Category Archives: Grunge

The Joy Formidable To Play Free Show Wednesday At The Rock Hall

Designed by the ever cool Aaron Seachrist @ okpants.com

In case you hadn’t heard, UK’s The Joy Formidable are going to be playing a show this Wednesday at the Rock Hall around 7pm.

Did I mention the show is FREE?  Well, you will need to cart your booty down to Cleveland one way or another, but you get the idea.

As part of the awesome Summer In The City Concert Series, The Joy Formidable and Cleveland’s very own HotChaCha will play in front of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum to everyone who shows up.  This series is a great way to check out new bands and just enjoy an evening in Cleveland for no charge.  I missed the first two already this summer, but will be sure to make it to this one.

I have the feeling this is going to be one of those shows that should not be missed.  I envision an all around good time already.  I know some of my pals from 92.3 Radio will be there as well as other good folk.

If you have not heard any material by the three-piece, 90s rock comparable sounding, female-fronted band yet, check out some videos below.  They’ve been around since 2008 and really have a sweet sound to them.  Rolling Stone recently nominated them as a band to watch.  Not to mention the lead female vocalist is a total fox…


(I did not know Roseanne had a cameo in this video)

The Constellations – Southern Gothic – CD Review

I cannot believe it is June 22nd already.  Summer is officially here and what better way to bring in the warm fun season than to jam out to some amazing music – but what exactly is out there to listen to?  Luckily Atlanta act The Constellations have decided to drop their debut release titled Southern Gothic just in time to provide a great soundtrack for your summertime fun.

After two years in the making with assistance from producer Ben H. Allen (Gnarls Barkley, Animal Collective), the eight piece act has released an album that mixes all the fun of bands like Outkast, MGMT, and the Gorillaz with almost a 90’s grunge / soul combination all while adding their own flair.

Honestly there really is no way to define a genre for this band as their songs range from rock to hip hop to pop – that is not necessarily a bad thing.  Lacking consistency never sounded so good.  Add in love for Tom Waits and guest appearances by Cee-Lo Green and Asher Roth, it is quite apparent this band is not a gimmick you are listening to.

“Setback” opened the release with a funky electronic jam heavy on the bass with lead vocalist Elijah Woods almost rapping over music that easily could be thought on something the Chemical Brothers might have created or even Fatboy Slim.  This was the song that was brought to my attention to earlier in the year and needless to say it sparked my attention tremendously.

Not giving the idea that Southern Gothic might be only an electronic album came “Perfect Day” a relaxed and very cool sounding track reminiscent of good ol’ Gnarls Barkley.   It’s only fair to mention Gnarls Barkley seeing as “Love Is A Murder” featured ½ of the act otherwise known as Cee-Lo Green who provided a monologue throughout the track.  This was one of those songs that easily will stick to the minds of many and be broadcast all over the radio.

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“December” was another track that just screamed to be played on the radio and sounded like a unreleased Broken Bells track.  I could not help but think of how perfect the song would be for a going out on the town mix.  “Take A Ride” proved to be another inebriated party track with the message to just raise hell starting at the barstool.

“We’re Here To Save The Day” sounded like a strange alliance between Beck and Eminem.  Listening to Asher Roth supply a flow of heavy heard rhymes throughout it was apparent song clearly was out of place with the rest of the tracks yet was amusing to listen to.  I also could not help but wonder why Asher Roth was almost blatantly shown the spotlight on the song while earlier Cee-Lo barely crept through his spoken word of sorts.

“Step Right Up” was by far my favorite track on the album as it was a clear tribute to Mr. Tom Waits.  The song was a completely off the beaten path revolving around one of my favorite artists of the 70’s.  Keeping with the iconic storytelling individual this song also keeps the funk moving around for almost ten minutes.  I can not see everyone getting a kick out of this song but something tells me this is one of those songs best seen live.

“Remurder Is A Lovemix” was a soulful piece with the commonly heard advice “if you really wanna live, you gotta be ready to die”.  I enjoyed this song with Elijah Woods changing up his singing style as well as the random distorted guitar solo that jumped in the middle of the track.

Southern Gothic is a gallant release by a group of musicians who seemingly refused to keep their material contained.  Usually the result of something of this nature could be disastrous but The Constellations manage to pull it off in a great way.  Already turning heads at SXSW and Bonnaroo the band continues to tour and will be making a stop at Lollapalooza.  Do yourself a favor and make sure that Southern Gothic is part of your playlist one way or another this summer.  This band will be going places, I know it.

DOWNLOAD THIS! – The Constellations – “Setback”


The Constellations – “Setback”

THE CONSTELLATIONS | MySpace Music Videos

Gin & Tonic Tour (Agitate The Gin & Light On The Tonic Please Edition) – Cain Park – Cleveland Hts., OH – 08/21/2009 – Concert Review

I knew I was going to relive some of my high school memories last Friday when Matt tossed me a ticket to the cleverly titled Gin & Tonic tour featuring 90’s grunge rock sensations Tonic and the Gin Blossoms.  The outdoor show was held at the Evans Amphitheater at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights, a venue I had never been to before.  The weather was perfect for a night outside and I was just down right excited to see these two 90’s alt/rock bands take the stage.

Opening act One Lone Car from St. Louis took the stage with a nice little pop guitar rock / piano act and warmed up the crowd.  I could not help myself but wonder why they went on so late.  I was under the impression the show started at 8:00pm but they did not take stage until 9:00pm.

After they finished there was a surprise announcement over the PA that the second act, Tonic, was going to be late to the show due to problems at the airport.  It was then announced that the Gin Blossoms would take the stage next and play.  Everyone seemed ok with the announcement, at least everyone who was not a lead singer of a certain band that just had it’s slot bumped.

Robin Wilson taking it to the crowd.  Moments later he just sulked away.
Robin Wilson taking it to the crowd just before going into sulk mode.

Gin Blossoms took the stage and proceeded to rock out as the crowd went nuts.  Fans in the venue started moving from their assigned seats to get a better look at the rock act and the mom and pop security did not care one bit.  Lead singer Robin Wilson seemed to be happy to see the crowd and even tossed a tambourine to one lucky fan who failed to keep a beat along with the band.  Two songs later the tambourine was tossed back at the stage almost knocking over Robin Wilson’s Red Bull & vodka drink.  I still have no idea why she threw it back, I myself would have kept it for an ultimate souvenir of the evening…I also would have been able to keep a beat.

Early into the set I saw someone on the side of the stage wave the lead signer over to them to hand over a piece of paper with a secret note.  Robin Wilson read it and dropped it to the ground as he continued to sing.  I am pretty sure the note read: “Now is the time to act like a giant douche” and I say that because in mid-song Robin Wilson turned from enjoying himself to just plain annoyed for reasons unknown.  He sulked about and left the stage in between songs through the set leaving the guitarist to introduce the band and try to keep some positive vibe to all the folk who dropped over $40 a ticket.

There was no encore when the band finished.  They thanked the crowd all so non-convincing and left the stage.  Granted the Gin Blossoms were supposed to headline there was no reason for Robin Wilson to act they way he did and in fact he ruined the show for me.  It was the first time I had ever seen the Gin Blossoms live and it will also be my last.  First impressions last on me regardless if you are a person trying to be my friend or a band that I came to see.  I did not go to the show to see someone baby it up on stage because the other act was late or because the turnout was low.

There was a strange silence for a few moments while the stagehands disassembled the Gin Blossoms’ gear.  PA’s started being disconnected and I was just waiting for the announcer of the evening to announce that the show would be ending because Tonic was unable to show up.

Thankfully the stage hands started setting up for Tonic so I knew the night was not going to be a complete bust.  For whatever reason though a good chuck of the crowd left as if they only came there for the Gin Blossoms.  Matt and I took advantage of this and moved to the front center of the seating area and claimed our spot for Tonic.

Tonic showed up and took the stage around 11:00pm and was able to make up for the poor performance by the Gin Blossoms.  Tonic seemed to be down a man and they performed as a three piece although I am not even sure these days how many people are in the band since their reunion.  The fans who stuck around did not let the lack of a Tonic member bother them though.  Heavy and loud cheering filled the area with tons of folk including myself singing along.  Good times were had.  I love that band.

Lead singer Emerson Hart mentioned that they were late because of a plane crash and proceeded to let everyone know how much is sucks to have a plane lose pressure and not have the oxygen masks fall into you laps.  They were not too happy with a certain airline that flys out of the Hopkins International Airport but did not seem to let that bother them at all.  They sounded great but since they were supposed to be a middle act they only played for less than an hour with no encore either.  Matt and I agreed that there was no encore because of curfew as well as Tonic probably did not want to upset a certain lead vocalist for the Gin Blossoms.

When Tonic finished there was that eerie silence again.  I am used to music becing played once concerts are over but this time it was a dead silence with fans discussing the strange events of the evening.  As happy as I was seeing Tonic live finally I just felt the night could and should have been better with no thanks to Robin Wilson of course.

Then again I should thank Robin Wilson seeing how he has inspired me to create a new catergory… The Suck.

P.O.S. Covering Pearl Jam’s “Why Go”

Hip hop sensation P.O.S. was among a select number of artists picked to cover a Pearl Jam classic track for MTV, in celebration of the re-release of their debut album Ten. P.O.S. chose to cover a unique version of “Why Go”.

P.O.S. had this to say about the song:
“I was asked if I was interested in covering a Pearl Jam song by Mtv2. I thought it was funny that they wanted to include me, being a rapper and all, but I wanted to take a shot at it. I loved Ten when it came out, rocked the tape till it popped. One of my favorites on it was “Why Go”, none of the bands they asked had picked it yet so I did. I thought about reworking the original lyrics into a rap kind of situation, but then I was playing the melody on one of my keyboards and thought it might be more fun to just straight cover it. So I did. It was fun. I hope you likes it.”

Likes it? I loves it… Check it out:

The 90’s Are About Me

As of late my Sirius radio has been stuck on the rock/alternative station Lithium 24.  Once in a while I love to just listen to the stuff I rocked out to while a teenager.

Today I checked out the friendly AddictedToVinyl.com and there it was… the perfect mix tape.  Apparently I am not the only one who has been thinking about the past.  Head on over to his site for a link to download for a sweet 90’s mix.  It will not disappoint.

After checking out the mix I starting thinking of things that remind me of the 90’s.  Mainly things that helped shape me into what I was becoming…a music lover.  Not only did I think of music but also concerts I went to and places I hung out.  I also thought about the movies as a youth I saw and then watched over and over again memorizing the lines and the way the people acted.

This movie was something that contributed:


Singles – Theatrical Trailer

It took me a couple of years to actually follow the story line and see it was a love story but when I first saw it my jaw dropped at the musicians who played roles in the movie or performed songs.  I was young when it came out.  All I remember is that I wanted to move to Seattle, buy thermo long johns and a pair of combat boots.  I wanted to be like the guys in Singles.

The thought of being a grunged out coffee making Seattle-ite soon changed those as I was introduced to other music and found my click…mainly punk rock.  I was growing up you know…change happened a lot.  I altered my look more than once in high school and went from a grungy long haired (bright red) to shaving my head senior year wearing NoFX shirts.  I might have gone punk rock, but I still listened to the rock/alt.

I still like the 90’s rock and always will…  I also like Matt Dillon movies….well mainly There’s Something About Mary…(hey, that was 90’s too!!!)