Monday means BandsOnBands, and we’re excited to be posting the new PropertyOfZack features today with Michael Jagmin of A Skylit Drive. The band is our Artist Of The Week and will be releasing Rise tomorrow via Tragic Hero Records, so make sure to pre-order it.
From Michael Jagmin:
One band comes to mind when I think back to who influenced me the most at the most crucial time. I used to look up to many artists when I was younger, but the one that always stood above them all was Copeland.
It was back in my senior year of high school that I first heard Copeland’s “Beneath Medicine Tree”. As I always did every Tuesday, I’d go into the local record store in my small town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming and head straight for the listening station. For a small town they surprisingly kept up with new music pretty well. Little did I know that day I’d find the band that would carry me through a lot of hard times. From my teen years all the way up until even now.
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We are incredibly excited to be launching our third Decade feature in celebration of Copeland's Beneath Medicine Tree, which is celebrating its ten year anniversary next week. Though the band has now come and gone, Beneath Medicine Tree is a record that has stood the test of time for listeners, viewers, and POZ. We have commentary on the album via team members Josh Hammond, Marc Gary Gray, and Brittany Oblak. Enjoy and reblog to let us know your thoughts on Beneath Medicine Tree ten years later!
Best song on Beneath Medicine Tree
To understand the significance of “Brightest,” the opening track of Copeland’s debut full length, Beneath Medicine Tree, you first have to grasp the depth and intensities of the concept of the album. Inspired heavily from the hospitalization of his girlfriend and the death of his grandmother, Aaron Marsh approached the album’s lyrics and songwriting from a confessional and extremely venerable position. Nothing is held back from the listener and every drop of emotion felt from Marsh ends up bleeding into the mix.
“Brightest,” a song that comes in at just over two minutes, stands out as the most understated and softly spoken song on an album weighed down in heavy plots and heart wrenching scripts. It is this simplicity however that makes the song shine. Based over soft, flowing piano and calm, careful guitar the song’s lyrics express hindsight. Marsh looks back fondly at prior situation, explaining that he has let it go. He says softly and almost insecurely, “All I know is she warms my heart and knows what all my imperfections are” before revealing the great couplet on the album “and she said that I was the brightest little firefly in her jar.”
I remember being 22 years old and hearing Marsh sing those words for the first time. In that moment everything changed. I can recall seeing my views and concepts of what love shift dramatically. I desperately wanted to be the brightest firefly in someone’s jar. That statement defined me. It changed me. More importantly it stuck with me for a decade.
Unintentionally and from his own grief, Marsh managed to pen the most important two minutes of my life. I can only imagine the effect that it managed to have on his. – Joshua Hammond (@endless_rambles)
Legacy of Beneath Medicine Tree
I’m not suffering from writer’s block, I swear. However, I can’t seem to “sum up” the legacy of this album. I would posit that the legacy Beneath Medicine Tree ten years after its release (but you knew that already, right? Decade? Amiright?) is a slightly complex one. First of all, Copeland is a “Christian” band, and however you choose to view that, the label (limiting or unnecessary as it may be) can certainly have an effect on the way a band is viewed: see Exhibit A – mewithoutYou.
Being one who is frustrated with such labels, I will choose to completely ignore this fact when attempting to place this album in its proper historical place and context. Here are two things that I know for sure: 1) when given the list of albums that would be highlighted in this Decade project, I did not bat an eyelash at this album. In other words, of COURSE this album needs to be highlighted. No brainer. 2) Nothing on this album sticks it permanently into its period in history. Let me expound. There are no badly placed screaming parts (no screaming parts at all, for that matter). The production is simple and understated. There are no rap interludes, no dance move music videos, nothing to pin the album to 2003. I hate to throw around the word timeless, but in this context, the album is timeless. And that’s definitely a good thing.
At the end of the day, this album fills a nice gap between the late 90s emo bands (think Jets to Brazil, Hey Mercedes, etc.) and bands like Brand New and Fall Out Boy who thrived in the middle to later portions of the 2000s. Ultimately, Aaron Marsh solidified himself a place next to the great indie/emo songwriters of the last ten years, and if that’s the most I can say for someone, that’s still quite something. - Marc Gary Gray (@marcgarygray)
States have signed with Tooth & Nail Records and will be reissuing Room To Run via the label on June 19th. The release will feature four bonus tracks. Check out the new track listing below by clicking “Read More.”
For those who take to Mindy White’s voice like a hipster to Brooklyn or flock to the musicality of Copeland’s discography, States’s new full-length, Room to Run, will almost certainly satisfy. The pristine dirtiness of White’s vocal performance adds some grunge to the typical Copeland instrumentation. What’s intriguing about Room to Run, as opposed to States’s previous release, is the dynamics. There’s an ebb and flow. Hookiness and artistry work together simultaneously. For the most part.
The album erupts with “Timebomb” which introduces grunginess-turned-beautiful. The fullness of White’s harmonies hits when an unexpected chord progression captivates the listener mid-song. The track is powerful, with bassy drums that keep it dirty. What will intrigue the listener is the catchy flow of melody and lyric. “I’m like a timebomb rushin’ around, rushin’ around” may not make a whole ton of sense, but the combination of words and lilting vocals makes it work.
Where States really soars musically is in “Captivating Me,” contrasted with the following track where White’s vocals are clearly the showcase. It’s up to personal preference, but the less high-pitched soaring melodies in the chorus, the better. States works best when they blend White’s intimate vocal ability with a power-poppy musical vibe.
Nate Dorough is a promoter from Michigan that runs Fusion Shows, puts on Bled Fest, and does work with Phantom Creative Group as well. In his fifth blog for our ongoing Contributor series, Nate discusses a Foo Fighters concert he attended recently and just how incredible it was. Nate relates this kind of performance to how younger and new bands should “leave it all on stage” with their fans to give them the most worthwhile show they can. It’s a great read and is certainly relevant, so check it out and enjoy!
Last night, I saw the Foo Fighters in concert, at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Being a concert promoter, I don’t often purchase concert tickets anymore. I see so much live music (3 to 4 shows a week), I get used to the comforts of having backstage access, an office to relax in, not to mention I can generally guest list myself to almost any show in the state.
However, this summer, Live Nation announced that the Foos would be touring, and I grabbed 4 tickets the day they went on sale. The past few months, I’ve been targeting that date, as the Foo Fighters have long been one of my favorite bands. I was excited. I was the flip side of the coin, part of the marketing demographic I spend all of my time identifying.
We got there in time to see one song from Mariachi El Bronx. I get why the Foos brought them on the tour. They’re cool and all, but kind of a novelty, and it was blatantly obvious in front of a bunch of radio rock fans. They got a warm response though. Rise Against took the stage next, and played a predictably awesome set. I’m a “fan”, I suppose, but not enough to where I know the names of the songs or what albums they come from. It felt like a pretty good mix of radio songs and deep cuts, but I’m sure a “true” Rise Against fan would disagree.
After a 30 minute changeover, the Foos took the stage at 9pm, opening with “Bridges Burning” and “Rope” from the new record, “Wasting Light”. In my eyes, this might be their best record. A lot of people have treated Foo Fighters in the same manner that they treat Weezer (blah blah Pinkerton blah blah) or Jimmy Eat World (Clarity is like totally the best!). I’ve never been on that team, as I think everything Dave Grohl and company have done has been top notch. Yeah, I love songs off “The Colour and the Shape” as much as anyone, but I honestly think that “Wasting Light” is their best effort, and the largest crowd to ever see the Foos in Detroit (on a Monday, no less) packed their asses into the Palace to agree with me.
New Song: ”Timebomb” // States // Room To Run