Music Monday- Motion City Soundtrack covers Trampled By Turtles

Motion City Soundtrack has been tearing into my ears for years. Since 2003 this group has been widening the abilities of what pop-punk has the capabilities can be. With the combination of rhythmic drums, thumping bass, sexy synth, killer lyrics, smooth melodies and face-melting guitar riffs there’s isn’t any way any of their songs can’t be amazing.

Their new endeavor is a cover song from a bluegrass group Trampled By Turtles. The latter band covered MCS’ song, “Disappear,” but this blog isn’t about that but “Wait So Long.”

Motion City Soundtrack takes Trampled By Turtles strict modern bluegrass and transforms it completely. Lead singer, Justin Pierre, takes the melodies and puts his personal touch into without changing the feel of the song. Every instrument is given the right amount of attention, even though the synth took a backseat. It begs the listener to automatically memorize the reader just so they can sing along to the catchiness. Even an hour after listening I still can’t get it out of my head.

Motion City Soundtrack is currently mixing their 5th record on their new label, The Boombox Generation, and should be out by this next year’s spring.

Take a listen and enjoy.

Motion City Soundtrack- Wait So Long

Jimmy’s Top 10 CDs

Here she be. My (Yes, mine, not your’s) list of my (mine again) top favorite CDs of modern time. I want to point out once again that my taste in music probably sucks to most human beings with ears. I’m fully aware of that. I’ve come to realization of it. But this is MY opinion of the CDs that have totally kicked my trash and changed my perspective of music. Is it going to be biased? Probably. Is it going to be honest. Most def yo. I did not use one artist twice, just to be more fair. But first the honorable mentions that hugged my eardrums with love:

Honorable Mentions:

Modest Mouse- Good News for People Who Love Bad News

Alkaline Trio- Crimson

Autopilot Off- Make a Sound

Blink-182- Enema of the State

Motion City Soundtrack- My Dinosaur Life

Boxcar Racer- Boxcar Racer

Death Cab for Cutie- Plans

Hellogoodbye- Aliens! Zombie! Vampires! Dinosaurs!

Jack’s Mannequin- Everything in Transit

The Top Ten!!!!

10. Panic! At the Disco- A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out- Think what you want about the old P!atD, but no one can deny that they brought something new, fresh, dazzling, different and extraordinary to the table. Pete Wentz might have paved their way right to the mainstream by discovering their power but they had the talent to maintain it, at least for a short while.

9. The Starting Line- Based on a True Story- What to say about this diamond in the rough? Just good solid pop punk loaded with catchy vocals, real meaning and passion. It’s a darn shame that they gave up the ghost about a year ago, would’ve liked to see more from them.

8.  New Found Glory- Coming Home- N! F! G! Pretty much godfathers of the pop rock scene. I believe that “Coming Home is their crown jewel of their discography. It’s covered with old school licks and Jordan Pundik really pulled his voice together for this. Again, it’s a shame that they slipped back into the norm with their own routine with “Not Without a Fight”, but they have been together for 10 plus years, that’s some impressive stamina.

7.  Fall Out Boy- From Under the Cork Tree- Again, say and think what you will but you can’t fight the impact “FUCT” had in the business. My roots run deep with FOB, first seeing them on Daily Download on Fuse, buying “Take This to Your Grave” and even found “Sugar, We’re Going Down” before it hit the radio waves. All the hooks, lines and catchiness of this single album have carved many crevices in my musical heart.

6.  The Academy Is…- Almost Here- Catchy… everything. Songs that actually have actual points in a world where that is rare. Soo good! That’s all I have to say about that.

5. Taking Back Sunday- Louder Now- Want a real rock album? Boom. TBS has it for you. Louder Now is an understatement. The guitars ring with power and Adam’s vocal performance can wake a bear out of hibernation if needs be. It never lets up, never let’s you rest with it’s such force. Dang! It’s good.

4. The Matches- Decomposer- Wish this band was 1) better known and 2) still together. Their lyrics match perfectly with the musical direction with quirkiness and bangy uncensored honesty. With songs as dusty and sad as “Salty Eyes” and as poppy and fun as “Didi My Doe Prt II)” and “What Katie Said”  and others makes this collection overwhelmingly mind blowing. And having been partly produced by master Hoppus doesn’t hurt either.

3. Motion City Soundtrack- Commit This To Memory- Pop. Rock. Synthesizers. Messy guitars. Melody. Catchiness. Sing a long. Just a few things of how to describe MCS’s break out album. Take a listen to “L.G F.U.A.D.” and try to tell me their punchy lyrics aren’t addicting. Or have a gander at “Attractive Today” and not feel the same emotion as Mr. Pierre has had. Or try to even read the words of “Hold Me Down” and not get the same loneliness that had poured into the music of that tune. And being fully produced by Master Hoppus doesn’t hurt either.

2. +44- When Your Heart Stops Beating- Love this album. That is a command. There isn’t any way you can’t. It comes from the depths of love and bitterness. Demanding attention is the opening track “Lycathrope” that reeks of revenge. “155” and “No, It Isn’t” drips of action and reaction and charge and rage. Sweetly weeps the track “Make You Smile” that is a perfect background for any loving relationship. How says that good can’t come out of tragedy?

1. Blink-182- Self-Titled- I remember, so long ago, watching the “Cheetah Episodes”, which were basically the making of of the new Blink-182 record that never received a title. This collection was an investment of many months away from home and families, to create a true masterpiece of many different sounding tracks. Mark, Tom and Travis really went all out, no holds barred on these 14 bits of art; they went as far as getting the legend Robert Smith of The Cure to contribute to “All of This” for them. Themes include: loneliness, divorce, break ups, sex, love, lust, deceit and mending of relationships. All of these build the basis of something real and genuine, which is impressive for a group that is known for being naked. Now, all they need to do is do it again… and soon! But not so soon that it wont capture the magic they had those 7 years ago.

Well there you go, my biased but fair list of the round discs that have changed my perception of music and the world. And I sign my name to it… virtually.

-Jimmy

I will Sing It Loud

It took a lot of convincing myself and a leap of faith to download Sing It Loud’s debut LP “Come Around” because I’ve lost a lot of faith in the pop punk genre. I’ve noticed that the genre I’ve grown to love (through Blink-182, Motion City Soundtrack, Fall Out Boy, The Starting Line, etc.) has been suffering from modern day hair bands decked out with guy-liner. I researched and finally bought “Come Around”. I don’t regret it. The disc is grand. It’s not the stereotypical pop-punk sound we have been bombarded with by bands like All Time Low, Forever the Sickest Kids, Family Force 5 among others. These guys are much bouncier, actually give thought into their melodies and song structure. A selling point for me was that it was produced by Motion City Soundtrack’s guitarist Josh Cain, and Justin Pierre is (leading singer of the same band) is a featured vocalist on “We’re Not Afraid”. Of which is a stellar track, worth the download. I have to say that because of this band I am convinced that the synthesizer is the new lead guitar. They lace most songs with the intricate keyboard so nicely.

Apparently, I just found out, that they are releasing another disc soon. May 11th to be exact on Epitaph Records. I’m listening to their single “Sugar Sweet” right now. And my first impression would have to be that they are using a good clean guitar, with the background of a synth and a tight snare keeping walking tempo beat. Sounds great. Almost has a western color to it.  It speeds up right before the chorus keeping things interesting.

I’m telling you, give these boys from Minneapolis  a shot. I almost gave up on the pop-punk scene because everything and everyone was getting flushed out in the mix. These guys have stood out to me and have given me a new tempo for my heartbeat.

The Narrative

Funny story how I came to know these guys, the Narrative. So, I about a week or so ago I was headed for a road trip to UT and I wanted some new fresh music to listen to on the long drive. I went to Twitterworld for some help. And lo and behold I got a response. Suzie, vocalist and keyboardist, had this to say to me “new music suggestion: the narrative 🙂 indie pop with guy/girl vocals. hope you like!” I was amazed I got a response from a complete stranger but very impressed by the self promotion. That, my friends is legit.

So, I had a listen. Listened to the purevolume. Hopped on iTunes that night and bought their EP “Just Say Yes”. I was pleasantly dazzled (thank you thesaurus rex) of the simplicity, softness and relaxation tunes from this quartet. Hailing from Long Island, NY they’re sound is comparable to legendary indiest Death Cab for Cutie with a female touch and twist. It’s easy listening. Something you would put on while reading a pleasant book or on the way back from a loud obnoxious rock concert. Their notes soothe like cold water on a hot day.

Songs I’d recommend? “Libra” for sure. This has a a great back and forth compliment from guy to girl in a rush of rolling drums. Definitely a stand out track for me. “Eyes Closed” is a very calming track with tiny piano and consistent acoustic finger plucking. Musically, it’s delicious. All the others are very straight forward and soft, not much to talk about except for just easy listening. One nag I’d like to make is to give Suzie more up front vocals or more transition between the two vocalists.

Thank you Suzie for your shameless self-promotion!

Fun. is fun.

So, for this first installment of my reviews, I chose to do write about my favorite on my list because they put their stamp on my mind and I can write about them pretty easily. I also have homework to do, so I hope this will be a fast entry.

Fun.! (They spell it like that: “Fun.”) This band is such a fresh breath of air for my ears and for the industry. They are the byproduct of the late The Format and they have carried many elements of that with them. Nate Reuss (former lead of the Format) heads this collaboration with Andrew Dost of Anthallo and Jack Antonoff of Steel Train, thank you Wikipedia. Fun. uses many many techniques in song writing such as bridges, beat changes, horns, strings, piano, anything they want. Can’t hold them in a box.

For me, I’d say download their whole album of course, because they are just that good. But if you need just a little more convincing then youtube “All the Pretty Girls” music video. That song is catchy, dancable and a sample of how awesome they are. Their opening track, “Be Calm”, is such an eerie tune that might give you the creeps, but it’s so smooth in vocals and changes  in color it’s hard not to like it and to die in anticipation not knowing where it’s going to go next. “The Gambler” is also such a stand out track for me. It’s a straight piano and string piece detailing a tale that takes you back of love and life. (I believe it’s about his parents but don’t quote me on that.)

Basically, go buy, don’t pirate, buy, “Aim and Ignite”. It’s so full of intrigue and various textures that it will keep you entertained from beginning to end.

PS- I’m going to be seeing them with Paramore and Relient K in May. Way excited.