Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful for brilliant covers!!

Of course I'm thankful for family and friends and I've been extremely blessed with a new and fantastic job this year! I couldn't ask for more. But the holidays make me especially grateful for music!

Thank you to any musician who keeps creating new and inspiring sounds/lyrics and covers to share with the rest of the world. I only allow myself a handful of credits and strength and independence I own up to. Music allows me the reason to feel human (anything at all)  (and flawed) and to give pause and live in the moment. Without these moments I would cease to exist!

 Pharrell Williams: ''Happy"

To be able to make a playlist of my own to combine new artists and create a general vibe that gets me through the day and *excited* to do so, is the best feeling in the world! I'm still working on a few, but in the meantime I want to post some brillant covers of otherwise *nauseating* songs!

To be able to re-purpose songs like these is a true testament to the talent of these artists/musicians.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Top prize goes to Jordan Bratton for giving TS some Soul!

Love Bastille + Awesomely 80's songs!

Deeply in love with this man! His heart shines though in his voice and his beard! I would marry Cole in a heart beat!

Case in point #1- Miguel ''Adorn''

Case in point #2 - Mr. Big ''To be with you''-- (Told you I'm a sucker for A-80's songs!)

To prove some display of musical integrity outside of (gag) Top 40 covers check these out!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

transition into fall (concert dates & remixes)

Indie Shuffle strikes again!

Sexiest cover I've ever heard

MS MR will be playing my favorite venue Lincoln Hall Sept 30th

Arctic Monkeys will be playing at the Riv towards the end of Sept. Tix are sold out but you could always hope that JAM USA will be doing a give a way. Very disappointed I was late to the game on getting tickets.

 Both songs enhance their persona as ''bad boy'' Brits, their lyrics are sexy and edgy, insightful, romantic and who doesn't aspire to be friends with all of the above?

Speaking of sexy and edgy number two band for both traits on my list

Another British band covered brilliantly (and I do not take this praise lightly as I'm a huge Radiohead fan!) I just love the arrangement of this song and it changes mid song to make an exciting transition!

Just bought tix for The Neighbourhood @ the Metro 10/2 I love the genre crossing its surprising and refreshing.

The Neighbourhood – Sweater Weather

Finally the 1975 finally released their EP

Favorite track on this album that hasn't been previously released favorites (''Sex'' and ''Chocolate'')

Settle Down
The 1975 – Settle Down

Now time for the ladies to get a little praise

Daughter is my favorite ''new'' artist, there is such vunerabillity in the vocals its hard to resist on a cloudy day.. but not all songs are melancoly and sad

check out this remix!

Beachy vibe sister trio Haim collaborates with Tourist!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Happy Dance Part II

To expand on the last post.. I've taken my favorites from Pitchfork's Playlist + a playlist I made last year (still relavent) into one extensive playlist called "Happy Dance'' (pt 2)..

Because sometimes I know I can take life a little too seriously! As evidence by the people watching accomplished yesterday. I need to let go and act a little silly and dance like nobody's watching! Not just ''live in the middle'' Happy Dance

Dance! you know you want to- I won't tell anyone- :)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Music Festival Preparation

These playlists aren't mine but they are too amazing not to post!

Pitchfork tomorrow & Lolla coming up! So psyched this is my equivalent to Christmas Season!!

2013 Pitchfork Music Festival Playlist

Can I say that I'm throughly impressed with Ms. Solange, ''Some things just never F***ing Work out''?? Genius!

And why haven't I heard of Savages until now? (British) kind of an emo child of the Arctic Monkeys+  the Stones? What do we think?

Save the best for last.. My new obsession! Waxahatchee! There are no words reallly. Love the entire album! belongs on an indie movie soundtrack (acoustic, understated, raw lyrics) brillant lyrics! for sure Blue Pt. II is my favorite.. '' and when i look into your olive colored eyes..''Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt
'' i said on the night that we met I am not well''-Brother Bryan

Seeing them live at Schubas tonight!:)

Nylon also created a Lolla playlist for this year but I'm not impressed with it.. looking forward to making my own.. but I won't deny you the opportunity to judge for yourself.
Lollapalooza 2013

I do like Kendrick Lamar's ''Please Don't Kill my Vibe'' :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

James Blake No Limits @ the Metro Chicago 5/2/13

As soon as I heard British musician James Blake was coming to my fair city. I dropped any plans I may have had (three or so months in advance) I was positive it would sell out the humble Metro venue.-- I was right!

His signature sound entails vocals of an angelic choir boy, mixed with infectious beats he is living proof that both styles can in fact come from a person and not solely from a machine. He's an anomly really, he can geniunely sing Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You'' with such heartbreaking emotion that you would assume the girl as the subject of the song were sitting out in the audience.

 He saved this song for last mind you

His new single ''Retrograde'' off of his recently released album Overgrown was the highlight for me a personal anthem of mine

You’re on your own, in a world you’ve grown
I’ll wait, so show me why you’re strong
Ignore everybody else,
We’re alone now
His lyrics like his vocals, showcase a dicotomy between strength/independence and extreme vunerability. Only a handful of artists I know can accomplish both in equal measure.

To prove he's not a complete softy, he started the set with energetic solos of sorts heavy on the House style.. side of the spectrum.. I swore I detected hints of salsa music! I've never heard in previous cuts of songs he's done. The names of the songs I don't recall (I doubt there were any, I'm almost certain he was freestyling)

James Blake is a talent that will surprise you at every single turn. Whether it's the subtlety of his vocals or the drastic changes in beats or mood. the title ''Retrograde'' is misleading as Blake doesn't appear to be moving backward in any form. I would rename it ''No Limits'' because that's the amount of potential he has. Can't wait to see him continue to evolve and I'm intigued to see what he comes up with next

30 Seconds to Mars @ Chicago Cultural Center 5/9/13

A friend of mine was lucky enough to get some tickets to the Q87.7 sponsored 30 Seconds to Mars concert @ the Chicago Cultural Center.

First time at the venue, my friend informed me that it used to be a Chicago library, as I looked up at the cathedral ceiling and along the walls you could see quotes of famous authors. It reminded me of one of my favorite movies ''With Honors'' Joe Pesci's character is mistaken for Walt Whitman the author and he's at Widner Library @ Harvard he says:

''This library is like a church, and when you're in church do you ever look up and wonder what people are praying for? This library is like that for me''

Perfect quote to describe this venue and the hardcore fans.

The show started off with a mini documentary about the band overcoming a lawsuit and self doubt in order to persue releasing a record, and the steady decline of the record industry as a whole.

Follwed by the new video for the single "Up in the Air'' off their upcoming album Love Lust Faith + Dreams (May 21 release) (Also this blogger's birthday!)

After listening to some tracks this morning post concert. I can tell you that Up in the Air, and almost every  one of the previously released singles, will be on repeat in your head, but that it pales in comparison to the energy you feel watching a live performance.

I wasn't expecting the electro beat dance aspect of the single but the element of surprise made me love it more, as with most of my experiences with this particular band, I like the songs well enough but they grow on me over time and then I'm hooked.. on the melody, the grit of the vocal coming from inarguably handsome lead singer Jared Leto. 

He seems geninuely comfortable on stage, there were moments that I definitely appreciated his artistic license on an acoustic song, whose name escapes me. He lives in the moment, feeding off of the crowd's energy. He demanded crowd participation, and he received it with great volume and enthusiasm. This will sound childish and sappy, but  I felt like a high school kid again, shocked that I am invited to an awesome party where the ''in crowd'' is actually connected to me, not far removed.  Leto is humble, interactive, and grateful for the fan support. I  A quality I find lacking with musicians or anyone labeled ''successful'' in the entertainment business today, Whether they are up & coming bands glorified by the press or seasoned musicians that have been making music longer than I've been alive. Devoted fans combined with a savy and geniune marketing and promotion will make a good band great!

Photos Courtesy of N.R.

 At the show if you pre-ordered their new album for $15.00, and that buys you a meet & greet/signing with the band, AND they are holding a contest to fly to L.A. to hang out with the band and sleep at Jared Leto's house! Even if you're not the biggest fan, that would appeal to anyone with an heart and a mind for music.

They invited fans to come up on stage and dance with him. I swear he saw my black faux RayBans (that he wore during the first song of the night) and he was pointing at me, but alas, a jersey sporting Mom beat me to it) At least we had a ''moment.""

The band may be returning to Chicago soon. I made my friend promise we'd go back and see them again!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Company of Thieves at City Winery

It's been said on more than one occasion what a big fan I am of Chicago based band Company of Thieves..

It's also a well known fact that I am an avid wine drinker.. so COT playing an acoustic set at City Winery is damn near perfection! I say near..for more details on my experience of City Winery read the Yelp review found here

This was the 2nd night COT did an acoustic set at this venue, but I wasn't able to attend the previous show due to a scheduling conflict/attending ZZ Ward at Lincoln Hall.

For readers/listeners who are not familiar with the band.. It's difficult for me to place this band in a specific genre they're not all rock, but not exactly pop, more on the folk side with soul tendencies? That doesn't quite do them justice at all. I mean how do you describe something beautiful and sexy? It just exists.

I can tell you the set list perfectly combined old & new from ''Ordinary Riches'' to the most recent "Running from a Gamble'' lead singer Genevieve Schatz has grown into her musician/improvisational license having gained more touring experience under her belt since I last saw the band live. She's gained a sense of security and comfort in her own skin. A quality I've always admired in women in general.

This was also the perfect set & venue for me to actually hear what a great guitarist Marc is! He excels at acoustic playing, but I feel like I've never had the chance to experience the stripped down/fundamentals of the songs I've grown so familiar with. I hate to compare him to John Mayer's playing because it seems very cliche to do so. But like Genevieve he seemed to be very natural in his progressions and improvisational arrangements. It was downright sexy! Combine that with the guest appearance from Mike Memone on piano, (the opener) some of the most beautiful arrangements I've ever heard. It's rare that you can find an accomplished pianist who wont put you to sleep with ''old classics'' or ''bar tunes'' but MM acccomplished the task flawlessly. A true professional.

Saving the best for last!-- My favorite and recently released on YouTube cover of Lauryn Hill's ''Ex-Factor"--which at first sight seems like a mismatch of genres but sometimes opposites attract and magic happens!-- CHECK IT OUT
I'm desperately hoping that the band will release an acoustic album or at the very least an EP! I will immediately encourage every one I know to start listening to it. This performance made me fall in love with the band all over again. The storytelling in each song is unique, captivating and their message and passion for music is clearly received and charms each and every fan.