Features First Person

Music Addiction: Featuring Hotspur, Gaslight Anthem, Tyrone Wells

Despite the millions of songs out there, when there’s one I love I find myself listening to the same track on repeat all day. Take Gaslight Anthem’s “Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts.” After catching their hometown set at the Stone Pony last Thursday, I listened to it all weekend non-stop and it has easily become my favorite song of theirs.

I’ll add a few more of my current song addictions below. What track do you currently have on repeat? Let me know!

Hotspur: “If These Walls Could Talk”

I’ve covered Hotspur a few times over the past year. This is their latest music video off album, You Should Know Better By Now.


The Gaslight Anthem: “Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts”

I couldn’t find any high-quality videos of the Jersey boys performing the entire song live, but this video made by a fan plays the song in it’s entirety. At the concert, frontman Brian Fallon said “Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts” has been the soundtrack to many weddings.


Tyrone Wells: “Dream Like New York”

This is currently my favorite track of the day. I’ve had it on repeat all afternoon. Tyrone Wells is one an amazing live performer. You can get a feel for him as he sings below.



Hotspur Win NMS Artist on the Verge Competition

I’ve been attending the New Music Seminar in New York this week. Three nights of artist showcases and two days of panels, the seminar has featured talks with industry leaders who have provided endless advice to up-and-coming musicians as well as those interested in making it in the music business.

I’ll be providing full recaps in the next few days, but I first wanted to congratulate D.C. based-band Hotspur for winning the “Artist on the Verge” competition! You may remember them as Band of the Week a few months ago or one of the acts featured on my TWLOHA benefit concert (before the blizzard of 2009 hit).

Hotspur were selected as finalists from over 500 bands on OurStage based on “the criteria of rising above the noise ceiling and doing it on their own without the help of a major or major independent label.” Tuesday night, Hotspur competed against Brooklyn-based hip-hop group Yonas and Pennsylvanian rockers Comic Book Heroes to win $75,000 in musical equipment, services and consultations from the new leaders of the music industry and other valuable prizes to take their career to the next level.

Here’s what some of the panelists had to say about Hotspur:

Bill Werde, Editorial Director, Billboard: “We’re all talking about managing your own careers. I went down to use the men’s room and this was the only band that had anything on the merch table.” When introducing the video, “The people with the tightest pants on the lead singer, Hotspur.”

Kelly Cutrone, Founder, People’s Revolution PR and Marketing: “They looked the most comfortable.  There used to be this term we used, FQ which means fuckability quotient. I’m not into seeing them in that way but I think that any 18-30 year-old chick in America, in a bar late at night would want to go home with one of those boys.”

Werde: “I was talking to a couple of people in the business watching that show and everyone said the same thing. There was no question that that was the band that was the most polished, the most ready for prime time.”

Cutrone: “They looked like rock stars. You should changed your name to Looks Like Rock Stars because you look like rock stars. You know what, Rolling Stone, GQ, Details they all like to put hot dudes with leather pants on their magazines and girls like to buy records with hot dudes. Go do a study of rock and roll. Guys like Bono, he has a really good FQ.”

Tom Jackson, live music producer: “Lots of potential. Definitely the most polished. Mr. Frontman, you can be a star. You gotta find those things inside your songs and let stuff breathe. There’s nothing wrong with rocking, but tell us a story. A great record takes us places. You guys are what I call Chinese water torture. The pressure never changed. You’ve got to let your stuff breathe.”

For more on Hotspur, be sure to visit them on MySpace and stay tuned for my interview with their music video director Josh Eisenberg.


Related Links:
Band of the Week: Hotspur
Song of the Week: “Heads/Tails”
What Would You Ask a Music Video Director?
You Sing, I Write + The Jew Spot Present A Benefit For TWLOHA

Song of the Week Videos

Song of the Week: “Heads/Tails”

Earlier this week, Hotspur debuted the music video for their newest single, “Heads/Tails.” An emotional ballad on deciding the outcome of a relationship, the video strikes a chord between the soaring piano accompaniment and moving vocals.

“So let’s let fate decide for you and me tonight/If there’s half a chance we’ll make it/Then it’s not too late to try/Call it in the air heads or tails/Heads we go to London and try to save the queen/Tails we go to Paris and try our hand at romance/Either way we’re flying and at least I’ve got a chance.”

The video leaves the viewer wondering what the outcome will be. Watch it below and for more on the band, visit them on MySpace.


Band of the Week Concert Reviews

Band of the Week: Hotspur

With their arena friendly choruses and infectious vocals, it is no wonder that Hotspur recently won MTVu’s The Freshman for catchy single “Chandelier.” Currently in rotation on MTVu, “Chandelier” mixes high energy pop rock with polished musical interludes bringing to mind bands including Fall Out Boy and Boys Like Girls.

I caught Hotspur’s energetic performance at The Studio at Webster Hall last Monday where I met a few fans who drove three hours to witness their set, promising me a good show. The band impressed and despite the small stage setup, Hotspur are a band I expect to see selling out arenas in a few years. Whether it was frontman Joe Mach jumping off the drum kit or minute long instrumental breaks, those that stuck around long after midnight for their performance left the venue satisfied with the promise of another New York show in the near future.

While the majority of their songs include high energy and power pop tendencies, ballads such as “Heads/Tails” are a welcomed and unexpected change, proving Hotspur’s prowess as musicians and songwriters. In fact, it is the tales behind their tracks that leave an impact on the listener. Their storytelling includes vivid imagery and their lyrics exemplify pop songwriting at it’s best.

Enough to make any girl swoon, on “$$$” Mach sings, “There’s not enough money in the world/To make me forget you girl/And nobody else in the world makes me feel like you.” Move over Fall Out Boy, Hotspur is well on their way.

Watch Hotspur’s video below for “Chandelier” and be sure to visit them on MySpace where you can download their entire catalog for free on Halloween.

Reccomended: For fans of Boys Like Girls, Fall Out Boy, Lights Resolve.

Related Links:
Artist of the Week: MoZella
Band of the Week: Sherwood
Band of the Week: This Century
Artist of the Week: Glass Pear