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Getting Past the Industry to Love Music Again
Absolutepunk User Photog 2010
01/03/11 at 09:44 PM by Adam Pfleider
I'd like to thank everyone who submitted photos this year. We had over 100 people submit this year, which I think is a little less than doubled of last year's submissions. Not all of the submissions were chosen, and I apologize if yours was not. This wasn't a contest, but a way to showcase some talents of our regular readers and users of the site. I don't want to discourage you from continuing to shoot in any way. Keep it up, check out the work below, and remember, it's not how many shots you catch in "three songs no flash" or an hour and half set, but the moment that's worth capturing. The selections this year just may have been better at doing that than last year's feature.

Note: I did want to start off with showing how crazy Tyson Ritter was at Warped Tour this year. That was intentional.

- love and respect

*please do not use any of the submissions for personal or professional work without the contact/consent of said photographer


Tyson Ritter from The All-American Rejects/Nassau Coliseum New York/July 17th, 2010
Lauren Obadiah

Dave Knudson and Jake Snider of Minus The Bear/The Ritz, Ybor City, FL/May 12th, 2010
Fernando "Mark" Vidreiro/ohitsmark

Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem/Tonhalle, Munich, Germany/November 6th, 2010
Kevin Hulse

Deadmau5/Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival: Manchester, TN/June 12th, 2010
Nathan Vicar/SandManTEND13

Bryan Kerr of Veara/The Buff Chick Tour @ Club Hell, Providence RI/August 26th, 2010
Elizabeth McClay

Max Bemis of Say Anything/Warehouse Live, Houston, TX/November 20th, 2010
Anna Enriquez/ZOMGannaLOLZ

Glassjaw/Nouveau Casino, Paris, France/August 7th, 2010
Livia Lamon/jeenova

Matt McDonald of The Classic Crime/EPIC, CA/October 29th, 2010
Christine Le/d00d81that

Matt & Kim/The Culture Room, Ft. Lauderdale, FL/October, 14th, 2010
Malcom Lacey/WakeUp

Ra Ra Riot/Los Angeles, CA/October 23rd, 2010
Justin Bettman/onewheeledrider

Foreigner/The Rivercenter New Orleans, LA/May 13th, 2010
Natalie Raff/dyslexicrayon

Spencer Chamberlain of Underoath/Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ/November 5, 2010
Ashton Popiel/thesecretwars

Ke$ha/Bamboozle, New Jersey/June 1st, 2010
Bianca Ghezzi

Something Corporate Reunion/House of Blues, Dallas,TX/August 18th, 2010

The Cab/Warped Tour 2010 - Nassau Coliseum, New York/July 17th, 2010
Dan Lebo

Matt Kean of Bring Me The Horizon/AP Tour The Norva, VA/November 16th, 2010
Jenn Harrington

Dan "Soupy" Campbell of The Wonder Years/Chain Reaction, Anaheim, CA/April 14th, 2010
Nick Le/Nick Le

Ace Enders playing an all acoustic request show after his set with I Can Make a Mess/Warped Tour, The Gorge, WA/August 14th, 2010
Mason Adelblue/Vivatoto56

Frank Turner/El Corazon lounge in Seattle, WA/September 10th, 2010
Suejean Kim/ssk2144

Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio/Emo's Indoor, Austin, Texas/March 28th, 2010
Cynthia Lee/patentpending

Liam 'Rory' Clewlow of Enter Shikari/Gramercy Theater in NYC/October 15th, 2010
John O'Connor/TheRealJohnOC

Muse/Ford Center, Oklahoma City, OK/October 8th, 2010
Nate Dwelle

Sierra Kusterbeck of Versa Emerge/Warped Tour 2010, Comcast Theater, Hartford, CT/July 11th, 2010
Charles Saulters II/kingd615

Mike Bigelow of Wintersleep/Holland Park, Surrey, BC, Canada/February 27th, 2010
Ryan Rose/dotca

William Beckett of The Academy Is.../Blue Moose Tap House, Iowa City, IA/September 5th, 2010
Alison Lindholm/microwave37

LMFAO/Bamboozle Road Show, 6 Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ
Mike Maroney

Andrew W.K./Warped Tour 2010 Pittsburgh, PA/July 7th, 2010
Brandon Robert Oakes/photOakes

Spencer Chamberlin of Underoath/The Cool Tour, The Tabernacle, Atlanta Ga/July 13th 2010
Jason Laughinghouse

Good Old War/Masquerade ( Hell ) in Atlanta, GA/June 21st, 2010
Bobby Russell

Sarah Eldhart and Shawn Neary of Cloud Cult/St. John's University in Minnesota/November 19th, 2010
Jack Messerly

Anthony Green of Circa Survive/secret show during SXSW at Red 7, Austin, TX/March 19th, 2010
Veronica Luna/veronicaluna

Good Charlotte/Bamboozle Road Show, Charlotte, NC/June 22nd, 2010
stephanie moore

Phil Bozeman of Whitechapel/Warped Tour 2010 - Indianapolis, IN/July 7, 2010
Joanne McIntyre

Clipse (Pusha T)/ USC Springfest @ McCarthy Quad, Los Angeles CA/April 10th, 2010
Selene Locke/asdfjkl

Alesana/Warped Tour, Merriweather Post Pavillion, Columbia, MD/ July 20th, 2010
Lindsay Berreth/piaffeprncess98

John Mayer/Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ/July 30th, 2010
Katrina Murray/keepthechange11

Mitch Lucker of Suicide Silence/Warped Tour, St. Petersburg/July 23, 2010
Lauren Remenick

Andrew McMahon of Something Corporate/Great Plaza at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, PA/August 8th, 2010
Alison Allen/Alison1488

Dave Elkins and Jacob Marshall of Mae/The Vinyl in Atlanta, GA/October 5th, 2010
Corrinne Koschewa/twindeux

Sierra Kusterbeck of VersaEmerge/Canterbury Park, Minnesota/August 1st, 2010
Matt Vogel/Wisher

Stephen Christian of Anberlin/Theatre of Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA/October 29th, 2010
Stephen Eckert/SEckwd

The Chariot/Ghostbustour, Chameleon Club, Lancaster, PA/September 28th, 2010

Sum 41/Warped Tour, The Comcast Center, Mansfield, MA/July 13th, 2010
Chrissy Bulakites

Josh Farro and Zac Farro of Paramore/Honda Civic Tour, Lawn at White River State Park in Indianapolis, IN/August 19th, 2010.
Ann Gilly/SuchAPerson22

Fucked Up/Maxwells, Hoboken, NJ
bill shouldis/bill

Nate Ruess of fun./Sala Rossa, Montreal, Canada/November 29th, 2010
Nadia Davoli/Larsfan

Bryce Avary of The Rocket Summer/Warped Tour, Oceanport, NJ/July 18th, 2010
Tanya Gelman/sweethart5349

Jordan Dreyer of La Dispute/Troubadour, Hollywood, CA/May 2010
Michael Slider

Mark Bolger of Hold North/The Croc Rock, Allentown, PA/October 15, 2010
Kristopher Michael/SpeziaLK

Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance/Roseland Ballroom NYC/December 3rd, 2010
Jeremy Wood

Dan "Soupy" Campbell and Josh Martin of The Wonder Years/Kempsville Ruritan, Virginia Beach, VA/March 22nd, 2010
Karen Estrella/forget_december

Chris Farren of Fake Problems/The Firebird, St. Louis, MO/December 4th, 2010
Mariam Shahsavarani/mar__

Girl Talk (aka Greg Gillis)/B.O.M.B. Festival, Durham, CT/May 30, 2010
Nicholas Palumbo

Avenged Sevenfold/Rockstar Uproar Fest/Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Irvine, CA/September 17th, 2010
Lou de la Rosa/uberlou

Jordan Buckley of Every Time I Die/Warped Tour 2010/State Fairgrounds, Salt Lake City, UT/August 7th, 2010
Justin Wright/Neversummer62

Anthony Raneri of Bayside/Northstar Bar, Philadelphia, PA/January 22nd, 2010
Katelyn Kulak/tanglehymn

Bob Nanna/Threadless Pop-up Store, NYC/October 1st, 2010
Orlando Olier

Aaron Marsh of Copeland/The Warehouse @*SCAPE, Singapore/May 5th, 2010
Shaun Tan/fattanmagnet

Kristian Matsson of The Tallest Man On Earth / The Arches / November 22nd, 2010
Sujin Lim/sujinnj

David Bazan/Biola University - Sutherland Auditorium, La Mirada, CA
Jordan Nakamura/Ryzenfall

Mindset/packed into an old storefront in Brooklyn, NY/August 22nd, 2010
Dan Gonyea/futurebreed

Oli Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon/Warped Tour Atlanta, GA/July 26th, 2010
Melissa Terry/lissalynn

63. Craig Owens/Pike Room, Pontiac, MI/November 28th, 2010
Melanie Hodgins/UTGMelanie

New Found Glory/Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD/July 31st, 2010
Elizabeth Kong/sobrique

Set Your Goals/Warped Tour 2010, Monmouth Park, Oceanport, NJ/July 18th, 2010
Emilio Martinez/sanchez

New Found Glory/Festival Pier Philadelphia, PA/August 4th, 2010
Rebecca Sawka/DTMphotos

Jordan Buckley of Every Time I Die/Warped Tour 2010 Sam Houston Race Park, Houston, TX/July 2nd, 2010
Mary Caroline Mann

Jake Bannon of Converge/El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles/May 18th, 2010
Carly Hoskins/queenofcrouton

Ryan Hahn of Local Natives/The Bootleg Theatre, Echo Park, CA/June 5th, 2010
Shelby Amses / lightsnmusic

Steel Train/Tegan & Sara U.S. Tour, Tower Theatre/Philadelphia, PA/February 16th, 2010
Alan Davis/ratsevif

Bryce Avary of The Rocket Summer/Cricket Wireless Amphitheater, San Diego, CA/August 10th, 2010
Ray Cantor/iareRay

The Wonder Years in Tallahassee, FL
Matt Burke/TBWBphoto

O'Brother/The Stuffing, The Loft (Vinyl/Centerstage), Atlanta, GA/November 24th, 2010
Laura Meek

Tags: AP.net, Photog, 2010, Feature
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(Not) Late Night Thoughts: Playlist Five - 2010
12/13/10 at 03:20 PM by Adam Pfleider
I'm going to start revealing pieces of my EOTY lists here leading up to the reveal of my top 20 albums (yes, it's been that kind of year) at the end of the month. Since it's Monday, I want to drop my favorite songs this year on you. Some of them lead to that top 20, some of them to some (more than) honorable mentions. It's been a great year. Rejoice!

no particular order:

1. Native -"Backseat Crew"
2. Get Up Kids - "Keith Case"
3. Republic of Wolves - "Tuez Le Tous, Dieu Reconnaitra Les Siens/Greek Fire"
4. Daughters - "The First Supper"
5. Bad Books - "How This All Ends"
6. Maps and Atlases - "Solid Ground"
7. Pianos Become the Teeth - "Cripples Can't Shiver"
8. Beach House - "Zebra"
9. Touche Amore - "I'll Get My Just Deserve"
10. Narrative - "Winter's Coming
11. Minus the Bear - "Secret Country"
12. Crime in Stereo - "Exit Halo"
13. Glassjaw - "Jesus Glue"
14. Deerhunter - "Desire Lines"
15. The Dig - "Two Sisters in Love"
16. La Dispute - "Why It Scares Me"
17. Tera Melos - "Aped"
18. Narrows - "Recurring"
19. Sleigh Bells - "Rill Rill"
20. Norma Jean - "The Anthem of the Angry Brides"
21. My Heart to Joy - "Empty Homes"
22. Gorillaz - "Superfast Jellyfish"
23. Kanye West - "Runaway"
24. Bars of Gold - "Up Up Up"
25. The Chariot - "The City"
26. Circa Survive - "Imaginary Enemy"
27. Fang Island - "Daisy"
28. We Were Skeletons - "Bruce Willis is Dead the Whole Time"
29. Wild Orchid Children - "Martha Washington Goes to War"
30. Trash Talk - "Rabbit Holes"
31. Surfer Blood - "Take it Easy"
32. Steel Train - "Bullet"
33. Gifts From Enola - "Grime and Glass"
34. Envy on the Coast - "Death March on Two, Ready?"
35. Deftones - "Rocket Skates"
Tags: AP.net, 2010, EOTY
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Five and Alive: Dripping Wax in 2010
12/03/10 at 03:43 AM by Adam Pfleider
Last year I gave you my top five favorite vinyl finds of the year. This year, I enlisted the guys from The Saddest Landscape, who put out an incredible record this year - You Will Not Survive. The guys not only gave us their top five favorite vinyl packages, but also five tips on releasing your own tunes on wax. See below for a double dose of the column this week.


Vocalist Andy Maddox's advice on vinyl presses...

Over the years I have released a fair amount of records and purchased (or should I say obsessively collected) a substantial amount more and while I would never claim to be an expert on anything here are a few things I have learned:

1. Make sure you are happy with the songs before you release them.
I know this may sound really simple but I can not even fathom how many times I have met someone in a band who has said some variation of the following to me: “Hey Saddest Landscape dude please listen to my bands new record, but only listen to track 3 as the rest of it should have been aborted”. If you already don’t like your new album that is a pretty good sign more time should have been spent writing the songs, take time and be proud of what you are releasing. Simply put life is too short for shitty records.

2. A good mastering job will not save a bad recording.
From time to time I have come across this attitude of it being ok to spend less time/money on recording because it can all be “fixed” in mastering. This is simply not true, while a good mastering job does do a lot to enhance a record it can not make an awful sounding record into a masterpiece. Getting a good recording at the start is important, spend time getting everything to sound how you would like it to sound and then build from there. Do not settle for mediocrity at the start in the hopes you can make yourself happy later.

3. Colored vinyl sounds better.
Not true, it only looks better, and even that isn’t true all the time (I’ll take a good classic black LP over one of those bunk looking splatter jobs every time). I am more mentioning this in a larger sense though, in that if your resources are limited they most likely would be better spent making your recording sound better than on fancy looking vinyl. Trust me no matter how good a record looks if it sounds terrible and the songs aren’t good no one will want to listen to it.

4. Good packaging goes a long way.
Unless you are on Factory records the whole minimalist approach is just a cop out. If you don’t care enough to put any effort into the packaging don’t be surprised when more copies get jacked online than bought. This does not mean a lot of money needs to be spent on a layout, there are many examples of records packaged brilliantly for almost nothing using waste materials, it is more show the listener you really care about what you are releasing, it is noticed.

5. If a pressing plant promises a release date they are lying.
More often than not it seems if a plant early on (say in that initial pressing quote stage) promises a record will be done by a certain date it won’t happen. I have found that when I have been given good vague estimates on ship dates is when a plant will come through. They will try their hardest to honor it but there are too many variables in pressing a record to guarantee anything so far in advance. Think of how many records have alternate tour covers, why do you think that is? It is because there are always a fair amount of unforeseen delays that cause records not to be ready in time. So be mindful when planning that record release show as things always do come up.


Andy Maddox and Aaron Neigher's Top 5 Favorite Vinyl Releases of 2010:

1) Pianos Become the Teeth - Old Pride
I know it seems like our band crush on these guys is growing out of control, but seriously this record is that good. The vinyl looks and sounds great, it comes with an impressively large poster full of way too many photos and still rules no matter how many times in a row it is played. and while we are at it, anyone who bitches about their name without listening to them is just a horrible human being, 'nuff said.

2) The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs - 6 x 10 + book box set
This collection of songs was impressive when it came out years ago and it only seems more so now with it finally getting the vinyl treatment. Merge really went all out on this one with nice gatefold covers on the 3 double 10"s, a full size booklet providing insight to all 69 tracks, and then housing it in a sturdy box we are proud to display as part of our collection.

3) Murder by Death - Good Morning, Magpie - Deluxe 200 gram LP
10 years in and still putting out great records, MBD really does vinyl right. This LP came with a really legit looking embossed cover and a full LP size booklet on hefty 200 gram vinyl so one can judge the impact of the record before the needle even sets down. Oh, and it comes with a big black feather, no shit, a feather, i had to promise Aaron he wouldn't get some sketchy bird disease from it, not sure if he believed me.

Mono - Holy Ground: NYC Live - 3x LP + DVD
Rad 3xLP + DVD set put out by Temporary Residence. One look at the cover and inner artwork and you instantly know this wasn't just another show, but rather - a special experience for anyone in attendance. I saw Explosions in the Sky in a similar chapel environment and it made for one of the most ethereal show going experiences ever. Anyways, this MONO show just so happens to be a sore subject in the TSL camp as I was supposed to buy Andy, Mike, and Myself tickets. I then promptly forgot about said promise, and then this shit of course sold out. At least this record can let us pretend we were there, right guys?... Right?

Into the Wild - Soundtrack - 180gram LP + 24 page book
I'm admittedly not the biggest Pearl Jam/Eddie Vedder fan. But Andy wouldn't shut up about this record so i eventually caved in and checked out the movie :) Gotta give it to Eddie Vedder as he nailed this one right on the head. Gorgeous music that hits me right every time no matter what type of mood I'm in. Vinyl comes with an awesome book with stills from the movie, lyrics, and commentary from Sean Penn on how working with Vedder came to fruition.
Tags: Five and Alive, The Saddest Landscape, Vinyl, 2010
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Late Night Thoughts: Songbird
10/26/10 at 01:15 AM by Adam Pfleider
Tomorrow night I'll be seeing a hell of a show. On the heels (which should read "heals") of a battered scene the likes of this shit, we're in what they call "the rebuilding season" of bands either gracing us with fresh material or nostalgic hat tipping to the past. In the midst of all of this is a growing community of bands and labels not only standing up for, but truly representing, an outcry of good, passionate music the likes of not what we want - but are in dire need to consume.

Sure, we can still get excited for new material from bands like Glassjaw, Thursday, Bayside or even Sunny Day Real Estate (hey, whatever happened with that?), but we need to be more excited with the availability of fresh faces getting us through the day.

The past few nights, the kitchen crew and I have been rocking some old school Bled and Brand New and Fenix TX - remembering the good times; the progressive onset; the joy of saying, "Wow, this band actually stepped it up a notch." That said band might have stepped it up from being great already, not "Oh, well, this is a bit better than the pile of dog shit I've heard before."

This all brings me to my biggest gripe of the evening, and something that's been boiling inside me for some months now: what's with all the new genres? What the fuck is "chillwave?" It just sounds like a more electronic throwback to the "new wave" top 40 of the '80s. And "witch house?" Someone said it best when they said, "Yeah, I remember this, but it was called goth and/or industrial."

There's certainly nothing wrong with bands like Best Coast or Salem - bands taking something old and making it fresh again - but do we really need to deem it under another fucking genre? How many assholes with their heads up their asses need to be in a room to justify this shit? When did this whole writing/editorial game become so tiresome that we had to make up new bullshit terms to make us sound "hip" and "revolutionary."

The funny thing about all of this is I think half those bands don't think "What new genre can I invent?" It's the jackasses like myself that put the plastic tags on the mattresses and say, "Do not remove under penalty of douchebaggery!"

I understand this entry must sound muddled and all over the place. (Which of my entries are not?) I guess I've just been thinking about how the cream is finally starting to rise to the top this year. It seems like many listeners are finally sick of the hand that feeds them, and are biting back at the "flavors of the week" and supporting honest music done without an industry's mask.

The Republic of Wolves' Varuna makes me feel that way. The Narrative's self-titled makes me feel that way. Native's Wrestling Moves makes me feel that way. These are all different sounding records. They're all rock records - plain and simple - but they all have distinct touches that make them separate to the ear.

Tomorrow I'm seeing a hell of a tour. The next night I'm seeing a hell of a tour. Next weekend I'll be seeing what I think is the best festival in Austin. There's so much good music out there this year, but take this warning: Enjoy it and don't think too much into it. Don't think you're the first one to have discovered it, because nine times out of ten, it was done before. Most importantly, share it and bring together a strong community of support behind it. A community of ideas that's constantly building upon each other.

The marketplace of the new industry is slowly brewing. People are sick of the meek - and they will not inherit our headphones any longer.

Okay, maybe I don't even know where I was going with any of this. It made more sense in my head on the drive home from work.

- love and respect
Tags: Late Night Thoughts, AP.net, Community, 2010
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Show Review: Warped Tour 2010 (Dallas, TX)
07/05/10 at 02:56 AM by Adam Pfleider
I'll be 24 in a month. It's an age that's a middle ground for Warped Tour with both attendees and performers. Honestly, the last Warped Tour I attended was in 2002. Boy, was it a portrait of my youth. One giant bill filled just about every CD in my collection. (That's right kids, those shiny plastic things that were played on ancient brick machines with giant headphones.)

This year (and the line-ups for the past few years) make me feel old and out of the loop. Catching some glimpses of some artists' (can we call them that?) sets was bewildering enough, but it was the young crowd's reaction - bright neon and high pitch screams fit for teeny-bopper showcases - that made me want to raise my cane and scream "Get off my lawn!"

One of the things that has always attracted me to punk - or whatever the thing is - is its ability to be creative and off the track. It's not the sound, it's the substance and the passion. There's a performance fit for a stage and then there's a staged performance. It's cookie cutter, predictable, and as an avid music fan constantly looking for a fix, not worth the time and space when so many others are having to claw at it with music of greater value.

How much of an elitist prick do I sound like at this point?

It just boggles my mind. Then again, I was young once. Like generations before me who shunned the "next" thing that was "ripping off the old thing," I guess I'm that bitter old fan at this point in my life. So to cut this rant short and get on to the day, I'll end on this: Whether you're a music listener or a creator, just don't be in it for a market. Be in it for the music and your love and true devotion for it. We already have a major label industry we've all had enough of that's a process of American mediocrity. We don't want to instill that on the next generation.

So, how was the day?

Well, the rain held up (for the most part) and starting off the day was Every Time I Die who just came out blazing and heavy. It was the pregame everyone needed for the day. As the band launched into "Ebolarama," the crowd went absolutely insane. "Bored Stiff" opened up the biggest circle pit I had seen all day. During "Floater," Keith Buckley asked the crowd to (which they did) perform the "crawl of death."

Missing Motion City Soundtrack for my interview with Andrew WK, I could hear Ace Enders belting out a great set for I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody's Business outside the press area. Talk about a guy's voice that carries. Pretty bummed I missed the gig, but glad I got to hear most it. Word is he ended with "Ever So Sweet," so another reason to catch Enders out there this summer.

I was able to catch a bit of Face to Face's set before my interview with Alkaline Trio, and they were spot on. After my interview with Matt Skiba, I walked around the booths. A lot of organizations out there this year, including Keep a Breast, Take Action, To Write Love on Her Arms, Truth and Shirts For a Cure.

Truth has a full ride set up including games and giveaways happening all day. I was able to speak with Jason over at To Write Love on Her Arms. He says the response this year has been great. He's also informed me of a new program the organization is working on called I'm Alive. The program will set-up online relay networks (much like the 1-800-Suicide Hotline). The organization is still in the process of working out funding for the program to train their relay workers and get things off the ground.

Shirts For a Cure was selling a swank new tee (which I picked up) in regards to the BP crisis in the gulf. Four Year Strong was selling a similar one. The best shirt of the tour goes to Top Shelf Records though, with the tag line "Stop Listening to Awful Fucking Music," being a big seller for the tour so far. The record company was teamed with No Sleep Records for a tent this year. Go by and check out some great music from both labels.

After a walk around the tents, I ended up at the Kevin Says stage where The Mighty Regis was playing a set Ireland would be proud of. Absolutely fun, and for the 100 or so people that were there, they were all having a blast. Definitely the "stumble upon" winner of this year's visit.

Whether you think Andrew WK's music is best spread upon crackers with a glass of wine, there's no denying the energy and positivity the man brings to the table. In an interesting interview, it seems like Andrew WK is the definition of the reverse mullet. He's a smart businessman who puts his music and fans first. Everyday he opens the "Party Tent" to hours of signings and photos to his fans. His music is infectiously outgoing, and when the set ended with "Party Hard," the crowd went absolutely ape shit with a positive rage. Great set. Great guy. Good times.

I split sets with Alkaline Trio and Set Your Goals. Both artists put on great shows. While Alkaline's soaked up the newly arrived sun with a punk ease, Set Your Goals got the younger crowd going, even pulling out one from their old EP. Unfortunately I missed Four Year Strong right after to catch Dillinger Escape Plan (sorry Dan). Be sure to support both bands. They certainly give me hope in the pop punk genre and make me feel just a bit like it's 2002 all over again.

The Dillinger Escape Plan are crazy. Ben Weinman is fucking nuts. During the second song, he knocks over his amp. Drums are destroyed during the final moments, members climb to the pit, and through all the insanity, the band still tore it up. There's no gimmick, only a raw show. It's like watching The Descedants play the main stage around watered down pop punk, or Black Flag open for uninspired hardcore. It was eye opening to sit there and watch a veteran run circles around the young ones' choreographed sets.

After my interview with Keith Buckley following Dillinger Escape Plan's set, something fierce finally fell from the sky. Kids scrambled. Pressed scrambled. We waited. It let up. We moved on. I caught a bit of VersaEmerge's set. The band really isn't my thing, but front(wo)man Sierra Kusterbeck's pipes are excellent and the band is tight. VersaEmerge is something worth giving a chance after sifting through the rest of the muck.

Dear Tyson Ritter: You are either a brilliant frontman or absolutely insane. This is all that was going through my head during The All American Rejects' set. The songs were spot on, but it was Ritter's showmanship that took the set to a whole other level. What level that is - whether it was taunting a girl who eventually flashed him or heckling the crowd for more energy - I still haven't the slightest clue as to what the hell was coming off that stage.

After catching half of that spectacle, I decided to end my day with Sum 41. People were coming in droves to catch these guys. We all wanted a bit of that tasty nostalgia on our tongues and in our ears. The band did a pretty good job of bringing me back full circle to 2001 - the first time I saw them and my first Warped Tour. The crowd was "pogo-ing" and "fist pumping" with the back catalog hits, one after the other.

I then ended my day. I snagged some Taco Cabana in honor of the 4th and headed back to my little hipster home of Austin with a lot of thoughts running through my head. Maybe it was the literal cloud that hung over said head all weekend, or maybe it's that bitter taste in my mouth to see bands that have carried depth for years struggle with the new class of uninspiring, salted processed meat.

For all the negativity I have brought to the table in this review, Warped Tour is still about the positive things: music, a day off and great causes. I'm not here to put the blame on Warped Tour for bringing on who they bring on. If you look back to the '90s, some of those bands who came to the summer camp were crap as well. The crap will always exist, and in our lowbrow ways, many of us will stick out our tongues for a taste of the lackluster meal. Just like the dollar menu, these things are only a quick fix. Eventually some of us will bite into something that transcends what we constantly intake. When that happens, maybe you'll understand my point.

Until then, the most punk rock thing to do here is listen to what you want. Who am I to say, I'm just the old fucker with a cane and an older generation iPod. "Nice flat cover art grandpa. What is that, a 30GB? Where's your touch screen? What the fuck is a CD again?"


Every Time I Die

Circle Pit during "Bored Stiff"

The Mighty Regis

Andrew WK

Alkaline Trio

Set Your Goals

Dillinger Escape Plan

On the back of Every Time I Die's Andy Williams


Sum 41

Tents and Good Causes

To wake the crowd up, I got them to scream "Fuck AP.net" HA!

Tags: Show Review, Warped Tour, 2010
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Five and Alive: Starting Things Off With a Blast
02/26/10 at 10:01 AM by Adam Pfleider
After coming off a year of smoking hot releases, 2010 hasn't left us feeling empty. With releases by Motion City Soundtrack, Joanna Newsom, Dessa, Crime in Stereo and upcoming releases from Dillinger Escape Plan, The Bled and Circa Survive, there is a lot to get lost in our headphones in only the first few months of the year.

With help from Blake and Greg, we're going to break down five releases we've been quite happy with so far this year.


1) Past Lives - Tapestry of Webs --- I enjoy an album that's a challenge to both it's structure and the way it pulls a listener in. After the first few listens of Tapestry of Webs, I wasn't quite hooked, but upon repeat returns, I found myself humming chorus lines and absorbing everything the album had to offer. It's a little jazz, spazz and salsa pizazz rolled into one.

2) Fang Island - Fang Island --- It's time to get happy. It's time to let blistering guitar picking be as blistering as the sun will eventually be to our skin. The album does tend to run itself together in one soundtrack fit for an entire sleepover's worth of MarioKart, but it's equally catchy and uplifting to one's soul. I was wondering why so many reviewers were enthralled with the album. Upon first listen, I'm joining the rest of the critical world on cloud nine.

3) Surfer Blood - Astro Coast --- From the band's name to the album's Jaws-like cover to its surf rock, Surfer Blood have put together a debut ready for the warmer weather. The guitar tones are lush and the chorus lines are fine hooks worming their way into the brain. Like my previous mention - it's a fun time. Where new albums by Spoon and Vampire Weekend faltered in grabbing my pop-rock attention, Surfer Blood snagged me with their single "Swim" and joyfully drowned me in the rest of their album.

4) Beach House - Teen Dream ---- If dream pop is going to become more relevant, then perhaps Beach House is the band to do it. This Baltimore duo took a huge step forward with Teen Dream, a lush, dreamy cinescape of swirling moods, lust and young love. Highlighted by glistening gems such as "Norway," and the sensual title track, Teen Dream is a bonafide smash. Sure it's a bit sleepy and woozy but no ever said this was dance-pop. Breathy, languorous phrasing and gauzy guitar textures make this a most delectable pop gem. Highly recommended. (Gregory Robson)

5) Titus Andronicus - The Monitor --- The last Shakespeare book I read was, well, I don't know because it probably gave me indigestion and forced me to run to the bathroom (where I keep an emergency stack of comic books!). So it shouldn't come as a surprise to find out that it was a shock when I realized Titus Andronicus is a play by Smelly Ol' Bill. And not even a particularly good one! But this band from somewhere in Jersey took it upon themselves to bring honor to such a cool name/bad piece of literature. On The Airing of Grievances, they were close. On The Monitor, they are flawless. With songs full of palpable teenage angst, references about things that I didn't even know could be referenced and so much guitar, this is a good album to listen to when you're pissed off at, oh I don't know, a Huffington Post article? Do people get pissed off at the Huffington Post still? Have they moved on to being pissed at The Awl? I feel like The Awl is definitely more in-vogue to be pissed at.


But I haven't really been mad when listening to The Monitor. I certainly have been happy, though. And I don't really know what this has to do with you anyway, so happy should be good enough. (Blake Solomon)
Tags: five and alive, 2010
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2010 Resolutions and Future at Absolutepunk
01/03/10 at 01:59 PM by Adam Pfleider
I hope all of you had a wonderful New Years. I spent it downtown in Austin at a show featuring cover bands for ABBA, Misfits, Muder City Devils and Metallica (called Metallgallaghar or something -- he smashes fruit while singing Metallica songs with a band, amazing!). I found out "Sober Ride" does not work, so next year I'll just be prepared to pay a cab in the end.

I'm not sure if I mentioned this to you all (I have to the staff), but I will be sort of in and out of the office in the next two months in the interview section. See, I started this book thing, and I'm determined to finish it. Now, the lag time on this has been because of parts of my life (graduating, moving, working full time to pay bills/debt) and the other end of obtaining interviews from bands that are becoming near impossible, and sort of a downer. Match that to the work I produced here for the site for the second half of the year, and well, I need to focus a majority of my time on finishing this book I am too far deep into writing and interviewing for.

Do expect interviews from me from Dead Confederate, Young Widows, Coalesce, Native and La Dispute this month. The rest of the year? Well, that's a surprise and I have some great things brewing! You'll just have to see.

So with all this talk, and some personal life issues, my new years resolution this year is to not guarantee anything to anyone, not even myself. With the internet age and viral marketing and messageboard gossip, we constantly "expect" so much instead of just letting it happen when we make it happen. It seems that our best laid plans don't always work on the hopeful path, but most of the time they work in a way that is an even bigger pleasant surprise, or I guess for the best with a mediocre ending, and that's life. All we can do is strive to do our best, I believe our goals will come in time.

Reach for what you want, just know there are others doing the same. Don't stay hopeful, stay productive, because that's what pays out in the end.

We'll talk more in the New Year.

love and respect.

P.S. --- Yes, I did call out Mark Hoppus for an interview next year in today's rec's. Anything is possible. I've had stranger shit happen.
Tags: 2010, Life, AP.net
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Five and Alive: Who to Watch in 2010
12/18/09 at 12:00 PM by Adam Pfleider
This has been quite an exciting year for music, and we've seen a lot of our favorite artist release their third, fourth or even fifth studio album. While our favorites are progressing forward nicely, I'm unsure if they're going to be releasing anything in the year to come...well, unless we're talking about Portugal. The Man.

There were a few releases this year from artist that may not get their dues until next year. Here's five artist worth checking out live and on record in the year to come. Props to Anton on helping with this one.

1) Brian Bonz + The Dot Hongs --- Part comedian, part singer songwriter, this New York native brought us a pretty good album this year on Triple Crown Records. From Sumi to Japan is an elegant touch of keys and story telling by a guy who's stripped down acoustic performances are sometimes his best work, not to mention his interludes of humor. With a stint of solo openings for John Nolan and Person L's Kenny Vasoli, Bonz and his band is one to watch in the year to come.

2) Givers --- These Louisiana natives are one part Of Montreal showmanship and two parts Talking Heads groove. While most of the group is pretty young, they've already had a small U.S. stint with The Dirty Projectors earlier this Fall. If funk and fun are your plans, then Givers is worth at least one dance number. There's nothing mucky and swampy about this group.

3) Native --- Literally, I walk into a bar and...well, it was more like a local pizza parlour here in Austin where a friend's band is opening their first show for, you guessed it. The intensity of this four piece was like no other. With the digital release of their debut Wrestling Moves out now (with a physical copy poised for the first month of 2010), I'm excited about the bite that's as smooth as Minus the Bear and energetic as These Arms Are Snakes.

4) Mansions --- Christopher Browder may not sound like a Postal Service rip off that sells thousands, but his music is a lot more honest and is a breath of fresh air to some of these one person, home studio acts. Browder also landed big with a spot opening for Straylight Run's tour followed by an opening spot on the end of The Get Up Kids' reunion tour. Match that to the praise he's been getting from the artists around him - here's hoping he gets the same from the listening community.

5) Jeff Martin and Steve Padin (Anton's pick) --- From the ashes of This Day & Age, from the heart of one who left the industry to get a "real job," and from the soul of one in another band that had some material for a side project comes The First Joke & Other Matters by Jeff Martin and Steve Padin. The two collaborate on a project that is less Outkast than it is Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, but the back and forth dichotomy on the upcoming release is something the blends together without distraction and works; though they gravitate toward a different sound (Martin more toward the acoustic, Padin more toward the experimental), the root of it is good, mellow music that should be on anyone's list of anticipated releases in 2010.
Tags: Five and Alive, 2010, Artists to Watch
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