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Ashley’s Top 5: Halloween Songs

by Ashley Winward | October 29, 2014

With Halloween just around the corner comes the sights and sounds of fall; pumpkins, apple cider, Halloween costumes, crunching leaves and the perfect costume party playlist! Here are some must haves to play this weekend for your monster bash.

 A scene from Michael Jackson’s classic Thriller music video  (Photo provided by Michael Jackson fan club)

A scene from Michael Jackson’s classic Thriller music video
(Photo provided by Michael Jackson fan club)

“This Is Halloween” by Danny Elfman – From the classic 1993 film, The Nightmare Before Christmas, it’s the perfect song to lead into this Holiday season. I’ve always loved this tale of Halloween Town because it merged my two favorite holidays together into a creepy, spooky, fantastic story. There have also been two amazing covers of this song by Marilyn Manson and Panic! At the Disco, though I prefer Brendon Urie’s interpretation over Manson’s.

“Time Warp” by The Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast – For me personally, it is not Halloween without sitting down with my friends and reciting all the words to The Rocky Horror Picture Show (and some of the audience participation lines as well). The main dance number to this peculiar musical has the potential to be the highlight of any Halloween party. You also have the chance to catch it live on campus in just a few weeks, as UNH’s Theatre department performs their fall show Nov. 12 through 15!

“Ghost Busters” by Ray Parker Jr. – The song inspired by a late night infomercial became the theme to one of the most popular films of the 80’s. Just about everyone knows the words to this track and its classic synth elements. There have also been some interesting covers of this song by a variety of artists, from Hoobastank to Bowling For Soup. This song is a must have for your party because if something goes wrong, who you gonna call?

“Thriller” by Michael Jackson – Halloween is just not complete without this classic from the late great Michael Jackson. I remember being younger and watching the iconic video over and over again trying to nail down those dance moves. Cool cover versions also include The Postal Service, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie, Imogen Heap and Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy. While I think this should be on your Halloween playlist, I think you need to watch the video as well!

“Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon – While not written for Halloween specifically, the furry monster is commonly mentioned amongst spooky lore. I absolutely love the piano melody in this song and it’s so popular you may have heard it in a recent Kid Rock song “All Summer Long,” where he sampled the track.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Halloween with plenty more treats than tricks!

Livewell’s Latest

by Shannon Livewell | October 29, 2014

André Allen Anjos: Where the Creation Comes From

Remix Artist Collective, better known as RAC, was founded by André Allen Anjos with partners Andrew Maury and Karl Kling. From 2007 on, RAC has been creating a never-ending mix tape of indie remixes that are becoming fan-favorites worldwide.

André Allen Anjos hails from Portugal  (Photo obtained via Facebook)

André Allen Anjos hails from Portugal
(Photo obtained via Facebook)

The collective has released remixes of notable artists such as Lana Del Rey, Edward Sharpe, Kings of Leon and Foster the People, to name a few.

On May 3, 2012, RAC released their first original song featuring Chris Glover entitled “Hollywood.” As a precursor for, at the time, their forthcoming album, the single gained a lot of attention and aided their word-of-mouth promotion a little further.

With the group’s latest album, Strangers, Part I & II (released April 1, 2014) still receiving immense amounts of attention, I was given the opportunity to talk with Anjos about his musical career, how it developed and where he foresees it heading in the future.

Anjos is a musician with experience in remixing, producing and songwriting. He has created most of RAC’s remixes, and his style is undoubtedly unique and ever developing. He is known for his distinctive sound and ability to manipulate analog tape for unique effects on his mixes.

“Music hasn’t always been something of interest to me,” he admitted when I asked if he had always known he was destined for the career he’s fallen into. “It was a hobby for many years. I was quite into design, and almost went to school for that. I’d say that was the turning the point; when I had to pick a college,” he went on. “It was never a clear vision, but it was either design school in New Zealand, or music school in Illinois.”

Anjos grew up in Portugal, but currently resides in Oregon. With such a vast difference between the cultural and musical tastes of where he grew up in comparison to where he currently lives, I wondered if he would say his past and home in Portugal influenced his musical style at all.

“It definitely influenced my musical passions in a certain direction. In Portugal, electronic music, at least at the time, was kind of the mainstream. I wasn’t into it at all, I really didn’t like it,” he confessed. “It took me a really long time to appreciate electronic music, but I grew up surrounded by it and being annoyed by it and my reaction to that was actually to get into metal and underground music. In the U.S., that was all kind of popular, but in Portugal it wasn’t even on the radio. I feel like that backbone that I got while living in Portugal in more of that standard rock genre has had a profound impact on my musical career.”

Strangers, composed of twenty-seven tracks on iTunes, possess an evident difference from other remix collaborations and collections. Perhaps Anjos rebelling against electronic music as a kid, and developing a passion for more Americanized underground rock, gave that edge to the album.

“The process of making the album was fairly simple. It was just a matter of sending out these demos that I had written and getting stuff back with a little criticism or direction. It wasn’t strange at all for me because I’m used to working remotely like that,” Anjos disclosed when talking about the evolution of Strangers. “Even if you throw me in a room with any artist, though, it still feels weird and new to me, just because I’ve been doing it remotely my whole life. That’s why I called it Strangers. Looking at the entire project it was kind of a theme that the tracks were constructed around people I’ve never met – and still to this day… have never met,” he joked.

“I recently did a collaboration with RZA from Wu Tang Clan and that was a little strange to me,” Anjos revealed when I inquired about his most interesting collaboration thus far. “He’s such a legendary figure that it was almost surreal. He walked in the room for the first time, we were at the studio in L.A., and it’s like 11:30 in the morning, and I was like ‘wait, what? He’s actually here?’ That was just so special and unique for me.”

While Anjos has many fans and listeners, he talks about how he makes his music for his own self-appreciation. It is easy to distinguish the musicians who make music because they need to, and who make music because the want to. It clear that Anjos wants to, and it becomes more evident with every new collaboration and release.

“My music is a very selfish and personal thing,” he explained. “There’s always an element to please other people and create something that they’ll enjoy – and you know, commerce and all this other stuff. At its very core though, I feel like music for me is very personal and I do it simply for my own entertainment. I always hope a listener will like it, but really, that’s not where the creation comes from.

“I actually have a Spotify playlist that I put all of my favorite songs into,” Anjos admitted to me when I asked about the tracks that inspire him to continue to make more music. “It’s kind of on-going and I add to it over time; I’ve been working on it since 2011. It catches a mix of things like songs I’m really excited about at the time, and then maybe my excitement fades a little bit down the road, but there are some gems in there.”

The playlist is composed of 172 songs (to date) and ranges from the likes of Beck, to Coldplay, to Bon Iver and Cults. The vast variety of this one Spotify playlist is enough to show a listener how Anjos has developed such a unique and well-rounded sound with his music.
I asked if there was a different sense of pride or ownership that came with releasing a remix over an original.

“First things first, I guess. I started remixing probably in 2003. I was dabbling in recording and remixing was an easy way to get a hold of vocals so I could write my own music underneath it,” Anjos explained. “Fast forward to 2005—I did my first official remix, and that was my entryway into the music industry and really persuaded me start RAC two years later in 2007. I don’t sing, and I wanted a vocal, so it was like, okay I’ll be practical about it and use someone else’s vocal and write my own music underneath it.”

“I don’t find much difference in between remixes and originals though, for me at least. They’re two very different things but the actual creative process for me is pretty much the same. I just write things that make sense. Underneath a preexisting vocal, or as a starting springboard, it really all boils down to the same thing in the end.”

It’s all the same thing in the end for Anjos’ listeners as well; amazing music that gets stuck in their head for days after listening. If you’ve never heard RAC or their remixes, you need to buy all of their music… right now… you’ll thank me later.

RAC will be performing live at Toad’s Place in New Haven proceeding The Knocks and Speak. The show is Monday, October 27, 2014—what better excuse to miss your Tuesday morning classes?

We Are The In Crowd – Full Interview

by Ashley Winward | October 29, 2014

AW: Ashley Winward

TJ: Tay Jardine (Lead Vocals)

Music Editor Ashley Winward and We Are The In Crowd's Tay Jardine (Photo provided by Ashley Winward)

Music Editor Ashley Winward and We Are The In Crowd’s Tay Jardine (Photo provided by Ashley Winward)

AW: You guys are coming up on a year since releasing Weird Kids, did you get the response you thought you would from the album?

TJ: That’s terrifying! I think we’re just seeing response I mean, that’s not clear. When we released the record, we were touring on it that same month so people didn’t know it. So we were playing the news songs and people were like……we were touring on it two weeks before it came out. People were filming and were shrugging their shoulders like “I guess this is new!” So it was hard to gauge reactions. Then on Warped Tour it was even more difficult because Warped Tour is just one of those tours that people come out to…go to Warped Tour. It’s not really your tour, so that’s also sort of strange to gauge. So now, we’re seeing everyone singing along to the new songs and it’s weird because it’s been 8 months but it all seems very new, it’s very strange how that worked out but I guess it’s just scheduling and all. You said almost a year and I was like “Holy Shit!”

AW: I know I loved Weird Kids because it was such a powerful album in the fact that it had so many hard hitting relatable topics. I was wondering if it was different writing some of these songs compared to previous, especially with the weight some of them had?

TJ: Yeah it was totally different, and some of it goes with the fact that we had a pretty crazy 2 years. During the last record cycle we were just constantly touring, just emotionally drained, we were never home so there was a lot going on. Then working with John Feldman he was like “C’mon Tay!” you know, pulling everything out of me, so yeah it was totally different and I think that it was really healthy for me especially to let go of these things, put them out in the world and pray they don’t hate me for it. It’s scary but it was so cool.

AW: This is obviously the Glamour Kills Tour, you’ve been working with Marky for a while now, modeling for their catalogue, being a part of the “We are GK” magazine. What about the Glamour Kills line enticed you to become so invested in it?

TJ: It is just the fact that we’ve known Marky for so long, it’s such a family based thing to us. Even growing up in the Poughkeepsie scene, before they moved into the city they were based out of our town, it was right there. So it was a brand that he created this culture for some bands and music that took off like crazy. It was something that our band as we grew up, could look forward to, it was an image. Now it’s just developing into something way cooler, it’s just that familiar hometown vibe that we love.

AW: There’s been a really big surge, at least within our music scene in the past 6 months focusing heavily focusing on women in music specifically. I know Marielle [Loveland of Candy Hearts] has been a part of it, you’ve been a part of it, Sydney [Sierota of Echosmith] has been a part of it. Have you felt that this has been a distraction to the music at all? Or more highlighting women in the scene?

TJ: Both I think? I like that it’s highlighting it, I like that it’s drawing people’s attention towards it but it’s also a topic that’s kind of difficult and scary to talk about because it’s so easily twisted. And so you could say one thing and somebody will say that you said something else but still quote you correctly and it’s just like, it sucks that it’s that way. But I think that the topic being highlighted is awesome because it is gonna open up people’s minds to what is happening not just, for lack of better phrase, I don’t know, “We have vagina’s burn all the bras!” You know what I mean? It’s not that intense, it can be, but I do think that sometimes it can be distracting because I’ve also seen it used as an excuse. I’m not going to throw out examples or anything because that’s not my business. You don’t use it as an excuse, you don’t see any minority, you shouldn’t see anybody in a situation go “well that’s because I’m this” that kind of weirds me out because now you’re just enabling it in a way. So yeah I think both. But it’s cool, it’s getting a lot better, I like that it’s in the air.

AW: Another cool thing recently was that you were named an MTV artist to watch, what would you like to say to all your new fans just getting to know the band and your music?

TJ: Hi!!!! I don’t know it’s nice to be introduced to a whole different group of people. We’ve always danced that line of being in the pop-punk scene and in the mainstream scene and I love that we can continue to walk along that border. I could never see us just being one, there’s never going to be like any choreographed dancing any time soon….or maybe a little now that I think about it *laughs*

AW: What makes you a weird kid?

TJ: So many things….. the whole Weird Kids thing was never meant to be like a title, it was just this theory that we always saw our fans as that, we just did our meet and greet and kids come up and there’s just so many strange personalities and it’s so endearing and so inspiring in a way and I think that’s what it really came from. We all have weird things about us right? Just hang out with me for a while and you’ll be like “Wow this bitch is crazy!”

AW: One last question, we go to a school that’s known for music; we have both a music industry and music & sound recording program. What kind of advice would you give to someone fresh out of college and trying to make it in the industry?

TJ: Well I think they have to be, you need to remind yourself that it’s a creative field. Even though you’re going to school it’s not about this textbook way of learning, I think it’s the same way with art. My sister goes to art school and she had to learn a lot of things on her own and develop a lot of her own options about this creative field, and I think that’s where a lot of people get stuck. If you’re doing this, you’re following a curriculum right? This is how it’s supposed to be, and then you step out into the real world and you’re like “But this isn’t what chapter 9 said!” and you’re really confused. But really what did you think was going to happen? I think that’s the best advice; we aware that it might not be, it’s definitely not going to be like a check mark kind of to do list kind of deal.

 

Tay Jardine Summons all her “Weird Kids” out to the Glamour Kills Tour

by Ashley Winward | October 29, 2014

Being from Putnam County, New York, I consider We Are The In Crowd to be a bunch of hometown heroes to me.

We Are The In Crowd (Photo provided by Ashley Winward/Charger Bulletin photo)

We Are The In Crowd (Photo provided by Ashley Winward/Charger Bulletin photo)

Just over into the next county in Poughkeepsie, I’ve watched Tay Jardine and the guys grow up from playing acoustic sets in the Glamour Kills warehouse to headlining their own tour with their second studio album Weird Kids this past year.

Their sound is that perfect blend of cute romantic pop and headbanging punk that will forever suit my every mood. Getting to sit down with the beautiful Jardine, who has been a role model for me the past few years, was an amazing experience that made me look up to her even more.

In the three year break between their debut album, Best Intentions, and the new release, an army of “Weird Kids” have risen up in the scene to much the surprise of their tiny brunette leader.

“The whole, ‘Weird Kids’ thing was never meant to be like a title; it was just this theory that we always saw our fans as that” Jardine explained. “We just did our meet and greet and kids come up and there’s just so many strange personalities and it’s so endearing and so inspiring in a way. I think that’s what it really came from. We all have weird things about us right? Just hang out with me for a while and you’ll be like ‘Wow this girl is crazy!’”

With “weird” shirts and all the words memorized, fans have been flocking out to hear some of the newer singles like “Manners” and “Best Thing (That Never Happened).” However, this was not the initial reaction for the album; it, in fact, took about eight months before it really took off.

“I think we’re just seeing a response. I mean, that’s not clear. When we released the record, we were touring on it that same month so people didn’t know it. So we were playing the new songs and people were like…we were touring on it two weeks before it came out. People were filming and were shrugging their shoulders like, “I guess this is new!” So it was hard to gauge reactions. Then on

Warped Tour it was even more difficult because Warped Tour is just one of those tours that people come out to…go to Warped Tour. It’s not really your tour, so that’s also sort of strange to gauge. So now, we’re seeing everyone singing along to the new songs and it’s weird because it’s been eight months but it all seems very new; it’s very strange how that worked out but I guess it’s just scheduling and all.”

When the lineup for the Glamour Kills fifth annual Fall Tour was announced, seeing Tay and the crew on the bill really was no surprise to me. Actually, I felt like it was a long time coming!

Seeing as many of the band have modeled Marky’s clothes for the website and they’re constantly out in the brand that currently promotes fans to “Create. Destroy. Rebuild.” It was a perfect fit.

“We’ve known Marky for so long; it’s such a family based thing to us. Even growing up in the Poughkeepsie scene, before they moved into the city they were based out of our town, it was right there. So it was a brand that he created this culture for some bands and music that took off like crazy. It was something that our band, as we grew up, could look forward to; it was an image. Now it’s just developing into something way cooler. It’s just that familiar hometown vibe that we love.”

Once their set started, I was reminded yet again why I look up to We Are The In Crowd. Even after seeing them five times prior, I felt like I was seeing them perform with new energy like it was the first time. Jardine has a stage presence that is commanding yet not boastful. She loves to get involved with her fans and she nearly bounces off the wall with excitement.

As an MTV artist to watch, We Are The In Crowd, in my opinion, can continue their skyrocketing success to a wider fanbase, and they, by all means, deserve it!

Local Gigs of the Week

by Ashley Arminio | October 29, 2014

 

Toads Placlocal gigs of the weeke
October 29: Lettuce with Exmag

October 30: Ty Dolla $ign with Lil Bibby, Joe Moses, and Tone Eyeful

October 31: Twiddle with MUN and Bobby Paltauf Band

November 2: Brothers Keeper with John Popper

The Oakdale
October 30: Carnage with Dzeko & Torres and Paris Blohm

The Space
October 31: Ex Hex with Speedy Ortiz, Ovlov and loom

November 1: AJR with Minor Soul and The Go To

BAR (21+)
October 29: Orchestra of Spheres with Florida= Death and Sun Dagger

Cafe Nine (21+)
November 1: Day of the Dead Burlesque Cabaret

Yellowcard goes classical

by Katerina Sperl | October 22, 2014

I felt like I was enjoying- enjoying for the first time- classical music when I heard the opening of “Convocation.”

Yellowcard recently released their ninth studio album, Lift a Sail (Photo obtained via Facebook)

Yellowcard recently released their ninth studio album, Lift a Sail (Photo obtained via Facebook)

Nope, this isn’t a Mozart masterpiece. Yellowcard surprisingly decided to start off their latest album, Lift a Sail¸ with a short classical instrumental piece. They took a chance and it seems to have paid off.

The result is actually beautiful.

The mellow piece somehow seamlessly transformed into a stereotypical Yellowcard sound. “Transmission Home” brings the band back to their punk roots. This latter punk part is equal in greatness to the classical beginnings, showcasing just how much the band has the potential to offer.

“One Bedroom” is an absolutely wonderful beat. The steadiness of the song breaks up the complication of the other songs a bit. The lyrics are a bit like a stereotypical love song, but I am somehow okay with this. The repetition got me so caught up in the song that I ended up feeling instead of listening with precision.

“The Deepest Well” (feat. Matty Mullins of Memphis May Fire) is actually the only track on the album that sounded like the Yellowcard I remember. While the purpose of the album was to try something different, it was nice to see something that sounded like their earlier music. It is always good to come back home.

“M&K” is an interesting mesh of classical and punk rock. The background instrumentals are absolutely beautiful. The light fluttering somehow complements the words perfectly. Warning: this song will consume you.

“California” lays just a bit boring. While it is relatable to college students, about long distance relationships, the relatability irks me. With this song, Yellowcard brings nothing new to the scene.
Overall, this album has some stand out tracks. However, the majority of the album is a little lackluster.

Local Gigs of the Week

by Ashley Winward | October 22, 2014

local gigs of the week

Toads Place
October 22: Shwayze with Cam Meekins, Carlton, Nikko Gray and DJ set by BVillain.

October 23: Flag Party

October 24: Shakedown: The Dead and Beyond with Deep and The Remnants

October 27: RAC with The Knocks and SPEAK

October 28: Jeezy

The Space
October 23: The Felix Culpa with Rescuer, Aviator, Foreign Tongues and Setsuna

October 24: Transit with Such Gold, Driver Friendly, Anchors Away and Belweather

October 25: The World is A Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die with The Hotelier, Sorority Noise, Rozwell Kid, Posture & The Grizzly

The Oakdale
October 26: Jason Derulo with Becky G and Walpaper

Cafe nine (21+)
October 23: Dan Bern with Seth Adams

Bringing Back The Sunshine

by Elyse Von Der Fecht | October 22, 2014

Blake Shelton is an American country music singer and a television personality. In 2001, he debuted with his single “Austin” off his self-titled album.

Blake Shelton (AP photo)

Blake Shelton (AP photo)

In 2003, he released his second album, The Dreamer, as well as in 2004 he released his third album, Blake Shelton’s Barn & Grill. A few years later his fourth album Pure BS was re-released in 2008. That same year, his fifth album Startin’ Fires, which featured his then-girlfriend Miranda Lambert, was released.

Three years later, in 2011, he became the husband of country singer Miranda Lambert and released his sixth album, Red River Blue. His eighth album, Based on a True Story, premiered in 2013 and became an instant hit. The following year he made his ninth album, Bringing Back the Sunshine, which features Ashley Monroe and Raelynn.

Overall, Blake Shelton accomplished 24 country singles, including 11 number ones, and is a five-time Grammy Award nominee.

Here were my thoughts on the songs of his newest album.

“Bringing Back the Sunshine:” I do like the fact that Shelton started his album off with a faster moving song. I felt like he wanted to leave you with that sense of the whole album in one.

“Neon Light:” I really enjoyed the instrumental parts throughout the song. It goes well with the rhythm of the song as well as the lyrics.

“Lonely Tonight:” Having this song feature Ashley Monroe added that perfect touch of the song because it’s about two people not being alone. I think by having this song feature Monroe really added that extra power to the lyrics.

“Gonna:” As I listened to the song, I liked the part where he had the harmonies of the other voices in certain parts.

“A Girl:” This song had a slower tempo and mood. I was able to just focus on the lyrics and what Shelton was trying to say about that special person.

“Sangria:” I liked the fact that he had a song on the album titled “Sangria;” it really made me giggle, but listening to the lyrics was something I didn’t expect to hear. It was very interesting, but still incredible.

“Buzzin’:” This song has that country vibe and swing affect as I listened to the song. Raelynn has an incredible voice, which gave the song that extra lift in the lyrics.

“Just South of Heaven:” Listening to this song was a different feeling when I heard his lyrics and what he had to say, but it was really inspirational and kept me listening to the whole song.

“I Need My Girl:” I would have to say that this is my favorite song on this album. I really like his emotion and passion expressing what he really is feeling. It was very touching.

“Good Country Song:” This song gave the overall album that vibe it needed about having a song pertaining to having a country song. Everyone has to have that one song just talking about country.

“Anyone Else:” This is another slow song and as I was listening to it I wanted to grab my friends and sway back and forth. To have the special moment with your friends who are there for you.

“Just Gettin’ Started:” Shelton knows how to pick a great song to end an album with. This song has a fast tempo and gives you that vibe to dance and have fun.
Shelton is also a judge on the singing competition The Voice along with Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams. He has been on The Voice since its premiere and his teams on seasons two through four had won the title of The Voice. Who will win this season? Make sure you tune in and watch.

Livewell’s Latest

by Shannon Livewell | October 22, 2014

Paul J. Phillips Brings Magic to the Music Industry

Paul J.Phillips recently moved to Nashville, Tenn. (Photo provided by The Press House)

Paul J.Phillips recently moved to Nashville, Tenn. (Photo provided by The Press House)

Paul J. Phillips was born into a family where following a path in pursuit of music was a destined staple in his future. Son of a Baptist choir director and classically trained soprano, Phillips grew up in Kentucky, knowing that he was meant to chase the notes of a melody that would make up the soundtrack to his future.

Thanks to the lovely people at the Press House in Nashville, Tenn. where Phillips has recently moved to from the Big Apple, I was able to sit down with him and discuss the passion behind the music, and the ideas that make Paul’s songs come to life.

They say music can be taught, but passion for it is intuitive. After speaking with Phillips, it seems his intuition and love for the arts stretches further than the distance he’s traveled to pursue his musical dreams.

When I spoke to Phillips, I was under the impression that Magic was his first solo E.P, but I stood corrected.

“Magic is actually my third solo recording; my first two records, Shooting Cars, Building Stars and Every Time I Leave are pretty straight-forward Americana. This new EP is a bit of a departure from that,” he explained, “and is more straight-forward rock and roll. With Magic, we were just trying to have a little fun with the music and also push the envelope artistically—do something different from what we’ve done in the past.”

When listening to the album’s title track, “Magic,” it is clear that “pushing the envelope” is exactly what Phillips had set out to do. With a 311 meets Jimmy Buffett at a local cafe on a dollar beer night sound, Phillips’ newly developed and strangely unique approach to his latest album release has listeners questioning his motives, while never demanding answers; the music speaks for itself.

When there is a title track on an album it’s almost like, “which came first? The chicken or the egg?” So I asked Phillips which “Magic” came first (the song or the album concept & name).

“The song came first. Then the chicken,” he joked. “I’m part of a group with some songwriter friends in which we try to write a song a day for the month of May. About a week or two in, when the fresh ideas slow down a bit, the really interesting songs start surfacing. One of the other writers and my good friend, Rollyn, wrote a little ditty about needing and enjoying an adult beverage at the end of a crazy days and Magic was basically a fun response to that.”

Basing an entire album off a fun response song is, from what I could tell during my time speaking with him, a very “Paul” thing to do. Did you ever see that episode of Friends? The one where Monica is trying to realize her dreams of being a chef while catering one of her mom’s dinner parties? (The One With the ‘Cuffs Episode 4.03) Her mom says that both of her parents made a bet that she would pull a “Monica” before the night was over. While in her moment of distress, Phoebe points out to her that pulling a “Monica” may actually be the best thing someone could do; that they could make pulling a “Monica” the best thing since sliced bread.

By Phillips, well, pulling a “Paul” I think you get the long-winded analogy that it’s actually the best thing he could’ve done. Basing an album off of chance, fun, experimentation; all of these things make for unique and inspirational songs that complete the entirety of an album that is more of a collection of art then a representation of sound.

“Funny enough,” Phillips said. “It originally started out as a reggae tune and when we started working on these new rock tracks, we took a new approach to the music. Magic is fun, lighthearted, rocking and bluesy and to me instantly felt like the single of the bunch, as well as the musical compass for the direction of the EP. For those same reasons we decided to use Magic as the title of the EP.”

And magic it is.

“I love to meet and hear stories about people that live life on the edge – those who push their own boundaries as artists, athletes, poets, adventurers, painters, musicians, etc.,” he offered when I inquired about his inspirations in life. “To me, it seems that when people are really pursuing what they’re passionate about, that’s when true beauty arrives and the world actually changes and evolves in a positive way. So to answer your question, both musically and personally, I’m continually inspired and drawn to people who pursue their life and art in that way. Luckily, I have many friends that inspire me in this way and I’m grateful for that.”

“The real challenge is not to survive. Hell, anyone can do that. It’s to survive as yourself, undiminished.”

Phillips quoted the above excerpt from Elia Kazan before speaking about the song that means the most to him off of the E.P.

“I think the one that means the most to me is “Fly Boy.” It is a biography of the life and adventures of Colton Harris Moore, the infamous ‘Barefoot Bandit’ and chronicles the story of his hardscrabble upbringing, and what he did to overcome so many obstacles. His story and character are so fascinating to me, and I love the way the music floats along with the story on this song.”

Phillips is all about the journey of the music. Where the song picks up the listener, the sites it shows them along the way, and the final destination. This is clear not only his individual tracks, such as ‘Fly Boy,’ but also with the conceptual idea of the E.P. When the listener finishes the journey, they feel complete. There are no unanswered questions, or unvisited territories. There is just music and the adventure it brought them on.

“A lot of my music has a sense of longing to it. With that is also a sense that there’s something on the other side of this or that experience or belief that can give us hope and something to fight for,” he expressed. “Most of anything worth fighting for can be reduced to love; it’s the most important thing we can feel, do, or be and I hope anyone who spends time with my music can get a sense of that sprinkled somewhere in the lyrics and melody.”

The hope is that you too, will experience the love that Paul Phillips captures in his ever-evolving music, and enjoy the journey that you embark upon from listening to Magic all the way through.

Fall Out Boy drops new single for Disney

by The Charger Bulletin | October 22, 2014

By Andrew LaGambina
Contributing Writer
alaga2@unh.newhaven.edu

Fall Out Boy’s new single “Immortals” serves as the band’s contribution to Disney’s upcoming animated superhero epic, Big Hero 6, and boy, does it have “Movie Single” written all over it. It’s clear that the days of creating heavy-hitting punk-influenced material is in the past as far as this band is concerned.

Fall Out Boy released their new single, “Immortals,” earlier in October (AP photo)

Fall Out Boy released their new single, “Immortals,” earlier in October (AP photo)

“Immortals” suffers from a lack of any real lyrics in its chorus, going instead for the often tried, and still boring, method of repeating a word over and over. And although the song features actual guitar tracks, it’s hard to keep track of them due to an onslaught of sampled percussion and some weird oriental-meets-crappy-techno sample that serves as the song’s main instrumental theme.

All that being said, this isn’t a bad song. Sure, it doesn’t hold up against anything the band released pre-2009, but that’s just one so-called hipster’s opinion. I’m only stating a fact when I say I liked them before they were cool, and I realize that the Fall Out Boy I knew is pretty much dead.

However, from their ashes has risen a new iteration of the band that knows how to survive in the pop world, and to their credit, I think they’re doing more than just surviving: they’re thriving. By focusing Patrick Stump’s ability to both write and sing insane hooks, and Pete Wentz’s quick-witted lyricism, and applying these things to pop music, Fall Out Boy has figured out a way to stay relevant without relying on the supersaturated pop-punk scene that they came up through.

It’s no secret that Stump’s voice is the main attraction, so it only makes sense that he seems to be the driving force in the band now. I’m perfectly okay trading in the guitar driven, drum smashing instrumentals of FOB’s previous material if I get to continue hearing Stump’s voice sing Wentz’s lyrics.

With the music business being a risky place to make a living, I don’t blame Fall Out Boy for going the Pop route. Considering they were a pop band playing punk music for three-fourths of their career, it’s not like this was ever a surprise, either. I’m not naïve enough to call them sell-outs, because they aren’t. They’re excelling at writing pop songs that, even while bordering on boring sometimes, are still better than 99 percent of what “pop” artists these days are pumping out. If they’re making much-needed money doing that, who am I to complain?

The point is, while “Immortals” is probably anything but immortal, this band, if they stay true to who they are, just might be.

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