Monday, August 6, 2018

Alternative Roots: Green Day

Musical innovation is a thing of the past.  Yes, you read that right.  All the songs in today’s musical landscape have been borrowed, recycled, or reimagined – and I do not mean that as a knock.  Did you really think Elvis discovered rock and roll?  Of course not.  Bill Haley had already recorded rock and roll songs.  He may have borrowed from Chuck Berry and Little Richard.  They borrowed influences from the blues and country music – and the chain goes on and on.  Elvis just chased the trend, had the right look, the right moves, and was in the right place at the right time.  Your favorite artists have been doing the same exact thing for years – whether it’s a look, a chord progression, or an attitude.  Spotting an influence is sometimes as easy as a sticker on a guitar.  Other times, it is as obscure as a single chord, as is the case of Joey Santiago of The Pixies and the “Hendrix Chord.”  Diving into a band’s musical influences not only gives you better appreciation for an artist, but may also turn you on to some great classic music.  I am going to kick off this monthly segment with one of today’s top alternative artists, Green Day.  They may be the masters of three-chord power-pop, but they didn’t invent it.  Below are three artists who have influenced Green Day.  Two have been acknowledged by the band and the third is an observation of my own.  Do your homework, expand your palate, and take a listen.  There is a good chance you’re gonna like what you hear.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Chainsaws and Mermaids: An Interview with Briana Granados of Monster Treasure

Encapsulated in a wall of fuzzy guitars, only penetrable by their angelic voices, is the band Monster Treasure.  Hailing from Northern California, this trio of Briana Granado, Rachel Orimo, and R.J. Mar are pushing the envelope of punk by incorporating shoegaze and grunge, creating something entirely new.  With their brand new album II hitting the airwaves, Briana took time out of her busy schedule to speak with me.  How have their lives been impacted since the release of their first album?  Let’s find out.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Give and Take: Coldplay’s Ten Best Tributes

Death has been a busy guy.  The man in black – Death that is, not Johnny Cash – is assembling musicians like the general of an army preparing for battle,  plucking influential music heroes from us like rare vinyl albums from crates.  All we mortals can do is weep and curse Death for taking our icons to soon.   Who will be our savior?

Answer: Coldplay.

Monday, May 14, 2018

5 Bands To Listen To If You Like The Griswolds

Parties come in many glorious shapes and sizes.  Sharpie-graffitied foreheads and streaking through the quad may seem like great ideas at the time, but mostly they leave you filled with next-day regret. Uptight dinner parties find you loosening your tie and looking for the exit, or texting family members to fake an accident or even death. You need to party smart.  Uncork some music by The Griswolds and get an instant dance party filled with sing-a-long lyrics and danceable, high-energy drum beats. There are no regrets the next morning, except maybe a sore throat and throbbing thighs – and you can take that any way you’d like. Listening to The Griswolds starts the party, but how do you keep the party going? It is as simple as a mixed drink.  Add equal parts of the following 5 bands and stir for desired effect. 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Concert Rreview: i99 Concert Series @ The Barbary - Philadelphia, PA 03/31/18

 We all want to tell this story.

You walk into a small bar.  It’s empty and at first glance a little scary. The number of exposed pipes in the ceiling is surpassed only by the number of neck tattoos. A band is setting up, but not even on the stage.  Their second-hand equipment is on the floor, in front of the stage, cluttered about like a neighborhood rummage sale.  You decide it may be safer to have one beer then split than to turn around immediately and run out the door.  In the meantime, you debate if using the bathroom is worth the risk, presuming you could even figure out which was the men’s room.  As you are doing everything in your power to not touch anything in the disaster area called a restroom, you hear the band starting to play through the door, and you almost can’t believe your ears.  This band is good.  Really good.  As you head back towards the stage, it keeps getting better. Now you can see that they are performing as if there are thousands instead of just you and the few millennials that haven’t decided if they care enough to look up from their smart phones.  Is this band in the right bar?  They sweat, bleed, throw beer, and destroy instruments.  After the set, you sit with them at the bar and just talk.  You drink and laugh, and then head on your way. You don’t even stay for the headliner.  Three months later that band is all over the radio.  And you saw them first

Monday, January 8, 2018

My Most Anticipated Albums of 2018

Each new year brings new hope and an infinite possibility of new music.  We can never have enough new music.  Our appetites must be fed by new lyrical entrees. Keep serving them up because we never seem to get full.  2018 is shaping up to be a smorgasbord, but I have narrowed the menu down to 5 items you will not want to miss.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Fran's Top 10 Albums of 2017

This Top 10 is a bit of a tradition for me.  If there is one thing I have learned from having OCD, it is that traditions are important.  I started doing this four years ago and even though I am now writing for i99 Radio, I am bringing my top 10 back to My Music, My Concerts, My Life.  Although these are merely my opinions, I stand behind my selections - which are largely based on my listening history throughout the year.  Feel free to agree or disagree, but either way sound it out in the comment section.  I now present to you Fran's Top 10 Albums of 2017.

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