Friday, December 9, 2016

Stimulating Station Seeds


Here's some station seeds if you're in need of music for the weekend!

Jimmy Eat World:

These guys have been around the emo and pop punk scene so long that they pretty much helped invent the genre. They've also had so many different sounds that the station goes everywhere from Weezer to Yellowcard to Hoobastank, and pretty much everything in between. If you're looking for a station that has the perfect blend of alternative, emo, pop punk, and late 90s-early 2000s pop, these are your guys.



Their newest single "Sure and Certain" is also a great new sound from these guys.

The Script:

I'm weirdly in an alt-emo mood, but I promise it has nothing to do with anything personal. That being said, if you've just had your heart broken, The Script are perfect for that pathetic point where you're just thinking "please come back to me, I'll do anything." They'll take you on a tour of powerful pop songs, with your Kris Allen, The Fray, OneRepublic, a hint of my singer-songwriter station, and also a smattering of late 2000s-early 2010s pop. It's a weirdly fun station, unless your heart just broke: then it's a weirdly therapeutic one.

Thought of the week:

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. - Maya Angelou

'Til next time... keep on listening, keep on singing, and keep live music alive.

Friday's Song List


Here's your Friday song list to get your weekend on a good start.


  1. Throwback Thursday pick:
And because it's been stuck in my head all week, give Judah and the Lion another listen:



'Til next time... keep on listening, keep on singing, and keep live music alive.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Stimulating Station Seeds



Here's your "station seeds" if you're looking for a couple of good sounds to build a station around.

The Chainsmokers: the best part about this station, beyond all the great songs themselves, is that they've collaborated with so many different people that the station brings in variety just from that. You'll get EDM, house, electropop, trap, and even some good old fashioned pop music on this station. It's perfect music to program, edit video, or have a living room dance party to. And, honestly, if you're not doing any of those things on a regular basis, you probably should start.

The Head and the Heart: This is more of a dose of soothing indie rock station that can help bring the beat down from the previous station. You'll run into the Lumineers, Bon Iver, Vance Joy, Mumford and Sons (with and without the banjo) on this station, and

Thought of the week: Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world -- No, YOU move. - Captain America, Amazing Spider-Man #537

'Til next time... keep on listening, keep on singing, and keep live music alive.

Friday's Song List


This one is twice as long as usual because it's been a couple weeks since the last Friday Fix!

So here's the new-for-me (with a couple of olds thrown in):
  1. Thanksgiving Throwback Thursday special posted while watching Peanuts:
  2. Regular Throwback Thursday Song:

'Til next time... keep on listening, keep on singing, and keep live music alive.

Upcoming December Concerts


While November was full of great concerts for me like Josh Radin, Damien Jurado, T/N/A/F, Ingrid Michaelson, Girls Guns and Glory, and Starfucker, December is going to be a relatively chill month for live music. (But don't sleep on the new Album releases, like the Hamilton Mixtape and Childish Gambino's Awaken, My Love!)

So, for now, I've only got one show planned for this month, but it's going to be an awesome one.

The Old 97s have been around for nearly 25 years now, and they're just as great as ever. They're forefathers of the alt-country movement and have shaped the sorts of country adjacent music that I listen to, and, while there are songs that are still jockeying for this position (and no women jockeying for the position that I know of), "Question" is one of those "man, this would be a great first dance for a wedding" songs out there. "Timebomb" is a consummate classic, and it would be fair to say that a not insignificant portion of my musical tastes and thoughts have been shaped by Rhett Miller, both as a part of the Old 97s and as a solo act.

You can find their latest here: CD (yeah, that's still a thing!) | iTunes | Amazon

Other concerts going on in the DC area this month you may want to consider going to:

Wednesday 12/7 and Thursday 12/8 - Fillmore Silver Spring - 94.7 FM Not So Silent Night (two days, see lineup below)
Wednesday 12/7 - Fillmore Silver Spring  - 94.7 NSSN Day 1: Mike Posner, Lindsey Stirling, and JoJo
Thursday 12/8 - Fillmore Silver Spring  - 94.7 NSSN Day 2: Third Eye Blind w. Wrabel, The Rua
Thursday 12/8 - Birchmere - The Dan Band (yeah, the guys from Old School who "covered" Total Eclipse of the Heart)
Saturday 12/10 - Black Cat - Reverend Horton Heat
Sunday 12/11 - Hamilton Live - Edwin McCain
Monday 12/12 - Birchmere - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Thursday 12/15 - Birchmere - Carbon Leaf
Thursday 12/15 - 9:30 Club - Thievery Corporation
Friday 12/16 - 9:30 Club - Thievery Corporation
Saturday 12/17 - 9:30 Club - Thievery Corporation
Sunday 12/18 - Fillmore Silver Spring - Lauryn Hill
Monday 12/19 - Howard Theatre - MOTH StorySLAM (moved from 11/14)
Tuesday 12/20 - Hamilton Live - Los Lobos
Friday 12/23 - Hamilton Live - Virginia Coalition
Friday 12/23 - Fillmore Silver Spring - 80s and 90s Dance Party with DJ BIZ MARKIE!
Saturday 12/31 - Hamilton Live - $60-85 - Old 97s - this is a new year's eve show and includes a champagne toast at midnight!

'Til next time... keep on listening, keep on singing, and keep live music alive.

STRFKR at 9:30 Club




It's been a while since I've been to the 9:30 Club, but you can't miss Starfucker, right?

Psychic Twin


The first opener was a duet called Psychic Twin who had great energy, great beats, and just a fun vibe. They were only on stage for 20 minutes, but they were 20 awesome minutes where I didn't sit down!

Gigamesh


Gigamesh had some interesting beats and great song samples, all the way from Fleetwood Mac and the Bee Gees to Grouplove, but I think he would be more at home in a Vegas club than in front of a crowd. I did just start a station based on him that I'm using at the gym, and it's perfect there, as well. His energy didn't quite transfer to the crowd, but I'd LOVE to see him DJ a club or party.

Starfucker




These guys know how to put on a show: before this, I didn't know that "dancing in a space suit during a concert" was a viable job plan, but now I have to look into it. These guys came out and gave the show their all for all 25 songs. Not even a third of the way through, they jumped right into Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second, and did not go below 150 BPM after that. Pop Song, German Love, and Bury Us Alive were all better live than their excellent recorded versions, and their cover of Girls Just Want to Have fun is phenomenal. Their three-song encore of Florida, Julius, and While I'm Alive was a perfect end to a show that had us jumping in 9:30 all night long, as Spacemen crowd-surfed and danced all around the stage.

Go see them. Their current tour is almost over, but they're touring all throughout February and March, and you can find their tour dates here.

'Til next time... keep on listening, keep on singing, and keep live music alive.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Girls Guns and Glory at Gypsy Sally's



Kelsey Waldon

I hadn't heard much about Kelsey Waldon before this show, but I did like what I had heard of her on NPR. She's got a voice right between Alison Krauss and Loretta Lynn, with the perfect amount of Kentucky twang to straddle the line. Her song "All By Myself" deserves to be put in the pantheon of the country-ish category of "men, who needs them?" songs like Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats," The Dixie Chicks' "Goodbye Earl," and, of course, Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Were Made for Walkin'." It's no wonder she made that song her last of her set.



Her set was phenomenal, though not long enough. Her voice really is a perfect voice for folk-country, and she straddled the line between bluegrass and country perfectly.

You can find her here!

Girls, Guns, and Glory

These guys are a down-to-earth country band, just going from show to show, playing their way with a sound that is vintage Hank Williams. (The good one, not his crap son.) Their sound is perfect for an intimate venue like Gypsy Sally's, and they filled the room with country perfection.



Halfway through their energetic set, they took a small break to go one-mic acoustic, and the set got a folksy vibe before they went back to electric instruments to close the show strong.

You can find their upcoming tour dates here, and they're with Kelsey Waldon through the end of the week.

'Til next time... keep on listening, keep on singing, and keep live music alive.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Band Spotlight: The Pressure Kids



There are some bands that can only really be described as "indie," and Nashville's The Pressure Kids are just indie. If you love indie, you'll love them. If you don't, I'd still tell you to give their music a listen, because it's just so good.

With a sound that's raw and real, and only getting better, you owe it to yourself to check them out right now, and to see them if they end up anywhere near you. If you're in Nashville, find them now.

Their newest single, "You Missed Your Chance" is a combination of soaring harmonies, a killer opening guitar wah-wah lick, and fun lyrics (watch the lyric video, you won't regret it!). The best thing that I can say about the song is that it works. The band works together, and you can tell they're having fun while doing it.


I'm pretty sure that, after listening to it, you're going to want to listen to it at least twice more. Every time I've heard it, I've noticed a new lick, or harmony, or a rhythm that makes me like the song even more!

These guys aren't a one-trick pony though: from the whimsy of "You Missed Your Chance," you can head toward the wistful, powerful "Catherine in Moonlight." There is real pain in this song, and you can hear it in every word. This song starts with guitar picking, goes through two powerful verses, and then, a little over two minutes in, nearly stops, right after the words "stay sober." And from there, there's a powerful minute long build to and through a bridge that is carried by dynamic wailing female vocals. The final verse is a testament to the power of deliberate understatement, and counters the previous bridge better than any crescendo could. The echoes of "stay sober" will stay with you long after the song has faded away.

And, if you want to hear a third sound from them, here's "Brand New," an alt-country track that lets their vocals shine with just a hint of the wailing guitar in the background near the end:



I'm excited to see what else they come up with! You can find them in all these places:

YouTube | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website | SoundCloud

'Til next time... keep on listening, keep on singing, and keep live music alive.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ingrid Michaelson's "Hell No" Tour at Lincoln Theatre


Two concerts in two weeks at the Lincoln Theatre, and despite loving both acts, I'm not sure we could find two more opposite crowds - the crowd didn't sit at all during T/N/A/F or XYLØ, and we stood only for select songs at this concert... but both concerts were still great!



The opening act, AJR, sounded really great, and I challenge you not to sing "I'm Not Famous" to yourself over and over again for the rest of the day after hearing it. Their set was a little uneven, but that's to expected from an act that just released their first EP. Once they get more songs under their belt, they'll be able to even out the show, but no matter what they were singing, Jack ran all across the stage, which made it nearly impossible to get a good picture of him. Their new single, "Weak," was a strong addition to their repertoire, and their first single, "I'm Ready" was a strong closer for their set. I'm excited to see where these brothers end up going, and if you're looking to see them live in the DC area, they're going to be back in March, playing at Jammin Java.



Ingrid Michaelson was awesome. Full disclosure, I've pretty much had a huge crush on her since I first heard her music at least 10 years ago. She opened the show strong with "Light Me Up," threw in a couple of amazing covers, including a haunting rendition of Radiohead's "Creep" on the ukulele, and played every single song everyone wanted to hear, including "The Way I Am" and "Be OK." She brought AJR on stage for a new song called "The Lotto." And after a set where most of the (lame) audience was sitting down, she ended her set with two energetic songs that got our asses out of our seats: "Celebrate" and "Hell No." (If nothing else, watch the Hell No video because it's in ASL and it's great.) And if that wasn't enough, she came back out for the encore and jumped right into "Girls Chase Boys," keeping the audience up out of their seats, and for the completely unexpected (and ass-kicking) finale, she and her band covered the classic Right Said Fred song, "Wonderman." ...I'm just kidding, and I was checking if you were still reading: of course the song was "I'm Too Sexy," and it was great, including a choreographed dance to end the concert. If you get a chance to see her, take it: it's 100% worth it, and her voice fills the room with perfectly pitched joy.

Sadly, Ingrid Michaelson's tour is almost over, with only a sold out show in DC tonight and one in NYC on December 14.

Here's AJR's upcoming tour dates!

'Til next time... keep on listening, keep on singing, and keep live music alive.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Fix

Hiss Golden Messenger

I hope everyone's been having a good week... or at least a better week than last week! It's time for the weekly run down!

Some songs I think you should listen to:
  1. Throwback Thursday Special:


Album of the week: Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker

There are legends, and there are those who the legends call legends: Leonard Cohen was the latter. His final album, "You Want It Darker," is a perfect farewell to his fans and to anyone who describes themselves as a fan of music. It's a necessary jaunt through the Kubler-Ross stages of grief, and if you don't cry while listening to it, I'm not even sure I want to know you...

"You Want It Darker"

All the tracks shine, but the title track is one of the weightiest songs you'll ever put into your ear-holes. He was ready to go, even if we weren't ready to lose him. It's our fault (or at least mine) for waiting until he was gone to listen to it. If you're looking to get it on vinyl, I'd suggest going to Vinyl Me, Please. (While this is shameless product placement, they're not sponsors/advertisers of the site, and I'm just an enthusiastic customer who has used them to augment my vinyl collection with really cool and unique pressings.)

Shows coming up in DC in the next three months that you should go to, and I might go to:

Monday 11/21 - Lincoln Theatre - Ingrid Michaelson * - I'll be there
Tuesday 11/22 - Lincoln Theatre - Ingrid Michaelson
Saturday 11/26 - Warner Theater- Brian Setzer Orchestra
Tuesday 11/29 - Gypsy Sally's - Girls, Guns, and Glory * - I'll be there
Wednesday 11/30 - 9:30 Club - Starfucker * - I'll be there
Wednesday 12/7 and Thursday 12/8 - Fillmore Silver Spring - 94.7 FM Not So Silent Night (two days)
Wednesday 12/7 - Fillmore Silver Spring  - 94.7 NSSN Day 1: Mike Posner, Lindsey Stirling, and JoJo
Thursday 12/8 - Fillmore Silver Spring  - 94.7 NSSN Day 2: Third Eye Blind w. Wrable, The Rua
Thursday 12/8 - Birchmere - The Dan Band
Saturday 12/10 - Black Cat - Reverend Horton Heat
Sunday 12/11 - Hamilton Live - Edwin McCain
Monday 12/12 - Birchmere - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Thursday 12/15 - Birchmere - Carbon Leaf
Thursday 12/15 - 9:30 Club - Thievery Corporation
Sunday 12/18 - Fillmore Silver Spring - Lauryn Hill
Tuesday 12/20 - Hamilton Live - Los Lobos
Friday 12/23 - Hamilton Live - Virginia Coalition
Friday 12/23 - Fillmore Silver Spring - 80s and 90s Dance Party with DJ BIZ MARKIE!
Friday 12/30 - Hamilton Live - Old 97s * - I'll be there
Saturday 12/31 - Hamilton Live - Old 97s
Wednesday 1/4/17 - Hamilton Live - $20-25 - Cherry Poppin Daddies - WITH A DANCE FLOOR!
Thursday 1/12/17 - Echostage - Run the Jewels * - I'll be there
Friday 1/20/17 - Birchmere - Ricky Skaggs
Saturday 1/21/17 - Birchmere - Ricky Skaggs
Friday 1/27/17 - Howard Theatre - Ginuwine
Sunday 1/29/17 - Birchmere - Phil Vassar

Stations you should create this week:

1. Nickel Creek

If you like newer folk music, this band is for you. Having now gone their own separate ways to the Punch Brothers, Fiction Family, the Watkins Family Band, I'm With Her, Works Progress Administration, and so many more, this band is a perfect starting point to get into. As an added bonus, when you're perusing music videos or seeing him live in any of his current bands, there's nothing like the pure joy on Chris Thile's face when he treats his mandolin like a heavy metal axe. If you want to add variety to this station, just throw in the bands listed above, but honestly, this is a strong seed.



2. Warren Zevon

If you want the perfect seed artist to create a damn fine rock 'n' roll station, Warren Zevon is your man. This station will give you Springsteen, Tom Petty, Van Morrison, and so much more, but Zevon will shine through on this station, especially with "Lawyers, Guns, and Money," though the order in which he asks for them is pretty much the opposite order of usefulness when the shit has hit the fan. If you feel the need to add any seeds to this station, you are a bad person and should feel bad.



Thought of the week:

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

'Til next time... keep on listening, keep on singing, and keep live music alive.