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       LP (Laura Pergolizzi) is an alternative rock singer and pop/rock songwriter. She was signed to her first label in 2006 and began writing songs for other artists, including Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, Vicci Martinez, and Rihanna.
       This is the best way I can find to describe seeing, then hearing, LP perform for the first time: 

       In 2011, LP signed to Warner Brothers Records and, shortly after, her song, "Into The Wild," was featured in a Citi Bank commercial; it's the song people most recognize, solely because a few lines were featured in a thirty second commercial, but the song itself is truly great. It was the first song LP performed which she had written herself; she performed it in front of the music industry people she normally associated herself with and has stated that, though she enjoyed song-writing and working behind the scenes, she had gotten to the point where she had written songs she felt only she could sing.
       Her first album, Into The Wild, is a compilation of five of her songs, recorded live. Her next full-length album is, supposedly, in production and set to be released sometime in 2012, though this year is coming to a surprisingly quick end and a release date has yet to be set.
       LP writes all of her own songs, giving herself the advantage of writing a song which will best suit her voice but, even when she does her covers, her voice is amazing. "Levitator" and "Wasted Love" are my favorite songs of hers but, though "Levitator" does show off her voice, her voice is not quite as amazing in the other songs as it is in "Someday" (a song she co-wrote with Isa Summers, from Florence + The Machine).
       Hearing her sing, or watching her live performances, on your computer or iPod does not do her voice justice. Her stage presence is so powerful, a feat especially difficult for a single female with only a ukulele and a microphone at their disposal, that it gives the songs a sense of urgency, in a good way, the way that you can only feel at a concert; blissfully happy with the performance, amazed by how great the artist is live, and desperately waiting for the next song so that you do not miss a thing. I feel slightly indebted to my friend for forcing us to arrive at the festival early to get good 'seats' for Passion Pit, and then for forcing me off the curb and up to the front of the gate to watch LP perform, rather than ignoring the stage until Passion Pit was on it (the only other time she was this right about a situation was when she claimed that, no, I was not too white to see Wiz Khalifa).
- E


Album Releases

       September was full of highly anticipated, by me at least, releases. The bands all finished their summer tours and music festivals and their labels are desperate to get out the newest albums before their band is forgotten in the haze of the fall concert season. If you missed any releases, here are a few to catch up on:
Kodaline- The Kodaline
Two GallantsThe Bloom and the Blight
Alt-J- An Awesome Wave
The Chevin- Borderland
The Killers- Battle Born
Green Day¡UNO!
       This is just a minuscule list of all the albums (and a glimpse at a few of the songs) released in September; if you want an incredibly long list filled with artists who have not been given any mention, just try typing in September releases and I'm sure you'll get a long list of the albums released this month. Though this month is coming to an end, October is promising to present us with plenty of good releases, as well:
10/02- Matt & Kim- Lightening
10/02- Tilly and the Wall- Heavy Mood
10/09- Ellie Goulding- Halcyon
10/09- The Script- #3
10/09- Fitz & the Tantrums (There is no information on the title or when it will actually be  
       released, only this date and an old comment from Fitz, stating that he hopes the album is 
       released by September--a little late on that one)
10/30- Andrew Bird- Hands of Glory
       Now, to wait and see if they are released on time, and if they are worth the wait.
- E



       No matter how 'good,' relatively, your taste in music is, everyone has that one band or artist they cannot get enough of. My friend used to refer to this person as "forbidden fruit" and would walk around saying "Taylor Swift is my forbidden fruit," which was kind of funny, until she came out (erm, my friend, not Swifty), then it just got a little weird (she realized this before we did though, and decided that the term, guilty pleasure, was more socially acceptable).
       My guilty pleasure is Ke$ha. She kind of got overlooked in the whole Katy Perry/Lady Gaga era, but Ke$ha is amazing all on her own. She puts on a great show, without the incredible weirdness of Lady Gaga or the awful sweetness of Katy Perry. She's just better, overall, because she's crazy weird (without reaching the awkward stage), has some really nice songs (without being sickeningly sweet), and does whatever the fuck she wants (without being annoying about it). I kind of stomped on Lady Gaga a lot in that sentence but, really, she's just annoying. Who wears a meat dress or heelless heels (the fuck came up with that torture device; I prefer my heels to have heels)? That's the same as screaming, "PAY ATTENTION TO ME; I AM INSECURE". Ugh, Lady Gag.
       Back to the greatness of Ke$ha- if you can make a music video like this and dress up Simon Rex like this, while still writing a song like this...or this... you're pretty great; being diverse is a strength, not a weakness. And turning around from the dirty look and feel of "Tik Tok" to make something that's, literally, sparkling and bursting with color in "Take It Off," is kind of impressive (plus, if you don't feel like singing along to "gonna get faded, I'm not the designated driver, so I don't give a, I don't give a,--supreme auto-tune-- I don't give a," then you're just not fun).
       That's the point of Ke$ha, just to be fun. There is the occasional serious song ("The Harold Song," "Dancing With Tears In My Eyes"), but Ke$ha's music is more concerned with getting you to dance than in getting you to think about deeper issues. Every once in a while you need to listen to an upbeat artist like this. I know that, after an hour and a half of listening to all of her songs in my iTunes, I feel kind of great (either that or that fourth cup of coffee finally kicked in...). Either way, I cannot wait until Warrior is released December 4th.
- E


"Start A Fire"

"Start A Fire" Ryan Star
       I was addicted to this song my freshman year, and now I remember why. It's not the best song, per say, but it's really catchy, and no song is more perfect for scream/singing on the highway than this song. 
- E    


"Grapevine Fires"

"Grapevine Fires" Death Cab for Cutie
       Depressed post. -Sigh- Sad panda. Listen to the song.
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"Lessons Learned"

       I hate mornings. But Matt & Kim make them a little bit better. This is a great song, and a kind of terrific music video. The only video of theirs that is almost as great as this one is "Daylight"; It's adorable, yet predictable, and "Lessons Learned" is just a better song to start your day. So start your morning the healthy way, by watching Matt & Kim strip down in Times Square.
- E

The Gaslight Anthem

       The Gaslight Anthem formed in 2006 in New Jersey, composed of Brian Fallon, Alex Rosamilia, Alex Levine, and Benny Horowitz. They're an indie punk rock band with rough, honest lyrics and guitar riffs that suck you into the song, completely. Brian Fallon's voice is perfectly suited for the edgy, ragged rock, yet somehow maintains the ability to appear smooth when set against the rough lyrics and constant rock back beats.
       I heard "The '59 Sound" at a time in my life when the lyrics, "young boys, young girls, ain't supposed to die on a Saturday night" hit close to home, and have loved them ever since. There is nothing forgiving about their lyrics, and each album becomes more expressive, and truthful, than the last. Their first album, Sink or Swim, had the same rough edge that The Gaslight Anthem has become known for, but the band played it safe on the album, worried about whether fans would like them or not. Their second album, The '59 Sound, showed a little more from the band, as they realized they had a strong fan base and did not have to worry about pleasing their fans, but they were still trying to work their way into a specific place in the rock band demographic. It was not until their third and fourth albums, American Slang and Handwritten, respectively, that the band really began to come into their own. The lyrics from these songs show that the band has grown, which is good, because their fans are not staying the same age as they once were (i.e. I will always love "The '59 Sound," but it just doesn't sound the same now, as it did to an angry 15 year old).
       Each lyric is well constructed, sounding more like a memory than a rehearsed line, and the songs have more emotion in their last album than they had in their first two combined (not that those first albums were not amazing, I can't count the number of times I have played "Here's Lookin At You, Kid," the band was just more confident in their work by this point). The fact that these songs are all so real that you find yourself getting caught up in them, forgetting about how perfectly put together the piece is and how poetic the lyrics are, only makes it all the more lovely (not that most rock would, should, be described as lovely but, in this case, that is more of a compliment than anything else). It is difficult to reminisce on your past without sounding as if you are harping on it, yet the band manages to, not only use their own memories to create emotion (in not just the lyrics, but the music), but to evoke a memory for the listener, from their personal experiences.
       Overall, if you don't smile when you hear Fallon's voice, or when you hear lines like "did you hear your favorite song, one last time" or "And the night was lonely next to me, even the night was lonely next to me" then you need to take a musicology or music appreciation class (you can't make a bad choice with a music course. They're the only classes I actually attend on a regular basis). The lyrics are artful, well thought out, and just plain honest, and each piece is put together so brilliantly that I am hoping it makes it improbable that anyone will not like the band, because they are too great to miss out on.
- E


"3 AM"

       After six years, insomnia is more of an accepted practice than an unexpected nuisance. I'll just hang out with Rob Thomas.
- E



       The indie foursome from Dublin has been making a splash in the internet world lately and their first EP was released only two weeks ago. The band is comprised of Steve Garrigan, Vinny May Junior, Mark Prendergast, and Jason Boland and the fact that three of the members grew up together (Garrigan, Prendergast, and May) seems to give the band an edge, as their sounds all blend seamlessly together and they are able to stay on the same track, even as their sound changes from one sub genre to the next with each song on The Kodaline.
       While some question whether the band is ready to make their debut, due to the wide variety of sound featured on their first EP, I would say that the variety only adds to the bands charm. They are finding their niche in the music market, without eliminating their options for the future as the band grows (bands are supposed to change as they mature, the same way that their audience does). This wide variety, going from a retrospective look at a relationship in "All I Want", to the psychedelic rock of "Lose Your Mind", which quickly turns to the edgy indie rock sound of "Pray", before ending on the sweet, alternative rock anthem "Perfect World", gives them a larger demographic than a perfectly structured and easily defined genre would provide. 
       The EP is comprised of mature break-up songs whose raw emotions lie across the surface of each guitar riff, in an apparent contrast to the sing-along, synthesized pop singles we have become so accustomed to expecting from our artists. Each song seems to be put together meticulously, with the music mirroring the meaning behind the lyrics perfectly and I can't seem to stop playing it the album on repeat.
       The band is talented, obviously, or they would not be able to put together such a thoughtfully thorough, and diverse, EP; it won't be long before a fan base develops and demands a full length album. While all the bands I feature are amazing, they will not all be famous; Kodaline will be famous.
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The playlist blasting from my car's trunk this month (my dad has very creative, and inexpensive, ways of fixing my car speakers when I blow them out...again)

"The Thrill" Wiz Khalifa
"I Will Wait" Mumford & Sons
"Primadonna" Marina and The Diamonds
"Sunshine" Matisyahu
"Mountain Sound" Of Monsters And Men
"Forever" Youngblood Hawke
"Stubborn Love" The Lumineers
"Better Side" lady danville
"Something Good" Alt-J
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" Taylor Swift
"Blue Eyes" Timmy Curran
"It's Time" Imagine Dragons
"Take a Walk" Passion Pit
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New Greats

       Every great band who has bowed down or broken up has provided the next 'great band' with an opportunity to become the best in their genre, subjectively.
       For instance, there are the great bands who started a genre and gave those smaller bands, already working in that music field, a chance to shine. Red Hot Chili Peppers and REM were really the first two bands to bring the alternative rock genre onto the scene. How many bands would not have had their chance if they had not gotten the general public interested in this genre? Grunge, a sub-genre of alternative rock, would not have had a chance to come out of Seattle, and Kurt Cobain might not be famous (and I might not have been slightly scarred by having to read his diary for class). Certainly, Pearl Jam, stemming from Nirvana's original (pre-fame) drummer, would not have been able to ride the coattails of Nirvana's fame and turn grunge into a movement. Had alternative rock not been introduced to the music world, all the indie bands we have loved (The Hush Sound, Bright Eyes, The Decemberists, The Script, Fleet Foxes, and so many, many more) may never have had a chance.
       In much the same way, The Beatles opened up the floodgates for every, so-called, 'British Invasion,' and where would we be without Ed Sheeran, Queen, The Wombats, or Arctic Monkeys? The Beatles also posed the chance for an American retaliation, giving us The Monkees (if you've seen "Shrek," you'll know at least one of their songs, but listen to "Daydream Believer" or "Last Train to Clarksville") and, a competing style (in proper American fashion), The Beach Boys. If The Beatles are even partially responsible for giving Brian Wilson the chance to write and compose music, they deserve much more praise than they already receive.
       Robert Johnson's incredible guitar skills far and beyond exceeded any comments on his race, at a time where racial hatred ruled. And how many doors did Aretha Franklin open when she preached "Respect" in a primarily male business, dominated by, more specifically, white males?
       Moving on from genres, and preaching about the late greats (just listen to "God Only Knows," there's a reason it is so well known, and the composition on "Good Vibrations" was so far ahead of its time...) individual bands have largely, and most likely unknowingly, played a large part in their successor's popularity.
       After 3OH!3's initial success with Want and Streets of Gold, they didn't seem to drum up too much further excitement, although I'll be the first to admit I did spend an awful lot of time playing "Set You Free" from Omens, though that album just did not bring the same type of hype and excitement their previous albums had. This may be because fans of the pop duo had found a new, more adorably awkward, twosome over the summer who advocated the right to "shake that"; LMFAO has taken over as the kings of party pop, previously held by 3OH!3. A few years ago, "Don't Trust Me" was the best you could hope for but now, "Party Rock Anthem" offers a much less misogynistic, with a much better dance beat, option, and it doesn't seem like they'll be giving up their spot (LMFAO that is) anytime soon.
       On the other end of the spectrum, The Hush Sound was fantastic and, though they tried their hands at starting new bands after their break up, Stamps and Gold Motel could just never reach the same level as The Hush Sound. They did leave a void in the male/female indie band demographic though, leaving just enough space for Of Monsters And Men to make their way into the top 40. They are a truly fantastic band, with great lyrics and music, and may not have been able to come to fruition, at least at this level of success, if they were being overshadowed by a previously top contender. And the same goes for The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons, not that Mumford & Sons bowed out or broke up, they're amazing and I can hardly wait four more days for their new album, but their sound, and certainly their popularity, showed people that this type of music could dominate the charts and got some interested in the folk music they may have never considered before (a lot of people shy away from anything that seems close to country. Never prevent yourself from hearing a genre of music, they are all great...except maybe metal, I just can't wrap my head around enjoying that sound...), opening the door for a band like The Lumineers to show people what they could do. Their lyrics are horribly endearing (you're broken if you don't want to tear up for a second when he says, well, anything, in "Stubborn Love". Honestly there are so many lines; "She'll tear a hole in you, the one you can't repair, But I still love her, I don't really care" or "the opposite of love's indifference"- perfection). This is the era of the alternative and indie bands (finally), and hopefully all the greats that tumble in after these guys will have lyrics just as sweet, crooning about their "sweetheart".
       Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes gave us all a taste of the more unique end of the alternative/indie line, and have given young bands like Youngblood Hawke and Albama Shakes the chance to showcase their talent.
       Every band has lent their hand in helping the next band share their music and, as music often saves us from ourselves, helps us to discover who we are and, in doing so, gives us an identity, the impact of each separate band, no matter how small, should not be undervalued. Every great band who has ever bared their souls in a recording studio, or a street corner for that matter, has given us something to cherish, so here's to all the bands who have bowed down and moved on to allow a new band to move in and prosper. Your efforts are all appreciated, thousands of dollars of appreciation if my iTunes account is correct (it was money well spent, mostly). Cherish your favorite band today, they might be the ones to lead the way for your favorite band tomorrow.
- E
MY favorite band, though you don't care...listen to them anyways. They're truly great.


Worst Day

       You know those days where it seems like the entire fucking world decided to take a collective shit on your soul (eloquent, I know)? That was today...yesterday now? The point is, after kicking the wooden cabinet door in the kitchen, which may now be broken, the only thing that calms me down is some Mumford & Sons. I think it has to do with the fact that country reminds me of childhood and that, mixed with the alternative folk rock, is rather soothing, or maybe it's just because I kind of like Winston Marshall (when his beard is more five/ten o'clock and less pedophile in the country).
       These few songs just calm me down enough that I don't need to strangle the punk who just got his license and is riding my poor car's ass in the car his daddy just bought him. Dick (I love to curse; every word, despite it's meaning or crudeness, is part of the English language and should be cherished for its value in said vernacular, but I never curse more than I do while driving, or at rich kids, or republicans...I swear I'm not an angry person. Usually).
       Back to the point, if you're ready to simultaneously cry and begin punching kittens, listen to these songs to try to calm down. If you are not like me, I am sure your nearest animal shelter is just teeming with newborns, as no one knows how to get an animal fixed anymore, you can punch.*
 Click HERE! for the best Mumford & Sons songs, thus far. I mean, they're all good but, well, click on the link and don't fuck with me (I may still be a little perturbed by the day's events).
- E
*Please do not start punching animals. They're soft and cuddly and really fun to hug after a day such as this. Go to your nearest shelter, adopt the first five animals you see, and just hug them. It will be adorable. And probably overwhelming. Get only one animal.



"Primadonna" Marina and The Diamonds
       I put a lot of work into this post. No, seriously; I almost missed my connection and ran across the length of an airport to get to a city that played this song every ten minutes on KREV. It's okay though because the song is pretty addictive and her voice is kind of awesome. Enjoy. 
- E


Tokyo Police Club

       The indie rock band, consisting of David Monks, Josh Hook, Graham Wright, and Greg Aslop, formed in 2005. They have achieved much success in Canada with their catchy beats and sing-along lyrics but, though they have performed multiple times on The Late Show With David Letterman and toured with well known bands like Passion Pit, Weezer, and Foster the People, they have not made as much of an impact in the US yet.
       The band released their first EP, A Lesson in Crime, in 2006 and their second, Smith, in 2007. They did not release their first LP, Elephant Shell, until 2008 and their album, Champ, was released in 2010. In 2011, they worked on their album, Ten Songs, Ten Years, Ten Days. Their newest album was rumored to be released during the summer of 2012, so here's hoping that it will be released soon.
       Though their songs have not yet topped any of the US charts, it won't be long before their single is played one too many times on your local radio station. I fell in love with the band and their sound in high school after I found their album and, deeming their cover cool, yet understated, enough to represent a pretty good band, I bought Elephant Shell and quickly came to the conclusion that "Tessellate" was my new favorite song; there is nothing that can pick me up on a really crappy day like that song can. The best thing about this band is that all of their songs have this ability to make you feel great just by listening to them. The lyrics ring so true and each song manages to sound upbeat, rather than depressing, despite what the lyrics may imply (take "Graves" for example).
       Their second album, Champ, is even better than their first album. Songs like "Wait Up (Boots of Danger)"  and "End of A Spark" were made to be blared on car speakers on your way down a highway, and there is nothing quite so great as listening to "Gone" on your way to the beach. Each time the band releases an album, they manage to make it better than their last.
The band is amazing (and one of the few that is better live than they are recorded) so check out the websites below and listen to some of their music. Besides, the guitarist is adorable, so they're fun to watch.
- E