Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Homeless for the Holidays with The Bouncing Souls

Holy cow, you don't need to know a damn song by The Bouncing Souls to enjoy a show of theirs. Not that you shouldn't know their catalog, but I'm just saying.

My friend and I went to the first date of their holidays shows b/c of the openers. The Casualties were going to be there. But....as we got closer to the door, there was a sign saying they would not be playing. Turns out one of them is in the hospital - how horrible! Such a bummer, but everyone's thoughts are with them.

So, we arrived just as LES Stitches were starting their set. Really good. They just have that traditional punk rock n' roll sound and are definately worth checking out for a good time if they're playing your area.

Spansih Bombs filled The Casualties' spot and I guess it was a good choice if you wanted a harder sound. They set felt so short compared to LES Stitches and I think it was a good 15 mins shorter. Most of the crowd was lost on them and I couldn't get into them either.

But it wasn't long before The Souls took the stage, all adorned in their red snowflake sweaters that they're wearing in their myspace default picture. They started with "Here We Go," one of the five songs that I know.

Already we were in business. Everyone around me were having a blast, singing along and dancing whether in the pit or with each other.

They played "Lean on Sheena" towards the end and I couldn't be happier. Call me a dork, but I have my stereotypical favorites.

It was a fun night and I'm sure many of those there were coming back for the remaining two days - the last having Gaslight Anthem open for them.

It was also kind of weird. Asbury Park is undergoing renovation and it's retarded. There's shops opening and things are getting cleaned up and while many would say - isn't that a good thing? - it takes away from everything down there.

Inside the Convention Hall, where they played, they opened these small stupid gift shops and a concession stand and pub. Just last year it was gritty and falling apart and awesome. But it added to the Christmas cheesiness of it all, with the huge tree off to the side.

Next year - 20 years of being together for The Bouncing Souls and they're releasing a new track every month to celebrate. They played new of them at the show and trust me, it'll be like Christmas every month.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Senses Fail....my love returns

Did I ever mention I went to the Senses Fail show at Starland Ballroom back in November?

No? Well...It was amazing.

First off, Foxy Shazam is friggin' insane! I was torn whether or not to consider their show smart and genius or just plain retardness. The lead singer was crazy and I love it. He was all over the place, talking non-sense to a crowd that half of 'em loved him, but the other booed and hated him.

He began singing the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song and it was boring, but funny. Some of the crowd standing by me wanted them gone - but they were the same dumbasses who would late 'mosh' to Sky Eats Airplane.

Anyways, later on, the singer threw the microphone over one of the beams above and proceeded to climb up the cord to the ceiling, swing around and then fall back to the stage. Quite impressive. The keyboardist also wanted attention by standing on his keyboard. They are fun.

Sky Eats Airplane is a Chiodos/screamo hardcore outfit that I wasn't too impressed with. Of course, the lead singer on stage looked hot, but that's about it. I had more fun watching the ceiling fans in the stage lighting that this band had set up.

I was so stoked to see Dance Gavin Dance, but they failed to really give me my fill. I'm most familiar with their older album, but since they have a new singer...nothing from that album, just new stuff. Which isn't a problem, but they fell a little flat.

The last song morphed into a jam, progressive kind of thing and was really nice.

Ok, so I had complained about Senses Fail's new album, mainly b/c it felt like the heart was missing. I remember reading in a blog by their old bassist, who left before this record, something along the lines that he doesn't want to pretend he wants to make music like some others.

So I kind of felt like he was right.

Wrong! My goodness, their lead singer was totally on the ball this show. He didn't seem completely intoxicated (like last time I saw them) and his vocals were so on point and the energy was flowing like crazy. He divided his time during the set between jumping into the crowd and rolling out the stage like a madman.

The music just radiated through me. Maybe with now the talent of Jason Black (originally of Hot Water Music) they can really get into that full-bodied, ambient thing or maybe it's all just clicking.

I loved the fact that they played every hit, not sticking solely to the new record and I was completely satisfied with this set.

They're headed out on the Saints and Sinners Tour in '09 (yea, there's no Saints and Sinners Fest, but that's okay b/c if you saw what they did to the inside of the Convention Hall in Asbury, you wouldn't want it there either).

With them is like hardcore screamo cats and Hollywood Undead. If I get in free, you know I'm going.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Chiodos (Chee-tos) New Video

So, it's not that new, but I just watched it now. It's for their song "The Undertaker's Thirst For Revenge Is Unquenchable." It's a great song that has a lot to it (if you really listen and like this genre of music) and they usually start their sets with it as well.

I think it's easier to make a video that's a live performance - yes/no - than a concept thing. But when you do a live performance, it should be for some song that's a great song done live, but is just a fluff piece.

This song in my mind has INSANE potential to have that great storyboard which completely captures the dark mood that looses itself in despair, only to slightly see through the breaking clouds and find hope.

Yea. They should have hired me.

Check it out though HERE

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Brief rant

I have so much to update on here, but I'm between a million projects for two shoots and then a show at the end of january. I'm swamped and relaly need an assistant.

My rant -

It's about other artists in the industry, not other designers. Like, it feels like hair stylists, make up people and models are so boring!

People who make a bang in the scene as of late are doing one trick that's either unique, hasn't been seen in awhile or is over the top. BUT...that's all they do.

One hair do, one face, one pose...people don't call yourselves artists when all you do is one thing.

Now I said this doesn't apply to designers b/c designers are to make items and sell them - how could you possibly make a different design and never repeat. When you find a style/cut, keep making it - obviously there'll be more one.

And as other artists, of course you can't keep making every single job you have completely different, but when you've done several several jobs and they all look the same except for the clothes and setting, well then, enough!

I think this only makes sense in my mind and right now I'm freezing and don't want to bitch about people directly. But if i named names, then it would make more sense.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hanson Show Review

Wellmont Theatre, Montclair, NJ

We went all out for the Hanson show! This was my first time seeing them live and I will confess, I got to interview the eldest early in October and my concert buddies had listened in and so it made the evening extra giggle-ly.

We started by joining them on this show's walk at Montclair State. They hold mile walks before their shows to ultimately walk the same distance as it would around the world. They donate a dollar for each walker towards AIDS help in Africa. Gotta love these guys.

It was a fun walk, with each of the brothers walking with the fans and they took a stop halfway to explain again what they are doing and how we can help those who are faced with this disease that can be alleviated by small donations from us.

Once we returned to the start, they brought out the guitar, tamborine and shaker and did an aucoustic performance of "Great Divide." They sounded so great and I was even more excited for later that evening.

There was an opener - Dave Barnes. His drummer was cute. His music was good, but something I rather hear at a bar hanging with friends or out to diner at a nice bbq joint or whatever.

They were running a bit behind schedule, but we were distracted by all the stagehands, techs and all the people that make it happen, running around stage. We were also trying to see if any one of them resmebled the Hanson family b/c suppossedly they go on the road with them.

I can't go blow by blow with this show, b/c as someone who doesn't know any songs besides the new "Great Divide" and the classic "Mmm...Bop," everything meshed together. They bounced back and forth between older tunes and the new stuff - I was however, able to pick out the new tunes from the EP that accompanies their new book.

All in all, a great show! Sorry can't say more, I've waited too long to post this, so let's just get it out there!

Backstreet Boys Show Review

Backstreet Boys!
Wellmont Theatre, Montclair, NJ
10.31.2008 (Halloween!)

This was a last minute concert venture and it turned out the be the best idea ever.
We headed out to the newly restored Wellmont Theatre in Montclair and bought tickets at the door. No extra fees and unfortunately, but fortunately, the place was not sold out. Poor Backstreet Boys.

The venue is small, i would say a tad bigger than the blender theater in Grammercy, and we sat in the balcolny maybe 5 rows up. We had such a great view and I enjoy being able to see a little off to the sides of the stage, the marks on the floor and I thought it was funny how, unlike the stadium venues, the stagehands had to revamp the set-up while the boys were still on the stage.

So, earlier that day, I caught the Angie Martinez Show on Hot97 and that Donnie Klang, solo act of the Making the Band shows, and totally fell in love with this kid. Reason why he was on the show? Well one, he has a new album (um, I'll just listen on myspace), but he was in town and opened for BSB!

We were a little late and walked in on him doing his new single, "Dr. Love." My friends made fun of the title, as they should. He finished up with a slow song and threw roses out to the audience. He's got heart and the girls love him (especially when he removes his shirt, as he did after the set real quick off to the side), but I think it's hard for any R&B solo act to really make it and stand out.

It wasn't an eternity for BSB to take the stage and it was pure awesomeness from the get go. They opened with "Larger Than Life" and for some reason, were in a boxing ring. They even had like boxer's stats on the screen as they came out. So corny, but that was the endearing factor of the show - the guys are not too into themselves to be serious and seemed to just let go and not worry if they were being total goofballs.

They kept the hits coming and I had a smile on my face the whole time. When new tracks from the last album came on that I didn't know, I just looked to my friend and we both shrugged and continued dancing.
BSB's slow songs all have this same melody, but they're substantial in the words (no, seriously, listen a little closer to some) and just pretty. Everyone's vocals were showcased to their full potential.

To cut up the set, each boy did their own solo, basically because they all have or are working on their own records. It just goes to show how the music clearly reflects the personalities of these guys that the media has built for them.

Howie went first - I think he feels people don't know he's Spanish, so he did a mellow track with a salsa backbone and (I think) Carmen Miranda dancing on the screen. It wasn't the greatest.

A.J. was next - He did this "Drive By" song and it was a catchy, fast and over-sexed rock n'roll tune. It was fun and kept my attention more than the others.
Nick was third - Oh, Nick...he did a slower song and was OK. I just feel bad for him b/c I always think he probably felt he was to have the same success that Justin Timberlake did, but it never happened. Poor guy.

Brian was last - I liked his song. He's a Christian rock musician and his song was really sweet and I teared up a little. He's the nicest sounding one of them.

The show as a whole had lots of energy and they mixed things up just a tad and it felt as though I was back in high school. I jumped up and down when "The Call" came on and I got the chills when they played the old videos on the screen during songs like "Quit Playing Games" and "I'll Never Break Your Heart."

Being that it was Halloween, they did "Backstreet's Back" in costumes - it was cheesey, but who cares...it was Backstreet!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Creepshow Photoshoot

Photoshoot: Creepshow Photography
10.26.2008 - Philly area

Not only was this the first time shooting with Julie of Creepshow Photography, but it was also my FIRST photoshoot. It came out so amazing!

We met up at the Theater of the Living Arts and began our gameplan. Fun note - the sign at the TLA had 'Creepshow' on it, so it was like it was all meant to be.

Luckily, we got to use the one car as a changing room instead of probably having to sneak in and out of the bathrooms at Starbucks or like Johnny Rockets. Surprisingly, I don't think anyone really took notice.

There were six looks, that were broken into pairs and worked so well together. I didn't even plan it that way, so I was shocked. The models rocked all the looks - Crash & Caitlyn.

We strolled around, but I kind of already knew where I wanted to go. We choose the mirror muraled walls scattered around on the back streets, then a dingy alley with graffit and a dumpster and various other surroundings.

What turned out to be nice photos were this corner of half mirror mural corner and then a plain back alley, then we found 50s avacado colored chairs outside a thrift store to use and we took a real quick shot outside a tattoo parlor.

It was interesting with people stopping and staring, a few older rocker types kind of poked fun at the clothes as we walked by, but one of the best parts of the afternoon - there's a new vintage/thrift store that opened right next to where the Funhouse use to be!

Photos :

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Big Giant and The Extravaganza

Big Giant and The Extravaganza
Crocodile Rock
Allentown, PA
October 25, 2008

Originally, the draw of seeing The Casualties and From First to Last play on the same stage on the same day was too much for me to stay in Jersey, wondering what exactly was going on at The Croc.

Turned out that FFTL had to cancel, but we still feared the rain and headed over as my sister enjoys Jet Lag Gemini & Just Surrender.

It was an all day thing, with some really great bands and even if you went not familiar with any of them, there was always someone playing who was interesting. Advertised were 4 stages, but there were 3, maybe due to the weather. I felt bad for the downstairs stage as it seemed out of the way and I only passed it to leave the venue or head to the bathrooms. Upstairs was the main stage and right outside the doors was the outdoor mini performance area.

To start, Throw Money was on the Main Stage. They were a fun rock band that held my attention. Double Entendre was next and they are really something. Great vocals and you could just feel this band is heading somewhere, so check them out.

Kelsey and the Chaos strated setting up and my sister said they were like Paramore. Maybe b/c it's a girl-fronted band, but the music is a tad heavier and she pushes her vocals a bit to have more growl and bite.

Halfway through - The power went out for almost an hour. It was kind of cool though.

Their set got cut short and the lead singer entertained the crowd by starting sing-a-longs. The next handful of sets had to have songs shaved off to catch up on time.

So, Jet Lag Gemini was the first band back after the outage and this was my first time seeing them. Jersey love for this band. Great rock music, with an entertaining lead singer, but tough talented, the moments of shredding by their guitarist seemed cheesy. Still awesome though.

There were a few bands here and there, but the two to take note of - Nobody Yet and Motionless in White.

Nobody Yet comes across as a suburban band who nods towards classic punk bands like Buzzcocks, but remain relevant in today's rock scene. I was happy we stepped outside to check them out.

Motionless in White was the highlight of the day as any meoldic screamo-faux metalcore bands today crack me up. The lead singer was a tall Davey Havok, the other members were styled just right and the keyboardist rocked out as much as a keyboard player can. It was great. But hey, the music wasn't all that bad either.

Punchline was up and I was hoping to hear some old favorites. They basically stuck to songs from their new album and being that I haven't heard it yet, I must pick it up. They're still the same poppy, upbeat rock band and the new stuff sounds even better than what I remember.

So we headed out and went to Friendly's. This was probably the greatest thing about the day - They left you LEAVE AND COME BACK. Unlike Warped or Bamboozle, you could park for free and leave to eat somewhere nice.

We returned to see Just Surrender and The Casualties - yea, odd huh?

Never listened to Just Surrender till this show. They had a hype man, who either worked at the venue or was tour manager/roadie or band person, who knows, but he was so excited about them. They were really good and I completely got into their music and danced along. They're on tour with The Higher and two of their members came on stage to sing along.

Ok, now I'm not a real 'punk' kid or know their entire catalog, but The Casualties are a band I'll never pass up seeing. We hung out in the back and watched the punk kids make a circle pit and dance around. Unlike the other pits of the day, the kids here picked each other up and looked out for one another.

The one band member had to open the show by explaining who they are and how they're different from every other band of the day. It was all true, but all the kids on the floor were there for them and not waiting for the last band, Mae.

We left halfway through, as their songs runs right into each other and the noise was bothering the ears (did I mention I'm going deaf?).

All in all, the festival was good. Mainly younger kids, so I felt old. It was just weird b/c it felt like half the people of the already tiny crowd, were band members. It was cool. Wonder what's in store for next year.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Tour I need to go to -

Alesana, Motionless in White, Greeley Estates & A Static Lullaby

faux-metalcore, screamo, eyeliner and dyed hair with corny as hell tattoos!

I'm there with pvc on, red lipstick and tons of black eye shadow.

I am SO mad right now

Blogger can suck it, yet I'm still writing here.

I wanted to take all my old posts and move it to this name. So I went to the help section and got two ways of doing it - making the old and new blogs teams members or by exporting and importing the files.

Turned out the 'export' button that was to be there, wasn't. So I tried the team membership thing.

Well, I did what they said and before I could click OK to let them delete the old blog, the stupid thing blinked off and deleted it anyways. I don't know how to get it back.

So, I start a new and this will include all music reviews, show reviews and now all the going ons with my fashion label, Sibyl Vain Clothing.

UGH! I'm just upset b/c all the blogs I had about shows that I wrote about that were never reviewed for the one magazine or even that I wrote down somewhere, are gone forever. Sad, I know