Fun Tune from Cheerleader

cheerleaderThere’s probably a lot of people out there who need a good solid energy boost today, right?  This song from Cheerleader is going to fit perfectly into your playlist then.  It’s a mixture of heavy guitar riffs and outright pop exuberance, which inevitably leads to a catchy single that’ll help you through Monday afternoon.  The group is garnering a lot of interest overseas, hitting the road with The Hold Steady for a slew of dates.  Let your hair down and sink your teeth into the delectable pop of this song.

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New Music from Franz Nicolay

Franz Nicolay certainly has kept himself busy since leaving The Hold Steady.  Aside from touring with Against Me, he’s been working on new music to create his latest effort, Do The Struggle, which will be out on October 9th.  While I can definitely see a slight edge from touring with some rock n’ roll bands, that’s not what this music is about anymore for Franzy.  He’s crafted some grandiose orchestral pop that will leave you encouraged by what he can accomplish with the proper set-up.  I definitely see some strides to step out on his own, and I’ll praise him for that while waiting for the new release.


Download:Franz Nicoaly – Did Your Broken Heart Make You Who You Are [MP3]

FT5: My Most Divisive Bands

It’s interesting being a huge music fan. You come across bands that you absolutely adore, and you rush to make mixes for your friends who ultimately decide that they hate the one song you were most excited for them to fall in love with when you made it.  I started thumbing through my catalog and the Internet, diligently searching for the bands in my collection that I love, but I feel people hate; I also looked at bands on the net I know people love, but I hate.  Here’s my list of the Top 5.

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Lucero – 1372 Overton Park

luceroRating: ★★★☆☆

This now their umteenth album, Memphis band, Lucero are up to their old tricks again.  On 1372 Overton Park they go the tried and true route of giving their local abode a little representation.  With this record, the band continue to push themselves beyond the country-punk roots that often get thrown at the band, forging ahead into just classic American rock.

Sure, you hear Ben Nichols’ voice, and you can tell that the man has been smoking or drinking or screaming for years, or maybe all of the above.  It’s a voice with a story, which is precisely why so many fans have attached themselves to this band, not to mention Ben’s role in the Revival Tour (which I love to death).   And with a voice that carries such a story with it, you expect the vocals to reach deep and tell a story themself; this is precisely what they do.   Most people will probably see the lyrics across this album as a descendent of Springsteen, but those not familiar with the Boss will also see similarities with the more modern Hold Steady.

Even the songwriting recalls both the previously mentioned bands, though it probably leans towards the former more.  Take “The Devil and Maggie Chascarillo,” a song that features a full on horn section, creating a huge sound you might not usually associate with a bar band who owes a debt to punk.  The great thing about this album is that it’s not trying to being anything particular.  It relishes in the fact that the sum of all parts is precisely what the band is offering their audience.  Their is no pretentious assocation with a particular genre, nor any desire to do so.  It’s just a sprawling record of classic American rock n’ roll; it’s the kind you all know you can love.

Perhaps the best songs come at the slowest moments, when Nichols can pull at your heart strings, and yank that emotion out from your innards.  “Goodbye Again” probably says enough for those looking for a heartbreaker in its title alone, but even such a song probably won’t do as much for you as “Mom.”  Yes, it’s a song for dudes; you just have to deal with it on this occasion because this song is great.

Whether you find straightforward rock your thing or not, you can’t deny that Lucero has the makings of a group who can go far with their particular style of music.  Their fans follow them anywhere, and now that you have a chance to hear the work on 1372 Overton Park, perhaps you’ll be one of those diehard followers.


Download: Lucero – Hey Darling Do You Gamble [MP3]

08/06 The Hold Steady @ The Parish

In front of a sell out crowd at The Parish on Wednesday night, Brooklyn’s finest The Hold Steady set off some M80’s with their raucous set-opener “Constructive Summer.” “We’re gonna build something this summer,” declared frontman Craig Finn as the “party pit” stumbled their way to the front of the stage. Touring in support of Stay Positive, the gang was sharper than keyboardist Franz Nicolay’s on-stage attire and brought a steady flow of beer-drinking, pot-smoking, Max Weinberg-lovin’, ass-shaking rock ‘n’ roll. This was my third time seeing The Hold Steady and by far, their best show in Austin yet. A lot had to do with the Parish’s flawless acoustics and the band’s diverse choice of songs for the evening (review and set list after the jump). Read more

The Hold Steady @ The Parish – 8/6

Everyone’s favorite bar band, and I mean that in the most sincere way possible, is heading to Austin tomorrow night. The Hold Steady plan to melt faces and show the crowd a glorious time tomorrow at The Parish. The band’s live show has won over fans all over the world, so be sure to get there, otherwise you might feel left out when all your fans brag about the awesome show they saw. The Hold Steady will be accompanied by The Loved Ones.

Unfortunately, the show has just sold out. You might want to check out craigslist, or just show up and see if someone will sell you their ticket. 

The Hold Steady – Stay Positive

The Hold Steady are following the recent trend of bands streaming full albums on their myspace page after the album has leaked everywhere online. Listen to The Hold Steady – Stay Positive on their myspace page before the actual release date on July 17th and tell us what you think about it. Also, the band will be coming to La Zona Rosa in Austin later this summer on August 6th. The Hold Steady are one of the best live rock acts around so I suggest you buy tickets to the show before it sells out. After the success of the critically acclaimed 2006 album Boys and Girls in America the new Hold Steady album should be better than good.