favorite albums as of 2018

Hello, 2018. Today is my one year anniversary of having this WordPress blog, so I’m going to write a post that I’ve been wanting to post since the beginning.

my favorite albums (as of 2018):

Your Favorite Weapon by Brand New

Well, this album is the soundtrack to my high school years. And nothing ever made me lose my innocence more than finding out that Jesse Lacey is a creep. However, this album got me through 4 years of ups and downs, car rides, and mix cds. Every angsty emotion one can feel is expressed in this album. Perfectly pop-punk, and released way to early for me to fully experience, this album is a banger.

Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels

Crazy for You – Best Coast

Another staple in my collection. I discovered this album in middle school, and it just stayed with me since. The lyrics are catchy, the songs are generally upbeat, and really captures California beachiness in an album. This album also introduced me to surf-rock which I later spent years listening to.

Peripheral Vision – Turnover

Floral Green – Title Fight

I listened to this album because an edgy guy dating my friend always wore a hoodie from this band. The moment I listened I was hooked, and I’ve loved it ever since. Definitely my favorite Title Fight record too, although I know lots of people disagree. I always found the lyrics to be captivating, the riffs to be smooth, and Ned’s voice to be perfectly harsh.

Damaged – Black Flag

It would be trite to explain this album. This is what introduced me to hardcore, and punk in general. Henry Rollins is fucking amazing. Pitchfork rated it a 9.2/10. Love, love, love it.

From Under the Cork Tree – Fall Out Boy

It’s my guilty pleasure album.

Days – Real Estate

(What’s The Story) Morning Glory? – Oasis

Almost too big to describe, but god damn this album captures everything I love in 90’s rock. Plus, that Gallagher sibling rivalry is interesting as hell, and almost adds to the beauty of the album, because you suddenly become aware that, Wow, they can’t make another album like this again. 

Under Soil and Dirt – The Story So Far

Third Eye Blind – Third Eye Blind

 

 

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worthwhile farewell show

On September 1st, the Christian hardcore band Worthwhileplayed their last set ever.

I initially was turned on to Worthwhile because of my boyfriend. He considers them to be one of his favorite bands, so we spend a lot of time listening to them. I really began to like them a lot. They are a “Christian” band, but it’s not like their lyrics are bible verses. Instead, they are a usual hardcore band, but with uplifting lyrics rather than angry or sad ones. “Posi”, you might even say. HA. I’m laughing at myself for typing that.

Anyway, I really started to like Worthwhile, and then on August 2nd, they announced their breaking up and moving on to better things. Well, they also announced a farewell at 924 Gilman St. I just so happened to have moved to San Francisco this month for school, and I had been itching to go to a show.

This show scratched that itch and introduced me to the Bay Area hardcore scene. Other bands that played were: In Her Own Words, Together Apart, and Movements. I was really excited to see Movements because I was a fan of their music already. All of the opening bands drew a significant little group, as devoted fans trickled through the doors all night. Each opening band described their own personal friendship to Worthwhile, which really felt nice because then I knew these bands weren’t just thrown onto the bill to fill up space. Worthwhile thanked their fans a million times through their set and threw a bunch of extra tee shirts that they had into the crowd. At one point, the vocalist’s dad was crowd surfing and stage diving, which was really cool to see parents supporting their children’s music and art.

I had never been to 924 Gilman before, but I was pleasantly surprised. The closest venue in my experience would be the Che Cafe in San Diego. Both DIY, both inexpensive, both capable of hosting large and small bands, both seemed to create a little local music culture. I really enjoyed being at that show, even though it’s a little far from where I’m living in south San Francisco. I can see myself attending plenty more shows in my time here.

chainfest 2016


The Chain Reaction in Anaheim, CA has officially existed for 20 years. For those unfamiliar with the music venue, the Chain Reaction hosts all ages concerts for inexpensive prices. The OCWeekly describes it as “the introductory venue for every band that passes through Orange County”. And they’re right – for the past 20 years most bands that have made it big have played here at least once. They decided to celebrate this milestone birthday with a huge festival to host the bands that have played the venue and reached some level of fame.


I bought my Chain Fest ticket months in advance for $63  in total, which is rather cheap considering I had a long list of bands I wanted to see that day. I had been anticipating the events for months as well, a group of my friends were going with me and we made an entire day trip out of it. As a planner type person, I looked on the Chain Fest website for the information I would need to attend the festival. I brought an empty ‘hydropack’ as per the rules, and knew that there would be no parking on the premises, but parking would be offered in nearby walking distance. Once my car of friends arrived at the venue we were incorrectly directed to a street that had no parking on it, so we looped around and asked another Observatory employee where we could find parking. This time we were directed to the correct street and found the parking lot – but for a $20 fee, which seemed hefty, but from the parking lot we walked directly across the street to the venue. So the parking was generally an okay experience, although a bit strange. I guess I kind of expected the employees to know where the parking lot was and also not to pay so much money, but the location made up for it. Plus, parking is always a hassle no matter where you go.


We arrive at the festival and immediately apply sunscreen and make sure our shoes are tied tight. We knew we had a long and hot day ahead of us, but being the exemplary teens we are, we were prepared. I first saw Turnover, who played one of the best sets I’ve seen them play. The band tends to be quiet and not make a huge introduction of themselves, but they seem well accustomed to playing large festivals like this one. The lead vocalist Austin Gentz did mention that this was the 3rd set they had played within 24 hours, but I still couldn’t tell if their quality wasn’t so great. They played their tunes, thanked the attendees and went off on their merry way – I can’t even give any complaints. I also saw Basement, The Story So Far, Citizen, and part of Dance Gavin Dance and Chon’s sets. The most striking of all the sets I watched that day was Title Fight’s, because I’ve never seen them live before and they did a way better job than I expected. I don’t know why, but I imagined Title Fight to be a band who was kind of douchey on stage, played their songs, and walked off as though they were the greatest rockstars ever. Maybe that’s because I think their music is really really great and I correlate great music with douchey band members just wanting the money from playing big shows? (I know, I know its a bad generalization).


Sorry for the tangent, but they absolutely killed it. They had some technical difficulties and played through them without seeming too frustrated or irritable. Title Fight rocks, I love them even more now.  The other bands I saw played awesome sets as well. The music was all well rehearsed, the bands were respectful of the venue, and seemed to appreciate the impact that the Chain Reaction has had on the SoCal scene.


My only complaint is that the festival was organized poorly. I was told on the website I could bring in an empty water bottle to fill up throughout the day, but there were no water fountains or such to fill said water bottle at. Otherwise, a bottle of water was $3 and thats a bit ridiculous to me since I brought my own. The festival also seemed over crowded, too many people were packed in a small space, and the indoor shows were definitely breaking some capacity laws. I cut the Observatory and Chain Reaction some slack though, this is the first of this festival, who knows if there will be another to come, and the bands they booked were killer. Their importance in the California music scene outweighs the planning issues, especially for the reasonable price tag. 8/10; would do again. Happy Birthday, Chain Reaction, we all love you.

premiere & interview: headstone

premiere & interview: headstone

San Diego based emo/pop punk band, Headstone, makes waves via delicate guitar riffs, sentimental lyrics and powerful stage presence.

I had the pleasure of sitting in on an in-home band practice this past week. Upon meeting the members, I was greeted with cheerful smiles and a welcome to a humble abode in Oceanside, the location of their practices. Their sweet appearance contrasts the hours that followed – their hardcore side shone through and blew me away instantly.

“We could describe ourselves as ‘aggressive emo pop punk'” says frontman and vocalist David Reyes, joined with nods of approval from bassist Isaac Ruiz and drummer Noah Rangel. While seemingly unsure of what genre to label their music as, the band is definitive of the direction they want to take. The group shared that their visions for the future include intimate house shows, the release of a demo they’ve worked hard on, and expansion in the local music scene.

“The biggest challenge from the beginning was finding a vocalist. Then, we realized our guitar player was our vocalist.” says Rangel. Ruiz jokes,”David was just like ‘Throw me the mic, let me recite!’ – it’s Eminem, guys.”

“The most pleasurable or fun experience as a band was the first time we ran through all of our songs without stopping and mentioning changes or tweaks to make to the music. The accomplishment of actually finishing things feels the best.” piped Reyes. While watching their practice that day, the band stuck to their word, a wave of relief washing over the room every time they played a song to satisfaction of everyone’s tastes.  When I asked how the music created as a band differs from the genres the members personally listen to, the answer was unanimous. They love the music they create, but each member has their own quirks. Headstone combines all of their favorite musical styles and never stays with one or another.

Kelly: “How did you all meet and decide to make music?”

Reyes: “I also met Tommy through local shows and mutual friends.”

Rangel: “Tommy told us about David and we said ‘Dude, hit him up!’. And then you did.”

The conversation sounded like an eHarmony commercial. The chemistry between members showed a love and compassion that surpassed their short history together. As soon as practice ended the members agreed to grab coffee after to continue chatting about their music. Most of the practice was spent messing around:English using his new guitar equipment to play from outside in the garden, whilst everyone else played inside with the speakers wirelessly connected to the vagabond guitar. Needless to say, the members of Headstone have a tight bond that is sure to produce stellar music in the future.

 


Kathleen Kelly – 2/22/2016