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Music News, Reviews, Photos _ Podcasts

Weekly Impressions #11.04

Posted by cristóvão On January - 27 - 2011

Written by: Chris Andrade

The new year has been slow for me in here because out there in the real world, it’s insanely busy but I just had to pipe in about this today.

I’m sure some of you have heard ALL about the public Twitter war between Ryan Murphy, creator of Glee and Kings of Leon. The group told NME last summer that they had been approached and they declined the request to use their music on the show because they didn’t want to “sell out”. Well, apparently this has stirred brewing anger within Murphy because this week he called KoL “self-centered assholes” who “missed the big picture”. He also called Slash “uneducated and stupid” (redundant) and that his career was over, all because he refused the show use of his music.

Before I continue with the recap of this week’s events, if Slash’s career is “over”, why the fuck would you want to use his music on your insanely popular show?

Moving on, singer Caleb Fallowill stated that “This whole Glee thing is a shock to us. It’s gotten out of hand. At the time of the request, we hadn’t even seen the show. It came at the end of that record cycle, and we were over promoting [‘Use Somebody’]. This was never meant as a slap in the face to Glee.” If their originally quoted comment about not selling-out is true, this statement is slightly contradictory and possibly a bit of back-tracking. Here’s the thing though; no matter what reason they give, publicly or privately, it’s well within their rights. The fact that Murphy has resorted to name calling over Twitter really makes him look like the self-centered and childish one. As if his show should be automatically granted access to whatever the fuck he wants.

Um, no.

Sadly, drummer Nathan Fallowill responded via Twitter saying “Dear Ryan Murphy, let it go. See a therapist, get a manicure, buy a new bra. Zip your lip and focus on educating 7yr olds how to say fuck.” Now, although I completely understand this in-kind retort, unfortunately it puts Nathan at Murphy’s level. Of course, because Murphy is openly gay, telling him to “…get a manicure, buy a new bra…” is apparently extremely offensive because Murphy responded saying that Nathan is a homophobe.

Please.

Although I don’t condone the insinuation, intended or not, I don’t blame Nathan for firing back at such a childish attack to begin with. The bigger problem, as I stated before, is that Murphy is hypocritical for calling them self-centered. Again, they have a right to allow or disallow their music to be used on any medium, for whatever reason they deem fit. Who does Murphy think he is?

The whole thing is fucking stupid.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Weekly Impressions #10.45

Posted by cristóvão On November - 11 - 2010

Written by: Chris Andrade

The name of the game this week is albums from bands that I used to really, really dig but their latest work has kinda fallen short. This is what I mean;

Growing up in Toronto, I had the privilege of knowing and enjoying the music of Rainbow Butt Monkeys. Sure, the odd person outside of the GTA is familiar with the group but for those who are scratching their head, they are now known as Finger Eleven. Even after the name change post-Letters From Chutney, F11 were an awesome act with great music, baggy pants and an impressive live show (still to this day, their 2002 performance at Calgary’s SnoJam festival that was cut short by a driving thunder and lightning storm was one of the best I EVER saw). For me though, things started to slip after the annoying success of “One Thing”. Their latest effort, Life Turns Electric, isn’t awful but it’s a continuation of their increasingly generic, radio-friendly cookie-cutter rock sound. Still, opening track “Any Moment Now” is a taste of what made them so enjoyable way back when. Meanwhile, “Love’s What You Left Me With” is great, which for me is breaking my own mold being a mellow track but it fits.

When I first discovered Coheed and Cambria a couple albums into their existence, I was pretty pumped at their excellent sound. I mean, nothing rocked harder than blasting “Welcome Home” on the car stereo or trying to master it in Rock Band (yes, I was late to the game). Yet as the Amory Wars saga continued to unfold with …No World for Tomorrow, it seemed to lose some steam. Same goes for Year of the Black Rainbow. Their latest release (and actually the first chapter in the Armory Wars) is no different. They aren’t horrible. In fact, Coheed and Cambria have improved their skill quite well. It’s just that there really isn’t anything here that pops out at you. There’s nothing unique. It’s simply just a formula that’s been improved rather than expanded or experimented. I don’t hate it, but I can’t find anything to be excited about.

The last of the three albums that apply to my lead statement fared the best of all. The newly released Come Around Sundown from Kings of Leon is a very good album. However, it contains too many of what I like to call, three-star rated song. They aren’t bad, but they tend to level off the album a little too much and really, I could’ve just done without them. Lead track “the End” is excellent, probably the best followed closely by “No Money”. Meanwhile, single “Radioactive”, “the Immortals” and surprisingly, “Mary” are all solid cuts that make Come Around Sundown worthwhile.

To wrap up this week, I gave a brief listen to a couple of hip hop albums; N*E*R*D*‘s Nothing and Wake Up! from John Legend and the Roots. To be fair, I’m not an expert in the world of hip hop but I wasn’t totally taken by these two albums. Firstly, I was totally expecting something different from N*E*R*D* (for some reason, I thought they were a lot heavier with a twist of rock) while I do like the Roots, this album with Legend is much more R_B than hip hop. They both are good albums though and one thing is for sure, the Roots have to be one of the hardest working bands around today; two albums in a year (How I Got Over came out earlier this year and I’ll be talking about it next week) PLUS they’re Jimmy Fallon’s house band on Late Night. Impressive.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Album Review: Kings of Leon ~ Come Around Sundown

Posted by show On November - 2 - 2010

Written by: Andy Stewart

Come Around Sundown, the Kings of Leon follow up to their massively successful fourth album Only By The Night, is a solid and what could be described as a more personal offering. Gone are the days of the raw, unhinged and at times manic rock and roll that began their journey, and in its place a more mature offering drawing heavily on the band’s roots.

Now into their second decade together, the Kings appear to be more comfortable in their abilities after having finally achieved success globally. Enough so that they seem comfortable enough to pay tribute to the life they’ve led that brought them to this point.

The album opens with the low key track, “The End”, which paves the way for a strong opening quarter to the album. Like “Knocked Up” or “On Call”, the song leans heavily on the mood of the music rather than its strong lyrics to set the tone. “Radioactive” and “Pyro” move ahead with similar distant qualities but are complete departures in tempo. The choral sound of “Radioactive” adds a strong southern Baptist feel to a track that wears its ancestry on its sleeve, while “Pyro” returns to a slower tempo like the opening track.

The remaining tracks on the album skip between southern rock and 50′s rock ‘n roll easily, with very few offering the impact of the earlier songs. While none of the songs on the second half of the album stand out as unbelievably ambitious offerings, they are all recognizable as part of the Kings sound; albeit one that seems more mature and able to enjoy it’s place in the world.

An obvious tribute to their past, it’s as if this album is the Kings’ way of staying connected to where they came from in the face of global acceptance. The calm feel of the album is a stark contrast to what has surely been an emotional and at times overwhelming past several years. While it doesn’t seem to have the flame needed to light the world on fire, it is easy to simply listen to the album and appreciate all the sounds included in here that helped make the band what it is today.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Kings of Leon Set To Release Fifth Album

Posted by JonesK On August - 7 - 2010

Written By: Kristen Jones

Kings of Leon have announced their much anticipated fifth studio album Come Around Sundown is to be released on October 18th.

The album is the follow-up to the hugely successful Only By The Night, which sold over six million copies worldwide and won the band four Grammy Awards.

During their current North American tour, Kings Of Leon have been giving fans a glimpse of the new thirteen track album.  Not surprisingly some fans already seem to know the lyrics.  The band is hoping that the fans’ positive reaction to the album will reflect equally well on the charts.

According to drummer Nathan Followill, “[The songs have] been going over really well, a lot better than we thought they would.  Some of them are getting better reactions than the older songs, which is bittersweet, but it’s great to see fans are digging the direction we’re heading in.”

The band has also announced they will preview tracks from Come Around Sundown when they headline the V Festival in the UK later this month.

Follow Kings Of Leon on their official website www.kingsofleon.com

Popularity: unranked [?]

Show’s 2009 Year End – Best End

Posted by show On December - 18 - 2009

Written by: Andy Stewart

Short and sweet here are my Top 10 Albums of 2009.

10] The xx ~ xx; the former 4 piece is now a 3 piece, but it does nothing to take away from their solid first offering. Stand out tracks are “Basic Space” and “Crystalised”

9] Manchester Orchestra ~ Mean Everything to Nothing; Good album with solid songs. ‘Nuff said.

8] Phoenix ~ Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix; Way too catchy to be good for you. The fact that their songs are popping up all over the place means I either have good taste, or I’m brainwashed by marketing. Either way, I like the album.

7] Kid Cudi ~ Man on the Moon: the End of Day; Albums like this restore my faith that rap is a bona fide art form. Rappers that can convey a story full of equal parts angst and swagger are a rare breed.

6] Band of Skulls ~ Baby Darling Doll Face honey; This is the album the Dead Weather should have made.

Kasabian ~ West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum5] Muse ~ The Resistance; There is not enough over the top rock and roll in the world. Thankfully Muse is doing their part the void.

4] Mastodon ~ Crack the Skye; Hard as hell rock and roll. “The Last Baron” is such an insanely good track that the entire album could be just that track over-and-over and I’d still probably put it at #4.

3] Whitest Boy Alive ~ Rules; Infectious. It’s one of those albums that just flows effortlessly from start to finish. I wish it was about an hour longer than what it is.

2] Blackroc ~ Blackroc; This album fucking slays. The only reason it’s not #1 is because I just got it a couple of weeks ago. Black Keys + Various Rappers = Fucking Awesome. Check out their webisodes on youtube to get an idea how it all came together.

1] Kasabian ~ West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum; Just go get it. Trust me.

And my not-so-long list of Top Concerts (which is by no means a reflection of my weak social life) are:

4)  Kings of Leon @ the Saddledome

3) Kasabian @ the Corn Exchange and Wembley

2) The Streets @ the Corn Exchange

1) Oasis @ Wembley

Popularity: unranked [?]

Dean Lickyer to Revitalize Classic Rock ‘n’ Roll

Posted by rlatham On November - 4 - 2009
Photo by Laurie Januska

Photo by Laurie Januska

Written by: Rob Latham

If you thought good old classic rock’n'roll died with the disappearance of epic bands like Led Zeppelin and The Who then think again, because promising young Canadian rockers Dean Lickyer fit the mold exactly.

The four-piece hailing from Hamilton, ON, are an energetic, exuberant blast of, in their words, ‘authentic rock’n'roll’ which sounds like an impressive fusion of Led Zeppelin and Guns’n'Roses.

I met up with front man Joshua Alvernia, 20, and guitarist Sean Royle, 19, at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom the day after the first of their two gigs supporting Irish rockers Flogging Molly at the venue. Speaking to them it is clear the inspiration that drives their music comes predominantly from all the great bands of the 50s, 60s and 70s.

As Alvernia explains: “Music back then seemed a lot more thought out and dedicated to the craft. There are some bands who are still dedicated to their craft like Dr. Dog (Philadelphia rock band) and Kings of Leon and those are bands now we really look up to.

“When we first started out we sounded a lot more like Guns’n'Roses and we were a five-piece but now we’ve moved into a more retro, psychedelic style.”

The band is on its first ever tour with other bands having previously toured Canada by themselves and they are now enjoying life on the road with a major band. But they explain that their sole focus in their lives is the music, which comes across dominantly in their dynamic on-stage presence.

Alvernia said: “We gave up everything just so we could focus on he band, to give it a go while we’re young and at our prime. Right now everything is just about music or the band.

“I guess what we’re trying to do is write as much as we possibly can, so anything that sparks our interest we’re trying to make into a song.

“Especially at our age, apparently the peak of our creative edge where you have the most development is between 19 and 22, so it’s a case of writing as much as we can to develop our craft and do our best work.”

Dean Lickyer got a great reception form the Vancouver audience and explain they enjoy playing to a crows who have come solely to see the main event, in this case Flogging Molly.

Alvernia said: “It’s always a really good vibe here, it’s kind of exciting to be a new band and the reception is positive.

“A lot of the time some of the Flogging Molly crowd are very rough and tumble kind of people but they always warm up to us by the end, usually at least by the second song they’re like ‘okay, these guys aren’t imitators.’”

And imitators they certainly are not, Dean Lickyer is a band with bags of talent, an awesome live act and likable, down to earth characters, all of which means this is a name to look out for in the very near future. The band plan to release a new EP next year, following the completion of their current tour.

To check out Dean Lickyer’s music and tour dates visit their MySpace or Facebook pages.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Video of the Day: the Features ~ “Lions”

Posted by cristóvão On August - 23 - 2009

Here’s a cool littel video from the Features, a quartet from Nashville who just put out their fourth release, Some Kind of Salvation;

The group recently were signed to Kings of Leon‘s new imprint label on Bug Music.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Lollapalooza Reveal Conflicting 2009 Schedule

Posted by cristóvão On June - 17 - 2009

lollapaloozaWhen Lollapalooza announced their 2009 headliners and line-up, I immediately realized there was going to be some problems. Six big names (Beastie Boys, Depeche Mode, Jane’s Addiction, the Killers, Kings of Leon, Tool) with only three nights for them to take the two main stages. There were surely going to be some competing performances.

Although no rumours existed on which band would be performing on what night, I had a feeling my two favourite acts would conflict and I was right on the money.

Today, Lollapalooza announced the full schedule for the three-day festival. Here’s how it pans out for the headliners;

Of course, with eight different stages/tents and well over 200 acts performing over the three days, you’re bound to have a few bands overlap each other leaving you with some hard choices. I just can’t get over why they would do this with the headliners though?

So, if I were to have actually gotten my shite together and was heading to Chicago this summer, this is who I would see and who I would sacrifice;

  • Friday: See ~ Kings of Leon; Sacrifice ~ Depeche Mode. I have seen neither act and although the chances of seeing Depeche Mode are much slimmer than Kings of Leon, I would only be inclined to see the former if, and ONLY if, they were to play Violator in it’s entirety.
  • Saturday: See ~ Beastie Boys; Sacrifice ~ Tool. This one is surprisingly simple. I’ve seen Tool four times whereas the Beasties are on my list of must-see having not caught a show of theirs yet. Sorry Maynard. Please don’t hurt me.
  • Sunday: See ~ Jane’s Addiction; Sacrifice ~ the Killers. This one is even easier. I like Jane’s Addiction. Not a huge, monster fan but I do like them and despite having seen them at Lollapalooza in Seattle back in 2003, I would take them over the Killers in a heartbeat. I like the Killers for about a month but I am so fucking tired of them right now and their shitty music. Plus it doesn’t help when you whine and bitch that Led Zeppelin ruined things for you. You are not and never will be anywhere near the calibre of Led Zeppelin and to put yourself in the same category is tantamount to blasphemy and treason all wrapped in one. Piss off.

In reality, none of this really matters as I sadly will not be making the trek to Chicago. I also realize it’s a rather large festival and all this complaining about performance conflicts is silly but it’s fun to go off on a tangent from time to time.

Who would you pick to see in the battle of bands for your love and adoration? Leave a comment and even take into consideration the other 200 bands on the line-up this year.

Popularity: 4% [?]

Video of the Week: Kings of Leon ~ “Notion”

Posted by cristóvão On June - 8 - 2009

I can’t decide if the fact that one of the much better songs on Kings of Leon‘s smash hit album Only by the Night becoming the potential next single is a good thing or not. On the one hand, people who don’t usually pay attention or buy whole albums will be introduced to music that is much better than the already released singles while on the other hand, it’ll likely get played to shite, thus ruining yet another KoL song for me.

Regardless, here’s the video the band released for “Notion” on MySpace last week. Leave a comment and let us know what you think;

Popularity: 4% [?]

Pre-Sale Passwords for Week Ending May 2nd, 2009

Posted by cristóvão On April - 29 - 2009

This week is shaping up to be a busy one with pre-sales for some excellent concerts. Check out all the details below for the various shows going on sale this week in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Hollywood!

Popularity: 13% [?]

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