In case you missed it, today, Monday July 18th was filled with music news: tour announcements, new albums, new videos, new songs.  Here’s a recap if you weren’t following along today:

Chris-Farren-Cant-Die-coverFirst up, Chris Farren (Fake Problems, Antarticgo Vespucci, all around punk celebrity) announced that in conjunction with Side One Dummy Records, he would be releasing his debut solo LP entitled “Can’t Die”.  The album is due for release on September 2nd, 2016 and there are many different options for pre-order here: https://sideonedummy.com/store/artist/chris-farren/1dummy.com/store/artist                                                          

Having heard a few of the songs via his Stage-It performance, and on the Brian Fallon tour just recently, I am already very excited to receive my album and hear the mastered versions.  In the meantime though, you don’t have to wait to listen to the first single off of the album- Chris has released his new music video for “Say U Want Me” today as well, and I’ve linked it for you to enjoy below!

againstmeNext, punk rock band Against Me!  have announced their new album, entitled “Shape Shift With Me”, set for release on September 16th, 2016.  This will be released by their own label, Total Treble, though they’ll be partnered with other labels in other parts of the world for wider distribution- for example, UK label Xtra Mile Recordings will be handling distribution outside of North America.  You can pre-order the album here: https://againstme.myshopify.com/products/pre-order-shape-shift-with-me-limited-edition-vinyl

And because they know we like instant gratification, they’ve also dropped the first single from the album, called “333”, which you can listen to below!  Against Me! has also announced a bunch of new tour dates; visit www.againstme.net/tour  to find out when they will be in a city near you.

Frank-Turner-The-Sleeping-Souls-credit-Ben-MorseEdit-640x465Frank Turner (the man who seemingly never stops touring) and the Sleeping Souls also announced a new fall tour throughout the US today.  They will be headlining with The Arkells and Will Varley providing support.  You can find the list of dates for this tour here: http://frank-turner.com/live-gigs/

*Please note that although the Kalamazoo, MI gig at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe is listed as 18+, we have confirmed with the venue that it is in fact a 21+ gig.  Just an FYI if you are planning on attending that show but are underage.

Miranda_Lambert_Photo_PRViceFinally, country superstar Miranda Lambert released her new single “Vice” today, and it is reminiscent of slowly sipping a glass of whiskey in dark smoky bar.  A sultry tale of trying to escape heartache by running to the closest bad habit for distraction.  In short, it’s a perfect song for her to release following the dissolution of her marriage in the last year, and to welcome in a new sound for Miranda.  “Vice” is available to purchase on iTunes now, or you can head to Spotify and stream it there.  It’s a great track and I’ve been listening to it on repeat  for the better part of the day, so make sure you give it a listen.



Daycare Swindlers- “Reradiate”

reradiateDaycare Swindlers, based out of Virginia, are back with their first full-length album since 2004’s “The Morning After” and, despite its release date being last fall, it’s definitely a perfect listen for the summer!

“Reradiate” has a little bit of something for everyone;  genres ranging from ska, punk, and even metal have some representation here.  Ordinarily you might think this would lead to a disjointed album with no cohesion but in this case, you would be wrong.  Daycare Swindlers have somehow managed to blend genres seamlessly and have created something that flows from song to song.

“El Coliche” was one of the first songs I heard from the album and immediately fell in love with.  It’s a narrative-based, island-style romp that you can’t help but dance to.  “Telephone” provides commentary on our society’s need to always be connected, though it is often at the expense of actual face to face interaction with people.  The title track, “Reradiate” slows things down a bit with heavier subject matter but doesn’t disrupt the overall feel of the album as a whole.

Don’t Miss: “Telephone”, “Bicycle Seat”, or “El Coliche”

“Reradiate” is available via Say-10 Records here: http://www.say-10.com/store/dcsreradiate/ where you will find options for everything from digital download to multiple coloured vinyl selections.

Show Recap: Brian Fallon and the Crowes: London Music Hall, London ON 07/08/16

Perfection is one of those things that is difficult to find and rare to come by.  Unrealistic.  Unattainable.  But last night, Brian Fallon & the Crowes, accompanied by Chris Farren as the show opener, had a damn near perfect show in London, ON.  The universe came together with the perfect venue and a wonderful group of people who were all unified for that moment in time, with no other agenda than to enjoy being in each others company and to experience some great live music.

Chris Farren was up first with yes, another perfect set (seriously, I don’t know how he does it).  The crowd was extremely receptive and joined in on songs like “Song for Teenagers”, “Come to Brazil” (helping out with the ‘na na na’ background part) and “Bang!”, a personal favourite of mine and Ashleigh’s.  There were definitely some Antarctigo Vespucci fans in the house, and their excitement was as contagious as Chris’ energy on stage.

Brian Fallon and the Crowes opened up with “Nobody Wins”, followed quickly by “Among Other Foolish Things” and the room was electric. The Canadian crowd quickly won over Brian, who in turn commented that Canadian girls have the best hair, always styled and curled (although the first example he picked out from the crowd was in fact American).  He was very interactive with the crowd, commenting on some of his famous Twitter followers, including Boy George.  This prompted a sing along to “Karma Chameleon”, which then led into “Ride Wit Me” by Nelly (honestly, scream-singing “Heyyyy must be the money!” was something I haven’t done in a very long time and now I’m not sure why it doesn’t happen more often).  He was pretty impressed that the London crowd could keep up with this jump of music, so he issued a challenge: if we could follow along with the next song, we’d get a special treat and a shout out on Twitter.  Spoiler alert- the next song was “You Da One” by Rhianna, and as an audience, we blew it.  We also learned that Jared holds the monopoly on music memory; according to Brian, he’s got “Forgot about Dre” down.  The more you know, kids, the more you know.

The set list for the London show was easily my favourite of the three shows I was able to go to on this tour, with an excellent variety of Horrible Crowes songs, tracks from Painkillers and some surprises thrown in for good measure.  We were treated to a cover of “Bell Bottom Blues” that really highlighted Brian’s vocals and Ian’s skills on the slide guitar.  They also added “The Runaround” from Jared’s album “Past Lives and Pass Lines” into the set for this show, with the full band supporting and Brian providing backing vocals.  Having only previously heard his songs acoustically and via solo performances, this was a really great surprise, and it was nice to see him take center stage on a full song of his own at this show.  Finally evening came to a close on “Behold the Hurricane”…or so we thought as we watched the band exit the stage.  Brian remained with just his guitar, telling us that the song he was about to play was about as old as they come, and recollecting a time where it was being demoed and someone advised him to do something else.  He imparted an important lesson worth remembering:  you know yourself and what is best for you, so don’t let other people plant that seed of doubt in your mind if they can’t see your vision as clearly as you can.  He then played “Navesink Banks” (from the Gaslight Anthem’s debut album Sink or Swim), solo and acoustic, joined only by the voices of the crowd who sang along to every word;  and the evening ended as perfectly as it began.

(As an aside, I wasn’t even planning on going to this show.  I ended up making a last minute decision to attend and I’m so very fortunate that I was able to be a part of this show.  It truly was a magical evening!  Moral of the story:  buy the concert ticket.  Go to the show.  You’ll never regret it.)





Show Recap: Brian Fallon & the Crowes- Bogarts, Cincinnati OH 06/29/16

The morning after the Detroit show, I began my journey to Cincinnati, OH to catch my second show on this tour.  I’ve never been to Ohio before;  I will briefly comment that from the limited time I spent in the state, it appears that the entire state is under road construction, and that until you get to around Dayton, the only things to see are big cornfields and maybe the occasional herd of cows.

I arrived to my hotel around 2:30 to drop my things off, and then went to scope out the venue, which was about 20 minutes away from where I was staying.  Having learned my lesson from the previous night, I inquired about availability and subsequently purchased the Fast Pass option from the box office, went to grab a book to read from a nearby Walgreen’s and settled in on a bench in front of the venue.  I wasn’t sure what the crowd would be like at this venue, or if they would be planning to line up early but I wasn’t going to take any chances.


I ended up being the lone wolf until approximately 1 hour before the doors opened.  At least you can’t say I’m not dedicated.

Thankfully around 4:30pm, some of the event security staff started to arrive early for their check-in, and they were pretty incredulous that I had traveled from Canada to see two shows on this tour, so I ended up hanging out with them while we all waited outside.  I honestly can’t say enough about them;  they were incredibly friendly and so sweet to me- even as people began to line up, they told me to just stay where I was and that they would make sure that I was in first.

Once again, Chris Farren was up first with yet another perfect set, this time including “Away from You” which is one of my favourite songs.  I will admit that the security guard putting lotion on his fresh tattoo directly in front of me was a little distracting (all I could possibly think was “it rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again”), but also hilarious when Chris took a second to come and check out what exactly was going on and started laughing.  We were also treated to another new song, one that I had heard during the Stage-It broadcast called “Still Beating”.  I think it’s going to be a new favourite when the new album comes out.

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I will say that, like in Detroit, the crowd was a little distracted and loud during Chris’ set (which I suppose comes with the territory of being an opener) but overall there were more people who knew the songs and were happily singing along with him, so I had a sense that this crowd would be a little better than the previous night.  The sound and lighting were also already much better than at St. Andrew’s Hall as well.  Bogarts had already secured itself as one of my favourite venues within a very short time.

Brian and the Crowes were up next and the crowd here was super excited and hyped up right from the get go.  They followed a pretty similar setlist to what was done in Detroit, but with one major addition- a cover song that we were able to sneak a brief listen to through the door in Detroit, as well as one I could hear while waiting outside Bogarts.  Between songs, Brian had taken a couple extra seconds to speak with the members of the Crowes, and announced that for the first time, they were going to try “Walls” by Tom Petty (and to ignore any potential mistakes, because it was so new for them).  This is a song that I can remember hearing often on the radio while I was growing up, and despite not hearing it for awhile, most of the lyrics came flooding back.  It was definitely a hit with the crowd, and it was a special moment that was unique to this show.  Part of the reason I love going to show like this are for those moments; every show is unique and you know it will never be that way again; you’ll never have the same crowd, the same songs, the same banter or small moments of connection with the artists.  It’s beautiful to suspend time like that and just live in these precious moments.


Post show, one of my event security friends managed to snag a copy of the set list for me from Frank, and also allowed me to stick around inside the venue so that I could have Jared quickly sign a copy of his album, “Past Lines and Pass Lives” for me (I will be posting more on this album soon as I have ordered both colour variants of this album and obviously want to share how beautiful they are!).  I also ended up buying the tour hoodie from Danny because I decided I couldn’t leave without it.

With some guidance from my new security friends on the best times to leave Cincinnati to avoid traffic, along with some well wishes, my small run of shows were complete.  Until next time of course.


Show Recap: Brian Fallon & The Crowes-St. Andrews Hall, Detroit MI 06/28/16

On Tuesday, June 28th at 6:30am,  I quietly left my home in Sault Ste. Marie Canada and headed off on an adventure to see one of my favourite bands play two very special shows.  I’m choosing to split them up because though it was the same band, each show was very different.

I arrived in Detroit, MI around 12:15pm and Sarah and I met up at the hotel and walked to the venue as she hadn’t purchased a ticket yet.  Caleigh joined us shortly after.  It’s a testament to Brian Fallon and the boys that the three of us were together for this show: myself from Canada, Sarah from North Carolina and Caleigh from Lansing, MI, all of us having met at various Gaslight Anthem or Brian Fallon shows over the year.  It’s really kind of amazing that through his music, we (and countless other people) have found lasting friendships with other fans that we would probably not otherwise meet.


St. Andrew’s Hall, Detroit MI.

Since we were pretty set on getting a solid position at barrier, we arrived at St. Andrew’s Hall at around 2:30pm, about 4 1/2 hours prior to door.  Caleigh and I have been to other shows together in Michigan where this is expected, so we settled in on the steps of the venue to wait it out.  Surprisingly, we weren’t joined by many other people until quite a bit later, but the weather was nice and we were able to catch up and also chat with a venue staffer named “Holland” who quickly warned Sarah as she ate a slice of pizza from the place around the corner: “It’s a good thing we have nice bathrooms”,  intermittently coming back to check on us, at one point asking jokingly: “How’s your butt hole?”

Finally we began lining up at the venue’s request as it got closer to doors, which is when we found out that people had been able to purchase “Fast Passes” prior to the show, which effectively allowed them to skip the line and enter before us and the other people who had waited patiently outside the venue for hours.  I understand people don’t enjoy waiting in line, and I get that it can be tedious, but I look at it as part of the experience!  Standing in line is where you meet people, discuss the band or other music that you like, and get to know one another before the show.  Obviously we weren’t thrilled at this development, but we were still able to get a prime barrier position once inside, so it thankfully didn’t affect too much.

Chris Farren was up first with another perfect set, playing songs from his bands Antarctigo Vespucci and Fake Problems, as well as solo material including two new songs (“Say You Want Me” and “Brighter”) which are anticipated to be on his upcoming album that will be dropping in September.  Caleigh and I had seen Chris play last summer when he was on tour with Dave Hause and Rocky Votolato, so we had some songs that we were really looking forward to hearing again during this set, including “Bang!” which he closed his set with.  He is an extremely high energy performer and his sets are always really fun to watch and sing along with, so it was a great way to start the show off.


(Apparently I’m inept at lining photos up like a normal human being SORRY)

Brian & the Crowes took to the stage shortly after Chris, and they were met with a lot of excitement from the Detroit crowd.  Excitement that included a girl who managed to push through to the front to tell Brian that she was a 5’10” prison guard who wanted to hear “Teenage Dream” (I’m not sure why her height or occupation were necessary information but Brian took it in stride, and since it was on the set list already, she didn’t manage to delay the show more than a few uncomfortably awkward moments), as well as an errant crowd surfer who I somehow managed not to notice until I had his foot in my face as security was trying to tell me too late to duck down.  Fun fact though: as confirmed by Brian himself, this was the very first crowd surfer he’s had since he began his solo tours.  His shoe, my face: making history.

The Detroit show was given a great set list that included some songs I hadn’t been able to see before, including Rosemary and Open All Night (both personal favourites) and Georgia, from his recent Record Store Day LP.  Jared Hart was sounding especially good on backup vocals for “Black Betty and the Moon” and “Mary Ann” from the Horrible Crowes.

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Truly I can only say good things about the performances.  They were at the top of their game for sure.  However, I would say that the venue has some issues with lighting and sound that could use some addressing for shows in the future.  I’m not sure if it is solely because we were at the front and very close to the stage, but the lights were often shining directly into our faces and making it difficult to avoid being blinded, as well as saturating any photos that we tried to take.  You’ll find I don’t have many quality photos to share for this reason.  The sound was similarly distracting, almost too loud and thus actually drowning out some of the vocals.  Having seen Brian with the Crowes at similarly sized venues, I think it could have been toned down just slightly to a level that was a little more suitable to the style of music.  These are just nit picky little things of course that could be strictly personal opinion.  I did find the crowd to be a bit strange as well, and that seemed to be a general consensus among the girls I was there with, along with a couple people we met at the venue.  I’ve never been one to get drunk at a show because usually if I’m there to watch someone whose music I appreciate, I want to be able to remember the experience.  For some people in the audience this didn’t seem to be of similar concern, and we noted at one point someone who was in the front with us standing with their back to the stage for the majority of the show, and cracking racist jokes with their group of friends.  Ain’t nobody got time for that, yo.

We were able to talk briefly with Chris, from whom I had won a prize during his recent Stage-It show, although sadly he was already out of my size in his awesome glow in the dark t-shirts (I actually cannot wait until that makes it to his online store so I can grab one).


My winnings from Chris Farren: the “Where U Are” 7″ test pressing, 7″ “Holy Attitudes” EP and a hand drawn photo of me based on just my name


I was also able to grab a copy of the tour poster and the tour exclusive vinyl release of “Elsie” by the Horrible Crowes from Danny as well, both of which are lovely.  I’ll update this to include the poster once I have it framed.


So that was basically my Detroit show experience in a nutshell….but that’s not all!  The following night, I headed to see a second show on this tour in Cincinnati, OH!  Stay tuned for that recap as well…