Album Review: Sevenhurtz – Room of Confusion


Room of Confusion
is the debut album from Sevenhurtz, a five-piece from Australia.  We recently touched on them in their home country’s edition of “Scene Specific”, and now we’re gonna obviously totally expand on that with a full-ass look at what these Gold Coasters are all about.

The eleven-track Room of Confusion is largely a throwback: elements of grunge and other nineties alternative come through, as does the nu-metal heyday from the early 2000s.  It starts off with “Crave”, which features a main guitar part that I think might have delay or some slight effect?  (I don’t know, I’m fairly musically-inclined but I don’t recognize everything – and unlike some people, I don’t pretend otherwise!)  It’s good, anyway.  “Elzijka” follows, with simple-but-solid stunted chords and name-dropping of the album title.  The drums are good too, making good use of several toms.  “Just The Moment” is next and one of my favourites, starting off with cool sliding up and down the strings and all-in-all jacking the pace up a bit.  This is actually a great song for featuring every instrument: they all have their moments in the spotlight.  Right after things are jacked up, the album takes it first slower turn with “Let Me Feel My Way Down”.  It features the first…feature!…of clean guitar, which the main riff provides.  Up next is “Take Me Away”, which initially sounds a lot like “Blow Up The Outside World” by Soundgarden – it’s uncanny actually, and I of course write that in my best but-that-of-course-isn’t-intentional-there’s-way-too-much-music-out-there-to-not-sound-similar-to-something description.  It does speed up a bit later on for a good tune all-around, and if you’re thinkin’ “hey I like Soundgarden!”, well you just wait until the final paragraph when we rhyme off some other artists Sevenhurtz remind of!

Okay, into the second half of the album (because it hit the halfway point during “Take Me Away” LOL) we go for “Soften the Shell”, which gives the drums even more of a tinny, hollow sound which I always like (and think is something you can jerk around on the snare).  “Set You Free” is the first extended chance the bassline has to be prominent, and features layered vocals throughout.  “The Fountain” – Room of Confusion’s first single – is next, and my favourite part has gotta be the copious ride cymbal in the chorus.  Brand new single “New Morning” is the new next track, with dirty guitars and a vibe that’s got a Weezer/Social Distortion thing going on.  Penultimate track “Drifting Love” slows the album down again, bringing back clean guitars and offering the album’s softest – and I use that term kinda lightly – track.  Finally, “Wasted My Time” goes power-poppy and features spoken-word vocals over the singing in the chorus – a refrain of “you have wasted/time in your life”.  It’s the most punk-inspired song on the album, and a standout to close it out.

Listening to Room of Confusion, it seemed like a new artist was popping into my head every minute.  Sevenhurtz alternately remind me of Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Mudvayne, Breaking Benjamin, Slipknot, Staind, those mentioned in previous paragraphs and several others.  Clint Hansen’s voice is quite deep, and reminds me a ton of someone who’s totally escaping my mind and yay for thinking purgatory right!?  But yeah, it’s hard rock vocals – you’ll dig (Dig!?).  Dig, you will!

Sevenhurtz online:

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Interview: Krysta Youngs

For places she’s lived alone, Krysta Youngs has a solid musical background.  Schooled in Boston at Berklee (w00t!), she then went to Nashville and is now based in Los Angeles.  All three have roles as influential base cities, and now Youngs’ new single “Xanax (A Love Song)” is putting the Michigan native’s alt-pop on display.

You’re a Berklee College of Music graduate.  What did you take, and how was the experience overall?

My major was Music Business and voice was my principal instrument.  My Berklee experience was AWESOME… it literally changed my life.  I mean, what other college offers master classes with John Mayer, James Taylor and Mathew Knowles?

Your YouTube page has actual, original music videos for covers including Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop”.  What made you go all-out like that?

At the time I just wanted to have some fun.  I was writing songs for other artists and I wanted a different outlet for my creativity.  I’m a big believer in going big or going home so I knew I wanted the videos to be supercalifragalisticexpealadocious.  I also knew I wanted to put my own sonic twist on them so I dreamt up cool visuals and made them come to life…sometimes with friends :).

Your music has been featured on ESPN and Keeping Up With The Kardashians among other TV appearances.  What’s the one that made you go “how cool is that!?” the most?

My first TV placement was probably the most exciting.  “The Real World” used my song “Love’s Garage Sale” during a party scene and I remember watching those 20 seconds over and over and over again thinking to myself “YAY!!!  I finally made it.” lol.

“Xanax (A Love Song)” has a dark tone, suggesting the subject feels a bit resistant to love.  What’s behind that song?

Behind the song there is light.  It’s about persevering through life…becoming your own safe place or being that for someone else.

Any plans for an album, and would “Xanax (A Love Song)” appear on it?

Absolutely.  The EP is coming out in September but I’m going to start working on a full length.  I’m not sure if I’m going to include “Xanax” on the album but there will be an acoustic version of it on the EP!

Other than “why not?”, is there a particular reason behind people wearing your glasses in pictures?

Yes!  There are two reasons. 1) My upcoming EP is called Prescriptions and 2) I’m really interested in getting to know how people see the world; how they see themselves so I give them my glasses and we chat for a bit.

Krysta Youngs online:

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I Shipped Up To Boston (And Found My Vacation!)


See what happened there with the “Part II” type title?

I’m back from Boston and can post again!  As mentioned, it was a personal vacation so the musical tidbits that were snagged came when possible because the girlfriend would’ve beaten me up and I enjoyed quality couple time.  Thankfully, Boston’s so awesome that you don’t need to look too hard to find musical things (and I had certain ones in mind anyway).

The first thing I came across was a surprise: a guitar tie at Faneuil Hall:

The subsequent commentary was sufficiently nailed with comedy though right?

Much of our traveling while in the city came on the subway, and during one ride a dude had a tattoo that said “Up The Punx!”:

It’s hard to read because he was basically sleeping and I didn’t want to bug him/look super creepy by getting right down by him for a good view.  Pretty awesome though right?

The first time I was in Boston I didn’t go into the Berklee College of Music, but this time I totally did.  I was excited for that because it’s my alma mater (read: took an online course a while back) and I wanted to actually go in and check it out.  So that happened, but you get the “well thanks Kev I could’ve Googled that!” outside pic:

But how great is the facade of this particular building!?  It’s at Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue, FYI.

Since it wasn’t far away, we also checked Rhode Island off the “visit” list and went down to Providence.  While there we stopped into 95.5 WBRU, a radio station with a really neat setup.  It’s on the Brown University campus and run by students, but is independent of the school and runs itself commercially.  It’s really the best of both worlds:  it makes money, while maintaining the alternative indie spirit and integrity of college radio.  It was also the first station in America to play songs like “Supermassive Black Hole” by Muse, and Kurt Cobain’s last interview spot before he died.  It’s pretty cool, and big ups to General Manager Mariela for the impromptu tour:

I had her sit in the on-air studio because generic radio picture.  Also, WBRU has walls lined with signatures of guests, and Abe Lincoln – no, really – was one of my faves:

What I would have given to hear the words “we’ll chat with the 16th President of the United States in less than ten minutes” back in the day!

The main reason for going to Boston when we did was for the Taylor Swift concert at Gillette Stadium, because my girlfriend loves her.  It was a good show, as expected, and two of her three openers (the third being Shawn Mendes) were more in our wheelhouse.  There was Vance Joy:

And there was also the total awesomeness that are HAIM:

Seriously though, beautiful women that can melt your face off?  For.  The.  Win.  As happens at all her shows, Swift brought a special guest out at one point and it was Walk The Moon for a performance of “Shut Up and Dance”.  Right on.  (Where’s the picture?  Nope, was too caught up in the moment and forgot!)

One venue I knew I had to get a shot of was the House of Blues.  HOB is not only a great venue (YEAH), but the Boston location is across the street from Fenway Park!  Lansdowne, you’re a hell of a street.  And speaking of Fenway…

…obviously since the Red Sox were at home this past weekend we took in Saturday’s game – a 5-1 loss to Detroit.  Nothing “musical” per se came out of that, but I did eat some pizza:

And as we know, pizza is POP-PUNK AS HELL.  Pop-punk pizza party in the right field bleachers baby!  Right!?

So…that happened.  If you’ve never been to Boston, go because it’s a fantastic city that you’ll thoroughly enjoy.  Providence is worth the detour too because it’s also strong: pretty, well-sized, vibrant and hey close to Boston.  Very livable, actually.  Hopefully you vicariously enjoyed #TPSInBoston!

I’m Shipping Up To Boston (To Find My Vacation!)


Tomorrow morning I’m heading to Boston for a few days.  For this post I was thinking of maybe a “Scene Specific” for New England, but as time is an issue I thought “hey we have a couple of posts that would combine for something similar!”  There’s the one about making the Maine staple that is whoopie pies and thinking about artists from the state, and the Super Bowl XLIX one where we lined up Boston acts against Seattle ones.  So…there’s that!

This trip is a personal vacation, and I won’t be able to post until next week due to that.  But, I am going to post pictures of musical things as often as possible on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and if there’s any decent video to be had, YouTube!  It’ll be nice to get things for the TPS Instagram and YouTube, since those are new and there’s basically only older stuff on them.  Hilariously enough I’m attending a concert while there but it’s Taylor Swift (girlfriend loves her, but it’ll be a good show admittedly).  We’re also swinging down to Providence, Rhode Island for a quickie (lol?) so we’ll see what that brings us.

Boston is not only one of North America’s great cities, but a great one for rock: it’s home to a ton of great artists (like the ones in the Super Bowl post!), labels like Run For Cover Records and festivals like Boston Calling.  We’ll do a comprehensive recap post next week, but in the meantime stay tuned to the TPS social medias for as much good Bostonian stuff as possible.

(How crappy is it that this trip missed Foo Fighters at Fenway Park by just a couple of days by the way?  Womp wooooooommmppp.)

Interview: Stephen Bradley


If you don’t recognize Stephen Bradley right away, you still likely know him: he’s been a backing member of No Doubt for two decades.  Along with appearances on Green Day’s Nimrod and other albums, Bradley’s lent his trumpet and other talents to other artists for a long time.  Now it’s time for him to be highlighted, and his new, debut solo EP Runaways is an eclectic, four-song effort that might surprise you knowing his background.  Coupling how accomplished Bradley is with this new direction, he’s an intriguing chat – AND SO IT HAPPENED BABY.

You’ve spent two decades as a touring/recording member of No Doubt, along with guesting on other projects.  How long have you been waiting to release your own music?

I’ve actually been releasing music over the years, the last project (Chocolate O’Brian) being the most accomplished.  Alongside one of my best friends Dave Tweedie, we made a really quirky but meaningful album.  We played some shows here and there but never really got it to the world.  I never was sure if I wanted to go “solo” or not for many years.  Even at the urge of many of my family and friends.  I guess I finally decided to do it!

Runaways is eclectic, with elements including R&B, pop and electronica.  Which artists influence you?

I am always defaulting to the classics…..Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Prince, Michael Jackson etc.  There is so much music in those records, it’s like a never ending well of inspiration.  But I also am always trying to check out some new shit.  I loved that Alphabetical record by Phoenix.  So many cool ideas and quirky twists and turns.  My collaborator for this EP (Javan Slagle) was also very instrumental to the sound of Runaways.  He introduced me to guys like Flume and Charles Murdoch, which really gave us a direction.

While touring with No Doubt, was there ever a chance to showcase yourself on stage – original music in the set list, etc?

I would have featured moments like a trumpet solo, or picking up a vocal part (usually a dancehall chat).  But never any original music of my own.

Being known largely for working with rock, does your solo sound ever surprise people?

I think it has surprised people because I also just released a reggae song earlier this year.  Most of my friends have told me when they heard the EP it wasn’t what they expected.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t dig it.

Now that you have a solo effort, are you taking a break from working with others or do you still have other projects on the go?

I have definitely been trying to focus all my energy on this project, and another solo EP I am planning to release later this year.  I have a reggae album that I’ve been working on with David Elecciri who has been performing with and producing music for the legendary band Steel Pulse.

What are your touring plans in support of Runaways?

At this point we are focused on getting a live show together, and writing more songs.  Along with our Projection artist (Matt Meza) the next month or so will be dedicated to building a live show that will be truly unforgettable.  I told my guys that I wanna disappear on stage at the end of the show like David Copperfield!

Stephen Bradley online:

Official
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Album Review: Too Far Lost – Corrupted Swine


West Milford, New Jersey hard rock/metal four-piece Too Far Lost started off as The Faded Line before adopting their current name (and a logo made of bacon).  July 31st is the date John O’Connor (lead unclean vocals), Chris Bach (lead clean vocals/bass), Josh Pace (guitar) and Dan Touw (drums/vocals) drop their debut EP Corrupted Swine – oh haha “swine” and a logo made of bacon is there a theme here!? – and they were nice enough to shoot an advance copy over for review.

The four-song Corrupted Swine starts off with “Push and Pull”, a palm mute-happy number that features a nice bust-in from O’Connor in the first verse – right where you’d think the chorus would come in.  I always enjoy what I call “false start” parts like that: you assume something’s coming but NOPE, and it’s blueballing like “oh yes you did!” and still works.  “Push and Pull” also features a solid breakdown before getting into the solo, with the tempo slowed just a bit throughout.  Up next is first single “Pipeline”, starting with what I think is layered riffing and O’Connor screaming “ONE…TWO…ONE TWO THREE FOUURRRRR!”.  Bach and O’Connor duel their vocals in the verses, which works really well.  A very subtle-but-awesome part is near the start of the solo, when the note is held and the hi-hat gets spotlighted – it’s amazing what the smallest parts can add to songs.  After two faster tracks “Soldier’s Lament Part 1” slows things down a bit, starting with some acoustic pedal strumming before riffing that mimics the vocal notes.  Musically, the song is very much fit to tell the story in how it changes and flows.  There’s a spoken-word interlude featuring a soldier’s letter to his special someone too.  “Soldier’s Lament Part 2” is the album’s capper, a faster complement to “Part 1” that mentions the album title in a big “fuck you” to the commander-in-chief.

Corrupted Swine is an EP you’ll enjoy if you’re a fan of technique: the brutality and skill of Josh Pace’s guitar and Dan Touw’s drums is something to marvel at, as is the clean/unclean vocal sparring of Chris Bach and John O’Connor.  For me, that’s what metal is about, and Too Far Lost pull it off in fine fashion on their debut.  It’s out on the 31st, but in the meantime hit up their socials below to listen to a preview of what’s to come.

Too Far Lost online:

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Scene Specific: Australia

We’ve yet to do a “Scene Specific” for a location outside North America, so let’s end that distinction shall we?  “The Land Down Under” is a big country of course, stretching from eastern cities like Brisbane and Sydney to the lonely western outpost of Perth.  But, it’s out there on its own and as mentioned, vast and fairly sparsely-populated, so let’s bring it all together in a big Southern Hemispheric hug and cover some artists doing good things (mate!).

Calais

Oh speaking of Brisbane – because that happened a few lines ago, remember!? – how about these indie rockers?  This five-piece brings the synth, riffage and solid resonant vocals from Tim Lollback.  Calais have an airy, catchy sound that breathes…which is a description I’ve never used to describe an artist but it works yo!

Bottlecock

MOAR Brisbane.  We’ve previously talked about Bottlecock because they’re a perfect example of an artist that can get noticed on name alone.  They also play up the whole “cock” persona well: everything from their Facebook bio’s interests to stage names have the cock inserted (see what I did?).  Sound-wise, they’re dirty, noisy rock.  Go enjoy a listen and get yourself some cock! (The jokes write themselves!)

Slow Turismo

To Australian capital Canberra we go for Slow Turismo.  They delightfully describe themselves on Facebook as “elegant post-funk”, and are releasing their self-titled debut EP next Friday, the 24th.  Much like Calais, Slow Turismo’s standout feature in my opinion is the beautiful vocals.  Led by the three Conways (Max, Sam and Riley) and rounded out by Louis Montgomery and Rhys Lintern, I also dig these guys because they make self-deprecating social media posts – like saying this about a site that messed up their location: “they think we are cool enough to hail from Melbourne!”.  Give a listen to their new and EP lead single “I Sit Down As Soon As I Get Up” and enjoy some capital (see what I did!?) indie pop.

The Living End

Here’s a band that’s cool enough to be from Melbourne because they actually are from there!  The Living End have been providing socially-conscious punk/psychobilly type stuff for two decades, and ever since I discovered them back in the Modern Artillery era of the early-mid 2000s they’ve been an act that’s stood out for me.  “Who’s Gonna Save Us?” is a great song from that album, by the way.

Citizen of the World

This Sydney band lives up to its name, as they formed in 2012 in Switzerland before re-forming the following year in Australia.  They’re led by Gerrit Gmel, who hooked up with new members after moving down under and formed the current incarnation of the folk-rockers.  For the times you need the acoustic jams, and in honour of newly-late Canadian folky counterparts The Weakerthans, plug – or unplug because acoustic? – Citizen of the World in.

Sevenhurtz

And now, some rock from the Gold Coast.  Sevenhurtz just released “New Morning”, their latest single from debut album Room of Confusion.  Singer Clint Hansen’s vocals remind of the grunge heyday, and the dirty-but-not-overly-heavy guitars provide a raw sound that makes you wanna just make the “yeeahhhhh” face and throw up your horns.  (You know what I mean by the “yeeahhhhh” face right?  Right?  Now I’ll just wonder.)

True Science

Oh Perth…you are isolated.  True Science, led by frontwoman Vive Oldham and now also based in Los Angeles, are basically electronic indie – taking influence from everyone from FKA Twigs to Sigur Ros.  Their latest single “Pedestal” is out August 7th.  The female vocals and electronic sound make me think – of course! – of Phantogram, so…that’s a good deal right? (Answer: yes for music and Sarah Barthel.)

Fifth Dawn

Finally, and speaking of female vocals (segues forever! <3) Sydney’s Fifth Dawn are a newer act, having just formed back in November.  Considering their hard rock sound and being fronted by the soaring, excellent voice of Samantha Faul, bands like Evanescence and Flyleaf immediately come to mind as a comparison.  Their newest single “Turbulence” is out August 7th, and I’d recommend “Dire Hearts” as another solid listen.

There you have it: a lil’ sampling of artists to wet your Aussie whistle.  The country also provides two of the great festivals going too in Big Day Out – which we’ll use in present-tense since it’ll eventually be back – and Soundwave.  Good stuff all-around, Australia!

Track Listing: Covers

Whether they basically honour the original sound of a song or completely put a different spin on it, covers are always interesting.  Some are just as good, some are worse and some actually make the song better.  In this “Track Listing” we pick versions that are obviously worse, d’uh definitely worth a listen and do the original justice, if not improve it.

The Weight of Atlas – “Style”

Scottish five-piece The Weight of Atlas took on one of Taylor Swift’s latest singles – which is already kickass – and rocked it up nicely.  It largely honours the original’s vibe, but puts a solid post-hardcore tinge on it.  When I saw they covered a song I really like I had to check it out, and wasn’t disappointed.

Shout London – “Fight Song”

Shout London’s Tyler Whiting went just him and an acoustic for this version of the Rachel Platten hit, which also keeps the same feel as the original.  “Fight Song” lends itself very well to an acoustic sound, and Shout London’s take shows that.  It also goes a bit bigger vocally at the end, which is a nice touch.

Crown the Empire – “Payphone”

This one’s a couple of years old, having appeared on 2012’s Punk Goes Pop 5, but still worth it since I’ve randomly listened to it several times lately.  Crown the Empire’s take on the solid Maroon 5 smash heavies things up considerably – because, you know, post-hardcore act and all – and kicks the tempo up a touch.  This version also extends the bridge with great unclean vocals that are totally this version’s own. RING RING MOTHERFUCKERRRRR!

Falling Awake – “Everything I Didn’t Say”

Arkansas’ Falling Awake keep the same tempo as 5 Seconds of Summer’s original, but instead of waiting for the chorus to bring the rock they do it throughout.  The post-chorus interlude lets the bass really drive it, and the drums are solidly hi-hat-heavy for most of the song.

Too Far Lost – “Thong Song”

Yep, the artist formerly known as The Faded Line takes on the Sisqoclassic?  It probably is, actually.  New Jersey’s Too Far Lost give it an almost terrifying metal vibe (because of the original being the original), and this version being live makes it even more so.  Lead/unclean vocalist John O’Connor and bassist/clean vocalist Chris Bach trade lyrics like “she had dumps like a truck, truck, truck/thighs like what, what, what/baby move your butt, butt, butt” because covering other genres rules and makes it way more entertaining.  Here’s hoping their version of “Thong Song” appears recorded on their debut EP Corrupted Swine, out on the 31st.  Seriously.

Covers right!?  Whether simply playing them live or recording them for reals, they’re interesting.  Also, FYI because I only learned this myself not that long ago: did you know when covers are performed live, it’s up to the venue to have the proper licensing to allow it?  It of course doesn’t cost an artist to simply perform one, but that’s a neat tidbit – and holy hell if you run a venue (especially a bar) know that!

Liner Notes: Friday, July 10th


A shovel that falls and sounds like the first three strums of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”?  A shovel that falls and sounds like the first three strums of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.

 To Billboard we go for a mash-up of Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” and Paramore’s “Misery Business”, done by UK producer Raheem D.  It’s pretty awesome, well done dude.  Also Paramore-related, Hayley Williams says they’ll never make another album like Paramore.  That’s understandable: it was written during a tumultuous time of transition for the band.

Stereogum has Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock talking to Polish journalists about his home base of Portland, Oregon.  Basically, he’s no fan.  For example: “Portland is weird, but it’s kind of a crappy weird. It is the most vagrant-ridden [city] — it’s really fuckin’ up my liberal mind. I’m just like, what a collection of human turds.”  Maybe he should move to the moon or Antarctica, hey-oooooo!

The July issue of Underdog Press is out today, and includes features on Sorority Noise and Hope Vista.

Sure the Calgary Stampede is on and that’s a big deal, but that’s just hot on the heels of Sled Island right!?  Chart Attack was there and took lots of pics, plus learned stuff.

Why not let Dying Scene introduce us to a “new(ish)” Philadelphia punk act called Night Trip?  Yesterday they released a single called “Champagne/Spaced Out”, which presumably will be on their upcoming debut full-length.  The song is 8 1/2 minutes long and, as the forward slash indicates, is really two songs put together.  You can check out their self-titled EP from February on their Bandcamp too (the song link takes you there).

Absolute Punk has released its “2015 Second Quarter Playlist”.  It has offerings from Best Coast, Speedy Ortiz, Millencolin, Good Riddance, Muse and a ton more.

Sticking with AP, Sum 41’s (read: Deryck Whibley’s) comeback continues as they’ll be playing in Anaheim, California at Chain Reaction on the 19th.  The band is also performing at the Alternative Press Music Awards three days later.  That’s good to see, Deryck was really messed up for a while and I’m glad he’s okay to get performing again.

Say what you want about the Gallagher brothers – I know I do! – but they are so damn quotable.  Mostly it’s Noel, and NME has his comically-disparaging thoughts on Avicii.

SPIN reviewed Veruca Salt’s new album Ghost Notes.  Out today, the album is their first since their hiatus ended and features the reunited original lineup: “With nary a characteristic wink or gnashing of teeth, opener ‘The Gospel According to Me’ grins out of the gate as if the band’s been preparing this surprisingly summery record since Gordon first left. Tracks like ‘Eyes on You’ provide a caffeinated thrust to Post and Gordon’s jump-roping harmonies and vocal interplay. And with slow-burners like ‘Empty Bottle’ and ‘Prince of Wales,’ it’s clear that all of the band’s original ingredients — meaty drum work, Post’s shredded and sweet vocals, razor-thin riffs that rip like canines — are finally all back in the right place.”  (Also, how still gorgeous are Nina Gordon and Louise Post?  Man.)

Finally, TPS is movin’ on up in the social media world: as you may have noticed in the icons up top, we have YouTube and Instagram now!  Basically, you’ll find any unique audio, video and pictures on those respective sites.  It’s a fine, though admittedly-not-likely-updated-as-often complement to Facebook and Twitter.  I’m definitely trying to get more of that kinda thing going though, so go ahead and hook up with TPS on the new socials and of course all four damn it!  We can share and talk and make jokes and if you need to yell at me for anything, go ahead!  You can do all that in the post comments too, of course.  The internet right!?

Kevin Lyman Vs. The Scene (RE: Front Porch Step At Warped)


Kevin Lyman has been taking heat over the past several days for Front Porch Step’s surprise, previously-unannounced appearance at the Nashville Warped Tour date.  Earlier this year, there was a Change petition to get the artist off the tour due to the sexual harassment scandal.  Eventually Jake McElfresh (the man behind the moniker) addressed it, but it wasn’t as much an apology as a victim-blaming excusefest.  He didn’t ultimately end up playing Warped – or anywhere – but there he was on the Acoustic Basement stage on July 1st.  It understandably wasn’t received well, and everyone from fans to fellow Warped musicians have voiced their displeasure.

It’s been a week since that show, and Lyman’s Twitter has been on fire with people questioning the appearance.  To his credit, he’s responded to basically everyone and has invited people to talk before dates get underway at whatever stop they can.  In fact, here’s the interaction yours truly had with him:

Part one of my initial tweet was saying the intentions were surely good, but did he ever consider doing a separate show – one people could know about beforehand and actually buy a ticket to, as a better gauge.  I think that, rather than a blindside at Warped, would’ve been a better way to go about that if necessary.  (I haven’t been e-mailed by the way, but it’s all good.)

As I tweeted, I would’ve stayed away from Jake McElfresh and I don’t blame anyone who’s upset that he played Nashville.  But, also as I tweeted, I do think Kevin Lyman’s intentions were ultimately good and he wasn’t trying to hurt anyone.  He said the appearance was part of a “rehabilitation” process and was a one-off.  I’m not sure if whoever organized that process approached Lyman or he reached out about helping, although it was Warped itself that helped arrange counselling.  I could see either: for the latter, there’s at least somewhat of a relationship and Lyman maybe felt like in a sea of anger, he could be a supportive presence.  I understand people voicing their anger, but Lyman recently tweeted that he’s been getting death threats, which is totally uncalled for.  People say things in the heat of the moment, but that’s just unacceptable.

The pre-show meetups are happening, and from what I’ve read people feel good about them – despite being initially concerned it wouldn’t be much of a discussion due to simultaneously running around organizing a festival.  The backlash has also started to die down – on Lyman’s Twitter, anyway – which is also good.  I do think Kevin Lyman has a responsibility as the man behind Warped Tour to promote a safe, respectful atmosphere and with Front Porch Step playing – in blindside fashion, at that – that wasn’t really done.  However, realizing when intentions are good is important too.  I hope this turns into a productive learning experience for everyone involved with Warped Tour and its fans, and everything becomes stronger for it.

Lastly, right as this post started I saw the tweet about the passing of Mindy Foster, who a Google search (I needed that myself) shows co-founded the tour’s Ladies Lounge back in 1998.  So, we definitely need to pass our condolences on to the people in her life.  It’s been a rough go lately for Kevin Lyman and the Warped crew, who still put on one of the best rock festivals out there.