As part of a new feature here at Blog Rocking Beat, we reached out to Baltimore-based rockers, Charm City Devils, to find out if one would step up to the mic and share with us the five albums that changed their life. As luck would have it, singer, John Allen (no stranger at stepping up to the mic) accepted our offer.
With our further ado, then, here are the five albums that changes John’s life:
Led Zeppelin(self-titled): Jimmy Page set out to show shades of light and dark and achieved it in spades! From the bombast of “Communication Breakdown” to “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” he managed to rock out and mellow out—sometimes within the same song! They pioneered the sound of heavy music. In addition to writing great music and arrangements, his production has held up ever since.
KISS Alive: This album could be the one that started me on this path of wanting to rock people’s faces off! I pictured myself playing at the L.A. Forum or Cobo Hall singing “Cold Gin”.
Motley Crue Shout At The Devil: I loved Too Fast For Love, but Shout At The Devil had “Looks That Kill” and “Red Hot”!
Deep Purple Made In Japan These guys could play their asses off and Ian Gillan’s screams in “Child In Time” can still compete with anything any screamo singer can do today!
MetallicaRide the Lightning: We used to drive around in my first car listening to this record over and over trying to figure out if there were 100 or 200 guitar tracks recorded on there (yeah we were pretty stoned). The guitars sounded so massive and so good we hoped one day we could sound that good!
There you have it, folks. And to see just how these life-changing albums playes out in the Charm City Devils sound, check out their newest album, Sins, out now.
The San Francisco-based duo, Tidelands, will release its sophomore album, We’ve Got A Map on August 7th. The album’s first single, “The New Black,” is featured below. We’ve Got A Map is the follow-up to the band’s debut, If… released last year.
“We never really stopped after we completed that record,” says Tidelands vocalist, guitarist and flugelhorn player, Gabriel Leis. “We were booking three-day sessions six weeks apart all throughout the summer and fall of 2011.” The key word to describe We’ve Got A Map is spontaneity,” says Leis’s bandmate, drummer Mie Araki. “Much of our current songwriting style is based on this word.”
Leis also notes the new sound of We’ve Got A Map as compared to the band’s previous album, owing this to his ongoing deliberate effort to create a more uplifting listen and to get away from the heaviness and headiness of his natural writing style. “We had moments of that kind of celebratory joyousness on If…, but this time around I wanted the overall feel of the record to reflect this attitude,” he explains.
As they did on If…, Leis and Araki once again collaborated with the Magik*Magik Orchestra on We’ve Got A Map. “We had such a successful collaboration with Minna Choi and the Magik*Magik Orchestra the last time, we decided to not only work together again, but to invite Minna to produce one of the tracks,” Leis says.
Boston-based songwriter Marissa Nadler has offered an early Memorial Day weekend listen of her new release, The Sister. Sharing the album with fans via facebook and twitter, The Sister is now streaming for a limited time only at SoundCloud and is out next week on her own Box of Cedar Records. The Sister is a companion record of eight new tracks subtly linked to last year’s self-titled critically acclaimed LP and was recorded and produced by Brian McTear at Miner Street Studios in Philadelphia. Nadler will play select East Coast dates with Faces on Film this June including two performances in New York.
Marissa Nadler Tour Dates
6/01 – Somerville, MA – The Armory
6/02 – New Haven, CT – Cafe Nine
6/13 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
6/14 – Washington, DC – DC 9
6/15 – Brooklyn, NY – Union Hall
6/16 – New York, NY – Joe’s Pub
Serj Tankian just released the official video for his first Harakiri single, “Figure It Out.” The video was directed by Ara Soudjian. “It’s a comical political song talking about abusive capitalism and the differences created in economic stature and the reaction to it,” says Tankian about the video. “CEOs have gotten away with murder, until now….”
Check out the video right here (but please feel free to disregard the commericial, it was beyond our control).
Harakiri, the new studio album from singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet and political activist, Serj Tankian, is set to be released July 10th on Reprise Records/Serjical Strike. Harakiri, a Japanese word meaning ritualistic suicide, is the follow up to 2010′s Imperfect Harmonies and the third solo release from the System Of A Down frontman.
Harakiri is presently available for pre-order on the singer’s official website. $2 from the sale of each pre-order will be donated to a non-profit organization to fight global hunger.
Serj and the rest of his bandmates in System of a Down will be performing a handful of dates with Deftones in August.
System Of A Down / Deftones Tour Dates
08/02 Philadelphia, PA – Susquehanna Bank Center
08/04 Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
08/05 Wantagh, NY – Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
08/07 Washington, DC – Verizon Center Arena
08/09 Boston, MA – Comcast Center
08/11 Montreal, QC – Heavy Metal Festival Parterre @ Parc Jean Drapeau
08/12 Toronto, ON – Heavy Metal Festival Downsview Park
08/14 Detroit, MI – DTE Energy Amphitheater
08/15 Chicago, IL – Allstate Arena
As Charm City Devils continue to travel around the U.S. on their “Sinners Ball Tour” in support of their Sins album, additional shows are now being added, supporting Taproot (starting May 30th) and Theory Of A Deadman (starting July 20th), that will keep them on the road into the Fall.
The first single from Sins, a cover of “Man Of Constant Sorrow” (yes, the one from O Brother, Where Art Thou?), generates new adds at Active Rock radio every week. It’s currently in rotation on 37 stations and sits in the Top 25 on the Active Rock charts.
Charm City Devils Tour Dates
5/25 – Shreveport, LA – Riverside Warehouse
5/27 – Pryor, OK – Rocklahoma
5/30 – Pittsburgh, PA – Altar Bar*
5/31 – Hagerstown, MD – Breakaways II*
6/01 – Hartford, CT – Webster Theatre*
6/02 – Allentown, PA – Crocodile Rock*
6/03 – Portland, ME – The Asylum*
6/22 – Savannah, GA – The Rock House
6/23 – Johnson City, TN – Capone’s
6/28 – Milwaukee, WI – Summerfest (Rock Stage)
6/29 – Ft. Wayne, IN – Pierre’s (with Redlight King)
6/30 – Detroit, MI – Small’s Bar
7/14 – Chesaning, MI – Showboat Rockfest
7/20 – Panama City Beach, FL – Club La Vela Gulfside Amphitheatre**
7/21 – Carlisle, PA – Carlisle Bike Fest
7/25 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts**
7/29 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s**
8/01 – Lincoln NE – The Bourbon Theatre**
8/05 – Lewiston, ID – Boomer’s Garden**
8/07 – Modesto CA – Modesto Centre Plaza**
8/10 – Chico, CA – Senator Theatre**
8/11 – Reno, NV – Knitting Factory**
10/13 – Centreville, MD – Island Bay Day Festival
Ah summer… a time for night swimming, belly flopping, sunstroke, beer bongs, tight thongs, burnt weenies and big ol’ package tours designed to make music fans squeal like pigs at the county fair.
The dudes in Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger are teaming up for the co-headline Summer of Ska tour with support from Big D and the Kids Table, Suburban Legends (The Maxies will join the tour with Reel Big Fish after Goldfinger drops off July 2nd.) Dates begin June 17th in Toronto and wind down with July 28th with a hometown show at OC’s The Grove of Anaheim. The band will then launch a European Tour on August 2nd which includes several festival dates.
Reel Big Fish are in the process of recording their 8th full-length, titled, Candy Coated Fury, featuring all new, original tunes and some fresh new covers. The plan is to have it out in time for the tour this summer.
Reel Big Fish Tour Dates
6/16 Montebello Marina – Montebello, Quebec
SUMMER OF SKA TOUR DATES 2012
06/17 Sound Academy – Toronto , ON*
06/19 Toad’s Place – New Haven , CT*
06/20 House of Blues Boston – Boston , MA*
06/21 The Lost Horizon – Syracuse, NY*
06/22 Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel – Providence , RI*
06/23 The Town Ballroom – Buffalo , NY*
06/24 House Of Blues – Cleveland , OH*
06/25 Upstate Concert Hall (Formerly Northern Lights – Clifton Park, NY
06/26 9:30 Club – Washington , DC*
06/27 Best Buy Theater – New York , NY*
06/28 The Chance – Poughkeepsie
06/29 Starland Ballroom – Sayreville , NJ*
06/30 Crocodile Rock – Allentown , PA*
07/01 The NorVa – Norfolk , VA*
07/02 The Fillmore Charlotte – Charlotte , NC*
07/04 Revolution – Fort Lauderdale, FL**
07/05 House of Blues – Orlando, FL **
07/06 Masquerade – Atlanta, GA **
07/07 Bogarts – Cincinnati, OH **
07/08 Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH **
07/09 St. Andrew’s Hall – Pontiac (Detroit), MI (w/ Big D and the Kids Table)
07/10 House of Blues – Chicago, IL **
07/11 First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN **
07/12 The Pageant – St. Louis, MO **
07/13 Wooly’s – Des Moines, IA **
07/14 The Beaumont Club – Kansas City, MO **
07/15 House of Blues – Dallas, TX **
07/16 Backstage Live – San Antonio, TX **
07/17 House of Blues – Houston, TX **
07/19 Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO **
07/20 Belly Up – Aspen, CO **
07/21 In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT **
07/22 The Knitting Factory – Reno, NV **
07/23 Regency Grand Ballroom – San Francisco, CA **
07/24 Fat Cat Music House – Modesto, CA**
07/25 House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA **
07/26 House of Blues – San Diego, CA **
07/27 – House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV **
07/28 – The Grove of Anaheim – Anaheim, CA **
* w/ Goldfinger
** w/ The Maxies
“It was a hard song to cover straight knowing that Phil (Lynott of Thin Lizzy) died basically from complications due to substance abuse,” says World Blanket leader, Mike Pomranz, “So, I gave it a more sentimental and cautionary tone.” Pomranz is speaking about his band’s cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Got To Give It Up” The Thin Lizzy reworking is the follow-up to Pomranz’s “polishing” (as he terms it) of Syd Barrett’s “Let’s Split”.
“As someone who likes the occasional tipple, ‘Got To Give It Up’ seemed like a natural song for me,” explains Pomranz. “The tune never seemed to receive as much fanfare as it deserves, as both a hard-driving musical and lyrical masterpiece. I took a couple stabs at it acoustically, and it soon became apparent that buried below the song’s riff-rock exterior, it’s actually a deeply emotional recounting of despair.” Pomranz concludes, “With this knowledge, the song becomes less barroom rocker and more of a confessional from beyond the grave. With the references to ‘mama’ and ‘pa’ and ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ it almost stands as a final apologetic note to family, friends and fans for a lifelong battle that eventually took a man’s life.”
Pomranz has recorded these on-the-fly cover versions as part of promoting the latest World Blanket album titled, 2012. In addition to Pomranz, the album features performances from The Calder Quartet, which has previously contributed strings to The National, Vampire Weekend, Andrew WK, and many others.
The Devil Wears Prada (TDWP) has just announced details of their upcoming live CD/DVD. Dead&Alive, which follows the acclaimed band’s 2011 breakthrough, Dead Throne, arrives everywhere on June 26th.
Dead&Alive was filmed and recorded last year during The Devil Wears Prada’s hugely successful Dead Throne Tour. The collection includes performances of songs spanning TDWP’s career, including Dead Throne‘s “Born To Lose,” “Mammoth,” and “Kansas,” among others, as well as other notable fan favorites including “Danger: Wildman,” “Assistant To The Regional Manager,” and “Outnumbered”. Dead&Alive also features a wide array of behind-the-scenes footage shot and edited by the band’s own, Jeremy DePoyster. Highlights include exclusive backstage glimpses of The Devil Wears Prada in action from the studio to the stage, unveiling the day-to-day reality of the on the road.
“As folks can continually expect from the band, we’ve been meticulous as ever picking apart edits, audio, artwork, bonus material, etc; which is very important to us—to be hands on, in control, and enthusiastic about the content we create for this band,” says vocalist Mike Hranica. “It’s always what we try and do with TDWP and I think ‘Dead&Alive‘ can serve as a testimony to that.”
The Devil Wears Prada are heralding Dead&Alive with their new live video, “Vengeance.”
Dead&Alive will be available for pre-order beginning Tuesday, May 22nd. A variety of bundles will be on offer, including such exclusive extras as a Devil Wears Prada symbol flag, a laminate, official TDWP guitar pics, a necklace, and set list personally signed by the band. All bundles include a physical copy of Dead&Alive as well as a limited edition Dead&Alive t-shirt.
The Devil Wears Prada will also spend its summer as one of the main stage headliners traveling the US with the all-star Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, set to get underway June 30th at the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, California.
Born To Lose
Hey John, What’s Your Name Again?
Assistant to the Regional Manager
Dogs Can Grow Beards All Over
The Devil Wears Prada Tour Dates
All Dates w/Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Except *
26 – Edmonton, AB – YC Alberta 2012 *
15 – Wentworth, QC – D-Tox Rockfest 2012 *
27 – Farmington, NM – Top Deck *
28 – Flagstaff, AZ – Orpheum Theater *
30 – San Bernardino, CA – San Manuel Amphitheater
1 – Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
3 – Auburn, WA – White River Amphitheatre
4 – Boise, ID – Idaho Center Amphitheater
6 – Phoenix, AZ – Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion
7 – Albuquerque, NM – Hard Rock Pavilion
8 – Englewood, CO – Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
9 – Wichita, KS – The Cotillion *
10 – Dallas, TX – Gexa Energy Pavilion
11 – The Woodlands, TX – The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
13 – Tampa, FL – 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre
14 – Atlanta, GA – Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood
15 – Noblesville, IN – Klipsch Music Center
17 – Bonner Springs, KS – Sandstone Amphitheater
18 – Oklahoma City, OK – Zoo Amphitheatre
20 – St. Louis, MO – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
21 – Tinley Park, IL – First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
22 – Clarkston, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre
24 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center
25 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH – Blossom Music Center
27 – Camden, NJ – Susquehanna Bank Center
28 – Burgettstown, PA – First Niagara Pavilion
29 – Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live
31 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga Performing Arts Center
3 – Mansfield, MA – Comcast Center
4 – Moosic, PA – Toyota Pavilion At Montage Mountain
5 – Hartford, CT – Comcast Theatre
Approaching the release of her eagerly anticipated album, The House That Jack Built (due out June 26th via Bella Union) Jesca Hoop releases the video for her first single from the album “Born To”. The video features two versions of Jesca and illustrates the “what if?” “Born To” asks a question we’ve all asked ourselves “how is it that I was born into the circumstances I was born into. How is it some of us are born into famine and others into unimaginable wealth?”
The House That Jack Built deftly showcases Jesca Hoop’s unflinching tendency to pull focus from widescreen to close-up. Part siren song, part grim warning, it achieves a perspective-warping balance between the haunting intimacy of Hoop’s delivery and an unconfined air of horizon-scanning grandeur from the outset—tempestuous, moodily melodic opener “Born To” shares this striking duality with later highlights “When I’m Asleep”, “Peacemaker” and “Deeper Devastation”.
It arrives with more than a few splashes on its hands. Life and death; light and dark; sex and war; head and heart: The House That Jack Built offers up as much in celebration of the macabre as it does in mistrust of the familiar, with a twist of humor. It’s steeped in an allusion to biology, nature and humanity, but drops precious few clues as to whether its next rush of imagery is set to beguile or repel.
Returning to Tony Berg’s Zeitgeist Studio in Los Angeles, where she recorded Hunting My Dress, Jesca enlisted old friends Shawn Everett, Blake Mills and Tony Berg himself as her co-producers. Says Hoop, “What a combination of minds, these three men & me. It was a real balancing act with tensions pulling toward one or the other. Striking that balance was the ticket to some of the most elevated moments in my musical collaborations to date.”
The Villains is gearing up for the release of “Cadillac,” the second single from their sophomore album, Velocity, which is out now via Toucan Cove Entertainment/Universal Republic. The song will be serviced to AAA stations nationwide on June 11th.
“Cadillac” is the follow-up to the first single, “Rainy Day Girl”.
Produced by Stan Lynch (former Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers drummer, who also co-produced Don Henley’s Inside Job) and Billy Chapin (who has played guitar for Backstreet Boys and producer for Edwin McCain) and mixed by industry veteran John Kurzweg (Jewel, Creed), the 12 songs on Velocity represent the experiences and emotions that accompanied the recent period of growth for the band. In the spirit of acts such as The Band, The Eagles, and Fleetwood Mac, The Villains use different singers and styles for a cohesive, but aurally interesting mix. Songwriters such as Tom Douglas (Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw), and Richard Feldman (Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker), as well as Lynch, were enlisted. From the blistering “Cadillac” to the optimistic “I’ve Got A Feeling,” Velocity is a relatable slice of life set to music created by five industry vets.
In touring news, the band will be heading out with Little Feat later this summer, mixed in with some headlining and festival dates of their own.
The Villains Tour Dates
6/26 – Nashville, TN – The Rutledge
8/3 - Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse*
8/4 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle*
8/25 – Atlanta, GA – Grant Park Summer Shade Festival
8/26 – Atlanta, GA – Grant Park Summer Shade Festival
9/8 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant*
9/10 – Little Rock, AR – Revolution Music Room*
9/11 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom*
9/13 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theatre*
9/15 – Flagstaff, AZ – Orphuem Theatre*
9/30 – Pensacola, FL – Deluna Fest
* Shows with Little Feat