Featured Video, Music, Videos

Video: The Ataris debut “Graveyard of the Atlantic”

Long-standing pop punk band The Ataris have debuted the new material from their upcoming new album Graveyard of the Atlantic.

An acoustic version of the title track can be heard in the video of Kris Roe performing below, the first sample from the follow-up to the commercially disappointing (but quality… at least we thought so) album Welcome the Night.

Roe has promised a return to their upbeat, catchy nature of their earlier material on Graveyard of the Atlantic, stating;

I feel that today where I am at is sort of coming around full circle and just having fun again and being newly inspired by the art that made me discover music in the first place.”

No solid release date has been announced as of yet with only a vague ‘late 2010 – early 2011’ time frame given. The Ataris first burst onto the underground pop punk scene in 1999 with their sophomore album, Blue Skies, Broken Hearts… Next 12 Exits which spurned the hit single “San Dimas High School Football Rules.” Their mainstream breakthrough came in 2003 with the album So Long, Astoria.

The Ataris will be touring Australia early next year as part of the Soundwave Festival.

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Film, Trailers

Trailer watch: I Am Number Four

Science fiction flick I Am Number Four has debuted a brand new trailer. The Steven Spielberg/Michael Bay produced movie tells the tale of nine infant aliens who escape their home planet to land on Earth. Closely resembling humans, the aliens are being hunted down by those who destroyed their home planet and can only be killed in sequential order. Weird.

From the trailer we see that we conveniently join the movie after three of the nine aliens are killed (otherwise, like, we would totally have to change the title of the movie), and with shiny special effects, a teen romance, and beautiful people, have the makings of big movie success.

Directed by DJ Caruso (Eagle Eye, Disturbia) and starring teen stars Alex Pettyfer (Stormbreaker) and Dianna Agron (Glee) alongside Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood, Justified) and Teresa Palmer, the movie is the big-screen adaptation of a novel (of the same name) written by Jobie Hughes and James Frey (the latter of whom, was busted for writing a lot of stuff he said was true, that actually wasn’t).

I Am Number Four hits cinemas February 18, 2011. You can view the trailer below.

TRAILER:

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Film

Christopher Nolan confirms return for Batman 3

Director Christopher Nolan has confirmed he will return to the director’s chair to helm the third and final Batman movie.

Empire Online spoke to Nolan who has now confirmed his return;

I feel myself falling into it, I guess. And getting it all figured out and I’m pretty excited about what we’re doing so… If I haven’t announced it, I think that people probably all know at this point that I’m doing it.”

Fresh from the success of Inception (Hollywood’s first piece of originality since God knows when … although Duck Tales may have something to say about it), Nolan recently confirmed he will be working (not as the director) on the refreshing of the the Superman franchise as well. His schedule continues to fill up with the inclusion of the final Batman trilogy, one he reignited with Batman Begins in 2005.

Christian Bale is expected to return to reprise his role as Batman, but so far, no other casting announcements have been made. The Joker however, will not be returning.

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Music

Fearless Vampire Killers support Sophie Lancaster Foundation with new song

London-based metal/pop punk band the Fearless Vampire Killers are releasing a brand new single to support the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

The track, titled “Palace in Flames”, has been described by frontman Laurence as;

“…a mini Rock Opera in two and a half minutes, but the lyrics are metaphors for real emotions. It chronicles a prince’s rise through a hedonistic palace of derangement, in a city that stretches on forever. There’s twisted cardinals, vampires and intoxicated kings involved.”

The aim is to raise awareness for Sophie Lancaster, the British teen who was kicked to death because of her appearance. Her parents have set up a foundation that has become very important for the group;

What drew us toward the foundation the most, was the idea of Stamping out prejudice, hatred and intolerance everywhere. Growing up in the country, we all faced intolerance and hatred on a daily basis – never to the horrific extent that Sophie suffered – but it did still have a big affect on us as kids. It shouldn’t be like that, and if The Sophie Lancaster Foundation want to try and change it, we want to get involved.”

The track, which can be streamed below, will be available soon from the band for all of those who purchase a Sophie Lancaster wristband. All proceeds will go directly to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

AUDIO STREAM: “Palace in Flames”
Fearless Vampire Killers – Palace In Flames

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Album Reviews, Highlights, Music

Review: Bad Religion – The Dissent Of Man

In an interview prior to the release of The Dissent of Man, Brett Gurewitz had referenced Tom Petty and The Kinks as influential outlets for the album’s songwriting. It was a disarming statement at first, but why can’t a Bad Religion album sound a little like something Ray Davies would have written? Yet as The Dissent of Man unfolds, it is clear that it is still a distinctively Bad Religion album- compact melodies, sharp guitars and Brooks Wackerman’s great percussion work- but there are many instances where they venture out into the kind of ambition unseen since Into the Unknown.

It isn’t a grating, blatantly abstract form of musical diversity- they’ve exercised these textures with certain restraint. Most evident perhaps, in the closing “I Won’t Say Anything”, an acoustic driven, soft rock-tinged tune that will play closer to Tom Petty and Ray Davies than Greg Ginn and Steve Soto. But the song’s diversion from the regular Bad Religion sound is still in line with the album’s bigger thematic nuances- so it doesn’t feel out of place. Mid tempo tracks “Won’t Somebody” and “The Devil in Stitches” are from the same book as “The Answer” and “Honest Goodbye” while “The Pride And the Pallor” is a great example of forward thinking songwriting blended perfectly with accessible rock aesthetics and their trademark lyrical attack.

Where The Dissent of Man really tests the waters are with its two (yes, two) love-themed tracks, and as alarming as it is to know that Bad Religion have written a love song, it is less so once you hear it. Lyrically, it’s a mix of cheese and embittered lovelorn couplets in “Cyanide”; “Let me say / (Oh oh) well there’s no place left to hide / (Oh oh) from the loneliness inside”, complemented well by the song’s country-punk flavoured sound. “Turn Your Back On Me” is equally pessimistic.

The most effective aspects of The Dissent of Man are when Bad Religion ups the tempo and dives into more familiar waters. “Only Rain” and “The Resist Stance” (first heard on 30 Years Live) is closer to vintage BR, while tracks like “Meeting of the Minds” and “Wrong Way Kids” would not feel out of place on Generator or Against the Grain.

Gurewitz has said that there have been a few cases where they would step back from the progressive writing to pen a more straightforward punk album (as with New Maps of Hell and The Empire Strikes First) but this is not one of those times. Greg Graffin has made no secret of the band’s intake of music outside of punk rock since their earliest of days. Their latest simply shows these influences on a more prominent level. Some 30 years after their formation, The Dissent of Man is proof that one of the smartest bands on Earth is still challenging music on a multitude of levels. They’ve now challenged long-time fans and listeners as well, with remarkable effect. (Epitaph)

[xrr rating=4/5]

AUDIO STREAM: “The Pride And the Pallor”
Bad Religion – The Pride And the Pallor (from the album The Dissent of Man)

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Music

Paramore gets the Glee treatment

Paramore’s stock has continued to propel towards the stratosphere with the inclusion of their song “The Only Exception” on hit musical show Glee.

The episode featuring the track was the second from the show’s current season, titled “Britney/Brittany”, and pays tribute to pop star Britney Spears. Video of the cast’s interpretation of the song can be seen in the video below.

When we last spoke to Paramore back in 2005, we knew the band were good, but who would have ever expected such global success and adulation. Hayley Williams, speaking to us in 2005, said this about the potential of the band;

Who knows where this next year or two will take us. Whether we are playing clubs for a couple hundred kids or playing on big tours in front of much bigger crowds … we will be playing.”

Safe the say they ended up playing to much, much bigger crowds. Paramore will soon embark on their Australian tour with Reliant K starting October 10th in Perth.

VIDEO:

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Music

Social Distortion / Gaslight Anthem announce Soundwave sideshow

Rejoice! Hallelujah! We don’t have to go to Soundwave! The two best bands of the festival have just announced a sidewave scheduled to take place March 2nd, 2011 at The Palace (in Melbourne).

Both acts were part of the first announcement of next year’s Soundwave Festival touring across Australia alongside Iron Maiden, Queens of the Stone Age, 30 Seconds to Mars, New Found Glory and much, much more.

Social Distortion were slated to appear at previous Soundwave events but cancelled due to them being Social Distortion (they like cancelling things). However, they have confirmed their appearance and announced on their Facebook that the side show will indeed go ahead. The band are scheduled to release their much anticipated new album, Hard Times And Nursery Rhymesin November.

Tickets for the Social Distortion / Gaslight Anthem sideshow go on sale in Friday, October 1st.

Show info:
SOCIAL DISTORTION
THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM
March 2, 2011 @ The Palace
Melbourne

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Music

Polar Bear Club, Tegan & Sara cover Bad Religion

SPIN Magazine and MySpace have announced the release of a Bad Religion tribute album titled, Germs Of Perfection: A Tribute to Bad Religion.

The compilation will feature artists like Canadian indie popsters Tegan & Sara, post-hardcore act Polar Bear Club,  Ted Leo and more and it set for free digital release October 19th via MySpace.

MySpace has a couple of the tracks streaming now, both of which can be heard below. The first is Tegan & Sara covering “Suffer” followed by Polar Bear Club’s rendition of “Better Off Dead.”

Bad Religion are releasing their much anticipated new album, The Dissent of Man, today.

On astute user on MySpace left this rather amusing comment; “No offense to the artists involved, but wouldn’t a better title be: How Could This Album Be Any Worse?: A Tribute to Bad Religion.” From what we’ve heard so far, it’s 50/50. But at least it’s free. We are however, unsure if this talented singer/songwriter will appear on the compilation. She’s better than Tegan AND Sara.

AUDIO STREAMS:
Tegan & Sara – “Suffer”

Polar Bear Club – “Better Off Dead”

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Film

Johnny Depp, Gore Verbinski team up for The Lone Ranger

Collaborators on the Box Office conquering series The Pirates of Carribbean, Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski are teaming up bring to the big screen a new adaptation of The Lone Ranger.

Deadline Hollywood is reporting that the movie would have  Jerry Bruckheimer in the producers seat while Depp would saddle up as … Tonto.  No word as of yet who will be named as the Lone Ranger.

HihoSilverAway!”

This Verbinski related news gives us an excuse to post our favorite Verbinski moment, and it has nothing to do with making films.

Back in the day, Verbinski was of course, a member of short-lasting punk rockers Daredevils, whose other members included Bad Religion guitarist and Epitaph head-honcho Brett Gurewitz. This was the one single/video they made. It’s better than the last Pirate of the Caribbean film.

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Featured, Interviews, Music

From the Heartland: An interview with the Blacklist Royals

Nashville, Tennessee: the heartbeat of American rock n’ roll and one of music history’s bastion cities. Steeped in tradition and iconic figures, its landscape is the home of some of the most memorable moments in music history. From the prominence of homegrown country music to rockabilly and traditional rock, the denizens and artists who ply their craft within its borders continue to be some of the most passionate in the nation.

The Blacklist Royals are a fine product of this Nashville brewery; distilled in rock n’ roll’s rich history and sharpened by punk rock’s sneer, they are both the present and future of this past. We recently spoke to drummer and founder Rob about their recent touring, their terrific album Semper Liberi and what their city’s (and genre’s) history means to them as they continue down the rock n’ roll highway.

How was the tour, crowd reception good?

Rob: The tour was great! It was our first tour in Canada, and it went really well. We were out with Orphan Choir, who are an amazing band and dudes, so it was a blast. Toronto, Montreal, and KOI Festival had great crowds and we met a lot of really cool people.

What were some of the best memories of the recent run?

Rob: The memory that will stick with me the most is from our day off in Toronto, a crazy drunk girl at The Bovine Sex Club beat the shit out of this girl who worked our show the night before, then attacked Nat and Alex as well! Part of me wanted to stop her, and part of me couldn’t help but want to watch some random maniac drunk bitch try to fight everyone in the bar for no reason. I think what started the whole thing is that Alex told her she was pretty, haha! She chased us all the way back to the van! Canadian girls are intense.

Did you guys all get along?

Rob: We get along great most of the time, regardless of our different personalities and the obvious tensions of being on the road constantly. Alex can definitely get a little wild sometimes, and since Nat and I are twins and have lived/played music together our whole lives we can get into it the way brothers do. But we all love each other and love being out on the road experiencing life and getting into all kinds of fucked up misadventures together, so it works out well.  Right when I think we don’t get a long I watch other bands we tour with interact and realize we are a lot closer than most.

Semper Liberi is one of our favorite records of 2010. In our review, we said, “It’s all about the feeling, the essence, and the movement of what made the likes of Johnny Cash, Elvis, Chuck Berry and their kind so memorable.” Your city of Nashville is steeped in such a rich rock n’ roll culture, how much does rock n’ roll history influence your songwriting if any?

Rob: We are definitely students of rock and roll history, and it is a bigger influence on us than anything else. Nat and I grew up on 50’s and 60’s music, and moved to Nashville years ago in hopes of connecting with the things that made early rock and roll so great and real. So I definitely agree it is all about feeling. Semper Liberi was honestly kind of a concept album to us, an attempt to make a punk rock oldies album, but still keep it relevant. Classic rock and roll has been and will always be our bands compass, no matter where we go from here.

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AUDIO STREAM: “Howling at the Moon”
Blacklist Royals – Howling at the Moon (from the album Semper Liberi)
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What are some of the important topics you consider as influential when it comes to writing the songs?

Rob: We write a lot about what we know, like life on the road and of course love songs. But we also had some songs about social issues on Semper Liberi such as “Jolie Blonde” (a re-working of the unofficial Cajun national anthem about hurricane Katrina), “Church Bells are Ringing”(about a mining disaster in my home state of West Virginia) and “American Hearts”. For the next record we have been writing much more personal songs, which are a little different from the straight forward rock and roll lyrics on Semper Liberi but still completely Blacklist Royals.

What is the natural progression for all of you now after Semper Liberi?

Rob: Well like I said, we are trying to get more real with our songwriting, more personal. We tried to make the songs on Semper Liberi more general so they were more accessible, but now we want to really take it to street level and sing about topics that we weren’t ready to cover with that record. But at the same time we want the songs to be even MORE hook oriented, and I am really excited about what we’ve been coming up with so far. Jamie, Alex, and Eric bring a lot of different influences and ideas to the table, so I expect our next record to be a real step up.

Paper + Plastick are a relatively new label- although Vinnie is no stranger to this- was it a natural choice for you to sign with them?

Rob: Definitely. Matt Drastic (who produced out record) is Less Than Jake’s tour manager, and turned Vinnie on to the band. Those two dudes have believed in us more than anyone ever has, so I couldn’t imagine being in better hands. They’ve really done a lot for us and P+P is becoming a really awesome label as other labels seem to be dying around them, so I am stoked to see what the future holds.

You guys are playing The Fest next- do you prefer these massive festival settings or do the open roads and endless rock n’ roll halls appeal more to your sensibilities?

Rob: It depends what time slot we get at the festivals, haha! They can be really amazing because we get to play to audiences that maybe haven’t seen us, or that generally wouldn’t go out to a show we play at a random shitty bar on a weeknight in their towns. So festivals are great, The Fest especially! It is always my favorite weekend of the year, and I have no doubt anyone who makes the trip down to FL will see us running around all night acting like idiots.

What are your plans after The Fest?

Rob: It is kind of up in the air right now. We are trying to work out a tour in November, and probably take December off. At the start of the new year there are a lot of cool things in the works including Europe, Canada again, and a Paper + Plastick tour with some of our awesome label mates. Basically we are just going to continue touring our asses off until people have no choice but to notice us.
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Semper Liberi is out now via Paper + Plastick

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