Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Brittany Speared's Top Album Cover Picks

Hope everybody's been having a brutal holiday season - though whether it's been a good brutal or bad brutal is yours to decide. I'm Brittany Speared, a regular rotation DJ and occasional cover host of Vintage 80s.

Not even a lot of long-time callers know this, but I'm a graphic design major here at Seton Hall. I'm graduating this spring, and have been doing all sorts of internships to build my resume. Which is to say, my 2011 ran me ragged, and because of that, I am completely behind on listening to metal releases. So I don't have a best-of list of music for you guys. Instead, I'm going to write about something I do have the authority to speak on: ALBUM COVERS.

Marketing tools like album covers can absolutely have artistic value while still being effective, so I developed some loose criteria to evaluate them with. Does the art look TOTALLY AWESOME? If I was in a record store (hahaha), would it instantly grab my eye (through color and contrast)? Are the band logo and album title integrated into the artwork in a thoughtful way?

(Apologies for not including most of the album artists' names. I wish I could have. Unfortunately, because I'm behind on releases this year, I don't have the liner notes at my disposal.)

10. Primordial - Redemption at the Puritan's Hand
Lo-fi folk metal band from Ireland. Refreshingly, Primordial didn't rely on hokey forest imagery (their subgenre) or hokier shamrock imagery (every Celtic band ever). The high-contrast cover with a minimal number of colors definitely draws my eye. But the main reason I like it so much it that I did a package design project with similar elements this year (before I saw the album art, I promise you). It's a little simple, though, which is why it's at the bottom of my top 10.

9. Bosse de Nage - ii
Francophile, avant-garde black metal from the Bay Area totally spit in the eye of their subgenre's tradition of purposely-horrible covers and did something pretty interesting. The minimalistic cover shines in the haze of overdetailed and unreadable logos. The strange fins sticking out of the letters of "Bosse" bother me, though. The one on the B could stay, if its curve followed the path of the O better. I suppose it was a decision to add tension and movement to an otherwise heavy, static cover. It's still very cool, though! It reminds me of early Constructivist propaganda, which is one of my favorite artistic movements.

8. Hull - Beyond the Lightless Sky
I absolutely love Hull's logo, it's a gorgeous piece of typography. The subdued tan and black of the cover is an interesting and unique statement, as well. I can't work up much to say about it beyond that, though, which is why it scored fairly low (even though I would still hang it on my wall). While it's an awesome piece, I think it would be passed over in favor of something more eye-catching, like…

7. Protest the Hero - Scurrilous
Protest the Hero released my favorite album of 2011, so I feel a bad I didn't score them higher. But the painting, while cool and surrealistic, doesn't really excite me as a piece of design. The framing elements are cool, though, and elevate the cover beyond the exhausted "logo on a painting" cliché.

6. Arckanum - Helvítismyrk
Helvítismyrk is the most traditional of the album art on this list; that is to say, it's a painted rendering of something badass and evil going on. Unlike most other covers in the style, which are frequently… crummy, the art is well-rendered and has an interesting composition. It's not overdetailed. Having a flat black negative space lets your eye investigate the mysterious smoky figure without becoming overwhelmed. The more I look at it, the more I like it. Its final place is way higher than I thought I would give it.
Also, it's a haunted skull.

5. Cormorant - Dwellings
Dwellings is guilty of the typical "Step 1: Get a painting. Step 2: Put your logo on it." method of album art design, but the artist is clearly very skilled in both technique and composition (the arrangement of visual elements in a work, much like a camera angle of your mind!). It's an awesome painting.

4. Mastodon - The Hunter (Deluxe Edition)
And Mastodon makes it onto yet another year end list with their amazing cover based on the sculptural work of AJ Fosik. I found their regular version kind of dull, but for the deluxe edition, all elements are in conversation. The text is integrated into the piece, the totem stares you down. Look at the nasty beast. I would not want to mess with him, but Mastodon chopped his head off and hung it on a wall.

3. Black Tusk - Set the Dial
Like most sludge metal bands, Black Tusk once again had John Dyer Baizley, one of my favorite illustrators (and musicians) do their album art. This is not a bad thing. John Dyer Baizley should do everyone's album art.

2. Blut Aus Nord - 777 – The Desanctification
Another deranged, avant-garde black metal band, this time actually from France. Their album art subverts the usual stereotypes of the larger genre, and presents something well-rendered and interesting. Only a metal band could get away with a cover like this today. I would plow over small children (and anything else in my way) to get to this album art in my hands. I placed it higher than a John Dyer Baizley illustration! I credit that largely to the attention-grabbing, high contrast color scheme.

1. Ghost - Opus Eponymous
And the sickest artwork of the year goes to Ghost's debut album. The hand-rendered, destined-to-be-iconic logo, fantastic composition, and unique color scheme all immediately came to mind when I began working on this article. Opus Eponymous is undoubtedly the best and most designed. Ghost has had a lot of marketing support behind them, and it shows. It isn't just a logo slapped on top of a painting, it frames the band's mascot/singer. The latter's cloak becomes the sky as he looms over the building. Bats are flying, a bad moon's rising, the guy has a skullface. It's metal, and it's good design, definitively proving that they're not mutually exclusive.

BONUS ROUND: Most Stereotypically Metal Cover Art
Amon Amarth - Surtur Rising
I don't think anything needs to be explained here.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

WSOU and Bandmerch.com Presents August Burns Red

Friday, January 13!
WSOU & Bandmerch.com Presents

August Burns Red
Silverstein • Texas In July • Letlive • An all-ages to enter, 21 to drink event. $18 advance, $20 day of show + applicable surcharges


For tickets, visit Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.com/



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

25 Reasons You SHOULD Have Been at WSOU's 25 Years of Metal



What’s going on everybody?! Sorry about the delay on this one, I was too busy spending the weekend recovering from the spin kick I took to the head during Fit for an Autopsy’s set. Yeah, the concert was that insane. With that, here are 25 reasons you should have been at WSOU’s 25 Years of Metal show!!

1. You would have gotten to see local young guns Name the Creature play in front of a small cluster of people. May not sound like anything important, but for those guys to still flash their brand of melodic death metal with as much energy as they did and without a much of a crowd was pretty admirable.

2. Name the Creature also gave out lollipops to the fans who came to their merch table. I mean, c’mon. Who doesn’t love lollipops?!?!

3. Had you been one of the many who began to fill up Starland during Thanatonic Desire’s set, you would have heard the Street Patrol stars’ killer sound. If you took Coroner, asked them to play melodic crossover, and gave their bass player the bass sound of Jeroen Paul Thesseling (of Pestilence and Obscura fame), you would get Thanatonic Desire. Those guys play with a fresh take on the genre that everyone should check out.

4. You probably would have been terrified when Fit for an Autopsy guitarist Pat Sheridan simply said, “We’re Fit for an Autopsy, do something.” When a band that brutal implores the crowd to get crazy in such a simple manner, they’re just leaving the door wide open for the crowd to get violent.

5. Yeah, it did get pretty violent. I was situated on the side of the pit, and as previously mentioned, got kicked in the head. As much as it was unpleasant to deal with, I must admit that it was still pretty metal.

6. The crowd didn’t become brutal without reason, it was matching the intensity of FFAA. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a deathcore band with such violent breakdowns. The band was ridiculously heavy, but still very technically proficient. Anyone who hasn’t heard them yet needs to crawl out of the rock they’ve been hiding under and get their act together.

7. You would have gotten to be a part of an audience with one of the highest per capita ninja-dancer populations I’ve ever seen.

8. Molotov Solution would have given you a seriously rude awakening. Their brand of technical deathcore – accentuated by rhythmically layered breakdowns and dissonant guitar screeches – was one to be much appreciated.

9. You may have also wanted to cry for momma after watching Molotov Solution’s bassist Shane Slade play. Not only was the dude a sick bassist – having a dense, punishingly deep tone and some serious chops – his stage presence was straight up terrifying. Slade spent the duration of the set glaring menacingly at the crowd, and his stare was just as intense as the band’s set was.

10. Skeletonwitch. You missed Skeletonwitch. What on earth is wrong with you?

11. But seriously, Skeletonwitch was ridiculously impressive. The band, along with their contemporaries, (that include Warbringer, Lazarus AD, and Gamma Bomb) comprise the Neo-Thrash movement, and witnessing their variation of blackened thrash shows that thrash is alive, and doing very, very well.

12. The audience went wild for the band. Singer Chase Garnette in particular seemed to be a crowd favorite. His piercing, pseudo-black metal scream was unique and simply awesome.

13. One last thing about those guys, the old school circle pit that broke out during their set was massive, and was reminiscent to those that the used to take place during the hey-days of thrash.

14. As if you didn’t already have enough reasons to prove to you that you should have been at that show, let me remind you that you didn’t see Chimaira play that night. I’ve personally seen Chimaira multiple times, and I can honestly say that this was the best I’ve ever seen them.

15. Singer Mark Hunter performed his clean vocals even better live than he did on the band’s new album This is Hell.

16. New drummer Austin D’Amond was out of his mind talented. His double bass was blazingly quick, allowing for a slightly faster tempo for all of the songs. His hands were often hard to make out, because they moved so fast they often became a blur. Oh yeah, the dude had a drum solo too. It was filled with lighting fast fills, syncopated ostinatos, and brutal double bass beats. This guy is going to be a great fit for the group.

17. The bands other new addition, Sean Zatorsky, was equally noteworthy. Also controlling samples and sound effects, Zatorsky’s bass drops were absolutely colossal. My chest hurt just from standing in front of those speakers. The drops gave the band a dense and thick tone, one that suits them well.

18. Additionally, Zatorsky has an awesome beard. He puts all of the mere mortals who are partaking in No Shave November to shame.

19. Perhaps the most important aspect of Chimaira’s set was the fact that it was one of the last that guitarists Matt DeVries and Rob Arnold will be playing with the band. The duo will depart from the band after Chimaira Christmas 2011 for “personal reasons,” yet there seemed to be no animosity amongst the members of the band during the show. In fact, the group has seemed to treat the situation since its announcement as an opportunity to celebrate their last moments together, making for a killer, energetic set. Those of us in attendance got to witness one of the last shows with those guys in the band, and it was well worth it.

20. Unearth’s metalcore prowress was on full display as they closed out the show. The tracks from their new album Darkness in the Light were awesome live as well.

21. Guitarists Buz McGrath and Ken Susi did a synchronized jump off of their speaker cabinets. It was almost as if Van Halen had come back in a much heavier and more technical form. (And I mean that in the best way possible).

22. Unearth made a point of letting the crowd know that it was “National Dude with a Moustache Appreciation Day.” I had shaved the night before. My luck.

23. Susi also appeared out of nowhere to shred on top of the bar. Nice touch.

24. When a fan asked “Who the new guy behind the drums is,” we in the audience were surprised and excited to be among the first in the world to hear that touring drummer Nick Pierce is now the official drummer for the band (!!!!!!!)

25. Finally, you should have been at our 25 Years of Metal show because WSOU is the best radio station around. Sure, I may be a bit biased, but even before I started working here, WSOU was one of my favorite things about the Tri-State Area. This show was the culmination of all of the hard work of the managers and of 25 years of keeping metal radio alive. But hey, if you weren’t there, just make it a point to make our 50 Years of Metal show in 2036!

So if you missed this show,t here’s a rough summary of the highlights of the night. That being said, you probably should have been there. I mean, c’mon, it was a killer night. But hey, we’re not going anywhere, just catch us next time!




As always, feel free to hit me up with suggestions, questions, comments, or concerns at Dylan.wsou@gmail.com.

Until next time,

Dylan






Tuesday, October 11, 2011

WSOU CREATES SPECIAL PROGRAMMING FOR COLLEGE RADIO DAY

For more information, contact:
Mark Maben, WSOU general manager. 973-761-9546, mark.maben@shu.edu
Omar Ahmad, WSOU station manager. 973-313-6110, wsoustationmanager@gmail.com


(South Orange, N.J.)--- 89.5 FM WSOU, Seton Hall Pirate Radio, announced today that for its participation in College Radio Day on Oct. 11, the station will be featuring interviews with Five Finger Death Punch, Senses Fail, God Forbid and other bands WSOU gave early airplay to. Band members will speak about the role WSOU has played in nurturing their rise to fame. College Radio Day is a nationwide event celebrating the importance of college radio to communities, local music scenes, emerging artists and the cultivation of new broadcast and media talent.

“WSOU is well-known in the music industry for being a leader in breaking new bands,” says student station manager Omar Ahmad, who notes that the station gave the first area airtime, and in some cases the first-ever radio time, to Korn, Incubus, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against the Machine, Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance and Thursday, among others. “We felt the best way for WSOU to highlight the importance of college radio was to let the musicians who have benefited from college radio’s support tell their story.”

In addition to band interviews, WSOU’s student managers will be offering personal commentaries on why college radio is important to them and the New York. Interviews and commentaries will be aired at the bottom of every hour between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (see schedule below). The day’s programming will also feature special songs, station IDs, a 15-minute documentary on college radio that is being aired on all stations participating in College Radio Day, and interviews with station alumni Bob Ley and Bob Picozzi, who both went on to notable careers at ESPN.

The student managers of WSOU eagerly agreed to be part of College Radio Day because of the station’s rich 63-year history and because of the recent increase in the sale of college radio stations. “Today, many people tend to overlook or write off College radio as there seems to be a misinformed opinion that radio is dead,” says Ahmad. “Radio is not dead, and in fact, is still responsible for creating and shaping the careers of many artists and experts in the field of communications. While the administration has assured the station that WSOU is safe, there are other schools that are selling off their radio stations due to financial difficulties, and that's troubling.”

WSOU general manager Mark Maben, says that college radio stations provide vital experiential-learning opportunities that cannot be easily duplicated. “College Radio Day is a way for us to remind the world that college stations not only serve their communities, but give students a hands-on learning experience that cannot be emulated by reading a book or going to a lecture. Station alumni such as WINS’ Glenn Schuck, WDHA’s Kim Mulligan and NJ Devils radio announcer Matt Loughlin are all thriving today because of skills and confidence they developed at WSOU.”

One of the students who has greatly benefited from her time at WSOU is music director Gabby Canella, who has become deeply interested in a career in broadcasting or the music industry thanks to her three plus years working at Seton Hall’s station. “Not only have I learned a lot at WSOU, my experience has opened up doors for me that wouldn’t have otherwise.” Instrumental in arranging the band interviews, Canella says that she was struck by a common theme raised by the bands. “All of the bands spoke about how WSOU moved their careers forward and how critical college radio is to supporting bands before they become mainstream.”

College Radio Day will be acknowledged on more than 300 radio stations from coast-to-coast in the United States and Canada on Tuesday, Oct. 11. WSOU’s participation will be anchored by DJs The David Rind Experience, Brittany Speared, Dem Duquettes, and The Brooklyn Dodger. WSOU’s College Radio Day Interview schedule is as follows:

7:30 a.m.: Commentary by Gabby Canella, WSOU music director
8:30 a.m.: Band Interview with God Forbid (New Brunswick, NJ-based band)
9:30 a.m.: Commentary by Omar Ahmad, WSOU station manager
10:30 a.m.: Band Interview with Senses Fail (Ridgewood, NJ); Alumnus interview with Bob Picozzi
11:30 a.m.: Commentaries by Katie Duffy and Samantha Desmond, WSOU staff representative and promotions director
12:30 p.m.: Band Interview with Trivium
1:30 p.m.: Commentaries by Chris Duquette and Victoria Haffner, WSOU technical operations director and news director
2:30 p.m.: Band Interview with Biohazard (Brooklyn, NY)
3:30 p.m.: Commentary by David Rind, WSOU sports director; Alumnus interview with Bob Ley
4:30 p.m.: Band Interview with Five Finger Death Punch
5:30 p.m.: Commentary by Brittany Martinez, WSOU program director
6:30 p.m.: Band Interview with Hatebeed
7:30 p.m.: Broadcast of National College Radio Day Documentary

About 89.5 FM WSOU
WSOU, which began broadcasting in 1948, is the student-run, award-winning radio station of Seton Hall University. On Nov. 18, the station will present a concert with Chimaira, Unearth, Skeletonwitch and more at the Starland Ballroom in celebration of the 25th anniversary of WSOU’s current loud active rock format, which features metal, punk, hardcore and post-hardcore music. In addition to its active rock programming, WSOU is also the broadcast home for Seton Hall athletics and airs religious, public affairs and ethnic programming. With a 2,400-watt signal broadcast from the University’s South Orange campus, WSOU reaches all five boroughs of New York City and much of northern and central of New Jersey. WSOU streams online at www.wsou.net. The website also features additional information about the station.

About Seton Hall University
For 154 years, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership, developing the whole student, mind, heart and spirit. Seton Hall combines the resources of a large university with the personal attention of a small liberal arts college. Its attractive suburban campus is only 14 miles by train, bus or car to New York City, with the wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities the city offers. Seton Hall is a Catholic university that embraces students of all races and religions, challenging each other to better the world through integrity, compassion, and a commitment to serving others. For more information, visit: www.shu.edu.

About College Radio Day
The aim of College Radio Day is to harness the combined listenership of hundreds of thousands of college radio listeners throughout North America and to celebrate the important contribution of college radio to America's airwaves. The original idea for College Radio Day was conceived by Rob Quicke, general manager, WPSC-FM, William Paterson University and was founded by Rob Quicke and Peter Kreten, general manager, WXAV-FM, Saint Xavier University. More than 300 stations are participating in the first-ever College Radio Day on Oct. 11, 2011. For more information, go to: www.collegeradioday.com.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

BRING ME THE HORIZON AT ROSELAND BALLROOM

By Victoria Haffner

Roseland Ballroom was not prepared for the pandemonium that was about to be caused by Bring Me the Horizon’s U.S Fall Tour. With supporting acts of Parkway Drive, the Architects (U.K.), Deez Nuts, and On Broken Wings, September 21st was definitely going to be a night of breakdowns and chaos.

On Broken Wings, the only American act (from Boston, Massachusetts) on the bill, opened up the show with tons of energy that would be repeated throughout the night. It was clear that the moshcore pioneers had some fans as Bring Me the Horizon watched on the sidelines with Frankie Palmeri from Emmure as well. Oli Sykes, lead vocalist for BMTH, and Palmeri lent their vocals to two different songs including “Six Hundred Cubic Centimeters”.

The Australian band Deez Nuts were up next and stood out in this tour with their distinct hardcore sound along with their unique and charismatic stage presence. The punk and hip hop influenced trio continued to get the crowd amped up for the next band’s set while showcasing songs from their albums Rep Your Hood and Stay True.
Following were Architects (UK), who played fan favorites such as “Follow the Water” and “Numbers Count for Nothing”. The Brits also performed “Day In, Day Out” and “Delete, Rewind” off of their latest album The Here, The Now.

Since their headlining tour earlier this year, Parkway Drive had not been in the states and they were ready to bring back their metalcore sound to New York City. Needless to say, I was pumped for their set and the boys from Byron Bay, Australia did not fail me. They played songs from all their albums, such as “Romance is Dead”, “Idols and Anchors”, and “Sleepwalker”--appeasing old and new fans alike. Lead singer Winston McCall was continuously amazed at the energy of the crowd and the band reciprocated with an equally powerful and enthusiastic performance. By the end of “Carrion”, their final song of the night, the crowd was thoroughly exhausted, but that didn’t matter as the final band took the stage.

I have seen Bring Me the Horizon play live numerous times in the past and thought I was prepared for the crazy antics Oli Sykes and Co. would bring—but I was wrong. They opened up their set with “Diamonds Aren’t Forever” and immediately set the tone for their set as Sykes flew into the crowd twice. With each song, he urged the crowd to get crazier until the height of the mayhem. During “Anthem“, a track off their latest album “There is a Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There is a Heaven, Let’s Keep It a Secret”, the band demanded that everyone rush the stage and in minutes it seemed as everyone in the venue was on the stage singing along and often groping the lead singer. Obviously, the security guards were having a fit.

With a lineup filled with Australians and Brits—and some Bostonians for good measure—Bring Me the Horizon’s North American Tour definitely had its fair share of loud metal, mosh pits and great accents, too!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

89.5 FM WSOU ANNOUNCES 25 YEARS OF METAL CONCERT
CHIMARIA, UNEARTH & OTHERS PERFORM AT STARLAND BALLROOM NOV. 18

(South Orange, N.J.)--- 89.5 FM WSOU, Seton Hall Pirate Radio, announced today its 25 Years of Metal concert, set to take place on Friday, Nov. 18 at the Starland Ballroom in Sayerville, N.J. The 25 Years of Metal show will feature high-profile metal acts Chimaira and Unearth, with support from Skeletonwitch, Molotov Solution and others. The concert is in celebration of the 25th anniversary of WSOU’s current loud active rock format, which features metal, punk, hardcore and post-hardcore music.

“One reason that WSOU has a national reputation is that as students, we get a chance to learn by doing,” student Station Manager Omar Ahmad says. “Helping to produce a large concert gives us the opportunity to learn new skills while also sharpening our existing ones. It is one of the reasons that WSOU is such a great place for students to learn about broadcasting, media, and the music business.”

Since flipping to its current format in 1986, WSOU has become an industry leader in breaking new bands and nurturing new broadcast talent. WSOU gave the first area airtime, and in some cases the first-ever radio time, to Korn, Incubus, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against the Machine, Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, Thursday and Five Finger Death Punch, just to name a few.

In the last 25 years, scores of station alumni have gone on to professional success, including WDHA’s Kim Mulligan, WEMP’s Dave Packer, Mike DePippa of Sony/Epic Records, Atlantic Records’ Anthony Delia and nationally syndicated music host Jackie Kajzer (a.k.a. Full Metal Jackie).

“WSOU has remained a key innovator in college radio and the New York market,” said Mark Maben, the station’s General Manager. “As the only station of its kind in the metro area, the 25th anniversary of our active rock format is something to celebrate. WSOU has remained at the forefront of the industry since the 1950s, and we look forward to partnering with the Starland Ballroom to create a show that produces the loudest rock, just as we have been doing for 25 years.”

In announcing its anniversary concert, the station also unveiled a new logo celebrating WSOU’s milestone. For the logo, WSOU turned to Framework Media Strategies’ Peter Kelly, a station alumnus and former DJ, to craft just the right logo for the show and format’s anniversary.

"As a former student of Seton Hall University and member of WSOU I wanted this logo to truly embody what the station is all about,” Kelly says. “I wanted it to have an edge, something that makes you think ‘this station is going to rock my face off!’”.

Tickets will be available for purchase for $17 per ticket beginning at noon on Friday, Sept. 23 at www.starlandballroom.com and the Starland Ballroom box office. Tickets will also be available to win in station giveaways in the weeks leading up to the show.

In addition to its 25 Years of Metal concert, WSOU will be celebrating its anniversary in other ways. The station will air a student-produced documentary that examines how Seton Hall Pirate Radio became a world-renown metal station. WSOU alumni will return as guests DJs. WSOU Sports will feature interviews with alumni who have gone on to broadcasting fame, including Matt Loughlin, Bob Picozzi and Bob Ley.

About 89.5 FM WSOU
WSOU, which began broadcasting in 1948, is the student-run, award-winning radio station of Seton Hall University. In addition to its active rock programming, WSOU is also the broadcast home for Seton Hall athletics and airs religious, public affairs and ethnic programming. With a 2,400-watt signal broadcast from the University’s South Orange campus, WSOU reaches all five boroughs of New York City and much of northern and central of New Jersey. WSOU also streams online at www.wsou.net. The website also features additional information about the station.

About Seton Hall University
For 154 years, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership, developing the whole student, mind, heart and spirit. Seton Hall combines the resources of a large university with the personal attention of a small liberal arts college. Its attractive suburban campus is only 14 miles by train, bus or car to New York City, with the wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities the city offers. Seton Hall is a Catholic university that embraces students of all races and religions, challenging each other to better the world through integrity, compassion, and a commitment to serving others. For more information, visit: www.shu.edu.

About the Starland Ballroom
After opening in December 2003, the Starland Ballroom quickly became of one New Jersey premiere concert nightclubs. More than one million tickets to Starland concerts have been sold over the past eight years. The Starland Ballroom is located at 570 Jernee Mill Road in Sayreville, N.J. and more information may be found at www.starlandballroom.com.

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For more information, contact:
Mark Maben, WSOU general manager. 973-761-9546, mark.maben@shu.edu
Omar Ahmad, WSOU station manager. 973-313-6110, wsoustationmanager@gmail.com

Monday, September 19, 2011

BIG 4 ROCKS EAST COST IN HISTORIC CONCERT





By Gabby Canella
WSOU Music Director



It was a night of metal to forever go down in history. The four biggest pioneers of thrash metal, each with bragging rights of a 30 or more year career, together on one legendary stage in front of a crowd of thousands and thousands. Yankee Stadium would never be looked at the same way again.

As I made the hike from New Jersey up to the Bronx, I had to note the extensive number of metal heads I saw everywhere I went. Once I stepped into Penn Station, I couldn’t help smiling at all the people, young and old, men and women, wearing shirts that ranged from Metallica to Death to Rammstein to Pantera. On a normal day, it’s unusual to come across a fellow lover of heavy music, but on Wednesday, it was unusual to see someone not wearing one of the above shirts. It was even more amusing for me to ride inside the packed subway cars with all of these fans. A distant observer who was unaware of the historical impact of that day was probably very curious and very confused about where we all surfaced from.

Once I arrived at Yankee Stadium, I was impressed by the way the field was arranged for the show. The sacred infield was covered and cut off from the general admission crowd with rows of protective barricades. The entire outfield was reserved for the hundreds of fans that almost seemingly covered any trace of there being a field at all. Parallel to the score board and advertisements on the back wall of the stadium stood the huge, specially designed stage for the event. I could only imagine the exhausting amount of hours it must have taken to set everything up for this show, and equally how many hours it would take to tear it all down again.

Finally, 4:00 PM hit. Anthrax was the first of the Big 4 to take the stage. They erupted with high energy onto the stage, wearing specially designed pinstriped Anthrax baseball jerseys with the number 30 on the back to commemorate their lifespan as a band. As they played their classics mixed in with a few new tunes off their latest album Worship Music, they were all smiles— and they had every right to be. After all, it was their day (Bronx Borough President declared September 14th to be Anthrax Day). Out of all the bands, they were the most amped and grateful to be performing on their native turf. Scott Ian, a very proud and lifelong Yankees fan, was especially appreciative of the opportunity. After a solid power hour of jamming out, Anthrax left the audience fired up and hungry for more metal.


Megadeth hit the stage next. While their sound was great and they played classic favorites like Symphony of Destruction and Hanger 18, their energy was noticeably different from Anthrax’s. A few songs in, Dave Mustaine greeted the crowd and explained that he shouldn’t even be playing because he was supposed to have neck surgery, but was blessed to be on the stage anyway. Even before Wednesday, several rumors leaked that Megadeth was going to sit the Big 4 show out, but it was finally confirmed on Tuesday that the band would indeed play. Mustaine braced himself through the rest of their set and got the crowd moving, but I felt that Megadeth’s performance was a bit lackluster.


At this point the crowd was getting anxious in preparation for the ones who would steal the show away. Slayer’s opening notes sent everyone into a frenzy of the kind I’ve never seen. Moshing and crowd surfing exploded like it was going out of style, accompanied by plenty of furious head banging and fist pumping that would put the Jersey Shore to shame. Everyone released their troubles of the day while Slayer stomped and pounded out heavier and angrier riffs. Their sound was tight and flawless, much to the crowd’s satisfaction. Any simple observer could understand how much the crowd ate up Slayer from the high fives and smiles exchanged between the fans. Everyone seemed to be a whole lot more tired and sweatier after Slayer left the stage.


Last up were the biggest of the Big 4, Metallica. They greeted the crowd with appreciation for their attendance and high energy. Most of their set consisted of their early work and even a track rarely played live, Orion. Metallica brought out the big guns for their performance, including pyro, fireworks, and even lasers. The entire spectacle really enhanced the already awesome sound performance they delivered. By far the best and most anticipated song of the evening was Enter Sandman. Once the opening notes to that tune were delivered, the fans cheered as loud as if Mariano Rivera was jogging to the field to clinch the winning game. The night felt complete and made all the New York and New Jersey fans feel truly at home. James Hetfield was playful with the crowd, joking and teasing the operator who put up the lyrics on the board. Overall, the entire band seemed to be mesmerized at Yankee Stadium.


The sure highlight of the evening was the Big 4 jam at the end before Metallica closed up. James joked that the fans were following up on the jam song the bands played elsewhere, so he decided to change it up. All the members of the Big 4 came out and simultaneously played Motorhead’s Overkill, which was dedicated to the godfather of metal, Lemmy. I have to admit it was pretty neat to see so many guitar players on stage all synchronizing perfectly. As I checked out all the different musicians, I did notice Mustaine’s absence, probably because of his neck pain. During those five or so minutes, it seemed like the perfect, harmonious moment of metal coming together. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience seeing this happen live before me.


Hetfield seemed very proud of the Big 4’s big moment together. He and the rest of Metallica wrapped up the show by following up with Battery and then closing with the fan favorite Seek and Destroy. As they began the last song, I decided to head out to beat the crowd and catch an already packed subway car back to Penn Station.


All in all, this show was truly one to remember. It was a special event that brought the metal community together and redefined how legendary Yankee Stadium truly is.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

WE'VE GOT MORE BIG 4! SUBMIT BEFORE TUESDAY AT 6:00 AM AND GET A CHANCE FOR A PAIR TO THE BIG 4!

WSOU is looking for it's very own "Big 4" in this promotional contest which will award four lucky contestants with A PAIR of tickets to the Big 4 at Yankee Stadium on September 14, 2011. Starting on Tuesday, August 23 at 6:00 a.m. (EST), WSOU will be accepting maximum two-minute video submissions by contestants, telling us WHY you deserve to win a ticket to the Big 4.

Contestants must read and acknowledge all rules and conditions in order to participate. Submissions will be accepted beginning August 23, 2011 at 6:00 a.m. (EST) at wsoubig4@gmail.com.


BIG 4 Contest Rules

How to Enter the Contest:

1. No purchase or donation is necessary to enter or win.

2. The BIG 4 DAYS contest will begin on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 6:00 a.m. (EST), and run through, Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 6:00 a.m. (EST) with the grand prize winner to be announced on Friday, September 9, 2011. Saturdays and Sundays are excluded.

3. There will be one prize with 4 winners announced on September 9, 2011 from 4-8 p.m.

4. To participate in the contest, eligible contestants must submit a maximum two minute video to submit to wsoubig4@gmail.com explaining why they should win a pair of tickets to see the BIG 4 at Yankee Stadium on September 14, 2011. Submissions will not be accepted past 6:00 a.m. (EST) on Tuesday, August 30, 2011. Any submission longer than 120 seconds will be immediately disqualified.

5. WSOU Staff will provide a selection committee, comprised of the Station Manager, Music Director, Programming Director and Promotions Director, who will view the videos and choose 8 finalists to come up to WSOU on September 9, 2011 to have a chance to win a pair of tickets to the show. Finalists will be notified by Friday, September 2, 2011 of their status, and will receive an invite to the station. During the 4-8pm DJ shift, WSOU staff will select 4 winners. The fifth runner up will receive a consolation prize.

6. One entry per person, one entry per household.

7. By entering the BIG 4 contest, contestants agree that they are fully responsible for all content that the contestant submits. Contestants must have all necessary rights and permissions in their entries, and each contestant is solely responsible for his/her entry. By submitting a video, contestant agrees to allow WSOU to use and publish submitted entry, name, likeness, voice, statements, and image on its website, on the air, and in any other medium at WSOU’s sole discretion. WSOU will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such uses. Contestants will indemnify WSOU, Seton Hall University and their respective regents, directors, officers, managers, employees, shareholders, agents, and licensors, from and against losses, expenses, damages, and costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, resulting from any claim brought by any party relating to content they have posted. Contestants also understand and agree that WSOU is not responsible for any user submitted content. By submitting an entry to this contest, contestants waive any privacy expectations with respect to the entry materials.

Eligibility Restrictions:

1. The contest is open to WSOU listeners 18 years of age and older.

2. WSOU student staff members, station volunteers, and employees of Seton Hall University are ineligible to participate or win.

3. Winners who win a prize during the BIG 4 promo period are ineligible to win another prize from WSOU for the next 30 days from the date of winning.

4. Listeners who have won another WSOU prize between July 23, 2011 and August 9, 2011 are not eligible to participate in this contest as per WSOU’s “30 Day Policy.”

5. Those whose videos include inappropriate content will be immediately disqualified. WSOU shall be the sole judge as to what constitutes inappropriate content. Such content includes but is not limited to: nudity; language which is offensive such as profanity, blasphemy, racial slurs, or slander; infringements upon or violations of the copyrights, trademarks or other intellectual property rights of any person or establishment; is libelous or defamatory; is obscene, pornographic, or sexually explicit; violates a person’s right to privacy; violates any local, state, national, or international law; contains or advocates illegal or violent acts; degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification; is predatory, hateful, or intended to intimidate or harass; contains advertising or solicitation of any kind; misrepresents your identify or affiliation and or impersonates others. WSOU reserves the right to disqualify and not post any entry that in its judgment violates WSOU’s content restrictions.

Selection of Winners:

1. Four winners will be chosen out of 8 finalists during the 4-8 p.m. DJ shift on September 9, 2011. The first runner up for the prize (5th place) will receive a consolation prize.

2. The videos which receive the most committee votes will be eligible to compete. Videos will be judged on a variety of criteria, including but not limited to creativity, originality, persuasive argument, compelling content, knowledge of heavy metal music and WSOU, and adherence to content restrictions.

3. The Grand prize winners will be selected on September 9, 2011 from all the previous winners

4. Odds of winning are equal – all contestants have equal opportunity.

5. In the event that the selected winner declines his/her prize or does meet the eligibility requirements, WSOU will announce this fact on air and then select another winner.

6. Decisions of station management with respect to the contest are final.


The Prize:

1. GENERAL PRIZES. Eight finalists from the video contest will have the opportunity to win one of four pairs of BIG 4 tickets. Tickets are pairs of tickets. Video entries will be accepted beginning on August 23, 2011 at 6:00 a.m. (EST) and will be deemed invalid after 6:00 a.m. on August 30, 2011. Selection will take place at WSOU on September 9, 2011, from 4-8 p.m. All winners of general prizes must be 18 years of age or older.

Conditions:

1. By participating in this contest, contestants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the judges, which are final and binding in all respects.

2. By participating in the contest, all winners agree to allow the WSOU and Seton Hall University to use their personal information for internal use only.

3. By participating in the contest, each winner agrees to have his/her name mentioned on air and for used in any promotional material related to this contest without additional financial or other compensation.

4. WSOU, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person tampering with the entry process, the operations of WSOU and Seton Hall University, or who is otherwise in violation of the rules. The station further reserves the right to cancel, terminate or modify the contest if it is not capable of completion as planned. WSOU also reserves the right to make changes in the rules of the contest including the substitution of a different prize of equivalent value, which will become effective upon announcement

5. Failure to comply with the contest rules may result in a contestant’s disqualification, at the sole discretion of WSOU.

6. WSOU is not responsible for typographical or other errors in the printing, the offering or the administration of the contest or in the announcement of the prize. The contest rules shall be posted on the WSOU web site. A written copy of the contest rules and the name of the winners (when complete) are available during regular business hours at the WSOU studios on the campus of Seton Hall University, 400 South Orange Avenue, South Orange, NJ 07079, or by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to WSOU.

7. As a condition to acceptance, all contest winners must release WSOU and Seton Hall University, its employees, officers and agents from any and all liabilities arising directly or indirectly from using the prize.

8. Winners shall be responsible for any taxes imposed on receipt of the prize.


Disclaimer
WSOU undertakes no liability or responsibility, and makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the performance of the prize(s) awarded, for any failure to perform or negligent performance of any service provider, or for any other risk, incident or damage, direct or indirect, relating to or arising out of the contest, including (but not limited to) cancellations, postponements, delays or other scheduling changes; missed events or connections or inability of winner to attend; and accident, injury, death, damage or expense arising from or occurring during the use of the prize, or travel to/from or attendance at any event relating to the contest, by the winner and/or winner’s guest(s). WSOU is not responsible for damage to a prize or loss of a prize after the prize has been claimed. Winners must inspect their prizes before leaving the station. WSOU is not responsible for technical, hardware or software failure or malfunctions, lost or unavailable network or other telecommunications connections, or lost, late, damaged, illegible, inaccurate, incomplete, garbled, disconnected, or delayed contest entries or communications, whether caused by the sender or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or used in this contest, or by any human error which may occur in the execution of this contest. If, for any reason, the Contest is not capable of being conducted as planned, including but not limited to infection by computer virus, bug, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or other causes beyond the control of WSOU. WSOU reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest and award the prize from among all eligible entries received to date.

Monday, August 15, 2011

MAYHEM ROCKS JERSEY ONCE MORE

By Dylan Reichman, WSOU

Now in its fourth year of existence, The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem festival has grown to be one of the most popular metal tours in the U.S. Each year the festival returns with a stacked lineup, featuring acts spanning the metal spectrum. While nine hours of throwing down during the hottest months of the year can be pretty intense, the diversity of bands showcased and the crazy things that one tends to see during the day are always more than worth it. And above all else, Mayhem has something for everyone. Into thrash? Check. Deathcore? Check. Dudes who look like linebackers wearing pink belly-shirts that read, Party Girl? Yeah, Mayhem has that too.

So when the tour arrived in Holmdel, NJ on July 27th, myself and the rest of the WSOU crew trekked down to the PNC Bank Arts Center for the day’s festivities. Mayhem is one of the biggest things to hit Jersey each year, (ok, maybe the Jersey Shore comes close), and The Loudest Rock was sure to be there.

Upon our arrival, we were allowed, as members of the press, to scope out the set up of the show a half hour before general admission. The main concourse and walkway to the arena were littered with stands from local vendors; everything from Zippo Lighters to the United States Marine Corps, to a roasted corn vendor. Like I said, something for everyone. The stage set-up was pretty unique as well. The first nine acts were to alternate between two stages erected in a sectioned off part of the parking lot, the Jagermeister Stage and the Extreme Stage. As one played on one stage, the next band would set up on the other, and the crowd would take part in a massive, “Running of the Bulls” type sprint at the end of each band’s set to get a good spot for the next one’s. After the nine bands finished, the main arena would then open up, so that the four headliners could perform.

Soon after our arrival, the general public was let in, and Dr. Acula took the Jagermeister Stage to open the show. While the Long Island bred six piece received a great deal of criticism at the beginning of their career for their humorous take on deathcore, their performance showed the maturation that the band has since undergone. Yes, the band still had pop culture samples intermittently spliced into their songs, and yes, they still wore skeleton bandannas over their faces. But the music spoke for itself, a far cry from their older, more electro-centric, material. The audience seemed pleasantly surprised upon hearing their new, tightly organized and sonically deeper sound. A small pit even opened up, a warm up for things to come.

The mass egress then began towards the Extreme Stage, opened by the increasingly popular Straight Line Stitch, a female fronted outfit from Knoxville, TN. The band had gained plenty of steam in the past few years, yet no one seemed to know them in the crowd at Mayhem. This was no issue, however, as they were quickly surprised by Straight Line Stitch’s high energy, fast paced melodic thrash metal attack. Singer Alexis Brown commanded the respect of the crowd, both with her impressive vocal range, (which went from a dark growl to a soft melodic croon), and with her frequent calls to, “Wake up, New Jersey!” Soon enough, the audience did so, a testament to the band’s talent.

Progressive doom metallers Red Fang came next, four dudes with straight up awesome facial hair, and an awesome sound to match. Though the transition from the frenetic performance of Straight Line Stitch to the subtler melancholy of Red Fang caught the audience off guard, and left them pretty…dead, the band nonetheless put on a killer set. With blues-oriented sections, akin to those of Burst or Mastodon, which then transitioned into pseudo-NWOBHM gallops, Red Fang’s transitions came across as very well thought out; leading to a cohesive, yet stimulating, maze of sound.

Before the prominent technical deathcore group All Shall Perish took the Extreme Stage, signs of coming aggression were apparent amongst those in attendance. The energy that had been built up from Straight Line Stitch, and furthered with the haunting style of Red Fang, began to show up, in a big way. A few fights had broken out, and one got the sense that All Shall Perish’s set would be brutal, musically and in the pit as well. The group did not disappoint, diving headfirst into their songs with a level of brutality even higher then that present on record. The breakdowns seemed to have an extra edge, whether due to a denser, sludgier tone, or a slightly more breakneck pace; and the sweeping melodies of guitarists Francesco Artusato and Ben Orum over top provided a sheer technicality to match. However, things quickly turned serious when a fan was seriously injured in the pit. While he was being attended to by paramedics, singer Eddie Hermida, in a true show of class, asked the crowd to support, “one of our brothers.” Though the injury put somewhat of a damper on the rest of the performance, Hermida and Co.’s show of grace, combined with their technical prowess, still amounted to a great set. (It is also worth mentioning that, at the time of this article’s writing, word has still not reached SOU on the condition of the fan. But on behalf of all of us here at The Loudest Rock, we hope that all turned out well).

After the fan’s injury, people were understandably less willing to pit for the following bands. While they weren’t moving, it seemed as though the effects of the first four acts suddenly caught up with a number of fans, and as such, the crowd thinned out a bit. Among those who left, several were nursing some noteworthy injuries, crazy sunburns, or sheer exhaustion, and many took to finding a nice spot on the hill near the main arena to catch some shut eye.

Unfortunately for those who chose to do so, missing Kingdom of Sorrow was a serious mistake. Singer Jamey Jasta, (also of Hatebreed), is wildly popular around the NJ/NY area, (WE LOVE US SOME HAHDCAWW), as is “The Godfather of Sludge” himself, Kirk Windstein, (also of Crowbar and Down). The pair’s combined influences has led to Kingdom of Sorrow to build a considerable following around here as well, and the fans who were still standing, and there were plenty, seemed excited for them to play. The band’s set reinvigorated the crowd; with anthemic choruses, and sludge based hardcore sections, everyone’s hands were soon in the air, and everyone sang along. The guys on stage talked to the crowd often, and were never afraid to flash a smile, giving off the impression that they were humble and sincere, and were just happy to be there. Plus, Jasta gave SOU an awesome shout out, to which this reviewer absolutely lost his mind. WSOU loves you too, Jamey.

Perhaps the most brutal point of the day came during Suicide Silence’s short, but intense set. The band was extremely tight, staying with each other step for step, a considerable feat for a band of their technical level. However, the band-crowd interaction is what made the set so impressive. Singer Mitch Lucker, with his lanky, tattoo covered body, often stretched his arms wide, as if they were wings, and headbanged, a haunting tactic that seemed to go over particularly well with the crowd. Drummer Alex Lopez also cleverly hid an electronic pad off to the right of his kit that, when it was hit, would create a massive bass drop, an extremely brutal touch. Eventually, the crowd became so riled up that a giant circle pit, on Lucker’s command, materialized around the soundboard, and a wall of death came to cap the set off. Yeah, it got pretty brutal.

Unearth and In Flames, (both promoting new albums) came next. By this point, may fans had already begun to make their way up to the main stage, and a good chunk of those who remained seemed to be pretty exhausted after Suicide Silence’s unrestrained display of brutality. Their sets were rather similar, both put on a high energy, extremely tight, performance, artfully mixing their new material with the old in a tasteful balance. Unearth’s new material is something that the fans especially seemed to enjoy, as they added a more brutal, sonically dissonant edge to their style. In Flames’ new music was also well received, as it stayed true to their already well established sound.

Finally, to close out the first two stages, was the almighty Machine Head. Only die hard Machine Head fans were left amongst the audience, as the rest had moved near the main stage in order to rest, grab some food, or to grab a good spot on the lawn. While this could have hurt any other band, Machine Head’s extremely anthemic style allowed for the fans to interact directly with the band. During every song, fists were thrown high in the air, and every voice sang along with singer Robb Flynn as one. The group’s technicality was also in full force, as Flynn and his counterpart Phil Demmel stuck to the established grooves of the bands records, while occasionally delving into well timed improvisation during solos, a well executed touch.

As the last note’s of Machine Head’s “Halo” rang out, the remainder of the audience, the WSOU crew included, made its way up to the main stage. The day’s events had clearly taken their toll, as many along the way looked exhausted, and a few were even sporting some nasty pit injuries.

The first band to play the main stage, Trivium, began their set promptly. To the excitement of many, Trivium’s melodic thrash assault was a well oiled machine, technical, fast paced, and with plenty of melodic balance serving as a contrast to the harder sections. Especially noteworthy were the band’s renditions of their old material, from when the band was a young, melodic deathcore band. The songs from Ascendancy in particular, showed the band’s growth over the years, as the group implemented their more soaring, melodic style to the heavier tracks, a compelling sign of their maturation.

Once the eternally awe inspiring Megadeth began to set up, the stadium really began to fill, seeming to suggest that many die hard Megadeth fans had only the main stage in mind. However, the band’s elaborate stage set up, along with the tuning of Dave Mustaine’s 10,000 equally awesome guitars, took a considerable deal of time to prepare, leaving some in the crowd to grow pretty…antsy…to say the least. Fist fights broke out, and eventually an old school wrestling pit formed. But the security staff at PNC handled the situation admirably, as they had all day long, and broke things up. Major thanks goes to those guys and girls for keeping everyone safe while allowing people to still have a great time.

Megadeth, as they have time and time again done, put on a set which had the entire crowd going, a technically flawless and energetic performance. The set list also spanned the entire length of the bands impressive catalog, pleasing everyone in attendance. Dave Mustaine, much to the crowd’s appreciation, labeled New Jersey as, “one of [his] favorite places to play,” spoke of the band’s upcoming new album, and even suggested that the so called “Big Four” tour may just have to stop by Jersey.

After Megadeth’s crowd pleasing performance, Godsmack took the stage, and followed Megadeth in a great way, which is definitely not an easy task. The band played the crowd favorites, including “I Stand Alone,” and “Straight Out of Line,” and the fans enthusiastically sang along, enjoying the band’s hardened edge.

Last, but certainly not least, came Disturbed. Their performance was especially interesting, given recent talk of a hiatus/break-up, which members of the band have seemed to confirm. Nonetheless, the band seemed unfazed by the prospect, and they too put on a crowd pleasing performance, to cap off a great day of metal.

Mayhem, once again, hit Jersey hard, and left a lasting impression on those who attended. The musical diversity, as well as the numerous spectacles of the day, proved to further the tour’s prolific reputation, and next year’s date will certainly be highly anticipated by the NJ/NY metal scene. Special shout outs go out to the staff at the PNC Bank Arts Center, for running the day smoothly, and keeping everyone safe, while still allowing everyone to go nuts. Also, the men and women from the United States Marine Corps who came out to show their appreciation to the metal scene, and who also spoke to the SOU staff at length of their appreciation of our station, deserve serious praise. Along with their incredible service for our country, these guys still stayed die hard metal fans, a testament to the true power of the metal community, in display at Mayhem that day, and every day around the world.

Until next time,

Dylan

Monday, March 28, 2011

Glassjaw, Starland Ballroom, 03.26.2011

WSOU's MoJo JoJo and friend with Glassjaw

Another sold out show at Starland Ballroom, but this wasn’t just any show--it was a GLASSJAW
SHOW! When I heard that not only was Glassjaw recording new music but was also going to be headlining a tour, I went crazy. Glassjaw is a band that I listened to when I was younger, lost track of, and now have rediscovered.

Now that they're back, I was hesitant about how they would be live, but let me tell you, this band hasn’t missed a beat. They were amazing, playing just about every song I wanted to hear plus a great mix of new songs, including "You Think You’re (John F*cking Lennon)," "Tip your Bartender," "Ape Dos Mil," "The Gillette Cavalcade of Sports," "All Good Junkies Go To Heaven," "El Mark," and "Two Tabs Of Mescaline," just to name a few songs that were played in their close to two hour set.

It’s incredible to see Glassjaw out there killing it like they should be, with that much energy and a real passion for the music they make. You can tell they love every moment of playing music for their fans. They were super nice guys to meet and talk to after the show and were super excited to know that WSOU still plays Glassjaw. I hope Glassjaw continues to tour and make music, because they are so important to the music scene.

Thanks so much to Alex who works with Glassjaw for making this all possible.

- MoJo JoJo

Emmure + Evergreen Terrace, Starland Ballroom, 03.11.2011

WSOU's MoJo JoJo with Evergreen Terrace

This sold out show at Starland Ballroom was very exciting for me because I was finally able to see Evergreen Terrace. I'd always missed them when they came around on tour, and I’ve only heard good things about their live show. Being able to meet this band also made it that much better, and when I finally talked to them and realized they are just fans of music and overall great guys, I knew they were about to put on an amazing show. They had a great mix for their set list and they pretty much played every song I had wanted to hear from them, including songs such as "My Heart Beats In Breakdowns," "Wolfbiker," "The Smell of Summer," "Mario Speedwagon," and "Hopelessly Hopeless," just to name a few.

The crowed was also all about Evergreen Terrace, participating in just about every song. Full of energy on stage, Evergreen Terrace did not disappoint whatsoever. I will make sure for now on that I will go out of my way to see this band again when they are in the area.

MoJo JoJo with Emmure

Emmure, wow--for a band to command this much respect and attention on stage is an amazing sight. I think I’ve seen Emmure play every time they are in New Jersey and almost every time they've played in New York City, and they blow me away every single time. I think "how can a band just keep getting better and better?", but that’s just what Emmure does. The set started with "Children of Cybertron" off the recently released Speaker of the Dead album, soon followed up by one of my new favorite Emmure songs, "I Thought You Met Telly and Turned Me into Casper" and then "Solar Flare Homicide." Both songs had every person at in the venue going nuts. After that the set list kept getting better, with "Rusted Over Wet Dreams" and "Demons with Ryu," two more of my favorite songs, which really made me think "wow this can’t get any better," which of course it did. They ended the set with the signature Emmure song "When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong," and I couldn’t have been any happier. Emmure is that band for me that no matter what, I’m going to go see them, because they consistently put on the amazing live show that seems to never give anyone in the crowd a break. They make it all worth going to see live music and keeping the scene alive.


Big thanks to Josh in Evergreen Terrace for helping me set up the picture and making sure I had everything I needed for the night.

Thanks to Emmure’s tour manager, Jon, and huge thanks to Frankie and Jesse in Emmure for making me feel right at home and inviting me to hang out on their bus before and after the show.

- MoJo JoJo

Saturday, March 19, 2011

SXSW Day 3

And so the adventure continues...

Iron Maben, Stracq, Yo Gabby Gabby, The Violet Femme, and BENNY!!! have all been having a great time at SXSW. Here are some pics from the shows Stracq and Gabby checked out.

First up was Dawn of Ashes. They had a great live set, despite looking like they just came out of a slaughterhouse. They do give Slipknot, GWAR, and Mushroomhead a run for their money when it comes to costumes.


Next we watched Gaza. They were a real crowd amper, especially when the singer jumped into the crowd and started up his own pit. He then proceeded to mosh and sing simultaneously. Gabby was very impressed with his multi-tasking.



The best part of the day for Stracq and Gabby happened right after Gaza's set. Steve found his long lost metalhead twin, Guy from The Red Chord. He actually recognized and remembered Steve from their past interview. Steve grabbed a few words with him and then Gabby snapped this snazzy pic.

In the meantime, Gabby noticed Vince and Jack from The Acacia Strain chilling nearby and did one of the best, most hysterical interviews with them. We appreciate Vince's anger with everything and everyone, especially the soft spot he holds in his heart for hipsters.



By the way, in case you didn't notice, Vince is really tall.
After the epic interview, we watched The Red Chord and The Acacia Strain tear the tent down (yes, they performed inside a tent). Both bands had awesome sets and Steve had fun moshing up a storm.




Later on, Steve and Gabby checked out Miss May I and Dance Gavin Dance. Steve left to be a robot for 30 minutes at Men Without Hats while Gabby continued headbanging at Whitechapel.
The Violet Femme and Benny also checked out some cool sets from the Campus Buzz-esque bands they saw.
More pics and updates comin' at ya right here. Keep it locked to www.facebook.com/wsou and www.twitter.com/wsou.

Friday, March 18, 2011

SXSW Day 2: WSOU showcase

So as you can tell from the photo above, the WSOU crew celebrated its 25 years of metal anniversary right here in Austin, TX at Venue 222. We had a great time hanging out with the bands, rocking out to some great music, and, of course, partying!!!





We had the whole venue decorated with our banners. It was a great sight to be witnessed.
The opening band, Beta Wolf:




Next up, Death on Two Wheels:



In between band sets, Steve Stracq amped up the crowd with some free T-shirts and his hysterical personality.

Meek is Murder:



Meek is Murder had some cool lights strung around their drum set, along with some strobe lights. Our photography did not do their lights justice.


The 4th band was Ultrageist, straight from Long Island, NY.








I caught up with them backstage after their performance. They were really funny and we had a great interview.

Everyone was really excited to see T.R.A.M. in their debut performance as a band. T.R.A.M. is an acronym for the last names of all the band members put together. Their lineup consists of members from Mars Volta, Suicidal Tendencies, and Animals as Leaders. They were pretty much a jazz fusion jam band, but the crowd and the WSOU crew really dug them.

Yo Gabby Gabby especially enjoyed hearing Adrien rocking the sax.




The last band to perform was The Faceless. They brought their heaviest and loudest set to put the finishing touches on a great WSOU anniversary show.



Towards their last few songs, a pit finally broke out. We have no doubts that it was probably led by our moshing king, Steve Stracq.


If you were at our show, we hope you enjoyed it. If you couldn't make it out to Texas, hope you enjoyed our pics and felt like you were there with us! Stay tuned for more SXSW coverage here, www.facebook.com/wsou and www.twitter.com/wsou.
Photos courtesy of Gabby Canella

Thursday, March 17, 2011

SXSW Day 1 continued...

Continuing the shennanigans where we left off....

Tuesday night was a blast. Iron Maben, Stracq, The Violent Femme, Yo Gabby Gabby, and BENNY!!! checked out Bad Brainz and had a blast. We even witnessed some WSOU history as Iron Maben took the mosh pit by storm (we're so proud of him).

After Bad Brainz, Stracq and Yo Gabby Gabby headed off to check out the Sumerian Records showcase. We caught The Faceless' set and had our faces melted. The Violet Femme and BENNY!!! checked out Grouplove and had a great time.

Later on...

Stracq and Yo Gabby Gabby had their dreams come true by seeing Phil Anselmo live in person, playing with Arson Anthem. We were mindblown just by listening to his random, yet hysterical thoughts leave his mouth. Their set was great, but we still can't get over Phil.




Tuesday night was a blast and Wednesday will be even better! Stay tuned for more coverage from yours truly at The Loudest Rock!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

SXSW Day 1



















Wednesday, 3/16
Here's a quick little update on the adventures of Iron Maben, Steve Stracq, The Violet Femme, Yo Gabby Gabby, & BENNY!!!
-picked up our badge passes that let us get into all the shows, plus some free swag
-watched Steve give BENNY!!! a haircut
-hung out at The Paste party and had free Qdoba
-The Violet Femme interviewed The Seedy Seeds, a Campus Buzz band
-checked out Venue 222, where WSOU will be hosting its very own show tomorrow night
-got a taste of local TX metal at Hoeks Death Metal pizza (pizza + metal = awesome)
-explored The Weird Museum (just like the title suggests)
-had some free tacos



Tonight we'll be checking out Queens of the Stone Age, Bad Brains, and Tech N9ne. Stay tuned for more SXSW updates here and www.facebook.com/WSOU and www.twitter.com/WSOU