Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Question of Punk


Rebel- often if not always associated with the term "punk."

One who chooses to defy the norm, the system, the status quo.

A proud outcast, who not only stands out in the crowd, but ignores it.

The thought of conformity and expectations is a sorry way of living, and to be forced to meet the standards of their society is binding and restricting.

To be free and unique; to have a personality, a thought of your own.

No one can tell you how to act, no one can tell you how to feel.

Who wouldn’t want this freedom?

London, England - 1976

They had enough to be angry about.

WAR.

The ‘60s gave individuals an educated opinion on war, violence and inequality.

Love turned into anger, forming a unique passion.

The polish of the popular rock band began to strip off, as instruments became dirty and distorted.

The ‘60’s opened the public up to free speech and expression, while punk enforced it, and couldn’t care less if anyone was listening.

The punk trend broke out world wide!

Punk spread through the underground scene faster than the majors could sell their own artists, and what was once an alternative thought was now an international community.

The intent of standing out began to require more creativity, as the music got faster and the lyrics racier.

The branching of the punk genre had begun, with the revolt of the punk to a new punk. The result?

An explosion of new music and style- attempting to find an individuality of their own.

Post-punk, New Wave, Hardcore, and Grunge all grew from the punk roots, with the punk ideal of uniqueness in mind.

The many sub-genres of punk therefore meant a routine listen on the music scene, making it hard to ignore the tempting taste of free thought and expression; the rush to rebel.

Punk became such a popular genre that it began to capture mainstream media’s attention.

Pop-punk is born, a contradiction in itself.

The Pop-punk bands shared MTV with America’s ‘Nsync and Britain’s Spice Girls, whilst expressing their punk belief in a rebellious spirit.

However, if these bands are still able to provoke the same emotions within their audiences (of their generation) as punk pioneers of the ‘70s, is the goal still achieved? Has the message been spread?

Which brings us to the debate:

Is punk a personality, or a thought?

Is punk an image or an act?

A sound or a record label?

Is punk physical, or mental?

Is punk material, or is punk spiritual?

What the f*@k is punk?!

OR IS IT?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thom Yorke vs. The Devil

Have you ever wondered where artists get their inspiration from? Have you ever heard a song and thought to yourself, "What were they thinking (or taking) when they came up with those lyrics?" Over the course of history, there have been countless bands whose front man comes across as completely f*^k&d up!... Take for example Radiohead's Thom Yorke.

Although many of his lyrics have been identified as to what he is singing about and where he found inspiration, one song in particular Yorke just blows completely off the Radar.
STREET SPIRIT (Fade Out)

Featured on their album The Bends, this song is said to be one of the bands saddest songs, described by the band as "a dark tunnel without the light at the end."
What makes this song so interesting however, is Thom Yorke's stance on the song- claiming HE DID NOT WRITE IT!

Yorke stated:
Street Spirit is our purest song, but I didn't write it. It wrote itself. We were just its messengers; its biological catalysts. Its core is a complete mystery to me, and, you know, I wouldn't ever try to write something that hopeless. All of our saddest songs have somewhere in them at least a glimmer of resolve. Street Spirit has no resolve. It is the dark tunnel without the light at the end. It represents all tragic emotion that is so hurtful that the sound of that melody is its only definition. We all have a way of dealing with that song. It's called detachment. Especially me; I detach my emotional radar from that song, or I couldn't play it. I'd crack. I'd break down on stage. That's why its lyrics are just a bunch of mini-stories or visual images as opposed to a cohesive explanation of its meaning. I used images set to the music that I thought would convey the emotional entirety of the lyric and music working together. That's what's meant by 'all these things you'll one day swallow whole'. I meant the emotional entirety, because I didn't have it in me to articulate the emotion. I'd crack...

Our fans are braver than I to let that song penetrate them, or maybe they don't realise what they're listening to. They don't realise that Street Spirit is about staring the fucking devil right in the eyes, and knowing, no matter what the hell you do, he'll get the last laugh. And it's real, and true. The devil really will get the last laugh in all cases without exception, and if I let myself think about that too long, I'd crack.

I can't believe we have fans that can deal emotionally with that song. That's why I'm convinced that they don't know what it's about. It's why we play it towards the end of our sets. It drains me, and it shakes me, and hurts like hell every time I play it, looking out at thousands of people cheering and smiling, oblivious to the tragedy of its meaning, like when you're going to have your dog put down and it's wagging its tail on the way there. That's what they all look like, and it breaks my heart. I wish that song hadn't picked us as its catalysts, and so I don't claim it. It asks too much. I didn't write that song."

Well then..

I will leave you with that to keep your thoughts running.

-jessspoto

The xx

Exploding onto the scene out of nowhere, comes the next wave of Brit pop to sweep the nation.. and perhaps someday the world. THE XX. Consisting of four 20-year-olds from London England, is this young quartet the next Cure, Depeche Mode, or Pixies?
Will they forever remain in limbo between stardom and the gutter like so many other under recognized indie bands?

Debate comes in their empty yet filling sounds and simplistic writing styles. The xx are a
move away from elaborate (which has been so overdone these last few years), and come across as a "less is more" kind of feel, a slow furtive pop sound, their lyrics dealing mostly with the topic of sex.

In their first single off their debut album titled Basic Space, singer Romy Croft has been compared to singer Stevie Nicks, while bass player Oliver Sim accompanies Croft creating a back and forth vocal track perfectly timed. It seems that to duo don't sing for the sake of singing, but rather because they have something to say! Without a real drummer, The xx uses a drum machine to manipulate their sound and add to their liberal bass tones.
Other tracks include hints of Interpol's guitars and even a slight resemblance to Radiohead's electric chords.

NONE THE LESS- what makes The xx such an original band is the fact that they seem to be thinking and developing a wider range of topics than most bands these days in both lyrics content and creative vibes.



The xx will be opening for the Friendly Fires at the Phoenix Concert Theatre
December 2ND, 2009.
Tickets available online at www.ticketmaster.ca
OR (once again)
at SUNRISE RECORDS

-jessspoto




Wednesday, October 21, 2009

YOUR song

Have you ever just wanted to give up? Felt like the whole world was out to get you, and no matter who you turn to, no one gets it? I have. Times like these, the one and only thing i can completely trust to calm me down, or make me think there is someone else out there feels just like me, is music.
There have been times in my life where I literally was at rock bottom. Rock Rock Bottom.
The worst feeling ever is when you pick up the phone to vent to someone who you think understands you, and they don't get it or if they do, they just don't have an answer for you.
In times like these i highly recommend putting on some music, and finding that one song that speaks you to.
Looking back over my iTunes play lists, its funny to see what tracks have been played hundreds more than the others.
Those would be the songs I'm talking about in this post.
Even right now, The Umbrella's song, We Fall is on.
When my Dad passed away (three years this April) i sat on my bedroom floor and listened to this for hours at a time. I remember piecing together a scrapbook of him, and i swear this is the only song that did it for me then-- really hit a spot.
SO WHAT I RECOMMEND EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU DO next time you feel like screaming your lungs out or beating the hell out of something.
Find YOUR song.
I promise it will never let you down.

"So I'm searching for that song, that will make me break down, fall to my knees in the middle of this broken street" - The Umbrellas

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tegan and Sara do SAINTHOOD!

For all you Tegan and Sara fans, you will be pleased to hear their latest album titled Sainthood, will be hitting stores October 27th.
(next Tuesday!)

Tegan and Sara have ventured on their musical paths from mainly folksy acoustic performers to indie rock darlings since forming in 1998. However, this time the twins take another step along their journey with Sainthood-- featuring some of the heaviest riffs to ever come from the twins.

Sainthood is the follow-up to The Con (2007) and once again Death Cab For Cutie's Chris Walla is behind the console, meaning this is to be yet another promising album. However, what makes this album unique from their previous work is the exploding presence of programming and electronics. The twins use electronics as a means to create a new sound, while cleverly accenting heavy guitar and bass lines. The result? SOME OF THE MOST POWERFUL MUSIC IN THEIR CATELOGUE TO DATE!

The first single off Sainthood, "Hell", features a shredding guitar line with an '80s dance pop beat, while track titiled "Northshore" is a slice of inspired breakneck punk rock.

SO NOW THE QUESTION IS, WILL SAINTHOOD BE ABLE TO TAKE THE PLACE OF THEIR ALBUM SO JEALOUS (2004) IN MY HEART?
HMM... IT WILL BE TOUGH, BUT BY THE SOUNDS OF IT THIS ALBUM IS GOING TO BE A HUGE SUCCESS FOR THESE LADIES.

ANYWAYS, CHECK IT OUT!

IN SHOW NEWS:
TEGAN AND SARA WILL BE PLAYING..
MASSEY HALL- JANUARY 19TH, 2010
KOOL HAUS- JANUARY 20TH, 2010

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT
www.ticketmaster.ca OR Sunrise Records (where I will be able to help you purchase them, along with Sainthood of course!)

PEACE + LOVE
JESSSPOTO

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Music Drug

Is it possible to be addicted to music?
The definition of ADDICTION (according to dictionary.com) is:
–noun
the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma

When we get sick, the doctor will provide the medicine; however if you're going through a tough time one would turn to music to cope with feeling, much like a drug. We hear of music being used as therapy, to ease stress and to calm nerves; while on the other hand we need music to excite us, to boost the adrenaline, to be our ecstasy.
Can it harm us?
It is said that the soft and soothing sounds of classical music during infancy can stimulate the child's mind, but what would happen if it were replaced with the intensity of a rock song?
HOW WOULD THE WORLD BE THEN?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

OUTFOXED:Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism

The film OUTFOXED demonstrates how enlarging corporations are taking control of the public’s right to obtain information. Journalists and news reporters share the strict conservative stance FOX television takes on the news. We learn that FOX television makes memos on both what is and is not to be said on air. As a citizen, it is frightening to know information is being hidden from us. Do we not have the right to know what is going on in our world? Shouldn’t we be hearing the bad with the good, rather than merely the less controversial or worrisome matters? Is ignorance really bliss? The creator of the media monster, FOX owner Rupert Murdoch needs to be stopped as the manipulation of our knowledge of news depends on it.

In the world of FOX television employees are either “one of us or one of them,” FOX versus the public and other news mediums. If you are with FOX, you cannot be seen speaking with the “wrong people.” The media forum Murdoch has established is a monster in control of the public sphere. What gives these powerful corporations the right to obtain knowledge and not share it with us the public? It is mentioned how all news is to be a matter of opinion because opinion cannot be considered false. Yet whose opinion are we being told, and what perspective is FOX portraying to the world? The term “Some people say” is used not as a source of anonymous information to advance a story, but rather as a clever way of inserting political opinions not permitted in the news. Therefore, as citizens we are na├»ve to believe the news is always the truth, yet many of us rely on it for both national and global information.

If we want to be fully informed of the issues occurring in our world today, we need to stand up for our rights. If we choose not to, we will continue to be programmed with the news Rupert Murdock is willing to give us. DO WE WANT TO KNOW THE BIGGER PICTURE OR ARE WE CONTENT WITH THE FRAGMENTS MURDOCH PROVIDES? IT IS TIME WE TAKE A STANCE- WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE INFORMED, SO LETS GET INFORMED!

SONG OF THE DAY

Since its a bit dark and gloomy out there today, here is a song to cheer you all up! I bet when you are done listening to it, nothing will be able to bring you down today.
YOU WILL FEEL INVINCIBLE.
IF YOU LIKE IT A LOT LIKE I DO- THAN YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT MORE OF THIS BAND'S MUSIC!
AND THE BAND IS... *drum roll*
MODEST MOUSE
From Issaquah, Washington, indie rock trio Modest Mouse was originally formed in 1993 by vocalist/guitarist Isaac Brock, bassist Eric Judy, and drummer Jeremiah Greene. Since then,
former Smith's guitarist Johnny Marr has joined the band, along with percussionist Joe Plummer formerly of the Black Heart Procession. This past February 2009, Guitarist Jim Fairchild also joined Modest Mouse.

My personal favourite album, which also happens to be their best received album, is titled Good News for People Who Love Bad News and was released in 2004.
This album is both quirky and energetic, totally defining the sounds of Modest Mouse. Early sounds of Modest Mouse have been inspired by the Pixies and many other space rock and alt rock bands. Their use of instruments is broad and range from one end of the spectrum to the other. To date, Modest Mouse have sold over three million records.

*NOTE INTERESTING FACT*

The band name Modest Mouse was derived from a passage from the Virginia Woolf story "The Mark on the Wall" which reads, "I wish I could hit upon a pleasant track of thought, a track indirectly reflecting credit upon myself, for those are the pleasantest thoughts, and very frequent even in the minds of modest, mouse-coloured people, who believe genuinely that they dislike to hear their own praises."

WELL, THATS ALL FOR NOW
FLOAT ON!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

MOST ANTICIPATING MOMENT OF MY LIFE.. COMING TO THEATRES THIS FRIDAY!

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

As a kid, *scratch that*, TO DATE, Where The Wild Things Are is my absolute favourite book. Written in 1963 by Maurice Sendak, this book consumed much of my childhood reading time. I literally had each page memorized word for word and was quite often referred to as a “Wild Thing” by my Mother. AND NOW, this Friday October 16th, director Spike Jonze is finally bringing my dream to theatres. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE- THE MOVIE!

This movie promises to be outstanding considering Spike Jonze's previous achievements on movies such as; I Heart Huckabees, Adaptation, and Being John Malkovich to list a few. Keeping with the theme, some music videos Jonze also directed include Weezer’s Island in the Sun, The Sweater Song and Buddy Holly, as well as the well known Sabotage video by the Beastie Boys. Another impressive name accompanying this movie is producer Tom Hanks.

OK SO

The trailer for the film looks incredible. The Arcade Fire's Wake Up is featured as images of Max and the Wild Things pan the screen accompanied by the words HOPE, FEAR, ADVENTURE, and so on. I literally get goosebumps every time I watch it.

The soundtrack for the film also blows my mind! It is completely written and performed by Karen O and the kids. For those of you who don’t know who Karen O is, she is the singer of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. AS IF MY MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIE IS BASED TO THE MUSIC OF ONE OF MY FAVOURITE BANDS! (I’m really starting to believe this movie was made just for me)

In other aspects of promotion, this movie has already exploded in the skateboard world. Between Lakai special edition WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE shoes, and 9 exclusive GIRL decks postering individual Wild Things, I cannot say I could be happier.

ANYWAYS, EVERYONE CHECK THIS MOVIE OUT—IF NOT FOR YOU, THAN FOR ME!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Home is Where the Heart is...

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE.
On that note, I apologize in advance if this post is a bit cynical... I'm just in one of those moods I suppose (maybe its the weather?).
Thanksgiving is a time when we come together with our friends and families to share awesome meals and get caught up on each other's lives. BUT, if we didn't have a day delegated to do so, would we even bother?... I really doubt it. I don't think that it is right that we live in a world that is so fast paced that we can't make time for what is, or at least should be most important.

If the time that we spend together with our families is so short, do they even see the real us or do we put on a front to keep the atmosphere cheerful? Do we share the bad with the good, or just stick to positive conversation?
I personally can't say that I don't see my family much because we do live in the same city, and believe me they get a piece of my mind quite often.. but what I have been coming to realize more and more lately is how bad i want out of London. For those of you reading this who are not from this town and love it here, just imagine being stuck in the same town you grew up in your entire life, I'm sure you would come to resent it too. London for me, lost its magic a long long time ago. It's just not home anymore. It's just...well, London.

This summer I backpacked Europe for a month and a half. IRELAND. ENGLAND. FRANCE.
I won't get into that adventure in detail here because I bet I could write a blog that would take days to read if I did, but I want to tell you about my future home if you will.

DUBLIN, IRELAND.
Between the cobblestone streets and hidden ally ways, historical buildings, little street shops, live entertainment, and overload of pubs, there is nothing bad to say about this city.
Come nightfall the streets flood with people of all ages openly drinking, singing, and dancing. The Temple Bar is something right out of a movie. If you want to really truly feel alive spend one night there and I promise you will be on top of the world. I would do ANYTHING to be back there right now this thanksgiving weekend.

Yet despite the drunken escapade, one memory that will never be forgotten about being in Dublin was while walking down a cobblestone narrow backstreet, a girl in probably her mid-twenties was standing on the side of the road playing and singing Zombie by the Cranberries. It was honestly the most intense busking act I have ever seen, it literally brought me to tears and I really cannot explain why. This song will forever now remind me of that moment when I felt so at home in a country on the other side of the world..

Zombie was released in 1994 on the Cranberries album No Need To Argue. Singer Dolores O'Riordan claims that Zombie speaks about "The Irish fight for independence that seems to last forever." The lyrics even say, "It's the same old theme since 1916" in reference to the Easter Rising in Ireland. This song is without a doubt a war song, but just hearing such a young individual singing it on the streets of Dublin made me realize that even though societies have changed over the years, theirs stories have not been forgotten (hence why Ireland is still bursting with culture).

Anyways, now that I have ranted a bit about feeling at home some place else, I still believe that those of you who do only spend time with your families on marketed holidays need to
a) make an effort to see them more, and
b) BE YOU. Don't put on an act to appear as the smart, university attending, independent individual. BE YOU! If you hate your classes, tell them that! If you are broke, super behind and party way to much, tell them that to!
Enjoy the rest of your turkey eating holiday, let's hope your mom is a good cook.

-jessspoto
*note* this blog was completely inspired by Zombie unexpectedly playing on my computer


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I've got the mic, and you've got the mosh pit..

JUST A NICE LITTLE TREAT FOR YOU MID WEEK :)
Here are a few local shows that I would recommend going on in the next month or two.

Oct 13, 2009

Two Hours Traffic

$10.00 - Call The Office

Oct 15, 2009

Sonate Arctica

The Music Hall

Oct 20, 2009

3 Inches Of Blood

$12.00 - Call The Office

Oct 22, 2009

Hidden Cameras

$12.50 - Call The Office

Converge & High On Fire

The Music Hall

Oct 24, 2009

A Horse and His Boy

$5.00- Call The Office

Oct 30, 2009

The Matadors

$10.00 - Call The Office

(OR YOU CAN GET THE TWO NIGHT PASS FOR $15.00-- SUPER SWEET DEAL)

Oct 31, 2009

The Matadors

$10.00 - Call The Office

Nov 3, 2009

Malajube

$12.00 - Call The Office

Nov 4, 2009

The Most Serene Republic

$10.00 - The Music Hall Lounge

Nov 7, 2009

Fred Eaglesmith & Band

$27.00 - London Music Club

Nov 8, 2009

Fiery Furnaces

$12.00 - Call The Office

Nov 12, 2009

Priestess

$12.00 - Call The Office

Nov 14, 2009

The Mad Caddies

$20.00 - Call The Office

Nov 28, 2009

Champion

$13.00 - Call The Office

Dec 3, 2009

The Arkells

$12.50 - Call The Office

Dec 4, 2009

Dala

$17.00 - Aeolian Performing Arts Center

Dec 8, 2009

Moneen

$12.50 - Call The Office

WELL, THAT IS ALL FOR NOW, BUT I'LL BE SURE TO KEEP YOU POSTED WITH WHATS HOT AND HAPPENING!

-JESSSPOTO

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Here comes the sun...

Life is about living for the moment. Busy schedules, precise times and dates always hold expectations. When these expectations are not met, disappointment sets in. Humans in general tend to focus on the big picture, completely failing to notice the small wonders of life. The truth is, things do get more complicated with age and we tend to overlook the bright colored leaves, fast paced clouds and foggy mornings which make life worth living. In our everyday lives, if something does not go according to plan, we label this a "bad day." What most of us fail to recognize is that is it "bad" because we have labelled it so. We hold the power to turn our day around at any moment we choose. How many of us can honestly say they have taken the time to recall and appreciate the carelessness experienced as a child. A time when colors, textures, shapes. patterns and vibrations were enough to make us smile or laugh. Those are the moments dearest to us. Bare feet and sand castles can never be replaced. However, we do hold the power to recreate moments similar to these precious memories and these are without a doubt the moments we should take more slowly.
HEAVENS NOT A PLACE THAT YOU GO WHEN YOU DIE ITS THAT MOMENT IN LIFE WHEN YOU ACTUALLY FEEL ALIVE, SO LIVE FOR THE MOMENT NOW.
Now everyone, cheer up the day is yours for the taking!
-jessspoto

THINK.

when this day is ending

I'm not going to be quiet

I'll scReam a line from my favoRite song

make myself known

and I'm not afRaid of being wRong


-JESSPOTO

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A FRESH START. Try Sybris!

So, due to the ridiculous cold I had last week I wasn't able to post many blogs- I promise you, this week is going to be a fresh start (as soon as I get my Internet hooked back up).
Exactly a week later I am finally starting to feel better.

Friday night I went to The Fillmore in Detroit to see Manchester Orchestra and Brand New.
ABSOLUTELY MIND BLOWING!
The show honestly could not have gotten any better. The venue was wicked, the set list spectacular, and the bands *speechless*
Then again, now that I think about it the one thing that could have been better was the crowd.
Before Brand New came on a group of girls starting singing aloud the song Soco Amaretto Lime, and while the majority of the crowd joined in, a few select individuals thought it was "cooler" to trash talk the people singing. WHY? NO IDEA. Not only did it look pretty shitty on their part, but I mean, if you're at the show then you like the band, so why wouldn't you want to hear their songs? ...weird.

SO, now what I have to say is everyone should check out the band Sybris.
These guys opened the show that night, and I was super impressed with what I heard.
If you take the sounds of Manchester Orchestra, and add in a dash of Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, with a hint of the Ravonettes... yeah well, that's Sybris. From Chicago Illinois, female singer and guitar player, Angela Mullenhour is not only extremely talented, but also extremely entertaining to watch.

Its not often that an opening band impresses me, I mean I don't go into a show bias by any means that I'm not going to like the unheard of opening act (in fact, I give them the benefit of the doubt that they WILL be awesome and that I'll fall for their musical melodies), but it seems that the majority of the time a band goes on tour these days they tend to take with them a smaller indie act which is often times, to put it nicely, just background music to me. Sybris on the other hand rocked hard, so ch-ch-ch-check em out!

http://www.myspace.com/sybris




Well, that is all for now.
-jessspoto