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A-Sides with Jon Chattman: Can Mona Save Rock & Roll?

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Rock is dead. That statement isn't really true but it has certainly felt that way for quite some time. We live in a syrup pop and hip hop world, and rock music has taken the back seat like a drunk prom date for far too long. If only there was a band who could save rock and roll, and return the genre to the stations who've been leaving it to Bieber daily. There very well might be.

Mona, a quartet out of Nashville, are on their way of becoming the breakthrough rock band we've been wishing, hoping, and praying for since Seattle grunge went viral. Heck, even if they don't reach the epic proportions I'm throwing their way, their deeply-felt rock - rock in its purest, truest form - shouldn't be ignored. Have a listen to their recently-released sophomore album Torches and Pitchforks, and you'll feel me, dawg. (That's a Randy Jackson reference for absolutely no reason by the way.) Artistically, the album exceeds their self-titled debut, which was an impressive LP in its own right that could could rock the high-waters off your pre-cal teacher. The band (Nick Brown, Vince Gard, Zach Lindsey and Jordan Young), who recorded Torches in the same Nashville basement as their debut, will be on the road through the new year. They did some headlining gigs already, and just wrapped a six-spot stop opening for alt-stars Silversun Pickups. Following a stint in Europe, the band will embark on a co-headlining tour in the states with The Limousines in the fall.

Last week, during a stop at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester with Silversun, the foursome took part in an A-Sides session, performing first-album track "Say You Will" and sitting down for an extended chat covering the new record, music genre pointlessness, and touring. The "Music City" band also fielded a meaningless meatball question about The Expendables 3. Why? Why not. Watch. Listen. Love.

No Encore?

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 listened to and liked (phew), posts and trends I've noticed on my friends' Facebook walls, and - most importantly - the songs 1 1/2+ year-old son gravitates toward. Yeah, you read that right. This weeks follows below (LW= last week's rank):

12. "Do I Wanna Know" (LW-7) - Arctic Monkeys
11. "You Didn't See Me" - Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
10. "Heavy Feet" (LW-6) - Local Natives
9. "The Ceiling" - The Wild Feathers (Watch them perform the song live on A-Sides here)
8. "Hurricane" (LW-5) - MS MR
7. "Head On" - Man Man
6. "Gun" (LW-4) - CHVRCHES
5. "Royals" - Lorde
4. "You & I" (LW-3) - Crystal Fighters (Watch them perform the song live on A-Sides here)
3. "Dreaming" - Smallpools
2. "Pompeii"(LW-2) - Bastille
1. "Torches & Pitchforks"(LW-1) - Mona

About A-Sides Music
Jon Chattman's "A-Sides Music" series 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.