Jacksonville’s The Big Ticket has established itself as Florida’s premiere Alt-Rock music festival, and this year’s lineup boasts an impressive buffet of fantastic live acts who always deliver top-notch shows.
Masters of Arena Rock Release their 7th Album Today
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Over the past few weeks, we’ve been treated to a few glimpses of excellent new material from Muse, including the huge alternative rock hit “Dead Inside.” The single has sat atop the modern rock charts for the past month and for good reason. It’s another killer dose of anthem rock from the UK trio who have made a habit of delivering powerful rock ‘n roll anthems.
The Warner Bros. Records release is available today on iTunes:
Drones was co-produced by the band and the lefendary Robert John “Mutt” Lange. Frontman Matt Bellamy shared, “To me, ‘Drones’ are metaphorical psychopaths which enable psychopathic behavior with no recourse. The world is run by Drones utilizing Drones to turn us all into Drones. Drones explores the journey of a human, from their abandonment and loss of hope, to their indoctrination by the system to be a human drone, to their eventual defection from their oppressors.”
Additionally, today the band revealed a new music video for the song “Mercy.”
Drones Track Listing
1. Dead Inside
2. [Drill Sergeant]
6. The Handler
11. The Globalist
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Big Orlando Line-Up and Videos
Well there’s been some exciting change since I last wrote about the Big Orlando, Central Florida’s biggest rock music event in years. The line-up was filled out, and the newly announced bands are pretty damn impressive.
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Make sure you check out some videos of our featured bands below the article.
We already knew about Alternative rock legends Weezer and one of the hottest bands around, Fall Out Boy, riding the huge success of their latest single “Centuries.” In addition, we were excited to see our favorite edgy ska band, Dirty Heads, Alt-Nation favorite Young The Giant and two very hot alternative bands, Big Data and J. Roddy Walston and The Business.
Since that first review, things have been kicked up a notch. The big news for me was the addition of Sleeper Agent. The Kentucky-based band has one of the most unique sounds on rock radio today, and they are famous for their entertaining shows. They are a can’t miss band. Another band in the same vein with a great live reputation is another newly added act, New Politics.
Know Hamilton, of “We Can Work It Out” fame is another intriguing artist. An interesting surprise for me was the addition of The Crazy Carls. We’ve wandered into The Flagler Tavern in New Smyrna Beach twice in the past year and both times, found these talented guys gracing the stage. They are uber-talented and charismatic as hell, and local guys to top it off. Make sure you check them out.
The final four announced bands are all talented as well: Bear Hands, Twin Atlantic, The Hip Abduction and A Heroes Fate. All told – 14 excellent alternative rock bands in one fantastic day in Central Florida – December 7th and Central Florida Fairgrounds.
Tickets are available here: The Big Orlando
If you cannot make the 12/7 show, most of these same bands are playing the Big Ticket in Jacksonville on 12/5. More info here: The Big Ticket.
To whet your appetite, here are some live looks at the 5 bands we are most looking forward to. Like our Facebook page as we will be adding video for every performing band this weekend as we countdown to The Big Orlando.
The Big Orlando Alt-Rock Festival
After a few years of watching the season’s best alt-rock festivals hit Jacksonville and Tampa, we finally get to see this killer line-up make a stop at Orlando. This is something we hoped for when we heard that X107.3 was coming to Orlando, and couldn’t be happier to see this come to fruition (See our prediction here).
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December 7th will be the date which will live in infamy for Orlando rockers. The headliners are a great cross-section of artists spanning the alternative rock scene over the past twenty years. We will get to see two RARA’s Farm favorites, Weezer and Dirty Heads, as well as other stalwarts who we have not caught live yet: Fall Out Boy, Young The Giant, J Roddy, Big Data, Bear Hands, Twin Atlantic, Islander, and more. J. Roddy, Bear Hands and Big Data are three acts we are anxious to see.
The venue for the first annual edition of The Big Orlando festival is the Central Florida Fairgrounds. I absolutely love the Metropolitan Park venue for the Big Ticket in Jacksonville and am curious to see how the The Big Orlando stacks up. And, how long before local fans shorten this to the Big “O”?
“After four years of success with X102.9 in Jacksonville and The Big Ticket, I am very excited to launch this new festival with Cox Media’s new alternative station X107.3 and AEG Live. We look forward to bringing an incredible alternative festival to Orlando,” says The Big Orlando producer Danny Wimmer of Danny Wimmer Presents.
For those of you interested, the Jacksonville festival, The Big Ticket, which is one of the best run festivals we’ve experienced in the past, is being held on Friday December 5th. Very similar line-up, but substitute Alt-J, Chevelle and New Politics for Young The Giant, Twin Atlantic and Islander. Sounds like a nice long weekend, eh?
A special discounted presale for The Big Orlando runs from Friday, September 19 at 10:00 AM ET through Sunday, September 21 at 11:59 PM ET at www.TheBigOrlando.com and all Ticketmaster outlets. Military discounts are also available as noted below. The presale offers a limited number of general admission and VIP tickets at discounted prices as follows (plus fees):
General Admission: $34.50
Regularly priced general admission and VIP tickets go on sale Monday, September 22 at 12:00 AM Eastern Time at www.TheBigOrlando.com. Ticket prices will be as follows until September 29, when prices will increase:
General Admission: $39.50
VIP tickets include: a VIP entrance to venue; access to VIP lounge area featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food service; viewing of main stage (seated and standing areas); seated area with shade for dining; private restroom facilities; and a VIP guest laminate.
Ticket discounts will also be available for active military through The Big Orlando partner GovX. For full details about all tickets, military ticket discounts, and VIP packages, visit: www.TheBigOrlando.com.
Central Florida Fairgrounds is located at 4603 W. Colonial Drive, only 3 miles west of downtown Orlando. The Fairgrounds are set on 87 acres with ample free parking and a Lynx Bus stop at the main entrance.
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The Big Ticket: www.x1029.com/s/big-ticket-2014/
See you in December…
New Jersey rockers, The Gaslight Anthem are back with their fourth studio album, Handwritten. The quartet out of New Brunswick have continuously evolved their sound, and continue to grow musically on this, their fourth album.
They’re often compared to that famous Garden State rocker from Asbury Park, and lead singer Brian Fallon admits the influence that Springsteen has had on his career. But, these guys are not Springsteen clones, not by any far stretch of your imagination. Their sound reminds me much more of Paul Westerberg and The Replacements, or possibly a less punkified version of Against Me! They’ve got an edgy garage rock sound with catchy lyrics and memorable riffs. It’s straight forward American rock and roll.
The first single off of the album, “45,” has enjoyed tremendous success on Alt-Rock radio. It’s the first cut off of Handwritten, and a great way to kick off the album, as Fallon sings about a long relationship that has run its course: “Turn the record over… I’ll see you on the flip side… Let her go, let somebody else lay at her feet.”
The remainder of the album is filled with decent songs, but it’s not that special album we’ve come to expect from the band. Handwritten is the band’s first album on Mercury Records, after an amicable split with the typically less polished sound on Side One Dummy Records. The result is an album with more personal lyrics, but one that is also missing some of the sharp edges we’re used to from Gaslight Anthem; in effect, we see a trade-off of musical passion for lyrical passion.
Make no mistake, it;s still a good album, and better than most of the stuff on the market, but it’s a step back from the previous efforts on The ’59 Sound and American Slang. There is some good diversity here from the soulful classic rock sound of “Too Much Blood” and “Haul” and the powerful pop sound of “Desire” to the haunting closer “American Anthem” which highlights a tender side to Fallon’s voice, and is my favorite track on the album.
Check it out below and sample each of the songs, there’s definitely something for every rock fan from the new sound of New Jersey.
2011 was an interesting year for rock music, with a tremendous focus on artists with original sounds. Sure, a few of these tunes have a familiar feel, but far more offer us a unique new sound. That’s exciting stuff and leaves me anxiously awaiting 2012. Check out the RARAsFarm Top 25 and let us know what you think.
Bonus Track: Songbird – The Drowning Men. This album was released in 2009, but just re-released in the US this year. “Songbird” is a fantastic song that evokes darker memories of The Arcade Fire.
25. Shake It Out – Florence and the Machine. She’s back with a new album. Honestly, Ceremonials is not as powerful as 2009’s Lungs, but this tune is solid.
24. Get Some – Lykke Li. The Swedish muse told us this one was about power, everyone still believes it’s about sex. Either way – the song rocks.
23. Sing – My Chemical Romance. This is probably the most mainstream song the band has ever released. It’s a synth-laden anthem in waiting.
22. Burn – Papa Roach. This was one of the few new ones on their live Monsters of Annihilation album. Glad we didn’t need to wait for their next studio album for this one.
21. You Are A Tourist – Death Cab For Cutie. The band’s first number one hit, and well deserved. The guitars and layered vocals are beautiful.
20. The Roller – Beady Eye. Liam Gallagher seemingly channeling the Beatles, and it works very well.
19. If You Wanna – The Vaccines. A fun little ditty that will leave you singing. Reminds me lots of their UK brethren The Kaiser Chiefs.
18. Howlin’ For You – The Black Keys. This one was off of their previous album Brothers. The trance-like bass and drums are addictive.
17. Go Outside – Cults. A great debut from the young duo out of Manhattan. The sound is fresh and new. and features a xylophone solo. Nice…
16. Help Is On The Way – Rise Against. The band’s highest charting song, and first to really garner some overdue mainstream attention.
15. Changing – The Airborne Toxic Event. The West Coast rockers do it again. This one again features superb vocals from Mikel Jollet.
14. Baby Don’t Dance – Mother Mother – Ryan Guldemond’s unique vocals highlight this quirky hit from North of the Border.
13. New Low – Middle Class Rut. Finally a commercial success for this under appreciated band out of Sacramento.
12. Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People – The hip, happy song with the dark lyrics swept the world and the festival circuit this summer.
11. Black Night – Dodos. The freight train drums and addictive lyrics powered this song to the band’s most significant airplay.
10. The Sound of Winter – Bush. Gavin and Company are back after a ten year hiatus. and sounding as good as ever.
9. Crystal Vases – The Last Royals. This catchy tune reminisces on a relationship gone bad, and is the highlight of the band’s excellent debut EP.
8. Shake Me Down – Cage the Elephant. The best song on our album of the year, Thank You Happy Birthday. The lyrics reflect on life’s disappointments while hoping for something better. (Check out The Albums of the Year)
7. These Days – Foo Fighters. It’s Dave Grohl’s favorite song that he’s written, ever. Mine, too.
6. Colours – Grouplove. Christian Zucconi’s unique vocal stylings, grunts, groans and a distinctive sound make this the best offering off their excellent debut.
5. What About Us – Handsome Furs. This one brings back memories of a great 90’s rock dance tune from another excellent young Canadian band.
4. Lonely Boy – Black Keys. The only band with two songs on this list, and this might be their best ever. Great stuff off the just-released El Camino.
3. My Body – Young the Giant. These California rockers, created this gem in ten minutes at the conclusion of what was otherwise a crappy day. Amazing.
2. Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall – Coldplay. I think it’s their best ever, and we’ll be listening to this one forever.
1. The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie – Red Hot Chili Peppers. It started with a bass chord Flea couldn’t get out of his head. It morphed into be the best Rock song of the year.
You can sample all of the songs below…
Rock On – Cretin