Category Archives: Pop Rock

Har Mar Superstar “Tallboy” Video + Whip It (No, not the Devo song…)

Seems like I have been pimping out Har Mar Superstar a lot lately.  I can’t help it, he’s great.  I still have yet to hear the entire album that just dropped recently called Dark Touches but I did get to hear the first single from the release “Tallboy”.  Electro-catchy and now put into video format for you all to enjoy.

Fun little fact for you all:  This song was was originally submitted for Britney Spears. After Spears rejected the song Har Mar decided to sing it himself.  I think it was meant to be…

Are you still reading this?  Well I might as well add one more Har Mar tidbit.  There is a movie about the hot hot sport of roller derby coming out this weekend called Whip It.  Har Mar plays a roller derby coach in the movie.  He also recorded a cover of an Association song, “Never My Love”, with Flea, yes from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, on the horns that can be heard during the credits as well as on the soundtrack to the movie.

Two Flea references in two posts…  It was a fluke I swear!!!

What?  You have not heard of Whip It yet?  Well of course I will post a trailer of the movie…

I’m not going to lie, this movie scares the crap out of me.  One, I know I will like it.  That Juno girl always wins me over.  Two, I am a huge fan of roller derby and I am afraid this movie it going to make the sport too popular.  Before you know it, Kanye is going to make a rap song about it.

The sport does deserve credit, those women take a lot of pain in doing what they love.  It’s real.  I am glad that there are real actors in this movie too though…  I will be checking it out.

It just seems to me that sometimes people will look for anything to make a movie.  What’s next, a movie about two people playing cornhole who fall in love?  I think I am on to something…


Thanks to one of my readers named Jen my dreams of one day making a cornhole movie were shattered after she brought this to my attention…

No this is not a joke and yes I do give up…

Sans Label: Taxicab Racers (Chattanooga/Nashville)

Today’s Sans Label band comes from the beautiful Tennessee city of Chattanooga.

I know Matt is snickering right now.  Adam may be too.

Why?  (Story time…)

I am not sure if any of you remember but back in June I along with Matt and Adam ventured to Tennessee to attend Bonnaroo.  You can read about the Bonnaroo adventures here, here, here, and here if you would like to know the whole deal of the trip.

The thought of Chattanooga puts a sneer on my face and it has nothing to do with the attractive city at all.  It has to do with a major detour that was endeavored on the first day of Bonnaroo thanks to Matt and a band called the B-52’s.

It’s my fault, really it is.  If I was not such an ass to Matt this little detour never would have happened.

You see, while enjoying a free breakfast at the glorious Holiday Inn located in Kimball, TN I spotted a Chattanooga newspaper that had a picture of the B-52’s on the cover.  Knowing that Matt is an uber fan I pushed the paper in front of him and poked fun at the band.

I have nothing against the B-52’s by the way.  They are not my type of music but they happen to be one of Matt’s favorite bands ever.

So putting this paper in his face was a terrible mistake because his eyes lit up.  To make a long story short I dropped Matt’s ass off in Chattanooga and took myself and Adam to day one of Bonnaroo.  Some eight hours later I returned to Chattanooga and picked up Mr. Rock Lobster.

It’s true I was annoyed.  Anyone would be annoying to drive out of the way especially since it was really out of the way.  As annoyed as I was though I knew I made his day if not his summer by dropping him off by the river so he could see his band.

So when I hear the city of Chattanooga brought up in any conversation or read it in an email immediately my memories go back to the day where I was a taxicab driver for Matt.  It was worth it to see him happy and if I really did not want to do it, I would not have.  You can’t blame me Matt for putting up a fight.

Where am I going with this story you ask?

Well a couple weeks ago I received an email from a Chattanooga band called Taxicab Racers.

I laughed out loud when I read it.  Not because of their content or because they had a funny song.  Just seeing the words Chattanooga and taxicab in the same sentence was beyond hilarious to me.

Without hesitation I checked out the attached MP3.  I wanted to make sure that they had nothing in common with the B-52’s and they did not.

Taxicab Racers is a electronic / rock act started by Michael Roddy who later was joined by his friends Nathan, Adam, and Josh turning the mostly one man idea into more of a pop rock electronic act that heavily hints on New Order and Phoenix which in my book is perfectly ok with me.  I love electronic rock acts so to hear the similarities made me that much more interested.

The first song they sent me titled “Turnpike” comes from the four song EP the band recently released titled Turnpike.  The song not only has a great flow throughout but the thoughtful lyrics in the song almost become a little dreary to listen to as it’s clear the song is about confusion in relations.  This is a good chill out song to listen to when you are just having one of those days.

“Time And Place” did not strike me as hard as the previous track but still kept a happy vibe full of uptempo creating danceable qualities.  The remaining two songs proved that the band has come a long way from being a solo project to a four man team.  “Take It Easy” was almost techno at times with heavy synthesizers but kept the balance down enough where it was not a repetitious annoyance to listen to.  “Houses” had hints of Postal Service at times with the signing and simplicity to the song and I especially loved the drawn out ending.

With the band recently relocating to Nashville I have a good feeling that these guys will be taking their Turnpike EP and utilizing it in a positive way to create a full length debut album worthy of talking about.  Fans of indie rock with an electronic edge will be digging these guys in no time.

DOWNLOAD THIS!Taxicab Racers – “Turnpike”

Visit the band’s MySpace Page to check out the rest of the EP.

What’s So Great About The Grates?

I love it when I hear a song that I have to listen to over and over again because I like it so much.  I put it on replay so that each time it plays though I can find something else about that song, perhaps a certain beat or a lyric that I might have missed around the first time.

This is the case with a song titled “Burn Bridges” that my pals over at Thirty Tigers sent me this afternoon to check out.  The song is by an Australian band called The Grates who will actually be releasing their sophomore album titled Teeth Lost, Hearts Won through Thirty Tigers.

One listen to this song and there is a pretty good chance you are going to think The Grates are great too.  It has this Mates Of State positive-makes-you-want-to-smile feel while at the same time being edgy and aggressive.  I can hear hints of female driven 90’s bands as well as current indie rock style providing for a great listen.  With the lead vocalist Patience sounding a lot like a young Gwen Stefani (before the solo crap) this band exempts a lot of energy and aggressive raw fun.  I am really looking forward to hearing the rest of Teeth Lost, Hearts Won.  The album drops on September 15th.

To add to my excitement the band is actually going to be playing some shows with my favorite ladies Those Darlins.  Sadly they will not make it to the Cleveland show next week when Those Darlins return but I guess I will live.  Hopefully they will make a stop here sometime soon.  They sound like they would be a lot of fun to see live.

DOWNLOAD THIS!The Grates – “Burn Bridges”

So seriously, did you dig that song as much as I did?  Do you want more?  Well head over to their MySpace page for a bunch of other tracks.

Better yet, have some fun and watch their videos:

The Grates Live (More Dates TBA):
September 3rd – Boston, MA – The Middle East Upstairs w/ Viennagram
September 4th – New York, NY – The Mercury Lounge w/ Tiger City
September 13th – Morrison, CO – The Monolith Music Festival at Red Rocks
September 18th – Phoenix, AZ – The Rhythm Room w/ Most Serene Republic
September 19th – Los Angeles, CA – Spaceland w/ Most Serene Republic
October 8th – Little Rock, AR – Whitewater Tavern w/ Those Darlins
October 9th – Norman, OK – The Opolis w/ Those Darlins
October 10th – Lawrence, KS – Jackpot Music Hall w/ Those Darlins
October 14th – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court w/ Those Darlins
October 16th – Seattle, WA – Sunset Tavern w/ Those Darlins
October 18th – Eugene, OR – Sams Bonds Garage w/ Those Darlins
October 20th – San Francisco, CA – The Rickshaw Stop w/ Those Darlins
October 27th – Albuquerque, NM – Launch Pad w/ Those Darlins
October 29th – Dallas, TX – The Cavern w/ Those Darlins
October 30th – Austin, TX – The Continental Club w/ Those Darlins

Band info:

Australia’s The Grates are set to release their anticipated sophomore album Teeth Lost, Hearts Won on September 15th via Thirty Tigers/Dew Process. The 13-song album was produced by Peter Katis (Interpol, The National) at Tarquin Studios in Connecticut and features guest appearances by Kori Gardner of Mates of State (vocals on “Milk Eyes“) and Tim Fite (vocals on “Not Today”). On this album, the follow up to their 2006 Interscope Records debut, Gravity Won’t Get You High, The Grates have brought a depth and density to the songwriting – the lyrics are raw and poignant and the sonics more biting and aggressive.

“If Teeth Lost, Hearts Won was a beast, I imagine it’d be like something from Where The Wild Things Are,” lead singer and front woman Patience says. “They’re big and scary, but they’ve also got this sensitivity, and pick up the little kid and protect him.” Drummer Alana adds, “Or maybe like the griffin In Alice In Wonderland. He’s like a lion and eagle together, but a really gentle creature.”

The band, who have recently relocated to Brooklyn, NY in order to make American touring easier, have confirmed a co-headlining tour with Those Darlins in October. Fresh off a completely sold out residency in New York City and various dates supporting Passion Pit, the band have also confirmed a performance at the Monolith Music Festival at Red Rocks on September 13th (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Phoenix, Mars Volta, etc) with additional live dates with Most Serene Republic.

In Australia, The Grates have played numerous sold out headline tours, played major festivals such as Big Day Out, Homebake, Falls Festival, Southbound and stole the show at Splendour In The Grass. Gravity Won’t Get You High has gone Gold in Australia while Teeth Lost, Hearts Won is well on its way to Gold status as well.

The American record release follows a highly successful trip to the U.S. for the SXSW Music Festival in March. While in Austin, the band played five buzzed about shows in four days and gained a massive amount of recognition for their highly energetic performances.

More Warped Memories…

So tomorrow the all day punk rock summer camp, also know as the Van’s Warped Tour, returns to Cleveland.  Once again I, along with a few of my friends, will make way through the endless crowds of kids to check out some amazing punk rock bands including Bad Religion, NOFX, Flogging Molly, and Gallows.

Armed with my trusty camera (the pics in this post are from the 2007 & 2008 Warped Tour FYI) I plan on doing my best to take some killer photos to share with all my readers.  I always have fun mingling with the fans and the bands and already know tomorrow will be an amazing day.  I may even sneak in a couple of photo sessions or interviews too.

I can not even tell you the number of Warped Tours I have been to but I know I have attended over half of them that rolled through Cleveland since 1996.  There were good times and bad times as well as times I do not even remember.

I’ve seen the festival blossom into what it is now and have watched grow as it moved from venue to venue in Cleveland.  I even remember the one time it was held at the Agora!  I think that was in 1997 and I do not remember any of it except for it being very cramped.

Having already recapped the 1996 Warped Tour in a previous blog, I though I would continue the fun stories although I am not sure my other Warped memories can top that dog choke chain story…

Here are a few select years I remember:

I remember this Warped Tour being at the Nautica Stage / parking lot in the West Side of the flats in Cleveland.  Utilizing the parking lot the festival did not seem too cramped but I know that a whole ton of kids snuck in without paying as the fences were unguarded and short.

There were a few bands I can recall without looking them up on the internet that played including Bad Religion, NOFX, Rancid, Deftones, Kid Rock, MXPX, Unwritten Law, and the The Aquabats.

It was a good time although I was not feeling very well.  I was having stomach issues and just did not want to be bothered by anyone.  During Rancid a girl was punching people and kicking the guys in their lower abdominal area.  I yelled at her for her to stop kicking people in the junk after she got me once.  She went for round two to my crotch with her Doc Martin and I grabbed her foot and…well that’s all I have to say about that.  Everyone in the pit cheered.

My long time friend Gary was with us and I remember him flicking off the Goodtime III as it sailed past us.  The horror on the people’s faces was priceless.

Kid Rock…wow.  Kid Rock was one of the closing bands for the day and I kid you not (no pun intended) there were less than twenty people checking him out.  No one seemed to like him.  In fact, after a couple of songs my friends and I took off as did most of the crowd.  (Not even a year later Kid Rock would be opening up for Metallica)

Ha, this was the year my pal Anthony and I collectively spent over $211 on beer.  Yes, $211 of our hard earned money was spent on overpriced draft beer.  I had brought a lot of cash with me planning on getting some merch from a lot of the bands I was a fan of and instead thought it would be a good idea to spend it on rounds of beer.

I think the Casualties played as well as NOFX, Bad Religion, Lars Frederickson & The Bastards, Anti-FlagYellowcard…umm…that’s all I got.  I was pretty hammered at this Warped Tour.  Ok, pretty was an understatement.

About 10 beers into the day my friends and I found an area to the left of the main stage that we pretty much staked ground at when there were bands we did not care to see.

“Eiffel Tower” was born that day too.  No, I am not talking about the Paris landmark, I am speaking of a cheers that takes 3 or more folk to engage in.  Anthony and I would hold our beers up high in the air to a random beer drinking attendee and scream “Eiffel Tower!!!!” expecting them to hold their beer up too.  At first people looked puzzled at the gesture but soon the beer drinking folk loved it and honestly I think we started something awesome that day…in fact I know we did.

In case you need more proof how much of an a-hole I can be, Yellowcard had just finished up their set and the younger crowd was leaving the main stage area because I think Bad Religion was playing and they needed to get to some other pop-punk stage.  Drunk and annoyed we started yelling at the kinds “get you of here you jerks” as well as called them “phonies”.  The looks of their faces was priceless.

I was that guy, that drunk guy, that annoyed everyone.  Hey, I was having fun so I guess that is all that mattered.  Thankfully we sobered up before the show’s end and then killed even more time afterwards ensuring no dangerous/stupid decisions were made.

This was the first year that I got a VIP pass to the Warped Tour thanks to my lady and to the Transplants‘ guitar tech Jay Bastard.  This year I actually went to Cleveland and then the very next day to Cincinnati.

Avenged Sevenfold, Senses Fail, Transplants, No Use For A Name, My Chemical Romance, Dropkick Murphys, and others were on this bill.

In Cleveland I was tame but Cincinnati was a different story.  I was reunited with Anthony and even though the two of us planned on only spending little money on beer we still got hammered.  “Eiffel Tower” was introduced to Cincinnati that day.

Later during the festival Anthony and I were beyond wasted looking for our girlfriends who were actually on a tour bus with Tim Armstrong (Rancid) and Jay Bastard enjoying the AC.  Anthony and I were hanging on a fence trying to watch the Dropkick Murphys having no idea where to find the girls while sweating our asses off.  Eventually the girls found us drunk morons and walked us back to the car.

I swore to never again get hammered at the Warped Tour.  That sun was lethal and drinking did not help it one bit.  In fact I think it made us drunker…haha.

This was one of those years I will never forget in my life.  Not because of the festival but because of mother nature’s fury.

This was actually the first festival I would not only attend but also review for the blogging site  I was pretty psyched to have the opportunity to review the festival yet a little nervous becuase it was the first time I had ever really reviewed a festival.  I was so clueless what to do or where to go but I soon figured it out.  See below for a link of my review.

I drank one beer this time.  My friends…did not.  “Eiffel Tower” returned to Cleveland.  I kept a good eye on my friends this time to make sure they stayed out of trouble.  I should have kept my eye on the sky.

Around the 3 o’clock hour the blue skies turned dark and a freak thunderstorm rolled in to the Cleveland area.  I remember calling my lady asking her if she was getting hit by the storm.  She was at a dog park by our house and she stated it was still blue skies and had no idea what i was talking about.

This devil of a storm for some reason decided to slowly pass downtown Cleveland causing just horrible conditions, especially for folk like myself who were stuck outside with only tents to protect.  The storm pounded the area with heavy rains and winds so strong I swore we were in a tornado.  Everyone made the best of it because honestly, what the hell were we to do?  Luckily I was under the main tent surrounded by a ton of other folk.  Some kids were not so lucky hiding under bridges and wherever else they could find cover.

After the storm I walked around the grounds and it looked like armageddon.  Almost all of the merch tents were either packed up or blown over and destroyed.  The power was out in most of the city and there were hints of the Warped Tour not going on.  Even though the rumors were brewing, not many fans left and stuck it out waiting for an official announcement.

Kevin Lyman, the founder of the Warped Tour, made way to a stage where Coheed & Cambria were to play stating that the storm was one of the worst he has ever seen.  He also added that the show would go on and that they had two generators to power the two main stages.  He also offered all the storm survivors an added bonus and told everyone that their ticket stubs were good for admission to any Warped Tour for the duration of the summer.  I did not take advantage of that offer but some of my friends did.

As the sun set Bad Religion took the stage with a single hanging light bulb hovering over the stage.    It was a bittersweet ending to one heck of a day.

Click here for the review I did for the 2007 Warped Tour on

Pretty tame year actually.  Since earlier in the year I put drinking on a hiatus I just flooded myself with water and enjoyed such acts as Against Me!, Story Of The Year, Gallows, Gym Class Heroes, MC Chris, 3OH!3, Beat Union, The Briggs, Pennywise, and Bouncing Souls.

Click here for the review I did for the 2008 Warped Tour on

The day starts tomorrow at 11am.  I am sure I will have some stories to share.

Until then, have a good one.