Features

Makes Me Laugh (Encore Episode 148)

Encore 148

On this week’s episode of Encore I am once again joined by special guest Drew Beringer. This week we talk all about the new albums from New Found Glory and Paramore. First we catch up a little (Drew got married!), talk a little basketball, Funkos, the usual. Then we dive into the most recent releases from New Found Glory and Paramore and talk about their place in the music scene and their careers as a whole. Mixed within is a talk about Blink-182 and if they should shake it up with a new producer like NFG did (spoiler: probably), and a talk about leaks not mattering much these days, and how we feel about long wait times between album announcements.

Sonnder – “Siren Calling” (Video Premiere)

Last week, we presented our “In The Spotlight” feature and highlighted some of the best under the radar and up-and-coming artists. This week, one of those artists, Sonnder, reached out to us about premiering their new music video for “Siren Calling.” The song is the lead single off their debut album Entanglement, which came out last year and is one of my favorite recent finds. The video was directed by Dan Levitt, who captures the song’s youthful exuberance and the joyousness of Sonnder’s live performance.

Interview: Emarosa (Video)

Emarosa

Emarosa are stronger than ever and lead singer Bradley Walden is as impressive vocally as he is a showman. His vocals bound around almost as much as he does across the stage, on top of the stage, and in the crowd.

Since releasing 131 last year, fans have anxiously been awaiting a rumored EP of remixes. The band are taking a break from the craze of Warped Tour this summer to work on the remixes. In my latest interview the band also mentions they will begin recording in June. They have no preconceived notions going into the studio. Songs could go jazz, gospel, or full-on MJ (more so?).

Interview: Pierce the Veil (Video)

Pierce the Veil have been going strong for ten years now. The band is comprised of singer Vic Fuentes, guitarist Tony Perry, bassist Jaime Preciado, and drummer Mike Fuentes. The band has endured exactly zero line-up changes. This is a testament to the bond this fun-loving four piece has. While some old bands are back doing ten year album anniversary tours, Pierce the Veil are playing songs from their first album A Flair for the Dramatic on its We Will Detonate Tour.

This new interview is a retrospective of sorts. In under twenty minutes the band discusses their inception, their side projects, sources of inspiration, their song writing process, and what’s next.

In the Spotlight Playlist: 50 Songs You Need to Hear

This week we unveiled our “In the Spotlight” feature where we highlighted 50 bands we thought you needed to hear. In the feature we’ve got blurbs and “recommended if you like” hints to try and convince you to listen to the bands, but sometimes just having all the recommended tracks in a playlist to churn through is the way to go.

Our “In the Spotlight Playlist” is available on Spotify and Apple Music.

In the Spotlight: 50 Bands You Need to Hear (Part One)

In the Spotlight (Part 1)

Back on AbsolutePunk.net we would run a feature each year called the “Absolute 100.” The basic idea was to put together a list of bands and artists that we thought needed to get a little more attention. This would range from unsigned, to under-the-radar, to underrated acts that we wanted to highlight. Over the years it ended up being one of my favorite features we compiled (I personally discovered quite a few new bands from it). And, I’ve heard from a lot for readers that you loved it as well.

Today I’m excited to bring this feature back under a new name. We’re calling it “In the Spotlight” and we’ve got the same goal: highlight a bunch of artists we think you should check out. This year we’ve got 50 for you. Over the past month our contributors have been putting together blurbs and pulling out song recommendations, and today we’ve got the first group of 25. We’ll be releasing the next set tomorrow.

A Decade of ‘Anhedonia’ (Encore Episode 147)

Encore 147

The Graduate’s Anhedonia turned ten this week and former lead singer, Corey Warning, joins Encore to talk all about it. We discuss the early stages of the band, recording the album, the stories behind some of the songs, and check in on what Corey has been up to the past few years. We dive into why a reunion probably isn’t in the cards and spend some time waxing nostalgic about the music scene from 10 years ago. If you were a fan of this band and album, I think you’re going to love this one. If you’ve never heard this album before, you should probably get on that, but this episode also has a bunch of great industry insights, tips, and tales that make it worth your while. It’s a fun one.

Note: We recorded this episode live, in person, so the quality is a little different than you may be used to. However, I think that the back and forth of being in person gives it a really fun vibe that’s totally worth it.

Interview: Angelica Garcia (Video)

Angelica Garcia has a voice wise beyond her years. The twenty-two year old was uprooted from her Los Angeles home when her family moved to Accomac, Virginia. The Garcia’s moved into a two hundred year old gothic brick home, whose spirits clearly had an affect on the burgeoning singer-songwriter.

Angelica Garcia embraces the solitude to write and record demos for what would become her debut album Medicine for Birds. The album delicately meshes Americana and blues though tales of bad dating (“Orange Flower”), growing up (“Little Bird”), and dealing with otherworldly spirits (“The Devil Can Get In”). Garcia’s demos featured shoebox drums, harmonica improv, and creaking doors. Her next album will focus more on the singer’s Latin roots.

I had the chance to talk with Angelica for a new video interview.

The Decemberists and Julien Baker in Philadelphia

As The Decemberists took to the stage at The Fillmore in Philadelphia, it became obvious that they could have played a room worlds larger than the largest club venue in Philadelphia if they desired. The rapturous sold out crowd of 3,000 roared back the words to the opening salvo, the three-part odyssey “The Crane Wife”, from the album of the same name that recently turned ten years old. The fact that they booked the “Shuffling Off to Ragnarok” tour at venues such as this, though, speaks to a desire for intimacy; a desire to hear and be heard, a desire to share a smaller space with the people who care most about them.

Lucky Boys Confusion – ‘Stormchasers’ (Album Premiere)

I bought Lucky Boys Confusion’s Throwing the Game on a whim because an online friend told me it had a unique pop-punk meets reggae sound with hooks all over the place. It was my senior year of high-school and that was more than enough to get me to spend my lunch money on an album. I loved it. Now, some 16 years later the band are releasing their first new album in over 10 years and we’ve got an exclusive stream for you to check out. Lead singer, Kaustubh Pandav, describes the album as a concept album that was discovered only after its recording:

Sometimes you just have to reflect back on your art to see what your subconscious mind has been trying to create. It wasn’t until we got to take breath and were able to listen back to this record that we realized that we had just created a concept record. A story of how tragedy and loss lead to strength and courage in hopes to find a little peace of mind. We hope everyone can relate at least to a part of our story.

The album comes out on April 14th and you can pick it up on the band’s webstore. And, if you’re in the Chicago area, the band’s record release show is this Saturday at House of Blues.

It’s Been a Year

One year ago I retired AbsolutePunk.net and launched Chorus.fm into the world. I can’t believe it’s been a year. First, I want to thank everyone that’s supported the website for a full year and all of you that kept monthly payments on and re-signed up today with a new yearly subscription. Seriously, thank you. I had no idea if this entire endeavor was ever going to work, and all of the support has truly blown me away. I’ve loved getting to know so many of you over the past year and being able to share this experience with you. Again, I can’t tell you thank you enough.

One year in I figured is as good a time as ever to run down some of the numbers from the last 12 months:

  • 5,145 articles posted on the main site.
  • 1,004,735 words written in those articles.
  • 895,137 forum posts.
  • 34,766 registered forum members.
  • 891,056 likes given out.
  • 2,000 private messages sent per month (average).
  • 27 podcast episodes recorded (and 3 bonus episodes).
  • Over 160,000 podcast listens.
  • 83,035,328 pageviews.
  • A 6:40 average session time.
  • 13 “first listen” blogs in the supporter forum.
  • 365 days where I was happy with the choice I made.

Let’s Do It Live (Encore Episode 146)

Thomas Nassiff returns to the show to talk about live albums and when and where we think they work. We talk about our favorites, live bootlegs, and wonder why more bands don’t release more live material. We also talk about March Madness, having birthdays, the other Encore podcast, the other Chorus logo, home automation, books about tech companies, and all our usual stuff.

Marvel’s ‘Iron Fist’ Is Ok, but Never Great

After watching the first six episodes a lot of critics were out on Netflix’s new series Iron Fist. The reviews haven’t been kind. While it’s hard to judge a whole show on just shy of half of its episodes, it’s important for a show to grab the audience from the start. Iron Fist doesn’t quite do that. While I made it through the whole thing, the start of the show was slow. The latter half is definitely better, but many people could find themselves giving up on the show before that happens.