Monthly Archives: March 2015

Hayley Williams Debuts Beauty Show, ‘Kiss Off!’


From almost the moment she stepped on the scene, Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams has been a style icon. Not one to shy away from bold, dramatic looks, people have been dreaming of stealing her look for years, so the decided to make this a little easier by making a beauty program.

Kiss Off!, their brand new video series, features the pop powerhouse with her longtime stylist Brian O’Connor. In the first episode, which you can view below, Hayley tackles the iconic look from the 1982 punk flick Ladies and Gentleman, The Fabulous Stains. You can watch the first episode HERE.

The news of the program first arrived earlier this month, when Hayley wrote on her band’s official website:

“The show is NOT a show about ‘how to get pretty’ or ‘this is how you should look!’ It’s really about encouraging people, especially young people, that perfection is not what makes beauty. Getting to know yourself through your inspirations, painting your personality across your face, and enjoying the process of self-expression… that’s what is beautiful.”

After watching the episode, Hayley’s bold, vivacious personality and quirky sense of humor shines, and we get to see the front woman’s goofier side. Be sure to check out the first episode and stay tuned for the next one!

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The Illumination Release Acoustic Track

the illumination

Former InVogue Records band The Illumination just released a stunning acoustic version of their single, “A Chance To Change My Ways,” from their Departures record. The lyric video has reached over 30,000 views already, and is a shift for the post-hardcore group as they become more anthemic.

The track is filled with emotion that is more tangible in this version; it is beautifully crafted and will mesmerize listeners. You can stream the lyric video below:

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Greg Holden Announces June Tour w/ Ingrid Michaelson

Greg Holden

Singer/songwriter Greg Holden has just announced a string of shows in June alongside Ingrid Michaelson. Prior to that, the Nw York-based Holden will tour with Delta Rae, kicking off in Philadelphia in April 9th, continuing on through early May.

Fresh off of his SXSW shows, and being names one of the top 10 Breakout Performers by Austin Monthly, he also just performed a sold-out show at the Hotel Café in Los Angeles. Please see below for all upcoming tour dates. 

Greg Holden’s upcoming tour dates are as follows:

With Delta Rae:

04/09  Philadelphia, PA      Theatre of Living Arts

04/10  Washington, DC      9:30 Club

04/14  New York, NY          Webster Hall

04/17  Burlington, VT         Higher Ground

04/18  Boston, MA             Royale

04/23  Royal Oak, MI         Royal Oak Music Theatre

04/24  Chicago, IL             Metro

04/25  Madison, WI           Majestic Theatre

04/28  Minneapolis, MN     First Avenue

04/30  Indianapolis, IN      Deluxe @ Old National Centre

05/01  Nashville, TN          City Winery

05/07  Charlotte, NC         Neighborhood Theatre

05/09  Raleigh, NC            The Ritz

With Ingrid Michaelson: 

06/11  Los Angeles, CA      The Greek Theatre

06/12  San Diego, CA        Humphreys By The Bay

06/13  Oakland, CA           Fox Theater

06/15  Boise, ID                Knitting Factory Boise

06/16  Troutdale, OR         Edgefield

06/17  Seattle, WA            Paramount Theatre

06/19  Salt Lake City, UT   The Complex

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The White Raven Release New Single

THe White Raven

Sweden-based The White Raven have just released their new single, “Keep.” The band returned to their own studio to finalize the song, despite having recorded in some of Europe’s best studios, claiming to find it easier to pay attention to small details when in the safe surroundings of their own gear, saying, “The result was way more satisfying, we managed to create something very unlike and new from what we’re used to.” It obviously paid off, because “Keep” is stunningly enchanting. With gorgeous instrumentals, powerful lyrics, and impressive harmonics, this is a track that makes a statement, and has a larger-than-life presence.

You can stream their single below:

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VIDEO: Jake Miller – “Dazed & Confused ft. Travie McCoy”

jake miller

Jake Miller is on the rise. In November, he released his debut EP for Warner Bros. Records, Lion Heart, which sold 8,000 copies its first week, and climbed to No. 2 on the iTunes pop chart. The South Florida native also just premiered his new video for his single “Dazed and Confused,” featuring Travie McCoy. The video, directed by Edgar Esteves, also features McCoy and Austin Mahone. You can view the video below. Miller will also be kicking off his US tour on July 8th at the Starland Ballroom in New Jersey. You can view the rest of his tour dates below:

Tour Dates:

July 8 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom – On Sale 4/10 @ 12pmEST

July 9 – New York, NY – Best Buy Theater – On Sale 4/10 @ 12pmEST

July 11 – Boston, MA – House of Blues – On Sale 4/10 @ 11amEST

July 14 – New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place – On Sale 4/10 @ 12pmEST

July 15 – Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club – On Sale 4/11 @ 10amEST

July 17 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club – On Sale 4/10 @ 10amEST

July 18 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre Of The Living Arts – On Sale 4/10 @ 12pmEST

July 19 – Pittsburgh, PA – Altar Bar – On Sale 4/11 @ 12pmEST

July 21 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s – On Sale 4/10 @ 10amEST

July 22 – Charlotte, NC – Amos’ Southend – On Sale 4/11 @ 10amEST

July 24 – Orlando, FL – Beacham Theater – On Sale 4/10 @ 10amEST

July 25 – Ft Lauderdale, FL – Revolution – On Sale 4/10 @ 10amEST

July 26 – Jacksonville Beach, FL – Freebird Live – On Sale 4/10 @ 10amEST

July 28 – Atlanta, GA- The Loft – On Sale 4/10 @ 10amEST

July 31 – Pontiac, MI – Crofoot Ballroom – On Sale 4/11 @ 10amCST

August 1 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues – On Sale 4/10 @ 10amEST

August 3 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave – On Sale 4/10 @ 10amST

August 4 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues – On Sale 4/10 @ 10amCST

August 5 – Kansas City, MO – Record Bar – On Sale 4/11 @ 11amCST

August 8 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom – On Sale 4/10 @ 10amMST

August 9 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues – On Sale 4/10 @ 10amPST

August 10 – San Francisco, CA – Slim’s – On Sale 4/10 @ 10amPST

August 11 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey – On Sale 4/4 @ 10amPST

August 13 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues – On Sale 4/10 @ 10amPST

* All dates include Alex Angelo as opener and Jasmine V as direct support

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Here we go again! 15 tracks you HAVE to hear for March 2015…and the accompanying music videos you have to see. This month, we’ve got some amazing new releases from some of the best artists. As the months go by, it’s getting harder to pick just fifteen.

Anyway, check out some of these amazing tracks below:

1. All Time Low “Kids In The Dark”

This just encompasses everything I believe music to be about: escaping your problems, and finding unity in the middle of the crowd. Add in how catchy this song is, and I don’t think you can go wrong.

2. Trophy Wives – “Threshold”

It’s a fast-paced track that just makes you want to bounce around like a crazy person, and the chorus comes in brilliantly. The vocals remind me of 2009/2010 punk, when the harder chord progressions and screamo undertones started to really come in.

3. Set It Off – “Ancient History”

The song itself is catchy and cleverly pieced together, and then you add this video which seems to hint at Adam Sandler’s Click, had I actually found that movie as enjoyable as this…

4. Sam Smith – “Lay Me Down (ft. John Legend)”

This was my favorite track on Sam Smith’s In The Lonely Hour, so when he released as a single, I was thrilled…and now he’s added John Legend?? Granted, some of the beloved theatrics is gone, but it’s still impeccable, and this video for Red Nose Day is so beautiful.

5. Hands Like Houses – “I Am”

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the pure power of this track? Yes, okay, wonderful.

6. The Maine – “Miles Away”

Another single from American Candy, and it’s wonderful. Kicks off the album as the first track, with a sing-a-long quality.

7. Cordelia & The Buffalo“Free”

There are no words to express how much I love this single; soulful vocals, ethereal instrumentals…magic.

8. Light You Up“All We’ve Ever Known”

This makes 14-year-old me extremely happy. It’s anthemic, catchy, and powerful.

9. PVRIS “White Noise”

Another play on the movies, this time tackling Spielburg’s Poltergeist with a top 40’s worthy twist.

10. Youth League – “Young/Old”

A perfect introduction to the new Cardigan Records signees, showcasing just what they’re capable of.

11. Cajsa Siik – “State of Low”

A stunning new track, filled with harmonies, and ethereal instrumentals. The song radiates quality and sophistication.

12. Ella Henderson – “Mirror Man”

Soulful track, visually stunning video…you can’t go wrong.

13. Meg Myers – “Sorry”

Looking for a break-up anthem for the month? This is it. Meg Myers has an enchanting way about her, and it’s completely underrated.

14. Sam Hunt – “Take Your Time”

Wonderful instrumentals, stellar vocals, and a new way at writing about the initial “bar approach.” It’s gorgeous.

15. Shawn Mendez – “Life Of The Party”

This was a great track that popped up towards the end of last year and now there’s finally a video. It effortlessly fuses the melodics of an indie act with the booming lyrical style of a top 40’s anthem.

BONUS, because why not:

BriBry w/ Dodie – “You’re Alright”

Leon Bridges – “Come Home”

Oh Honey“Sugar, You”

Mariana’s Trench – “Here’s To The Zeros”

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Join The Herd: Cordelia & The Buffalo

cordelia and the buffalo

These days, it’s usually pretty easy to hear an artist and put them in a box, often labeled “pop,” “rock,” “hip-hop,” “blues,” etc. Although we hear musicians from all over the world, the styles all seem to correlate to one or the other.

Enter Cordelia & The Buffalo; the group that cannot be put in any box. Drawing inspiration from Mexican Indian tribes and Native American cultures, using percussion instruments, and Mayan flutes to create a tribal sound, the group have managed to curate an ethereal sound with raw power heard in both the instrumentals and the vocals.

Planet Stereo:  Thanks so much for doing the interview. How are you?

Cordelia & The Buffalo: Good, Thank you for asking! How are you?

PS: Your self-titled EP has recently been released. How are people responding?

C&TB: Thankfully, we’ve been blessed with lots of love and good feedback. This EP has not only given us great show opportunities, but also the ability to reach out to new crowds and expand our Herd. My favorite part so far has been the reactions from such varied age groups, ranging from enthusiastic teens all the way to the young at heart who write to us with kind words that greatly inspire us. It’s also fun to see the different interpretations each person has of the message within one’s lyrics.

Our music is a dialogue with our listeners; we write for them, and sometimes about them. It’s an opening statement to a conversation with anyone and everyone who wishes to Join The Herd.

PS: Do you have a favorite song from the EP?

C&TB: “Lather & Rinse.”

PS: What is your favorite part about going into the studio?

C&TB: I love focusing on the songwriting, pre-production, and sound design of every record. But there is nothing like the feeling in your stomach when you’re in the control room and you hear your music come alive for the first time. My skin itches with good bumps that very first take.

It still astonishes me to think that something so small like an idea, a melody or a few words that popped into your head can become something almost tangible you can share with the world.

PS: Would you mind walking me through the creative process?

C&TB: Every single song has its own fingerprint, and therefore a different process of creation. I never write two songs the same way, and I strive not to. There are some that I start with the chords on the piano or guitar, others with just a riff, hook, or melody, others with a weird sound design or sample I worked on, but my favorite is when I come up with a lyric phrase tied to a melody that I recognize as the chorus. And that chorus will become the axis around which the song revolves.

I like finding song seeds within the simplest things in life. It is there where you find the truths of which are worth writing about. Something like sound of the pedestrian crosswalk light when it lets me cross the street, for example. I wrote “Take it up a Notch” while I crossed and unconsciously marked every step with the tempo of the sound it makes. That 1​ track on the EP represents the courage to take step forward towards what you want to achieve.

Once I get the song seed, I get home, sit on the piano, and write the chords that will determine the tonality. I then open up Logic, Protools, or another DAW I’ve been recently working with, and sound design something interesting over which to continue writing the song. I keep sculpting the piece to produce something concrete enough to show to the band in the next rehearsal.

After letting the ideas marinate, and maybe playing the song live once or twice, we are ready to go into the studio.

PS: Your music is very eclectic. Where do you find your inspiration?

C&TB: Thank you! I have a deep love and admiration for different ethnic tribes and their percussive instruments, colorful wardrobe, and vocal hymns. They have an astounding organic connection to music that inspires me everyday to develop fusions of instruments, rhythms, and lyrics that aim to lift the listeners’ spirit.

Since I was young, I’ve had a love affair with all things Mayan and Aztec from my heritage, but most of all I am quite infatuated with instruments with character from all over the world, like the F​lageolets (Aztec Flute), the Ayoyotl (Aztec jingles), the Mayan panpipes, the vertical wooden drum (known as ‘huehuetl’), the A​frican Sansula, marimba, the Caribbean steel drums, and the African Burundi drums being some of my favorites.

PS: “Free” is your latest single. Would you mind explaining the importance of that track?

C&TB: Not at all. It took a while for me to fully immerse myself in the pursuit of a music career. I had to shed my skin and let go of a lot of things holding me back like a long-distance relationship, the home I grew up in, and, most importantly, my fears. But in that cathartic route I found an incredible freedom to draw the life I wanted to lead, personally and professionally. I think we all go through that as we grow into the person we want to become, or that we are meant to become — if you believe in that sort of thing. I wanted each song from this EP to symbolize the moment you find a different piece of one’s own puzzle.

My music is like my cheap psychologist sometimes. As cliché​ as it may sound, t​his EP is really what kept me going for the past 3 years, and it came to represent the blueprint of what is now Cordelia & The Buffalo.

PS: What would you like people to come away with when they hear your music?

C&TB: That, they too, can be listened to. [As said,] our music is a dialogue with our listeners; we write for them, and about them. Our purpose is to give voice to those who aren’t listened to. An example of this is the 4​track of the EP Hand Like Guns. It speaks of an imaginary conversation I have with Venezuela’s military police that currently suppresses and takes the lives of many who are fighting to survive in spite of the receding vital supplies in their country. What inspired me to write about their story were our Venezuelan fans and the two Venezuelan members in our band. The song paints the anxiety that they live with, and the constant fear that the next call they get could dictate the life, death, or liberty of a loved one that has fallen into the hands of the authority. The government has blocked all social networks, controls all newscasts, and the ability of this country to express their agony through the media. Fortunately, music is the purest form of communication that man has created, and the only one that can’t be muffled. So, what better instrument than T​he Universal Language ​to say what muted lips can’t?

PS: Do you have a favorite song to perform live?

C&TB: “Free.” No doubt. We always play it last in our sets because it is just so powerful, and the perfect ending to the built up of energy.

PS: How did you get involved in music? How did you come to be as a group?

C&TB: Since I could talk, I knew I wanted to make music. It just took me a bit to say it out loud and admit it to myself. I’ve been singing since I was 3, and ten years later I wrote my first song on my grandfather’s demi-grand piano. A piece of evidence of my early musicianship he loves to remind me I will inherit someday.

I came to Berklee in 2011, determined to find a group of people who I could play my music live with. After 5 years of soul-searching, I found the perfect combination from across the globe; I met Diego, the Venezuelan drummer, in one of my early recording sessions. He later brought Rodrigo, from Venezuela as well, in as one of the guitar players. Yusuke, the Japanese guitar player, who was an old friend of mine, who had a band with Dan, the Alaskan bass player. We always had gigs together while I had other members in my own band, but one day Yusuke came in to jam with us when I was teaching them “Take It Up a Notch” and the rest is history. Dag, the Norwegian percussion/sound trigger/drummer, came into play because I felt we needed to sound exactly like the record does when we play like. He was the last piece of the puzzle.

PS: If you could work with any artist, past or present who would it be and why?

C&TB: Bjork. She is such a fearless genius, or John Lennon he is got such great charisma and wit. I would like to see his thought process up close.

PS: What advice do you wish you’d been given before you became a musician?

C&TB: “Get ready for the DIY world.” As a kid I had no idea what starting a company or a brand entailed. You have to do so much by yourself. To help your dream break through your subconscious into the real world you must learn to do a little bit about everything. Starting this project has made me learn and take care of the managing, booking, the legal aspects, graphic design, marketing, copyright, publishing, engineering, arraigning, production, and more. It is incredibly fun to take on the role of different people that maybe someday will be part of your team. That way you’ll know how to stir the ship once it is fully boarded.

Before I became a musician, few people in my life knew that I wanted to be one. Therefore, I got no advice. But I like to think that because of that, I found my way and came into my own little crazy head.

I felt like I was blind at first, but now at least I’m in the “still need glasses” stage.

PS: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

C&TB: Making music for a bit more ears than the ones listening to us now; have a record label and produce music for fresh new artists with raw talent and a vision. Give them a chance in this rocky industry. But making music all the same.

PS: Any last words?

C&TB: Join the Herd 🙂

Cordelia & The Buffalo’s self-titled EP is out now. To purchase a CD or for more on the band, click HERE.

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Alternative Press Release Categories & Nominees for APMAs

ap awards

Alternative Press have just released a complete list of categories and nominees for the Alternative Press Music Awards (APMAs). The awards show will take place at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on July, 22 and will be hosted by Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat of All Time Low. You can purchase concert tickets here.

Be sure to cast your vote for your favorite nominee here.

Artist Of The Year presented by Monster Energy Drink
Against Me!
Black Veil Brides
Crown The Empire
Motionless In White
New Found Glory
Of Mice & Men
Taking Back Sunday

Album Of The Year presented by Journeys
Beartooth • Disgusting
Black Veil Brides • Black Veil Brides
Circa Survive • Descensus
Every Time I Die • From Parts Unknown
frnkiero andthe cellabration • Stomachaches
Gerard Way • Hesitant Alien
Issues • Issues
La Dispute • Rooms Of The House
Linkin Park • The Hunting Party
Real Friends • Maybe This Place Is The Same And We’re Just Changing

Artist Philanthropic presented by Sub City / Take Action
Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness • Dear Jack Foundation
Bayside • The Human Rights Campaign
Koji • Doctors Without Borders
Jake Luhrs of August Burns Red • HeartSupport
Simple Plan• The Simple Plan Foundation
Taking Back Sunday• American Cancer Society

Best Live Band presented by Macbeth
A Day To Remember
Panic! At The Disco
twenty one pilots
The Wonder Years

Breakthrough Band presented by Splat!
Modern Baseball
Neck Deep
This Wild Life

Song Of The Year presented by Epitaph Records
Beartooth • “Beaten In Lips”
Motionless In White • “Reincarnate”
Real Friends • “I Don’t Love You Anymore”
Set It Off • “Why Worry”
Sleeping With Sirens • “Kick Me”
PVRIS • “My House”

Best International Band
The 1975 (UK)
The Amity Affliction (Australia)
Marmozets (UK)
New Politics (Denmark)
Northlane (Australia)
Crossfaith (Japan)

Best Music Video presented by Journeys
Bring Me The Horizon • “Drown”
A Day To Remember • “End Of Me”
Fall Out Boy • “Centuries”
Modern Baseball • “Your Graduation”
PVRIS • “St. Patrick”
Set It Off • “Why Worry”

Most Dedicated Fans presented by Fearless Records
All Time Low (Hustlers)
Crown The Empire (The Runaways)
Fall Out Boy (Overcast Kids)
Motionless In White (Creatures)
Paramore (Parafamily)
twenty one pilots (Skeleton Clique)

Best Underground Band presented by Sumerian Records
Being As An Ocean
The Hotelier
Knuckle Puck
Major League
State Champs
Tigers Jaw

Best Vocalist
Tyler Carter (Issues)
Vic Fuentes (Pierce The Veil)
Lynn Gunn (PVRIS)
Adam Lazzara (Taking Back Sunday)
Jeremy McKinnon (A Day To Remember)
Hayley Williams (Paramore)

Best Guitarist
Arun Bali (Saves The Day)
Jordan Buckley (Every Time I Die)
Tony Perry (Pierce The Veil)
Kevin Skaff (A Day To Remember)
Will Swan (Dance Gavin Dance)
Jacky Vincent (Falling In Reverse)

Best Bassist presented by Razor & Tie Records
Kyle Fasel (Real Friends)
Jeph Howard (The Used)
Ryan Jay Johnson (letlive.)
Zack Merrick (All Time Low)
Devin “Ghost” Sola (Motionless In White)
Dallon Weekes (Panic! At The Disco)

Best Drummer presented by DW Drums
Cyrus Bolooki (New Found Glory)
Rian Dawson (All Time Low)
Jake Garland (Memphis May Fire)
Adam Gray (Texas In July)
Matt Greiner (August Burns Red)
Luke Holland (The Word Alive)

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STREAM: Yukon Blonde – “Saturday Night”

yukon blonde

Yukon Blonde have just unveiled the first taste of their forthcoming LP, expected out on June 15th, with the funk-laden single, “Saturday Night.”

The track is infectiously catchy, effortlessly fusing indie and pop mentalities with a hard-hitting chorus and hooks that are catchy as hell.  “Saturday Night” is your night on the town, and the feeling of triumph as you slough off a week of hard work and responsibilities. This is the song you dance around your room to.

You can stream “Saturday Night” below:

Yukon Blonde is currently performing alongside Lieutenant (Nate Mendel–bassist for Foo Fighters and Sunny Day Real Estate). Check out the remaining dates below:

Yukon Blonde w/ Lieutenant

Apr 01 – Toronto, ON @ Virgin Mobile Mod Club*

Apr 02 – Detroit, MI@  Crofoot Ballroom (Pike Room)*

Apr 03 – Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle*

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Stick To Your Guns Drummer To Release Comic Book

Stick To Your Guns‘ drummer, George Schmitz, has premiered his own comic book. Along with illustrations by Caleb Goellner, Schmitz wrote Diamond Lass, which is “loosely” band-related. The first issue of the comic is available now on Gumroad for a “pay what you want” price. Below, you can see some of the art.

stick to your guns

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