Features

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.

Hiding Music From Our Parents (Encore Episode 145)

On this week’s episode of Encore I am joined by special guest Ryan Gardner. Ryan joins the show to talk about growing up in this music scene and the bands that we first fell in love with. Then we talk a little about starting young with writing online, the lessons learned and why we think it’s important to just try, and how to maybe parlay that into some kind of career in the future. Freelancing, journalism, and how this alternative music scene has changed over the years rounds out the episode.

Thanks for listening!

Secret Space – “Butterfly” (Video Premiere)

Secret Space recently announced The Window Room Part 2: Lost in a Dream, a reimagining of their debut The Window Room with a few extra surprises thrown in. Today we’re excited to premiere one of those surprises: the first song the band ever recorded, a cover of Weezer’s “Butterfly.” If you like their take, be on the lookout for The Window Room Part 2 when it drops for free on their BandCamp on March 17th.

Write Better Songs (Encore Episode 144)

On this week’s episode of Encore I am joined by special guest Jesse Cannon. Jesse has credits on albums from The Menzingers, to Man Overboard, to The Cure. He has managed bands, produced bands, and has written multiple books about the music industry and navigating the current realities of being a musician and a songwriter in the internet era. He joins the show to talk about everything from authentic creativity when writing songs, to originality in music, to the biggest mistakes bands make when recording. We talk about sophomore slumps, how being emotionally aware leads to better music, and the entire idea behind bands writing albums for themselves versus for the fans. There’s a lot here, but it’s a fun one.

Favorite Bands (Encore Episode 143)

Encore 143

On this week’s episode of Encore I am once again joined by special guest Craig Manning. We talk about who our favorite bands are, what makes them our favorites, how that’s changed over the years and what it means to be a “favorite.” We also discuss what artists have the best chance of jumping into that list in the future. Then there’s some Grammy talk, and a look at Andrew McMahon and his career, all of his different projects, and his new album. There may be some album ranking.

We Need Your Help: We’re Expanding Our Supporter Packages

This April will see the one year mark of when I started Chorus. By and large it’s been the most fulfilling stretch of work in my entire career. It’s been stressful. It’s been intense. But it’s also been extremely fun, challenging, and stimulating. As we come up on this anniversary I’ve been working on the first set of changes I want to make to the website to prepare ourselves for the future. There will be some design tweaks coming shortly, but the first thing I want to focus on is tightening up our supporter program.

Our supporter program has been a resounding success. When I started this project I made the argument that I believed the future of online publishing was going to depend on dedicated readers for websites to continue development and publication. Over the last year I’ve only become more convinced of this direction. And, I’ve been blown away by the first year of support from readers of this website. However, one of the main pieces of feedback I’ve heard is: I love this website, I love what you’re doing and want to help make sure it stays around, but I don’t really want to sign up for a forum membership account, is there any way I can become a patron without needing to join the forum community? My goal was to provide that functionality in the easiest form possible and allow readers to help support our continued existence for mere pennies per day.

If that’s all you need to hear, please take a look at our membership packages and sign up, if you want to be woo’d a little bit more, I’ve a longer pitch for you below.

The Ultimate Andrew McMahon Setlist

We’ve been giving Andrew McMahon a lot of love this week, all in honor of his brand new album, Zombies on Broadway. On Monday, we published an interview with him and yesterday, we reviewed the new record. Today, we’re attempting the impossible: distilling McMahon’s impressive 15-year career into one ultimate concert setlist.

For this playlist, I mostly adhered to the rules established last year in Craig Ismaili’s Ultimate Jimmy Eat World Setlist: 20 songs for the main set, two songs for the encore, and a mix of tunes that includes both hits and career-best songs. I did, however, dispense with Craig’s 80-minute rule, simply because that would mean burning one-eighth of the set on “Konstantine.”

Interview: Andrew McMahon

Andrew McMahon

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness will release their sophomore LP, Zombies on Broadway, later this week. I spoke with McMahon on the phone about the new record’s pop-leaning direction, his ever-evolving sound, the way family has defined his last few albums, and whether or not he’d ever consider writing a memoir. We also spoke briefly about next year’s 10-year anniversary of Jack’s Mannequin’s The Glass Passenger and whether or not fans can expect any special tours or reissues to mark the occasion.

You Know That I’m A Sucker For Anything Acoustic Playlist

When the weather gets cold, there’s nothing I love more than curling up on the couch with a new book, hot chocolate, and some acoustic tracks as my soundtrack. So for this week’s playlist I decided to share the warmth and coziness by putting together a few of my favorite acoustic songs.

You can check out the full track list below, which includes everything from Sorority Noise to State Champs to Sugarcult and beyond, or stream it now on Spotify and Apple Music.

After the Party (Encore Episode 142)

Encore 142

On this week’s episode of Encore I am joined once again by special guest Thomas Nassiff. Thomas returns for a deep dive on the new album, After the Party, by The Menzingers. We talk about the band in general, their catalog, and what they mean to us. Then we go through the album and talk about our favorite songs and how we think this album may just be something “special” for the music scene. We end with some chatter about the latest Japandroids’ release, and do a little bit of catching up as well.

Carousel Kings – “Dynamite” (Song Premiere)

Today we’ve got the premiere for the new song “Dynamite” from Carousel Kings. The track comes from the band’s upcoming album, Charm City, due out February 10th. Lead singer, David Alexander, had this to say about the song:

“Dynamite” is one of the heavy hitters from the album and definitely one of our favorites to jam live. Where most of the album has a positive outlook, this song was written as an expression of the band’s thoughts/distaste/unhappiness about the current state of affairs. The song is a call for all who hear it to look inward for the answers pertaining to how we can possibly change the world we live in.

Pre-orders packages are currently up.

Most Anticipated of 2017

Most Anticipated 2017

2016 was a helluva year for music and 2017 is shaping up to be pretty damn good as well. The world may be falling apart around us, but at least we have a little something to look forward to. I talked about the albums I was most anticipating on a recent episode of Encore, but I wanted to reach out to some of our contributors and see what albums they were looking forward to most as well.

Interview: P.O.S.

P.O.S

P.O.S. goes into the journey behind his first solo record in five years, Chill, dummy, the challenges of writing about yourself versus politics, the things necessary for real change to happen, and why he’s still baffled people like his music.