Friday, April 18, 2014

Boston Bruins Player Music Special

The NHL Playoffs are here, and what a great time it is as teams will be shedding blood, sweat, and tears all in their quest to hoist the Stanley Cup 2 months from now. To get us all ready for multiple nights of beer and hockey, I thought it would be cool idea to do a run down of the music selections of some of your favorite Bruins players with my in-depth Player Music Special. You may remember the recent slate of specials I did a couple of months ago showcasing the music tastes of players across MLB, but with this one we're going to focus specifically on the hometown Bruins to get a understanding of where they come from musically and how they unwind before they hit the ice. Here is a list of the players and some of their unique music selections:

Adam McQuaid: Florida Georgia Line - Round Here

The defenseman with a bad-ass mullet has this recent country hit from Florida Georgia Line as his song choice. McQuaid is currently recovering from a leg injury and hopes to return to the ice sometime soon to help his team's cause in the playoffs, much like he did in subsequent years, most notably in 2011 en route to this first Stanley Cup championship. The ripped and jacked defenseman is known for leveling opposing players on the ice, and always has his teammates backs each and every time.

Brad Marchand: Ace Hood - We On

Left winger Marchand has this gritty hip-hop track from Ace Hood as his warm up song. Known as Marshmont to some fans, Brad has been a strong, physical presence since his arrival in the Bruins 2010-11 Stanley Cup season, and has constantly gotten in the faces of opposing teams who threaten the stability of the club and are in their way. He is always depended upon to deliver some clutch goals and the occasional hit or two along the way to cement the Bruin's trip to glory.

Chris Kelly: Sofia The First - Rise and Shine

One of our forwards has this unusual song choice in the form of this track from the Disney animated TV series "Sofia The First". Kelly has been an invaluable resource in our line, and is consistently and highly regarded as one of the premiere forwards in the game right now. With exceptional puck handling skills and a strong offensive presence all around, Kelly is one of those roleplayers that you would love to have on your bench any day of the week.

Daniel Paille: & Britney Spears - Scream and Shout

Left winger Paille has last year's megahit from & Britney Spears as his unwinding song. A strong force out there in the front lines, Paille has delivered when depended upon, and is constantly a force to be reckoned with out on the ice, whether it be for a defensive stop or a quick breakaway offensive zone action, Daniel has all the skills and tools necessary to be a great hockey player, and the fans know it when they see him play.

David Krejci: Eminem f/ Rihanna - Love The Way You Lie

Our beloved center has this Eminem & Rihanna hit from a few years ago as the track that gets him pumped up before a game. The Czech Republic native has been a huge difference maker for the B's ever since his arrival on the team, and constantly contributes in more ways than one with his amazing offensive zone presence and slick puck handling skills that have made him irreplaceable. My personal favorite guy on the team, his attitude and demeanor are impeccable to say the least.

Dougie Hamilton: Cali Swag District - Teach Me How To Dougie

The fresh faced Hamilton has this appropriately titled namesake tune as his charge up song. One of the top defensive pairings on the team, Dougie is constantly learning on methods to improve his craft and he does so with remarkable aplomb and his studious skills quickly come to fruition with its results being shown aplenty. A blazing hot talent that is a fan favorite every time he comes on this ice, this song fits his personality appropriately in more ways than one.

 Gregory Campbell: Feenixpawl & Ivan Gough - In My Mind

This eclectic dance track is the song choice of our very own Soupy, otherwise known as Gregory Campbell. Soupy has defined the word 'comeback' with his amazing return from a devastating injury in last year's Eastern Conference Finals against the Penguins, and has shown that he has put that gruesome injury behind him and is focused on the future in attempting to get his team back to the promised land and hoist another Stanley Cup by the beginning of the Summer.

Johnny Boychuk: The Black Keys - Little Black Submarines

The sleek defensive skills of Boychuk are on fine display with this recent Black Keys hit as his song of choice. A great defensive mind to have on the ice, Johnny has constantly helped prevent many a catastrophe from taking place on the ice and he is always there to help take the pressure of Rask and force the puck out of its own end zone and in the hands of the offensive lines. A great name to have on your roster, Boychuk will be a strong presence come playoff time.

Milan Lucic: Rihanna - Pour It Up

The music of number 17 is all in the hands of this high energy Rihanna track as Looch's personal song selection. Milan has been a fan favorite here in Boston for many years, and is constantly a formidable force when it comes to on ice scuffles and constantly emerges as the worthy victor when chaos breaks out on the ice. A strong presence to have in the left winger slot, Lucic can add that extra spark to the offense that can't possibly be contained.

Patrice Bergeron: Lil Wayne - No Worries

The strong defensive leadership of Patrice is shown with this strong Lil Wayne track as his pump up song. A strong leader and great defensive mind, Bergeron has consistently been the clutch goal scorer in playoffs past, especially in last year's epic Quarterfinals series against the Maple Leafs where he brought his own team back from the dead and helped move them forward in the playoffs from that point forward. Bergeron is the definition of grit and passion on this team.

 Shawn Thornton: Kitten - Cut It Out

The long time forward Thornton has some indie credibility with this track from the LA based band as his song of choice. One of the most consistent players on the ice, Thornton has also been involved in various rumbles taking place on the ice and usually emerges with many scars and drops of blood as badges of honor. With a terrific defensive presence in the zone, Thornton will be one of those hard to stop players when the playoffs get underway.

 Tuukka Rask: Metallica - Fade To Black

It's Tuukka Time! Our heroic goaltender has this amazing Metallica track as his loose up song, and the way he has stopped those pucks from going in the net this past year has been nothing short of remarkable. Rask has been our savior day in and day out, and he has incredible fortitude and presence of mind to stop those pucks from careening too out of control past the line and into the net. A terrific supporter in the community as well, the Finland native is right at home here in Beantown.

Zdeno Chara: Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit

The big Z has this legendary Nirvana track as his song selection. The 6 foot 9 Slovak will have you straining your neck as you try to look up at him, but he is a kind and hearty soul who is a total animal when out on the ice, and his strong and muscular frame pushes wanna be puck scorers from getting any closer to the net, and keeps the offensive game rolling. One of the most remarkable defenseman currently playing the game today, Chara is a beast that can't and simply won't be denied in his quest for the Cup.

I bleed Black and Gold literally for this team as I have a Bruins tattoo on my left bicep that I wear with pride, and will be proudly watching nothing but hockey for the next 2 months as the Bruins seek to go on another quest for the Cup. The Bruins have given my life so much joy and enthusiasm, and I've come to the realization that hockey players in general are some of the greatest human beings to grace this planet.

Artist Spotlight: We Deny

Closing out the week with another new edition of Artist Spotlight! Today, we jump across the pond to Basingstoke, England where we come across the explosive pop-punk sounds of We Deny. The band consists of Loren Mancini on lead vocals, Sean Page on rhythm guitar, Jake Barratt on lead guitar, Sean Touhy on bass, and Tom Drinkwater on drums. The band's sound is a youthful, straightforward blast of melodic pop-punk that is reminiscent of all the groups I grew up listening to in high school, and takes me back to the days of when music was reflective of the emotions currently built up in the youth at that time and people were looking for a creative outlet to express those emotions in the most unified way possible. I really loved the way that the band stuck to the script and just kept things simple for the prospective listener to fall head over heels with their melodies almost immediately upon listen, and constantly kept them coming back for more. A terrific upstart U.K. band that is deserving of some exposure here in the States. Some recommended songs for you to check out include "Here's To Never" and "Take Me Away".

For more info on We Deny, head on over to their Facebook page located here and give it a 'Like' so that you can stay in the know of all their musical happenings. Their debut album will be released soon so stay tuned for more info surrounding its release. Check out all of their music they have released thus far on their Soundcloud site conveniently located right here.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Meghann Wright To Perform At Brighton Music Hall Next Saturday

Brooklyn based indie singer-songwriter Meghann Wright is gearing up to play a show in the Boston area next weekend at Brighton Music Hall that you'll definitely want to check out. She has fierce and dynamic R&B/soul voice similar to the likes of Amy Winehouse with an independent and free minded spirit similar to Janis Joplin that makes her stand out from the other on-the-rise acts coming up in the scene these days. She's on tour in support of her new EP which is expected to be released later on this summer and I can clearly tell that she definitely has that undiscovered spark that is yearning to be expressed with everyone around.

If you would like to check out Meghann Wright in concert, she'll be playing next Saturday, April 26 at Brighton Music Hall. For more info and to buy tickets, head on over to Brighton Music Hall's website here and for more info on Meghann Wright, give her a 'Like' on Facebook here and follow her on Twitter over here. Check out her latest single "Can't Carry Water" now available for streaming on her Soundcloud page right here.

Artist Spotlight: Western Education

Bringing to you another edition of Artist Spotlight today as we come across the sounds of Western Education! Hailing from Lowell, MA the band consists of Greg on lead vocals and keyboards, Georgio on guitars and backing vocals, Will handling bass and production duties, and Mark on drums and backing vocals. The band's sound is a hard nosed blend of fast paced alternative rhythms conjured upon a slight electronic wave that when combined, is a totally different ballgame and is unlike the sound of any other local act currently out there today. The band recently advanced to the Semifinals in the Rock N Roll Rumble, and they've been a band that I've heard of in name only and was always curious to check out their sound, and I'm impressed with their musical mindset that they took with them heading into the studio to record these tracks. They have a definite sense of who they want to be as musicians, and are focused on the future and where it may take them moving forward. An incredible local act deserving of some attention here on the site. Some tracks recommended for your listening time include "Rivals" and "All I Am".

For more info on Western Education, head on over to their Facebook page here and give it a 'Like if you dig their musical vibes. The band is also on Twitter over here and stay in touch directly with the gents on a direct basis. Visit their official website right here for more in depth information regarding the band, and all of their music is available for streaming and download on their Bandcamp site conveniently located here.

Vacationer To Release New Album "Relief" on June 24

Philadelphia, PA's pride and joy Vacationer are gearing up to unveil their all new studio release titled "Relief". The collection will be out on June 24 via Downtown Records, and it's the follow up to their 2012 debut release "Gone" that introduced the group's easy going, beach loving nature with ambient surf rhythms and dreamy melodies that had me hypnotized immediately upon first listen. The album is now available for pre-order via iTunes, and when you place your order you can download "The Wild Life" from the new album immediately and you'll receive the rest of the album upon its release.

To pre-order "Relief", head on over to iTunes at this link conveniently located right here. For more on Vacationer, 'Like' them on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter over here. Here is the track listing for "Relief":

  1. Stay
  2. Paradise Waiting
  3. Glimpse
  4. Heavenly
  5. Shining
  6. In The Grass
  7. Parallels
  8. Vision
  9. The Wild Life
  10. Fresh
  11. Go Anywhere
  12. Onward & Upward

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Okay Win - Nothing's Not Moving

Boston bred indie act The Okay Win is back with their all new studio album titled Nothing's Not Moving. The group have been relatively low key and flying under the radar over the last few years, and have returned with a new set that evokes their broad ranging tempo of indie rock that moves around exponentially in terms of mood and can't possibly be confined to one genre, a characteristic that the band is quite alright with.

The album kicks off with the dreary "Shift", a track that familiarizes you with the lead vocals of Stephen MacDonald and sets events into motion right away with the somber melodies providing the emotional backdrop for this tough and gritty track. "In A Way" is a more vibrant, eclectic track featuring some Springsteen styled elements thrown in for good measure and Steve's rough textured vocals melding in together nicely, and featuring some great guitar licks from Adam McElreath of Big Big Buildings fame who contributes a great deal to the band's melodic veracity that is well represented and in fine form here. "Reaction" takes a different approach from the previous tracks, and relies on the sole nature of the well complemented guitars at hand to create a sonically charged environment that evokes their style and satisfies their creative vision that they set forth when they headed into the studio to create this effort. My favorite track off the album is "The Glass" a sheer, well encapsulated moment of bliss with the collective efforts and musical wisdom of everyone gathered to create a song that signifies who they are as musicians and where they are in their respective lives as well.

The second half features "Satellite" a subtle, stratospheric track that is one of the more technically enhanced tracks featured on the album with Adam's echoing vocals whispering from another dimension and adding a great deal of aura and mystery to a very diverse and eclectic effort heard here so far. "The Hook" takes things down a few notches with a more downtempo musical state of mind with great rips in the musical surface and dreary melodies that showcase the band's ability to weave emotion into musical art that is constantly shifting and morphing right in front of you. "You Were Control" concludes matters here with a track that completely encapsulates Steve's musical persona that he's crafted in the past with his solo work, and comes to fruition here with a mellow and relatively low-key track with wonderful instrumentation that allows each band member to back each other up and bring things into perspective here as the album draws to a close. I've been close friends with a few of the guys from the band since high school, and I was introduced to Steve shortly after I graduated from college and I'm amazed with the way he's grown after our first meeting both personally and professionally, and how he's grown out of his shell into a more confident and capable musician willing to pour all of his emotions out there for everyone to see, and has all his bandmates along for the journey to wherever the music will take them.

Overall, a well constructed effort from The Okay Win, a band who have been a clear underdog in the Boston scene for a few years now, but the members are quite alright with that label and are just willing to play for wherever the crowds gather with open ears.

                                                                                                                          Album Score: 3.5/5

Track Listing:

  1. Shift
  2. In A Way
  3. Legion (When Coming Home)
  4. Reaction
  5. The Glass
  6. Every Face In A Wave
  7. Satellites
  8. The Hook
  9. Vibrations
  10. You Were Control      

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Mowglis To Perform Special Acoustic Show @ Great Scott This Afternoon

In advance of their sold out show later tonight at The Sinclair, Cali's own The Mowgli's will be performing a special acoustic show later on this afternoon at 5:30pm at Great Scott in Allston. The band is asking for a suggested donation of $10 which will be going directly to The One Fund. The band will also be hanging out with the concert gatherers before hand and will then perform for everyone in attendance. These guys are some of the most happy and positively minded individuals I've ever come across in my travels, and their music provides for such an immediate jolt and rush of enthusiasm and happiness that I haven't seen in quite some time, and I hope everyone gets to make it out to this show if you can't be at their concert in Cambridge tonight.

Midday Records "A Benefit For The Boston Marathon" Bandcamp Compilation

Originally released last April shortly after the Marathon bombings, Midday Records has an extensive 80 song Bandcamp compilation that will keep everything in perspective on this day. Simply called "A Benefit For The Boston Marathon", scores of New England artists have donated their time and effort to this glorious compilation that helps raise awareness for the city and gives light to some local bands as well. The compilation is free to download on a pay what you want scale, and any money you wish to donate will go directly to The One Fund so if you have some time today, please check out the Bandcamp compilation via Midday Records official page right here.

To submit donations of your own to The One Fund, head on over to their official website right here.

Carly Tefft Releases Marathon Tribute "Keep On Running"

Boston bred singer-songwriter Carly Tefft has just released her Marathon tribute track titled "Keep On Running". The video shows Carly taking her guitar to the sights of Boston including Fenway Park and the Prudential Center just steps from the finish line on Boylston St., plus it's interspersed with footage from inside the recording studio as well to give a wide ranging look at the creation of this amazing track. I had the opportunity to check Carly in concert about a year and a half ago, and she is a dynamic force to be reckoned with and has a fiery passion for recording music and performing live, much like the color of her red hair that stands out prominently when you first see her in person and this track brings everything back home for the people of Boston.

For more info on Carly Tefft, 'Like' her on Facebook here and follow her on Twitter over here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

UPDATE: Steve Klein's Ex-Wife Testifies in Online Sex Case

Another update in the ongoing saga surrounding the online sex charges levied against former New Found Glory member Steve Klein. His ex-wife Amanda has given some insight as to his whereabouts and what was inside his head at the time the alleged crimes occurred.

Steve was in a San Luis Obispo, CA courtroom on Thursday over accusations of sexual conduct with underage girls which took place sometime last year. Klein's attorney Debra White had filed a request to put a gag order on the case due to Klein's high media profile and suppressing any further updates. The request was ultimately denied and so was the motion to suppress evidence being deemed potentially unlawful. Amanda's testimony revealed that when her husband was out of town, she found approximately 100 video chats between Klein and females who appeared to be underage. Amanda said that she was looking for proof that her husband was having an affair when she stumbled upon the chats. One of the videos showed Steve masturbating while two clothed females watched. Most of the hearing revolved around whether or not the video evidence should be excluded from the case or not.

The next court date will be on May 22 where a preliminary hearing will be held where a computer forensic specialist is expected to testify.

Semifinal Schedule Announced for Rock N Roll Rumble

The first round of the Rock N Roll Rumble is now complete, and it's time to move on to the semifinal round! Maine's own When Particles Collide won one of the two coveted wild card spots along with Feints and both will advance to Night #1 and Night #2 of the Semifinals respectively, taking place on Thursday, April 17 and Friday, April 18. Here is the full list of bands performing on each night:

Thu. Apr. 17 Semifinal Night #1

9:30pm - When Particles Collide
10:15pm - Western Education
11:00pm - Petty Morals
11:45pm - Await Rescue

Fri. Apr. 18 Semifinal Night #2

9:30pm - Feints
10:15pm - Tigerman WOAH
11:00pm - Goddamn Draculas
11:45pm - Barricades

Both shows are 18+, tickets cost $10, and doors open at 8:00pm. Tickets are available in advance via TT the Bears box office and by

Friday, April 11, 2014

Interview w/ Andy and Foley from As It Is

Wrapping up the week with an interview with one-half of the Brighton, U.K. based band As It Is. These guys have been a favorite of mine for some time now, and their blend of British pop-punk is some of the most honest and refreshing music that I've heard in quite some time. Andy and Foley were nice enough to devote some time out of their busy schedules to talk about how the group first got started and what they love the most about being in a band together. Here is the transcript from that interview:

Give us your names and what you guys do in the band? 

Ali - Bass, Andy - Guitar, Ben - Guitar, Foley - Drums and Patty - Vocals

How did you all come together to form the group? 

Foley: Andy and Patty met first through with the intention of starting a pop-punk band. Although nothing materialized, the two still kept in touch and when Patty met Ben (who was also keen on starting a pop-punk band) at university the three came together to start jamming/writing. I (Foley) was then auditioned also through and as soon we all began to play it just seemed right. Finally, Ali joined most recently through Andy as both were also at university together.

How would you describe your sound to those who aren't familiar with the group?

Foley: Well we’ve been described as a mix between The Wonder Years, Transit and State Champs which I was very happy with. However, I am sure Ben would insist on me mentioning the Early November and Taking BackSunday.  So yeah, maybe a sub genre that encompasses the use of emotional and self deprecating lyrics backed by catchy guitar lines and pop-punk drum beats.

What were some of your earliest memories listening to music growing up and how has it shaped you to this day?

Foley: I was brought up in a household where music was the focal point of almost every occasion, which is why it has always been very important to me. I was always a sucker for anything with a good beat or bass riff. – especially the Big Band genre where the drumming would always blow me away i.e. the legend that is Buddy Rich. However, I remember starting secondary school and borrowing a friends compilation cd and stumbling across Fat Lip by Sum 41 which had me hooked on pop-punk instantly. It was from that day onwards that I knew I wanted to play pop-punk music so I learnt how to play drums and started a band with a friend where all we would do is play songs [pretty badly] by Yellowcard, NFG and Blink.

What is the U.K. music scene like at this very moment, what are some of the positives and challenges facing it?

Andy: I think the UK music scene is really healthy. Maybe a little too healthy in places with so many gigs happening each night in major cities across the UK that it can be a little hard to stand out. However I think this is forcing bands and artists to push themselves to make their voices heard and this can only be a good thing.

Describe the recording process for "This Mind of Mine" and what the whole experience was like for everyone?

Foley: The recording process of ‘This Mind of Mine’ was completely new to each and every one of us as the previous EP was pretty much self engineered in Patty’s loft. We were extremely fortunate to be in a position this time round as, through Kickstarter, we were able to head out to Stakeout Studios to complete the process properly this time; so heart felt thanks goes out to all those who pledged. Whilst recording, I would say that we would all collectively agree that we learnt an awful lot about each other as it can be an extremely high pressured environment. However, we all seemed to compliment and support each other, which is why we all survived the process.

What is your favorite song off "This Mind of Mine" that you're especially proud of? 

Foley: We are all so proud of ‘This Mind of Mine’ and even more grateful for the response it has had amongst people. However, if I were to pick a particular song off of the EP I would have to say ‘Bitter, Broken, Me’. The reason being is that its fast, punchy and upbeat so great fun to play live.

A few of you guys appeared shirtless for Critical Wave's "In The Tub" series, can you describe what that whole experience was like? 

Andy: Haha yeah it was great fun! We’d seen other bands do those interviews and thought it was an awesome idea. I’d say the experience was actually relatively normal. Living together on the road for long periods of time you inevitably end up seeing, accidentally (or sometimes purposely for more outgoing members of the band) more of each other than you’d care too.

What's on tap for you guys for the rest of the year, planning any shows in the U.S. sometime in the near future? 

Andy: The plans for the rest of this year is writing and touring. And lots of it! No plans to visit the US just yet. But we’re really hoping that it might happen sooner rather than later.

Lastly, what does being in this band mean to you personally?

Andy:  Personally being in this band means getting the chance to go to new places, see new things and meet new people with my friends while playing the music that I love. It’s really as simple as that.

Thanks once again to Foley and Andy for taking some time out to do this interview! I truly love the depth and quality of talent that is constantly emanating from the U.K., and it's great to hear directly from those acts and get a feel for what the scene is like over there in the London area and draw comparisons to our own music scene here in the States. For more info on As It Is, 'Like' them on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter here

Artist Spotlight: Actions

For today's edition of Artist Spotlight, we head across the pond to England where we come across the melodic sounds of Actions. The band consists of Calum Hartley, Andrew McErlain, Duncan Ash, and Finn Lomax. The band's sound is a simply structured, yet highly energetic blend of alt-rock that isn't confined to one specific genre and instead branches out in multiple areas to grab musical characteristics from all and mold it into something truly spectacular that has little hints of pop-punk spread about to give it a full featured sound that is highly original and one that stands out prominently from the pack. I've covered numerous bands from the U.K. over the course of the past year, and this act is one of the more impressive I've come across in my musical travels and definitely has that extra edge to set it apart from all the others to offer something different that listeners will take to heart almost immediately, whether it be the lyrics or the overall sound, this band has the total package. "Messages" is the song that clearly demonstrates their musical mission.

For more information on Actions, give them a 'Like' on Facebook here to get a better understanding of who the guys are. You can listen to more of the band's music on their Soundcloud page right here, and check out their YouTube page over here for more of their musical odysseys.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Berklee Grad Covey Covers Drake's "Hold On, We're Going Home"

Berklee College of Music grad and British native Covey has just released his cover video of Drake's recent hit, "Hold On, We're Going Home" The video is a highly stylized and blended clip that completely evokes Covey's style that features his beautifully developed vocals that puts his own unique twist on the song and almost makes it his own self-sufficient track in the process. I've featured Covey on the site previously, and I have to honestly tell you that he is one of the most impressive on the rise acts that I've heard in quite some time, and he is really on his way of achieving something special with his own unique sensibility galvanizing listening audiences and making them want to pay attention what he has to say.

For more info on Covey, 'Like' him on Facebook here and follow him on Twitter right here.