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Album Review: Justin Courtney Pierre ‘In the Drink’

When Motion City Soundtrack took an indefinite hiatus in 2016, fans were hit. Hard. Right smack in the face. Especially me. I was hoping for a 20th anniversary of the band (co-founded by Justin Courtney Pierre and Joshua Cain in 1997), but alas, they hit the pause button just a year short of that milestone. Known for their incredibly catchy beats, the Minneapolis alternative rock band managed to find a perfect balance between poppy synths, and dark, dismal, often dysfunctional lyrics. The clouds have cleared, and Justin Courtney Pierre is…

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Alternative Features Indie New Discovery News Rock Unsigned Spotlight 

Unsigned Spotlight: Guss Royall (Waterloo, IA)

In recent years we’ve seen a notable and refreshing surge in bands wearing their classic rock influences on their sleeve, helping connect the next generation to many of the greats we and our parents listened to. Greta Van Fleet is a large-scale example, but another up-and-coming quartet is bringing back classic bluesy-rock vibes and mixing it with their own modern alt-rock sound for a highly memorable blend. Enter Waterloo, Iowa’s Guss Royall. The “about” section of the band’s Facebook page makes it clear in just a few words what Guss…

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Features News Singer/Songwriter 

PREMIERE: Rob Jamner “Never Again”

(Photo credit: Kersh Branz) Today we have the premiere of Bay Area Rob Jamner‘s new track “Never Again”, a moving call to action surrounding the United States’ current rejection of refugees and asylum seekers. Coming from a deeply personal place—Jamner is the grandchild of two Holocaust survivors—this compelling lyric video was created with the goal of bringing to light the disturbing similarities between today’s trends of xenophobia and isolationism, and the popular attitudes of the 1930s and 1940s. “Many Americans are afraid that refugees will steal jobs, and that there are…

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Live Reviews News Photos 

LIVE REVIEW: Blue October

After bus troubles that canceled their first stop on the ‘I Hope You’re Happy Tour,’ Blue October held nothing back at the show Sept. 29 at the Intersection in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Leadsinger Justin Furstenfeld addressed the crowd of 1400 people multiple times about how excited he was, and what a great time he was having. He even joked after the final song that he wished he could play more, but regretted to say he couldn’t. Except he could. And he did. The 20-song set included “Into the Ocean” pretty…

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Alternative Features Indie New Discovery News Singer/Songwriter Unsigned Spotlight 

Unsigned Spotlight: Bernie & The Wolf

This week’s edition of Unsigned Spotlight shines on Chicago-based indie rock duo Bernie & The Wolf, comprised of singer/songwriter Bernadette “Bernie” Conant and Erik “The Wolf” Lobo. B&TW’s sound is a mix of chaotic alt-rock and indie rock with a few math elements, all balanced with the shimmering beauty of the vocals and occasional acoustic guitar. It combines to create a sound that is very much the duo’s own and firmly stands out from the crowd. Hot on the heels of their 2017 LP Catch Some, Bernie & The Wolf…

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Alternative Features New Discovery News Rock Unsigned Spotlight 

Unsigned Spotlight: After Arizona (Rock/Alternative)

This week’s Unsigned Spotlight takes us over to Lincoln, Nebraska alt-rock quintet After Arizona. Tinged with the classic grittiness of Midwestern rock & roll and the heart-on-your-sleeve honesty of modern emo, After Arizona have formed a sound listeners won’t forget anytime soon. Listening to the band’s 2016 single “I Can’t Do This On My Own” (watch the lyric video below!), you’re equally amazed at how refined the band’s sound already is and excited at what future releases will bring. This song is a fast-paced banger with lyrics that deal in…

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Album Reviews Indie News Pop Pop Punk Reviews Rock 

Album Review: Super American ‘Tequila Sunrise’

The popular Los Angeles rock band the Eagles sang about a “Tequila Sunrise” on their Desperado album back in 1973.  This Friday, Sept. 14, Buffalo NY Indie rock duo Super American are releasing their debut album of the same name —Tequila Sunrise, via Take This To Heart Records. This time around, the record delivers a 13-track set of catchy songs and memorable lyrics perfectly matched to any non-committal, slacker, equipped with an ironically soft spot for falling in love. The record manages to remain upbeat, in what otherwise could be a…

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Features News The Most Important Thing I've Learned 

The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned: Creativity Is A Habit

I often think of my creativity as a relationship. There are ups and downs. There are seasons of my life where we spend every waking moment together, completely infatuated. Then there are times where seeing each other is like trying to plan a trip to Key West in the winter time. If you’re not familiar with this particular experience, the island has a tendency to book out months in advance. Though difficult to sort out the timing, it is still very worthwhile, so I hear! The same is true of…

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Features Mental Health Matters News 

Mental Health Matters: My Eyes are Up Here

Here is something every artist with mental illness needs to hear: “You are not your disease.” Here are some things every artist with mental illness actually hears: “ Your disease is a value-multiplier and a central part of your personal brand.”                 – The Industry  “Your disease is what makes you relatable and what makes your art beautiful/inspiring/authentic.” – The Marketplace Four years ago, while in the midst of a rather savage run of drug and alcohol abuse, I was witness to a “car vs. person” hit and run that involved…

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