Thursday, June 28, 2012


Awolnation, often called AWOLNATION is an American electro-rock, pop fusion band, formed and fronted by Aaron Bruno, formerly of Under the Influence of Giants, Hometown Hero and Insurgence. They are composed of Aaron Bruno (songwriting and lead vocals), Drew Stewart (lead guitar), Kenny Carkeet ( rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), David Amezcua (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Hayden Scott (drums)

Awolnation began after frontman Aaron Bruno was approached by Red Bull Records in 2009, asking if he wanted free use of their studio in Los Angeles. He recorded a few songs in the studio and ultimately signed with the label, calling it more of a "partnership", and was allowed to make the recordings that he wanted. Bruno writes all of his songs himself, but confides in close friends and family or respected artists for guidance. The name Awolnation is derived from Aaron Bruno's high school nickname. In an interview with Kristin Houser of the LA Music Blog, he stated that he "would leave without saying goodbye because it was just easier, so that's where the name Awol came from."

The band also consists of Christopher Thorn, formerly a guitarist for the '90s band Blind Melon. Megalithic Symphony (2011–present) The band's first single, "Sail", peaked at #10 on the U.S. Billboard Rock Songs. The song was written with a nod to the Styx song "Come Sail Away" as is evident in the video and lyrics, as Bruno talks of extraterrestrial beings coming for him[citation needed]. Aaron Bruno also referenced this influence in an interview with VH1 Alternative Songs chart on the chart week of February 10, 2011. The single got extra media attention when it was used under a video of the professional BASE jump, skydiver, and wingsuit flyer Jeb Corliss. Also one of their songs "Guilty Filthy Soul" has been featured in the episode "Break On Through" of The CW's television show The Vampire Diaries The band released their debut album Megalithic Symphony digitally on March 15, 2011, and physically on March 29, 2011 on Red Bull Records. Megalithic Symphony features a total of 15 tracks, including "Kill Your Heroes" produced by Brian West, and a bonus track that differs based on location of purchase, being either "Shoestrings", "Swinging from the Castles" or "I've Been Dreaming".

This band came out of the gates with an album that struck me as somewhat good at first, but upon further listening and digesting, it quickly became one of my fave albums of the year. It is fresh sounding, high energy, and fun with some lyrics that point to a sense of humour about the self and to some intelligence which is something I appreciate in modern rock.
VERY stoked to hear more from this band and I would love to check them out live. Here is the album!

Awolnation by tosh Reed on Grooveshark

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

#47 The warring brothers Gallagher and the tale of Oasis

When Oasis first released the album 'What's the Story Morning Glory' here in Canada in 1995, I was thirteen years old and I was blown away. This was everything my young teenage mind had been waiting for. Listening to the fantastic tracks on this album over and over again for weeks, I couldn't help but let my mind race off with the possibilities that Oasis brought to my mind. I really thought they had a shot at attaining the level of the Rock Gods of old. Quite possibly part of my reasoning behind this was the reminiscence towards the Beatles that their music brings to mind. If you listen to this album you can hear Liam Gallagher trying his very best to sound like John Lennon. I mean, just look at the picture here and tell me if you don't think they are trying to channel the Beatles. Not that I minded back then or even now for that matter. I think Liam himself put it to rest when he said in an interview that 'People say we sound like the Beatles or that I sound like Lennon well that I take as a compliment. Lennon had the perfect sound and I will always strive towards that. He was more then just an influence to me, he was like my god.'

Oasis formed in Manchester, UK in 1991. Back then they were originally known as The Rain, the group was formed by Liam Gallagher (vocals and tambourine), Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (guitar), Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan (bass guitar) and Tony McCarroll (drums, percussion). Shortly after forming The Rain, Liam managed to convince his older brother Noel Gallagher to join the group (lead guitar and vocals). Noel agreed to join the group as long as they let him write the songs from then on and to change the name of the group. The rest of the guys agreed and Oasis was born.

Oasis released their record-setting debut album Definitely Maybe in 1994. The following year, the band recorded their opus (What's the Story) Morning Glory? (1995) which is in my opinion one of the greatest rock albums of the last twenty years. The Gallagher brothers featured regularly in tabloid newspapers for their sibling disputes and wild lifestyles. In 1997, Oasis released their third album, Be Here Now, and although it became the fastest-selling album in UK chart history, the album's popularity tapered off quickly. The band lost members Paul McGuigan and Paul Arthurs as they went on to record and release Standing on the Shoulder of Giants in 2000 and were replaced by Gem Archer and Andy Bell who joined the group for the tour in support of Giants. The band found renewed success and popularity starting with 2005's Don't Believe the Truth through 2008's Dig Out Your Soul and their supporting tours.
In August 2009, Noel Gallagher announced his departure from the band after a backstage altercation with Liam before a festival appearance. Liam Gallagher stated that the remaining members of the band would continue to record music, but ruled out the possibility of continuing as Oasis in February 2010, instead forming a new band called Beady Eye.

In the almost twenty years or so that they were a group, they had eight UK number-one singles and eight UK number-one albums, and won fifteen NME Awards, nine Q Awards, four MTV Europe Music Awards and six BRIT Awards, including one in 2007 for outstanding contribution to music and one for the best album of the last 30 years as voted by the BBC Radio 2 listeners; they have been nominated for three Grammy Awards. As of 2009, the band have sold an estimated 70 million records worldwide. Also the band was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010 for “Longest Top 10 UK Chart Run By A Group” after an unprecedented run of 22 successive Top 10 hits in the UK. The band also holds the Guinness World Record for being the "Most Successful Act of the Last Decade" in the UK between the years 1995 and 2005, spending 765 weeks in the Top 75 singles and albums charts.

Heres a the video of the single "Wonderwall"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

#46 All hail the king of Rock and Roll. Elvis is in the building!

In the history of all music, few have been able to impact the world to the extant of Elvis Aaron Presley. In this new millennium many are quick to say that Elvis sucked, or that they can't see the draw from any of his music but even the most die hard Elvis haters will usually have a soft spot for at least a few of his songs. Over his 23 year career, Elvis recorded all over the musical map and not always to the thrill of his fans. I am going to stick mostly to the Elvis that I love, the early Elvis.

Say what you will about Elvis but you should know that the majority of modern music is descended from him. Elvis was one of the rock gods sitting high on mount Olympus before the Beatles had landed on our planet. Elvis was, along with Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis, changing the face of music forever. Sure, many people would say he was one of the greatest thieves of black music of all time but he regardless of whether he was the originator of the music or not, he was the one who went on to inspire millions and to push the genre forward into the light. After all, Bob Marley didn't single handedly create Reggae music but he is the one 90% of us think of immediately if someone mentions it.

I love the first three years of Elvis' music. It held such gems as 'Heartbreak Hotel', 'Hound Dog', 'Don't be Cruel' and 'Jailhouse Rock'. Ok first of all, you should know that Elvis didn't actually write any of these songs, but you have to look at the context. For many young people in the mid fifties, if they had bought records with Otis Blackwell on the cover (the actual writer of many of Elvis' early material) they would have been beaten by their 'black fearing' white parents. Elvis was more then just a thief of someone else's music though. He performed with a fire and swagger that no one had seen before and he gradually became the symbol of youth rebellion and rock and roll world wide. Sadly his elevation to being a symbol would lead to his isolation and eventual downfall but this was not until much later.

There is just something about Elvis. His persona and style ooze from every note of his voice, and every picture. He was the King of Rock and Roll and none have ever really captured the essence of the genre in quite the same way. Here is a quick bio for anyone that is curious, courtesy of wikipedia.

Elvis Aaron Presleya (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King".
Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, Presley moved to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family at the age of 13. He began his career there in 1954 when Sun Records owner Sam Phillips, eager to bring the sound of African American music to a wider audience, saw in Presley the means to realize his ambition. Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was one of the originators of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country and rhythm and blues. RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who would manage the singer for over two decades.
Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", released in January 1956, was a number one hit. He became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll with a series of network television appearances and chart-topping records. His energized interpretations of songs, many from African American sources, and his uninhibited performance style made him enormously popular—and controversial. In November 1956, he made his film debut in Love Me Tender.

Here are some of my faves from the Early Elvis period.