As Dashboard Confessional’s fan base grew, so did their sound. What started as Chris Carrabba wrestling out heartache alone on a stage with an acoustic guitar has grown into a full-size band with a big sound designed to back the singer’s growing songwriting skills. The center of that sound will always be Carrabba’s voice diving from a high falsetto to a shaky whisper, as it does on “Blame It on the Changes,” in which he builds to the climactic confession, “I need you more than you know now.” The centerpiece of the album is “Belle of the Boulevard,” a Springsteen-style character study that shifts between twangy guitar and a soaring chorus, complete with strings and piano. The sound is expanding, but Carrabba stays true to himself in the center of it all.
Heidi Minx interviews Dave "Jailhouse" Johnson about his social activism.
John Lawrence Sullivan jacket; Hanes tank top.
Zombie Boy, muse to Thierry Mugler and Lady Gaga, marries extreme ink and high fashion.
Vampire rockers 69 Eyes want to infect the U.S. with their goth ‘n’ roll.
Inked people covers Dead To Me
San Francisco punks Dead to Me drop their Clash-inspired sound and change up the buzz saw guitars for stop-start riffs that suggest they’ve been spinning a lot of Gang of Four in their rehearsal space. “Tierra del Fuego” is filled with jittery funk riffs, as is “A Day Without a War,” a plea for peace in which singer-bassist Chicken howls, “We’ll never be safe again.” There are still plenty of nods to Joe Strummer and gang, especially as Dead to Me explore world music influences. They slip through dub on opener “X” and bring Latin influences to “California Sun.” Don’t miss “Cruel World,” Chicken’s Replacements-like musing on the state of the world.
When I call Geoff Rickly at noon on a Thursday he is sucking on a hard candy and rereading the novel Invisible Cities by Italian author Italo Calvino. If you know Rickly on any level at all, you’ll recognize that neither of these things—sweets and intellectual sustenance—are out of the ordinary for Thursday’s frontman...