College Rock

Back in 1999, my friend Joe asked me if I liked the band, The Get Up Kids.  I hadn’t heard them before and I can still picture standing outside his house when he described them to me as “college rock.”  I was sold!  I wasn’t sure what college rock was, but I pictured a band of dudes a little older than me, in sweaters, playing smart music, in a house somewhere.  The sweaters were not too far off considering the “EMO” movement was starting to hit my high school and I was about to start wearing sweaters with a collared shirt popping out all the time.

I’m not sure if he played any of The Get Up Kids music for me or if I did any more looking into them myself, but there I was heading over to Tower Records where I bought their first EP, Woodson.

I quickly became a big fan of their music.  I connected with the DIY, heart wrenching and aggressive feel of Woodson.  It is a raw and honest album that made me hopeful about playing music and being in a band.  Even hearing the title track, “Woodson” today, still gives me the excited feeling I had the first time I heard it.  The song starts with guitars slowly building up, strings bending, the drums coming in and then the desperate vocals kick in, “we can not work out what has to be said.” This opening line, wrought with frustration, feels so honest. The drums are choppy and relentless and keep the song moving along with an impatient bounce.  The second track, “Second Place” keeps up the album’s momentum.  It comes in aggressive and immediately I’m bopping my head along and singing, “it’s not what I said.” The entire song is catchy and anthemic; it makes you want to get up and move. It is followed by “Off the Wagon” a choppy and powerful song with a build up that shows the importance of anticipation, tension…and snare rolls.  The music comes in like a storm building up over the ocean that explodes and dissipates quickly making way for the moody last track.  The last song of this EP, “A New Found Interest in Massachusetts” was my favorite song for a while and still holds up as one of my favorites today.  The slow build up and fade of the music as Matt Pryor begins to sing is so heartfelt. I love the honesty of the lyrics, “If I told you that I was thinking of moving east, would you save a place for me?”  The interplay of the soft  and loud moments, leading up to an explosion of sound is so perfect.  On its own it is a great song and it is also a stellar finish to a great album.

I was very lucky to see some of these songs live this past Thursday, December 10, 2015.  I went to The Bell House to see The Get Up Kids on their 20th anniversary tour. The show was amazing.  I got so caught up with the crowd…the community.  I, and everyone else in the room, was singing and screaming along with every song as though we were telling the band what the lyrics were, how they went and the way they were supposed to sound.  They didn’t need it, they sounded great, but I’m sure they loved the crowd’s enthusiasm.  They mainly played all older songs off  Woodson, Four Minute Mile and Something to Write Home About.  They played so passionately. I was incredibly impressed.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the two opening bands, Rozwell Kid and Into it.  Over it.  They both were great.  Rozwell Kid gave me a bit of a Weezer vibe with their sweet guitar parts.  Into it.  Over it. were so well put together and tight.  I really took notice of the lead singer’s voice and the drummer really tied the room together.  Amazing show.

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Remember The Wall?

Punk O Rama Volume 1.  That’s where it really started for me.  I’ve been going back and trying to put my finger on what it was that got me so excited about music, so passionate about music, so hopeful about music and the Epitaph Records compilation – Punk O Rama Volume 1 is it.

The funny thing is, I don’t even own it.  It was my best friend Mike who bought it from The Wall.  Remember The Wall?  That was the first record store that I went to on my own as a pre-teen.  It was just into the next town, but we could walk there.  Back then, we just wanted to be out of the house, on our own and even cold, blustery, wet weather wouldn’t stop us.  We would run across Wantagh Parkway, hopping the divider and risking our lives to save ourselves a few minutes travel time.  We couldn’t take the long way, it just took too long.

One of the things I loved about The Wall was that, if you were interested in buying a CD, they open it so you could listen to it and you didn’t have to buy it.  I was always fascinated by that.  It felt so wasteful and decadent.  I remember buying some albums from there with “controversial” album art and hiding it from my parents.  Looking back, I don’t think they would have really cared.

I’m not sure why Mike bought Punk O Rama Volume 1, maybe it was the word “punk” or the colors and album art.  Although at that point, we might have recognized some bands on it.  Maybe even listened to some of them.  There is just something about this album that stands out to me as the moment where music seemed more important.

As soon as we played it, we were hooked.  Quickly claiming our favorite bands as we poured over the liner notes.  This fast, purposeful, energetic music came screaming out at us from what I remember as a small, grey, Casio radio and we were totally swept up in it.  Mike, proudly stating Ten Foot Pole was his favorite band and mine was Pennywise.  We were 12 or 13 years old and this music was dangerous, different and mind-blowing.  I mean, think about it – finding out there was a whole world of underground music, stuff that wasn’t on the radio.  That whole world opened up to us.

By the time I was in my early teens, punk, specifically bands from Epitaph Records and Fat Wreck Chords were my favorites.  I had been playing the drums for a few years and really starting to hone my musical taste.  The mid to late 90’s Punk music was really something special to me and to this day when I put on one of those records, it brings me right back.  That is one of my favorite things about music, time travel.
Another record that really stands out to me from my youth is About Time by Pennywise.  I put the album on for the first time and as the first song, “Peaceful Day”, played I felt a chill run through me and my heart ached along with the singer.  I was reading every lyric as he sang and it was as if he was speaking directly to me.  I sat alone in the “little room”, a small room off the side of our house, fill with books, a closet I never went in to and the house stereo.  There, I kept turning up the volume on the stereo more and more with each song that played.  As a new and inexperienced drummer, the machine gun snare hits on “I Won’t Have It”, had me declaring that song as my favorite, but really every song was a declaration and a revelation to my ears.
As I write this, I’m listening to both of these records right now and I hope you check them out or revisit them if you haven’t in a while.  They still fill me with the same feeling of hope and excitement as they did 20 years ago.

New Album – Warm Weather

Hi Everyone!

I am excited to announce that I have a new full length record out called, Warm Weather and you can find it here on Bandcamp.

I started recording this album in the spring of 2014, but had some computer issues and recorded it again over the last few months.  I am very proud of it and dare I say, this is my favorite Joseph Albert album to date!

Thanks for listening!

Cheers!

Joe

New Album – Macrame

Hey Every Body!

Today I am releasing a NEW 5 song EP called Macrame.  These songs were recorded some time between my last album When the World was Flat and my up coming album that I hope will be out later this year.  These songs didn’t have a home, so I decided to knot them together and release them as an EP.

Check it out here – Joseph Albert Bandcamp

Enjoy!

Cheers!

Love!

Joseph Albert

New Album – When the World was Flat

Hello everyone,

Today I release my latest full length album titled, When the World was Flat.  I am very exited about this album and was originally hoping to put it out this past spring, but nevertheless….here it is.  You can hear it and download it along with all my other albums at my Bandcamp site and the direct link to the new album is here.

The album art is a picture I took of a painting done by my late grandfather, Albert Mauro.

Thanks for listening!

Cheers!

Love!

Joseph Albert

 

The calm before…

Happy Sunday!

What are you doing today?  I am working on recording my new full length and doing laundry.  I woke up after a fun night out with great friends and was motivated and feeling good.  I wanted to give you all a heads up on a few things:

1)  The Alternative Tone has put me on a compilation with a bunch of good bands, check it out here

2)  I have decided to put up all my albums for FREE on Bandcamp…go listen and download, check it out here

3)  I am listening to a stream of the new Joy Formidable album…it sounds pretty good, check that out here

Stay tuned for more soon!

Thanks for reading!

Cheers!

Love!

Joseph Albert

Thoughts, the end of Earth Science…

So, I just walked in the door of my apartment and continue to have this unsettled, nervous feeling that I haven’t been able to shake for the last few days.  The band I played drums in, Earth Science is over.  As I was saying, I just walked in the door…I was coming from the studio I had shared with Earth Science for the last few years.  I just unpacked my drums and set them up in the studio where they will stay for a while.  We just played our last show this past Saturday.  The band is disbanding after writing and recording many songs, playing many shows and having a blast doing it.  I will miss playing with these guys, playing those songs and all the great times we had together.  We decided to stop playing together because one of our guitar players, Dino, is moving with his wife and child to Thailand.  He urged us to keep going, but there is no way we could ever replace him.  Instead, we are going our separate ways for now.

Now, that feeling I was talking about.  I had the same one when I left The Keepaway years ago.  I have been playing drums since I was about 9 years old and will never stop, but it is kind of shaking me up not to be playing drums in a band right now.  Luckily, I can keep my kit set up in this studio and knock around every once in a while to keep the dust from building.

As you can see from this website, I have been writing and recording songs as Joseph Albert for just over 6 years now and have recently started playing out again.  My plan at this moment is to make Joseph Albert my number one music priority.  I owe it to myself to play out more, record more and to continue enjoy doing this.  Now, you might be thinking, Joe…you have been doing just that all these years.  You are right, but I feel the need to declare it for some reason.  I have a bunch of fun ideas, songs and other stuff coming down the pipeline, so stay tuned.  And knowing me, I might end up playing the drums again soon.  And so, on a positive note…I’ll keep this whole thing open-ended.

Music is such a huge part of my life and has been since I was a child and I know I will never stopping creating and appreciating it.  I will miss Earth Science, and will never forget how much I loved playing with Dino, Jan, Steve and Kayne.

Thanks for listening, reading and supporting!

Cheers!

Love!

Joseph Albert