We Are The Union Will Unify Ska, Punk Fans

Courtesy: Exit 384 Music

Detroit, Michigan.  The very words conjure thoughts of Motown, muscle cars, and more.  One wouldn’t generally associate this beloved city with the sound of ska and punk rock.  But with the release of its new album, You Can’t Hide The Sun, Detroit’s own We Are The Union is showing that it has its own musical muscle.  The band’s new album blurs the lines of punk and ska.  Its sound is something along the lines of Reel Big Fish meets certain pop punk bands.  The album’s opener exhibits that with its opener, ‘Dust on the Hourglass.’  It does a good job of balancing the horns and guitars.  Musically, it has all the requisite hooks and choruses to make it a sure hit among the band’s intended audiences.  And it’s equally nice to have a vocalist who actually sings instead of screams especially in today’s punk scene.  This makes for a nice first impression. 

The band keeps the tempo driving on the next song, ‘I Want You To Hit Me As Hard As You Can’ before slowing things back down just slightly on ‘Live Like Mitch.’  It doesn’t take the band long to pick things right back up as it moves into ‘415 In Progress.’  It keeps that momentum going through the remainder of the album from here on out, making for an album that any fan of punk and ska will enjoy. 

The band is currently touring in support of You Can’t Hide The Sun.  It will be performing in Flint, Michigan this Friday.  From there, the band will make its way through the Midwest over the Thanksgiving weekend.  To get a full tour rundown and all the latest news and more from the band, fans can go online to http://www.facebook.com/wearetheunion, http://wearetheunion.tumblr.com, http://www.myspace.com/wearetheunion, http://www.purevolume.com/wearetheunion, http://twitter.com/wearetheunion, and http://www.last.fm/music/We+Are+The+Union

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Green Day Make Tour, Album Release Date Announcement

Courtesy: Reprise Records

It’s good news, bad news for Green Day fans.  The band has cancelled all of its remaining tour dates for the year.  And dates for January and February 2013 have been postponed until further notice.  Anyone who has bought tickets for any of the band’s upcoming club tour shows can get their money refunded from wherever they bought tickets for the shows.  While tour dates for January and February 2013 have been postponed, the hope is that makeup dates will be announced soon.  Tickets purchased for shows in January and February will be honored at the makeup shows. 

Bassist Mike Dirnt commented on the cancellations and postponements.  He noted that they were related to the health and well-being of front man Billie Joe Armstrong.  “Obviously the timing for this isn’t ideal, but Billie Joe’s well-being is our main concern,” he said.  “We are happy to say that Billie Joe is doing well, and we want to thank you all for the outpouring of support and well wishes that we have received, and we can’t wait to see you all again.”

In related news, the band has also moved up the release date for the third album in its new trilogy.  The release date has been moved from its original release date of January 15th, 2013 to December 11th, 2012.  Drummer Tre Cool commented on the pushed up release date, noting that it was an effort to make things right with fans due to the tour date issues.  “We feel bad we have to delay our tour, so to make up for it we want to give our fans the music earlier than we had planned,” he said.  “If we couldn’t be there to play it for you live, the least we could do is give you the next best thing.”

The remainder of the band’s 2012 dates was scheduled to run until December 10th at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona.  The current list of postponed tour dates for January and February started January 7th, at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin and ran through February and ran through February 8th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Fans can get a full listing of cancelled and postponed tour dates online at http://www.greenday.com, http://www.facebook.com/GreenDay, http://twitter.com/greenday, and http://www.youtube.com/user/grenday

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Pop Punk Music, Positive Lyrics Makes ATW’s Debut LP A Hit

Courtesy: Red Cord Records

The self-titled debut record from At The Wayside is a solid pop punk record for fans of New Found Glory, Simple Plan, and others of that ilk.  It carries all the requisite hooks, riffs, and choruses to make it an instant hit among fans of the pop punk genre.  Add in some very positive lyrics, and audiences get an album that’s that much better of a debut.  It grabs audiences from the very first moments of the album’s opener, ‘Drown Us Out.’  Front man Phil sings in ‘Drown Us Out’, “Each time we try and we get let down/Each loss we’re counting/As a victory/You can’t stop us now.”  It almost comes across as a more optimistic look at life.  Instead of letting losses beat oneself, one should take those looses and find the good in them to make them victories in the long term.  That’s a positive message to audiences and a good way to kick off the album.

‘What They Said’ is another high point to this record.  The band’s front man sings an apologetic statement here.  He sings, “I shouldn’t have had to explain myself/I shouldn’t have to tell you now/I’d never have asked for forgiveness/If I’d just never let you down.”  He is admitting that he isn’t perfect and that he knows it.  So he is sending out an apology for how he has been.

As poppy as the record is, there is one moment on the album in which the band slows things down in a big way.  ‘7.4.08’ is a ballad that’s gentle both in its music and its lyrics.  It notes here, “It’s not right to be afraid/Or even think to be ashamed/There’s no one left/ To take the blame/So let it go/Let it go.”  It comes across as a song about a woman who has been abused.  What kind of abuse is beside the point.  This is a song that’s sure to empower its female audiences.  So many women blame themselves for being abused.  This is evident as the song notes, “I know you’ll try/To Justify this/As if you could possible deserve this/But you don’t/And I hope/That you know that/Princess.”  It’s saying that no woman should ever blame herself for the abuse suffered at the hands of another.  The fault lies not in the victim, but in the on abusing the victim.  This is undoubtedly the album’s biggest high point.  The gentility in the vocals and the music make for such a comforting moment for the band’s female audience as there are so many women who could likely relate to this piece.

‘7.4.08’ is without a doubt, the album’s highest of highs.  It’s just one of many throughout the album’s ten songs.  Every listener will take something different away from this album.  And that’s the sign of a good release.  Anyone who is a pop punk fan and anyone who wants music with real lyrical substance will appreciate this debut from At The Wayside.  Fans in Iowa will get to hear the band’s music live today, as the band will be performing at the 208 Ministry Center in Osceola, Iowa.  For a full list of the band’s tour dates and all the latest news from the band, fans can “Like” the band’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/atthewayside or follow the band on Twitter at http://twitter.com/atthewayside.

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Boys Like Girls coming to North Carolina

Pop rock band Boys Like Girls will be making a tour stop in North Carolina next month.  The band will be performing at Charlotte, North Carolina’s famed Amos’ South End.  The band will be joined by fellow pop-rockers The All American Rejects.  The band’s front man, Martin Johnson expressed his pleasure at joining forces with The All American Rejects.  “I’ve always been a big fan of The All-American Rejects and couldn’t be more delighted to be sharing the stage with them this fall”, he said.  He went on, adding, “I think it’s going be a great time for both the fans and bands alike. Looking forward to a really great couple of months.”

To get hyped up for the show, fans can check out the video for the band’s new single, ‘Be Your Everything’ now on Vevo.  Just follow the link here:  http://smarturl.it/byevideo. ‘Be Your Everything’ is from the band’s upcoming new album, “Crazy World”, which is due out this Fall on Columbia Records.

To get a full list of the band’s tour dates and all the latest news from Boys Like Girls, go online to http://www.boyslikegirls.com, http://www.facebook.com/boyslikegirls, http://twitter.com#!/BoysLikeGirls, and http://www.youtube.com/user/BoysLikeGirlsVevo.

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Rolling Stone streaming lyric video for Green Day’s new single now

Green Day fans can now stream the lyric video for the band’s new single, ‘Oh Love’ at rollingstone.com.  Just follow the link here to check it out: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/premiere-green-days-power-pop-new-single-oh-love-20120716 

The video places the song’s lyrics against a kaleidescopic background that will undoubtedly get viewers’ attention.  The lyrics are pretty straightforward.  Front man Billie Joe Armstrong sings in the song’s chorus, “tonight, my heart’s on the loose.”  That lyrical simplicity and the catchy musical backing make this a great introduction to the band’s upcoming “trilogy.”  As catchy as it is, it will likely become a hit on the band’s tour, too. 

After checking out the band’s new lyric video, fans can check out the latest news and more from Green day online at http://www.greenday.com, http://www.facebook.com/GreenDay, http://www.myspace.com/greenday, http://twitter.com/greenday, and on the band’s official Youtube channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/greenday.

To keep up with all the latest entertainment news and reviews, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Green day release trailer for DOS!

Pop punk rockers Green day have released the trailer for the band’s upcoming album, “DOS!.  The album is the second in a trilogy of upcoming albums from the band due “out this Fall and Winter.  “DOS!” is currently scheduled to be released November 15th.  The first release in the trilogy, “UNO!” is scheduled for release September 25th.  And the final album in the set, “TRE!” is currently slated for release January 15, 2013.

The trailer for “DOS!” shows the band in the studio and out on tour with a sample of some of the new music layed overtop of the footage.  Fans can check out the trailer now, on the band’s website, http://www.greenday.com

In other Green day news, the band is currently finishing up a stint supporting the hit stage play based its album, “American Idiot” in San Francisco, California.  From there, the band will be performing across Europe throughout the Summer in support of both the stage play and the its album, beginning October 9th in Southampton, Great Britain.  That tour will take the band into early December.

To keep up with all the latest news and tour dates from Green Day, go to http://www.greenday.com, http://www.facebook.com/Greenday, http://twitter.com/greenday, http://www.myspace.com/greenday, and http://www.youtube.com/greenday.

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Offspring announce new album, single

Rock veterans The Offspring have officially announced the release date for the band’s upcoming new album.  “Days Go By” is set for release June 26th on Columbia Records.  It was produced by Bob Rock (Metallica).  The album’s title track is playing at radio stations nationwide now.  When he was asked about the new album, singer/guitarist Dexter Holland said of “Days Go By”, “I don’t know why but I felt sort of serious writing this record and when I finished I felt I needed to have a few playful songs too.  Kind of both sides of the Offspring.  Either way I think these songs are all going to be a lot of fun to play live.”

The band is already slated to perform at this year’s annual KROQ Weenie Roast Y Fiesta May 5 alongside Coldplay, Incubus, Silversun Pickups and Pennywise.  It will also perform its 1993 debut album, “Ignition” from start to finish at Alex’s Bar May 3rd in Long Beach, California.  Following this pair of performances, the band will embark on a world tour in support of its new album.  Fans can keep up with the band’s tour dates online at http://www.offspring.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Offspring, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/offspring.