Wardyn.
My Glass Eye (Stiff Hips Music). Review by Carl F Gauze.
The Stories Are True (Hellcat). Review by Jen Cray.
Blood Sweat & Towers (TVT). Review by Jen Cray.
Unsound (Epitaph). Review by David Barker.
The Pleasures of Schizophrenia (Rock Garden). Review by Carl F Gauze.
The Big Green Issue is out, and from Matthew Moyer's description, if you don't have this you should be a bit verdant with envy for those who do.
By the end of this book, James MacLaren is sure of one thing, you must buy it and read it NOW. On the way to that conlusion, however, is a whole minefield of soul searching and human failings. Like the man says, it's complicated.
At first glance, maybe it seems a little shocking that Clinton Heylin has temporarily abandoned the rock world to write about filmmaker Orson Welles, but after reading this book, Matthew Moyer wonders what took him so bloody long.
Have you ever wondered what it's really like to be a crime scene investigator? Maybe you've wondered what impact a TV show can have on our culture. The essays in Investigating CSI debate these and many more topics. Tune in, but don't forget the duct tape. Bob Pomeroy won't always have that extra roll.
Make me a snack as big as the moon? After reading this new book, Scott Adams knows more about the Moon Pie than any one person has the right to know. Yum yum.
Veteran left-wing political journalist Bob Scheer has interviewed every elected U.S. President from Nixon to Clinton, and as his latest book shows, he's done so with fairness and insight. So why hasn't he managed to chat with George W.? Eric J. Iannelli takes a look at Scheer's Playing President.
Chris Catania, like Rock En Espanol's author, Ernesto Lechner, was slow to warm up to the emerging sounds of the Latin alt-rock movement, but both now agree that the bands profiled in these pages hint strongly at the future of popular music.
There's not a glowstick or a Dr. Seuss hat to be found for Linda Tate in the pages of this drug addiction memoir. But this is one book that lays it all the bad memories and bad trips on the line without getting too preachy.
Rhona Scoville heartily recommends Michael Graham's wintery police procedural novel as a great way to pass the time during the holiday season. Eggnog and true crime, nothing could be finer.
Whether or not you're trying to dispense with a certain roadrunning thorn in your side, Rob Levy finds much to enjoy in thisvolume. Christmas is just around the corner, after all, and doesn't some special in your life need an Instant Tunnel Painter?
The recent Penguin Classics edition of Upton Sinclair's tale of worker exploitation in the beef industry is both a labor classic and the perfect holiday gift for your slacker cousin, says Carl F Gauze.
Inspirational text, coffee table photography book or master class in Photoshop? Julieanne Kost gives us all three in her new book. Bob Pomeroy comes along for the ride to see what can be done with a digital camera and a kick-ass computer program.
A struggling thrift shop owner turns to a loan shark after her boyfriend embezzles her money, but reunites with her annoying preteen daughter.