Latest Blog Posts

by Evan Sawdey

4 Dec 2012


will.i.am has a rather large problem, and the worst part is that he has yet to realize it: he is not a leading man.

This past week brought the release of “Scream & Shout”, a new single from his perpetually delayed solo album #willpower, featuring none other than Britney Spears. Its club intentions are extremely clear, its video is amazingly expensive, and it proves to have the main characteristic that has marked the noted rapper/producer’s work in the past few years: it’s pretty terrible. Unfortunately, this isn’t a one-off or an exception to the rule by any means. This is a problem that will.i.am has been running into for years, and the fix is so easy that will.i.am doesn’t want to hear it: he’ll have to step out of the spotlight.

by Christian John Wikane

7 Nov 2012


Photos: Craig Bailey / Perspective Photo

Alice Smith is discussing “Break”, the song that opens each show of her three-week residency at Joe’s Pub in New York City. “Who is going to save you from yourself?” goes a line in the bridge. It’s a question that could be directed towards friends and lovers alike. At the moment, however, Smith’s target includes label executives whose seeming expertise guides recording careers: “Who is going to save you from yourself and your stupid decision?” Tinged with exasperation, her voice crescendos. “Where’d you get your job? Out of a crackerjack box?”

That conversation was two years ago when Alice Smith was signed to Epic Records. Two years later, she’s extricated herself from the “crackerjack” brigade of her former label and is planning the follow-up to For Lovers, Dreamers & Me (2006), the album that landed her atop critics’ lists and netted her a Grammy nomination in the Best Urban/Alternative category. Slated for a winter 2013 release, She is being funded by Smith’s fervent fan base via Kickstarter and without the meddlesome hands of a major record label.

by Josh Indar

9 Oct 2012


Sometime around 1980, three girls from Osaka, Japan, fell in love with the Ramones. Unsatisfied with being mere fans, one of the girls, Naoko Yamano, finagled a guitar somewhere and learned the three chords necessary to play along with her Ramones records. Her sister, Atsuko Yamano, was recruited on drums and with friend Michie Nakatani on bass, the three took Japan, if not by storm, then at least by siege.

Playing high-energy power pop with lyrics about simple pleasures like collecting insects and eating cookies, Shonen Knife developed an almost cult-like following both at home and abroad. By the end of the ‘80s, the band was touring the U.S. regularly, playing with devotees like Red Kross and Sonic Youth. The group became a college radio darling with the release of its first U.S. album, Let’s Knife, and a track on the influential Sub Pop 100 compilation led to a tour with Nirvana at the height of its fame.

Part of the appeal of Shonen Knife is that the group seems straightforward and mysterious at the same time. The vocals are syrupy sweet, but the guitars are like gravel. The band members pioneering figures in terms of women playing rock, but they almost refuse to admit it. And for all the lightheartedness and fun, there’s a distinctly Japanese sense of melancholy running through many of their songs.

by Dave Mistich

2 Oct 2012


As a guy that’s riffed on everything from the endless joy he gets from 7-11 convenience stores to walking down a sketchy street in Pakistan, these days Henry Rollins is exactly what he claims to be: a human delivery system. Rollins delivers facts and stats, cites the Constitution, and tells about his extensive world travels with sharp wit and a focused vitriol.

While some might peg Rollins as an artist of some ambiguous fashion, he denies possessing any sort of legitimate talent.

“I’m a truck driver with all of this stuff,” he said.

by Kiel Hauck

28 Aug 2012


While Warped Tour serves as a platform for showcasing some of the best and biggest acts in the post-punk scene, it has long been recognized as the proving grounds for young bands looking to make a name for themselves.  Spending the summer traveling by van, in close quarters, with little food or access to showers and basic hygiene tends to be a good way to find out what your band is made of.  In 2008, San Diego act Pierce the Veil headed out on Warped Tour in support of its debut album A Flair for the Dramatic and has been making notable strides ever since.  Its 2010 follow-up Selfish Machines saw a huge improvement in overall quality from the post-hardcore act and was followed by the group’s second full run on the tour.

This summer, the band celebrated the release of its accomplished new album Collide With the Sky by rocking the main stage on it summer-long stint, and in the process has become a shining example of hard work paying off.  With a continually growing fan base and persistent knack for expanding its experimental sonic boundaries, Pierce the Veil is on a trajectory that could soon land it as one of the top billed acts in the scene.

//Mixed media

//Blogs

Treasuring Memories of Paul McCartney on 'One on One' Tour

// Notes from the Road

"McCartney welcomed Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt out for a song at Madison Square Garden.

READ the article