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Lights, camera, action! Lights is back, and she can now add “Comic Book Creator” to her lengthy and impressive resume.

Our favourite Canadian  lady has released a new song called “Giants”, and it’s the first song to be released from her upcoming album Skin and Earth. Pretty cool, right? Wait for it, because not only is there a new album coming from Lights, but she also wrote a COMIC to go along with the album.

The comic tells the story of a girl who lives in a post apocalyptic future. Lights said in a tweet that “Giants takes place in issue 5. The video hints at things to come without giving away what is really a pivotal point in the story”. The first issue of the comic was released on July 14th.

“Giants” starts out with a pounding piano beat in the background and Lights singing. The chorus is where the song picks up and it changes into this very uplifting, powerful sounding song. Later on in the song around the 2 minute 30 second mark, there’s a very cool part that is going to get everyone pumped when its played live (listen to it yourself and you’ll just know) Overall, the track is very catchy so it’s going to be stuck in your head for days, so get ready.

Lights has consistently released awesome songs and I can’t wait to hear the rest of this album. This is a song you don’t want to miss and your ears won’t want to miss it either. Skin and Earth comes out in fall 2017.

Okay…we didn’t think Lights can get any cooler, but here we are! What are your thoughts on her new song?

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The past month has been a rough one for the music scene after the attack that took place in Manchester, England on May 20th. When an attack on music like this happens it affects the whole music community. While you may feel incredibly anxious and stressed about going to another concert, it’s important to know that music is still a safe space. You shouldn’t stop supporting your favourite bands and enjoying live music because of this attack. There are some things that you can do to help get over your fears of going to another show.

Research the venue

In order to familiarize yourself with the concert venue, go to the venue’s website. Read through all the information they have about the venue and any security information that’s there. If you get emailed specific details about security, it’s important to read through them and know how the process is going to work when you arrive. Remember that concert security is going to be more strict than what you may be used to. Being aware of the security regulations that are being put in place to ensure that you have a good time are key. Knowing what to expect security wise when going into a show should help eliminate some nervousness.

Talk about it

Try to go to shows with friends or family that you trust 100%. Talk to them about any stress or anxiety you may have about the concert. Being open with your friends and family about your feelings and comfort can be greatly beneficial for you, and it’s also important that they understand what’s going on. Being honest with yourself or talking with a friend can help elevate any stress or worries you may have. If you are going to a concert alone, it’s a good idea to text or call someone once you’ve arrived/when the show is finished. Making plans to meet at a specific area in case you get separated from your group is a fantastic plan as well. 

Enjoy yourself

Music is proven to relieve stress. While at a show, remember exactly why you wanted to go to that show in the first place- to see the band or artist perform. We can find a certain solace in music, so if you do your best to focus on those positive feelings, you may find yourself much more at ease. It may be tough, but putting your energy into enjoying whoever is on stage can be liberating.

Concerts are one of the coolest experiences ever and seeing your favorite artist live is something that stays with you forever. As fans, we will make the music community stronger than ever. Don’t ever stop going to shows.

How do you de-stress at concerts?

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Phoebe Bridgers has been called a “musical unicorn” by Ryan Adams. I don’t know about you guys, but I haven’t heard many musicians be called a musical unicorn, so she must be pretty dang cool. If that title alone tells you how awesome Phoebe Bridgers is, then congrats! If you need more convincing, please read on.

The Los Angeles native released an EP called Killer in 2015 which features three melancholy-sounding songs. The song “Georgia” is one of my favorites because Phoebe shows off her amazing vocal power in this song. After listening to the studio track, watch this video with headphones in and the volume up, you won’t regret it! 

She’s been hard at work touring with the likes of Ryan Adams, Conor Oberst and Julien Baker– all while making her first full-length album (you go girl!). Recently, she released the song “Smoke Signals”, which is a love song about how a lot of cool people died last year (R.I.P Bowie <3)

If you’re a fan of Julien Baker or folky indie music in general, then you absolutely need to have Phoebe Bridgers on your musical radar. Not only does she hold the title of  ~~Musical Unicorn~~, but Ryan Adams has also compared her to Bob Dylan. You don’t want to miss out on hearing her music.

What are your thoughts on Phoebe’s music?

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Twitter has recently announced that they are partnering with Live Nation to live stream concerts over the social media platform. The first show to be streamed is Zac Brown Band on May 13th. Other concerts to be streamed include those from Portugal, The Man, Train and Marian Hill. While this might sound cool, there’s definitely some pros and cons to live streaming shows.

The Pros

Let’s start with the pros! We all know that going to a concert can be a hassle sometimes. From traffic and parking to crazy lines and bad seats, there are lots of factors that go into your overall concert experience. Of course, watching a live stream concert would eliminate all of that, making it possible to watch your favorite band from your couch in your PJ’s (now THAT right there sounds pretty nice.)

Those who live in rural areas just know the pain of never being anywhere close to your favourite bands/artists’ tours. But, streaming could fix this! Instead of traveling hours across the country, you could watch the show online. While this would be fantastic for small town folk, it can help expand an artist’s audience and reach and also gain new fans.

And finally, an aspect that has been a somewhat troublesome issue for the last 10 years or so- phones at concerts. You know the deal. You’ve got a pretty sick view of the band, but the person in front of you hasn’t put their phone down since the opening band. It’s one thing to snap a photo here and there, but were sure that you absolutely do not need 164527 blurry photos taking up space on your phone.

The Cons

Now, the cons. Going to see a band is an experience that absolutely wouldn’t be the same from your couch. For example, seeing Twenty One Pilots in person is so much more fun than seeing them from a computer screen. You can’t enjoy the emotional thrill of singing along to a song with 10,000 other people, clapping to the beat and screaming your lungs out from behind a computer (well, you technically can, but if you have roommates we advise against this.)

Live streaming shows could potentially reduce the amount of people attending shows, which in hand would be damaging for bands/artists. Lower attendance at shows means less production, touring and less money in general for bands. 

Finally, you may find yourself a lot more distracted watching a show online vs. actually being there. The internet is a distracting place and you may find yourself not paying attention to the show and instead paying attention to your Facebook page. Especially if Twitter and Live Nation choose to monetize these shows and start charging viewers to watch, then you definitely would want to close those tumblr tabs.

Last Thoughts

From an artist’s standpoint it would be super lame if people just stayed home and watched the concert. instead of coming out to shows. The whole point of a concert is for people to experience it and see their favourite artists in person. Also, a cool thing to consider is when an artist or band is playing a sold out show, they know all the people in the audience are there because they love your music, and nothing can replace that.

 

 

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“ev·o·lu·tion- the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.” Bands are constantly changing their sound and trying out new things when it comes to their music.

If music didn’t evolve it would be boring, repetitive and mundane. Music isn’t linear. When bands explore new sounds, genres and musical techniques it helps not only them grow, but music as a whole grow as well.

There’s plenty of bands that I can think of off the top of my head that have changed their music over time. Paramore, Coldplay, Blink-182, Fall Out Boy, Tonight Alive are great examples of bands exploring new sounds (Blink-182 can’t sing about dogs and moms forever, right?) You could also say that their sound change has propelled them into some of the highest points of their musical careers.

From a band perspective, making new music and changing things up is probably a bit nerve-racking, but also exciting. They get to try new things that they’ve never done before and I’d imagine it’s a pretty fun experience.

From a fan’s perspective the story goes something like this: a band puts out a song that sounds different from their previous work. Said song gets a lot of mixed reviews, and then the comparisons to older albums/songs begin. It’s definitely  vicious cycle.

Instead of comparing one song to a band’s older material, just forget the older work, wipe the slate clean and go into new music with an open mind. Sure, you may not be a fan of the lead single but one song doesn’t always speak for the whole album.

Music is something that needs to keep consistently changing. Imagine listening to nothing but your favourite album – not too fun, right?  Hearing new styles and new sounds is a great thing, don’t forget that!

How has your favourite band’s sound evolved over the years?

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There’s pop punk, and then there’s pop punk for the underdogs. 

Underdog Champs isn’t just a clever name. These guys are a pop-punk band from Virginia, and they just released a new EP in February titled Skeletons In The Closet.

I’ve listened to a lot of pop-punk over the years and it can get a little monotonous after a while, but this is not the case while listening to Underdog Champs’ latest tunes. The EP is packed with seven songs that push the boundaries of genres and combine the musical styles of pop-punk and rock.

Safe In The Dark” starts off the EP and sets the tone for the album. It begins with a classic guitar riff and two singers, Bradley and Nick, alternating between flowing harmonies and screams here and there.

The 3rd song on the EP is called “When The World Ends”. This song is where the different music styles clash together in the best ways possible. Not only does the song have the classic pop-punk vibes, the breakneck drum beats and screaming are incredibly reminiscent of early 2000s bands like Senses Fail and Underoath. This song is super catchy, so I can guarantee you’ll definitely learn the lyrics to this one quickly.

My favorite song is “Coming Clean”. This one isn’t as fast-paced as “When The World Ends”, but the heavier sound is distinctly heard  throughout this song. The second vocalist that we heard in the first song comes back in the chorus in this song. He adds a rougher sound to the vocals, almost like he’s screaming but not all the way there.

Overall, Underdog Champs’ newest EP is awesome and in each one of the songs you can feel the emotion behind the singers’ voice and in the lyrics. All of the songs are extremely catchy and will appeal to anyone who likes pop-punk or alternative rock.

Have you listened to Underdog Champs?

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Waiting for Paramore to drop new music has been a crazy process. There’s been lots of lunch eating, lots of teasing on Twitter by Hayley Williams, and the fans have been waiting anxiously. Finally, the band has dropped the first single from upcoming album After Laughter (out May 12th) called “Hard Times“. The song has some serious 80’s vibes going on.

Something that I’ve noticed over the past 4 years of being a fan of this band is the community that the band has created. I like a lot of different types of music but with Paramore specifically, it’s not just being a fan; it’s being part of a family. There’s people from all over the world that have something in common because of their mutual love for Paramore. I decided to ask some fans what the band means to them. Here are some of the responses I received:


It means being a part of a family that is always changing but manages to stay together


Being a Paramore fan is more than what it sounds. We have a community & family built around this band. When I’m emotionally at my worst, Paramore & the para-family always picks me up


To be a part of a community. To feel loved. To worship the music TOGETHER and share thoughts and feelings. To be able to learn lessons from the band and their experiences. To be ONE.


That I can look up to people who have gone through struggles and still managed to fight through it which inspires me every single day


So much! So much that I can’t even put into words. I’ve been rocking with this band since 2007, and I don’t plan on stopping. Even if this new album flops or doesn’t do well, I’ll still be rocking with them because their music has helped me through so much in my life. I hope they know how much their music has touched so many fans worldwide, including me.


Paramore means the world to me. I would do anything for that band. Always going to be there through the good times and the “hard times”


Being a Paramore fan is something I can say proudly. They’re such an amazing and talented band who give out so many positive messages in their music. Seven years down the line and there hasn’t been a day where I’ve been ashamed to be a “fan.” but an amazing thing about Paramore is that they don’t see us as fans, rather a family. They are some of the genuinely nicest people and I’m so glad that there are people as amazing as Hayley, Taylor and Zac in the industry.


I have been a Paramore fan since I was 11 (now 16) and the past 5/6 years of being a fan has taught me so much. I have been able to express myself in so many ways, been inspired to learn an instrument and start a band and more importantly be able to enjoy life and not care what anyone else thinks all because of this one band. Being a Paramore fan means the world to me and I couldn’t love any other band the way I love them


I put this question out on Twitter and I received a lot of responses, more than I could fit in this article. Knowing that music can create such a tight-knit bond between people is one of the things that I enjoy most about it. The whole parafamily is incredible and I can’t wait for the new album!


What do you think of Paramore’s new sound?

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We’ve all been there, you get online an hour before the tickets go on sale and you wait anxiously until the on sale time arrives. The page loads and you pick tickets and the dreaded “unavailable” notice pops up. You try again and still, the same thing. Now, you have to go to an annoying secondhand ticket website and buy tickets for 2x the normal price. The above situation is unfortunately becoming more and more common because of the use of ticket bots.

The way these bots work is pretty simple. The bot software will go in when the tickets go on sale and buy 1,000 tickets at once. The bot will usually buy up all the good tickets and leave the bad ones for everyone who is fairly trying to buy tickets. Then these tickets will get sold on various secondary websites for a ridiculous amount of money. Not only does this ruin it for actual fans but it’s also illegal under The BOTS act signed into law last year by President Obama.

Ticket bots may also have something to do with the way tickets are sold as well. According to the general manager of StubHub Canada, only 15% to 20% of tickets for a show actually go on sale to the public. The rest are for industry execs or for credit card holders. Since only a small quantity of tickets are actually sold, the bots buy up as many as they can and that leaves very little for fans.

Artists are well aware of this problem and some of them have begun to take steps to fight back against the bots. For Adele’s recent tour she made sure that the fans that bought the top 3000 tickets showed their credit cards before they could get into the show. Other bands like Radiohead, Metallica and Miley Cyrus use a paperless ticketing system and ID’s a required to be shown to get into their shows. Even with all these counter measures that artists are taking, it’s not working in the way that it was intended to.

The whole issue is bigger than just the ticket bots. It’s really an issue of getting rid of the secondary ticketing market as a whole. If there’s no secondary market then there’s no where for the ticket scalpers to sell their illegally purchased tickets. As for websites like Craigslist and other marketplace type websites, selling on those would still be allowed however, it would be regulated. Other than that you could only buy tickets on Ticketmaster and verified ticket vendors. Releasing more than 20% of tickets at a time to be sold would also be nice.

As fans who have gone through this pain of not being able to get tickets, we feel the pain. Hopefully, this issue will be addressed sooner rather than later. Whether the problem is solved by the government or by Live Nation, our wallets will be happy and so will we.

Have you missed out on seeing your favourite artists because of bots?

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halfnoise

HALFNOISE

The Velvet Face


Many people know Zac Farro as the incredibly talented drummer for Paramore, but he is also in another band called HalfNoise.

The Velvet Face is the newest release from HalfNoise and it is for sure something you should listen to. As a follow up to the 2016 album Sudden Feeling, this combines previous heard elements along with a surprise.

The EP has 5 tracks total and begins with “Scooby’s In The Back”. The song starts out slowly and quietly with a guitar and Zac Farro singing and then becomes upbeat and exciting. The song stays thrilling the whole way through and features a lot of different instruments which makes it a really interesting listen.

As U Wave” comes in full force, as Hayley Williams is featured on this track. This song is catchy right from the beginning. Farro sounds really awesome with all the instruments in the song. Williams jumps in around the 1 minute 30 second mark and sings a verse. She sings one of the coolest lyrics on the EP, which is “Dreaming was easier with you, but sometimes this life leaves you blue”.

The last two songs on the EP are “Someday” and the title track “Velvet Face”. “Someday” really draws you in as it has a really funky keyboard at the beginning. The funkiness keeps going through the whole song. “Velvet Face” starts out with a chill guitar part and a tambourine. Farro comes in singing really softly and he stays singing like that throughout the whole song. New instruments come in throughout the song which keeps it appealing and makes you keep listening all the way through to the end.

If you’re going to compare this to the past works of HalfNoise, The Velvet Face is one of the best. From the first track to the last track it keeps you listening and hearing Hayley Williams and Zac Farro sing together is probably something you didn’t know you needed in your life.

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Most people hear the word intern and they assume that you get coffee for all the important people that work at the company. For me, that was not the case, quite the opposite in fact. I never had to get coffee for anyone.

I interned at SideOneDummy records in Los Angeles, CA for a year and it was awesome. I learned a ton about the inner workings of a record label. I helped out the marketing department, doing everything from contacting record stores across the country to working on the Warped Tour compilation album.

I had a small amount of experience coming into this. Pretty much all I had done in music up to this point was street teaming. If you’re looking to get some experience, street teaming is a great way to do just that. You learn a lot of important things from street teaming and it gives you some great opportunities such as working a day at Warped Tour.

On a Friday afternoon I ditched the second half of my science class and drove up to LA. I was super nervous for my interview but I made it through. The interview wasn’t that scary once it started, plus there was a dog in the office that day and dogs make everything better.

I landed the internship and I started about two weeks later. I was still pretty nervous that day but it was alright. I worked in a small office downstairs. The first day was cool because Sorority Noise stopped by that day and we all had tacos together for lunch. I also got to see them perform the next day at Chain Reaction which was awesome.

By far the coolest thing about interning at S1D was working on the Warped Tour Compilation CD. I helped out with editing the credits for the album and some of the contract stuff for the bands. It was so cool to learn the process that the label has to go through to make this album. It involved a lot of steps, a lot more than I thought.

Overall, interning here was a great introduction into working at a label which hopefully I will be able to do one day. If you have any interest in working at a label or working in the music industry I totally suggest trying to intern somewhere. Having a bit of experience is an important thing and loving music is obviously important as well. Lastly, make sure you know some of the bands on the label and actually have a favorite or two, that’s important.

If you could intern at any record label, which one would it be?

We pick Red Bedroom Records (Sup, Peyton Sawyer?) Join the conversation, tweet us!