Check out Shows/ The Rock Star Stories tab for the All American Rejects/Taking Back Sunday videos. Â Thanks to Matt and Adam from TBS and Mike and Chris from AAR for talking with us. Â Also thanks to Alex our host!
by Vanessa Paredes
Itâ€™s here. The highly anticipated, overly hyped, oh so talked about film: New Moon. The second installment of the Twilight Saga hit the big screen this November and you can bet your life savings that the lines were outrageous and theaters were sold out all over the nation. Fully equipped with a new director (Chris Weitz), New Moon definitely out staged the production of Twilight, but not by a long shot. If one thing is for certain though, itâ€™s that Edward Cullen is about to blend into the shadows and a new obsession will arise; his name is Jacob Black.
In New Moon, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) couldnâ€™t be more awkward with each other, and there is a reason behind it. Edward plans to leave forks and Bella behind. He does so early into the film, and the â€œbreak upâ€ shakes up the story line, bringing forward Jacob black (Taylor Lautner) to our attention. Once Bella really starts warming up to her new â€œfriendâ€ another fantastical secret is unraveled. Vampires are not the only non-humans roaming around Forks; Jacob and his â€œclanâ€ take the form of wolves in order to â€œprotectâ€ the town from vampires, or at least the evil kind. Naturally, Jacob falls in love with Bella while Edward is absent, and this creates a chaotic love triangle that will be a major theme in the movies to come. Just when it seems like Bella is finally warming up to the idea of liking Jacob back, Edward is forcefully engrained back on to her feeble mind when he makes a phone call to the Swan residence for the first time after his disappearance.
Bella gets on a plane to Italy faster than you can say vampires are not real, in attempts to save her soul mate from killing himself. Edward had been mal-informed that Bella had passed away, and finds only one solution: plead the Volturi (Organized coven of vampires) to take his life, which is no easy task, being a vampire and all. The Volturi consisted of the best actors in the film, including big shots such as Dakota fanning playing Jane, and Michael Sheen as Aro. How the movie ends can be yours to figure out.
New Moon shouldnâ€™t break a sweat impressing the teenage female population. Weitz incorporates all the right elements, and some of the scenes are beautifully done. Although the movie does lack decent actors, because letâ€™s face it, Robert Pattinson canâ€™t act to save his life, the movie-goers will still sink their teeth into this vampire fantasy flick. In addition the film was successful in staying true to the book, which will hopefully keep the Twi-hardâ€™s complaints to a minimum. So get those movie tickets and enjoy the eraâ€™s newest craze.
All Student Journalists are invited to the AFI Press Conference this Wednesday at 3:45pm.
The location: Revolution Live (www.jointherevolution.net) 200 West Broward Blvd. Ft Lauderdale 33301.
Meet at will call to be escorted upstairs for the press conference.
The press conference will be over at approximately 4:30pm. No tickets are provided for the show but they are available at the Revolution box office or ticketmaster.
See you there!
by Diana Ciuca
The album begins with the quintessential Death Cab for Cutie song, with the electric piano and occasional wavering in and out of loud and soft harmony. The symbol of the equinox in the song displays some astrological influence upon the entire album. So far, I’m hoping that this is a themed album; fingers crossed.
Luckily, or not, the next few songs tend to stick to a similar principle. Truly, the only theme to this album can be summed up in three words: soft, indie, dreamy. After some ups and downs in tempos, beats, and instrumentation (guitars, drums, and piano), the only conclusion that can be drawn is that this is a genre piece. The album advocates the beauty of the indie (sub/counter) culture that has motivated hipsters to invade American Apparel and also the local Salvation Army/Goodwill in search of “hot buys.” They are the picture-hoarding, iPod wearing, Twilight-reading youngsters who are fluent in the language of music and, thankfully, that of texting. By putting all these songs together, I feel like their (the individual song’s and the hip, excitable, teen’s) originality is forsaken; Nevertheless, each song, on their own, is truly a work of art – as are most indie pieces. As Andy Warhol said, “Art is what you can get away with.” Certainly, we have gotten away with much avante-gardness in the past, and this album, asÂ fresh or unique as you want it to be, is no different.
Most critics see this as a medley of wonderful musicians. Still, I can’t help but question what is so great about these musical sensations? Usually it is the voice, or the smooth guitar, or the sound effects. This album has so much of those techniques that it almost becomes overwhelming. In conclusion, the New Moon soundtrack is like food. Sure, I love peperoni pizza, chocolate ice cream, steak, salsa, and salad. But, if you were to throw them all on one plate, I might not enjoy it as much.
The album ends with the quintessential Classical music piece, with the alternating piano and occasion speeding up and down of the tempo. The symbol of the new moon in the title displays some astrological influence upon the entire album – given that itÂ is the title.
Sounds like you’ve heard that sentence before? It sounds like I’ve heard all these songs before, too.
By Brittany Reeber University of Texas Austin
The Monday after Austin City Limits Music Festival was a day of recovery from a weekend with little sleep and lots of noise. I had my doubts about the interview scheduled with Ghostland Observatory for that Monday night. If I was dead tired, I could only imagine how the Austin duo felt after two days of shows, blowing up both Zilker Park at the ACL Fest Saturday night and then downtown at Stubbsâ€™s BBQ the next day. But sure enough, Thomas Ross Turner, exactly one half of the spacey ensemble and master of multi-tasking (managing synthesizer, keyboard, drums, and backing vocals), showed up on my friendâ€™s front porch around ten oâ€™clock.
This weekend has been crazy for you!
-Yeah a pretty intense weekend, a lot of preparation.
How did you feel about your show at ACL?
-That was really good, really large crowd, and everything went really well. The crowd response was really good and we had a good time up there.
Do you prefer playing a festival or a club show?
-They’re all pretty surprising because say you have your mind set on how a certain show is gonna be or a certain city…in the beginning when we were touring, it’d be like ‘Oh this is gonna be the best ever… it’s this city or its this festival,’ and then you’re kind of let down. Or sometimes it’s the opposite, you go in to some town you’ve never been to before and you’re like ‘Oh I wonder how this is gonna go,’ and it end up being insane. So you never know what you’re gonna get, they can both be fun.
Have you always had the whole light show?
-No, because in the beginning, like right after the Paparazzi Lightening record, we’d go on tour and play a show in Los Angeles for like ten people. After we got home, I was like, ‘yeah this may not work, we may have to think of something else.’ Because you know we’d go up to Seattle and there’d be like eight or nine people there. We played some coffee shop in Bellingham, Washington and people were trying to study and we were trying to rock out. And then we’d have to drive all the way home from Bellingham and have to think about that. Like, ‘okay we just did a string of shows that maybe equaled up to fifty people total and things are not looking to good.’ We did a lot of shows like that in the beginning but we just kept going and eventually it worked.
How did you find the motivation? That seems pretty deterring.
-Well we’d come back to Austin and get rejuvenated. We’d play a crazy show at Emo’s or something and there’d be a thousand sweaty, hot people and a lot of energy. It would be so fun and we’d be like ‘Oh alright let’s try it again.’ We’d go back out and more people would be at the shows and it just started to grow like that.
It all seems to very be connected, the music and the lasers, do you guys work it out a lot beforehand?
-Yeah I mean that’s part of our partnership, being together for three years. It’s like a whole unit now: the sound, the lights, the performance, and the lasers. It’s all the show, the whole thing, so everything works together. I guess it’s sort of choreographed in a way to where it’s like nothing should be out of place.
Do you feel like it really enhances everything?
-I think so…with the lighting and the lasers and the different feelings and climaxes and parts of the set. I think it enhances everything because not only are you hearing it and feeling it, you’re seeing things happen. If there’s an exciting point in the set and the lights are going nuts, you see the crowd reacting and it helps.
Your whole setup on stage, you’ve got your keyboards and everything, what’s going on over there? It just looks like you’re doing so much all at once!
-Yeah I’ve got my synthesizers and my sequencer and my mixer and the drums. I’ve kind of got tunnel vision, I don’t really look out too much to the crowd cuz I try to make sure everything keeps moving along and everything is right. I get to groove out back there, but I can’t move around. That’s why I sport the cape, so I can just be back in my little control station.
I read online that your wife made your cape.
-Yeah and she made me a new one for ACL fest and it had lights on it so that’s pretty cool.
That’s a big deal! You never change from the other cape, right?
-I had the original and I wear the original still, and then she made me another one for ACL fest two years ago, but I threw that one in to the crowd.
Was she mad?
-No, she was alright with it, but she made this one and she was like, ‘no throwing this one.’ She spent a lot of time on this last one so I wasn’t gonna do it.
What’s it made out of?
-Hmm, I don’t know materials and things, but it’s some kind of material and she hand sewed it. Then got these lights and got this engineer to help her get all the lights connected to this thing in the back that has a switch and it runs off batteries.
Do you think you’re gonna catch on fire?
-No I don’t think its got enough juice to light me on fire, but it does get hot in there.
Aaron is your other half and he’s out front singing, do you ever get jealous and want to stretch around ?
-He does what he does and I do what I do. He’s more like live and loose and entertaining and I’m just like: ‘Okay, we need to be here at this time. Alright, what are the lights doing? Okay perfect.’ So he’s perfect for what he does and I kind of stay back in my little area.
The sound that Ghostland Observatory has is really unique, in Austin and in general. How did you guys come to find that sound together? Did you have something in mind or did it just happen?
-I think what we were trying to do when we first started creating was just push it out there, you know, be different. We really wanted to make music that was either loved or hated and not just kind of middle of the road. Same thing with our live show, we either want people to be like, ‘oh yeah I love those guys,’ or they show up and are like, ‘I can’t stand them, I would never go to see that ever again.’ It’s either or, you know, and that’s just all we try to do.
Do you believe in life on other planets?
-I’m sure, I mean, you can’t even chart how large the universe is, right? It’s like ever expanding, so how would you even know? You’d be taking a guess either way. There’s no telling what’s out there.
Well because your music is so spacey, how do you think aliens would receive your show if they saw it?
- Haha, hopefully they’d want to groove out. Especially the light set up we had at ACL fest; it was designed to look like a mother ship.
That’s how I felt when I saw it! I could see the show all the way from the other side of the festival.
-Yeah so hopefully they’d be like ‘these guys know what’s going on.’
What are you plans for the future? What do you hope to happen with the band?
-Just first get through these forty shows from now until January, take a little breather, and then start creating again and try to push it even further.
By: Vanessa Paredes
Band: Brand new
release date: sept 22 2009
Record Label: Interscope/DGC/Procrastinate! Music Traitors
Formed in Long Island, New York, Brand New has been causing a scene for almost decade now, and with three successful releases, it is safe to say their fourth was highly anticipated. Daisy hit stores Sept. 22, after nine long months of creative juices flowing and hours on end spent in the recording studio. The band sets a noticeably more aggressive tone with Daisy, though the record is still somewhat relevant to their previous album The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me in the way that Jesse Lacey (lead singer/songwriter) delivers a dark atmosphere along with passionately sung lyrics that will have the listener begging for more. Yet it is hard to believe Daisy is Brand Newâ€™s work when comparing it to their first two albums DÃ©jÃ Entendu and Your Favorite Weapon. A once punk band that produced songs that can easily be described as every 18-year-oldâ€™s anthem has grown up and changed its ways.
An experimental approach has been taken with Daisy, playing around with distortion and abstract sounds giving it a unique edge. The most notable approach Brand New took in their latest album was the intro/outro. As the first track â€œVicesâ€ begins you are sent back in time to the 1950â€™s with a church hymn featuring a vintage vocal and piano recording, and before you know it Brand New dives into an intense introduction that will set the mood for the rest of the album. The subsequent tracks throughout set up a similar atmosphere, yet each one still has something extraordinary to offer. Among these, â€œAt the Bottomâ€ really stands out; it has a catchy melody accompanied by whimsical lyrics and impressive break down that will have you rewinding the song to hear it over and over again. The song is considered to be Daisyâ€™s single.
When it came down to a well written song chances are track 7 â€œDaisyâ€ will truly satisfy the lyric lover in you; versus like this one really make an impression:â€œI’m a mountain that has been moved, I’m a fugitive that has no legs to run, I’m a preacher with no pulpit, spewing a sermon that goes on and on and onâ€¦Well if we take all these things and we bury them fast , and we’ll pray that they turn into seeds, to roots, and then grass.â€ The entire album was written by not only Lacey, but guitarist Vincent Accardi as well.
The record finishes off with â€œNoroâ€ which delivers an upbeat rhythmic drum line that catches your attention instantly, as well as the highly appropriate line â€œIâ€™m on my way outâ€. This is easily the best song featured on Daisy. Just as one thinks the song is finished, that same familiar 1950â€™s Hymn previously heard in the introduction ties it all up, successfully completing the album.
It is important to keep in mind that Daisy is an acquired taste, and it is more than likely that its listeners will have to give it a few spins before it grows on them. In addition, Daisy is not meant for the general mainstream audience, so this album may not be for everybody. Daisy is sure to please Brand Newâ€™s die-hard admirers as they will recognize well developed chord progressions, drum and bass lines, as well as thought provoking and mature lyrics. Overall the production of Daisy is phenomenal and should not be overlooked; albums like this one do not come around very often.
by Diana Ciuca
The 88 is “new, fresh, modern” band as described by the keyboard player Adam Merrin. My interview with him provided descriptive information about where the band has been and where it’s heading. With outstanding appeal along with a strong Californian foundation, The 88 keeps rising to success.
From the Los Angeles region, Adam Merrin described the band’s hometown as being an “upper-middle” area which influenced the band’s music, since most environments tend to have an impact on the overall tone of a band. The two founding members, Keith and Adam both met in high school due to their common affinity for music. Adam remembers the “day that changed [his] life.” He recalled the idea of starting a band as a haphazardly recommendation friend. Nevertheless, Keith and Adam later tried to record a song that they wrote at a party, as that’s when the band finally took off as less of a concept and more of a possibility.The feeling of their first session of playing together – Keith’s great voice and Adam’s guitar talents – really had them saying “this is it,” as if being in a band was what they were meant to be doing. Although the band (formerly titled The Freeloaders) had no real direction or “financial motives,” their mutual passion for music and spirit of hard work helped lead to future success.
As every band knows, the members will suffer a few struggles, especially with the passage of time. Adam recalls how two of the foremost band members left and were succeeded. “Carlos was on the band for 13 years,” Adam mentioned, so it was tough when he left. Carlos was the former bass player who left because touring was taking a toll on the amount time he spent with the members of his other family – his wife and kids. As Adam illustrates it, the band members had always had a real family feel or closeness; He describes by mentioning that “it was difficult even leaving for a weekend” without being heartbroken. Brandon was also a former member of the band but moved on to a more Hollywood career and is featured in the HBO hit Weeds. The 88 actually has a hit on the soundtrack of Weeds along with many other hit TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy and The OC.
Being in LA is definitely a “great starting place,” as Adam puts it. It really aided in getting the band spots on radio stations and even live performances like on The Late Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live. This helped “spread their music” and commercial success. Bands like The Beatles and The Band are huge influences on The 88. They’ve also toured with big names like the Smashing Pumpkins and one of Adam’s personal favorites, The B-52′s on the east coast and Matt Costa on a Canadian tour. Adam mentioned these last two as being some highlights of his musical career. Nevertheless, the band, known for their energetic shows, put effort into every show. Adam expresses the 88′s shows as if every time they go on, they “try and make it the best show ever.” “We show fun when we’re doing it, we’re not too serious (not on stage at least),” he comments, “but we are very serious about the music we make.” When asked if Adam considers the band “indie,” he replies, “oh yeah, because we do everything ourselves; it’s how we survive as a band.” Their dedication and hard work is clearly evident, especially in their varied music that merits to fit under a broad genre.
With possible plans of a tour to Europe and elsewhere, this band, 19 years in the making, sees no plans for retiring. “I cannot see myself doing anything not music related,” Adam remarks. This is the general ideology of all the band members. Music is foremost. “Writing, practicing and preforming” is what The 88 does best. “We work hard and keep doing what we’re doing, ” Adam summarizes and adds, “we’re lucky and blessed.” A truly appreciative band that deserves the appreciate of fans everywhere, the 88 is a band who continues to thrive since they “open to doing something different because there’s always something new.”
To find out more, check out their website:Â www.the88.net; their myspace:Â www.myspace.com/the88, and even their twitter: twitter.com/the88
by Diana Ciuca
THE first song on the album, Dark Horse, initially comes as a surprise yet finally slows down midway through the song. Then tension is built up through the gradual increasing magnitude of the guitar and drums which culminates with ‘metal-core’ screaming. The next song, Reap What you Sow (2), consisted of even less audible screaming, with more musical force than before complemented by a ridiculously fast tempo. However, the issue with music like this is that if you’re not a fan, you can hardly appreciate the subtleties in each song (such as the difference between chords and variety of screams). I’ve been to local screamo shows, and they don’t have the energy that Converge exhibits, especially in the first few songs. Their album is absolutely mind-blowing, in a scream-guitar-scream-drums kind of way. Nevertheless, the band proves their malleability throughout the rest of the album.
At times I feel that Converge should stop ‘attacking me with music,’ but I would be mistaken to contend that the band would want to do anything less thanÂ roll with the punches (or high tempo guitar chords, in this case). The album sometimes progresses like a machine gun of noise, yet eventually slows down towards the end of the album and of several songs like Axe to Fall (3). That slow tempo is idyllic (relative to the rest of the songs). Furthermore, the high pitched guitar sounds unexpectedly add another facet to the band’s overall sound in the song Effigy (4) . But then again, the addition of yet another pitch is like spreading mustard on a hot dog of music which is already saturated with ketchup, relish, mayonnaise, soy sauce, onions, and raspberries.
In song Worms to Feed (5), the lead finally slows down with an almost angry Led Zeppelin-like guitar. Finally, this song exposes a more experimental side of the band with a spectacular ending. Worms to Feed, my personal favorite, it more variety to the typical rip chords and machine gun drums, but maintains generally the same feeling of heavy metal. The song Damages (7) probably doesn’t do as much damage to your hearing aids as you might expect; it seems almost refreshingly different. The feedback juxtaposes you in the “cliffhanger” stage of the whole album where you’re wondering if the band will soften up their style or keep pounding the guitar. To my joy, they eventually let go of the incessant noise saturated chords but only after songs 8-12 of more repetitive rip chords. They definitely are stimulating, yet it leaves you expecting something more.
Since I’m such a sissy when it comes to music that makes my speakers tremble constantly, Cruel Bloom (12) strikes me as a relieving break from the rest of the album. The muted voice (a legitimate voice, not screaming!) with the dreamy guitar sounds like the original Heavy Metal of Ozzy Osbourne. With a pendulum rhythm, the intro to Wretched World, the last song (13), represents the beginning of the end. With a slight resemblance to Smashing Pumpkins, the album eerily finishes with extended chords instead of the pounding ones we were introduced to at the beginning of the album. The energetic, electric discord which fades into a soft harmony parallels the overall structure of the album.