Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stay The Fuck Out

I was watching the show "Disband" on muchmusic today. The band on was Stereos. They were generic auto-tuned pop-rock crap, but with more emphasis on mainstream pop a la Avril Lavigne. Whatever, make the music you want, even though these guys seemed to have pretty empty songs and dumb lyrics. What pissed me off more was the way they dressed and their image. Pretty much everyone had full sleeves of tats, black shirts, skinny jeans, etc. At the end the bass player was wearing a 7 Seconds shirt. I would love to be able ask him to name even one 7 Seconds album. If you are a fan of 7 Seconds, or other bands of that genre, there is no way you would be creating the music you are. I don't see what you're trying to prove. Your 14 year old teenaged fans won't have a clue who they are and people who know the band will instantly recognize you as a poser. Also two members were wearing straight-edge shirts throughout the show and then drink champagne at the end.

I don't come and hang around and ruin your scene, so please stay the fuck out of mine.

Everything Is Always Falling Apart

It’s actually pretty scary how much I relate and depend on the music of Jeff Rosenstock. Whether it be the music of The Arrogant Sons of Bitches (ASOB for convenience) or Bomb The Music Industry! (BTMI! for the same reason), his words and chords have been a cornerstone of my existence since I heard each band.

I first heard ASOB through word of mouth on the internet. It was right before the put out “Three Cheers For Disappointment”. I thought “So Let’s Go! Nowhere” was pretty awesome, mainly because it is. I loved the way that their new songs sounded on their MySpace, mostly because they were super fast. I wanted the CD super bad, but my lack of credit card, as I was 16 at the time, and my not living in the North-Eastern United States prevented me from having it. So I just listened to the three songs that I got for free on their purevolume, “So Let’s Go! Nowhere”, “Pornocracy” and “RSTLNE” on repeat. Randomly on a message-board a guy linked to a site where someone had put up a whole bunch of ska albums for download. Low and behold “Three Cheers...” was up there and I didn’t hesitate to get that masterpiece.

When I got it the soundcard on my computer was broken, so I plugged my Discman into my computer speakers (ghetto!) and proceeded to listen to album 8 times in a row with no breaks in between from  8 pm to about 1:30 am (funny how you remember that kind of stuff). Then I listened to it another 5 times in a row the next day on the bus. This album was exactly was I was looking for at the time, but this isn’t even when it had its largest impact.

So that summer I liked a girl a lot, yadda, yadda, yadda, no one wants to hear all the details. I was head over heels and she broke my heart for the first time, it happens to everyone. I had leant her the CD telling her it was the greatest thing ever (she ended up not liking it). Anyways, she came over to give the CD back, some stuff happened that lead to aforementioned heartbreak. Needless to say, the next morning I was pretty bummed. At this point I didn’t look extremely heavily into lyrics (at least nowhere near as much as I do now, which is probably more than anyone I know), so I liked ASOB a whole lot, but didn’t really get them. To make matters worse that morning I had a full day of work ahead of me. I still had a Discman then, so I would only listen to one CD all day. Naturally I grabbed “Three Cheers...” as it was one of my favourites and I had just gotten it back.

I must have been about twenty steps out of my house when I realized that I had made the exact right choice in CDs for that day. I was flabbergasted at how I hadn’t noticed the lyrics in “The Last Bell I Will Ever Hear” before. Three Cheers grabbed me and I couldn’t listen to anything else. I was really bummed for a while, between that situation and the ever shitty scene at my high school and the main thing helping me through it was “Three Cheers For Disappointment”.

It’s still my favourite album to this day.

So, before I even got their last album, ASOB broke up. So I never got to see them. I bought a ticket to the reunion show, but didn’t end up going because I couldn’t afford going to New York. But after they broke up the singer/songwriter Jeff made a new “band”. Basically he didn’t like the idea of being in a band anymore so he just wrote songs, recorded them in his bedroom, played all the instruments and put it all out for free. I’m going to emphasize this. He put out the music completely free. Way before Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails. He spray paints shirts for free at shows. When he started he only asked for enough money to cover the cost of gas to get to the show. If you do not think he is doing it for the music by now, I have no idea how to convince you. These aren’t shitty bedroom recordings either. To date BTMI! has put out 5 albums, 1 rarities compilation and a split ep. Each of these albums is incredible and I would say there isn’t a piece of filler on any of them. Each is also an interesting progression from the last, changing and adding new elements to the sound of the band without being too alienating.

Oh yea and all of that is since 2005.

So yea I first got into the band when their third album “Goodbye Cool World” came out. I had never thought that playing too fast+ska+synth+singing too fast so you can’t understand all of the lyrics+fake drums+corny keyboard effects would=great album, but hey all of us make mistakes. After seeing how great that album was I went back and got all the other ones. They kept being the most interesting and innovating in punk and I kept loving them. “Get Warmer” came out and more people began to take notice, that album was the first big departure in their sound; it’s a really good collection of songs. They came to Toronto twice I missed them both time for being too poor and not being 19 at the time. But anyways they came again and I most certainly did not miss them that time. They put on an awesome set (with an iPod as their drummer!) and as soon as they broke into “Congratulations John! On joining Every Time I Die” I was climbing over 15 year-olds to scream the lyrics as loud as I could. The show was an extreme catharsis of energy and emotion. It ruled. More importantly, I was hoping that I would be able to meet Jeff at the show, figuring he would be walking around the show, since that’s the type of guy he is. I was right.

First though, third verse of “Syke! Life is Awesome!”:

“Then one day, he said “Jeff get in your car and pick Glenn Tillbrook up at the hotel and drive him to the bar”. He wore a t-shirt just like me and wasn’t on his phone. For fifteen fucking minutes I had a conversation with my hero”

I saw him walking by and said “Hey Jeff, I just wanted to say Three Cheers For Disappointment has gotten me through a lot of shit. Thanks for writing it man.” Most musicians would say “Hey, thanks. That means a lot” and run off to whatever they had to do. Jeff stopped said “Wow, man that’s cool. I’m glad that you like it so much. That means a lot” and then gave me a giant bear hug. Him being so cool and humble while being an extremely talented songwriter and pretty much a musical genius the way he’s put together such individual and interesting music the way he does is pretty cool. Oh yea, he also had on the same hoodie and vans as I did. It’s pretty funny how similar my experience was to his.

Both his bands have been extremely large parts of my life since the first second I heard them. I have no clue what type of person or what I would be doing if it wasn’t for The Arrogant Sons of Bitches and Bomb The Music Industry! Jeff is hands down my favourite songwriter. He avoids trying to come up with clever wordplay and favours spilling as much emotion as he possibly can into each song. When I think girls suck, I listen to “Three Cheers For Disappointment”, when I thought my high school sucked I listened to “To Leave or Die In Long Island”, when I think that moving on in life sucks I listen to “Get Warmer”, when I worry about growing up I listen to “Scrambles” and when I start to feel better about all of that I listen to “Goodbye Cool World”.

All of Bomb The Music Industry!’s music and The Arrogant Sons of Bitches last album are available free of charge at

Also, when listening to this music, please read the lyrics on the website while listening. They are the high-point and most important part of all the albums.

I was going to put a quote from a song at the end, but I would just end up putting all of either "Syke! Life is awesome" or "King of Minneapolis Parts III & IV" or "So Let's Go! Nowhere!" or "Kill The President" or "1800-ALARM-ME" down, so I refrained.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Seventeen without a purpose or direction

Well, I stayed up to watch blink-182 on The Tonight Show the past two nights. Yes stayed up all the way 'till 11:30, give me a break I'm on my work sleeping schedule. Anyways, I've grown kind of skeptical about how good the reunion will be after seeing the set-list they've prepared so far and after Mark said "We used to walk onstage and forget out parts. We wanted to play fast and look cool. This time we want to be more artistic."

To me, that seems like it's going against most of the things I loved about the band; guitars straps so low they could barely play, speeding up every song live, simple songs you could learn in 5 minutes.

The first night on Leno they played the rock show. The good thing about this performance was that seeing the three of them perform together made me realize "wow, blink is back together." The performance was pretty solid, the sounded good and Travis had the brim of his hat flipped up. They seemed kind of uninspired, but it was a TV performance. At least Tom wasn't wearing a track jacket.

Seeing as they played a Mark song on the first night, I figured they'd play a Tom song on the next night. All The Small Things was what I figured they'd choose and  was right. Tom is what is worrying me most about this reunion. While Mark and Travis have been very gung-ho about it, often mentioning how happy they are that the band is back together, Tom has been pretty quiet about it. Angels and Airwaves was very different from blink, and also very shitty. Tom was also allegedly the main force behind the train-wreck of an album that self-titled was. Long story short, Tom worries me. 

Performing "All The Small Things" Tom sounded ridiculous. Someone mentioned that he was trying to sound like Robert Smith and I couldn't agree more. He was really trying way to hard to sing and it came off terribly. Tom has always been a shitty singer, but before he just didn't give a fuck and since he didn't no-one else did either. But he seriously butchered that song.

Here's to hoping for a little less "I Miss You" and little more "Lemmings" for the upcoming tour.

Also, Static Radio Nj, No Harm Done, Strike Anywhere, No Use For A Name, Only Crime, Strung Out, The Swellers, Four Year Strong, Set Your Goals, NoFX, Less Than Jake, Bayside, Weezer and blink-182 all in the next 3 months. 

Fuck. Yes.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hot Damn!

I have determined that I appeal to the apathetic hopeless case in everything I look at.

Probably not a good thing.

You Know What?

Saves The Day was pretty good back when Connely was still doing his best Ari Katz impression and wasn't full of himself. 

Their next record should sound a little more like Can't Slow Down. That would be sweet.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009


This summer's gotten off to a slow start. It's kind of a bummer.

I hope by the end of the summer I hope they know us by name at Kelly's

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Songs

These are a group of songs that I feel really define who I am as a person.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I defy you to enter Quinn's house with a case of pbr and not have a good time.

It can't be done.

My friends rule.

Im practicing A Wilhelm Scream basslines in my room all week.