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Andie Cunniffe is the Music Director at Bulls Radio with responsibilities for sorting and categorizing music, maintaining relations with record companies, promoters and bands, as well as music journalism. She's a senior, double majoring in History and Magazine Journalism. An avid music lover, she is working to make Bulls Radio a station that plays great music and serves its students and community.
Want to get your music on Bulls Radio? Send your FCC Clean music submissions can be sent to BullsRadioMusic@gmail.com
Swearin', a garage punk band from Brooklyn, opened the night. Lead female vocalist Alison Crutchfield's cute vocals and quirky personality gave the band an endearing presence. The members of Swearin seemed to play from a place of deep concentration throughout the performance. One could see drummer Jeff Bolt's counting out the beats and lead singers Crutchfield and Kyle Gilbride often closed their eyes while singing.
As quirky as they are refreshing, the band's music can easily be filed next to Rilo Kiley and the Replacements.
And then came Japandroids. The Canadian garage rock twosome brought all the excitement of their records that they could, short of beginning their set with the fireworks from the introduction to Celebration Rock.
Japandroids are a two piece rock band from Canada. After nearly giving up on music, the band’s release of Post-Nothing kicked them into high gear. Japandroid’s junior album Celebration Rock was titled ‘Best New Music by Spin Magazine and Pitchfork Media. The duo have also performed several times on MTV Live, Last Call With Carson Daly and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Aptly opening the album with the sound of fireworks, the track “The Nights of Wine and Roses” imposes a renovation on the typical pop-punk sound. Adding fuzzy post-punk vocals and stomping drums, the music aligns itself with the newer, raucous sounds of Titus Andronicus and the Cloud Nothings.
Japandroids’ career was actually given an early boost by pop-punk veteran Mark Hoppus (of Blink 182) back in 2009 when he featured the band as his Pick of the Week in Spin Magazine. Hoppus said that Japandroids “sound really different from anything out there”, citing the way that the guitarist splits up his signals with the amplifier.
Even though Rolling Stone Magazine named Celebration Rock one of the Ten Coolest Summer Albums of All Time, their music is still perfect for moshing and stage diving indoors. The band will be playing Crowbar in Ybor City this Wednesday night, tickets and information can be found here.
Holiday music, as a subgenre, has seen a lot of praise and criticism.
Some people feel that holiday music creates an intimacy between the artist and their audience, letting music lovers celebrate the holidays with their favorite artists. Perhaps this even gives people a more ‘hip’ way to celebrate the stressful holiday season.
A lot of music nerds and journalists think it’s cheesy when artists release holiday albums. One could argue that it’s just a bunch of covers which are only appropriate to listen to for a maximum of two months.
Wherever you stand in this debate, the 2012 holiday season is seeing a variety of new material and classic covers across every genre.
This holiday season is seeing new holiday albums from:
Empire Cinema are coming out with a new album. After having opened for Cursive and Bad Veins, Empire Cinema are releasing their own inaugural self-titled EP. To discuss the band’s changes, turmoil and early notoriety on the Tampa music scene, Bulls Radio interviewed the band’s lead singer Brenden Hock and bassist Jeff Dominguez.
What is the name of the new album?
BH: It’s actually self-titled. We dabbled with the name and decided to start from scratch. It’s all about a new process, a new line up, a new band.
A lot of the songs on the new record seem to talk about life changes. How does that relate to your band personally?
BH:There were a lot of changes with the band, the new line-up and stuff like that. I was just getting out of a long relationship, we lived together for three years. I was under more pressure because I wanted to take myself more seriously. It took a little while, but when the new guys came in, they just really ran with the songs and made them their own.
JD: It was definitely a different grouping of people. I met Brenden and he had a few songs he was working on. One of the songs, “A Man, A Plan, A Dream”, we started working on cooperatively. We started feeling really good about the recording.
BH: We’re all really a lot alike too. We seemed to be going through a lot at this point in our lives together. It’s interesting when you get four guys that are on the same wavelength that can do that together.
What inspired the vocals on the album?
BH: We started working on the songs eight months ago. On one of the songs, the chorus was a completely different melody, and it almost got cut from the CD. Then in the middle of recording, one of us started improvising and we really liked it.
I’m also a huge fan of early 80s post punk. I love Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen. Then you can look at some bands that are more modern, they’re influenced by that as well. Music ians are always evolving, trying new things, getting more comfortable with themselves.
Sons of Hippies are a local psychedelic rock band that have been playing the Tampa Bay area for years. After a brief name change (formerly Black Eyed Angels), a few EPs and some experimentation in their music, Sons of Hippies are playing at a Rock the Vote event tonight in St Petersburg. You can read our review of their A-Morph LP and a live review here.
There was a major change in your sound from A-Morph to a more distanced sound. What made that change happen?
Jonas Canales: We took a more polished, tight approach.
Katherine Barnes Kelly: We were trying to write pop music. Let’s try to write popular music and try to get people to like us more than being a psychedelic band. Which isn’t a complete waste of time, but it just didn’t feel right. But the reverb and the delay, that’s more of what we do. It was just kind of like, ‘Let’s try this for an album’
Where do you see the direction of the band going?
Kathryn: It’ll be a combination of both. There was some drone-y, hypnotic stuff that just moved in an ambiguous way on “Fade to White”. There was the whole dynamic shift to a lot of the songs, it was just the same repeated motif, which is cool but I would say that we’ll take the actual sound and put that in more cohesive songs.
Can we expect new material soon?
Katherine: We’ll be coming out with a full length album next year.
[To Katherine] In the past I’ve seen you use a Jaguar, and tonight I saw you with an American Standard guitar. What prompted the change?
Katherine: I’ve had some gear issues lately, and it sucks. The Jaguar was actually the first guitar that I ever had, I got it when I was 14. It’s a very complicated schematic inside the guitar, with pick ups and pick up selectors and the tone, there’s like 30 different combinations of things you can get. Somewhere in there, something is going wrong and it sounds all choked up.
I’ll probably be recording with a Jazz Master.
You just got back from a tour with the Florida Kilos. How has your work with them impacted Sons of Hippies?
Katherine:I have a lot of fun in that band, but I’ve only been with them for a short while. But I had a really good time. The more music you play, the better you’re going to get. I’m using it as an opportunity to experience other kinds of playing, and Shawn’s taught me a lot about guitar. It’s not my material, so it’s a different approach.
Bulls Radio is officially starting a Top 20 countdown!
Each week, we will compile a list of music videos of top tracks on Billboard, Spotify and more.
Then, YOU get to vote on the tracks and tell us what is your FAVORITE.
Voting can take place in the COMMENTS section on the website, or on the Bulls Radio facebook page.
Tell us what you want, and we'll play it. Just Vote.
Here we go:
20. Imagine Dragons "Demons"
19. Mumford and Sons "Lover of Light"
18. Kendrick Lamar f/ Drake "Poetic Justice"
The music of Titus Andronicus, at least from their first two records, has been neurotic and gloomy. One can easily sense this from the title of their debut The Airing of Grievances, to their continual “No Future” song sequence, and the literary power-punk rantings of their Civil War concept album The Monitor in which they quoted former president Abraham Lincoln on how he was “the most miserable man living.”
And now, all of that is about to change. Titus Andronicus’ junior album, Local Business was released in October and features lighter, happier moments like “(I Am The) Electric Man”. The song is fun and repetitive, continuing lead singer Patrick Stickles’ theme of human-electric synthesis (see “No Future, Part Three: Escape from No Future").
As The Monitor was their most successful record, garnering universally positive reviews, the robust LP proposed somewhat of a challenge for the Titus Andronicus to top. Instead of trying to top themselves on Local Business, Titus Andronicus decided to take their music into new territories. Their new album places less emphasis on the rock operas that made them famous, and instead create rousing, repetitive songs like ”Food Fight”, “I Got a Date Tonight” and “(I Am The) Electric Man”.
Upon listening to the release of Local Business, one question was raised about the future of Titus Andronicus’ career. The listener can be reminded of another punk band that broke through to national attention on their third record. A punk band that became known for their rock operas as well as their fun and repetitive music stylings. At the risk of comparing Titus Andronicus, a personal favorite, to the much maligned Green Day, one could draw comparisons between their music styles. Like Green Day, Titus Andronicus’ music may be destined to spend its time shifting positions between serious rock operas and fun, lighter tracks that will most likely garner heavier national attention. They are both bands that broke through on their third album, and then had to worry about topping themselves relatively early in their career.
While the new album has lighter moments, it also serves up a tray of Stickles’ personal issues to draw the listener in. Perhaps the most buzz-worthy of these tracks so far has been “My Eating Disorder”, in which Stickles examines his Selective Eating disorder, in which he would habitually spits out food.
Local Business debuted at number three on the Billboard Heatseekers charts and ranked number eight among the Top Adds on College Music Journal.
Tiny Empires was the first band of the night. Tiny Empires includes members from O Pioneers!!!, a punk band that once did a split album with acclaimed indie band Bright Eyes. This example of riding the fence between the oft-clashing punk and indie worlds set the theme for the night. However, as the crowd jumped around and fist-pumped together, there was no distinct separation between the camps in the audience. Bands like Ceremony and Titus Andronicus have also been known to embrace the indie community as punk bands.
One might assume that after headlining a show at Tampa’s premiere punk venue Transitions Art Gallery, a front man might get tired. This was not the case for the lead singer of California hardcore punk outfit Ceremony. While I was not at their Transitions Art Gallery show, one can assume that it was only a warm-up. Delivering old school punk-inspired tracks to the moshing audience, Ceremony’s performance hardly seemed like they were opening for anyone. Sharing the microphone with the mostly male audience members and jumping around on stage while singing his songs, lead singer Ross Farrar is a very energetic and talented front man.
At the start of the tour in Philadelphia, Ceremony and Titus Andronicus released a split EP with new material from both bands. Ceremony’s current tour is in support of their latest record Zoo, while Titus Andronicus are supporting their junior record Local Business. The split was supposed to have a new song from Ceremony and an unreleased cover by Titus Andronicus. But more about that later.
Titus Andronicus began their set with some tracks from Local Business, as well as The Airing of Grievances. Teasing the audience for a moment, they circled back to play “A More Perfect Union”, their breakthrough single from The Monitor.
After playing their new one-minute blaster “Food Fight”, there was a request from the audience to play something darker, which is what the band is known for. Lead singer Patrick Stickles replied by saying that if that’s what the person wanted, they were really going to hate what came next. Stickles and crew then went into their new track “(I Am The) Electric Man”, which segued into a cover of The Contours’ “Do You Love Me”.
Stickles then announced that it was back to the darker material. “We’re going back to the dark ages, just like the last four years have been and just like the next years will be should Barack Obama get re-elected.” Whether Stickles was speaking from the heart, or making a satirical comment is up for debate though. While this statement can sound conservative when taken literally, Titus Andronicus just played an Obama-centric voter rally in North Carolina with Superchunk front man Mac McCaughan. Regardless of Stickles’ affiliation, the statement in question evoked minimal response from the audience.
The last song of the night was the epic “Battle of Hampton Roads”, the conclusion to The Monitor. As the audience was already hyped-up from Ceremony, Titus Andronicus were faced with the challenge of wearing the audience out and creating a definite conclusion to the night’s show. The “Battle of Hampton Roads” epic was the ideal track for Stickles and company to close the night.
Kicking off the folk-punk theme of Sunday’s FEST, Quote Unquote Record’s The Wild took the stage. As the FEST showcase was close to Halloween, the band’s lead singer and guitarist doned costumes from Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom.
The band’s jangling guitars got the early crowd dancing.
This is the band to watch. After catching them at CMJ’s Music Marathon in Manhattan and then at Fest in Gainesville, Florida, one can see the way that this band is quickly gaining a devoted following. At both shows along the east coast, the packed audience has been able to sing along with all their songs off of their self-titled album from Bar/None Records.
Beginning with “Flashlight”, the first track off of The Front Bottoms, their set saw copious amounts of stage-diving and moshing. Singing tracks from their self-titled album, as well as some new, unnamed material, The Front Bottoms delivered a satisfying set.
Bomb the Music Industry!
Bomb the Music Industry, a ska/punk that started in 2004, have recently announced that they will be going on hiatus. After gaining significant popularity for playing at Gainesville’s FEST for several years, this may have been the last BTMI show at FEST. While they have gained national attention from PunkNews.Org and MTV, and among their local scene in New York City, the band has remained someone of a best-kept secret of modern punk rock.
Their set started off with “Campaign for a Better Next Weekend” from their 2011 album, Vacation. Their set continued with other tracks from Vacation like “Hurricane Waves” and “The Shit That You Hate, as well as older tracks like, “493 Ruth” and “Bike Test 123” from Get Warmer and “25!” from Scrambles, and ending on Album Minus Band’s “Future 86”.
Jeff Rosenstock released a solo LP earlier this month, which can be found here.
Laura Stevenson and the Cans
Coming back from CMJ’s Music Marathon in New York, Laura Stevenson and the Cans carried the energy of the crowd, worn out from Bomb the Music Industry’s set. Lead singer Laura Stevenson had an adorable stage presence and the band’s lively presence carried the pace, leading into Andrew Jackson Jihad.
Opening with songs from the new album, Local Business, Titus Andronicus’ set was sure to promise one of the most intense mosh pits of the showcase, second only to Bomb the Music Industry. Their brief set also spanned favorites from their critically acclaimed albums Airing of Grievances and The Monitor. Ending on “A More Perfect Union”, the young band managed to play a perfect mix of their music, thus far. Lead singer Patrick Stickles donned a Ceremony t-shirt, the indie-punk band that Titus would be touring with them the next night.