Concerts I’ve Been To!

Ok, so I’ve been to a fair amount (90 to be exact) of concerts over the last several years, so I thought I’d post them and tell you what I’ve thought. There some bands I’ve seen multiple times, so that will be listed in parenthesis. In future posts I’ll have to explain some funny stories that happened, because you never exactly know what kind of things can actually go on a at a concert…..but anyways, back to my main topic!

Sarah Evens – eh, nothing special

Kingston Trio – If you like folk music, then this might be your dream come true. When I saw them it was actually their last concert with any of the remaining members of the original band, so if you go to see them now they are all replacements.

Skillet (5)- One of my all time favorite bands, they put on a great show. Especially if you like headbanging, screaming like an idiot, and flames. They put on what is probably one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen.

Bethany Dillon – Not really my type of music, she plays more tame girly stuff

Aaron Shust – Good worship music, if you’re into that

Britt Nicole – Pretty good, fun bouncy music

KJ-52 –  This guy is amazing, even if you aren’t into rap (like me). If ever have a chance to go to one of his concerts, DO IT. It’s like a giant party, you’ll have the time of your life!

Disciple (3)- Really rockin’ metal band, lots of fun

Salvador – Unique latino worship band, good if you’re into that type of thing

Tim Hughes – Another worship band

David Crowder Band (4) – Kind of a worship band, but absolutely fun! He brings in all kind of weird stuff, last time I saw him we all ended up square dancing in the mosh pit! Definitely recommend seeing him.

Third Day (2) – Ok

Storyside B – Don’t really remember this one

Parachute Band (2)- I don’t really remember, but I think they were really good

Starfield – Good

Grits – Umm….good I guess if you like heavy rap

Thousand Foot Krutch (5) – Love, love, love this band. Totally awesome in concert!

Leeland (4) – Also a worship band, but very good. I used to be in love with the lead singer

Tobymac (3) – This guy is a blast. Another very fun and upbeat concert

Casting Crowns (4) – A really nice worship band

Phil Wickham (2) – Worship

Mandisa – Great voice and very inspirational

Barlow Girl – Preppy girl music, really not my type

Kutless (2)- They are pretty good rock, but just not my favorite

Newsboys (with Peter Furler as lead singer) (2)- One of the most fun shows with a lot of singing, jumping, dancing and drum wars. Really, really great!

Newsboys (with Michael Tate as lead singer) – Pretty good and funny, just not the newsboys I know and like. They actually are more like a Newsboys cover band then the actual Newsboys, because they sing mostly new music, with very little of the old and well loved hits.

Limeliters – Another great folk band, although they have none of the original band members left

John Waller – Another worship type, good but kinda weird

The Afters – Great concert, great sound

Red (4)- One of my all time favorite bands, amazing metal sound and vocals, and literally to die for in concert! LOVE THEM!

Flyeaf – Pretty good, although you really couldn’t understand a word she was saying

Paul Baloche –  yeah, another worship band

Hawk Nelson (2)- Tons of fun, really cute boy band

Worth Dying For (2) – Not really worth dying for….or showing up to watch

Jeremy Camp – Just ok, although a lot of people love him

Blushing Well – Nobody knows who they are for a reason, cause they suck (although they might have improved since I saw them last, not sure. If you’ve listened to them recently and have a different opinion, please let me know).

Ryan Payne Band – Cute and funny boy band, pretty good

Ryan Star – Wasn’t a huge fan of the music, but he was hilarious

David Cook – Spectacular, although was quite the snob. After the concert he went straight back to his trailer and refused to sign or even associate with anything.

Josh Gracin – Country music at it’s best

Natalie Stovall – Good if you are into fiddle music

A Rude Revolution – Local ska band, fairly good although all the songs sound exactly the same

Reel Big Fish – Foul, obnoxious ska music at it’s best, although they do sound good

Remedy Drive (2) – Cute, good sound, and they do all kinds of insane and crazy stuff on stage

Bluetree – Nobody knows who this band is for a reason…all I remember is they they are Welsh

Michelle Bonilla – Don’t remember much except it was not stuff I liked

Chris Tomlin (2)- Some of the best worship music to be found

Group 1 Crew – Poppy upbeat stuff, not really my type

Lincoln Brewster – A very talented worship singer

Unspoken – Don’t really remember

Relevant Worship – More worship, what else can I say?

Family Force 5 (2) – Another of my favorite bands to see live, they are a blast. It’s like a total dance party, and impossible to dislike

House of Heros (2) – Excellent

Anberlin – Of course since they are one of my two favorite bands, I have to love them. But they were beyond spectacular in concert, and there isn’t much I wouldn’t do to see them again

Taking Back Sunday – Very good, great sound

All-American Rejects – Where do I even start? They were crude, filthy, vulgar, offensive, raunchy, obscene and plain disgusting. They only good thing about the entire concert was them performing Gives You Hell, which kinda rocked.

Breaking Benjamin – Ah, my other favorite band. They were so amazing live, and just really rock their hearts out. Being able to sing Breath live totally made my whole year (yeah, it was that good)

10 Years – I had never heard them before, but was pretty impressed, good sound and lyrics.

Carlos Whittaker – not that great worship

Downhere – ok I guess

Switchfoot (2) – Not one of my favorite bands, but they put on a really good show

Deluge – worship…

John Mark McMillen – pure acoustic-y goodness, with really intriguing lyrics

Sons of Day – they rock, and do a really good U2 cover

B. Reith – this guys is crazy fun and looks like Ashton Kutcher (bonus)

December Radio – Just as good as I thought they would be (which is pretty crazy good)

Tenth Avenue North – I’ve head a lot of raves about them, but they honestly didn’t do much for me. Except for the song By Your Side, which is just a good song

Brian “Head” Welch (co-founder and lead guitarist of Korn) – This guy rocked my socks off!

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Free Legal Punk Music (What could be better?)

We all know that usually downloading music from the internet is illegal and wrong, right? (please just nod and say yes) However it can be legal if the music is downloaded from a group that has the right to distribute it such as the band itself, the recording company, or maybe a sponsor. Yesterday I was doing some research and found several totally awesome sites where you can get free and COMPLETELY LEGAL music downloads. Many of them are punk, because it seems that most punk artists are a lot less comericialized and a lot more generous than other genres of music. (seriously, it’s true)

So check out these awesome sites! All of them are linked in the sidebar

1.  Altsounds – You have to scroll around to be able to find all the artists, but once you do it is totally worth it! Most of these bands are emo/screamo. Includes Anberlin, Panic! at the Disco, UnderOath, Red Jumpsuit, etc

2. iLike – Most of the downloads from this site are from bands without recording contracts yet, but there are still a few pretty amazing ones! Check out Brokenfall and Superbeing, they totally rock!

3.  GarageBand – Another great site for discovering bands without recording contracts. Also a great site for new musicians to promote their music

4. Fat Wreck Chords – Punk recording label, and they have some pretty great downloads if you are into real  punk. Includes NOFX, Rise Against, No Use For A Name and Propaghandhi

5. Hellcat Records – Punk and Hardcore recording label, and more rockin’ MP3s. Includes Rancid, Nekromantix, and Horrorpops

6. StereoKiller – Umm…Interesting. But they do have several good downloads including a few by Underoath

7. Anti-, just a really cool site with downloads from Greg Graffin (Lead singer of Bad Religion – I love this guy!) and Michael Franti

8.  3hive – It has a few  pretty cool downloads including Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly

9. Mp3.com – Millions upon millions of songs and downloads, but I didn’t recognize even a single artist. However you might be able to find some good stuff in here

10. PureVolume – I love this site! There is a ton of music, and much of it is by popular mainstream artists. I have found free downloads from Demon Hunter, Paramore, Anberlin and other awesome bands. You can find music from pretty much any genre ever created!

A few other sites that I didn’t find worthy enough to put in the sidebar: Stereogum, bt.etree.org, SoundClick, Honc. biz, Jamendo, Epitonic, SubPop records, MTV, and iSound. You might be able to find something good on them, it just takes more effort than I am willing to spend!

Musical Pet Peeves

I am a musically obsessed person, so when someone uses music in the wrong context, or talks about something they know nothing about, it really, really, really bothers me. As you saw in the last post I wrote about the whole Green Day/pop-punk mistake which is a perfect example of this!

My sister and one of my friends both have a habit of finding music, then talking about clulessly. It is disturbing to say the least. The other day my sister came home from some activity and was talking about how she heard a song by Weezer called Beverly Hills (until this point she had never heard of Weezer in her life, even though I had been listening to them for the past 6 months). She then went on the next day about how Weezer was a great “rap band”. I spent 15 minutes arguing with her trying to explain that in no way was Weezer a “rap band”. Does anyone else see a problem with this?? They are nothing like rap!

The second incident was with a friend of mine who is beyond clueless and is already getting on my nerves. For whatever reason whenever I discover a new band or song she automatically latches on to them, and then runs around telling everybody how much she loves them. Anyways I by accidentally mentioned the song Thorns by Demon Hunter in a conversation. So now she is saying how much she loves the song, and how great it is. When I asked her if she even knew what it was about she answered “no, but it’s really cool”. The song is about self-injury, and if you read my post about it before than you know how special it is. It just really bothered me to have her talk about it this way, especially since that song has really changed my life.

Stuff like this happens all the time, people like to talk even if they have no idea what they are talking about.  A very common mistake is mistaking song genres. Nobody even knows how to tell the difference between punk and pop, hip-hop and rap, and rock and metal.

 

Carbon Leaf: The band that nobody has heard of….

I had never heard of them either, until I heard a song by them as I was flipping through radio stations in Baltimore (by the way, they have great radio!) The song was called The Boxer, and was just beautiful in a folk music-y, stunning sort of way, and it caught my attention immediately!

As soon as I got home I looked them up on youtube, and discovered they actually had 8 Cds out already, and were supposedly well known. While I haven’t found any of their other songs that are quite as folk-y as The Boxer, many of them are pretty amazing. Several that especially piqued my interest were Life Less Ordinary and Let Your Troubles Roll By.

My current project is leaning to play Let Your Troubles Roll By on guitar, which seems to be coming along well! Maybe once I am finished I will post a video 🙂

About Carbon Leaf (snatched from Amazon)-

“Some bands insist on dragging listeners into their world, but Carbon Leaf works towards a more admirable and considerably more difficult goal – that of letting perfect strangers feel that the band understands their world. The band succeeds in doing just that — and in creating a soundtrack suitable for multiple worlds — on its third Vanguard release, Nothing Rhymes With Woman.

“For me, this is an album that’s focused on growth and maturity, but it’s not deadly serious,” says front man Barry Privett. “I wanted to examine my life and the lives of my family and friends and do it with a little bit of a wink. The last thing I wanted to do was get all dark and overwrought.”

Privett and his bandmates dodge that pitfall with aplomb on Nothing Rhymes With Woman, the much-anticipated follow-up to the acclaimed 2006 offering Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat. As ever, the quintet — recently joined by drummer Jason Neal, a veteran of the southeast’s club circuit, and Seattle bassist Jon Markel — challenge themselves and listeners by steadfastly refusing to retrace old steps, bringing in like-minded collaborators (like Toby Lightman, who brings a burnished tone to her vocal parts on the gritty “Meltdown”) and taking off in plenty of new directions of their own accord.

That sense of freshness, to hear Privett tell the tale, has a lot to do with the relaxed nature of the disc’s recording, which took place in their Richmond, Virginia backyard. “This time, we did something we hadn’t done in a long time, and that was to just throw away the timeline altogether,” says the singer. “We waited until everyone believed in every single song without any doubt or questions. It was a return to the days of doing music for the sheer joy of just doing it.”

The joy he’s talking about proves contagious throughout the 13-song disc, both in sonic touches like the soaring harmonies that buoy “Indecision” and the instantly-relatable vibe of narratives like the nostalgic childhood flashback “X-Ray.” The tones are certainly varied — things get more than a little misty on “Pink,” a poignant tale of a woman battling serious illness — but they’re invariably free of artificiality. Every color here is one that one can find in nature.

“A lot of the songs are about getting back to your roots,” says Privett, who reckons the band gained a lot of traction by spending a considerable stretch of time close to home, as opposed to its usual relentless touring slate. “You know, holding onto the touchstones that keep you grounded in reality. They’re easy to lose sight of sometimes, and often you need reminding. Fortunately, we have friends and family that will do that in no uncertain terms.”

Nothing Rhymes With Woman finds the Virginia-based band firmly in touch with its roots — the Celtic tinge that cloaks “Pink” is reminiscent of Carbon Leaf’s passel of self-released discs. Throughout the set, however, the quintet affirms a commitment to moving forward, kicking out the jams a bit more aggressively on the sinewy walking blues “Another Man’s Woman” and interpolating the rich organ playing of longtime Dave Matthews Band keyboardist Butch Taylor on several tracks, including the arresting opener “Indecision.”

“It’s always been really important to us to keep an organic feel to what we do,” says Privett. “For us, recording this album was like a renewal, kind of like the coming of spring. In a way, it’s very sensual, very sexual, gentle and mellow in spots, but also acknowledges a fair share of optimism and a re-awakening to new possibilities.

In 2004, Vanguard released Carbon Leaf’s breakthrough disc, Indian Summer, which earned rave reviews from sources like The Washington Post, which marveled at Privett’s ability to “capture the emotional ache of a twenty-something as he watches his friends scatter to the four corners of the world”. For the next year and a half, the quintet would set about winning over audiences while on tour — a recipe that helped “Life Less Ordinary” and “What About Everything?” up the charts.

That winning streak continued with Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat, a darker collection, recorded in Nashville, that showcased other facets of the Carbon Leaf sound and rose to number-three on Billboard’s Top New Artists chart. “We definitely stretched ourselves on that album,” says Privett. “It was unsettling in a way, but definitely helped us find ourselves.”

Reunited with producer John Morand, who manned the board for Indian Summer, Carbon Leaf takes the proverbial next step on Nothing Rhymes With Woman. The multi-instrumental web woven by Carter Gravatt and Terry Clark provides a perfect backdrop for Privett’s tenor, which hovers ethereally on “Lake of Silver Bells” and cuts with the precision of a knife wielded by a master chef on the poignant “Miss Hollywood.”

“I think ’Miss Hollywood,’ like a lot of the album, has a kind of feminine energy, which helps explain the title,” says Privett. “It’s that balance of strength and fragility, of keeping dreams in check, but not forgetting where they came from. It’s a positive and nurturing energy, and that’s the feeling we’d like people to come away with when they listen to the album.”

  • More Favorite Albums

    Fallen

    Fallen by Evanescence

  • American Idiot

    American Idiot

  • Comatose

    Comatose by Skillet

  • Innocence & Instinct

    Innocence & Instinct by Red

  • Dear Agony

    Dear Agony by Breaking Benjamin

  • Never Take Friendship Personal

    Never Take Friendship Personal by Anberlin

  • Storm the Gates of Hell

    Storm the Gates of Hell by Demon Hunter

  • Scars & Souvenirs

    Scars & Souvenirs by Theory of a Deadman

  • Phobia

    Phobia by Breaking Benjamin