Podcast: Building the Perfect Summer Music Festival

Unfortunately, we won’t be celebrating in the sun this summer while attending our favorite music festivals, so we decided to dream big. What if we could create the perfect lineup for our own summer music festival? Kiel Hauck is joined by Kyle Schultz and Nadia Paiva on the latest podcast as they take turns selecting bands to fill out their lineup card. The catch? Each band must be selected from a specific year and no two bands can appear on the same lineup. Fun and chaos ensue. Take a listen below and scroll down further to see our full lineups!

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Kiel’s Lineup

Nirvana (1992)
Genesis (1986)
Lauryn Hill (1999)

Paramore (2008)
Underoath (2005)
The Weeknd (2012)
The 1975 (2013)
Carly Rae Jepsen (2016)
My Chemical Romance (2004)
MxPx (1998)
Tears for Fears (1985)
Jewel (1995)
Nas (1994)
Frank Ocean (2011)
Clipse (2002)

Kyle’s Lineup

Green Day (2010)
Taylor Swift (2012)
The Ramones (1980)

AFI (2020)
Saves The Day (2006)
The Interrupters (2021)
Goldfinger (2020)
Something Corporate (2004)
Homegrown (2004)
Reel Big Fish (2010)
Chiodos vs Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows (2011)
Cartel (2007)
Jason Mraz (2009)
The Academy Is… (2005)

Nadia’s Lineup

Lorde (2017)
The Killers (2004)
Death Cab for Cutie (2005) 

Marina and the Diamonds (2012)
Regina Spektor (2009)
twenty one pilots (2013)
Relient K (2004)
Mumford and Sons (2012)
Hayley Williams (2020)
Panic! at the Disco (2011)
Falling Up (2013)
Closure In Moscow (2014)
Quiet Company (2011)
Turnover (2015)
Flyleaf (2005)

What is your dream music festival lineup? Share in the replies!

Posted by Kiel Hauck

Celebrating 15 Years of “From Under the Cork Tree”

During the spring semester of my junior year of college, I spent countless afternoons manning the booth for our student radio station. For what felt like a month straight, “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” was the most requested song. I vividly remember taking another request by phone, only to look up and see the television in the studio playing the video on MTV. Fall Out Boy were everywhere. And frankly, I was already sick of them.

You can buy or stream From Under the Cork Tree on Apple Music.

It took me a while to come around on From Under the Cork Tree, the album that launched Fall Out Boy, and the scene at large, into the stratosphere. Call it juvenile elitism. These were our bands, and now suddenly everyone was into it?

That bad attitude kept me from experiencing the joys of FUCT for a number of years. Now, 15 years after its release, it’s an album I know like the back of my hand.

On the album’s 10th anniversary, Senior Editor Kyle Schultz wrote about how From Under the Cork Tree is rightfully credited with taking a new generation of emo to the masses, but he also notes how that ascent was the end of the scene as we had known it. Many of our favorite bands were no longer confined to the Warped Tour circuit. Following Fall Out Boy’s rise in 2005, new bands could emerge from the woodwork and land headlining tours and MTV airplay without so much as traveling across country multiple times in 15-passenger vans. The scene was in style and driving popular tastes.

It’s still weird to think back on that time. Pre-2005 it was still faux pas to shop exclusively at Hot Topic or cover your backpack in stitched-on patches of bands no one had ever heard of. Don’t hear me as complaining here – it’s simply an acknowledgement of how quickly things changed and how upside down it all felt for those of us who were on the bandwagon back when there was plenty of room.

It didn’t take long for me (and assuredly many others) to adjust to this new experience. We became the ones at shows telling stories of “back when.” Before long, it felt almost normal for every Fueled By Ramen band to go platinum. It got comfortable. Until it wasn’t.

We now reflect fondly on those times of scene stardom, LiveJournal updates, Rolling Stone covers and the like. Because it all came crashing back to earth just as quickly as it began. But here’s the thing: the tax never came due for Fall Out Boy.

There’s a version of this story where we talk about “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” as the highlight in the short career of a band that could’ve left us wanting more. Instead, Fall Out Boy used From Under the Cork Tree to infiltrate the pop culture zeitgeist and evolve into something new and fresh. Infinity on High made clear that Fall Out Boy had graduated from the scene. The events that followed turned them into something that comes as close as you can get to rock legends in this day and age.

As much as I’ve grown to love From Under the Cork Tree and all of it’s introspective, self-deprecating charm over the years, I wouldn’t place it on the band’s Mount Rushmore. That may make me an outlier, but Fall Out Boy only got better – much better – in the aftermath of that breakthrough moment.

I’m thankful for that. And so, I would assume, are so many of the bands we cover on this site who owe a debt of gratitude to the blueprint that Fall Out Boy created. But as much as those bands may have tried to recreate that magic over the years, no one has been able to pull it off with the flair for the dramatic that Fall Out Boy demonstrated on From Under the Cork Tree.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple pop culture outlets and was previously an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife, daughter, and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

10 Classic Music Videos Turning 10 in 2020

Every year, I use my love of music videos as an excuse to spend way too much time watching music videos from a decade prior and then making a dumb list of some of my favorites. This is that list! It’s crazy to think that breakthrough years for artists like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry are now a decade behind us. Or that 10 years ago, My Chemical Romance was still going strong with one of the most anticipated rock albums of the year.

Then again, time makes almost no sense these days. Seeing as many of us have plenty of times on our hands, I hope you’ll enjoy this list of some of my favorite music videos from 2010. If you feel so inclined, share some of your favorites in the replies!

Circa Survive – “Imaginary Enemy”

The lead single from Circa Survive’s 2010 masterpiece Blue Sky Noise was “Get Out”, but the most underrated track from the album is “Imaginary Enemy”. The video finds the band members running through dark forests and fields on the wrong side of a witch hunt. That imagery is kind of perfect for where the band found themselves around this time, at least until the end of the video when they’re beamed up into a spaceship. Then again, do we have proof this never happened?

Lady Gaga – “Alejandro”

By 2010, new Lady Gaga videos were appointment viewing, much like Madonna’s artistic dominance on MTV in the 80s. You can pick your poison in terms of the best video from The Fame Monster – I went with “Alejandro” for its sheer weirdness and beauty. Inspired by her admiration and love for her gay friends, the video is full of religious imagery and sexual energy. Was there anything more Gaga in 2010 than an AR-15 assault rifle bra?

Bring Me the Horizon – “It Never Ends”

Oh no! Oli Sykes is in the back of an ambulance barreling down the road, driven by a guy whose eyes are covered! And he’s also kinda floating around down the road like a ghost! And there are vampires? This video is weird, but this song is so good. 2010 saw Bring Me the Horizon make a huge artistic leap forward, spearheaded by “It Never Ends” and its manic video which is constantly trying to capture the energy of one of the year’s most aggressive metalcore tracks.

Pierce the Veil – “Caraphernelia”

The video for Pierce the Veil’s “Caraphernelia” serves as an early entry in the “we’re so consumed by our phones!” narrative. Nevertheless, nothing was quite as scene in 2010 as Vic Fuentes and company playing in front of the giant letters “PTV” set aflame. Cool crossover moment: A Day to Remember’s Jeremy McKinnon contributes his vocals in this video via a pay phone, the same manner in which Vic appears in A Day to Remember’s video for “All I Want”.

Kanye West featuring Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj – “Monster”

Remember back when Kanye was enjoyable and we really liked his music? Ah, those were the days. The video for “Monster” was never officially released, because it’s horror movie images were deemed a bit too far beyond the pale. But the video exists online and it’s…good, albeit very creepy. It’s also fun as hell to watch Nicki Minaj own her portion of the video, capping off the best rap verse of 2010.

A Day to Remember – “All I Want”

What Separates Me from You felt like A Day to Remember’s big moment when it dropped, highlighted by lead single “All I Want” – a signature ADTR track complete with a great breakdown and a killer chorus. The video serves as a scene who’s who, with nearly every band imaginable making an appearance. Ten years later, though, it’s pretty dang weird that it’s all dudes. You couldn’t find a single lady to include, guys? Come on.

Kesha – “Take it Off”

Kesha’s run of singles in 2010 rivals that of a few others on this list who had massive years (Lady Gaga and Katy Perry). While there may have been better Kesha singles, I’ve always been partial to “Take it Off” – a song with two different music videos. In this one, clearly the wildest of the two, Kesha and friends find themselves hitting up a rave in a motel pool, but oh wait, it’s actually on another planet, and oh wait, are they all dissolving into dust? Yes. yes, they are.

Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars – “Billionaire”

Y’all. In 2010, Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes broke out as a solo artist with one of the biggest hits of the year…featuring Bruno Mars. That was a thing that happened. The video finds the two rolling down the highway in a convertible and hitting up a beach and skate park before landing at a party with some cool kids. Travie may have never become a billionaire (I assume), but he definitely left his mark on 2010.

My Chemical Romance – “Na Na Na”

Was it really 10 years ago that My Chemical Romance began what we thought was their final chapter with Danger Days? This first video really set the tone for the band’s new aesthetic, set in a dystopian future with neon laser guns and bright hair colors. The band’s new look went right along with their new sound, telling the story of the Killjoys, a group of rogue do-gooders who take out some bad guys while saving a kid. For what it’s worth, red-hair Gerard Way looked really cool.

Katy Perry – “Teenage Dream”

Katy Perry dominated the airwaves in 2010 like few other have. Five singles from Teenage Dream hit number one on the charts, making her the first female artist to achieve that feat, and the first artist since Michael Jackson. In the video for the album’s title track, a summer joyride with her beau turns into passion. And then, as is customary, the couple follow it up with a dance party in a weird alley with a group of strangers. When in Rome.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple pop culture outlets and was previously an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife, daughter, and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

Podcast: Making Sense of Childish Gambino’s “3.15.20”

Last month, a surprise new album from Childish Gambino hit the web with little promotion and few details. A month later, we’re still trying to figure out 3.15.20. On this episode of the podcast, Kiel Hauck is joined by Richard Clark to discuss the twists and turns of the new album and debate 3.15.20‘s place in Childish Gambino’s discography. They also take a look back at the artistic growth of Donald Glover, one of the most fascinating pop culture figures and artists of our time. Take a listen!

Like our podcast? Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts and be sure to leave a review.

What is your favorite album by Childish Gambino? Share in the replies!

Posted by Kiel Hauck

Reflecting On: Secret & Whisper – Teenage Fantasy

Secret & Whisper has long been one of my favorite underrated bands. You’ll probably remember in 2018 that I wrote a reflection on their first album, Great White Whale. My obsession with Secret & Whisper actually began when I was listening to the (original) Tooth and Nail podcast. 

You can buy or stream Teenage Fantasy on Apple Music.

Before there was the “Labeled” podcast, and really, before podcasts became a major media force, Tooth and Nail had a podcast that showcased new music they were releasing. They also had a series of video-casts called “Tooth and Nail TV,” which played new music videos from their artists. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find the Secret & Whisper episode online, but like MySpace and Limewire, some things of music’s past are meant to be remembered fondly. 

The episode of the podcast talked about the album “Teenage Fantasy.” They went through the whole album after the release and interviewed a couple of the members. It’s also the only time I had heard Tooth and Nail push the band’s music. I often wonder what would have happened if the label had given the band the attention their music deserved.

The band eventually went on hiatus the year after “Teenage Fantasy” was released, citing difficulties balancing band and family, and, with no disrespect to what was obviously seems to be a right and noble choice by the band, there are times when I wonder if another reason they didn’t keep it up was just the label’s indifference to advertising. 

Teenage Fantasy (and of course, Great White Whale) is one of Tooth and Nail’s crown jewels, in my opinion. It is easily one of the label’s most imaginative and thought-provoking projects. I feel like Tooth and Nail used Secret & Whisper as their token soaring-lead-vocal-hardcore outfit to compete with the Saosin‘s of the day.

What made Secret & Whisper different was the obvious musical and vocal genius of the band, highlighted by subject matter ranging from Native American life (“Warrior”) to Judaism in the age of Nazis (“Bedroom Galaxy”) to aliens (“Star Blankets”). While other bands were still focusing on relationships and general pop punk fare, Secret & Whisper really made an effort to keep their art out of the box in what could have been a groundbreaking album for the label and the genre as a whole.

It’s hard to say whether Great White Whale or Teenage Fantasy is the better offering from the band. I feel like they found their groove with the latter album. Great White Whale has an obvious deficit in production value to Teenage Fantasy, and the writing, while perfect for the theme of that album, is overshadowed by the deeply personal lyricism of Teenage Fantasy. And it all comes back around to the idea of untapped potential. Who’s to say what would’ve come of a third project from the band?

What’s kept me listening to the album is that whenever I play it, I’m transported back to that time in 2010 when I first heard it. It’s consistently fresh for me, even 10 years later.

by Nadia Paiva

kiel_hauckNadia Paiva has been a music enthusiast since she can remember. Going to shows is her main pastime. The other is being upset when she can’t go to shows. This is her first official venture into writing about music. You can follow her on Twitter.

Queue It Up: April 13, 2020

It’s been a hot minute since we’ve tossed some singles against the wall to see what stuck with us, but we’re back with three tracks that will hopefully add a little flavor into your quarantine soup. 

Twenty One Pilots – “Level of Concern”

First we’ve got a true quarantine track from Ohio’s favorite boys Twenty One Pilots. They released “Level of Concern” as a window of how this is making them feel. The track leans pretty far into their pop side, which is in stark contrast from their last album, the dark and heavy Trench. It’s bouncy and uplifting, and perfect for picking up the mood.

Hayley Williams – “My Friend”

Next up is another new track from Petals for Armor by our queen Hayley Williams (all hail), called “My Friend”. Let me just tell you again that this album is wrecking me by the day. I can’t wait for May 8th y’all. The latest drop is a great song about friendship and how it’s so vital to all aspects of life, but definitely here as a tribute to those who have been helping Hayley through these harder years. It’s another track that seems to be right release date, right time. 

Anchor & Braille – “Dangerous”

Finally, in every sense of the word “finally”, we  have the new single from Anchor & Braille. “Dangerous” is here and it’s blowing me away. It’s the first taste we’re getting of the new A&B album and it’s made me more excited than ever. It’s a soft pop track in the vein of 2016’s Songs for the Late Night Drive Home, and it’s a wonderful track about Stephen Christian and his wife being all in love and all that cute stuff. The album TENSION is set to release on May 22nd, and that’s another clue that May might be the best month of the year. Quarantine might end (fingers crossed) and we’ll have plenty of great tunes to jam to celebrate being free. 

The 1975, Lydia, and Microwave also released singles recently so there’s no excuse to be listening to the same old thing. Let’s stay strong and keep partying in our living rooms.

by Nadia Paiva

kiel_hauckNadia Paiva has been a music enthusiast since she can remember. Going to shows is her main pastime. The other is being upset when she can’t go to shows. This is her first official venture into writing about music. You can follow her on Twitter.

Podcast: Discussing Dua Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia” with Evan Sawdey

A new album from Dua Lipa is here – and it is good. Future Nostalgia sees the U.K. singer rising to pop stardom amidst an array of disco hits. Kiel Hauck welcomes Evan Sawdey of PopMatters onto the podcast to discuss Future Nostalgia and how Dua Lipa’s new music arrives at the perfect time. The two break down the album’s highlights, discuss what could be the strangest summer for music in history, and share their way too early album of the year candidates. Listen in!

Like our podcast? Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts and be sure to leave a review.

What is your favorite track from Future Nostalgia? Share in the replies!

Posted by Kiel Hauck

Podcast: Music Therapy During the Covid-19 Lock-In

It’s been a strange few weeks, to say the least. As the country takes measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus, we take some time on our podcast to discuss how we’re handling a new reality. Kiel Hauck, Kyle Schultz and Nadia Paiva discuss how music is providing comfort during this time, debate the best band discographies to binge, and share some of the new music released in 2020 that has left its mark. Take a listen.

Like our podcast? Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts and be sure to leave a review.

What albums are keeping you company as you self-distance? Share in the replies!

Posted by Kiel Hauck

Finding Solace in Music During the Coronavirus Pandemic

There’s really only one thing on most people’s minds – and rightly so. As of Sunday, coronavirus cases in the United States have surpassed 3,000. With a pandemic on our hands, it’s hard to think about much else, especially running a music blog. Does anyone really need another review of the new Code Orange album right now (it’s good) or another list of the best new tracks from this past week? Probably not.

But as I’ve been cooped up in my house these past few days, I’ve certainly turned to music a lot. It’s funny – I can’t count the number of days in my life where I’ve willingly chosen to stay indoors and listen to records as opposed to going outside or simply “doing something.” Yet when the choice is taken away, it feels a little different.

So I’ve found myself purposefully leaning into music as a way to clear my head, pass the time, and enjoy my family. Last night involved a dance party with my wife and 9-month old daughter, soundtracked by Carly Rae Jepsen, Billie Eilish, and Dua Lipa. Friday involved digging into some vinyl records that haven’t hit the turntable in a few years, like Relient K’s MMHMM and Copeland’s Eat, Sleep, Repeat.

Even still, I find myself drifting back to my phone for updates and another refreshing of Twitter. I’m sure it’s been the same for many of you. But those moments of detaching my brain from the news and locking into some of my favorite songs has certainly provided some necessary intermittent reprieves. And it will have to continue doing so for a while. Like many others, I’ve seen my spring concert schedule evaporate, with Billie Eilish and Circa Survive postponing their dates until a later time. And without the distraction of sports or other live events, my record collection is certainly going to be getting a workout.

So what’s the point here? There isn’t one, really. Other than the hope that we’ll find some solace in the music we love while we get through this. We’ll continue providing some content for you along the way – we’ve got a new podcast coming later this week, along with some other fun features we hope you’ll enjoy.

But in the meantime, stay safe and stay smart about your activities outside the home. With any luck, we can contain the worst of this by protecting each other with our actions. Throw on your favorite records, queue up your best playlists, and use this social distancing time as a chance to get re-acquainted with some of the songs you’ve lost touch with. Music has a great way of filling in the silence.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple pop culture outlets and was previously an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife, daughter, and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

Podcast: Talking Monomania with Tyler “Telle” Smith of The Word Alive

It’s been over 10 years since Phoenix metalcore act The Word Alive dropped their debut album, Deceiver. Since that time, the band has evolved into something completely new, as best captured on their latest release, Monomania. Lead vocalist Tyler “Telle” Smith joins Kiel Hauck to discuss the band’s sixth album and how The Word Alive has continued to push themselves to create something that not only impacts their fans but stands the test of time. Smith also discusses how data now informs touring schedules and setlists and what it feels like to share new songs on stage. Listen in!

Like our podcast? Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts and be sure to leave a review.

What is your favorite song from Monomania? Share in the replies!

Posted by Kiel Hauck