Monday, November 17, 2014

Night Riots to Release 'Howl' EP in Early 2015

>> The California based rockers in Night Riots are releasing their Howl EP on January 20th, 2015 through Sumerian Records. You can get a taste for the EP through the band's video for "Contagious" below.



>> The artwork and track listing for Howl can be seen below. Also be sure to watch the band's vignette for "Oh My Heart," the opening track on the upcoming EP.



Howl EP Track Listing:
1. Oh My Heart
2. Contagious
3. Holsters
4. Break
5. Shine
6. Follow You








- Kate Russell
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Friday, November 14, 2014

Patent Pending Announce Holiday Shows

>> Patent Pending will play a string of shows next month to celebrate the holidays! The Long Island show, taking place on the day after Christmas, is a co-headliner with Andrew WK.  The full list of dates for the band's Holiday Tour can be seen below.




>> Make sure to check out the video for "Hey Mario" by Patent Pending's video game inspired alter-ego, Mario and the Brick Breakers. Then download the goofy EP that goes along with it!



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Taking Back Sunday Announce Tour with The Menzingers letlive.

>> Taking Back Sunday announced details for their first tour in 2015! The band are hitting the road to support their latest album, Happiness Is, from February to April with The Menzingers and letlive. The dates for this run can be seen below the announcement video.


2015 Happiness Is Tour Dates:
2/18 - New Orleans, LA @ Civic Theatre
2/19 - Houston, TX @ House of Blues
2/20 - Austin, TX @ Emo's
2/21 - Dallas, TX @ South Side Ballroom
2/22 - El Paso, TX @ Tricky Falls
2/24 - Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
2/25 - Riverside, CA @ Riverside Municipal Auditorium
2/26 - San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
2/27 - Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium
2/28 - Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
3/01 - San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield Theatre
3/03 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
3/04 - Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
3/06 - Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
3/08 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
3/10 - Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
3/11 - Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
3/13 - Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
3/14 - Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
3/15 - Albany, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall
3/16 - Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
3/18 - New York, NY @ Best Buy Theater
3/21 - Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
3/24 - Huntington, NY @ The Paramount
3/26 - Boston, MA @ House of Blues
3/27 - Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
3/28 - Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
3/29 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
4/01 - Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre
4/02 - Tampa, FL @ The Ritz Ybor
4/03 - Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
4/04 - Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution Live



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Monday, November 10, 2014

Motion City Soundtrack Announce 'Commit This To Memory' 10 Year Anniversary Tour

>> Motion City Soundtrack will be heading out on the Commit This To Memory 10 Year Anniversary Tour early next year. The band will play their album Commit This To Memory in its entirety every night, and the tour will span the US from January 17th to February 26th. There's a long list of openers for various dates of the tour including Hit The Lights, Vinnie Caruana, TEAM*, and more. Tickets go on sale this Friday, 11/14, at 10AM local time. The full list of dates and openers can be seen below a Fight Club-themed tour announcement video from the band.


The Noise Presents Motion City Soundtrack Commit This to Memory 10 Year Anniversary Tour:
1/17/2015 - Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
1/18/2015 - Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection ¢
1/19/2015 - Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall ¢
1/21/2015 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s $
1/22/2015 - Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues $
1/23/2015 - Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall $
1/24/2015 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls ¢
1/26/2015 - Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore %
1/27/2015 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza %
1/29/2015 - Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory ^
1/30/2015 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club %
1/31/2015 - Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom ^
2/02/2015 - Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore &
2/03/2015 - Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade (Heaven) &
2/04/2015 - Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom +
2/06/2015 - Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom +
2/07/2015 - Austin, TX @ Emo’s East +
2/08/2015 - Dallas, TX @ House of Blues *
2/10/2015 - Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee *
2/11/2015 - San Diego, CA @ House of Blues *
2/12/2015 - Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues *
2/13/2015 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore *
2/14/2015 - Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades *
2/16/2015 - Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre ¶
2/17/2015 - Seattle, WA @ Showbox at the Market ¶
2/18/2015 - Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory ¶
2/20/2105 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex ¶
2/21/2015 - Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre ¶
2/22/2015 - Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theater ¶
2/24/2015 - Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s ¶
2/25/2015 - St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant ¶
2/26/2015 - Chicago, IL @ House of Blues ¶

with special guests:
¢ Hit The Lights
$ Hawhtorne Heights
% Vinnie Caruana
^ Early November
& Copeland
+ Team*
* Hellogoodbye
¶ William Beckett
Plus more bands to be announced soon.

For more information and tickets:
http://motioncitysoundtrack.com/events


- Kate Russell

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A CMJ Feature with Alexz Johnson

>> Between 2004-2008, The N (TeenNick) was my television network of choice. I loved virtually every show they had, and Instant Star was definitely a favorite. The show starred Alexz Johnson as a young musician navigating a music career, fame, label drama, friendships, family, and love interests - all at the same time. The show was great, and the soundtracks were a huge part of my life at that time. When the show ended, I was understandably upset, but shows end and life goes on. That was that.

>> A few years later I stumbled upon an album called Voodoo and was pleasantly surprised to find Alexz still making music, but this time it was on her own. Throughout her career, she gradually stepped out from the Instant Star shadow to become an artist in her own right and has been pursuing a career doing what she loves.  I got to speak with Alexz a few weeks ago at the CMJ Music Marathon.  We discussed her new album, Let 'Em Eat Cake, her love of touring, and making the decision to turn down major labels in order to do things her way.  You can read the interview below, and watch an acoustic performance of the song "Let 'Em Eat Cake" here.



How's your day been so far?
Hectic. We drove in from Maine this morning and we played a show at 11:30 last night, which was super fun, but then we got up to drive to New York to do two days of CMJ.  Everyone's pretty tired but playing in New York City is always so exciting. Plus it's nice that I get to sleep in my own bed, too.

You're originally from Canada, but you're currently based in Brooklyn right?
I'm from Vancouver and I've been in Brooklyn now for about three years. I come to the Lower East Side (where we were doing the interview) all the time, Brooklyn is just more affordable.

How has being part of CMJ been so far?
It's cool! I mean I've played a CMJ show before but this is the first time where I have an album to promote and something to talk about.  I'm doing a showcase tonight at The Living Room which just re-opened in Williamsburg, and then one tomorrow night at Webster Hall which I'm stoked about. It's all full band which is great. The last two tours I've done have been acoustic based, so it’s been really nice to have a full band behind me.

So it's been a different experience this time around.
Yeah, totally.  I’ve been on tour with a band a couple of times before but this just means a lot to me because it’s my new album and I’ve spent almost two years creating it so it has a lot of my heart.

Which makes sense! You crowd-funded this album too which is interesting - want to tell us more about that?
I had some success using Kickstarter to launch my first tour and after some thought I decided to use Pledge Music as a platform to be able to reach out and work with one of my favorite producers, David Kahne who agreed to work on the project. Upon completion of the record I got offered a major label and I turned it down because I felt like I’d already paid for the album and I believe in it and I love it. I’ve gone down the major label route twice and between bad luck and shifts in companies, albums get shelved. It just happens, and I didn’t want to take that chance. I wanted to be able to release it and tour it. I want to spend the next two years touring it, I want to go back to Europe, South America… My expectations aren’t crazy at this point. I’ve been in the business for so long that I want to be able to have enough success that I can maintain momentum in my career and keep making music and touring.  I want to have a long-term career.

You decided to turn down the majors to do it on your own instead. What went into that decision? Was it mostly just past experiences? 
Pretty much, yeah. It can sound good and it can feel good, and it's nice to have a major label behind you, but there's so much mainstream... cutting down that's happening.  If your music doesn't sound specifically like something they feel is sellable then you have a tougher time. There’s luck of the draw for sure, but I didn’t want to be in that anymore as an artist. I’d rather have fans that like my music and buy my music keeping me alive and eating and making music – I’d just rather give them what they’ve gambled on.  That’s what’s so amazing about Pledge [Music] – I’m able to do that. It's such a wonderful thing and it's work; it's so much more work than just having a [major label] team behind you. I mean I have a great management team which I locked down this past year which is awesome. That's one of the hardest things to find as an artist: someone that believes in you before real money comes in. It’s been amazing having that Pledge platform to fund my own projects. It's a lot of work, but it's worth it.

It must be great knowing that many fans wanted to and were able to support the album.
There’s something really cathartic about having a physical CD in your hand that you paid for with their help that you’re signing and shipping off to them. It's the best way to say thank you.  It's like you get to personally see these people. I love writing - it's been like sharing the journey and ups and downs through Pledge. It's like a blog in a way. Will I do it again? I don't know, maybe. With this album, there's help with distribution through Capitol which helps it get into stores and stuff like that.  I’m trying to make the best choices so that my music gets out there. Since Instant Star, and most people probably know me from that show most prevalently, I’ve had two major record deals. My music seems to be a little too off the beaten track so maybe that’s not the best move for me. There are other options for me to get it out there.

Kind of going off of that, you have a great presence on social media. Have you been using that to get the word out and connect with fans?
Hugely! I don't know what I would do without Instagram and Twitter - that's what's promoting this tour right now, that and Facebook. It's a full time job with being on the road, touring, and maintaining relationships - everything is just so geared towards getting this music out there. I believe in this album so much.

So much so that you named your current tour after it.
Yeah, it's the Let 'Em Eat Cake Tour.  It's a tour with an awesome band called Jared and the Mill who are the sweetest guys from Phoenix, and I'm also on tour with Patrick Droney who's opening every night. He's an amazing electric guitarist and he's actually going to be performing a song with me on guitar for you.  He's opening and he's in my band, and the band is awesome. I'm able to pick the musicians I want to work with and play with which is one of the coolest parts - I get to create the world I want to have on stage.

Acoustic obSession: "Let 'Em Eat Cake" by Alexz Johnson featuring Patrick Droney on guitar


That must be another great part of the crowd-funded freedom - you not only get to choose the music you make, but who helps you make it.
Yeah! The producers, and I got to write a lot of songs with my brother. "Let 'Em Eat Cake" I wrote with my brother... it's been a really cool experience so far. It's indie but it fits me more, I think. 

I still hand write my business cards, so I definitely respect wanting that control over your own content.
I’d rather have 10 fans that see my authenticity than a million that don’t. I'm never going to stop, so hopefully my health maintains and I can keep touring. Touring can be challenging sometimes but I'm totally willing to put the hard work in, and hopefully this record represents that.

If you can survive CMJ you can survive almost anything.
It's been great, I'm just mid-tour. It's a long one, almost two months. It's lengthy but we're meeting new people and having a blast. My younger brother Garrison is playing drums with me on this one. He's 17, the youngest of ten of my siblings so we flew him out from Vancouver, Canada to play in the band. Keeping it in the family, keeping it real.

After this you have the rest of the Let 'Em Eat Cake Tour, but what's your plan for after that?
Toronto, then it'll be Christmas and the New Year. I want to go to South America and tour there, I want to tour Europe - I want to keep touring. Then hopefully maybe getting an opening spot for a great band, anything to promote this record as much as I can.

Is there anything else you want to say?
Thank you for filming, thanks for your time and come catch a show if you can. The dates are on my website, alexzjohnson.com and you can follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

From left to right: Kate Russell, Patrick Droney, Alexz Johnson, Sheila McNair @ Hotel on Rivington for CMJ

>> Alexz Johnson is still out on the Let 'Em Eat Cake Tour with Jared & The Mill and Patrick Droney.  Check out the remaining dates for the tour here.

- Kate Russell

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