Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Enjoy the silence

GOOOOOOOOD MORNING VIIEETNAAAM!! Welcome to the 12th episode of Wednesdays With Andrew, and happy Intersex Awareness Day to you all. I am currently touring the beautiful countryside of our great American NorthEast so I don't have time to do the normal song write ups. BUT you still get the good stuff; this week's playlist features classic tunes from a wide variety of bands like NOFX, Depeche Mode, Kid Dynamite, Gorilla Biscuits, Motörhead and more. Enjoy!

And here's the web player link for all your non-Spotify people  -

They have taken the bridge and the second hall. We have barred the gates but cannot hold them for long. The ground shakes, drums... drums in the deep. We cannot get out. A shadow lurks in the dark. We can not get out... they are coming....

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Psycho for your love

Yo yo yo yo yo yo yo, and happy Wednesday to you all; can you believe that 116 years ago to this day, Max Planck discovered the law of black-body radiation?? (no clue what that is, but sounds racist). Let’s get this playlist party started. This week we have some phenomenal tunes, ranging from Black Flag to Gogol Bordello to Youth Brigade and more! #wwa #mcnuggets  #youregonnadieclown

And the web player link –

Black Flag – Nervous Breakdown

This week we start with Nervous Breakdown, which is the Side A of seminal hardcore band Black Flag’s self-financed debut EP. Formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, CA by guitarist/songwriter Greg Ginn, Black Flag was an early pioneer of hardcore punk and post-hardcore sounds, as well as DIY production/distribution. Blending the simplistic 4-chord song structure made popular by the Ramones, with discordant guitars, heavy metal influences and blaring vocals, Black Flag left a lasting mark on the scene through the decades. The band’s thematic focus around social isolation and anti-authoritarianism was cemented even further with the addition of multi-talented weirdo Henry Rollins in 1981. P.S. – I hear Rollins’ latest movie, He Never Died, is real fucking good. Need to check that out.

Pulley - Barf

Up next is SoCal skater punks Pulley and their appetizingly hooky tune Barf, off their debut album.  Pulley was formed after vocalist Scott Radinsky’s time with his old band, Ten Foot Pole, came to an end. Creating a signature sound heavily rooted in melodic skate punk and relying on heavy-hitting, fast rhythms, Pulley quickly became one of the most prominent punk rock acts of the 90s. Fun fact – not only is Scott Radinsky a fulltime and decorated punk vocalist and skate park owner, he also had an 11-year career in major league baseball as a relief pitcher. Talk about making the rest of us look bad.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Y Control

Karen O and her Yeah Yeah Yeahs have been touring, recording and generally kicking ass since 2000. With a home base in New York City, the band has been widely praised across multiple critical outlets. Y Control is off their debut album Fever to Tell, released in 2003 through Interscope. The album received numerous awards, including a Grammy nomination, and was named “5th best album of the decade” by NME.  Y Control is a call to action to fight back against male emotional control, and features Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ trademark indie/rock n roll sound. I’m not generally a big fan of music videos – but the one for this song is pretty cool. Creepy children, dog corpse, it gets real weird. Check it out.

Youth Brigade – Spies for Life

Formed in 1980 in Los Angeles by 3 brothers (Mark, Adam and Shawn Stern), Youth Brigade IS the original Hanson. The band distinguished itself early on through Shawn’s distinctive vocal growl, their satirical take on current affairs and unapologetic commitment to writing aggressive and pop-driven youth anthems. Spies for life is off the 1996 To Sell the Truth, which, like all their other albums, was released through their own label BYO Records.

The Meteors – Psycho for Your Love

Hmm this might be the first time I have included a psychobilly song on WWA; a gross negligence given the amazing sounds we get from this scene. Hailing from London, The Meteors are widely credited for defining the music style of the psychobilly subgenre, which fuses roots rhythm n blues, rock and roll and punk rock, and often incorporating b-rate horror thematic elements.  The Meteors have been frantically releasing music since 1980, with 25 albums and countless singles under their belt. Psycho for Your Love originally appeared on their debut vinyl, In Heaven, released in 1981 on Lost Soul Records.

98 Mute – Slow Motion Riot

Slow Motion Riot is probably hardcore band 98 Mute’s most recognizable song. With chorus chants led by scratchy lead vocals (provided by Pat Ivie), a cohesive guitar and bass backbone, and a long coda ending with dueling guitar licks, this song offers an appropriate cross-section of 98 Mute’s musical style. Produced and mixed by friend of the band Fletcher Dragge (of Pennywise/guitar god fame), Slow Motion Riot was released in 2000 through Epitaph, on a full-length album of the same name. 98 Mute broke up in 2002, but they came to their senses and reunited, at least for a couple shows, earlier this year. Let’s hope they keep playing…

Gogol Bordello – American Wedding

American Wedding acts as a sad reflection of our culture’s weaksauce (people still say that?) excuse for what is supposed to be a ridiculously celebratory event, as told by the precocious and rowdy gypsies of Gogol Bordello. Led by the un-unflappable Ukrainian-born Eugene Hütz, Gogol Bordello has become infamous for their over-the-top stage antics and constant touring, paying proper tribute to the traveling troubadours that came before them. Musically, Gogol Bordello has been credited for successfully incorporating gypsy musical styles and inclusion of non-conventional rock instruments (like accordion and violin) into mainstream rock. Time for fun lyrics puzzle/current affairs game! Can you catch the reference to Donald Trump?! Hint: this should be easy…he says “Donald Trump”

Gogol Bordello – Wonderlust King

I love Gogol Bordello, so you’ll be hearing a lot of songs from these guys on this blog…like again, right now. Wonderlust King comes from the same album as American Wedding, their 2007 release Super Taranta! off the SideOneDummy label. Насолоджуватися!

Captain Ortega – Hong Kong Dollar

Drawing as much from stoner and hard rock influences à la Motörhead and Queens of the Stone Age, as from punk forbearers like Descendents and Naked Raygun, Dutch outfit Captain Ortega is paving new paths in the punk rock scene. Their sound is firmly centered around blistering guitar-driven hooks, anger-laced melodies and feel-good communal call and responses. Hong Kong Dollar is off their latest EP, 1634, released in August of this year. The whole EP is a real enjoyable listen. I give it a 3 thumbs up with a dope-ass rating of 97%. You can check it out in its entirety here:

Blue Meanies – Acceleration 5000

Better strap in for this track from skacore group Blue Meanies. Acceleration 5000 hits you with blazing speed and jarring rhythms and arrangements, backed by a cacophony of string and horn sounds. This song is off their third album Kiss Your Ass Goodbye!, originally released in 1995 and then re-released in ’99 through Asian Man Records.

Destruction Unit – Salvation

We end the week’s playlist on a redemptive note, closing out with this track from Arizona’s Destruction Unit. Combining elements of 80s hardcore and doom metal, with acid-fueled psychedelic overtones, Salvation creates an inescapable wall of sound that capitulates to a furiously dredge-y breakdown. You’ll find Salvation and some other equally intense tunes on Destruction Unit’s long-awaited latest release, 2015’s Negative Feedback Resistor. Let’s Make America Doom Again.

Alright donuts, that’s it for this week. Please continue to tune in and share with friends who may (or probably may not) like the playlists. Quick note – I will be traveling next week in the beautiful and spooky American Northeast, but rest assured that I will still post a playlist (sans write-ups) – it will likely be posted later in the evening on Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Plotting our revenge on them all

Guys, welcome to our 10th episode, which is a fun and somewhat surprising little milestone for us. I actually didn’t think we’d last this long – it doesn’t help that I am running out of words. God how long can I keep this going. This week we have some great tunes on deck, from pop-laden ska sing-alongs to 90s melodic skate punk and heavy hitting hardcore anthems. Hoooold on to your butts, and let’s kick this thing off.

Web player link – 

Los Kung Fu Monkeys – Take a Look

Esta canción es de puta madre! Let’s kick today off with Take a Look, the second track off Tijuana-based ska punkers Los Kung Fu Monkeys’ debut album, Rebuild the World, released in 2000 off the now-defunct One Shot Records label. Artfully blending music clearly rooted in ska, hardcore and punk, LKFM plays hard, fast and rowdy. Blistering speed and unrelenting energy are staples in both their albums and at live shows. Years of commitment to touring and writing material have given Los Kung Fu Monkeys a well-deserved and diverse global fanbase.

Belvedere - Lemmings

Lemmings is off Canadian skate punk Belvedere’s debut album, Because No One Stopped Us.  Distinguished by their breakneck speeds and melodic pop-punk style of songwriting, Belvedere incorporates all the things you’d expect from a 90s punk band, while also injecting some thrash and metal influences. Joyfully sarcastic and tackling a diverse array of topics, from tv talkshows to government fiduciary policy, the dudes of Belvedere have plenty to say.
OH lemmings are fucked, lemmings are dumb and I wanna be one right now.

Tenement – The Strangest Couple in Love

Hailing from the state of Wisconsin (famous for making murderers and their proud tradition of squashing worker strikes), cheeseheads Tenement draw from strong rock n roll and garage punk roots, while also infusing their own organic and forward-thinking sounds. The Strangest Couple in Love is a hook-driven ditty, which isn’t afraid to break conventional song structure or rhythms, ensuring you stay on the edge of your seat the whole way through. This track is off their 2016 eponymous release. Now go fucking see if Tenement is stopping at your town on their upcoming tour!

The Flipsides – The Best of Times

Now we come to The Flipsides and their infectiously poppy tune The Best of Times. Showcasing their wide range of influences, from 60s RnB to post-grunge, this song reflects a refined sound, with thoughtful melodies created around rhythm-driven hooks. Although they have appeared on a number of compilation albums, The Flipsides only released a single album, Clever One, through Fat Mike’s all-grrrl imprint, Pink and Black Records.

Dropkick Murphys – Finnegan’s Wake

Whether it’s baseball fan rallying songs, soundtracks for Boston mafioso movies, background noise for a bar fight or impromptu St. Paddy’s dance party, Dropkick Murphys is ALWAYS the go-to rowdy Irish punk band. Hailing from New England (surprise), these Celtic drunkies have been filling this niche since they formed in 1996. This song is their cover of the traditional Irish comical ballad Finnegan’s Wake, and was featured on their ubiquitous first studio album, Do or Die, released through Hellcat Records.  The ballad details the life and death of Tim Finnegan, born with a love for the liquor; Finnegan falls drunk from a ladder and is thought to be dead. The mourners at his wake become rowdy, and spill whiskey over Finnegan's corpse, causing him to come back to life and join in the celebrations.

Big D and the Kids Table – L.A.X.

Next up is the anger- and anxiety-fueled anthem L.A.X. from Boston ska punk outfit Big D and the Kids Table. A band since the mid-90s, Big D and the Kids Table are well known for their DIY approach to recording and releasing their music, and for their super aggressive tour schedule (playing as many as 200 shows a year). L.A.X. is off their third studio album, How It Goes, released in 2004. Happy fun quiz time! Listen to this song and tally up how many times he says “fuck” (or any derivatives like fucking, fucked, etc) - first person to comment with the correct number gets…nothing!

Rise Against – Life Less Frightening

Conceived in 1999 in the blustery city of Chicago, by a couple members of recently-defunct band 88 Fingers Louie, Rise Against has become one of the most commercially successful bands in the melodic hardcore scene. Drawing heavily from influential acts such as Descendents, Dead Kennedys, Down By Law and Minor Threat, Rise Against was propelled into global infamy with their blistering songwriting and unapologetic stances on issues spanning from social justice to environmentalism and animal rights. Life Less Frightening comes off their third full-length, Siren Song of the Counter Culture, and features their signature pop-driven sound and passionate anthem melodies.
G.L.O.S.S. – Lined Lips and Spiked Bats

This next track, Lined Lips and Spiked Bats, is a fucking punch in the face. Fronted by transwoman Sadie Switchblade, gender-defiant hardcore punks G.L.O.S.S. (Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit) made huge waves after their 5-song debut release last year. Simultaneously offering solidarity and support to all the freaks and geeks who don’t fit in where they’re told, while also committing to the total annihilation of society, the whole demo is a whirlwind of noise and energy. Lined Lips and Spiked Bats provides that intensity and raw emotion while also creating a catchy, sing-alongy vibe.

G.L.O.S.S. – Outcast Stomp

OK…that song was barely a minute long, here’s another great one from G.L.O.S.S., Outcast Stomp. BREAKING NEWS – I just read on SPIN that G.L.O.S.S. is calling it quits after a short-lived but incredible run.  You’ll be missed Girls!

Pegboy – Strong Reaction

Next up is another Chicago fan favorite, Pegboy. A punk rock version of CCR's Fogerty brothers, Pegboy was founded by Naked Raygun's guitarist John Haggerty and his drummer brother Joe. Sorry, that was a shitty analogy - it's just the names are like kind of similar, that's it. Strong Reaction is the first track on their debut album of the same name, released in 1991 off Quarterstick Records. Dripping with heavy melodic purpose and a crunchy guitar-driven backbone, this heartfelt tune showcases the songwriting ability of Johnny H., heavily influenced by likeminded pioneers who came before him including the Buzzcocks and Stiff Little Fingers.
Oh and here’s an old MS Paint comic I recently found, which I made like a million years ago. SHOUT OUT to Pavel, yea boy you know:

Hot Water Music – Jack of All Trades

Hot Water Music’s Jack of All Trades is a soulful, crooning song that transcends the barriers between conventional rock n roll and counter-culture punk. The sound is at once heavy and subtle, delivering a powerful punch of the feels.  Jack of All Trades is off 2001’s A Flight and a Crash, Hot Water Music’s 4th studio album and their first release through Epitaph Records. Although they haven’t put out any albums since 2012, the members are staying busy; lead man Chuck Ragan is working on a solo project and drummer George Rebelo is touring and recording with Bouncing Souls.

Fucked Up – Queen of Hearts

We close out the week with this heartfelt ode to the working class from Canadian hardcore kids Fucked Up. Queen of Hearts is off their concept album David Comes to Life, an 18-song rock opera and acid trip gone wrong, detailing a bizarre journey of love, activism and self-awareness. Grounded by a cohesive rhythm section and crafty guitar work stylistically reminiscent of Tim Armstrong, this song features a really unique juxtaposition of melodic sweetness and vehement hardcore shrieking. Catchy as BALLS, this song is hard to get out of your head. And guys they’re on tour…go check Fucked Up out at a music hall near you!

Alrighty then, I guess that’s it. Hope you enjoyed our 10th playlist, and keep checking in each week. Let me know if you have any tunes you want to throw on, or if you have a band we should check out. Stay thirsty, my friends. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Let's get emotional with Steve

Hey there happy humans, and welcome to this week's episode of Wednesdays with Andrew...or should I say Wednesdays with Steve? This week we are gonna try something new...guest blogger! I hope to sprinkle in some guest playlists and write-ups here and there, in an effort to diversify and give voice to other genres that we don't typically explore on this blog. This week's a doozie as Steve takes us into the polarizing world of emo/screamo/ Although I have never been an ardent fan of a lot of the bands in this scene, I can still hear a lot of similar influences and kindred spirits. Indeed, many of the bands I love and play on this blog, have been cited as influencers or contemporaries of many of the bands below...ranging from Fugazi to Lifetime to AFI to At The Drive-In and beyond.

So without further ado, take it away DJ Steve..

...and the web player link-

Greeley Estates - Angela Lansbury Keeps Guys like You off the Street

We start off this emotional journey with one of the first bands to inspire my music taste in the early 2000’s.  It was my first Warped Tour and my friend and I arrived a bit early.  We wound up at a small stage in the front row to see Greeley Estates perform their set.  All I remember is Ryan Zimmerman’s beautiful sweaty hair drowning his face when he came over, bent down, and screamed right at me.  My life was forever changed.  Greeley Estates released 5 studio albums, ranging from emo to metalcore, but Angela Lansbury will always hold a special place in my heart for kicking off my interest in hardcore emo.

Bayside - Don't Call Me Peanut

Bayside has always been a staple in the emo world, best known for their whirlwind of a song “Devotions and Desires,” with its devastating lyrics and moody melody.  “Don’t Call Me Peanut” is a piece that showcases some of their best qualities.  A song full of quotable one-liner lyrics to decorate high school notebook covers everywhere and soothing vocals that make you almost wish the song was happy.  Bayside is still kicking and recently released their 6th studio album Vacancy.

Saosin - They Perch on Their Stilts

Ah Saosin.  A band with some lineup changes during its early years when Cove Rebel replaced Anthony Green who left to create Circa Survive.  Whether you’re team Cove or Anthony, Saosin stands as a fierce contender for one of the greats after the success of their first EP, Translating the Name.  Myspace exploded with praise for the 5 song EP and Saosin was born into emo fame.  Great breakdown and unique vocals, what more could you ask for as an angsty teen?

The Used - Take it Away

I still swoon over Bert McCracken and wish he would come to my home and sing “Blue and Yellow,” as I drift off to sleep.  The Used became quite popular in the 2000s with hits like “All That I’ve Got” and “I Caught Fire” from their second studio album In Love and Death.  By the mid 2000’s, emo music had grown a solid foundation in the rock/alternative scene, and started to be taken seriously with music videos that frequented MTV and VH1.  The Used was one of the bands that popped up into this success and slowly faded over their next studio album releases along with the fall of emo in mainstream in the 2010s.  The Used is currently on a 15-year anniversary tour, playing both their self-titled debut album and In Love and Death over a two night concert event in each city.

Matchbook Romance - My Eyes Burn

“My Eyes Burn” is your quintessential emo song.  Whiny vocals, thin emotional lyrics, and a basic melody meant to imitate pain.  So of course I loved it.  Listening back I almost winced in embarrassment, but it was a part of my teen years.  Who isn’t embarrassed by at least a thing or two you did when you were 16?

Fear Before the March of Flames - Hey Kid, I'm A Computer. Stop All The Downloading

Fear Before the March of Flames was one of those hardcore screamo bands that you listen to when you just wanted everyone and everything to fall apart.  I distinctly remember a large portion of the emo community would try and one up each other by comparing how hardcore your music was verse someone else.  Basically a musical dick measuring contest.   Despite that, the raw emotion and relentless riffs were great to jam to down the Ohio highway.

Mayday Parade - If You Wanted a Song Written About You

The rise of mainstream emo led to new pop emo bands in the the late 2000’s such as Fall Out Boy, The Academy Is…, and Panic! At the Disco.  Mayday Parade had some of my favorite lyrics that spoke to me the most, and I appreciated their pop influence while also sticking with emo roots.  This song particularly was clever during the second bridge where a relationship is metaphorically veiled as singing a song with a partner.  Of course I cried to this when my love interests fail…and maybe still do to this day.

Senses Fail - NJ Falls into the Atlantic

When lead singer of Senses Fail Buddy Nielson came out as having problems determining his sexual identity, I started to realize why I loved this band so much growing up.  I always felt like the music had a way of expressing exactly how I felt, and Buddy’s voice just emulates pain that I sometimes experienced going through my own journey of coming out.  Senses Fail became more metal as they released more albums, but When it Enfolds You is a classic album with feeling.

Horse the Band - Murder

Nintendocore is hilarious and I love it.  Horse the Band made an entire album about pizza.  Their songs always pulled my nerdy gaming strings and I still end up smiling when I listen to their songs. “Murder” particularly has a great breakdown that feels like a hardcore two step while throwing down on a Nintendo conti.  It’s just great all around.

Brand New - I Am a Nightmare

You can’t talk about emo music without mentioning Brand New.  Their lyrics are unapologetic, and Jesse Lacey knows how to hit hard.  Seventy Times Seven was a staple in my emo years, and I can still write out every lyric from second album Deja Entendu, widely regarded as one of the most important and impactful emo albums of the decade.  Rumor is the band is breaking up in the coming year or so, but they are still releasing tracks like this new song which beckons back to their older music.

Underøath - A Moment Suspended in Time

Underøath is my number one go to when asked to describe 2000s emo or the music I listened to in high school.  Lead singers Aaron Gillespie and Spencer Chamberlain play an awesome game of back and forth throughout songs, with Aaron’s melodic voice softening the blows from Spencer’s heartfelt screams.  Underøath’s fifth album Define the Great Line was leaked months early through bittorrent, and it played beautifully with “A Moment Suspended in Time” being a perfect fit for the second to last song on the album.  Unfortunately, the band reordered the songs from the leaked version to the actual album, and I suspect this was to add differences between the two.  As a result,  “A Moment…” was ordered up second even though it plays like a penultimate tribute to the album.  Therefore, I made it the penultimate track of my playlist.  It’s awesome when an album reads like a book, and this song is a beautiful climax that was ordered wrong most likely because of a leaked version.

Taking Back Sunday - I'll Find a Way to Make it What You Want

We end our journey with a mellow stroll through the final song of Taking Back Sunday’s new album Tidal Wave.  It’s great to know that some of the bands emo kids grew up with are still making incredible music, and TBS is a band that showcases their evolution with each new album released.  Their latest album speaks more hopeful than their first, Tell All Your Friends, but whether I’m rocking out to “You’re So Last Summer” or romancing with “My Blue Heaven,” this band isn’t slowing anytime soon.  Check out the dates for their current tour, and remember… The emo movement lives on!

Alright weepers and whiners, that's a wrap. HUGE SHOUT OUT to my main man Steve for putting together this thoughtful and fun playlist for us to rock out to this week. I think my personal favorite was Murder by Horse the Band, but I got to say I was also very pleasantly surprised by the Brand New and Taking Back Sunday tracks. As always, keep tuning in on Wednesdays, tell your friends (or your enemies), and let's make music great again.