Fresh Tunes – Pity Sex

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Pity Sex

Shoegazer pop is a rare genre that is so very indebted to a specific set of sounds and approaches. If you want to toss that descriptor on to your band, you’d better have invested all your bar mitzvah money in guitar pedals and some psilocybin mushrooms to help haze up your songwriting mind. How high into the stratosphere you get depends on where you go from there. In the case of Pity Sex, the band don’t shy away from recognizing the raft of American bands that picked up Fender Jazzmasters after hearing My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. This Ann Arbor, Michigan, quartet’s full-length feels like the product of some young people started with Hum and Starflyer 59 and ended up working their way backwards to MBV and Ride.

The punk-born aggression that laid under the surface of the U.S.-born shoegazer circuit is audible on Feast Of Love as well through the forward marching drums of “Keep” and the trembling rhythms of the disc’s speediest cut, “Honey Pot.” As well, vocalist/guitarist Brennan Greaves provides some interesting color to these songs trying to mesh his more rock-driven voice with a somnolent croon. The band’s other guitarist/vocalist Britty Drake, on the other hand, is pure ’90s 4AD Records fantastic. Her singing skirts the edge of a growl but never loses its gilt-edged beauty. She leaves the real siren-like moments for the guitar-and-vocals-only showstopper “Hollow Body,” a song perfectly placed at this album’s midpoint.

Pity Sex are wise enough to know that they’re never going to hit the heights that their influences reached. The quartet are always going to be held back by the weight of comparisons. They should be applauded for the simple fact that they went ahead with this project anyway. Creating some spectacular pop along the way only sweetens their efforts more.

Source: Alternative Press

pity sex-feast of love

Keep it locked on 88.1 The ‘Burg to hear brand new music from the latest Pity Sex album, Feast of Love.

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Drown Me Out

Wind Up

 

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Fresh Tunes – Jimmy Eat World

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Jimmy Eat World

For a band with such remarkable consistency throughout their career, Jimmy Eat World’s 2010 full-length Invented ended up an outlier, a long, meandering collection of retread ballads and weird, out-of-character rock songs that in places, seemed to want to recreate the heights reached on 1999 fan favorite Clarity (the band had performed a successful run of Clarity album shows the year prior to celebrate its tenth anniversary, and it’s fair to assume those songs were fresh in the band member’s minds). Problem was, JEW weren’t that band anymore: In the time since Clarity, they’ve experienced more success-commercially and critically-than they ever did before or even during its release. With all the hoopla and justified love for that record, it’s easy to forget that no one really knew who the band were when it came out 14 years ago.

This is a long-winded way of saying that Damage, Jimmy Eat World’s new album, is essentially a polar opposite of Invented-and that’s a great thing. Where Invented tended to run long without a strong enough concept to support said length, Damage is easily the most direct and concise record of the band’s career. JEW have always used the “less is more” approach with success, they’ve just never recorded an entire album like that. Fortunately, it works.

Leading up to the album’s release, frontman Jim Adkins remarked that Damage was an “adult breakup record.” While this isn’t a concept album in the same rigid way as say, David Comes To Life, there’s a certain solemnity-not unlike what one might feel after a long relationship ends-that perpetually permeates throughout Damage‘s ten songs, both lyrically and sonically; the production is noticeably and intentionally airy and rough around the edges, giving off a less canned, more personable and live-sounding listening experience.

Even with its loose concept and loose production, Damage still has all the characteristics that make Jimmy Eat World’s music so arresting: Opener “Appreciation,” first single “I Will Steal You Back” and the excellent “How’d You Have Me” are massively anthemic rockers with copious hooks and melodies. Heavily strummed acoustic guitars anchor ballads like the title track, “Lean” and the pleasantly atmospheric “Please Say No,” the latter also incorporating a few electronic elements into a subtly escalating chorus that almost drowns out the reserved vocals of Adkins. Really, Adkins is pretty reserved throughout Damage, while the music tends to louden and hover over him.

While Damage is relatively mid-tempo throughout, its final two tracks switch that up a bit. “Bye Bye Love” is an overt exercise in the loud/quiet dynamic, with slow, sonically minimal verses that burst into huge, crunchy choruses. Closer “You Were Good” almost sounds like a demo (or an extended Guided By Voices tune from their lo-fi era), with nothing more than an acoustic guitar, some strings and the straightforward vocals of Adkins. It’s an appropriate closer, a sort of hushed goodbye that drives the album’s theme home.

It’s hard to call Damage a comeback for Jimmy Eat World, but it’s certainly a nice rebound nonetheless. Fans who dismissed the band as being on autopilot after Invented was released should give Damage a try; they’ll find a band that’s focused, relatable and on top of their game.

Source: punknews.org

jimmyDamage

Keep it locked on 88.1 The ‘Burg to hear brand new music from the latest Jimmy Eat World album, Damage.

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I Will Steal You Back

Appreciation

How’d You Have Me

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Fresh Tunes – Major League

Major+League

Major League

Let’s face it, these days pop punk bands are a dime a dozen and it’s hard to stand out when all your peers are playing the same chords and singing about the same topics. Enter Major League. These five guys have hit the nail on the head with Hard Feelings, an album full of well thought out lyrics and melodies that are sure to keep the listener enthralled.

Things start off fast with the title track whose sound is a throwback to bands who paved the way for pop punk in the late 90′s. “Walk Away” is an undeniably catchy number as vocalist Nick Trask repeats “I never thought I’d hear you say if you love me you will let me go / Then you walked away, you walked away.” Fans of Major League’s past work will notice the band have constructed a much more cohesive sound this time around, both in lyrical themes and song flow. “Twenty Seven” and ”Arrows Crossed” focus on friendship and growing up, while “Nightmares deals with not having time to be someone’s “safety” while trying to work out issues of your own.

The album slows down a bit with “Because Heaven Knows” but picks right back up again with “Pull Me Out.” The latter focuses on self-growth, stating, “If home is where the heart is / My heart is never home / I’ve learned to come to terms / And grown into my own.” The guitar heavy “Landslide” describes someone losing control of their life, becoming the very thing they hate. “Home Wrecker” is sure to ensue a few circle pits when played lived as its stifling combo of guitars and drums is hard to resist. The appropriately-named “Final Thoughts” truly culminates the album, with its chorus referencing back to the album title. The track could be deemed equivalent to Taking Back Sunday’s “Head Club” as it ends the album the same way Tell All Your Friends closes, saying there won’t be any more songs about the particular relationship mentioned on the album, but Major League do so in a less brutal way.

For their No Sleep Records debut, Major League were able to pull out all of the stops. Hard Feelings is not only sonically enjoyable but also extremely relatable. The album showcases everything from growing up to failing relationships to self-struggle. The songs are sure to translate well in a live setting with the ability to get kids amped and moving. While Major League may still be a relatively new band, Hard Feelings easily has the potential to become a classic and will find the band moving up to the big leagues of pop punk.

Source: idobi.com

Hard_Feelings

Keep it locked on 88.1 The ‘Burg to hear brand new music from the latest Major League album, Hard Feelings.

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Nightmares

Landslide

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Fresh Tunes – Gary Clark Jr.

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Gary Clark Jr.

Gary Clark, Jr. has been hailed by a number of critics as “the New Hendrix,” which seems to be the fate of any guitarist who combines blues and rock styles at a considerable volume (particularly if they cover “Third Stone from the Sun”). While that’s a blurb that may look good in Clark’s press kit, it rather misses the point; Clark isn’t a visionary, game-changing artist like Hendrix, but instead he’s a canny singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist who has learned from the past and present, fusing them into a style that’s distinctive and exciting if not necessarily revolutionary. Warner Bros. is also pitching Blak and Blu as Clark’s “groundbreaking debut album,” when in fact it’s just his major-label debut, with four indie releases preceding it, making the confidence and ambition of this set a bit less remarkable. But if Gary Clark, Jr. isn’t likely to change the way we look at rock & roll or rewrite the aesthetic of the electric guitar, he is one of the most interesting talents to come out of the contemporary blues scene in quite some time.

On Blak and Blu, most of Clark’s tunes are solidly rooted in the blues, but he’s also folded in hearty servings of hard rock, funk, retro-soul, and even a dash of hip-hop, and the way he lets the flavors mix is a big part of what makes this album work so well. There’s an undertow of Northern Soul on the dance-friendly opener “Ain’t Messin’ Round,” “Travis County” is a no-frills rocker that recalls the Stones in fifth gear, “The Life” finds Clark moving back and forth between singing and rapping in a streetwise tale of drug addiction, “Numb” recalls the punk blues attack of the Black Keys and the White Stripes in its fuzzed-out blast, and the title cut samples both Gil Scott-Heron and Albert King as Clark melds conscious themes with blues backdrops.

While the typical modern-day guitar hero goes out of his way to throw his dexterity in your face at every turn, here Clark shows off a tougher and more primal style, and though his chops are certainly good, he keep his solos concise and his attack muscular throughout. And if his songwriting is a bit uneven, he has an inarguable talent with both lyrics and melodies, and he’s a good-to-great singer, sounding soulful and honest on every cut. Blak and Blu’s production (by Rob Cavallo and Mike Elizondo in collaboration with Clark) is too polished and processed for its own good, but if this album isn’t likely to change your life, it will make an hour of it a lot more interesting, and there’s no arguing that Gary Clark, Jr. is a talent strong enough to match his record company’s hype.

Source: allmusic.com

gary clark jr - bak n blu

Keep it locked on 88.1 The ‘Burg to hear brand new music from the latest Gray Clark Jr. album, Blak and Blu.

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Bright Lights

The Life

 

 

 

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Fresh Tunes – Fur Trade

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Fur Trade

What happens when two talents from Vancouver, Canada, merge brilliantly for the first time? The stage is set for Steve Bays (keys/drums/vocals) and Parker Bossley(Bass/Guitar/Vocals) to permanently engrave the music industry with Fur Trade. An unspoiled sound that has long been lost due to the mundane enslavement of our poor ears to horrible music. The waggish temptations of sounds that play within the new LP, Don’t Get Heavy on Last Gang Records, gives one a taste of the influential music heard through the 1970’s all the way to the edgy modern beats we hear today.  Fur Trade pounds your ears with harmonic blends of fully developed chords, and riffs with a piquancy of an upbeat tempos throughout the album.

The band released a noteworthy powerhouse hit single “Kids These Days,” off of their new album on May 15, 2013, and it has been receiving promising jocundity from the media outlets. I found that the majority of the tunes have this painless quotidian repeatability that completely took over my personal space. It immediately reverberated to me the influence of the great David Bowie from the 1980’s. On June 27, 2013, Fur Trade was featured on Rolling Stones’ “Daily Download” of the day which boosted the duos recognition.

After several days of listening to Don’t Get Heavy, I found myself enjoying the different moods this album was luring me into. One of my favorite songs had to be “Glory Days,” with its sinister heavy tones and volatile lyrics which induce a sexiness that only adds to the overall appeal. Understand that most of the upcoming bands hitting the market truly don’t even make the mark to give 2-clicks worth of a review. One must agree that the impression Bays and Bossley give throughout their album via the smooth vocals and instrumentals talents does constitute somewhat of notability. The idea of super stardom is certainly at the reaches of Fur Trade to make it to the top of the Billboard charts. It certainly became apparent that these guys also have the guts and glory to be placed in my must listen albums in my music arsenal, and it will be interesting to see if the world will accept their sounds. An industry of fashionable music and gutless stars seems to be made out of the same shit the previous “has been” was conjured up from.

The lack of variety across today’s airwaves seems to be at its MOST absolute mundane state ever. How often have you found yourself turning away from your old reliable friend the radio because of its predictable nature? How many time does the old bands continue to revamp their career with the “re-remix-alternate-ending-in blue cover” version of the same album you and your father already have somewhere in that dusty dead closet? Give the new guys a shot! I have found it massively refreshing listening to these guys. Finally, a band that does not hide from the traditional beats, sounds, and tweaks the perception of their art. Its unorthodox method of delivery keeps the starving listener wanting its fix of great music. Check them out and expect the Fur Trade to be a profitable one!

Fur-Trade-Kids-These-Days-Single-Art

Source: speakercreatures.com

Keep it locked on 88.1 The ‘Burg to hear brand new music from the latest Fur Trade album, Don’t Get Heavy. Click the titles below to hear our favorite tracks.

Kids These Days

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Fresh Tunes – City and Colour

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City and Colour

With his newest solo album under the moniker of City and Colour, former Alexisonfire singer/guitarist Dallas Green seems to finally have a record that may allow him to garner more widespread recognition as part of this contingent of folk-inspired pop-rock acts—led by the likes of Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers—that seem to be everywhere these days.

The album in question, The Hurry and The Harm, delivers a notable, although not terribly surprising, shift in sound for Green. A far cry from his debut album Sometimes, which just consisted of him playing acoustic guitar and piano and singing, nearly every track on The Hurry and The Harm includes some sort of additional background instrumentation. In fact, almost all of them feature a full band arrangement with backing bass and drums, and a couple of them include keyboards and synthesizers, something Green started experimenting with on his last album, 2011’s Little Hell. One song here even features an electric guitar, if you can believe it.

However, the title track that opens the album sounds much more like classic City and Colour in terms of its arrangement and melodies, with just a few moody keyboards and a simple drum beat that set it apart from his earliest work. After that, though, his songwriting changes considerably, and it’s incredibly noticeable on the very next track, “Harder Than Stone,” which begins with an acoustic guitar line that certainly wouldn’t sound out of place on popular radio. But it’s when the drums and bass come in and the song reaches its big chorus that it becomes obvious Green has officially transitioned from writing moody acoustic songs to writing catchy, melody-driven pop-rock songs that just happen to feature an acoustic guitar.

This new approach to songwriting works well for Green, who has clearly matured as an artist since he first started flying solo. Many of these songs feature great hooks that lead into incredibly catchy choruses, such as the aforementioned “Harder Than Stone,” the radio-ready “The Lonely Life,” “Paradise” and the early single “Thirst,” which is the biggest departure from the City and Colour we know and love. “Thirst” is a groovy, building rock song based around a fuzzy, distorted bass guitar and pounding drums.

But what really shows his growth is his ability to integrate all of the extra instruments and musicians at his disposal to expand upon the general idea of each song and give each one its own unique mood and atmosphere, rather than just having them there as something of an afterthought to simply supplement the guitar. On The Hurry and The Harm, everything feels much more carefully crafted and well-thought-out than on some of his previous releases, so that every instrument has a very specific, and important, reason for being included.

When it comes to lyrics, Green sticks primarily to writing about the weighty, serious subjects that have been commonplace in his songs for nearly a decade now. This particular album seems to address the seemingly never-ending human desire to always be looking for something more than what we currently have in our lives, searching in order to escape those things “eating away at [our] brains.” Just look at the chorus to “Of Space and Time,” where Green sings “I’m roaming the hills all alone/I’m trying to find my direction home.”

But it is perhaps the sixth track, “Commentators,” where Green best summarizes the intent of the album, as well as his own personal search, by explaining it all in the simplest of terms. The song, which criticizes all of the critics of the world (professional and amateur), features an infectious, almost Shins-like chorus, in which he sings, “I don’t wanna be revolutionary/No, I’m just looking for the sweetest melody.” And while this certainly reads as something of a mission statement for what he wants to accomplish with the album as a whole, it also ties back into his common lyrical theme of searching for something, because at the end of the day, isn’t it just the simplest and most enjoyable things that we all want? Thankfully, Dallas Green seems more than willing to share them with us on The Hurry and The Harm.

CityColourAlbum

Source: pastemagazine.com

Keep it locked on 88.1 The ‘Burg to hear brand new music from the latest City and Colour album, The Hurry and the Harm. Click the titles below to hear our favorite tracks.

Ladies and Gentleman

The Lonely Life

Thirst

 

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Fresh Tunes – Big Deal

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Big Deal

When you name your band Big Deal, it’s like a social contract you sign with listeners. You should either try to live up to the moniker or be so comically not a big deal that you fulfill the still-ample cultural need for ironic entities.

On their 2011 debut, Big Deal did neither. The U.K. duo failed to break through on any functional level and seemed like a band that had potential to spare but possibly lacked the will to push themselves to a “big deal” level. Still, there was something special about ‘Lights Out,’ and it’s a warm and inviting work to revisit. Kacey Underwood and Alice Costelloe sound as if they’re miles apart and their music is unsharable.

But beginning with the single ‘Teredactol,’ which dropped eight months ahead of this album, Big Deal seemed to have reimagined the project. Perhaps they’d grown bored with their own emotional subtleties, or maybe they were worried their audience would reach that same point.

The resulting album, ‘June Gloom,’ is a ripe blast of vocal, guitar and even textural hooks. Everything that Big Deal offer sounds vivid and focused, and at the same time, they retain the warmth that was ‘Lights Out”s one guiding principal.

Whereas ‘Teradactol’ foreshadowed fierce noise-pop, ‘June Gloom’ recalls something similar to the Joy Formidable, if you were to remove the obtuse lyrics, or Metric, if you could replace the synths with guitars. ‘Swapping Spit’ and ‘In Your Car’ sound so unabashedly big that it’s easy for the listener to forget there are only two people behind the music. ‘Call and I’ll Come’ doesn’t try to put makeup on its grimy features, with Underwood’s vocals barely in key and delivered with such a contrast to Costelloe’s that it’s like the two are meeting in the middle, one trying every trick he can think of to match what the other does effortlessly.

The second side features some down-tempo, old-school Big Deal, but this time, that approach serves as a foil, and songs like ‘Pristine’ are many times more effective. Likewise, ‘PG’ works this angle for a dramatic mid-track moment when the quiet is swept away in a blast of cymbals and fuzz. ‘June Gloom’ somehow manages to work this dichotomy into the best of both worlds. Big Deal still sound personal and intimate, but this is one record that doesn’t require a certain mood or occasion for revisiting.

big-deal-june-gloom

Source: diffuser.fm

Keep it locked on 88.1 The ‘Burg to hear brand new music from the latest Big Deal album, June Gloom.

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Swapping Spit

Catch Up

Golden Light

 

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Fresh Tunes – Alpine

Alpine

Alpine

A is for Alpine, six friends from Melbourne who make bold, twinkling, sophisticated pop music. Their debut almost-self-titled record is a collection of vibrant songs that shimmer and shine with colorful harmonies and inventive melodies. Featuring the dual vocals of front women Phoebe Baker and Lou James, Christian O’Brien on guitar, Ryan Lamb on bass, Tim Royall on keys and Phil Tucker on drums, Alpine traverse diverse themes, ideas and sounds on the album, always assured, but never quite taking themselves too seriously.

Since forming, Alpine have toured with the likes of Kimbra, Sia, Cloud Control, The Jezabels, The Naked And Famous and Matt Corby to name but a few, and have graced festivals across the country including Splendour In The Grass, Southbound and Falls Festival. They were invited to perform at SXSW in Austin, Texas in 2012 and surely must be able to claim some kind of record for playing 10 shows in a mere three days.

‘Villages’, also on the band’s debut EP ‘Zurich’, has proved another firm favourite both at home and abroad, with its haunting video amassing close to one million views on YouTube. “People just seem to connect with that song,” says Ryan. “It’s a song that came together really quickly. We wrote it in a tiny, dank rehears
That format – getting together, playing music they love, having a good time, dancing – seems to work exceptionally well for Alpine, and is reflected in their exuberant live shows, where energy and charisma reign supreme. Their infectious enthusiasm also finds its way onto ‘A Is For Alpine’, a debut album that introduces six friends in love with what they do, and express that through their music.al room next to a liquor store, which meant we just got drunk, played it over and over and danced!”

alpine-a is for alpine

Source: Mushroom Promotions

Keep it locked on 88.1 The ‘Burg to hear brand new music from the latest Alpine album, A is for Alpine.

Click the titles below to hear our favorite tracks.

Gasoline

Hands

Too Safe

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Fresh Tunes – Hidden Hospitals

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Hidden Hospitals

HIDDEN HOSPITALS–DAVE RAYMOND (Vocals/Guitar), JARED KARNS (Drums), STEVE DOWNS (Guitar) and JOHN SCOTT(Bass/Vocals)–has an innovative sound and a fierce dedication to developing it. Though this genre-defying quartet self-identifies as an “alternative rock” band, that title is a catch-all for a sound that is difficult to define. Before presenting themselves to the world, the band spent nearly a year writing and recording their first release, EP 001, while devoting themselves to perfecting a live performance that would do the record justice.

“While we love the writing and recording process, our main goal is to be the best live band we can be. Onstage is the ultimate destination for our songwriting process.” says RAYMOND. “The time we get to be onstage in front of an audience is a special thing, and we take that responsibility very seriously. We want the audience to leave each night knowing that we gave everything we had and didn’t take a minute of it for granted.”

In 2012, under the direction of Nashville producer/mixer J. HALL, the band independently released two 5-song recordings, EP 001 and EP 002. EP 002 has received critical acclaim, with PunkNews.org raving: “Hidden Hospitals knocked this five-tracker out the park… Raymond’s vocal delivery and dynamic songwriting is a key asset but the intricate guitar work, sleek bass lines and slick drumming all complement Raymond’s voice like a glove. They’ve honed their talent to near-perfection here…Definitely get this one.”

Source: msopr.com

hidden hospitals 001 + 002

Keep it locked on 88.1 The ‘Burg to hear brand new music from the latest Hidden Hospitals album, EP 001 + EP 002.

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Atonement

The Absense of Emotion

 

 

 

 

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Must Have Shows

Two Door Cinema Club

Attending a good concert can change your life, change your music taste or just be an awesome night with friends you will never forget. Fortunately, the northwest does not disappoint when it comes to awesome shows. With venues like the Tacoma Dome, the Gorge Amphitheatre or smaller venues such as El Corazon, you are sure to find your concert niche whether you prefer  large venues or intimate ones.

Ticket sales started last week for the Cherry Poppin Daddies, The Naked and Famous and Carly Rae Jepsen. Those though shows are sure to be great, we are counting down the days till ticket sales go on sale for a couple other concerts this week.

 

James Blake

James Blake

James Blake is yet another British import we are more than happy to have in the U.S. Blake’s latest album Overgrown, is his second full-length album following his 2011 self-titled debut. A little more dramatic than his last album, Overgrown walks on the line between spectacular and ground breaking and mind-numbing. Blake’s roots are in dubstep, but he has become the poster child for experimental electronic music. Overgrown is what would happen if someone told Maxwell or Aaron Neville to make an electronic album. The title of the album was influenced by the Emily Dickinson poem “All Overgrown by Cunning Moss.”  The sentiments of the poem are a huge part of Blake’s album. Since his last album he has met his girlfriend and fallen in love, which also played a role in the way his new album developed.  Blake will be playing at Showbox SoDo on November 20; tickets went on sale last Friday (5/31).

 

Eagles

Eagles

Their Greatest Hits album is the number seven best-selling album of all making the Eagles one of the best-selling bands of all time. This is why we are stoked they will be performing at the Key Arena on Sept. 4 of this year. Their “History of the Eagles” tour kicks off in Kentucky in early July and will finish in St. Louis, Oct. 24. The Eagles album The Studio Albums 1972-1979 is available on iTunes for a pretty $50 but is a collection of six remastered albums from the ‘70s era. The Eagles are legendary so we don’t have to explain why we’re pumped for the tickets to go on sale. Just be sure you buy ‘em quick because they’re bound to sell quickly. Tickets went on sale last Monday (June 3).

Two Door Cinema Club

Two Door Cinema Club

From the Emerald Isle, Two Door Cinema Club exploded onto the scene with their 2010 release of Tourist History which included hit songs “Something Good Can Work” and “What You Know.” The debut album was followed by last year’s Beacon which continued the band’s signature electro-alternative sound. The band was named Two Door Cinema Club when Sam Halliday, the band’s guitarist mispronounced the name of a cinema call Tudor Cinema. The trio will be playing at the Neptune Theatre Oct. 26. Tickets went on sale last week for the show and guesses are it will sell out.

These fall shows will sell out fast so be sure and get your tickets soon! Keep checking our blog for updates on when tickets go on sale and what shows you can’t afford to miss.

 

 

 

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