Music and Mood

Check out my Storify post about fans and their interactions with artists!


Here is my Audio-Picture Slideshow about Music and Mood:

<p><a href=”″>Audio-Picture Slideshow</a> from <a href=”″>Tammy Askaro</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>


Here is my Broadcast Story!


<p><a href=”″>Music and Mood: An Exploration</a> from <a href=”″>Tammy Askaro</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>


Enjoy! 🙂

You Me At Six Beat Out Ellie Goulding for No 1 UK Album!

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The UK’s own, You Me At Six have officially topped the charts with the release of their new record, Cavalier Youth. After releasing consecutively good albums that placed on the charts, the band has finally reached that Number 1 spot. Their albums, Take Off Your Colours, reached number 25 on the Official Albums Chart, Hold Me Down reached number 5, and Sinners Never Sleep peaked at the number 3 spot in 2011.

Once the band heard the news they took to Twitter to send many thanks and gratitude to their team and their fans.

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Forming in 2004, You Me At Six starting gaining speed with the release of their record Take Off Your Colours in 2008. Their single, “Finders Keepers” peaked at Number 33 on the UK Charts and stayed there for 2 weeks. Their single off of Hold Me Down, entitled “Underdog” reached Number 49 and held that spot for one week. “Loverboy,” off of their third album held the Number 39 spot for two weeks. All of the work and time that went into each of those records led to the success of their latest release. “Lived A Lie” off of Cavalier Youth held the Number 11 spot for 3 weeks, making it their most successful single on UK charts thus far. Check out all of their peak positions here:

Many fans love the band due to their catchy music and lyrical content. While people seemed to notice the somewhat more intense sound of Sinners Never Sleep, the band responded by saying that it was the clearest representation of themselves. In an interview with Coup de Main, vocalist Josh Franceschi described the record as their “transition period” and their journey at establishing their own, individual sound. Read the interview in its entirety here:

During this time of recording and releasing albums, the band had several tours, including the Leeds and Reading Festivals in 2010. In 2012, You Me At Six played Soundwave Festival and Vans Warped Tour.

Cavalier Youth received much praise, with Rocksound saying it is “A more exciting You Me At Six than ever before.” Their single, “Lived A Lie” is featured on the soundtrack for FIFA 14 and reached Number 1 on the iTunes Rock Chart.  In 2014 you can expect to see much more of You Me At Six. They are heading out on a European tour beginning in March. Find tour dates here:

The Reemergence of Pop Punk

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(Source: The Story So Far Facebook Page; Alvin Carrillo)

The pop punk scene has become more and more prominent within the last few years. Originally gaining popularity in the 1990s, bands such as Allister and Midtown created a splash with their catchy instrumental parts and their infectious lyrics. If you have never heard any of their music check out an Allister classic:

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(Source: AllisterVEVO YouTube)

Both Allister and Midtown were signed to Drive-Thru Records, the leading Pop Punk label of the late 1990s. Their roster also included bands such as Home Grown, Senses Fail, Something Corporate, Hellogoodbye, and New Found Glory. Drive-Thru Records was the pioneering Pop Punk record label of the time and in many ways paved the way for the new Pop Punk scene’s emergence. Drive-Thru even got their own list on Buzzfeed, titled “10 Songs That Will Make You Miss Drive-Thru Records.” Check out the full list here:

Some newer artists from this genre include The Story So Far, Transit, The Wonder Years, and Fireworks. The Wonder Years’ album, The Greatest Generation earned the number 1 spot on Idobi’s “Top 10 Albums of 2013” list. Their album called, Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing, earned the number 32 spot on Buzzfeed’s “36 Pop Punk Albums You Need To Hear…” list. Here is the full list:



Man Overboard is another highly prominent Pop Punk band, whose slogan is “Defend Pop Punk.” They’ve gained a lot of fans and aim to keep the scene alive through dedication to their genre and music. Their site even has a section for this cause which has numerous podcasts. I must say, the Pop Punk scene is doing very well. The Story So Far sold out many dates on their past tour in fall of 2013, including the New York City date at Irving Plaza. Moreover, the amount of people I have seen wearing TSSF, Man Overboard, and Brand New shirts is incredible, and seemingly ever growing. The immense success of these bands shows that Pop Punk is in fact alive and well.

Independent Labels

Independent record labels have gained a considerable amount of influence and power in the music industry due to the popularity of the artists that they sign coupled with their great use of social media. One example of a strong independent label is Sumerian Records. The label was started in 2006 by Ash Avildsen, and is based out of D.C. and L.A.  A few of the artists signed to the label are Animals As Leaders, Structures, I See Stars, Periphery, Asking Alexandria, Betraying The Martyrs, and T.R.A.M. One of its distinct characteristics is the wide variety of styles and genres of the bands that it includes. While artists such as Periphery and Born of Osiris have a heavier sound, bands like T.R.A.M have a jazzier feel.

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A main reason behind the success of the label is the support of the artists’s fans. For example, Asking Alexandria’s album, “Reckless and Relentless,” peaked at number 9 on Billboard and their next album, “From Death to Destiny,” reached number 7 on the Neilsen SoundScan Building Chart. Read more here:

The album went on to be number 6 on the Billboard Top 200 after selling 38,000 copies. This set a new record for the label, as it was its “highest first-week sales.” Read the entire article here:

The band’s fans are some of the most dedicated in the scene, waiting in line for hours at shows and expressing their love through social media, and sometimes more personal aspects like tattoos. This is just one of the artists on this label. Looking at other bands, such as Periphery, there exists the same trend of immense fan support and love. Their album, “Periphery II” was number 4 on the Billboard Top 200 ( They also have support from other bands and artists, such as The Word Alive’s frontman, Telle Smith.

(Source: Twitter, Telle Smith)

(Source: Twitter, Telle Smith)

Overall, the rise of independent labels has been immense, and this is just one example. Without dedicated fans however, the progress that artists make would not be possible.

Anberlin, AAR, Taking Back Sunday

One of my all time favorite bands is Taking Back Sunday. They’ve been around since 1999 and have impacted my music taste quite strongly. I first got into them about four or five years ago, after I saw them perform in Connecticut. The main reason I went to this show was to see Anberlin and The All-American Rejects. After a four hour car ride to get to the venue, which I asked my mom to drive my friends and I to, we finally arrived in Connecticut, just in time for Anberlin’s set. Anberlin’s record, New Surrender, ranked number 111 on Billboard’s Top 200 during its release in 2008. The All-American Rejects were also doing well, with the release of When The World Comes Down in 2009. Furthermore, their single, “Gives You Hell,” peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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I enjoyed both bands that I had initially come to see, but did not expect Taking Back Sunday to become such a huge part of my life, so to speak. They have continuously released successful records, and are one of the few bands that don’t typically get the “Oh my gosh, the old albums are SO much better than this one!” reaction from fans. Their single, “MakeDamnSure,” reached number 48 on the Billboard Hot 100.

With the release of their single, “Flicker, Fade,” the band has garnered much excitement for their new album as well as over 70,000 YouTube views for the video in just 3 days.

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(Source: Hopeless Records YouTube)

They are set to release a new album, Happiness Is, in March, and it is currently available for preorder.

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To promote their new album, the band will be going on tour with The Used, Tonight Alive (on selected dates), and Sleepwave. All of these bands have very dedicated fan bases, so this tour is bound to be huge. Starting off in Dallas (SXSW) and wrapping up in Orlando, the bands will be traveling the country, to the joy of fans everywhere.

Imagine Dragons

Although at first I thought that this post would be quite difficult to write, after watching The Grammys the perfect idea hit me. I got to watch one of my favorite bands perform with an acclaimed rapper, and the result was a great mashup of two hits. Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar seemed to mesh just the right amount of rock and rap together to make one fantastic performance. Rolling Stone reviewed the performance and called it “one of the evenings most jaw-dropping performances.” Read the full review here:

In case you missed it, here is a video of the incredible collaboration: 

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In February of last year I got the chance to go see Imagine Dragons at Roseland Ballroom, and was lucky enough to have a photo pass for the show. Admittedly, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to attend the concert in the first place because it happened to be the weekend before midterm exams. The show was on a Saturday and I had an exam on Monday morning. I had studied earlier on in the week, but I tend to leave some of my studying to be done for the couple of days before a test. I found myself stuck in a moral dilemma…should I go see my favorite band AND photograph their set, or should I stay home, feeling miserable about missing the concert, and attempt to study? Finally, a few hours before the show I decided to go to NYC.


I ended up having an incredible time, although I didn’t know anyone at the concert, but it was the first show in a long time that actually changed the atmosphere in the room to one of love and happiness. Circling back to the awards show, their performance seems to have been one of the most praised. says, “Kendrick and Imagine Dragon’s performance at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards was one of those moments that came out of nowhere, and it’ll transcend the night and be remembered for years to come.” Full story here:

I ended up getting home around 12 AM and waking up at 11 AM to spend the rest of my day studying for this ominous exam. Luckily, I did quite well and realized that had I not gone, I would forever regret missing the show. Now, almost a year later, Imagine Dragons performed at The Grammys and even snagged the award for Best Rock Performance.

Why Blog?

In today’s day and age blogging seems to be one of the easiest ways to express our thoughts and opinions. Partly because it is relatively easy. Anyone can set up a personal blog and voice their views on anything from politics to celebrity gossip. Undoubtedly this is allowing more and more people to learn about points of view other than their own. Apart from blogging opening the door for individuals to write about their particular interests and opinions, it also allows for certain “authority figures” to see what their audiences are up to. Whether we, as an audience, admit it or not, there are those people who we look to for advice and guidance. Regardless of the field (it can be anything from entertainment and fashion to lawmaking) the individuals to which we allot power and have faith in, ultimately need to know what we are interested in and what causes the most hype by us.

Within the past year, I’ve noticed how popular beauty bloggers have become. Here is an example of one blogger, Fleur DeForce, who discusses whether or not a certain lipgloss is”Worth The Hype.”

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Not only do industries such as fashion and makeup get attention, but various other fields also receive acclaim. One example is the blog section on “Psychology Today.” The writers contribute their ideas on various issues such as psychoanalysis, success, and healthy living. Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 11.36.18 PM

While blogging may be used to express opinions and positive reviews, it can also be used to express dissatisfaction and frustration. For example, the blog section on the UK’s publication, The Telegraph, includes a piece regarding the disgust one writer feels towards a specific YouTube Channel and other various social media outlets.

Blogging is used not only as a personal outlet, but also in order to share what is inside of our minds with those who we trust. Blogging sets forth an emotional release and allows us the ability to offer our insight to others.