2013 was, as expected, an incredible year for music. We’ve been busy preparing for a great 2014 at PropertyOfZack, but we wanted to share our staff compiled Albums Of The Year feature, which highlights both our top ten LPs and EPs of 2013 before jumping into the New Year. Check out the full feature below and reblog to let us know your favorite albums of the year!
It’s getting cold, which means two things: 1) your wallet has become thinner from buying band hoodies and/or crew necks and 2) there are some rad holiday tours coming up that you should be getting ready to go to. We decided to put together a new PropertyOfZack Discussion on all the “must see” tours going on this month, so check them out below and feel free to reblog with the tours you can’t wait to see!
The Wonder Years, Vinnie Caruana, Young Statues
It’s tours like this that make me miss living in the Northeast. If you live in West Chester, Poughkeepsie, Pawtucket or Patchogue, and you’re not going to one of these shows, I’ll make damn sure Santa gives you coal for Christmas for making a very poor decision. The Wonder Years are hitting the road for an acoustic string of shows with I Am The Avalanche vocalist Vinnie Caruana and indie-rock outfit Young Statutes, and they’re offering free cookies and hot chocolate if you wear an ugly Christmas sweater. Few things are better than being packed in an intimate venue with your favorite big-time band playing acoustically, but getting free food and rocking Grandma’s sweater while doing so throw it over the top. - Ali Killian
Saves The Day, Jon Simmons, Walter Schreifels
When the Saves the Day headliner ended earlier this year, it felt like we all just woke up from a really good dream. One of the underground’s most historically adored bands, bringing the deepest of cuts and hardest of jams, for two hours every single night? It couldn’t have been more of an ideal way to welcome Saves - and their new record - back into the circuit after a few years laying dormant. Seems like the band can’t get enough, either; their winter headliner, a two-week jog from the Midwest through the Northeast, will be just slightly stripped down into an acoustic full-band format. So what does this mean? Well, romantically enough, I’m envisioning something like a living room show, with a fireplace, hot chocolate, and all of your favorite people singing loudly along to the Bug Sessions. Except in a venue. With beer. And people that only look vaguely familiar because you’ve seen them at Saves shows before. But if we’re gauging by the audience camaraderie that oozed from the shows during the fall headliner, it’s going to be one hell of a unified room and someone will undeniably try to stage dive during an acoustic rendition of “Jodie.” Let’s also not forget to make it your business to get there early, as the tour support is solo sets from Jon Simmons of our beloved Balance & Composure and living legend Walter Schriefels (Google him, kids).
Do you still need convincing? I’ll put it this way for you, East Coast: if you live in a 2 hour radius of New York City you’ve got at least 4 chances to catch a date. If you’re a warm-blooded Saves the Day fan, you’d be remiss to skip out on this tour. - Adrienne Fisher
The Front Bottoms
Why feign excitement over new socks and sweaters when there’s a Front Bottoms Christmas show on the horizon? The group’s takeover of Bowery Ballroom happening just two days shy of Christmas is sure to be packed with good tunes and holiday cheer. While the band’s set is always a treat in and of itself, let’s cross our fingers and hope to hear some really early tracks, sort of like a gift from the band to our ears. But regardless of what they play, the show’s sure to be a good time. - Marie Scarsella
by Becky Kovach, edited by Erik van Rheenen
Expectations are a fickle thing. And the announcement of I Surrender Records’ Our Voices EP, the first in a series of similar releases celebrating the label’s 10-year anniversary, definitely came with some expectations. After all, it features original solo tracks from Adam Lazzara, Anthony Raneri, Chris Conley, and Vinnie Caruana — all on one EP. It’s hard not to go into that with anything other than high hopes.
Fortunately, I think Our Voices lived up to most expectations – I know it met mine. Each singer’s solo style is different enough from his respective band’s to avoid sounding like an unreleased B-side. And each track brings something completely new to the table.
Lazzara starts things out by getting in touch with his folk side in “Because It Works.” His soft and reassuring drawl pairs well with warm acoustic guitars. The highlight though, was the resonating harmonica melodies peppered throughout the track.
Following up Lazzara is Anthony Raneri, with the surprisingly synth-heavy “String Me Along.” The song features self-deprecating lyrics that are pretty typical of Raneri’s writing style (“Use me if you want, my baby / I won’t leave though I know I should / String along round the neighborhood / Since that makes you feel so good”). But it juxtaposes them with a slow, poppy feel that would be borderline off-putting if not for Raneri’s impressive harmonies.
PropertyOfZack is happy to be teaming up with Peace’d Out (Vinnie Caruana + Steve Choi) for a Behind The Booth series on the concept of the band and their music. The first video in the series is live now, and we’ll be posting the second and third on Wednesday and Friday, respectively. Check out the band’s first EP here and the first BTB segment as well as a quote from Choi below by clicking “Read More!”
Each day of Today’s Mixtape Festival showed off its own iconic vibe, its own genres, and its own important representation of the current state of the Long Island music scene. The lineup for each day easily could have been bands on the respective mixtapes of three different people who may not have exchanged music with each other otherwise, but managed to be friends for a cohesive and epic weekend.
Day One of the fest was easily its most dynamic. With genres ranging from grunge to post-rock, and everything in between, Friday was full of genuinely talented musicians. No gimmicks. Nothing generic. Just pure, unadulterated rock and roll and the perfect audience to appreciate it.
A theme strewn throughout the day was that of keeping the Long Island scene alive and keeping the legends who made it what it is today in the memory of the younger generations. So it was only appropriate to have the day kick off with two local bands, Darby Switch and Cryptodira.
Darby Switch captured the attention of their modestly sized audience as soon as they began playing. It was immediately obvious that anyone who was going to Mixtape Fest was going not only to see their current favorite band play, but to discover their next obsession. Even the first and second bands of the fourteen-act day were well worth the attention they received.
After Cryptodira gave the crowd the only dose of metal they’d get that day, Modern Baseball took the stage and immediately proved themselves worthy of the hype they’ve been receiving. It was clear they were the reason anyone showed up in the early afternoon, and the still-humble crowd sang along to the melodic and mature vocals delivered by Brendan Lukens. The talents of the entire band were impossible to ignore, and with closed eyes it would have been hard to believe that the music coming from the stage was coming from such fresh faces.
Next up was a band with a sound as full as the crowd was: Prawn. For being one of only two post-rock bands on the bill, the group broke up the sets of the other openers intensely. Their high-pitched, soaring guitar riffs and honest vocals translated perfectly to the stage.
The tight schedule moved along with State Lines, whose energy was a progressive buildup from the start of their set to their anthemic closer. A set defined by clean harmonies and amazing chemistry between the crowd and band both contrasted and built up perfectly to Dads.
Needless to say, hearing a tight drummer provide powerful vocals simultaneously is an unreal experience. The talented two-piece proved that any pop would be saved for Day Two and their blend of indie and punk warranted the first stage divers of the weekend.
Today’s Mixtape Festival will be taking place this weekend on Long Island, and PropertyOfZack is gearing up for a weekend of fun, and we hope many of you are too. Just in case you’re not too in tune to the festival already and can make it out, we thought it’d be a great idea to put together a list of POZ’s Must See Bands And Acts that will be gracing the stage this weekend at Mixtape. Reblog and let us know who we need to see while we’re on Long Island this weekend as well!
Defeater, by Alyssa McKinley
On a steady rise since 2008, the Massachusetts natives of Defeater have achieved the level of recognition that they deserved after their 2011 release Empty Days and Sleepless Nights. Their intense blend of punk and hardcore is not only musically genius, but also stands for more than what much of the music of their contemporaries does. Driven by a remarkable amount of passion and complemented by equal amounts of talent, Defeater is even more impressive live than recorded. Their headlining performance during the first day is set to stun fans Friday night.
Modern Baseball, by Zack Zarrillo
Though I was not in attendance for The Front Bottoms’ set at Mixtape Fest in 2012, I’ve heard the stories. A band not too familiar with Long Island and a crowd with high hopes met towards the end of the night and sparks resulted that summed up a continuously growing band’s year. Modern Baseball seem to be in the same place this year, and Friday’s lineup at Mixtape is all but waiting for them to clean up. We expect big things.
Vinnie Caruana, by Alyssa McKinley
Returning to 89 North solo, Vinnie Caruana is sure to fill the venue with as much energy as he did with I Am The Avalanche a few months ago. This Long Island native never fails to deliver an unforgettable performance, but those shows that take place in his own home are always more incredible. With a new EP adding only more brilliance to his extensive and diverse catalogue, Caruana is one of the most authentically talented veterans of the Long Island scene. His acoustic set will be just as attention demanding as the full bands on the hardcore-heavy bill that Friday promises.
Citizen, by Zack Zarrillo
This is the last season Citizen is going to fly under anyone’s radar. We’ve been promoting the band on the site since 2010, when members of the band were just halfway through high school, but things are finally in full gear for the five-piece from Michigan. They’ve been taking everyone by surprise on the Suppy Nation Tour, and Long Island won’t be any different. Coming soon will be a full-length that should be nothing short of incredible and a run on the Vans Warped Tour, so get into this band now if you’ve yet to.
Hostage Calm, by Alyssa McKinley
After the October release of Please Remain Calm, it has been hard to ignore the well-deserved acclaim of Hostage Calm. The politically charged lyrics and raw musicality of this band are a refreshing reminder that punk is nowhere close to dead. With a live performance that is as true to their recorded sound as it gets, Hostage Calm’s Saturday performance is sure to garner the respect of anyone who hasn’t already fallen in love with them.