Features

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.

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.