What are you doing this weekend? We’re going to the inaugural Sea Hear Now Festival in Asbury Park! Without The Bamboozle and Surf and Skate the shore has been lacking a major music festival. Sea Hear Now is bringing us back to the golden days of packing out the beach to see artists like Incubus, Jack Johnson and FREAKIN BLONDIE!
Sea Hear Now isn’t forgetting about the “Sea” Part either. You can catch a STACKED line up of surfers like Sam Hammer, Rob Kelly, and Quincy Davis between bands.
Its no secret that I am a lover of all things POP, but let me tell ya 5SOS blew me AWAY! Before they even took the stage PNC Art Center was literally, and i mean literally, shaking with excitement. The set design is a perfect balance of futuristic and the retro vibe that they oh so love. This isn’t my first rodeo with the 5sos boys, I got to catch them back at PNC Art Center in 2015 and at Jingle Ball, I even have a couple of their old videos downloaded on to my middle school iPod! It’s been an incredible wild journey to watch them grow as people and artists. YoungBlood feels like a project that has been a culmination of this journey, looking back on the youthful and naive promises you make the first time that you might have fallen in love.
Fandoms get a bad rap, they’re the ones that camp out in treacherous conditions, flood shopping centers, and write infamous fanfiction. They also are the ones that pack out three nights at Metlife Stadium with palpable excitement in the air, dressed in every possible Taylor era. So far this year I’ve attended 73 shows (I have a color-coded spreadsheet to keep track, its pretty sick) and none of them could have ready me for the experience that is the Reputation tour.
When Arcade Fire performed on SNL I texted my brother immediately that we had to see them the next time they were in town. Fast forward four months and he might have bailed on me but I was blown away. I won't front like I know all of Arcade Fire's discography like the back of my hand, but even with the little knowledge I have I thoroughly enjoyed every second of the set. There are so many moving parts with so many people on stage, it was really incredible how tightly intuned the whole crew was.
There are few things I'd sit in Long Island rush hour traffic for, Weezer is definitely one of those things. While the same tour was coming to PNC Art Center, nothing really compares to seeing a show at the breathtaking Nikon Theater on Jones Beach. Surrounded by water while the sun sets, just one of those perfect summer days.
Sleigh Bells opened the show. Contrary to the ticket taker they are not a Christmas themed punk band, though that would be sick. I've have been dying to see Sleigh Bells since their Reign of Terror days. Frontperson Alexis Krauss is electric and keeps the audience begging for more. I think Sleigh Bells is the perfect addition to a tour with two legacy bands, not only do they bring out a young crowd but they keep some of the older heads on their toes.
The night before I made the trek to Philly, I packed my camera bag and laid out my most swamp ass accommodating outfit. For the third time, I checked the weather app to see if there was an update in the ominous "60-80% chance of rain". No change in the forecast so collectively It felt like everyone just said: "fuck it".
Earth, Wind, And Fire filled out the NJPAC center in Newark last night. You could feel the electricity in the air as soon as the HUGE ensemble filled the stage. If you missed last night, don't wait and head over to the NJPAC for night two of the iconic gang. Tickets below
After selling out the Borgata Event Center, Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band add another night in The Music Box playing the hits. Ringo was accompanied by Colin Hay ("Who Can It be Now", "Land Down Under"), Steve Lukather ("Africa", "Hold The Line", "Roseanna"), Gregg Rolie ("Black Magic Woman", "Evil Ways") and new member Graham Gouldman of 10cc ("I’m Not In Love", "Things We Do For Love"). On percussion and sax is Warren Ham and on drums Gregg Bissonette.
After a week of rain, the jersey shore was unsure if the weather would clear up for the anticipated Sick Tour at The Stone Pony Summer Stage. Luckily Asbury Park is in no shortage of music venues and the punks packed it in at Convention Hall. I've attended my fair share of events in Convention Hall, from wrestling to Hellogoodbye to weddings to flea markets, and I've never seen Convention hall so packed. X Fest alums Well Wisher opened up the stacked mini-festival, as folks poured in from the boardwalk. Between the main stage, acoustic stage, and hot dog stand it was nearly shoulder to shoulder by the time New Found Glory took the stage.
I was allowed to go to Warped Tour alone for the first time in 2011. It was a stacked line up for any scene 14 year old, A Day To Remember, 3OH!3, and enough ska bands to buy out an entire Vans store. Other than eating 4 hot dog rolls the only thing I genuinely remember from that year was seeing The Wonder Years for the first time. Suburbia had come out the month before and I had ample time to prep for the gang vocals. After their set, I assured myself that I needed a Hank the Pigeon tattoo with “head above water” around it. I’m never not been in a weird place in my life but at then it felt like I had it all figured out.
I was lucky enough to catch the second night of this incredible tour at Starland Ballroom November 19th, 2017. I've seen half of the tour, Circa Survive and Balance and Composure, before a handful of times but this is the first time I got to see Thrice and CHON. Balance and Composure kicked off the night, they've always had this unforgettable rooted tone that brings me back to the first time I saw them. CHON was an experience, there are few bands that leave me completely stunned like CHON did. CHON wants nothing to do with the age-old cookie cutter alt song and I don't blame them. Their completely instrumental set kept me more on my toes than any 10-year tour would. Next up Circa Survive took the stage, it's always a pleasure to see Anthony Green go buckwild. This band has always had something that took them beyond the normal limitations of the band on stage/crowd behind barricade dynamic. Green has a way of tapping into this hidden energy and making sure it touches every single inch of the venue. Thrice closed out the show and the weekend. This was my first time seeing Thrice, my 7th grade self was screaming the entire time.
There is no hiding that I've been on The Front Bottoms bandwagon since middle school, my Instagram is littered with pictures of them playing empty bowling alleys and sweaty basements. Seeing them grow to sell out 2,000 capacity rooms makes my heart swell, it has been an amazing journey to watch them evolve. That being said, I held off listening to Going Grey. Counterintuitive, I know, but I was afraid that I've boxed TFB into this lo-fi-college DIY-gritty synthpop that only made sense to grow out of. I can hear Be Nice To Me ringing out in the back of my head, "You say I’m changing, Sorry I didn’t know I had to stay the same."
Ron Pope graced the famous Stone Pony with his presence a few weeks ago and our disk jockey, Alicia Monus, snapped us a few pictures of the incredible evening. If you've yet to listen to Ron Pope's latest release Work, check it out HERE
The Dirty Nil, Bleached, and Against Me! graced The Stone Pony with an incredible show October 15th. I've been dying to see Against Me since I finished Laura Jane Grace's book " Tranny", It reminded me of how impactful this band was on who I've become. Shoutout to that one Nickelodeon commercial that used Thrash Unreal.
If you're spending this weekend at Fest (I'm very jealous) catch Against Me!
Shadow Of The City has become one of my favorite local traditions. In its 3 years of life Shadow of Thie City has set some high expectations with Carly Rae Jepson and The 1975 last year and The Front bottoms the year before that. Founder and Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff goes to extra lengths to ensure a small beach town can keep up with its sounding cities, hosting a pop-up shop of Rachel Antonoff fashion line, a dunk tank, and a myriad of other sponsors.
Check out the rest of my photo gallery below!
Punk Rock Bowling is this weekend and you might be feeling overwhelmed, well have no fear Ali is here! Here are bands you HAVE to see this weekend!
Last Wednesday was lucky enough to check out one HECK of a bill at The Stone Pony. To say it was stacked is an understatement. It was my first time seeing the first time seeing Nothing,Nowhere and Broadside. I was really blown away by Nothing,Nowhere, they have a really emotional sound and frick fracking shred. Broadside I've always known as that band that had a music video that was a Youtube AD. The crowd seemed to be most stocked for them besides Real Friends. It is no secret that I love Tiny Moving Parts, they never cease to get me boogieing. Real Friends is a band that I've seen more times than I can count but can never really figure out how I feel about. I really admire how passionate their fans are. They range across ages and aren't afaird to get to some finger pointing when it comes to boney knees and sleepy eyes. Real Friends is doing some international touring this summer but you can catch them with me in September at Riot Fest in Chicago! In the meantime, check out my photos below!
Paramore. Chance the Rapper. John Legend.
These are just some of the names on the bill for the first annual Karoondinha Festival this summer, a weekend long, must-attend event. In addition to the chart-topping performers mentioned above, other acts in line with WMCX’s style include Coin, PVRIS, Young the Giant, The Revivalists, and DNCE. In a previous feature, one of our very own discussed experiencing DNCE live in Montclair, NJ and expressed a desire to see the band take their already high energy performance to an even larger stage. What better place to delve into this than a huge summer festival? With over 80 performers in the lineup, gourmet food, and campgrounds offering endless opportunities to explore, this is one festival you do not want to miss. Karoondinha translates to “The Land of Shining Waters,” and provides an accurate description of its campgrounds and surrounding area, which are filled with chances to view wildlife and explore, making sure the adventure doesn’t stop when the music does. Over the 1600 acres of Penn’s Cave and Wildlife Park, festival-goers are able to participate in scenic off-roading tours, wildlife tours, and cave explorations, as well as view art installations or take part in daily workshops. The festival takes place in Centre Hall, PA Friday, July 21st through Saturday, July 23rd, with a kick-off party at Penn’s Cave and Wildlife Park Thursday the 20th
This past Wednesdays I've got a blast to the past with 3 bands from 3 different parts of my life. I haven't thought about Emarosa since the Marlboro Rec Center stopped having shows, but I was incredibly taken aback by this band I had locked away with all my Hot Topic shits. Singer Bradley Walden spent more time in the crowd than on the stage, a little annoying for the security guards but the crowd couldn't get enough. If you had 50 bucks on hand you could get a private singing lesson with Bradly at the gig! That's wild! If you haven't listened to them since 2010 like me, I recommend Sure off of their latest record 131.
The legendary Chuck Berry passed away at the age of 90 this March in his home outside of St. Charles, Missouri. It was reported he died of natural causes. Death cannot stop a master musician considering his next and final album will be released in June featuring Nathaniel Rateliff. The influential musician who was born in 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri has been considered the father of rock n’ roll but is constantly compared to Elvis Presley, another founding father of rock n’ roll. There has been a long history of black people being compared to their white counterparts instead of being allowed to represent themselves. A major difference is as such, Chuck Berry is also known as a pioneer performer for rhythm and blues. Over the decades copious amounts of arguments have taken place about who is the founder of rock and roll, Chuck Berry or Elvis Presley. As music does not evolve in a linear fashion there is no way to definitely say which one was the “first” or most influential.
Death comes for us all but just like Presley and all those before him, Chuck Berry will be forever immortalized in his musical influence on all forms of music and musicians.
From the subways of Queens to somewhere in outer space, experimental indie folk band Freelance Whales showcases their ethereal sound with their newest album (released back in 2012), Diluvia, that “Absolute Punk” raves is “a celestial and cinematic tour-de-force” that “cements [the band’s] status as one of New York City's most creative and rewarding indie” groups. Once again travelling down the rocky path of a concept album, the band’s sophomore story this time focuses on space travel – which was inspired by movies and TV shows such as The NeverEnding Story and Battlestar Galactia.
There was one hell of a gigernio to be gotten to this past Thursday. The Menzingers, Jeff Rosenstock, and Rozwell Kid sold out Irving Plaza and I was lucky enough to be there. This was my first time at Irving Plaza, get ready for a ton of stairs (what's up with every NYC venue being the least accessible??), but not even close to the first time for seeing any of this crew. I'm used to seeing these boys pack 350 cap bowling alleys down the shore, so seeing them sell out a 1,025 cap venue made my little heart melt.
Area Getheads rejoice!!! We had the man himself come sit down in The X studio and chat with us LIVE. If you missed it, you're in luck! Listen below!
There was a gig to be gotten to this past Saturday at The Electric Oak. Sentient Moss celebrated their debut full-length Somebody, Somehow, which you can (and should) stream HERE. I was late to the gig for a necessary sushi run, but I would bet my bottom dollar Grin & Bear rocked everyone's socks off. They're fresh home from their tour with Halogens who closed out the night and left everyone in a stoked sweaty mess. I haven't gotten the pleasure of seeing Toy Cars in what seems like forever and I am kicking myself in the butt. Sleeping Patterns is one hell of a record. If there was one thing off about this killer gig, it had to be the exclusively. It's a rarity to show up to a D.I.Y show and be carded at the door. That on top of an 4 band bill of all dudes is not exactly my ideal gigerino but nevertheless, I had a frick fracking blast.
Under many inches of crusty Black Flag t-shirts you'll be able to find a very avid pop music fan, and an even bigger Jonas Brothers fan. I got the opportunity to catch DNCE at The Wellmont Theater in Montclair NJ, despite feeling archaic among the sea of 12 year olds I had an incredible time. DNCe puts on a live show that is fit for arenas rather than theaters. JinJoo constant shredding, Cole Whittle reaching a whole new tier of "extra", and Joe Jonas just existing should be enough for this band to make it into your rotation.
Check out some pictures from the show