Dream Team 2k17- Stevie Nicks and Lana Del Ray Collaboration

(Feature Photo: consequenceofsound.net)

Now I know this genre of music is very different from the stuff posted previously but this is big news for the music community. Both of these women hold major influence in the industry, and two of my absolute favorite artist. Well one more than the other. Stevie Nicks my idol. I love her more than anything. So when heard this mind-blowing news I had to share it with you.

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Amy Phillips and Amanda Wicks of pitch forks, of pitchfork.com reported on what little we know this past Wednesday, April 26’s.  The article stated that Stevie Nicks is going to be appearing on Lana’s next album “Lust for life” alongside other high-profile collaborators, such as The Weekend. And the worst part is they still haven’t announced when we should expect this able to come out. Witch is a brilliant marketing technique. I don'(t know about you, but I am HYPED for this album, and now and going to be looking out for news related to it.

What makes this collaboration so exciting is the fact that I’m not quit sure how its going to work. While both of these artist have amazing voices and similar “witchy” aesthetic, their voices and music styles are very different.

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(Photo: uofmusic.com)

Lana Del Ray’s voice, like Stevie’s, is full of soul and power, but the tone gives if more of haunting and spooky vibe. Her pure high notes mixed with squeaky inflections, and creepy bible alluding lyrics making her sound like some sort of Fallen Angle. Stevie voice is more nasally, and raspy, adding a folk rock flare to her music style.

Lana’s song style does have a noticeable Vintage influence to it which may work well when trying to being together these queens separated by decades. They only thing is Stevie is classic rock, and Lana’s included are very 60’s-70’s ballads. Now I’m not trying cast any doubt on the execution of this collaboration.

I’m going for quite the opposite.

New music from both these artist is long over due. Its been almost two years since the release of Lana’s last album Honeymoon in 2015, and three years since Stevie’s last single 24 Karat Gold, in 2014. WHEN this is pulled off,  mixing these two completely different styles, is in my option, gonna make it the collaboration of the year. The fact these two artist are separated by both years and styles adds to the excitement and anticipation of the whole thing.

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(Photo:englishgentleman.me)

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Hurts So Good: Hotel Books Album Review

“It’s not about being there for me, it’s about respecting me enough to tell me why you’re not. So I’ll just slip back into my sleep,There’s a demon in my casket and I think that we’ve fallen in love, and most nights, I wish it was you.”– Lose One Friend

Hotel Books is a lesser known spoken word, Indie rock, post-hardcore band that started in 2011. Originally a solo spoken-word project based in Porterville, CA started by the band’s vocalist and poet Cam Smith. Im Almost Happy Here, But I Never Feel At Home was released In July of 2014 after the band was signed to InVogue Records and was the first album released as a full band. The album was received extremely well in the Alt music community, earning the band ninth place on the Billboard Alternative New Artists chart. They have since released two more albums in 2015, Everything We Could Have Done and Run Wild,Young Beauty, and are rumored to be working on new music at this very moment. Though some have said they are just a wannabe La Dispute, these people are clearly deaf.

The only similarity between the bands being that they both focus highly on the spoken word, and are somewhat faith based. Cam Smith’s poetry is equal in passion, but the styles of the two writers are completely different. La Dispute is also bit harsher than Hotel Books musically, featuring heavier drums, and rhythm guitar while Hotel Books is way more laid back, dream like, with a overall chill vibe. I guess a good way to put it is that La Dispute is a good soundtrack for Angry Crying while Hotel Books is good for Depressed Crying.

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Not to mention that Cam’s voice both physically and poetry is very much his own. His tone coupled with impeccable diction makes it easy to pick out every syllable, of every word, in every song. But, Be warned, the intense emotion within his voice and lyrics can cause uncontrollable physical reactions, such as audible gasps, sighs, and “ahh’s” coupled with goosebumps ranging from a few limbs to the entire body. It might just be the english major in me, but with his lyrics you would have to be a robot to not even feel a little bit of an emotional connection.

The fifth song of the album “Dreaming or Sinking,” takes the listener throughout Cams thought process. There is almost a basic story arch reflecting in the phases of the poetry and music. Starting off with long stretched out high electric guitar notes, mixed with a haunting finger plucking melody setting a vibe of complexed emotions. Then Cams voice enters the mix adding to the haunting feeling of the track with the perfect amount of Reverb. “That’s why I feel like I’m going to die./Cause she kept a part of me close by and I liked it the best I can. /And now that I know who I used to be it’s hard to be happy with who I am. ” The phrases rhythm matching perfectly with the background music easing the listener into a journey of self discovery. Using the depressing and universal feeling of not liking yourself, that brings out the former emo kid in all of us. After we are about a minute and forty in to the journey the tone starts to get more intense; the guitar picking adding some more minor notes resonating with the soft bass in the back. “A sense of salvation/But also an element of bitter hope/To cope with the rope that was tied around my neck.” The moment his words speed up so does the music, guitar starting to overpower Cams voice so he has to scream to be heard. Then once we get to the emotional high point of the song: “And my past would fight with me hoping I would find truth, /But it’s never a good idea to start a fight with a man who has nothing to lose,/And I’m empty.” the intensity instantly drops, and the music fades until all we here is Cam’s voice echoing the last line. “And I don’t know what love is./But I’m growing.” The resolution.

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(Photo: Genius.com

This story like arch is used for most of the songs on the album and can be seen as both a weakness and a strength. The strength being that Hotel Books songs can easily be picked out as there’s, and the flow of the album is almost effortlessly. The weakness being that they run the risk of all there songs sounding the same. As we get closer to the end of the album we do see some variety to this formula. “Lungs” the tenth song on the album has the music leading the words instead of the words leading the music, and features way more percussion than their other songs. The Chill vibes of their highly used, slightly psychedelic guitar riffs masking the gruesomeness of the first line “Scream hallelujah until you cough up blood.” The music overpowering Cams voice at points, to make it sound like he’s fighting, “then those maps of tangled lines became our footprints and sinking sand/were being washed away by ways of trusting each other to feel complete/but we came up short until we both felt alone and empty with no breadcrumbs laid down to lead us back to safety.” adding to the lyrics. The interludes between stanzas only adding to the foreshadowed high point. Getting to hear the soft-scream lyrics your inner scene queen hoped for, keeping the intensity till the end. Leaving us with one last emotional: “I tore out my lungs,” before the minor guitar riff takes over and fades out, to a “wow” uttered softly under your breath.

The familiar light guitar melodies lead into the finale of the album, “Car Crash”. This song features the most lyrical complexity really showing off Cams poetic skill. There is little instrumental, wanting you to focus on the words, featuring normal poetic devices such as alliteration, repetition, and allusion to christianity. “Followed by two seconds, the longest two seconds I’ve ever experienced of lying to myself, lying to my God and lying to you.” During their live performances they always end on this song. Cam stepping off the stage and having the crowd circle around him, inviting them to live in his experience. The normal ark happens, or at least thats what you’re led to believe. After the lines “And I taught myself how to forget that sometimes life will try to convince you there’s such a thing as regret/But I found it to be a lie, the same lie I found when I looked in your eyes after it was said and done.” there is a long pause with nothing but silence leading you to believe that the song is over, but out of nowhere they come in with this unexpected crescendo of passion, “Scream hallelujah until you come alive, the devil came for our lungs but he left with our love/Scream hallelujah until you come alive, I inhaled this world for so long that I tore out my lungs.” connecting to the previous song “lungs”. Tieing it all together, and leaving their audience not just crying, but sobbing.

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(GIF: mashable.com)

Every Song is so masterfully constructed it was almost impossible to pick three I wanted to focus on, let alone an overall favorite. Every song in the album comes together even though they seem to tell a different story. Though the quality of recording is professional, this album live is the best way to experience Hotel Books. The overall vibe is just so unique, and is kinda like group therapy. Everyone is there in one room and all feeling the same thing, and in that moment everyone is connected through their shared emotions. Sometimes it becomes so overwhelming that Cam has to stop and take a moment to either breath or cry and the audience is there crying with him and encouraging him to feel it out. Sometimes you just need to be sad, and every song just hurts so good. So if you’re into poetry, and the alt-rock music scene I suggest you give hotel books a listen. Even if they’re not really your style I suggest you still go see them live if you get the chance, the experience is totally worth it.

Warped Recommendation 2017

As promised in my previous post, here are my recommendations for who you should try to see this warped tour season. Now as a Warped Vet. I know as well as away that the Line up changes depending on you city and date, all the bands I am recommending are on the full tour. 🙂


Bad Cop / Bad Cop:

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Bad Cop/ Bad Cop is an all female, four piece Punk band from Southern California! Their debut full-length album, Not Sorry in 2015. The sound if full of vibrant pop-punk riffs, and sick finger snapping beats. Their three-part harmonies and the lead vocalists sweet tone that give them a feel good 1960’s vibe juxtaposes with attitude filled lyrics make you wanna scream them out with every song. Check them out on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

Fave Song: Anti Love Song

Members: Stacey Dee – Vocals/Guitar, Jennie Cotterill – Vocals/Guitar, Myra Gallarza – Drums, and Linh Le – Bass/Vocals.

Being As An Ocean:

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Being As An Ocean is a Post hardcore band from Alpine, California with a melodic sound. Formed in 2011 they are currently signed to Equal Vision Records. They have released three albums their most recent Self Titled album, was released in the fall of 2015. Some of their earlier work has an almost law dispute spoken word vibe, but there most recent stuff features aggressive percussion outbursts, occasional down tempo breakdowns, and emotionally charged lyres have the who venue shaking and all their shows. Check them out on Twitter and Facebook.

Favorite Song: This Loneliness Won’t Be the Death of Me

MembersJoel Quartuccio – Lead Vocals, Tyler Ross – Lead Guitar, Ralph Sica – Bass, Michael McGough – Rhythm Guitar/Vocals, and Jesse Shelley – Drums.

Counterparts:

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Counterparts is a  Metalcore/Melodic Hardcore band from Hamilton, Ontario Canada (aye). They were formed in 2007 and have released four albums. The most recent album, Tragedy Will Find Us, was released in the summer of 2015 after the bands announcement of their deal with Pure Noise Records, and New Damage Records.  There sounds feature Heavy Riffs, Bone snapping Breakdowns, and the occasional down tempo head banger. Check them out on Facebook and Twitter.  

Favorite Song: Ghost

Members: Brendan “B” Murphy – Lead Vocals, Adrian Lee – Guitar, Blake Hardman – Guitar/Backing Vocals, and Kyle Brownlee – Drums/Percussion

Silent Planet:

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Silent Planet is metalcore band from Azusa, California. According to their Wiki page their name comes from the C.S. Lewis science fiction novel Out of the Silent Planet. The band is currently signed to Solid State Records, they have released two EP’s and Two full-length albums. There most Recent album, Everything Was Sound, came out in the summer of 2016 before the band first Warped appearance. Their music features swing tempos and heavy base riff (how many times am I gonna say heavy in the article? A LOT), over an almost ambient background. Check them out on Twitter and Facebook.

Favorite Song: Psychescape

Members: Garrett Russell – Unclean Vocals, Spencer Keene – Guitar (doesnt alway does tour ), Thomas Freckleton – Bass Guitar/Keyboards/Clean Vocals,  Mitchell Stark – Guitar, and Alex Camarena – Drums.

Trophy Eyes:

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Trophy Eyes Australian punk rock band from Newcastle, who made there first warped appearance in the summer for 2015. Since their creation in 2013 they have come out with two full length albums. Their most resent Album Chemical Miracle Was released in 2016 trough Hopeless Records. Trophy Eyes mixes up their classic pop-punk-angsty lyrical sound with varying tempos, Clean and Unclean vocals, almost crossing over to Hardcore territory in some songs. Check them out on Twitter and Facebook.

Favorite Song: Counting Sheep

Members: John Floreani – Lead Vocals, Jeremy Winchester – Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals,  Andrew Hallett – Lead Guitar, Kevin Cross – Rhythm Guitar, and Callum Cramp – Drums.

 War On Women:

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War on Woman is co-ed feminist hardcore-punk band from in Baltimore, Maryland. formed in 2011, these guys have been turning out politically charged Jams for six years now. The Driving Riffs and aggressive beats hit their listeners with songs that are both catchy and confrontational.  Touching on topics like rape culture, street harassment, the gender wage gap, and trans phobia. According to their Facebook Page their goal for warped tour is to teach bystander intervention and anti-sexism/racism/ableism/cis-sexism skills to attendees all over the country! If you want to donate to their cause check out their GoFundme.

Favorite Song: Pro-Life?

Members: Shawna Potter- Vocalist, Brooks Harlan-Guitarist, Nancy Hornburg- Guitarist, Rusty Haynie-Bassist, and Evan Tanner- Drummer. 


That’s all folks ! If you check out any of these bands, or if you think there are some bands that I should have included comment bellow. I want to know what you think! And lastly no matter what date, or who you see, Happy Warping.