Tag Archives: All American Rejects

Bamboozle Brings Some Splendid Noise and Returns Home to Asbury Park

21 May


Bamboozle boasted three days of gorgeous weather, sweeping ocean views and lots and lots of rock. Stepping into the Berkeley Hotel, where I was staying for the weekend long festival of sun, surf and music, I felt like I was stepping into the “Continental Riot House” scene in Almost Famous. Every time I crossed the lobby to hop the elevator up to my room, I was confronted with the standard issue rocker uniform of leather, flannel, faux-hawks, tattoo sleeves and Vans as far as the eye could see. To really bump up the “It’s all happening,” factor, Cameron Crowe even replied to a twitter convo between me and a friend, referencing said movie and said line, pretty much providing the highlight of my life.

But back to the weekend at hand. Over a hundred bands played across seven stages spread out along the infamous New Jersey boardwalk. For me, Saturday Main Stage performers, Brand New, is one band to download/Like/see live ASAP. Hailing from Long Island, these five alterna-rockers were bringing their own fresh flavor while still bowing a nod in the direction they came from. From singer Jesse Lacey’s Morrissey-esque vibe to ripping through a kick-ass, spot-on cover of “Wish” by Nine Inch Nails, they ended their set by channeling Nirvana complete with hurling guitars and toppling drum kits.

Brand New weren’t the only ones paying homage from whence they came. Foos frontman and Nirvana drummer (as if he needs either of those intros, let alone any intro at all), Dave Grohl jumped behind the drums while regular Foos drummer Taylor Hawkins jumped behind the mic to sing, “Cold Day in the Sun.” The band closed out Day 2, gracing Asbury with a “short” set that ended uncharacteristically early. With a running time of two hours and ending at 9:30, the Foos ripped through their hits before they hopped a helicopter back to 30 Rock to play back-up for Mick Jagger on the SNL season finale. Although a very rock star move, not having three plus hours of Foo-time was a little disappointing.

The weekend provided a parade of noteworthy frontmen: Incubus’ Brandon Boyd was a wonder on the eyes and the ears, and Grohl, of course, defines charismatic. Sonny John Moore, aka Skrillex, was cool to watch and Brand New’s Lacey, All-American Rejects’ Tyson Ritter and Buckcherry’s Josh Todd were all stand-outs. Not to be left out, Jon Bon Jovi leaves nothing to the imagination as to how he got to where he is today as one of the most famous frontmen in the world.

Bon Jovi closed out the festival and, although JBJ said the band was a little rusty from not having played together in a year, the crowd didn’t seem to notice. Bon Jovi’s been around almost as long as I’ve been alive, and I’ve been a fan about as long. I’ve seen them many a time, and seeing them live never gets old. The genuine smiles on those four Jersey boys’ faces as they closed out a hometown show at a festival that returned home after a ten-year absence couldn’t have been a more apropos ending to a totally kick-ass weekend. Bon Jovi ‘s right: “Who says you can’t go home?”

Welcome (back) to Asbury Park, Bamboozle.


Cover Me Baby One More Time

11 Nov

Following along with my accidental theme of cover songs and Mouseketeers (interview with former MMC alum Tony Lucca coming very very soon), I’ve come to find that Britney Spears’ catalog is quite the popular cover choice.

I will say it loud and proud that I love Marty Casey’s stripped down cover of Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time.” Who is Marty Casey, you say? He’s a tall, handsome, wiry blonde rocker from Chicago whose initial claim to fame happened to be as runner-up on the 2005 reality show Rock Star: INXS. He also happened to be, as far as I’m concerned, the one who should have won. Not winning, however, has allowed him to sing with L.A. Guns, as well as remain with his original band, the Lovehammers, who are totally kick-ass and worth checking out.

I digress.

One of Casey’s performances on Rock Star included his own rendition of Spears’ hit song, which I recently rediscovered and now find myself listening to more than I care to admit.   Now, suddenly, every which way I turn, someone’s mentioning a Britney Spears song and it never seems to be performed by the original artist herself. Magnet Magazine threw a mention to The Chapin Sisters’ cover of “Toxic,” which is also quality. This led me further down the rabbit hole where I discovered quite an extensive list of Britney Spears covers, some by pretty well known artists.

This surprises me for two reasons: 1, that so many artists are making the choice to cover a Britney Spears song and 2, that they’re doing it so soon. I suppose it’s kitschy in its own way, and there is definitely a humorous novelty aspect to it, but these more than decent covers only seek to highlight the potential for Britney Spears’ songs and solidify her relevance in the music world. Not entirely sure if that’s a good or a bad thing…

Here’s a little taste of the best I could find:

Marty Casey “Hit Me Baby One More Time

This one belongs on Britney Spears Storytellers, but with Marty Casey and on VH1’s Unplugged.

Lily Allen “Womanizer”

The training wheels are off. With a similar pop feel as the original, Allen adds a sexy sultriness Spears could never touch.

The Chapin Sisters “Toxic

Languid and soulful – who knew?

All American Rejects “Womanizer

The intro is funny, putting this version at the top of the kitsch list, but the Rejects throw in a little of the Turtles, “Happy Together” making this quite the mash up.

Franz Ferdinand “Womanizer”

Clearly the fan favorite of Britney tunes to cover, this version has a little lounge singer, Stray Cats meets Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds vibe to it for me.

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