Music, Sight & Sound

Goo Goo Dolls release “Come To Me” video

Buffalo, NY rockers the Goo Goo Dolls have unveiled their new video for the single “Come To Me”. The song is the second single from their new album Magnetic following the lead-off single “Rebel Beat”. The sunset filled, love-themed video for “Come To Me” was directed by Gus Black.

The Goo Goo Dolls are performing as part of the upcoming Matchbox Twenty Cruise set to sail early December, before returning back to shore for select US dates to round out the year.

You can read our review of their latest album, Magnetic, right here.


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Why does Jack Johnson suck so much?

Andrew’s Hamburgers in Albert Park is a culinary institution in this part of town. Its family feel aesthetic is lined with the numerous awards and plaudits the small joint has received in all its years in business. True to form, Andrews is always filled come lunch time, and with its busy staff, the small kitchen area is teaming with workers, including principal owner Greg Pappas. With its cosy locale, there isn’t much room outside of your own head to contemplate anything but diving your teeth into the succulent patty, waiting for the juicy extras the joint is known for to satiate your taste buds.

There are very few things that can ruin this experience, or so I thought.

Recently, during a lunch time sojourn, my ears were met with the untimely and horrific sounds of the in-store radio playing Jack Johnson’s “Taylor”. The station in question was the local classic rock station and one of the reasons why they’re playing a song more than a decade old (other than the obvious) is most likely because Johnson is slated to appear at next year’s Byron Bay Blues Festival, a gargantuan collection of performances that next year will include Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Iron & Wine and about a hundred other artists from all walks of life and backgrounds.

Yet as I tried to dig into my burger, my ears shrivelled to the size of raisins and my chest grew tight. My stomach churned and my head became weary. I knew it wasn’t the uneaten Andrews burger in my hand because that is scientifically impossible, so I knew it was the awful, awful sounds of Jack Johnson and that insipid song. But why? It’s hard to pinpoint the numbers and logic behind it, but as I packed up and walked out to finish my burger elsewhere, I was taken back to the song’s much played music video and deduced that my severe dislike for Johnson and his music stems from this 5+ minutes of film.

If you haven’t seen it (maybe it should stay that way), here it is:

It’s got all the hallmarks of a Jack Johnson video- the serene settings all tuned in to the plinky plonky music. It’s got the beach and surf and people dressed like they spend all day there. And then there’s Ben Stiller. Ben fucking Stiller. I don’t hate the guy but God damn it if his stupid facial expressions and his stupid acting in this stupid video makes me angry every time I see, or think about it. I hadn’t in a while too, which was great.

Back in 2002 when I was still living in Indonesia, MTV and Channel [V] still mostly played music videos and hashed through this piece of garbage relentlessly. I suspect this is the cause of my irrational reaction to it today.

Strangely, I don’t mind the Dave Matthews Band and I don’t think John Mayer is anywhere near as bad as a lot of people seem to think he is. Both are to some degree, musically similar, but I cannot stand Jack Johnson. Is it his surfer boy vibes or overtly hippy surfer commune-like aura? I don’t know. Through his six full length albums (all with ridiculously easy going, beach-as names like To The Sea, In Between Dreams and From Here To Now To You… and really, what the fuck is that?), I honestly cannot name a single song or have heard any music that happens to be Jack Johnson and thought, “oh yeah, this is pretty good”.

Maybe its because he’s always got a shit-eating grin on his face.

For some reason, his music has connected with a great deal of people other than myself and while that’s not a problem by any means, it ruined my Andrews Hamburger and that’s just not kosher.

Can one awful song be enough to dislike an artist for life? Apparently so.

Then again, maybe it’s Ben Stiller.

Music, Sight & Sound

Killswitch Engage pulls heartstrings with “Always” video

The return of Jesse Leach to Killswitch Engage proved to be a musical reawakening for the band. Their latest album, Disarm the Dissent, was a return to their bloody roots of Alive Or Just Breathing and I loved the record.

The band have just released the video for the ballady “Always” from the new album, and the video takes on a similar anthemic tone. Directed by McFarland & Pecci, the video aims to pull at your metal heartstrings. Whether or not it successfully does, well, that’s up to you. The video may be a little mawkish but the song still packs a punch.

Music, Sight & Sound

Watch Kid Dynamite from This Is Hardcore

Few bands will mean more to this site’s history than Philadelphia hardcore act Kid Dynamite. Their song, “Never Met The Gooch“, became the inspiration and namesake for the site’s original incarnation as Sound the Sirens Magazine.

Now more than a decade removed, the band have recently broken up (again), but not before performed at this year’s This Is Hardcore festival. The kind folks at filmed their entire set in HD so you could see this great band, if never again in person, then at least in film.

They were one of the great modern hardcore bands who never adopted the frills, the terrible metal breakdowns and all that hoopla about being “hardcore”. They just rocked out, wrote short, fast, loud songs and tore up the stage wherever they played without much fuss.

Kid Dynamite is dead, hardcore is dead. Long live Kid Dynamite, long live hardcore.

Music, Sight & Sound

Listen: Convaire – “Talk In Technicolour”

Sydney electro foursome Convaire recently released their new single “Talk In Technicolour”, and it’s a sound that oozes disco smooth. Fitting perhaps for the coming summer nights, the single was recorded by Simon Todkill (Kanye West, Mark Ronson) and is the follow up to their debut single “Gate Track”.

Check out the new single below and if you’re so inclined, pick up a copy on iTunes.

Headlines, Music

Every Last Time: Gameface

Gameface were always a band that seemed perfect just below the cusp. Their brand of pop-tinged punk was somewhere in between the melancholy driven emo of the early 1990s to what would become of radio friendly punk bands evolving from the Jimmy Eat Worlds of the… world.

I loved this band. It was songs like “My Star” and “When You’ve Had Enough” that captured my attention. They didn’t fit in with the punk explosion of 1994, and had more melodic chops than those that remained in the underground with bands like Quicksand, Rites of Spring and Texas is the Reason (the latter being the most musically similar). To this day, I count their track “How Far Is Goodbye” as one I can listen to on any given day and still feel the same way about it as I did years ago.

More than a decade removed since their last output, the band are back together and will be releasing their first full length since 2003’s Four To Go early next year. Equal Vision will be releasing their new record and have just made the first song in years streaming over at RollingStone.

It’s a glorious sound of a time gone by, and Jeff Caudil, who has been the backbone of their songwriting since the beginning, has still got the chops his ilk can only dream of.

I’ll be sure to check out the new album when it’s out, and I’d get the 7” but I recently sold my record player (do I let go of the wrong things?) and will have to wait until the digital versions are available. Until then, here are two of my favourite Gameface songs, out of place and out of synch with the soulless nature of contemporary pop-influenced punk, riding along on the nostalgia train of good songwriting.

“How Far Is Goodbye”

“My Star”


Headlines, Music

All Talk, No Rock

Over the past several months, my Facebook feed has been punctuated with many sharing, signing and liking the “Petition to Save the Palace”; Melbourne’s on-going fight to prevent one of the city’s iconic rock n’ roll venues from turning into a luxury hotel. Like most, I’m in the general category of those who wish to see The Palace continue on as a great place for rock n’ roll heathens. However, as I suspected, the collective of keyboard warriors and e-protesters continue to do what I’ve long been against; doing a lot of shouting and talking on the internet without actually doing anything worthwhile about it. reported yesterday the rally to “save the Palace”, held on a sunny Saturday afternoon, drew “between 500 and 1,000 people” (how vague) after the well-meaning organizers aimed for close to 30,000. A paltry sum in reality isn’t it? There are more than 30,000 “likes” to their Facebook page and over 25,000 people have “signed” their e-petition, but less than 1000 people showed to actually try and do something about it? (And let’s face it, when organizers say between 500-1000 people show up to their even, it’s more than likely closer to 500 than 1000).

We’ve seen this before of course, on a much larger scale. In the recent Australian elections, I was constantly bombarded with pseudo political Facebook rants, silly memes and links to petitions and protests in fear of a Government’s inevitable rise to power. The conclusion? Let’s just say their politicking seemed to dry up as soon as the election results were in. Did they continue on their fight and actually go out there and do anything? I’m not even sure half of them actually voted, and during the times of their loudest protests, could not string together valid and tangible reasons as to why their supposed “preferred party” would be the best to lead the country outside of marginal debates.

This, like much of Generation Now’s inability to translate internet gasbagging to actual tangible results is very much part of the problem. I asked a few of my friends who I know signed the petition whether they went to the rally and I was met with a mix of results that included,

“I didn’t know it was on”


“I wanted to but my girlfriend/boyfriend had something on in the park and it was such a nice day”

I don’t have working answers to save the Palace but I know that signing stupid online petitions and liking Facebook pages won’t do the trick. Heck, just showing up in person to an actual event may at least be worth something. And after perusing the Save The Palace website, it doesn’t appear that the organizers have a plan either. Perhaps we should rename ‘Save The Palace’ to ‘Organize the Save The Palace Rally’?

The Palace is a great place and on many occasions I’ve spent nights in the pit, soaked in booze and sweat being serenaded by my favorite bands. I’ve been backstage for shows I’ve been part of organizing and believe the venue is worth saving. Just as long as the people who are trying to save it know what they’re doing. If the venue is saved, I’ll be happy for those involved, but if the Palace ends up being a fancy hotel, I won’t be fussed. Everything has their time and place and in the tangible world and it all comes to an end. If you don’t have the money and resources, then you’re only going to go so far.

Unfortunately for The Palace, the people trying to save it have to try and coral a group of individuals who tend to be furious with their words, but in practice and in action, go only as far as clicking the mouse.

In the end, it’ll take more than what these noble organizers are doing. It’ll take actual money, business acumen and real world thinking if the venue is to be saved. Developers don’t care about rock n’ roll history or art, they care about making money.

We’ll see what happens over the next few months, but don’t bet on The Palace being saved on the account of these people, no matter how noble their intentions are. Generation Now needs to know that you have to do more than sign an online petition or like a Facebook page to activate change in reality. And that’s too bad for the venue, which may soon end up being a place of all talk, and no rock.