Saturday, December 31, 2016

Concert Review: Matisyahu @ The TLA - Philadelphia, PA 12/27/16

Not many could do what Matisyahu does. Actually, I don't think anyone could do what Matisyahu does.  In the hands of a lesser individual, the act might come of as schticky.  To Matisyahu, this is not an act.  What he creates is real and honest.  His music is filled with substance and love.  He sings songs of faith and devotion. Put in its simplest terms, Matisyahu is a thing of beauty.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Fran's Top 10 Albums of 2016

What would a year end be without a year end list? This has become kind of a tradition here at My Music, My Concerts, My Life.  Although you have been hearing me ramble about my favorite music all year let's put it on paper and make it official.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Concert Review: Red Fang @ Underground Arts - Philadelphia, PA 12/02/16

The song The Sound of Muzak, written by Steven Wilson, speaks of music being engineered to fit demographics to optimize sales while at the same time dulling critical thinking and homogenizing society. Lately this doesn't seem like a too far fetched sci-fi horror. Bands like Red Fang come from the proud heritage that down to Earth and down and dirty rock intended to be hand delivered to a ready audience on the level of the ones creating the music.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Concert Review: Cult Leader @ Union Transfer - Philadelphia, PA 11/15/16

I've never heard Cult Leader before November 15th. I beg the pardon of Cult Leader and their following for my ignorance of the genre they represent. I'm going to open this post to the possibility for discussion on this genre (Metal Core, Grind Core, Death Metal) and similar genres. You can all thank Cult Leader for this opportunity to discuss.  I've heard the YouTube personality Tempo talk about the subtlety of the vocals and guitar sound that define these differences. I always thought it all sounded the same and was really kind of boring. My first exposure to the ultra grinding sound was a band called Death from the 80's. Blazing fast, demonic sounding vocals, intensity but who gives a shit when it all sounds the same!!! I've been curious about the subtlety but remembering what Death sounded like I never could drum up the patience to investigate. This night I would get my chance ready or not!!!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Behind the Wall of Mystique: An Interview with KOLARS

In today's internet age it is quite impossible to be mysterious.  If I were to do a google search on myself I am sure it would spit out at least ten pages of useless info.  The same cannot be said about the band KOLARS.  That is exactly the way they'd prefer it. The two piece outfit would rather you discover them aurally and visually.   The way we used to discover bands.  In fact, the best way to discover bands.  Seeing KOLARS live is more than a concert.  It is a performance.  Exuding raw energy, Lauren Brown drums a full kit while tap dancing on the bass drum.  Her body lurches and moves in a hypnotic state along with Rob Kolars' haunted rockabilly howlings.  It leaves one wanting more.  Fortunately, Rob and Lauren were willing to sit down and talk about what drives their music, performance, and mystique.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Lost Boys, Spelling Mistakes, and Aggressive Power Rock: An Interview with Matt and Ryan of Marina City

One of the coolest thing about My Music, My Concerts, My Life is getting turned on to new bands. Even cooler is that we get to talk to these bands. More often then not the bands we end up digging hit it big and we get to say we got in on the ground floor. This is your chance to get in on the ground floor with Marina City.  You're welcome.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Concert Review: Capital Cities @ The TLA - Philadelphia, PA 11/05/16

I miss phone contests for radio stations. Even if they were looking for caller ten and you were caller six you still felt like you had a chance to win.  Nowadays you type a password into a website and wait.  Not the same thrill.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Concert Review: Coheed and Cambria @ Starland Ballroom - Sayreville, NJ 10/15/16

I've never been to the Starland Ballroom any less than packed to max capacity. They have a kick ass sound system and a cool vibe and is way off the beaten path. Coheed and Cambria was sold out, and I wasn't the least bit surprised.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Concert Review: Birds in Row @ The Voltage Lounge - Philadelphia, PA 10/11/16

This show was yet another I agreed to take with no prior exposure to the band or venue.  It's like a blind date, for me anyway, I've never been on a bad one. It's not always a love connection or even a physical attraction but every one was a great time for one reason or another.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Album Review: For This We Fought The Battle Of Ages by SubRosa

SubRosa are a rarity these days, a band that sounds like no other.   Their previous album, More Constant Than the Gods is one of my all time favorites, so it's a tough act to follow.  I've been listening to the record exclusively for almost a week, but I’m still absorbing everything that's going on.  It's a dense work that takes many twists and turns.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Album Review: 100 By The Hunna

When an Indie Rock band from England that already has 100k followers on Facebook get ready to drop their debut album in the States you best be ready to listen up.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Album Review: This Album Does Not Exist by DREAMERS

The best summer adventures come from unexpected places. Meet the unexpected soundtrack to your summer adventures.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Concert Review: Bryan Ferry @ Verizon Hall - Kimmel Center - Philadelphia, PA 07/21/16

So this was supposed to be a really easy write up.

Bryan Ferry is the icon for  jaded, cool, remote and aloof. I really like his portrayal of this character. I am happily ignorant to his personal life and most musicians I admire. It allows me to build a kind of legend on a personal level and helps me create a visual narrative and nostalgia to their music. I imagine Ferry always jet setting around always impeccably dressed, swiping his hair. Always an air of secrecy, tending to things that seem trivial but left untended would lead to ripples of stupifycation and confusion somehow. Women, women always waiting in quiet desperation. Stringing out an Aston for all the bastard is worth on a winding, coastal road along rocky beaches leaving a trail of lavender scent into the night. Suave.

Photo by Fran Chismar

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Steph's Top Ten Songs Of 2016 (So Far)

I can always tell what kind of mood I'm in/have been in when I review my listening charts.  It's never obvious at the time but when I review my account, it all becomes very clear.  My Top Ten of 2015 was a lot of dreamy, romantic tunes.  Not so far this year.  Apparently, I'm pissed.  Really pissed.

These songs come directly from my listening charts on and the albums had to be released in 2016.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Real / Absurd Questions with Michael Roche: An Interview with The Two Tens

The Two Tens, and if you haven’t heard of them yet, there’s good reason. This amazing Garage Punk band is only a year old, featuring Rikki Styxx on drums, and Adam Bones on vocals and guitars. Success already includes their song “Sweet As Pie” on Showtime’s series Shameless, and playing SXSW in 2015. And in this past year, The Two Tens have released their debut album Volume. Now it’s time to get familiar with Rikki and Adam of The Two Tens. As the title implies, every now and then there may be an absurd question out of the blue, so just go with it.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Concert Review: Paul McCartney @ Citizens Bank Park - Philadephia PA 07/12/16

Musical Therapy - Using music to contemplate ones existence.  Realizing how small we are when put into context by important musical significance.

Dr. Paul McCartney is in.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Concert Review: FLAG @ Underground Arts - Philadelphia, PA 06/29/16

We all have our heroes.  A good portion of the concerts we review we cover as a blog.  When I learned that FLAG was coming to Philly I put aside my blog hat.  I bought a ticket and I was going to this show as a fan.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Album Review: Gone is Gone by Gone is Gone

If music be made of magic then Gone is Gone be the new summoning call of Cthulhu.  Be careful what you wish for.  Your wish is their command.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Album Review: Love & Other Crimes by Masked Intruder

Take the chord progressions from your parents 50's era Rock'n' Roll, run it through an amp, and take the Power-Pop-Punk knob and turn it up to 11.  That is the new Masked Intruder EP, Love & Other Crimes.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Concert Review: In This Moment @ Iron City, Birmingham, AL 06/29/16

HELLYEAH had just conquered Iron City Birmingham with some of the best, bone jolting metal I'd ever heard blasted from that stage.  Lead singer Chad Gray had completed his assault on the front line of the crowd (including us in the photo pit) with fake (I hope) blood, bottled water, and probably some bodily fluids.  I have literally never seen a man storm a stage as forcefully as he did and completely own it like he had built the damned stage himself.


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Fran's Top 10 Songs of 2016 (So Far...)

Music discovery never seems to amaze me.  This blog has allowed me to hear and see many bands that I may have never discovered.  It is incredible how many of these bands I fell in love with and are now on this list.  I give you my Top 10 Songs of 2016 (So Far,,,)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Old Roads and New Beginnings: An Interview with the BulletBoys

The 80's. The greatest era in recorded music history. Yes, I just said that. I'm a child of the 80's and I'm not ashamed to profess my love for what a lot of people label "Hair Metal". It was a time when the music industry was running full throttle and those "Hair Bands" were selling records at a pace no one had ever seen before. My favorites from that era are the obvious to most. Motley Crue, Skid Row, Cinderella, Ratt, Guns N Roses and on and on I could go. One band that might not be so obvious that I truly loved, and love to this day, is the Bulletboys. In '88 they broke onto the scene with their self titled debut "Bulletboys". Though it never went platinum it did go gold with a barrage of hits and a wealth of talent. Their first single "Smooth Up In Ya" is still in my top 5 favorite songs and still in heavy rotation at mi casa. I still stand by my opinion that the Bulletboys are one of the most underrated bands of all time and the original lineup was one of the most talented groups of musicians to ever come out of that era.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

No Plan B: An Interview with Josh LeMay of Citizen Zero

To create art you have to be fearless. You have to do what, in your heart, you know is right regardless what other people think.  You have to be willing to take the leap of faith even though there may not be a net.  Sometimes you fall but every scar is a lesson.  You grow from lessons.  They make you who you are today.  That is the philosophy that embodies Citizen Zero.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Lyrical Therapy and Creature Comforts: An Interview With Gustav Wood of Young Guns

The band Young Guns have been very busy the last six years, with three very well received albums since 2010 and one upcoming release in August.  Lead singer Gustav Wood was gracious enough to speak with me by phone from London last week, right before the band comes to America for the Vans Warped Tour, which runs through mid-August.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Fran's Top 10 Favorite Instrumentals

Regardless of how abstract, lyrics can get the point across.  They can let you know what emotion or feeling the band is trying to convey.  Take the lyrics away and it's not so easy.  You're on your own to decipher the song.  Instrumentals are truly a lost art.  Especially by bands that have a lead singer. Below are my Top 10 instrumentals.  There is one for just about every moods.  Yes, there are obvious ones I did not choose.  Sorry "Moby Dick".  These are the ones that meant the most to me.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Album Review: Impulse by BOYFRNDZ

Every summer needs a soundtrack. You know, that one album that defines everything that happens – all the fun, all the adventure, all the mistakes and heartache.

For me that album just might be Impulse by BOYFRNDZ.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Fran's Top 10 Favorite First Take Songs

There is a beauty in simplicity.  To appreciate something for what it is and not overthink it.  The same goes with music.  On one had you have Mutt Lange chaining Def Leppard in the studio for years to record and album and on the other hand you have these 10 songs all recorded in one take.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Our Top 5 Small Restaurant/Concert Venues in Philadelphia

Philly is the home to so many great music venues.  Even the midsize venues, Like Union Transfer and World Cafe Live can give you an intimate experience.  Still nothing beats seeing a great band in a small venue.  Even better is getting a great meal before the show.  Below we have listed our Top 5 Restaurant and Music Venues that has a capacity of 250 people or less. You can't go wrong visiting any of these choices.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Dream of Rock 'n' Roll" An Interview with Dellacoma

Rising from the ashes of the 2013 break up of one of Australians most promising bands, Sunset Riot, energetic front man and vocally gifted Dellacoma Rio found himself at a crossroads in his musical career. Instead of throwing in the towel, Dellacoma Rio did some soul searching and decided to continue following his musical dream. He enlisted fellow Australian Rick Reynolds (Bass) and two Texan natives, Art Struck (Guitar), Matt Cook (Drums), to form a smashing new group of talented musicians. They would simply be now known as Dellacoma. A hard hitting, bluesy, 70's heavily influenced, kick you right in the teeth Rock 'n' Roll.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Concert Review: Cheerleader @ Milkboy - Philadelphia, PA 05/27/16

There are good problems.  Good problems are getting discovered before you've played your music live and having to form the rest of your band so that you could take your music on the road.  Cheerleader couldn't have better problems.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Album Review: Waiting on Cool by Heyrocco

Heyrocco released their debut album, Teenage Movie Soundtrack, last year on Old Flame Records.  Why the new EP, Waiting on Cool, so early in 2016?  Because change is in the air, and it is fucking awesome!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Album Review: By Default by Band of Skulls

After years of constant touring and accomplishing all that they've set out to do musically, what's next for the Band of Skulls?  They tore the motherfucker down and built something even better.  That's what's next.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Album Review: A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead

Dear Tool,

Please take Radiohead's lead.  Sometimes you just have to stop over thinking everything and just do what you do best.  Make hauntingly beautiful music.

Musical Thoughts - The Devil Went Down To Utah

My Music, My Concerts, My Life exists because we love music.  We do not get paid.  In fact, the blog costs all of us money. We pay for the web domain and e-mail.  We pay to have our interviews transcribed.  We buy t-shirts and business cards to promote ourselves.  In certain instances, we buy our own tickets just to cover a show we really want to see.  We work countless hours and late nights to create original content in a timely manner.  All this in 2 1/2 years without earning a single cent.  Why?  For the love of it.  We are here to serve the music.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Concert Review: Francis Dunnery @ Tin Angel - Philadelphia, PA 05/07/16

I've been listening to Francis Dunnnery since Tall Blonde Helicopter was released. It's strange to me that I can't recall the song Philadelphia's Public Radio Station, WXPN, was playing at the time. He was a guest on their afternoon show World Cafe'. He seemed to project a magnetic personality, even over the radio.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Concert Review: Blue Healer @ Milkboy - Philadelphia, PA 05/05/16

When Fran offered this set to me, he described the line up; keyboards, an upright bass (a real bass) and drums. I was already interested.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Concert Review: Disturbed @ Oak Mountain Amphitheatre in Pelham, Alabama 05/04/16

After taking a few years off, the band Disturbed did a show in Birmingham, AL this past March.  The show sold out before I could get tickets.  Last Wednesday night, between hearing some of the band's biggest hits along with some stunning covers, I got to see exactly why the earlier spring show sold out so quickly.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Just To Get Through to You: An Interview with Nick Thompson of Hit The Lights

Pop punksters, Hit The Lights, are hitting the road in support of 2015's Summer Bones.  As an added surprise they are releasing the accoustic EP Just to Get Through to You with five classic songs reworked acoustically and the brand new track "Lighthouse".  The acoustic tracks take on a life of their own and show incredible growth for the band.  Lead singer Nick Thompson took time out of his busy tour schedule to talk to us about it.

Divides: An Interview with Ally Dickaty of The Virginmarys

I've been listening to The Virginmarys for a while now.  I first heard them via the kick ass song below, which I've given heavy rotation to when I'm at the gym, and well, everywhere, actually.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Concert Review: MAYVE @ Coda - Philadelphia, PA 04/28/16

MAYVE released their EP Animals in January of this year to our rave reviews.  It's almost May.  What has MAYVE been up to?  Well, they were in Philadelphia opening up for Miami Horror.  How's that for new?

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Concert Review: Mutoid Man @ Underground Arts - Philadelphia, PA 04/27/16

I'm a pretty unhip guy. I make it a point not to look too deep into an artist I respect. I've done this in the past and I will do it again but only if there's something I can gain insight to or synthesize somehow. There has to be something undeniable.  Enter Mutoid Man.

Photo by Fran Chismar

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Album Review: Man About Town by Mayer Hawthorne

A Strange Arrangement invoked 60's Motown.  How Do You Do dabbled with 70's Philly Soul.  Where Does This Door Go brought the 80's Funk.  Where will Man About Town take us?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Concert Review: Halestorm @ Von Braun Center - Hunstville, AL 04/19/16

I don't listen to a lot of female artists.  I don't trust most women.  My childhood friends were all boys, by my choice.  Boys have a disturbing yet refreshing habit of pretty much always telling you the truth.  Girls, on the other hand, are usually petty, jealous, spiteful, and generally ugly.  Girls demonstrated those facts to me time after time as I was growing up and spoiler alert: Grown ass women do it even more, their resources are just better.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Concert Review: Puscifer @ Borgata Event Center - Atlantic City, NJ 04/15/16

What Puscifer does when they play live is not a concert.  It is a performance.  Actually, it's more than just a performance.  Seeing Puscifer live is as close to a drug as you are going to find.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Concert Review: Napalm Death w/ Melvins @ Underground Arts - Philadelphia, PA 04/13/16

Close your eyes.

Imagine being herded into a basement.  Dark and hot.  Bodies are pressed against you.  There is tension in the air.  An underlying energy is waiting to explode.  It hangs like a cloud.  And then it hits.  You know it's coming and it still hits you in the chest.  It's the sound.  It's so loud it hurts your brain.  It makes dizzy.  You're body moves on it's own.  It convulses.  It shakes.  The sound is so deep your head feels like it is going to explode.  It's fast.  It's intense.  It comes in bursts like a machine gun.  Just when you feel like you will never breath again it stops.  Then starts again.

Now imagine liking this.

That is a Napalm Death and Melvins show.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Concert Review: The Rebel Light @ Radio 104.5 Performance Theater - Bala Cynwyd, PA 04/12/16

Since alternative radio started playing the dreamy, echoed harmonies of The Rebel Light's "Strangers" everyone has been clamoring for more.  The single "Strangers" is their only release.  When I found our I won tickets to see The Rebel Light do a Radio 104.5 Studio Session I knew I would finally get a chance to find out what this band was all about.

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