Mixtapes Premiere New Track!

Cincinnati pop-punkers Mixtapes just dropped a new song off their highly anticipated upcoming album.  The song, called “Hey Ma Pt. 2”, can be heard on AbsolutePunk.com.

“This song was fun to make,” says singer/guitarist Ryan Rockwell.  “When it was done, musically I felt like the verses had a bouncy almost Superchunk type vibe and we were really happy with how it came out.  I think it fits the album well.  The album as a whole is upbeat and was a blast to make.”

I for one can so I am super stoked about this song and their upcoming release.  I am really excited to see this band mature in the last couple years and can not wait to see what they have to offer on their new album.

Check out another new track titled “Even On The Worst Nights” by Mixtapes on AltPress.com.

Album Review: Tim Barry – 40 Miler

If I had to describe Tim Barry in one word, that word would be “real”.  This former punk rocker turned folk rock hero is about as real as they get and I am not just saying that.  He is a talented musician and a wholesome human who just lives life day by day.  Barry, who used to front the legendary Richmond punk rock act Avail, has been going his own route since about 2004 playing solo shows all over the world.

In his fifth release, 40-Miler, Barry seemingly has taken his acoustic guitar and played from his hard-working heart.  The album was put out by Chucksaah Records.

It’s an honest and to the point album where Barry talks about his previous involvements in bands, travels, and personal reflections on the life he has lived.  The album leans more country driven than that of past releases by the man known to hitch rides on trains the old-fashioned way.  The result is hands down his best release I have ever heard to date.  It is safe to say that Barry may have created his own masterpiece without even thinking about it.

“Wezeltown” starting off the album with a soulful yet poignant Barry declaring “I pity the beautiful as the beautiful, they do pity me.”  Fueled by hand-clapping and realization, this song was more than an opening track, it was a preach aimed at all the hardworking folk out there who don’t take everything for granted.  “Driver Pull” was more like a personal conversation between the listener and Barry on a front porch moments before he hitches a ride out of town.

The title track “40-Miler” continued with the Barry’s storytelling and did not disappoint.  Reminiscing about his traveling times in boxcars and tour vans, Barry also states he has “nothing but miles and miles” to continue on.  I especially loved when Barry declared ” I’d rather stay broke than play fake ass shows.”

“Adele and Hell” was heavy on the country rock and perfect in every way.  The duet between Barry and longtime friend and local Richmond recording artist Julie Karr was a match made in heaven.  Karr gets down on this track with Barry that sings about a broken relationship.  The harmonica playing aside the twangy guitar accompanies the signing so well.  Hands down, this is one of the better tracks on the album.  I was floored when I heard it.

Barry pays tribute one of his bad ass friends who plays in Lucero as well as in Glossary in the track titled “T. Beene”.  This track, to me, was the country answer to NOFX’s “Punk Guy” with Barry recalling some crazy ass memories of a talented man who had lead an interesting life.

My favorite track on the album, “Fine Foods Market”, actually pokes fun at Barry as well as many of his fans who have “ironic mustaches” and drink PBR.  I loved when Barry sung “oh look there goes another hipster kid”.  He may have been making fun about everything, but was also quick to wonder how it all came about.

“Amen” was another amazing track full of Barry’s personal attributions and thanks accompanied by harmonica and acoustic guitar.  From singing about breaking his hand in Ottawa to almost making it to every scheduled show, Barry sang about his life on the road and even admitted sometimes he would rather just be home.  I especially got a kick out of the part where he praised a certain New Jersey band for letting him hitch a ride on their tour bus.  It was not just a song sung, it was a celebration of all the hard work Barry has ever done.  “Kick me in the head, watch me get right back up again” ends the album as almost a promise from Barry proving he is in this for the long run.

In a recent interview I did with Barry, he stated he actually erased 40-Miler from his he memory once it was completed.  He said , “when I am done with an album I step away from it.  This helps me gain perspective and hear it freshly.”  He called it a “recording detox”  and continued with, “I never have an intention with my albums. They come out the way they come out.”  How can you not love this man?

Tim Barry is currently touring in support of 40-Miler.  It is not a show to be missed.

Album Review: Grey Area / The Reveling / The Copyrights / Luther – 4-Way Split

Leave it to Black Numbers to gather up some kick-ass pop-punk/post-hardcore bands and drop a sweet split release on vinyl and CD.  At 8 tracks long, the 4-way split features a pair of tracks from Grey Area, The Copyrights, The Reveling, and Luther.   The result is a great listen by a group of bands that have been having no difficulty getting noticed lately.

The release was dropped earlier this year, but I kind of fell of the face of Earth, so my apologies in advance.   Shall we continue?

NYC’s the Grey Area started off the split  with “Lucky”, a pepped up punk rock track that easily reached back to the 90s punk rock scene.  This song was amazing and perfect for opening up the album.  Following was “Bad Anything”, a track that reminded me of Dag Nasty in a good good way.  Having not been too well versed with this band prior to listening, I know what I am going to be doing once I finish this review up.

Brooklyn’s The Reveling was another band I have not gotten into just yet, but of course after hearing their tracks on this release, I intend to change that.  “Trust Me” sounded of The Menzingers at times but not in a bad way at all.  The song was a little too quick for me and seemed to just drop, but all was well once “Its Time To Ride” kicked in.  I must say, I was impressed with what I heard and can’t wait to hear more.

Do I really need to say anything about The Copyrights?  Most of you probably know what they are all about already, but still, this is a review so I will at least tell you all that they are from Illinois and they rule. “The New Frontier” was easily the hardest sounding track in the split.  Never ceasing to amaze me, they dropped “Straight To The Office” from 90s punkers Scared Of Chaka.  The cover was great in my opinion and I hope more kids will check out Scared Of Chaka after hearing the cover.

Philly’s Luther put out one of my favorite EPs last year, so I may sound a little biased here, but their offerings on this split were killer.  “Sixty-One” was likable the moment the signing kicked in.  Seriously, this track was fun from start to finish and just more proof how talented this band is.  “The Door Is A Penthouse” impressed me as well.  I told you I probably was going to sound biased, didn’t I?

This split is a great dose of 4 hard-working bands that I feel one day will be all over the music scene.  Thanks to Black Numbers for putting together such an excellent 4-way split.  Having played the split over and over since I got it, it’s easy for me to think that fans of punk rock of all types will dig this regardless if they know any of the bands on the cover or not.

The split is available on CD, LP, and digital download.  What the hell are you waiting for?  Go grab you one!   Rumor has it you actually appear to be cooler once you have a copy in your hand.  Just saying…

RIP Adam Yauch (aka MCA)

My heart seriously just sunk a few moments ago when I learned that Adam Yauch, also known as MCA of the Beastie Boys, passed away today after a 5-year battle with cancer.  He was 47.

When I heard he was not attending the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony a few weeks back, I knew something was up, but I figured he was just getting treatment again.

At the ceremony, Ad- Rock (Adam Horovitz) and Mike D. (Michael Diamond) read a letter from Yauch in response to being inducted to the Rock Hall:

“I’d like to dedicate this to my brothers Adam and Mike. They walked the globe with me. It’s also for anyone who has ever been touched by our band. This induction is as much ours as it is yours.”

I think “touched” is an understatement.  The Beastie Boys are one of the most important bands of my lifetime.  Love them or hate them, the B-Boys changed music in a good good way and Yauch had a big part in that.

Yauch at the 2007 Virgin Mobile Festival

Currently the website / blog for the Beastie Boys is down, so I am waiting to see what the rest of the band has to say about this unfortunate loss. (UPDATE – The site is now up and there is an amazing piece about Yauch on it.  Head over to the Beastie Boys site if you would like to check it out.)

All I know is that when I found out, I was sad – really sad.  Maybe some people do not care, but I do…

I have been a fan of the Beastie Boys since I picked up Licensed To Ill in a Gold Circle store in 1986.  I remember hearing them once on MTv when it was a cable channel that actually played music videos all the time.  My Mom caved in and bought it for me.  The way I looked at music changed the moment I ripped off that cellophane wrapper.

I grew up with them and wanted to be like them as a youth.  My Paul’s Boutique cassette was played so much that it disintegrated.  I have caught them a handful of times including when they headlined at Bonnaroo in 2009.

I was lucky enough to have met Yauch, and the rest of the B-Boys, in 2007 at the Virgin Mobile Music Festival in Baltimore.  I interviewed the band for about 7 minutes and laughed more than anything.  They were cool guys and I remember specifically  Yauch just laughing hard while Ad-Rock stood ever so close to me while I rifled off some questions to them.  It was a memory I will never forget, and now plan on cherishing for the rest of my life.

Yauch was always the bad ass of the group.  He was an inspiration, an icon, a legend.  He will be missed.

The Menzingers Could Use A Little Help…

It really sucks that people need to resort to robbing other people.  It’s trashy, mindless, and just pathetic if you ask me.  I am not trying to tell people out there how to live your life, but stealing from someone, especially from a hard working someone is just shitty.

Yesterday, Philly punk rockers The Menzingers fell victim to some douche who decided it would be best to smash out their vehicle’s windows and steal a few things while the band was hanging with fans at an after-party.  Normally this would not be something I would even make a big deal about, but the boys are overseas in Manchester currently and in those bags were their tour money and more importantly, their passports.

Greg from The Menzingers posted what happened on their Tumblr account  this morning.  At first I glanced over it and thought their clothing and electronics were lifted, but once I read it over some more, I realized that they really do need some help.  Maybe their label will be of some assistance, but I am pretty sure these guys are freaking out and need all the help they can get.  Hopefully someone will just step forward and give them back their passports.

Here is what Greg had to say:

Ok so here’s what happened…

We played a sold out show at The Moho last night in Manchester which ended up being the absolute best show of tour. Seriously! Stage dives, singalongs, shots of mystery liquors.. It was one for the books. An after-party started to form at a bar down the street. In the great moods we were in we decided to partake and spent the night singing and dancing to  The Cure and Springsteen with The Souls, Red City Radio, Leagues Apart, and tons of friends. 

Dave March (our driver/front of house/lifemate/best friend), Eric (bass player/ good looking one) and I decided to only have a beer and then hit the road. Tom and Joe were going to take a cab back to the house. Ok cool. Everything’s going great. We walk around the block To the van and I hear Dave give a quiet “oh fuck”. The driver side window was smashed out and 3 personal bags were stolen. Unfortunately my bag was stolen with all of our tour money inside it. To top it off, we brought around $2000 in US cash with us in case of an emergency. So let’s see €5000 Euros, an iPad, 3 iPods, 3 passports, 2 pairs of raybans (I know, I know they’re super expensive but they make you look pretty cool), my personal tour journals from the last year and a half which included all of my “On the Impossible Past” lyrics and all of my god damn memories, a digital camera, prescriptions, blah blah blah.This sucks. It really fucking sucks because it’s not your fault and so many, in fact an absurd amount of you want to help out. It’s pretty surreal and heartwarming to know we’re not alone in this situation. Thanks, thanks, thanks. Cant tell you how much it means. 

The absolutely wonderful folks at  Banquet Records have set up a donation drive for us. They really are the best. If you live in the UK and care to help you can donate there. I hear they’re matching donations which is just too nice. Too nice. http://www.banquetrecords.com/MenzingersAppeal

While we’re extremely apprehensive about this we’re going to open up our paypal account if you care to donate. We don’t expect much and we feel extremely uncomfortable putting our hats out like this but here’s our paypal account if you care to help: MenzingersSkrilla@gmail.com  Tom made the account name up years ago. Sounds about right.

We’ll find a way to make it up to you by way of acoustic demos, new songs, free shows. Whatever. Thanks for the help. Love you all. 

-Greg
Kudos to Banquet Records for being so awesome to them.  I know this is a reach of help for the fans in the UK, but it is open to everyone all over the world. 

If you fancy yourself a fan and want to help out, you know what to do.

Luckily Jaded Punk Hulk, as found on Twitter, as already pitched in to help: