Review: Panic! At The Disco – Pray for the Wicked

Panic at the Disco - Pray for the Wicked

“Are you ready for the sequel?” sings Brendon Urie confidently on the third track, “Hey Look Ma, I Made It,” and if Panic’s rabid fan-base is any indication, they are more than ready for whatever Urie has in store for them. On Panic! At the Disco’s sixth album, Pray for the Wicked, Brendon Urie is clearly having a blast and is 100% comfortable with who he is as not only an artist, but as a person as well.

Produced by Jake Sinclair (Fall Out Boy, Weezer), the sheen and textures found on this LP are polished, but not over-produced. Coming off the successful and Grammy-nominated Death of a Bachelor album, Panic! is well equipped for the demands being put forth by their eager audience. If Death of a Bachelor was the self-reflective album of Urie’s career, then Pray for the Wicked is the full-blown party album.

Review: Dawes – Passwords

Passwords

Passwords is Dawes’ fifth record of the 2010s—and their fifth great one. It’s also the first time that they haven’t taken a substantial leap forward in terms of sound or approach. Ever since their 2011 breakthrough, Nothing Is Wrong, Dawes have been switching producers with every record, always searching for that new groove. Nothing Is Wrong was a wash of gorgeous 70s-influenced Laurel Canyon folk, earning the band almost as many comparisons to Jackson Browne as Brian Fallon got to Bruce Springsteen. 2013’s Stories Don’t End had flickers of a 90s folk rock record, modernizing and streamlining the band’s songs with a more studio-driven approach. 2015’s All Your Favorite Bands went in the opposite direction, embracing the band’s live, jam-oriented roots for a record full of loose guitar solos and spontaneous energy. And 2016’s We’re All Gonna Die brought in mad scientist producer Blake Mills (Alabama Shakes, Perfume Genius, John Legend) for a bold, expectation-shattering disc—a career left-turn that prompted at least a few comparisons to U2’s Achtung Baby.

Oral History of the 2005 Warped Tour

Chris Payne, writing over at Billboard:

Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance played Warped in ‘04 and after drawing fervent crowds, were signed on for the next year early; by the time June ‘05 rolled around, “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” and “Helena” were MTV staples, improbably climbing the Hot 100. 700,000 kids came out that summer, more than any Warped before or since (for context, last year pulled 300,000). Individual bands regularly sold over $30,000 of merch per day. Bodyguards were needed for the first time. At summer’s end, the tour’s profits hit seven figures. But Warped’s summer-long slog paid another price; across 48 shows in 59 days, musicians and personnel grappled with oversized egos, volatile — if not occasionally hostile — environments, and a sideshow’s worth of distractions far from home, with a massive mainstream audience suddenly watching.

Third Eye Blind Announce Cover EP

Third Eye Blind will release the cover album, Thanks for Everything, on August 24th. The album will have covers of Bon Iver (“Blood Bank”), Queens of the Stone Age (“In the Fade”), Santigold (“This Isn’t Our Parade”), Chastity Belt (“Joke”), Babyshambles (“Fuck Forever”), Tim Buckley (“Song to the Siren”), and Happy Diving (“Ten”). The cover of “Fuck Forever” is up on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Women on the Warped Tour

Steve Knopper, writing at The New York Times:

The New York Times spoke to 75 women and nonbinary musicians who have performed on the tour, many of whom echoed NPR Music’s Ann Powers, who recently criticized Warped as a “wild boys’ paradise.” Some divulged #MeToo stories; others ripped bands known for making misogynistic remarks onstage.