Track Listing: Can-Rock For Canada Day

It’s national holiday week in North America, and TPS is gonna help you celebrate.  Friday (July 4th) is Independence Day in America, and Tuesday (July 1st) is Canada Day.  We’ll get to the former later this week, and we’ll start with a soundtrack to the latter.

In rock music more than any other genre (country gives it a good run though), Canada can hold its own with any country.  For this edition of “Track Listing”, we’ll highlight stuff that would be conducive to enjoying Canada Day.  We’ll do music that fits a “good time” theme, and just good overall Can-Rock regardless of subject matter:

Gob – “Soda”

This was the first song that came into my head for this post.  The Vancouver punks have their first new record in seven years, Apt. 13, coming out August 26th via New Damage Records, but we’ll take it back to their 1995 debut Too Late…No Friends for this one.  A great little blast that says “I want to jump in a lake/sun shining down on the beach in the summer”?  That works.

Wildlife – “Dangerous Times”

The latest single from their 2013 sophomore effort Born To Ruin, Toronto indie rockers Wildlife bring a mid-tempo sound to “Dangerous Times” with fantastic guitar work – I can’t peg what the lead guitar is doing effect-wise, but it’s awesome.  Notably, these guys played a concert at Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, the world’s largest active volcano.

Carleton Stone – “Climbing Up The Walls”

The Sydney, Nova Scotia artist has dabbled in folk, country and indie rock, and new single “Climbing Up The Walls” is all the latter.  From Stone’s new album Draws Blood, the song features stunted strumming of only slightly distorted guitar chords and fantastic, dueling echoed vocals.  It rocks pretty hard.

The Motorleague – “North America”

One of my favourite Canadian bands to hit the scene over the last year, Moncton, New Brunswick’s The Motorleague put out their debut Acknowledge, Acknowledge last year and first single “North America” is balls-out hard rockin’ goodness.  They’ve got tonight, they’ve got this song, they’ve got North America.  Sounds like a holiday attitude to me, yeah?  That and they have a page on their official website called “Taco Thursday” where they feature homemade tacos.  That’s phenomenal.

Vulgaires Machins – “Puit Sans Fond”

Is that…French???  Hell yeah it is!  The music of Quebec is often overlooked by English speakers due to the language barrier, but there’s a great big world of sick artists in La Belle Province.  Punk rockers Vulgaires Machins (Vulgar Machines) come from Granby, about an hour east of Montreal.  “Puit Sans Fond” (“Bottomless Pit”) is mid-tempo, and features the usual complementary vocals of singer/guitarists Guillaume Beauregard (lead vocals) and Marie-Eve Roy, and COWBELL.  If you can get past the fact that you may not understand what they’re singing about, check these guys out.  Quebec Punk Scene is a great site for other bands like this, by the way.  Canada does have two official languages, after all.

Propagandhi – “Rio De San Atlanta, Manitoba”

Winnipeg-based Propagandhi have been playing in-your-face punk rock with in-your-face opinions for almost thirty years, and since this one mentions their home province of Manitoba, why not?  Sure it’s under a minute, but you can put things on “repeat” and dive into the beer for longer.  Celebrating needs its fair dose of realistic reflection of the poor state of affairs, obviously.

Treble Charger – “Brand New Low”

Since I just realized these guys are back together (did I already know that?  Who knows!) why not feature the pride of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.  Treble Charger gave a decade-plus of indie rock/pop-punk before calling it a day in 2006.  “Brand New Low” was the follow-up single to the popular “American Psycho” off 2000’s Wide Awake Bored, and it’s good sitting-around-talking-and-drinking tuneage.  Good tune, and yeah I knew they got back together in 2012…I’m pretty sure?  That’s good though, these guys are always a solid listen.

Slowcoaster – “Flip Flops”

Finally, I debated putting this one on because I just used it for the “What Could Comprise A Surfing Soundtrack?” post, but what the hell: this reggae-tinged song from the Sydney, Nova Scotia act is made for summer, with lyrics like: “Grab your flipflops, and your boom box and two coolers of ice/We hit up the same spot, where it’s so hot and the water feels so nice/Steal a little tiki torch from your mamas porch, we ‘aint gonna bring it back/’Cause when the sun comes up my friends, we’re doing this again”…and, it’s called flippin’ (wordplay LOL) “Flip Flops”.  It was worth another plug, damn it!

As always, we could go on, but I wanted to feature some songs and/or artists that we haven’t talked about much.  Whatever you listen to if you celebrate Canada Day – Canadian or not – have a good-ass day on Tuesday.

Liner Notes: Thursday, June 26th


Absolute Punk
has a pretty cool exclusive up: a video interview with Say Anything frontman Max Bemis, talking about their new album Hebrews.  You can also read Drew Beringer’s review of the album – which features SIXTEEN guest vocalists – there.

 AP also passes along Pete Wentz’s chat with Canoe.ca regarding new Fall Out Boy music, where he says it’ll be something you don’t likely expect, but nothing has been recorded.  One user commented on that story with: “He (sic) probably too busy hosting 3 reality shows, running a music label, writing a book, instructing a spin class, hosting a bris party, opening his chain of Wentzel’s Pretzels at a few malls, churning butter and teaching welding at a technicial (sic) school.”  Ha.


Billboard
caught up with Anberlin at Warped Tour, where the band discussed their farewell run.  Frontman Stephen Christian explained why they’re calling it a day: “I would rather people say, ‘Why are they disbanding?’ than ‘Wait, they’re still a band?’ That’s what it’s all about. Every band has to know when to hold ‘em, when to fold ‘em. And I just feel like if we want to keep the inspiration, the legacy and everything we’ve done and accomplished as something people are still excited about, we should leave before we’re back in a van playing for 40 people. Twelve years we just put our heart and soul into this, so why leave it with putting a bad taste in peoples’ mouths?”  End it on a good note and leave ’em wanting more, indeed.  Can’t fault that logic.

SPIN has details on the latest Weezer new album tease, with this one called “Eulogy For A Rock Band”.  In it, River Cuomo sets off to follow his dreams in Los Angeles.  The album name, by the way?  Everything Will Be Alright In The End.  

According to Pitchfork, indie supergroup Head Wound City has reunited for a concert in September.  HWC features the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Nick Zinner, Blood Brothers’ Jordan Blilie and Cody Votolato and The Locust’s Justin Pearson and Gabe Serbian.  They’ll be playing Bedrock in Los Angeles September 20th for “BEDROCKtoberfest”.  Stuff’s getting “curated” there, so you know it’s grade A, cut above music and stuff.

Wanna see what you (maybe?) missed at NXNE this year?  Chart Attack has exclusive pictures from documentary photographer and music video director Colin Medley.  Did you know there’s a musician named Andre Ethier?  And he’s not the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder?  As Mel Allen would’ve said, “how about that!?”

Chart also has the great news that Canada’s ridiculous “tour tax” – work permits for foreign musicians playing in small domestic venues – has been scrapped.  The tax – a $275 processing fee and $150 permit per member – was revealed a year ago to combat abuse of the Temporary Foreign Workers policy, but – obviously – dissuaded people from touring here (The Perfect Scene is Canada-based).  At least the Government realized that it was dumb and appropriately backfired.

Dying Scene chatted with Jason Cruz of Strung Out about their upcoming album, and the new one from his side project Jason Cruz and Howl, Good Man’s Ruin.  This quote was pretty solid, on how Cruz wants the side project’s concerts to go: “I’ve said this before, but I like to see when girls dance. I like to see when a guy grabs a girl they’ve been staring at all night and brings her up and puts his arm around her waist and dance with her and smile. In punk rock, we want to get that shit going, we want to get the pit going and get a rhythm going and get the crowd going, you know? It’s the same thing with this, but with Strung Out, it’s loud and we’re playing at you. But with this, it’s like, we’re trying to bring you in. We want you to come to us. I don’t know, I think it’s kind of cool. It’s a different approach. It’s more intimate.”  Nice.

PropertyOfZack passes along a tweet from The Swellers that has them announcing their end, after a run of farewell shows.  I guess the swelling has stopped????

Finally, POZ has transcribed a bit of Ryan Rockwell of Mixtapes’ podcast, Big Snackers, giving his side of the story from his Warped Tour comments about Tigers Jaw: “We were playing Warped Tour the other day…in California. I always like to mess with there rest of my band if they’re talking. Maura was talking about that situation and I wasn’t really thinking about it. I was just trying to interrupt the flow of the conversation, so I was like ‘No, no fuck Tigers Jaw. Just kiss whoever you want.’  That’s the only thing I said.   I don’t mean ‘fuck Tigers Jaw,’ I have nothing against them. The thing no one seems to be reporting is that, at the end of that song, two minutes later, I stopped and said, ‘By the way, obviously I was being stupid. Don’t kiss people who don’t want to be kissed.’ I said that within two minutes, but no one seems to care.”  Read more and listen to the full podcast via the link.  Joking is joking, but 1) it’s not always in good taste and 2) sometimes you gotta pick your spots.  Rockwell is taking a lot of crap for this, and it’s admittedly fair.

People Who Look Like Rockers (Part 1?)


Part 1?  Will this ever happen again?  Who knows…

Every time I see Patrick Carney from The Black Keys, he reminds me of someone.  He’s got an uglier Rivers Cuomo thing going on, but it’s not Cuomo.  Tonight, I realized who I was thinking of.

First, here’s Patrick Carney:

And now, the lookalike in question: my pal Don Leblanc, shown here in a picture from his Facebook page:

C’mon, right!?  Don has a bit of John Cusack in there too, but he and Carney totally work right?  Don’s even also a musician!

How mailed in is this post, you ask?  Well there might be more of these if people warrant it, so, uh, shut up…or something!

TPS Responds: Warped Tour’s Woman Problem

Earlier this week there was an article on Wondering Sound called “Warped Tour’s Woman Problem”, written by Megan Seling and featuring interview pieces with Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman and others.  It starts off like this:

“Vans Warped Tour has a problem. It won’t be news to anyone who’s either attended the festival, or paid attention to its lineups over the course of the last 20 years, but the bands that populate Warped’s roster historically fall into two categories: male and white.”

Seling broke down this year’s festival in particular:

“A quick glance at the bands that have been announced for Warped’s 2014 tour, which started June 11 in Anchorage, Alaska, reveals that less than 20 percent of the 120-plus acts include at least one female. Women are there — the line-up includes Mixtapes, Sleeper Agent, the Summer Set, K.Flay and Allison Weiss — but if you count the female population of the bands on an individual level, women make up only 6 percent of the tour.

Summer festivals in the general sense aren’t much better — both the Fest in Gainsville (sic) and Riot Fest Chicago hold steady around 15 percent based on the bands that have been announced at press time.Okay, certainly that’s a low number of women.  But is it a problem?  According to her chat with Lyman, nope:

“There’s really not a lack of women,” he says, interrupting me before I’ve finished asking the first question. “If you’ve got 20 bands that have women in them out of 120 bands, that’s one out of six bands.”

“You think that’s OK?” I ask, surprised that he would be so comfortable with such a one-sided ratio.

“That’s absolutely OK,” he says.

But it’s not. It’s not OK for Warped or the Fest, and it’s not OK that Alternative Press, a monthly music magazine that sponsors the Warped Tour, has only put a woman on its cover five times in the last three years — and twice it was Hayley Williams from Paramore.

“If you Google-search bands in the world, the vast majority of them are male. That’s a correct assumption, right?” Lyman continues. “I don’t necessarily go search out girl bands — I always try to make sure they’re there. But they have to be good.”

It’s also pointed out that Lyman has tried an all-girl version of Warped that failed, and that the tour features an all-girl stage, Shiragirl, on a quarter of its dates.  This is a tough one: I don’t mean to speak for Kevin Lyman or anyone else, but you gotta assume that there’s no discrimination towards female artists when it comes to scheduling Warped Tour.  It is true that the majority of musicians in the Warped-favoured genres are men, so it makes sense that the lineup would reflect that.  Although, relating to the failed tour part, Seling does basically nail it here:

“But why does one failing tour 10 years ago mean that women are the problem? When an all-male tour fails, it isn’t because they were men, it’s because the ticket prices were too high, or the promoters chose the wrong cities, or the booker chose the wrong headliners. Women are held up to unrealistic standards, so a female musician has to work extra hard to prove that she’s worthy of being considered an equal. She has to have the guts to crash a festival in order to get anyone’s attention. If she fails, people like Lyman use it as evidence that women don’t belong. If she succeeds, she did a good job — for a woman.”

Double standards do suck, there’s no doubt about that.  The part of this article that hit me the most was actually thoughts from former Tsunami Bomb and current Survival Guide vocalist Emily Whitehurst:

“When I was in Tsunami Bomb, I felt conflicted about [the Shiragirl] stage,” says Whitehurst. “I appreciated that they felt females should be better represented at Warped Tour, because it’s obvious. And it at least helps point out the problem while empowering girls. But it also made me feel like it was sending out a message that these ‘girl bands’ were not on the same level with ‘regular bands.’”

I hear that.  There’s also this:

“Now that I’m not really involved in punk rock as much, I’m finding that most shows I play have other women on the bill,” says Whitehurst. “It’s possible that there truly are less women playing in heavier bands, but it’s also possible that people who like heavier bands assume that women aren’t very good at it. I never hear it anymore, but being in Tsunami Bomb, I can’t even count how many times a dude would come up to me after a show and say ‘You guys were really good! I don’t usually like girls in bands!’”

See to me that’s odd: I personally don’t care if band members are men, women or pandas, if the music is good I’m in.  I really hope that there aren’t too many guys who think “oh a girl?  This can’t be good”.  They (sadly) obviously exist, just hopefully not in large numbers.

Finally, Shira (of the namesake stage) startled me with these revelations:

“Shira says she’s faced the same discouraging sexism, both on Warped Tour and in the music industry in general. “There’s always going to be those bands that are sexist, and you actually get more sexism from the baby bands than you do the bigger artists,” she says about her time with the Warped Tour. “You’ll see it from the younger guys. And maybe it is just a question of them being younger and more ignorant, but the younger guys will make comments. I used to play shows with my band and they’d say ‘Oh, backstage is for bands only,’ and I’d say ‘I am the band, asshole.’”

“Girls come up to us all the time and say, ‘Thank you for doing this,’” Shira says. “I didn’t know I could be in the band. Really young girls say ‘I want to start a band now!’ That means everything to me. If we can inspire the next generation of girls then maybe we will see more and more.”

If that’s the kinda thing that goes on, and that’s the way girls have to feel because of it, then there is a problem.  As a man, maybe I just don’t experience it so I don’t realize, and as a man who respects women and doesn’t treat them as second class citizens, I am blown away.  Again, it’s really a tough one:  you’d hope that women aren’t being discriminated against for big tours or anything else, and the sheer outnumbering of them by men in bands would have the ratio discrepancy make sense.  But, if in 2014 this still happens that’s just unacceptable.  When it comes to getting more women on Warped Tour, I certainly don’t feel there should be an “affirmative action” vibe to it, because while that gets women on, it basically enforces Emily Whitehurst’s point about girl bands feeling like they aren’t on the same level as regular bands.  At what point does featuring become segregating, I suppose.  Here’s Megan Seling’s final thought, and she makes a good point:

“Maybe the problem is not that fewer women play in punk bands, but that the punk world has created an uninviting environment for them when they do. It’s not only unfair for female artists — it’s also doing a huge disservice to the fans.”

True story.  This is a “TPS Responds” post that I can’t definitively respond to, but is still worthy of an attempt.  I suppose we can simply say women, you rock and The Perfect Scene (and many others) love you and your music.

Is New Found Glory The Official Band Of Summer?


Summer officially begins tomorrow morning (in North America), which is absolutely fantastic.  When it comes to music from our scene, I often hear people say New Found Glory is the band that says “summer” more than any other for them.  With that in mind, I decided to check out the body of work the band has behind them to rank their summeryness…ness, (?) and see if they’re truly deserving of that title.

Let’s run through their discography, which is being sourced from the invaluable Wikipedia.  We’ll start with album release dates:

Nothing Gold Can Stay – October 19th, 1999
New Found Glory – September 26th, 2000
Sticks and Stones – June 11th, 2002
Catalyst –
May 18th, 2004
Coming Home – September 19th, 2006*
Not Without a Fight – March 10th, 2009
Radiosurgery – September 30th, 2011

So, from that we see that two of the band’s seven albums were released in the summer.  I put an asterisk beside Coming Home because while the release date fell in official summer (the 23rd was the first day of fall that year) no one really thinks of September when they think of summer.  Really we’re thinking June, July and August.

Now, let’s look at release dates for New Found Glory singles!

Nothing Gold Can Stay:

“Hit or Miss” – May 14th, 1999

New Found Glory:

“Hit or Miss” – June 17th, 2000
“Dressed to Kill” – November 21st, 2000

Sticks and Stones:

“My Friends Over You” – July 22nd, 2002
“Head on Collision” – October 15th, 2002
“Understatement” – 2003 (no month/day mentioned, and I couldn’t find anything via Google)

Catalyst:

“All Downhill From Here” – July 23rd, 2004
“Truth of My Youth” – October 6th, 2004
“Failure’s Not Flattering” – December 12th, 2004
“I Don’t Wanna Know” – February 17th, 2005

Coming Home:

“It’s Not Your Fault” – September 12th, 2006*

Not Without a Fight:

“Listen to Your Friends” – December 23rd, 2008
“Don’t Let Her Pull You Down” – October 20th, 2009
“Truck Stop Blues” – July 21st, 2010

Radiosurgery:

“Radiosurgery” – August 2nd, 2011
“Anthem for the Unwanted” – December 1st, 2011
“Summer Fling, Don’t Mean a Thing” – June 14th, 2012

So, from that we see that seven of the band’s seventeen singles were released in the summer, with one asterisk for “It’s Not Your Fault” because September, again.  Now, you could expand that to the original release of “Hit or Miss”, as May 14th is shortly before unofficial summer (Labour Day/Memorial Day weekend) and would really get its play in the summer.  That would bring it just under half of their singles.

Finally, I think we can agree that the quintessential summer tour is Warped.  So, let’s take a look at how many of the twenty total Warped Tours New Found Glory has played.  Again, we’ll source Wikipedia:

2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2012.

Beyond Wiki, this Punk Rockers forum says they played in 2000 as well, and last year the band played Warped Australia.  That would add two more years for a total of seven out of twenty.  Warped’s official site has no prior lineups page or anything, so…yeah, these sketchy details are the best I could find, anyway.  Regardless, that’s a pretty solid amount of Warped for New Found Glory.

So, let’s add everything up and see how New Found Glory scores in summer points:  7 albums + 17 singles + 20 Warped Tours = 44 points.  Out of that, they can check sixteen.  Sixteen out of 44 equals 36% summer.  It’s not really super high, but compare that to other artists, and toss in the band’s sound/lyrics giving people the summer mood regardless of time of year, and….what the hell, let’s give New Found Glory – straight outta Coral Springs, Florida where it’s always summer don’tcha know – the title of “Official Band of Summer”!  For it, they win this picture:

See ex-guitarist Steve Klein has a dark cloud over him because of his legal troubles, and Chad’s wearing a Hawaiian lei and…it’s Paint, what are you looking for?  Congrats gentlemen, t’is the season for you!

Interview: Alert The Medic


If you pressed me to name a favourite band from my home scene of Halifax, Nova Scotia, I’d have to go with Alert The Medic.  Singer/guitarist/pianist Ryan MacDonald, guitarist Troy Arsenault, drummer Dale Wilson and bassist Matt Campbell have spent the better part of a decade dishing out kickass alt-rock, and recently released their third album The Phantom Moves.  Campbell was kind enough to take a moment to answer some questions for us.


There was a five-year gap between We, The Weapon (2009) and The Phantom Moves. How did the band change personally and/or professionally during that time?

Five years between albums is a long time but we toured We, The Weapon fairly steadily during that time while writing, demoing and pre-producing The Phantom Moves. We worked really hard to get this album out and overcame a lot of obstacles. I think the persistency by the band during this processes has made it stronger than ever.

I find that The Phantom Moves‘ first single, “Echo And Fade” has a definite pop-punk vibe. Is that indicative of the whole album? How does it differ from your last one?

I think each song from The Phantom Moves gives you a different experience. With We, The Weapon, we wanted to make a straight up rock n’ roll album but with The Phantom Moves we wanted to incorporate more dynamics into our live set with different sounds and moods and make a more complete record that took the listener somewhere. It’s a cliché to say that I think our song writing is becoming more mature, but it really has over the last five years.

“Echo And Fade” was recently used in NHL.com’s “Top Plays Of The Week” presented by SiriusXM Canada. Have you guys gotten to watch much of the playoffs? Were/are your teams in it?*

We’re all massive sports fans, excluding Dale, so having a track used for NHL.com’s Plays Of The Week was a treat, for sure. We caught a fair amount of games while on the road as well, there always seemed to be a game on at a restaurant or at a venue we were playing at. Troy and I are Montreal fans so it was nice to see the team have a good run this year. Ryan’s a Penguins fan, they didn’t make it as far as Montreal did…Dale likes the Hartford Whalers.

Mike Turner (Our Lady Peace, Crash Karma) produced the new album. What was his approach?

We started working with Mike in the fall of 2012 at The Pocket Studios in Toronto. We would work on writing new tunes here in Halifax, demo them, send them to Mike and then head to Toronto to continue pre-production on the album. There were a handful of these sessions for about a year and a half so by the time we got into the studio to record the actual album we all knew the tunes inside and out and had the structures pretty well nailed down. That process saved us a lot of time in the studio and gave us more flexibility while recording than we ever had.

Mike didn’t shy away from anything. He was up for trying any idea that we had for parts or tones. If we ever got stuck on anything he’d just pick up a guitar and work through it with us. He pushed to get the best out of us as any good producer does but at the same time he could relate to us as a musician. He worked quickly and none of us wanted to screw up in front of him, but it wasn’t a high strung atmosphere. It was a lot of fun to make this record.

Many people would call Alert The Medic a top Atlantic Canadian act – including myself – and might also say one of the region’s best-kept secrets. The national (and beyond) attention is growing, and well-deserved. Where do you want The Phantom Moves to take you?

It’s a weird feeling to be in total control of your songs while writing and recording but once the record goes out it becomes an independent entity itself. Anything can happen with the music when it gets out there, you just hope that people dig it enough for things to keep moving. We’ve been on the national charts for the last few weeks now; we’ve had a couple opportunities to work with the NHL. We just tried to make a record that we’re really proud of and anything that we’re able to accomplish through it is just icing on the cake.

Liner Notes: Sunday, June 15th

First off, Happy Father’s Day!  Dads rock, and without their little swimmers we wouldn’t be here to enjoy music.

Warped Tour
began on Friday, and YouTube comedian Jarrod Alonge teamed up with Alternative Press for a new video called “How To Prepare For Warped Tour”.   You’ll get everything from which bands to “avoid” to answers to all your “legit” questions.

More AP, as they have deets from Restless Press of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and Jason White playing a secret show with Armstrong’s son, Joey.  It was at 1-2-3-4 Go Records in Oakland, California and they delightfully played under the moniker Two And A Half Men.  Some deep back catalog Green Day was included in their set list.

On Wednesday, Gerard Way premiered a new solo song called “Action Cat”, which had some people saying the vocals were too buried and it didn’t sound good.  You can get Gerard’s thoughts on why that’s not true and some more reaction via Absolute Punk.

Amber Pacific
 has announced that their fourth album will be called The Turn, which will feature a single called “When I Found You” that features Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low.  The Turn, which saw a mostly-but-not-entirely funded effort on Indiegogo, will be their first album since 2010’s Virtues and features the return of original singer Matt Young.  Awesome!

Dying Scene
 has a photo gallery up called “Punk Rock Kids – The Next Generation of Punk Rock Bowling”, which displays all the youngsters who attend the annual Las Vegas festival.

Also at Dying Scene, they introduce you to German garage punk band Old Man Coyote, with thoughts on their EP Atomic Tea Time: “As a comparison, I would say that they sound like a freshly blended mix of Gasoline Kills and Bet Your Life.”  Sweet.  You can also grab Atomic Tea Time as a free download.

Head to Pitchfork to read an interview with Mish Way of Vancouver punk rockers White Lung.  Their new album Deep Fantasy covers sex, rape culture substance abuse and the feminist pride the band displays: “I don’t think males are evil. I fucking love men! Some of my best friends are men. Men are amazing. What’s fucked up and wrong are the ways that masculinity and femininity are defined—the old rules. That’s what we’ve been working towards changing for years, and we’re doing a pretty good job. I have no hatred towards the way our world has been constructed, but it’s important to talk about it and dissect it and deconstruct it.”.  Preach, sister (seriously though).

Decaydance Records has returned as DCD2, and you can read a statement from Pete Wentz at PropertyOfZack.  New Politics and LOLO are new signees, and Wentz did an interview with Entertainment Weekly on the label’s relaunch.

Finally, we’ll hit up a recent Chart Attack feature called “Shine A Light: An Oral History of Constantines”.  The beloved Guelph, Ontario indie rockers reunited for a show at Toronto’s Field Trip festival last weekend, and a reissue of their 2003 classic Shine A Light.  This piece looks at the group with commentary from several industry people who know them well.  Constantines recorded for late hometown label Three Gut Records, Arts & Crafts and (in America) Sub Pop before disbanding in 2010.

What Could Comprise A Surfing Soundtrack?


Surfing has become one of my favourite things.  I’ve only ever been able to actually do it once so far, because life (despite living on the ocean for the last several years) but I plan to do lots more of it.  I’ll watch it on TV whenever it’s on too.  I think it was while doing the latter the other day that I got to wondering about music.  While waterproof audio devices exist, they 1) would have a hell of a time hooking up to a wetsuit and 2) would surely fall off while you surf.  Skateboarders are able to listen to music while they skate, and aside from a stereo sitting on the beach – have fun hooking that up, let alone hearing it – surfers get screwed out of a musical experience.  If they didn’t, what might they listen to?  I figured we could round up a few songs.

For me, surfing is a different musical beast than skateboarding.  I wouldn’t want something especially fast, because it would seemingly contrast with the peaceful majesty of being on the ocean.  I figure upbeat, mid-tempo music would work best, so here are some choices I’d rock myself:

Slowcoaster – Flip Flops:

This Sydney, Nova Scotia three-piece does indie rock with touches of reggae, ska, folk and more, and are one of my favourite East Coast bands.  “Flip Flops” is from last year’s The Girls Downtown, and is a pure summer song in subject matter and sound.  Your easy head-bobbing would complement the sound of the surf oh so nicely.

Tokyo Police Club – Hot Tonight:

This is the latest single from TPC, and it’s hella catchy.  Lots of riffing, both chords and notes, and easygoing vocals make this one solid.  Lyrics like “standing in a world with a streetlight sun/watch me slipping out of sight” just speak to a sunset surf session.  Speaking of the word “streetlight”…

Streetlight Manifesto – The Three Of Us:

That reach of a segue inadvertently appropriate lyric choice leads us to our next potential surf soundtrack song.  Right away when I pictured what this would look like, I knew there needed to be some ska influence.  The opening track from last year’s The Hands That Thieve, “The Three Of Us” isn’t too fast, but has good tempo changes and the usual flair you’d expect from this band and genre.  I also picture it being the bumper music to a surfing event on TV, parts of it just strike me that way.  The band’s home state of New Jersey is a surfing hotbed too, so boom.

New Empire – Relight The Fire:

The aforementioned peaceful majesty of the ocean needs something epic and soaring, and “Relight The Fire” from Australian Tooth & Nail Records act New Empire fits.  The song is consistent in sound throughout, led by a simple and nice main riff that lends itself to an easy ride along a wave.  And finally…

Weezer – Surf Wax America:

How on-point is this?  How could I not?  It’s a little fast considering I said mid-tempo stuff seems to work best for surfing, but it’s about surfing!  This classic from Weezer’s classic 1994 debut might be best served being rocked in the car on the way to the beach, but we couldn’t not include it.  Patrick Wilson isn’t catching a frisbee in the middle of this song, that’s for sure.

So there you go, just a few ideas if you can ever manage to listen to music while surfing.  Surprisingly, no surf genre music, huh?  Well…I have nothing, that’s just how it went.  Gnarly!

You Size Them Up Too: 6 Of The Best Looking Scene Musicians


In music – and life, really – sex sells.  We all put the music first, but it’s a nice added bonus when we can be into the looks of a certain artist, whether you think x-rated thoughts or just develop a little crush. To me, a musician that I find attractive, cool as they are already for being a musician, is a bonus win.  With that in mind, just because, let’s feature a few of the best looking musicians that I can get behind (actually that’s true, *I can get behind) in no particular order:

Jess Bowen – The Summer Set

Although we’re not ranking anyone in a particular order, I’d have to say Bowen is my scene crush.  She drums (badass) and is adorable.  Actually, she looks a lot like her fellow Arizonan Michelle Branch, which is never a bad thing.   The Summer Set is a fun band to listen to, and I get an extra kick out of watching Bowen do her thing.  Total cutie.

Alissa White-Gluz – Arch Enemy

So what you’re telling me is, she sings like that?  And screams like that!?  And looks like THAT?  I’m in love.  Currently fronting Swedish death metal act Arch Enemy and formerly fronting Montreal’s The Agonist, White-Gluz can hang with any male metal singer, and look 1000 times better.  Now that’s a woman.

Hayley Williams – Paramore

Don’t look so surprised Hayley, you knew you were coming.  The current poster woman for cute female rockers, Williams has been a favourite for years and for good reason.  The band’s split with the Farro brothers, in part due to the focus on Williams, is well-known, but now the band is achieving success they’ve never seen before and – rightly or not – Williams’ appeal is a large part of that.  She’s a cutie patutie, and talented as anything.

So we’re through three of six musicians I picked for this, and if you’re expecting three more ladies….nope!  I’m equal opportunity, and have no issue (as a straight male) commenting on dudes.  So let’s whip out (errr…) some choice scene men too:

Brian Dales – The Summer Set

Hot damn The Summer Set are a good looking band.  Frontman Dales is as dreamy as his pop-friendly voice, what with his outfits and kinda-douchey-but-oh-so-inviting photo shoot facial expressions.  That hair too.  Seriously though, he’s a good lookin’ dude.  He used to date Chelsea Kane, whom the Summer Set song of the same first name is about.  Strong.

Daryl Palumbo – Glassjaw/Head Automatica

The frontman for multiple acts has many looks – plain handsome (like pictured above), rugged, Anthony Kiedis, and does all his looking good and music while having Crohn’s disease.  That’s just all-around impressive.  Thatta boy.

Matt Skiba – Alkaline Trio

I like to joke that Matt Skiba is the only man I’d have sex with.  He’s the singer/guitarist of my favourite band, and he’s really good looking.  Are you gonna argue with those facial features?  Strong and sharp, and before he started balding he looked even better.  You go Skiba, you morbid, handsome SOB.

So there you go, just a few offerings of good looking scene musicians.  This was a subjective list of my personal faves, but I know I’m not alone with them and you can toss anyone in you want.  Music first of course, but it’s nice to be able to enjoy some lookers – can’t always.

Liner Notes: Thursday, June 5th


Has it been 2 1/2 weeks since the last “Liner Notes”?  How about that.  Well nothing’s happened at least, right?

Sum 41 enjoyed a reunion of sorts last weekend when Deryck Whibley had ex-guitarist Dave “Brownsound” Baksh over to his house to hang out.  It was the first time they’d done so in seven years, and it was nice to see.  Much like when Travis Barker’s plane crash brought blink-182 back together, it took a near-death – in this case, Deryck’s liver and kidney failing from alcohol abuse – to rekindle a friendship.  Actually, while we’re referencing the other band…

…speaking of blink (BOOM), PropertyOfZack recently suggested that the band take another hiatus due to their hellish time trying to get into the studio and follow up Neighborhoods.  Mark Hoppus says that’s not gonna happen, for his part.  Okay then.

Eric Alper has a great post on his website called “The Power Of Your Writing: Why You Should Write Even if You Think Nobody Is Reading”.  It’s a piece I can definitely enjoy as a blogger, and a new one at that, but it’s good for anyone – even songwriters.  In part it reads: “Can you think of a better way to share your thoughts and ideas with the world in a more accessible manner? A piece of writing may take some investment to create, but once it is published, it may live on for the rest of time. How much have we learned in the history of humanity, simply because someone made the deliberate choice to write?”  Yeah man.

Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace is among the people who will appear on a Logo TV special called “Trailblazers”, according to Billboard.  “Trailblazers” honours people who fight for LGBT rights, and airs June 26th.  Grace also recently took issue with Arcade Fire’s video for “We Exist”, which features “Amazing Spiderman” actor Andrew Garfield in drag.

Absolute Punk has some video of Finch playing a new song last night in Mexico.  They’re newly signed to Razor & Tie and working on a new album, their first since 2005’s Say Hello To Sunshine.  

Head to Vagrant’s official website to read about and hear a newly released song from Bad Suns called “We Move Like The Ocean”.  It’s off their debut full-length Language & Perspective, which is on iTunes June 24th and elsewhere July 1st.  I likey, really good guitars. Good indie rock sound from the Los Angeles outfit.

From Consequence of Sound – because eventually guys get old, I guess – Pittsburgh, PA punks Code Orange Kids have shortened their name to Code Orange.  Their first album with the new name drops September 2nd, and is called I AM KING.

Also from COS, reunited “emo” favourites American Football have released a video for “Never Meant”.  The song was on their self-titled 1999 effort, so timely as ever.  However, the album was just re-issued in deluxe fashion in late May so I guess that makes sense.  You can actually stick with COS to read a review and refresh your memory, or simply discover the band.

Finally (and speaking of reunions) Dying Scene has some tour dates for Braid, as they’ll hit the US Midwest/Northeast this summer.  The band’s first album in sixteen years, No Coast, is out July 8th via Topshelf Records.  Entertainment Weekly has the title track for you to listen to as well.  That’s cool, but I miss Hey Mercedes.  I know it’s not the original (brah!) but Hey Mercedes!