Decibully: "Penny Look Down" Video
The Rapture was formed in early 1998 by drummer Vito Roccoforte and guitarist/vocalist Luke Jenner. The whimsical indie group had extensive touring behind them by the time they recorded 1999's Mirror for Gravity. More touring ensued -- with the likes of Sunny Day Real Estate and Nuzzle -- and the band eventually relocated to New York City. They lost their original bassist and found a new one in Matt Safer, who had recently moved from Washington, D.C. After some more touring, the band recorded the six-song Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks EP and had it released by Sub Pop in 2001. Thanks to their sloppy brand of scratchy post-post-punk, the Rapture was hailed as a forerunner of the post-punk revival that was taking place in the early 2000s. Their profile increased significantly with 2002's "House of Jealous Lovers" 12"; that same year, they added multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Andruzzi to the fold. The full-length Echoes followed for Gary Gersh's Strummer label in late 2003. The follow-up, Pieces of the People We Love, was released three years later by Mercury.
This hard-driving tune from Ivy makes the crawlies in the forest go crazy. The New York-based pop group, Ivy, came together in 1994 when multi-instrumentalist Andy Chase placed an ad in the Village Voice in an attempt to start a band. Musician/songwriter Adam Schlesinger answered Chase, for the two had mutual musical tastes - both liked Prefab Sprout and The Go-Betweens.
Enon is a band from Brooklyn and Philadelphia. John Schmersal (guitar, bass, synths, vocals), Toko Yasuda (bass, synths, vocals) and Matt Schulz (drums) have all been in a bunch of bands, and are still in a bunch of bands. But all that doesn't really matter, right? What does matter is that these three, together, are Enon, always, and they're always amazing.
The year was 1995, and there was a battle of the bands brewing somewhere between the Wisconsin and Illinois state lines. In the middle of it all was Davey vonBohlen - forced to choose between his guitar stint for future punk heroes Cap'n Jazz and his status as the frontman for a burgeoning, though wholly unestablished The Promise Ring. As history would have it, the answer was obvious: The Promise Ring were toast. Of course, final hurrahs were sometimes meant to be, and since The Promise Ring had yet to see theirs, Davey agreed to a final nine-day trek across the country with his dearly departed side project. When the band landed back home in Milwaukee, vonBohlen unpacked his gear and expressed a deep sigh of relief. And then he quit Cap'n Jazz. Such is the inception of a band who have outlived almost all of their peers, while surviving horrid van wrecks, personal medical emergencies, and the rise and fall of a genre they somehow managed to inspire without ever really figuring out what it was in the first place. After signing with Jade Tree in 1996, The Promise Ring went on to release a slew of EPs and full-length albums that have seen accolades everywhere from the well-respected pages of The New York Times to the uber-groovy Teen People. But don't let that fool you: The real acclaim is in the captured hearts of a fanbase that have kept this Milwaukee unit up-and-running for the more-than-six-years after that fateful "final" tour. After many happy years together and 8 releases, The Promise Ring departed Jade Tree for the Anti- label, a division of Epitaph, in October 2001.
A fiddle player since the age of 5, Ryan Shupe first worked as part of a group at 10 years old when his dad brought together a bunch of talented kids to play in a band. He joined various types of musical groups in his teens and in college, only to be disappointed to see them break up just as they seemed to be in a groove. He decided to start his own band that would not break up and called it the RubberBand, because it was meant to be elastic. He brought in the players he needed but only when he needed them. (There might be just one other musician sharing the stage with him or there might be four others.) The lineup changed constantly until, without even trying to make it happen, the membership jelled. As of 2005, the members included Roger Archibald (guitar, vocals), Colin Botts (bass, vocals), Craig Miner (banjo, bouzouki, guitar, mandolin and vocals), Bart Olson (drums) and Shupe (lead vocals, fiddle, mandolin and guitar). The band's influences include such diverse performers as Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, the Police, AC/DC and Bela Fleck. Most have dabbled with a number of different instruments, and all have been playing since they were kids. Shupe is the group's principal songwriter.
Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist and lyricist Andrew Bird picked up his first violin at the age of 4. Actually, it was a Cracker Jack box with a ruler taped to it, and the first of his many Suzuki music lessons involved simply bowing to the teacher and going home. He spent his formative years soaking up classical repertoire completely by ear so when it came time for a restless teen-ager to make the jump to Hungarian Gypsy music, early jazz, country blues, south Indian etc., it wasn't such a giant leap. It's fitting that now, though classically trained, he has instead opted to play his violin in a most unconventional manner, accompanying himself on glockenspiel and guitar, adding singing and whistling to the equation, and becoming a pop songwriter in the process.
We test drive Rock Band's new ultra-realistic guitar controller side by side with a real guitar.
Now eight albums deep, the archetypal nu-metal band Korn are no longer new, however they're still relevant. With industrial synth and bone-crushing guitars, NIN producers help twist chaos into pop on "Untitled." How Jonathan Davis hasn't blown out his vocal chords by now remains a mystery.
The awesome CHHS percussion ensemble beating their brains out.