Check out some key photos we captured at the 2011 Vans Warped Tour stop in Toronto, ON at Arrow Hall.
On July 29th, Dean Lickyer and Theset (Wax Records) are back in Toronto for one amazing night!
What better way to celebrate than to throw a bad-ass contest with our good friends at Union Events.
Here is what 2 lucky fans can win:
Get a pair of VIP passes with some of the coolest concerts coming to Toronto courtesy of Union Events including:
A) YELLOWCARD @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre - Oct 27th
B) CHROMEO @ The Sound Academy - Nov 2nd
PLUS! From the bands, you can win:
A) Autographed copies of Dean Lickyer and Theset albums
B) Dean Lickyer and Theset graphic tees of your choice!
Here's how to enter!
Fans who purchase an advance ticket from TicketScene HERE will automatically be entered into the contest! The more tickets you get, the better your chances. Winners will be announced on Thursday, July 28th.
Good luck to everyone!
LiveMusicTO’s 15 Most Influential Rock Records of the 90’s
By Andre Kaden Black.
This day marks the anniversary of the fist ever Lollapalooza held in Phoenix Arizona in 1991 which helped spawn a mass of bands that we still listen to today. Rock music will never be the same as it was in the 90’s. I feel very fortunate that I was able to have experienced it. Perhaps its just nostalgia but there was something unique about the music in this period that is indescribable. As kids we fell in love with our LP's obsessed listening to side one & side two while following lyrics in the flip out leaflets. MTV & Much Music used to play music videos all day & night, so when we weren't listening to music we were watching it. This was also before pitch correction & auto tune were required on a radio single.
Compiling this list was difficult for me bearing in mind how many great records were written. I'm sure other people’s interpretations on what was significant in rock may differ, but this list (in no order) is what I believe had the biggest impact on modern day rock bands & artists the in following generations.
Rage Against the Machine - S/T (Epic/1992)
"What? The land of the free?! Whoever told you that is your enemy!"
Rage Against the Machine formed in Los Angeles, California by lead singer Zack De La Rocha, and lead guitarist Tom Morrelo, in 1991. Who were later joined by Tim Commerford on bass and Brad Wilk on drums. I’ll always remember hearing “Bombtrack” for the first time at a friend’s place after school when I was 12 and falling in love almost immediately. This was the first time I heard “rap rock” done with so much raw emotion and strong political morals. The only “rap core” I was exposed to prior was Run DMC & Faith No More. But RATM self-titled release wasn’t just another one of those records. They started a movement. Acceptance to mainstream rock radio increased after releasing “Evil Empire” which was nominated for three Grammys and won for “best metal performance” for “Tire me.” Without this record band’s like Linkin Park, Kid Rock & Muse would not sound as they do today.
Nirvana – Nevermind (DGC Records/1991)
“Sell the kids for food, Weather changes mood”
There isn’t much that you can say about Nirvana’s Nevermind that hasn’t already been said. From the intro of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to the somber ending of “Something In The Way” every track is both instantaneously memorable and brilliant. For better or for worse it completely changed everything. People stopped listening to pop choreographed artists like “Color me Badd” & Marky Mark and this record began to drive the last nail in the coffin for hair metal bands like “Poison” and “Skid Row.” The Simplicity of Kurt’s riff’s weren’t as difficult as bands like Metallica or Guns N Roses making them more comprehensible to kids who just started playing Guitar or Bass. His style was raw and real, something that mainstream rock listeners were not used to. I could easily write a book about how much of an influential record “Nevermind” was and how it opened doors for other Alternative bands like “Soundgarden” and “Alice in Chains.” To sum it all up, Nirvana’s Nevermind internationally jump-started a new culture of style, music and attitude.
Radiohead – OK Computer (Capitol/1997)
"In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the universe"
Radiohead’s “Pablo Honey” did not prepare me for the release of their next record “The Bends.” I remember thinking to myself; I don’t think a band could get any better then this. Then on June 16th 1997, Thom Yorke and his band Radiohead proved me wrong. Every band evolves, some decisions work out for the best and some not so much. Fortunately, this change was for the better. “OK Computer” is often stated as The Dark Side of the Moon of the 90’s. It encompassed the possibilities of electronic computer based noises at a time when every band was turning to heavy guitars, bass & drums. This record had a clear impact on the way albums were composed. An impact that still continues to this day.
U2 – Achtung Baby (Island/1991)
“You ask me to enter, then you make me crawl”
One of the biggest bands of the last 25 years, U2 began in Dublin, Ireland in 1976, holding their first practice in the kitchen of drummer Larry Mullen Jr. From that discouraging beginning U2 thrived, eventually becoming permanently interlaced into the pop-culture framework of modern Western society. Producer Brian Eno and the band spent months disagreeing over how they needed to sound in their next decade. Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton were in the 'isn’t broke, don't fix it' camp whereas Bono and The Edge crusaded for changing everything. Smarted by the criticism of Rattle and Hum U2 changed their musical direction to integrate Alternative Rock, Industrial and Electronic Music influences into their sound. Overall, the album is darker, more reflective, and at times more frivolous than the band's earlier work. Just releasing the song “One” on this record really took songwriting to the next level not to mention the enormous international Zoo TV Tour that followed the release which changed the way bands put on shows forever.
Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (Sony/1995)
“Where Were You While We Were Getting High?”
Alongside Radiohead, Oasis had the greatest influence on rock music of any British band in the 90's. Vocalist Liam Gallagher and his songwriting brother Noel lead Oasis. After releasing their previous record "Definitely Maybe" Morning Glory may have appeared less exciting than its forerunner at first, but its returns are hidden and more intense. This record also delivers on the promise of Definitely Maybe, demonstrating that Oasis can write both hard rock songs and heartbreaking ballads. To compare them to the Beatles is typical, however. Their influence on music from this album alone is undoubtedly worth noting. Half of this album was released as singles either in the UK or the United States. “Roll With It” and “Some Might Say” were huge hits in the UK but did not fair well here in Canada & the States. On the other hand, “Champagne Supernova” was not even released as a single in the UK, and the song arguably could be called the best song of the ’90s. This is the Oasis album that is vital to have, not only since it’s the band’s greatest in their collection of recordings, but for its evident place in pop culture. This album was giant, and even though it did well, at times it’s been unrecognized when ranking the best ’90s albums. Very few complete albums could produce as many radio friendly songs as Morning Glory. Oh, and they had that little song on there called Wonderwall too.
Jeff Buckley – Grace (Columbia/1994)
"The welts of your scorn, my love give me more send whips of opinion down my back, give me more"
If Jeff Buckley were still preforming today he’d be considered one of the great solo artists of the 21st century. Now this might sound brave, but he has all the skills required to be an outstanding solo performer: he has a particularly powerful voice, he has experimentation in his compositions, he can craft timeless songs effortlessly, and he is a brilliant songwriter. Jeff Buckley passed too early: Grace was the single album he ever finished. Regardless, Grace still stands as an astounding album. Buckley was, to some, a pretentious singer covering Benjamin Britten, Nina Simone & Leonard Cohen one minute, rocking out the next – but his ’94 record shines with musicality. His voice was extremely unpredictable, his guitar playing active (he graduated from L.A.’s Musicians Institute at age 19), and his determination was admirable. Jimmy Page was a fan of Jeff and told his journalist, “Jeff was astonishing, and he could have done anything.” Be it by the elegance of “Mojo Pin,” the loud track “Eternal Life,” the beautiful melody of “Last Goodbye” and “Dream Brother,” which concluded Grace with the lyrics “Asleep in the sand with the ocean washing over.” Buckley drowned in 1997, at age 30.
Pearl Jam – Ten (Epic/1991)
“Thoughts arrive like butterflies”
Formed by members of Mother Love Bone after the unfortunate overdose of the band's vocalist Andrew Wood, Pearl Jam arrived with this album, which remains the band's masterpiece linked with Nirvana's Nevermind to push grunge into the mainstream. Between "Alive" and "Jeremy," the LP featured some of the most unforgettable singles of the era. Ten was named after the Jersey number of Basketball player Mookie Blaylock. It has been considered as being among the finest and most important albums written during the 90s, and with cause. The classic rock moments are possibly the highpoints of the record, with the ending solo to 'Alive' borrowing heavily from the blues greats, almost to the point of stealing licks from the likes of Hendrix and Stevie Ray. Ten really did survive the clichés of the early 90s that it could clearly have fallen to and holds all of the lyrical intensity, musical diversity and pure vigor that made it such an accomplishment upon it's release 20 years ago. It’s also an important record because of the influence it gave and its continuous legacy. Every Pearl Jam concert I see features a considerably younger audience that was not at the prior show.
Third Eye Blind – S/T (Elektra/1997)
“And there's this burning like there’s always been.I've never been so alone and I've, I've never been so alive."
One of the greatest debuts of all time. This album is lyrically brilliant. The finest from the “post-grunge period” that would win over thousands and influence groups like Panic at the disco along with John Mayer. With their well produced inspired rock. Singer/Songwriter Stephan Jenkins vents all of that pent-up frustration and creativity into the fourteen tracks that make up Third Eye Blind's massive debut. With co-guitarist/songwriter Kevin Cadogan (who would be abruptly ejected from the band a few years later) bassist Arion Salazar and drummer Brad Hargreaves "Third Eye Blind" is full of very well-written, appealing pop-rock songs, but it's far more artistic than your typical mainstream rock. An album that perhaps could never be created again (subsequently, the band has never enjoyed such success since). This is an album that not only is worthy to the last drop, but also gets better with time and each listen.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magik (Warner/1991)
"He's a freak of nature but we love him so. He's a freak of nature but we let him go"
Blood Sugar Sex Magik is the fifth studio album by Red Hot Chili Peppers, released on September 24, 1991. Produced by Rick Rubin, it was the band's first release on Warner Bros. The melodic styles of Blood Sugar Sex Magik contrasted mainly from the approaches used on the Chili Peppers' earlier album, Mother's Milk, and featured little use of heavy guitar riffs. The album's topic’s combined sexual connotations and references to drugs and death. Peaking at number three on the Billboard 200, the album has sold over thirteen million copies worldwide and was the Red Hot Chili Peppers' starter into worldwide fame and critical acclaim. Blood Sugar Sex Magik produced a collection of hits including the enormously successful "Under the Bridge", "Give It Away", "Suck My Kiss" and "Breaking the Girl". Guitarist John Frusciante quit mid-tour in 1992 (until returning in 1998) due to his inability to handle the album's popularity. Blood Sugar Sex Magik is renowned as an influential and important reason of the alternative rock explosion in the early 1990s.
Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral (Nothing/Interscope/1994)
"Need you, dream you, find you, taste you, fuck you, use you, scar you, break you, lose me, hate me, smash me, erase me"
The Downward Spiral was a major success that established Nine Inch Nails as an authentic influence in the 1990s music scene, more specifically after the release of the single "Closer" and its provoking music video. The live band supported the record with the notorious Self Destruct Tour. Grunge had the mainstream drooling over melodramatic angst, which had constantly been Trent Reznor’s specialty. Appeal with texture occasionally holds back the hooky songwriting that drove Pretty Hate Machine. But Reznor's persistent loneliness was beginning to seem like a carefully structured position. The album ends on a moving heartbreaking peak with the song “Hurt” which was covered by the great Johnny Cash in 2003. Reznor & partner Atticus Ross recently composed the score for "The Social Network" a film about the founding of Facebook. His score brought home the 2010 Golden Globe for Best Original Score and the Academy Award for "Best Original Score" for their collaboration together bringing film orchestration to the next level.
Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (Virgin/1993)
“The killer in me is the killer in you”
With the help of producer Butch Vig Siamese Dream seems to follow some sort of mood journey; it begins cynical, dim and angst-ridden, it drifts into regretful and sad, then into dreamlike and expressive with no actual premise, and ends on a reflective and tender note. The record debuted at number ten on the Billboard charts, sold over four million copies in the U.S. and over six million worldwide, cementing The Smashing Pumpkins as a major force in the alternative rock crusade. Siamese Dream released four hit singles including “Cherub Rock”, “Today”, “Disarm”, and “Rocket”. Although Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness was more grand and diverse, Siamese Dream is arguably the best album in the Smashing Pumpkins catalog.
Soundgarden – Superunknown (A&M/1994)
"Hang my head drown my fear till you all just disappear"
Soundgarden consisted of four band members Chris Cornell (who went on to form Audio-slave with members of Rage Against the machine) on vocals and guitar, Kim Thayil on guitar, Matt Cameron (currently with Pearl Jam) on drums and Ben Shepherd on bass. Released in 1994, Soundgarden's forth album entitled “Superunknown” finally gave the band the acknowledgement and credibility they earned. The album is experimental and distinct. In general it uses impressive vocals and grimy dirty guitar riffs to turn simple arrangements into works of art. The compositions are simple, but abnormal. They use very fundamental drum patterns with guitars and vocals providing additional progression and tempo. A classic album and an essential addition to any rock record collection. Brendan O’Brien who has produced albums for Pearl Jam and Neil Young mixed it, O'Brien is known for giving an impulsive and instinctive feel to the music. This record is the best work of one of the most significant bands of the grunge/Alt Rock era. No true record collection should be without it.
Tool – Aenima (Zoo Entertainment/1996)
"It's not enough. I need more. Nothing seems to satisfy”
The difficulty with Tool for a critic is to classify them simply because they don’t quite perfectly fit into a specific genre, alternative rock being too indistinct, metal doesn't quite match their musical style at times & categorizing them as popular in any shape or form would be a huge inaccuracy as the bands frantic imagery & lyrics could never be considered sheltered enough for the overall general public. The only way is to categorize Tool, is merely great music. The records title track 'Aenima' is a song that cannot be vindicated through an online publication. Musically the record is extremely progressed. The first bands I compared it to when I first listened to it were Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Rush all of which were innovators of their genre, taking musical proficiency to a whole other level mathematically, harmonically and melodically. The earlier albums were remarkable of course, but it was "Aenima" that revealed to the world what they could do.
Bjork – Post (One Little Indian/1995)
“And if you complain once more, you'll meet an army of me”
As inspiring as she is random, Björk Guðmundsdóttir has built an iconic career by always breaking new artistic ground. Bjork has been one of the most innovate and significant music artists over the past 17 years. She rocked out with Tappi Tíkarrass, KUKL, and The Sugarcubes before introduction her solo music career. She familiarized many people to experimental music and offered it in a way that was fundamental yet comprehensible. 'Post' is one of the best albums of the 90's because it is bizarrely different, yet very listenable. As usual with her work, Bjork's vocals are the main attraction as she sings over layer upon layer of strings, trumpets, synths and drums. Björk is a massive figure of worship; a genuine divinity of the secretly-avant-garde. She also stands as a rebellious, indisputable example of an artist who remains to seek out incredible, characteristic, brilliant collaborators while forever staying in charge of her production. There is such a wide range of music on Post, yet Bjork manages to grasp it all together with sophistication and ease.
Stone Temple Pilots – Purple (Atlantic/1994)
"If you should die before me, ask if you could bring a friend"
With the enormous success of Stone Temple Pilots debut record "Core" (1992) was something of a mixed blessing for the group. While the album was a smash, eventually selling eight million and producing such radio tacks as "Plush," "Sex Type Thing" and "Creep," achievement certainly came at a price. Nearly instantaneously the San Diego band was cruelly and harshly criticized and torn apart by the media. Allegations of ripping off the Seattle scene and leaping on the flavor of the month alternative trend were the most public criticisms. "Plush,” specifically was singled out as thieving Pearl Jam. Stone Temple Pilots have always been, in my opinion, an essential band to rock. Lead by one of the best front-men rock has seen in ages you'd think that was all STP had to offer, but no. You also have a band that even outperformed Scott at times, & that is saying a lot about how boundless this band was. When people remember the 90's era of rock music they will think about the bands that established the trends like the Pearl Jam and others. Nevertheless, I'm sure that the Stone Temple Pilots will also be remembered as one of the great influential alternative Rock acts also, in no part due to this masterpiece of an album.
Blink 182 - Enema of The State
Sublime - S/T
Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusions I & II
Green Day - Dookie
The Offspring - Smash
Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill
LiveMusicTO chats with Scott from Halifax, NS band We're Doomed who are currently on the Vans Warped Tour and will by playing our July 14th, 2011 showcase here.
1) For those who want to get to know your band a little more, tell us where did the name come from?
Let's start off sometime around May of 2010. We had just started to jam as a 4 piece and began to realize that we we're all really digging the direction we were taking things. Everyone was really pumped up, we were jamming at least 3 times a week, writing like mad men until June rolled around. It was at this point it seemed everything went wrong and one day it all just happened. It started with my appendix deciding to blow up so that put me out for a good couple weeks. Mike and Simon were in a band called In This Style and at the time the boys were going their separate ways and they were busy gearing up to play their last couple of shows. And to cap it all off Nick hit the road on tour with his band Black Moor for over a month. We were sending Facebook message after Facebook message back and forth trying to come up with a time that would work for all of us but it just didn't seem like it was going to happen. I think I eventually wrote back and said something along the lines of "boys, we're doomed..".
At this point we had been jamming for about 4 months together and couldn't come up with a name to save our lives, so many ideas were tossed around and nothing seemed like it was ever going to stick. It wasn't until late one night at about 2am when it came to me I guess. I was messing around on my Iphone, laying in bed, thinking about things as I always do and I had a total lightbulb moment. Why not call ourselves We're Doomed? It seemed appropriate at the time to say the least. I ended up googling the name to see if anyone had it yet, which no one did and I went on myspace and created an account. I guess that leaves us where we are now.
2) How did you meet and long have you been performing in the current line up?
Myself and Simon met years ago at this Rock Camp kinda deal in Halifax called "Summer Rock". I moved home from Toronto in December 2009 and we had been talking and decided we wanted to start jamming and get a new band on the go. It's funny because the whole thing we have going now was established originally to be a pop/punk sorta deal. Simon introduced me to Mike, who in turn introduced me to Nick a couple months later and it's gone uphill from there. I guess it's safe to say we've been jamming as the original 4 piece lineup for about a solid year now.
3) What have been some of your biggest accomplishments so far?
There's been a few things that have happened to us in the past few months, including releasing our first EP, buying a massive 15 passenger tour van, etc but I think the biggest accomplishment has to be the fact that we won a battle of the bands which awarded us the opportunity to play on the Vans Warped Tour. Given we've only been playing shows since the beginning of the year, we're pretty excited about how things have come about so far, and we're really looking forward to the future.
4) What is your favourite song to perform live and why?
I think our favorite song to play live has to be The Rise Of The Mammoth Lord simply because it’s our newest song, and as a group we’ve really started to hammer out some pretty serious, structured material, plus it’s got a pretty gnarly breakdown!
5) How would you describe your fans?
It’s kind of a tough question for us to answer.. Lately, we have more so been focusing on hitting the bar scene here in Halifax. Since we’re a relatively heavy band, I guess you could say that most of our fans are people over the age of 19 who enjoy a high energy performance.
6) What are you most looking forward to in the last half of 2011?
First and foremost, writing and working on our first full length. We’ve also got a couple showcasing opportunities at the Halifax Pop Explosion as well as Nova Scotia Music Week which are two incredible music festivals that happen out east every fall.
7) If there was one band in the world you could share the stage with tomorrow, who would you choose and why?
It’s gotta be a toss up between Every Time I Die or Blink 182 because we all love those bands, and it’s safe to say I can speak for everyone when I say that. That pretty much sums it up for all of us haha.
8) Where is your favourite spot in Toronto/Halifax to hangout?
Favourite spot to hang out in Toronto has DEFINITELY gotta be at Hard Luck Bar, especially on the 14th of July because there’s so many incredible bands playing.... ;)
9) What has been the craziest fan moment to date?
Honestly, nothing too out of the ordinary has happened to us yet, but it was pretty cool to see a bunch of our fans at our EP release last week singing the words to Mammoth Lord, which is a song we’ve literally played live twice before, and hadn’t released anything to do with it previously.
10) When might people be able to see you in the GTA next?
We don’t have any firm plans yet, but we’re aiming to make it back by the fall/winter of this year.
LiveMusicTO chats with Jon from Toronto, ON band Tonight's The Night.
1) Where did the name “Tonight’s The Night” come from?
The name Tonight's The Night actually came into existence shortly after we had finished all the paperwork leaving our old (tiny) indie label from Philadelphia, and were told to continue we'd have to change the name for legal reasons. "Tonight's The Night" was a thing we used to say before going on stage, i.e. "Tonight's The Night I..... (insert action here)", so I guess naming the band after the phrase was a way of holding onto something of our past; it was a pretty crazy and low experience for all of us...I guess we just wanted something to remind us of a rough start (hopefully pushing us into an opposite trend).
2) How long have you been together as a band?
The majority of us have been a band for about 1.5 years (Jon, Dave and John), Michael joined us about a month prior to our CD release (What Makes You Breathe) May 6th. Although Michael has only been with us for a little while, he's honestly been the best fit we've ever had...he brings a lot of energy to the table and meshes really well with us (almost as if we've all been friends for years).
3) What have been some of your biggest accomplishments so far?
Biggest accomplishments....hmmm well I mean releasing the CD was a huge thing for us. Having Noah Mintz and Adam Bertucci on board was really cool for us, as both have been involved with a lot of awesome Canadian Artists. Other than that, we're still working on notable accomplishments.....but we're so lucky We're currently in negotiations with a major marketing and PR company which we're hoping to partner with to help expose Tonight's The Night to a majority of Canada, and establish TTN has a household "branded" band.
4) What is your favourite song to perform live, and why?
Our favourite song, right now (it tends to change) is heartbeats and 808s.....for me it's because I get to scream, for the rest of the band I think it's just the feel!
5) How would you describe your fans?
We tend to attract anyone from 11-30 (maybe 40)....so the reactions we get from them are always varied. However, I have to say our fans are some of the coolest people, we love hanging out with them after shows!
6) As a band, what are you most looking forward to this summer?
We look forward to outdoor festivals and shows....they're honestly a lot of fun!
7) What is your favourite venue to play in Toronto?
Favourite venue......that's pretty tough. For us a venue's worth solely relies on their PA system and stage quality/size. Just because the lighting is really cool, i'd have to say the Opera House for a large commercial venue.
8) Where is your favourite spot in the city to hangout as a band?
Maybe it's not our favourite place to hang as a band, but we always hang out at my house in Toronto, as we have a small studio built there, as well as a large rehearsal space and living area! We tend to have lots of after parties there, as well as fun weekends hanging out!
9) What has been the craziest fan moment to date?
I can't say we have a favourite moment in specific with fans, we're always surprised at how many kids and people surround us after shows asking for us to sign merch, cds, etc. However, there was one moment about a month ago at an outdoor festival in Birchmount Stadium for the relay for life fundraiser where an elderly lady said that she didn't like Dave and Jon's half sleeve tattoos....because they weren't full sleeves! It honestly shocked us, we all thought she was complaining about the tattoo in general, however, I guess she perceived it as something only being "half" done.
10) For people seeing Tonight’s The Night for the first time at LiveMusicTO's showcase on July 14th, what can they expect?
They can expect a fun time...it is what it is! We always play our best, and take our liver performances seriously. We try to blend a mixture of cool lighting with an energetic performance to keep people interested!
The LiveMusicTO team had an amazing day filled with awesome music and friends at this year's S.C.E.N.E. Music Festival in St. Catharines, ON.
In case you missed it, grab a box of Kleenex to dry your tears and check out some of the photos we captured throughout the day.
See you next year!