Friday, July 31, 2009

Song of the Day


Pennywise - The American Dream

-------------When most hear the word "vintage" they think of old phones with the turn dials, priceless jewels, and vinyl records. But what about a punk vinyl LP from 1999? When I popped over to Manifest in search of a punk record, I didn't think Pennywise's Straight Ahead would even be vinyl in the first place. The Hermosa Beach punk band has been playing since '88 and has seen many days of the nineties, a time when CDs were taking over vinyl sales and the term "boy band" became sononymous with success.

Rather than languish in late eighties obscurity, Pennywise holds true to the rougish punk scene with "American Dream," a definitive anti-establishment anthem with a commotion of chugging guitars and ruthless drums. Get "American Dream" off of the 1999 album, Straight Ahead.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Song of the Day


Destiny's Child - Bootylicious

----------By special request, SAS pays tribute to the girls with so much sass and swagger, they created a Webster word. Street cred in the english language? - hell yeah! Potent in its sex appeal and positively confident from head, to booty, to toe, "Bootylicious" is a way to get down and dirty for femme fatales and naughty librarians alike. You may recognize the bass line from the ethereal classic rock chick Stevie Nick's "Edge of Seventeen," a clear message that the same composition can represent the saint and the sinner. Get "Bootylicious" from Survivor, the 2001 multi hit album that also gave us "Survivor" and "Independent Woman."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jason Mraz - The Gratitude Cafe Tour

The Music Factory of Charlotte, N.C. played a very rainy host to southern soul rocker G Love and Mr. Wordplay himself, Jason Mraz. Following the next leg on the Gratitude Cafe tour, fans were given a rather wet welcome -a downpour of rain,booming thunder, and lightning pitching through the sky.

Many rainsoaked concertgoers with spirits more than dampened made their way out the venue, while the rest took shelter under thin plastic ponchos, overhangs, and a makeshift coffeehouse representing the real Gratitude Cafe.
When it looked like the concert would be a no go, it was announced to 5,000 fans that G Love and Mraz would play an exclusive acoustic session at The Fillmore, an indoor venue able to cram in 1,500 people.

Needless to say I bolted from the stands, risking broken ankles, bruised limbs, and beatings from lots of frustrated, drunk husbands/boyfriends/douchebags to get in line. After riotous shoving and nearly losing my fedora, I made it inside. Those fortunate enough to make the 1,500 cut were nothing short of elated. Despite the slippery floors, a post-rain stench, and wet clothes, the crowd couldn't have been happier.

G Love (minus the Special Sauce for the session) opened the show with freewheeling, freestyling southern soul. Blasting on his harmonica and tapping his feet like a spider, G Love entertained the crowd with laid back odes to cold beverages and booty calls.

Of all the concerts I've been to, "relaxing" has rarely made an appearance on my list of adjectives to describe them. However, Mraz's set was nothing short of refreshing. He spoke of sunshine in the midst of rain, relishing in his chance to clear his mind and soul throughout the set. Indeed Mraz's more popular tunes, "The Remedy," "You and I Both," and "Curbside Prophet" went off the constructed studio recording in favor of experimental breakdowns and whispered improvisations.
Mraz, Toca, and the gang performed music from his latest album, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, within an easy-going atmosphere and nonchalant joy. An energizing "Live High," "Make it Mine" and "Butterfly" sparked head bobbing and swaying, while a positively adorable rendition of "Lucky" magnetically brought couples together. Singing the female vocals was Elise, a manager of The Gratitude Cafe who happened to have the perfect pipes for the duet.

After six hours of standing (four of them waiting for the show to start), the concert was a breath of fresh air. I was able to check out The Music Factory, The Fillmore, and catch Mr. A-Z in action. If the tour is heading your way, grab some tickets and a poncho - just in case.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Song of the Day


Jeffree Star - Prisoner

-------------The library - possibly not the most ideal place for heart-pumping, high-voltage techo rock, wouldn't you say? Amidst these walls of knowlegde my brain had a full fledged dance party to "Prisoner," an addicted-to-love surrender by the gender-bender designer, DJ, songwriter, model, and make-up artist, Jeffree Star. Sure, his dramatic makeovers that make him a her could be a little a vant garde, but the self-proclaimed "Queen of the Beautifuls" will have you swiveling your body in six-inch stilletos to "Prisoner" (take it to a nightclub, kids - libraries mean quiet time and I learned it the hard way!). Get it from Jeffree Star's 2009 album, Beauty Killer.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Song of the Day


Keri Hilson Feat. Lil' Wayne - Turning Me On

---------------The dime diva herself, Keri Hilson, isn't your record-and-leave looker. Hilson is a member of The Clutch, a collection of some of the most talented songwriters and producers in the industry. She's penned for the pop princess Britney Spears and for Ludacris, all the while making appearances in Usher and Ne-Yo music videos.

But I won't bother you with her impressive resume any further. Instead, take a listen to "Turning Me On" the 2009 Ms. Independent anthem that will make any hot shot ladies snap in Z-formation right in the faces of scrubs across America. Get "Turning Me On" from Hilson's 2009 album, In a Perfect World....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Song of the Day


Eric Hutchinson - Ok, It's Alright

---------------Ever wonder what your favorite artists listen to when they themselves aren't onstage? Jason Mraz would like to tell you, playing with words on his Myspace blog while listening to soul-guitar man Eric Hutchinson. Fans of Mr. Mr-AZ will love to hear Hutchinson, who could be Mraz's twin for vocal dubs.
After a few fubars in an attempt to create the perfect album, Hutchinson is proud to release his debut album, Sounds Like This, to the masses. "Ok, It's Alright" opens up a blues guitar with a devil-may-care attitude. Become a Hutchead and grab Sounds Like This, the ten-song crooning wonder from Eric Hutchinson.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Song of the Day


Jay Z feat. Beyonce - Bonnie and Clyde

---------------Bonnie and Clyde robbed banks, but Jay Z and Beyonce steal the spotlight of the R&B and Hip Hop music industries with consistenly electrifying duets. Produced by Kanye West, "Bonnie and Clyde" cruises along Jay Z's life of sin with his halo, Beyonce. The lyrics devotedly praise love, respect, and sanity with each other in a crazy world. Get "Bonnie and Clyde" from Jay Z's seventh studio album, The Blueprint: The Gift and the Curse.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pictures from the 2009 Vans Warped Tour

Ah, yes - another wonderful year of Warped! Who can resist the cacophonic sounds of multiple bands playing at once, the smell of sweat, cigarette smoke, and $9 pizza wafting about the tents? Surely not a punk-lover hungry for a chance to see all of their Top 25 Most Played bands all in one spot. And so, here are some highlights from the day, from the top, moving down:
1. A perfect car for the Dude Ranch
2. Bassist Roger Manganelli from Florida ska-punk band, Less Than Jake. In the middle of the set, lead vocalist Chris Demakes called out a yawner standing in the crowd. "There are two things I can't stand at a show," Demakes yelled "Texting and fucking yawning." Once this sleepy girl got onstage, everyone booed. The moral of the story: watch your mouth, or LTJ will shut it for you.
3. Raising the bar at the half-pipe. The pipeline pipsqueak in the front was nailing the ramp better than most skaters twice his height. Clearly, size doesn't matter.
4. Your beloved blogger and The Buddy Neilson from Senses Fail. Even though the band wouldn't perform until nightfall, the group could be found dashing Sharpies over tees and CDs or flashing smiles for cameras early in the day.
5. Craig Owens of Chiodos. It looked like a thunderstorm was rolling in as their set began, but no one would have ever heard it.
6. Merch Mania

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Song of the Day


Mike Garrigan (Collapsis) - Automatic

------------If anyone ever happens to be passing through Charlotte, North Carolina, check the calanders of Amos' South End, Neighborhood Theatre, or The Evening Muse. Chances are you'll be able to catch Mike Garrigan, a Greensboro guitar man with a heart full of soul and a new album on the horizon. "Automatic" is one of Garrigan's most notable works, which he sang as the former frontman of his band, Collapsis in 2000. "Automatic" reached #28 on the Billboard Modern Rock Charts back in the day, and though Collapsis is on hiatus, Garrigan keeps the tough-love apology on his set list. Get it from Collapsis' 2000 album, Dirty Wake.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Song of the Day


The Velvet Underground - Sweet Jane (Version 2)

-------------Though the Velvet Underground aren't necessarily classified as a punk rock band, any Fugazi, Ramones, or Buzzcock fan would find their subcultural status and unconventional lyrics a foreground for ushering in the future of America's punk scene. "Sweet Jane" is less F*ck the System and more I-Want-You-Around, with a melodic pop-hooked chorus, "Heavenly wine and roses" lyrics, and floating guitar chords reveal a squishy, heart-melting center to the Velvet Underground's set list. Get "Sweet Jane (Version 2) from The Velvet Underground: Live at Max's Kansas City.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Song of the Day


Alexi Murdoch - All My Days

--------------If you're going to the movies to see Away We Go just to gaze at a rugged, hippie insurance provider played by John Krasinski, you'll be treated to the movie's wandering soundtrack of Alexi Murdoch, Bob Dylan, The Stranglers, and The Velvet Underground. Any fans of the Garden State soundtrack will go bananas over Murdoch's softspoken, feel-good ballads, including the love-you-forever vow, "All My Days." The guitar and strings lullaby has lyrics that say thank you and make a promise with an effortless and peaceful candor. Get "All My Days" from the Away We Go original movie soundtrack.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Song of the Day


The Temptations - Just My Imagination

-------------Motown's popularity on American radio wouldn't have been half as great had it not been for The Temptations. Never before had a quintet from Detroit made such commercial success with their five-part harmony R&B, and "Just My Imagination" is exemplary of songbird sweetness and dreamlike romances. Though many are used to the ever timeless "My Girl," "Just My Imagination" is an adventure of the heart, a yearning for the unattainable dream girl. Get the song from The Temptation's 1971 album, Sky's The Limit.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Song of the Day


NOFX - Creeping Out Sara

-------------Unless you're a world-reknown band that gets to go backstage like they go to Porta Johns, you've probably never met Sara Quin of the Canadian indie-rock band, Tegan and Sara. But NOFX frontman Fat Mike IS in one of those bands, and in "Creeping Out Sara" he spins a tale of how he took awkward to whole new heights with questionable questions regarding the lifestyles of Sara and her identical twin sister, Tegan. The lyrics are comical, outrageous, and uncomfortably weird, all told over clean punk riffs. Get "Creeping Out Sara" from their 2009 album, Coaster.

Think buying music is weak? Go to to download "Creeping Out Sara" and nine other tour sample tracks compiled by tour founder Kevin Lyman for free!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Song of the Day


Don Henley - The Boys of Summer

---------Now before you go galavanting into the sunset with your favorite summer mix blasting from your 8-Track, cassette tape, whatever - take care to add just one more classic, get-the-girl jam. Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer" idealizes the perfect June, July, or August love. It's tic-tac guitars and heavy ooh-aah keyboards sound great in the pavement melting heat. So let the former Eagle's frontman into your Cadillac from Henley's 1984 album Building the Perfect Beast.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Song of the Day


Santigold - You'll Find a Way (Remix)

----------------Like most TV addicts, I'll watch one episode of a show I've heard about a billion times, and I'll instantly be hooked. The latest So You Think You Can Dance? I've been enjoying has not only made me wish I stuck with ballet/tap/jazz at Jamie Master's School of Dance, but made me yearn for the music the contestants shake their stuff to. Last week, Santigold's piercing and hideously fresh "You'll Find a Way" was featured, and I immediately took to the tribal-techno bombardment in the same respect as M.I.A. Break out those toothbrush-scrubbed Nike's and get the song from the sample tracks on Santigold.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Song of the Day

Regina Spektor - Better
------------Critics and fans of Regina Spektor have adored the quirky and lovely songstress for her refreshing vibrance in the music industry. The curly haired mistress of fluttering melodies paints brilliant colors onto what was a black and white canvas of the banal music industry (the video for "Fidelity" explains it all)."Better" takes Spektor's appeal to even higher heights with blushing instrumentals and gorgeous melodies. Take a listen to "Better" from her fourth album, Begin to Hope.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Song of the Day


Zero 7 - Destiny

------------You know that playlist on your ipod that calms you down or the one you play for a nap nap? Check those, because if either one of those is missing Zero 7, you're missing out on an electro-zen U.K. band with sleepy yet sensual vocals and spacious, symphonic instrumentals. "Destiny" sighs with twinkling synth and is beautifully sung in relaxed passion by Sia Furler. "Destiny" may be the pillow to rest your head on, or the perfect segway into some -ahem - activities. Get it from their 2001 debut album, Simple Things.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Song of the Day


Playing For Change - War/No Trouble

---------------You've seen them on the front steps of banks, in subways, beachsides, and parks. Street musicians and performers perfume the crowded streets of cities with music, and now they have a way to take it home. Playing For Change - Songs Around the World gives a voice to performers from all over to make an album of change, struggle, and joy. Mark Johnson's project started in 2005, looking to bring people together through music from all villages, towns and countries. "War/No Trouble" is just one of many songs filling the lungs in thousands of musicians, and a particular cry for an end to violence and strife. Get Playing For Change from or iTunes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Song of the Day


Panic at the Disco - The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage

-------------Today, theatrical rock quartet Panic at the Disco should reinsert the exclamation point in their name - and a question mark, since members Ryan Ross and John Walker have split ties in order to persue personal musical interests. What does this mean for Panic fans clutching tour tickets? According to, all scheduled performances will continue as promised.

So today, S.A.S. honors the Las Vegas showmen with a string quartet tribute to their breakout album, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out. Each song is delicately and meticulously interpreted through fiddle, viola, violin, and cello, giving the genre 'classic rock' a whole new look. The songs are all instrumental, so if you feel like donning a poofy hat and belting your favorite Panic songs like a robust opera man, go for it. Fans of Fall Out Boy can also hear the string quartet cover Fall From Under the Cork Tree. Get "The Only Difference..." from the album, Strung Out on Panic! At the Disco.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Song of the Day

Big D and the Kids Table - Steady Riot
--------------Would you ever want to forget a friend's birthday? Certainly not the Vans Warped Tour's birthday, which turns 15 this summer with old school and new school bands following each other in boiling RVs and cramped little U-Hauls to bring scenesters of all ages the music they love. Among these trailers you'll find Big D and the Kids Table, who first entered the tour in 2004 and is totally worth being your new bff.
A bunch of Berklee College of Music geeks formed the band in 1995, and since then have brought their ska-punk stylings all over, touring with Streetlight Manifesto and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. If punk doesn't quench your thirst, never fear - Big D has a sound appealing to fans of Less Than Jake and Dave Matthews Band alike. Get today's song, "Steady Riot" from either the 2007 Warped Tour Compilation or Strictly Rude.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Song of the Day


Harvard - Red Dress
----------------In every issue of Alternative Press magazine, two pages of rock research are given to the up-and-coming movers and shakers for today and tomorrow's scenesters. One group most recently included is Harvard, the prog-rock sludgy band from Charlotte, North Carolina. While in their hometown, the members of Harvard can be found judging local battle of the bands tournaments and "in the lab (as it says on their Myspace page)" recording a fresh demo. "Red Dress" floats unevenly and mystically through jaunted guitars and discordant vocals. True, it may seem like a mess, but any fans of Circa Survive will
dig it. (Photo by Patrick Emmons)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

----------On this day in history, Joey Chestnut consumed 69 hotdogs in ten minutes. Now that I've made you lose your appetite, you can spend time enjoying the all-american tunes that have made their way through the speakers of a 1966 Mustang convertible to the iHome system in your backyard. Kick your bare feet back, pop open a cool one, and tune in to these hits as the fireworks go off tonight.

1. Don McClean - American Pie

2. American Woman - The Guess Who

3. Bruce Springsteen - Born in the U.S.A.

4. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - American Girl

5. The Scenics - The American Way

6. Jack's Mannequin - American Love

7. Estelle - American Boy

8. Prince - America

9. Lee Greenwood - God Bless the U.S.A.

10. John Phillips Sousa - Semper Fidelis

Friday, July 3, 2009

Song of the Day


The Black Eyed Peas - Imma Be

-----------Ever since first grade, teachers have asked the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Well, Fergy-Ferg and Will.I.Am and the crew who brought you "My Humps" want to tell you all about what they'll be, where they'll be, and everything they want to brag about. Toxic and exceedingly radio-popular, "Imma Be" is a look into the fly futures of the Peas, from partying to writing on blogs. The song features a diconnected breakdown into jarring jazz piano that takes a different turn from the thick techno in the first movement. Get "Imma Be" from the Black Eyed Pea's latest album, The End.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Red Blue Records

-----------On the color wheel, red and blue make purple (I graduated first-grade art). But these colors also blend together to make Red Blue Records, which features the latest New England punk and hardcore bands that pack more punch than a case of Monster.

Working out of Medford, Massachusetts for several years, Red Blue Records is currently painting the music scene with a handful of New England bands, from the metal-punk Ice Nine Kills to the the mall rock guitar stylings of Brunswick.

"The original idea to create the label was to help brings, like my own at the time – Gone Baby Gone, to the next level," said Michael Krilivsky, owner and co-founder of Red and Blue Records.

Krilivsky said the label began "by hard work, kids that love music, and non stop planning, adapting and executing to help get our artists to where they are now." The label is committed to bringing New England bands the best promotion and networking to get under the spotlight to have their music heard all over.

(Photo courtesy of

Song of the Day


Clutch - (Notes From the Trial of) La Curandera

---------------Amid a smoke and beer-filled Tremont Music Hall, I saw the southern dirty rock band Clutch when I was the tender age of fifteen. The show was eye opening (I discovered how creepy the male population of Charlotte's rock scene is) to the outlaw rock that pisses on power chords and expells the usual rock resume. Clutch's "La Curandera" channels a mysterious muse through pounding drums, intense guitars, an the muscled-up, growling voice of Neil Fallon. Clutch has been called funky, bluesy, and even hardcore punk over their nineteen years together. There's something for every ear in this band, particularly "La Curandera" from their 2004 album, Blast Tyrant.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Song of the Day


Brooke Hogan - Falling

----------Thank heavens that Brooke "Heartbreaker" Hogan (as it's called on her Myspace) has a famous daddy to get her into the studio to run through track after track of honestly predictable pop beats. Sure, she made a glittery brush over 2007 ears with her single "About Us." Well, when it comes to making a sexy-cute pop song, Brooke knows best. "Falling" is a kissy-goo eyed crush performed with her ex beau, a rapper by the name of Stack$. Males may want to stray away from this one, however the music video features the busty blonde in a blue bikini (sexy alliteration, no?). Get "Falling" from Brooke's latest album, Judgement Day.