Sorry for the extreme lack of blogging lately. I’ve been all over the place this summer, and haven’t been to too many shows.
Anyway, I’m sure by now all of you diehard Gaslight fans have listened to Get Hurt since it streamed on iTunes Radio last week. I remember a while ago I read something from frontman Brian Fallon about how this album was going to be much different than what fans are used to. And after listening to Get Hurt on repeat, that’s become apparent.
Gaslight’s single, “Get Hurt,” off of their fifth studio album is one of those songs that you listen to for the first time and you don’t like it at all. Then you listen to it again, and you still don’t like it. Then you listen to it for a third time and it becomes your entire life and soul. It certainly isn’t one of the faster, more upbeat sounds Gaslight has produced like “45,” the single off their last album. But if you know Fallon’s inspiration behind Get Hurt, it’s pretty clear why. In an interview with noisey.com, Fallon confesses that his recently depleted marriage has taken a toll on him, and Get Hurt was kind of a therapeutic experience for him.
Other than just “Get Hurt,” most of the songs off the album have a sadder, dark aura. Judging a book by its cover, “Break Your Heart,” one of the last songs on the album, may have a generic title, but the lyrics epitomize Fallon’s pain and agony: “It would bring you to tears, if you knew what I know/See, I spent all of my money on second hand love/But I trusted somebody way and back when/And I loved her like fire until it drove me insane.” I mean…damn. It broke MY heart when I heard that last line, and I’m not the one going through a divorce after being married ten years.
The first song on the album and second single off Get Hurt, “Stay Vicious,” is more on the rock side than the others, but I still wouldn’t call it upbeat. The lyrics are anything but happy; in the first verse Fallon sings about his misery: “And I feel just like a murder, and I feel just like a gun.”
Get Hurt has proved that the Gaslight Anthem can take on any type of sound and style they want and still make it awesome. No, it may not be one of those happy-go-lucky albums you and your friends have group singalongs to in the car on your way down to the beach, but it’s enough to make you realize that sometimes life is shitty, but you can’t let that keep you down.
If you were lucky enough to pre-order your copy of Get Hurt early, catch them at Vintage Vinyl this Saturday, where they’ll be performing songs from the new album, followed by a meet and greet.
If not, tickets are still available for their show at PNC Bank Arts Center this September, where they’ll be accompanied by Jimmy Eat World and Against Me!. See you guys then, and remember, stay vicious.
This past Sunday, I had the privilege of seeing one of my favorite bands for the first time ever: Death Cab for Cutie. I had tried to see them once before in Montclair a few years ago, but sadly, the tickets sold out extremely fast.
Because this was my first time seeing the band, I really had no idea what to expect. I mean, not that I would think they would be bad or anything, but you never know. Also, I have over 100 songs by Death Cab on my iTunes, so it was near impossible to predict what songs they would choose for an approximately hour and a half long set.
To say they met my expectations would be an understatement. I wish Gibbard and the guys could’ve played for five hours longer.
I have to say that I am used to more fast-paced, upbeat shows where everyone’s jumping around and moshing and crowd surfing. So this was definitely a different experience for me, but not in a bad way. I’ve seen more mellow artists like Dashboard Confessional and Matt Costa, but Death Cab was the first show I’ve been to that I would actually describe as “relaxing.”
So I actually had General Admission tickets, but my friend and I ended up sitting in the balcony section instead. (We’re crazy rebels, I know.) And I’m so glad we did. Death Cab is just a band that you want to watch sitting down. Although it was a huge, packed venue, and we were pretty far away, it was a great view. I’m pretty sure that a good amount of the people at the show were gamblers that drunkenly stumbled into the venue, though. I mean, I know Death Cab’s been around for a while, but almost everyone around me was over the age of 40.
Death Cab opened with “I Will Possess Your Heart,” and as soon as I heard Gibbard’s voice, I knew it was going to be an awesome show; he sounds exactly the same live as he does on record.
The guys sped it up a little with “Crooked Teeth.” Gibbard just looks so cute performing; he looks so happy to be playing his little guitar, swaying back and forth. It’s adorable. You can just tell he loves what he does.
The lighting of the show was awesome as well. It was so captivating, and went along perfectly with the performance. At one point, the lights kept flashing directly into the audience and I thought I was going blind, though. But other than that, awesome.
I was happy to hear a few total throwbacks like “Why You’d Want to Live Here” and “For What Reason.” And of course they played all of the more well-known songs like “Soul Meets Body,” “I Will Follow You Into the Dark,” “You Are a Tourist,” and “Cath.” I would’ve liked to hear more of the less popular songs because some of them happen to be my favorites. I guess I’m kind of a pretentious hipster asshole in that way. But when they only get to play about 20 songs and they have over 100, I guess I can’t really complain.
The show ended with “Marching Bands of Manhattan.” I’m not sure if they did that because of the area, but I was definitely happy to hear that one.
Somehow, I didn’t cry once. But I think I would’ve lost it if they played “Tiny Vessels” or “What Sarah Said.”
So I can FINALLY cross this one off the bucket list. Amazing band both live and on record, and I can’t wait to see them again in the future.
My final class assignment is to write a “farewell” post. However, this isn’t goodbye, because I plan to keep blogging about pop punk. I may not post as often, but I definitely will blog every time I attend a show.
I definitely enjoyed blogging and Online Journalism in general. I like how I can actually show my personality, whereas in something like a term paper, I have to be very formal (which is not me). This class made me realize that journalism isn’t something you can just do by sitting in your room; it takes a lot of running around, calling people and traveling places. Also, deadlines are stressful.
Here are my assignments that I most enjoyed:
Music is a powerful thing. We all have that one album, that one song, that one line that inevitably brings us back in time to a distant memory. In the world of pop punk, there are five albums (in no particular order) that fall under this category for me.
Say It Like You Mean It – The Starting Line
Lead singer Kenny Vasoli and the guys probably had no idea what their debut album would be in the world of pop punk when it was first released in 2002. Even people who aren’t really into pop punk enjoy, or at least know of the single on SILYMI, “The Best of Me.”
“It just makes you happy and gives you good vibes,” says pop punk fan Sam Dimsey. “The lyrics aren’t dumb like music nowadays. Every song on that album is good.”
Looking at the back cover of the album and seeing Vasoli at such a young age astounds me because his voice sounds exactly the same as it does now.
Deja Entendu - Brand New
Although Brand New is my favorite band, Deja is hands down my favorite album by the band. It’s one of those albums in which every single line is so deep and meaningful. Whether it be about alcoholism (Me vs. Maradona vs. Elvis), being rushed into sex (Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades), or a classic love song (The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot), every song is unique.
“I’ve loved Deja since, like, 2004, probably because it’s got a calming sense to it,” says Brand New fan Kathleen Benvenuto. “At the same time, it’s all really deep and meaningful. Even the really dark aspects of Deja give me a sense of peace. They spell things out for their listeners that other bands can’t, and that’s always stuck out to me.”
Somehow I managed to get tickets to see Brand New this summer with Modest Mouse, and I’m hoping they’ll play most of Deja, regardless of the fact that it’s one of their older ablums.
Sirens and Condolences - Bayside
A somewhat darker album, Sirens and Condolences is perfect for a gloomy day. Although it is Bayside’s first full-length album out of six, they still manage to sound mature, with lyrics like “You’re not eighteen anymore/Five years should have been enough time for you to grow up and get over this.” Ironically, when I met the band at Vintage Vinyl a few years ago, they told me that the girl featured on the album cover was only 15.
Tell All Your Friends - Taking Back Sunday
I guess debut albums tend to be the best, because this is another one. However, TAYF seems to be the favorite album amongst the majority of TBS fans. The band did a ten year anniversary tour for the album in 2012 in which the album was played in its entirety. A year before that, TBS surprised fans at the 2011 Bamboozle Festival when they announced that they’d be playing TAYF in its entirety. I’ve never seen a crowd go so wild at an announcement before. When I listen to TAYF, I’m instantly reminded of high school. I think this is why so many people are fond of this album: it brings you back to your youth.
Catalyst – New Found Glory
Catalyst is one of those albums that you just have to blast at full volume in your car with the windows down on a summer day, and before you know it, you’re going 20 miles over the speed limit because you’re so pumped. Or when you’re at the gym and you feel like you’re going to collapse, but Catalyst’s “Intro” comes on your iPod and it forces you to keep running. Needless to say, this is an extremely fast, upbeat album. Catalyst brought the band much popularity, peaking at number three on the Billboard 200. The album’s first single, “All Downhill From Here,” reached number 11 on the Rock Chart before Catalyst was even released, and its music video was voted 50 days in a row on MTV’s Total Request Live. It is now featured on their hits album, along with “I Don’t Wanna Know” and “Failure’s Not Flattering,” both from Catalyst.
Against Me! perform “Thrash Unreal” at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park.
It seems there’s one state (other than New Jersey of course) that the world of pop punk really loves: California. I have dozens of songs on my iTunes about California, and they always make me wish that I was there in the sunshine, surrounded by palm trees, instead of in this endless, freezing winter in New Jersey. But for once in my life, these songs will actually be appropriate; yes, I’m going to California this week for the first time! I couldn’t be more excited, and these songs are doing nothing but getting me pumped. So in honor of my mini-vacation, here’s a list of my favorite California-esque songs, in no particular order:
“California, where the mountains climb so tall, and waves crash blue around you.”
Lead singer Andrew McMahon lives in California, so he may be biased about his home state being awesome. I guess I’ll just have to see for myself to believe it.
I Loved The Way She Said LA – Spitalfield
One of the lesser known bands on my list, but such an awesome song. The song title actually comes from Jack Kerouac’s On The Road.
A song about falling in love in California. Classic.
Pretty much the opposite of “Playing Favorites.”
Somehow even a song about how LA sucks still makes me excited to go there.