TDP Review: Issues (self-titled)

For fans of: Of Mice and Men, Bring Me the Horizon, Woe, is Me

issues album cover

All different styles of music have been connected to critical stereotypes, and no genre is more plagued by cliches than metalcore. Cast off by many as a childish attempt to release some sort of ridiculous pre-teen angst characterized by dark clothing and ripped skinny jeans, in recent years the genre has been generalized as a stagnant pool of songs with generic metal riffs, whiny clean vocals, and unnecessarily explicit lyrics. Yet in every music scene that has ever faced a similar issue, there is always a group that tries to play the hero, to bring something new to the table, something fresh. In the metalcore scene, California/Georgia-based band Issues is looking to do just that by combining their super-produced metalcore background with three seemingly unlikely influences, R&B, nu-metal, and EDM.

In their follow-up to their 2012 EP Black Diamonds, Issues return with their daringly self-titled record that showcases twelve tracks on which the band overtly flaunts all of their diverse influences. With clean vocalist Tyler Carter’s unique, R&B-esque vocal melodies, Ty Acord’s impressive nu-metal-esque synth/ turntable-playing capabilities, as well as a vast background of experience from the other members of the band, Issues is successfully able to create a record that is not only unlike any other band on their label (Rise Records), but unlike any band in the metalcore genre as a whole.

Throughout all twelve of the songs, the band adequately appropriates and incorporates all of these seemingly uncombinable musical influences in a manner that allows for all members of the band to shine in their capabilities at several different moments. Despite all of the members showing off their different abilities, the grooves on the album are still very well composed, allowing for a record that is as melodically complex as it is relatively homogenous. The first single from the album “Stingray Affliction” boasts this strong cohesive ability as well as some of the best instrumentation and vocals on the record with Carter being able to go full-fledged with his R&B melodies during the bridge that feel boy-band-like, but in the best way possible.

While much of the album is very high-energy, it also contains more sentimental and emotional tracks, such as “Tears On The Runway (Pt. 2)” and “Disappear,” on which Carter appropriately demonstrates his notable vocal control. Carter also pushes his vocal capabilities in some songs, having parts where he uses more grit and force as to show how he can stray from his signature R&B tendencies. In addition to Carter’s clean vocals, screamer Michael Bohn expresses just how he has improved in his clear screaming pronunciation. In terms of instrumentation, guitarist AJ Rebollo is able to compose riffs that are unforgettably metalcore in nature but aptly fit the rhythms of the song to create some tracks that have excellent flow from section to section and guitar riff to guitar riff, such as on songs like “Life Of A Nine.” Working directly with the rhythms provided by Rebollo’s guitar riffs, drummer Josh Manuel, longtime YouTube drummer turned Issues member, spices up nearly all of the tracks as well with his extensive drumming capabilities. With a feel for grooves that suits the nature of the songs’ excellently, he forms the basis of a rhythm section that complements Issues wonderfully with Manuel being able to show off his abilities on tracks such as “The Langdon House.”

Structurally, the album is diverse as well. Some tracks have immediately catchy choruses and straightforward verse-chorus-verse structure such as on tracks like “Never Lose Your Flames,” which arguably has the catchiest chorus on the record, whereas other tracks have more complex orderings with divergent yet cohesive tangent sections. Many of these structural complexities come straight from the compositional and structuring talents of bass player Skyler Acord.

In terms of areas that could have improved, Bohn’s vocals, while having improved in their pronunciation, remains often times flat and monotone. Bohn does attempt to push his intense vocal grit to have some sort of melodic sense to it such as on the nu-metal-esque verses of “The Langdon House.” Unfortunately, this only leaves a desire for more as a well as creates a feeling of frustration where the listener may feel as though some songs have sections where Bohn is screaming for the sake of screaming such as on “The Settlement,” arguably the album’s weakest track. Additionally, while this is a metalcore band and heavy, open-note chugging has always been a definitive characteristic of the genre, these chugging metalcore tropes sometimes only serve to drag down certain parts of the album such as on “Never Lose Your Flames” with the breakdown at the end of the chorus and bridge breakdown ruining the otherwise pleasing fluidity of the track. Issues has the capacity for fluidity and cohesiveness as shown through many parts of the album, but the band must continue to even more acutely refine their appropriation and flow of heavy sections into more poppy sections and vice versa. But perhaps the band’s largest issue (pun-intended) lies within their initial goal: to create a record that combines multiple seemingly opposite genres. “Late,” while a catchy tune, showcases the forefront for this problem expressing just how difficult it is for the band to change from radio-ready pop to brutal metalcore without listeners sometimes questioning the transitions. In addition, the record constantly rushes from tracks that are more lyrically aggressive to tracks that are more emotional, creating a consistent conflict that makes the album seem as though it struggles with some form of musical multiple personality disorder.

Issues’ self-titled record is a massive improvement from their debut EP, an improvement made clear from the first listen. While the album struggles with a consolidation of interests and a focus on just exactly they want to accomplish in several instances, it is still an impressive effort. And Issues have undoubtedly accomplished at least one of their initial goals: they have created a record unlike any other in the metalcore scene. If Issues can continue to refine and consolidate their musical aspirations, the band will grow into prominence to become one of metalcore’s most unique and innovative acts.

Overall rating: 3/5

Nirvana Tribute Album: In Utero, In Tribute, In Entirety

Nirvana LogoLast year, Nirvana’s last full length album In Utero turned twenty years old. In the spirit of the anniversary, a widely expanded 20th anniversary re-issue of the album was released that included unreleased demos, the original rough mixes of the record, and live recordings of Nirvana’s 1993 ‘Live and Loud’ performance. This re-issue sparked Toronto-based DIY label ‘Hand Drawn Dracula’ to release Milkin’ It, a tribute to the renowned album, featuring covers by some of the city’s best indie acts. Inspired by the idea to create a similar tribute album, Richmond, VA-based label ‘Robotic Empire’ has recently announced the release date of In Utero, In Tribute, In Entirety, another In Utero tribute record on which each track will be covered by a different artist. The artists on the tribute include acts such as Circa Survive, Thursday, Whirr, and many more. The album will be released on April 15th along with an exclusive vinyl/ physical copy version being released on April 19th, in conjunction with Record Store Day. Check out the full track listing of the tribute below:

1. Pygmy Lush – “Serve the Servants”
2. Circa Survive – “Scentless Apprentice”
3. These Arms Are Snakes – “Heart-Shaped Box” (last song released)
4. Thursday – “Rape Me” (last song released)
5. Jay Reatard – “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle” (one of last songs before passing)
6. Young Widows – “Dumb”
7. Mean Jeans – “Very Ape”
8. Thou – “Milk It”
9. Whirr – “Pennyroyal Tea”
10. Daughters – “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter”
11. Ceremony – “Tourette’s”
12. Black Math Horseman – “All Apologies” (last song released)

TDP News: It’s Beatles Week on Letterman

images-1Beatles Week on the Letterman show is coming to a close. This past week, the late-night talk show host David Letterman has been featuring artists honoring the Beatles. The Letterman stage is the same stage on which the Fab Four made their first U.S. appearance fifty years ago this Sunday. Letterman’s Beatles Week has been an effort to commemorate that momentous occasion, and recognize the vast impact the Beatles have had on music and culture in that time.

imagesFeatured artists include: Broken Bells, who played “And I Love Her” and “I Am the Walrus”; Sting, who performed “Drive My Car”; and Lenny Kravitz, accompanied by Letterman band leader Paul Schaffer on keys, who played “Get Back.” Last night, the Flaming Lips, accompanied by John Lennon’s son Sean Lennon, who was wearing the same hat his father wore on the album sleeve for Hey Jude, paid tribute to their psychedelic predecessors with a dramatic rendition of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.” As is typical of the Flaming Lips’ performances, the visual impact of the show was just as significant as the auditory elements. Tonight, Ms. Lauryn Hill will is scheduled to perform.

The entire week of Beatles tributes has been leading up to the premiere of the much anticipated CBS documentary on the band. This Sunday, at 8 p.m. EST, CBS will air a two-hour special, The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles, documenting the Beatles’ arrival in the U.S. and their famous appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. The program’s airing coincides with the exact day, date, and time of that Sullivan show.

Broken Bells, with Ringo Starr: “And I Love Her”

Sting, with Ivy Levan and Mike Einziger: “Drive My Car”

Lenny Kravitz with Paul Shaffer: “Get Back

The Flaming Lips and Sean Lennon: “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”

TDP News: ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ Turns 50

cooke2_custom-ae5445405a69dbde65787c691849562cf6bf09c0-s4-c85It was fifty years ago this week that Sam Cooke recorded one of the most important songs in American history.  The political message in “A Change is Gonna Come,” touted by Rolling Stone as “one of the greatest songs of all time,” quickly became an anthem for civil rights activists after it was released on Cooke’s album Ain’t That Good News in March of 1964. Sam Cooke, one of the few artists able to crossover from gospel to pop, did so with love songs like “You Send Me,” which went to number one on the pop charts; thus, recording this socially conscious song intended to serve as a vehicle for political change was a risky career move. Although Cooke did not want to alienate his new and growing audience with a song that encapsulated the feelings and experiences of many black Americans of the time, and highlighted the social issue that is arguably the most divisive in American history, he felt that “he could not ignore the moral outrage right in front of him” (NPR Music). The song did cause controversy and Cooke felt the impact of its message on those who were not ready to hear it. He and his band were turned away from shows and hotels; he was arrested and jailed for disturbing the peace; his family feared for his life. Cooke didn’t often play the song publicly, partly because of its complex arrangement and partly because of the threat that it could incite violence. It was not initially favored by his fans, mainly because it was not scheduled to be released as a single until December of 1964, nine months after the album dropped. Sam Cooke was shot to death at a motel in Los Angeles just before that release.

Cooke biographer, Peter Guralnick, discusses the song as being one with a message not isolated to the civil rights movement, but rather as a song with “a universal message of hope…that does not age.” “A Change is Gonna Come” has a lasting impact on all who hear it. Guralnick states that “Generation after generation has heard the promise of it…We all feel in some way or another that a change is gonna come.” The message is “almost endlessly adaptable to whatever goal, whatever movement” that needs Cooke’s voice. It was, however, the civil rights movement that inspired it, and Cooke’s voice in this song will forever echo the struggle and the courage of those who fought (and continue to fight) for racial equality in America.

TDP Review: Lee Bannon – “Alternate/Endings”

Alternate/EndingsI’ll be honest: I only listened to this album because I thought it was a parody of Lil B’s God’s Father, considering the similarity between the artworks.

Alternate/Endings falls within the genre of breakbeat and big beat: hip-hop beats infused with ambient sound, reverbed to death. Because both breakbeat and big beat are creations of the late 80s and 90s, it’s interesting to see Lee Bannon revisit these genres in 2014.

Bannon is a versatile producer. His hip hop origins might be lost among the listeners after the opening tracks, “Resorectah” and “NW/WB.” The arrangements in these two tracks are of the in-your-face sort one second, distant and atmospheric the next. The juxtaposition works in Bannon’s favor, as it keeps the music sonically interesting, a must in hour-long instrumental albums.

Lee Bannon applied that formula throughout the album, and is fully aware of the duality in Alternate/Endings. The LP itself has two titles, along with “NW/WB,” “Prime/Decent,” “Bent/Sequence,” “Perfect/Division,” “Cold/Melt,” “Readly/Available,” and “Eternal/Attack.” Unfortunately, Alternate/Endings proves to be hit-or-miss. While “Resorectah” and “NW/WB” are bangers, many other tracks fell flat. There aren’t any duds on the album, but some felt dragging; “Shoot Out the Stars and Win” and “Bent/Sequence” outlasted eternities. “Readly/Available” was even boring. Many tracks featured infighting between breakbeat’s industrial and ambient sides, which made much of the album a conflicting listen.

Alternate/Endings really is about keeping the two styles in balance. This is an album that combined the industrial sounds of Kanye’s Yeezus and the ambient sounds of Burial’s Kindred EP. When Bannon keeps the balance in check, Alternate/Endings flourishes. But when the scale is tipped, it begins to feel derivative and loses authenticity. Lee Bannon mostly succeeds in preventing the latter from happening, but it still isn’t enough to keep parts of Alternate/Endings from collapsing under its own weight. Ultimately, Alternate/Endings is an interesting album, with an interesting dynamic, for a nomadic artist still looking for a genre to make his mark in. 3.0/5

TDP Recommends: “Hothouse” by 78Violet

Widely recognized for their Disney affiliations, the Michalka sisters, Aly and AJ have evolved from their rigid, tween-appeal pop into the mature, indie duo, 78Violet.  Their first single as 78Violet, “Hothouse,” focuses on temptation as the main theme, getting back to raw, liberating humanity.  The sisters’ voices combine together in a captivating, siren-like harmony, emphasizing the alluring deception within the lyrics.  Their music video features an array of nature imagery interwoven with soft and subtle lighting effects.  With its artsy and bohemian flare, the video itself becomes a musical reincarnation of an Instagram filter.  Despite being slightly cliched, the music video will make you wish that you, too, were in a field of mustangs and dancing around in a random greenhouse.  “Hothouse” is a great song for the dedicated fans of the singers’ Disney days and the lovers of messy hair and the 70s vibe.  Dig it, Devils!

TDP News: The 2014 Grammys

imagesThe Grammys, although highly disappointing for those who watched mainly to catch the much-hyped finale – featuring Dave Grohl, Queens of the Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham – had much to offer its viewers. So much, in fact, that it seems the show’s producers overbooked, considering they started to run promo ads and the end credits about one minute into the finale. That problem aside, the Grammys were entertaining, and served as an accurate reflection of what’s happening in popular music today. The show, which aired for just under four hours, featured a wide variety of performances, including some great collaborations.

Here are some of the stand-outs:

Beyonce with Jay Z: “Drunk in Love” – This husband/wife duo provided, as expected, an exceptionally strong start to the show. As is becoming customary, Beyonce’s performance included hyper-sexualized costuming, dancing, and facial expressions while her husband, wearing a tuxedo casually reacted to her expressions of love and lust. Although the dynamic of the performance brings up typical feminist questions, this is a talented pair without question.

Imagine Dragons with Kendrick Lamar: “MADD City/Radioactive” – This collaboration was the perfect mash-up, and highlighted what the audience loves best about each of the performers.

Lorde: “Royals” – The young singer’s stripped-down performance of her Grammy-winning song was interesting and showed her more Goth side.

Daft Punk with Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers, and Stevie Wonder: “Get Lucky” – This song is amazing  – even better live.

Sarah Bareilles and Carol King: “Beautiful/Brave” – Carol King is a true talent and proved that she is still an impressive force in music.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr’s reunion on a new McCartney song “Queenie Eye” – Ringo played drums alongside Paul’s current drummer, Abe Laboriel.

Kacey Musgraves performed her hit “Follow Your Arrow” with an enthusiastic throw-back vibe – complete with light-up boots. She beat Taylor Swift, who also performed, for Country Album of the Year.

Gary Clark Jr. and Keith Urban added some strong guitar soloing to the event.

The Maleficent Trailer, which debuted during the show, features the vocals of Lana Del Rey covering Disney’s “Once Upon a Dream,” and also got quite a bit of buzz.

Macklemore‘s pro-gay marriage song “One Love,” which served as the backdrop of a 33 couple marriage ceremony that featured Madonna as their wedding singer.

See the full list of winners below.

Record of the year
“Get Lucky” — Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers — WINNER
“Radioactive” — Imagine Dragons
“Royals” — Lorde
“Locked out of Heaven” — Bruno Mars
“Blurred Lines” — Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell

Album of the year
“The Blessed Unrest” — Sara Bareilles
“Random Access Memories” — Daft Punk — WINNER
“Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” — Kendrick Lamar
“The Heist” — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
“Red” — Taylor Swift

Song of the year
“Just Give Me a Reason” — Pink featuring Nate Ruess
“Locked Out of Heaven” — Bruno Mars
“Roar” — Katy Perry
“Royals” — Lorde — WINNER
“Same Love” — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Best new artist
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis — WINNER
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran

Best pop solo performance
Sara Bareilles — “Brave”
Lorde — “Royals” — WINNER
Bruno Mars — “When I Was Your Man”
Katy Perry — “Roar”
Justin Timberlake — “Mirrors”

Best pop duo/group performance
Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers — “Get Lucky” — WINNER
P!nk featuring Nate Ruess — “Just Give Me a Reason”
Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko — “Stay”
Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell — “Blurred Lines”
Justin Timberlake and Jay Z — “Suit & Tie”

Best pop instrumental album
Herb Alpert — “Steppin’ Out” — WINNER
Boney James — “The Beat”
Earl Klugh — “Handpicked”
Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair and Richard Elliot — “Summer Horns”
Jeff Lorber Fusion — “Hacienda”

Best pop vocal album
Lana Del Rey — “Paradise”
Lorde — “Pure Heroine”
Bruno Mars — “Unorthodox Jukebox” — WINNER
Robin Thicke — “Blurred Lines”
Justin Timberlake — “The 20/20 Experience — The Complete Experience”

Best dance recording
“Need U (100%)” — Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E & MNEK
“Sweet Nothing” — Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch
“Atmosphere” — Kaskade
“The is What it Feels Like” — Armin Van Buuren featuring Trevor Guthrie
“Clarity” — Zedd featuring Foxes — WINNER

Best dance/electronica album
“Random Access Memories” — Daft Punk — WINNER
“Settle” — Disclosure
“18 Months” — Calvin Harris
“Atmosphere” — Kaskade
“A Color Map of the Sun” — Pretty Lights

Best traditional pop vocal album
“Viva Duets” — Tony Bennett and various artists
“To Be Loved” — Michael Bublé — WINNER
“The Standards” — Gloria Estefan
“Cee Lo’s Magic Moment” — Cee Lo Green
“Now” — Dionne Warwick

Best rock performance
Alabama Shakes — “Always Alright”
David Bowie — “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”
Imagine Dragons — “Radioactive” — WINNER
Led Zeppelin — “Kashmir”
Queens of the Stone Age — “My God is the Sun”
Jack White — “I’m Shakin’ ”

Best metal performances
Anthrax — “T.N.T.”
Black Sabbath — “God is Dead?” — WINNER
Dream Theater — “The Enemy Inside”
Killswitch Engage — “In Due Time”
Volbeat featuring King Diamond — “Room 24″

Best rock song
“Ain’t Messin’ ‘Round” — Gary Clark Jr.
“Cut Me Some Slack” — Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear — WINNER
“Doom and Gloom” — The Rolling Stones
“God Is Dead?” — Black Sabbath
“Panic Station” — Muse

Best rock album
Black Sabbath — “13″
David Bowie — “The Next Day”
Kings of Leon — “Mechanical Bull”
Led Zeppelin — “Celebration Day” — WINNER
Queens of the Stone Age — “… Like Clockwork”
Neil Young with Crazy Horse — “Psychedelic Pill”

Best alternative music album
Neko Case — “The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You”
The National — “Trouble Will Find Me”
Nine Inch Nails — “Hesitation Marks”
Tame Impala — “Lonerism”
Vampire Weekend — “Modern Vampires of the City” — WINNER

Best R&B performance
Tamar Braxton — “Love and War”
Anthony Hamilton — “Best of Me”
Hiatus Kaiytoe featuring Q-Tip — “Nakamarra”
Miguel featuring Kendrick Lamar — “How Many Drinks?”
Snarky Puppy with Lala Hathaway — “Something” — WINNER

Best traditional R&B performance
Gary Clark Jr. — “Please Come Home” — WINNER
Fantasia — “Get It Right”
Maysa — “Quiet Fire”
Gregory Porter — “Hey Laura”
Ryan Shaw — “Yesterday”

Best R&B song
“Best of Me” — Anthony Hamilton
“Love and War” — Tamar Braxton
“Only One” — PJ Morton featuring Stevie Wonder
“Pusher Love Girl” — Justin Timberlake — WINNER
“Without Me” — Fantasia featuring Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliott

Best urban contemporary album
Tamar Braxton — “Love and War”
Fantasia — “Side Effects of You”
Salaam Remi — “One: In the Chamber”
Rihanna — “Unapologetic” — WINNER
Mack Wilds — “New York: A Love Story”

Best R&B album
Faith Evans — “R&B Divas”
Alicia Keys — “Girl on Fire” — WINNER
John Legend — “Love in the Future”
Chrisette Michele — “Better”
TGT — “Three Kings”

Best rap performance
Drake — “Started From the Bottom”
Eminem — “Berserk”
Jay Z — “Tom Ford”
Kendrick Lamar — “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz — “Thrift Shop” — WINNER

Best rap/sung collaboration
J. Cole featuring Miguel — “Power Trip”
Jay Z featuring Beyoncé — “Part II (On the Run)”
Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake — “Holy Grail” — WINNER
Kendrick Lamar featuring Mary J. Blige — “Now or Never”
Wiz Khalifa featuring the Weeknd — “Remember You”

Best rap song
“F***in’ Problems” — A$AP Rocky featuring Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar
“Holy Grail” — Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake
“New Slaves” — Kanye West
“Started From the Bottom” — Drake
“Thrift Shop” — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis — WINNER

Best rap album
Drake — “Nothing Was the Same”
Jay Z — “Magna Carta … Holy Grail”
Kendrick Lamar — “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis — “The Heist” — WINNER
Kanye West — “Yeezus”

Best country solo performance
Lee Brice — “I Drive Your Truck”
Hunter Hayes — “I Want Crazy”
Miranda Lambert — “Mama’s Broken Heart”
Darius Rucker — “Wagon Wheel” — WINNER
Blake Shelton — “Mine Would Be You”

Best country duo/group performance
The Civil Wars — “From This Valley” — WINNER
Kelly Clarkson featuring Vince Gill — “Don’t Rush”
Little Big Town — “Your Side of the Bed”
Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban — “Highway Don’t Care”
Kenny Rogers With Dolly Parton — “You Can’t Make Old Friends”

Best country song
“Begin Again” — Taylor Swift
“I Drive Your Truck” — Lee Brice
“Mama’s Broken Heart” — Miranda Lambert
“Merry Go ‘Round” — Kacey Musgraves — WINNER
“Mine Would Be You” — Blake Shelton

Best country album
Jason Aldean — “Night Train”
Tim McGraw — “Two Lanes of Freedom”
Kacey Musgraves — “Same Trailer Different Park” — WINNER
Blake Shelton — “Based on a True Story”
Taylor Swift — “Red”

Best Latin pop album
Frankie J — “Faith, Hope y Amor”
Ricardo Montaner — “Viajero Frecuente”
Draco Rosa — “Vida” — WINNER
Aleks Syntek — “Syntek”
Tommy Torres — “12 Historias”

Best Latin rock, urban or alternative album
Café Tacvba — “El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco”
El Tri — “Ojo Por Ojo”
Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas — “Chances”
La Santa Cecilia — “Treinta Dias” — WINNER
Los Amigos Invisibles — “Repeat After Me”

Producer of the year, nonclassical
Rob Cavallo
Dr. Luke
Ariel Rechtshaid
Jeff Tweedy
Pharrell Williams — WINNER

Best compilation soundtrack for visual media
“Django Unchained”
“The Great Gatsby” (deluxe edition)
“Les Miserables” (deluxe edition
“Muscle Shoals”
“Sound City: Real to Reel” — WINNER

Best score soundtrack for visual media
“The Great Gatsby”
“Life of Pi”
“Skyfall” — WINNER
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Best song written for visual media
Coldplay — “Atlas” — “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Jessie J — “Silver Lining” — “Silver Linings Playbook”
Adele — “Skyfall” — “Skyfall” — WINNER
Colbie Caillat featuring Gavin DeGraw — “We Both Know” — “Safe Haven”
Lana Del Rey — “Young and Beautiful” — “The Great Gatsby” (deluxe edition)
Regina Spektor — “You’ve Got Time” — “Orange is the New Black”

Best music video
Captial Cities — “Safe and Sound”
Jay Z — “Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton — “Can’t Hold Us”
Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z — “Suit & Tie” — WINNER
Jack White — “I’m Shakin’”

Best music film
Coldplay — “Live 2012″
Green Day — “¡Cuatro!”
Ben Harper With Charlie Musselwhite — “I’m in I’m Out and I’m Gone: The Making of Get Up!”
Paul McCartney — “Live Kisses” — WINNER
Mumford & Sons — “The Road to Red Rocks”

TDP Music News: Spotify, Pandora to be Challenged by Beats Music

beats music

Pandora, Spotify, and iTunes Radio face another formidable opponent in the subscription music service scene, Beats Music, which was made available in the US today – January 21st. Under the management of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine – record producer and music executive extraordinaire – the service is looking to expand the duo’s hugely successful ‘Beats by Dr. Dre’ headphones into a larger brand. The company hopes to capitalize on that success in exposing their service to the public, while simultaneously working to revolutionize the music streaming industry by being able to answer the question, “Which song should come next?”

Without knowing more about it, Beats Music might seem strikingly similar to other music subscription services like Spotify, offering the ability to stream and listen to as much music as anyone could want for the flat price of $10 a month. But where Beats Music diverges is in its ability to create a product that is impressively sleek, easy-to-use, and enticing, much like the unprecedentedly popular Beats headphones. Iovine, Dre, and “Chief Creative Officer” Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) are hoping the unique app experience will lure users into trying the service, which boasts a relatively original feature; where other, bland, heavily algorithm-based music subscription services fail to create a continuous playlist with any sense of cohesiveness or soul, Beats Music is looking to dominate with its ability to create a perfect personal playlist, curated by music experts, for everyone. As additional incentive, Beats Music offers a family account, up to five accounts, for $15, something currently not offered by any of its competitors.

What do you think, Devils? Are you open to change? Or will you stay loyal to Spotify or Pandora?

TDP Review: Glen Hansard- “Drive All Night”

For fans of: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Mumford and Sons


Widely known for his Academy Award and Oscar winning song “Falling Slowly” from the musical film Once, Glen Hansard does not compromise his lyrics or talent, even if stretched thin between many projects.  The Irish musician remains focused on the personal message within his melancholy songs.  He released his first solo album Rhythm and Repose in 2012, embracing an earthy and more traditional folk sound.  While the album reflected Hansard’s passion for his art in the heart wrenching, fan favorites, “High Hope” and “Bird of Sorrow,” it remained inconsistent.  Understandably, “repose” was in the name, therefore the inconsistency may have purposefully supported the distress within the lyrics.  Hansard’s new EP Drive All Night experiments more with the folk genre, rather than solely relying on traditional Irish folk music as its basis, creating a unique sound, while falling behind lyrically with its emphasis on failed relationships and excessive vulnerability.

The EP opens with a Bruce Springsteen classic, “Drive All Night,” in which Glen Hansard’s raspy voice mimics that of the original, while adding another layer of desperation and nods to Hansard’s usual style.  The inclusion of the saxophone is crisper than in Springsteen’s version, slightly modernizing, but not overpowering, the song with Hansard’s acoustic guitar.  The second song, “Pennies in the Fountain,” incorporates Spanish-style guitar fingering and classical piano to create drama and nostalgia.  Like many of Glen Hansard’s songs, “Pennies in the Fountain” is not lyrically long or abstract, but it manages to fit a self-explanatory poem within a four-minute composition through the impressive and expository instrumentals, a lot of which would be able to stand successfully even without vocal accompaniment.  With a prominent rhythm and a slight electronica influence, “Renata” is the liveliest song on Drive All Night.  It still, however, focuses on a narrator feeling inadequate and does not mature past Rhythm and Repose.  The final a capella song “Step Out Of The Shadows” returns to traditional folk music and includes a slight country inspiration.  Lyrically, it is the most different of the songs on the EP, with an optimistic perspective and a unique execution.

The EP, overall, evokes interest instrumentally, but only lyrically succeeds in one song.  To those who have enjoyed Drive All Night, I personally recommend the aforementioned musical film Once, in which Glen Hansard costars with Marketa Irglova, a Czech singer-songwriter whose light, silvery vocals combined with Hansard’s rougher and raspier ones create an incredible dynamic within the soundtrack.  Glen Hansard’s career and conception of The Frames, one of Ireland’s most influential bands, is sure of its message and style, yet leaves many critics agreeing that the artist should move on from his school-boy heartbreaks.

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

TDP Music News: Fall Out Boy and Paramore Announce Monumentour

monumentourFall Out Boy and Paramore, two of the largest acts in the alternative music scene and each with their own new album, have just announced what will undoubtedly be one of the biggest rock tours of summer 2014 – The Monumentour. The two bands will be touring from coast to coast throughout the summer, and even better for us Devils, the bands will be making a stop on their tour in Massachusetts at the Xfinity Center on June 22nd! The rest of the dates for the Monumentour are below:


6/19 – Hartford, CT @ Xfinity Theatre

6/21 – Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre
6/22 – Mansfield, MA @ Xfinity Center
6/24 – Saratoga Springs, NY @ Saratoga PAC
6/25 – Toronto, ON @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
6/27 – Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center
6/28 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
6/30 – Gilford, NH @ Bank of NH Pavilion
7/2 – Buffalo, NY @ Darien Lake PAC
7/3 – Burgettstown, PA @ First Niagara Pavilion
7/6 – St. Louis, MO @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
7/8 – Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
7/9 – Indianapolis, IN @ Klipsch Music Center
7/11 – Chicago, IL @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
7/12 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bunbury Fest
7/13 – White Creeks, TN @ The Woods Amphitheater at Fontanel **
7/18 – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
7/19 – Hershey, PA @ Hershey Park Pavilion
7/22 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
7/23 – Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion
7/25 – West Palm Beach, FL @ Cruzan Amphitheatre
7/26 – Tampa, FL @ MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
7/27 – St. Augustine, FL @ St. Augustine Amphitheatre **
7/29 – Raleigh, NC @ Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
7/30 – Atlanta, GA @ Aaron’s Amphitheatre @ Lakewood
8/1 – Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
8/2 – Austin, TX @ Austin360 Amphitheater
8/4 – Corpus Christi, TX @ Concrete Street Amphitheater
8/5 – Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion
8/7 – Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheater
8/8 – Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion
8/10 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Zoo Amphitheatre
8/12 – Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
8/13 – Orem, UT @ UCCU Center
8/15 – Las Vegas, NV @ Cosmopolitan **
8/16 – Irvine, CA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
8/17 – Concord, CA @ Sleep Train Pavilion