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The Van’s Warped Tour Rocks This Summer

The Van’s Warped Tour, a summer music fest filled to the brim with popular punk-pop and hardcore bands, has entered its 16th year in 2010 with much praise and applause. Kicking off on June 25 in California and going until August 15, the tour is making its way throughout the U.S. and hitting some stops in Canada.

Warped Tour has been known as the “go-to” tour for fans of all ages, promising relatively cheap ticket prices and a damned good time. Starting off back in 1994 as a punk-rock/SKA festival, the tour has been a staple for all summer tour fanatics and has seen its fair share of chart topping performers. Bands like My Chemical Romance, Blink 182, Dropkick Murphys, NOFX, and Anti-Flag among many others have all toured on Warped Tour, and some bands still consider the tour as a stepping stone in their successful careers.

In recent years, Warped Tour started branching out into more and more popular genres, and now it is not too uncommon to see ska bands and post-hardcore bands sharing the same stage.  While some Warped Tour purists may say that the tour just isn’t the same, many music lovers are happy with the diversity within the lineups.

With more than 100 bands playing the tour—some playing the entire tour and some playing just a handful of dates—it might be a mess trying to figure out what bands should be on your must-see lists. Fear not! Here’s a compiled list of bands that are making huge splashes on Warped already and are guaranteed to put on an awesome set.

We Are The In Crowd
(Playing the entire tour)
Hailing from Poughkeepsie, New York, We Are The In Crowd has been building up some buzz ever since they were signed to Hopeless Records back in November of 2009. Fusing together an electro-pop sound with two lead vocalists, WATIC’s catchy songs like ‘For The Win’ and ‘Lights Out’ have garnered them a small but dedicated fan-base. In a tour that has its fair share of pop bands, We Are The In Crowd is slowly rising up to be one of the bests of their genre.

Four Year Strong
(Playing until 8/02)
Give a listen to any song from any of Four Year Strong’s three studio albums and you will instantly be pumped up and ready to take on any mosh pit in your way. Four Year Strong’s live set is a something any music fan will enjoy simply because of the energy this five-piece throws down. This energy is always reciprocated by the band’s huge audience, causing some of the biggest pits any concertgoer may experience. The band is poised to take Warped Tour 2010 by storm—and honestly, what is better than a storm filled with epic breakdowns played by a burly, bearded five-piece band from Massachusetts? Nothing.

The Pretty Reckless
(Playing the entire tour)
A punk band fronted by a 16 year old girl who is a regular on The CW’s Gossip Girl? Yeah, it may seem like a weird band to recommend, but The Pretty Reckless is a band any Warped Tour attendee should try to see. With frontwoman Taylor Momsen’s “let’s kick some ass and take names” attitude and the band’s very grunge sound, TPW is right at home on this year’s Warped Tour. If their self-titled debut EP is evidence to anything, it proves that the band has some promise.

Pierce The Veil
(Playing the entire tour)
Pierce The Veil is a hard band to describe—combining a post-hardcore sound with a few dabs of theatrical songwriting, the band’s debut album “A Flair for the Dramatic” gained the band some serious attention back in 2007. It’s share of frantic guitar work and amazing vocals provided by singer Vic Fuentes definitely grabs the listener’s attention while the great lyrical basis keeps their attention and rarely lets it go. The band’s live show is a treat, and with Warped Tour acting as their supporting tour for their newest album, “Selfish Machines,” Pierce The Veil is ready to give its fans a remarkable performance.

I See Stars
(Playing until 7/18)
I See Stars combines elements of a typical ‘screamo’ band with electronica elements, culminating in a sound that is both fun and crowd-pleasing. Although the band has not been in the ‘spotlight’ for too long, ISS has already proved that they can put on a really fun live set. Songs like ‘What This Means to Me” and their cover of The Outfield’s ‘Your Love’ are a treat to hear live. Check them out.

The best part of Warped Tour, however, is just to roam around and to check out bands you might not normally consider seeing. Make sure to check out some musicians that aren’t too familiar!

For more information on Warped Tour and to purchase tickets, head over to their website at

25 - Home Depot Center - Carson, CA
26 - Shoreline Amphitheatre - Mountain View, CA 

27 - Seaside Park - Ventura, CA  

29 - Cricket Pavilion - Phoenix, AZ  

30 - N.M.S.U. Practice Field - Las Cruces, NM

1 - AT&T Center - San Antonio, TX 

2 - The Showgrounds At Sam Houston Race Park - Houston, TX  
3 - Center - Dallas, TX

5 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - St.Louis, MO

6 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre - Indianapolis, IN 
7 - Post Gazette Pavilion - Burgettstown, PA  
8 - Time Warner Cable Amphitheatre - Cleveland, OH 
9 - Arrow Hall - Toronto, ON  
10 - Parc Jean Drapeau - Montreal, QC  
11 - Comcast Theater - Hartford, CT  
13 - Comcast Center - Mansfield, MA 
14 - Darien Lake P.A.C. - Darien Center, NY  
15 - Toyota Pavilion - Scranton, PA  
16 - Susquehanna Bank Center - Camden, NJ  
17 - Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum - Uniondale, NY  
18 - Monmouth Park Racetrack - Oceanport, NJ  
20 - Merriweather Post Pavilion - Columbia, MD  
21 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre - Virginia Beach, VA  
22 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - Charlotte, NC  
23 - Vinoy Park - Petersburg, FL  
24 - Cruzan Amphitheater - West Palm Beach, FL  
25 - Firestone Amphitheatre - Orlando, FL  
26 - Lakewood Amphitheater - Atlanta, GA  
28 - Riverbend Music Center - Cincinnati, OH  
29 - Marcus Amphitheater - Milwaukee, WI  
30 - Comerica Park - Detroit, MI  
31 - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre - Tinley Park, IL

1 - Canterbury Park - Shakopee, MN  
2 - Sandstone Amphitheatre - Bonner Springs, KS  
5 - Northlands Park - Edmonton, AB  
7 - Utah State Fairgrounds - Salt Lake City, UT  
8 - Invesco Field - Denver, CO  
10 - Cricket Amphitheatre - San Diego, CA  
11 - Pomona Fairplex - Pomona, CA  
12 - Sleep Train Amphitheatre - Marysville, CA  
13 - Idaho Center Amphitheatre - Nampa, ID  
14 - Gorge Amphitheater - George, WA 
15 - Washington County Fairgrounds - Hillsboro, OR

OZZFest Returns

Launching Saturday, August 14, 2010, in San Bernardino, CA, --  the birthplace of the first OZZFest in 1996 -- OZZFest returns. This heavy metal juggernaut of a music fest was instrumental in igniting the careers of platinum-selling artists like System of a Down, Disturbed, Linkin Park, Incubus, Slipknot, Queens of the Stone Age, Godsmack, Avenged Sevenfold, Mudvayne, Ozzy OsbourneLamb of God, Killswitch Engage and Lacuna Coil.

Ozzfest is an annual festival tour of the United States (and in some years, Europe) featuring performances by many heavy metal and hard rock musical groups. It was founded byformer Black Satbbath lead Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon Osbourne -- both of who also organize each yearly tour with their son Jack Osbourne.

The Ozzfest tour has featured bands of a variety of genres within heavy metal and hard rock, including alternative metal, thrash metal, industrial metal, metalcore, hardcore punk, nu metal, death metal, gothic metal and black metal. Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath have played the tour several times over the years.

This year’s tour will include main stage artists Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe, Rob Halford, DevilDriver and Nonpoint.  Second stage headliners Black Label Society will return for their seventh appearance on the tour and will be joined by Drowning Pool, Kingdom of Sorrow, Goatwhore, Skeletonwitch, Saviours and Kataklysm.  OZZFest marks the first concerts in the U.S. in connection with the June 22 release of tour founder Ozzy Osbourne’s new album Scream (Epic Records).

In addition to non-stop music on both stages, concert-goers can once again visit the OZZFest “Village of the Damned” featuring a mix of interactive activities, shopping and entertainment throughout the venue concourses.

All six dates of the explosive Live Nation produced tour will feature “all-in ticket pricing” which means there are no hidden fees whatsoever -- no parking charges at the shows, no facility or surcharge fees -- the price you see is the price you pay.

Tickets prices start as low as $30 per ticket when purchased in a four-pack. For complete ticket and tour information visit: and
2010 OZZFest Tour dates:

Sat, Aug 14
San Manuel Amphitheater
San Bernardino, CA

Tue, Aug 17
First Midwest Bank Amphitheater
Chicago, IL
Thurs, Aug 19
First Niagara Pavilion
Pittsburgh, PA
Sat, Aug 21
Comcast Theatre
Hartford, CT
Sun, Aug 22
Susquehanna Bank Center
Camden, NJ
Tue, Aug 24
Comcast Center
Boston, MA                    

Orchestre Septentrional d'Haiti Rocks Midsummer Night Swing

Haiti's Orchestre SeptentrionalThe Orchestre Septentrional d'Haiti has weathered six decades of island rumble from earthquakes, political tempests, and economic woes, so it's only apt that the "Haitian Fireball" would kick off the July 4th weekend at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing in New York City's Damrosch Park. Still quite the kings of big band kompa or compas, they gave proof through the night of Friday, July 2, 2010, that their mojo was still there.  

It was one of those balmy yet dry summer evenings in the City -- not the usual swampy vapors that sap the mood and hair – but just the perfect oxygen rush for an open air prance. "Sept," as the band is usefully called, also played at the first Midsummer Night Swing season, 12 years ago.

This year's program (June 29 to July 17, 2010) brings the jazz swing of the New Orleans Moonshiners, the Afrobeat of Femi Kuti & the Positive Force and the big band swing of the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra, with special guest Frank Wess, among other grooves steaming up the world dance party.

For Sept, the local Haitian community came out in modest numbers, though those who did were ready to sway. They hardly seemed ruffled by the gringos who, having slipped on their clickiest heels, seemed primed for their chance to be humiliated in public while disfiguring their partners' dancin’ feet. Some had arrived as early as 6:30 pm, for a group dance lesson with Peniel Guerrier emceed by DJ Neva.

Good dancers, bad dancers – it didn't much matter what anyone looked like out on the floor, since the point was to let loose and celebrate. All eyes and ears were on the ripping horns, jaunty maracas and mellow vocals of the Haitian version of Cuba's legendary band, the Buena Vista Social Club.

This rotating band has recorded more than 300 tracks in a stylistic stew ranging from bolero to Afro-Caribbean. Though only 10 of its musicians flew in to fill the sounds of the usual 20, there could be little doubt why Septentrional is considered a national, if not international, monument.

During a brief intermission, I grabbed Septentrional director François Nichol Levy to get a few thoughts on Haiti's signature music and band.

Q: What does compas mean?

FL: Nobody can say exactly what it means. It's just a way of dancing. It's the way you move. It's very simple – two beats, one, two, one, two. Everybody can learn. When you hear compas, you start to move your body. Compas is a new type of music that started in about the 60s. That's really new compared to traditional music like Vodou, which started when Haiti was born.

Q: But the Orchestre Septentrional predated the '60s…

FL: Septentrional was before compas. Septentrional had to make adjustments to Congo rhythms, Ibo rhythms, Nago rhythms, some rhythms coming from the Africa of slaves. People like (sax and guitar player) Nemours Jean-Baptiste created compas in 1955, and it started to spread in dancing halls all over the country. Nemours made some very smart moves because all the bands that used to play only traditional music started to disappear. It was a very smart move to adapt to the new music.

Q: What do the new members bring to the band?

FL: We have a policy of recruiting new young musicians to keep the band going. The first thing we do is to bring on musicians with competences. They know how to play instruments, and they're very good. We try to play all types of music: Latin, rap, salsa, Cuban mambo, merengue from the Dominican Republic, even jazz. We try to adapt the band to every new idea, new wave, to keep in the mainstream.

Q: What are some of your musical influences?

FL: My musical education is very different from the rest of the band. My background is classical – I studied in France and at the music conservatory in Haiti.

Q: Are there any American musicians you especially admire?

FL: I love jazz – Chic Corea, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis. I try to bring in these influences to the band.

Q: Does Septentrional still have any of its original members?

FL: Not any more -- one of the founders, Ulrick Pierre-Louis, died last year.

Q: What makes the band unique?

FL: Septentrional is more than a band: it's an institution. It's very rare in Haiti to have an institution. With all the political problems, social problems, economic problems around us, we do everything to pass (the orchestra) to the next generation. But we're a real exception: 62 years of existence is an exception in Haiti. Our biggest challenge is keeping the band going. It's not easy to live off of music full time.

Q: With the band's six decades of continuity, maybe you should manage the country!

FL: We try to stay out of politics.

Q: How did Septentrional respond to the earthquake?

FL: Since we have many, many friends in Haiti, with the earthquake the band tried to get involved in social activities, distributing food. We came down from Cap Haitian, which is the second-largest town in Haiti, and we went to Port-au-Prince to give out food, materials, sheets, clothes – we were there for two weeks.

Q: Did you also perform music?

FL: It was not possible to play music in Port au Prince at the time.

For the full Midsummer Night Swing schedule, go to:

MidSummer Night Swing
June 29 to July 17, 2010
Damrosch Park
West 62nd Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues
Lincoln Center

New York, NY 10023

The Inaugural Portland Folk Festival

The Inaugural Portland Folk Festival has announced the preliminary line-up. A list of amazing artists will grace the stages of this year's inaugural festival.

The Portland Folk Festival will offer a rich and diverse sampling of music, art, craft, film, educational workshops and talks in handfuls of fantastic locations in Portland, Oregon August 20 - 22, 2010. Portland Folk Festival will be held over four days, with a different neighborhood focus each day.  Music venues, pubs, galleries and interesting spaces throughout Downtown Portland, Alberta Arts District, Mississippi Avenue and Southeast Portland will host events through the day and night all weekend.

The Portland Folk Festival is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the world's folk and traditional music, and to the vibrant community, forward-thinking quality of life, and spectacular natural beauty of our treasured home of Portland. With one foot firmly rooted in preserving and celebrating the lessons of the past, and one in working toward a sustainable future, we are dedicated to the study, evolution, expression and celebration of the music of the people. This is a wonderful opportunity for the community of Portland to come together and discover a world of music that's happening in their own backyard

Tickets for Portland Folk Festival are being sold online for $45. You will receive a badge that will get you into every show and event during the festival. Tickets for individual concerts will be available through each venue's online box office or at the door day of show.

About the Founders:

Development Director:Slim Moon is the founder of the legendary indie label Kill Rock Stars. Over the years he has worked in music in nearly every way imaginable - musician, record label owner, producer, roadie, booking agent, retailer, manager, festival organizer. Along the way, he has helped nurture the careers of dozens of bands and solo artists including Elliott Smith, Sleater-Kinney, The Decemberists, and Thao Nguyen. Raised in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, folk music is Slim's first and most enduring musical love.

Managing Director Amanda Stark was immersed in politics and folk music from an early age. Growing up in Canada, her interest in writers like Steinbeck and Woody Guthrie and the beat poets, drew her to the spoken word and folk movement in the United States in the early nineties. She spent several years touring internationally in the political punk folk band, Stark Raving Chandler, and went on to work as booking agent, promoter, publicist and artist manager. Amanda has worked with many exceptional artists, including Dan Bern, The Be Good Tanyas, Geoff Berner and Bitch and Animal. With a great appreciation for the wonderful festivals she has attended, and a grass roots approach to music business, Amanda has brought a long held dream of building a folk festival to her adopted home of Portland, Oregon.

Chantelle Hylton Simmons, Artistic Director, was raised on live music as hte daughter of a jazz singer,. While developing a career in news journalism in the spring of 2000 in Portland Oregon, she threw a party at the Medicine Hat Gallery, and was hired on the spot to take over the booking. Over the next 7 years in Portland she booked a show every night in almost a dozen music venues. In 2005 she started her own concert promotion company, Blackbird Presents, and with partner Mike McGonigal founded the Halleluwah Festival of Enthused Arts. In spring of 2007 while on vacation in New York City, she was offered the Senior Talent Buyer position at Knitting Factory, and spent almost three years in NYC until she missed Portland too much to stay away. She still books Brooklyn's Northside Festival (350+ bands over 4 days in more than 30 music venues), but can now do so from the 6 acres she and her family are developing into an organic farm and retreat space in Woodland, Washington.

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