The Daily Blend’s October Top Ten

October Blog Pic

Hey everyone! My name’s Sam, and welcome to my blog! I will be doing this blog once a month along with my show, The Daily Blend, which is every Monday at 4 PM. So first, introductions. I am a first-year student from Rockford, IL, which is like two (ish) hours north of here. I went to a high school with a performing arts program, which I was heavily involved in! I have also been a dancer for the past 14 years. When not doing my show or homework, I play for UIC’s rugby team and play and write music with some friends (not that it’s actually going anywhere…). I love all different styles of music, although I tend to favorite anything with guitars and drums over other music genres (oops). On my show, I play so much different music to give everyone something diverse to listen to, because let’s be honest, no one listens to only one style of music their entire life. Continue reading “The Daily Blend’s October Top Ten”

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Writer’s Block

Has anyone else hit a brick wall that they’ve become stuck and uninterested in something you like to do?

I’ve hit writer’s block recently in writing raps/songs that it’s made me a little uninterested in writing, and it’s been hard to write about what I’ve wanted to write about, and it becomes more and more overwhelming in my head as time progresses. I usually write about a need for intimacy, my shyness, how life is going, and other things, but it’s been difficult to write and get out what I’ve been wanting to get out, because it’s about what you say and how you say it. I’ve made a playlist to help me try to get out of writer’s block, and get back into my groove of writing, whether it just be technical or writing full songs.

So in this playlist I’ve included mostly Hip-Hop songs with a few alternate rock and pop rock songs. I included some songs in this because they’ve helped me write before such as: “What’s Understood (ft. Joey Bada$$)” by Nyck Caution and “The Way I Am” by Eminem. Other songs, like “Illuminate (ft. Kendrick Lamar)” by Ab-Soul make me think about writing. Meanwhile songs, “Train Your Mind” and “State of Mind” by Dizzy Wright, “Enter the Void (ft. Ab-Soul)” by Joey Bada$$, and “YMF” by Ab-Soul make me think and overthink about what I want to say. Then there are songs like “Chum” by Earl Sweatshirt, “Hard Times” by Paramore, and “Slow Down” by Phora which I relate to personally as I go through problems and try to get through them. Lastly, there are songs about pushing forward such as, “Sing For The Moment” by Eminem. Many of the topics in these songs I’ve wrote about in some way, and can probably help me get through writer’s block and get me back in the moment. Maybe it can also probably help those out there struggling with writer’s block or if you’re stuck on a project.

Arcade Fire at the United Center – October 30th, 2017! (Also AF albums from worst to best)

Arcade Fire was last spotted at this year’s Lollapalooza. They return to town on October 30th, but this time, they have come with only one other musical compatriot (The Breeders).

I don’t have much to say about the upcoming show; Arcade Fire is fantastic live, and I urge anyone who is either fans of Arcade Fire or fans of electronic indie rock to see the show next Monday.

You guys can grab tickets here.

Anyway, in preparation for the upcoming show, I wanted to list the Arcade Fire albums, from my personal opinion on worst to best.

 

5. Everything Now

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I hate to jump on the bandwagon to place the most recent album last for any artist or band, but I think that in this case, Arcade Fire had somewhat of a hiccup with “Everything Now”. I still think that it is a solid album, but among the rest of Arcade Fire’s discography, it falls short. This album sounds the most synthetic and electronic in Arcade Fire’s productions. The most notable negative of the album is the fluff. The concept of infinity in the album seems to be lost due to a lot of weaker tracks that take away from the cynical message of the entire album. I noticed that the album seems to split itself up with the tracks Infinite Content (1) and Infinite Content (2). These tracks are much weaker than the rest, and the position of the songs in the middle of the album breaks up the smooth continuity that I think should have been present in this album. I do like the message of the album, that being that the world is constantly choking on its own abundance of resources, and that pain will continue infinitely with the cultures we force ourselves to have. My personal favorite track on the album is Electric Blue. It stands out among the rest, and Regine Chassagne’s vocals are very much welcomed.

 

4. Neon Bible

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“Neon Bible” introduces somewhat of a similar theme to Everything Now, but on a much grander scale. Everything Now was more about American cynicism and pain, while Neon Bible is about much more: dangers of religion, the government, and personal dread. Basically all of Arcade Fire’s albums talk about pain, but Neon Bible tackles this issue in the biggest way. There are a lot of Bruce Springsteen and American themes in how this album presents itself. The album is lower on my list due to my personal dislike for the flow of the album; almost all of the tracks stand out, but they do not work well with each other. Each track seems to be performing their own thing, and with concept albums like this, I think that the spread of themes was a bit too wide with Neon Bible. My favorite track on this album owns its album’s namesake: Neon Bible.

 

3. Reflektor

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“Reflektor” is Arcade Fire’s largest album. The full version is almost double the length of Neon Bible’s. On CD, it is split up on two separate CDs, which makes this a double album. The music themes align to Haitian style music, making this album arguably the most unique sounding. The themes discussed in this album deal with the same religion and death that all Arcade Fire albums deal with. This album is an easy listen and is not overburdening in its themes. However, I do think that the album drags on due to its great length. It is does not carry the world like Neon Bible, and is akin to a personal journey more than a global one. A strange parallel that I relate with this album is that it sounds like a dark version of Vampire Weekend’s Contra. My favorite track on this album is Supersymmetry. (I first heard Supersymmetry in a trailer for the movie “Her” by Spike Jonze; I highly recommend it)

 

2. Funeral

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Arcade Fire’s debut album “Funeral” already starts off with a somber tone in its title. The themes in this album may seem obvious, but I want to say that this album deals with death the least. I think that this album talks more about the celebration of someone’s life rather than their death. This album is the most conventionally rock, but it is very satisfying to listen to each and every track. The album is a much more digestible piece of music than “Reflektor”, clocking in at 48 minutes. One theme that it covers very surprisingly are hometowns; Funeral has a backstory of youth living in small towns around the world, from America to Russia to France. I believe that Funeral has the deepest story in all of Arcade Fire’s albums. I would say that this is Arcade Fire’s best album, but I still personally enjoy the following album more. My favorite track in this album is “Neighborhood #2 (Laika)”.

 

1. The Suburbs

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I can listen to this album any day of the week. “The Suburbs” draws so many parallels to my own coming of age and it is such a fantastic album to listen to. The deaths of childhood are prevalent in the themes of The Suburbs. It talks about the evolution of technology, the blind happiness of childhood, and the irreversible fate and cynicism of adulthood. The Suburbs is the most conceptual album out of all of Arcade Fire’s, and while “Funeral” had the most in depth, The Suburbs follows how a child would grow up in an average American suburb, along with the trials and tribulations that accompany the coming of age. It is a pretty long album, clocking in at 62 minutes, but I love every second of it. It is very much conventional rock in a musical sense, and it I would say that this album is the most relatable out of all of them. Even if you didn’t grow up in a suburb, everyone eventually grows up or dies before they do. My favorite track in this album is “Suburban War”.

– Matt Cuartero

 

Daily Playlist

Am I the only person that stumbles upon a new band or an old band whether it be on YouTube, the radio, in a movie and becomes completely obsessed with it until it’s unhealthy?

Sometimes it’s not even the band overall, it could be just one of their albums, one of their songs or a couple. Either way, they become a part of my daily playlist for about a month, playing in the same order my mind thinks of them every day.

So, for the month of September and mid way through October it has basically been these songs on repeat, EVERY DAY.
Pink Floyd

I apologize in advance to anyone disappointed by this news, but: I have never listened to Pink Floyd in depth.

My influences growing up were either spanish music, rap or Slipknot. Although limited, once I got into early 2000’s pop punk that’s all I ever listened to, that’s all the music that mattered. Besides bands like the Ramones, Nirvana, AC/DC and the Beatles, I didn’t have too much knowledge about older bands. However about a month or two ago, I listened to The Wall (1979) in depth for the first time. It takes a lot for me to shut up for an hour, sit down and listen to not only the music but the lyrics. It’s hard for me to do this with a band I’m not too familiar with, but two of the Pink Floyd songs I added to the playlist were what reeled me in. The album, although too long for my impatient self, told a story with not only the lyrics but the instruments.

The Frights

This awesome band is currently on a U.S. tour, they’re set to play Chicago next month at Lincoln Hall AND they’re in the process of recording album #3!!!

Fidlar and the Frights have a different sound and delivery, BUT if you like one, you have to like the other. Zac Carper, lead singer of Fidlar, produced the Frights’ second album You Are Going To Hate This (2015). Like the title predicted some of their fans DID hate it. It has less of a rough sound than their first album, but personally the second album seems more mature (sound, instruments working together wise) although some of their lyrics haven’t matured like in the song “Kids”, the chorus is literally “I hate my mom and dad” awks.

Continue reading “Daily Playlist”

Figuring It Out! with Sonia Universe

Hey guys! Welcome back to another semester at UIC and UIC Radio.

This year, along with blogging, I am hosting my own show, affectionately titled “Figuring It Out!” with Sonia Universe. Why? Because every week, you never quite know how the show is going to go . . . but we’ll figure it out.

I did a few test runs over the summer and have resumed my weekly shows during the semester, which is also my last semester at UIC!

I’m back again to serve up some conversations and tunes: alternative, indie, rock, electronic, and of course, k-pop. So be sure to tune in every Wednesday from 2-4pm here at uicradio.org for your weekly dose of jams!

Green Day: Wrigley Field

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Once upon a time, around 2009, in a place not so far called the United Center I attended my first concert. I was familiar with the band, but still had a lot to learn and many songs to hear in their 14 album discography.

Where better to fall in love than at a concert? Not with any one person specifically, but with the music, the experience, the energy of not only the performers but the crowd, my fellow music lovers. I was 11 years old when I first saw Green Day. Although the seats my brother and I were in were the farthest section from the stage, the smell of weed hovered, the phone camera quality sucked in 2009, and the noise of Billie Joe Armstrong singing into the mic overwhelmed me, this first concert laid the foundation for my love of concerts.

At that age I knew, just like I know now at 20, concerts were where I’d always feel most at home, no matter how small or big an arena was, if it was outside in wet grass, mud, or inside with seats and AC. Whether this feeling has to do with the artist performing or actual environment at a concert, I’m not sure.

Fast forward 9 years later: Wrigley Field, my third Green Day concert, and I’m still overwhelmed by the connections, love, and rage. Although it has been 8 years since that first concert, I can always expect a couple of things: a great experience with the crowd, drunk bunny opening the show and Green Day playing something for every fan.

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The setlist changes a bit over the years, accommodating their newest released songs and jamming in classics from their most popular albums. Green Day’s setlist was filled with songs ranging from their second album, Kerplunk (1991) to their latest, Revolution Radio (2016). As a hardcore Green Day fan the almost 3 hour show wasn’t enough, songs I loved like Amy from their 2012 album, Dos! still would never make it onto the setlist. However, for their longtime fans they played songs like 2,000 light years away from their second album, Kerplunk. And of course the classics for every Green Day fan: She, Welcome to Paradise, When I come around and Basketcase from Dookie (1994); American Idiot, St. Jimmy, Jesus of Suburbia, Holiday, and Boulevard of Broken Dreams from American Idiot (2004). Some other songs touched on in the 2 and a half hour set were: Hitchin A Ride and King For A Day from Nimrod (1997); Minority from Warning (2000); Mass Hysteria, East Jesus Nowhere and 21 Guns from 21st Century Breakdown (2009). They also played songs from their newest album Revolution Radio (2016): Still Breathing and Forever Now were some of my favorites. Everyone in the stadium held up their phone flashlights as songs like 21 guns played, the sight was enough for even the security crews to stop, stare and smile.

In Green Day’s four part documentary, Green Day: The Early Years (2017), “The separation between audience and the band, we weren’t used to that in our scene” Drummer Tre Cool says in response to how it felt playing Woodstock and Lollapalooza in 1994. “They were so far away, I felt like we weren’t connecting in some way,” Billie Joe adds. 23 years later, these same guys that were nervous playing a festival, are now playing stadiums as if it were a small club.

Green Day has been playing stadiums since the American Idiot era, but never Wrigley Field. This also wasn’t their first time playing a sports field, at the beginning of August they played the Oakland Coliseum, home of the Oakland Athletics.

“I never wanted to turn my back on the intimacy that you get from a crowd, I love playing arenas and I love playing stadiums, that shit is amazing but to this day we will always play venues where we can get as close as we can to the audience.” – Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day: The Early Years (2017).

Even when playing a stadium like Wrigley Field, Green Day managed to interact with the audience every chance they got: bringing someone on stage to stage dive, handing the mic to someone in the crowd to sing, having EVERYONE sing along to “Hey Jude” by the Beatles, and “Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones.

They also kept up with their little tradition of having one lucky fan play the guitar onstage. During the cover of “Knowledge” originally by Operation Ivy, Green Day pulls one lucky audience member on stage, “who knows how to play 3 chords?” Billie Joe asks, the lucky fan then plays the three chorded song on a guitar handed to them, at the end of the song Billie Joe points and says, “you get to keep that guitar.” The first time Green Day ever brought someone on stage to play with them was during the Insomniac Tour (4th album, 1995).

In Green Day Wrigley Field Press Conference In The Sound Lounge when asked if they ever thought they’d be playing Wrigley Field, Billie Joe joked he thought it’d be more likely to be playing shortstop than performing. The band also reminisced about how many cities they had to play in Illinois before being able to play Chicago, “because we had to play so many other cities before playing Chicago, it’s very near and dear to our hearts,” says Billie Joe.

After about 2 and 1/2 hours of an amazing Green Day show, it ended even better than it started, the beginning middle and end was nothing short of amazing. Ending with a small firework show that had everyone in Wrigley Field in awe, the red and white Confetti stamped with “Green Day” soon followed.

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Is The Semester Over Yet?

Ahh the last month of the semester filled with either, pulling your hair out or the nice claiming feeling that it’s almost over. In just a few long dragged out weeks our summer will be here, and personally I’m excited.

I won’t be spending the summer travelling or on a real vacation in Paris or something. Besides going to work, the summer days I get off or request off are going to be hopefully spent at concerts or downtown Chicago. My favorite things about summer have always been the music festivals, events at Millennium park, etc.

Although I will sadly not be going to some of these festivals they’re still going to be awesome:

This summer, Warped Tour comes to Tinley Park on July 22nd. The line up consists of over 50 bands, some awesome bands that will be at the Chicago date are: Dance Gavin Dance, Hawthorne Heights, I Prevail, Memphis May Fire, and Silverstein.

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Last summer to celebrate 25 years, Lollapalooza extended the festival to four days instead of three. This summer they’re keeping the four day set up, headliners include: Blink 182, The Killers, Cage The Elephant, Muse (basically my Playlist when I was 13). Some other headliners I’m excited about are, Chance the Rapper (personally I think Chance should do Lollapalooza every year) and Big Sean.

If you’re going to Lollapalooza and have some hours to kill until the real reason you’re there plays some awesome bands (besides the ones headlining) to checkout are:

The Frights, (playing Friday) awesome band very energetic their lyrics are awesome, I was hooked the first time I heard their album.

Vance Joy (playing Saturday)

Grouplove (playing Sunday)

As always the festival offers artist for every music taste like: Migos, Lil Uzi Vert, 21 savage, Madeintyo, Rae Sremmurd, Lil Yachty, and Joey Badass.

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Spring Awakening will be June 9 – June 11

I have yet to attend spring awakening but it’s on my bucket list, from what I’ve heard it’s a must go to festival.

This year the line up consists of…

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Chicago Open Air

In Bridgeview, IL from July 14 -16

Legendary bands like Kiss, Korn, Godsmack, Slayer, Megadeth will be playing this year.

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I’m also very excited for the film series at Millennium park. They always screen great movies and always some of my favorites. Last year, they screened The Breakfast Club AND Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Can it get any better than that?! Although the movies that they will be screening have not been released yet I’m excited to find out what movies they will be. Last summer they also let fans choose the last movie that would be screened, some options were movies like home alone, the movie that ended up being the most popular was the Dark Knight. Awesome choice.

Gay Pride Parade

I’ve been going to pride parade for at least 4 years in a row and a couple times before that. Some people might hate the crowds, the hot sun following you, while you’re exhausted from walking and probably dehydrated I LIVE FOR THIS STUFF, IT’S FUN. No, being dehydrated isn’t fun, but screaming to support those on floats, dancing to the music coming from the various bars around the area and having fun and laughing with total strangers is pretty awesome. I’ve met some of the coolest people at shows or parades.

Although, summer for UIC students begins early May, our summer ends right around the time some of the coolest music festivals will begin. However, don’t let the first few weeks of school bring you down, say goodbye to summer the right way — at North Coast and Riot Fest.

North Coast: September 1st to September 3rd in Union Park.

Past performers have been: Logic, Mac Miller, Kid Cudi, Wu Tang, David Guetta, Steve Aoki.

Riot Fest: September 15th – September 17th

These lineups have yet to be announced.

Some other concerts I’m personally excited for is All Time Low in July. I have to admit I’m more excited about the bands who are opening for them: SWMRS, Waterparks and The Wrecks.

And, my birthday present to myself: a Green Day concert at Wrigley Field on August 24th.

Humanz: In-Progress Thoughts

The Gorillaz just released a new song called Let Me Out as I type this. My phone buzzed and everything. But more on that in a bit.

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I know they’ve been aging with us, but it’s still weird to see cartoon characters all grown up. Photo courtesy of RedBull.com.

It took me a few days of listening to collect my thoughts on the four songs off Humanz we’ve witnessed so far. I’ve got mixed feelings about all of them, but they’ve only made me want to hear more. We know how the Gorillaz operate; the album is a message, so getting bits of it at various intervals isn’t satisfying. It’s like eating a steak dinner over the course of a week. But they put enough thought into their art to make it worth a six-year wait. And that’s why I love the Gorillaz.

We know we haven’t got the full story yet. Let’s recap:

Hallelujah Money: 1/19/17

Ascension: 3/23/17

Saturnz Barz: 3/23/17

We got the Power: 3/23/17

Andromeda: 3/23/17

And now…

Let Me Out: 4/6/17

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Photo courtesy of the Gorillaz YouTube.

Hallelujah Money was released at an interesting time, all by itself. It drew tons of criticism for being “un-Gorillaz,” and its critics were further criticized for being critical. I have a few thoughts on this that you’ll likely want to hear, seeing as you’re reading my blog: The Gorillaz work hard to not have a typical style. In fact, their style is that they don’t have a style; they experiment outside of their genre. It adds mystique and rejects structured normativity and it’s what drives fans crazy with delight. All I can think is when fans listened to Hallelujah Money and thought, That doesn’t sound like the Gorillaz, they really meant was, That doesn’t sound like Plastic Beach.

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Photo courtesy of Metro

My other opinion on this matter is that you can be a fan of something without loving everything about it. Example: I think the US is pretty neat, but I also wish we didn’t have a Cheeto as president. If you’re one of the people worried you’re not a Gorillaz fan because you don’t like what you’ve heard of Humanz, or if you’re on the opposite end telling others they’re not Gorillaz fans because they don’t like what they’ve heard of Humanz, cut it out.

But back to its release date: January 19th, 2017. The day before the presidential inauguration. The Gorillaz’ music has always been attune to what’s going on in the world at the time, and though it was written several months before the election, the creators admit that afterwards, the album took on a new meaning. I won’t badger you with my analysis of the significance of its release date and it’s lyrics; I’ll provide a few of my favorite lyrics here and leave that to you (and if you can tell me what the Spongebob wail at the end of the song means, you get bonus points).

Scarecrows from the Far East/ Come to eat/ Its tender fruits/ And I thought the best way to perfect our tree/ Is by building walls/ Walls like unicorns/ In full glory/ And galore/ And even stronger/ Than the walls of Jericho

Until we say so, nothing will move/ Ah, don’t worry/ It’s not against our morals/ It’s legally tender/ Touch my friend/ While the whole world/ And whole beasts of nations desire/ Power

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Photo courtesy of Pitchfork.

Next up is Ascension. I’m not an EDM person, so I’m not a fan of this one, but it sure does have some killer lines. Albarn himself said in an interview that Humanz is a “party, club record,” but it has a “weird darkness about it.” Saturnz Barz is what really got me. The video was crammed with references to horror films, likely the work of Jamie Hewlett, who’s a huge fan of the classic thrillers. The main theme of the Clint Eastwood video and the ends of Rock the House‘s video are inspired by the horror genre. As it’s clear most of the visual budget was diverted to the Saturnz Barz video, I’d recommend watching it multiple times. There are tons of hidden gems in the details, the first being a creepy face in the basement window appearing only four seconds in!

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Photo courtesy of Something About Magazine.

We got the Power and Andromeda came next, judging by the corresponding music videos. Though similarly to Ascension‘s video, it’s clear the creatives didn’t invest as much as they did in Saturnz Barz. This is surprisingly common for the band. Tomorrow Comes Today‘s video was done in two weeks, as Jamie forgot he had a deadline for the project after animating other videos for their Gorillaz album.

I was intending to weigh in on Let me Out, but I’ve only listened to it three times. As any Gorillaz fan knows, that’s not nearly enough if you want to understand the song. Their music is so intricate and thought out, enjoyment comes with familiarization of each album.

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Photo courtesy of HotNewHipHop.

This is why I’m excited for the end of the month. Three weeks doesn’t sound like too short, but stand by! Humanz will be released on April 28th.

Have a Scien-tastic Day!

15 Years Later…

I was the biggest Simple Plan fan back when I was around 10, 11 years old but then getting into high school I got into rap like Kid Cudi, Kanye West, J.Cole etc. Around that time Simple Plan released their album, Get Your Heart On! (2011). I listened to it, but didn’t add it to my daily playlist. After Get Your Heart On! (2011) they released an EP 2 years later, which I didn’t hear of. Fast forward three years later, I heard they released a new album in February 2016, I went to check it out and was reminded of why I was obsessed with their music. In September 2016, a friend told me they’d be coming to House Of Blues in October, I immediately saw this opportunity to see a band that was huge for me growing up so I bought tickets. Unfortunately VIP, which gives you the chance to meet them after the show accompanied by pizza, was sold out in Chicago. I considered buying a ticket to their Cleveland show a couple days before because VIP was still available, all just to meet this band that had a big influence on the music I listened to. When I was young Simple Plan influenced me to listen to bands like, Blink 182 and Green Day (my absolute FAVORITE BAND) Anyways, the Cleveland VIP tickets didn’t happen because the way my bank account was set up…

However, I went to their October show for the Taking One For The Team Tour, which was filled with throwbacks like “Addicted,” “I’d Do Anything” (which they open with), “Jump,” “Welcome To My Life,” but also awesome songs from their newest record, songs like “Singing In The Rain,” “Opinion Overload,” and “Boom”. The concert was amazing, even if I didn’t get to meet the guys. But after the concert I did promise myself I’d begin following their tour info again and next time they were in Chicago I’d get VIP and finally meet my preteen crushes!

Around Janurary, Simple Plan began posting throwbacks from their No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls (2002) era like this one,

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They mentioned that the 2002 album would be turning 15 years old on March 19, 2017.

Throwback after throwback on Instagram I thought, these guys are gonna do an anniversary tour, I know it. They wouldn’t be dropping so many hints if they weren’t planning something! Another tour? Another movie, like “A Big Package For You”? Another album?

I woke up one morning to a Twitter notification displaying a concert poster “SIMPLE PLAN NO PADS, NO HELMETS… JUST BALLS 15th year anniversary tour” and dates below it. I skimmed the picture looking through the dates to find Chicago, IL 3/31 “I KNEW IT!” I tweeted in reply to the announcement.

That same day I bought a $25 membership to the official SPcrew to be able to buy tickets early and a chance to see them during soundcheck. I was committed this time, this was my chance, I had to meet them. I ended up buying not only the concert ticket, but VIP, and was chosen to attend their soundcheck.

The day came sooner than I expected, the day before I still didn’t think it was real, I was going to meet Simple plan?! Talk to them?! 11 year old me would be crying if she knew this. Okay so maybe 19 year old me is crying too. I was at House Of Blues by 12:30 p.m. probably the 7th person in line, we were part of the 15 people who would be able to see Simple Plan during soundcheck. Around 1:10 p.m. we got to go inside where the band had already been playing a few songs, we screamed out song names after Pierre asked what we wanted to hear, but David insisted on playing farewell for us.

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They came down off the stage to take pictures with everyone, holding back happy tears, I hugged them tight, (David the tightest) & smiled way too cheesy in the pictures. Soundcheck was about 30 minutes long, the guys told us they’d see us later and they hoped we were excited for the concert.

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Now back out to the line we went, after about 10 minutes we realized we’d be waiting quite a while so we all sat down to wait the long four hours before doors opened.

Continue reading “15 Years Later…”

Forget It Dog, Life’s A Risk

Forget It Dog, Life’s A Risk.

F.I.D.L.A.R.

FIDLAR.

The California band consists of (from left to right): Max Kuehn (drums), Brandon Schwartzel (back vocals and bass), Elvis Kuehn (vocals and guitar), and Zac Carper (lead vocals and guitar).

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I first heard of this band a couple months ago when I got into SWMRS. I found out SWMRS was opening for Fidlar in Chicago. I rushed to buy tickets only a week before the concert and to my disappointment they were sold out. I was only interested in the concert because of SWMRS, what the…. Is Fidlar? I thought. But soon, thanks to YouTube’s suggestions, I watched the music video for “Leave Me Alone” by Fidlar.

I had never seen lyrics written out on toilet paper so nicely and appealing before that described me oh so perfectly, so I thought I NEED to hear more of this band’s music. Who’s Fidlar and why are they describing me so perfectly? YouTube went on to suggest songs like “I Just Wanna Die”, “40oz On Repeat” which is an awesome song but even cooler music video. The video’s basically a parody of other artists’ music videos. Including Eminem, Britney Spears, Green Day, the Beastie Boys. I’ll let you see what I’m talking about though…

I’d like to mention that I was letting myself fall in love with this band while I was supposed to be studying for midterms, mainly because I wanted anything to distract me from how much homework and studying I had. But I’m not even mad that I spent my time media stalking this band, I don’t regret it because forget it dog, life’s a risk. Little Fidlar joke there.

Fidlar sounds like what my body feels like on coffee and redbull, that’s the best way I can describe it. After listening to their albums on repeat for a good three times, that feeling kicked in and I finished my homework (and passed my midterms – yay).

Also, if you’ve been following this band longer than I have, which is only a couple months, and you’re reading this like, “dude I’ve known this band was awesome for a while” WELL LUCKY YOU. I tend to discover awesome bands super late.

ANYWAYS, I just wanted to share my small obsession with this band because I feel like they deserve some recognition.

Their first album, Fidlar (2013) was produced by the lead singer, Zac Carper.

The album is nothing but loud, catchy three chord and three minute songs like “Wait For The Man” there’s also a 90’s punk feel to this band. SWMRS has the same feel to me but yet both bands have their own sound and manage to sound like music from this century (but better).

Lead singer Zac mainly sings about doing nothing but getting high, drinking beer, being broke and hanging out with his friends, you’d think every song would sound the same and you’d get tired real fast but holy sh… each song is better than the last.

Here’s the video to one of my favorite songs on the album, “Max can’t surf” which features drummer, Max Kuehn, acting as his band mates right down to the outfits and tattoos.

Some of my favorite songs on the album: No Waves, Max Can’t Surf, Wake Bake Skate, and Wait For The Man.

Their second album titled, Too, was released in 2015.

fidlartoo

The second album was a bit more mature, with songs focusing more on dealing with staying sober and Zach’s struggle with addiction to drugs. Also featuring more songs written and sung by guitarist, Elvis. There are more serious, soft songs like “Overdose”, “Bad Habits,” and “Stupid Decisions”.

Favorite songs on the album: West Coast, Bad Habits, Sober, and Stupid Decisions.

Apart from these two amazing albums, you can find Fidlar songs that never made it on an album including “No Money No Honey,” which is sadder than it sounds.

Lead singer Zac also went on to produce SWMRS’ debut album, Drive North (2016) and The Frights’ second album, You Are Going To Hate This (2016).

Here I am months later from when I saw that toilet paper music video, still upset that I missed what was probably the coolest concert ever last year – FIDLAR AND SWMRS AND THE FRIGHTS?!

I’m also completely disappointed in myself for being at lollapalooza last summer waiting around for J.Cole when I COULD HAVE BEEN WATCHING FIDLAR. DAMMIITTTTT.