Sunday, May 4, 2008

Decided to try something new...

I've decided to no longer try and stifle myself. From here on, I will pretty much post whatever i want in here. Hopefully, this means more updates.

So I'm gonna post another slightly humorous story. It could even be called pathetic. Largely pathetic. Anyway, there was this girl that I had a crush on and was trying to be sweet to(which won't be happening again anytime soon - Editor's Note). I was thinking to myself(Thanks Blacklisted!) "What could I do to show my feelings without actually SAYING what my feelings are? I KNOW! I'll do a John Cusack!"

Now, I guess I need to explain this. A John Cusack to me means a mix. Not just any mix. A sweet mix. And there was nothing sweeter in the 1980's than John Cusack. Also, the fact that he was in High Fidelity and that movie couldn't go ten minutes without talking about a playlist or mix has a little to do with it. Normally, a John Cusack is too strong of a move. I only want to do that to a girl that I have known for a while and have really fallen for. Truth be told, to this day, I have never fully completed one John Cusack Mix.

I guess I just gave away an important part, but don't worry, its not that important. Here's why. As I was making the mix, which was on CD because a tape would've been too much too soon, I had an realization. This is too much. Too cute, too sweet, too "two care bears skipping through an enchanted garden on their way to the Rainbow Bridge to the town of Chocoville"-ish. Ok, that last one was a bit of an exaggeration. Yet, it was true. It was too cute. I needed to toughen it up a bit. So, I decided through out the mix to sprinkle in a few hardcore ditties. Not many, but enough. Than, I decided I needed to add a few sad tracks, a few hip-hop track, a few dance tracks, etc. By the time I was done, I only ended up keeping two tracks from the mix I started making. It was still a good mix; but instead of conveying a message, I had just turned it into CD with good tunes on it. By the time I was finished it, I had no time to redo it.

I started making the mix that morning and that night I was going to see the girl. Well, by the time I was done, it was do or die in more ways than one. I know that if I didn't give this girl the CD that night, I never would've. Yet, it was complete to me. It was a tough decision. Either go with it and give her a mix that said nothing or go empty handed except with the knowledge that you have made a mix that you will never give. Like I said, it was do or die.

I decided to burn it and go. I figured that at the least, it'll put me in her mind. Yeah, I know how girls think. Anyway, I wait for it to finish and after I package it up I start on my way. The place I was going to see this girl was a show(duh!). It was also a chance to see my friend Cassie's band. I honestly can't remember much about the bands performance except for the fact that Cassie's mosh calls were way louder than her singing.

Once the band finished up, I sat around and talked to a few friends. Basically, I just worked up the courage to give the girl the mix. Finally, I was about to leave, so I got up and looked around. I saw her finally. I started walking towards her. I start getting nervous. I'm within ten feet of her. Annnnnnnnd.... I change direction. "What am I doing?" I ask myself. I head in Cassie's direction. "CHANGE COURSE!" I scream to myself in my head. I reach into my bag. "NOOOOOOOO!" the voice in my head cries. I give Cassie the mix and walk away. Excellent, right? I chicken out and end up giving my friend the mix I made for that special girl. I walk out, walk home, and end up watching the Flyers lose I believe. I can't remember that detail.

In the end, I think it worked out for the best. The girl I intended the mix for doesn't really talk to me anymore, so that kills any guilt I have for not giving her the mix. Also, it was a crappy mix, so I'm glad I didn't give it to her. Also, Cassie likes it, so that worked out. Like I said, that story is slightly hilarious and very pathetic. If you're interested in the mix, I uploaded it. The links at the end. Thanks!

Mix For A Girl That Was Never Given

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Excuses, Excuses...

I have to apologize about not updating this thing for the past 3 months or so. I was going to use the things i wrote about in an actual newsletter type forum that you could hold in your hands. I tried to get this going, but it unfortunately never pandered out. It's still something I very much want to do, and hopefully one day I will. But in the mean time, I promise to start this back up again. I'll try to put down some of the shows I have been to/stories I have but, no promises because I have a very horrid memory. Expect an update by the 16th! Thanks!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Handicapped in others reality

Have you ever had something happen to you that was so incredibly ignorant and disrespectful that you would have to stop for a second and go "...Did that seriously happen?" It's so bad that you actually have to question the fact that people like this actually exist and are made up as the same material and space dust as you and me. Well that happened to me yesterday.

It happened around 1 or 130. I was in the back room of Goodwill, working dilligently as usual. All of the sudden, my manager bursts into the back room. "Help!" she calls out, "A dear, old, adorable customer needs assistance! Who can do what needs to be done? JAMES! YES! YOU CAN!" Thus, I was chosen for this task and i readingly accepted. I ventured away from my work area and out onto the god-fearing sales floor. Many employees have been lost to the savagery and brutality of customers wanting, needing, thirsting to fill their life with house goods, slightly used clothing and domestic items, books, and furniture. I have yet to see anyone lose a limb to videos though. Hmm, I wonder why that is. I mean, I'd totally kill for an original VHS of THEY LIVE! Wouldn't you? Anyone? Anyone at all? Anywho, when I reach the despised place, I call out for the one that needed my assistance. By the way my manager was describing her, I would've thought of her as saint. Instead, what I got was literally the devil. A short, fat, titties-down-to-her-kneecaps demon. Bathed in rouge and red lipstick, spackled with blue eye shadown going up to the top of her forehead and meeting with her wing that was ever so slightly crooked. I felt my heart race just being near wrinkling cow, but my nerves were made of steel, for this wasn't the first time I encountered this PT Cruiser in a blue jump suit! The first time we met, she was with her grand daughter and kept smacking her around in the store. The second time, she left her wallet home but somehow thought she lost it in our store and decided to blame each one of us for stealing it. We didn't even receive an apology for that one. The third time that she decided to fill our day with menace and misery, she wrote a bad check. But of course, she didn't think so. So, we had to wait for her to deal with the check company, than to deal with her bank, only to be turned down, yet still we had to take her shit. Obviously, when I saw who it was, I immediately prayed for St. Michael for protection. After I get done with my short but heartfelt prayer ("Oh, fuck me. I'm gonna need some help with this one, St. Michael) I ask her if she was the one who needed help. Her response was "Oh. Well, they should've sent somebody else. I'm not the one who needs helps, you're the one who needs help." Yep. I offer my esteem services, and thats what I get in return. I felt like slapping the bitch's wig off and than run a cheese grater over her fucking clit. If she even has one. I hear demons don't have genitals. But instead, I was the human being and just replied with "Oh, I can take care of myself just fine." Than I opened the doors for her and she was on her way out of my life.

This isn't the first time that I have been meet with this kind of incompitence, and I realize that it also won't be the last. But look at me. I'm 6 foot, 250 lbs., I have stubble and hair on my chest. I am a man. Just because I have one hand, something that if you know me you know I do not need, does not mean I need help or will take your shit. If she caught me outside of my job or on a bad day, who knows what would've happened. I probably would've used her own drooping, dragging tits to beat her senseless.

Now theres a fine line between being curious and being rude. If you ask someone "Hey, what happened to your eye?" if they had a noticable eye problem, I'd say thats being curious. But if you say "Here, let me drive" when that person has been tested and passed by the state, you're just being a klon-dyke. People all the time as me about my arm and it's fine. I like answering questions about it. Now, when people ask the stupid fucking questions like "Do you have feeling?" or "Can I touch it?" thats when I get annoyed and pissed off. Also, when people start treating me different. If I say I can't lift something or do something involving the use of my hands, its quite alright because I know my limits. If you were to incinuate, than it's a whole different story. I guess the point I'm getting at here is just don't assume. If you do, you make an ass out of you and I will just be an ass to you.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Show Review #4

Line-up: Vanna, The Jonah Veil, Francine.... and..... HER ruby slippers, Ships And Sailors, The Anasazi Ritual, Silence The Sky
Venue: The Harmony Grange Wilmington, DE
Accomplice: N/A

This is my first delaware show review. Project Unity runs most of the all ages shows down here and have been doing it for 5+ years now. They're pretty well known as THE promotors in Delaware, throwing shows of all types. I'll probably end up reviewing alot of their shows seeing how I live literally a couple of blocks away from the venue they use, The Grange.

Now, The Grange is a fickled place. Everyone judges it for because the average age for show-goers is 16. It's a reason alot of people stopped attending, but than again, they're just assholes who were just looking for a way to say that they're so much more mature than everyone else.

The first band that played were Silence The Sky. I'd rather have them silence the band. I didn't hear much because I showed up late, but when i walked in, the entire band was moshing on stage. If you could call that a mosh. It just seemed to me that they're all sissy fighting the air. Anyway, they were your standard breakdown following breakdown type of band. Wasn't my thing, but apparently the crowd semi enjoyed it. Didn't check the merch cause I wasn't interested at all. (After note: I didn't think I gave this band fair judgement, so i went to their myspace. I found out 3 things. 1. They're from Delaware. 2. Their lyrics read like horrible poetry. 3. They really like Horse The Band. I think that gives you a better description of them)

The next band was Anasazi Ritual from Middletown, DE. Its nice to see some local bands on this show, even though it was 6 bands long. Wow, I just said bands 3 times(4 times) in 2 (3) sentences. Jesus. Moving on. These guys play metal ripped straight from As I Lay Dying and they do it justice. Only, music like this bores the hell out of me live. These guys also have ZERO stage presence which only added to the boredom. I found myself thinking about the some inane things like, "If birds were the same size as human beings, they could possibly rule the world!" Yeah, it was that bad. They had some demos, but I didn't pick one up. Listening to their myspace now, that could've been a mistake.
Ships and Sailors was the third local band and the one most of the crowd came for. Harry Mazzio, one of the two people behind Project Unity, just produced their new EP. It wasn't a fact that made me excited to see the band, but it did pick my interest a little. I never heard nor seen the band before, even though they were heavily hyped in the Delaware scene. I thought there must have been good reason for the hype, but honestly, there wasn't. Mixing metal with melodic rock, ala Silverstein, Haste The Day, and As I Lay Dying (gee, they're ending up all over this show.), they're quite predictable. This, I guess, is what people refer to as "Christian Hardcore". They do have an enjoyable live show though, bouncing around and enjoying themselves. It just wasn't my thing. Didn't bother to check out their merch, but if you're interested, they'll have an EP out on February 15th.

Next up was the only truely interesting band of the night, Francine... and... her RUBY slippers. Not a whole lot of being were into them, but I was really digging the diversity they gave the show. I heard a mixture of Bloc Party, Fugazi, and Ted Leo in their sound. Not easy to pull off, but they did it surprisingly well. The vocals are the weakest part of the band, but the music makes up for it. They had a demo they were giving out for free, but they didn't have anymore, so I got free sticker instead. Whoopee.

Next was The Jonah Veil, whom i thought was actually the headlining band. Unfortunately, no such luck. These guys like Atreyu. I mean, they REALLY like Atreyu. And I really hate Atreyu. So, I wasn't into them, but the crowd sure loved them. The stage presence though was really great. They were full of energy and got the crowd participating and moshing. Didn't check out the merch either because, once again, I wasn't interested.

Finally, the headlining band was up. Vanna plays metal mixed with rock, calling it post-hardcore on their website. If I can for a moment, I would like to explain what post-hardcore truely means. Post-hardcore was started in the 80's when musicians who were part of hardcore bands decided they wanted to do something else. It still has the frenzy and intense feeling of hardcore, but with more creativity. The music went from a subtle effect to a roaring presence. But it was all still rooted in hardcore. Now, I don't see anything post-hardcore about this band. Their music is, big surprise here, a mix of metal and rock. There is a countless number of bands that sound akin to them, and really almost every band on this show. But they're actually very entertaining live. Or maybe it could've been the girl in front of me who just kept hopping up and down and shaking her head. The kids moshed, stage dove, and sang along. The band interacted alot with the crowd other than just the regular "MOOOOOOOOOOOSH!" call, something that has always been missing from this scene. When their set ended though, they did something that everyone seemed to find amusing. Not me though. I just found it freaking retarded. That stupid motherfucking "Soldia Boy" tune came on and they started dancing to it. They cut the song short on the chorus and just walked off stage and into my vomit filled waste basket. Whatever, they had a good time doing what they're doing and they make other people happy doing it too. Also, I just want to say, the singer looks like my friend Cassie with a dirty sanchez. Cassie is a 16 year old girl. Figure that shit out. Past on the merch once again.

Overall, it was a fun show. Every band on the bill was one I have never seen, so that was cool. It did get a tiring after hearing the same fucking sound over and over again though. Well, thats all for my review this time around. As usual, I'm asking for help with upcoming shows, records dropping, or just a plain old arguement. So let me know if you wish to help! Thanks!

PS. Special thanks to Lauren for the Vanna shots. Check her out

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

End Of The Year List

This is my 4th time writing my spectacular "End Of The Year" list. The first time, the list was wrong. I left off records i forgot all about. The second time, I didn't like the order. The third time, well, I accidently completely wiped it out. Thus, I have to start over from scratch and from memory. I also had an pretty decent introduction going into it. Too bad. Now you got stuck with this crap. Anywho, my list of the top 20 albums (and 5 eps) of 2007. Enjoy.


20. Against Me! - New Wave

So AM! got signed to a major label. They're still the best band thats pushing the boundaries of whats considered punk to new limits. On this album, they went further from their country roots, having a more new wave type of sound. But you can tell that by the title of the record.

19. 108 - A New Beat From A Dead Heart

I bet you're asking yourself, "Self, how does a hardcore band break up for eleven years, reunite, and put out one of the heaviest sounding records you have ever heard!?" I don't know how they did it, but they did it.

18. Pulling Teeth - Martyr Immortal

One of the angriest sounding records I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. Mixing metal and hardcore has become such a joke in recent years, but these guys know how to do it right. Also, rad name right?

17. High On Fire - Death Is This Communion

Honestly, if there's a former member of Sleep in your band, chances are you're gonna be awesome. I'm not too into metal, but this record is so heavy, I gotta add extra support to my speakers whenever I listen to it. Don't expect crazy solos and insane thrash-age, it's not that kind of metal

16. Jesu - Conqueror

Another metal record? This is some awesome stoner metal. Still, a great record for those days you just want to lay back and look at the sky. Which I do. Alot.

15. Down To Nothing - The Most

The champions of straight edge hardcore at the moment. They've been around since the beginning of the decade, and keep getting better and better. Straight Edge never sounded so good.

14. Maritime - Heresy & The Hotel Choir

This has to be my favorite pop album of the year. So damn catchy and full of happiness that you'll find yourself singing along on your most depressing day.

13. El-P - I'll Sleep When You're Dead

Think Sage Francis is smart? You probably haven't heard of this man. The most powerful hip hop album out.

12. Crime In Stereo - Is Dead

This record took awhile to grow on me. An incredbily progressive melodic hardcore album that doesn't make you get up and jump off your dresser, but rather tap your feet. Definitely a cross-over album for those that are in LOVE with Brand New.

11. Capital - Homefront

Haven't heard of this band? Better get on it. Melodic hardcore, leaning more towards the hardcore side. The melodies are still there, the mosh just moved them over an inch or two. The lyrics are the best part about this record.

10. Big D & The Kid's Table - Strictly Rude

This is the album that will make ska cool again.

9. Cloak/Dagger - We Are

Like hardcore/punk from DC and the west coast in the early 80's? Got bored listening to the same old records? Do yourself a favor and embrace Cloak/Dagger. You won't regret it.

8. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

Kings of indie rock have done it again. Simple, but isnt that what they do best? Great songwriting.

7. The Weakerthans - Reunion Tour

Who would've thought a member of Propagandhi could write amazing folk/rock songs? Who would've thought he can do it more than once? Catchy, tinged with country, and witty lyrics. Thats what I love most about this record.

6. Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond

I love shitty recordings. It gives the record character and a raw feeling(duh). Thats exactly what this record has. Sounds like you were listening to it live. And don't let the distortion kill it off for you, every instrument rings in crystal clear.

5. The Baroness
- The Red Album

Melodic, intense, and moving. Nothing else to say. Favorite metal album of the year.

4. The Ergs! - Upstairs/Downstairs

True pop punk at its finest. Witty, fast, snotty, and short.

3. Allegiance - Desperation

Mix No Warning with Slayer, shake gently, and this is what you'll end up with. Favorite hardcore release.

2. Lifetime - Lifetime

If you know me, you know that Lifetime is one of my favorite bands. If you listened to punky pop during the late 90's and early part of the decade, you can tell that they also were alot of other peoples favorite as well. Funny that they're regarded as a melodic hardcore band tho. This record is poppier than their other stuff, but it in no way lets me down. Just a great record that always puts a smile on my face.



nah, just kidding, its really:

1. Chuck Ragan - Los Feliz

Bet you didn't see that one coming. A live record at that. If you don't know, he was one of the main songwriters in a band called Hot Water Music. Find me another album put out this year that had this much heart & soul and you'll have me calling you a liar.


5. Coalesce - Salt and Passage

You know all those noisy, screamy bands that people go apeshit over? This was the band that started all of that. Except they're good.

4. Fucked Up - Year of the Pig

Couldn't decide if i should put this as an EP or as an LP. Its over 20 minutes long, but its also only 2 songs. Eh fuck it.

3. Cursed - Blackout At Sunrise

Dark and murderous hardcore punk. I love this band.

2. Trash Talk - Walking Plagues
Some of the hardest pissed off hardcore I've heard in awhile.:Looking to get mad? This is your record.

1. Blacklisted - Peace On Earth, War On Stage

The best band in hardcore today. Constantly progressing, this is their best to date.

Please feel free to add your own list! Top 5's only please!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What The Fuck!? Find # 1

I know i promised my next post was gonna be my top albums of the year, but I lied. My blog, my rules, fuck off. So instead, my dear readers, I bring you a NEW section. Er, article. Um, post. Whatever.

To earn paper that has numbers 1,5,10,20,50,100 on them and metals that are worth some division of the number 1, I am currently employed at Goodwill Industries. I have worked there for 3 years. Occasionally, I come across something that just gets my jibbly's wibblying. Today was one of those days. I will now present my first What The Fuck!? Find of 2007.

Yes my friends, that is an official Office Space Work Sucks Kit!

It includes various Office Space paraphanelia. It comes with the standard booklet that explains the movie in more detail than the movie goes into? whatever, heres a shot of it on the left.

It also comes with the amazing JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS MAP! Yeah, I am really excited about this one, seeing how I am incredibly indecisive. Could this help me overcome that problem of mine? Probably not. But hey, at least I'm not in a wheelchair like the dude who invented it. Score one for Tussey

The next awesome thing that was in the package is the opening joke to the movie... the TPS REPORTS! By opening joke, I mean first interactive dialogue between characters. I bet these could potentially be useful if i ever decide to work in an office. Woot.

Do you remember the scene where Bill Lumberg introduces the first of the two consultants, who later went on to become Dr. Perry Cox on the show Scrubs(also was in Platoon. Incredibly skinny dude there, pretty funny. Check it)? Well, he points out this banner. The actual quote is "So... ask yourself. "Is This Good For The Company?""""" I have no clue how many quotations I should use to finish that sentence off. Oh well. Thanks to my brother Ryan for the assist on holding up the banner. One love.

In this pic, you can see I have the Initech coffee cup, the pc load letter, and my very own piece of flare that says "Sounds Like Someone's Got A Case Of The Mondays". I'm an actually using said coffee cup at this moment. It holds a decent cup of java. Thats really all I got to say about this.

Finally, we come to the end of the kit. It just wouldn't be a true Office Space Kit without Milton's red stapler. If you're a true fan, you would remember the old cartoons that creator Mike Judge did for Saturday Night Live and how that was the first appearance of Milton, Bill Lumberg, and the infamous red stapler. It was also the first time for the words "Well....Ok....But I'm gonna burn the building down" were utter from Milton. Gosh, I love that man. He's honestly a great example of a man who is loyal, but shat on just because he can be. Finally, he has had enough and he decides to shit back! Shit on Milton!

So thats it for my find this time around. Gosh, I love this movie. In fact, after writing this, I'm gonna start watching it for the.... oh.... thirty fifth time i think? Whatever, the number is up there. L8r

Monday, January 14, 2008

Show Reviews #'s 1, 2, and 3

Well, its two weeks into the new year and I have already seen two amazing shows and one decent show with a great headliner. Lets begin with the amazing Paint It Black record release weekend shall we?

Show Review 1.
Line-Up: Paint It Black,World Inferno Friendship Society, The Marked Men, The Dustheads, Amateur Party
Accomplice: Mark Antonio

I was immediately pumped when I first heard about this show. I love Paint It Black and have been looking forward to seeing the spectacle that I've been hearing is World Inferno Friendship Society for awhile now. And with The Dustheads on the bill as well? It was like plucking a dream straight from my head and giving it a horrible odor. God, there was alot of that. Honestly, when did it become cool and hip to smell like you shat yourself? Getting off point here. As a special surprise for this show, PIB gave out their new CD(The New Lexicon) for free a month and a half before the release date. How punk rock is that? So my homie Mark and I roll up to the show around 7. We go get some Dunkin Donuts, grab our free CD, and walk in to Amateur Party. I have tried to catch these guys before when them and Pink Razors played a house right down the street from me the summer before, but I had no one to go with and pussied out.

Amateur Party definitely had the post-punk type feel going on. I dug it. The guy singer from Kill The Man That Questions does vocals for this band as well and that was a welcome surprise. I love his gruff voice. That doesn't make me gay, right? If you like Fugazi, check them out. Didn't have any merch tho.

Next up was The Dustheads and, man, was I such a giddy boy. First chord, the singer dives head first into the crowd. From there on, they grind their way thru a set that doesnt even last 20 minutes. Yeah, they play old school hardcore punk, but it sounds so refreshing in todays scene where everyone just grasps onto whatever album is hot at the moment and duplicates. Definitely recommend seeing them if you have the chance. Had merch, but I was a cheap fuck and passed. Dummy. I still want that Elvis Presley collectors shirt.

Even with rumors circulating about a possible break up, no one even blinked at The Marked Men. That includes yours truly unfortunately. I was too busy being strangled by a drunken friend of mine i haven't seen in awhile. And now after listening to Fix My Brain and On The Outside, am i ever pissed. With a style that mixes The Buzzcocks with Husker Du in my opinion, this is easily one of the best new punk bands I've heard in awhile. Had merch, but again, i passed on it. I didnt see enough of them to reason myself into buying any.

After I finally wiggled away from my intoxicated pal, World Inferno Friendship Society came on. The place went nuts. Swinging, dancing, shouting, diving, all with a weird mixture of colors and odors hanging all over the place. All of this for a mediocre punk band that is obsessed with pirates. I didn't mind it. But i didnt love it. Honestly, the spectacle was what I expected but the music was disappointing. It was a shame. Mark and I just looked at each other and decided that WaWa seemed like the best idea. Didnt even bother to look at the merch.

Finally, the band i came to see came on! Playing their signature brand of hardcore with punk melodies, Paint It Black was amazing. They played a good mix off of Paradise and CVA, as well as a lot of new jams which was very cool. Hell, Dan Yemin even moved around on stage! Shocking? I know! Finishing off with their now classic song "Memorial Day", PIB played one of the best sets I have ever seen them play. They literally get better and better everytime I see them. I figured there was no way that they were gonna top that set.... was I wrong? Had a couple of shirts and a hoodie. It looked awesome, but i passed on it till the next day.

Show Review #2
Lineup: Paint It Black, The Hope Conspiracy, Have Heart, Damnation A.D., Crime In Stereo, Let Down.
Accomplice(s): Mark Antonio, Mike, Vince Slong

This show, the incentive was a free-one-time-only-pressing of a 7" from PIB that was recorded, but not put on the new album. Goliath was the name and it fits. It's a monster. I received copy #100/500. Ebay gold i tell ya! Well, lets get to the review.

Let Down Straight Edge(i think thats their new name?) opened. I love seeing this band not because the songs are tight, but the performance is something never to be missed. Their songs are simple, fast, and pissed. They're live show is dangerous and reckless. What else could you ask for in a hardcore band? As for merch, they had some crew necks and records. I've seen this band 3 times in the past 6 months but I've never to pick up anything by them. I need to get those records sometime soon.

Next up was Crime In Stereo. I love this band(their EP, The Contract is one of my favorite EPs) and they put out an amazing record this year. Too bad they couldn't pull it off live. All they played were songs off of "...Is Dead" and "The Troubled Stateside". I love both albums on record, but live they lack something to me. Everyone is complaining that they missed notes and fucked up, and while true, they're still a fun band to see live. When they play old shit. As for merch, they had some EPs and LPs as well as a couple of pretty cool looking shirt, but nothing i felt the need to spend my money on.

Damnation A.D. was an old hardcore/metal band from Washington D.C. who recently got back together after being broken up for about 9 years. Now, not to sound like every cliche reviewer who gives the old vs. new speech, but give me No More Dreams Of Happy Endings over.... well whatever the hell else they put out. Luckily they played a plentiful number of songs off of that record, opening with "No More Dreams" and closing out with "The Hanged Man". This was one of those bands that every metalcore band from 2000-2004 copied off of but their name was never brought up. Unfortunate really. Crowd wasn't really feeling them, but than again, they were the odd man out on the bill. My gang of rowdy barrel rollers left me to go make fart sounds in the car or something. Their loss. Had some simple looking black zip-up hoodies with their name across with some blood splattered on it. Nothing else worth mentioning.

Have Heart followed, and once again, lived up to their namesake. Kids go absolutely NUTTY over this band in Philly and i can see why. They draw inspiration from bands like Bane and Turning Point, which is clear, but this is a review so obviously I'm gonna state their sound. Is that ok Mr. or Ms. SmartAss? Their newest album, The Things They Carry, seems to be one of those albums that alot of people will use as one of those records that get them into hardcore. They put out some great tunes, no denying it, and their live show is full of energy. Another band that gets better every time I see them. I don't know why, but HH's merch was cheap. They had some shirts from their Europe Tour left over and some awesome looking long sleeves for 5 bucks. They also had a blue zip up and a grey pull over for 15. I always thought their merch was too plain looking, but i absolutely love the long sleeve. Such a sweet deal for it too. I'm none to happy that I passed out on that European Tour tee, but oh well.

The band of the weekend was the next band to destroy the place, and I'm in no way lying. This was the second time I've seen The Hope Conspiracy. The first time I barely paid attention, but then again, it was at the huge fucknest of a fest, HELLFEST. They were good than, but this time around you can tell something was different. It wasn't just the facial hair. These guys were dark and pissed. Intimidating and intense is how you sum this band up. Kids moshed for a bit, but the pit was pretty calm which was surprising. Played shit mostly from Death Knows Your Name, but threw in a few songs from Endnote(which i think is their 2nd best record. Fuck off) and I think they played "Truth And Purpose", but i honestly can't rember. Had about 8 shirts, a zip up hoodie, and a long sleeve. There were only 3 designs on the shirts, but in all types of styles and colors. I picked up two shirts of different designs. Once again, Fuck Off.

Finally, PIB came on for their second show in a row in their hometown. I've listened to the new album all day (It's great, thanks for asking)and was prepared for all the new material i thought they were gonna play. THOUGHT is the correct word. They opened up with one new one and that was all from The New Lexicon. Played some crowd favorites and that was it. They played a short but still intense set, mainly i think because the drummer just played 45 minutes with THC. I bet he was a bit tired. The last two songs, the stage was overflowing with kids hopping up to sing along. Better than the first show? I'd say so. Was a great end to a great weekend. When i went to pick up 2 shirts by them, one was sold out in my size, so i settled for a white tee with an uplifting speech printed on it signed and highlighted by PIB. I like that shirt alot.

Show Review #3
Lineup: Big D and The Kid's Table, The AKA's, The Last Matyrs Of A Lost Cause
Accomplice(s): Soul-less Samantha, Trey (Sam's Boyfriend)

Yeah, I went to a ska show. Say what you want, Big D and The Kid's Table put out one of the best records of the year, Strictly Rude. I have never seen them live, but I was excited by the tellings of my friend Tommy Digital(if you're on the west coast, in a band, and want your live show recorded, look him up at here. Also, why in the hell are you reading this? You don't even have a snowballs chance in hell of meeting me. Odd. Anyway.) So I get off off work, get picked up by Sam(my very good friend) and Trey, her boy, and off we head to the show. Now Sam has been to Philly a bunch of times in her short driving career. Unfortunately, she also has the memory of a gold fish and can never remember the way to anywhere she hasn't been within the past 3 days. She also only has sight in her right eye and yet she's a master at the game known as "Bediddle". Explain that one to me. For those unaware of the game, when you're in a car, everytime you see a car on the opposite side of the road with one headlight, you (gently... this ones up to the players really) hit the roof of the car and yell out "BEDIDDLE!" The last person to do so has the option of removing their clothes or having some sort of physical harm occur to them. Usually, no one follows through with the clothing-removal option, but even if it works only once in a million, it'll be worth it. With women. Not men. If they remove anything, they automatically get punched. Seriously, what would you do if you just happen to be riding down I95 and all of the sudden, BAM! A weiner is in your face. Not my cup of tea.

So we get to the show about a half hour early and consider grabbing Lorenzo's infamously huge slices of pizza. I decided not to because going and doing your business at any show is just insanely nasty. If you're at a show, you know the toilets are gonna be crazy foul. So instead, we head in and decide to just hang around on the side of the place for that half hour. The crowd trickled in and it was the usual mix of girls and so-called "rude" boyz who can't recall ever hearing a Slackers song but can name every Rancid song. Alphabetically. Finally, the lights dimmed and on with the show.

The firs band, Last Martyrs Of A Lost Cause, were a hometown band that I've never seen before. They were decent for a band that follows the rules of third wave ska that Less Than Jake set down. Here's what i recall. A blow up penis that cost them eight bucks with their initials written on it in red marker being tossed around. The frontman being insanely annoying and repeatedly talking about asses. Oh, and the guitarist played a rift behind his head.WOOOOO! THATS what ska is about my friend. They had a free demo that I passed on. I mean, i already own Hello Rockview, so whats the point?

The next band was another band my dear west-coastern friend talked about and even toured with a bunch. The AKA's. With all the members save the singer(looked like he belonged in The Mooney Suzuki or something) looking like they just strolled out of Hot Topic, they came out playing some blistering rock n' roll. Sike. The first song was decent, but than they got repetive. Every song sounded the same and eventually I lost interest in Mike Ski revving up his way-too-tall imaginary chopper motorcycle and started becoming fixated on the keyboardist and how she would look naked. Every move she made, I imagined her doing it naked. Was nothing sexual, just something to past the time while hoping they were gonna do The Misfits cover that i could see they all itched to do. They ended their set in a so-called "defiant move". They made all of the audience sit down(there were some bad apples up front that wouldn't follow the rules so Ski was forced to force them down with his very own body. It got scary and you could feel the tension of a riot starting to swell up. Good thing the bad apples decided to conform or else we could've been in danger. I felt that at that time, we should've sang "Kumbaya"), and than when the frontman counted to four, they all rose at once. It was the Woodstock of our generation. By the way, to the kids next to us, you know that no one could see you guys sitting down when the others rose up right? You're little revolt went unnoticed and wasn't any where near as hilarious as you had hoped it to be nor was it even as close as a laugh as your half shaved head. Overall, I had like Mike Ski's style. He can keep you entertain as a frontman for awhile before your attention starts to drift. Wish I could say the same about the music. I do have to give them a thumbs up for standing up to their record company who was trying to steal their record by putting it up for free up on the internet. Up the punx!

Next up was the only band I came to see, and i have to say, I was not disappointed. Tom knows his shit. Big D were awesome, full of energy, and even told a few funny stories. Played alot of songs off of Strictly Rude as I hoped they would and also played a few old crowd favorites. Also, Sam stole the guitar player's hat. So if you're missing that hat, hit me up and I'll attempt to wrassle it from her, but who knows. She can be very strong-willed when she wants to be. Especially when it comes to other peoples property. Unfortunately, because of her, we had to leave early. Headaches are excuses made for sex, not shows Sam. Not. Shows. Sam. So home we went, with an unfulfilled appetite for ska and food. It was a fun show tho, even if Big D was the only band I was totally there to see. I didn't bother to check out their merch as I knew that I wouldn't be interested anyway.

Well thats all for my reviews for this time around. I'd appreciate it if anyone out there hits me up with any upcoming shows(and maybe rides? I give gas money and don't fart in the car.) and continues this. My next post should be my top albums of 2007. I'm just having a pretty rough time putting them in order, thats all. Also, any criticism will be taken openly, so let me know what you think. Thanks.