Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Follow up by Bebo on new song "Britney"

Bebo Norman recently did an interview with focusing on his new single "Britney".

I've already blogged about this song, asking for opinions on the song, and the fact that its Bebo's new single and its kind of a change of pace for him. This interview really explains where he was coming from when he wrote the song, and how he almost didn't record it. I think this is a great song in that it really encourages conversation, and it contains some very powerful truth!

"It was a song I was proud to write and honestly, I didn’t know what to do with this song. It was a song that honestly I didn’t play for anyone for 3 months, because who writes a song about Britney Spears?" -Bebo

Please check out the interview, and the song, and the new album!

Britney - Bebo Norman

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Album Review: Haste the Day - Dreamer

Haste the Day have released their anticipated follow-up to 2007's Best Album (as voted by myself) Pressure the Hinges; Dreamer, and man its about time! I know i speak for many HTD and hardcore fans when i say that Pressure the Hinges was an amazing album. It was full of tracks that were great by themselves, or as a complete album. It raised the bar, and we were eager to see if Haste could reach that standard.

After all of the drama Haste the Day have been through, its great to see them persevere and continue to make great music. They've lost two original members, Jimmy Ryan the original vocalist (who just released The Tide Will Swallow Us Whole with his new band, Trenches), and lead guitarist Jason Barnes who only left the band recently, before Dreamer was written. According to HTD, Jason was the primary song writer, so losing him left the band in a hole, but their newest member and lead singer, Stephen Keech stepped up to the plate. Stephen apparently wrote a majority of the album, and you can instantly tell that its really different from Hinges.

After my first few listens to the album i was not impressed. The album was really heavy and brutal, reminding me a little bit of old Haste the Day, Tahoe even said it reminded him of As I Lay Dying. The think the most noticeable difference was the drumming; it was much more technical and varying, straying from the reliable straight-forward fast beats of Hinges. The next huge difference was the catchy sing-along choruses. This is where i'm reminded of underOATH and slightly disappointed. My favorite part of hardcore music is the choruses and breakdowns. Some fans of metal/hardcore hate the catchy-ness of bands, the "pop" choruses because they feel like the band is selling out the what people want instead of writing honest music. I actually love the contrast of a chorus that is "sung" against the harsh vocals of the a verse that has more screaming/yelling. Pressure the Hinges really nailed this and i think it was great for the band because it grew the fan base having such accessible songs.
"We definitely think it is the best thing we've ever done. We've always been a band that combines the heavy music with the melodic side of music and we think that we have kind of combined those in the best way thus far that we think is the heaviest record we've done and it's also the most melodic and catchiest record we've done." -bassist Mike Murphy in HM Magazine interview

When HTD is done, i think you'll look back at their catalog and think that Pressure stands out as the misfit. Even though Dreamer isn't written by the same musicians that wrote Burning Bridges, they have the same feel. tracks like 68 and Babylon are just brutal, whereas tracks like Sons of the Fallen Nation beg you to sing along. I think it will be interesting to find out what tracks really hit live from this album, and speaking of live, they're currently touring with The Showdown, Oh Sleeper, and hardcore veterans Norma Jean.

When all is said and done, this album might not reach the high standard that Haste the Day have set with their previous albums, but in a year of disappointing releases from Christian metalcore bands like Means and underOATH, this album easily stands up and take claim of one of the top spots for 2008.

Haunting - Haste the Day

Break Up: Here I Come Falling

Christian metalcore/hardcore group Here I Come Falling have called it quits. These guys were only a band from 2006-2008, putting out one pretty good record called Oh Grave, Where Is Thy Victory.

"We have been having lineup changes and other troubles since about 4 months ago. We were left in a position by some members that we just couldn't tough our way out of. We have no other choice, and we feel like it is the right thing at this time to end our band."

They are apparently having a "huge" closeout merch sale in the next coming weeks so get on that while you still can, and check out their best track "A Ghost Town for a Graveyard" if you get the chance.

A Ghost Town for a Graveyard - here i come falling

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Show Recap: Gabe Dixon/Jay Nash/Justin Nozuka @ Bluebird

On Wednesday Kassie and I went down to the Bluebird to catch one of our favorites artists; the Gabe Dixon Band. We stumbled upon Gabe Dixon a few years ago on a preview for a new TV show, Conviction or something like that. His song, All Will Be Well was the theme-song for the first season. After finding some of his music we realized that he was a very small-time artist and really hadn't established himself yet.

Last year we went to see the Dave Barnes/Matt Wertz show in Boulder and it just happened that Gabe Dixon was the opener. He might have been the best act of the night! He plays piano and his music is like piano-rock/jazz/ben folds style that gets your toes tapping. I did more research and found out that Gabe used to play in some Christian bands and Younglife camps and had a really positive message, but had struck-out with recording companies. he just recently signed a new deal and put a new record last month, and its great!

Anyway, for the show. We had never heard of Jay Nash, and didn't know very much about Justin Nozuka. Jay Nash opened the night, a tall singer/songwriter with his electric guitar and his Danish drummer on a jazz kit with brushes. Jay grabbed our attention instantly with his voice, so controlled and powerful, almost twangy at times. His songs were simple but his sound was very full and captivating.

Most of his set was just him and a drummer, but in the middle of the set Gabe Dixon and his bass player came out to play a few full band songs. We were very impressed, tapping our toes and nodding along with the beats, but in the end Jay's voice was the most impressive part of his set. I would totally pay money to see him again.

After Jay Nash was Gabe Dixon. He played as a 3 piece, piano drums bass. He played most of his notable songs, opening with 5 More Hours, and dedicating All Will Be Well to "beautiful people of Colorado". His songs have such good driving beats and Gabe is so passionate when he plays. He has a hard timing keeping his own butt on the piano bench, standing up to sing choruses while keeping his hands going pounding out the music. All of this while drinking Northern California's finest beer Sierra Nevada Pale Ale!

After playing 5-6 songs, Gabe played And The World Turned by himself with no band. After this he announced that he had a special surprise for Denver, since he doesn't come here too often. He did a cover of Bob Marley's Is This Love? while he played a wind piano , the bassist played a guitar and the drummer played what he a "shi-tar", basically a guitar with strings attached to it and played more like a hand drum. they all gathered around a single mic and did a front-porch rendition of the Bob Marley song, it was incredible!

After that they played a few more songs, Gabe was great all night, he's not very comfortable on the mic talking to the crowd, but he almost seems effortless when he's singing and playing piano. For the closer Til You're Gone, Gabe brought out Jay Nash to play guitar, and his Danish drummer to play tambourine. I've never seen anyone play tambourine with so much joy, he just smiled the whole time, apparently loving the tambourine. What a great set by the band, be on the lookout for these guys!

5 More Hours
All Will Be Well
Further the Sky (with no Mindy Smith unfortunately)
Til Your Gone (amazing!)
Far From Home
The World Turned
Find My Way
Is This Love (Bob Marley cover)

We stuck around for a few Justin Nozuka songs, but weren't really impressed too much. Justin's singing is a little over-the-top and isn't really all that unique, his band was pretty weak compared to the previous bands, and his songs all sound somewhat the same. He opened with Down In A Cold Dirty Well which was pretty good. After that he seemed to be more show than substance so we took off, we'd seen who we wanted to see.

Here's Jay Nash from my camera:


Show Recap: Anberlin @ Ogden

I've decided after writing a terrible review of the Anberlin show (terrible referring to my writing, not Anberlin) that this blog is going to be more of a place to just type out my thoughts, rather than try to be a professional music writer or whatever. I'm just not a good writer, but i have a lot of thoughts pertaining to music.

Anyway...Kassie, Travis and I went down to Denver on Tuesday night and caught the Anberlin show at the Ogden Theater. First i'd like to say that i really like the Ogden, i always have, its a small venue so the shows are really intimate. The sounds is usually pretty good, very loud and i like that a lot. For this show however the vocals were not mixed very well at all, you couldn't hear Stephen's (from Anberlin) vocals really at all, especially when he was singing low.

Anberlin always brings it, they are so solid live. Once again they played a set that was dominated by their more energetic songs, songs like Dismantle.Repair, Godspeed, Never Take Friendship Personal. They write and record great slower songs, but rarely play many of them live besides Unwinding Cable Car for which they switched to acoustic guitars for.

They also neglected to play any song off of Blueprints for the Black Market, their first album. I don't count Feel Good Drag because they re-released that track on their latest album New Surrender and its their single right now. Usually they play Readyfuels but not this time.

Everyone has the sense that Stephen basically makes this band, and that's true. While the band is very solid, Stephen is just amazing live. He sings so well, very strong at times and then very soft but powerful. He doesn't strain to hit the high notes, night after night. He seemed a little distracted by something this night which took away from his usually over-the-top energy, but even then he owned the show.

Another great part of Anberlin's live show is that they don't waste much time between songs. Stephen rarely spends time explaining the songs or lyrics (which might be nice once in awhile, but he already explains a lot on his blog) and even though there appeared to be some technical difficulties, Anberlin continued to keep the flow going. the "encore" break was short, probably just to set up the track for the closer, *fin, which was amazing.

The setlist included songs mainly from Cities, 2.5 from the new album New Surrender and the rest from Never Take Friendship Personal. Here's the set from what i remember:

Feel Good Drag
Unwinding Cable Car
A Day Late
Dismantle Repair
Hello Alone
Paperthin Hymn

As for the other bands, Streetlight Manifesto was terrible. Scary Kids Scaring Kids was basically scary and lacked any real highlights. their sound was way too loud and the keyboardist, who never really played the keys, was dancing all over the stage like a tool. They lacked any creative interesting sound, which was enough for Kassie to take a nap during their set, no seriously, she fell asleep numerous times.
This was my third time seeing these guys live, it might not have been the best show i've seen, but still one of the best band to see live, no question.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bebo and Britney

I just received my copy of the new Bebo Norman cd in the mail last week and i've been listening to it all weekend. I've been a fan of Bebo's since college, i love his honest music and he's really good live. I've met him a few times and he's a very sincere and genuine person, so for me to complain about his music is unusual.

On his latest album there is a track titled Britney. The first few times i heard it i didn't really like it, i guess i don't like songs about specific people, they just don't leave much room for the listener to have original interpretations. Also, i have a hard time separating the name "Britney" from Britney Spears, someone who i'd rather not think about all that often. I was talking to Kassie about the track yesterday and was complaining about how this Britney song was track 4, why would Bebo feature such a lame track, usually tracks 3/4 are your features, your singles.

Well come to find out this morning, the song really is about Britney Spears. I can't believe Bebo would write a song about Britney Spears, actually include it on an album with only 10 tracks, and then make it his single. i don't get it. doesn't anyone else care?


Britney im sorry for the lies we told
we took you into our arms and then left you cold
britney im sorry for this cruel cruel world
we sell the beauty but destroy the girl
britney im sorry for your broken heart
we stood aside and watched you fall apart
im sorry we told you fame would fill you up
and money moves the man so drink the cup

i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
you never see it coming back
i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
but i can see it coming back for you
yes coming back for you

britney im sorry for the stones we throw
we tear you down just so we can watch the show
britney im sorry for the words we say
we point the finger as you fall from grace

yeah britney i do believe that love has come
here for the broken
here for the ones like us

i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back you never see it coming back
and i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back but i can see it coming back
i know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back you never see it coming back
i can see it coming back for you its coming back for you... yeah

Britney - Bebo Norman

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Christian Worship Bands Coming Thru Denver

There are quite a few Christian Worship bands coming through Denver in the next few months including Bebo Norman, Third Day, Jars of Clay, Robbie Seay Band and Chris Tomlin. If you're into the worship music scene than these are can't miss shows.

The Bebo Norman show has been rescheduled for November 2nd, but a place and time are still to be announced. This tour he is currently doing will be supporting his new self-titled release which was released last week.

The Third Day show is at the Broomfield Events Center in Broomfield, and features Jars of Clay on the bill. Third Day is currently supporting their new record Revelation which is their first release since 2005.

The Robbie Seay Band is targeting a November 15th date in Colorado, a venue is TBA but should be announced soon. This should be a unique tour since they are touring with Robbie's brother Chris who is a speaker. Sounds like a powerful night!

Lastly, the Chris Tomlin show isn't until Feburary. Chris Tomlin recently released Hello Love.

Other Christian artists coming through Denver that you should check out and support: Matt Wertz, Anberlin, Gabe Dixon Band, Trace Bundy, Haste the Day, underOATH, Emery, and 519 (ha! selfish plug).

Check the side-bar for more information on each of these shows. hit me up if you're going, i'm already set to go on a few of these!