Sunday, November 25, 2012

Song Of The Week: 11/25/12

Song: "Tomorrow Starts Today"

Artist: 88 Fingers Louie

Album: "Back On The Streets"

Year: 1998

"Tomorrow Starts Today" is a typical "break up" song. The vocalist has found out about her cheating and lying ways, mostly from her "so-called" friends who basically ratted her out. He's basically saying in the song that what they had is over and he's living for today and his future. A future which definitely does not include her. 88 Fingers Louie was a punk band that formed back in 1993. They were very much a part of the growing Chicago punk scene, which included fellow bands such as Alkaline Trio, The Lawrence Arms and Rise Against. In fact, 88 Fingers Louie band members Dan Wleklinski and Joe Principe actually were the founding members of Rise Against. Joe Principe is still the current bass player of Rise Against in fact while Wleklinski left that band to pursue other projects in 2001. From 1993 to 1995, 88 Fingers Louie dropped several EP's and splits and wound up catching the ears of legendary punk label Fat Wreck Chords who signed the band and put out their full length debut, 1995's "Behind Bars". Amidst all kinds of inner turmoil and constant fighting amongst band members, they still stayed intact to release a few more EP's. In 1997, Fat Wreck Chords decided to release a compilation album of all of 88 Fingers Louie EP's and 7" releases under the name "The Dom Years". In 1998, the band released their second full length album entitled "Back On The Streets". After just about a year from that release, however, the tensions within the band reached a boiling point of no return. 88 Fingers Louie decided to disband in 1999. For the ten year span of 1999 to 2009, all the band members began doing their own thing, as I said earlier, the most notable of these projects was the formation of Rise Against that guitarist Dan Wleklinski and bassist Joe Principe were a part of. In 2009, the band reunited, minus Principe, and played at Chicago's annual "Riot Fest". The band also recorded and taped a live set at Chicago's Bottom Lounge on August 15, 2009. This show would be released as a cd and a dvd under the name "88 Fingers Louie Lives". By 2011, 88 Fingers Louie decided to call it quits again and focus on their other projects. Currently, it appears 88 Fingers Louie is officially done as a band. They were a well respected band in punk circles, especially in the Chicago area, but they could never quite keep it together to have any significant impact with their music.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Song Of The Week: 11/18/12

Song: "On A Wire"

Artist: Funeral For A Friend

Album: "Tales Don't Tell Themselves"

Year: 2007

To understand what "On A Wire" is about is to understand that "Tales Don't Tell Themselves" is a concept album. According to Funeral For A Friend's lead vocalist, Matthew Davies-Kreye, the story of the album is almost like "The Perfect Storm" meets "Castaway". It's about a fisherman who's ship is wrecked at sea. He loses his whole crew in the disaster and eventually washes up on a deserted island all alone. He eventually builds a raft and weathers the rough seas once again in hopes of reuniting with his wife and daughter. "On A Wire" is the part of the story after his ship has wrecked and he is stuck on that island really feeling isolated and lonely. Funeral For A Friend are a band from the United Kingdom that formed back in 2001. They were very much influenced by bands such as Iron Maiden, Deftones and The Get Up Kids and you can really hear elements of all of those bands in their music. Early on, they had a post-hardcore, almost metal feel to their music and it showed on their debut album, 2003's "Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation". That album would reach gold certification on the heels of three top 20 singles in their home country. In 2005, the band released "Hours". This was Funeral For A Friend's major label debut on Atlantic Records. The band recorded "Hours" in two Seattle studios, both of which were owned by grunge icons Pearl Jam. The band also went on some major tours during this time including the Warped Tour alongside bands such as Thrice, Hawthorne Heights and Atreyu. They also headlined the British leg of the Taste Of Chaos tour with fellow bands such as The Used, Rise Against and Story Of The Year. 2007 saw the band release the concept album "Tales Don't Tell Themselves". This was the band's highest charting album, peaking at number three on the U.K. album charts. With singles such as "Into Oblivion (Reunion)", you could see the band go in yet another musical direction, less post-hardcore and more melodic, almost atmospheric. In 2008, Funeral For A Friend would release "Memory And Humanity". This album would see the band get more into the aggressive style and screaming vocals that were prevalent on their debut album. In 2009, the band fulfilled their obligations to Atlantic Records by releasing a greatest hits album, "Your History Is Mine: 2002-2009". This compilation also featured four new songs as well. In 2011, Funeral For A Friend returned to their original label, "Good Fight Music", and released "Welcome Home Armageddon". For ten plus years, Funeral For A Friend were a very active band and remain so today. They've released five studio albums, seven EP's, two live albums and also some DVD's. They are a very influential post-hardcore band, especially in their home country, the United Kingdom. Currently, the band is expected to release their sixth studio album in early 2013. With all the music they've created and continue to create and the constant touring, their doesn't appear to be any stopping Funeral For A Friend any time soon.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Song Of The Week: 11/11/12

Song: "A Fear Of Being Alone"

Artist: The Exies

Album: "A Modern Way Of Living With The Truth"

Year: 2007

"A Fear Of Being Alone" appears to be about exactly what the title says. The vocalist fears losing the only person who is his hope and his light. He feels almost paralyzed by the fear of losing this person. She is what he lives for. No matter what's wrong with him, when he's with her, she makes everything right. She's his reason to breathe, his reason to live. The Exies formed as a band back in 1997. They are from Los Angeles, California. After toiling around for a few years, in 2000 they released their debut self-titled album. While touring in support of that album, The Exies caught the ear of Virgin Records who promply signed the band. In 2002, The Exies released their Virgin Records debut, "Inertia". Thanks in part to the single "My Goddess", "Inertia" turned out to be The Exies most successful album. "My Goddess" would go on to reach number 12 on the Modern Rock charts in fact. In 2004, the band released "Head For The Door". This album spawned another successful single, "Ugly". This also led to the band opening for Velvet Revolver which would be The Exies very first arena tour. In 2006, after just two albums with the label, Virgin Records decided to drop The Exies from their roster. In 2007, the band hooked on with a smaller label and released the album "A Modern Way Of Living With The Truth". In a span of ten years, The Exies were a very active band, releasing four albums during that time. The band has been inactive however since last touring with the band Trust Company in 2008. Lead singer, Scott Stevens, did go on to co-write some songs for the bands Theory Of A Deadman and Halestorm in 2011. Currenty, as I said earlier, The Exies have not been active since 2008. While there has been no confirmation of a break-up, there has also been no confirmation of any activity, whether that is recording new material or playing any live shows. For now, it appears that the band is on a hiatus.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Song Of The Week: 11/4/12

Song: "Big Dumb Sex"

Artist: Soundgarden

Album: "Louder Than Love"

Year: 1989

"Big Dumb Sex" was written by Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell as kind of a parody of glam rock, hair metal and all the "cock" rock bands of the 80's. He basically said what those bands all wanted to say without using cheesy metaphors for sexual intercourse. Lyrically, the song shows that Soundgarden could also be humorous and not always dark and depressive. Soundgarden is one of the forefathers of the Seattle "grunge" movement and is one of the most successful and influential bands in heavy rock music. They are closely tied with the famous Seattle record label Sub Pop with whom they released their first two EP's, 1987's "Screaming Life" and 1988's "Fopp". 1988 also saw the band release it's first full length album, "Ultramega OK". In 1989, Soundgarden signed to major label A&M Records and released "Louder Than Love". It was after this release that original bassist Hiro Yamamoto left the band and was replaced with Ben Shepherd rounding out the band's line-up, Cornell on vocals and rhythm guitar, Kim Thayil on lead guitar, Shepherd on bass and Matt Cameron on drums. In 1991, the band released "Badmotorfinger". Thanks to the singles "Jesus Christ Pose", "Outshined" and "Rusty Cage", as well as the emergence of fellow Seattle bands, Alice In Chains, Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Soundgarden began to propel into the mainstream of what was going on in the music scene. Their appearance on the 1992 Lollapalooza Tour further solidified them in the alternative music scene, playing along side bands like Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Ministry. The "grunge" movement was now what was relevant in music and the "hair" metal days were dead and buried, thank God!! In 1994, Soundgarden would release it's landmark album, "Superunknown". This album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 charts, thanks in part to the hit singles, "Spoonman", "The Day I Tried To Live", "Black Hole Sun", "My Wave" and "Fell On Black Days". This album was certified five times platinum and won several awards, including Grammys and MTV Video Music Awards. What should have seemed like the best of times for this hard working band, also proved to be the worst of times. In the process of making 1996's "Down On The Upside", internal conflicts began to arise within the band, especially between Cornell and Thayil. Cornell wanted the band to expand in different musical directions while Thayil did not want to compromise the heavy sound that they were known for. To the listener, Soundgarden just made another great album featuring tracks like "Pretty Noose", "Burden In My Hand" and "Blow Up The Outside World". On the inside, however, the cracks within the band were becoming unfixable. In 1997, Soundgarden announced to the world that they had broken up. They released a singles compilation called "A-Sides" to sum up their career. From 1998 till 2009, the members of Soundgarden worked on various projects. Cornell focused on his solo albums and also joined the remaining members of Rage Against The Machine after their frontman Zack de la Rocha departed. That supergroup was called Audioslave and they had a short, but successful career as a band. Thayil would go on to work with people like the Dead Kennedy's frontman Jello Biafra as well as former Nirvana members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl. Matt Cameron focused on his side band, Wellwater Conspiracy for a while, then wound up joining Pearl Jam. Shepherd also worked with Wellwater Conspiracy then played bass for Mark Lanegan. In October of 2009, all four members of Soundgarden showed up at a Pearl Jam concert in California. It marked the first time that all four members appeared together in over ten years. It also sparked rumors of a possible reunion. Those rumors were changed to truth in January of 2010 when Cornell announced that Soundgarden would be riding again! In April of 2010, Soundgarden played their first live show since 1997. They also announced that they would be headlining that year's Lollapalooza festival. "Telephantasm: A Retrospective" was released that year as well, basically a new compilation of Soundgarden hits. 2011 saw the release of the band's very first live album entitled "Live On I-5". It was also announced that the band was officially working on a new album. A new song, "Live To Rise", was featured on the soundtrack to the movie "The Avengers" as well. Currently, Soundgarden has been touring and are excited, as well as their legions of fans, to announce that their brand new album, "King Animal", will be released in November of 2012.