Category Archives: music

Baby Scream Reinventing the Local Indie Scene

Baby Scream is an indie band from Argentina who is gaining success in the States. Founded in 2002, Baby Scream took the road less traveled and followed their dreams of playing music for a living. The band’s new self-titled album was released last December in the UK. I recently interviewed Juan Pablo Mazzola, lead singer.

What first got you interested in music? Is this something you’ve always known you wants to do?
Yeah, I couldn’t stop listening to music when I was a kid, a lot of cassettes back in the day. I would listen to Michael Jackson’s Thriller and some Rod Stewart cassettes, Iron Maiden and jazz music. Then I discovered radio at age 12.

Where do you draw your inspirations from? Why?

Life, hours, moments.
I don’t know why, I think I need to do it, like a path of something.

Is it hard being away from home while on the road touring? What are some of the best/worst experiences you’ve had?

I did some tourin in Germany in 2007, had a good time because I became close with a lot of people there, I guess friendship must be included when you are touring.
I’ve had the worst experiences in Argentina but also the greatest ones, probably the worst was playing in front of 2 people or maybe this was the greatest one?

Can you tell me about your album? What is your favorite song on it and what’s the story behind that song?

Yeah, my new cd is going to be out in the U.K.  on OK! Records. It is simply called “Baby Scream” and features 10 songs, classic Rock and Powerpop stuff.
Eric Dover (Jellyfish, Imperial Drag, Alice Cooper) plays guitar and sings backing vocals on a song called “The Ghosts Of Valerie.”
It was recorded between Buenos Aires and Los Angeles and it was produced by Muddy Stardust who also produced Brian Jonestown Massacre.

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An Interview with Circa Survive’s Anthony Green

This was an article I originally wrote for the music publication “Origivation.” I recently came across it again and wanted to share.

Overcoming the Quarter-Life Crisis

There seems to be a common medium shared by every twenty-something year old on the planet. It’s a state of evaluation of one’s life; a teetering between fight-or-flight mode than can last for months or even years on end. Psychiatrists have dubbed this “the quarter-life crisis.” Common characteristics of a quarter-life crisis are identity confusion, loneliness, frustrations with the working world and relationships, boredom, restlessness, and an overall feeling of anxiety. The quarter-life crisis is rooted in feelings of inadequacy and fears that one has not seen/done/experienced enough. Some people, in my personal opinion, have had the great fortune of avoiding these emotions completely. They have had numerous accomplishments at an early age, and their stars will only continue to rise. I feel that Anthony Green, from the Philadelphia based group Circa Survive, is one of these lucky people.

Anthony is a very, very talented musician who has previously played with such bands as Audience of One, Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer, and Saosin. He is currently the lead singer of Circa Survive. The band has been together for four years, but the members have known each other a lot longer than that. “We were all mutual friends,” Green explains, “We knew each other for a long time through other people. Our lives always kind of ran parallel to each other’s before we formed Circa.”

Anthony attributes his love of music to bands such as Minor Threat and the Smiths. He draws from a number of different musical influences for his bands, but the lyrics and actual songs are all very personal to him. “I think it’s a bit selfish to take experiences from your own life for song material,” Anthony says, “But that’s all I know.”

Anthony Green has been all over the United States while touring with his different bands, and even to England more than once. “We don’t get much downtime during tour,” he says, “We’re always waiting. Waiting for sound-check, waiting to go on stage. I can’t just chill because I’m so ready to play so I can’t relax. And then after the show, I can’t hang out because I’m so exhausted. I just want to curl up in a ball and be alone for a mile in every direction and people still want to hang out.”

Green’s favorite local venues to play in Philadelphia are the Unitarian Church and the Trocedaro. “The church is so intimate,” Anthony says, “Everyone is just hanging out and listening to music and it has a very comfortable vibe.”

Anthony’s love for the Troc can be traced back to his younger years when he went and saw the Melvins there. “It was my very first show and I was fourteen years old. It’s ridiculous to be able to play in a venue where I was when I was fourteen at a sold out show. I love it.”

The fans are also what keep Anthony going. “Circa fans are amazing,” he gloats, “They are just all so cool. Like for Christmas this year fan named Kyle gave presents out to all the band members. I think he’s lour biggest fan in the world. He gave us these journals that he made about following the band around. It was just really endearing and amazing.”

Anthony Green is only twenty-five years old and already is adored the world over for his musical genius. It shakes regular twenty-somethings, such as myself, to their core, but it also has the potential to inspire us. Anthony was born with an immense gift of creativity, and he has used that to its full advantage. He has worked his ass off to get where he is now and I think we should all do the same. Instead of freaking out that we’re not good enough, we should cultivate our skills and find out what we love to do. Hopefully there will be a lot less depression amongst my generation if we do that.

Goodnight, Thriller

michael_jackson_7Two entirely different generations were utterly crushed last night by the tragic deaths of both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. These two people were epic icons in pop culture and almost like American royalty. They set the standards for future movie stars and musicians, and entered every teenager’s bedroom through either the television or radio.

Last night, after the news of Jackson’s death, a group of friends and I got drunk on a rooftop listening to Thriller on vinyl. It wasn’t the classiest of tributes to make to a pop legend, but at the time, it was the only way we knew how. My one friend, more so than the others, was absolutely crushed. He wouldn’t talk to any of us and had already made plans to call out of work the next day, devoting all of his time to designing a silkscreen t-shirt  as a way of paying homage to his hero. 

When I heard the news, I likened the feelings I got to the emotions I felt when I got my first real taste of death at the age of five. The family dog, Tristie, had been put-down and as a child of that age, the magnitude of the situation did not fully absorb into my heart or head. It didn’t feel real because at five years old, I could not yet comprehend death. 

I feel the same way about this loss. It is still sinking in through my skin. I cannot fathom nor can I understand the effect it is going to have on the world. All I know, is that last night, on that rooftop, under a summer moon, all I wanted to do was listen to Billie Jean and dance.

“And oh, those summer nights…”

rittenhouse_night_CThis summer, Philly is all about the free, outdoor concerts and I have no objections. What’s better than sitting in the park on a gorgeous summer night and listening to rad local music? EXACTLY! There isn’t anything better than that…

There are quite a few different outdoor music events going down this summer. One of them is Philly Weekly’s Concert in the Park, a weekly Wednesday concert taking place in Rittenhouse Square from 7pm-9pm, featuring acts from all across the music genre gamut. Concert in the Park will begin in August.

If you just cannot wait that long (God bless your impatient, little soul) then the Penn Treat Music Fest is right up your alley, running July 15th through August 19th. This promises to be a truly unique show, hosting a wide array of local Philadelphia musical talent. Awesome.

Another option you is Best Fest, taking place in the broken little heart of West Philly at Clark Park. Some of the line-up will be Meg Baird, Serpent of Wisdom, My Mind, Hot Guts, Magnet City Kids, BOBO, The Blenders and sooo much more.

Rock on, Philly. Rock on.