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Reality Check: Readers’ Responses

This was another hard-hitting column, Campion. (VA SCANDAL: OUR IMPRINT, OUR LEGACY, OUR SIN – Issue: 5/29/14)

Where do you get the insight or the guts?

This is a wake-up call to those who waste our time with crap like Benghazi and the IRS or the NSA when our veterans are being murdered by us; that’s right, the American people, who ultimately represent themselves and thus must take responsibility when something like this continues to happen right under our noses.

I am ashamed to be an American. I am ashamed to ever having said I support the troops. We do not support the troops. We only support the actions of this government again and again for decades to send our young into harm’s way for Enron and GE and Exxon and the macho call of useless politicians who NEVER go to war, but have no problem sending the few who are called.

You are so right. This is not a problem made of the VA, but it is the problem with a nation that now…

by   |  07/30/2014  |  Comments (0)


An Interview with Nicole Atkins: Vaporizing Preconceived Notions With ‘Slow Phaser’

An Interview with Nicole Atkins: Vaporizing Preconceived Notions With ‘Slow Phaser’

Nicole Atkins has risen to international acclaim due in large part to her unique approach to song composition and collaboration savvy that snags some of the world’s most diverse musicians and producers. That talent, combined with a dark, glimmering style more akin to a David Lynch backdrop than anything in her Garden State heritage, has resulted in Atkins becoming one of New Jersey’s most exclusive and prodigious artists to break out in the last 10 years.

But that galactic status has not come without hard work. Atkins has traversed the major label highways like a veritable vagabond, first landing in the lap of Columbia, then with Sony distributed stalwarts Razor And Tie before breaking rank and coming up with her own successful label model.

While some shortsighted publications refer to Atkins as “off track from her proven past,” I see her as unfettered and free, cruising a wide-open track in a fastback muscle car of multi-directional creativity.

Her latest record, Slow Phaser, has an air of sultry vulnerability mixed with the seasoned and sexy…

by   |  07/23/2014  |  Comments (2)


Interview with Braid: Over The Coast

Interview with Braid: Over The Coast

After a series of eccentric tours along with the spontaneous release of their EP, Closer To Closed, the Midwestern emo quartet Braid truly made a charming return to grace since their 2011 reunion. Fueled by a newly revived sense of energy that came from playing again, Braid’s newfound love for songwriting inspired them to craft together No Coast, their first studio full-length in 16 years.

Prior to its release date, I had the opportunity to talk with guitarist and vocalist Chris Broach about the fun and excitement that came along the way while they were working on No Coast.

You guys released No Coast this month. Considering that this is your first full-length since Frame & Canvas, what did you look forward to about putting out this record the most?

I am really excited for people to hear the record and to be able to play the new songs. When we’ve been touring lately up until we were writing, we played a few new songs live here and there, but we kind of…

by   |  07/23/2014  |  Comments (0)


An Interview with Tombs: In Their Prime

An Interview with Tombs: In Their Prime

I first saw Tombs open up for Pallbearer and Baroness at Union Transfer in 2013. I was blown away by the band and the crushing riffs that led me right to their Pandora radio and Spotify section. The hype for the band’s 2014 release, Savage Gold, was cited as one of the top metal albums to look forward to this year. Along with the record, guitarist/vocalist Mike Hill has been working on another one of his favorite things: coffee. He has been working on unleashing Savage Gold Prime Roast Coffee for a summer release date.

In my conversation with the singer/guitarist, Hill discussed where fans could purchase the coffee, some packages available to Tombs fans, and Savage Gold. Hill was also kind enough to discuss what it was like being in DIY bands, his thoughts on the local scene now, his vinyl collection, and the almighty Black Sabbath. Check out what he had to say below:

I read that you did most of the writing for Savage Gold and drummer Andrew Hernandez helped with

by   |  07/23/2014  |  Comments (0)


Rock Reads: A Summer Guide For The Rock And Roll Literate

Rock Reads: A Summer Guide For The Rock And Roll Literate

Looking for a celebration of music in words to while away your lazy summer days?


Face The Music—A Life Exposed—Paul Stanley (2014)

The personalities in the bombastic rock band KISS have been so enormously ill-proportioned each has warranted a memoir, the last but not least being Paul Stanley’s, which at times reads like motivational speech meets Born Again revival. Unlike his predecessors in literary “truth-telling,” KISS’ Star Child gets more introspective, revealing a dysfunctional childhood that resulted in fear, resentment and deep-seated troubles with social interactions that have adversely affected his stardom trip. Not the least of these is a birth defect called microtia, a deformity of the right outer ear that rendered him deaf. Only being able to hear out of the left one and enduring an early life of ridicule and insecurity, its effect on Stanley, an outwardly impenetrable narcissist, was so profound that throughout Face The Music, he returns to it again and again, whether issues with relating to bandmates, girlfriends, family or performing.

While there are moments of touching…

by   |  07/23/2014  |  Comments (1)


Manchester Orchestra @ Terminal 5

Manchester Orchestra

Terminal 5

May 22, 2014

MANHATTAN, NY—Andy Hull was feeling increasingly alienated and frustrated during his high school years in an Atlanta suburb that he spent his senior year studying at home. While home, he also wrote and recorded a full-length indie rock album, and then built a band, Manchester Orchestra, around his songs in 2004. He named the band after Manchester, a musically prolific city in England (The Hollies, the Bee Gees, and Herman’s Hermits during the British Invasion of the 1960s; The Smiths, the Buzzcocks, The Fall, New Order, and Joy Division during the late 1970s new wave; The Stone Roses and…

by   |  07/23/2014  |  Comments (0)

Ivar Pall Jonsson: Revolution In The Elbow Of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter

Ivar Pall Jonsson

Revolution In The Elbow Of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter

Motherwest LLC

Compare the current state of the music market to its previous incarnations. The focus has moved away from the album as a whole, where a highly developed overall aesthetic and tracklisting was heavily considered. Many artists now optimize the chance for hit singles. Some even argue that albums have…

by   |  07/29/2014  |  Comments (0)

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