Sunday, December 30, 2012

Song Of The Week: 12/30/12

Song: "If You Could See Into My Soul"

Artist: Silverstein

Album: "Arrivals And Departures"

Year: 2007

"If You Could See Into My Soul" is a song that appears to be about two people that cannot co-exist together in a relationship anymore. It seems the vocalist has put up with her lying ways for too long. But, he's not just breaking up with her, he has some information that would scar her to her soul. A "dagger" if you will. He's letting her know that he has something juicy on her, but he's kind of just dangling it out there. It doesn't seem like he broke the news to her yet but it's something he's kept in his back pocket. Most of the songs on "Arrivals And Departures" are said to be about Silverstein's lead vocalist, Shane Told's tumultuous relationship with his ex-girlfriend. Silverstein formed as a band back in 2000. They are from Ontario, Canada. In 2000, the band released their very first EP entitled "Summer's Stellar Gaze". They followed that up with another EP in 2002 called "When The Shadows Beam". These two EP's caught the ear of Victory Records who signed Silverstein in 2002. Their very first full length album with Victory was released in 2003, called "When Broken Is Easily Fixed". It was their second album, however, that garnered the band it's most critical success. That would be 2005's "Discovering The Waterfront". Thanks in part to the hit single, "Smile In Your Sleep", Silverstein definitely secured a spot on the rock and roll map. 2005 also saw the band release "18 Candles: The Early Years". This was a compilation of songs, including the band's old EP's as well as several remixes, demos and acoustic tracks. In 2007, Silverstein released "Arrivals And Departures". This album saw Silverstein stray away from their post-hardcore/punk style and was a much more straight forward rock and roll album. Critics and fans were not very happy with the abrupt change in style. The band did however have their first tours of Australia and Japan in support of that album. In 2008, Silverstein played their 1000th show, which was performed in Paris, France. 2009 saw the band release their fifth studio album entitled "A Shipwreck In The Sand". This album was a return to the style that their fans accustomed to. In 2010, Silverstein recorded some live shows in Toronto, Canada that eventually were to be made into a live cd/dvd. That live album was called "Decade (Live at the El Mocambo". The band also left Victory Records in 2010 and signed with Hopeless Records. Their first release with Hopeless was 2010's "Transitions" EP. In 2011, Silverstein released their sixth album, "Rescue", through Hopeless Records. In 2012, Silverstein recorded an album of eleven original songs as well as eleven cover songs, all the songs being no longer than ninety seconds long. This album was called "Short Songs". For the past twelve years, Silverstein has been going non-stop it seems. They release new material at least every two years, sometimes even quicker. They also seem to be endlessly touring. Currently, it was announced in November of 2012 that their new studio full length album will come out in February of 2013. This hard working band just doesn't seem to sleep!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Song Of The Week: 12/23/12

Song: "Doesn't Remind Me"

Artist: Chris Cornell

Album: "Unplugged In Sweden"

Year: 2006

"Doesn't Remind Me" appears to be a song about perhaps taking a step back and appreciating the small things in life. It seems the vocalist wants to get away from all those things in his life that he held very sacred, things he's invested so much of himself in. Some which have caused joy and some which have caused pain. He just wants to appreciate the small things in life that maybe don't mean much to anyone, but to him, they are little things that he enjoys. The original version of "Doesn't Remind Me" comes off the 2005 Audioslave album "Out Of Exile". This version was recorded in 2006 on one of Chris Cornell's solo acoustic tours. The concert was recorded in Stockholm, Sweden at O-Baren's on September 7, 2006 and was made into a bootleg recording, never officially released. Chris Cornell is one of the greatest hard rock singers ever and one of the forefathers of the Seattle grunge movement. In 1984, he helped form one of the greatest band's of all time, Soundgarden. From the mid to late 80's, Soundgarden was very much in the Seattle music underground, but right around 1990/1991, the music from the great northwest began to explode on the music charts. Soundgarden, along with Nirvana, Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam changed the musical landscape forever. It was also around this time that Cornell and the remaining members of Mother Love Bone (Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard) would hook up with an aspiring guitarist, Mike McCready and a San Diego surfer, Eddie Vedder and create the Temple Of The Dog, which began as a tribute from Chris Cornell to Mother Love Bone lead singer Andrew Wood, who passed away from a heroin overdose. Soundgarden would continue on until 1997, dropping five full length studio albums as well as various live albums, compilations and EP's. Internal conflicts caused Soundgarden to disband in 1997, much to the dismay of their fans and the rock world in general. Cornell would begin to focus on a solo career in 1998. In 1999, he released his very first solo album, "Euphoria Morning". This album showed a "lighter" side to Cornell, but his vocal range remained impeccable. In 2001, Chris Cornell joined forces with the remaining members of Rage Against The Machine after their frontman Zack de la Rocha left the band. The supergroup Audioslave was born. For six years Audioslave stood atop the rock and roll world, releasing three Grammy nominated albums and embarking on several successful tours. Internal conflicts would once again rear their ugly head in the band setting and Cornell departed Audioslave in 2007. Cornell would again focus on his solo career, releasing "Carry On" in 2007. This album featured the Grammy winning song "You Know My Name" which was featured in the James Bond movie "Casino Royale" along with a cover of Michael Jackson's hit song "Billie Jean". In 2009, Cornell teamed up with R&B producer Timbaland and created the album "Scream". This was quite the departure for Cornell as this album drifted away from his rock roots and focused more on R&B and soul music. Critics panned the album as fans called for Cornell to get back to his rock roots. Fans would have reason to rejoice in 2010 as rumors of a Soundgarden reunion were found to be true. The long time grunge giants reformed and were set to headline the 2010 Lollapalooza festival. In 2011, Cornell donated the new song "The Keeper" to the movie "Machine Gun Preacher". He also embarked on a solo acoustic tour which resulted in a live acoustic album entitled "Songbook". 2012 was a year to focus on Soundgarden. They released a song for "The Avengers" movie soundtrack called "Live To Rise" as well as releasing their long awaited new album, "King Animal". Currently, Chris Cornell is embarking on a major tour with Soundgarden in support of "King Animal". Not sure if or when Cornell will do any more solo stuff but for now, it's time to enjoy the Soundgarden wave. Hopefully, it lasts for many more years!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Song Of The Week: 12/16/12

Song: "Duality"

Artist: Bayside

Album: "The Walking Wounded"

Year: 2007

"Duality" appears to be a song about a relationship that is starting to dissolve but it seems like the battle is more with the vocalist himself rather than between him and his partner. He realizes that she is the only thing that makes him feel alive yet he is torn as to which way he should be to make the relationship last. He's fighting with himself, almost as if he's two different people or has a dual personality, hence "Duality". Bayside is a band that formed back in 2000. They are from Queens, New York. In 2000 the band managed to pass along a demo tape to the band New Found Glory. This allowed some strings to be pulled so that they can release their very first EP called "Long Stories Short". In 2003, they released a split EP with the band Name Taken. They also garnered enough attention to be signed by Victory Records. In 2004, Bayside released their Victory Records debut entitled "Sirens And Condolences". This album featured the single "Masterpiece". 2005 saw the band release their second full length album, the self titled "Bayside". While on tour to support "Bayside", tragedy struck the band when their touring van was involved in a serious accident which led to the untimely death of the band's drummer, John Holohan. Bayside would release an acoustic cd titled "Acoustic" which featured a new song "Winter" which was written as a tribute to their fallen bandmate. In 2007, with a new drummer in toe, Bayside released "The Walking Wounded". This album saw some success due to the hit single "Duality". 2008 would see the band drop their fourth album, "Shudder". They would also release their very first live album, "Live At The Bayside Social Club", in 2008 as well. During this time Bayside was a featured act on such festivals as Bamboozle, their third stint on that festival, and the Vans Warped Tour, their fourth stint on that tour as well. When 2010 rolled around, Bayside had fulfilled their commitments to Victory Records and decided to move on and sign with Wind-Up Records. In 2011, they released their fifth album, "Killing Time". This album spawned the singles "Already Gone", "Sick,Sick,Sick" and "Mona Lisa". In 2012 Bayside was once again featured on the Warped Tour and lead singer Anthony Raneri would also show up on the Warped Acoustic Basement Stage and perform some solo acoustic sets as well. The band also created their very own record label at this time called Gumshoe Records. Their very first release on Gumshoe was an EP titled "Covers Volume 1". This EP contained songs that Bayside covered from artists such as Van Morrison, Elvis Costello and Billy Joel. The band also intends to release more volumes of cover songs in the future as well. Besides all the frequent touring and releasing of new music, Bayside frontman Raneri also managed to find some time to perform some solo acoustic tours and even released a solo EP called "New Cathedrals" in 2012. Currently, Bayside is on tour supporting the band Taking Back Sunday on their "Tell All Your Friends" 10th anniversary tour. Raneri has also stated that Bayside will go in the studio to work on a new album in January of 2013.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Song Of The Week: 12/9/12

Song: "Weary Saints"

Artist: Dustin Kensrue

Album: "Please Come Home"

Year: 2007

To understand the meaning of "Weary Saints", you should first be aware that Dustin Kensrue is a very spiritual and religious person. With that said, many of his songs and lyrics deal directly or indirectly about God and religion. "Weary Saints" is no different. It's basically about not losing your faith. In life, you will face various trials and tribulations and adversities. You will also sin and at times question faith. When it is all said and done, however, if you keep your faith in God, you will feel His light and love and embrace which is bigger than your imperfections and bigger than even death itself because you will live in immortality in God's light. Dustin Kensrue was active musically since 1998 when he helped form the band Thrice as their vocalist and rhythm guitarist. From 1998 till 2012, Thrice would drop eight studio albums, one live album, two compilations and five EP's. Their early material was geared more towards a post-hardcore sound, even with some punk elements. As the years went by, they became very experimental with their music without compromising their edge. Thrice was definitely a well respected band and hugely influential in rock and roll circles. I personally believe them to be one of the best bands to come out. Everything is strong about the band. Their musicianship, their lyrics, their songs and their live performances are all top notch. In 2007, Kensrue completed his very first solo project entitled "Please Come Home". This album featured Dustin in a more relaxed, acoustic guitar setting and consisted of songs that reminded him of some of the music that he enjoyed to listen to as a kid. The album debuted at number 142 on the Billboard 200 charts and was reviewed favorably by most critics. In 2008, Kensrue completed a Christmas album entitled "This Good Night Is Still Everywhere". This album would feature eight Christmas song covers as well as two new original songs. In 2012, Thrice announced that they would be going on a hiatus. Kensrue, himself, declared that the band has not officially broken up, just that they would not be as active as they were. 2012 also saw religion really come to the forefront of Dustin's life. He became the worship leader for the Mars Hill Church, which is located in Washington state. While there, he also formed a band called The Modern Post, which is a spiritual based band. So far with The Modern Post, Kensrue has released one EP entitled "Grace Alone". Currently, Kensrue's primary focus is on his church work and The Modern Post. Hopefully the door is still cracked open for Thrice to continue on as well but that appears like it will be something that will be down the road. It would be a shame if the book officially closes on Thrice because, as I said earlier, they are a very solid band that definitely shouldn't be underappreciated. I guess we should have faith just like Dustin!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Song Of The Week: 12/2/12

Song: "Make It Wit Chu"

Artist: Queens Of The Stone Age

Album: "Era Vulgaris"

Year: 2007

"Make It Wit Chu" is a pretty straight forward song. It's basically about sex. The vocalist doesn't know about all the other things that comprise and make up the perfect relationship with someone. What he does know is that in this particular relationship, the sex is what makes it go. It's not a love song. He's not promising the stars and the moon. He's just promising the sex!! "Make It Wit Chu" originally appeared on Josh Homme's side project, "Desert Sessions" and also appeared on the band's 2005 live cd/dvd "Over The Years And Through The Woods" before seeing official release on the band's fifth album "Era Vulgaris". Queens Of The Stone Age formed as a band out of the ashes of the band Kyuss back in 1996. Vocalist and guitarist Josh Homme is really the only constant member in the band as it usually has a revolving door of other artists and contributors. To name a few of the people that have either played on entire albums with Queens or have just contributed here and there are Troy Van Leeuwen, Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees), Matt Cameron (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam), Nick Oliveri, Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Alain Johannes, and Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails). Queens Of The Stone Age's very first release as a band was 1996's EP "Gamma Ray". Shortly after they released their debut full length album "Queens Of The Stone Age" in 1998. 2000 would see the band begin to hit their stride with the release of "Rated R". Their popularity began to rise on the heels of the drug inspired single "Feel Good Hit Of The Summer". In 2002, "Songs For The Deaf" was released and the album would wind up achieving gold status, thanks in part to the Grammy nominated hit singles "No One Knows" and "Go With The Flow". This album also featured the drumming of Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters but would also be the last album to feature bassist and fan favorite Nick Oliveri. 2005 saw the release of "Lullabies To Paralyze" which debuted at number five on the Billboard Music Charts. The band also released their very first live cd/dvd that year entitled "Over The Years And Through The Woods". In 2007, the band released their fifth studio album, "Era Vulgaris". After ten plus years of recording and touring, between 2009 and 2011 the band took a little break from each other. Most members began taking up various side projects, most notable of these was Them Crooked Vultures which featured Josh Homme on guitar and vocals, Dave Grohl on drums and legendary musician John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin on bass and various other instruments. Homme also found time to remaster, re-package and re-release Queens Of The Stone Age's first two albums, the self titled and "Rated R". In 2012, it was also announced that the band was back in the studio, hard at work on what will be their sixth studio album. Dave Grohl has officially signed on the be the band's drummer on the new album as well. Currently, the hope was to have the new album released in late 2012. However, it's looking more and more like new music will see the light sometime in early 2013. Be sure to expect more of the same big guitar riff orientated rock and roll that compares itself more to the likes of Led Zeppelin than most of the band's contemporaries!