Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Vampire Weekend's album is #1

Vampire Weekend has become the 12th band on an independent label to reach #1 on the billboard charts. The majors are no longer the only players in town! Check out this commentary by Yahya Chaudhry from the Indiana Daily Student:

Waffle Stompers' Stomping Grounds

With 3 EPs, 1st Place Jersey Shows
BOTB bragging rights, and several
tours behind them, New Brunswick, NJ
ska/punk band The Waffle Stompers
are all over the place. If you've
seen one of their energetic live
shows you'll know just why. We talked
with drummer Adam Kishbauch to find out a little about the stompers of waffles.

DS: I've seen your name all over for a long time now, how long have you guys been around?
Adam: I'm the most original member you'll find, it started as an idea when I was in 8th grade about 8 years ago. The current lineup you'll find now has been playing together for 5 years.

DS: In the early days you guys used to do costumed themed shows, what were some of the ones you did, and why did you stop?
Adam: Our very first show was for the Amnesty club at our high school, we decided to over-promote this band called "The Waffle Stompers" We blew everybody's expectations when we came out from behind the curtain dressed as the members of Kiss and covered "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister. We love classic rock and punk rock, and we were trying to be ironic and stay away from anything typically associated with ska. For 20-25 shows after that we had a different theme for every show which included cops & robbers, superheroes, bikers, kung fu ninjas, and Mario characters. We even had props to go along, like for the Mario show we had a Question Mark block which when we broke it, was filled with candy. We found that doing these different themed shows with the costumes and props was very expensive. Now we rely more on our energy, we start off every show wearing green tuxedo jackets which eventually come off to reveal whatever we feel like wearing that day.

DS: You guys won first place in the 10th Annual Jersey Shows Battle of the Bands, what have you guys done so far with your winnings?
Adam: We won $5,000 cash and we thought that's all it would entail. Our original idea was to spend the money on recording a full length, but now we're working
with Jersey Shows performing all over the place and we're in talks with Danimal Records.

DS: Ska seems to be making a comeback, why do you think that is and how do you guys fit into that?
Adam: Ska music makes people happy. You can't hear music with horns and not feel happy even if you're Streetlight Manifesto and have depressing lyrics. People can
only be depressed for so long and they want something to believe in. We always wanted to be like the Suicide Machines, they were a punk band that ska kids like.
We want to be the ska band that plays punk music which is harmony, melody, and vocal based. We have two music majors in the band and would like to add complexity
to pop music. One of our favorite reviews was "The Waffle Stompers aren't paving any new ground, but they know that". It's the honest truth, we want people to say "When was the last time
you heard a ska band?" This was music that made us happy growing up and if you believe in something than you might as well give all you've got.

The Waffle Stompers are touring with The Real Deal from Canada (Stomp Records) from February 3rd until Saturday Febaruary 6th when they hit NJ at the Clinton Community Center in Clinton, NJ. On Saturday February 27th, they open for Big D & the Kids Table at Starland Ballroom. They are also hitting up the tri-state area all month for headlining and featured spots.

Check out their myspace

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Man fined for "Rocking Out" to John Denver

A Wisconsin man was fined for listening to John Denver too loudly, more info here:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Try to stop the merge of Ticketmaster and Live Nation

Here's the content of an email forwarded from an independent promoter:

There's a train wreck about to happen and consumer groups say YOU will be the victim - if the two most powerful corporate interests in the live concert business get their way. But you can help stop the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation. The government needs to hear from music fans now. Tell the Department of Justice that you're against these monopolies amassing illegal power over consumers, before it's too late.

As a concertgoer you have already felt the pain, and if Ticketmaster and Live Nation get their way, it'll get worse. In the last 12 years, since Live Nation and its predecessor started its widespread take over of the concert industry, concert tickets have shot up 82% while the consumer price index has gone up just 17%*. We are concerned that if the two concert industry behemoths, Live Nation and Ticketmaster, were permitted to merge, the variety and quality of artists coming to local venues would be affected, and your prices could rise further and faster.

Five of the nation's most prominent public interest groups called on the Department of Justice to block the proposed merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation.

In the consumer groups' and lawmakers' words:

"Consumers deserve a fair deal in the entertainment marketplace, not the fewer choices and higher prices that would result from this merger," said Susan Grant, Director of Consumer Protection at Consumer Federation of America.

"This merger is an insult to both musicians and consumers," said James Love, Director of Knowledge Ecology International

"We cannot envision a remedy that would ease this chilling impediment to competition… In the absence of other effective, expeditious remedies, the proposed transaction should be prohibited." American Antitrust Institute White Paper

As described by Senator Herb Kohl (WI) in the Senate Antitrust hearing, "This merger will not only expand Ticketmaster's control of the ticketing market by eliminating a competitor, but it is also creating an entity that will control the entire chain of the concert business – from artist management to concert promotion and production to ticketing and ticket resale."

"This merger would be a disaster for consumers. Nothing short of blocking this takeover of the ticket market by two industry behemoths will be acceptable," said National Consumers League Executive Director Sally Greenberg.

"As president, I will direct my administration to reinvigorate antitrust enforcement. I will step up review of merger activity and take effective action to stop or restructure those mergers that are likely to harm consumer welfare…," said Senator Barak Obama when he was campaigning for the presidency.

If you agree with the consumer groups and lawmakers, make a difference and LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD NOW.

If you are tired of paying exorbitant ticket prices and service charges and paying for parking on a per head basis and dealing with the gouging, unregulated secondary ticket market in an effort to get good seating. If you are disgusted with paying more and more every year for the live concert experience THAN ACT NOW, CLICK ON THE LINK IMMEDIATELY BELOW AND SEND A MESSAGE TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE URGING THEM TO STOP THIS MERGER!

To learn more, check out:

Public Interest Groups Call on Justice Department to Block Ticketmaster/LiveNation/Comcast Merger

American Antitrust Institute's White Paper TICKETMASTER - LIVE NATION

Philadelphia Weekly's cover story "Monopoly Rules"


The 9:30 Club, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Jam Productions, Metropolitan Talent, Another Planet, Frank Productions, Stone City Attractions, Rams Head Live, The Black Cat …… and independent concert promoters and venue operators nationwide.

*Study by Princeton University economist Alan Krueger

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic defends Bono on Twitter, etc.

Here's an excerpt from Krist Novoselic's blog on Seattle Weekly:
When I logged onto Twitter yesterday, I discovered U2's Bono going down in Tweeted flames. Turns out the singer/philanthropist wrote a forward-looking Top-10 list for The New York Times in which he states, "A decade's worth of music file-sharing and swiping has made clear that the people it hurts are the creators." Bono just ripped the lid off the tension between a free and open Internet and the natural course of commerce that drives our information revolution.
I love Twitter, and it's disappointing to see the service manifest itself as a lynch mob. Bono is the latest in a line of good people who get trashed in the continuing file-sharing controversy. Hilary Rosen, Lars Ulrich, Prince, and Howard King are some of the most prominent of those who've gotten flamed by rhetoric more suited for the revolutions that brought in the 20th century.

Venture capital, risk, and the promise of wealth is what makes our networks expand and our processors speed up, to provide all the wonderful free content available at our fingertips today. Remember the old song "Working in a Coal Mine," with the line "How long can this go on?" The song alludes to the toil of the working man, but I'll put it another way: How long can free Twitter and YouTube go on?"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A new decade, a new retro

Ever since the 1970's (as far as I can tell) pop culture, music, and fashion from 15-30 years ago has seem to come back into popularity, generally averaged out to the "twenty year rule". Here are just a few examples:

-In the 1970's the 50's came back with the movie "American Graffiti", the "Happy Days" TV show, "American Pie" by Don Mclean about the 50's rock and roll, the "Buddy Holly Story" starring Gary Busey, and Grease. Punk rock which drew on early rock and roll came into fruitation during this decade as well.

-In the 1980's aspects of the 60's came back with films like "Eddie and The Cruisers" and "The Blues Brothers" which brought back Motown, Soul, and Blues of the 1960's. "Back to the Beach" was a straight up retro beach movie starring 60's teen idols Annete Funicello and Frankie Avalon. On top of that the 60's fashion made a comeback as represented in "Pee-wee's Playhouse" and the band the B-52's. Bands like The Beatles and The Doors had a resurgance of popularity during this period.

-In the 1990's the "classic rock" format was created comprising of mostly music from the 1970s. Grunge bands with long hair and a stripped down format came into the mainstream combining elements of influence from Led Zepplin to punk rock. Jam bands had a surge in popularity (Dave Matthews Band?) Punk rock also made a comeback with a new wave of punk bands such as Green Day and Rancid. The 90's saw a "Brady Bunch movie" a TV show based on the 70's "That 70's Show", and a huge resurgance for the "Star Wars trilogy".

-In the 2000's or the "aughts" we saw the resurgance and reunions of bands like The Police, Devo, Oingo Boingo, The Go-Gos, The Pixies. Not to mention new bands using synths again with a clear 80's influence such as The Killers, The Bravery, Peter Bjorn and John, MGMT, Vampire Weekend. Most recently with the death of Michael Jackson, his heyday of the 1980's became as popular as ever. Even spandex came back (as seen on "some" people) do you believe it?!

- While we're just days into the new decade, the 1990's retro movement has already begain in the late aughts with reunions (in some cases "reunions") of Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, Superdrag, The Toadies, and the recently announced reunion of Soundgarden. Haven't you noticed everybody wearing flannel recently?