Category Archives: Daily Dose

With Our Teeth discuss music, garnering a following in South Jersey and the grueling task of auditioning new members

Pat Casale, Luis Colón, Mike Scornaienchi, Chris Sikora and Stephen Anthony Matranga. Photo by PJ Hennessy

With a foundation built upon camaraderie— guitarist and vocalist, Chris Sikora, and drummer, Pat Casale, have been playing together since 2007— and ambitions, With Our Teeth look forward to spreading their peer-deemed, post-hardcore sound.

Having released a two song EP, Born in a War, in March 2011, With Our Teeth, with an enigmatic sound in tow, created a new niche within the local music scene. After discovering that they did not click with hardcore shows or jive within the punk realm, With Our Teeth proudly donned— as Sikora jokes— the title of “weird” band on the bill. Weirdness aside, however, the three-piece outfit must contend with typical band woes, such as, auditioning new members and balancing music with school, work and other responsibilities all while trying to garner a following in South Jersey, which, as many agree, is a far cry from the likes of a musical hotbed like Nashville.*

 

Starting off with a little background of the band, how did With Our Teeth come together?
Chris Sikora: With Our Teeth started with Pat, our old bass player and I; we were having trouble finding a singer and a second guitarist. Steve [Matranga, guitarist and vocalist of WOT] contacted me about starting a pop-punk band but at the time we had a full lineup for the band we formed before With Our Teeth. When we found out we had to start all over again, however, I contacted Steve and asked him if we wanted to play with this band [With Our Teeth]. A month or two later, we got a hold of an old friend who was interested in singing for us. Steve and I are going to start that pop-punk band one of these days! [laughs]

 

How would you, as a band, describe your sound (I know, not the easiest question to answer!)
Sikora: We always have a difficult time answering that question. Usually we just take the answers that other people throw at us— post-hardcore, melodic post-hardcore. We’ll ask people if they’ve heard of certain bands that we like, and when they say no, we just tell them that we’re rock/alternative.

 

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Recent Roundup: Acceptance and accomplishment in the music world, from Against Me! to Every Minute Can Kill

While excited graduates don their caps and gowns, high school students prepare for prom and summer rolls ever closer, waves ripple through the music industry, washing ashore acceptance and accomplishment alike.  

The Ocean

In the midst of North Carolina’s recent vote favoring Amendment One and President Obama’s statements supporting gay marriage, Tom Gabel, front-man and guitarist of the Florida-based punk band, Against Me!, opened up to Rolling Stone about his plans for the future; a future where he’ll eventually take the name Laura Jane Grace.

Adding his voice to milieu, Gabel revealed his plan to step out of the shadows of gender dysphoria and undergo hormone therapy and electrolysis treatment in order to transition into a woman. Gender dysphoria, previously known as gender identity disorder, is the act of feeling uncomfortable with one’s biological sex, a weight which has weighed upon Against Me!’s front-man for years.

After his announcement, Gabel received praise for his courage within the online and music communities alike. While he admits in the article, available in the latest issue of Rolling Stone, that embarrassing moments are inevitable, his biggest source for trepidation stemmed from his wife, Heather. “For me, the most terrifying thing about this is how she would accept the news,” Gabel told the magazine. “But she’s been super-amazing and understanding.”

The couple plan to remain married and, while some fans have expressed a concern for Gabel’s future involvement with the band, one thing is certain: acceptance is a song we all can sing, so long as we care enough to learn the melody.

  1. AltPress
    NEWS: Tom Gabel (Against Me!) comes out as transgender, to begin living as a woman http://dlvr.it/1XfNZ6
    Tue, May 08 2012 22:26:04
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  2. matt_owns
    I have to say that Tommy Gabel has more courage than most of humanity. Damn proud to be a fan of his/hers.
    Wed, May 09 2012 19:34:18
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  3. RxOliver
    Nice to see so many influential people in the music industry publicly showing their support for Tommy Gabel today. #PunksNotDead
    Wed, May 09 2012 17:57:04
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  4. Bruce_Holder
    Thank you Barack Obama and Tommy Gabel for making me proud again to be an American @whitehouse @tommygabel
    Thu, May 10 2012 00:45:18
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Welcome to the Family

Every Minute Can Kill, a local post-hardcore five-piece, can now boast that they are officially infamous. Infamous Empire, an organization which specializes in tour booking, studio management, band management and graphic design, brought the Vineland-based band into the family fold, adding the locals to their roster. Joining the likes of, Apparitions, As They Sleep, Damien Deadson, It Lies Within, The Party Foul and Your Chance to Die, Every Minute Can Kill look forward to their future within the Infamous family, sharing on Facebook, “They’re going to help us do big things.”

In the Market for Evening Plans?

Every Minute Can Kill is performing this evening in Levittown, Pa. alongside At Daybreak, Me Versus I, The Pugilist and It’s a Trap. The M.O.S.H.-ing begins at 5:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Church, located at 89 Pinewood Drive.


“If music be the food of love, play on.”

Nicely played, William; nicely played, and while many individuals have an adverse reaction to Shakespeare— joining the ranks of countless high school graduates, all of whom lost the taste for prose somewhere between the umpteenth reading of “Romeo and Juliet” and the mandatory participation in the in-class performance of “Julius Caesar“— the ol’ playwright may just be on to something.

Music, that rare substance that possesses the power to echo the tales of past protests, bears the marks of the movements of generations and whispers the collective history of humanity.  A form of sustenance, music fuels individual appetites and brings friends and strangers to the table.

While musical starvation in our world of interconnectivity and online piracy is virtually impossible, I feel as though I’d be committing nothing short of forcible famine to abandon M.O.S.H. This project, which rose from the ashes of a class requirement, has grown into more than a method of grading and evaluation. It’s a form of sustenance. The time has come and, if I may borrow the immortal prose of Shakespeare, I intend to “play on.”

Write On: The Greatest Hits

In our modern world, the three-meals-a-day model took a stagedive. So, while waiting for that next big musical feast, nibbling is fully advisable and certainly recommended. Below, to save you the trouble of raiding the fridge of pop-punk, alternative rock and indie acoustics, you’ll find a collection of bite-worthy reads that should hold even the most insatiable appetite for a spell.

Enjoy.

Photo courtesy of Brandon Debes

A1 Carmen Magro discusses his musical influences, what brought him to music and what his songs mean to him and his fans

B3 Review: “Who Shot Rock and Roll” brings the genre to life

C5 I Call Fives receive praise for their latest endeavor, “Someone That’s Not You”

D4 Every Minute Can Kill discuss the band’s formation, “Faceless Creatures” and offer tips on being a success in the local music scene

E2 Bon Jovi, Springsteen, Alesana and Ace Built this City on Rock and Roll

Bonus: the possibility of a vending machine eating your last dollar bill is slim to none. No need to fear dropping all of your change and looking like a fool, falling to your knees in a desperate scramble to stop the coins from rolling between the Coke machine and your intended treasure trove of over-priced goodies. The tears when you realize that your last quarter just found its way into Narnia via the blackest of abysses; save them for the last all-nighter of the semester.*

*For the sake of artistic direction, let’s just assume that the above example is completely fictitious in nature.


Oh the Horror: Local artists share their stories of bad timing, equipment glitches and wardrobe malfunctions

Eat your tell-tale heart out Edgar Allan Poe. Much like the monster in the closet, musicians must battle the technical glitches, flat tires and wardrobe malfunctions that go bump in the night.


Beyond the member-generated terror— it is a general consensus that girlfriends are never welcomed to band practice— horror stories plague bands, from the nationally known to the garage-band heroes. As post-hardcore outfit, Every Minute Can Kill, rockers, Beyond the Element, and alternative rock-ensemble, The World Outside, can attest, ghastly tales perpetuate more than dark and stormy nights.

In a Kingdom by the Sea

After finishing recording their album, “Get Your Groove On,” in Toms River, Vineland-based Every Minute Can Kill ventured to a nearby White Castle to replenish the calories that rocking out burns. While the band was listening to the rough mixes of their tracks— naturally with the music up and windows down— a rusted pickup truck, with no windows, matched pace with them. A mile or so later, after bearing the brunt of an angry onslaught of profanity laced death threats, the truck with the noted “skinhead” drove off, leaving Every Minute Can Kill with a tale that would do Poe proud. “He drove away and left us unscathed,” said Rich Williams, guitarist for the band. “But we still joke around that he almost ripped our old bassist, Frank, right out of the car.”

Beyond the Element’s Mike Badgley and Corey Presner at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia during their reunion show. Photo by Sara Jordan Reis

While the road is an assumed platform for nightmares, a venue’s stage is where a nightmare can quickly mutate into a full-blown terror. Factors such as equipment failure and nerves can dramatically affect a band’s performance. Unfortunately, for Jersey-born Beyond the Element, both demons have reared their ugly heads during their set.

“Our first show with Kevin— no offense Kevin— he played everything 30 times faster [than the rest of us],” said bassist and vocalist, Corey Presner with a laugh. “He played different music than us.”

When Beyond the Element’s drummer, Kevin Reardon, is not “playing different music,” he is busy destroying his drum set. During their set one evening, Reardon kicked a whole in his bass drum, forcing him to think fast. “That was fun,” said Reardon with a sigh. “I had to turn the bass drum around [in the middle of the song] and finish the show on the front of it.”

Quote the Raven

Much like a crowdsurfer materializing out of the audience and fulfilling the kicks-to-the-head quota every show-goer agrees to, band horror stories crop up unexpectedly, ambushing bands both internationally known and locally grown. Technical glitches, on-stage mistakes and van problems pepper the existence of any band, spreading panic in their arrivals; a panic rivaled only by that of a rookie show-goer when a M.O.S.H. pit opens up and the call for a “wall of death” echoes throughout the venue.

Transforming nightmares into, “One day we’ll look back on this and laugh,” local acts, Every Minute Can Kill, Beyond the Element and The World Outside face the fears that could fall the House of Usher with each set. After all, the show must go on.


Picture of Shows Past: Tim of Honor Bright Performing at Harmony Grange

Tim, vocalist and guitarist of Syracuse-based pop-rock outfit, Honor Bright, 
performing at the Harmony Grange in Delaware on Nov. 11, 2010

Carmen Magro discusses his musical influences, what brought him to music and what his songs mean to him and his fans

music (noun) – a : the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity
b : vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony

substance (noun) – a : essential nature
b : a fundamental or characteristic part or quality

heart (noun) – a : the central or innermost part
b : the essential or most vital part of something

Simple definitions defined by Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, simple concepts; yet at times, it feels as though the industry has lost sight of the cornerstone of music— to connect with people on a different level; a level other means of entertainment cannot quite reach.

We’ll sell out before you even know who we are,” a lyric belted out by Davey Fortner of Freshman 15 that, while satirical in nature, reveals an ugly truth: just how far are musicians willing to go to achieve their dreams? While a concrete answer cannot be found in books or online blogs, one thing is certain, Carmen Magro, a Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter and the frontman of an adult contemporary outfit bearing the same name, will never sacrifice his music for fame.

Carmen Magro, Philadelphia resident and singer-songwriter of Carmen Magro. Photo courtesy of Carmen Magro's press kit available at http://www.carmenmagro.com/home.html

The definition of music of substance and heart, Carmen Magro, the man not the band, got his start in the trade by using anything and everything available to him— including the family’s kitchen pots and pans—  to assemble notes and rhythms. After receiving his first drum kit for his 14th birthday, Magro’s eyes opened to the realm of performing on stage.

As is true with many creative professions, articles of substance cannot be forged without trials and tribulations. Unfortunately, Magro lost his father when he was 10, and his mother when he was 19 due to breast cancer. “Those experiences humbled me to really come in tune with my feelings and learn to put them into music,” said Magro. “I find I can’t sing unless it is truly from my heart so I put my heart into every melody and song I write.”

Carmen Magro, the band, consists of Carmen Magro (Vocals, Piano, Keys, Guitar), Chuck Scarpello (Bass), Mark Burkert (Guitar), Dave Murphy (Drums), Steve Sauer (Keys/Synth/Supporting Vocals and Brian Fitzgerald (Violin/vocals). The band recently performed prior to and during halftime of a Philadelphia 76’s game.

Personally, what brought you to music?

Music is, without a doubt, an extension of my soul. I feel I have so much to share with the world and to reiterate what I learn from the world. I do it most easily with music. Putting rhythm, melody and lyrics together to put someone in a moment that makes a difference in their lives is a miracle that music does for all of us. I find myself writing melodies and marrying lyrics with them every minute of every day— some sad, some happy, some playful, some exotic, some tempting; all sincere and all original.

Personally, it is how I put my thoughts of the world into words to share with others. Some people write poems, some bitch and moan about everything, some people are just indifferent. I don’t know how to do any of that. I guess my music is poetic to some extent but it isn’t hard for me to write lyrics. They just come easily with the music. Sometimes I write a melody first but usually the lyrics and music come together instantly in my head and heart as soon as I have the feeling for them. Music is my sanctuary, my release from the world and my connection to it. Sometimes I feel that if I lost the ability to play my music and share it with the world, I would simply wither away and die. It is my lifeline for sure.

What about the Philly/Tri-State area music scene do you enjoy? Given that it’s a far cry from the likes of a big city, do you think it’s easier or harder to gain a following and make a name for yourself? 

As an original artist I have to believe that if you have something special, it will get recognized. But I grew up in Philly. It’s a great town and those that want to come out to hear music know where to go to hear it. I just try to put myself in a position to be heard any way possible. I’m always hoping that every show is a step in the right direction. But like other musicians, even those in big cities as you mention…all have the big and small shows and they have to find a way to give the same show for one as they would for 100 or 1,000 or 10,000. I find that part easy. I just get lost in my music and hope that someone out there enjoys it and may share it with someone else and they may share it as well. Eventually, I hope it gets to someone that feels my music can really shape the world and can open a door professionally for me. But even without that, I’ve never been disappointed playing in a Philly area venue. Whether it’s in Jersey, Delaware or Philly, I find it easy to get lost on stage, put the world aside and just let my music shine through. I wouldn’t treat a stage in LA, NYC, Nashville or anywhere in the world any differently.

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Twitter Reacts to the loss of the Father of Loud, Jim Marshall


Forget the Ides of March; it appears as though April 5 is more deserving of man kind’s inherent fear of death, especially if you happen to be a rock and roll icon.

Blue Oyster Cult has advised audiences for decades, “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” yet, on this day alone, Death has garnered rock legends galore. The Father of Loud and the creator of a stage staple, Jim Marshall, assumed his place among the fallen rock stars of stages past, which include, Bob “The Bear” Hite, singer of Canned Heat, Danny Rapp, Philadelphia born frontman of Danny & the Juniors, Kurt Cobain, the voice behind “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Cozy Powell, drummer of Whitesnake and Black Sabbath fame.

Musicians and fans alike took to Twitter to share their condolences on yet another April 5 in which “the curtains flew and then He appeared, saying don’t be afraid.”

  1. Share
    Marshall Amps founder Jim Marshall passes away at age 88–info/musicians’ reactions: altpress.com/news/entry/ji…
    Thu, Apr 05 2012 10:44:46
  2. Share
    RIP Jim Marshall, inventor of the Marshall amp and the “Father of Loud.” bitly.com/HZT5OT
    Thu, Apr 05 2012 11:36:28
  3. Share
    The news of Jim Marshall passing is deeply saddening. R & R will never be the same w/out him. But, his amps will live on FOREVER! \,,/,
    Thu, Apr 05 2012 07:08:06
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    R.I.P. Jim Marshall. You were responsible for some of the greatest audio moments in music’s history and 50% of all our hearing loss……
    Thu, Apr 05 2012 10:23:13
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    RT @DjASHBA: RIP: Jim Marshall, There are very few people who change the world in a massive way…….YOU were one of the pioneers. God Bless you n’ fam.
    Thu, Apr 05 2012 22:53:25
  6. Share
    RIP Jim Marshall … Thank you
    Thu, Apr 05 2012 22:38:09
  7. Share

    hoy se fué un maestro, un héroe anónimo para nosotros!! hoy murió JIM MARSHALL!! 😦 http://pic.twitter.com/spkUcKGm
    Thu, Apr 05 2012 22:52:51

Review: “Who Shot Rock and Roll” brings the genre to life

The Allentown Art Museum

Paul Cole, a Barefoot Bay, Florida resident, held a very unpopular opinion: he didn’t like the Beatles. Despite his apparent unappreciation for the British boys’ music, Cole found himself inadvertently immersed in the realm of pop culture history when, while visiting London in 1969, happened to be standing near the now famous Abbey Road.

Who Shot Rock and Roll, a Photographic History, 1955 to the Present at the Allentown Art Museum functions in much the same fashion as Iain McMillian, the photographer who captured Cole just behind Lennon. The photo exhibit immerses visitors within the art and the music of rock and roll history.

Crowd Surfing from 1955 to Today

The photo exhibit– housed at the Allentown Art Museum until May 13– includes over 175 images of classic artists who defined the genre including, Elvis Presley, Nirvana, Queen and Pink Floyd, to modern-day acts such as, Amy Winehouse and Eminem. During my visit, the behind the scenes photos, images from live performances, portraits, conceptual images and album artwork honestly told the story of rock and roll. Visitors, carried along for the ride, milled from picture to picture as if they were surfing the crowds of 1955, making their way to the stage of today while passing through the movements— the rebellion, the freedom of expression, and reinvention— which have become synonymous with the genre.

Who Shot Rock and Roll, organized by the Brooklyn Museum in New York and guest curator Gail Buckland, transformed my few dollars into an all-access, VIP, backstage pass to witness some of the greatest acts the music industry has ever produced. The images of live performances, including the famous image of Paul Simonon of the Clash smashing his bass— if bells have yet to ring, think London Calling— buzzed with energy. One could almost feel the rebellion and excitement embodied in the images while, when viewing the behind the scenes images, one could gauge the toll rock and roll took on some participants; a feeling best embodied in a moving portrait of Kurt Cobain, captured back stage breaking down.

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I Call Fives receive praise for their latest endeavor, “Someone That’s Not You”

I Call Fives’ recently released EP, “Someone That’s Not You,” proves that pop punk is alive and well in New Jersey. Infectious melodies and thundering instruments promise to bring the scene to a crescendo, a fact which begs the question, “How are these guys not in the music major leagues yet?”

Someone That’s Not You, is the call to arms the war-front— the stages across the nation— needed. Show-goers, the foot soldiers along the front lines, the stage barriers, and the infantryman in the trenches, more commonly known as M.O.S.H. pits, can now rally behind an anthem worth moving to. The war to defend pop punk, commanded by the likes of Jersey-born The Wonder Years and Man Overboard, is in full effect and, with the recent release of Someone That’s Not You, which has already garnered positive reviews, it’s safe to say that I Call Fives will quickly rise through the ranks. A salute to the Washington Township quintet, who are managed by Buddy Nielsen, front man of Senses Fail, another Jersey-based band, for doing the Garden State proud.

  1. Share
    I Call Fives EP review (out tomorrow on Pure Noise Records): “…sounds like a cross between New Found Glory and… fb.me/1AaojfQIN
    Mon, Mar 19 2012 12:52:21
  2. Share
    I Call Fives interview on Muzik Dizcovery: fb.me/1lkAgdgzm
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 14:16:19
  3. Share
    I manage a band called I Call Fives, they put out a new EP today called “Someone That’s Not You”. You can stream… fb.me/19By8C0Nj
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 09:42:40
  4. Share
    Proud to be from New Jersey because of this! RT “@earshotmedia: nj.com/gloucester-county/t… fb.me/1tChVFgFd
    Wed, Mar 21 2012 15:16:35
  5. Share
    Another killer I Call Fives review: “Can it be that summer is almost here? Even if your corner of the world is… fb.me/1bzQ2L4Ci
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 23:05:44
  6. Share
    I recommend picking up I Call Fives new EP “Someone That’s Not You” on iTunes right now! Pure Noise Records.
    Tue, Mar 20 2012 22:18:44
  7. Share
    Just listened to I Call Fives for the first time. Another awesome NJ pop punk band.
    Fri, Mar 23 2012 13:37:18

Recent Round-up: Remembering legends and highlighting up-and-comers

Never one to classify myself as the atypical college student— you know, the individual depicted in every cliché teen movie, staying out late, partying every night— my spring break has not been defined by tan lines and keg stands. I prefer a more relaxing route. Sleeping in to a reasonable hour— it seems my bed suffers from an acute form of separation anxiety: check. Reading non-academic books and finding myself at a loss after completing The Hunger Games trilogy: check. Indulging my inner artist and enjoying the “Who Shot Rock and Roll” exhibit* at the Allentown Art Museum: check. And finally, neglecting this blog: check.

In Memorandum

Despite my lackadaisical efforts, however, the music world keeps spinning. Proving that the adage, “deaths happen in threes” may not be strictly superstition, Doobie Brother’s drummer, Michael Hossack, died March 12, 2012 in his home in Wyoming at the age of 65. Cancer closing the curtain on another rock star just weeks after the sudden death of Monkees’ heartthrob, Davy Jones and untimely death of Ronnie Montrose; guitarist for Montrose.

“Tour Up”

Much like a spinning album, which alternates between harmonies of heartbreak, catchy tunes to move to and power jams that inspire, the sphere of music encompasses more than the doom and gloom of passing legends. Alive and diffusing energy like an unstable atom, Freshman 15 rocked Philadelphia Monday, March 12 as the “Tour Up: from the Floor Up!” tour with City Lights dwindles to a close. In keeping pace with their touring schedule— positioned to inject their unique pop-punk sound while touring with Bowling for Soup this spring— Freshman 15 released their energetic sophomore album, “Here’s to Feeling Good” on Tuesday.

Davey Fortner and Davey Hoogerwerf performing in June of 2009. Photo: Ashley Cline

A new album from a fresh and fun band, fronted by Georgia gentlemen, coupled by this lovely eastern weather not enough? I understand. Appeasing a raging music appetite is not an easy feat. There is no need to worry, however, so long as your calendar is free this Saturday. Don your St. Patrick’s day green and join Beyond the Element at World Café Live, located at 3025 Walnut St. in Philadelphia, for their reunion show. Lil Rock, Anomaly, Murphee Doyle, Carmen Magro, DIVE and Maddam INK will also be sharing the stage with the Woodbury, N.J. based-band that evening.

Infusing an Irish Jig and M.O.S.H.-ing? Challenge accepted.

*review

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