We’re gonna break Tumblr. On the last day of tour this past summer, our buddies in Real Friends, Modern Baseball, Candy Hearts, and Stickup Kid all got together to record a great acoustic cover of Motion City Soundtrack's “When You're Around.” PropertyOfZack is very happy to be premiering the cover today in conjunction with Soundlapse who did a great job filming the shoot. Watch all four bands cover “When You're Around” below!
We here at PropertyOfZack have had a lot of fun wandering down memory lane this year, exploring and celebrating some of our favorite records of all time that are enjoying their 10 year birthday with Decade. But, no one’s perfect, and it turns out that we missed a few – some of them entirely essential. So we enlisted team members Erik van Rheenen, Jesse Richman, Deanna Chapman, Brittany Oblak, and Adrienne Fisher to tell us all about some of their favorites from 2003 that they felt needed a proper heralding in our last weeks of 2013. Enjoy the read and reblog to let us know your thoughts – and stay tuned next year for more Decade celebrations to mark the golden age of 2004!
The Ataris – So Long Astoria – 3/4/2003
Before Kris Roe threw a drumset in Asbury Park, before the band promised a record called Graveyard of the Atlantic (the idea of which, incidentally, might be as dead as its name suggests), before Welcome the Night slashed the tires of the group’s youthful, bright-eyed optimism, The Ataris were the Boys of Summer. Cue a chorus of non-fans cupping their hands and shouting, “Their one hit was a cover. A COVER!” like so many echo chambers. And yeah, The Ataris’ spin on the Don Henley Standard went the way of Alien Ant Farm…at least commercially. Even the album title for their gold-achieving 2003 record, So Long, Astoria, is a pastiche to a pop cultural property that doesn’t belong to them — for those of you without an affinity for schmaltzy 80s flicks, it’s a nudge-nudge-wink-wink to The Goonies. It was The Ataris one-and-done shot on a major label, and if Metacritic’s analytics have something to say about So Long, Astoria, it’s nothing very nice: the album earned a middling 57 with a whole bunch of lukewarm reviews.
But goddamn, do I love this record. I might be letting my starry-eyed nostalgia for So Long, Astoria use me as its ventriloquist dummy (I got the album sleeve signed by Roe at the first concert I ever went to in Syracuse, and the CD was one of the first in a young Vandy Man’s collection), but I’m not sure that’s really the case. I still spin this album at a common clip, and every time I do, I keep falling in love with the innocence and resilience and coming of age that the record undergoes. I’ll probably never fail to sing along with “Takeoffs and Landings” when I find myself stuck at an airport, or mime playing guitar along with “My Reply,” or wishing I had more summers and sleepovers like “In This Diary.” Though the album establishes its milieu up on the Pacific Coast, So Long, Astoria weaves its way through the States like a pop-punk road map, and if there was a name for that sensation of traveling without having to move your ass out of a chair (get on it, Merriam-Webster), it’d be the perfect descriptor for the album. Life is only as good as the memories we make, and man, is this record full of memories for me. – Erik van Rheenen
The Blood Brothers - …Burn, Piano Island, Burn – 3/31/2003
A decade after Kurt Cobain stage dove through the walls separating punk, metal and pop by tempering ferocious, wounded-animal hooks with deeply vulnerable sensibilities and an empathy that matched his animus, fellow Seattleites the Blood Brothers took similar aim at the traditionally-macho hardcore, grindcore and noise scenes. …Burn, Piano Island, Burn remains, unquestionably, one of the weirdest, most adventurous albums ever released on a major label (the Richard Branson-founded V2, and produced by mook-metal paterfamilias Ross Robinson, natch), and though their sound was far too scabrous to afford them anything like mainstream success, it left an indelible imprint on hardcore. Mark Gadjahar’s barely-on-the-edge-of-control drumming serves as the perfectly rickety platform for bassist/keyboardist Morgan Henderson and (especially) guitarist Cody Votaloto to launch themselves through mathy, corkscrew takes on punk, funk and withering noise, with the dual-scream attack of co-vocalists Johnny Whitney (his is the banshee-being-torn-apart-by-wolves howl) and Jordan Blilie (the slightly-more-gruff snarler) chainsawing a gaping hole through the center of it all. Somehow, the chaos never completely swallows the melody — songs like “Fucking’s Greatest Hits” and the title track are unreasonably hooky in spite of themselves. …Burn, Piano Island, Burn is an utterly unique, and uniquely great work of damaged art, and it’s far more deserving of a celebration that most of the second-tier albums by third-tier acts that got one this year.
The Company We Keep released their new album, Sound / No Sound, via Easy Killer Records on Tuesday. Today, PropertyOfZack is happy to be hosting a Track-By-Track for the album from Brian Southall, Branden Morgan, and Justin Pierre. Pick up the album here and check out the feature below!
POZ Stream: The Company We Keep - Sound/No Sound
Control was one of the turning point songs for TCWK. Many of the tracks on the album had existed in various forms since 2009, and Control was something brand new… something I was nervous to even bring to the band, wondering if everyone else would hate my vision for where this album was headed. - Brian
Each song on this record has it’s own identity and I’m happy this track ended up as the opener on the record. The record was missing something until I heard this song and realized it had just been completed. - Branden
I struggled to come up with words for this one until relatively late in the game when one day the first half of the chorus just popped into my head. I reverse engineered the rest of the song from there. - Justin
I Will Be What Haunts You Most
I think this is my favorite track on the album, and I don’t ever expect it to be anyone else’s! I found myself accidentally stumbling onto a riff reminiscent of something Tom Morello would write, and its still my favorite thing to play on the album. - Brian
I never saw this song coming when we were writing the record. When Brian first sent it to me, I didn’t like it. But after spending so much time with it, it has slowly become one of my favorites of the record. - Branden
Lyrically this was born out of the overwhelming and claustrophobically horrifying feeling I get when allowed even a moment of down time. Perhaps there are deep seeded issues I am running from by always having to work on 5 projects at once. Whether literal or figurative, this song is about relationships, and how certain ones can be not so good for you. Musically this song reminds me of mixture of Minus The Bear and Rage Against The Machine. - Justin
Miles Away (Get Me Out Of Here)
This track was the defining turning point for what this band has become. It’s working title for a long time was “new 1”, simply because it was the newest song I had written after we spent 2 years working on very old material I had stockpiled. I think this song could best embody every aspect of the band. - Brian
This song is my favorite of the record. It has gone through many changes both structurally and feel wise. The intro used to be a lot less noisy and the chorus, less catchy. Now the intro is a loud smash-fest and the chorus, the catchiest on the record. - Branden
In my mind I imagined this super dark Neil Gaiman graphic novel type character who went by the name of either The Dagger or The Inching Blade. Maybe I was even thinking of Door from Neverwhere. I think of this character wrestling with two opposing sides of themselves, which is represented by the verses vs. the chorus. I think this is as close to a “pop” song as we are ever going to get. - Justin
I don’t think there was a moment during our writing process that ever had me as excited as I was when i heard the demo vocal ideas for Shadowing. Instantly fell in love and knew it would be one of the strongest tracks on the album. There’s something about the chorus vocal that reminds me a lot of A Perfect Circle, which probably won’t excite anyone but myself. - Brian
This is one of my favorites. I have a hard time deciphering Brian’s time signatures, and finding the beginning of the rotations, but once I just started building the chorus like a pyramid (which I originally did in Rabbit) I found the melody. Shadowing is such an aggressive word. Especially when I think of it in the pulp sense. Haden destroyed this vocally, expertly maneuvering through emotional landscape of the character. - Justin
Held Together may be the oldest track that made the album. It’s original working title was 11-11-09. I got into the habit of saving song ideas by the date I created them, and that one still haunts me, knowing that it took almost 4 years to finally be recorded. Very proud of this track. This song has the most full input from everyone in the band and it’s a sign of things to come as we all work together. - Brian
I remember playing the chorus of the song so many different ways that I used mess it up live and play different versions of it. I also encountered some of the most challenging drum part writing I have in this band so far. We also did some fun experimenting in the studio on this one. - Branden
When I heard the music I just new I wanted to fit as many words as I could into the verses. It’s as close to rapping as I get. I imagined a person in bad shape under a lamplight on a corner of street at night that you would want to avoid, but giving them a tragic backstory. The chorus went through many rewrites (both lyrically and melody wise) but finally we found it at the 11th hour. - Justin
Motion City Soundtrack have kicked off their co-headlining tour. Check out their set list below after the jump.
Motion City Soundtrack are beginning pre-production for their new album that they are hoping to release by the summer of 2014. Check out an Instagram post from the band below after the jump.
Many Motion City Soundtrack fans were hoping for an I Am The Movie ten year tour, but the band has let them down gently. Check out confirmation below after the jump.