Cobra Skulls/Teenage Bottlerocket @ Kathedral!

I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of people who came out for punk's Wild Card band Teenage Bottlerocket with underrated pop punk geniuses Cobra Skulls, and even better the number of them leather jacket and East bound on the street car with me, clearly sharing my destination. Much like the last time I saw them at the Horseshoe every fan in the building was a die hard, no doobt aboot it man!
I'm really horrible at actually showing up for an entire show, someone should really fire me... except I RUN THIS SHIT :P! I, of course, missed The Roman Line (sorry guys!) but I have a good excuse, or at least a get-out-of-jail-free card because I'm seeing them at Sneaks on November 10th (with The New Enemy & Copyrights!) and I will be there for it, I promise!
(I'm not just a huge skank, I do work a full time job NOT doing blogs, and a girl's gotta eat, right?
...Otherwise I'd be passed out wasted before the headliners... KIDDING!!!)
Moving on...
I can honestly say that up until Tuesday I was a Cobra Skulls VIRGIN, and boy did it feel good to get that cherry popped. They were one of the grooviest pop-punkers I've seen, especially for a goddamn 3-piece.
The energy was thru da roof as I walked in to the singer and bass player dancing around the stage effortlessly as if they weren't holding instruments, or the music didn't depend on them actually playing it... and although slightly difficult for him to dance behind the kit, the drummer made his presence known by kicking some major ass.
Even though looking around at the crowd it was clear that, probably due to lack of Canadian shows ever, most were in da house for TBR, but not a single broad or bloke was not enjoying CS, whether they knew the words or not. Their set was fast-paced, jazzy and split between poppin' love songs and rockin' punk tunes.. --I just want to take this opportunity to say yes, I am aware of how disgustingly cheesy I am, suck on that white stains-- Anyway, their entire performance was tighter than your bum (maybe not Chris'!!) and as the clapping and noise died down after perhaps song 4 I clearly heard echoing through the pit "WOW THAT SONG WAS AWWEEESSSOMMMMEEEEE!!!!" in a booming voice. The culprit remains unknown (along with the song I heard that after...oops) but dude was loving it McDonalds stylezz. If you missed them I feel like I should literally just point and laugh at you, because...
ha ha ha
you suck.

(And I don't think I've ever used that word on here before... prove me wrong?)
Man, oh man, oh man.
Seeing them was like Christmas coming early, sans any red or green or snow or tree or jingle bells or tinsel... but there WAS magic in the air - although instead of joining hands and singing that "Welcome Christmas" song from The Grinch people were smashing each other in the pit... it was beautiful. Excuse me while I wipe away my TEARS OF JOY still plastered on my face from Tuesday night.
Playing song after song with barely a pause between, which seemed exhausting to the rest of us dancing but didn't seem to phase the band in the slightest. To the audiences enjoyment they played all the classics: Radio, In The Basement, Welcome To The Nuthouse, Bloodbath at Burger King, On My Own, AND as a special request to my lucky friend Thea, they played So Cool <3. Not to mention the tracks off their latest album which were amazing, one was a love song, the next one of the fastest fucking songs I may have ever heard, so wiiiiicked. The look on each and every fan's face said it all: seeing TBR made their week, their month, their year, and for some their life, swear to bejeezus. Hilariously I don't think they played an encore, can't blame them after playing for so long basically straight, and to be honest I don't think anybody left with crushed spirits.
Over and out.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

***so sorry, technical difficulties with my stupid camera at the moment, working on getting some pics up soon***

Tegan & Sara's Sainthood.

Sainthood is the 6th release from indie-folk sisters Tegan & Sara and oh man, where do I begin?
I guess at the beginning, HA.
Well coming off the success of the previous album The Con, the sisters took a step in the right direction by re-recruiting Chris Walla (of such fame as Death Cab for Cutie) to produce this album as he did their previous. As we heard in the last album (if you didn’t hear it, I suggest you take a fucking listen) the twins were more open to working with multiple layers of music adding different textures and sounds to their soft, folk style. I believe The Con was a beginning concept in which Tegan & Sara have completely perfected in Sainthood!
This album starts off with "Arrow", an amazing example of how the girls combined their adult folk style with a new alternative synthesized layer. Not only is it a prime example of how they have progressed and perfected this new sound, but it also shows that the twins have not forgotten their roots. With the beginning being just layers of programmed noises and drums to the chorus breaking down to just simple drums and soft acoustic guitar, it’s amazing to have the contrast of both new and old styles in one track. Throughout Sainthood T&S are able to weave between styles, but created a cleaner more straight forward sound that wasn’t fully attained on The Con.
Not only do I hear a progression in how Tegan & Sara create their tracks musically, but there is a definite progression in how the girls write and structure their songs. Sainthood is a more chorus driven album that is laced up in heavy repetition, which makes it easy to sing along and in turn opens up the possibility to understand the emotion that the sisters are portraying through each track. Not only has the song structure seemed to have matured but I feel as though the way the girls write together has also changed. Unlike The Con, where there were definite distinctions between tracks written by Tegan and tracks written by Sara, Sainthood has the feel as though the sisters were actually in the same area code while writing. Using Tegan's knack for writing poppy to the point hooks mixed with Sara’s inwardly melancholy way of emoting, the girls have used each of their talents to the fullest.
This album is littered with in your face rock tracks as well as touching on the softer folk tracks which makes Sainthood not necessarily the best T&S release but the best definition of what Tegan and Sara are. They brought all the fire and guts needed without any of the hesitation that was lingering in the past.
Do yourself a favour and pick up Sainthood and I guarantee you will not be disappointed, better you get off your ass and go see these ladies live in Toronto at Massy Hall January 19th and have the full Tegan & Sara experience... hey and maybe if you’re lucky they will bust out their stripped down version of Rihanna’s Umbrella!

It's Chris James BITCH!

Shakedown The New Enemy!

Shakedown is the new EP from my Toronto punk idols The New Enemy. Before even hearing the 6 tracks there is enough evidence in the cover that this album is phenomenal, case in point: the artwork, done by Dominique Sinibaldi. It's actually one of the coolest designs I've seen lately... take a fucking look:

Yeah baby!
Not to mention big time producer Simon Head who is responsible for much of SNFU and (the first band I ever saw live) Closet Monster, is back again!
Honestly, listening to this album is like entering a time warp - the style, the music, the vocals, everything screams (late) 90's punk, if I didn't know any better I would never believe they were a Toronto band of this era. They sound like a band I would have shit my pants over in high school and guaranteed would still be listening to today -- along with bands like Much The Same, A Wilhelm Scream, Strike Anywhere, Kid Dynamite, Dillinger Four and Avail.
Obviously there's an endless list of bands to compare The New Enemy to, they take something from pretty much every (legit) punk band I've ever loved and made 2 solid EP's so far and counting.
With the balls of Death By Stereo, and the genius of Only Crime (without all the well-known punk superstars helping), and the perfect raspy, rough, sexy, PUNK RAWK vocals our ears all drool over (think Lawrence Arms...mmm) HOW THE FUCK could you lose by picking up this amazing EP. I'm salivating just thinking about each song, and it has nothing to do with the Quiznos sub sitting in front of me while I write this!
If you're from the Toronto area and haven't had the pleasure of hearing this band, get out from under that rock and come to Sneaky Dee's on Tuesday November 10th where The New Enemy hook up with The Copyrights and The Roman Line (who are playing tonight at the Kathedral with Teenage Bottlerocket and Cobra Skulls FYI).
And don't forget to checkout the Shakedown EP here:
I'm Sarah, I Do What I Want.

I Set My Friends On Fire at the Attack Attack! show!

Okay seriously, what the fuck is with the name attack attack and !'s... There's Attack!Attack! vs. Attack Attack!
How the fuck are people supposed to keep those straight?
I just spent an entire night thinking I was seeing Attack!Attack! when really I was at the Attack Attack! show... not that I was disappointed in the slightest, I love both of these bands and would have gladly gone to see either or, however, still confusing as fuck after a few drinks and with eyes that don't pay much attention to detail to begin with, such as goddamn !'s strategically placed in a band name.
Pay attention to the punctuation.
Sounds like my motto of the day, or last night rather.
EmbuRRRassingly enough I didn't quite realize my mistake until Attack Attack! took the stage and started screaming, practically until they started coughing up blood, and I thought to myself "this doesn't sound like the Attack!Attack! that sounds like Fall Out Boy, this is the Attack Attack! that gives me the adrenaline to fight people, in an awesome sort of way.. but more on that later, first let's talk I Set My Friends On Fire! Unfortunately for the rest of the bands I didn't get there at 6:30 in order to see them, as I'm not underage and have no set bedtime, and like to pre-drink.
Honestly I don't know how such a full and severe sound comes out of two tiny young boys, and although they were equipped with a drummer live it is still just the two of them masterminding the entire band and every performance. Their set was intense to say the least. Although I'm not typically a fan of the growling, Matt's vocal strength was unbelievable, the transition from singing to growling to screaming to singing to growling, and the power behind his voice is something that must be attributed to his young vocal chords. Never sounding strained in the slightest he belted out a beautiful mix of hardcore and melodic and chanting vocals throughout the performance, and how he could do it while dancing around on stage without losing a breath is a mystery to me. Again, it must be his youngnessnessss. Or maybe that sexy Jew'fro! Werd. Their set was double-kick crazy on the drums and filled with electronic keyboard breakdowns that sounded a lot like Metro Station, which I loved. Everybody in the building was singing along, each and every one of the non-wristband-wearing fans in attendance (I swear we were the only two people over 19..) and the sweat that coated the walls and everything in between would have been disgusting had it not been so sexy. On more than one occasion I felt as if I was watching the Blood Brothers or at times even Boys Night Out, who I also love. The singer even sported a "blood stained" shirt for a song or two, giving me a boner.. ha uhh weird. There was lots of audience interaction and the kids loved it, as well as a crazy little skit involving the "weirdest noises heard while shitting" story and a recording that called the band gay before starting to rap. Fucking hilarious. Aside from the music these guys are totally entertaining, telling an audience member who hadn't bought their new album "you're going to fucking burn bitch!" and later telling somebody else "don't be racist" ... that gave me more than a few chuckles.
Crowd surfing and circle pits were a big theme of the night, and it looked like everybody was having a great fucking time.
Especially once Attack Attack! (not Attack!Attack!) hit the stage. At first I was blown away at how heavy they were in order to suit the hardcore show, until I realized I'm an idiot and it was in fact the hardcore Attack Attack! in which case, not much difference than on the album, tight as fuck and heavy to boot, with tons of energy and lots of members simultaneously head banging and prancing around the tiniest stage ever, amazingly enough without incident, and boy did the crowd get ROWDY! I'm not sure what the deal was but I swear they did not play nearly as long as the band before, and I felt a little jipped with the short set and even shorter encore. I barely got a chance to take any notes before the set was over. They did, however, play at least one song off their upcoming album, which they are going to record after they finish this tour, and it sounded amazing and got me super stoked to hear the rest. The last song was a clap-a-long, and we all know I'm a sucker for clap-a-longs. For the encore they came back with this "what what what what" hip hop breakdown-turns-hardcore track that turned into an electronic dance party with melodic hardcore over top, and I pretty much creamed my pants when I heard it and proceeded to cry when they left the stage for good after like a minute of playing. I wish I had more to say about this band, aside from THEY WERE AWESOME GO FUCKING SEE THEM YOURSELF ASSHOLES! Unfortunately my confusion combined with the super short set made it impossible to write a full review... or maybe that was the alcohol's fault...regardless they were seriously really good, and really entertaining, and you should really go see them live the next chance you get.

I am still waiting on pictures from this cute lil girl who promised to send me them (please please please) because my camera fucked off, so in the meantime here's the only two pictures I managed to take in very poor quality... don't know these people? Neither do I! Well... one of them at least.(hope he doesn't mind that I put his picture up :P he's an angel!)

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

MEMPHIS Universal Alt Country Folk Punk Ramblin Roadshow Revue

Last night was the beer soaked show of my dreams featuring Lucero at Lee's Palace for the MEMPHIS Universal Alt Country Folk Punk Ramblin Roadshow Revue... which must be one of the longest event titles of all time.
Apparently there was an entire evening filled with folk rock artists but the act that drew the crowd was the underdog superstars Lucero.. the band that tours almost every day of the year and still flies just below the radar of commercial success, and each and every cult fanatic in the area turned out for this show, packing the room from bar to stage and making for one hell of a show.
Honestly one of my favourite things about Lucero is their appearance, which is pretty much exactly the opposite you'd expect from their heart-on-their-sleeves vocals and pure pretty folk rock music. From the burly bassist sporting a wicked Merle Haggard T, to the old white-bearded Dwight replica keyboardist, the cave man-haired drummer and the rest of the biker gang looking band mates topped off with a skinny tattoo covered punk rawk looking motherfucker singing. Seriously awesome. Not to mention the seriously awesome instruments the band play, something I rarely take notice of until last night when I spotted the greatest flying v guitar of all time... it was a true beauty. Apparently it's a custom-made Travis Perkins original from Ohio, made just for Lucero's guitarist.
Lucky bastard.
The band played a lot of songs off their latest album, 1372 Overton Park, and although it's only been out for a short time almost every bitch in the building was singing along with every line. What a fucking wicked album, although would you expect any less? Never.

Okay let me level with you... I drank half a 26'er of whiskey as a tribute to Lucero before the show, and let's just say I remember very little, aside from this cute British boy... and my notes make absolutely no sense and are just riddled with spelling mistakes.
What I do remember though is it was one of the greatest shows in life. Whiskey or no whiskey. I also remember being showered with beer every two seconds and not giving a shit!
Goddamn that's awesome.
And the fact that they sparked a mosh pit of sorts at a folk festival type show, hilarious, and what's even sweeter was the drunken couple in front of me singing along between make out sessions with a nostalgic look in their eyes, holding each other and swaying to the music, oblivious of anyone else around them during what must have been "their song" ... kudos sluts.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Have you heard the Gossip?

Remember that old saying “Don’t judge a book by it's cover”? Well the same can be said about music.
With the recent wave of female “rock stars” who seem to be more concerned with their image, figures and how package-able they can be, it’s nice to see that there are still female artist who care more about the talent and artistic merit that they have. Just because a singer has a pretty vessel in which their voice is carried, does not mean the voice they carry is a pretty one. This point was more than proven last night at the Opera House, when The Gossip tore up the stage accompanied by their friends in MEN.
The night began with the indie-electro pop group MEN took the stage. Fronted by JD, who got his start in the new wave/electro group Le Tigre, MEN was able to get the kids dancing immediately. With the right blend of basic dance beats laced with a mash of melodic guitar riffs and synthy keyboard sections it’s no wonder I was sweaty within minutes. While I was cutting a rug I couldn’t help but notice the in-your-face political statements that the band put forward. Not to say that I don’t agree with their views or that I don’t believe that politics have a place in music, because that is far from it. I just believe that there is a time and place to make a statement, and honestly I don’t think the Opera House full of drunk people was the best place. Besides that, I believe that MEN put on a hell of a show! From the costumes, to the music, to the way the band interacted with the crowd as well as each other, MEN was the perfect opening act for The Gossip
After about a 15min lull the lights dim and then BAM, like an orgasmic punch to the ear the drums kicked in and the crowd lost their shit.
The Gossip has arrived!
On walks Beth in her full figured glory and oozing confidence. Although Beth isn’t what society would consider pretty, she sure doesn’t let that stop her from dominating the stage. With one of the most soul piercing voices I have heard in a really long time, Beth proves that you don’t need layers of makeup and a boob job to belt it out, nor to sell records or create and sustain a mass following.
From beginning to end The Gossip brought the heat!!!
With a drummer who can change tempo in a split second and keep the beat while chugging beer; a guitarist who isn’t afraid to try something new on stage while also tickling the keys in between rifts, and a now visible bassist who is able to join a band and fit in so well it’s like he has been there from the beginning, it’s no question why The Gossip has such a strong fan base. This band has such a dynamic between them that makes even the most aesthetically unappealing thing look so beautiful.
Playing songs that spanned their entire catalogue, The Gossip was able to please both the diehard fans as well as the new listeners. Not only did they play from their catalogue, but also did a medley that consisted of MEN’s “I want to fuck my friends” mashed up with their song “standing in the way of control” which was an unexpected bonus. As the show was ending, The Gossip was chanted back on to do an encore and in true diva style Beth and The Gossip ended with a Tina Turner classic “what’s love got to do with it” and an amazing A Capella rendition of Queen’s “We are the champions” which was the perfect way to end an utterly fabulous performance.
On my way out of the show I felt like a young girl who has just saw her icon, but this icon stomped on all the stereotypes that have been placed on society by the media. Not only did Beth and The Gossip show that despite the image you put forth, it’s about the art and the talent that people actually care about and no matter how fake and glamorous the cover is it’s only upheld by the content of the book.

I'm Chris James Bitch!