Andrew McMahon is the brainchild behind two of the most popular piano rock bands around; he’s also a cancer survivor, philanthropist, and downright nice guy. Something Corporate, McMahon’s southern California high school band turned worldwide success, dominated live music venues and college airwaves for years before he decided he needed a break. Shortly thereafter the talented musician was diagnosed with leukemia. It was also during this time that McMahon was crafting music for a new project, the soon-to-be world famous Jack’s Mannequin. Throughout his rough journey, including a bone marrow transplant from his sister, McMahon kept all his fans in the loop, blogging often and making sure everyone knew what procedures he was undergoing and how he was coping with it. Cut to 2010, when Something Corporate has reuntied, Jack’s Mannequin is still conquering the airwaves (and people’s hearts), and McMahon is in remission and doing his best to raise awareness and money for cancer research, including starting his own organization- the Dear Jack Foundation.
For all you long-time ska/punk loving children of the early 90’s have we got some fun for you. In early November, two of ska and punk’s most important and relevant bands will be playing four shows together on the west coast. That’s right, Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger are joining forces for four nights of all out musical debauchery. The fun begins on November 3rd at the House of Blues in San Diego, then carries on November 4th in Los Angeles, November 6th in San Louis Obispo, and finally on November 7th in Las Vegas.
Smooth Jazz? Pop Rock? Hip Hop? I don’t know. Neither do they. The bottom line is, as I stood there listening to the refreshingly unique flows of the Graffiti6 gang, I couldn’t help but move and sway with the crowd, sing along, and fall victim to the talents of producer TommyD (who has worked with the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West, Kylie and Janet Jackson) and singer Jamie Scott. The swankily lit Lexington was packed with an eclectic array of people, a true testament to the beautiful amalgamation of sounds that Graffiti6 has created, that transcendes genre classification. So What Happened at the Show!?
The Flowerpot prides itself on simply being a “musical drinking establishment.” Bottom line, they’re open every day, entry is always free, and there’s always one artist/band and one DJ performing each night. They love music and only have high quality acts gracing the stage. This eclectic venue is not only a great place to mix and mingle with hipsters and scensters from the UK underground, but an excellent place to find new music to support and spread.
That brings us to the night we saw Foxy Shazam at The Flowerpot. The intimate and very hip venue drew a big crowd, undoubtedly due in part to the fact that admission is free. There were certainly patrons that knew, or had at least heard of, the craziness that is Foxy Shazaam; and the ones who didn’t had no idea what they were in for.
We grabbed our drinks, grabbed a table, and began to wait patiently for the band to take the stage (an hour and a half after scheduled, so be ready to chill and enjoy your evening, totally worth the wait, trust us). Immediately the wide range of Londonites there began to chat us up, more than excited about the potential for a new discovery awaiting them around the corner. We assured them, they were in for quite the ride.
Foxy Shazaam (who had opened for Motion City Soundtrack the night before at the Underworld, and preparing to rock the Leeds Festival & Reading Festival in the coming days) pushed through the dense crowd to get to the stage, as a camera followed them. Lead singer Eric Nally and crew were going to put on a show, and they wanted documentation of it. Known for their incredibly entertaining, and incredibly weird, live shows, Foxy Shazaam did not disappoint even in the close quarters they encountered on the small stage at The Flowerpot. Pole climbing, shoulder riding, and cigarette eating all occurred amidst strange anecdotes and in-your-face, upbeat, downright rocking tracks. Everyone in the bar was dancing and clapping along to the sounds of the talented musicians. Ridiculous and awesome.
* Foxy Shazam will be back in the US touring in October. Check out the dates here.
After inviting a group of eight friends out to see Motion City Soundtrack at the Underworld in Camden, I began to worry about how the night would unfold. Would UK fans know about the American band? Would they care enough to pay for a live show? Would I drag my friends across the city only to arrive at a deserted venue? Find Out the Answers & More
Denver-based indie rock bands The Photo Atlas and The Epilogues are in the middle of a mini west coast tour which stopped in Hollywood Sunday night. Due to the enormous size and over saturation of the music scene in Los Angeles, small do-it-yourself bands from other states sometimes struggle to find accepting audiences to play to. Fans won’t travel more than a few miles in the city to see a band and “Industry” folk, if they even show up, tend to stand in the back of the venue with crossed arms and judgmental eyes.