Monday, August 31, 2009

Featured Band: Upstanding Youth

Warm sun. Beautiful beaches. Volcanoes. That obnoxious guy in the brightly colored floral tee, a rainbow-colored lei, a straw "nest" hat on his head, and the biggest camera that they make for public use strapped around his neck.
But when it comes to Hawaii's music, what comes to mind?
Ukelele around the campfire, anyone?
Not anymore.
I'd like to introduce to you one of my favorite accidental music discoveries: Upstanding Youth.
Upstanding Youth is a six-piece ska-punk (with a touch of reggae) band from O'ahu, Hawaii. Six very different people, pursuing very different goals in each of their respective lives. One goal that unifies them, however, is to share their music. Whether it's used as an outlet, a universal language, or is just simply everything, these guys came together, began performing locally in Hawaii in 2001 and have been playing together as a band ever since.
And with prominent influences such as Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, NOFX, The Mighty Mighty BossTones, Bob Marley, and Sublime, among others, where can they go wrong? Apparently they can't, because each of their four albums have won Best Ska/Punk Album in each of their respective years at the Hawaiian Music Awards, which are said to be the Grammys of Hawaii.
Seems like what they've been doing is working. And their newest award winner, A Sense of Urgency, is no exception whatsoever. An somewhat edgier release, in the rock sense, than earlier albums Trying to Stand, Kam Highway Catharsis, and Still, the album totally delivers. This new edge can be seen in tracks throughout an album, from Bigger than You and Me, Flying V, which, I might add, displays the band's flawless ability to build up a song. Songs like Detonate, a tune questioning the eventual fate of the band, Empty Pockets, and Electric Fence, my personal favorite of the album, reinstates the band's identity as a SKA band, but it's not as if anyone was questioning it. It still continues to be the most prominent aspect of the album.
Key tracks to check out from other albums include -- Fatalist, Desperation, and Conflict Resolution (from Still); Paint By Numbers, Jimmy (from Kam Highway Catharsis)

Want to check them out?
Official Website


That's all from me, more to come later.
Keep rockin',
Sara (follow@skapocalypsenow)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

Well in the music business these past few days, it's been a zoo (much like my local school system here). I thought I would break it down into a few notes just to highlight the important, odd, and "other".
Pearl Jam (who recently released a music video for their single "Fixer") had their song "Supersonic" leaked off their upcoming release Backspace (due Sept 20th). Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump landed in the the dog house for driving without a license. The Used will be releasing their album "Artwork" September 1st featuring their single "Blood On My Hands" so be sure to check it out. Last of all we say R.I.P to famed DJ AM and The Pulse will be keeping him in our prayers. Alright that's all for now. Peace Out

The Pulse

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Writers, New Sections, New Music!

Big things are happening here at The Pulse. I am proud to announce that there is no 'I' in Pulse (even though there never was), and we have officially signed on a new co writer and contributing writer. Please welcome Emily Williams, a pianist, music guru, and audio engineer from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan who will be the new co-writer of The Pulse. She loves pineapple pizza and playing lacrosse as well. We also welcome Sara Cooper; a Guitarist, audio engineer, and a music fanatic as well from my hometown P.G Maryland. She will be a contributing writer (and a local music scout) so look out for a spoonful of her taste in music as well. From this point on we will specify who writes what articles so take a look and see who's music choices of the week you're digging. So as we start the 2009-2010 school year, we're gonna give you a peek at what's to come from The Pulse:

1) New Writers
  • Alena Moran (Creator, Co-Writer): Oboist from PG, Maryland. Listens to: Plushgun, Evanescence, U2, Paramore, Passenger, Blink 182, The Who, Keith Urban
  • Emily Williams (Co-Writer): Pianist from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Listens to: Ben Folds, The Fray, Yo La Tengo, Jason Mraz, Kate Nash, Aerosmith
  • Sara Cooper (Contributing Writer): Guitarist from PG, Maryland. Listens to: NOFX, Iron Maiden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice in Chains, Stone Sour, Collective Soul
2) New Sections: Not only will we be featuring local and non-local underground/indie artists, we will also be filling you in on new album releases, upcoming tours, and various other music news. Also if you want to know more about a band, we will be taking inquiries at The Pulse's new email:

3) New Twitter: Follow us at

and of course NEW MUSIC.

Rock Out.
The Pulse

Thursday, August 20, 2009

From Album Leaks to Hermaphrodite Scandals

          So as the summer approaches the end, I just wanted to reflect on all the music buzz over the summer; and talk about the good and the bad. It's not the normal "artist review" but I figured it would help get out some information about a few bands. internet

Well if you didn't know, back on August 11th Thrice released a digital copy of their new album Beggars after it was leaked all over the 3 months early (On July 21st). The original release date was October 13th, but after a change in artwork and removing the Vigrant Records watermarks off of it they released the album. The Dance Party released their new EP Tigers, which can be purchased on Itunes. It features their infamous single Sasha Don't Sleep and Tigers. Another Pulse favorite, Static Brigade (not featured on the blog, but loved none the less) released their self-titled EP in July as well. Check it out on Itunes as well. 

       Our lovely Lady Gaga is suspected to be a hermaphrodite, but she confirmed that her love for females is only physical. Singer Katy Perry remarked on the whole scandal, "Bless her if she has a dick" but assures ABC reporters that she does not believe Gaga does have one. Pop Rock bands Cobra Starship and All Time Low both released new albums as well. The only remark I will make is this, please producers do not auto-tune every sound and over mix good music. I will let you make the real judgement though about their new albums Hot Mess and Nothing Personal. Last of all, post-hardcore phenomenons Enter Shikari released their new album Common Dreads. Two words to describe the album, PURE AWESOMNESS! 

The Pulse is taking a new direction as well. We (or more or less myself) are looking to expand and need a new writer. Email or message me on Facebook if you are interested in joining the club. I am looking specifically for another person in the DC/MD/VA area with an exceptionally good taste in music, but if you do not live in the area never fear; anyone is welcome to join us in our music-spreading wonders and be a writer as well. Let me know if you want to join the family :)

Rock out, and Relax
The Pulse

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

From 12 St. Manhattan, The Pulse brings you 4 Shadow Productions feat. Rhyme Progression

           So after vacationing for the longest time, The Pulse is back and we’re changing it up a bit. Out with the rock/pop/electronica/indie and in with some good old underground hip hop and rap. Fans of hip-hop artists such as Asher Roth, Fort Minor, Lupe Fiasco, and Wu Tang Clan must add this to their collection. 

The Pulse presents 4Shadow Productions

         Life IS a struggle when you have less than two weeks to record a 5 track hip-hop EP in just a college dorm room and a little one-room studio, but for the men of 4Shadow Productions they made do with just that. Rising from the Steinhardt Studios and 12 St. Manhattan, artist Rhyme Progression released his 12 St. EP July 18th in collaboration with JHY ENT 6one5 Productions, and Brendan AKA Crates.=

             The first track off the EP “Blind World” actually features a sample from a 10 cent 45 rpm found in the thrift store across the street from their dorm. Initially the group threw it aside, but “when Andrew Seltzer (a friend and bass/vocalist for the band Sleeping Lessons) walked in the room, pushed us aside and dropped the needle in the perfect place, adjusted the tone and pitch just right, and it was pure gold” says Crates. The first single released from the EP is “Life’s A Struggle”. It features the vocal talents of both Crates and Progression, and is a unique mix of harmonious vocals, piano, strings, and traditional hip hop beats into a sure to be hit.

           Though the group is spread across the country, they plan to collaborate again to release more of their music together. In the mean time though, you can visit each of their individual Myspaces to check out their individual projects. Now for what everyone likes, freebies. 4 Shadow Productions has made the 12 St. EP available free for download, exclusively to The Pulse readers. The catch is the album free for a limited time, so get your copy before it’s too late. You can get the album here:
but the link will be removed in about a week so get your copy now for free! 

Keep it cool, keep it rocking,
The Pulse

The group is:

Rhyme Progression – Rapper from Greely, Colorado

J.H.Y Ent (JHY Beats) – Producer from North Jersey, New Jersey

DJ Hyflo (6one5 Productions) – DJ and producer from Nashville, Tennessee

Brendan AKA Crates – Producer from Placerville, California