Remember Eagle Eye Cherry? Who am I kidding, of course you remember them. “Save Tonight” was a staple of every alt kid’s 90’s playlist, or at least it was on mine. So in honor of the ubiquitous Throwback Thursday, let’s all join together to enjoy this fabulous cover by Louis Vivet.
Now since the original will always have a special place in my heart, I won’t go as far as to call this version better, but damn if it isn’t something special. I love the haunting vocals by some young guns – Gavrielle and Nick Goldston – and am even down with the techno break in the middle. The track is upbeat but yet stays true to the melancholy of the lyrics (try to tell me you didn’t use to cry to this song while thinking about your crush in grade school, or hanging with your friends on the last day of camp). So here you are folks, your #TBT jam of the day.
In case you hadn’t seen already, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival released their lineup announcement video today, and it might quite possibly be the most inclusive lineup I have ever seen. Ranging from Phish to Public Enemy, Solange to Foster the People, Trey Songz to Jason Isbell, Arcade Fire to Avett Brothers, Eric Clapton to Christina Aguilera (seriously). Not to mention the smattering of traditional NOLA jazz and gospel acts. I can’t decide if this is the most amazing strategy ever since people have already been going to Jazzfest for years regardless of the lineup, or if it’s going to result in the biggest clusterfuck in the history of music festivals.
Thinking about going? I know…so am I. Here’s a nifty to guide for everything you need to know if you’re planning a trip.
Best part of this announcement? It’s put a (temporary I’m sure) damper on all the Coachella-philes.
There are few things on the internet that make me happier than NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series. The low-key concerts are a showcase for some of the best talent on the planet to really show their raw chops. This one with Sarah Jarosz is no exception. In case you haven’t heard of this miraculous young lady, she is a 22 year old bluegrass/roots songbird. Despite being only 22, she has already recorded three albums, all of them an absolute delight. In this video she is performing songs from her third album, Build Me Up From Bones. But enough of my yammering, just watch and let the girl win your heart.
Live in LA? Come see her with me on January 22nd at Largo at the Coronet, tickets here.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a little while you know that when Thrift Shop first came out, I was truly obsessed. I went full fan-girl after the NPR Tiny Desk concert, and was telling anyone who would listen how great I thought he was and “just wait ’til Can’t Hold Us is released as a singe…just wait.”
So, needless to say, when a friend sent out a mass email asking who wanted to go to his show at STAPLES, I eagerly agreed. While I’m not normally one for stadium shows, I figured I’d take a chance on the men who gave us And We Danced. A few weeks and one Metro ride later (yes, this LA girl took the train), I arrived at STAPLES this past Wednesday night. I’ll preface the rest of this post by saying I’ve been very busy at work, and more than anything just wanted to sit on my couch that night, so was maybe not in the best state of mind to go to a rowdy hip hop concert.
The night started with Big KRIT (whose set I mostly missed) and Talib Kweli – who, as always, was great. Hard to believe the man is nearing 40 and is opening for Macklemore, but so goes the industry. His set was unfortunately slightly marred by a cameo by a singer (whose name, to be perfectly honest, I can’t remember) who was a bit “under the weather” and wasn’t able to hit all the notes of her cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams. But props to the duo for trying to appeal to a sea of white people.
A lengthy set break gave me time to purchase some over-priced and underwhelming sushi along with a $13 alcoholic beverage. I thought that these things would help prepare me for what I assumed was about to be about 2 hours of straight groovin’. Welp, I was in for a bit of a disappointment.
While Macklemore’s show was replete with showmanship – from costume changes, to sets worthy of a Broadway musical, to custom video art projections, even a giant M made of Nike Air Jordans – the show overall seemed to be just…well, missing something. Between every song Macklemore took the mic and talked…a lot. And while I’m a fan of some good stage banter, this fell flat for me. Rather than cracking jokes, it was a lot of humble statements of how amazed he was to be playing a show this big (understandable), some stories about his past to set up his songs, and a lot of time spent listening to the roar of the (very young) crowd. These breaks seemed to, in my opinion, really interrupt the flow of what should have been a high-energy, party of a concert. That said, when he was actually performing he was great, supported by a full backing band of strings and horns, and joined on stage by his tried and true hook singers Ray Dalton (Can’t Hold Us) and Mary Lambert (Same Love).
Then came the end of the show. Macklemore finished his first set, and did not keep the crowd waiting long for an encore. To my great pleasure, Macklemore re-emerged on stage as Raven Bowie – his alter ego from And We Danced. He then proceeded to utterly crush that song: wig and glittery cape flowing, humping the floor in synch with his dancers, and running around the stage like the mad man he is – it was wonderful. He should have stopped there. He should’ve said goodnight. But he didn’t. Instead, he played a few more songs and then proceeded to take 15 minutes (no exaggeration) to introduce and thank every single member of the band on stage. It was a lot of talking, so much so that he said that he was getting told his time was up. As he spoke I began to wonder, how can he go out after this, he’s played all his hits – what’s left? Well after defiantly claiming that STAPLES center “doesn’t decide when the music is over” he launched into his final number…Can’t Hold Us…again. The crowd seemed to not care that it was the second time hearing the song in under 30 minutes, but I couldn’t help but feel massively disappointed.
Look, overall, Macklmore knows how to put on one hell of a show. And maybe he really was just so genuinely blown away by the 10,000 strong crowd that he couldn’t do anything but stand in awe of it and play hit songs multiple times. But let’s hope that next time he comes around, we get a little less talking and a little more dancing.
I have been a fan of CHVRCHES since I first heard “The Mother We Share” – and really didn’t think that there was anything that they could do to their sound to make me like it more. Well it turns out their is: when they take their musical aesthetic and superimpose it onto another awesome sound, in this case MSMR. The result is pure magic. And it’s exactly what I need in the middle of a week. And since my brain is in serious Wednesday mode, I’ll keep this post short and sweet, and continue to listen to this song on loop…
5 Best Videos of the Week – Stereogum
Laura Marling’s new track “Where Can I Go” – Stereogum
13 Must-See Musical Acts at SXSW – The Daily Beast
The Smashing Pumpkins Announce World Tour – Pitchfork
32 Greatest Justin Timberlake Dance Moves of All Time – Buzzfeed Music
Not since I’ve started this blog have I really had a chance to write about a true intersection of headphones and hangovers. That all changed this week.
In round one of my company’s two-phase holiday celebration, I took full advantage of a 6pm-8pm open bar. And it took full advantage of me. That next evening I went to a live music show by on-the-rise hipster darlings Alt-J.
Here is what I took from that experience:
1) Cheap white wine is just as potent as nice white wine, especially when it’s doled out by servers who seem to watch a full half of football while they’re pouring the drink.
2) Always, always, ALWAYS eat a lot of food before consuming said wine, not during. I know, at 25 years old I should have learned this lesson by now – but alas, the further I get from my college years the more I seem to regress in my knowledge of Drinking Basics 101
3) Always maintain an open line of communication with your cab driver. Trust me, he will want to help you in your time of need.
5) Work can be your friend during a hangover. Ignoring it is sometimes the best cure, and making yourself focus on even the most simple tasks can help get your brain back to a normal state.
6) Don’t be afraid to have three breakfasts and then a big lunch. It will help you.
8) When recovering from an unexpected weekday hangover while knowing you have to drive accross town for a not so cheap show later that night, never let yourself feel defeated. Keep reminding yourself that live music fixes most worries, and that this band is pretty cool.
9) Volunteer to drive. It will save you from yourself when you get to the bar at the venue.
11) Enjoy the music. Those of us who attend their fair share of shows have a tendency to get overly critical. The sound mix is off, this giant dude keeps blocking my view, the band takes too long to come on after the opener, the set list isn’t perfect. Who cares?! It’s awesome that we live in a society that fosters so much creativity and we get to reap the benefits whenever we desire. Plus Alt-J rules!
12) I like this song. A lot. And now you can too.
Now, let’s hope phase two is a little bit easier to handle…
Bored with your Tuesday? Looking for some inspiration? Well, let me help ya out.
But don’t knock them off as a couple of guys making novelty rap songs. The Seattle duo has way more to offer. Case in point: this incredible performance from the NPR Tiny Desk Concert series. Somehow without a huge crowd, a stage, lights, or a microphone, Macklemore still puts on one hell of a show, and managed to get me amped up sitting silently at my desk in an office. A particularly special treat is when Ray Dalton joins in to sing some sweet sweet melodies on the last track Can’t Hold Us. So spend the next 14 minutes of your afternoon watching this glorious video, and the rest of your day figuring out how you can come close to being as cool as these guys…I’ve already started.
PS – Am I the only one who thinks Macklemore looks a little bit like Sgt Nicholas Brody?
Hey hey Monday! Why am I so enthusiastic about saying hi to Monday you ask? Well, because I’ve been listening to Where Will We Go by IAMDYNAMITE. Normally I’d be kinda annoyed at a name like IAMDYNAMITE (especially when coupled with an album name SUPERMEGAFANTASTIC) that is all caps locked and space-less – but these guys rock pretty hard so I’m gonna let it slide.
Comprised of only two dudes, IAMDYNAMITE has a pretty stellar thing going on. With some punk-rock heavy drums, easy to sing along to melodies, and a damn catchy chorus – Where Will We Go is like a perfect party favor of “get amped” music. Perhaps the best way to explain the song is to give you a breakdown of my reaction the first time I heard it:
1) What is this I’m listening to…IAMDYNAMITE…is that all one word?
2) Actually this is kinda good, maybe I should start paying attention.
3) Hold up, my head is starting to bop, how’d that happen?
4) Andddd now I’m drumming on my knee.
5) Now I’m drumming AND head bopping.
6) Um this song is TOTALLY AWESOME.
7) Let’s hear that shit again.
So there you have it. But don’t just live vicariously through my awesome play-by-play, listen for yourself and see what involuntary bodily movements you have!