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LIVE Review: Justin Courtney Pierre

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who hates the term ‘frontman’ any more than Justin Courtney Pierre does. That being said, you’d also be hard pressed to find a more genuine front man than the perfectly disheveled Pierre. Regardless if fans had attended the show to catch another glimpse of Pierre singing familiar Motion City Soundtrack tunes, or were there to hear his debut solo record live, they left the Detroit show at The Shelter Nov. 2 entertained. Frontmen can be cocky — it’s almost expected. They can be…

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Electronica Indie Live Reviews Photos Pop Reviews Singer/Songwriter 

Live Review: EDEN

I’ve seen EDEN’s live set twice. Both times were an experience that is hard to put into words, similar to how its almost impossible to describe the genre of his music. This was the third leg of his Vertigo Tour, which coincided with his newest album of the same name. EDEN’s sets are pretty similar tour to tour, typically adding in any new songs he’s released. The most unique part of his performances to me is that its all about the music. You’re probably thinking, “duh its all about the…

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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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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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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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Indie Live Reviews News Reviews Rock 

REVIEW: The Gaslight Anthem Take Us Home One Last Time (Asbury Park, NJ)

Days into my Freshman year at a now defunct arts school thousands of miles away from home, I got dumped. Hard. Not only dumped, but replaced. Which, for an overly dramatic, heartbroken, homesick college co-ed, was just the worst thing ever. I wandered the mean streets of Chester, New Hampshire desperately searching for a place that felt like home to sit and lick my wounds. On one particularly cliche and dramatic night, I found myself wandering the graveyard alone. Laid flat on my back atop a quintessentially New England stone…

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Album Reviews Alternative News Rock 

Album Review: Blue October – ‘I Hope You’re Happy’

“I hope you’re happy” is usually a snarky, slap-in-the-face retort, but for Texas band Blue October, it’s a genuine well wishing, and a genuinely fresh outlook.  An outlook that for many years, has been dark, dismal, and yes — pure rock. The 2018 release of I Hope You’re Happy, via Up/Down Records, and leadsinger Justin Furstenfeld’s label, Brando Records, is out Aug.17. Sobriety sounds good on the often tumultuous Blue October soundscapes, although — it is a stark contrast to what many fans may be used to. Furstenfeld doesn’t label…

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Album Reviews Alternative Post-hardcore Rock 

Album Review: Rise Against – ‘Ghost Note Symphonies, Vol. 1’

The day Rise Against posted a teaser video on Youtube, with a reimagined version of “House on Fire,” from their 2017 Wolves album, I scoured the internet for more details. I’d been waiting on an acoustic solo Tim McIlrath (Rise Against) album for years, and had missed the boat on the 2013 Revival Tour with him, Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Matt Pryor (The Get Up Kids), Toh Kay (Streetlight Maniefesto), and others. Fail. If you’ve seen Rise Against live in concert, you might have experienced the lighter side of the punk rock Chicago…

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Album Review: Real Friends – ‘Composure’

You know the phrase, “It’s about to get real,” right? Well, Real Friends just released a brand-new record. For real. This is real life. Friday, July 13th, the Chicago pop punkers released their third record, Composure, via Fearless Records. The joke’s on you if you think Composure is anything but gimmicky though. The record has quite the tumultuous backstory, with lead singer Dan Lambton’s anxiety, depression and recent bi-polar diagnosis. He even took a break from the band in its entirety, after manic episodes, panic attacks and breakdowns. The band…

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Album Reviews Folk Reviews Singer/Songwriter 

ALBUM REVIEW: Mike Llerena & the Nerve

If The Decemberists and Green Day had a baby, they would conceive Mike Llerena & the Nerves. Hailing from Gainesville, FL., the band just dropped their first full length album on June 15th. The first song, “Last Words”, sets the tone for the album – high energy, feel good, real music that instantly gets stuck in your head. Tracks like “Crossfire” and “Mr. Favorite Son,” are the perfect recipe for a crowd of fans jumping and moshing. Halfway through, we hear a sentimental side with “Saturday Night” and “A Long Winter”. There…

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