In 1989, my parents took me to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. My dad had hyped up the show, noting right off the bat how it started with a chandelier falling from the ceiling. The show didn’t disappoint but I had a huge obstacle standing in the way of my theatrical experience. It came in the form of a bald man sitting in front of me, who constantly moved his head side-to-side to chat up the people who he brought with him. Since I wasn’t that tall at 13, I couldn’t see a lot of the action. Thankfully, my dad swapped seats with me and took one for the team.

I bring this story up solely because I was about to start my post about rock band Switchfoot, and drop a line about their hit song “Dare You to Move,” and for absolutely no reason, I thought of that silly bald man on Broadway who constantly moved his head and refused to stop. The mind is a funny thing. Mine is especially. Dumb? Perhaps. Man, the band deserved a better intro than the one I just provided. That being said, let’s start over.

Switchfoot formed in 1996, paid their dues, and soon established themselves in the world of Christian rock. By 2003, they were broke on through to the mainstream with their massive The Beautiful Letdown album, which spawned the aforementioned “Dare You to Move” as well as the equally huge hit “Meant to Live.” Far from two-hit wonders, the band continued to score on the radio, with audiences, and snagged a Grammy. Their first self-released movie Fading Westcame out a year ago, and followed the band around the world looking for surfable waves and much more. The film’s unofficial soundtrack, the band’s ninth studio album, came out earlier this year, and an EP The Edge of the EarthEP, followed.

The band (Jon Foreman, Tim Foreman, Chad Butler, Jerome Fontamillas, and Drew Shirley) is currently on tour supporting their recent releases and body of work, and took time out to film an A-Sides within Atlantic Records’ New York City offices. There, they performed a pair of tracks and discussed everything from surfing to their first foray into cinema. They also touched on their charity work and San Diego legend – the late, great Tony Gwynn. Watch. Listen. Love. Oh, and sorry about that Phantom of the Opera stuff before.

“We Come Alive”

“Love Alone Is Worth The Fight” (10/14/2014)


New York Comic Con – It’s Like That…
From the first lines of “Peter Piper,” I was hooked on Run DMC. Growing up with a big sister, my musical tastes pretty much echoed hers, but when “Raising Hell” came out, I – to quote Fleetwood Mac- went my own way. That album made me become my own person with my own ideas, and my own likes and dislikes. And with that album, and later “License to Ill” by The Beastie Boys, I graduated to music that gravitated towards me. That said, Darryl McDaniels is already a superhero in my book. At New York Comic Con last weekend, DMC was wedged inside the “Artist Alley,” signing copies of comic books he created under the – DMC Comics – moniker. It’s simple DMC now stands for “Darryl Makes Comics.” In an exclusive interview, DMC fought off the loud, loud, so very loud, city fest and explained how there would be no DMC without comic books. In all actuality, he noted, there wouldn’t be a Run DMC either. Watch on!

* For NYCC interviews with “Hurricane” Helms and wrestling author Michael Kingston, clickhere. *

As announced Oct. 1, A-Sides is in the midst of its own “challenge” to the viral masses – a la ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, A-Sides’ Sing Away Cancer Challenge is asking musicians and all walks of life to create a short video of themselves singing any popular song’s chorus but with anti-cancer and/or cure-geared inspiring lyrics. All I ask is for you to donate to a cancer-related charity of your choice, tag your video “#singawaycancer” and denote on your donation somewhere “sing away cancer.” It’s so important to know if this would-be viral campaign will work, and it’s so not important if you can carry a tune or not. There are so many worth causes to donate to.

Oct. 1 Announcement

A-Sides “Delve Into Twelve” Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its Top 12 tracks of the week AKA the “Delve Into Twelve”based on the following contributing factors: songs I’m playing out that particular week NO MATTER WHEN THEY WERE RELEASED (think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks, and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and dug a bunch, posts and trends I’ve noticed on my friends’ Facebook walls, and — most importantly — the songs my two-year-old son gravitates toward by stomping his feet in approval. Yeah, you read that right. This weeks follows below (LW= last week’s rank).

Week of Sept. 29
12. “Interstate Love Song” (retro cut) – Stone Temple Pilots
11. “Two Weeks” (debut) – FKA twigs
10. “So Now What” (LW-9) – The Shins
9. “Kathleen” (LW-5) – Catfish and the Bottlemen
8. “Champions of Red Wine” (debut) – The New Pornographers
7. “Boom Clap” (LW-2) – Charli XCX
6. “Cigarette Daydreams” (LW-7) – Cage the Elephant
5. “Iris” (debut) – U2
4. “Geronimo” (LW-3) – Sheppard
3. “Home” (LW-8) – Dotan
2. “Inside Out” (LW-2) – Spoon
1. “Beggin For Thread” (LW-1) – Banks


About A-Sides Music

Jon Chattman’s “A-Sides Music” series was established in August 2011 and usually features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I’m hoping this is refreshing. Artists have included: fun, Courtney Love, Air Supply, Birdy, Sleigh Bells, Aretha Franklin, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, Echosmith, Charli XCX, Pharrell Williams, American Authors, Imagine Dragons, Gary Clark Jr., and more! A-Sides theme written and performed by Blondfire.