Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer Concerts 2015: Best Coast and Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World

Since I'm seeing a lot of concerts this summer - way more than normal - I'm going to update every month what shows I went to and write about them a little bit. First up is Best Coast and Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World!

June 12: Best Coast @ Paradise Rock Club - Boston, MA
Opening Act: Bully

Best Coast tend to be more impressive to me live than their album recordings, so Bethany and Bobb certainly didn't disappoint. They played a nice mix of new songs from California Nights and older songs from The Only Place and Crazy for You. Embedded is a video of them playing one of my favorites from their new album, "Jealousy". Seeing Best Coast performing live, you get a less polished, more raw sound than they usually produce on their albums. Definitely  worth checking them out if they play around your area.

The opening band, Bully, blew me away. It's not often that an opener can compete with the headliner but Bully made it worth getting to the venue earlier. It was the first time I heard them. Their debut album on Columbia Records, Feels Like, just came out this Tuesday. After researching them on the internet, I realize now they've had buzz for a while, especially from the hipster music figurehead, Pitchfork. However, they're better than the flavor of the week Pitchfork tends to produce these days. They have an early 90's rock vibe, lead singer, head lyricist and Feels Like producer Alicia Bognanno sounding like a female Kurt Cobain. Very honest lyrics, very raw, rock n' roll sound. I hope these guys go far. Here's their single from the album, "Trying":

June 22: Jim Adkins (from Jimmy Eat World) @ BSP Kingston - Kingston, NY 
Opening Act: Frank McGinnis
 When I saw where this was, I had to find more sources to check if this was actually happening in Kingston and if it really was the Jim Adkins I'm thinking of! No offense to Kingston but bands usually don't play there, they'll go to Poughkeepsie or Albany instead. Kingston also is only an hour away from me so we didn't have to travel the extra 40 minutes to Poughkeepsie this time, which was nice. The venue was very small but not small enough to where it was cramped. The opener was a local singer/songwriter who did well and had some promise. Jim Adkins came on shortly after and played a lot of covers ("Girls Just Want to Have Fun"!!!) and music from Jimmy Eat World's catalog. He actually played one of my FAVORITE Jimmy Eat World songs ever that I feel is also very underrated, "Polaris" from Futures. He also played some songs from Clarity, which was also a pleasant surprise. I saw Jimmy Eat World for the first time last summer when they played around Albany and they were stellar. Jim Adkins didn't disappoint solo either. It was a really small show and very intimate. For a performer like Jim Adkins that puts his entire self into a show (seriously, if you've seen them live, do you see how much he sweats?! I mean, not like that's a bad thing and I sweat a lot too when it's hot but damn dude, you are working it!) it's a great way to see him live. Adkins has to be one of my favorite song writers of all time and an amazing performer. Definitely go if you get the chance to see him or Jimmy Eat World!

That's all for now...July is going to be a much longer post - I'm going to 4 shows (Say Anything, Weird Al Yankovic, Interpol, and Motion City Soundtrack). All while running a Summer Reading Program at a very busy public library. Am I insane or just dedicated? We'll find out this summer!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Apple Music will not Pay Artists Royalties for the first Three Months

So, Apple Music sounds pretty awesome and I might take the plunge and order a subscription when it comes out. It's a streaming service, much like Spotify, but is promising more options. And I believe them somewhat because they're Apple and they get shit done.

However, they've been getting some push back, most notably from Taylor Swift - read her Tumblr post here, since they've announced they won't be paying royalties to artists for the first three months. This will be the users trial period and they will be getting the music essentially for free. It's a way for Apple to get more users initially for this product to make them look good - that's what it sounds like to me, at least. For some reason, Apple has a legal explanation for this that can enable them to get away with it, that is unbeknownst to me.

Apple Music is available June 30, 2015. If Apple doesn't play nice with the record companies and artists, this could finally be the moment where Apple gets their comeuppances. I'll be interested to see how this plays out.

Do you plan on getting Apple Music? Tell me in the comments what you think about it!

UPDATE: Apple has agreed to pay artists during free trial. Read more about details here.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Check out My New Article Published on Occur


Click link to read!

It's about my weird relationship listening to new Best Coast music. There are very few bands I feel can pull off this subtlety of being secretly amazing without the listener being able to recognize it right away. Vampire Weekend are one of those bands. In a way, I feel like Ryan Adams could also be another example of this for some people, although I didn't feel that way when I first listened (Gold was the first album I heard of his). 

On a somewhat related note, I'm seeing Best Coast in Boston tonight! So excited! It's round 2 with Bethany and Bobb. Last time I saw them live, was also in Boston. They really need to schedule a show in the Capital District.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dan Auerbach releases "Stay in My Corner" with The Arcs

Yesterday, Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach released a single with The Arcs - a side project he mentioned a couple months ago that he was involved in. They are also set to release a full length album, due out in the late Summer, called Yours, Dreamily. More information can be found here on Stereogum. Listen to the new single "Stay in My Corner" below - it sounds like a mix between the sound the Keys experimented with on Turn Blue - a more psychedelic blues, with the traditional Black Keys sound. Initial reaction: I like it! And the album cover art is pretty neat, too.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Preston Beat Stickers aka Promote my Blog!

The Preston Beat stickers are now available! Pay what you want. E-mail me your address:

The background is Black, by the way, and the font is a mustard yellow. For some reason, there's a Red tint to the photo.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Kathleen Hanna Interview on Pitchfork

Check out this extensive interview with Riot Grrrl extraordinaire Kathleen Hanna here. Very interesting read, if you're into her.