Neighborhood Jams: Alive & Well

Happy Monday, KCR readers!  There’s something happy about this Monday, and I think it has a lot to do with this week’s neighborhood jams.  On my morning show from 9:00-11:00 a.m. I got the opportunity to sit down and interview a member of Alive & Well. We were also joined with Hard to Hit’s lead singer, Jason Kubo.  You can check out my write up on Hard to Hit right here. It was a fun morning of discussing music, boy bands, middle school nightmares, and hitting up the San Diego music scene.

Alive & Well has three members right now including: Matt Vernon on vocals and guitar, Mike Mule on bass and vocals, and lastly Eric Brozgold on the drums.  This trio is really hitting up the scene all while looking for a new lead vocal and guitarist.  The band is labeled as a pop punk and alternative rock band, which I personally think fits them perfectly.  They sound like a combination of Saves the Day and The Starting Line. I spoke with Mike, and he gave me the inside scoop of where the band gets their inspiration for their songs – the answer is the struggle moving from the east coast to the west coast.  Their lyrics are real and relatable; their sound is happy yet extremely meaningful; they are a perfect combination for a great rock band.

Their single No Winter in the West has great visuals including locations all over Ocean Beach, San Diego and the east coast.  This is THE song and video that got me hooked.  Mike shared with us how difficult it was for the band to carry their equipment on Sunset Cliffs and people passing by thought there was going to be a show.  I would love to see Alive & Well performing right by the ocean.

The boys just performed at the Casbah last week, and they are scheduling more shows in the near future including Jawsfest at The Legacy Room in Chino, CA on May 7th. You can buy tickets here. They will also be playing at Soma in San Diego on May 21st – get tickets here! I also heard we should keep our ears open for a band spankin’ new EP in early June!

It was such a pleasure to interview Mike and hear all about the great things Alive & Well is working on. I am extremely excited to see where these boys end up – maybe main stages instead of Sunset Cliffs – either location I am rooting for you guys. Give them a like on their Facebook and let’s get them to a 1,000 likes – they are so close! Hope you guys are listening good!

Neighborhood Jams: Hard to Hit

Welcome to another rendition of Neighborhood Jams where I feature a local San Diego band. This week I am featuring the San Diegan band Hard to Hit!

Hard to Hit formed in late 2015, and their pop punk vibes are already hitting stages including venues like Soma in Point Loma. The band consists of five punk music lovers: Jason Kubo on vocals, Ian Elkerton on rhythm guitar, Richard Franklin on lead guitar, TJ Feasby slappin’ da bass, and Pierce Watkins on drums. Together the band recorded at Panda Studios and released a five-song self titled EP with songs including Houston, We Have A Boner and She Doesn’t Even Go Here. Which yes, I got the inside scoop directly from the band, and it is influenced from Mean Girls the film.

You’re Not My Real Dad is Hard to Hit’s first single, and it’s the most perfect song to introduce their sound to the crowd. With the catchy lyrics, heavy yet upbeat rhythms, and great crowd chorus it’s a recipe for pure pop punk success. They sound like a combination of New Found Glory and Blink 182 put together. At Hard to Hit’s last show at Soma the crowd was screaming and singing along with the band. It’s so great to see so much loyalty from their fans.

Hard to Hit will be performing on the side stage at Soma on April 22, and you can buy tickets here! The next day they will be in San Bernadino at The National Orange Show Citrus Faire. KCR College Radio also got to interview the band, and that video will be up in the coming week. You guys can be on the look out for that video on our website or on their Facebook page.

Also be sure to click HERE and let’s help out these boys play at San Diego’s Warped Tour this summer! With every view of their lyric video, they inch closer and closer to gaining the San Diego spot – wouldn’t that be awesome! Best of luck, Hard to Hit! I will definitely see you guys at Soma on the 22nd, and I have my fingers crossed you will play at Warped Tour. Good luck!

Fall into punk: Joyce Manor

Happy Caturday to the cool cats that read my blog posts! Fall is in full swing and it’s finally starting to get as cold as my little emo heart. But have no fear, I’ve got just the cure to warming my little emo heart up and that’s a band called Joyce Manor.

Based out of Torrance California, this  pop punk band formed in 2008 and has grown to become the most interesting fore front of this scene today. Explosive and unconventional, Joyce Manor take the liberty to dismiss the clichés of pop punk to create a sound that is both diverse, angsty, and weird, like a really weird movie.

Their most recent release, Never Hungover Again (I wish) dropped in 2014 and accurately depicts the charm that is Joyce Manor. Only 10 songs and 19 minutes long, the rowdy and wild tracks ooze of brash punk that makes you rock in your room like the star you are. The symbols of beach communities, the past, and toothaches are all just mirrors of lead vocalist and guitarist Barry Johnson’s infinite sadness. This album is a reliable staple for every sad boy and girl’s musical library. Personal favorites off of Never Hungover Again are Schley, a strange riffy anthem of a friend in danger, and The Jerk, which is quite literally about a jerk. Lyrically, Joyce Manor isn’t very poetic, but still has the ability to resonate and identify with. This is the band that you listen to when for getting drunk, taking roadtrips, acting lazy, and being surrounded by good friends, and good music too!

I have had the privilege of seeing Joyce Manor live, and let me tell you, I’ve never felt more punk than in their crowd. Just last Saturday, Halloween, they had a show at The Fonda Theatre. Their amped up sound and sad boy attitude makes for some of the funnest shows ever. On this particular evening, Joyce Manor were sad boys dressed up as bumble bees, an angel, and a Dolly Parton/cowboy hybrid. The crowd all dressed in costume, yours truly as Napoleon Dynamite. It was quite a sight, a constant sway of moshing and crowd surfers. Their inexaustable sound never fails to dissapoint, keeping true to the way of punk shows, they never miss a beat. Since Joyce Manor songs rarely exceed two and a half minutes, the band was able to play most tracks, ranging old and new, all well loved and sung very loudly. It was a magical experience, a Halloween to remember, and Joyce Manor will forever be the wiliest concerts attended.

Below are a few jams to show you what this band is all about. If you have even an ounce of angst in you, this is what your ears need to hear.