Paris Luna – City Lights

Paris Luna – City Lights / 2007 Self / 11 Tracks / /

Paris Luna start out their “City Lights” in a way that reminds me of Sixpence None the Richer. The first track on “City Lights” is “Having a Hard Time”. “Having a Hard Time” is a rock track in the same vein as a Kelly Clarkson; the bass and drums make for an easy listening track, one in which the vocals of Paris rest comfortably. The band’s work on “Having a Hard Time” and on the second, more country-influenced “Someday” shows that they are very capable. During “Someday”, the band is able to craft a sound that is specifically their own, while moving to include a more Shania Twain-esque set of vocals at points.

The acoustic guitar that opens up “Tell Me Why” is yet another new thing that individuals will experience when it comes to Paris Luna’s “City Lights”. The guitar work opens up and the end result is again something that would not be surprising in the least ot hear on modern rock radio. The one thing that I feel is a difference between Paris Luna and the rest of the acts on those types of stations has to be that Paris Luna tells much more of a story with each track on “City Lights” than the other acts in the genre. The guitar progression on “Tell Me Why” shows that the rest of Paris Luna’s band is much more talented as musicians than many of the acts in that genre.

The fact that every one of the tracks on “City Lights” could conceivably rocket up the charts is further testament to the skills and abilities of Luna and the rest of eir band. “No Good For Me” is a track that breaks free of the general formula used by Luna, in that the tempo is much slower and the vocals are much more emotional than in prior tracks. There is some unity between “No Good For Me” and the rest of the tracks on the disc, but the success of this track shows that Paris Luna will succeed in any style, using any sort of influences that are thrown at them. Paris Luna will be big after the right individuals hear this album, and I have a feeling that this will happen in the short term rather than the long term. Check out Paris Luna now, and be sent on an emotional, fun, and impressive type of modern rock.

Top Tracks: Having a Hard Time, All for Nothing

Rating: 6.8/10

Street Dogs – Fading American Dream

Street Dogs – Fading American Dream / 2006 Brass Tacks / 13 Tracks / / /

Street Dogs’ first album was fucking amazing. Simple as that. Their second album was still decent, but it had less of the fury and fun style that “Savin Hill” had. Street Dogs are back with their third album, “Fading American Dream”, and it might just be the best of the three. The band links together Rancid with the streetpunk bands of the eighties, along with the sound that the band has to have given the fact that they have a former member of the Dropkick Murphys present. “Not Without A Purpose” catches individuals not only with catchy guitar lines and bouncy bass lines, but with a harmony on the vocals that in many ways is another instrument that can be used by the band. Continue reading “Street Dogs – Fading American Dream”

Albert Hammond, Jr – Yours To Keep

Albert Hammond, Jr – Yours To Keep / 2007 New Lie / 10 Tracks / / /

Albert Hammond does not sound like much of a rocker. However, for those individuals that do not know, ey was one of the integral parts to the seminal band The Strokes. The opening track on “Yours To Keep” is “Cartoon Music For Superheroes”, and it does not sound like the hard, catchy rock of The Strokes for a second. Rather, Hammond plays a style of dreamy pop that has a lot of influence drawn from the sixties pop acts like The Turtles and The Monkees.

Hell, there is even a nod to the sun-baked sounds of the Beach Boys, with more than a passing glance to their “Kokomo”. The track is endearing but it does not yet mark a solo hit for Hammond. The second track on the disc makes a much stronger play for radio rotation. This track, “In Transit”, still uses a lot of the earlier influences to create a track. However, unlike “Cartoon Music”, “In Transit” has a link to the work of acts like Interpol and Fischerspooner, in that there is just a minor hit of electronic music that plays on the edge of the track. The hooky, Polaris-like drum beats of “Everyone Gets A Star” works with the deadpan vocals of Hammond during this track to play to the Bloodhound Gang crew. This track could make it up the charts in the “ironic” way, and the song should be noticed for its’ smart arrangements. This is the first track, in fact, that makes me appreciate Hammond as a master of arrangement. By the end of “Everyone Gets A Star”, Hammond is sitting pretty. For my money, it is the lead up to the chorus on “Bright Young Thing” that makes “Yours To Keep” for me.

The emotional gravity, coupled with impressive instrumentation, is THE reason why individuals should pick up this album. Couple that with a linkage back to the sixties sound of prior tracks along with the dance-like drumming, and one has a track that shines in both the single and album context.  Albert Hammond, Jr on eir “Yours To Keep” does well in the construction of a post-Strokes style. I actually prefer Hammond’s sound at points over the highly repetitive sound of The Strokes. I just hope, that as the years pass, that Hammond can come up with more in the way of solo efforts that are up to the same high quality of “Yours To Keep”. 

Top Tracks: Bright Young Thing, Blue Skies

Rating: 6.1/10

Music Nation Releases Friend Finder

Music Nation ( <> ) has today announced the release of Friend Finder – a web tool that allows Music Nation artists and fans to seamlessly send out invitations to contacts in their pre-existing Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail address books.  In order to encourage artists to utilize this new functionality, Music Nation has launched a contest in tandem with the release of Friend Finder.  Artists who bring in the most friends between now and July 9 will win a personalized ad on the Music Nation homepage, a shout-out in the MN newsletter to, and an Epic Records prize pack, among other prizes. Continue reading “Music Nation Releases Friend Finder”

C-BO Teams Up With And 1



In support of the recent G-Unit South signing, and the release of the highly anticipated WESTSIDE RYDERS 3 compilation (IN STORES NOW), C-Bo has joined the AND 1 Mixtape tour this summer for a string of exclusive performances and official after party hosting. With over 2 million records sold, and 17 solo albums, C-Bo has defined the street hustle with receiving NO LOVE via Radio and video. Westside Ryders 3 is in stores now featuring The Outlawz, Spice 1, Yukmouth and more! Continue reading “C-BO Teams Up With And 1”

Bittersweet Dream

Bittersweet Dream / $? / :45 / 28M / /
Bittersweet Dream; I have no clue where I found you, but I am glad I found you. This is a zine that is a communal project, more so than most other small-market magazines. There are poems, cartoons, and ideas for how to create revolution, all contained within 28 pages. There is simply something for everyone here. I may not be a fan of poetry, but there are humorous comic strips present (that are pointed and do make a reader think). There is a good blend of pictures, cartoons, and differing fonts to keep individuals interested throughout. The description of life presented during “My Current World View” shows the beauty of the world when nature takes over, while “Utopia Tactics” is perhaps the best piece of the magazine. Continue reading “Bittersweet Dream”

Kate Voegele Releases Don’t Look Away

Kate Voegele is a 20-year-old singer/songwriter that is honestly years beyond her young age. Her debut album, “Don’t Look Away,” just came out on MySpace Records and her first single is “Only Fooling Myself,”.

You can hear her at: .

Check out some photos of Kate here:

Kate is also on the Kyle XY Soundtrack that is out now.

Here is the tracklisting:

1. The 88 – Hide Another Mistake
2. Earlimart – Nevermind The Phonecalls
3. In-Flight Safety – Surround
4. Irving – I’ll Write The Song, You Sing For Me
5. O.A.R. – Wonderful Day
6. Climber – Bug Bear
7. Carey Brothers – Honestly
8. Mates Of State – So Many Ways
9. Sherwood – Middle Of The Night
10. Mariana’s Trench – Alibi
11. Kate Voegele – It’s Only Life
12. Sean Hayes – 3 A.M.
13. American Analog Set – Born On The Cusp
14. April Matson – Will You Remember Me (Lori’s Song)

You can hear clips of all the tracks here:

Revolution on Canvas 2

Revolution on Canvas 2 / $12.99 / 2007 Warner / 2:00 / 236M /

This is the second volume of what I believe is the only book that is dedicated to collecting the poetry of some of the most famous rock stars in the emo, hardcore, and metalcore genres. This volume features a different selection of artists than the first volume. This time around, individuals from Motion City Soundtrack, The Receiving End of Sirens, He Is Legend, Meg & Dia, Something Corporate, The Sound of Animals Fighting, Classic Case, and Say Anything all throw in.
Continue reading “Revolution on Canvas 2”

Acid Drinkers – The Hand That Rocks The Coffin

Acid Drinkers – The Hand That Rocks The Coffin / 2006 MVD / 120 Minutes / /

Man, I really feel bad that I do not know any of the acts that MVD and Metal Mind are putting out onto DVD. Acid Drinkers have a great lineage, as the band started in 1985. The band didn’t really get started on their path until 1987, when they added a former member of Turbo as a drummer. Along the way, they have released over 10 different albums of stuff, so a DVD at this point seems downright deserved. The footage on this DVD is from two different days on tour, from the Warsaw and Krakow dates of their tour.

Twelve tracks await listeners; the band ends with a cover of Johnny Cash’s classic “Ring of Fire”. The track list of the live show takes a number of cuts from all the Acid Drinkers albums; the band starts the show with “Anybody Home” and “Backyard Bandit”. However, the live show is not all that is present on this DVD. Also present is an amazing documentary on the band, called “Chasing the Acids”. While the other features of the disc are nothing to terribly interesting (besides the additional interview), the documentary along with the video of “Hate Unlimited” make for a full DVD. Despite the amount of time that they have been a band, the composition of Acid Drinkers on this live show DVD are fresh and impressive.

The band has not lost a step, and it feels as if the rough edges that may have been present on earlier releases are gone due to their maturity as a band. For those fans that have everything else that Acid Drinkers have released up to this point, “The Hand That Rocks The Coffin” is the next step until the band comes out with their next album. Short of buying a double-disc greatest hits of the band, “The Hand That Rocks The Coffin” is a perfect introduction to Acid Drinkers. Their brand of hard rock meets progressive comes through clearly as day on this DVD, to the degree that this could almost double as a studio album. Acid Drinkers are yet another talented prog rock band that MVD and Metal Mind have determined are deserving of a DVD. Hopefully fans will pick up this album and start purchasing other pieces of the Acid Drinkers collection, because they truly are a diamond in the rough.

Top Tracks: Poplin Twist, Slow & Stoned

Rating: 6.5/10

Wherewithal #3

Wherewithal #3 / $1 / :20 / 16M / Emerson Dameron, 1323 N. Artesian #1F, Chicago, IL 60622 / /

Wherewithal is a short but fun little zine that comes from the mind of one Emerson. The zine consists of black text on white pages, with only a few pictures to break things up. Luckily for readers of Wherewithal, Emerson is one of the most talented individuals with the written word that I’ve read lately. This means that the discussions about fire (and its’ hunger for tobacco), eir own times searching for work and trying to avoid, and a host of other matters, are as vivid and interesting (oftentimes funny) as any picture could be. The zine bounces back and forth with terse statements that are largely humorous and descriptions of Emerson’s life. Continue reading “Wherewithal #3”