Saturday, February 28, 2015  
The Charger Bulletin

MIC show weathers storm for Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties

by Ashley Winward | February 18, 2015

On Saturday, Feb. 14, fans piled into the German Club to get out of the bitter cold to enjoy the acoustic stylings of The Wonder Year’s Dan “Soupy” Campbell under the pseudonym Aaron West.
Aaron West has been a character study Campbell has been exploring for the past year with his “debut” album We Don’t Have Eachother. The show also featured support from bands The View from Up Here, Everything Ever and Call It Arson. It was certainly a Valentine’s Day to remember for everyone in attendance regardless of whether they came with a date or not.

Aaron West performed in the German Club at UNH, Feb. 14 (Photo by Dave Taylor)

Aaron West performed in the German Club at UNH, Feb. 14 (Photo by Dave Taylor)

The Music Industry Club hosted the night. “This event was definitely one of MIC’s best shows in a long time in terms of attendance,” said Jong Kim, vice president of live sound for MIC. “We were also able to run the show very smoothly with the least amount of technical difficulties, thanks to the help of all the other club members.”

First on stage was The View From Up Here; an acoustic pop-punk act from UNH led by vocalist Andrew Cunningham, featuring Michael Quick, Dom Gubernat and Gavin Stacey.

This was the band’s album release show for their self-titled EP, playing the entire record as well as a cover of Death Cab For Cutie’s “I’ll Follow You Into the Dark.”

The energy from the band reflected all the excitement they had for the evening, appreciative of the chance to perform and share what had been months in the making. The View From Up Here was mixed by Josh Welshman at Flux Studios and Mastered by Sam Pura of Panda Studios, who has worked with the likes of State Champs and The Story So Far. The band’s personable nature on stage and passion made their show enjoyable and there is no doubt these guys have immense potential.

“I haven’t played on stage, with a full band, since high school, so I was incredibly excited to play,” said Quick, A View From Up Here’s guitarist. “Not to mention the fact that there were more people in the German Club than I have ever seen at a MIC show in a while. It’s always a great experience to share something that you’ve created with other people.”

Next to perform was Everything Ever, a punk group from Staten Island New York. The trio showed their powerful presence from their first note and kept the energy up through a set full of new songs. Everything Ever recently signed to a new label, Secret Audio Club and have their debut full length album Solid Ground coming out on March 10. Not only did the band have great stage presence while performing, but their banter in between songs was witty and anecdotal to their audience. Prefacing the song “Doing Nothing” by discussing their college experience got huge laughs from the whole crowd and the song itself was probably the highlight of their performance.

Direct support on the bill was from Connecticut locals Call It Arson with a mix of upbeat punk beats and some more mellow tracks suitable for the romantic evening. There was a definite following of the group in the crowd, as fans called out song requests they even threw some into the set as they went along. The band put on a dynamic set spanning their entire discography from their self-titled album to their most recent release Between Two Cities.

James Downe gave a strong vocal that really resonated with the audience. Supporting local artists is something that has been very important to Music Industry Club when it comes to booking artists and it’s been great to see over the years truly how much talent is coming out of Connecticut.

Finally it was time for Aaron West to hit the stage. Aaron West is a persona completely imagined by The Wonder Years front man Dan “Soupy” Campbell, inspired by The Mountain Goats’ album All Hail West Texas. Campbell’s dedication to the story and character stretches to both on and off stage; he signed autographs as “A.West” all evening and sported a Buffalo Bills hat on his way in, “I’m not a Bills fan, Aaron is” when asked about it by a fan.

In between songs like “Grapefruit” and “Our Apartment” Aaron West tells a sad tale of the past year of his life; the death of his father followed by his wife’s miscarriage ultimately ending in their divorce leaves him lost and unsure of himself. He travels in his father’s old Mustang down the coast until he finds a place to clear his head, ultimately leaving the listener wondering what’s going to come next.

Although without his full band, the Roaring Twenties, Aaron West performed a stripped down and vulnerable solo performance.

The crowd included a huge number of The Wonder Years fans and like most shows it became a sing along of somber melodies. Even with such soft songs with sad subject matter, the subdued mood in the room never lost its energy.

Interview with lead singer of Plaid Brixx

by Elyse Von Der Fecht | February 18, 2015

Plaid Brixx was formed in early 2013 by the band’s lead singer Chris Duggan, who has led bands and written music since he was ten. The band’s debut EP, Chemistry, is pop with a razor’s edge of rock and an aftershave of punk.

Plaid Brixx recently released their debut EP Chemistry (Photo obtained via Facebook)

Plaid Brixx recently released their debut EP Chemistry (Photo obtained via Facebook)

Duggan, who penned and produced all five songs on the EP, crafted a contemporary sound for this collection of in-your-face songs.

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to interview Duggan, the singer of the band. Here is what he had to say to the questions I asked him.

Elyse: How did you come up with the band name “Plaid Brixx”?
Chris: I have a really weird fascination/obsession with plaid – and there’s a lot you can do with the imagery in terms of graphic design and stylization from a utilitarian perspective – so I thought it would be a good word to include in the band name! And bricks are strong, hearty building materials so the two words went really well together. It stemmed off of an idea I had about how cool it would be to see a brick wall with a plaid pattern on it.

E: What made you want to be in a band?
C: I started my first band when I was a mere child because I knew I had to write songs. The performance thing came later, but for me it’s always been about the songwriting. I was lucky to discover my love for writing pop songs when I was a child so you might say from that moment I knew I wanted to be in a band.

E: Off your EP Chemistry which is your favorite to perform live?
C: Chemistry has an undeniable energy about it when we play it live, but I think my favorite to play is “Here I Go Again” because of all the dynamic changes between the parts of the song. Plus it’s not too strenuous on my voice, so that’s always nice!

E: How did the name of your EP Chemistry come along?
C: I wanted to name the EP after the song Chemistry, since I think it best encapsulates the overall feel of the EP. It is about the chemistry fading between two people and what you can learn about yourself and life during that time.

E: Whom would you like to write with in the future?
C: I would absolutely LOVE to write with any of these people: Ryan Tedder, Max Martin, Dr. Luke, Taylor Swift, Mark Ronson, Lady GaGa, Katy Perry, Danger Mouse and Imogen Heap. So, if any of you happen to be reading this, hit me up. I could probably name more, but those listed are definitely my current top tier of influences when it comes to writing the perfect song.

E: If you could travel anywhere in the world to perform, where would you go?
C: I would love to go to Tokyo. I have always wanted to go there, and I could stop at the Nintendo HQ and poke around a bit while I was in town. It would be glorious.

E: Who are your influences? Are they also your musical inspirations?
C: Aside from those I mentioned earlier, my personal style influences are probably Blink-182, Sum-41, The Strokes, The Hives, The Killers – basically a lot of early 2000’s alt-rock and pop-punk. My musical inspirations change on a daily basis, so while those bands influenced me to start making alt-rock sort of music, the motivation behind the writing changes based on the wind.

E: 1 interesting fact about you guys that no one knows.
C: Mark has never been on an airplane before. Chris hates cheese unless it’s on pizza. Cole is hiding a lifetime worth of secrets in his hair.

If you haven’t listened to their debut album, then what you are waiting for, go check it out!

Special News Release: Save the Oakdale

by Ashley Winward | February 5, 2015

According to WTNH News 8, “last month, after its own investigation, the town [of Wallingford] ordered the Oakdale Theatre to stop the concerts after many [noise] complaints.

An online petition and Facebook page are garnering support from nearly 4,000 people who are worried that the noise complaints will close the theater.

Live Nation will go before the Wallingford Zoning Board of Appeals in the coming weeks.”

Save the Oakdale (Photo obtained via Oakdale.com)

Save the Oakdale (Photo obtained via Oakdale.com)

This issue hits home with Music Editor Ashley Winward who gives us her opinion and some facts about the theatre’s potential fate.

This week I was absolutely taken back by the shocking news that one of my favorite concert venues was in jeopardy. The famous Oakdale Theater in Wallingford has been issued a cease and desist letter by the town claiming that on top of noise violations, the use of the theater’s lobby, also known as “The Dome,” has violated its permit.

As reports on these allegations come to the forefront of local news, the fans have flooded social media in hopes their voices can be heard.

The Oakdale was established in 1957 simply as a tent in an alfalfa field. This open summer theater soon grew into a full-fledged year round facility in 1972. In its first design, the theater consisted of only the “dome” that accommodated 3,000 people surrounding a rotating center stage. Later on in the 1990s, the performing arts theater was added, bringing the capacity of the venue to 5,000. In the Oakdale’s illustrious existence, a wide expanse of genres have utilized the facilities, from Led Zeppelin, Chicago, Brooks and Dunn, and more. In the present day shows have been performed in both the theater and the Dome, everything from country, to rock, to EDM, and even touring Broadway companies have brought their stories to life on the stage.

The town of Wallingford has issued a cease-and-desist order to the Oakdale stating that within the past year, the sound has become nearly unbearable and that the venue is violating its permit by holding shows within the dome. Live Nation Worldwide Inc., who currently owns the venue, have filed an appeal and a meeting of the Wallingford zone of appeals has been set for next month. A consistent complaint amongst home owners has been that the introduction of EDM shows to the dome, such as Bassnectar, was the real start of problems in the neighborhood. The heavy bass and loud volumes have the ability to rattle homes and disturb residents through the night.

While I understand the concerns of the residents of Wallingford, to ask this historic venue to completely cease and desist is absurd. When moving into the area you were aware of the venue and if that was not suitable to your lifestyle, there are other places you can live. There have been shows going on in both the theater and the dome since long before I was born, so saying this is just becoming a concern now baffles me. Perhaps a compromise can be made, where only selective shows can be held in the dome, or that the facility can be updated to further sound-proof the lobby-turned-venue in order to appease the neighborhood. I have seen many shows in both areas of the facility and they have both been suitable for what was taking place. I will say, however, that my most memorable experiences have been made in The Dome. From All Time Low, to Twenty|One|Pilots and more, The Dome and this venue as a whole has been a part of my life for so long it would be such a shame to see it not celebrated to its full potential. I urge everyone to go on Facebook and like the “Save The Oakdale” page as well as sign the petition at http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/savetheoakdale where they have acquired over 5,000 signatures so far. Shows are continuing as scheduled, with the likes of Steve Aoki and Lady Gaga to be gracing both the Dome and the Theater. I look forward to returning to The Oakdale this year and for years to come, it would be an absolute shame to close the doors of such a historic staple of Connecticut entertainment.

Local Gigs of the Week

by Ashley Winward | February 5, 2015

 

local gigs of the week

Toad’s Place

 

Feb. 4: The Woah Tour Feat Round2Crew, Dylan Holland and Alyssa Shouse

 

Feb. 5: Marky Ramone Book Signing “My Life as a Ramone”

 

Feb. 5: Bright Light 12: Electro Glow Party

 

Feb. 6: Kap Slap

 

 

 

The Space

 

Feb. 5: Reckless Seranade with Lightness and London Eyes

 

Feb. 6: Todd Carey with Avenues and Justin Levinson

 

Feb. 7: Catalina Gonzalez with Entrance to Trains and Skout

 

Feb. 8: Carousel Kings with Survay Says!, Freshman 15, Everybody Run, The Worthwhile Fight and Two O’Clock Courage

 

 

 

The Oakdale

 

Feb. 3-8: Jersey Boys Touring Company

 

 

 

Cafe nine (21+)

 

Feb. 4: Peter Karp & Sue Foley Band

 

Feb. 5: Toyz with If Jesus Had Machine Guns (DJ), and King Panos

 

Feb. 6: Buzz Gordo’s Ski Lodge

 

Feb. 6: Intercourse with Empty Vessels, Kings and Liars, and Sperm Donor

 

Feb. 7: Jazz Jam with Mike Coppola and Friends

 

Feb. 7: The Hempsteadys with The Screw-Ups, Head with Wings and Wasted Days

 

Feb. 8: Sunday Night Jam: George Baker Band

 

Feb. 9: Fifth Nation with Siul Hughs

 

 

 

BAR (21+)

 

Feb. 4: Semicircle (members of Reptar) with White Violet and Spectral Fangs

 

Feb. 11: Franz Nicolay with New Years Revolution and Dagwood

A name you should know: The Como Brothers

by Glenn Rohrbacker | December 3, 2014

The Como Brothers Band are a pop/rock/blues band out of Long Island that is growing in influence every day. They have been around music their whole lives and continue to merge their past influences with the songs that they write.

The Como Brothers Band hail from Long Island and are making a name for themselves (Photo obtained via Facebook)

The Como Brothers Band hail from Long Island and are making a name for themselves (Photo obtained via Facebook)

Matt Como plays bass and sings vocals while Andrew Como plays lead guitar and also sings. They are known for their extremely catchy lyrics and melodies in every song they write. The Como Brothers Band have opened for acts such as Howie Day, David Cook, Tyler Ward, PJ Morton of Maroon 5, Ryan Beatty and more. They have released 2 EPs, The Speed of Sound and Still Waters and a full-length album titled Baby Steps.

The Como Brothers Band have won many awards for their music, including 2014 IMEA Pop Album of the Year, 2014 Artists In Music Award 5 nominations, finalists in the Hard Rock Rising 2013, and have had their music featured in programs like Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Canon Consumer Electronics commercial, the movie Wingman Inc., and more.

The band has performed at the Hard Rock Cafe Times Square, The Cutting Room, Highline Ballroom, Nassau Coliseum Warped Tour, the Jones Beach Amphitheatre Side Stage, Theater Three, Amityville Music Hall, Webster Hall and more.

Most recently, the band has recorded their latest EP that is set to be released in early 2015. The EP was recorded in early October at Germano Studios in NYC. Playing drums on the EP was Grammy award winning drummer Steve Jordan who has played for John Mayer and the John Mayer Trio, and Andy Burton who also plays for John Mayer.

The record was produced by Grammy award winning producer Graham Marsh, who has produced for artists like Bruno Mars and Cee-Lo Green. They are already starting to line up performances for 2015. Also, they just recently played their first headlining show at Theater Three in Port Jefferson, New York and sold the highest number of tickets they have so far. The band has also reached out and made fans in places like Philadelphia, Rhode Island, Boston, and New York City.

A great and unique characteristic about these brothers is that they always put the fans first. They take time after every single show to talk to fans, even people who have never seen them before, and get to know them. They really enjoy building that relationship and creating more than just a performer-viewer experience.

You can check out the Como Brothers Band on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@ComoBrosBand).

Also, check out their music on www.reverbnation.com/comobrothersband and on iTunes. Finally, you can find upcoming shows and events on their website, www.comobrothersband.com.

The Como Brothers Band are a band that can only get better from here. They have already accomplished so much in such a short time and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

 

Anthem Lights Doesn’t Escape from Music

by Elyse Von Der Fecht | November 12, 2014

Anthem Lights recently celebrated an album release and singer Joey Stamper’s twenty-fourth birthday.

Anthem Lights is an American Christian group originating from Nashville, Tennessee (AP photo)

Anthem Lights is an American Christian group originating from Nashville, Tennessee (AP photo)

The band is a four-piece American Christian pop/rock band from Nashville, Tenn. Members include Alan Powell, Caleb Grimm, Chad Graham and Stamper.

They were streaming live for everyone to see them waiting for their release of Escape. It was interesting to see how many fans they have now, and showed how much they care by calling some fans to thank them for the support.

On Oct. 14, they released their third album Escape. In my opinion this album wins me over compared to their other albums. Don’t get me wrong; their other albums are incredible, but something about this album drew my attention. I think this album has a lot more passionate power about the person you really care about and the songs all relate to each other in a similar way. As I listened to the album, these were my thoughts.

“Top of the World:” I liked how they started off their album with this upbeat song. As I listened to the words, I wanted to be, as the title states, on top of the world and at the place where nothing else matters in life.

“Just Fall:” I think this is my favorite song off this album because it’s catchy. This is such an inspirational song as I listened to the meaning of what they sang.

“Run Away:” This is a good song to listen to when you’re feeling down, saying that nothing matters and that you can just “Run Away” and have that good time you want.

“Unlove You:” This is a different type of song on the album that is slower and has the emotional and passionate vibe of feelings.

“Be With You:” This is a straightforward type of song. It’s about that other person who you just want to spend your life and time together.

“Paradise:” This was the first time I listened to this song fully through and I really felt connected by the lyrics and what they are singing. I think featuring Manwell Reyes gave the song that special touch.

“Love You Like the Movies:” I have to say that this is my second favorite song off the album because the melody and harmonies on the song were on point and touching. I also liked the meaning behind the words they were trying to get across.

“Boomerang:” In this song, I thought the tapping in the background gave off a vibe of jamming out and moving to the beats of the tempo.

“I’m Not Going Anywhere:” Once again, having this song feature Manwell Reyes was genius and gave the song that extra push. I liked the instrumental parts of the song that flowed well together.

“Best Thing:” This song has a great tempo that worked well with a slow and steady vibe. It also expresses another message of that person you think is everything in life and you’re so happy to be with him or her.

“Give Me a Lifetime:” I think by ending the album with this song tied everything together by starting off upbeat and then ending with slower songs. This song has a great message and I listened to the song more than once because it was very inspiring.

Anthem Lights is a band of hilarious guys who have extraordinary talent. I have been there for the guys from the start and I am proud of how far they have come.

Local Gigs of the Week

by Ashley Winward | November 12, 2014

local gigs of the week

Toads Place
Nov. 13: The Revivalists with Red Wanting Blue

Nov. 14: Mimosa with Dr. Jeep and BIG i.c

Nov. 16: Reggae Extravaganza ft Wayne Wonder with Kranium, Serani, Tilibop, K’Connel3 and Zhavea

Nov. 17: Atmosphere with Prof, deM atlaS and DJ Fundo

Nov. 18: Kill the Noise with Botnek and Two Fresh

The Oakdale
Nov. 14: Fitz and the Tantrums with Big Data

The Space
Nov. 14: Antonino with The Tet Offensive, Mystery Machine, Nate Ginnetty, Bones Howell and Bearchild

Nov. 15: Delasa with Nick Thomas, Cassio Monroe, Six Stories Told, Carter Hulsey and Brett Newski

Cafe nine (21+)
Nov. 13: Run Boy Run with Wise Old Moon

Nov. 16: Sunday Night Jam: The Langeley Project

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.

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