The Flaming Lips are an American rock band, formed in Norman, Oklahoma in 1983. Melodically, their sound contains lush, multi-layered, psychedelic rock arrangements, but lyrically their compositions show elements of space rock, including unusual song and album titles. They are also acclaimed for their elaborate live shows, which feature costumes, balloons, puppets, video projections, complex stage light configurations, giant hands, large amounts of confetti, and frontman Wayne Coyne’s signature man-sized plastic bubble, in which he traverses the audience. In 2002, Q magazine named The Flaming Lips one of the “50 Bands to See Before You Die”.
A room full of music and people isn’t so strange. The trick is filling the spaces in between. When truth finds a melody, strangers disappear, and suddenly everyone belongs. And Chris Carrabba knows how to fill a room better than anyone. He can call it luck, but for more than a decade now, Dashboard Confessional has cultivated the kind of connection with fans that most songwriters spend a lifetime pursuing. Since the release of Swiss Army Romance in 2000, Carrabba’s fearless honesty has inspired fierce loyalty from anyone seeking truth in music. You cannot fake the truth. You can’t even hide from it. So the best songwriters dive deeply into it, coming out the other side armed with sing-a-long anthems.
For many bands, making music is all about the routine of recording an annual album, or being able to tour in progressively bigger venues. Not Matt and Kim. “Our goal is to make music we want to hear,” says Matt Johnson, who co-founded the band with Kim Schifino. “When it comes time to make a new album, I’m just so excited, since I know we have all these ideas and I just want to get them out there.” As for the band’s extra-emphatic live shows, which these days happen in large venues, he explains, “We’ve always just really enjoyed playing music, and things have kept growing.”
It’s hard to not feel good while listening to the new Eric Hutchinson record. It is a damn satisfying experience; the joys of melody and counter-melody and a myriad of rhythms from across the globe, as each song manages to reflect a pleasing sense that it is possible to remain transfixed in that nanosecond of pure bliss. Hutchinson is a local hometown hero and grew up in Takoma Park, Maryland before heading to New York City. A Rams Head mainstay, Hutchinson has played every Rams Head music venue with combination of rock, folk pop and powerpop.
In the three whirlwind years since Sleeper Agent released its debut, Celabrasion, its members have played everywhere from the Coachella festival to Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. They’ve opened for Weezer, Circa Survive, and fun. And “Get It Daddy,” their dizzying anthem about growing up, has appeared in Taco Bell ad, while their bustling high-five to indefatigability, “Not Never,” has soundtracked a Nike clip. But recently, Sleeper Agent’s hit “Waves” has topped the Alt Nation chart, reaching #1 early this summer.
Founded in 2001 by singer Forrest Kline, Hellogoodbye released their first full-length, the acclaimed Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! in 2006. That album’s single “Here (In Your Arms)” went platinum in the U.S. and reached Top 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Last year, the band released Everything Is Debatable, their first studio album since the 2010 release of Would It Kill You?, which USA Today called “a killer batch of indie pop” and Billboard lauded as “a change of tide for the members of Hellogoodbye separating the California natives from their electro-melodic roots and propelling them into a promising folk-pop future.
Jimmie’s Chicken Shack has been together since 1993. They have released 7 records, all of which have gone aluminum. They are a live band. They rock. They are from Annapolis and always will be. Their music has been called “muttrock” and “music for people with a.d.d”. They are all super models and scholars. They also invented the Internet and socks.
CHAPPO was born in the East Village of New York in 2009 and in a few short years has created an enthusiastic and rambunctious following. Splitting the difference between the guitar driven psychedelia of 60′s west coast rock and spiritual witch doctor moonshine of Dr John, they regularly turn their live show into nothing short of spectacle. After releasing a pair of EP’s Plastique Universe and Plastique Universe II: Pisces Princess in 2010 and 2011, they signed with Majordomo records to release their full length debut Moonwater in 2012. CHAPPO will be releasing their second LP, Future Former Self, on their own Rouse Records, due out Spring 2014.
“I use my gut, and my gut don’t lie to me” is more than just a lyric in Twin Forks’ exuberant “Something We Just Know,” it is a kind of mission statement for the quartet. If you’ve ever been to a musical performance that made you lose all sense of time and place and give in to the cathartic feeling of clapping and dancing and singing along, you’ve already visited the sweet spot where Twin Forks have made it their mission to reside. “Whatever makes the audience stomp their feet and sing at the top of their lungs, that’s what I want to be doing,” says singer/guitarist Chris Carrabba.
The Baby Grand
Annapolis School of Rock