Knuckle Puck and Sorority Noise Advocate Mental Health on Fall Tour

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Knuckle Puck at 1904 Music Hall in Jacksonville

Knuckle Puck headed out for their first ever headlining tour this fall and brought along Sorority Noise, Head North and Seaway.

The tour ends today, but I attended the stop in Jacksonville on Nov. 11 at 1904 Music Hall, where the bands electrified the stage and captured the audience in a huge show for Knuckle Puck.

I could review the show, and let me tell you, it was a great one. But, something else happened on this tour that seemed significant. It seemed like something that few other tours have truly done.

This tour brought out the charity Hope for the Day which encouraged fans to come speak to a representative of the organization if they were feeling any sort of thoughts in their head that they couldn’t control.

Sorority Noise opened up their song Using with a speech about how the band’s front man, Cameron Boucher, used music as a release from his manic depression, but that nothing would have been possible without help.

Boucher told the crowd that he had lost too many friends to suicide and he would work to try to stop it.

Hope for the Day was present at the show and fans could have an outlet to speak with someone if they needed to get help.

Knuckle Puck even teamed up with the organization and offered an exclusive t-shirt which provided 100 percent of its proceeds to suicide prevention and mental health education projects done through Hope for the Day.

Check out Knuckle Puck and Sorority Noise over on the band’s websites and try to catch them on an upcoming tour.

For more information on Hope for the Day, you can visit their website.

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Local Spotlight: Divorce Culture, Jacksonville’s New Punk Prodigies

Hailing from my hometown of Fleming Island, local punk band Divorce Culture has turned the focus to themselves and declared that they are a new force to be reckoned with in the Jacksonville scene.

The band, which formed over a year ago under a different moniker, really started to pick up their presence this past October, according to Brian Paulin, Divorce Culture front-man, manager and head writer.

Paulin said via email that he was always interested in punk, post-hardcore, pop-punk and metal music, but it wasn’t until he graduated high school that he decided to start a band of his own. Initially, things didn’t take off for Paulin and his former band mate.

“We had a really rough start and nothing was really going our way for almost 8 months until I went through a really rough breakup and put all my anxiety and depression into writing and ended up writing the song New Phone, Who Dis? From there I realized the song had potential and I started writing more,” Paulin wrote.

His original bandmate ended up leaving the group as he was unable to make the commitment that Paulin was. Now, Divorce Culture exists and it consists of Paulin and a new group of mates that make the chaotic sound you hear on their BandCamp site today.

Paulin, along with Tyler Mobely, the drummer and co-writer, Garrett Corfield guitarist and co-writer and Brysen Allen, bassist and mascot, have launched themselves onto the Jacksonville music scene and have five shows currently lined up.

”The sound I end up creating is hard for me to describe. If anything I’d have to say if Beartooth, Stray From The Path and Rotting Out all somehow had a baby and then throw in some modern pop punk/grunge and that’d be us,” Paulin said of Divorce Culture’s sound.

So far, Divorce Culture has played one show with two local indie bands. Paulin said the show was mainly played for friends and family of all of the bands.

“Their reactions were priceless. You could tell almost all of them weren’t into any sort of heavy punk or hardcore but they all really enjoyed themselves and the energy we put on. Hell, one of the bartenders loved it so much he opened up a pit during Brainwashed,” Paulin wrote.

Divorce Culture prides themselves on the fact that they aren’t concerned with “fitting in” within the scene, but rather having an outlet for themselves and for those who listen to their music.

“The music itself I think is really raw and that’s what I like about it most. I’m not afraid to write about any sort of topic honestly. It may be a hobby for the most part but it’s a huge passion and the music I write is the best weapon towards social injustices … As a band, though, we don’t try to fit in per say, we just go and play shows and meet people and have a good time. We don’t care about having the biggest gauges or wearing the coolest band tee’s and wearing all black, only all black, and sometimes really really dark grey. That’s kinda lame if you ask me,” Paulin wrote.

Divorce Culture can be seen at their upcoming show on Dec. 7 at the Birdhouse.

 

“Divorce Culture is just a small time hardcore/punk band trying to write music about things we feel that matter. We’re just trying to show the scene and people a good time and some love. We may write and play really angry music but we’re really nice guys who just love to play music and love to put on a fun and bada** show,” Paulin wrote.

You can find Divorce Culture on Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Review: No Closer to Heaven Tour // The Wonder Years, Motion City Soundtrack, etc.

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Last Friday The Wonder Years, Motion City Soundtrack, State Champs and You Blew It! took over the House of Blues in Orlando.

Journalist ethics require me to divulge the truth: I got caught in Interstate 4 traffic on the way to the show and missed You Blew It! preform.

I know, I should be ashamed. Let me just say, though, I have seen Orlando’s own You Blew It! before and this band has great stage presence. That, though, will be all I say on that matter because I missed their set during the No Closer to Heaven tour.

As I arrived at the show, State Champs were preparing to play. Everyone in the crowd seemed to mingle about and I worried the interest level for one of my favorite live bands would be low. I was incorrect. State Champs took the stage and the entire crowd picked up and enjoyed the show. The band recently released a new album, Around the World and Back, which they played a few songs off of. The song the band released as the first single on the album, Secrets, proved to be a crowd favorite. State Champs also hinted that they would be making their way back to Florida early next year on a headlining tour. After the performance I saw on Friday night, my fingers are crossed. State Champs makes a room full of people come alive. No matter if one was familiar with their music or not, the entire room seemed to be engaged.

Next, Motion City Soundtrack took the stage. Again, honesty time: I never got into Motion City Soundtrack. I know, the looks of shock and horror are justified on your face. It’s not that I didn’t like the band, I just must have missed the hype when it came around. Now, ten years after their album Commit This to Memory was released and I am finally a fan. After seeing MCS live, I am sold. This band has serious talent. Clearly, making a career that has lasted through the ages is not easy in this industry. MCS has done this, though. Their electric stage performance and rich, quality sound is unwavering.

Dear MCS,

After all this time, I am finally a fan. I cannot stop playing your music.

Xoxo, Sam.

The night concluded with the headlining band, and the reason I went to the show, The Wonder Years. The Wonder Years released their new album No Closer to Heaven this past September, and they immediately embarked on this tour.

When the album was released, I was unsure of how it would hold up during the band’s live performance. When I was first acquainted with The Wonder Years, I was captivated by their live performance (as I am with most bands), so after hearing the new album I was a bit skeptical. NCTH felt as though it was simply a “spin in your bed while relaxing” kind of album instead of a punk album to move to. After hearing songs from this album live, I was (once again) proven wrong. Hearing these songs live was an emotionally and physically moving experience. NCTH is a new kind of Wonder Years show, but it turns out, this show was exactly what I wanted.

If this is what is to be expected from future Wonder Years shows, count me in. The show felt like a complete mix of ballads, angry punk anthems and songs that simply should be belted out.

If the No Closer to Heaven tour rolls around to your city, I highly recommend going. The Orlando show was a great, casual night that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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Gainesville Record Store Preserves the Physical Format

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When you walk toward Hear Again Music and Movies, you are immediately welcomed by the sweet sounds of vinyl playing through the store. On this particular Friday, it was jazz, store owner Andrew Schaer’s personal choice and favorite genre.

You swing the door open and are immediately enveloped by the rows of vinyl records that the store has to offer. Shelves of new and used music alike line the walls, fill bins and cover the entire surface area of the shop, with the exception of the movie cases that line the back wall.

In 2009, Schaer moved the store to its current location downtown, 201 SE 1st St., and decided to refocus the store to selling mostly vinyl. While the store had previously stocked mostly CDs and DVDs, Schaer saw the passion that was reemerging for the vinyl industry.

“When the Millennium hit, piracy hit. It was almost impossible to stay open so I took what I wanted from the store, sold what I could and donated the rest,” Schaer said.

The selling of his CDs and DVDs went to a new purchase, records. The old idea of music collections quickly became popular once again.

“At first I think it (buying vinyl) may have started out as the thing to do, but once these people who had only been listening to compressed music started listening to records, they could hear the difference,” Schaer said.

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Having a collection, Schaer said, is self-fulfilling and rewarding. For him, listening to physical music provides a community and offers an experience that can’t be compared to digital.

“Nobody gets together with their friends and makes a night of listening to a hard drive,” Schaer said.

While Schaer prefers physical music to digital, he still sees that all outlets have their place. Today, most newly released records come with a card which allows you to download the album as well.

“I really think that’s great,” Schaer said. “Now you are purchasing something and have a physical representation, but you also are getting a high quality download from the record label. I understand that most of the listening that people do occurs in their car, so with a download you are able to make that piece of your collection mobile and take it with you, but you still keep the physical aspect too,” Schaer said.

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The major selling point of Hear Again for a college student? The prices. Schaer works hard to keep prices low and knows that people want to get the best deal around. When people have smart phones that can pull prices from all over the Internet while they are contemplating their purchase, Schaer knows that he must be competitive.

The difference in buying online and in store, Schaer argues, is the instant gratification you get from purchasing and taking the record home that day. With a quick trip to Hear Again, you can invite your friends over and have a listening party the day you make the purchase, all while saving on shipping.

Hear Again Music and Movies takes requests for music that costumers would like to have in store, and they post updates of their stock as it comes in via their Facebook and Instagram pages. Now, finding your favorite album has never been easier.

“We work really hard to give Gainesville something we think it deserves: a reasonably priced place to come and find music,” Schaer said.

 

 

 

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5 Pop-Punk Albums to Kick Start Your Obsession

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1. The Wonder Year / Suburbia, I’ve Given You All But Now I’m Nothing 

If one album truly formed my love and appreciation for pop-punk music, it was Suburbia. This album changed how I felt about pop-punk as whole. Let’s be honest: the angst is real as with any pop-punk album, but The Wonder Years do angst so right.

The album starts out with the kicker track, Came Out Swinging, which launches you into the feel of the album. The screams the come from singer Dan Campbell’s throat are filled with passion and sorrow. The lyrics, though, are beautifully crafted and feel like home after just a few listens.

The 2011 release launched The Wonder Years onto the forefront of the scene and is sure to start your obsession.

Let’s be clear: The Wonder Years have created masterful albums since the release of Suburbia, but nothing hits home like this album and nothing says pop-punk quite like The Wonder Years.

Check out: Don’t Let Me Cave In

 

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2. The Story So Far / Self Titled

While The Story So Far is commonly known for their older hits, I recommend that you check out their newest released, their self titled album. The Story So Far is a bold, untamed album. The album defies all traditional pop-punk logic while keeping the familiar deep, blasting riffs that come from TSSF.

In comparison with their previous albums, TSSF does something different and more tasteful here. Instead plugging bits that are clearly made for a live crowd to chant along to (which is a very typical pop-punk move), the band created music that is just simply good. The upbeat, thrashing songs are at the band’s best while the slow, hauntingly beautiful sound of Phantom breaths new life for this band.

This album shows the diversity of TSSF and pop-punk in general and is an album that displays the strengths of TSSF as a band and the strengths of pop-punk in general.

Check out: How You Are

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3. Knuckle Puck / Copacetic

Knuckle Puck came onto the scene fairly quickly and captured the attention of audiences alike as they toured the country. With their recent release, Copacetic, the band polished their sound and officially launched themselves dominant figures in the pop-punk scene.

The album is pop-punk to the core, but it fulfills a different taste that Knuckle Puck satisfies that not many bands hit. The lyrics are powerful and hit beyond the typical shouts of pop-punk music.

If you get the chance, see Knuckle Puck live. They know how to put on a show that captivates the entire audience.

The band will be in Orlando on November 8th and Jacksonville on November 11th.

Check Out: Disdain

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4. Neck Deep/ Life’s Not Out to Get You

Neck Deep’s 2015 release marked a new era for the band. Many claimed Life’s Not Out to Get You was the pop-punk album of the year upon its release.

Neck Deep, a traditional pop-punk band, opened up new ideas on this album. Don’t get me wrong, Life’s Not Out to Get You is Neck Deep to the core. The album feels like the next best step for the band. I cannot wait to see where the band progresses after the success of this album.

If you’re just launching into the pop-punk scene, Neck Deep is the band to know. Their success is only rising with the release of this album. The style of Life’s Not Out… offers traditional pop-punk: catchy hooks, loud riffs and chants coupled with deep screams. The difference that this album offers, though, is the diversity of each track.

Check Out: December

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5. Modern Baseball/ You’re Gonna Miss It All

Modern Baseball is arguably not all that pop-punk. Yet, they couple fast chord progressions with cheeky lyrics so in technicality, they fit they bill.

If you’re more interested in Indie music, you will enjoy Modern Baseball. If you enjoy punk, you will enjoy Modern Baseball. If you enjoy music, you will enjoy Modern Baseball.

It’s that simple. This band changed the game for pop-punk bands. They mix their self-deprecating lyrics with fast, troubling sounds that allow any fan of music to relate to. As sing-alongs go, Modern Baseball has perfected them. Their lyrics entice an entire crowd to dance around and scream their lyrics at the top of their lungs.

You’re Gonna Miss It All is Modern Baseball’s most recognized album and for good reason. This album defined their sound and their live show.

Check Out: Notes

 

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