American Beauty is a collection of songs I cut at home. Upon revisiting them for High Hopes I recognized their potential and Ron Aniello and I worked on them until wed turned them into the music before you. In the song American Beauty, I get to sing in a part of my range I dont often visit and that along with its guitar wall of sound gives it a little exile on E Street power. Mary Mary is a lovely mystery, a small piece of heartbreak poetry that sneaks up on you with its slippery grove, punctuated string section and spectral lyrics. It came closest to making the High Hopes cut. Hurry Up Sundown is a fun piece of modern power pop, while Hey Blue Eyes rounds out the EP with one of my darkest political songs. Written during the Bush years, its a metaphor for the house of horrors our governments actions created in the years following the invasion of Iraq. At its center is the repressed sexuality and abuse of power that characterized Abu Ghraib prison. I feel this is a shadow we as a country have yet to emerge from.
Last year, Jake Luhrs (August Burns Red) took his non-profit organization Heartsupport on the road with the Warped Tour. They’re working hard on being able to return this summer, and they’re currently accepting donations to be able to achieve this goal. For more information, check out my interview with Jake from last summer.
The researchers behind the study, Coastal Carolina University’s Terry Pettijohn and Southern Mississippi’s Donald Sacco, take as their dataset the Billboard country songs of the year from 1946 to 2008. They used text analysis software, and manual chord analysis and tempo measurement, to identify lyrical themes and musical properties of the songs. They then compared their findings to an index measuring the overall well-being of society, using indicators like unemployment, inflation, personal income growth, the suicide and homicide rates, the divorce rate, and so forth.
Tom Mullen, director, digital marketing at Legacy Recordings/Sony Music, has taken the Executive Playlist to a whole other level—albeit a completist Emo level. Here, with 312 songs spanning 19 hours and 43 minutes of angsty melodicism ranging from Texas is the Reason to Taking Back Sunday to Pinback and beyond, this intense compilation culled from his WashedUpEmo.com blog will leave you exhilarated and perhaps by its end emotionally spent.